The conflict of the Awaki Mountain - Round 1

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The conflict of the Awaki Mountain - Round 1

Explanation

This story is the result of an event at our local gaming store that I hosted. There were three players and me involved in three rounds of matches with a total of three branched story lines. Every player had an introduction to their personal story in written form setting them up for their first match-up. After the first round, depending on the result of the matches played, every player received a continuation of their story setting them up for their second match-up and so forth. At the end of the third round every player received an ending that depended on branch as well as total performance. Sadly, due to not having enough time to prepare, the Prefecture story had not been written down at the time of the event and I therefore told that part of the story from memory. Most of what should have been the Ryu story has been added in this final version which also includes the matches played from a character perspective. Last but not least, some editing has been done as well as the addition of some elements that were never revealed to the players during the event, all to give a more complete story.

 

These were the warbands (35p) used:

 

Ito Clan player

Kaihime Ito

Golden Sentinel

Sakura

Saburo

Kazuhiko

 

Prefecture of Ryu player

Hanso

Ryu Yarimen

Ryu Yarimen

Junichi

Fujitaka

Daisuke + Battleplans

 

Silvermoon Syndicate player

Manu + Luck token

Fitiaumua

Tautolo

Oda + Elixir of Vigor

 

Me playing

Zuba

Tra Peng

The Giant Cave Bat

Tribal Brute

Bakemono Spearman

Cloud of Bats

 

I used two tie breaker

  1. Whoever claims the for the scenario by me predetermined but to the players unknown victory point wins.

  2. If the specified victory point is unclaimed. The winner is decided by a flip of a coin.

 

Enjoy!

 

An introduction

 

The village of Shirahama was beautifully positioned on the outer reaches of the Kaisō sub-prefecture between the winding Tokoro river and the emerald slopes of the mighty Awaki Mountain. Initially an imperial military staging post serving the western arc of lookout towers the village had with time, as the region stabilized, lost its military importance. Instead the population was mainly composed of farmers and river fishermen though a small voluntary force of guards was still kept to occasionally man the low stockades on the south side of the village. Especially lately as the whispers of bandits and worse had been spread by travelers passing though. There were three establishments of note in the village of which two were situated at the small but paved village square. First, the Spear Point Tavern which was the only remaining building since the military outpost days, now local gathering place for the common folk and the only place in the village to offer accommodations to passing travelers. Second, the Silken Lantern, a smaller trading post that every so often hosted the village market for those that needed to trades their goods and wanted to hear the latest tales of the land. Gathering local craftsmen, hunters, herders and other more remotely located inhabitants of the area. The third, an old and abandoned temple said once to have been inhabited by monks of the Ananda order could be found on the outskirts of the village by a river bend. Quite unremarkable the Shirahama village and it's surroundings was to be the scene of a series of interlinked events that seemingly occurred by chance. Events that, it was later discovered, would have consequences far beyond the initial expectations of those involved. It all started on a cloudy spring night on the second year of the young emperors rein.

 

Prelude - When hiding who we are

 

The limited light offered by the oil lamp had made donning the armor more difficult than expected but Hitomi knew that the secrecy was necessary. Carefully securing piece by piece it was not until Kei Luan and Kaito returned from their visit to the village tavern that she tightened the last straps on her right arm guard. Kei Luan instructed Kaito to make the final preparations and then turned to Hitomi. They exchanged looks, Kei studying the golden armor and Hitomi Kei's weathered but stern face for a sign of approval. He nodded, gathered his belongings and then it was time to depart. Hitomi grabbed the wide brown cloak, let it fall over her shoulders and pulled the hood up. Just moments later the three travelers exited the shed that had been their home for the last few days, headed towards the unmanned southern stockade and left the Shirahama village in cover of the night. The final preparations were now made and the time had come for the meeting to take place.

 

The Prefecture of Ryu - The arrival of the soldiers of Ryu

 

When Hanso finally called for the second halt that day Daisuke almost stumbled to the side of the road. Leaning against the light green bark of the roadside tree he made a quick effort to relieve his soar shoulders and neck from the weight of his backpack. Then he sat down next to the backpack on a rock to rest his legs. His feet were hurting even more than his shoulder but he knew that whatever salve he may have for it would not help if he applied it now. There were many miles still to cover before they would reach the village. Instead he stretched his legs as he watched the soldiers going through their routines in their typically disciplined manner. Junichi strengthening one of the straps of his backpack with needle and thread, Fujitaka checking the ropes of the convoy and Tsuru, one of the two ashigaru spearmen, cleaning her studded armor from the dust of the road. They were clearly more used to the tempo Hanso enforced and hardly looked tired but it was soon going to be over Daisuke told himself. From what he understood they would reach the village before nightfall. He turned to his backpack and loosened the jar of water. Hanso had been persistent in reminding him of the importance of drinking much water and as he took the first sip he realized how thirsty he was. After what felt like just moments later Hanso told the party to get ready again and then the break was over. Daisuke struggled to his feet determined to not delay their departure. They were almost there he told himself. Almost there.

 

They arrived at the village as the last rays of sunlight fled at the horizon letting the land fall into darkness. It was neither an impressive nor important village they had been sent to help, Daisuke concluded, but the beauty of the landscape he could not ignore. As the party descended the hill along the road he let his eyes wander from the beautiful mountainside slope the village was resting on to the Tokoro river silently passing by on the other side. A place such as this deserved to be peaceful he thought as they finally passed by the first houses in the direction of the village tavern. Tonight he would be able to get a decent warm bath and a comfortable bed and Daisuke was unsure of which he longed for the most.

 

The Silvermoon Syndicate – A tavern brawl

 

Leaning on his stick Oda watched tradesman Ran’s face turn pale. Ran had been quite cocky just a minute ago as one is when facing a man half your size. Then Oda had called his trio of bodyguards inside and the tradesman was suddenly as humble as dry cake. Ran was not a halfwit but did certainly not have what it took to make anything happen in Silvermoon. Luckily for him Shirahama village was not Silvermoon and Oda was not angry. Instead he resumed to ask the questions Ran was now more than willing to answer in a generous way. Oda, being pleased with the answers Ran offered, was then ready to go into business well aware of the fact that Ran at this point had no more cards to play and no way to refuse the offer Oda was going to give him. Oda liked to be efficient, especially when representing the syndicate in ways that normally didn’t suit his role. Deal done he left the tradesman almost shaking in a corner trying to grasp the fact that his business priorities had just been largely altered.

 

Their next stop was the Spear Point Tavern where accommodations were already arranged since their arrival earlier that day. Walking through the village Oda realized that the quartet must indeed look a bit out of place, him wearing finely adorned silk robes hardly reaching a height of the belt buckle of his towering bodyguards and them, a head taller than any man found in the village. Three of them. As they entered the Spear Point Tavern they were met by the owner who, when they first arrived, had personally arranged for them to have the largest compartment the tavern could offer. Oda didn’t know if it was because the owner knew who they where or because he just had a grain of common sense rarely seen on the countryside but it didn’t matter. Not as long as he was pleased with the service received.

 

Oda was not pleased. After swallowing his anger for at least an hour he decided it was time to do something about this travesty. It had all started when a band of Ryu soldiers had, with loud voices entered the tavern and started asking for all kinds of things. First they wanted the biggest rooms available which the owner, to Oda's delight, apparently had denied them. When they couldn’t have that, clearly showing their disappointment they wanted the biggest table, at which Oda and his men were currently sitting. The owner had denied the Ryu soldiers that as well apparently causing them to get quite angry. So angry in fact that two of them including their leader, a bearded man with a bandana, had made their way over to the table where Oda and his men were sitting. This just to, in complete insolence, warn Oda personally not to claim anything else and that the village was now under their protection. The cup was full and any additional drop would make it flow over. Not only was the presence of these soldiers annoying but they could also prove a threat to his plans. Appearances were important but he felt he had enough cause. Knowing they were watching Oda gave his butos the sign. It was time to instigate a brawl.

 

[The Prefecture of Ryu vs The Silvermoon Syndicate] Botoku

 

Fitiaumua took the lead on the right and Tautolo on the left while Manu moved to protect Oda in the center completing the wall in front of him. Knowing the importance of dominating the center of the tavern hall Oda quickly established their priorities and asked them to push forward. As he got up on the table to get a better view of their arena he realized that the Ryu commander had grasped the situation and was moving his soldiers into the same area. They had even seen to arming themselves thinking it would give them an advantage over the unarmed butos. As the forces clashed the butos were outnumbered but underestimated. To his delight Oda noticed that the Ryu commander had decided not to flank and instead put focus on the buto wall. Oda could therefore freely issue commands and update his men on the battle ensuring the highest possible efficiency.

 

It was soon obvious that the disciplined Ryu soldiers did not know how to fight these unarmed arena warriors. In the end it was the combination of fear and well coordinated movement that gave Oda his victory. Well placed in the center of the tavern there would be no doubt which side had won this fight. As the last of the Ryu soldiers were flung out through the tavern doors Oda gave the tavern owner his warmest smile and payed generously for the food he and his men had eaten. Oda was not really expecting any thanks for getting rid of customers and breaking the tavern door but got it anyway. There was really neither honesty nor gratitude in the tavern owners eyes but it did not matter. Work well done Oda decided it was time to try the local sake. Not that he had heard anything about it but how bad could it be? It turned out to be pretty bad, especially when drinking with butos and no one else seemed to dare to join them. This village was now officially subdued.

 

[The Silvermoon Syndicate 2 – 0 The Prefecture of Ryu]

 

The Ito Clan – Making the exchange

 

They reached the narrow valley just as the sun started to descend behind the trees in the west making their way down the slope towards the designated meeting point. Sakura was pleased that so far, everything had worked out according to plan and as long as that fool Kei Luan would keep his promise this would be over in no time. It was not that she disliked traveling, on the contrary the voyage had been a comfortable one, but being away from the temple, which had often been the case of late, made her feel that she could not practice that which was dearest to her. Her travel companions simply could not replace the sisterhood. Especially not Kaihime. Sakura gave the naga a glancing look as Kaihime slithered by her on the right eyes focused on the tree line in front of them. Why she had come to dislike Kaihime she could not remember but something with the few worded and very direct archer annoyed her. Sakura slowed her pace and let Kazuhiko, who was leading the mule and wagon train, catch up as she watched for Saburo but could not, as usual, see the stealthy warrior anywhere. Then suddenly the sound of shouting awoke her from her thoughts. Something was wrong.

 

As they hastily made their way into the opening holding the designated meeting point Sakura cursed loudly trying to assess the situation. Kei Luan had been truthful and was waiting for them. The Savage Wave raiding party pressing him hard had not been part of the deal though. Luckily, she noticed, the fool had been smart enough to bring one of the Golden Sentinels. Luan was no fighter but the Sentinel just might be enough to keep him alive until her companions could reach him. Her robes prepared for the sprint she lunged into the clearing commanding her companions to fall in beside her. On her right she caught a glimpse of Saburo moving through the trees. On the left Kaihime was already moving forward arrow in hand. Kaihime never awaited Sakura's command. Maybe that was it?

 

[The Ito Clan vs The Savage Wave] Ryodo

 

Special deployment:

The Ito Clan: Golden Sentinel, neutral zone.

The Savage Wave: Tribal Brute, neutral zone.

 

As the forces approached each other Sakura took a moment to gaze over the battlefield. She quickly assessed that there were three positions she needed to cover to make sure that no filthy little monster could get it's hands on what she was here for. Kaihime had apparently taken it upon herself to hunt the huge oni approaching center field so Sakura could not depend on her. She would therefore secure what appeared to be Kei Luan's backpack herself being close to it and the Sentinel in the middle of the field would hopefully cover Kei Luan himself. She would also need to send someone over behind the enemy line though to cut down any suspicious retreating little monsters. To he relief she caught a glimpse of Saburo again moving into the exact position she had identified as optimal. He would easily be able to challenge the spear carrying bakemono guarding it.

 

Feeling confident she turned to face the Giant Cave Bat that was approaching her position. Kazuhiko was nearby and with the two of them this beast should not be a problem. As the Giant Cave Bat came crashing down towards her she dodged to the side just barely avoiding it's huge fangs. The follow up claw proved too hard to avoid though and tore through her left sleeve leaving a dirty wound. Determined not to give ground she gritted her teeth and lashed out with her knife cutting the monster over the wing. The monster continued attacking but lacking the force of the landing in it's first attack Sakura easily kept out of harms way. Seeing Kazuhiko approaching from behind she made sure to keep the monsters attention but the surprise attack was not to be as the monster somehow easily dodged it. Now they had the advantage though and Sakura went on the offensive letting her knives tear through thick fur and skin. Before long the monster was slain.

 

[The Ito Clan 2 -0 The Savage Wave]

 

With heavy breath Sakura let her gaze sweep over the battlefield yet again to find her next target but as the cries of retreating raiders echoed more distant she concluded the battle was finally over. The Ito were victorious. Without a moment pause she realigned her priorities and made her way to the center of the battlefield avoiding the splashes of blood covering the ground. To both her relief and satisfaction the fool was alive but from the looks of it he would not last for much longer. Even a bakemono spear can accomplish great things she thought to herself as she leaned down and manifested the most concerned look on her face she could possibly manage. Kei was coughing blood and she loved it but there was no honor in showing it and especially not in the presence of imperial soldiers. The Golden Sentinel trying to aid the dying fool could still have her uses if this was played right.

 

Kei Luan died just an hour later and Sakura permitted his former bodyguard to arrange for the burning Kei had requested. Hitomi, which was the only name the Golden Sentinel wished to reveal, performed her duties without fail and soon a blazing pyre lit the sky. 'A fitting end for the fool' Sakura thought as her companions shared their rations with their new ally. It had not been hard for Sakura to persuade the former bodyguard to join them in their cause. Hitomi was one of those naive that still clung to honor and to Sakura, honor was the virtue most easily manipulated. Bound by the debt of her rescue the Sentinel would prove to be very useful in Sakura's plans. As she finished her food she finally allowed herself a glance on their prize. The scroll was clearly ancient, frayed and dry but of fine quality nevertheless. Slowly Sakura rolled it out as her companions assembled around her. The elders had been right though, it was completely unreadable, covered with strange flowing glyphs and other unknown signs. It was evident that there was still much to be done.

 

[End of round 1]

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