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 The cherry blossoms fall, and the sakura bloom no more. 
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 47
Post The cherry blossoms fall, and the sakura bloom no more.
Much of Imhabia was a hubbub with rumours - that the Ronin were leaving, that they were tired and were departing to other places. The Ronin hierarchy steadfastly denied such rumour; the old ways stated that there was no-where to go, that Maxim could not be fled.

But the Ronin were powerful, even in their waning days, none could deny that. Who knew what the Ronin were and were not capable of? Nevertheless the speculation was fueled by the ever increasing numbers of nihon and their allied forces funneling near and through the lands of the Ohka, the cherry blossom, controlled by the Jo-nin Yoshimutsu Watanabe.

Yoshimutsu himself had not been seen in a fourweek, many considered him dead, even some who had never seen him considered him a fabrication, a construct of the Isonian zealouts - a figurehead......

Deep in the bowels of the keep at Ohka, the one once known as Jo-nin, and even at one time Sho-gun stared down at the length of hair in his hands, what was once the top knot adorning his head - symbol of the caste he belonged to among the nihon shorn from his tonsure. Reverently he placed it in a lacquered rosewood box and locked the lid, lowering the container to the floor.

Beside him on the table lay two long pieces of paper, one written across in the purple black ink he preferred, with one notable entry deleted with a thick black line; across the top, in the nihon script the words adauchi-meikan could be read.
This was the Ronin's fabled Vengeance list, the names of all those the Ronin held a special hatred and enmity for. The first entry was written in a halting hand, as if the writer had had great difficulty forming the characters. Once read, they spelt the name "Nine Sages of Fate"
beneath which the chop of Yoshimutsu himself.

Further down could be seen a lighter hand, the name In Nomina Caelum Amplus, closely followed by Zauber Zeraim. An oddity, the words In Nomina Caelum Amplus were partially obscured by a smear of ink followed again by Yoshimutsu's own chop, the stylized cherry blossom encircled.

On the other piece of parchment, not nearly as long but more reverently folded there read a list, a list of names and ranks along it, of all those that had been named Ronin through the ages.

Names from the beginning, that only a few had seen or heard of, and less heathen knew, some only the one known as Lyssia would even recall.
John London, old friend and companion of the Jo-nin Yoshimutsu, Tsuki-nin
Dainichi, mercenary warrioress, Jo-nin
Ancalagon, of the coin and nothing more, Jo-nin
Go Seigen, wandering Samurai found by Yoshimutsu in a far off land, Chu-nin
Nylan, retainer of Sanglant, Tsuki-nin
Lia Moonflower, rogue and love of Yoshimutsu, Chu-nin
Fou-lu, lost mage and Ronin.
Mia, pyro and staunch ally, U-nin
Phalanx, wazir of the Narr and ally in need, Ronin.
Natiska Blackhurst, the woman who Yoshimutsu was once protege of, Ronin.
Squee, just.....there, all the time, needed or not - Tsuki-nin.
Leto, one of the first 'found' Ronin - Sidhe mage, Ronin (but oh, he could be so much more in time, if only Yoshimutsu had not failed him)
Moshi, the Jarl Kristjan, another lost Ronin.
And more, so many more.....

So it was, that the Jo-nin Yoshimutsu disappeared quietly with none but his closest companions, away from this land of Maxim whence they had spent so long, to journey away, to other lands. Perhaps they would return again, who would know?

Ronin, in name and fact.
With no honour left to live for
I will redeem myself in a field of blades

Mon Feb 17, 2003 7:59 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Imhabia
The wind kicked up, and inside the wagon, Lia shivered. It was unusual for the rogue to be inside during travelling, but after a long talk with both WuJen and Sohei, both had convinced her that it would do more harm than good for the gai-jin woman to be out and scouting the path back to Yoshimutsu's ancestral lands.

So, instead of being out by her beloved's side, or even ahead of him making sure that there were no dangers, she rode inside, and was being kept warm by the magic of WuJen.

Mossy eyes peeked out from the wagon from time to time, a pensive frown marring Lia's normally smooth features. Sighing heavily, she would turn back to the inside of the room and to a book that she had filched from her last victim, one that told the story of a woman named Scarlett.

The decision to go with Yoshimutsu wasn't a particularly painful one, truth be told. Xyen and Calenia had agreed to also journey with Lia and Yoshimutsu, after the invitation had been extended to them also. Xyen was excited - she would be able to learn new and different forms of magic while Calenia could properly train with those from her own heritage.

A soft sigh escaped Lia's lips as she peered out once more, spying Yoshimutsu riding beside Calenia. At least if she couldn't be by his side, Calenia would do well in her stead. Casting one last glance towards the departing lands of Maxim, Lia brushed away a tear.

Perhaps, someday she'd return. Who knew? But until then, it was time to start anew, and to begin her life all over again.

[center]Whatever you're thinking...
Whatever you're dreaming...
I'll be the one or all of the above
Chu-nin, Ronin

Tue Feb 18, 2003 5:51 pm

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 29
Location: The city of Crossing
Post Ready to go
In his Imhabia manorhouse, Norgarth finishes tying up the last few loose ends before departing with the Jo-nin. Lucien was down at the harbor aboard the Stormrider, overseeing the final provisioning and boarding of the warship and the three cargo/passenger vessels that would be accompanying the departing flotila.

Torque had been assigned the task of keeping Varag and Velcrom under control, and Lorianna was preparing for when the fleet was to pass the barrier sheild around Maxim. Norgarth's experience with crossing dimensional barriers, when backed by the power of the assembled mages should be able to open a gap long enough for the ships to depart in search of Yoshimutsu's homeland.

Out of all of Norgarth's aides and important officers, only Thargon was remaining behind. He would take command of a large contingent of Norgarth's troops and do his best to keep the peace in Imhabia.

Norgarth finished his work, walked to a window and sighed as he looked out upon Imhabia. He would miss this place, and Crossing, but one of the 2 core concepts of the Ronin is Loyalty. Norgarth had sworn loyalty to the Jo-nin, where he lead, Norgarth would follow.

"Today might be a good day to die, but I prefer that it happen to somebody else." - Shadow

Fri Feb 28, 2003 7:13 am
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