Posts Tagged ‘enemies’

An Important and Dangerous Mission

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Skillful reconnaissance has discovered a new enemy: The sponsors of the Keiten Mokuba army. They are backed by a powerful consortium of merchants and nobles called the Dōga-gumi“group”Japanese for “group”; can refer to anything from a “five-person group” (a common work-unit in Japanese corporations) up to an entire branch of the Yakuza such as the Yamaguchi-gumi.. They are well stocked with chain fighters, including a dangerous group headed by the notorious daimyōA feudal warlord; the leader of a clan and/or army with a significant area of land under its control. Usually also has aims to expand his holdings; many daimyō are trying to become rulers of whole regions, or even of all of Japan. Pronounced “dime-yo”.A feudal warlord; the leader of a clan and/or army with a significant area of land under its control. Usually also has aims to expand his holdings; many daimyō are trying to become rulers of whole regions, or even of all of Japan., Eizō.

As Clan Noriaibasha’s pre-eminent chain fighter, I have been chosen to eliminate this threat. I am honored, and only slightly daunted.

It will be my task to slip through Eizō’s defenses, penetrate his castle, and assure his demise. If I can also discover any of his correspondence with the rest of the Dōga-gumi, so much the better, for I must launch an offensive against that gumi as soon as Eizō falls — while his troops are in the greatest disarray.

I have already started scouting Lord Eizō’s security. It seems he has some sharp-eyed archers as part of his guard staff. I must be quite careful — if I am spotted, there is no hope. If I am well prepared, I can pluck one arrow from the air as it speeds toward me, but two at once would surely leave me quite dead.

Breaking My Silence

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I must once again apologize for my long silence. The Saitekika campaign is a long and complicated one, and fighting it leaves me with little time to chronicle the happenings of each day.

There have been many, interminable meetings with Amon, Kento, Sakito, Makishi, and some of the representatives from Clan Hekoayu. Makishi and I, at the very least, continue to be unimpressed with Hekoayu’s plans. Last night, Sakito and I were at an inn with one of the clan’s Nichiren priestesses, and both of them also had criticisms of Hekoayu — and also of the overall planning of the entire campaign.

Clan Hekoayu has a reputation for being sage advisors and skilled artists. I have no idea how they have maintained this.

In between meetings, I have managed to perform some missions in the field. I have discovered that the Naihō Cadre is not an independent group. It is actually an offshoot of a large army called the Keiten Mokuba. Soon I will have to find ways to eliminate the Keiten Mokuba; with them gone, the Naihō will be demoralized, easy prey.

In the meantime, I have been battling a group called the Kakunenbo, and have cut them down to a shadow of their former might. Kento is pleased with my performance.

Tonight, there is a farewell enkaiA ceremonial drinking party, generally organized by a company or other organization. Though an enkai is done by and for the members of a given company, it’s not held in the company offices; envision a company-sponsored pub-crawl.

See more detailed descriptions of enkai.A ceremonial drinking party, generally organized by a company or other organization. Though an enkai is done by and for the members of a given company, it’s not held in the company offices; envision a company-sponsored pub-crawl. to commemorate the departure of Tamae, one of the Nichiren priestesses who is friendly and outgoing, and hence quite well loved here. She is going to join one of the larger clans of medics and healers in Kawachi, and she says she already has some ideas for how to help guide them in the paths of Righteousness. Later on, I understand Mitsubachi is sponsoring a nijikaiEnkais don’t always stay put. Sometimes they have a second, third, or even fourth phase. Something like an afterparty. A "nijikai" is the second phase of an enkai.Enkais don’t always stay put. Sometimes they have a second, third, or even fourth phase. Something like an afterparty. A "nijikai" is the second phase of an enkai. at an inn where everyone is expected to singkaraoke barkaraoke bar; the experience should be quite entertaining.

Why I Am So Busy Lately

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Last week, I was assigned to recon — and eventually kill — a mercenary unit called the Naihō Cadre. They are operating in various places within Zaiseikyōiku. It turns out they are also well-organized, well-equipped, and professional.

It will take some slick 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, and all of my skill 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 order to defeat these fighters. Also, I must be cunning and use careful tactics. It will be quite an adventure!

In the meantime, there are other things going on outside the Saitekika campaign and the region of Sanigata. There is the ongoing Pagoda Bearer project, which requires a shrine to Bishamonten. We have a scroll that describes a ryūA school, tradition, or style in martial arts.A school, tradition, or style in martial arts. called the Tsuiseki-Dō, which we wish to experiment with. Sadly, it turns out that the Tsuiseki-Dō requires that the shrine be equipped with sandalwoodthis codebase assumes it’ll be installed in the DOCUMENT_ROOT directory of the web server it’s on, not a subdirectorythis codebase assumes it’ll be installed in the DOCUMENT_ROOT directory of the web server it’s on, not a subdirectory incense.

Ours has camphor and camellia incense. And the priests of the Jōdō Shū branch, who oversee such things, tell us we may not use sandalwood incense here.

So we will have to modify every step of the entire ryū to work the way we need it to. This will be quite an arduous task.

We have a mercenary helping us, a man named Shinju. He has been assigned to read through every move, looking for the cuts, parries, and attacks that will need to be modified. I am acting mostly in a supervisory capacity, alongside the priest, Riki who is in charge of this project.

As much as I enjoy the Pagoda Bearer ryū, this Tsuiseki project becomes less enjoyable every day, as I keep having to come back to Castle Noriaibasha instead of scouting the Naihō Cadre or other enemies in the field.

The Jōgehyō Are Very Tough

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I have been watching the Jōgehyō army from various vantage points for a couple of days now. Including watching them train and spar. Finally, I decided I must engage one of them in combat to gain a true knowledge of their mettle.

I waited until one was separated from his comrades, then got ahead of him. I could easily have jumped him from behind, but not everyone in Noriaibasha’s armies is a ninja. Many of our warriors would have to deal with the Jōgehyō face-to-face, without the benefit of surprise.

So I dropped from a roof to the street about ten feet in front of him, said, “I challenge you. One on one!” as I drew my 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.
, and then attacked as I saw he was ready.

After all, I was there to test his combat skills, not his ability to detect stealthy observers.

His combat skills were… quite good. For an hour we battled, blocking and thrusting, chains whirling as we sought to tear each other’s flesh with our grappling hooks. In the end, I was able to take him down, of course.

But it was not at all easy.

The Jōgehyō do not control much territory. Though fighting these valiant warriors would be excellent practice and bring me much honor, it is not an appropriate use of my time and skills. I have reported to Kento, and he has decided that we will tell Clan Hekoayu: We are not going to battle the Jōgehyō. The strategies of the Saitekika campaign should be adjusted accordingly.

Observing the Suraida Gang

Monday, December 12th, 2011

I am in Bumonrokaki, lurking in shadows and under porches where I can observe the Suraida gang. Their grasp of tactics is impressive, for a group that is composed of non-professional warriors. Dealing with them will not be easy.

Using rooftops to attack them by surprise form above will not work, either, because the rooftops of Bumonrokaki are not very reliable. Oh, there are a few sections of town where there are a few usable roofs. But by and large, they are either too fragile to hold a full man’s weight, or else they are too steep.

So I am getting some much-needed practice in other stealth techniques — ones I have not used in too long. Very well. It is important to keep one’s skills sharp.

More Enemies I’ll Have to Face Soon

Friday, December 9th, 2011

I wrote my last message in a hurry, and so I forgot to mention a few things.

Aside from the Suraida gang in Tōzayokinkōza, Clan Hekoayu has also described a second enemy who are active throughout the city of Bumonrokaki. This group is called the Makitomaru, and they appear to be a very skilled group of fighters. It’s not enough that I’ll have to stalk and scout the Suraida gang; I will also have to be ready to take on this Makitomaru group.

I can only hope that I do not have to engage both foes at once. As a ninja, I enjoy leading a life of danger and combat, but there are limits!

Aside from that, there is one more problem looming in my future. Near the territory of Sanigata, where Bumonrokaki and various other towns lie, there is one large city called Uchimae. In the meeting on Wednesday, Clan Hekoayu showed is their plans for capturing that city. Their strategy is a very ambitious one, and it makes all of us — Kento, Amon, Makishi, and I — rather nervous. We are not sure that it is really possible.

But it would probably involve a fair bit of rooftop fighting for me.

That part is the good news. The bad news is that it might — or might not — involve taking on the powerful crime-lord known as InjūtonoA Japanese honorific meaning “lord”; in essence, he’s calling himself “Lord Injū”. (No, this does *not* mean he’s really a daimyō!)A Japanese honorific meaning "lord"; in essence, he’s calling himself "Lord Injū".. Injū has many warriors at his disposal, and a well-fortified compound where he dwells. He also has many ruffians and informers on the street, serving as his eyes, ears, and if necessary, fists.

Stalking a Dangerous, New Gang

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

In our meeting with Clan Hekoayu yesterday, they alerted us to the presence of a gang operating within the Tōzayokinkōza district in Bumonrokaki. They are called the Suraida, and it seems they are quite crafty and dangerous. Before we can complete the Saitekika campaign, we will have to remove them.

Clan Hekoayu says their warriors can do this, easily.

Of course, it falls to me to actually make it happen on Noriaibasha’s behalf. Whatever Hekoayu claims is possible, I must provide — but not necessarily today. I have not yet been given the order to eradicate them; for now, I simply have to ensure that I could do so, if the order were given.

As soon as I have time, I must go to Bumonrokaki and do some scouting. I must observe this gang and their ways, and learn their weaknesses, and be sure that I can slay them when the time comes. But this afternoon is full of more meetings…

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.