|Posting for my records
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|Author:||SimonB [ Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:53 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Posting for my records|
The adventurers took their leave of the Monastery of Eternal Dawn, embarking on the journey back to Sukaro village, along with their precious cargo of good nutritious seaweed. They had also determined that the best way to free Hoichi from the supernatural demands placed on him was to get him away from the Monastery.
The senior monk, Shino, accompanied them on their trip, as much to supervise his young charge, as to make sure that the proper supplications were made to the Kami, as well as that the seaweed was used most effectively.
Two days passed and the party rode past the castle of Lord Moritano. Perhaps this was not the time to return to the castle, and the adventurers rode on.
At night, the troupe gathered round a campfire. With an autumnal chill coming in, perhaps this was best. A light drizzle of rain fell, but the blaze kept the party dry. Tuning his shamisen, Hoichi played a variety of tunes, accompanied occasionally by the conch blasts of Yoshie.
Looking at the look of glee upon Hoichi’s face as he played, the party wondered whether there was a story behind the young foundling’s origins. Shino would not be drawn on this, only saying that Hoich was found abandoned.
A further two days passed and the bridge where the Anzai gang had been thrashed loomed ahead. Sharp eyes spotted two figures looming by the bridge, but as the party neared, they were spotted, and the figures ran. Their trail couldn’t be found.
The party reached the bluff over the valley of Sukaro village. The sole sprig of cherry blossom still hung. Yoshie and the other monks determined that life was coming back, but how fast would that happen? Looking down into the rice fields, where folk could be seen toiling, there still looked to be a pestilence.
Down the incline into the valley went the party. As they neared the fields, they could see that there was an improvement, but still there were flies and green scum. What looked to be the whole village was at work in the fields. They were hailed and could tell that working with the villagers was Lord Masakano, vastly improved from when he was last seen, and his wife.
Masakano greeted his ‘uncle’ Iwa and explained what was going on. The party elected to help the villagers clear the fields. Those who needed to change went to the Lord’s house, accompanied by Old Man Kojiro. The house had changed as much as the lord, both were not as would be normally expected, worn out and tired, but was clean and in better repair.
The party rejoined and set to spreading the seaweed out, under the direction of Iwa and Shino. With all the seaweed distributed, the monks set to a ritual with the setting of the sun. Looking at them, the party could tell that this ritual meant a lot to them. Perhaps more to Shino. Finishing the smudging and burning of sutras, Shino told the party that he would say a final set of prayers with sunrise.
Retiring to the lord’s house, the party met with him for a meal. Less formal than when they met the false lord, there was no passing of notes. The new serving maid, certainly less pretty than Lady Kyoko, only had eyes for Hoichi. The handsome young monk didn’t notice though, being oblivious to her homespun charms.
Masakano spoke with the party, and got news of his family from his ‘uncle’
The young man thrilled at the stories from Makoto about swordsmanship. This drove home to the party just how young he was.
With a good night’s sleep, uninterrupted unlike the last night in the village, the sunrise ritual began, Yoshie heralding its onset with several loud blows from his conch.
Shino determined that he had made the correct supplications and that now the fate of the harvest was in the hands of the spirits. Certainly, the most efficacious application of seaweed would help.
Iwa and Shino stood with the lord. Though this harvest was diminished, perhaps it would be right to make sure that the following year would be more bounteous. It was determined that a further supply of seaweed would be sent. The matter of bandits along the trail was also discussed.
The monks and party took their leave, heading back to the castle of Lord Masakano. Small diversions were made along the way, taking in small villages, all of whom confirmed that there had been problems with bandits.
Reaching the bridge, the party tried to follow any trails left by bandits, but decided that they would make their report to the lord on the situation.
The party rode close to the castle gates...
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