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, 06/01/2018 The Chinese delegation have now arrived at the city of Edo. Making friends and learning about Edo Culture is their current aim! In other news it is also time for the school dance event! Please bring your characters along!

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Nori Iwara

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Aug 14 2016, 12:53 AM
Many pets had been displaced during the earthquake, and with the mission offered up to return a dog to their owner, Nori set out in search of a rather feisty parrot that had taken missing. The bad news of it had been that the pet, in this instance, could fly. The good news was that parrots rarely traveled more than twenty meters from their original homes. Even with all the damage, with a little determination and perseverance, Nori had found her target. Even if it had taken a few hours to find where the bird was located amdist the aftermath and rubble, she could see the white frilly feathers up in a tree. Now the hard part began.

Of course, she tried the sensible and obvious approach first. She climbed the tree and attempted to simply grab the thing. It had been a long shot, but maybe the bird had been domesticated enough tat it was willing to be handled at all. Such was not to be the case, and as Nori drew close, it flapped it's wings and took off. Within moments, it had settled down on a pile of rubble that had once been a sidewalk before it had been split and pieces of tree and building had been shoved into the opening. Hopping down out of the tree, Nori tried to think up another approach.

Now, Nori could chase down a chicken with the best of them, but it wouldn't be that easy to catch a parrot. Nori was fast, and lanky, but once it got into the air, that would be the end of it. The trick was going to be grabbing it, and even when she did have a good hold on it, she would need to keep focused and keep her hands fast so that the beak didn't gash her open while she moved the bird back to it's cage. She considered for a moment before deciding that she would treat the bird like something of a combat mission. How would she take in a fugitive of the Shogunate if they were faster, and were small and willing to bite her hard enough to do real damage?

The process would have to start with a feint. She would have to throw the animal off guard so that it didn't simply flee away from her. She gave a dash toward the bird, jumping up and over it. It started to flap it's wings and go under and away. Nori's hand was able to snap out and grip the bird by it's back just as she managed to land. Then it was more like juggling. Nori fought to keep a hand on the bird at all times, dodging a peck or scratch as her brow furrowed in concentration. She caught a few light scratches here and there, but given the scars she already had, they wouldn't likely be too obvious. Before long, she had managed to get the bird back into it's cage, taking the worst of the damage as the back of her hand got bitten while she closed the cage door.

Sufficed to say that, even if she had been a fan of birds before this, she was not a fan of them now. Before returning the bird, she stopped by a small shop to purchase bandages and clean off her wounds. Once her hands were wrapped up, she made her way back to the owner. Part of her wanted to do this kind of training more often. She was fast, but could always get faster. Hand speed was VERY important to samurai. As well, that parrot had been faster than most of her sparring partners in the Bugei Club. This year had truly been a year full of growth already. Nori was learning that there were many ways to train and grow, and lessons to be learned outside of school as well as in.
Aug 12 2016, 04:00 AM
It was true enough that, in the wake of the terrible earthquake, there was a great deal of pain and suffering to be found around Edo. It was enough to strain the one intangible resource that every civilization in history had. Morale. Shaken to it's core, Edo had people still missing, hurt, dead, and dying. There was a time to grieve, but the hardest part was how to move forward, let go, and try to build some better memories in the wake of tragedy. This was the mission that sent Nori Iwara into one of Eastern Edo's senior centers. She had been charged with lifting spirits. Unsure of exactly how to do that, Nori had taken hours prepping a plan, and nearly an extra day to simply prep the execution.

There had been a large common room that Nori had converted into a makeshift dance hall, but that wasn't enough. The dance hall had been painstakingly changed to a retro style that was designed to make the older members of the senior center feel like it was decades ago. An older style had been adopted to kind of place the older residents in a place that reminded them of an easier time when things were simple and good. The thing about human memory was it's ability to allow the bad to fade over time, while reinforcing the good with nostalgia. A punch bowl had been set up with a fruit juice cocktail which included chunks of pineapple and apple slices in it. Light snacks had also been placed out near the small music player that Nori had brought with her. The music, like the decorations, was set decades in the past.

Some of the residents even dressed the part when they came out to the dance, dressing in clothes they hadn't worn in ages. Men and women made their way to the dance floor and did exactly what Nori hoped they would. They laughed. They shared stories of what it was like when they were kids. Sometimes, the stories were silly anecdotes and sometimes it was a tongue-in-cheek story about what a troublemaker they had use to be. Many seemed to love to share these stories with Nori, which had seen the tall, scarred young lady on the dance floor with them. Some acted about the scars, and she made sure to tell the stories of the ones that had been gotten in ways that sounded ironic or silly. She steered clear of talking about the ones that were less so. Some of the much older residents even told stories of when they themselves studied as blacksmiths or had taken the sword path up as their own.

It had been a generally good experience that left Nori feeling fulfilled in more ways than just completion of a mission and a civic duty. She'd actually had fun listening to the stories, and dancing with a few of the men who had been at the senior center. The good thing about the wake of a tragedy was that it gave a new appreciation to life. There were always hardships, and there would always be hardships, but life endured. Life carried on. People as a whole had an amazingly powerful ability to embrace life, and forge ahead toward a brighter tomorrow. It was why, in the world of story telling, that drama had two faces. There would always be comedy to accompany tragedy. There were always stories about how inevitable death was, but then there were stories that celebrated the continuity of life.

Hopefully, Nori had been able to add a small new story to the lives of the folks that had been at the dance she'd organized. It was something to remind that life had existed and been enjoyable before the earthquake, and that they all would be able to rekindle that joy now that the earthquake was over. Many of those from the center had lived through similar or worse natural disasters at some point in their lives, and those had been the individuals whom got the most out of the dance's theme. They had seen the years carry on since a tragedy occurred, and seen how life moved on. They also seemed to be the ones that laughed the hardest, and danced with the most energy. It was in those dark times that people looked to the light. They didn't want to give in to the sorrow, but rather wanted to find a way to look forward.

The walk home from the activity had allowed Nori time to reflect on the event, and how it had helped the seniors that had attended. She liked to think that, when she was that age, she would still be that mobile. There was always the chance that Nori might not live that long, as was the life of a samurai. Sure there were stories of the few that rose above the rest and lived to retirement like Miyamoto Musashi, but there were countless stories of the samurai whom died in service to their lords. The importance, Nori decided, was to put good out into the world. She decided it added another level to missions like this one, that she should help her fellow Man, and in doing so, help inspire a brighter tomorrow for those with whom she met. The future didn't have to be a bleak and bloody battle where she carved her way through history with the end of her katana. There would also be days like this, where she could simply help some people forget about the hard times and enjoy themselves. Just because the life of a samurai was to surround oneself with death, did not mean there was no cause for which to embrace life.
Aug 11 2016, 11:04 PM
It was only an hour or so after class had ended. Nori had heard that one of the students from the tactical path tended to go to the library to play shogi and chess with some of the other students, and she couldn't help her curiosity. So the tall, scarred sword path warrior made her way there to see how it went. Nori had never heard of chess, but knew a little bit about the rules of Shogi. She had heard it was the game that samurai played to keep their minds sharp. Again, Nori remembered the law of bushido that stated one gains more knowledge of their own path by studying the paths of others, and opted to hone her own skills at the game of tactics. She waited patiently until Yuishiki was finished with the current game that she was on before asking if she could join in.

"Sorry ta be botherin'. Was hopin' I might be able to catch a game, if it ain't too much takin' outta yer studyin' on it."

She didn't know if such a thing was permitted. It had honestly never come up since Nori had been in Bugei Academy. Granted, she didn't tend to run in the circles where one tended to run into the tactical students. Nori kind of felt that was odd, now that she thought about it. There were similarities to what they did. Combat students had to plan moves in the moment, on the fly, against enemies looking to kill them there on the spot. Advisers and tacticians did the same thing, but on a larger scale and over a significantly longer span of time. Who knows? Maybe Nori wouldn't be half bad. Kai told her that her style was odd. Bold and sometimes even dangerous to herself, but she was crafty, clever, and resourceful. After all...she had made it to her Third Year, and was still alive. That had to count for something.
Aug 9 2016, 09:33 AM
The rooftop of Edo Bugei was nice. Especially if one were to go early in the morning and watch the sunrise across the Western Edo skyline. There was no sight like that out in the country. It really gave Nori a sense of just how big the city was, and the massive size difference between a large city and the small, rural farm on which she had grown. Three years, and she still tended to get overwhelmed by the sheer size of it all. Whenever she started to think she was becoming arrogant, or when she simply started to forget her place within the world, coming up to the roof was a good way to refocus herself.

So it was that this morning, when the air was still cool, and the sun was still rising to warm the day, that Nori stood on the roof in her unisex combat uniform, sheathed katana in her hand, to watch the sun rise over Western Edo. Her hair was already tied behind her in a long ponytail that had been fashioned high to keep the hair off her neck. After this, she would be meeting Kai for her class on Iajutsu. She had been getting better, but a nice, long look at the skyline was good to remind her that she was not an Elite. She was not a teacher. She and Kai were not equals. He was her mentor, and even if he had been a third year, as she was, he was a scion. Her fight with the thugs on her most recent mission reminded her of just where she sat. It had only been three men. Only one of them had been trained and wielding a proper weapon.

No. She was a student. A farm girl in a large school in a massive city full of people that wanted to become samurai. It was only by the will of the Konishi family that she was even permitted to learn and train at Edo Bugei Academy. It was humbling, and keeping humble kept one from overstepping. That sort of thing could get her killed. If she had thought those three men beneath her, she would have ended up beneath them. Six feet beneath them. And, if that had happened, what would have become of her family? Who would have cared for her parents? Her little brother? Maybe. He was no fighter, though. No. She needed to keep a level head, if for nothing else, for their sake.
Aug 5 2016, 09:35 PM
The flier had sent Nori to the Kogoma Sweets and Snacks. They had been hit a little bit hard during the earthquake. Kogoma had to spend time rebuilding and restocking the shop with fresh miso soaked cucumber, dango, chocolate covered bananas, and Nori's personal favorite...taiyaki filled with vanilla custard. It was hard for Nori to pry herself away from the taiyaki filled with vanilla custard.

"Nice to meetcha, sir. How ya figure I could be helpin' on the business?"

Kogoma first set down a stack of fliers on the counter. Nori smile a bit. Handing out fliers wouldn't be too hard. Then there was the large green outfit. It looked almost like a banana suit, only it was green. Kogoma said it was because this time of year was the best time to push the miso soaked cucumbers on sticks. They were a cool, refreshing snack that helped people beat the heat and were still very healthy. With a deep breath, Nori set her katana down behind the counter of Kogoma's shop, and slipped on the suit. Before long, she was out on the streets with her face sticking out of the hole in a big, green cucumber suit.

"Mornin' folks! Don't forget ta stop down ta Kogoma's Sweets an' Snacks! Best miso-cucumber recipe 'round! Chocolate covered banana's for the kids, and sweet dango for mom and pop!"

She shouted out the adds as she handed out fliers here and there. The oddest part was that it seemed to frighten off all the stray cats. She wasn't sure what it was about the suit, but something about it seemed to make cats extremely uncomfortable. Then there were the odd teenagers that made jokes about the costume. Unripe bananas or how vaguely phallus cucumbers tended to be. A few people even took short videos of her passing out fliers with their phones.

"Kogoma Sweets and Snacks! Open fer business again! C'mon down an' bring the kids! Some kinda snack or 'nother fer everyone! Iffin ya like sweets, Kogoma's got whatcher lookin' for!"

This went on for hours. With any luck, the word would be spread, and Nori could return to the shop with no remaining fliers. When she returned to turn in the costume and take back her katana, Kogoma seemed very pleased with the results of the short advertising campaign. Sales were up, and the steady customers that had stopped in before the quake were certainly glad to know the small shop was back in business. After all, sweets did a good job easing the nervous and anxious children, and the cool snacks were getting purchased by those doing reconstruction on the area so they didn't overheat. All in all, it had been a good day's business, and Nori could return back to the Edo Bugei Academy with a good word sent back via the shop keep she had been sent to help. Sure, she would have to do it a few more days that week, but if the day was any indication, it would be smooth sailing.

Kogoma even gave Nori a Taiyaki on her way out, which caused her to giggle a little bit with glee. As much as she loved the sweet pastry filled with vanilla custard, she would never purchase it on her own. Such frills cost money from her sponsor in the Konishi clan. She didn't want to feel like she was imposing. She carefully held the pastry in one hand, while holding the sheathed katana in the other hand. She would wait until she got back to the school before she ate the pastry. That way, Nori would be able to savor it in private.
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