Posts Tagged ‘campaign: Teitoken’

Too Many Meetings to Go to Nagoya

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

I was supposed to go back to Nagoya today. It’s not happening. (Not that I’m complaining.)

Early this morning, there was a meeting to discuss some of our strategies for dealing with peasants and understanding their needs and desires. I could have skipped it and gone to Nagoya… but it is good for me to stay aware of the clan’s larger operations, not simply the things I’m dealing with on any given day. (Besides, it kept me out of Nagoya for another hour.)

After that meeting, I found that there is a minor problem in Ichimen, the city we took during the Teitōken campaign. This problem will not be difficult to resolve, but it must be done very soon. So I prepared to go to Ichimen…

But then there was another meeting I had to attend, where a pair of our warriors demonstrated some new city-fighting techniques that will enable all our various teams to fight together more efficiently. Truly, these techniques are quite elegant, and it will be intriguing to use them in combat. But it will be some time before we receive actual training; for now, we have simply seen a demonstration.

Now that this meeting is done, I have an hour before I must attend yet another one. We must discuss Clan Hekoayu’s plans for our upcoming battle strategies.

I think I will not be going to Nagoya today. I will be lucky even to make it to Ichimen.

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.

The Reconsecration of the Shrine, and the Last Days of the Teitōken Campaign

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Akane and I have successfully reconsecrated the shrine of Inari. We have even strung a new shimenawaA consecrated rope used to wrap and delimit holy ground in Shintoism. Usually hung with holy paper streamers.

As usual, Wikipedia has more information, including some pictures.A consecrated rope used to wrap and delimit holy ground in Shintoism. around the premises.

Happily, we were done in time to visit the wonderful local restaurant, which makes some of the best okonomiyakiSomething like a cross between a pancake, an omelet, and a pizza. Flat, fried batter with meat and vegetables mixed in, and sauces on top.Something like a cross between a pancake, an omelet, and a pizza. Flat, fried batter with meat and vegetables mixed in, and sauces on top. in all of Kansai. It was quite delicious!

The following day — yesterday — I went back to Castle Noriaibasha. Nobody seems to have noticed my absence the previous afternoon, or if they did, they didn’t mind. Over the past two days, the Teitōken campaign has been slowly and painfully winding down. Every time I think things are done, they find one more pocket of resistance. These are rarely in the city; Seijun’s team has been quite busy rousting out foes in the forest. But occasionally, a message of great and terrible urgency tells me to proceed to Ichimen and find such-and-so target.

Tonight should be the end of this. We are already a day past deadline. I have spent part of the day reading the scrolls and maps pertaining to the upcoming Shiemesu Raisei campaign; that should occupy much more of my time tomorrow.

For now, I have an appointment to meet an old friend in the capital for a sushi dinner.

In All Things, There Is Unending Change… But Not Always For the Better

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

As always, everything is in flux. Kento tells me that the training sessions to begin the Shiemesu Raisei campaign have been postponed by a week. This means that my schedule for next week is completely unknown. (But perhaps this means I will finally have some time to re-consecrate the temple of Inari in Hoshiakari — I have been laying some plans in that regard, and this may be the opportunity I need!)

All the Mōjin have been driven from Ichimen. However, every time we think the Ayamari are gone, more show up. I suspect there is some sort of secret Ayamari lair somewhere, with a hidden tunnel that allows the sneak in from outside the city. A pack of them surprised me during my battle with the rōninA masterless samurai, effectively an independent sword-for-hire. A samurai could become a rōnin if his lord died, or if his lord became displeased with him and effectively fired him. During the Sengoku Jidai, things were very loose, and some samurai voluntarily left their lords and went in search of other opportunities, becoming rōnin temporarily until they could find new lords. Some peasants even declared themselves to be samurai, and then went in search of lords to take them in — for them, being a rōnin was a step in their personal advancement plans.

The word rōnin literally means “wave-man”: the image is of a man who wanders endlessly, without direction, like a wave on the ocean. At the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules Winnfield says his plan is to “walk the earth… like Caine from Kung Fu”, he’s effectively saying he’s going to become a modern rōnin after leaving Marsellus Wallace’s service.A masterless samurai; a wandering warrior whose sword was for hire. from Mikawa yesterday afternoon. By the time I had dispatched them, the rōnin was gone.

I had already wounded him sorely. He may have died of his wounds later on, or he may have decided to leave the area entirely. Or he may come back to bedevil us next week. There is no way of knowing.

It may be just as well. This morning, it seems the younger brother of the bandit from Yoshino, who I slew over two weeks ago, has arrived to seek vengeance. Fortunately, he does not seem such a skilled fighter as his elder brother — but the Yoshino tactics allow him to fade back into the forest, and I cannot pursue without help fromI need a back-end guy with access to patch a file on the server, so I can see the results rendered as an HTML email. I don’t have the requisite access. They don’t have the requisite HTML/CSS skills.I need a back-end guy with access to patch a file on the server, so I can see the results rendered as an HTML email. I don’t have the requisite access. They don’t have the requisite HTML/CSS skills. Seijun or his team.

Needless to say, they are all too busy right now. If only one of them would become available for assistance, I could finish off this last foe.

The Campaign Draws Near to Its End

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Only a week ago, it seemed this campaign would never end. But we seem to have run out of Ayamari. The group that seemed such an unstoppable tide before have now been exterminated. Haruna and Satonori have been detached from the Teitōken unit and sent to other fronts in the war.

Over the past few days, I have whittled down the Mōjin fighters, and they now seem to be gone, too. A pair of Sōtō Zen monks and the scout, Jun-ichirō, will verify that tomorrow morning. Even the bandit from Yoshino is gone. The Nichiren and Tendai priests are ready to proclaim this realm pacified and integrate it into our territories and power structure.

All that remains is to kill the rōninA masterless samurai, effectively an independent sword-for-hire. A samurai could become a rōnin if his lord died, or if his lord became displeased with him and effectively fired him. During the Sengoku Jidai, things were very loose, and some samurai voluntarily left their lords and went in search of other opportunities, becoming rōnin temporarily until they could find new lords. Some peasants even declared themselves to be samurai, and then went in search of lords to take them in — for them, being a rōnin was a step in their personal advancement plans.

The word rōnin literally means “wave-man”: the image is of a man who wanders endlessly, without direction, like a wave on the ocean. At the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules Winnfield says his plan is to “walk the earth… like Caine from Kung Fu”, he’s effectively saying he’s going to become a modern rōnin after leaving Marsellus Wallace’s service.A masterless samurai; a wandering warrior whose sword was for hire. from Mikawa. My last battle with him was inconclusive. He escaped into Ichimen, and is lurking… somewhere.

I have until Friday to find him. That will be my last day on the Teitōken Campaign; starting on Monday, I will be assigned to a new campaign called Shiemesu Raisei. I know very little of what this campaign will entail, as yet. I know that it will be another long one, like Teitōken has been (and unlike, say, Kanezukai was). It seems it will involve widely-spread operations ranging throughout Yamato Province, and maybe also in Ōmi and perhaps Settsu. Beyond that? The campaign’s specifics are still somewhat mysterious to me.

I understand that the first week will involve hours and hours of training in one of the halls of Castle Noriaibasha. I have my suspicions that the training will be tedious, and by the end of it, I will be itching to get outside, clamber across a roof, and kill a half-dozen people.

A Busy Day Ahead of Me

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Today promises to be very busy. In the afternoon, Seijun and I must meet with some representatives from Clan Seija, our allies who are assisting with some operations outside of Ichimen. I know they have encountered difficulties; I don’t know if we will go out to try to slay the enemies at once, or merely plan.

Also, we have determined that the rōninA masterless samurai, effectively an independent sword-for-hire. A samurai could become a rōnin if his lord died, or if his lord became displeased with him and effectively fired him. During the Sengoku Jidai, things were very loose, and some samurai voluntarily left their lords and went in search of other opportunities, becoming rōnin temporarily until they could find new lords. Some peasants even declared themselves to be samurai, and then went in search of lords to take them in — for them, being a rōnin was a step in their personal advancement plans.

The word rōnin literally means “wave-man”: the image is of a man who wanders endlessly, without direction, like a wave on the ocean. At the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules Winnfield says his plan is to “walk the earth… like Caine from Kung Fu”, he’s effectively saying he’s going to become a modern rōnin after leaving Marsellus Wallace’s service.A masterless samurai; a wandering warrior whose sword was for hire. from Mikawa Province has obtained some enemy battle plans. By lunch time tomorrow, I must kill him and deliver those plans to Seijun and Rajan, so they can effectively counter the enemy’s strategies. But the rōnin from Mikawa will be no easy opponent. He is skilled on rooftops, and a powerful fighter with the 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.)
.

In the meantime, I also have a nest of Mōjin fighters to deal with… but they could wait until Friday, if necessary. (I think it will be necessary. Even a ninja can only handle so many foes at once.)

Still No Improvement in the Teitōken Campaign

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

I still have no access to the armory.

The bandit from Yoshino is still around. I must find some time to coordinate with Seijun so that we can finish him off. And then there’s a rōninA masterless samurai, effectively an independent sword-for-hire. A samurai could become a rōnin if his lord died, or if his lord became displeased with him and effectively fired him. During the Sengoku Jidai, things were very loose, and some samurai voluntarily left their lords and went in search of other opportunities, becoming rōnin temporarily until they could find new lords. Some peasants even declared themselves to be samurai, and then went in search of lords to take them in — for them, being a rōnin was a step in their personal advancement plans.

The word rōnin literally means “wave-man”: the image is of a man who wanders endlessly, without direction, like a wave on the ocean. At the end of Pulp Fiction, when Jules Winnfield says his plan is to “walk the earth… like Caine from Kung Fu”, he’s effectively saying he’s going to become a modern rōnin after leaving Marsellus Wallace’s service.A masterless samurai; a wandering warrior whose sword was for hire. who’s just arrived from Mikawa province, who is skilled in rooftop fighting. Originally, I was supposed to ensure that was dead by tomorrow afternoon.

But I can’t do that just yet, because the nobles have determined that we must stage an orderly withdrawal from the district of Minichato, adjacent to Keishutsu. An orderly withdrawal is not the same thing as “just running away” — it means we must destroy certain caches of supplies and weapons so they cannot be used by our enemies when they take the territory. And it also means operating in hostile territory, where we may frequently have to fight off enemies while we take care of retreating.

And this takes priority over all else. The bandit from Yoshino and the rōnin from Mikawa will just have to wait. (Which means that soon I’ll be asked why those two are still alive, and I’ll have to explain that the retreat from Minichato is a higher priority.)

The Teitōken Campaign Spirals Downward

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

The bandit from Yoshino is still bedeviling us. He seems to mostly be hiding in the forests lately, outside my realm. Seijun and his team have been far too busy with other matters to even pursue him.

The greatest of those “other matters” is the dire situation in Kurabero-no-Hako. We knew at the outset that we would have to handle a gang there called the Obigurafu. Seijun said his team could take care of them, using a style especially designed for such problems called the Kabachaato-ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts.. Unfortunately, it turns out the Obigurafu gang is quite persistent… and the Kabachaato style is simply not flexible enough to handle their tactics.

If we cannot eradicate the Obigurafu, the entire campaign will be a failure.

Of course, even if we can, there are still many other problems. The Mōjin have made a resurgence, and if we do not deal with them, we will be forced to retreat and give up the entire territory — we would otherwise be in violation of the Emperor’s decreethe Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that information such as we’re presenting must be available to all, with no outstanding accessibility issuesthe Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that information such as we’re presenting must be available to all, with no outstanding accessibility issues. Just as the Obigurafu gang is Seijun’s problem, so the Mōjin are mine.

And still the Ayamari proliferate, and we are falling further and further behind schedule.

I have just received a message from Kento: One of the high nobles will be coming to investigate our progress, and try to determine what can be done.

My suspicion is that the entire campaign will have to be called off… or at least, subjected to a complete restructuring.

The Bandit From Yoshino

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

There is a bandit from Yoshino who has been causing some problems for a while. He’s been a minor enemy until now — now that Haruna, Satonori and I have finally managed to eradicate many of the Ayamari in Ichimen. Now, it is time to deal with this rogue.

Unfortunately, he’s a border-runner, who strikes into the city and then melts back into the forest when I try to pursue. Seijun is assisting me in trying to corral him so we can do him in.

It’s not going well. He is very wily. But we will persevere.

A Very Busy Friday and a Very Tired Ninja

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

On Thursday, we finally found a way that Satonori can vouch for me with the armory guards so I can have weapons. He and Haruna are now both assisting me in Ichimen. They are both carving a path of blood and death through 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.-wielding Ayamari, while I take on the rooftop fighters.

On Friday morning, I awoke to news that the shrine of Amaterasu had once again been occupied by an oniA supernatural creature. Usually translated into English simply as “demon”, but oni combine aspects of demons and ogres. Like Western demons, they have horns on their head and colored skin (generally red or blue). They also have sharp teeth, which may be fangs or tusks. Like ogres, they live in mountains and wilderness places, and are generally depicted as being larger than human scale (generally about 8-12 feet tall). They usually carry long clubs with studded iron on the striking end, and are sometimes dressed in animal-skin loincloths.Often translated as “demon”, but also similar to an ogre: Humanoid, generally 8-12 feet tall, with red or blue skin, horns on its head, fangs or tusks, and a large, iron-shod club. Usually lives in mountains and wilderness.. I could do nothing about it; my duties to Clan Noriaibasha required my presence in Ichimen. So off I went, to slay Ayamari — and then to be called into no fewer than five meetings, consuming most of my day.

At least one of these meetings was useful, though: We went through all of the assassination orders and target descriptions supplied by the Sōtō Zen monks, and were able to identify many cases where two different orders described the same target. “The man in the green kimono? He’s the same as the kama fighter with a slight limp in his left leg.” “Ah, then we will combine these orders.” When we were done, the number of enemies had dropped from 35 to under 30.

But one of the worst problems is still the rooftop fighters. Before I left the castle on Friday evening, Kento presided over a meeting with me, Haruna and Satonori. We agreed that we would divide up the enemies yet to be fought, and that I would spend my weekend in Ichimen clearing off the rooftops.

Then I left, and did not go home. I went directly to the shrine of Amaterasu, where I drove off the oni. I arrived home late at night, and Akane poured me a vase of sake and put me to bed. The next morning, I knew I would simply have to arise and go back to Ichimen.

When I have time, I must tell the tale of this morning… and then the tale of this afternoon.