"I am but a small stream in the great river of the palace, Sifu.", Gao says, bowing down and producing the scroll. "And this is what the flow brings.", he says. Perhaps I could've read the scroll. But does a messenger who acts on his message become something more?, a thought crosses Gao's hands as the woman reaches for the scroll.
|Righteous Grieving Silence|
hiya! I'm back. SOOO sorry for the long wait. Basically, this is what happened: Stepdad ended up in hospital (i'm flying back home in about 2 weeks to deal with that--i'll still be able to game since he's pretty much housebound for the meantime; Boyfriend and I quasi-broke up; work stuff is pulling me in about 4 different directions; and I got sick. Life has.. sort of worked itself out. So, I'm getting things back on track
"This will be a fine mooncake," Silence tells Isawa. The conversation can continue no further, as they are slightly jostled by a procession of aspirants winding its way down the broad street. Each member bares a small lantern, as they walk, led by an oracle with a wicker basked covering his head. He holds reeds of incense and bathes everyone about him in their rich smoke.
The ceremony is about to begin. Perhaps they should tell Lady Taishi of their success?
Sifu Wei smiles as Gao offers her the scroll. [b]"Thank you! We are all... streams..." She trails off as she opens the scroll and begins reading, lost in thought. She absently pushes up her spectacles, leaving yet another ink stain on her nose. She pulls the scroll down further, somehow avoiding staining the paper with her purple fingers. "oh! before I forget," the Sifu pulls out a small envelope from a drawer behind her. "This was left for you. I can't think for the life of me who'd have left it, or how. But, i servant came with it, and said that it was intended for the person who would bring me the scroll I requested from the archives. They described you, quite well. "
She tsks and then goes back to her scroll, the envelope and its mystery clearly forgotten.
When Gao has time to check its contents, he finds the envelop bears a note with a small badge of jade and gold that can be fastened with red cord. The note reads: A gift of thanks and celebration on this most festive eve. The butterfly, perfuming its wings, fans the orchids.
What could they mean? He didn't know, but he knew he needed to meet lady Taishi soon!
No problem, it's mostly just trying to navigate the different people doing different things online at different times... but.. you did a thing that was super cool and worked with the rest of the plot so yay
The three ladies nod and stand, each leaving on their own paths as Mamoru leaves on his. As he does, however, his foot scrapes against a small envelope bearing a note and badge of jade and gold. The note reads: A gift of thanks and celebration on this most festive eve. The butterfly, perfuming its wings, fans the orchids.
Mamoru had not completed his mission, but he still had learned much of the intrigues of the Palace, perhaps Lady Taishi would be satisfied with his discovery.
Hu easily retrieves a small fan, expertly made of the finest silk with threads of silver and gold painting a pastoral scene along a winding river. It was truly a work of art, and wold fetch a fair price. The other items were fairly dull and ordinary: a cup, an old, rusted knife covered in muck, and a much-cracked plate. All were no doubt old, but none of them matched the mastery of craft of the fan. If the any of these were to be donated, it would be the fan.
He slipped out of the room, fan safely secured in his robes, and stepped over the sleeping guards, with none the wiser. As he returned to his rooms, he found a note sitting on his pillow A gift of thanks and celebration on this most festive eve. The butterfly, perfuming its wings, fans the orchids. Attached to it, was a small badge of gold and jade bound with a red cord.
What could it mean? And what was he to do with the fan?
The servant nods, and quietly leads Zhang to the same room he met her before. Inside, he finds no one but a small badge of jade and gold bound with red cord sits on his former chair beside a note. The note reads: A gift of thanks and celebration on this most festive eve. The butterfly, perfuming its wings, fans the orchids.
|Righteous Grieving Silence|
Mamoru did not know what could be said to be festive about the eve. There were no parades or celebrations or holidays that he was aware of.
He left the gardens feeling peaceful and driven.
Not sure where to go next. My inclination is to follow up on this conversation by trying to find someone on the council who might be sympathetic to the cause of allowing women to be tested.
Sifu Wei gives a bemused smile as she examines the scroll.
Thank you for bringing this! It's.. fascinating!! Exactly what I needed for my research!"
Her spectacles slip down her nose as she pulls the scroll open further. A small envelope slips out. "What? What's this? Oh! It's for you. It must ahve slipped in while you were carrying it."
She shrugs and hands the parcel over, already forgetting about it as she turns back to her scroll.
The envelope contains a small badge of jade and gold raped in red cord and an note that reads: A gift of thanks and celebration on this most festive eve. The butterfly, perfuming its wings, fans the orchids.
What could it mean?
|Hu Xiang Lun|
Xiang Lun studied the badge, attempting to identify it.
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
Knowledge (nobility): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
For the fan, he decided he would leave it someplace in the streets, for someone else to find and sell - best he not be associated with it.
Gao ponders the badge and the message, staring at the cluttered office. Is a clean desk a sign of a clean mind? Or is the pursuit of the immaterial want to leave us unbalanced., he ponders as he leaves. Hm. To be audacious in the face of shadows, or to be lost amongst the many., he thinks, before grinning, pocketing his badge, and starting to make his way back through the city.
Knowledge(Nobility): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26 To try and think of whether the badge signifies anything.
Chancing whether to put on the badge or not. Yes or no.: 1d2 ⇒ 2
Gao, Silence and Isawa each enter the small room several minutes apart, as though appearing there at random. They enter to find Zhang holding his envelope and badge, with Lady Taishi nowhere to be seen.
Hu studies the badge, recognizing it as a badge worn by all the aides and couriers scurrying around the palace. What's more, the badge is magical. It allows the bearer to communicate with anyone else who has a similarly marked badge. This one is of two cranes in flight over a poppy.
As the samurai leaves the garden, he comes across two oracles in a heated argument.
A woman in green robes with jade bangles dangling from her hair makes a curt cutting gesture towards a much older grey-bearded man. "It's preposterous! The very idea of it is madness! Testing girls! We've only ever tested boys! It has always been thus! To change now..."
The old man harrumphs, cutting her off. "We have had female emperors. Is it THAT incredulous to think that the Eternal Emperor could be reborn as a girl?"
The woman snorts. "Yes, we've had female emperors, after they were NAMED by the Eternal Emperor, not the other way round."
The two grow silent as they notice Mamoru watching them.
these are badges typically worn by aides and couriers of the palace. Each they bear the mon of their respective oracle's houses.
|Hu Xiang Lun|
Xiang Lun nods as he studies the badge, thinking this would allow them to easily communicate with each other. It also would have been convenient for disguise purposes when going into the Shifu's rooms in the palace, he thinks ruefully. Still it would prove useful, and he would keep it with him. He tries to place which house the symbol belongs.
Knowledge (nobility) for two cranes in flight over a poppy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Gao arrives and sits down, waving at the others. "I hope that your journey was as fortuitous as mine.", he nods with a smile. "No spider threads silk as tangled as that of the Palace.", he adds.
GM: Apologies if the question is a bit silly, but I couldn't find the answer in the provided documents: What is the function of the Oracles? Are they the ones that choose/find the next Emperor?
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24 [ooc]Anything I can know with a knowledge local?[/dice]
Salutations, Gao. - says Ayoshi - Yes, I believe we were successful as well.
The kensai turns to Zhang.
What are those? - he asks, moving his head around as if searching someone - ... And where’s the lady?
He throws the question in the air, innocently.
The two oracles stare at the samurai in shock for a moment, but the woman recovers first. She inclines her head slightly towards Mamoru. "Of course, noble warrior. We are, if nothing, teachers, and guides on the path of enlightenment. Please, ask."
The other oracle harrumphs and folds his arms across his chest, clearly effecting a put-upon stance.
He studies the badge and recognizes it for Lady Taishi's own mon! Wearing this badge would name him as her servant.
Isawa recognizes recognizes it for Lady Taishi's own mon! Wearing this badge would name him as her servant.
Ok, i'm going to let you 4 Rp for a bit while i travel to my mom's house.
Quick reminder about the oracles: the Oracular Council (made up of oracles of the Eternal Emperor) is the group that controls the country. they're sort of like the Imperial Senate from Rome: they make laws and decide who will be the Eternal Emperor. Laws are agreed upon by consensus, following what amounts to parliamentary procedure.
There's a group of about 8 extremely old oracles who kind of take the lead on things. The noble families pretty much see to the day-to-day running of the nation at the local level. They have acquired vaast amounts of power thanks to the relatively decentralized nature of government, and, of course, they hope to send their own children to become oracles at the Palace to further jockey for power and prestige.
|Hu Xiang Lun|
Xiang Lun considers the badge for a moment, then puts it in his pouch. He isn't sure he wants to name himself Lady Taishi's servant, although doing so would have benefits. The ability to communicate amongst themselves was surely valuable, should they need to. He wondered if any of the others had divined their purpose. He went to find them and speak with them.
Hu enters the room to find the other brave warriors already there.
Feel free to compare notes and discuss. Once I get the group back together, I'm going to move the plot forward.
The woman gapes for a moment, as though at a loss for words. The man, however, regains himself faster. "It hasn't been done. That's why."
The woman finds her tongue and laughs. "Because it can't be done. Throughout all of history, the empires have ever been forged by men. Women have been named successor only by the living male emperor. Tradition must be maintained!"
|Hu Xiang Lun|
Xiang Lun enters and sees the others there. He takes a seat with them and says, "It is good to find our little group yet gathered. Tell me, did you all have success in finding sweet poetry?"
Ayoshi takes a sit, as well, looking with attention to the others. The Kensai wasn't someone who'd trust easy, after quite a rough life.
I... Believe so. - he responds Xiang Lun, with his voice a certain unsure of what the arcane man was talking about - I guess now we play the wait game.
He blinked for a moment, as if ready to meditate. Was he doing his life's mission, now? Or was he just being a pawn played by the powers in evidence?
|Righteous Grieving Silence|
"I did not realize that our traditions were so... arbitrary." Mamoru said, very concerned and a bit sad. "If the empires have always ever been forged by men, well, I cannot help but imagine how much more we could have accomplished by now if we had not excluded half of our brightest minds and talents simply because of their gender."
"You'll have to forgive me, I am a bit overcome at the thought of this. Excuse me."
I'm ready to rejoin the group whenever. Work your GM magic.