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Everything posted by Shosuro Kamiko

  1. Kamiko's face behind her veiled mask was placid. "The insults of the hellbound are as meaningful to me as the crunching of pebbles as I step on them," she said calmly. "My honor will be avenged by the desolation of everything you held dear in life. Though I notice you do not have a cult marking like this other one. Nor are you praying for aid." She tilted her head slightly. "Tell us who you were spirit, and how you came to sell your magic to the cult of the moon."
  2. Kamiko reached into her satchel and produced the image of the maker's mark from the mask, and now apparently from these kettles as well. There was a fit of jealousy seething in her heart over the Lion's power, an unworthy feeling. Still, to be able to put the dead to question! She wondered to herself what the limits were. How long did the spirit linger? Could its answers be enforced? She was eager to see more. "Tell us everything you know about the maker of this mark."
  3. "Please accept my gratitude, Togashi-san," murmured Kamiko as she rose to her feet and bowed. "I shall do as you suggest, as soon as I have finished here. Thanks to the kami that Mirumoto-san was guided here when she was, in time to be of assistance." She looked more closely at the tattooed monk then. "One wonders if you overheard anything useful in their conversation with one another before she appeared."
  4. Kamiko went to the fallen witch, her face schooled to an impassivity; a mask under her mask. Though Rin saw her deeds as heroic...and they were impressive from a martial standpoint...she saw only vital information streaming away in rivers of crimson. There would be no questioning now, no connecting ties to leadership. If they hadn't been careless and left clues, the trail could conceivably go cold here. Fortunately the Magistrates had other leads to follow, but still. Quickly and efficiently, her slim fingers searched the remains of the shugenja's robes and clothing, looking for scrolls, for objects...anything she might glean information from. When that search was done Kamiko moved to the other one to repeat the search.
  5. Kamiko offered the man she was speaking to a politely apologetic bow and said, "One day perhaps we can resume this most enlightening conversation. You have our gratitude." She let the other Magistrates rise before standing herself, not wishing to appear to put herself above those who were actually Magistrates. What had the impetuous Dragon gotten herself into, wondered the Scorpion. Someone so willing to stir the pot could be very valuable in an ally. If properly managed.
  6. Kamiko nodded as she took the bottle back. "It would bring my companions and I great happiness to sample it. We may even seek to give it's creators our direct thanks for their efforts." "I wonder which distillery would one go to, to offer such thanks?"
  7. Smiling demurely behind her translucent veil, Kamiko produced the empty bottle and presented it for Abun's inspection. "It truly was a most excellent taste, and so difficult to find," she explains softly. "Though I do not wish to trouble you, do you happen to have any?"
  8. "Oh, I agree," responds Kamiko, "I do hope you can hold your drink. The least conspicuous way to learn would be to partake, no?" The shadow of a smile could be made out through her veil. She then pointed out the nearest sake house, not far from the docks...to serve the thirsty sailors, no doubt.
  9. Kamiko let her veiled gaze linger on the bottle, which she then tucked away into the sash of her kimono without further comment. With a parting bow to the crew of the ship, the Scorpion shugenja followed the other samurai at an unhurried pace towards the town.
  10. "Ah, I've put you on the spot, Captain. Please accept my apologies. Thank you for your suggestion as well." She gave Kageko a nod. "Our friends may wish to keep a low profile, but I'm sure if we keep our eyes open we'll find them soon enough. Lets find a place to stay and decide where to go first."
  11. "Dry," agrees Kamiko. "Dry and has a generous capacity...enough to fill a large order within a short period of time. Is there a particularly famous brewer here perhaps? A renowned local recipe?"
  12. "I would trust a sailor to know." Kamiko glanced at the captain and asked lightly, "Where's the best place around here to find sake?"
  13. "Ah, there you are." Shosuro Kamiko's voice was as delicate-sounding and soft-spoken as ever. She offered the ship's captain a courteous bow, then paused on noticing who he'd stopped to speak to. "Mirumoto-san..." she bowed again, more deeply. "Please accept my apology. I did not mean to interrupt. I will ask Michiyo-san where I may set up my things later." In her hands the Scorpion shugenja still had the demon mask, wrapped in a bit of black velvet. She hadn't let it out of her sight once during the trip to the docks.
  14. Kamiko paused just long enough to survey the others at the table to see how they were reacting to Rin's impetuousness. On seeing general assent, she nodded. "We took the precaution of bringing what we will need with us," she said. "Lead on."
  15. With quick movements Kamiko produced a brush and inkjar and with quick precise motions she traced a copy of the mark she'd found onto a blank spot on one of the scrolls; apparently a collection of notes or a journal of sorts. "I have seen a device like this before, but I didn't have an opportunity to examine it for long. They are potent, but expendable. The kansen within possesses one corpse only, and departs if the mask is broken. For them to have so many...very troubling." She holds up the scroll page with the mark on it. "This was very carefully worked into the porcelain though. A maker's mark, perhaps. If the one creating these vile things is as skilled as they seem, that skill seems to come with commensurate arrogance. We must be on the lookout for other things bearing this mark as we investigate."
  16. Kamiko inclines her head gratefully, and very carefully reaches out to turn the mask around so its chin faces her and her brother. For a moment she simply scrutinizes its substance...the fineness of the porcelain and polish. She then turns it over to see the inside surface. "A moment, please." With a few movements she takes a small vial of crystal filled with clear fluid, and taps just a droplet onto the mask. It flashes immediately to steam, and the steam forms into a peculiar and ominous-feeling sigil in the air before dissipating. Kamiko then dips one of her fingers into a tiny sack, and pulls it out with a blue powder stuck to the end of the digit. She touches it to the mask, but none of the blue stuff sticks to it. The shugenja is quiet for a moment, then says, "Interesting." Then she fishes a tightly wound sheaf of scrolls from her pouch and fishes through them.
  17. "Perhaps, if you have any intact left for me to examine, I can try to learn more about the magic that went into them," Kamiko offers. "I can do that as we investigate other avenues though."
  18. It was a good question, and one that had slipped past Kamiko. She'd been so focused on the magic that she'd missed the human element. There was one simple possibility of course. They imported not just any sake, but their favorite sake. And since it wasn't local... She nodded at Miren. His insight had not failed them.
  19. "If there is a new alliance between the Shadowlands and the Cult, the masks are the most likely path to lead us to that. If you insist that we ignore that, then..." She looks at Miren questioningly, seeking his input. "Le forgeron?"
  20. "Ah, please accept my apologies," Kamiko said humbly. "Have you decided then not to accept the aid of my brother and myself?"
  21. Kamiko sat forward a little, her eyes intent on Zoyu. "In Tsuma. I would be very interested to hear more of that encounter, if you wouldn't mind. I think it's very unlikely the Cult of the Moon made these masks themselves, you see. Not in such quantity."
  22. "It is a rare town that does not have any cultists in it," Kamiko said with a little frown as she mulled the names over. "They work in small groups, spread far and wide. I have not investigated Tokuro or the City of the Rich Frog directly. However, it isn't implausible to consider they might train and prepare for something like this far from prying eyes." She tapped a finger on the tabletop for a moment. Once. Twice. "The masks. What do you know of them?"
  23. Kamiko nodded. "But in that boldness lies our chance. The Cult rarely uses maho-tsuki directly. I've known that there were some black magicians who had either allied with the Cult, or perhaps converted...but until tonight they moved with the utmost care, protecting what surely must be a rare and precious resource. Tonight was an enormous gamble on their part. They bet everything on a win. Thanks to you, that bet didn't pay off." "The consequences of that can be exploited by us, but only if we move swiftly."
  24. Kamiko smiled graciously. She marked the Champion's eyes, where and on whom they lingered. Unusual eyes as well, even for the Crane clan. Given her accomplishments, it might be worth doing some digging about that...but that was tomorrow's task. "Yes, Zoyu-san. We do. The Cult is very different than what people expect from maho-tsuki. They are insidious; the slow poison that kills just a little each day. I have made a study of their black magic...my brother has worked to limit their influence in court. However, without status and authority it is difficult to make headway against a foe such as this. They hide behind great names." Her voice was striking, cultured and mellifluous. She spoke more quietly then, "I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much last night's events represent a break from the Moon Cult's normal methods. A brazen full-frontal assault, with undead servants and magic...publicly revealing themselves and their goals has never been their way before. Something has changed in them. It represents a great danger...but also a great opportunity."
  25. Kamiko's kamishimo is black in color, with red trim and a crimson obi embroidered with gold patterns twining along it. Her garb is of high quality, though less so than her brother's. Her mask looks similar to Miren's, though the pattern of the filigree is different in subtly complementary ways to that of her brother's, and the gems are diamonds instead of rubies. Her own eyes are also blue, if a darker shade, and of a more normal shape. She deposits a wakizashi and a weathered, well-made leather satchel at the entrance of the inn. Beyond that, she is of willowy build, slightly shorter than Miren, with long lustrous raven hair and very fair skin. The nails on her pinky fingers have been allowed to grow out, carefully shaped and lacquered with intricate sigils lining them. She keeps them curled out of the way as she approaches and bows respectfully. "I am Shosuro Kamiko, and this is Shosuro Miren," she says, speaking precisely where Miren leaves off with perfect timing. "We are at your disposal for this task."
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