Posts Tagged ‘stuck on the ground’

An Assignment Full of Blood

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

There is a small city in Sanigata called Ogaribamen, which we must soon take control of as part of the Saitekika campaign. For the past few days, I have been tasked with trying to devise a way for my fellow-ninja, Sakito, and I to collaborate on this task.

Today I have new orders: I am to go there myself. Alone. Once there, I should scout around enough to find all our opposition — then, slay them all! It seems Sakito is busy at the moment, and Kento is confident in my ability to kill our enemies without needing assistance.

Just the sort of assignment I enjoy. The only way it could be any better is if Ogaribamen were a large enough city to make rooftop fighting practical. But, as it stands, there are a fair number of enemies there. Soon, I will have them all identified. And shortly after that — most likely, tomorrow — the carnage will begin.

Added a little later: I have arrived in Ogaribamen, found a good sushi restaurant, and gotten myelf lunch. (One of the most tragic things about winter’s coldness is that it makes it too cold to really enjoy sushi. But now spring is on the rise, and we are having the first, early, warm days!)

Now I am sitting at a table outside the restaurant, calmly eating my sushi… and watching the town’s activity around me. I have spotted a few Ayamari already, as well as members of the Shōgakukin and Taishoku clans, who we often have to battle against. This is the art of hiding in plain sight, scouting the enemy while being unseen.

But now my sushi is done, so I must go.

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.

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.

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.

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*

Going on Vacation Soon

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Plans are made and ready. Next month, Akane and I will be voyaging to a sunny island, south of far-off Kyūshū. It will be restful and relaxing.

Of course, there will be no enemies to spy on or slay there. No castles to infiltrate, no need for combat on the rooftops. So I shall have little — probably nothing at all — to write about while I am away.

I will post at least one farewell message before I leave, and then another when I return. I should be gone for about ten days, starting ten days from now.

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.

On My Own in Kotobasatsuki

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Today, I am pursuing a mission of my own. Clan Noriaibasha knows nothing of this — nor should they have any reason to care.

I am in Kotobasatsuki, armed with my trusty ninja-tōThe short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. It was roughly the length of a wakizashi.

The ninja-tō was also generally of inferior workmanship compared to the more expensive blades available to samurai. Even if a ninja could acquire a katana, it would be too long and unwieldy to carry on most missions; ninja generally relied on smaller weapons like the shuriken and manrikigusari, and on more deniable weapons like the kama.

“Ninja-ken” is another perfectly acceptable name for this weapon; it’s like the difference between saying “ninja blade” and “ninja sword” in English.The short sword most associated with ninjas. Note that unlike the katana and wakizashi carried by samurai, the ninja-tō was straight rather than curved. Also known as a “ninja-ken”.. I am trying to track down 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 Kawachi Province, who I understand has plans that would be bad for Iga. He’s been here for some time, and has taken the opportunity to blend in with the populace.

But ninjas are vigilant trackers and spies, as well as skilled fighters. I will find him. I must.

Disguised as a peasant, I too blend in with Kotobasatsuki’s crowds. The buildings here are spaced far apart, and the streets are often wide boulevards or even plazas. There is little useI’m dealing with some server-side tasks this time, so my usual JavaScript/AJAX stuff is pointless here.I’m dealing with some server-side tasks this time, so my usual JavaScript/AJAX stuff is pointless here. in taking to the rooftops. Instead, I must observe in inns and shops, keeping my eyes open for any sign that the rōnin has been here.

Where has he gone, and how will I find him? All I know is that I must. I cannot rest until I do.