Not long ago your superior, Kitsune Kagehisa, sent you on the road from Kyuden Tonbo. West you headed from there, untill you turned on to a minor road. North into the Unicorn lands you headed. Beside you was a vassal clan samurai of the Unicorn. From the Rohshin family of the Moto, Kiro.
The quiet smile on Chiyo's face seemed almost carved onto it; only rarely had the smile left her lips.
It was clear that the woman enjoyed the outdoors, her striking green eyes drinking in every detail of her environment with contentment.
And yet, the young Kitsune was well-aware of the importance of her mission.
Her superior had been unable to tell her what exactly had been the matter; only that 'something felt different'. Chiyo remembered how she had been intrigued, rather than worried - her curious nature having gotten the better of her more than once already.
So here she was; having left the main road in favor of a minor one at last, Rohshin Kiro still dutifully following her around. Every now and then, the shugenja had paused - indicating that they should pause by raising her hand quietly. Sometimes, she would find out that it had been a simple animal which had caught her attention and move on again quickly enough. Other times, she simply felt... Something. She would slip into a more receptive state, attuning herself to the Kami and spirits alike, but only found vague hints of that 'something' at best. All in all, she felt urged to go on.
And thus she did, ever-energetic - a lively smile on her face as they wandered further and further from what most Rokugani would call civilization.
For a member of the Moto family, your guide and traveling companion, was on the smallish side. But that was not really saying a whole lot as perhaps second only to the Hida the Moto were well known for there size. He would make the average Doji look as small in compairison, about the same level that he looked a bit small to the mental picture of a Moto. While it was likely distant, it is also quite likely that there was a bit of Gaijin blood in the mans veins. One of the signs of this was a bit of brownish color to his hair.
He was quite happy to ramble on about how his home town supplied some of the materials that the Unicorn gaffers used in producing their glass works. If more of the Empire used glass, that would probably make this town a far bigger deal then it was. Kiro also droped a mention of "Troubles", "Strange things", and similar terms when refering to the recent past however he doesnt really go into details.
Durring part of your travels, you refer to your orders/traveling papers. The traveling permits give you free access to the entire vassal province that the town is in, and road ways leading between there and the Dragonflys lands. The Dragonfly have included a pass for travel in their lands for so long as you work with your superior. As to orders, you are to investigate as best you can. Kagehisa hopes you will be able to resolve it sooner then later, as he was informed that they also have sent for a Toritaka spirit specalist as well. He would like this to be a credit to the Kitsune rather then the Crab.
"Glass.." The word still was an unfamiliar sound to her ears, leaving a strange taste in her mouth every time she pronounced the word. She had happily obliged the Moto vassal by asking a myriad of questions about the odd material, even going so far as to ask whether the man perhaps carried some items of glass with him.
Which she realized, was very unlikely - seeing how the material was apparently very frail rather than sturdy once it had been treated with fire. Nonetheless, she reminded herself to see some more of this fabled 'glass' at some point.
But first things first; the research.
The idea of possibly having to compete with someone of the Toritaka mildly amused the Fox shugenja, given the fact that her own grandmother, whom she had loved dearly, had been of the Toritaka. And not just that, many people had whispered that it she had inherited her grandmother's affinity for spirits. And perhaps there was a thing or two about having inherited her stubbornness as well.
Suddenly, the woman paused - convinced that she had felt a slight tug. Whether it had been an actual tug or merely a gist, something within her mind - she was not certain. Still, she would not ignore it.
Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to focus on the odd feeling. The odd sensation of which she still was uncertain what it meant or where it came from.
But as she closed her eyes, all she felt was the peaceful and pleasant caress of a gentle breeze - her ears picking up on various sounds, but nothing unnatural.
Frowning, she opened her eyes again, her mind still searching for the origins of the odd feeling, trying to hold on to it.
The man does indeed carry a class bottle, covered in a layer of purified leather to pad it from the hazards of the road. Indside is a mostly clear liquid with a slight golden brown coloring. Knowing how other feel about the animal product, he removed the leather before offering it to the woman to inspect should she be interested.
As you try to sense, you get a feeling after a moment that a simian spirit may be watching you. It hasnt come out to say hello, but you just get that feeling. After another few miles, you are pretty sure something else is watching you as well.
A number of
Depending on the scale, I usualy find the way they systemicly show rokugan is way to small. It should take a long time to even cross one clans land, let alone the empire
days pass as you move up the road before you actualy get to the village. The first thing that stands out, is a still smoldering building that was likely a pesants home at one point. Other oddities you can see right off is there are a great many things just damaged enough to cause issue. A fruit vendors tent has a tear in it, and in the light morning rain you can see it drip down onto the man. A wagon on the side of the road has a cracked wheel. Oddly colored candles with a frustrated vendor confused as to why they were so colored.
"Thank you, Rohshin-san."
Curious, the woman accepted the bottle with both hands, her fingers carefully examining the odd material. One moment she found herself trailing its translucent surface, the other she gently tapped it - delighted by odd sounds.
She even subtly tried whether material had a distinct smell but she could discern no such smell. "Do you think I could buy one of these in your home village?" Chiyo asked smiling, only barely able to tear her gaze loose from the odd material. She looked up at the man, before reluctantly handing back the curious bottle.
Once the feeling of being watched intensified even further, the woman frowned. She turned around, her green eyes instinctively surveying her surroundings as she tried to attune herself to the spiritual.
She held out her hand like she had done before, indicating to the Unicorn bushi that she sensed. Something.
Followed by that gesture, followed another - she spread her hands out in, holding them out a deferential manner. Palms-up, indicating that she meant no harm. With her gaze still sweeping the environment, she slowly allowed lowered herself and sat down next to the road.
Quietly, she began the incantations which would allow her to commune with either spirits or Kami, hoping that whatever entity watched her would answer her calls...
Upon catching sight of the village - or rather, the signs of something being amiss - the Kitsune frowned. Her brow furrowed and at the same time, her eyes lit up with curiosity. "I wondered what happened there," Chiyo pondered aloud, shortly glancing at the bushi who accompanied her. Not waiting for his response - and simply unable to fight her curiosity any longer, the woman made her way towards the village itself. She paused at the wagon at the side of the road, her fingers carefully trailing the cracked wheel before she moved on again, surveying the damage as she tried to think of what could have caused odd accidents and little misfortunes such as what appeared to have happened here.
Catching sight of the distraught vendor, Chiyo immediately approached him. "Greetings merchant," she addressed him kindly, her eyes surveying the odd colored candles before she looked back at the man again, smiling slightly. "What happened here?"
As she pronounced the word 'here' she nodded at the candles as well as the other little oddities.
"A gift?" Chiyo's green eyes went wide with surprise for a moment before she shook her head lightly. "Oh no, I could not possibly ask that. Really, I should just buy one." She smiled at Rohshin Kiro, adding a reference to the Moto's earlier wish to help his hometown expand through a booming glass industry. After all, despite her spiritual inclinations she was more than aware of the fact that gifts implied obligations. And whilst gifts could also imply the start of a relationship, a material expression of a new bond, the Kitsune preferred to proceed with caution. "You could see it as an investment of some sorts for the local economy."
The latter was a perfectly sincere remark - the Kitsune, intrigued by the odd material, could imagine that others might be intrigued by the strange material as well. And the sounds it made when you tapped your fingers against it..!
The Kitsune woman frowned slightly upon the man's remark. "That sounds like bad luck indeed," she agreed, once again studying the patched areas from her current position. "Are you the only one who suffers such misfortune, good man?"
Said in such a way you dont think it could be rokugani, nor could you easly prononce it
Tahir brings fruit into town.. it seems like every week theres another pothole to fix. The mans gone through three wheels this season I think. Rohshin
Pronounced Lau Rin
Laurin-sama would probably know the costs to him better then I, she is the patron factor to these parts. She also oversees the town on behalf of the provencial governor. I have heard... ah well one shouldnt gossip, my applogies."
His talking trailed off as he saw your escort, and the family mon he wore under the Moto mon.
"There is some good luck aorund of late... Rice crops are up after the flood of last spring."
Chiyo stored the odd-sounding name in her head, along with the name of the patron factor. She would have to ask Kiro-san about the lady, as well as the possibility of being introduced to her.
She also made a mental note to perhaps talk again to this man later on, without her Rohshin escort - seeing how the merchant suddenly seemed to have changed the subject.
"One mustn't gossip indeed," Chiyo ultimately replied to the merchant, nodding her head lightly. She allowed her gaze to wander over the
assuming the poor merchant actually has some food left/ on sale?
fruit before pointing out several which were to her
and of course, pay for them
The Kitsune woman had no direct need for fresh food - that was, she still had her rations and whatever she had mustered from her short survival trips - but it never hurt to establish some sort of connection with the man, she imagined. "But a flood? Are floods common here?" Again, her eyes fluttered back towards the man and the Kitsune shugenja found herself trying to remember more about this area. And yet, she found herself distracted by the feeling of being watched - days earlier.