Posts Tagged ‘campaign: Shiemesu Raisei’

My Chain Is Still Mighty

Friday, November 18th, 2011

I have spent the past few weeks mostly scouting, lurking in alleyways and reconnoitering territories in Sanigata. On the rare occasions when I’ve found enemies who must be removed, it has been a simple task to slay them with my kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion – farmers are everywhere, after all..

Aside from those few, occasional instances of combat, I have spent much time in meetings with Clan Hekoayu.

Yesterday, I spent hours doing kama practice, learning the hikichigaido maneuver, trying to understand it — or at least make it work correctly. Having reached the point where I can follow it by rote, I went back to Yokuaru Shitsumon this morning. There is a warrior there who I needed to kill, for the good of my clan.

After much waiting and lurking, I finally spotted him. Quickly, in my mind, I recalled the motions of the hikichigaido attack. As he drew close to me, I sprang from my concealment and attacked with my kama.

He blocked the first strike, but the hikichigaido is a two-part attack. With my left hand brushing across his eyes, I whirled and completed the maneuver… leaving him dead at my feet!

I was slightly surprised that it had worked. I was even more surprised to see two of his allies coming toward me — and one of them pulling a kusarigamaA common ninja weapon: a one-handed scythe/sickle with a length of chain attached to the handle. The chain has either a hook or weight on the end of it.A common ninja weapon: a one-handed scythe/sickle with a length of chain attached to the handle. The chain has either a grappling hook or a weight attached to the end.

The scythe/sickle part alone is a kama, and is a common farming tool. With the chain attached, it’s pretty obviously a weapon, and would be treated as such by any authorities one might encounter.
from his belt!

It has been too long since I got to use my chain skills. I am afraid I may have gone a bit overboard… both of my attackers were on the ground in moments. I made a quick getaway, knowing that Yokuaru Shitsumon is now safe for our forces.

The only way that could have been better is if I’d had an excuse to use the rooftops. Sadly, Yokuaru Shitsumon is one of the small towns of Sanigata; there’s just no point.

This Technique Should Be Easy…

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

I have been sick for the past few days. On Monday afternoon, I was in Yokuaru Shitsumon, scouting out the opposition. It is clear that I will need to master a particular technique to have any hope of prevailing here. It is called the hikichigaido attack — a 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. using the kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion – farmers are everywhere, after all. that should really be quite simple.

Still, it eludes me.

I do not know if this is because of my illness, or if there is something I am misunderstanding. But now I am in the courtyard of Castle Noriaibasha, practicing this technique. I must hone it until I can go back to Yokuaru Shitsumon and eradicate a pair of enemies who will otherwise cause us trouble there.

Practice, practice…

The Woes of Dealing With Clan Hekoayu

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The Shiemesu Raisei campaign proceeds, slowly. Sakito and I have subdued the opposition we found in the three towns in Sanigata — truly, there was very little opposition to be found. Nearly all we did was kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion – farmers are everywhere, after all.-work; I hardly even had a chance to get out my manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
at all.

Since then, we have been slowly expanding out grasp to include a few other towns in the area. I have just eradicated a few enemies in a place called Keisai. Our next target is another small town called Yokuaru Shitsumon, where Sakito will take the east side and I the west side. (I have some hope that I might get a chance to use my manrikigusari there.)

In the meantime, Clan Hekoayu is becoming a greater and greater annoyance. We have met with them a few more times. More and more of my clanmates in our division are becoming quite disturbed at the way the Saitekika campaign is unfolding, under Hekoayu’s guidance.

Our branch of the clan is the Kokakumanzoku division. We are tasked with ensuring that the peasants in our clan’s territories are fed, sheltered, and not badly treated. We have noted problems with the long-range effects of Clan Hekoayu’s plans. They do not lay out any specific plans to oppress the peasants, but if we follow their plans, we can see that the peasants will suffer.

And we have raised these concerns, and Hekoayu seems disinclined to listen. Now one of our Nichiren priestesses, named Suzuha, is becoming a focal point for our unrest. She has written a letter to explain that this plan is disharmonious, and we must adjust our Way. Riki is trying to manage things as well, but he needs support.

There is little I can do. Stabbing or poisoning our allies would bring dishonor upon us. When I can, I speak up in meetings on behalf of the peasants, and of Harmony.

Three Villages, No Rooftop Fighting

Friday, October 21st, 2011

I should tell of the progress of the Shiemesu Raisei campaign. Kento has ordered my clan-mate Sakito and me to assist Makishi and his team in taking over a small territory using the Chiri-dō ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts.. This place is called Sanigata. It is of little importance to anyone now, but as the Saitekika campaign advances into its prime, this place will eventually become important. At that point, we will already hold it in our grasp. (Indeed, the Saitekika and Shiemesu Raisei campaigns are tightly intertwined, and it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the two.)

Naturally, the samurai will be handling the forests of Sanigata. There are also three towns there: Seihin, Bumon, and Kaiketsusaku. Over the past week, Sakito and I have scouted out Bumon quite well, and dispatched a few people there who would be liable to oppose our incursions. Now we are focusing on Kaiketsusaku.

Sakito is another of Clan Noriaibasha’s city fighters. He’s not really a ninja, but he is quite skilled with the kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion — farmers are everywhere, after all..

These towns are all too small to make rooftop work much of an option. They do have some alleyways and hidden areas, at least, but there is very little to do with a manrikigusariA chain weapon with weights at both ends, which can be used for striking or entangling.A ninja weapon consisting of a length of chain with stuff at one or both ends. Generally has weights at both ends, but occasionally one weight will be replaced by a hook. The weapon can be used for entangling (by wrapping a weight around an enemy’s limb) or for a direct strike with one of the weights. It can also be used to entangle an enemy’s weapon with one end, then strike the enemy’s body with the weight on the other end. They hate that.

When the chain has one end attached to a kama, it’s known as a kusari-gama. (Kusari means “chain”; when it’s the second item in a compound word, it becomes -gusari. Similarly, kama becomes -gama in compounds.)
, so Sakito’s kama skills are proving useful. And my own kama is getting more work than it usually does.

However, coordinating with Sakito has taken much time and energy. This is why I have been so remiss in maintaining theses tales. I am sorry for this delay. Mōshiwake arimasenA formal Japanese phrase for “I’m sorry”. (“Gomen nasai” is also frequently used, but is less formal.)A formal Japanese phrase for "I’m sorry". ("Gomen nasai" is also frequently used, but is less formal.). *bows deeply*

A Fighting Style For Armies

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The Chiri-dō ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts. is not a set of 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. that one uses in a duel or small fight. Instead, it is the kind of grand, overarching strategy that arranges the sweeping movements of a full-scale fighting force across large territories and varying terrain.

It is quite unlike anything I have ever had to learn before, for we ninjas generally operate in very small bands, if not alone. It is like the teachings of the mainland general-sage, Sun Tzu.

In the meeting with Clan Eshidieru this morning, we spent much time examining all the particulars of how we can use the Chiri-dō style in our Shiemesu Raisei campaign… and it seems the Shiemesu Raisei campaign and the Saitekika campaign will have interlocking objectives, and each one will affect the other!

And I, along with Kento, Makishi, and Amon, am involved with both of them.

It is all very confusing, and it means I must be involved with meetings with Clan Eshidieru (who are teaching us the Chiri-dō and advising our strategies on the Shiemesu Raisei campaign) and other meetings with Clan Hekoayu (who are advising our Saitekika strategy… albeit somewhat unprofessionally on occasion).

I must find some way to keep my combat skills sharp. Or at least find the time for some kata in the yard.

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.

A Few Things To Do Today

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Finally, I have more to do! I must kill a couple of targets in a town called Futokōhō, very close by Kinyūiki. Then I have to do some scouting in the nearby town of Keisai. It shouldn’t be very hard, but at least it’s something to do.

Also, there may be a bit of rooftop work awaiting me in Kinyūiki. That will be most satisfying, after spending the morning and early afternoon doing scouting and perhaps a little kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion – farmers are everywhere, after all. work.

Off I go. Wish me luck!

Dealing With Three Things At Once

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I am no longer dealing with only one campaign. I had thought that my association with the Teitōken campaign was done, having pacified the city of Ichimen. Now I find that there is one final push happening this weekend. They may need a ninja on call, just in case they encounter any resistance that requires assassination or city operation.

Hence, I must hold myself in readiness, prepared at any moment to rush to the battlefield. I will serve, but I hope I am not called.

In the meantime, the Shiemesu Raisei campaign is becoming contentious. Ryōsuke wants to have everything complete within six weeks. The other warriors have all just pointed out that we are trying to learn an entirely new ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts., and we have no idea how long anything will take. We certainly do not wish to commit to an untried, unfamiliar strategy and claim that we will have such-and-so accomplished, and then discover that we can only accomplish half of it in the time allotted.

Ryōsuke is adamant about the six-week deadline. We will see what we can commit to — if anything.

Aside from that, there is a problem occurring in Settsu Province. I need to deliver a message and some small supplies to one of our operatives there. It will be an interesting case of courier duty, combined with some reconnaissance — when I am done, I should report back to Tsukimi on what I saw while delivering the message.

It will be a busy day.

Beginning the Shiemesu Raisei Campaign

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

This campaign is unlike most others. Instead of trying to capture territory and hold it, our true objective is to test out the Chiri-dō ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts., and see if we want to adopt it as one of our main strategies. To that end, we will be attempting to capture some towns and small cities in Yamato Province… but exactly which ones and how many is still a mystery, and we might not bother to hold them. It seems we will, at the very least, use a place called Kinyūiku as one of our targets. I have been performing preliminary scouting on it this week.

I seem to be the junior warrior in this operation. I will be reporting to Makishi (who I have mentioned before, a friendly fellow-ninja) until Kento returns from visiting his family, near the end of the month. There are a few samurai working in the plains and the wilderness; I know of Atsuhiko, but I am sure he is not alone. Above us all is Ryōsuke, who I believe is a major.

The Nichiren priest who is trying to coordinate all our actions is named Junsuke. So far, he seems pleasant enough. Assisting him is Amon, a friend of Kento’s. Another warrior named Eiki will also be involved, though I know not in precisely what capacity.

Ryōsuke is the major in charge of the warriors in this operation. He ranks above Kento, who is currently away visiting his family. Kento will not return until nearly the end of the month. Then, I understand, he will have the very interesting experience of being trained the Chiri-dō techniques.

I think Makishi and I will look forward to seeing how he feels at the end of that week.

In the meantime, we have advisors from Clan Eshidieru, the originators of the Chiri-dō style, who are continuing to teach us about its strategies. I keep receiving messages from Makishi as I scout Kinyūiku, asking me to join him and the advisors on the plains of Yamato as we observe how the Eshidieru advisors use Chiri-dō to organize large-scale battle movements. This makes scouting somewhat difficult.

Between Campaigns This Week

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Between Campaigns This Week

The Shiemesu Raisei campaign is starting off with activity in the forests and mountains, so my skills are not needed… yet. Both I and my fellow ninja, Makishi, are instructed to practice the Chiri-dō style and be ready for next week.

However, there is a limit to what we can practice, for we have none of the strange mainland swords that are useful in the Chiri-dō’s odd style. In the meantime, I have caught up on reading certain training scrolls. I should now be qualified to battle armored enemies without being caughtI’m all checked out on "secure coding"I’m all checked out on "secure coding" in the back by surprise.

Also, one of the clan’s ikebanaThe Zen art of flower arrangement.The Zen art of flower arrangement. masters, a woman named Sachi, came to ask for my help in dispatching a kamaTechnically, a kama is simply a farming tool. It’s like a sickle, or a small, one-handed scythe. Since farmers make up a huge segment of feudal Japan’s population, there’s nothing suspicious about carrying one around. And ninjas like to avoid suspicion.

If you take a chain with a weight or hook on its end and attach that to a kama, you’ve got a kusarigama… much more useful as a weapon, but also obviously a ninja weapon, instead of a farming tool.A farming tool, like a sickle or a small, one-handed scythe. Commonly used by ninjas because they arouse no suspicion — farmers are everywhere, after all.-wielding enemy in Ise Province. Ise is quiet, restful, and very pretty, but also some distance to travel.

After the chaos and stress of the previous month, it was nice to see the countryside as I went to find my target.