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 (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker

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PostSubject: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:45 pm

Lord Ejio,

I have the privelage of informing you that the House of Miya seeks your attention in the matter of arranged marriage. Just this day I have received a missive from Miya Zerachi, Hatamoto to the Lady Keppon, with a declaration that she wishes the arrangements to move forward.

Normally I would not proffer information to my 'opponent' before the negotiations begin, but it has been impressed upon me quite vigorously by the Lady Keppon that this match be made without hesitation. The Miya Princess is quite earnest.

I need not explain to you the importance of appeasing a young Imperial lady who sees what she wants. It is my dearest hope that we can come to swift arrangements.

The matter of dowry can be negotiated through the normal channels. However, the bride price to be paid by the Ashidaka for Miya Keppon to join their house has been explicitly stated to me by Zerachi.

Miya Keppon demands no less than that the first dozen swords crafted by Ashidaka Koutetsu after the harmonious date of their marriage be gifted to the Miya House. Furthermore, she requires that all twelve blades be considered comparable in quality and magnificence to the vaunted Kakita Swords. It is the Lady Keppon's utmost desire to have these twelve blades represent a new tradition and connection between the House of Miya and the House of Ashidaka.

Otomo Nizomi
Imperial Nakado for the Miya House
[Chop of the Otomo Daimyo]



OOC:
- If you succeed in meeting her demands her Devotion as an Ally will increase to 4.

Related Post - Keppon Rendezvous

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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:42 pm

Kyle Patrick Smith
The Juramashi district was a place they couldn't quite leave behind. It was the birthplace of their rise to power where they became the men they were today. Koutetsu became intimately familiar with the district during his tenor as governor and Ejio seemed to have several enterprises throughout. So, when the swordsmith was invited out to tea by his friend, he knew exactly where they were dining. The quiet, out of the way tea house was a diamond in the rough. The Shiba proprietess ran a smooth business and while it lacked the renown of other reputable tea houses, it was readily a higher quality establishment. He liked the quiet atmosphere it provided, a welcome reprieve from his hectic day to day responsibilities.

The so-called Blade of Execution arrived at the tea house where a servant expecting his arrival escorted him to a private room to take tea with Ejio. Dressed in the splendid silks of the Crane cut in a warrior's fashion, Koutetsu struck the regal Kakita lordling he aspired to be. While he lacked the pedigree of Crane beauty, he was a ruggedly handsome man in his own right. He had far more definition from working a forge on a daily basis and the scars that came with it.

He greeted Ejio with a bow. "Ejio-san, a pleasure to see you as always," he warmly spoke. "I hope the Fortunes smile on you today."

Jason Weeks
Ejio returned the smile with a genuine smile of his own, the initial bow enough to draw the artisan from his typical reverie when left to himself. His reply was flippant and arrogant as usual but somehow less annoying than when the two were first introduced.

Jason Weeks
"The Fortunes always smile upon me. Their favored child gives them little reason for displeasure."

He bowed from his place at the table and gestured for Koutetsu to join him at the table.

"I hope you don't mind but I have had them bring the tea already since our honored proprietor has our preferences well memorized and well-stocked."

Jason Weeks
Ejio waited only a moment for Koutetsu to sit before continuing.

"So tell me of your pursuits, Koutetsu-san. How do they fare?"

Kyle Patrick Smith
The Crane swordsmith took a position of seiza across from Ejio where he carefully smoothed his hakama beneath himself. Koutetsu inclined his head to his cousin and adjusted his daisho; he laid his katana out by his side and offered Ejio a smile. With a nod he gestured to the artisan.

"You have an impeccable taste in tea. I am sure if Kyomori-chan recalls our visits, the selection will be fine," Koutetsu murmured.

As if on que the Phoenix had their order of tea brought to them. The Ashidaka took the initiative and poured for them.

"Agasha-san and I are continuing our work on the Hanabi Blade," Koutetsu informed his dear friend. "I dare say it will be my finest work yet, dwarfing the quality of the sword resting in the Tower."

Jason Weeks
"That will be a sight well worth the wait. And of course, disappointing that it will not be on display as it deserves. Perhaps when you create the blade for the statue, it will be of similar quality?"

Ejio did not wait for an answer, knowing that Koutetsu would never fail to produce an amazing blade. Instead he pushed on to the next topic. after a small sip.
"And your meeting with Keppon?"

Kyle Patrick Smith
"Similar, if not better. I strive to push myself and my craft, creating works that test my own skill and potential," the swordsmith spoke, his voice excited yet tempered. "I delivered a sword to the Tower for display. It was the work before my current project and surely worthy of a lord."

After a sip from his tea cup he looked to Ejio. "Our meeting was... Unique," Koutetsu confessed. "The Lady Keppon wished to visit the Candle House. In my correspondence with a retainer of her household, it was impressed upon me how easily bored she found herself in other's company.

"The Lady stoked my ire after her yojimbo insisted I remove my daisho. She alluded I would never harm her, less my house fall into ruin. Admittedly, the suggestion was sore and after she confessed boredom to my retelling of the acquisition of the Candle House... I drew my sword."

He raised his hand to continue so that he would not be interrupted.

"I assured her my sincerity. I planted the sword in the floorboard before her. The Twilight Blade. I then assured her I would never harm her; the sword had slain Seppun Kossori, Kakita Chi-Yomi and Kaiu Metsumoto in the breadth of one night. A sword that took the lives of the guilty and she had nothing to worry about.
"So, with the sword before her I revealed to her, beneath the tatami, where the late Chi-Yomi died; her blood still stains the floor boards. I would never harm her... But I would never have her question my ability to do so. In short order I drew the ire of her travel advisor yet Keppon relented in leaving.

"She wrote me a letter, in fact."

With that he produced a ciphered letter. "I can't read this for the life of me... Can you?"

Jason Weeks
Ejio smirked slightly at the retelling, amusement more than alarm radiating from him even at the drawing of the blade. Though not his own tactic in that situation, the artisan was sure that it was effective in grabbing Keppon's undivided attention.

When the letter was offered, he took it for a few moments and frowned. A look of determination settled upon his features even as a snort of annoyance escaped him. With reluctance, he took a small bottle of what appeared to be liquid flame and upended it between his lips. Ejio's features contorted as he consumed the kami blessed concoction, a preternatural focus settling in his eyes even as he smirked again.

"That was... unusual. And will cost me dearly to replace, unfortunately."

A quick glance over the paper and the Doji lord burst into laughter, setting the paper down as he shook. His words came out clear but full of mirth.
"It seems I am to arrange a tryst for you, you devil. Lady Keppon wants to see you privately. I will have it arranged by the end of the week so as to not keep you two lovers apart for too long."

Kyle Patrick Smith
The swordsmith furrowed his brow in confusion. It was clear Koutetsu did not register what Ejio said. "Wait... What?" He blinked, thrown off guard by the impropriety of his suggestion. The Ashidaka did not associate himself with trysts, private encounters and lovers. By all accounts he conducted himself as a just and honorable man.

"I... I don't get it. Seriously, what did it say?"

Jason Weeks
Ejio calmed enough to smooth out his face, taking on a very serious, somber tone as he read the note verbatim.

"Meet me in private at the Tower House. Ensure Ejio makes the arrangements. I applaud you for being either resourceful or canny enough to decipher this. Let us see what you earned for your troubles."

Ejio then looked up and attempted to keep a straight face but a smirk bent his lips despite his "best" efforts.

"It seems that your princess is in a Tower, my friend. Remember, romance can be just as deadly as everything else in this city. Fortunately, it is generally more fun."

Kyle Patrick Smith
He gave Ejio a look that could kill and plucked the letter from his hands. Once again he tried to read the letter but found it was just as perplexing as before. "I don't see how subtle threats, intimidation and tales of violence inspire romance," Koutetsu murmured as he stared blankly at the ciphered words. It annoyed him to no end that he could not read it.

"She's smarter than I anticipated," he admitted. "She has a fire few possess. That intrigues me... When you first introduced me to her, I thought she was little more than a pompous Imperial. Well, she's at least an *intelligent* pompous Imperial..."

Jason Weeks
Ejio waved away the look and relinquished the letter without contest, his amusement remaining plain on his face.

"What inspires us to rise to the occasion is different for us all. The trick is learning what it is and putting it to use when it is appropriate. And yes, she is very intelligent. And pompous. It is difficult to not be when your every whim is catered to so the fascinating moments are when you are not. Then again, that isn't a gambit I would use every time."

Doji Ejio brought the tea to his lips but put it back down slowly.

"I can arrange this for you fairly easily. I already have an idea if you wish me to put it to action. You can ignore her if you wish, of course."

Kyle Patrick Smith
"You told me before she is a good benefit to my future. I would be loathe to dismiss an ally while fighting for my birthright. Heavens be damned, I feel like the only person invested in my future," Koutetsu reasoned. There was a touch of resignation in his voice. So, with a laborious sigh he looked into his teacup and contemplated the man he found within.

"I'll do it."

Jason Weeks
"Splendid! It is going to be so much fun!"

He blinked the frowned as if a thought hit him.

"Kinotu can't come. People always tend to die when he comes to my parties. But I digress. I will send out the invitations tomorrow, the party will be at the end of the week. Oh, on the note of this betrothal in the making, I have been asked to be the nakodo on your behalf. Keppon has already made her demand for the bridal price."
Ejio's face became truly serious as he moved forward with the conversation, knowing the fate of Koutetsu's sensei and the affect her servitude to the imperial families had on both master and student.

"She wants the first twelve blades you make after the marriage to be given to the Miya family. They are to rival the famed Kakita blades, which I know is well within your abilities. She says this is non-negotiable but there is probably some room to sway her if you are not amenable to this request. You are right, however. If this marriage happens, you will become her project. She will lift you and support you. Anger you and give you reason to draw breath. She is intelligent and passionate and though spoiled beyond compare, she knows who she is and what she is capable of doing."

Kyle Patrick Smith
He furrowed his brow at Ejio's revelation. The Crane was making a name for himself as a nakodo - he arranged Kinotu to Shinjo Hayasu, offered to help him with his sisters Ichiko and Niko and was dealing with his own nuptials. So, hearing Keppon had expressed interest in him wasn't what he anticipated yet it readily intrigued him. Koutetsu quirked his mouth and looked to the Doji with a touch of uncertainty.

"Just so we are clear, we are talking about the same Imperial, yes?"

Apparently, some women liked intimidation, threats of violence of bloody tales. When Ejio spoke about the bride price Koutetsu nearly spit out his tea. He had to quickly compose himself thereafter.

"Twelve? Heavens, it takes half a year to forge a Kakita Blade and while I have not attempted the task, I do know the secrets," the Ashidaka spoke warily. "Regardless... That is... At most six years worth of work. Who are these swords even supposed to go to? I am not just a mere swordsmith, I'm an artist. In my current position, I do not have the time to devote to my craft in the way I would wish."

Jason Weeks
"There is this to consider: you were already going to be spending the majority of your life making blades. It is your calling. I have little true knowledge of the art or any personal way to make such a judgement but I have heard whispers from those I trust to know such things that you may be the best swordsmith to wield a hammer in this generation and possibly the adjoining ones. With this agreement, you would at least know where your blades were going. Perhaps we could add a clause stating that you get to interview and make the final decision on the recipients?"

Kyle Patrick Smith
"There is no doubt I will work a forge until the day I retire, if not into my retirement, but twelve swords is still a large commission without context. A Kakita Blade is only forged at the request of the Crane Champion. In this lifetime, that would be your honored father. The swords are true and glorious works of art. Before now I have made nothing of compare... Even the magnificent blade resting in the Tower now is not nearly as grand as what she is asking for. While I am sure the Hanabi Blade will surpass its predecessor, I wonder who is deserving of a greater steel family? I'd like to understand the rhyme and reason to such a lofty request."

He rambled on at great length and finally paused to breathe. Koutetsu exhaled and tried to explain himself. "I will happily forge her a sword, if not several, but I would never commit to a dozen unless the intended are deserving. Is this a political ploy? I have no desire to be indebted. My master went mad forging 200 lesser quality blades..."

Jason Weeks
Ejio nodded as he listened, understanding the depth of the request and the strain it put on his friend. He was prepared to accept or decline the offer as Koutetsu wished and would help with finding other options if necessary.

"I can ask for you and see what I can find out about the request and the intended recipients. I can also simply decline and see what we can offer in place of the blades. I do believe that at least one blade should be in the deal to honor her inclusion into the Crane."

Kyle Patrick Smith
"How many swords is she worth? Its hard to put a value on a sword, a bride of her caliber and art," the swordsmith considered. "I am not saying no... But art is not creating the same thing, over and over. If she wants twelve, she can tall to me personally."
talk*

Jason Weeks
"I think that can be arranged. I do think we can bring it down from twelve, however. I don't believe the number has significance to her, but I may be wrong. As to how many is she worth, that my friend, I don't think I will be able to answer until after you give me details from this next meeting."

Ejio made only a token effort to hide his smile as he drank deeply from the tea before him.

Kyle Patrick Smith
"The Miya family are traditionally not one for swords in their duty to the Emperor," Koutetsu remarked. "So, I only imagine if she is as clever as I think, she has plans. But I'm tired of being to the whims of others. We'll have words..."

He wrinkled his nose.

"I won't draw my sword again, however."

Jason Weeks
"She will be terribly disappointed...."

Kyle Patrick Smith
"People tend to die when I bare steel. I shouldn't press her luck."

Jason Weeks
Ejio muttered into his cup, amused by the unintended euphemism and uncertain that Koutetsu would even pick up on his meaning.

"And she is more clever than you think she is, but that doesn't mean that her plans are in contradiction to yours. It is worth investigating."

Kyle Patrick Smith
"Arrange it then. We'll figure it from here I suppose."

Jason Weeks
"As you say, Kou-san."

Ejio drained his tea and stood, bowing politely to his friend and then exiting to begin preparations for the party.
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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:24 am

OOC:

Please keep me posted on this. Let me know when it is through. I am unlikely to read it all the way through until you guys finish up.

Ping me so I know what's what!


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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:14 am

OOC: Koutetsu and Ejio's exchange is concluded.
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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:59 am

Lady Nizomi,

I am honored to be able to discuss such matters with so skilled a practitioner. I hope to learn a great deal from our discussions and look forward to meeting you in person. If you are amenable, I would love for you to visit the Tower House so that we may discuss the finer aspects of culture in a more personal manner.

I agree that we can discuss the dowry in a more traditional setting. I also agree that pleasing the princess is definitely something to accomplish with as much haste as possible. As such, I have already discussed with the honorable Ashidaka Koutetsu the terms Lady Keppon has set forth. He is amenable to her price but it does come with a reasonable caveat that I am sure both yourself and the Lady can agree upon given the nature of such wondrous blades. Before each sword is to be undertaken, Koutetsu-san is to be given an interview with the intended recipient. If he does not judge the person worthy of such a blade, then another recipient will be chosen. If the intended recipient is not available when the blade is completed, the sword will revert to the Kakita.

Now I believe that there are nothing but the most honorable and deserving samurai within the Miya family so this should be a simple matter. Koutetsu is simply following the traditions of his family and his clan when blades of such value are given. The Crane are incredibly particular about who carries a Kakita Blade and even then, some have fallen into disreputable hands and had to be cleansed. Lady Keppon's desired match just want to see with his own eyes that the incredible effort and time he will be investing into these blades is matched by incredible individuals.

We can continue to correspond through letters if you wish or we can meet for tea. I know a few wonderful locations as sadly my skills at the art of the tea ceremony are dreadfully lacking. I hope to hear from you soon.

Doji Ejio
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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:40 am

Lord Ejio,
 
It would be my most delighted honor to attend an evening at your famed Tower House. I find myself with time to spare every fourth evening when I place my assistant in charge of the affairs of our lady.
 
As to the matter of swords, please do understand that the Miya are fully cognizant of the value and investment that goes into the making of the wondrous Kakita blades. Miya Keppon-sama would not otherwise have considered the request otherwise.
 
As to your stipulation, you may eagerly inform the Ashidaka that the Miya shall always place each sacred item in the hands of the most deserving of souls. The requirement Koutetsu-san wishes to put in place is acceptable because the Miya do not intend to maintain complete control over the blades created. The Miya are a generous family as shown by our distribution of the Emperor’s Blessing each year. You will find the family to be no less generous with the remarkable blades Koutetsu-san will make.
 
Each blade will find a waiting hero chosen from the clans, Great and Minor, or from amongst the Imperial Legions, and in rare cases from amongst the honorable wave men. Each chosen figure will be presented to the Ashidaka on behalf of the Miya to carry the newfound Miya blades in honor of the Imperial family. You will find it rare that an actual Miya shall lay hands upon the blades except when the time comes to collect them from any hero who can no longer justifiably carry the burden. At that time the Miya shall hold the blades in trust until a new hero can be chosen from the Emerald Empire.
 
If the Ashidaka does not find these terms acceptable, please inform him that the negotiations between Keppon-sama and himself will be, reluctantly, ended.
 
I look forward to our time together.
 
Nizomi

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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:32 pm

Lady Nizomi,

It sounds like both we and our parties are in agreement. I will inform Lord Koutetsu of his good fortune. The rest of the details can be arranged later.

I have included a formal invitation to a performance/party to be held at the Tower House at the end of this week. If you are not too busy, I believe it would be the perfect opportunity for you to meet me and see the marvels of the artisans here in Otosan Uchi. I hope to see you there.

Ejio
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PostSubject: Re: (Ejio) Matchmaker, Matchmaker   Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:38 pm

Believe this is continuing over in the party.

Can open a new one if we need later.

End Scene

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