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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Honor, Intrigues and Secrets - an Oriental Adventures game
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RDI Fixture
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538 Posts

Honor, Intrigues and Secrets - an Oriental Adventures game

Festivals. Kozakura has so many, but all are a spectacle to behold. This particular festival takes place at the Sun Temple, not far from Ito-Jo, the ghost castle. Ito-Jo was the site of a great battle between the an army comprised of the Sohei of Nanbu Akinari, A Sun Temple Shugenja, and the Samurai of Ito Saburo, a Dishonorable usurper whose past was shady, to say the least.

The announcement of a celebration comes as far south as Masakado, and a caravan is showing signs of being organized to travel to the Sun Temple.

The monk heading the caravan begins asking discreetly around, looking for people to protect the peasants in the caravan.

Posted on 2009-04-28 at 11:27:14.
Edited on 2009-05-19 at 13:07:58 by Miko_Ayune-sama

Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 70/3
1021 Posts

So it begins

Stepping on the pier, Takashi could still feel the ground beneath him roll with the waves. It had been the longest trip on a ship he had ever taken, and even though the seas and the weather in general had been in their favor, the young samurai's legs were still somewhat wobbly after the journey. He stood perfectly still not minding all the hustle around him. There was no way Takashi would have shown the lower class people on the pier his inexperience in sailing. He would wait until his legs felt strong and stable again before going anywhere.

Servants and harbor workers were running in and out of the ship carrying this and that both ways. One of the smelly and dirty little men came carrying Takashi's chest and made a comical lookin attempt of bowing whilst doing his best not to drop the heavy luggage on the cracked stones of the pier. Takashi waved the man away with a flick of his hand before the worker had a chance to beg for a coin of two from him. It was not his problem if they weren't paid enough, but they were certainly getting paid.

The samurai's sharp eyes hadn't missed the overseer standing on a large wooden box and barking commands this way and that. He also hadn't missed a couple of urchins looking for a suitable target. Naturally pickpockets in Kozakura weren't any more stupid than those back at home either. They'd never try and rob a samurai. It would be suicidal. Takashi felt the balance grown from arduous war training return to his legs and feet and took in the surroundings for a few more breaths before nodding to a carrier idling nearby. "Find me a caravan going north."

Mixed feelings were running through the mind of the youngest male of the Yoshikawa family as he set after the carrier. It was the first time he was really outside the safety of his home city of Hotomori, not to mention the mighty nation of Wa. Yet he did not feel intimidated by the situation at all. The fact that he was in a foreign country and a sea separated Takashi from his brothers and the strength of his father's army was only exciting. Finally he was in charge of what he was and was not able to do.

The trip was something that was expected of him, his duty. It had been the habit of samurais with Yoshikawa blood running in their veins to go on a solitary travel for a few months or in some cases years before returning home for good to take care of the family business. Takashi would still be able to go back home earlier for a while, but until he felt he had really found himself, he would be on the trip to his manhood. As was also customary, the young samurai would visit one or more of the places his bloodline considered holy. And one such place was the Temple of Sun in the northern parts of Kozakura.

The carrier gave another one of his awkward bows and beckoned with his hand towards the largest road leading out of the big natural harbor of Masakado. Takashi took the lead as was proper, he was after all much higher in the society than the worker he had hired to carry his gear. Peasants made way for the young noble man and gave him hasty bows, but Takashi barely noticed them. It was like the air to him. He breathed without giving it a thought. So was life and the roles people had in it. It was not Yoshikawa Takashi's place to try and change something that had been the same way for thousands and thousands of years. (not that it would even have crossed his mind to try)

As he walked, the samurai dressed in traveling silks and a straw hat, took in his surroundings with great interest. Masakado was a fairly large city and though very similar in building style to the cities of Wa, it was still all new to Takashi. The dialect the people all around him spoke was also very much alike to his own language, but try as he might, there were a few words here and there he couldn't understand. But that was only a minor thing and nothing that worried Takashi. He was quite sure he would encounter difficulties of other kind that would really put his skills to the test. Or that was something he secretly hoped for.

On the way, Takashi noticed the abundance of craftsmen selling their products. Many if not most were displaying wicker works and very well made baskets and of lot them were died with a powerfully red color. His own hat taken quite a beating on the trip from Wa to Kozakura and though it was still in one piece, it didn't quite befit his status. Luckily for the young samurai an old lady had a small stall with a few red straw hats on sale. The price was fairly high, but even the untrained eye of a foreigner was able to notice the good quality of the craftsmanship right away. The new hat fit his red and white outfit well so satisfied with the deal, Takashi bid the lady farewell and moved on.

On the way through Masakado, Takashi and his guide/carrier passed by numerous temples, a disctrict for officials and samurais and through the market place. To the Wa'an the city looked quite familiar and could well have been on his home island. So as they left the city's hustle behind, there was a slight smile on Takashi's face. Naturally he wasn't supposed to show any emotion, but during his twenty two years he hadn't quite yet mastered the art of emotionlessness.

Fair enough, right outside the main parts of the city, there was a borderless square with a caravan or two getting ready for a journey. Having paid the carrier, Takashi began to look for a caravan master, but before he had time to ask around, he noticed a monk stopping in front of a tough looking man. The other man was definitely a warrior, for he had the posture of a samurai and carried a weapon. The men chatted for a moment and then bowed to each other.

Takashi waited for a while and as he suspected, the monk soon noticed him and walked over. After introductions, the caravan master politely inquired Takashi's plans and then asked whether he would be kind enough to honor the caravan with his presence. The monk would be glad to offer him a seat for free, if Takashi would agree to offer the others some protection in exchange should need arise. Since the young samurai had no other means of passing through the country, he gladly accepted the offer. As the monk moved on, Takashi pushed his trunk a bit to the side, sat down on it and began to wait. He was in no hurry.

OOC: Took small liberties here. Will correct if needed. Also dead tired after a weekend of work, so I'm sure there are typos and errors in the text.

Posted on 2009-05-18 at 09:55:22.
Edited on 2009-05-18 at 10:23:57 by Raven

RDI Fixture
Karma: 27/4
538 Posts

Starting out for the festival

Three hires today. Tatsuya had managed two strong-looking warriors-one of a samurai, no less-and a kind-looking shugenja. They would serve nicely to help him escort the peasants to the festival, and the trade convoy's guards would not balk at helping where needed. After all, many had come from this walk of life, and remembered the simple joy of festivals. It made that life almost bearable.

Tatsuya decided that with the other three he had managed to find through the week, that Amaterasu was smiling on him, but also telling him not to squander her blessing. He decided to bring the six of them together, and ready them for the journey. The trade convoy would set out in the morning.

When today's hires arrived, Tatsuya felt it was time for introductions.

His first introduction was a Wu Jen named Xiao Li, who said herself to hail from Shou Lung, and little else. She had surprisingly few things about her, and nothing beyond the contents of her travel pouch, save for food. After introducing herself, she untied one end of her coin cord, and gave it to the monk, saying "I have no need of this excess. If you please, buy food for the journey, and distribute it fairly among the families traveling with us." Tatsuya accepted, and left the five hires alone to finish introductions while he ran the errand.

The second introduction was to a slick-haired, clean-shaven man named Kim Won-Je, hailing from Koryo. He wore light armor openly, and carried a well-kept kris in his belt, along with a set of two pouches with a peculiar, yet somewhat emerging weapon. It was a twin-barreled hand musket. Won-Je glanced at the three recent arrivals, and looked somewhat peculiarly at the Shugenja for a moment before deliberately passing the Samurai over and turning his attention to the Bushi and extending his empty hand.

Seeing that the gesture would take a little work, Won-Je abandoned it. He turned to regard the Samurai last. This man made his living off of his name, and Won-Je had spent enough time among foreigners to value the ability of anyone with sufficient skill to rise to a position befitting that skill. This "nobleman," Won-Je thought, had won no such right yet in his eyes.

Despite that, Won-Je afforded him a straight-backed bow, with eyes facing, to show the Samurai he held no immediate contempt, but held back enough to let him know also that he would suffer no condescension. Coming straight back up, he relaxed, and rested one hand lightly on his gun.

Tatsuya arrived with a man leading a mule bearing four large baskets, which the two removed from its back equitably, and bade the long-winded Won-Je to stand aside, in order to make his own brief introduction. "I am called, simply, Tatsuya. I was orphaned at the age of three by a Ninja attack on my family's house, and found by a passing monk, who raised me. Neither of us knew my family name, so I took a road name."

He looked to the baskets on the ground.

"Will the five of you help me to set a small area for us to eat before we ready for travel? A fresh meal like this would not go amiss with anyone, and it will be the last such meal until Maeshi, where we will modestly resupply."

Posted on 2009-05-24 at 08:28:13.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 27/4
538 Posts

Kim Won-Je

Won-Je, noticing that Takamura's delay stemmed not from ignorance, but surprise, explained himself. "I apologize for my premature abortion of my gesture of greeting. I did not expect you to know a foreign gesture. It is what welok-in (korean for foreigner) call a 'handshake', intended to show that neither holds a weapon, a gesture of respect and lack of malice." He once again extended his hand. Once the gesture was returned, Won-Je then bowed to the bushi, and attempted to smooth over the misunderstanding regarding his origin. He could see the polite air of pity from the Shugenja, the reaction reserved only for those ignorant of Kara-Tur's customs.

"I hail from Koryo, a mere day's sail from the northernmost island of this land. I am no foreigner, but I bear a weapon given to me as a gift by one. My 'pistol,' as it is called in Faerun, was crafted by a diminutive fellow whose race calls themselves gnomes. I rescued his child, and was given the prototype of his new weapon as a gift."

Seeing the understanding in the Shugenja's Eyes, he next addressed the group as a whole.

"I have spent much time in the region called Faerun, most specifically the area around Candlekeep, which is entered at the cost of knowledge their libraries do not contain. It is there I met a great many scholars, some of whom sought to learn of the little-explored region they call only 'the east'."

"While there, I picked up some of their customs and knowledge. Once I felt comfortable on the Sword Coast, as it is referred to in the foreign tongue, I journeyed north to one of its most populous city, called Baldur's Gate. I tell you that while the foreigners may seem at first glance to be no better than the barbarian hordes, there are wonders beyond imagination."

Won-Je could see that the group seemed thoroughly engrossed in his tale, so he did not disappoint.

"There are places of such wonder that they see no equal. Cities that span greater than the breadth of this entire island. Empires that even Shou Lung would marvel at, and they marvel at the mere sight of one of our origins. Would you believe that no one there can discern the difference, from voice or face, between those hailing from Shou Lung, Koryo, Wa, or Kozakura? Even one from the Great Hordes would be seen as exotic in the west, and our unarmed fighting arts are studied as far west as the ocean. There are mystics there who would rival even our own masters in both skill and wisdom."

Won-Je noticed the meal was finished, and was reminded of the food he had experienced.

"The food. Some foreigners eat meals that would leave one of our children starving in the gutter, while others are of such ravenous appetites that they eat enough to feed a family for a day."

Feeling his own stomach rumble in protest, Won-Je decided it was time to cut the story short.

"In any event, I am keeping us from partaking in a meal of our own. With all the wonder to be found in Faerun, nowhere else is there to be found cuisine which can even hope to rival our own."

Posted on 2009-05-28 at 00:13:40.

Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 70/3
1021 Posts

Yoshikawa Takashi, at your service

It became soon clear to Takashi that the monk called Tatsuya had already hired other people for the journey. He felt unsure whether his help would really be needed or not. But since he had already agreed on helping the man in protecting the caravan on the way north, it would not be possible to back down. It might not have been a job his father or elder brothers would've agreed to take. To them it would been below their status as it probably was below his own too. But the young samurai didn't really care. He was still somewhat brash (or so his father had told him) and eager to find adventure and fame on his own.

Meeting the strangers - his... well... fellow guards, as Takashi named them in his mind, was interesting too. There were foreigners in the small group, a woman from Shou Lung - a weaver of the magical arts - as well as a strange looking man from Koryo. This will be interesting., he thought as the monk began the introductions. Naturally in one sense of the word, Takashi himself was a foreigner too on Kozakura. But the two people, the locals and his own, were so closely related that he considered himself more of a distant cousin than a stranger from a far away land. At least right now he did.

Of the people gathered before the caravan master, the young samurai wasn't sure who was the strangest to him. He'd seen Koryans as well as the Shou before of course. There had always been numerous foreigners doing business in the harbor cities of Wa and a few travelers on holy pilgrimages or such as well. But for sure, Takashi had never met one in person before, let alone worked with them.

It was not unknown for a member of the samurai class to share some of his wealth amongst the citizens of his home town or his workers. However no samurai Takashi knew would have shared his money with unknown people unless it was to give a donation to a temple. Therefore when the Wu Jen took off her coin cord and handed it over to the monk Tatsuya, Takashi nearly forgot himself and stared at the woman for a heartbeat or two.

The monk then moved over to the man from Koryo, Kim Won-Je he was called. The peculiar weapon, or at least the samurai assumed it to be one, on his belt was the strangest thing Takashi had seen in his life. For the life of him, he couldn't fathom how such a thing would be used. It had no string and he saw now arrows. He'd heard of Gai-jins carrying weapons that used gunpowder before - weapons that could kill from a long distance. (If not as far away as his daikyu though) The stories said that such weapons made a loud bang and then the enemy standing a hundred yards away, even a heavily armored one, would simply drop dead on the spot. This man is more dangerous than he appears.
In some other place, in some other situation, the Koryan's behavior would've gotten him killed. As he deliberately passed the samurai and decided to greet the bushi first instead, he made clear his feelings towards Takashi or at least the samurai's status. Such a rebellious act would not have gone unnoticed and unpunished in Wa.

However the man did not pass Takashi completely, but returned to him a moment later. His body language again showed his lack of respect, although Won-Je did offer the young samurai a bow - perhaps not quite as low as would have been proper, but Takashi wasn't one to care for such things. He did not know the man yet and could not hold his reservedness against him. Perhaps such behavior was commonplace in where he hailed from.

After the shugenja had introduced herself, the Koryan gave his explanation and what he said, left Takashi even more astound. Though none of his brothers or friends shared the same interest, the youngest of Yoshikawas had always been fascinated by the stories he'd heard of the far-away lands in the West - or Faerun as Won-Je called it. And now he had met a man who had not only visited the lands, but even spent a long time living there. By then the somewhat insolent behavior was all forgotten. Takashi was hungering for more information of this Faerun. But it would have to wait. There would without a doubt be a better time and place for such a conversation.

Finally it was his turn. He was not accustomed to introducing himself. In Hotomori, despite the size of the city, everyone knew who the Yoshikawas were. His father held a high position in the city's hierarchy and was an important servant for the Daimyo. So wherever Takashi went, everyone recognized him or at least the emblem of his house embroidered on his kimono. But he would have to introduce himself now, for there was no one to do it for him.

"Konnichiwa. I am Yoshikawa Takashi, the youngest son of Yoshikawa family of Hotomori from the great land of Wa. Our family serves the lord Daimyo Yorifusa Ti. I am honored to join you all on this journey north." With that, the young samurai gave a proper bow to everyone - low enough to be polite, but not too low for someone of his standing.

When the shugenja rushes off to make some tea, Takashi makes no move to give her a hand. It would not do to dishonor her or himself by doing so.

Posted on 2009-05-29 at 10:35:42.
Edited on 2009-05-29 at 11:10:42 by Raven

RDI Fixture
Karma: 27/4
538 Posts


Kim Won-Je remembered, having noticed the looks at his pistol, that giving away too much in Kara-Tur could prove fatal. He had no idea if anyone among the caravan would use the information against him, so he decided not to reveal anything else for now.

It was then that the Wu Jen decided to speak. "Now that we have finished our introductions, perhaps we should be discussing the matter at hand. We are supposed to be protecting this caravan, and we have no real knowledge of our places. Perhaps we should decide our optimum placement around the caravan."

Li used a cantrip to put to paper a diagram of the wagons they would be protecting. There were three of them, but the peasants would be spending most of the day on foot; the wagons were mainly for provisions and tired children who could no longer keep up. They could be loaded, but would take time. Xiao Li outlined the strategic details and annotated them on the diagram.

Relevant Game Mechanics: There are three wagons and 35 peasants, 21 of which are children. If the caravan is attacked, the families will have to pile in with the children, and will likely need assistance to fit all of them into the three wagons, which will take five rounds, minus one per assisting character. The assisting characters will be unable to take any other action while assisting the peasants. The quick game stats for them are as follows:

Peasant, Adult (0-level), 14 - AT: 1, THAC0: 20, Dmg: 1d2 (Unarmed), AC: 10, HD: 1d8, HP: 1, 5, 1, 3, 1, 4, 6, 3, 3, 7, 8, 7, 8, 4 ; MV:12

Peasant, Child (0-Level), 21 - AT: 1, THAC0: 20, Dmg: 1 (Unarmed), AC: 10, HD: 1d2, HP: 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2; MV:6

Posted on 2009-06-07 at 08:29:39.
Edited on 2009-06-07 at 08:31:03 by Miko_Ayune-sama

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