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  #1  
Old Nov 12th, 2012, 09:42 AM
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The Miyamakoori Monastery

Part 1: Introduction

 


山寺や雪の底なる鐘の声
yamadera ya yuki no soko naru kane no koe

mountain temple--
deep under snow
the voice of a bell ringing

山寺や木がらしの上に寝るがごと
yamadera ya kogarashi no ue ni neru ga goto

mountain temple--
like it's lying down
on the winter wind


-Haiku, Kobayashi Issa, circa 1790

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Snow. Beautiful and cold. Everywhere you look, it is all that you see. Falling, falling gently to the ground. Lost in the beauty, you lose all sense of yourself. An eternity seems to pass. Then, subtly, the snow changes. It coalesces in front of you, and you see it form the outline of a man. Then a human face forms in the swirling outline, and you realize that the face is feminine and as white as the snow it came from. She smiles at you and you admire her beauty. But there is something more that you see, hidden behind the smile. It is the look of hunger in her eyes...

Zariel wakes up suddenly looking around. The storm has gotten worse. Instead of the softly falling snow she had just been dreaming about, the snow of the storm falls fast and furious, mixed with pelting ice that scours the skin. The wind has picked up again and now howls through the mountain pass. Below however, you just make out the sound of a bell. Peering from the ledge you apparently had been sleeping on, you can just make out a large building below you, a kind of temple or monastery, hidden in a crevice in the pass. You decide to make your way down the mountain towards it.

The heavy snow continues to fall as the gates of the Monastery swing open for you. Already, over half a foot of snow has accumulated on the mountain trail and it looks to only get worse as night deepens. Beyond the gates, warm fire light floods out of the complex. Two of the yamabushi monks who inhabit the monastery stand by the gate. Though they grip naginata (a funny-looking halberd to your eyes) and are armored in dark blue armor, they seem pleased enough to see a guest and they welcome you in.

One of the young monks, introduces himself as Shikigawa, and offers to lead you to the dining room, where dinner is being served, and where you can petition the head of the monastery, Koyamata Ito, for a room for the night and shelter from the storm. He confides to you that he doubts this will be a problem, as there are already several other guests here.

You pass quickly by what appears to be a small but well tended meditation garden. A turn to the left and you pass through a large hall and then through a door and into the western wall of the crevice. Woodwork gives way to grey cut stone walls and blue stone floors. The dining hall is a fairly noisy place, with something near to fifty individuals talking and eating within. Shikigawa shows you to a place on one of the benches and then excuses himself to return to his guard duties.

Looking at the others sitting at the bench, you surmise that this must be the table for guests, as none of the people sitting with you wear the garb that marks the monks of the temple. You also notice that one of them is a woman, and that she and another man at the table look like they are foreigners in this land as much as you are. The other two men at the table appear to be locals. You wait expectantly for the Temple Head to arrive and begin the dinner.

 
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Last edited by Aerandor; Nov 27th, 2012 at 12:12 PM.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Zariel knelt at the dining table with the others, sliding her jacket off to reveal a rather fetching woman. She looked to the others, unsure of what to think of them. I don't know how I ended up here, but these other strangers seem to be here under similar circumstances... I can't be sure of that, though. Her crimson eyes scanned the room, taking in the unusual architecture.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 11:21 PM
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The journey to the monetary was a trial, but yet not for one as prepared as Shinobi. He carefully placed the scroll into his haversack. The scroll was a forged document representing the Tetsu No Tsume "Iron Claw" Yakuza clan. It detailed a proposal to the Abbott in exchange for unrestricted access to lodgings at the monetary to use as a waystation for their activities to the North, the return of a fabled artifact, "The Buhda's Palm". This ancient tome had fighting techniques of one of their greatest teachers.

The rumors of Oni (demon) influence reached Shinobi and he armed himself appropriately. He also knew that the journey would be difficult without the right tools. His training served him well as he avoided all obstacles and made it to the monetary. Shikigawa led him to this common room and at this table with gaijin.

He pretends to eat and drink, but is careful since he doesn't trust the monks as of yet. He smiles at the others and makes purposeful motions so that his fake tattoos are shown are seen just below his neckline.

He sees the newcomer enter with her large bosom. Shinobi rates her looks as not too much better than average, but there is a taint about her. He doesn't know why his countrymen are so fond of the big breasted gaijin. He alwys found that the trees outside his own yard bear the sweetest fruit.

The Samurai sitting with them is a strange one indeed. He does not carry the diasho. Only the katana. He nods at him.

When he gets the opportunity, he introduces himself, "I am Karata Toshi, of the Tetsu No Tsume clan."
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 08:17 AM
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Lanaya took note of the new woman at the table quickly, as she tried to take note of most anything that happened in the room - she wasn't quite sure yet if she could trust the monks or not, and took even more care with the others joining the guest table. Her body was tensed as the woman approached, but she let out a sigh of relief once she saw it was nobody she had met before, and nobody who seemed overly dangerous despite the obvious stain and odd crimson eye colour she had.
The girl nodded and took a small mental note when the Yakuza introduced himself, she however kept her silence as she was much more interested in the heritage and oddness of the woman who just arrived, eyeing her from head to toe and thinking about her definitely non-human traits.

 
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Watching the arrival of yet another guest, and yet another foreigner to boot, Isaru rises from the table and inclines his head in the direction of the lady. Having spent a week treking the mountains in search of his quarry, his contentment at a warm room and hot meal prevents him from even registering the woman's eye color at first.

"Konbanwa." He settles back into his chair and gives the rest of the table's occupants a slow appraisal. So many gaijin in such a remote location was likely to involve some interesting stories. Perhaps he could convince them to share a bit once the meal was winding down. His eyes drift to the dining hall's doorway where he'd arranged his weapons to be out of the way of passersby. He felt a bit unsettled without them at hand but one did not bear weapons at a host's table without inviting offense. The tattoos of the man to his left draw his attention away from the others and a faint narrowing of his eyes follows. Stories of the Yakuza paint them as equal parts local protection and criminal thug but his own interaction with such groups was too lacking to create an opinion. With the first introduction out of the way, he offers his own.

"I am Sagota Isaru." He made no indication of his clan, expecting it not to matter to the foreigners and to be quite obvious to the local.
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Old Dec 1st, 2012, 01:35 PM
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Still eyeing the Tiefling, Lanaya soon noticed the unusual 'belt' the woman wore, and further inspection with her keen elf eyes revealed that it wasn't really a belt at all, just a tail hidden in a creative way. A small smile took her face when something she read once told her that this woman was indeed a tiefling - her red eyes and tail were proof enough of her heritage, and so she smirked to herself proudly, forgetting about her earlier apprehension, still looking at the woman and not even realising how awkward it must look while thinking about everything she had read about tieflings before.

Last edited by Lightened; Dec 1st, 2012 at 02:03 PM.
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Old Dec 1st, 2012, 02:42 PM
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Zariel noticed the elf seemingly observing her, which made her a little uneasy. "Something you find fascinating about me?" She hoped that she could keep a low profile and not reveal what she really was until it was necessary.

 
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Old Dec 1st, 2012, 05:40 PM
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The elf girl realised she had been staring only when the other woman called her out on it, and was taken aback for a few seconds before shaking her head slightly. Thinking for a few seconds about whether she could trust a tiefling or not, she bit her tongue and shook her head some more. The want of asking the woman every question she could think of and the need to keep a concealed identity fought for a small while until she shook her head rather violently and slumped back into her chair. The inquisitiveness seemed to burn a small hole into her heart, but she wouldn't, she couldn't risk acting on it after having met the woman, a complete stranger to her, just a few minutes ago. "No, nothing."
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Old Dec 1st, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Zariel closed her eyes as she knelt at the table, reverting to her silent and calm self. What is with that elf girl? There's something about her I just don't like. She then took the time to better observe the rest of the strangers, one of them actually having given a greeting before. She didn't acknowledge it, though, as she didn't know the greeting, itself.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 04:16 AM
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The day had been long and Talhoffer was more then pleased that he had remembered to write Endure Elements into his spellbook before he left the Tower. And as night approached he took strains to hustle and find a suitable place to stay the night, and the silhouette of the monastery drew him in like a moth to a fire.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Talhoffer steps forward from the wall, wincing as the day had been long, and leaning heavily on his cane brought a hand up to tip the wide brim of his hat, sending water dripping all over the golden hemmed black robes he wore, to the newest arrival. The aging man smiled warmly and it took only a momentary glance to note the signs of a devil spawn. "My name is Proffesser Frans Talhoffer, just Talhoffer preferably, or Proffessor if you will. Tis a pleasure to meet you Madam." He returns to the wall, taking comfort in being able to take some pressure off of his leg, and placed the whale bone cane of his on a hook at his belt.
As time went on he chanced to say, "So, what brings you all to this point in the world; It's a cold land and a treacherous trip."

OOC'Hey, I guess someone went MIA, so I'll be replacing him; I look forward to gaming with you all. Equally taking 10 to notice the tiefling (for no reason other then because I can) for a result of 22.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 01:04 AM
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*Ring* ... *Ring* ... *RING* ...

The sound of the monastery's bell resonates through the hall, announcing the entrance of Koyamata Ito, the Grand Master of the Miyamakoori Monastery. Koyama is an old man, probably in his 70s, but he has a spryness in his movements, probably from years of meditation and exercise at the monastery. He waves his hands, and servers begin carrying in platters of food. Placed before you you see a roast pheasant, a pot of thin, yellow-white soup with bits of vegetables and tofu, a second pot filled with cooked rice, and two platters, one bearing fried dumplings with a spicy dipping sauce, and the other steamed dumplings filled with a sweet, red paste. Koyamata makes his way over to your table, greeting each of you in turn with a slight bow and asking what brought you to the monastery. "Hajimemashite, doozo yoroshiku, Okyakusama. You are welcome in my hall. Please, tell me what fortune has brought you to these mountains in such a storm as this?"

OOCYou may each respond, in any order, to Koyamata's question. Aside from answering his question, you are free to ask questions as you like, or remain silent during the meal.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 05:48 PM
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Talhoffer unloops his cane and slowly makes his way over to the table and with pains sits down in a slow, awkward crosslegged position. Aware of his cultural Faux Pas the professor bows to Koyamoto and says, "I apologize for the blatant disregard for your customs, but my leg here is in such a state that I could not kneel and continue to walk for this week." With his explanation out of the way, he happily piles up a plate with food and does his best to use the utensils presented to him, but after a while resorts to Mage Hand as he addresses the monk before him. "My name is Professor Talhoffer, I will spare us all the details, but I am currently headed to my new position to teach across the mountain. I was unaware of the scarcity of humanity in this area though, and I do not relish the thought of sleeping in the snow, little problem to my person as it may truly be, and am grateful for your hospitality. Thank you Master Koyamoto, I hope there is someway I may repay your generosity." Again Talhoffer bows to the man and begins eating his food; as was his personal way talhoffer kept quiet for the rest of the meal (Save direct questions to him) and closed his eyes to contemplate as he ate; taking in the sounds of the monastery and mentally running over the spells he still had prepared for the day.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 12:17 AM
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Shinobi, bows as the venerable abbott enters. Quite the banquet has been provided, seems a bit extravagant, especially for a remote location. He smiles as the gesture of hospitality. He understands that not partaking in the banquet would be an insult.

"Venerable Abbot Koyamoto, I am Karata Toshi, messenger from the Tetsu No Tsume clan. I have important business to discuss, but it is not to be spoken in this venue. I would request a private audience at your convience. I thank you for your hospitality."

Toshi (Shinobi) takes a modest amount of food and drink. He has antitoxin in his haversack and if he starts to feel any ill affects, knows at least he will at least have a chance for survival.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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Isaru rises and bows as the abbot arrives, striving to match the depth of the abbot's own greeting. He considers the professor for a moment, concerned that he would travel such a difficult distance alone with so obvious a physical impairment. He sets that bit for information aside in his mind to discuss with the man later. Holding his tongue until Toshi has received his response, Isaru then speaks up.

"Doozo yoroshiku. I am Sagota Isaru and I am here by the grace of the Emperor, though my business is personal. I am searching for someone but the facts of that can wait until after this gracious meal. Such hospitality is most welcome in the depths of such weather. Arigatou gozaimasu." He returns to his place at the table, waiting for the others to gather food for themselves before loading his own plate. The smell of fresh, hot fare after so many weeks travel is enough to make his stomach ache with hunger. Retrieving his chopsticks, he waits to eat until the abbot has moved on.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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Zariel stood and bowed to the Abbot, as well, then resumed her kneeling position. As she spoke, her tone was naturally smooth and slightly sultry. "I greatly appreciate the hospitality, as well. My name is Zariel Thorn. I am merely a wanderer looking for a place to belong. After all, I am considered an outcast where I come from." She looked on at the food after her introduction to the Abbot. She had never seen such a feast! Despite the want to, she refrained from preparing her plate just yet.
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