Archive for September, 2011

Killing Bandits in Iga

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Clan Noriaibasha has had very little for me to do of late. This is no hardship, but it is rather boring. There is only so much time one can spend practicing kataA sequence of moves in martial arts, performed as a practice exercise to train the fighter’s muscle memory and reflexes in preparation for real combat. May be anywhere from a brief, 15-second movement to a full sequence that takes five minutes or more to complete. Usually solitary, but there are some two-person kata.

You may wish to see some videos of standard karate katas.A sequence of fighting moves used as a practice technique in martial arts. in the castle courtyard.

But tonight, I have found a task that needs doing in Iga Province, near to Hoshiakari village.

In a nearby town, a priest of Amaterasu is bedeviled by bandits in the woods near his shrine. Such unrighteous miscreants cannot go unpunished. I creep through the mountain terrain, hidden amongst the trees and bushes, ready to destroy them as soon as I find them.

It is good to help out my own province.

This is the kind of job where the gleam of light off a blade might give me away, so I am using a bō staffA fighting staff, generally about six feet long. Similar to the European quarterstaff. Often carried by mountain men and travellers as well as dedicated warriors.A fighting staff, generally about six feet long. Similar to the European quarterstaff. Often carried by mountain men and travellers as well as dedicated warriors. and a jō stickA shorter version of the bō staff, only about 4 feet long. Often used as a walking stick by travellers in the wilderness or mountains, but can be a surprisingly effective weapon in the hands of a skilled warrior.A shorter version of the bō staff, only about 4 feet long. Often used as a walking stick by travellers in the wilderness or mountains, but can be a surprisingly effective weapon in the hands of a skilled warrior., one in each hand. I can stow the jō in my belt when needed, and simply use the bō for reach.

Ahead, I see some light. As I creep closer, I see that they have lit a campfire for the night. This will be too easy. I smile beneath my ninja mask, and prepare to throw a smoke bomb into their fire, the better to disorient them and claim the benefits of surprise…

Getting Back Into Action

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In the Keitai team’s regular meeting yesterday, I mentioned that I am idle. Kento has responded well: He has given me instructions for ways in which I can assist the Saitekika campaign with some complicated rooftop techniques that will aid in coordinating with our archers. The Saitekika campaign is one which influences nearly all aspects of our grand strategy, as we attempt to streamline and improve our operations.

In addition, we have some suggested strategy plans from our allies in Clan Hekoayu. Though they are highly regarded for the skill and serenity of their tea masters, they may not be the best at battle tactics. I am to read through the Hekoayu plans and ensure that we have identified any questions or unclear parts.

I still have more free time than I might like, but this is a start.

Nearly Ready for Vacation

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Things have been very peaceful at Castle Noriaibasha. I had thought that the Shiemesu Raisei campaign would occupy all my time, as the Teitōken campaign once did. Accordingly, I told the priests to schedule me only for the one campaign. That turns out to have been foolish — it seems Makishi needs my skills for only a few hours each week, so I am left with much extra time.

We will remedy that when I return from my vacation. Clan Noriaibasha has many campaigns in progress; I can surely join one that needs some city fighting.

Akane’s mother has arrived from Edo. Last night, we went to a tavern near Iga. We are busily packing things for our trip to the island. Boat journeys are unusual for us, so we keep wondering what we’ll need. We look forward to a week of sunshine and enjoying new restaurants and taverns.

By the time I get back, I suspect I’ll be anxiously desperate to kill someone — or at least to creep on a rooftop again.