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 (Akira) The Oni Warai

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TheDiddler
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PostSubject: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:30 am

The Oni Warai

The westernmost district of the Ekohikei (Inner City) is known as the Karada. It is physically alienated from the rest of the city on all sides. The Miwaku Kabe (Enchanted Wall) stands to the west while the Forbidden City lies to the east. The River of the Sun flows along its northern edge and can only be traversed by way of the bridge between the Karada and Hito Districts.

Finally, the Karada's most obvious feature lies to the south - the Oni Warai (The Oni's Smile), a deep crevice spreading from the Forbidden City wall almost to the edge of the Western Miwaku Kabe. The Oni Warai often emits a steady stream of mist in the winter months when the tides raise the water level in the subterranean passages. But there are rumors of a far darker purpose deep down amid its depths.

Kuni Akira had been in the Imperial City for less than a week and nothing about the strange urban environment had put him at ease. Despite that the tremendous Miwaku Kabe reminded him of the Great Carpenter Wall (Kaiu Wall), the Crab could not shake the feeling that it was he that was being kept in and not enemies kept out.

As an Emerald Magistrate he was given special dispensation in traversing the four great districts of the Ekohikei (Inner City). Normally, any traveler moving between the four would be stopped and questioned at great length. His jade badge of office combined with the uneasy quality of Kuni face-paint to leave him bothered not at all as he took in the sights of his new home.

Nothing had prepared him for the Oni Warai.

Perhaps it was the name? Or the strange steam that poured forth in a constant stream making the great chasm look like nothing so much as the breathing mouth of the earth.

Akira stood at the edge of the chasm and peered down into its darkened depths. He felt somehow as if the entire world could have fallen down, down, deep into its dark depths.

Behind Akira, hidden mostly by is great garden walls, was the Temple to the Seven Fortunes which breached both the Karada and Chisei Districts. A young girl, an acolyte monk, carried water between the statues of Bishamon, Fortune of Strength, and Daikoku, Fortune of Wealth. Akira smiled at her strained face knowing that the sweat of labor was in itself a step towards enlightenment.

The earth rumbled.

Akira's eyes snapped back to the terrible chasm. He had heard a voice. A tremendous voice of stone. An voice of anger and pain, fury and devastation.

Akira shuddered and fell to his knees. Emotion overwhelmed him, raw and furious, pouring out from the steam below. The earth was angry. Frustrated. And out of the mouth of the Oni Warai it made itself known.

It spoke and the world shuddered.

Akira whispered softly to himself, "Earthquake."


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PostSubject: Re: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:31 pm

It had been a long while since Akira had felt as insignificant as he did at this moment.  It was sobering to realize that all of his accomplishments, all of his struggles, all of his knowledge, might as well mean nothing.  He was a pebble that had just experienced the whisper of a mountain and for the first time in years, he was afraid.

"Fear is useless to the Kuni, Akira."  He reflected on his sensei's words.  "Let the others fear.  It is good for them.  Let it motivate them.  Let it separate the courageous from the cowardly.  You are neither.  To the Hida, to the Hiruma, you are as stone.  When you accompany them into the Shadowlands, what do you imagine will happen when they see fear from the Kuni?  You who know the secrets of the enemy, their strengths, their weaknesses, their tricks?  The day you show fear, Kuni Akira, is the day you get your brothers killed."

Akira often felt he had learned this lesson all too well, for once you learn to hide the fear, you start instinctively hiding the joy and everything else as well.  But he knew Kuni Yori was right.  The kami need your actions, he thought, not your emotions.  Reflect on yourself some other time.

The shugenja adjusted and sat with legs crossed in the same spot where he had fallen moments ago.  He placed his palms down on the grass beneath him, fingers splayed out to feel the tender caress of the grass.  In a well-practiced routine, he closed his eyes and allowed his mind to rid itself of its constant musing.  He focused instead on what he could feel in the world, such as how the sun's early rays warmed his face while the morning dew subtly chilled him through his robes.

He meditated for hours.  He kept himself anchored in the moment, focusing on how the ground felt as it too was warmed by the sun or how his vision had turned from black to shades of red and orange as the daylight penetrated his eyelids.  Eventually, his mind stopped separating the grass and the soil from himself.  He had found that perfect moment.  Separating his lips only as much as was required, Akira offered a prayer to the kami he had long since learned by heart.

As he concluded the prayer, he felt acknowledgement and agreement from the kami of the garden.  A heartbeat later the shugenja sank below the surface of the lawn and descended into the stone.  It was in this setting that he would entreat with the great power that stirred below.

"It is my charge to aid you, Namazu Daimyojin."  Akira spoke softly, knowing the Rumbling Lord would have no trouble hearing his words in this space.

"I am shugenja, I am Kuni, and I exist to be an extension of the kami."  The shugenja had paused for a full minute between sentences and spoke with a measured pace.  He knew earth kami well and knew the easiest way to displease them was to be in a hurry.

"My place among the mortals is to seek out imbalances and make right what was made wrong."  Again, he paused.  He counted heartbeats until it was time to speak again.

"Speak to me of that which imbalances you, Namazu Daimyojin, and I shall make right what has been made wrong."

Kuni Akira had descended into stone to speak with Otosan Uchi's resident Earth Kami.  He knew the fear was there.  You cannot survive on the Wall without becoming intimately familiar with it.  But his training was never about ignoring fear, for no mortal is truly fearless.  "The day you show fear, Kuni Akira, is the day you get your brothers killed."  No, the lessons were about acknowledging the fear and setting it aside.

I am as stone, he thought, listening intently to the sound of his own measured breathing.  I am as stone.
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PostSubject: Re: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:09 am

All at once a fury unlike anything Akira had ever felt slammed into his disembodied form. The earth did not move, not physically, but the Kuni knew that it would.

And soon.

YOU...SHOULD...FEAR...ME.

Akira felt a pressure on his mind like a Hida warrior had backhanded him with a tetsubo. He felt the fear struggling to rise, clawing from deep inside the well of his soul like a drowning man for the surface of the water.

THE...RUMBLING...LORD...WILL...NOT...BE...DENIED!

The Kuni's mind flooded with images. The great and terrible kami was trying to speak to him.

Leaves drifted lazily to the earth, aged, crumbled to dust, and soaked into the surface.

A thousand burning ants crawled through his skin, tearing holes in his flesh.

Four beings stood in balance around a burning sun. Two men. Two women. And then one of the women was gone, her placed filled with a screaming hole.

WHERE...IS...SHE?

The earth shook again and outside the Oni Warai, a steam belched forth. Noxious fumes from the bowels of the earth rolled out and made sick any who partook of their wicked scent.

Akira knew with sudden clarity that while he may not yet understand what was going on, something had drawn the wrath of the earth's displeasure. It was tired of waiting. It didn't seem to know how to get what it desired. Where to find it. Where to even look.

So it was going to tear everything down and sift through the rubble.


OOC:
I really like your response above. You are absolutely getting into the feel of this whole shugenja thing.

Bravo.

Mechanical Notes:
- You need to roll against Fear. This is a Raw Willpower Roll, but you add your total Honor Rank to the end result. You may spend Void.
- You may roll Lore: Elements (Earth or Otosan Uchi emphasis) at TN 15 (plus Raises) to try to understand more. Feel free to ask questions.
- If you want to try to speak to the Rumbling Lord, you will use Lore: Elements (Earth or Otosan Uchi)/Willpower to make your voice heard.

You should be able to use Orokos to make your rolls. You will need to make an account on the site. You can register here: Register Here

When you make a roll please label the campaign slot as The Father's Home so it's easier for me to find the results.

Formatting on the website:

2#4d10r1o10k4+5
This is an example of 4k4+5 with an emphasis, rolled twice.

2# = Roll everything after this twice.
4d10 = Rolling 4 10 sided dice
r1 = Reroll 1s (has to be placed in that particular spot)
o10 = 10s Explode (has to be placed in that particular spot)
k4 = keep 4 of the dice
+5 = add 5 to the end result

Other examples:
- 8d10o10k4 (8k4, no emphasis, no bonus)
- 5#10d10r1o10k10+10 (10k10+10 with emphasis, rolled 5 times)


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PostSubject: Re: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:03 pm

This situation is far worse than I anticipated.  I need to buy some time.

He knew he wouldn't have much time to get his point across and he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold out against such aggression. But for the sake of the Father's Home, and the Empire itself, he had to try. Still, he couldn't rush his words or all of this would be for naught.

"Consider, oh Rumbling Lord, the great works of creation which rest upon your shoulders.  Crafters both great and small labor to give form to your gifts of wood and stone, and they venerate you with their works."

"Your strength is unequaled; your fury absolute.  Nothing will be left of Otosan Uchi and, without question, all that has been created will be destroyed."

"But you are the paragon of patience, Namazu Daimyojin.  As your servant, I implore you leave your fury contained a while longer."

"Instead, let me act as an embodiment of your power.  Let me give purpose to your rage."

"I will work tirelessly to find her. I will locate those responsible for this transgression."

"And when I do, I shall give them but a taste of what it means to cross the Rumbling Lord."

OOC:
Resisting Fear: Willpower 50, 5k5+2, 1 Void Point
Understanding Vision: Lore: Elements (Earth)/Intelligence 37, 7k4, 2 Raises
Communicating: Lore: Elements (Earth)/Willpower 40, 7k4, 2 Raises

Chris, I sent links for each roll directly to your FB since the forums won't let me post w/ links at this time.
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PostSubject: Re: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:12 am

For an age, the Rumbling Lord did not respond. The pressure on Akira's soul did not relent, but neither did it increase.

He was not crushed.

PATIENCE...THE EARTH...IS...PATIENCE.

The Kuni felt the rage of an earthquake build, and build, and build...and finally subside.

YOU...UNDERSTAND...THE EARTH...THE RUMBLING LORD...GRANTS...YOU...TIME.

Akira felt a violent rush of energy and found himself hurtling out of the earth at the lip of the Oni Warai. Ejected, he rolled towards the edge and slid to a stop, face dangling out over the great chasm.

The earth had given him time.

But it would not be much.

OOC:
Fear Resisted! Though you note that as the intensity of the earthquake grows, so too does the effect of fear.

Understanding Vision:
- Akira understands that the falling leaves refers to the Rumbling Lord himself. The earth spirit of Otosan Uchi represents the season of Autumn/Fall. Akira already knows that the Fire spirit is Summer, and the Air spirit (the one trapped) is Winter. This leaves the great water spirit as the spirit of Spring.
- Akira understands the fiery ants to most likely be the cultists or some other human force creating new tunnels beneath the city of Otosan Uchi. This angers the Rumbling Lord immensely.
- The two men/two women are the Spirits of Otosan Uchi. Air/Water are female and Earth/Fire are male. The empty hole is the captive Spirit of Winter.

Communicating Rolls: See post above for RP. OOC, the Rumbling Lord granted you 1 month per raise before his rage will be felt. You have two months (the dawn of Spring) before he will shake the city to its core.


I'm not sure what admin thing I can do to let you post links now. I don't see anything on the admin panel to just remove the restriction.


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PostSubject: Re: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:13 pm

The shugenja rose. Slowly. As he stood, he smoothed out his robes and adjusted himself. He looked down into the Oni Warai for what seemed like forever, reflecting on the last few hours of his life. He came to the conclusion that he had spent enough time in the Karada, so he turned from the precipice and began the long walk to his home in the Chisei. He felt drained. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. He needed a quiet place, some tea, and a little time to reflect.

I wonder if my new colleagues are resilient enough to learn that the entirety of Otosan Uchi has but two months left to exist if we cannot find the missing Mother of Winter? It is not my place to keep such details from them, so I suppose I'll find out soon enough.

Didn't Usagi-san say that he makes maps? I should have a chat with him on the specifics of cartography, as I think that is a skill I will be in need of shortly.

Who would capture the Winter Kami? What could they possibly hope to gain by doing so? How could they be so short-sighted as to not anticipate the consequences?

Akira had gained great insight from this exchange but he walked away from the Oni Warai dissatisified. Answers rarely seem to bring satisfaction. More often than not, they tend to deliver more questions. He felt confident he was in for a long night.
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PostSubject: Re: (Akira) The Oni Warai   Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Closed, I think.

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