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  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  5 days ago

    Nature Night begins in about ten minutes! smile

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  6 days ago

    Aha! Thanks C McG!

  • C_McG
    C_McG  6 days ago

    @Scratch
    D ampersand D

    Need to shorthand DnD or "D and D".

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    and...it did it again..

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    I don't know why that says "D&D"

    I just meant "D&D"

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    @ Zhymm: I am so old that when I first played D&D, elf, dwarf and halfling were considered classes. biglaugh

    @ ceeags, handover and Dyrcona:

    It's cool to see all of you back around! Roll up a character and join us! smile

    a Dyrcona: There is some weird thing in these new forums (I know thatt they look the same, but they are somehow new "behind the scenes).
    You may want to try making a new thread that is worded slightly different. It is worth a shot. special

  • Dyrcona
    Dyrcona  1 week ago

    I don't know what happened. I tried to make a new forum post, and I got a screen full of busted HTML code. When I tried again, I got a message about a duplicate post. When I look in the forum, it appears to have posted twice, but the newer one is empty.

  • ceeags
    ceeags  1 week ago

    *waves*

  • Dyrcona
    Dyrcona  1 week ago

    I had to join the nostalgia fest.

    Viva Thain!

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  1 week ago

    Oh, scratch be a Thain greybeard. maybe even a whitebeard!


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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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Barasume Miwa

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Winterhawk99
8:36:27 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
I do not write much these days. I should. I have now been here two months in this city called Peltarch in place called Narfell. This place is where I choose to complete my mission to become one with my sword. It is an evil place filled with people that will abandon you without a moment of hesitation. 3 times groups have left me in the wilderness to die. I use all my supplies and healing, but I make it. It is ok. It will make me stronger as I work with my inner self to forge bonds and understand the code of bushido deeper than I have ever had. These people can leave me alone and strange forests, among fire giants or even in the middle of a goblin cave system I still prevail in my task.

There is only one trustworthy here. He is a monk by the name of Samwell. All others I find lacking in respect and honor. Even another Onna-bugeisha from the island of Wa by the name of Makoto. I watch her until I needed to say something. When the opportunity arrived, I spoke to her by the fire in a place called Norwick. I was not usual self. I was very gentle with her. Like me she is not a good person. She is in fact I think an evil one however the code does not consider those that are good or evil. It only considers the discipline you have and the philosophy toward the society you live under.

I will continue to seek my goals even with the odds stacked against me. Daimyo Barasume will be proud when I return. It is all I have to say now. I will write more later while practicing my calligraphy.
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Winterhawk99
8:37:12 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
These last months have mostly been training by myself. I fight bandits, little lizardmen, big lizard men, Orcs, goblins and recently dog headed men the westerners call Gnolls. Gnolls are particularly tough opponents. They have great perception, and their witches can call lightning down upon you. The last time I went I could take 7 heads. The next time I will try for 10.

In my last foray I went out to a place called Kront and traveled to great plains. Cormac, A knight whose name I could not pronounce, and the crazy woman Raazi went with me. I almost feel sorry for this Cormac even if he is a liar and a clown. The woman he is with Raazi has a baby. He thinks it is his. It is not. The father is the king's brother (I think king is something like shogun). She is the secret lover of this Karrasim. She should be boiled to death, but it would start a political thing. I keep my mouth shut. The subject has not come up nor should it. Cormac seems confident it is his child. I cannot bare false witness thus I will stay silent as long as the subject does not. We found a fort or stronghold that had some marvelous things in it. We also saw giant creatures. Some of them tunnel underground and attack you. The westerners call these bulettes. I killed two but could only take one head to the city to post it in the commons square.

There is a woman here called Meadow. I must say something about this one. She has something planned for me. She took me out to fight gnolls with her. She had me take all their treasure. Calls me an investment. Not sure how I feel about that. She said at one time her people were invaded by another people. Similar to the clan wars or the wars with Wa and Kozakura, I think. I know she works with the guard of the city and can arrest people. She almost arrested me when I punched a guard for lying. Which brings up the main incident in the city I am involved with.

Several weeks ago, a man showed up in a guard uniform of the docks. He twisted Raazi's thoughts to place bombs in a fish and throw it into a local fountain. The fountain was poisoned with demon blood. When the bombs exploded it caused great damage to the area around the front of the castle. It seems that it killed someone waiting at the entrance. They may have been a target and the man an assassin. He warned us not to rat him out. I immediately went to the authorities. In this it was this Meadow who took charge.

Raazi followed. I had taken note of the mans face in great detail and told this to Meadow. Raazi tried to confuse her by misrepresenting his description. We investigated together. but found nothing but the burnt remains of a person. The man had gotten away.

Last week the man came back in a different uniform. This uniform was from an organization called Cerluean. I was sewing on the benches of the circle in my kimono. He asked Raazi if she had ratted him out. she said no. I dropped my needle and thread, stood up and placed my hands on my weapons knowing what would be next.

He pointed to me and asked her if I had ratted him out. She tried to bluff and say no but he knew I did. He threw a bomb at me. I tried to dodge but took part of the blast and was wounded. Still, I drew my katana and attacked him. We fought in the square. The guard joined me. Cormac and Raazi did nothing. They are cowards.

He was sorely pressed. and ran away. I followed him to the wall of the city. We fought up the stairs of the wall. Still in just a kimono I continued to fight. He was getting weaker. even after using a potion to heal. At the top of the stairs, I jumped on his shoulders and started stabbing him in the chest and face. It threw him off balance and we both tumbled down the stone stairs.

At the bottom he got to his feet first and had the advantage. Without armor I had little chance. The world went black. I woke up in a strange temple. Someone had taken me there. I lost much of what I had gained over the last week in training so sore and broken. I took word to both Meadow and Samwell. Samwell told me since the stranger things I'm dead I should stay dead to him. I disguised myself. and went into hiding for a 10 day. I now sit in a small camp at a glen waiting for others to find and kill this saboteur. Hopefully he will be dead.

If not, I will be ready to challenge him again when I come back. This time I will not be in a dress. He ruined my best dress, and I will have revenge if not through others, then I will do it myself when I come back and find him.

I will write more later. The night is coming and doing calligraphy by candlelight ruins the eyes.
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Winterhawk99
8:37:52 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
Miwa waits out the week in a small camp in a secret glen she found. She tends to 'pickles' her heavy war horse and meditates. The morning is brisk. She makes a breakfast of tea and rice mixed with vegetables. As the sun warms the glade, she takes a brush out of her saddle pack and brushes the horse down. She then shovels his dung and tosses it into the cave ravine the waterfall had made over millions of years.

When all done with that, she takes her katana stand out, places it on a boulder, and places her husband's and her katana in their proper places. She stands in front of the stand legs spread slightly more than shoulder width apart. Bringing her arms straight out from her body horizonal to the ground she begins to bend her hips and lifting her right arm while breathing in deeply. She begins a kata of Kiko as she meditates upon the 9 principles of Bushido. She tries to lose herself, her ego to feel the ki surrounding her in all things, every tree. rock, bird and lizard scurrying along the ground.

Her slow steady movements along with her controlled breathing slowly sedate her putting her mind beyond her own self-interests and goals. On the mainland this form of exercise is called Qigong (kikung), but the focus is on self, more than the islander way where the energy is channeled and felt outside of self.

As she feels the channels to her own ability of ki focus within her hands she meditates on Self-control of mind, spirit and body. She whispers to herself, " What is right is right. What is wrong is wrong. Be dignified and of always in self-control. Show not joy or sorrow. Always composed and calm whatever faces you. Walk with dignity so that peers honor where you step."

Miwa breaks into a second kata meant to straighten the pathways of her inner energy so that they may flow free throughout her body. "Use compassion over aggression when is deemed right. We are the soldiers of action thus we must learn and grow in both sword and wisdom. There is a right time to strike and a right time for mercy. Know in heart and soul what is correct action."

Miwa stops a moment and bows to the stand as the sun is almost draws to its zenith. "Have the right judgment when judgement is called for. Use any authority you have only to uphold what is right. Do what is best for the greater good not what is good for self for we are servants of the people, and it is the greater good of the people we must always take not the good for self.

She stops and takes a drink of water looking at the sun. It is high noon. She goes over to pickles and fetches a pail of water for him. She then takes up her position and begins yet another Kiko kata. "Courage only exists when you are right. You must be able to sacrifice yourself for others, admit your own mistakes and right those mistakes. In the face of hardship or danger you must keep your self-esteem. This is true courage."

She changes the tempo of her exercise to make it faster. She feels the energy building within her and touches the ki outside her body in everything around her. "Be sympathetic to others while still maintaining a strong mind. Show affection and be charitable to others. For it is the greater community you serve and thus your love and affection should flow outward, not inward."

Miwa slows it down as the sun starts to sink in early afternoon. "Show respect for others and treat them as equals until they show they are not. Have sympathy for those that fall. Be courteous and well mannered. Do not fear offending good taste when necessary for this motivation for being courteous is the wrong path."

By mid-afternoon she switches her kata again. Sweat now streams down her body as she becomes filled with ki directing it to different points in her body and giving back what she has taken around her in sweeping arm movements. "Never bear false witness. Lying is cowardly and dishonorable. An Onna-bugeisha's word must be taken for truth. Be accurate and precise with what you say. Be frugal and think simply for these things will bring the people you rule to see your sincerity and trust you."

She continues her slow dance balancing the ki within her looking to attain self-awareness with everything around her. " For one to be honorable, one must be humble. Without honor you have no respect. Have personal dignity and worth for yourself and know that others do too. Be ready to bear the unbearable for your honor. In this way you show those you lead the right path. The way of the sword."

As the sun nears the horizon Miwa stops and bows to the katana stand. She finishes her meditations. "Always be loyal to your family, your lord, and your peers. Personal fidelity should exist between all men and women.

Before she picks up the stand, she smiles her crooked smile. "Am still questing my husband. I know you are with me in spirit. You are my guide to becoming one with my sword. I thank you Ryuu for looking after me."

She makes a bowl of rice mixed with fish slices over the fire for her dinner. When finished Pickles comes over and nudges her. She feeds him slices of apple before putting a feed bag over his head full of oats. After he has had his fill, she takes it off and settles in her tent. The warhorse given a long lash to a tree so he may graze in the immediate area.
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Winterhawk99
8:38:38 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
I have come out of hiding now that someone has told me the bomber is from another clan that wants to instigate a war. I believe it was the Lady knight Varya that told me of such. So, four days ago I started to patrol the areas around Norwick and Peltarch once again. Training on all manner of creatures. Before I go into that I would like to speak about two people I have met other than Samwell that I half trust.

The first I wrote about before. The woman that says she is investing in me, Meadow. I have not seen her since coming out of hiding but must write about what happened when she took me gnoll hunting. When we made war against the creatures the wounds, she made with her weapons were grievous the edges of the cuts turned black with decay as if her blades were poisoned by something dead with claws. I also noticed that she used techniques in her fighting similar to what I have seen before. Nin-jitsu is a dark art fighting used by assassins in my homeland. Meadow's way of fighting is very similar. When next I see her I will question her on all of this.

She is obviously employed by the shogun (king) with the guard however she does not guard. I believe she is an investigator but am unsure. Another question that must be answered. I must know her true intent and whether she does these things for the good of her kingdom rather than for selfish reasons. When I think about Meadow, I seem to get honesty but there are many warning flags telling me to stay far away from her.

I am not naive. I know that anyone running a very large territory would employ or work with thieves and assassins. The higher up you go in politics in my homeland the more you must deal and even employ people of these persuasions. Thankfully I will never have to worry about that even if I succeed in my quest and become the leader of Onna-bugeisha in the Barasume clan. I must put Meadow to the test to see if I can work with her.

The second is Lady Varya. She calls herself Paladin. From what I can discern this is a knight dedicated to a specific god. There are so many named gods in the west. I do not know nor care who most of these gods are. I have the 8 million and the path of enlightenment both to which I do my best to adhere to their ways.

Lady Varya is involved in some war with demon clans. She is protecting a demon who she says has lost her power. Another demon has taken over her domain or wants to take over her domain. It's all too confusing to me. Varya took me to a special place where blood cannot be shed. There we found the demon she protects. I watched silently while Varya spoke to her. The demon did its best to charm and corrupt the knight. I still wonder why a knight of a god would speak and have a relationship with a demon. But that is not up to me to tell the westerners what to do. I have a quest and must accomplish the quest of a lifetime in a mere 6 years.

When finished Varya and I rode back to the city. The next day a demon appeared in front of me alone along the road. She wanted to know where the other demon is. I cannot bear false witness and I did not want to reveal the location so I simply stated that the other demon was in a place of peace. That stumped her. I thought that would be the end of it because the demon waved me off like I was a piece of refuse. That I am actually glad for because I do not know how to fight a demon. I left to a safe place shaking and in a bit of fear of the creature.

A few days later I saw the lady knight and told her what had happened. She became frantic. Telling me I should not have said anything. I thought that I had made my answer obtuse enough but she did not thing so. We went to a place called the Witch and Seer. A tower with a bar and a rooftop garden where I often talk to my husband in the dark hours of the night.

There was the first demon. I believe her name is Nanfer or something. There were also others there. The demon and others were discussion going to the abyss to rectify the demon's territory and put her back on her throne. One of them a guard I believe by the name of George attacked the demon. The demon gave flight and the rest went inside the tower except Vayra and myself. We searched but cold not find the succubus. Afterward we went inside to. The group discussed going to the abyss and making armor that they need to survive there. I listened silently to them drinking tea. Even sharing my tea with Vayra when she sat down. After a time some of their friends came in. Many of them in the group that left me in the forest to die. That is when I quietly took my leave of the place. I will not tolerate the presence of dishonorable people. If I did I would fall like Makoto did.

After a few more days Samwell and Varya invited me in search of crystals she needs to make the armor. We met in Norwick and went down into a cave system. We fought demon bats, giant frogs called skindancers, Giant bird like creatures that had sword like arms, creatures that turn metal to rust and something called magic eaters. The hearts of the magic eaters were the crystals that Varya needed.

I did my best to help the two combat the creatures even killing a few of them. These were very powerful monsters and I feel glad I could make my small contribution to the effort. Still, I think this knight. This Varya walks a very thin line with her vows by taking counsel with a demon who constantly works on corrupting the lady knight. She should be more careful on what she gets involved in.

The rest of my week as been spent in training meditating and collecting coin. I now have near 50,000 in coin and a good amount of potions. I traded my armor for another set. This set affords the same protection however it is slightly lighter and is somewhat fire resistant. It has protected me rather well against the bomb throwing goblins south of Norwich. The tradition training grounds of the city are still off limits because of a plague infesting the residential district. Thus, I must train on the monsters in the general area.

I have not grown in precision or power but have learned and increased the ability to put my soul energy (ki) into my weapon. I am not growing in leaps and bounds but in a slow gradual progression. I just hope that I may get to my goals before I go home.

Lastly, Before I packed up to go into the woods for a week of concentrated physical and mental training, I was sitting in the commons sewing when a group of friends of those that left me in the forest showed up. They berated me and my ways in every way they could. I purposely displayed a neutral face, unemotional and answered their questions in a methodic fashion. Inside I was almost at the boiling point. I followed the way of the sword. I stayed polite as I could. They are always saying how I should adopt the ways of the west without even wanting to understand the ways of the east. They are barbaric and not worth my time.

Samwell was proven right, again and again. There are too few here that would put society before themselves and their own self-interest. I look for those that would now. I believe Samwell and Varya are two that would. I am unsure about Meadow but will question her on things to decide if she is worthy to walk beside me. The exception to this is the local dwarves. They seem to be a worthy people that consider everyone not just themselves.

That is all the time I have to write for now. I will write later on the dwarves of the west. I find them refreshing in this mire of a city where so many humans are so evil and individualistic.
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Winterhawk99
8:39:05 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
The soft wind in the glad makes Miwa feel happier than she has been in a while. Now that it is deep in spring wildflowers of various kinds have spung up in the little glade she camps in. 'Pickles', Her warhorse grazes on some of them. He leaves others alone. It's warm. She can now sleep with just a light blanket. The sky has small puffy clouds hanging low in the air. She looks up commenting that it should soon rain by what the clouds say. Rice is cooking over the fire. There are several bottles of wine by the log she is sitting on. Miwa takes her diary out along with a small paint bush and inkwell. She writes backwards from the westerners. Right to left, bottom to top of the page.

After much training in katas and meditations I went to town for three days to test my meddle on the evil creatures surrounding the regions cities and towns. I died on the cold road. I had two companions with me. The priestess by the name of Thau'lira also died. Unlike many here our other companion sought out help.

I woke up still fighting the bandits that accosted us on the road. They were very strong and had much magic. There were at least two highly trained Wu-jen and a priest within their number. Samwell and Mycella were both there and calmed me down. I don't know everything that happened in the encounter. I know I tried to attack the priest before he could get a spell off. He countered me with a strong defense hitting me with some light that almost knocked me out. I saw Thau'lira freeze in panic. My other companion, I forgot her name was trying to engage the mages who were hitting us with multiple lights. She called them missile storms. I took an invisibility potion to escape but the priest could still see me. I was near to getting way when one of the mages paralyzed me. With the inability to move the priest drove his broadsword through my lung. All went black for a second.

Next thing I know I am free to move my limbs again and went for a counterstrike, but I was no longer on the road. I found myself in a temple with Mycella and Samwell trying to calm me down but staying back from my swings. I was weakened greatly by this and now need to relearn much. Still my quest continues. It seems the gods have more in store for me in this life.

I see afterward that Thau'lira is having a hard time with dying. I do not know how the sharp eared elves think but death may have more meaning to them than we humans because they live so long. Turtle blood. Has to be turtle blood. Being that she is a worthy companion I have tried to help her. I talked to her and gave her some tea. I hope she slays whatever demon possesses her. Even proposed to help her with small unit tactics on something far less imposing than high hold bandits.

The next few days I traveled with others. One time going deep underground and fighting magic eaters and other nefarious underground denizens. We found a man meditating at the edge of a ravine. A small camp behind him. He teleported me to near the surface. The group did not split the treasure very well. Some slunk off with their booty not reporting it. I have quietly started to take notes on who is honorable and who is not.

For the next two days I worked hard cleaning out many layers to get back the knowledge I have lost. I have become wealthy. Much wealthier than some of my current talent and skills. I will need this coin. My sword cannot penetrate many monsters here. Their skin is too thick or have to many magic shields for me to make a dent in it.

I have heard of a master sword maker called Z. I hope to work with him on a new sword. My current sword carries my essences as all Onna-bugeisha. I will have him melt the blade down and use it in a new sword mixed with adamantine. I have some magical additives to also add. and when tempered I will add a pint of my own blood to the process so that the sword will hold even more of my essence within. It is risky and may not work. I am not a sword maker and do not know the full of the process. I will ask from both Samwell and this Z for guidance before the process begins. Until then I will collect coin and any other useful ingredients to increase the potency of my blade.

I also collect coin for better armor. My armor is good enough for now. I am training in mobility so that I may wear lighter armor. When I can wear chainmail and use it to its maximum potential, I will have the armor made.

The last thing I have to write surprises me. I usually do not turn my thoughts to things not of war. I am bred a warrior for the protection of my lord's lands. At home I had balance. I could be the hardened warrior for lord Barasume when he called. I could be the stern judge of the lands My husband and I protected, but I could always come home to be the soft woman that loved her husband. I could become a girl again. I bask in Ryuu's embrace as he wrapped me up in his arms as we fell to sleep together.

Here I always have to be on my guard. Always the warrior. I never know when traveling if my companions will screw me over in treasure or for their own nefarious ends. It is wearing me down. I am out of balance in my soul now. The only one that holds me together, makes me pause is Samwell. I do what I can to remember that I am in fact a woman and need to do womanly things. When I return, I will marry a new husband. He most likely will expect much from me in the running of the household and if be it serve as his judge and executioner on our lands. I have to remember to stay soft and feminine for those things. I still sew new dresses. practice my calligraphy as I am doing now, and a myriad of other tasks for this.

I know what my face and body look like. I am not naive. There is often a reason why Lords pick the husbands of my profession. I have not been able to look into a mirror for a long time. and now there are scars all over my chest. I will make more room to practice being a good wife for my next husband. In this way I hope to keep my feminine side as strong as my warrior side. I do not want to fall in my duties for lord, husband or people.

That is all I have to write today. One day, if I get old. I may re-read this and laugh, or maybe cry.
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Winterhawk99
8:41:26 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
Spring rain fills the air slowly drizzling down into the campsite. Miwa sits in her tent and writes in her logs. She occasionally sticks her head out to see what Pickles is doing. With his war barding off he seems to be prancing about the canyon campsite enjoying the rain. She goes back to her writing.

I went out for 4 days to see how well my meditations and training have taken. On the first day I mostly looked to the goblin caves south of Norwick or the swamps east of Peltarch for combat training. I kept looking to both the Orc caves west of the big city and finally went there. The upper layer of course I have been through many a times. The orcs there give me no problem. There is a door at the back end of the caves. I wanted so badly to explore them, but others have warned me never to go there alone. After a foray into the swamps I found Lucian at the commons and told him I seek a key to the Orc woods.

The caves have another door that shows a secret mountain pass to the orc woods. I knew I would find it in the lower level of the caves. Surprisingly Lucian told me he would help. Thus, we went down to the lower levels. Even with Lucian the area was very tough for me but we succeeded and I procured a key to the pass.

I held off awhile and went down to the lizard people in the western part of the swamps. These creatures are much, much tougher than the little lizards they call kobolds. These creatures are much taller than I and like to try to disarm you while fighting. I was able to clear only 4 rooms and take a dozen heads. Still I got out alive and made great progress doing it alone.

I then went back to the orcs alone and tried my hand at the lower level. It was tough. I used most of my supply of potions but succeeded in taking down the leader and taking a staff from his treasure. I was elated.

The next time I went back I could not complete the task and had to retreat. 4 heavy crossbowmen were waiting for me and almost killed me. I got to just before the throne room when I had to retreat.

Later I took a more inexperienced adventurer with me and we easily knocked out all the lizard men in the first parts of their cave system.

During this 4-day period I also slew giants, went to underdark facing multiple threats and a mystery to which I will get back too later and traveled deep into bugbear territory. Bugbears are fierce opponents. The strongest I have ever fought in groups. Again, I almost died several times. Caution led the way, and I made it with Samwell, Crazy Raazi, and a Bushi by the name of Demin. Demin is a very nice man. As tall as Ryuu and as wide as a dwarf would be at his size.

About my trip to underdark. I was again with Demin, Crazy Raazi, Samwell and this time Sebrienne. We encountered a giant wrapped in cloth. The westerners call these dead things mummies. It was wielding a katana. The great mummy attacked us. We could do little damage at first and it had blades in the ground it could command and hit us with underneath. We fought and fought it for over an hour chipping away at its defenses. As soon as it died metal eaters came down on the katana. I fought for it hard so they would not destroy the blade. I needed to know if it was an ancestral blade and if I should send it to the family whether they be of Wa or Kozakura. It also took us awhile to defeat the metal eaters, but we did.

After all was done and it was safe, I picked up the blade and carefully examined it. The blade had lost much of its enchantment. I found no makers mark, nor did I find a clan insignia on the blade. I asked the group if I could claim it. Thankfully they concurred.

During my 4-day outing I met a strange woman by the name of Tia Wyvern. She looks to have grown up in a clan and has had a few years of Onna-bugeisha training. She had died. As my paper locating contraption started to vibrate in my pack, I looked to see she had died on the westerns side of Peltarch. I saddled up and made hast there to find someone had picked the body up and carried it to temple. She was raised. Seeing she used a katana I pressed her on it with many questions and got her story.

Her clan had aligned with dragons, but she was kidnapped by others because they deemed her clan evil for doing so. She was taken in by westerners and trained as a wu-jen. I talked to her about many things and still only have a partial story but saw that she needed to complete her training as an Onna-bugeisha. I tried in every way to dissuade her including flatly telling her that if she continues on this path her face will look like mine. She still persisted.

Against my better judgement I have taken her in as an apprentice and into my family. She is now Tio of the Barasume clan. We will see if she can stand the training. If not, I will let her bow out at any time. Westerners would not understand the commitment to you need to become like me. I doubt she will make it to the end, but I should do my best to try to properly train and turn her into an Onna-bugeisha if that is her wish.

My Ki has gotten stronger, and I am practicing the dashio style of fighting. I am not ready to lose my shield, but I am closing in with practice.

Makoto and I have had several words, several times on this outing. I am showing great patience with her, but my patience is near ending. She is inconsiderate, self-centered, and bitchy. Your basic palace brat. She whines about being a princess when it is obvious, she either never was or was kicked out because of her behavior. She throws money around like it is water and does other things that gives me great pause. And yet, she is my only connection to my home.

Even if a princess she was kicked out of the Wa palace which means she did something. The Wa imperial palace would most likely be very much like the imperial palace of Kozakura. No princess would even be let off the grounds except under strict supervision until they were married off to a noble house (whichever house would bring more central power to the emperor, imperial family and central government.

It makes me wonder what she could do to have them throw her out if she is indeed a princess? Did she kill a guard? Get screwed? Something worse? I don't know but she has me on edge though I do not display it, or at least try not to. This is what pampering does to a woman. They become all but useless in the basic things with no proper edict because they think they are so much higher than everyone around themselves. They can even ignore the very codes that make their countries work.

I had to run a household, three villages and many acres of land. I had to be my husband's hand of justice when needed and fight my lord's wars when away from home since I was better at war than Ryuu. I have had to learn how to fish, plant, and reap a harvest so that I could take the peoples perspectives on things. It was always work until those rare moments when Ryuu and I were left alone and free to have an outing............or stay in bed a few nights in a month.

Thats enough of writing for now. I am upset. I do not want to lose my connection but am angry at the self-righteousness, whininess and general brattish behavior of Makoto. And to think her name means honesty.
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Winterhawk99
8:43:50 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
Miwa comes back to camp to meditate on what she has learned. She releases Pickles to graze and tidies the place up a bit. She takes two days to rest and meditate before writing of her experiences. When ready she takes brush to her journal writing in high shou. The day is clear and breezy. It's about 80 degrees. She can tell by the sun that summer is coming shortly. She in gladdened by that thought for the area where she lives in her homeland is very hot and mostly beaches and rocky jungle forest. She writes.

I went back to the city for two days to test what I have gleamed from my previous meditations. Many things happened to me while adventuring these four days. The first I recollect is that the Cleric by the Name of Thau was in the commons. I met her and suggested that we practice her combat with the orcs of the pass.

Surprisingly she agreed. She is a shy creature not quite ready for combat with others. Mostly a quiet calm sort that avoids practicing her marshal skills. I took her to the orc caves and before going through the door to the pass I tell her that I will be her shield. She needs to stand behind me and make ready while I keep their attentions. In that way we can go very far together.

We managed to go several miles into the forest defeating many opponents together. Every time she wanted to get ahead, I told her to get behind so that I might take the attentions and the brunt of the attacks while she flanks them. I also told her that I would try to draw them back by ones and twos, so we don't have many upon us at once.

Again, she did very well with this. After going a few miles and defeating many orcs we encountered a champion orc. This orc along with an orc called a runemaster was extremely tough. We did defeat it along with several others with it. We discussed about turning around at this point because we used many healing potions in this fight. We decided to move on. This turned out to be a mistake. We came upon a grand barricade across the cliffsides with only narrow avenues to get through. I started to take down one of the middle barriers. Thau told me to just go around. I came to her and saw about 5 orcs including a runemasters and champion coming to us. I quickly jumped in front of her drawing the attentions of the champion. The runemaster hit me with a great golden light from the heavens paralyzing me. I knew I would fall and saw Thau running away. I thought to myself good she will get help. I don't remember anything else before waking up at the temple. It seems Marty the nature priestess had saved us.

After going through all the battles in my head I find that Thau'lira did very well. Much better than when we fought the bandits. She has much to learn too. I am however very proud of her improvement, and I do not think my sacrifice was in vain. It seems the gods have more for me in this life. I will continue on my path. I fault myself for falling in those woods. I should have had us turn back when I felt we had reached our limit. I too learned from this outing.

I believe I have a ring barrowed from Demin when we went out together once. I told him I would return it to him as soon as we were done but forgot. It was a minor dishonor to myself for not immediately giving it back. I will make a point to give him back his ring and give one of mine to redeem myself. I need to be more careful with things of others. I am somewhat ashamed that I have forgotten this.

There was a trial being called as I came into town on the second day. I went to the courthouse but found many who left me in the forest there. I turned around and left. Being a judge for my husband I would have enjoyed the trial however I will not stand the presence of those that would abandon one in their group. I do not remember the men in the group that day, but I do remember the women. Ros the small one, Asha, Athos the nature priestess, and Isolde a human wu-jen. These 4 are evil and self-centered and never should be trusted. I have considered taking revenge upon them when strong enough but here in the west I dare not. I will say their heads should be posted in the city square as criminals of society for they have no worth for society. They only live for themselves.

In the second day I met with Makoto once again. She wanted to lead a party into the depths of the earth. I said I would come. There was a male sharp eared there that was completely obnoxious and self-absorbed. I did not get his name, nor did I care even when I found him quite competent with a bow. Another self-centered, self-absorbed asshole that doesn't deserve to breath air. Makoto was on good behavior for the most part.

I almost mistook some of her joking to be in seriousness and got upset at the beginning of the venture but as I thought about it and remembered the jokes of others before battle, I remembered they are spoken through nervousness in anticipation for battle. All is well. We went deep: Very deep. We defeated hundreds of creatures that haunt the tunnels and grand caverns underground. We were on a ledge when giant Umber hulks attacks us on the flank. No one was ready and I was on the flank. I attacked them. I thought I could take them because I have defeated them before, so I did not go into my defensive fighting tactics. This was a grand mistake. I fell in battle again. I woke up in ghauntown with the others staring over me. I found out that my death though temporary was honorable because I gave the rest time to prepare for the battle. Again, I was raised. I lost 10,000 gold but Makoto presented me with a hood that protects against magic. I did honor to my lord, husband and ancestors that day. I am encouraged but have to remember to be more cautious with foes. Fight defensively until you know you can take them.

The last thing that happened is I had the great honor of meeting Master Z at the crafter's guild. He is by name the greatest sword maker in these lands. I humbly asked him of my ideas for making a new sword and putting my essence within. He would melt my own sword down and add metal and other materials to it like the Jasmal I found. Then when it is being tempered, I will add my living blood to the bath so that my essence, my soul will always be a part of the sword as with my fist sword made when I was twelve.

I have 3 months to find something called adamantine. if I can find this, he will add it to the making of the blade. If not, he will use something called Mithril. I also have a jasmal to add to it. Also, the wrap of the blade (The Same) which is usually made from sting ray; I want made in wolverine skin. I must first find and defeat one. then skin it.

He told me in the next three months to be on the lookout for more jasmal and other odd things that could make the sword better. I will do this looking for this adamantine. I am gladdened that a master of his reputation would have me as a client. I told him if there is anything I can do for him just say the word and I will be there.

It was a long two days. I will continue to practice, rest and meditate here in camp for a few more days before going out again and testing my meddle on new foes.
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Winterhawk99
8:45:39 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
After 5 days of meditation the previous outing, practice and exercise, I went back into the cities of the region to test what I have learned. It didn't take long.

For a moment in time: Just a moment in a lifetime of dutiful study I felt the other part of my soul within my sword. For a long day I became the sword, and the sword became part of me. An extension of self. I felt and fought like the great sword masters of old: and then it was gone.

I felt immortal, undefeatable and that was my downfall, but in that moment, I exceled. During my two days of realistic practice two fell around the region. I have a magic map that tells me where all others are that also have maps. That maps also hum when someone dies so that their bodies may be rescued and hopefully raised. The first was a man by the name of Call. When I heard the map and saw the name, I gathered together a group to go down into the depths of the earth below Narfell and rescue him. Along with me was a goodly elven archer and a wizard. He did not say his name, but later Samwell told me his name is Gog the fat.

He is an old fat little dwarf.

We went into the earth to a ruined city called Arneth. There were powerful creatures there called Quoggaths. They were too much for me, so I immediately went invisible and watched Gog fight them. The elven likewise went invisible. Gog put up a glowing green shield and fired lights at them hurting them somehow. They killed themselves on the green shield their skin smoking from the acid burns as they hit the barrier.

After Gog defeated the lot of them, we rescued Calls body and took him to the temple. There we raised him. He was gladdened to be alive.

Very shortly after, within a few hours, the map hummed again in my pack. A young wizard had fallen in the giant lands. Again, we gathered a group and went for the body. I took down many a giant that day. My sword humming and perfectly in tune with my body. Each part of my soul singing in harmony with each other. My reach longer, my power greater by far and my swing so precise. We collected his body and ran back to the temple. He was quite amazed that he had fallen when resurrected. He thanked us. I was so pleased by my newfound understanding of Bushido and how it affected my complete being.

The next day it all fell apart. The next morning, I went looking for a wolverine near Blackridge. Samwell had told me he had seen them there from time to time. I took Dermin with me. Dermin is a solid warrior with much experience. Much more than myself in fact. While looking for wolverine we found a crystal cave filled with goblins that could control ice. We fought them. They were not particularly hard foes but did have a very large amount of coin.

We found a doorway to a mountain pass in the cave. We walked miles encountering zombie goblins, elementals, small dragons, and witches. We easily defeated all of them returning with some 5,000 in gold and equipment. I will go back there again when the opportunity presents itself meaning a man to fight the dead goblins. Thats a man's job because zombies are so.............icky.

I mean they splatter rotten flesh and green goo all over you when you fight them. They smell so, so bad. The awful sounds like 'Splish' that are made when you cut them and the gas. sometimes you stab them, and you hear that awful noise of gas escaping and then the terrible smell! Yes, I definitely know this is a man's job to take care of the undead.

We won much gold but did not find any wolverines.

Later, on a hunch I went to a small village called Steppenhall. I had to fight several undead there but made it safely. Just outside the gates of the town in a farm field I spotted one. A wolverine. He was stalking the farmers chickens. I ran too it. It did not run off as I had expected. It attacked me. I still felt somewhat sorry for killing an animal that represents my own clan nickname, but I had too. I skinned it and put it in my pack. I went into the city and looked around. Samwell happened to be there. He wanted to explore a bit of the terrain around the village. I went with him.

The first thing we encountered was another wolverine. We tried to avoid it being I already have a skin, but it would not back away. I had to kill it. Wasting nothing I skinned that one too. So now I have two wolverine pelts for the same of my new katana. We went further afield and encountered earth elementals and then manticore.

Manticores are like giant lions with eagle wings and a wicked barbed tail. They can launch these barbs at their enemies or anything they consider food. I think we are food. We chased a single manticore down into a valley and suddenly we were surrounded. I tried to fight as best i could with five of them throwing these barbs in my direction. And then the moment was gone. I fell.

Samwell raised me. The gods seem still have a mission for me to do in these lands. I am very thankful they do. Even missing Ryuu but life must go on. I lost that spark, that connection. Again, if feel the part of me that is my sword as a distant echo in the night. It was my arrogance, that feeling of invulnerability, that addict aphrodisiac of power that led me away from the code of bushido. I will humble myself next time I travel out into the world and have better self-control. In this way by following the code I will regain and relearn this new enlightenment. Next time, I will be able to remain in control now that I know to be wary of my own faults.

The last thing that happened while being out in the cities was that a large group formed to go south and explore. Both Dermin, Thau'lira, Crazy (Raazi) and others were with us. We fought hobgoblins and others. Most took the ship to Norwick. I took Pickles and rode down getting there much faster. I waited by the camp, but no one came. After a while I went to the ship. As soon as I got to the farms, I saw a strange wu-jen talking to the rest of the group. He put a mark on Dermin's hand. I don't know why but everyone knew I did not trust the mage or the mark.

We started to explore the south when strange things started to happen around Dermin. Lightning struck his shield bounced off it and hit crazy. He would randomly turn invisible, other things would happen. luckily no one was seriously hurt. As all this was happening, we were fighting hobgoblins and other things. As we went further. I noticed that we had wandered into bugbear lands. I became greatly concerned. We fought more of those giant birds then the bugbears started to appear. I went invisible several times. Luckily, we did not terry in the field, and all made it out alive.

This ends my diary entry for the days I tested myself in the region. Hopefully, when I return from my meditations I will again perceive and feel the deeper connection with my katana once again.
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Winterhawk99
8:46:29 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
The long days are here and with it the heat of summer. For some reason the seasons here are much more drastic than at home. The winters are cold, very cold. Snow forms and drifts in the lowlands as well as at the tops of mountains. In summer the heat of the day tests even my senses of comfort.

Still the quest must go on. Again, I feel the residual power deep within my blade. I have been able to tap into the part of my essence placed into it when I was young. The blood ritual every Onna-bugeisha goes through when their blade is made for them. Once again, I am becoming whole with the part of me infused into my weapon.

It has been two weeks since I have met Master Z. I have yet to find adamantine. The mastery of my current blade has occupied all of my time. Still, I have met with Samwell yesterday. We planned a trip deep into underdark to find the precious ore to make the perfect blade. I have found 3 more jasmal this outing. So now have 2 wolverine pelts and 4 jasmal, and my original katana which will be melted down and added to this new blade. I will look for other items to use and before the work starts ask both Master Z and Samwell what is best to use in the making of the new sword.

Another point to make is while Samwell and I were discussing things at the guild we found something called an adamantine helm in its shop. The cost is 20,000 in coin. He suggested that perhaps the helm could be melted down and reused in my blade's manufacture but hesitated because he did not know if it was truly made from the rate metal.

During this last outing I have met several new people; Two of which set my nerves on edge. The first is a human named Asher. A large man with many open tattoos. At first, I thought him yakuza, but he is too prideful and blatant in his aggressions. He likes to taunt me and my ways while in the commons. I seem to be a target of his angst in some way, for some unknown reason. I would have taken his head if I was home, however I am not home and in command of my husband's territory. I must abide by the western law of these lands. I must come up with a way to trawl his bitter irritations. In the least he is just a sand flea that digs under the skin and takes tiny bites. A harmless nuisance that should be treated as such. I think this is the perspective I should take with this irritating man.

The other is an archer who claims to be the best alive in the world. I forget his name something like Elidor Moonfeather or something similar. I met the sharp ear last outing when Makoto staged an exploration of underdark. He was and is a competent archer. In fact, better than most, however his arrogance knows no bounds.

I met him again in the commons. Again, he went on about being the best archer that ever lived. Thau'lira was in the commons with me along with Ichiro. (I have not mentioned Ichiro yet because the Bushi may have dishonored himself by claiming the title of samurai when he is not. I did not personally see it so the jury, so to speak, on his indiscretion. I did warn him not to take a title he does not truly hold. He knew enough to be respectful when we spoke of it.)

Where was I? oh yes. Thau'lira was there along with Ichiro. We took him to the range at the Witch and Seer. There we tested his abilities.

Ichiro sat down right in front of the target. Elidor went to the expert distance of the range (about 50 yards). As Elidor was preparing for his shot, his arrowhead lit up with a blue light. I saw his lips softly chanting like a wu-jen preparing a spell. When he shot: The arrow went around Ichiro and hit the bullseye behind him.

Using magic to augment your abilities is not a true test of any archer's or warrior's abilities. I was disappointed. Having seen enough, I went to the rooftop garden at the Witch and Seer to speak to Ryuu. He will always own a piece of my heart. My gentle husband that died too soon.
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Winterhawk99
8:48:50 pm GMT 11/04/22
Winterhawk99 Registered Member #25663 Joined: 9:54:01 pm GMT 10/11/22
Posts: 71
Miwa looks up to the sun before writing in her little camp. The air is both hot and dry. It is comfortable for her. She then looks at her journal a moment sighing beginning to write.

I went to town for two days after studying, meditating and training for 10 days. Much happened in those 4 days. Some things I somewhat regret. Some things that give me hope that I will find the metal I am looking for. I only have one more month to find it. Otherwise, I will use the other metal suggested. Mithril.

The first major thing that happened was a meeting of a new woman in town from high hold. Her name is Rika. She wanted to go exploring to the south. I, an elven by the name of Ediuth and another elven male a mage went with her.

We went south of Norwick fighting hobgoblins. All being quiet experienced the hobgoblins had no chance. We wandered our way into troll lands where giant beetles and other creatures lurked finding ourselves at the edge of bugbear lands. I cautioned them on just where we were and knew this would be very dangerous.

Coming to a bottle neck and peering around Rika informed us there was some form of meeting going on deep in the woods and hills at the edge of these lands. There were several humans in the forest about 2 dozen. She rattled off the names of western gods I do not know. Malar, Auril, and Sylvanius. It seems this was a meeting of people that can use the magic of nature. Eventually some saw us and went to investigate angry that we had come to the meeting. They attacked us with the full forces of their magic and marshal skill.

At first the four of us did well until the leader of the meeting with the rest of them rushed us. I heard one of my companion’s shout “Elder Druid!” We were in trouble. Rika went down. The two elven started to flee. I was in a desperate battle to hold them off so that the elven could escape. I went down with honor holding the horde of nature people off so they may escape.

I woke up in the temple of Chauntea in Norwick disappointed in myself but thankful I lost no connection with my blade. Ryuu was watching, I think.

Earlier I dared explore the secret room in the ice goblin caves with Ichiro Shimazu, a Bushi from the land of Wa. There are a few from Wa here. I have not met another from Kozakura. We found a great dwarven refinery still operating without any dwarf in sight. There were mechanical spiders and mechanical men working the foundry. I jumped at the idea that there may be some of the metal I need here. We explored the entirety of the top level to find platinum ore, copper ingots, jasmal and sunfire stones. Finding a door that leads lower into the abyss we used caution and did not explore further.

The next day I met Samwell and told him about the place. He did not recognize it. I was determined to explore more of this foundry. Just before going back to camp, I took Raazi, Axe, Ediuth and others. We again explored the top level of this foundry then went down deeper exploring the next level deeper within the earth. We found platinum, gold, and electrum spider machines along with iron and copper golems. These fights with the machines were much harder. The iron golems can instill magic fear. Something I find myself susceptible to. In the last room was a giant iron golem. We fought it down. When finished we found a doorway going down, but it was choked and clogged with debris. We all vowed to come back with picks and shovels to free the doorway and explore deeper into this place.

Two days into my 4 in public I was riding from Norwich to Peltarch when Lucian riding like a madman crashed into Pickles and myself. I was wearing a dress. He put a large bruise on pickles, tore my dress and almost knocked the both of us over. Instead of stopping offering assistance and apologizing he continued riding off at a crazy pace. Angry I gave chase. He went into the spider woods. I had to break it off because I was not in armor and ready to fight giant spiders while trying to chase him down.

The next day I caught him sitting in the commons. I went up to him and punched him in the face. Screaming about what he had done. I was so angry. Not so much in the crash. Dresses can be resewn, Pickles will recover. It was in the cowardly way he ran away. He would not admit his mistake. I was leaving angerly when a constable a red head with a mustache charged me 300 gold for getting into a fight. He did not see what had happened along the path, so I paid without putting up a fuss and left the area. Still, it now looks I was the one in the wrong even though I did get justice in the end.

The last day I found him again in the commons. I could not help but taunt him on his lack of etiquette and his egotistical self-absorption. He challenged me to a fight and walked off. I went to the place he told me ready for a good fist fight. I found him on his warhorse and in full armor ready for a dual. What did I miss?

I told I was ready to fight or to talk to work out our differences. He only had admitted his wrongdoing. I would have attempted to pull his armor off piece by piece and disarm him had there been a fight even if out classed with not armor or weapons. It would be honorable.

I even lied and said I was galloping too fast myself. Something I would not normally do but did for the sake of diplomacy. Now I wish that I had not. It is against the code to bear false witness. He eventually turned round when a few people showed up and left like a coward.

I had thought even though Lucian a brusque and hardened veteran that he had honor. I was sorely disappointed now finding him as egotistically self-centered as many in these western lands. I will not walk with this man now, ever.

Ichiro is in fact a completely different story. When he first came, he claimed to be a samurai. I watched him carefully and when sure called him out on it. He admitted his mistake not so much in words but in actions. This gave me pause and I watched him more traveling with him on several occasions. He does not follow bushido but has his own code. Much of this code involves charity. It seems he was hurt badly on more than one occasion by the samurai of Wa. I cannot say otherwise for I know there are evil men in all walks of life. Samurai are not immune to descending into the evilness of privilege and the pain it can cause.

I find that even though he is not samurai, he is a better man than even some samurai I have known and a bit wiser. He is a good example of a what a bushi can become as a man. I have come to appreciate his presence in both the commons and while exploring the land in my quest.

Just before I left Raazi the one, I call crazy (because she is completely out or her mind) had a heart-to-heart talk. She told me of her nobility and the duality of people. I completely agree with the duality part. I am a bit questioning of the nobility part but then again, the west is a strange and mysterious place. Perhaps it is true. I found out that her baby is well taken care of. That at least is a good thing. She realizes she cannot take care of the babe in her condition and has others taking care of it.

I did notice that she does have some insight into the nature of people. I did appreciate our talk before I took leave to come back to camp. She’s still utterly crazy and should be carefully watched but I have never seen her hurt anyone but the foes of the kingdom. That is all I have to write on my 4-day experience. In a few more days after some training and meditation I will again take up my swords and venture out to complete my task.
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