Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 11/01/2017 The dust has cleared after a fierce clash against the rebel Ikko Ikki monks. Now, as a tense period of calm spread over the island nation of Japan the students of Edo Bugei must figure out how to proceed in life after experience such intense conflicts and such deep loss.

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 Made of Honor, Open
Aideen
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 07:52 PM
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There was so much Junko didn't understand about his place in the world. If he were to inherit the clan, he didn't know if he would be able to lead it properly. Certainly, a good amount of his upbringing wasn't exactly noble, disgraceful probably. His life was full of missteps and odd occurrences. No amount of lion slaying was going to make up for the tea ceremonies, dances, and dresses. So honor was already a tricky subject even before he took his first steps on the new path he saw ahead of him. A path of social work.


His time after the war and his missions into the so called suicide forest had opened his eyes to something truly shameful. It greatly affected him to see people left in such a state, forgotten and alone. Surely somebody cared for them somewhere. Surely there was some respite for the lost souls. He had been told that there were expeditions that went out once a year. From personal experience, he knew that it wasn't enough. The strings weren't enough. The number of people they sent out, the skills they carried with them, none of it was enough to really make a difference. Every lost soul in that forest was a stain on his country's honor. A stain he wanted to erase.

Trouble was, dealing with the dead wasn't very honorable either, especially with the taboo of suicide being a taint that stained everything hit touched. Likely that was why efforts in the forest were so pathetic, nobody wanted to be tainted and likely some families would rather never know than have the stain of dishonor touch their name. Disgusting and selfish, it made him sick. They had failed the family once and now failed them after they had died. He desperately wanted to do something about it all but, perhaps with good reason, he wanted to avoid the taint himself. Junko didn't want his behavior to bring any shame to his family name, especially since he would be doing good works, maybe even holy works.

Then Junko had an idea, he would go straight to the nearly top. Not the emperor, he had better things to do than give any attention to some kid, even if it was an Edo student. But the Shogun might be able to grant a special dispensation. Something that said that Junko could do this good and charitable work without loss of honor, maybe even gaining honor for his clan. But he had to frame his arguments right, he had to be passionate without sounding desperate. He had to present his argument with points and counterpoints. He needed examples from history to support him.

For this reason, Junko was in the library. He planned to spend all weekend there. So he'd not really bothered dressing up, or at all. He'd arrived bright and early in his pink and sea foam patterned silk pajamas, a blanket, and lots of notepaper. And since the library opened, he had been there in a corner on a soft chair skimming texts and making notes.

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Shoy
 Posted: Jan 5 2018, 05:22 PM
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Nearly all of Ripley’s spare time that wasn’t spent in club activities or hanging around with others was spent in the library. Ripley often came here not even to partake of the books but simply to set up shop at one of the tables or in one of the big comfy armchairs with pen and paper and sit there to write. Ripley found that even simply the atmosphere in libraries just made them feel at ease in a way that few other things could, and this was an atmosphere that, surrounded by the great works of others past, was nothing but conducive to writing.

Ripley didn’t have any other plans today, and had made sure to arrive at the library nice and early. It was a weekend and they'd wanted to sleep in, but they also wanted to finish a longer script they’d been working on for far longer than they should have and if they let themselves sleep in then they’d forgive other procrastinations and once you started down that slippery slope you never stopped and the script would never be finished. So the solution was to get up early and start working early and get the damned thing done as quickly as possible. They could procrastinate afterwards.

Almost as soon as they library opened, Ripley was there. There was no way Ripley could be stuffed to wear uniform on a weekend, so they were dressed casually in grey jeans and a dark T-shirt, though they also had their relic, a blue strip of cloth, tied in a band around their thigh and they’d taken care with their makeup that morning with bright red lipstick and just a touch of eyeshadow.

The library was fairly empty so early on a weekend, though there were a few people around here and there doing various things. Ripley was just taking a seat to start working when they noticed one such person sitting not too far away wearing what looked like bright pink pyjamas. Odd choice of an outfit. If you were going out in public you’d think that you’d at least like to get dressed first. Ripley would not be caught dead in pyjamas. The kid did seem pretty studious, though; all this paper everywhere, reading avidly and taking notes every now and then. Ripley wondered what he was doing - studying, maybe? Ripley felt the kind of people who would study that intensively this early on a weekend were the kind of people eccentric enough to go out in pyjamas and even bring a blanket, though on the other hand that sort of person also seemed more serious than the sort of person who would wear bright pink.

The notebook which contained Ripley’s script lay unopened on their lap. Ah, fuck it. They’d spend the rest of the morning and probably the entire afternoon wondering what that kid was about, even after he left. They may as well go and scope him out now so it didn’t keep distracting them.

Ripley stood and made their way over to the kid’s chair and cleared their throat. “I see you’ve got a, ah, a unique sense of fashion there.” It was said in an innocent enough tone, though the emphasis placed on the word “unique” gave it clear connotations that were not quite so innocent, bordering on mean-spirited, even. Ripley settled into another of the chairs next to this odd kid’s one. “Not one to follow traditional styles, ey?”

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 07:52 PM
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Junko had been making a good amount of progress, probably. It was actually really hard to tell how far along you were when you didn't know where the finish line was but he'd written at least four pages of notes, not including the occasional doodles. Still, it felt like a lot of progress, there was so much about honor and leadership and the duties of a clan that he'd never known. Of course, probably all the other future clan leaders were expected to take over and not actively separated from the opportunity.

Still, it was that feeling of accomplishment that kept him going and that pushed him to keep going, even if it took all morning, maybe even all day, he was definitely going to get out of here early. Probably wouldn't take longer than that, after all, how hard could this honor and protocol take for one letter? Still, he had been mostly locked up in his own little world so he didn't notice the occasional glances from those around him. He mostly ignored the people passing around him as well so it was very much a surprise when one of them opted to speak to him.

He turned to face the girl. Obviously it was a girl, she was wearing lipstick. "Good morning." he replied with a bright, cheerful, and energetic smile. Far too energetic for this early. "Thank you." If he noticed any veiled meaning or disdain, he didn't show it. "It's not really that fashionable, they're just pajamas. My mother sent it to me." The smile never left his face. "I like what you've done with your make up. It makes your lips really pop." She could use a touch of mascara though, to help pull attention and add that extra touch to the eye shadow. Right now, the eyes were definitely drawn to her lips at a glance. Oh well, hardly his business and he didn't deal with make up any more.

"Actually, tradition and stuff is what I'm researching right now. Can't make any mistakes but there's no tradition for studying so I figured I'd just aim for being comfortable." He patted the blanket wrapped around his waist. "It's super interesting though I might be overdoing it. Not like I need a kataginu if I'm just sending a letter to the Shogun." He laughed.

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Shoy
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 10:38 PM
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Ripley cocked their head, bemused, at the way the boy responded to their comment. Surely the teasing note in it had been quite clear, but he appeared to have either realised it but ignored it completely or sincerely missed it altogether. Interesting.

He was very perky and happy as well - must be a morning person. In general, Ripley hated morning people. They were often happy to the point of being annoying, though of course, every rule has a thousand exceptions and they were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It just meant that the chances were he would either be fun and cheerful to be around or insufferable. Ripley couldn’t tell which at this point.

A smile spread across Ripley’s face at the compliment to their makeup. “T’was kind of the idea. Makes me stand out a little more, you know? Hah, I guess we both stand out, we could start a club or something.” Despite the joking and the lack of a thank you, Ripley did genuinely appreciate the compliment. Ripley would appreciate any compliment; ego-stroking flattery was one of the best things anyone could give you in Ripley’s opinion, but this compliment was particularly notable because it showed that this kid wasn’t too bothered that they were wearing makeup even though they lacked any obvious female physique. It showed that he might not be so staunch about the ideas of strict gender roles, or at least that was the conclusion that Ripley drew from it. They didn't consider that he might have thought they were a girl.

The thought of the still unwritten script lingered in the back of Ripley’s mind but they paid it little heed. Any moment they chose to they could excuse themselves and leave to get started on it - it was hardly urgent, anyway, as long as they got it done sometime today, that was good enough, and this kid was pretty interesting. Well-mannered and well-meaning, it made him cute in a childlike way. Absently, Ripley wondered how old he was.

Ripley chuckled. “That’s the spirit. No point being less comfortable than you need to.” They frowned. “Wait, a letter to the Shogun? The mighty, all-powerful, ruler-of-our-nation Shogun? What the hell for?” What reason could he possibly have for writing to the bloody Shogun? And did he seriously think that the Shogun would care or even read it? The chances of either seemed slim to Ripley. Wouldn't one of the Shogun's aides likely read it, dismiss it and toss it away as casually as if it were a sweet wrapper? They must get so many letters that surely the Shogun wouldn't read them all. It wouldn't be possible with all the other business he had to deal with.

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Aideen
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 01:22 PM
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" Aclub would be a lot of fun, but I'm kind of in a bunch of stuff already. Maybe an unofficial club or something." Junko agreed. He seemed to take the statement at face value rather than the jest it probably was. But he would, he liked being in clubs and meeting new people and hanging out. There was something magical about it for the kid who grew up isolated out at the edge of a village in the forest wilds. So obviously he jumped at the opportunity to try something new with somebody.

However, as the question turned to why he would be writing a letter, his smile dimmed just a tad. It was a very serious thing he was working on, for very serious reasons. But doing it pleased him and nobody could fault his moral standing. Maybe this was an opportunity to present his case. It was like practice.

"Well, not too long ago, I did a school mission for the government." he began. The letter seemed to require backstory. After all, coming out and just saying what it was likely would draw the response of why. "I hunted down a criminal who had disappeared into Aokigahara." He shook his head slowly. "It's a sad place and it really made me think about stuff." He tapped the stack of books about honor and duty.

"There are all kinds of rules in here that I never really bothered learning about being a clan leader and stuff. My mom never wanted me to be a scion or the head of Matsudaira so I learned," he paused and his eyes darted to one side, "other stuff. But I think maybe I can use my position to do some real good." He turned his whole chair so he could face Ripley directly and look her right in the eyes.

"Do you know how many people died in the forest over the last few years? Nobody does. The Metsuke do a quick perimeter sweep once a year. Just once." He shook his head. "And I bet it's gotten worse after the earthquake destroyed people's lives and families, then even more after the ikko attack." He licked his lips and steeled his voice to stop any tremble before continuing. "When I was hunting, I found that the thief had been robbing the dead, a disgusting thing. But one of the victims was a student from this very school who disappeared after the earthquake. Isn't that sad?"

Junko was trying his best to sound factual but really, the emotions kept taking over. It was just another reason he was trying to make this a letter rather than a personal request. "It's a stain on the honor of the entire country, there's nothing I can personally do for the people who will still keep going to the forest to die, but I think maybe I can convince the Shogun to let me create a group to go and sweep the forest more often. Maybe bring closure to the poor souls who I couldn't help in life."

He turned away quickly, wiping his eyes. "But working with the dead is dishonorable and stuff. So I thought that the Shogun is the most honorable person and if he says it's ok to do, then that's good too." With practiced ease, Junko pushed the emotion back down inside him and put the smile back on as he turned back to Ripley. "It's a clever loophole, don't you think?"

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