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L5R The Topaz Champion

24567

Posts

  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Harukichi looks at Rika as her words spoke of a change of plans. Why the sudden change? Did I so something wrong? Oh, please forgive me if I said something wrong, Rika. Her expression changed to one of bewilderment and worry. She remain unable to speak for a few scant moments and then she nods, solemnly, "Of course, Soshi-san. I shall see you at the competitions tomorrow, I am sure."

    She resumes being seated and suddenly reaches for a mug of Shochu, picking it up and downing the foul liquid as quickly as she can in one go. As the burning liquid slides down her throat, she closes her eyes and tries to focus on not doing anything embarassing. The last of the liquid goes down her throat and she places the mug back down on the table. For a few moments, she looks as if she pulled it off without incident, but then she begins to cough somewhat violently.

    After recovering, she looks at the Crab, "If you Crabs can handle that stuff, the taint of the Shadowland must be easy to just shrug off."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    "I'm sure it's an acquired taste, Kakita-san." said Saburo sympathetically. "One I'm not sure I would want to acquire, at that."

    Draining the last of the brew with a mostly-suppressed shudder, Saburo stands with almost no difficulty whatsoever and bows non-shakily to the two remaining contestants. "I have to go do my nightly archery practice before heading to bed. I look forward to competing against you both tomorrow, and it's truly been a pleasure meeting you."

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Harukichi stood and bowed her head to both Hida-san and Tsuruchi-san, "I must also take my leave and perform my evening exercises. It was an honour to meet both of you. Good luck in the competitions tomorrow." With that, she turns and asks the innkeeper for some mochi and a small wooden cage. The innkeeper looks at her somewhat oddly at the strange request, but goes to the back room to fetch the required items. He hands it to her and Harukichi gives the innkeeper some money, nodding her thanks to him.

    She exits the Laughing Carp and, rather than head for the dojo, she heads to the alley behind the Laughing Carp. There, she sees what she was looking for: the Laughing Carp's refuse pile. She moves closer to it and begins to wait patiently, hoping that this night brings out what she is looking for.


    After quite a bit of time passes, she finally spies what she is looking for: a rat. Look at that! Not just any rat, but an albino rat! Truly, the Fortunes must be smiling on you tonight! The rat scurries towards the refuse pile, looking for any food. Harukichi softly approaches the refuse pile and kneels down, holding out the mochi in the palm of her hand. The rat notices her approach and looks at her and then looks at the mochi in her hand.

    The small rat moves towards her cautiously and Harukichi stays absolutely still so as to not startle the small creature. Eventually the rat reaches her hand and sniffs the mochi a bit and then begins to lightly nibble on a corner, ready to scurry away if it is a trap. Harukichi remains still. Satisfied that this isn't a trap, the rat moves into her hand and begins to more eagerly devour the treat. Harukichi gently moves her other hand and cups the rat in her hands, lifting it gently. It seems unafraid as it continues to devour the mochi. She pulls out the small wooden cage, probably designed for holding a lucky cricket, but it was large enough.

    As the rat continues to eat the mochi, she gently places the rat in to the small cage, giving the rodent a small pet with her fingers before shutting the cage.


    She re-enters the Laughing Carp, looking around. By this time, the main room is mostly empty, occupied only by a few people who are passed out or nearly passed out on their tables. She moves to the innkeeper, handing him a note with a koku on top of it. The innkeeper looks at the note and then nods, writing something on the paper quickly. He palms the koku and then turns his head so that Harukichi is out of his sight.

    She reads what he wrote, a indication of which room Rika is in. She moves quietly up the stairs and heads to the appropriate room. She places the rat in front of her door as well as a note she had written earlier.

    The note reads, "I hope this rat brings you luck in tomorrows competition." and is followed by a haiku:

    Two sakura bloom;
    The wind gasps at their beauty
    And the sky blushes.

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    As dusk settles on the forest just outside town, a boy stands still on legs that wanted to shake, focusing on the tree trunk. Specifically on the tiny knot on the tree trunk, barely visible from this distance. His bow stood at his side, held loosely in hands that wanted to tremble, partly from tiredness, partly from the vile alcohol he had forced himself to drink earlier.

    If I am to succeed at this tournament, I will have to push myself past my limitations. I must be at peace with myself, and focus on what I must achieve... and then I must achieve it, no matter how difficult it might seem.

    Finally, the boy felt peace wash over him. His body knew the necessary movements, all he needed to do was let it happen. Without thought, he took an arrow from the quiver, brought his bow up, and knocked and fired the arrow in one motion. It flew through the trees, inches past one on the left, and even closer to one on the right until it found its home in the tree he could barely see... mere inches away from the knothole he had been aiming for.

    Quashing a sigh of frustration, he lowered his bow to his side and searched for peace again. Close would not do tonight. Success tomorrow would require perfection- and if he could not be perfect with the bow, the thing with which he had devoted his life to studying... how could he be perfect in an Iaijitsu duel, or reciting a poem?

    And the boy stood still in the dark woods as the night went on, searching for the inner peace that would allow him to challenge for the championship on the morrow.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The smell of incense hung heavy in the room as the sky outside turned gray, and Rika's voice was on the edge of giving out, more of a hoarse croak than the smooth purr it had been earlier in the night.
    "Ancestors, forgive me. I shall honor your memories in the coming tournament."

    Parched, she finally ceased her prayer, reaching over to the cold cup of tea that she had brought up with her hours earlier. She took a sip, and her lips curved into a frown.
    Has it really been that long? Perhaps the innkeeper has some tea prepared.

    The tall bushi rose, her muscles stiff from her vigil. She placed the mask over her jaw without conscious thought, the smooth porcelain as much a part of her as her hair.

    She did not, however, expect to trip over the small cage outside her door.
    The rat trapped inside squeaked with fear as the cage tumbled over, catching the woman's attention. "A... rat?" She kneeled to the floor and picked up the note, her eyes quickly scanning the calligraphy.

    Rika stood a moment later, hugging the wooden cage to her chest as she went downstairs to get another cup of tea. Thank you, Harukichi-san. I believe I may need that luck.

  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    DAY ONE

    First day of the Topaz Championship. The honorable Miya Yoto, miya family Daimyo presiding over the proceedings in the glorious emperor's stead. The Town is abuzz, even the peasants, who do not have a day of respite, eagerly await the first competitions results.

    The gates to the kakita academy are open wide. The outdoor training yard has been surrounded by seating. A somewhat humble makeshift throne sits at the head for the emperor. His seat though, is clearly and intentionally the best available. To his sides places are reserved for Daji Satsume and Bayushi Shoju. Kakita Toshimoko is standing in the middle of the courtyard, chatting amiably with with the crane and scorpion contestants. The two lions and one crab are keeping apart. Either unsure of joining the conversation or uninterested.

    Kakita swordsmen stand guard at the exterior of the building. Seppun guardsmen, the emperors bodyguard have take over their duties on the inside. As soon as all the contestants have arrived, so will the emperor and the tournament will begin!

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The day had arrived. Dressed in his finest clothing (still in wasp colours with his school's mon proudly adorning his front), the boy stepped up to the gates of the academy. He had been up late last night, but it had been worth it- he was focused on the task at hand, and for the first time felt ready for whatever challenges would come his way. Sure, his insides felt like they were about to fall out, and his legs felt like jelly... But he had expected that. And he was allowing himself to rise above these mere physical distractions.

    It seems that I am the first to arrive. That's not a bad thing, he thought, I'll look less like a child among men this way.

    Bowing deeply to the Crane Daimyo and to the other notables already present, the boy allowed himself to be led to his proper place for the ceremony, holding on to the calmness he still felt as a man in a windstorm might hold his cloak around him.

    And he did the only thing that was left for him to do, now. He waited.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kiyashi had remained in the common room after the others had departed for the evening, and had continued drinking for some time after. He had never crossed the line into outright drunkenness, of course... that sort of thing was the shame of overeager Lions. Kiyashi had, however, had made certain he was never entirely sober, either. It would not do to get to thinking overmuch and challenge some Crane samurai to a duel and cause an incident.

    When he did finally make it to his room, he slept easily. Being so far from the Shadowlands made everything seem less threatening, somehow.

    When he awoke, it was early, and he was of clear mind and focused purpose as he donned his clothing, and took up his necessities, and joined the growing crowds for the tournament. He took the few moments necessary to show proper respect to the host, then moved to find a place for himself, not away from others, but not right on top of anyone, either. He did catch a glimpse of the archer from the night previous. He would have to keep an eye on that boy. If his techniques were as good as he claimed...

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rika arrived at the Kakita academy after her sleepless night, the dark circles underneath her eyes hidden by the small touches of cosmetics she had placed upon her face that morning. Her mask remained fixed on her face, the expressionless porcelain shell hiding her true thoughts.
    I will honor my ancestors today. My skills are honed, my technique is unflawed. As long as I do not have to face Harukichi... I shall prevail.

    The tall Scorpion did not speak as she was directed to her place from which she would observe the proceedings. Her throat still ached slightly from the strain of the night's constant prayer, and it would do no good to sound weak in front of these foppish Cranes.

  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Harukichi wakes up from her sleep. She's still groggy since she stayed out last night trying to find a rat for Rika. Better hope your lack of sleep doesn't affect your performance or your sensei will have your head. She shrugs off the nagging sense of guilt over her irresponsibility and quickly got dressed.

    She rushes out to the central courtyard of the dojo where all the other contestants have already started to gather. She catches the gaze of her sensei who shakes his head slightly, probably disappointed that she is one of the later arrivals and she sleeps right in the dojo.

    She moves to the guests of honour and kneels before them, bowing her head to the ground, her palms on the ground in front of her. They nod to her and she rises, moving to take her place among the contestants. She briefly looks around to see where Rika is. She catches sight of the beautiful Scorpion and involuntarily blushes slightly, quickly looking away and facing forward.

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    All of the contestants soon arrive as well. Miya Yoto nods to Kakita Toshimoko to signal he should distance himself from the contestants. "All bow, to the glorious emperor of Rokugan!" Miya Yoto proclaims. Obviously none in the arena refuse to do so. The emperor appears from a door behind his makeshift throne. Flanked by four guardsmen and his personal yojimbo. Behind them, at four paces remove follow Bayushi shoju and Doji Satsume.

    "Please rise, kind folk," says Hantei the XXXVIII "All this on my account?" this little joke gets some laughter and polite applause. "Yes lord," says miya yoto, "Contestants, you are gathered here because you wish to be samurai. You had the courage to pick this tournament as your test of gempukku and the promise to actually be sent."

    "Our first contest is sumai, three matches at a time." He indicates a large vase behind him. "I will now draw out the names,"

    "Moto Xuren versus Kakita Shino" Clearly an unequal match up, the The heavy set Unicorn outweighs the crane terribly. The match is short and quite furious. Xuren charges shino, slams him to the ground and keeps him there. Applause follows.

    "Hiruma Do versus the Ronin Hazu," Miya yoto says, his voice only the slightest bit disapproving of the ronin. Hiruma is last night's loud crab. Hazu wins the match, but it was a near victory and not very convincing. The crowd is much less exhuberant in their applause this time around.

    "Agasha Hanori versus Yorimoto Yuriko," The crowd are on the edge of their seat for this one. A mantis bushi against a phoenix shugenja. The match does not fail to deliver. Yuriko might be unskilled in hand to hand combat, but she compensates with enthusiam. The shugenja loses are a messy roll around and a broken nose.



    "The next four matches!" yells Miya Yoto "Tsuruchi Saburo versus Bayushi Denbe!" Bayushi Denbe is a devilishly good looking young man that moves with an easy grace. His scorpion mask is a few lines of painted make up around the eyes and a scorpion drawn on his cheek. He looks extremely pleased with himself and confident. He's clearly not nervous at the prospect of, mock, combat.

    "Hida Kiyashi versus shiba takako!" Strangely enough this female Phoenix competitor also wears a mask. Though hers is actually solid and not just painted on. She looks incredibly tense and nervous. She's almost shaking as her lithe frame jitters about the mat. Many Bushi sensei neglect jiujutsu, this may have been the case for takako.

    "Soshi Rika versus Mirumoto Otakan" Otakan is a handsome young man, though not nearly as good looking as bayushi denbe. He moves with incredible quickness, his potential speed is evident even as the assumes a wrestling stance. His swords, trademark of the mirumoto school are in the hands of a valet. he moved quite smoothly removing them.

    "Kakita Harukichi versus Kitsu Konoko," . Konoko is a strong young woman, who looks more than a little out of place on the mat. Her look is determined but her stance looks somewhat feeble. Ofcourse as a shugenja such is to be expected.



    "Please take your places on the mat"

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rika flexed her muscles as she stepped onto the mat, her mask's blank expression perfectly mirroring that of her face.
    This should be... fun. Provided I don't embarass my ancestors in front of everyone.

    The morning breeze caught her robes as she stood facing her opponent, the black and red cloth waving like a Scorpion banner on the battlefield. And this is a battlefield, make no mistake. Just not one where my life is at stake. Just my pride, but it's almost the same thing.

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Saburo stepped onto the mat, doing his best to look and feel confident. He knew he was at a disadvantage in this particular competition- his age and lack of bulk put him at a decided disadvantage. On the bright side, he hadn't drawn a Crab, so he was probably in fairly good shape.

    He stood still on the mat, already concentrating on his opponent to try to find obvious weak spots. He was particularly careful not to meet the eyes of his adversary- he had heard that some Scorpions could hypnotize or otherwise confuse you simply by meeting your gaze, and he wanted no part in anything of the sort.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2008
    Harukichi steps on to the mat and faced Kitsu Konoko. A shugenja? This shouldn't be too hard. She looks at the Lion Shugenja and quickly spots an opening. Harukichi charges forward and successfully grabs on to to the woman in a strong sumai grip.

    Kitsu Konoko is startled slightly and loses her calm for a few moments. Harukichi grabs hold of the Lion and begins to firmly grasp on to the strong Lion woman. For the first several seconds, Harukichi shows clear control over the grapple, every move one of domination and control.

    However, after a few seconds, the Lion has a sudden surge of strength and handily reverses the control of the grapple. Harukichi is suddenly taken aback by the sudden show of strength that this Shugenja demonstrates. The tables have quickly turned and the Lion continues to press the advantage, Harukichi struggling to regain control.

    She summons a deep breath and focuses intently on the task at hand, hoping to turn the tables once again on her opponent. However, for all of her focus, Harukichi is simply unable to overcome the advantage that the Lion quickly gained on her. Harukichi falls to the mat, defeated. Your overconfidence was your downfall.

    Kitsu Konoko offers her hand to Harukichi. Harukichi gratefully takes the hand and is helped up by her opponent. She bows humbly to the Lion, "You may have won the match, Kitsu-san, but I am the true winner here; you have taught me a valuable lesson to never underestimate my opponents. I am deeply thankful to you for that lesson."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Bayushi denbe seems relaxed as he walks to the fighters mat. Once the match starts he flies at you like a leaping tiger and tries to grab on. Much to his surprise however Saburo is the quicker and gets a hold first, knocking the wind out of him. He gains the upperhand immediatly afterwards, but gets slammed down again for his trouble. "Oh fortunes," he exclaims As Saburo all but sits on his opponent to garner the win.

    "Ah, well done," he says,"You're a quick young man aren't you?" He wanders back to his place, walking as if he were a feeble old man on whose back had just been slammed a tetsubo.


    Mirumoto Otakan's plan of attack is immediatly clear. He hopes to use his superior speed against Rika's size. She's at least as fast on the mat though and manages to gain a good grip almost instantly. Once Otakan hits the floor, try as he might he has no defense against your superior strength, up untill the last seconds he struggles vainly to lift up a shoulder or even reverse the throw, but it is for nought. He says nothing to you afterwards.

    "You were an honorable opponent Kakita-sama," Konoko says, "I am very pleased to have win. I did not expect to do so." She bows and takes her place again.

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Saburo bows to the Bayushi and says "You honour me with your kind words, Bayushi-sama. Thank you for a very hard-fought match." The boy then takes his place. The blood thundering through his veins and his sheer joy at this unexpected victory threatening to shatter the shell of his calm outer demeanor.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rika shrugs, saving her words for an opponent who would actually make her try. No sense in spoiling an easy victory.

    Her eyes caught Harukichi's, and she smiled, tilting her head slightly to indicate the caged albino rat that she had brought to the tournament.
    It did bring me luck, after all.

  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Shiba takako does not take off her mask for the wrestling match, even if it is a touch unwieldy. She gets the drop on Kiyashi and manages to wrap her arms around his waist. Kiyashi, however, manages to halt her momentum and drops his full bulk down on his opponent, slamming her face first unto the mat. The maneuver elicits groans of sympathy from the audience. The match is easily decided afterward, with kiyashi holding her down for the required time. She moves her mask back in place and then bows to Kiyashi.

    The match Between Akodo Shotaka and Usagi Kamahime is easily the most interesting match to to watch. Both contestants have been extensively trained in jiujutsu and it shows. The match goes back and forth but eventually the stronger Lion pins the hare.

    Doji Wakao versus Tamori Gojinka goes as expected. The dragon shugenja cannot match the determination of the Doji. It is decided quickly and is not very entertaining to watch.


    "Line up to be received by the judges for the heraldry examination!" says Miya yoto "the order matters not," Doji wakao is closest to the entrance to the chamber where the examination will be held. He walks over casually, quite pleased at having won. When the contestant doesn't immediately emerge. The other contestants start to walk toward each other. You all seem to be standing near each other. Hazu and Bayushi denbe approach. "Quite the first event eh?" says the scorpion. "I hope my luck changes for the second one."

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Saburo is still giddy at having won his wrestling match, but tries not to let it show- especially in front of the Bayushi he'd just beaten. "I'm sure you'll fare better than me at this next one. I definitely expected these to be my worst two events- it's going to be good to have them out of the way first thing."

    Looking over at Kiyashi, he grins. "I'm very glad I didn't draw you to wrestle, Hida-san. Your style seems most effective, if a little painful for your opponent."

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    The Heraldry portion of the contest would easily be her weakest showing. Harukichi kneels before the judges, sitting traditional seiza-style. She bowed deeply before the judges and they reciprocated. She rises, remaining silent before the judges.

    The judges hold up the first Mon. Harukichi examines it and very quickly responds, "That is the Mon of the Dragon clan." The judges all nod in unison, showing that she had given the correct answer. That was the easiest one. Keep your mind focused as they will only get harder.

    The judges hold up the second Mon. Harukichi looks at the Mon and responds quickly as well, "That is the Mon of the Isawa family of the Phoenix Clan." Again, the judges all nod.

    The judges hold up the third Mon, but Harukichi is at a loss for who it belongs to. She sheepishly answers, "The Badger Clan?" The judges all look at the Mon and then look at Harukichi, puzzled. That looks nothing like a Badger. What were you thinking? The judges then shake their head.

    The next two Mons similarly draw a blank from Harukichi, failing to recognise either of them. Rather than guess again and potentially embarrass herself further, she simply notes that she does not know them. The judges all nod and then speak, "Kakita Harukichi, you have identified two of the five Mons. That is not enough to gain a point."

    Harukichi once again bows before the judges, "Thank you, judges, for taking the time to test me." The judges nod their head and she stands, exiting the testing room. That wasn't wholly unexpected. You shall make up for this early deficit in the next competition: the obstacle course.

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Someone clears their throat from behind Saburo as he chats with the other contestants. Turning, the boy sees he is already at the head of the line. Apologizing to the judge, Saburo enters quickly, cursing himself for not preparing himself mentally while he had the chance.

    Bowing low to the judges, Saburo sits comfortably and the test begins.

    "That is the mon of the Phoenix clan." he says instantly to the first, and the judges nod approvingly.

    "That is the mon of the Miromoto family of the Dragon Clan." he says again quickly, and the judges nod again.

    The third mon came up, and he knew it. It was an Imperial mon, and he had come across it in his studies...But the name escaped him. Frantically he searched his memory, and he could see by the judges' faces that he was almost out of time. "That is the Otomo mon, of the imperial family...?" he guessed. "No, wait, it's the Mia mon!".

    "I'm sorry, Tsuruchi-san. We take only your first answer." said one of the judges. Silently, he cursed himself, sure he would be hard pressed to get either of the two most obscure mon.

    "That is...the mon of the Usagi family of the Hare clan?" One of the judges sniffed, looking insulted. He must have just mistaken the mon of a minor crane house with a minor house's mon. Ugh.

    The last mon was so obscure that he didn't even bother answering.

    If only he'd gotten that Imperial one! Bowing low to the judges, he thanked them and left, cursing inwardly.

    Well, it's not like I expected to pass that one. But still, it would have been nice!

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Kiyashi bowed in return to the Phoenix he had just beaten, and joined her in exiting the arena, pausing a moment to speak to her afterwards, thanking her for the chance to hone his skills against a quicker opponent. This was sincere, in fact... in Crab lands, it was easier to find large opponents than quick ones. And one never knew when one of the smaller beasts would show up and need to be put down.

    When the heraldry competition was announced, Kiyashi paused a long moment before joining the others in line. He glanced at the ronin Hazu for a long moment. He'd won his match, and that made Kiyashi very slightly reconsider him, but...

    Kiyashi was next in line after Saburo, and gave the young archer a comisserating glance. Heraldry. Ah well, he knew he should expect it. This was a Crane ceremony, after all, and if anyone thought knowing who was who was more important than any actual test of skill, it was the Crane. He did not speak to Saburo, however, choosing not to be accused of cheating in some way. He stepped within the room, and gave a deep bow to the testers, then stood silently to await their testing. The first banner was raised, and Kiyashi did not hesitate.

    "That is the mon of the Unicorn Clan." They nodded that he was correct, raised the next. Kiyashi paused only a moment longer.

    "That mon is of the Kitsu family of the Lion Clan." Kiyashi had known a Kitsu once, who had stayed on the wall. When the third banner rose he almost laughed aloud.

    "That is of the Tsuruchi family of the Wasp." That, he knew, was pure luck, and yet... He couldn't help but find it amusing. He did restrain himself, however.

    The fourth rose, and he looked at it for a long, long time. He took a long, deep breath, and as he let it out, he answered carefully.

    "Kitsuki, of the Dragon." The judges looked at him for a moment, then shook their heads no. He took a breath, but did not respond. When the fifth mon rose, he merely shook his head, and spoke aloud.

    "To my shame, I am unaware of that family."

    There were a couple of soft whispers from those who were hoping for a second upset today... but alas.

    Kiyashi stepped from the room, head held high, after being released to go. He did not smile, but nor did he frown. He had done well in a competition he was no expert in. He was content.

    And he would make up any lost ground in the next competition. That he was certain of.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Rika's mind raced as she stepped into the chamber, and kneeled in front of the judges, quite confident that she would succeed. She had spent far too much time in political matters to fail.

    "Hida Family, of the Crab clan."
    The Hida? A simple choice.

    "Asako Family, of the Phoenix Clan."
    The judges murmured approval, raising up the third mon.

    "Ide Family, of the Unicorn clan."
    Harukichi did give me luck today. I must find time to thank her properly tonight. Perhaps that small grove I saw near the river would be a good meeting place.

    Distracted, the Scorpion failed to look clearly at the next banner.
    "Kakita Family, of the Crane clan."
    One of the judges coughed. "No."

    Her concentration shattered, and her streak of good luck broken, Rika looked at the last banner.
    "Ikoma Family, of the Lion Clan."
    The judges shook their heads.
    "You have failed, Soshi Rika."

    The Scorpion bowed and rose, frowning underneath her mask. Focus! You need focus!

  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    "First two lost, this is not ideal, not at all." Bayushi Denbe says. "Bah, two more days, i'm sure we'll get there," replies hazu. "Though this was a tad humbling," he continues.

    "I call for silence!" yells Miya yoto,"A very revealing test indeed. Congratulations to Mirumoto Otakan," He walks to the vase containing all your names and speaks again. "Now we shall test your athleticism two by two you will be sent across our obstacle course. Kakita Toshimoko will be your judge.

    "Aha finally!" Usagi kamahime says, "If you're up against me, feel free to just walk i'll be arriving first anyhow!" she's joking but she does look very fast indeed.

    "Hope i don't get her," Hazu says,"

    "Hazu versus Kakita Harukichi, as our first pair!" yells miya yoto.

    "Well thats hardly an improvement," hazu says, "oh well,".

    "Soshi Rika versus Tamori gojinka," The shugenja looks very fit, must be all those dragon clan monks.

    "Tsuruchi Saburo versus yorimoto Yurikon," A minor clan matchup, who is the most capable?

    "Hida Kiyashi versus Akodo Shotaka ," The lion gives a fierce look in his competitors direction.

    "Please proceed out back to the obstacle course!" Miya yoto says.

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Rika places her fingertips on the ground, to touch the earth before she conquered it. Her dedication to the physical arts had left her body honed for exactly this kind of competition. She smiled underneath her mask as she looked at her competitor. The Dragon had no idea how badly he was about to be defeated.

    As the race started, Rika flowed like water over the rocks, pulling ahead of Gojinka without even seeming to try. Her feet only touched the wooden beam crossing the stream bed once before she hit the other side, her grace all the more evident in comparison to the splash the Dragon made as he fell into the muddy water.
    She was at the ropes before he crawled out of the muck, and she swung across with easy confidence, finishing the course at a breakneck speed, far, far ahead of the hapless shugenja she had competed against.

    At the end of the course, she bows to the still struggling Dragon, then returns to her place to await the next event.

  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited December 2008
    The race had been a complete failure. Kiyashi was not even slightly pleased with his showing in this contest. He had, at least, understood the point of this contest, though he did not particularly care for it. Let them all try to run this course in full armor, and see who was fastest then!

    He left the course with only a respectful bow to his opponent, and moved on to seewhat was next, and take stock of his competition. At least he had won his first competition, that much he was pleased about. And yet.

    "Yuriko will never let me forget this if she hears of this..."

    He took a deep breath and centered himself, then turned to find the next competition. He was focused, he was ready. He would succeed.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Tsuruchi Saburo was confident walking up to the starting line. He was easily twice as fast as most of the people he'd ever raced against, after all. This is in the bag he thought.

    Starting off he immediately went out to a significant lead. Turning around to see how far back his opponent was, he didn't notice the small hole in the road before his foot was in it and his ankle twisted...

    Why am I on the ground? was his next thought, followed closely by and why the hell does my ankle feel like it's on fire?!

    Now he had really done it. Yorimoto Yurikon looked down at Saburo as he passed, but did not stop to help him. I can understand that he thought. Getting himself up he pushed himself to start running again- or at least limping. The first obstacle proved too tricky with his ankle hurting as it was, and he fell into the pit, taking a good couple of minutes to finally crawl out. By then, the race was all but over, but he proudly continued on as best he could, determined to at least finish the race.

    A tired, dirty and sore boy limped his way to the finish line, well behind his opponent. That's what I get for being oveconfident, I guess he thought, disgusted with himself.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Harukichi moves to the starting line, next to Hazu. She looks at Hazu and gave a soft smile, nodding to him, "Good luck, Hazu-san." She feels a sort of kinship with the ronin, recognising that were she not a prodigy swordsman in a family of proud swordsmen, she very likely might have been cast out and named a Ronin. She knew not what circumstances led to his current fate, but she had an inkling of what it was like to live outside of the traditional boundaries of honour of most samurai.

    The signal to start echoes in Harukichi's ear and she starts off. She is off to a good start, but a quick glance to her side shows that Hazu is right there with her. She beats him to the first obstacle, a narrow bridge over a bit. She quickly strides across the bridge without losing a bit of momentum. A quick glance behind her sees that Hazu successfully makes it across, but not without losing some speed.

    The second sprint sees her falter a bit, stumbling a bit as she transitions from the agile balanced running of the first obstacle to the pure brute force sprint of the second run. She loses a bit of time, but makes it to the second obstacle without losing too much time.

    She leaps from the platform grabbing on to the first rope hanging over the mud pit. She expertly catches the rope and begins to swing. She leaps from the rope as it reaches its furthest apex and reaches out to grab the rope. Her fingers catch the rope, but the momentum she carried through from the first swing caused her to grip on the rope to slide, causing the rope to burn her hands. She screeched out meekly in pain, instinctively letting go and falling in to the pit below.

    Damn it that hurt. Hurry it up. You have to finish. She quickly runs to the other side of the pit where she can climb out. She leaps to catch a hold on the wall, but misses the grip and falls back to the ground. She curses, getting up and doing it again. This time she does catch the wall and quickly climbs from the pit.

    As she mounts the ledge at the top of the pit, she notices that Hazu has also fallen in to the pit and is now beginning to climb the wall. She hesitates at the top and then turns around, kneeling down to offer a hand to Hazu.

    Hazu notices the hand and thankfully grips her hand. She pulls him up over the ledge and looks at him, "Let's just have the final sprint decide the winner?" He nods and they both line up. The spectators look on at this bizarre spectacle: an arrogant Crane helping a ronin. Hazu and Harukichi look at each other and then nod at the same time and both take off for a final sprint. Thankfully, Harukichi comes out on top and finishes ahead of Hazu.

    She turns to Hazu and bows very deeply to him, "A very good race, Hazu-san. Thank you for the opportunity."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    "Hai hai, harukichi-san," Hazu says, out of breath, "Seems i do not have your youthful vim and vigor." Trying to clean the mud of his clothes he walks back into position, more than a little dejected at his loss.

    "There will be no time wasted, move to the stables to fetch your horses!" yells miya yoto. The old man is really getting worked up. As the test involves striking a target with a weapon of choice, some of the clan's idiosyncrasies pop up. Moto Xuren has a massive scimitar which he wields with painful strength. Yoritomo Yuriko favours the peasant's kama. Shiba takako uses a spear, the shugenja use knives. Most of the contestants however stick to the standard katana. The first matchup is Bayushi denbe versus Hiruma Do. The Bayushi wins though neither's performance was especially inspired.

    "Fun competition, no?" Denbe asks as he passes the other contestants on his way back, "we get to ride these lovely beasts."

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Kiyashi saddled himself onto the horse, the horse heavily weighed by the massive bushi as well as his equally massive weapon, readying himself for the contest ahead. This one, at least, had something to do with being a warrior. He waited for his signal, and then spurred the horse into action, easily making it to the first target with respectable speed.

    The dai-tsuchi smashed into the target and sent it spinning, nearly tearing it clean off the hooks it was held by, as the bushi let out a war cry. He rode past without looking, exchanging the hammer for the yumi he carried, and just as he reached the next target, he let fly with an arrow.

    Sadly, this arrow did not know the way, and it flitted past the target, though only barely. Kiyashi, irritated with himself at the miss, spurred the horse back towards the starting line, and nearly lost control of his mount with his distraction. He cursed himself inwardly, but he brought the horse under control and rode back across the starting line, his face as stony as he could manage.

    Kiyashi stood forth, after the horsemanship competition, with a feeling of satisfaction. He'd managed to make this one worth his effort, and he'd outdone the Shugenja, as well. He'd worried for a moment that missing the target might cost him the match, but the shugenja's run had been judged just a bit less impressive, and Kiyashi had won.

    He lingered to watch the other matches, enjoying them thoroughly. The Crane had made an exceptional showing, enough to impress him, even. And Saburo had tried. Not very well, admittedly, but he'd made an attempt. Kiyashi did find himself impressed with the Wasp's archery from horseback, however.

    As the next contest was announced, he moved towards it, inwardly wondering how much these Cranes thought being a bushi had to do with actual skill.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Rika holds the reins of her horse as she waits for the signal to begin.
    The morning's luck has run out. I ride against a Moto?
    With a shout, both riders spurred their horses out towards the first target, the Moto quickly pulling ahead as the samurai unsheathe their blades.
    Rika's 7-foot long No-Dachi tears through her target like it was paper, eliciting a slight murmur from the crowd as Xuren decapitates his 'foe' with a flick of his blade.

    And again, the horses thunder off to the next target, the superior horsemanship of the Moto beginning to show as he pulls even further ahead of Rika.
    Unslinging her bow, Rika takes aim at her target, planting an arrow square in the target's neck, as the Moto only gets a mere chest wound.
    The final stretch. I can take him. I can do it!

    With a cry, Rika spurs her horse forwards, the Moto yelling out a gaijin cry as his steed bolts for the finish line. The end result is not as close as Rika would have liked, but she made a good showing.
    I did myself honor, even if I did not outmatch the Moto.

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Saburo sat atop the horse- it is smaller than the others' horses, but this horse showed particular spirit- he liked a horse with spirit. Plus I don't look like an 8 year old like I would on one of the huge warhorses, he couldn't stop the thought from coming, as much as he wanted to.

    Sitting beside his opponent as the race was about to begin, he bowed to the magistrate. "Good fortune, Doji-sama". Looking his opponent over, Doji Wakao seemed to be sitting awkwardly in her saddle... She hadn't very much experience on horses either. Perhaps he would do all right, after all.

    But from the start, things did not go Saburo's way. His ankle was still aching, and he had some trouble directing his mount properly. The fire he had desired apparently made the mount a bit less controllable, and his difficulties gave the very agile Crane the lead. Not a good start.

    Passing by the first target, Saburo clumsily drew out his blade and managed an equally awkward hit on the target- He had managed a hit! The crane, however, was much better with her sword, and her stroke was not only more graceful than Saburo's, it was faster.

    Struggling to catch up, he knew he had to start taking some chances. As he approached the following target, he took out his Longbow, wishing he didn't have to shoot from horseback. Before he had even reached the target he drew an arrow and let it fly, not even bothering to stop his horse. The horse was caught off guard by the sudden movement and shied a bit, but luckily the archer's aim was true- the arrow struck the center of the target as he rode by at full tilt.

    He had gained a bit of time with the maneuver, but not enough. As they headed back to the starting line, though, it quickly became obvious that Saburo could not catch the Magistrate. He had lost yet another match.

    "Well ridden, Doji-sama", he said afterwords, "I am sorry that I did not make it a closer race for you".

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Harukichi sat atop the horse, taking hold of the reins. She leans down and whispers softly to the horse, "I don't enjoy riding you and I'm sure you don't enjoy me riding you either. But carry me through quickly and this will be over with soon enough." Harukichi hopes that the animal had some sense of what she was saying and strokes the horse's fur gently; the horse whinnies in appreciation at the petting.

    A shot signals the start of the race and Harukichi flicks the reins, but the horse hesitates for a second. Harukichi's opponent shoots past her towards the target. Finally, Harukichi's horse takes off. You're behind, but you can easily make up for it in the next part.

    Her opponent slows down considerably as she approaches the target. Here's your opening to get ahead. Harukichi shows no sign of slowing down at all and, in fact, encourages her horse to move faster. The horse moves towards the target at full speed and at precisely the correct moment, Harukichi stands in her saddle and a flash of steel springs from her saya and disappears back into the saya as quickly as it had exited. To most who were paying attention, it might not have been clear that she had even struck the target, but the evidence is clear after she passes the target.

    Slashed into the target are several distinct strokes, forming the kanji for sakura. She realises that such a flagrant display might be considered unseemly, but she wished to convey a subtle message to Rika. My dear Rika, I have missed you dearly. Regardless of how unseemly it may or may not be, the display does elicit several awed responses from the crowd.

    The horse continues on, fast and furious, carrying much of the momentum from the last burst of speed. At this point, the Mantis is fairly far behind her. Okay, you have to slow down for the archery part. She pulls on the reins and the horse begins to slow its pace. She reaches down and grabs the bow and arrow from the side of the horse. She nocks an arrow, inhaling slow and steady as she pulls back on the string. She focuses and lets the arrow loose, the arrow flying to the target sure and true.

    And now the final stretch. She's pretty far ahead of her opponent, but Harukichi feels the need to widen the gap. She flicks the reins and pushes the horse to move faster. Unfortunately, the horse, perhaps tired from being pushed so hard, refuses to listen and, in fact, slows down. Oh no! Not now! Come on! She horse merely trots in to the finish line, but, thankfully, the earlier lead she had garnered was enough to secure her the victory regardless.

    Harukichi dismounts the horse and bows to her opponent, "An admirable performance, Yoritomo-san."

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Up close saburo can see Wakao is actually a man. A somewhat effeminate crane then. The Doji looks at you with a bored look on his face. "I should thank you for the easy match i suppose." he shrugs and move away from saburo. The arrogant crane stereotype applies very well.

    Harukichi's Opponent is friendlier thought not pleased at all. "I respectfully disagree Harukichi-san," she says bowing, "Admirable would have been beating you. My performance was barely adequate. Thank you however, for your kind words." She bows again before leaving.

    "Today's final test!" Miya Yoto proclaims,"A test of your manners and your knowledge of law and bushido." He indicates Bayushi Shoju. "At the honorable Daimyo's request, Bayushi Shoju himself will be judging you alongside the planned judges. No man is better suited, in this realm." He finishes grandly. "Afterwords you may occupy yourselves however you see fit.

    Bayushi Shoju rises gracefully from his place, takes his daisho and moves into the judges room. You can't tell with his mask, but his eyes seem to indicate he is smiling.

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    The next competition was the Etiquette and Bushido competition. This likely wouldn't be too hard, but it wouldn't be easy. She enters the testing room and kneels before the judges, bowing deeply to them.

    "Welcome, Kakita-san. Are you prepared for the examination?" the head judge asks of her. Harukichi nods to the judge, "Yes, I believe I am."

    "Very well, let us get started then. The first question is: who owns the land in which the town is located?" the judge asks. A trick question, but you know this one. Harukichi responds calmly, "The Emperor owns all land in the world and the land is governed by the Clans by his stead. In this case, this land is governed by the Crane Clan." The judges nod.

    "What is the law regarding funeral rituals?" is the next question. "A samurai's body must be cremated so that his soul may be freed from his earthly body to face his judgement and his soul cannot be corrupted by maho after death." The judges nod again.

    The following series of questions were similarly easy for someone who had paid a modicum of attention while studying the ways of Rokugan. Harukichi answers each of them in turn, each eliciting a nod from the judges.

    The final question is asked, "What is the greatest fate a samurai can hope for?" Harukichi nods and answers, "The greatest fate a samurai can ask for is to die in the service of his lord." But greater still is to die in the name of your true love. Her thoughts drift to Rika as she answers and she sighs wistfully. The judges nod in response to her answer.

    "Kakita Harukichi, you have answered all the questions correctly and you are awarded one point. Congratulations." Harukichi once again bows deeply to the judges, "Thank you very much for your kind words." She stands and exits the room. The competitions for the day were over and she set off in search of Rika, hoping to talk with her in private, where they could speak freely.

    SuperKawaiiWillSig.jpg
  • KrataLightbladeKrataLightblade Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Kiyashi was next. He was still feeling pleased from his bout with the shugenja, and was confident he would do as well in this competition as any other. I may be no scholar, but I am Samurai nontheless.

    He stepped into the room, and made his bows, showing deep respect for those so highly placed above him, even if they were of another family and indeed other Clans. He waited for them to greet him, then returned their words in kind. He was not as precise in his wording as some others might be, yet he answered with a sincerity and simplicity that spoke to the heart of his Clan.

    It was not an impressive showing, but it was adequate, and it would do. When it was over, he remained where he was until given leave to go, at which point he spoke only a few extra words.

    "Honor and glory to your families and mine."

    He stood, then, leaving the judges to make of that what they would, and parted from the room pleased with his showing. He was showing himself to be a worthy addition to his family and his Clan. He would make his family proud. He had failed them once; he would not do so again. He would honor her memory with deeds and greatness and glory.

    Thinking of her brought a tinge of safness over his features, for just a moment, before he stifled it, taking a steadying breath.

    He would not fail her memory. Ever.

    LEVEL 50 SWORD JUGGLER/WIZARD!
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Saburo had thus far failed in every competition he thought he would succeed in, and succeeded in the one competition he was sure he would fail. Obviously the fault here lays within me. I need to stop being a child and start taking this seriously, or I'll fail my family.

    Waiting for his turn, he did not engage in idle banter with the other contestants this time. This time he focused all his energy on preparing himself for the upcoming test- He knew he had not studied either subject, so he needed to be at the top of his game.

    As his name was called, the familiar peace settled over him, and confidence washed over him. He knew that he had found his center, and that if he could keep it he would do fine.

    Bowing to the judges he stood still before them, his mind empty and the pain in his ankle forgotten.

    "Welcome Tsuruchi-san. Are you prepared for your examination?"

    "I am prepared, honoured judges." came his reply. A series of questions followed. His answers flowed from within him steadily, and he maintained his serenity until the final question.

    "You are waylaid by bandits as you travel, and one of them demands all of your money, and will allow you to leave once you have given all the money you own to him. You are unable to attack them, and you will die if you do not agree to their demands. What is your response?"

    Panic threatened to overwhelm his inner peace, but he fought it down, thinking the question through logically. "My response would be: Any money I carry is not mine- it is entrusted to me by my family from my clan and belongs ultimately to the emperor , and so I give you nothing but fulfill my part of your demands. Allow me to pass now."

    "Acceptable. Tsuruchi Saburo, you have performed well enough to earn a point in the competition. Congratulations." said the judge, and Saburo barely managed to keep his face expressionless.

    Giving them thanks, he exits the tent, a smile breaking through his expression at last. Maybe he had a chance after all.

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • RainfallRainfall Don't lose your WAAAAAAAYRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Rika sighed as she left the small room in which her knowledge of law and etiquette had been examined. Was she truly expected to adhere to the law? Her examiners certainly hadn't expected her to. Damnable stereotyping Cranes. Only two points after the first day. I should have done much, much better than that. I do believe they do not wish me to proceed.
    She sighed again, closing her eyes for a moment before straightening, her gaze sweeping the crowd for the only person there who really mattered.
    "Harukichi-san! Your performance in the horsemanship competition was most impressive."

  • Canada_jezusCanada_jezus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    As Saburo stands outside waiting for his companions, he catches the eye of Shiba Takako. She winks at him before continuing on her way. Hiruma Do, the loud crab in the inn last night has a sour look on his face, he hasn't performed at all well in his opinion and his displeasure is clear. Kakita Toshimoko is talking to Akodo shotaka about the competition so far, he seems a quite approachable host as far as Daimyos go. Moto Xuren is basking in the crowds adulation, he's certain to attain his gempukku and now an unexpected contender for the title of champion.

    You are free, again, to spend the rest of the day however you wish. More daylight remains today than yesterday and it is a good while still before the evening supper. Still, there is bound to be something to do in town. Some peasants are setting up a game further along and everywhere kids can be seen wrestling, playing and otherwise emulating today's events.

    You know who I fucking hate? Pony.

    I don't know why, I just felt the need to say that.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Saburo stood outside the tent where they had administered his test, reflecting on the day's events. Where he had approached a test with self-assurance and confidence, he had failed, often dismally. Where he had approached with focus and self-discipline, he had prospered against all but the longest odds. He knew what he would have to do tomorrow, now. He knew that he was going to have to keep tight reign on his emotions (something he had always had trouble doing), and...

    Suddenly, his thoughts scattered. The...the Shiba had just winked at him! He stood looking after her like a poleaxed ox, all thoughts of focus and discipline lost. His cheeks bright red, he shook his head and looked quickly away from the back of the retreating Phoenix.

    Focus and disciplie he thought wryly, I'm sure that'll be no problem at all

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
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