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  1. GM Hello
  2. ------------ Kenjutsu ------------- In order to qualify for the sword tournament a samurai must display an adequate level of skill in kenjutsu. To that end Toku suggested that the contestants cut through a wooden training post. Familiar with most everyone it is a pole set in the ground and wrapped with thick rope to deflect blows coming from above or below. All would-be challengers must successfully strike the post and impress the judges with their strength, speed, or skill. OOC: Roll Kenjutsu/Agility, any emphasis in such weapons you have apply. All contestants are considered to be center stance for a round before the attempted strike unless they declare otherwise. All contestants must make the strike in the attack stance. The base TN to hit the pole is 5 gaining 1 Kenjutsu Point, raises may be called to improve a contestant's standing like so. Flavor text is up to the contestant. 1 raise - Cut into the pole leaving a deep slice. + 1 Kenjutsu Point 2 raises - Slice into the pole and tear a chunk off. + 2 Kenjutsu Points 3 raises - Cut halfway through the pole. +3 Kenjutsu Points 4 raises - Chop the pole in half. +4 Kenjutsu Points 5 raises - Make the extra attack maneuver and chop the pole into three pieces. +6 Kenjutsu Points Those 2 samurai with the most points will be seeded in the tournament to follow. The rest who succeed in hitting the block will have to struggle in the beginning round. Those who fail to hit the block at all will be eliminated. Should a contestant call raises and miss their TN by more than 10, they will have made an unfortunate error in their technique and lose a point of glory for the public failure. ---------- Kenjutsu -----------
  3.  
  4. Shinjo Kurosawa
  5. A beautiful day out; normal maybe but the sun was shining, there was a bit of a breeze. Shinjo Kurosawa let the puffs of wind hit him with all their gentle force, his simple deep purple kimono lined with fur swaying in the breeze. As the other contestants went, he observed, steely gaze taking in as much as he could, before settling in on some outliers. A Shark, a pair of Crabs, a pair of ronin, the other Shark, a Sparrow, and a Unicorn. He had not seen all of them in combat but today they all proved themselves capable of wielding a blade. And now it was his turn. His geta clacked as he stepped forth and he approached the post with a slow, casual stroll. He had faced life and death and yet even as he entered a [Center] stance in front of it with a long exhale, it began, as it always did. The tendrils of Doubt slithered across his mind like a nefarious worm, whispering, taunting. Even for just a pole, whenever his fingers lightly touched upon his katana they were never tardy with their appearance. His eyes closed for a second as he drew his katana from the safety of it's saya, the satisfying sound of it sliding out further setting off the thoughts in his mind like a firecracker. Positioned perfectly now, his eyes opened and without a word he dashed forth with a single, swift strike. Crack. His blade bit deep into the hardened wood, leaving a deep slice, before it returned to the safety of the saya. A thin smile, but the man knew today was simply a day where the doubt had not won and for that he was not satisfied with his performance. He bowed deeply to the judges, and stepped off the staging area to return to the rest of his day as normal. ((Pole TN 5, Doubt + called raise for TN15. Rolled 33 to hit. 1 point +1 points for a total of +2))
  6.  
  7. GM Hello
  8. ------------ Kyujutsu -------------
  9. ________________________________________
  10. The art of the bow is one with a long history. Perhaps as long as someone has wanted to kill something but it was too far away to safely reach. To that end, a series of events were set up for the purpose of showcasing the best archers in a castle known for its archery. Tsuruchi kindly decided against participating in the event that he was responsible for hosting. But he did make several 'suggestions' as to the nature of the events. The first is a stationary target exercise where a samurai is to let lose as many arrows as they can at targets further and further away in the time allotted. All the targets are wooden square with a dot painted in the middle. Each contestant is required to stand in place atop a small manmade hill of sand and let lose onto the targets below. OOC: There are five tiers of targets. The first and closest is some 20' away and has a TN10. Successfully hitting the target will achieve the samurai 1 Kyujutsu point. The next is TN15, TN20, TN25, and TN30. One can call a raise to strike the center of the target for an extra +1 Kyujutsu point. Two raises may be called to strike the very center for a +2 Kyujutsu points. A contestant may stop shooting their arrows if they feel they are unable to make the next target. If a contestant calls raises and fails to meet their TN by more than 10, they lose 1 point of glory for the public failure. Should a contestant call raises and fail their TN by more than 25, they will have shot someone in the crowd, gaining the ire of a random NPC.
  11.  
  12. Shinjo Kurosawa
  13. The Unicorn would step up to the sandy staging area, a bow in his hands and a quiver at his back. He would let the arrows fly at the targets in quick succession. The first shot sank easily into the target, but not anywhere near the center. ((TN 15 vs 22)) The second shot whizzed just over the target, bouncing off the side. ((TN 15 vs 14)) The third shot also found it's mark, but nowhere near the center. ((TN 20 vs 30)) The fourth shot struck true, but more at the edge. ((TN 25 vs 27)) The fifth shot bit deeply into the target, but not near the center either. ((TN 30 vs 39)) He would bow deeply to the judges, a bit relieved when it was over. His rust and neglect in his kyujutsu was showing through; maybe he would aim to train more with it after this. ((4 points total))
  14.  
  15. GM Hello
  16. ---------- Storytelling ---------- While the meatheads beat each other with sticks the more refined and cultured among the Resistance pushed Tsuruchi to issue an invitation to those willing to engage in a little bit of art. Staged in a large dark room filled with candles the contestants were led in and given a candle and chair to sit in concentric circles. Each is asked to give a tale, whether autobiographical or fantastical or somewhere in between. They give their tale, blow out the candle, and in the end there is only the single candle in the middle of the room. Those with the best storytelling ability will be chosen by the judges while those who sway the room the most will get a prize as well. OOC: Each contestant sits and gives their best story. They roll Perform:Storytelling/Awareness with a TN10. If they pass they receive 1 Storytelling point, +1 Storytelling point for every raise they call. The one with the highest number of points will be given a prize by the judges. There is also a people's choice award. Each samurai who participates will vote at the end on who gave the best story (regardless of what they rolled) and that winner will also get an award. The votes will be secret ballot on a form that I post after the last story. If someone calls raises and fails, they trip over their words and make themselves look bad losing 1 point of glory per raise called.
  17.  
  18. ________________________________________
  19. Shinjo Kurosawa
  20. "This is a story from my sensei, passed down from his family for generations. One of his ancestors was a Moto; he had a sister who joined the Daimyo Moto Tsume in his conquest against the shadowlands. She was one of few survivors who returned. She did not speak for several years, but when she slept she screamed terrible nightmares that were scribed. This is a collection of those nightmares as they believe happened to her, in that dark, terrible time."
  21.  
  22. Moto Altansarnai was a courageous, proud and beautiful samurai-ko, of Nikutai rank. When Daimyo Moto Tsume came to a decision to crusade into the Shadowlands, she cheered with the rest of the clan. They had witnessed the horrors of the Shadowlands, but they had been defeated. His army had been so confident and full of bravado, their hearts so calm and full of joy they sang as they marched into the Shadowlands. Altansarnai had wagered she would gather the most goblin heads of all, and with her fierce sword it was not an unlikely gamble. The first couple days had been eerily calm; they made encampment and Altansarnai was ordered to scout a mountain with her small troop of five men. They rode, only the sound of their horses hooves on the cursed soil to break the silence. They reached a small oasis; water for their horses, they would rest a moment before continuing on. The female Moto took her horse aside to inspect it for any injury, to keep it top shape for their brutal journey. As the other horses drank, the samurai laughed together, discussing their future glory and honor. In a flash, the horses were dragged into the water, the screams from the hapless animals being cut short by splashing and then nothingness. Altansarnai drew her blade and approached the water, but the clear pool was now cloudy with blood and gore. Her horse whinnied and screamed behind her, and she whirled around. The still, deadened air was now alive with a terrible wind, howling like a terrible beast.
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  24. Her men had also drawn their blades, looking around until in the midst of them, it appeared. A shapeless, cloudy spirit had appeared and attached itself to one of the samurai, forcing itself into his mouth. His clansman ran over and tried to pull him away but he was rooted and immovable, until the spirit was gone. They should have struck it down; but that would not have saved them. The possessed samurai leaped upon the others, ripping them apart with it's bare hands as easily as one would tear a soggy scroll. The clansman who tried to save his friend attempted to flee, but the monstrosity grabbed him and unhinged his mouth like a snake, before swallowing the Moto whole. All this, Altansarnai witnessed while fleeing on horseback, looking back constantly, all of her courage destroyed. Despite being on horseback, the creature gave chase, gaining on her powerful gaijin steed slowly but steadily. After a half day of terrifying, breakneck speed, the horse gave away and tripped, launching the rider into the dirt. The Moto rolled and drew her sword, having long accepted she was dead but ready to accept it as a proud warrior. The horse was turned to slurry by the monster's hands, which had grown immense claws, before it turned it's attention to the samurai-ko. With great swiftness it lunged at her, and she managed to pierce it's heart with her curved blade; albeit, for naught. It pulled her down to the floor with it's evil clutches and although she struggled with all of her strength she could not escape. The face had turned into a grinning, cold skull like caricature, the skin pulled taught and the hair falling out, with glowing red eyes. It opened it's terrible mouth once more; she closed her eyes for the moment for her life to be snuffed out. Instead, it was worse. An unholy scream emanated from it, piercing her ears, her mind, down to her very soul. She held strong, trying to endure it but as it shook her down to the bone she eventually gave in and screamed with it.
  25.  
  26. No one knows how long their cacophony rang through the dead air, but it did stop, eventually. The spirit first, and then Altansarnai. It bubbled into a cruel, mocking laugh, before the spirit left the dead samurai atop of her and dissipated into thin air. The samurai-ko got up and fled, eventually returning to desert before stumbling onto a caravan. Recognizing her Mon, she was brought to her clan and kin, who hardly could recognize her. In a few days she had aged many years, and her long dark hair had turned a ghastly white. She did not eat or drink unless forced, and her waking hours were spent unblinkingly staring forward. She would never speak again for the few months she languished on this earth aside from her horrifying screams at night; the only night she did not scream was when she finally passed away.
  27.  
  28. "And to this day, the accursed legion of Dark Moto roam; to find them is a fate worse than death, but you must not be afraid. And you must not scream." With that, the Shinjo blew out his candle.
  29. ((TN10, called one raise, rolled 21 w/ void. +2 storytelling points))
  30.  
  31. GM Hello
  32. ---------- Art ----------- A massive warehouse had been repurposed for the event. Many different samurai had been invited to submit some form of art, whether performance or some material suggestion. This is also a contest of sorts. While the esteemed Doji, Ide, and Ikoma judges are very discreet it is well known that they are looking over each piece for an eye with unofficially spreading the word that one samurai in particular understood the deeper meanings of art. The theme for the exhibition was the word: 'harmony'. OOC: Contestants are to roll any artistic skills they might have at a TN10. Upon success they get one Art point, raises may be called to add an Art point per raise. The consequences of the roll will become clear on the next stage of the contest.
  33. (As a note, perform/artisan/craft are all included in this contest.)
  34.  
  35. Shinjo Kurosawa
  36. Shinjo Kurosawa gently clacked onto the stage, beautiful new kimono swishing around him as he brought himself to the center. He probably would not win this competition; the theme was harmony and none of the songs he had been taught had been about harmony. Oh well. He knew one song that matched what he was feeling right now. Thankfully, it was not in the traditional throat singing, so it would have more mainstream appeal. He cleared his throat, closed his eyes and freed the song that was trapped in his chest like a bird struggling within a cage. It sounded something like this: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lhJ0LZtv3w) His voice rang clear and strong through most of the song, but this may not have been the best choice with his feelings such a whirlwind of emotion. At the end he choked up on the last words, freezing in horror on the stage. Pale cheeks burning with embarassment and shame, he bowed deeply in apology to the judges and fled the stage. ((TN10, called 3 raises for total of TN25, rolled 24. 0 points.))
  37.  
  38. GM Hello
  39. --------- Poetry --------- The first thing that was suggested was a poetry contest. However it was deferred by the Wasp until a proper venue could be vacated for the competition. A series of sake cups were filled to the brim and left to float in the largest open fountain of the castle. To participate in the competition a samurai had to wade into the waist deep water and grab a cup. After drinking the cup there was a word or phrase laid out on the bottom that the contestant had to incorporate into their poem. Then the next samurai would drink and give a poem, and so on until someone failed to give a proper poem. Once they were unable to do so, they would climb out of the fountain and the competition would continue until there was one left. OOC: The samurai rolls Awareness/Poetry and starts off with a TN10. After each poetry roll, they make an Earth roll against TN5 in increasing increments of 5 after the first poetry roll. (That is 5, 10, 15...) Upon failure the contestant must make their next poetry roll against an increasing by 3 TN. (10, 13, 16, 19...) Once a contestant fails a poetry roll they are eliminated from the contest. Upon success the contestant makes 1 Poetry point. Contestants may make raises to gain more Poetry points at one per raise. There are two winners. The one who makes the most poetry points, and the one who remains in the fountain the most rounds. If one fails the poetry roll by more than 10, then they trip over their words and sound intoxicated, losing a single point of glory. If they fail by 20, then they are extremely intoxicated and suffer 1k1 wounds attempting to leave the pool before having to be pulled out. A contestant may leave the pool under their own power if they decline to continue rolling before failure.
  40.  
  41. Shinjo Kurosawa
  42. The white haired man waded into the fountain, a bit nervous. It wasn't deep enough for him to drown but hailing from the deserts and plains did not give him a lot of opportunity to be comfortable in the water. He picked up a cup and cleared his throat, opting for a safe bet for a first one. "Bird so far from home sings as winter approaches then silence sets in." He shotgunned the drink in a single gulp, and spied the word at the bottom: Spring. Another clearing of his throat before he proceeded. "Snow soon melts away life returns but bird is gone it's song remembered." The alcohol caused his skin to flush red, and the dizzying warmth rushing to his head. This wasn't a good idea. Well, sort of. He got to express himself and score alcohol. Splashing, he noisily made his way out of the fountain, definitely sure he could not go further. Two rounds was good enough. ((1st Poetry TN10, passed with 23 w/ void. 1st drink TN5 passed w/ 10. 2nd poetry TN10 passed w/ 24. 2nd drink TN10, passed with 11. Stopped there. +2 poetry points, 2 drinks, escaped pool without damage to glory or actual damage.))
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