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» L5R Steel & Honour, Chapter 12, Over Branch and Under Briar
Chronocide
 Posted: Jan 3 2012, 08:22 PM
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Kiyoshi grabs the old woman and with a few leaps removes her from the immediate threat. Kiyoshi calls out. "Jade! We must still test the woman." Kiyoshi readies his katana against the woman should something foul happen, there will be time enough for apologies later.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Jan 4 2012, 03:09 AM
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Akio readies his dai tsuchi, kicking himself for almost falling for the demon's ruse, and swings it upwards to meet the oni in mid-air.

This post has been edited by Jimbo Cactaur: Jan 5 2012, 12:50 AM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jan 5 2012, 11:49 PM
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Mantis bushi scatter as the demon descends on them. Some of them leap and roll out of the way, coming into a kneel with bows drawn, others simply dive for cover. One Mantis bravely stands his ground, releasing his arrow at the last possible second.

The arrow whizzes past Akio's face and into the neck of the oni just as the Lion connects with his heavy hammer. He can feel a hard armour plate crack under the force of his blow, and hopefully some ribs as well.

The demon is knocked off course and finds only soft earth filling its mouth. It bounds easily from the awkward landing into a full pounce at the next available target, a young bushi with a pale face and eyes wide with terror. The creature seems to grin in anticipation as it knocks the mans sword aside with one paw and then bowls him over. His breath is crushed out of him and he opens his mouth in a voiceless scream as the claws dig into his body. He is finished by a quick chomp to his face which leaves him ruined and unrecognizable.

Hida Hio rushes over to Kiyoshi, a pair of nagi-yari in one large hand, a finger of jade in the other.
"Here, quickly." He waits until Kiyoshi takes the jade and then stands to his full height and heaves another javelin at the demon.

Arrows slam into the beast from all sides and it howls in pain, remembering the feeling of jade once more. It turns from its kill and hisses, red eyes flaring with hate.


"Take out its eyes!!!" Buntaro commands, and its gaze is immediately drawn to him. It prepares to leap over the captain's guard but Hio's nagi-yari thuds into its thigh and Kagura gives a loud battle cry of the Hida behind it. It hesitates.
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Greg
 Posted: Jan 6 2012, 09:11 AM
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Kaede leans to the right, so as to peek around the shrine. "Hello. Who are you, and what are you doing hiding over there? Are you a survivor?"

This post has been edited by Greg: Jan 6 2012, 09:11 AM
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jan 6 2012, 11:20 PM
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Kiyoshi presses the Jade to the woman's throat with his left hand Katana poised above her heart.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Jan 7 2012, 12:01 PM
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Akio lets out a primal roar and strikes at the oni's legs in an attempt to disable one of them while the oni is hesitating.

This post has been edited by redeadlink: Jan 7 2012, 12:02 PM
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jan 8 2012, 04:21 PM
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Reijiro joins the fray. Keeping his focus split between the oni, and the situation with Kiyoshi and the woman. Should there be a second demon, this could turn from a battle into a massacre very quickly. In such a case, he looks around the tree line for a possible escape route for the party. Essentially, the combined might of everyone should able to handle the single oni, but two? He grimly edges towards Kiyoshi, picking up a fallen jade arrow from the ground.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jan 8 2012, 11:55 PM
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A small pale-faced little girl peers back at Kaede. She has grime all over her face and there are little streaks down her cheeks where he can tell she has been crying. She blinks her big brown eyes and rubs the tattered sleeve of her shirt under her nose. She appears to be about six years old and starving. In response to Toku-sans question she nods quickly, then says, "Rin, samurai-sama." in a very small voice. She then remembers herself and bows low in a very formal manner.

Tsuruchi Akinori approaches Kaede,
"I can't believe he would have us leave all those bodies to rot, has he no decency?!" Then he notices the little girl. "Oh, what's this?"

----

As Kiyoshi presses the jade into the old womans neck she lets out a small moan, but no black smoke appears. It seems that she is just about at the end of her life due to the trauma she has been through.

Akio swings with all his might, the hammer a deadly extension of his arms. The steel head slams into the demons thigh just below where the javelin protrudes. He hears another crack and suddenly is flying backward through the air as the oni snaps around on him with a vicious double backhand.

Due to its quick turn four jade arrows miss their mark, two flying over its head, the others embedding themselves in the creatures furry neck. It also notices Hida Kagura coming up from behind with his tetsubo raised and prepares to meet him.

And meet him it does, Kagura leaps through the air and the oni stands tall on its hind legs, thick tail waving, all four arms wide, ready to tear the valiant Crab to shreds. Hida Hio throws his last javelin, his aim is true. It sinks deeply into a red eye causing the demon to twitch while Kagura's club slams down on its face.

The beast tips over backwards with the force of the blow and begins to thrash around reflexively. Arrows fly, but only one finds a red eye to extinguish. Hio unstraps the massive Ono from his back, hefting the axe like a woodsman might. He looks back to Kiyoshi and Reijiro, quickly analyzing the status of the old woman. He grins at them as if to say "Come, there is more battle yet to be had"

Matsu Akio lands some ten feet away from the thrashing oni, Dai-tsuchi still in hand, and regains his breath.
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Chronocide
 Posted: Jan 10 2012, 07:44 PM
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Kiyoshi returns the jade to Hio, and makes a quick assessment of the battleground. And seeing that things are well in hand remarks "A good it was oonly a small one."
Kiyoshi puts his Katana away and repositions the woman to make her as comfortable as possible tries his best to have her take some water and says a prayer while holding her hand.
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Itinerant
 Posted: Jan 12 2012, 01:41 AM
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Reijiro exhales in relief to see the woman is exactly what she appears to be. And then takes in another breath, preparing himself for a charge. He unsheathes his Katana, and circles behind the demon--which is a very relative term, considering at which the speed the Oni spins as he attacks the oncoming samurai.

Like a diver inhaling before plunging into the deep, he readies himself for a moment, and then leaps into the fray.
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Greg
 Posted: Jan 12 2012, 09:34 AM
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"The only survivor, I think." Kaede crouches so that he is at eye level with the girl. He gets some food from his traveling pack and offers it to her. "I am Toku Kaede, and these are my companions." He lists of the names of the other samurai that are with him. "And lastly," Kaede says, pointing to the puppy at his side, "this is Shika-Chan. We are hunting the monster that did this to your village. Do you know where it went?"
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redeadlink
 Posted: Jan 13 2012, 11:57 PM
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Akio leaps in from the opposite side of Reijiro in the hope that the double attack will prove too much for the oni to fully defend against.

He taunts the oni,
"Bakka! You should know better than to pick a fight with the pinnacle of man that is the great Matsu Akio!"

He aims his hammer for the same leg that was damaged earlier.

Question: Where is the Crane warrior?
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jan 15 2012, 05:11 PM
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A hail of arrows launch at the oni and it howls in pain. Hida Kagura raises his tetsubo for another great swing, but the demons tail sweeps his feet from under him and he falls heavily on his back. The oni rights itself and stalks toward the prone Crab. Hida Hio shouts loudly as he charges the things head, ducking under one swing of its deadly tail, and tumbling over another.

At the same time Reijiro darts in with lightning reflexes and draws a black line up the oni's side to its first armpit with his katana. The wound is shallow and only meant as a distraction, but it allows Hio to get in close enough with his terrible axe. The demon raises a clawed paw to protect its face and three toes fall to the trampled ground with Hio's first swing.

Akio jumps in, hammering at the creatures leg with all his force. All those around him hear the crack this time, and the leg bends in an unnatural way. The blow paralyzes the demon for a moment, eyes wide and mouth hanging open in a silent roar.

More arrows streak in, these ones sinking deeply into its face, completely blinding it. Yet before it can move again Hida Hio's axe sweeps up under its chin cleaving deeply into its upper palate.

Finally it shrieks again and begins to thrash. Kagura only just regains his feet before he is knocked down again. He covers his head with his hands and holds still as the oni rages nearly on top of him.

The Mantis bushi hold back hesitantly, yari at the ready.


The crane is with the scouting party ahead.

----

The little girl lowers her eyes and shakes her head causing her short hair to swing out like wings. She begins to cry, sobbing into the wrapping holding the food Kaede gave her. Shika moves close to her and nuzzles her hand and she collapses on to her knees. She throws her arms around the puppy's neck and Shika licks her face happily. Rin slowly stops crying and actually begins to smile.


"How could this child be the only one to survive the demon?"Akinori asks Kaede. "She wouldn't know how to care for herself for this long all alone."

Yoritomo Dorai appears from the bushes to their right. "Hurry up you two..." He sees the little girl playing with Shika. "What's going on?"

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redeadlink
 Posted: Jan 15 2012, 09:13 PM
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Akio grabs a large rock and hurls it with all his strength at the oni in an attempt to knock it away from Kagura, then leaps at it with his hammer while it is stunned.
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Greg
 Posted: Jan 16 2012, 06:39 PM
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Kaede leaves Rin with Shika for a minute, to speak with Akinori and Dorai out of the girl's earshot. "I don't know, Akinori-San. The Oni probably prefers flesh for food, and left plenty of bodies undevoured. I think there would be enough food left over for her to survive for a couple days on her own."

This post has been edited by Greg: Jan 16 2012, 06:39 PM
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