Posts Tagged ‘scouting’

A Very Important Reconnaissance Mission

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Clan Hekoayu has identified a particular group in the territory we are planning to capture. They are called the Jōgehyō army, and they have a very unorthodox fighting style. They are skilled with 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.
s, like me — and they are fierce and wary.

We may not have to enter combat with them. If we do, we may not be able to beat them easily.

My task is to try find out what our options are. if we determine that the Jōgehyō would be too much effort, then we will have to tell Hekoayu to change all their plans that involve that area.

Unfortunately, I have a meeting (yes, another meeting!) in less than an hour… so my scouting will have to wait until Monday.

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.

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…

Scouting in Bumonrokaki

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I have been doing more scouting in Bumonrokaki. This town will be quite complex for us to take control of. Some of the priests are trying to come up with ways to do it without involving any rooftop fighting. Though I am somewhat displeased by this idea, I am holding my tongue. It is simple: I know we will need to have me get up on the rooftops before this is over.

Bumonrokaki has a few internal districts. It is certain that we will encounter opposition in Tōzayokinkōza and in Urikakekanjō. There may be other places that will provide resistance… but I do not think so.

Not yet, anyway.

And all of this activity in Bumonrokaki is really just a dry run. These territories will serve as beachheads for the samurai troops, when they come to occupy the surrounding forests and plains as part of the Shiemesu Raisei campaign.

So… back to the city I go, with my trusty 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. by my side. There are ruffians there who need to be removed.

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…

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 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!

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.

How Soon Will This Be Done?

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I have slain the Kanhyū gang — every last one of them. They turned out to be undisciplined rabble, easy prey for my kama. Things are finally coming to completion in Ichimen. They are doing so with great difficulty and struggle, but they are doing so nonetheless.

Seijun has found what I sincerely hope will be the last major problem: Just outside the district of Denyūmado, there is a village called Denshūken, where a strong mercenary and a warrior of the ever-present Shimasu clan are both lurking. I must go there and kill both of them before our plans can succeed.

Later, if I have the time, there is 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. from the ancient town of Sakurai who is searching out our operatives. And a pair of mercenaries from Hikone that I must kill.

But that seems to be all. Seems. It is greatly to be hoped.

I will be very active for a little while longer, but I think I can see a time of rest afterward. May Bishamontenthe Shinto God of warriors and fightersthe Shinto God of warriors and fighters grant that it is so.

Nearly Done in Ichimen

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

After a couple of hectic and bloody days, I’ve gotten things largely squared away in Ichimen. The Keshimasu and Soroemasu gangs are both completely destroyed. The evil merchant who was causing trouble in Migaku and Keishutsu turned out to be an easy target. The Mitsugao gang, with their operations in three different districts, were much more difficult, and the Hikone mercenaries were… well, a single trained warrior can be a much harder opponent than a pack of undisciplined gang rabble.

But I have slain them all. (There’s always the chance the Ayamari will move into the power vacuums I’ve created. But that’s a problem for next week, not today.)

I still have to clear some enemies from Denyūmado. The Shimasu clan, a perpetual bother.

For now, I am sitting on the roof of an inn in central Denyūmado, eating a tasty sushi lunch and scanning the streets below me. Seeing the movements of the people, looking for the Shimasu clan crest…