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» L5R Steel & Honour, Chapter 13, Path of Fate
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Nov 14 2012, 09:41 PM
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Reijiro seems to hear an old man chuckling somewhere behind him, but there is no one there.
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Chronocide
 Posted: Nov 15 2012, 01:00 PM
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Kiyoshi waits impatiently at the head of the group. He isn't foolish enough to continue on along, that would be far to convenient for the oni, but waiting has him agitated. Kiyoshi reflects on his state and tries to shake of the feeling of impatience, normally finding such sentiments unbecoming. Already he regrets not being of greater aid on the march here, but moves aside also those thoughts of regrets and attempts to take part in the preparing crowd. To raise the spirits of others as well as his own.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Nov 15 2012, 08:05 PM
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The Lion paces back and forth, ready to be on the offensive.

"This oni lord will fall today, this I swear."
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Nov 16 2012, 12:45 AM
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The battle cries echo from the hillside, they break the silence of the place otherwise so devoid of life. Weapons bared the samurai begin the ascent. The Hida brothers take point, and a green wedge follows them upward.

"Bowmen in the center, ready for a volley!" Shouts Fushou, "Keep tight! Yari ready!" He commands the Mantis bushi.

A steady pace is set and at first they meet no resistance. Then, when they are halfway up the slope to the dark opening of the oni's lair, they spot movement ahead. To the left and to the right of the cave black shapes appear, slinking out from behind rocks and boulders. Oni spawn! Then the spawn toss the dead bodies of half a dozen peasants down the gravel hill. They are bloated and discoloured and bounce and tumble against the rocks with sickening sounds. They come to rest a few dozen feet above the advancing samurai.


"Hold!" Shouts Buntaro. The wedge stops and six arrows fly toward their targets. Each arrow pierces a swollen corpse and for a moment nothing happens. Then the dead quiver violently and explode in a spray of gore and black ichor. Short, slimy shapes writhe in the mess, each about a foot long and black and toothed like leaches, their mouths open and close with sharp clacks.

Buntaro directs the wedge to the right and around the putrid sight continuing on up the hill. A haunted howl greets them, like a score of dying rabbits screeching into a hollow tube. More oni spawn come into view above them and all together they bound down the slope at full speed straight at the samurai.
"Cresting Wave formation!" Orders Buntaro, and yari are steadied at an angle much like when the Mantis formed their ring of defense, except this time the tips are all pointing forward in multiple lines, like waves.

Kagura and Hio disengage from the formation and race ahead, the former meeting a leaping demon in the face with his axe blade, the latter sending a javelin straight down the throat of a wildly hissing one. They do not slow at all, and spawn veer around them as much as they can, heading for the main body of fighters.

The spawn are no longer cautious, but they leap recklessly into the fray, claws and teeth ready to tear and rend. They seem to hope to overwhelm the attackers, or at least stop their momentum. Those that don't impale themselves on the Cresting Wave strike at the flanks. The woodsman valiantly strikes back with his axe, and even his sister lays about her with a stout stick, but they are no match for the full on assault. An oni spawn gets between them and the girl freezes in terror, lost without her brother.

Moshi Kinyo grits her teeth and beseeches the kami for aid.

Daidoji Ebizu strides gracefully up the slope, both his blades black with blood. He never strikes with the intent to kill at one blow, instead he targets the vital areas where he can do much damage with little effort. Sweat begins to bead on his brow.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Nov 17 2012, 01:35 AM
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A fell laugh booms from the Lion.

He rushes towards the oni-spawn terrorizing the woodman's sister, bodychecking it away from her.

Drawing his wakizashi he slams it into the creatures face.


"Stay back, little one! This one is mine!"
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Chronocide
 Posted: Nov 23 2012, 09:06 AM
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Kiyoshi looks over to were the woodsman and the girl are; a sense of relief washes over him when he sees that Akio is already there protecting them.

Kiyoshi releases a battle cry and and charges. Moving quickly he slashes at whatever limbs and fangs cross his path. Though they are not killing blows the crack he forms in the oni wall, by way of mildly maimed and injured spawn-lings, will provide a natural course for the Hida brothers and the wedge to follow. The only challenge is to keep moving, and quickly. To be slowed down or stopped would be death.

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Itinerant
 Posted: Nov 26 2012, 05:28 PM
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Reijiro grits his teeth and joins the line with vigor. The sounds of battle attack his ears with each broad stroke of his sword upon flesh. The sheer smell of the rotting corpses, rancorous cave, and the snarling, hissing spawn, is enough to subdue a man, let along the voracious force of their assault.

But the steel of the warrior is shown in his determination as it is displayed in his shimmering, gore-covered katana. He refocuses his effort from the fight, to Moshi and Buntaro. Losing them would result in disaster, there is no doubt. By his life or death, Reijiro would make sure they stay alive.

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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Nov 26 2012, 11:44 PM
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As Akio wrenches his blade free the glowing red light fades from two of the beasts left eyes and black blood gushes forth. The demon stumbles momentarily but them stabilizes itself on all six legs. It prepares to pounce but Ebizu steps behind it and to the right swinging lightly with his blades, and suddenly its back legs collapse. It lashes its tail violently and takes its attention away from Akio. A mistake.

Kiyoshi finds that he is doing more defending than attacking, but the steel of his blade holds true and each time he raises it in a block or a strike it bites deeply into the flesh of an opponent. These spawn seem to be much less armoured than either the ones that attacked the previous day and the Oni Lord itself. But what they lack in guile and defense they make up for in ferocity and numbers. That is why he must keep moving.

Ahead he sees the two Hida laying about higher on the slope with their great weapons. They are drawing the attention of quite a few spawn, none of which want to attack them directly. Instead they circle and look for their openings, but the Crab have yet to be bloodied.

The Cresting Wave has begun to lose momentum, the hillside is slick with black blood and a number of the Mantis' yari have been left shattered in the bodies of their foes. Only two samurai have fallen.


"Draw!! Swirling Tempest Formation!!" Yoritomo Buntaro shouts, and in a moment the last of the spears are hurled like javelins and the green clad bushi draw a mix of katana, kama, and kusari-gama. They form another ring, like their defensive formation before, but this time they start to rotate as they climb the hill, archers in the middle. Arrows streak forward finding eyes and mouths as often as joints and it is rare, between the Crab, the Crane, the Fox and the Wasp that any demon reaches the blades of the Tempest uninjured.

An oni leaps into the center of the formation and lands with a skid right next to Reijiro. It is bleeding heavily from deep gash in its foreleg and there are two arrows sticking out of the fleshy part of its neck. It ignores the ronin and charges past him straight at Moshi Kinyo.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Nov 28 2012, 07:36 PM
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The Lion, ever laughing, takes advantage of Ebizu's diversion.

Dodging beneath the flailing tale, and quickly trading his wakizashi for his katana, he strikes across the spawns neck with all his strength.


This post has been edited by redeadlink: Dec 8 2012, 11:12 PM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Nov 29 2012, 08:24 AM
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Akio's blade digs deep into the dark and corrupted flesh. He feels resistance as his katana comes up against cartilage and then bone, but his stroke is ferocious and the steel emerges from the other side of the neck in a spray of gore. The oni opens its mouth wide to utter a howl that will not come. It's head hangs by sinew only as its body begins to twitch and spasm uncontrollably.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Nov 29 2012, 08:16 PM
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The Lion kicks the body away from him, then herds the woodsman's sister back towards the main group.

Once she is safe, he resumes his offensive against the spawn that are near him.
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Dec 1 2012, 10:27 AM
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The Swirling Tempest formation opens briefly to admit the traumatized peasant girl. The Mantis do not question their duty to one of lower birth, nor do they break stride, even though Akio can see that they are beginning to tire. Many of them are now wounded, and their blades are not raised as high as before.

Yoritomo Foushou shouts for the woodsman to join his sister in the ring and defend the archers, but he is heedless of any cries. His back is turned and through luck more than skill he is still alive against overwhelming foes. It is like he is in a berserk rage, cleaving left and right with his simple axe, never tiring. He stumbles and trips, but those instances seem always to save him from high raking claws and snapping jaws. He recovers as quickly as he can and sinks his weapon into the calf of a passing spawn.
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redeadlink
 Posted: Dec 1 2012, 07:05 PM
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"IS THIS THE BEST YOU CAN SUMMON, ONI?! SENDING RABBLE OUT LIKE THIS, I FEAR THERE WILL BE LITTLE GLORY FOUND IN YOUR DESTRUCTION! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

The Lion draws his wakizashi and katana and throws himself into the nearest group of spawn, hoping to take some of the pressure off the main group.

"COME YOU FIENDS, LET YOUR NECKS MEET MY BLADES!"

This post has been edited by redeadlink: Dec 8 2012, 11:14 PM
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Greg
 Posted: Dec 2 2012, 03:32 PM
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Kaede redoubles his efforts, rushing with katana in hand, to join Akio's charge into the fray. Drawing from the lessons of his dojo, Kaede's focus and courage is strengthened rather than weakened by the seemingly overwhelming odds stacked against him. With a furious speed, the monkey warrior weaves his blade again and again through the mass of oni around him.

This post has been edited by Greg: Dec 2 2012, 03:33 PM
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Chronocide
 Posted: Dec 2 2012, 10:13 PM
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"Glory?!" Thinks Kiyoshi thrusting his sword backwards into an injured spawn that was attempting to strike him from behind. "I'd much prefer this battle didn't need fighting. I'd trade any glory for that." Kiyoshi pulls his blade back out of the abdomen of the beast without looking back continuing onward but not venturing too far away from the main formation. "But fortune did not permit mine to be a placid existence, and so if I am to fight, I shall do so well"
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