DM Curtains Raise.
DM Standing outside the Four Seasons Trading and Ship Outfitters’ the sun has burnt off the mists in the bay. The bustle of the town has slowed a little as those who can seek the shelter of indoors or shade. Its sticky and the clicks and buzzes of insects is omnipresent. Ssenio and Takena Toryo have agreed to furnish information on their understanding of the sea-borne misdeeds and requested that you meet them aboard the Wise Choice after nightfall. Ssenio is wary of trouble following you and suggested that the reason for your visit could be communicated to any inquiring parties as tracking down forbidden crafts. He suggested you speak with at least a few other traders to make this plausible. Making his excuses that trade needed to be attended to, the meeting was ended. Takena Toryo remained on the roof, Ssenio saw you out. The Furishouhou sits at anchor off shore, you can see the Red Coin making ready to sail while porters continue to unload the Loyal Brother.
Toshi looks from Ren to Han to Goro
Ren blinks at Toshi
Han So… Forbidden crafts
DM Some lizardmen from Four Seasons bustle past with crates on their shoulders.
Ren absently sniff at the lizardmen
Ren looks around at Han expectantly
Han i have a bad feeling about this. I don’t like that Toryo guy. Something… just doesn’t feel right
Ren His ship smells funny. I don’t want to go there
Han Define ‘Funny’, Ren
Ren Like the nasty water. Where we found the monkey man
Han If that guy is a pirate, i’m the king of Siam
Ren Should I address you as Your Highness then
Han Do you see a crown
Ren You could have taken it off
Goro If he’s not a Pirate then what is he
Han I don’t know. But there is something about him. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Something about him just… doesnt feel right…
Han I got it. He feels like a Lord. A Feudal Lord. Or… Or some military leader
Goro The question in that case is to who he gives fealty
Han That just it… i don;t think he’s giving anyone fealty. Or if he is, he’s hiding it well
Ren does it really mater we still don’t have that lady’s thing
Han I think he’s gone Rogue…
Ren well are we going to go get the lady’s thing or we gonna stand here til some fisherman notices us and gets antsy
Han Either way… he is no Natural born sailor, that’s for sure
Ren smugly few truly are
Han Fishermen here know better than to gawk, less a cutlass remove the part of them that thinks from the rest of them
Goro Could be something to do with the unnatural state of floating on the water
Ren sighs ponderously
DM A trio of yarimen emerge from the streets to the base of the bridge. Their officers confer briefly then those who were at the bridge head back the way the others arrive.
Han But you’re right we need to be doing something.
DM A tengu and a human come down the street arguing about pickles
Goro Lets find this other northerner, Takashi, he should be mixed up in things also
Ren takes two steps left. looks confused. takes two steps right. Looks up at Goro and Han
DM The distant ends of the docks are beginning to shimmer in the heat. Another lizardman with a tray of boxes and bowls arrives at Four Seasons and goes inside
Ren starts shifting back and forth on her feet looking decidedly unhappy
Ren Can’t we MOVE somewhere. I know I’m not into this whole politics stupid stuff but it seems stupid to stand here talking about a guy when he and his lackeys are on the other side of the door right there!! And its HOT!
stamps her feet for effect
DM A lizardman comes back out the door with a stack of empty boxes and heads down the street.
Goro Tilts his hat back to look up at the sky I guess it is a little hot out in the open, any suggestions on where we should start looking
Ren Presumably not here!
Toshi Let’s go back to the Furishouhou then, and figure out how we’re going to pass the rest of the day.
Toshi It can’t be any warmer on deck than it is here.
Han And here
Ren stomps off towards the Furishouhou without waiting for the others
Toshi If we’re going to start checking papers for these ships, we can do so in the afternoon, after the heat has broken.
Goro Well as I said, Taskashi is the other name I was told to look for, where he is I dont know, hes another northerner and deals with some traders
DM Another group of yarimen emerges from the edge of town further down towards the House of Splendours. They appear to be talking the harbormaster who is sitting under a canopy
Han Well… we could ask at the house of spledours. Seems like that where all the action is
Toshi frowns If Takashi deals with traders, he might know where to find him, nodding slightly towards the harbormaster
Han Good idea… I’ll go talk to him. Being the captain of the Furishohou is useful for more than just passage
DM Strolling across to the Harbormaster you see he is collapsed in a wooden chair fanning himself
Han deep bow
DM The harbormaster looks pained as he rises, bows, and collapese back again.
Han Greetings Harbourmaster. May the Blessings of the Water Kami be with you today
DM The yarimen and their sergeant stand back. They are wearing shogunate emblems, which seems odd. Blessings of the fates upon you, Captain. Are you well
Han I am most well, our Journey was swift and Sure
DM That is good, and prosperous I hope.
Han However, i fear i must apologize for a grievous error on my part. It has been some time since my crew has docked here, and far too many moons since i have set foot here myself… I am afraid i no longer know the place as well as i once did. I seek a man by the name of Taskeshi… I was wondering if you knew the gentlemen. Oh… and regarding our Berthing charges… where should i have my men deliver them?
DM Takeshi-san can be found over there, he points to a shop along the row with a three-part triangle sign, though he had been dealing quite a lot with the swamp-dwellers, you should check whether he has suitable supplies. My cousin, Inomoro, has an excellent supply shop should you have needs. That is his place there with the wreath of seaweed. Your docking fees… well, his eyes flick to the yarimen, there are ongoing discussions about the rates and receivers.
Han Ah… i understand fully the rigors that are placed on Honest businessmen. Please, send word to me as swiftly as possible.
DM I shall, though I understand that prudent business often necessitates swift departures. Noone could be held to blame for such circumstances.
Han Smile and Bow We leave. As we are leaving, to the others “Seems imperial Troopers are starting to take control already. Once the have the docks under their control, they essentially have the whole town. The master there pretty much told us to leave town or face the consequences.”
Toshi Then we should chat with Takashi-san sooner rather than later.
Ren When I get there, I’m diving and going swimming to cool off, literally and metaphorically.
DM Heading past all the traders back towards the boat you notice that one of the trading outposts appears to be the one your looking for. There is a harassed looking man inside rummaging through boxes and drawers. Maps and scrolls spill over, some have fallen to the floor
Ren duck inside, and make a show of fanning myself from the heat “Its HOT today. Didn’t think I could quite make it to the water without a break.”
DM The man looks startled
Ren Sorry to intrude. The sun was just so…. hot
DM “Please excuse me, you are welcome to the shade, may I offer you a drink” his body language contradicts his words
Ren “Oh that would be delightful Have you any water?”
DM “Yes, please, if you could just wait.” He passes out through the back of the shop
Ren Ok Find the nearest place to sit and do so. while he’s out squint at the maps
DM The maps are of what you’re used to The sea of storms, There is a route picked out on it from Qafayah to here and then south
Ren Try and memorize how it goes
DM There are a number of marks with dates between here and Qafayah
Ren crap, do I think I can swipe it
DM Hmm. Its pretty obviously what he was working on. you could grab it and run if you like
Ren no… I’ll just memorize as much as I can
DM The man comes back with a deep cup filled with water. “Please, accept this with my compliments.” He says, even as his expression telegraphs ‘go away’
Ren “Oh thank you very much” Drink deeply “Being out of the water can sometimes be so burdensome.”
DM I would hate to keep you from the comforts of the waves, sea-child.
Ren Thank you for your concern. I could wish everyone was as thoughtful as you are. Have you met many others like me before
DM Strange, never before this week, and now you are the second.
Ren Really? unfeigned shock Where did you meet him
DM The man looks deeply uncomfortable, almost scared. “Down in the towns”
Ren I am sorry to be so prying, only I have not seen one like myself in many years. I thought I was the only one in the area. Really Was he working on a ship?
DM “No, I’m sorry, I really have duties to attend to, if you will please excuse me.”The man looks rattled but ushers you towards the door
Ren Oh yes, of course. Thank you ever so much for the water and the news
DM Yes, yes, good day to you and fates preserve you." As you turn to leave you think you hear him mutter “fates preserve us all.” You see the others coming across the docks from the harbormaster
Ren Leave the cup, head out. Head to the ship. Find a map and draw what I remember on it.
DM that’ll take a little while but sure
Ren I’m expecting it to mainly just be the route itself. Then its off to go find my long-lost cousin, which will probably involve me going up to people going “have you seen someone like me” Nice and blunt
DM As you walk along the dockside you see the different trading houses
Ren Runs up at a dash
DM The seaweed wreath is near, and beyond you see the triangles that are supposed to be Takeshis
Ren “He is ever so busy but check out his map when you get to see him. I have to go find somebody.”
Han “Who is ever so busy” shouting after her
Toshi The world may never know. Come on, let’s go talk to Takashi.
Han “i…” shaking my head
Toshi Before the Shogunate takes your ship as custom.
Han i go with them
DM The triangle sign hangs over a small shop
Toshi head for the triangle sign
DM It is small and dark, with shelves from floor to ceiling. Inside a man works frantically amidst a pile of scrolls, maps and charts. He has an abacus to hand and a brush and paper. Boxes and drawers have been pulled untidily open or hang in their traces, spilling more parchments and scrolls
Toshi bows deeply Good day. Do I have the pleasure of addressing Takashi
DM The man looks at you with something akin to horror, but quickly recovers and bows in return. “Good day to you, I have the honour of being Takashi.”
DM He is a man, thin, with a scribes build. His clothes are cut in a Northern style but he seems to have dressed in a hurry today. As Goro blocks out the light in the door way his expression sinks a little further.
Please, come in, how may my humble establishment serve you
Toshi We are investigating the recent shipping disruptions. I understand you have some connections here in the city and would be willing to assist in our enquiries. I’m sorry, have we come at a bad time. looks at the paper in front of him
DM His eyes track Han as he starts to peer at the shelf contents.
Toshi Steps forward, taking up more of his field of vision
DM “I am a factor for some trading concerns, mostly from Kinu Toshi. Indeed as you can see I am unfortunately very busy at the moment. Perhaps if you tell DM what you need I can have another of the factors furnish your needs. I am currently experiencing some delays to my shipments that may hinder my means to meet your needs, you understand.”
Goro Accidentily leans too hard on a shelf sending its contents flying
DM Wood cracks, scrolls tumble all over the floor, Takeshi barely hides a pained expression
Toshi those delays are precisely our concern. the sooner we can discuss the circumstances with you, the sooner we can leave you to work.
Goro glance tiredly at the tumble on the floor, supress a yawn and look around for somewhere else to lean on
DM I am afraid I do not know why my shipments have been delayed. These pirates we hear so much about
DM Rumour has it that the young lizardmen are taking to raiding, with the border in flux, some say it is time for a new leader to take over from Lord Five Tiger but these are rumours, I hear a great deal of them. Where did you say you had come from
Toshi We represent private interests.
DM I see. Well I am afraid I am just a humble factor.
Toshi I believe we have a mutual friend in Ban Tsoi.
DM Takeshi’s eyes narrow. Indeed. That is interesting.
DM In that case, you can tell Ban that I’m out. I’m leaving, if he wants to find me he’ll be lucky.
Han i think we’ve already found you
DM … Takeshi grimaces. Indeed. So what does Ban Tsoi want
Han Nothing more than your cooperation. So please… do you best to answer the lady’s questions
Toshi What do you know about the disruptions, who do you think is connected, and while we’re here, why are you seeking to run for the horizon and disappear from under our friend’s nose. You may start with the rumours you’ve heard, and your opinion of them.
DM Takeshi looks around desperately and then his shoulders slump and he sits down on his stool.
Han If you’re very lucky, we might forget about the last question
DM I am almost sure that the supply disruptions have been caused by the lizardmen down in the swamps. They have recently gotten better sea-going vessels and weapons.
Toshi From whom
DM They have a fence for the things they plunder and a line on where good prospects are likely to be and when. What would you do if you knew who did it Does it matter
Toshi It all matters. What’s the fence’s name
DM Takeshi shrugs. It was me.
Toshi Ah. Go on.
DM He looks at you. You are not the first persons to come here, I was told in no uncertain terms to disappear a few days ago by parties I am inclined to heed. So I am liquidating what assets remain to hand and I’m going.
DM Mostly I want to make sure I am not leaving any creditors sufficiently motivated to find me.
DM Northerners.. He looks puzzled and peers at a map. I believe… yes, I believe you could say he was from the North.
Toshi Who? looks down at the map then back up at Takeshi
DM Takeshi looks at Toshi, then Goro, then Han. Not people. Not Imperial. I won’t say their name. They can tell when you say their name in the stories. Maybe its a story but I’m not taking a chance
DM No… thats what it said to me. Takeshi looks confused It thought I was working for the fae, said I was a pawn, said I should go away. This is me heeding it.
Goro and were you deadly serious
DM Takeshi shudders. Not that I knew, but… but when monsters from the stories start turning up in my garden then I am not sure any more. I am going to find a monastery, somewhere quiet and far up a mountain. Far, far from the sea.
Han … don’t blame you.
Goro Why would anyone think you were working for them What have you done
DM I brought in weapons for the young bloods in the swamps, I found some blue seas navigators to show them the ropes, I told them where the ships were and sold on the loot. As best I know, thats not what makes warding sign the elves do. Hell, I thought they dropped firey death from the skies, what would they need me for
Toshi If they ‘d wanted to drop fiery death from the skies, I’m sure they wouldn’t have asked you to leave so nicely.
Goro and so we get back to, who warned you to leave
DM … Takeshi frowns No, elves drop fire on people, I didn’t know they worked on land. This… they said they were not happy about what was happening to their realms from the shipwrecks. I think it looked in my mind. I don’t know. I’m just doing what I’m told.
Just then Ouritsou peers in the door. “Captain Han I need you for something”
DM Takeshi looks warily at the newcomer.
Han Yes. If you’ll excuse me bow to the others and leave with Ouritsou
DM Takeshi looks at Goro and Toshi. Are there elves here What are they doing When did this happen
Toshi You still haven’t answered the question.
DM Takeshi slams his hands on the table. No! I won’t! They can drag you out of the spirit realms, they can bind you so deep you can never see the sun again… there are fates worse than death, and they know them!
Toshi Fine. We’ll need that map.
DM Take it. Takeshi pushes at the pile of scrolls on the table. The depths with my creditors.
Goro Take the Devils advise Takeshi, leave tonight Turns and heads back out
Toshi rolls up the map, bows shortly
DM Takeshi shudders and nods.
Toshi Thank you for your assistance.
DM Curtains Fall