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 (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks

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PostSubject: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:27 am

Two samurai stood alone in the central barracks of the Chisei District. Ashidaka Koutetsu, son of the Kakita, stood on one side of the empty tatami floor. As the karo (chief advisor) in charge of the defense of the Chisei it was up to him to learn the military strength of his subordinates.

Across from him stood the previous occupant of his position, Daidoji Aidogo. The rough-looking samurai wore a simple kimono, sleeves absent, bare arms exposed. Dozens of scars rode up and down those heavily-muscled arms and not for the first time Koutetsu regretted the decision to spar.

Aidogo had once served the previous Chisei governor, Kakita Foruku. Koutetsu had looked into the matter and discovered that Aidogo had a strong sense of hero-worship for his former lord and the two remained close to this day. Apparently, in years past, Foruku had "rescued" Aidogo from a backwater Kakita province and pulled the man from obscurity to the Imperial City.

From what he had learned, Koutetsu had a strong suspicion that Daidoji Aidogo might not have been born a samurai.

First, there was his demeanor. Less that of a trained soldier, Aidogo's attitude felt more akin to the rough-and-tumble peasant brawlers known to that province.

Second was his tattoos. At first, Koutetsu had dismissed the strange kanji on the backs of Aidogo's hands as a simple affectation. But as the days went on and he asked about, he soon discovered that those symbols were common for the street gangs in heimin villages in many coastal regions. The kanji stood for "Force" and "Violence" in a crude heimin adaptation of the High Rokugani language.

Third and final was Aidogo's total lack of desire to use a blade. The man carried the twin swords of the samurai and Koutetsu knew he was proficient enough to stand his own. Yet, anytime the opportunity allowed, the Daidoji warrior stood fast with bare fists in lieu of those blades.

Hence his current predicament.

The Daidoji warrior bowed with proper obeisance, but Koutetsu could see in his eyes that his respect was minimal.

How could he turn this man from his worship of a weak lord and gain his loyalty?

Knuckles cracked. Biceps flexed. Koutetsu and Aidogo began to circle.



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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:04 am

"You know," Koutetsu spoke in a husky voice as he circled Aidogo, "I was met with an Otomo Nishige. The Imperial happened across me shortly after we first met." The Crane, dressed in simple dojo attire, was highly aware of Aidogo's superior strength and endurance. However, for what he lacked in strength and endurance, he made up for in grace, speed and intellect. He knew he could readily outsmart his hulking opponent and conversation was just the means. Mind games were an important aspect of fighting he could take advantage of against Aidogo.

"Do you know what he told me?"

Koutetsu purposely did not make a move against the Daidoji. He maintained a circle with the man, keeping him within range of his bokken but out of range of the man's arms. He needed to continuously maintain a distance that would always provide him with the upper hand.

"He said I should remove you from your post," Koutetsu spoke carefully.

He searched the man's eyes for any sort of response to his words.

"He said you did not deserve your post due to some imagine inferior breeding. Nishige appears to be a haughty man, firmly rooted in believing only men born of great heritage deserve great position. How does this make you feel?"

Like a game of go, he started the mind games with a few well appointed words.

"I disagreed with the man," Koutetsu confessed. "A man who can perform his duties is fit for his station. I believe I have no reason to think you are not capable of serving admirably. I even would spit the man by keeping you as my second in command. Am I wrong in this choice?

"Are you the capable man I need by my side here in Chisei, Aidogo-san?"
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:55 pm

“Is this the Kakita style? Bore me to death with words so I can’t pin you down?”

Aidogo circled like a massive tiger, eyes locked on Koutetsu’s movements, his arms, his feet, his body position. Anywhere except the other man’s face.  

“Foruku warned me about Nishige,” the Daidoji shifted suddenly and the dance of movement began to circle the opposite direction. “Said when I was in charge of the district that Nishige would make his moves. Foruku warned me about you, too. Highborn son of a Kakita lord, spend most of your time flattering and getting others to do your work.”  

The eyes lie.

Aidogo remembered the words of his father in the back alley streets of the Kakita province.

The samurai lie with their eyes and their lips. Their honeyed tongues promise and promise, but only their swords deliver. Watch the hands, boy. Remember, when the time comes the only truths they understand are force and violence.

“Force and violence,” Aidogo whispered.

He lunged forward all muscle and terrible speed, thick fingers grasping for the Kakita’s neck, but Koutetsu was too fast.



OOC:
Koutetsu attempts to manipulate Aidogo into believing that he owes Koutetsu.
- Courtier (Koutetsu) 38
- Etiquette(Courtesy)/Willpower 25
GM Note: I typed Awareness for Aidogo, but his Willpower is also 3, so it works. Also, Koutetsu used the Glory House Rule and "spent" a box of Glory to gain +6 to his roll.

Result: Koutetsu shifts Aidogo's mood one step closer towards an obligatory feel.
GM Note: You will want to continue doing this as the contest goes on. Raises can make the obligation feel greater.


Combat
Initiative:
- Koutetsu 43
- Aidogo 23

Round 1
1st: Koutetsu TN 39
2nd: Aidogo Grapple Attempt 19 (Fail)
GM Note: I was going to do a 2nd attack, then remembered that initiating a Grapple is a Complex action.

Result: Shown above in the RP. Feel free to add your own post as well.


Finally, we'll do another round of back and forth RP then do Round 2 attacks.



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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:09 pm

"Your former master is a very intelligent man. When I met with him he seemed keen to take advantage of a situation. However, he is mistaken in me: I expect nothing to be handed to me. I am a swordsmith and I have no apprentice; my hands work steel without aide from any other. A lord I may be, but I am a vassal of the Kakita - a servant just like you," the Crane swordsmith intoned with resolute conviction.

He stepped aside and merely let the Daidoji go tumbling by when he tried to grapple him. The Ashidaka shook his head. "Force and violence only get you so far, my friend, but sometimes intellect and grace allow you to survive. We both know you are a powerful man."

He gently appealed to the man's sense of self worth. After all, simple men had simple desires. The Lordling watched the tiger of a man intently, curious how he would continue.

"I would be wary of Nishige. Without me, he will cut you down like wheat. I'll be sure to stall his advances but they can only last so long. Unless we see eye to eye, we find a common ground, he will destroy you. I will oppose him and stir his ire, but I need your strength if he has the gall to move against us."

He was poisd to paint Nishige as an enemy and himself as an ally to Aidogo. It seemed so easy to him, too - the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It was sweeter sense it was all truth. The Ashidaka nodded and circled the beast of a man, bokken in hand as he maintained his defense.

Courtier (Mnipulation) 46, 1 Raise
Armor TN 38, Full Defense
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:11 am

Force and violence is all they understand.

Daidoji Aidogo growled furiously as the Kakita dodged his attacks. The fury inside rose up and threatened to consume him, but he forced it down.

The Kakita was talking. Aidogo listened and a part of him urged caution, urged him to consider the words.

He shook his head.

Nothing but force and violence, my boy.

But this samurai apparently didn't speak the same language.

Aidogo would have to try harder.



Etiquette (Courtesy) 21 (Fail)
- 2 successes with 1 Raise. Working him down.

Aidogo Full Attack to try to Grapple 49 (Success)

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:31 am

Shit.

He angered Aidogo enough to send him into a fury. Unfortunately, the Daidoji was lucky enough to grasp him. Well, that had been exactly what he wanted. However, he wanted to last a fair bit longer and monopolize upon Aidogo's recklessness. With a huff Koutetsu dropped the bokken and began to wrest with the larger man in an attempt to break the grapple.

"You're strong," Koutetsu growled. "I can see why Foruku kept you around. There is a time and place for everything; for force and violence. While the time for words has passed, you must never forget how valuable a word can be."

He grunted as he attempt to move away from Aidogo but to no avail.

"I was an executioner. A word can be the finality of death, the head beneath an executioner's sword. But if you cannot speak those words, you are doomed to be the sword.

"Tell me, Aidogo-san, what would you rather be: the man who orders death or the man whom delivers it? I can show you what it means to be both. You can transcend what you were, what you are and become something more."

Courtier (Manipulation) 44, 1 Raise
Opposed Grapple 12
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:52 am

Strong? I am the strongest!

Kouetetsu felt his arms twist as the Daidoji manipulated the limbs into a painful twist. Aidogo's face snarled down into the Ashidaka's.

"Foruku said what you say. He said that one day," a powerful lurch sent shocks of pain up Koutetsu's spine, "I would take command of the Defense of the Ekohikei. That I would take Akodo Matoko's position."

Aidogo snarled and spit flew into Koutetsu's eyes. "I want that. I want to become something more. But I won't betray Foruku, Ashidaka. I won't!"

Etiquette Resist 33 (Fail)
- 3 Total Raises against Aidogo

Aidogo Grapple Control 44 (Win); Damage: 26

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:20 pm

"If you break my arms, you'll never be anything more," Koutetsu warned.

"But if you want to surpass Matoko, you'll have to defeat her first. She has designs to destroy me. If you can defeat her, everyone will know you are more capable and deserving of the position," Koutetsu grunted. The Crane wasn't sure if he could last longer. Aidogo had surely popped something out of his socket. He feebly moved within the Daidoji's grasp.

"I'm not sure how much of a friend Foruku truly is. He left you here to serve me instead of bringing you to his court. Friend or not, all I ask is you serve me. A man can have two masters and see for himself who treats him better."

Courtier (Manipulation) 31, 1 Raise
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:29 pm

The Daidoji wrenched Koutetsu’s arms up and for a moment the Ashidaka was certain his shoulders were about to give. Something would snap and he would scream or possibly black out. It would be better if he blacked out.

“Defeat her?” Aidogo relaxed his grip and shoved Koutetsu away, eyes narrowed.

“You speak some truth, about Foruku I mean,” Aidogo cracked his knuckles and pursed his lips in annoyance. “I won’t betray him, but he does this sometimes. He leaves me and expects me to remain loyal. Well, I will, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get help from you, too.”

Aidogo grinned and for some reason Koutetsu imagined a bear lifting up its face from a bloody meal.

“How do I defeat her, Kakita-sama? I’m shit with dueling and she’s not likely to face me here, like this.” Aidogo sneered at that and looked at the backs of his brutal hands. At the tattoos and cracked fingernails. He looked back up at Koutetsu and the Ashidaka knew he had him.

“How?”

OOC:
With four raises you have persuaded Aidogo to consider your approach. You know that as long as you don’t suggest to him that he do anything he would perceive as betraying Kakita Foruku, he will be malleable to your suggestions.

Especially if they further his goal to becoming the Command of the Armies of the Ekohikei.

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:45 pm

"When I was investigating the Kenka Murab beneath the Chisei District, Akodo Matoko murdered Kasuga Serizawa," Koutetsu expained. "Given she brought a legion against us, I have no doubt she will use a legion again. In the heart of battle, something you know better than I, the rules of a duel can be dismissed. When the day comes I am sure you will find an opportunity to face her, swords or fisticuffs."

He nodded as he sat down and let out a pant. He felt as if the man were about to break his spine. He would surely need to be seen by a physician; his arms ached from the way Aidogo twisted hie arms. He grunted and nodded to the man as he felt confident he had won a measure of strength.

"I don't care who you call your friends. I simply ask for your respect and loyalty while you serve me and I will return respect and duty to you. Matoko has pissed away her honor as far as I'm concerned so when the time comes, you'll know how to face her. If you defeat her, her troops are like to cease the fighting and you'll be in a better position to usurp her command."

He exhaled and stood with another grunt. "Now, have you had rice today? Sake might help nurse my wounds," he murmured. Sake would help njrse his ego, too.
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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:11 am

Aidogo listened with the calm intensity of a man soaking information slowly. He stretched, not bothered at all by the minor bout.

"If she killed anyone in the Kenka Murab Akodo Matoko holds no legal fault. The entire organization is technically illegal." The Daidoji bared his teeth in what might have been a smile or a threat of mastication.

"But if she went after the Mondai Ketsu there is certain to be a fight. If you're involved, I could be involved. You might be right."

Aidogo chuckled and lifted a towel. He threw it to the Kakita.

"Yes, I know a perfect place for sake. The Field of Sharp Returns is known for its tea, but Ryoju doesn't waste a chance to brew. Let's go, me and you. I think we've earned a drink."

OOC:
- The Field of Sharp Returns is detailed in the Otosan Uchi Book 2, pp33-35

Scene Closed?

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PostSubject: Re: (Koutetsu) A Bear in the Barracks   Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:44 am

"I make no illusion to my interest in the Mondai Ketsu. I fact, I think you would benefit from their connection. Kitsune Sojin would be interested in a man of your caliber," Koutetsu remarked. He nodded to Aidogo and rose, his joints and bones popping unceremoniously from their fight.

"But yes, its clear she was after a member of the Mondai Ketsu, myself and several others," he further explained. "If you stick near me, I'm sure the lion will bare her teeth again. Your opportunity is likely quick to rise for it. I killed her daughter, she is wanton for revenge." He shrugged, indifferent towards the Matsu's death. At that point in time he stopped regretting his actions. She was dead and he was alive, and it was by his hand and her folly for provoking it.

"Yes, sake. Something to ease these aches..."

With a new level of respect for Aidogo, Koutetsu joined his subordinate.

END SCENE
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