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Welcome back, honorable bushi of the Crab Clan, to the sixth installment of L5R Chanbara Quest. I'm your host, Wong, and you are Arinaga Daisuke, a vassal of the Hiruma family of the Crab Clan, student of the Hiruma Bushi School, possessor of a very fine katana, devout hater of goblins, lover of a particular Scorpion girl, and slayer of bandits and witches alike.

You have made your decision.
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It may be the hardest decision you've ever made in your life, but you make it. Land. Lordship. Subordinates. Accepting the post would make everything with Sayaka easier, and it would be justice for your father being disinherited over something as minor as epilepsy.

...but you are Arinaga Daisuke, the son of Arinaga Yudai, who was the one disinherited and who faced it with stoicism and courage. A man who took his oaths seriously, and met a glorious death in battle. Even the Yasuki present, whose family Arinaga Toshiaki served, said with pity that your uncle was not right at the end. All that he had, wealth, power, beautiful women, and he died senile knowing that his lands were overrun with scum. Perhaps his shade knows you avenged him, but the fact remains, he was never able to avenge himself.

Your sword-arm was made sharp on the Wall, by the Wall. Its stone is your bones, and its timbers your flesh. It may be a place far worse than the Koumugi Valley, but you cannot run away from it. You bow deeply, your forehead close to the floor, “Yasuki-dono.” Your voice is dry, but then steadies, “These are not my lands.” Syllable by syllable, it becomes stronger, “I am a Hiruma vassal, and the lands of the Hiruma lie lost beyond the wall. I can accept no post and govern no holding save one given from the hand of the Vagabond Lord, the Hiruma Family Daimyo himself, when we have retaken Daylight Castle. On that day, perhaps I will be a landed lord, but not until then. My place is the Wall.”

For a moment, there is silence. Then he nods. He takes the first letter, stands up, and makes his way over to a nearby candle. He twists the parchment into a taper, and ignites it.

“The persimmon has not fallen far from the tree.” Takenaka Shingo notes, “We will observe your career with great interest.” When he smiles, his menacing facepaint enhances the gesture, the lines of old age diffracting the clear sweeps and swirls of red, white, and black.

[Continue]
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“I confess to disappointment. You handled a difficult situation well, yet have slipped through my fingers. Daimyo Hiruma's gain, my loss. Your grandfather was not an only child, there was a female branch of the family. Not Arinaga by name anymore, but they are relatives of yours nonetheless. I will search through them for a suitable candidate.” Yasuki Hachirou sighs, “I will console myself with the thought that perhaps it would have been a waste, removing you from the immediate proximity of danger. That said, there is a matter I would appreciate your assistance with.” He turns his back, folding his arms inside his voluminous sleeves, “Perhaps you noticed how eager our young Magistrate was to impugn you, and perhaps you also noticed how her thrust diverted towards your lover? Spare me the blushing denials, I see more than you think. The Scorpion, like most of the Great Clans, ours included, have not yet taken a public position in the contest for the Throne. Only the Lion and Unicorn are openly participating, and that unfortunately makes our position of neutrality...complicated. You see, there are degrees of neutrality, and when one is called into question, everyone's position requires clarification.”

“The Unicorn were already stationed in Otosan Uchi before the Lion even discovered there was a conflict, yet somehow Otomo Hirohito-dono escaped. I had not known him to be a particularly physical man and the guards of the Unicorn have keen eyes, yet perhaps there was a heaven-sent miracle. Or one sent by a Clan that has not publicly taken a side. Perhaps it was even noted that one of a particular Clan Champion's most trusted shadows was not at his side at the time. The world is full of coincidences.” He shivers at a gust of cold wind, and steps back from the window, “Said aide's only daughter appears in Crab lands with numerous attendants and a vast donation of rice for the Wall, and more significantly, it was supposed to be said aide's wife...her mother, obviously...who attended instead. I am not the Yasuki Daimyo, and these are matters for the Clan Champion herself, but I cannot help but notice that the neutral Scorpion are reaching for the hand of the neutral Crab during what are sure to become increasingly trying times for neutral Clans, while the neutral Dragon appear to be growing less neutral. Or at least, some of them.”

You maintain a neutral expression, “Indeed, Yasuki-dono.”

He holds up the letter that wasn't burned, “I will see this sent to your commanding officers. You were not meant to remain a hohei forever, and that has nothing to do with who your father was. You earned this, Arinaga-san. We expect great things from you.”

[Continue]
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“Yasuki-dono, there is one more question on my mind. What about the fate of my-the fate of the child?” You have to ask, even if the answer is painful.

“Yes, he isn't really your cousin, is he? Rapeget, and from a ronin. The children of ronin are themselves ronin, normally, but...we are the Crab Clan. Every soldier we can scrape out of our lands is always, perpetually needed. A monastery, perhaps? The Temple of Osano-Wo may take him. To survive a witch's tainted womb and be, himself, untainted requires luck, and a touch of fate.”

“I was thinking that perhaps my surviving uncle, Arinaga Mitsuaki, might take him in.” You confess, feeling a touch foolish.

Yasuki Hachirou smiles slightly, “Write to him. To ensure there are no lingering side-effects, Takenaka-san will watch over him until we have a response. If his answer is no, Shirou...” No family name, even from the formal-tongued Yasuki noble, “...will be raised in the Temple of Osano-Wo. That is all. Please convey my regards to Kodo-san, and tell her to inform her mother that my father has brushed up on his shogi and is looking forward to a rematch against her next Winter Court.”

The elderly Kuni snorts, “...You're lucky I like babies.” He grumbles.

“After seeing you holding two dozen different grandchildren, it seemed like a gamble worth making.” Lord Hachirou remarks. “That will be all, Arinaga-san.”

You lower your head, and depart. The rain has torn many of the cherry blossoms from the trees, and they blanket the ground, wet and pink, slowly browning. Yet, plenty remain. Spring is not yet over.

The less said about your parting from Sayaka, the better. It hurts worse than an arrow wound, yet there is sincerity in her voice when she says “I will see you again.”

When all is done, you pack your things into your satchel and hoist it onto your shoulders. Your plain armor is freshly cleaned, the straps polished, and your daisho ride easily at your side. Tearful farewells echo from the throats of the peasants, as one and all they line your route out of the village, bowing their heads respectfully.

When you came here, Koumugi Valley was a bad place. Yet now, it has the chance to be a better one.

Rice fronds green and fresh
Peek from the muddiest pools
To feed the new year
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And with that, albeit somewhat delayed, we have the epilogue for arc 1 of L5R Chanbara Quest. It's been quite a ride.

I've spent your remaining exp boosting skills that seemed applicable, and boosted your Perception to 3 based on choices you made in this quest. These are the stats you'll start with in a month or so with the next arc.
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>>4829802

Yes I forgot to update the amount you actually roll to attack. It's fixed, don't worry about it.
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>>4829762
Oh, hey Wong, I thought we'd be getting this later in the week, judging by the notice you posted in Swamp Lord. Good to see the end of the story at last, and just before calling it an evening, too. I noticed we forgot to tell Sayaka about what we truly meant by “Nrrfrrgh.” regarding Winter Court...

Also, did you forget the trading chopsticks with Sayaka write-in, or is that going to come up later in the epilogue?

Also also, should I put up the Honor Chart for reference, or not worry about it?
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>>4829802
Ayy, epilogue! Much appreciated, Wong, the closure was needed. I kinda wish we'd gone for a ring improvement to neatly close off the arc, but I defer to your knowledge of mechanics (and how much XP we actually had at hand). Is the one month referenced in-game time or are we getting back to L5R in a month? Might want to archive the Act I epilogue in advance then.
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It happened, I just forgot to mention it. It'll probably come up early on next arc and I'll make a note on your character sheet.
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>>4829866

The only one you could have improved there was Fire, by boosting Intelligence, and Perception seemed more appropriate. One month out of game time.
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Meanwhile, I'm working on Sayaka's stats.
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>>4830003
For a second I read that as "assets".
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>>4838024
>implying Wong is not working on both
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>>4838024
...I guess I'll use that as an excuse to post some art of pretty samurai girls.
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Okay, Benten's not a samurai-ko, but might as well have a picture of the Fortune of romantic love, seeing as she's the one who blessed us with good looks.
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Apparently, I have less than I thought I had...
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Uh... things alright, Wong?
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>>4848896
Not with that photo he ain't.
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>>4848896
He's taking a break to deal with writers block and avoid burnout.
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>>4848896
I bet the commies got him
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>>4848896
He said we's be getting back to the quest in a month's time. Check back three weeks from now at the earliest.
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>>4848963

The L5R hiatus was actually planned so that I can work on the next "movie". I'm having writer's block in Swamp Lord Quest and am actually fighting the temptation to run a wuxia quest (using Legends of the Wulin or Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate) in the interim. If there's interest. I'm really picky with the quests I read but I really enjoyed Wulin Hero Quest while it was running.
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>>4849695

Darned trip.
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>>4849695
I'd be down for it, even though I don't really care for Wuxia. But trying to run three quests at once seems a bit much..
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>>4849739

It's a terrible idea, yes, but so are many of my ideas. Don't count on it, it's just a thought, just a thought.
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>>4849695
While I wouldn’t mind playing a wuxia quest, particularly one inspired by Wulin Hero Quest (I have good memories of me playing that while simultaneously playing in Audit Quest, may Larro someday get his wrist fixed back up so he can start that back up ASAP), I’m personally a bit hesitant on asking you to start up a third quest, particularly when I remember how WHQ kinda fizzled out after the Young Heroes Tournament. And especially when WulinSage tried to start back up a third time, and disappearing soon afterwards.
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>>4849695
If you like the Wuxia cliches, try 2nd Primarch Quest. A primarch being found in Not!Feudal China. Theres really some very excellent writing in there as the QM manages to put in things like excepts from present-day 40k surviving accounts of the events of the primarch pre-Emps discovery.
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>>4849695
I'd be down for a Wuxia quest run by you, Wong, but that would mean less L5R and that's some kind of heresy in my religion.
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Tentative hype.
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Has it been a month yet?
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>>4862512
Don't give me hope, anon. Please...

I can't take much more disappointment.

>>4862554
No... I thought that the month long hiatus was just for Swamp Lord, though.
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Oh shit.

I'm an old player from MSPQ. Never thought I would see a Mr.Wong thread again!

>>4849748
Hey Wong! Long time no see! Has life been treating you well?