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LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:09 pm
by Susumu Ketsueki
Now that he got out of his embassy and after Megumi went off to do her dirty work he pulls out a checklist and a few things from his bag.

Blackmail the Scorpion into Removing Kendo: I guess that's a Check...

Figure out Shahai's Problems: Check...
He lingers on this one for a moment.

Get My Stuff: Check

Ensure I am Falsely Assassinated: Check

Get Janisha to safety: Check

Inform the Order Obsidan about the Princess: well lets scratch that one off...

Get a message to Shibatsu:... not check... but Dotai will help with that.

He leans back and yawns as he moves his bag to be a pillow. He pulls out some pre cooked rice balls, made for traveling.

"Well, not exactly how I planed this to go, but its good enough. Hungry?"

He offers her a rice ball.

Before she can say yes or no,

"Eat first, you'll need the strength. Then come sit by me. I have some answers you probably want I assume. We have some time after all, we might not get this chance again and I've done a terrible job of keeping you fully informed, but as you have seen... matters are delicate."

He arranges his bag as a long cushion and leans back upon it.

His embassy is about to become a warzone, many people will probably die, he just learned an apparently horrifying fact about the state of the Onyx Empire, has absolutely no assurance of anything going forward and here he sits in a jail cell of all places trusting in a bunch of scorpions... yet he looks more content then Janisha has ever seen him all court, like something is so very right about this moment.

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:52 am
by Moshi Janisha
Janisha moves to sit beside him, taking the offered rice ball, "This one has many questions, you are right. Some are to do with complications to you and Megumi's plan that time was far to short to bring up.... one of which wasn't meant to become known to anyone who is or was not Mantis till court of day 29, but I guess in this case an exception."

She takes a bite of her rice ball, "The fact you currently sit with the Clan Champion of the Mantis is surely going to make fleeing to the Jewel next to impossible." She offers a smile, "Yoritomo Ichido-sama won the contest, but due to complications I will not discuss here, passed the title to me."

She paused, and then said, "I do hope Megumi does let us out before tomorrow comes. The doors may not be locked, but I have grave doubts they will let us leave if we just tried to walk out. And the Scorpion seem to have forgotten if I do not swear an oath to the Emperor or hand my Daisho back in the next 6 months....I am not only not a Samurai, but a criminal."

However, now that such complications were out in the air, that the Susumu, who was far more capable of dealing with them, was aware, Janisha moved onto the more important matters, "You know, your....companion would almost certainly be glad to see you look so content. You should smile like that to it more often."

Ok...that wasn't what she had intended to say, You are avoiding the issue, Janisha. The fact it was late and today had been more then a little stressful likely didn't help either. Her thoughts were slippery as her curse inflicted anemia tried to call her to sleep.

Ok, focus. You don't have Kave, you don't have time to do proper college of clarity meditation, you need to clear your mind the old fashioned way, how you used to when you were first cursed. Focus, think one thought at a time, and ask it, "What exactly is this monster we face, Susumu-sama?"

Another thought, another question, "And can I really just ask anything given our current situation? Some discretion does seem to be maintained, as much as I would wish otherwise."

Those two questions first...both the most important before they go forward and ask about stuff like the title 'Oracle of Blood.'

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:53 pm
by Susumu Ketsueki
Siting back, eyes closed as the Moshi speaks, he listens as he leans into the cool stone wall.

"Why my friend, ask whatever you desire. Your patience has earned enough."

He opens his eye finally, gazing at the Moshi at his side.

"So, a clan champion... He chose well. You will be a wonderful champion. As for Megumi's plans, they are nothing now to one such as you. As champion you may override them at your leisure. As for me, I would prefer not losing myself in the desert. If my sources are correct the Black Widow of our family resides in that city, and she will NOT tolerate my presence or any Spider's for that matter, its better to keep clear of webs as terrible as hers. I need not remind you that the wrath of a vengeful spider is more terrible then any curse or shame. But we will have to see, wont we."

He laughs slightly, then grows silent for a moment.

"As for the Onyx empire... indeed I know this creature. Once long ago the Dark Lord sought to seize the throne of Otosan, denied he burned the city. He lost his arm in that conflict, yet from it sprung life, a demon was born from his divine blood and it rose a monster. Its name is accursed as it took its place at the master's side.

It's name is feared by the Spider, for its coming is death itself. It is Yuhmi, the actual hand of the Dark God itself."

The air chills, as if recoiling from the name itself.

"He served Daigotsu faithfully, aiding him in his quests for power, proving invaluable in performing the master's infernal will, at least the tales go. When the man became a god he dissipated in the shadows, the Spider simply assumed him lost.

As the age of the Iweko progressed the monster never appeared. However as the Age of Ruin began the demon returned to our ranks, appearing at the Battle of the First Seal, heralding victory and claiming both the life of our greatest traitor and the hand of the Master of Earth.

He stepped into the Son's side with next to no effort and reached out, stealing away those with potential. Especially those touched by the Dark Fortunes. I was one of those. When Kyuden Susumu burned I helped some of my family escape to safety, but buying them time cost me my chance and I was claimed by the Daigotsu. I should have died for my actions but the Fortune of Blood seemingly intervened. My actions had saved the Bloodline of a fellow Dark Fortune, a Boon was allowed and Kanpeki ordered me chained and bound, unwilling to kill me out of respect for his mother. There, while I was trapped It came for me and my family, at least what remained, and demanded one of us for its experiments. I couldn't let him have the little children and Jaru was too old for such madness, so I... well... "

His voice cracks for a bit and his reaches and holds his right arm. His voice becomes quiet for a moment.

"It didn't matter in the end though, the children grew up and threw themselves into the abyss regardless of my sacrifice. I tried to keep them safe Janisha... I really did but they slipped right through my fingers, like ashes cupped in your hands, slipping through the gaps. I see them at times, their hollow eyes and undead chanting, makes it hard to sleep at times."

He brushes a single tear of regret, staring into his half eaten rice ball for a moment before continuing.

"Yuhmi took and made new tools for the ascending emperor, living weapons that were bound to the Hantei blood. He called them his Order Obsidian and they waited for the moment they were needed. When Haihime was stolen, the fury of the God-King was beyond measure. In that moment, Yuhmi stepped forward and offered our service. The Hantei Emperor, alone in the world and feeling such hatred for the current Obsidian magistrates, who had failed to defend the daughter, demanded Yuhmi to give him utterly loyal soldiers, so it took our Order and bound them to the Hantei Dynasty with blood...his blood. As I said, the Dark Lord's arm became a living monster, his blood divine also flows through this creatures veins. There is a reason they called us the Half-Blooded after all, a cruel replacement for the Otomo, except bound to the God-King not just by ties of word... but by blood itself.

We became so powerful and erased the weaker orders that came before us. Two great hunts purged the ranks of the Spider of all potential disloyalty. Our powers put to use in bringing the weak crowd to heel before their lord. We were told that we were the future, the almighty hand of humanity's ascension and the four cults were the engines enforcing the rule of the new Hantei Dynasty."

He holds up his burnt right hand. The veins were clearly visible on the scared flesh, showing the blood flowing unevenly in an almost unnatural way.

"We gave everything, we all had our reasons. We were monsters Janisha, we always will be... but for a brief moment we were a brotherhood, the almighty Obsidian, unbroken and unafraid. I fought for a family that cannot love me back, others for revenge, others for promises never kept. Nevertheless the four cults took our influences, all the while Daigotsu Yuhmi crept in the shadows, ensuring our actions met its silent will."

He looks up through the barred window, gazing at the moon shining down upon them both.

"When the Emperor journeyed into the dark on a pilgrimage for power we sacrificed everything defending the empty throne. Oh the horrors of that conflict, demon hoards, undead armies, the roar of ambition, all met by unbroken Obsidian Steel. The thousand day siege they will call it. People, your kind, would all call us all monsters and blasphemers, and you all wont be wrong, but in those days they were our heroes, giving their very souls to bind the darkness. Disaster and tragedy brings people together, the Onyx Spider are no exception. I watched these heroes face impossible odds and stand unflinching, diving into battle with the monsters of Jigoku with only a prayer to the Dark God's and blind faith. The Dark Paragons of Shourido burned brightest those days, it was something marvelous. After that war we stood strong for we faced the darkness and won, our souls were blacked, our costs paid were beyond measure, but when Jigoku loosed its chains we wrangled them back."

He looks at her again, tearing up at the memory of comrades lost.

"They are gone now, forever lost to memory. A single stone was raised in their memory, though none of your empire would ever understand it. When the emperor returned he rewarded our piety with the Blessing, freeing us from Jigoku's madness and influence. It chained the taint within our souls us just as we chained the demons. However, it came at a cost. Only Daigotsu Kanpeki, Hantei the XL, Overlord of Onyx and Master of Mankind could undo the blessing. To disobey was to have him strip your soul bare, leaving your soul and mind as easy prey for Jigoku."

He lets out a sigh.

"We never gained the empire of freedom and power we were promised. We were chained to our emperor by vow, by blood, and then by soul, such was his lack of faith in his servants. He rules uncontested, through fear and suffering. But this was our fate, he IS divine after all. He may be the lord of monsters but that doesn't change the responsibility to follow the will of the Gods. We could beseech his choices, offer our council and advice to the God-King, but it was only through the intermediate between the four cults and the Dark Master's Son, the Monster Yuhmi, whose council the Emperor always had an ear for, like a brother close.

We were promised an empire of perfected Obsidian, we given cracked Onyx. The Spider now conquers with one hand, while holding the apocalypse down with the other, bowing to the Pillar that commands all and laughs from his throne. With the Blessing the Spider is waking up, their humanity returning, and they are seeing what has happened. Some rebel and are crushed, other lose themselves in despair, most often they channel the rage into their efforts, seeing the futility of it all...

For you see Janisha, the truth of the world is that only the strongest are truly free, the rest are slaves. You would understand that wouldn't you? I mean, you are the Mantis Champion. We all delude ourselves into thinking WE will be the one that escapes this oppressive cycle, but the game plays on, crushing us all beneath their feet."

He suddenly takes a quick bite of the Rice ball, a distraction from the subject, if even for a moment.

"We thought ourselves doomed to that fate, but this winter I learned that another exists, Haihime. Another Hantei, a blank slate, a new possible start. For years Yuhmi would send us out to look for her survival, for her existence. We were told that the Emperor desires his child, mourns her passing. Each time we returned empty handed to the monster, our only conclusion being that she was dead. Shibatsu hid her well.

I was tasked with bringing her back to the Onyx throne, that she may meet her father who would accept her with open arms. But now I see that it was all a trap. Yuhmi see's himself as the Heir, the "brother" of the God-King and successor of Daigotsu and uses that leverage and familiar bond to influence the Hantei Lord, so very alone atop his empire of flames. Haihime is his ruin, the only creature that can either take the monsters place in the Emperor's council or even take his place as lord of the Spider.

If Yuhmi desires to see the Hantei destroyed as Shahai says, then he desires to see the Spider divided and broken, the last chains holding the armies of Jigoku from devouring Rokugan. Emerald, Onyx, hell even Zogeku... All will be devoured in Jigoku's endless maw. "

There is true horror in those words, those of a man who has all too often understood the terrifying future that could happen.

"I made a vow to serve the Hantei Bloodline, I have an obligation to save her from this fate and through that save what little family I have left. Shibatsu asked me to join the Princess on her travels, a guide and advisor, teaching her the perspective of the Onyx empire and her father. Now I must also protect her until the time is ready. The pillar of the Onyx Empire must never go empty, for then Yuhmi will claim the throne and the world will fall, all as it wanted. No wonder it allows Nitoshi and his scorpions so close, if they succeed it takes the throne and the harvest begins. My Order is blind to this, they will learn she exists and they will declare a hunt for her, she needs someone like me to keep an eye and ear out."

His voice has sheer exhaustion, but an undying determination. He reaches into his bag and pulls out a gauntlet from a suit of armor. As he fits his damaged arm into the armor, encasing it in steel,

"I will hunt my Order, even if I must become the last Obsidian Magistrate... anything to save my Princess of Ashes. I am a student of Shourido, I will follow my path, Shourido...above all."

He looks at her again,

"What about you? What is the path of the Mantis Champion?"

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:11 am
by Shosuro Megumi
(you want me to set you free in this thread, or make another, so you can finish this conversation?)

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:28 pm
by Susumu Ketsueki
(When Janisha responds Ketsueki is going to basically get out of there and head out, I'm just assuming the fire and shouting will draw the guards away, allowing Ketsueki to slip away or you let him out. I need to post one more thread and an Epilogue and I cant wait any longer.)

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:17 pm
by Moshi Janisha
((OOC: Sorry about the delay. My body kicked my arse the last few days))

Janisha listened to his story, her face clearly showing sorrow and pity. Perhaps he wouldn't want her sympathy... he was a Samurai after all. But she was never one to hide her emotions. He had suffered greatly, given, again and again, all in the name of saving what he could, in the name of trying to save just a tiny single touch of hope in this world gone mad.

And nothing had come from it. How could she not feel sorrow in the face of this.

"Freedom isn't free Susumu-sama, not even to the Mantis. Arashi follows the vision of Yoritomo, seeking to give more power to his people, to free them....but freedom has a price and it must be paid by someone," Janisha said with a sigh, "Although it would be poor taste to compare what I have lost this court compared to what you have lost in your lifetime. I hope that what you have paid will at some point truly save what is left of your family, for you have earned their salvation a million times over."

She shook her head, "As for told me once that the scroll came to me for a purpose, that Fortune of Blood chose me for a reason. I wondered what that could be at the time... I was no one....intentionally so. What could the Fortune of Blood see in me that I could not."

She smiled bleakly, "I should have seen it, really. Tengoku can see the future...and yet it always picks mortal champions, those who can change the future. And if that's the case, it needs to change the future every time. That only makes sense if the Jealous Realms can see the future as well, if it shapes the path a certain way, leading to the future it wants. It may even be better at it then Tengoku is.

Shahai-no-Fortune picked me for my future status in the Mantis. She picked me for my connections to the Phoenix and Zogeku. She saw who I would become....I will follow the Princess... I will protect her from this monster... to do otherwise is to loose my soul and risk the world for my pride."

She paused, a moment of true honesty with herself, "And then.... while I won't owe the Fortune of Blood an Obligation.... I have my doubts I will walk away. What kind of monster would give the duty that comes with this Scroll to another person."

Another pause, longer, almost like she was finished talking, before she said finally, "Do you think she can do it? The Princess I mean. Do you think, with the allies she has, in you, in me, in the Emerald you think we can win? And do you think she will be satisfied with the Onyx Throne... or will we oneday see a Hantei rule a united Rokugan?"

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:15 am
by Susumu Ketsueki
Another pause, longer, almost like she was finished talking, before she said finally, "Do you think she can do it? The Princess I mean. Do you think, with the allies she has, in you, in me, in the Emerald you think we can win? And do you think she will be satisfied with the Onyx Throne... or will we oneday see a Hantei rule a united Rokugan?"

"Satisfied, no... she will want more. Its the nature of their kind. Since the last Hantei fell on the day of thunder each Hantei has established empires in their own image. Daigotsu seized Jigoku and formed his empire of malice, Kanpeki crafted his Onyx throne, and I have little doubt our dear Princess of Ash will forge her new empire if she succeeds. I have no doubt about that."

He holds a long pause,

"Whatever it will look like. We will have to see."

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:27 am
by Moshi Janisha
Janisha relaxes beside the spider and takes another Riceball, "A Moshi, and a Susumu sitting in a cell discussing a second rebellion againest the throne. I am sure a better scholar of the Tao would have a quote about balance or purity that would fit this moment."

Janisha considers the riceball, as if she had never seen one before,"I expected many strange things to come out of this court. You were one of the far more unexpected surprises. Still it will be unusual standing by your side...but I doubt think it will be bad."

The future is what we make of it.

Re: LE Day 28: Every Miner Needs their Canary.

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:42 am
by Susumu Ketsueki
"Rebellion? My dear Moshi no, this isn't rebellion, this is just traditional Spider succession." Jokes the Susumu.

He lets out a chuckle and settles down, watching the moon. Soon enough there is smoke outside. The guards call fire and there is plenty of noise and chaos happening outside of the barracks. He SHOULD be getting ready and taking his leave, but a simple moment wouldn't hurt, five more minutes before life whisks him away.

The moon is so perfect this night.