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Ess-Ry's Path

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1 Ess-Ry's Path on Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:39 am

Barraind


Great Writer
Originally from http://www.alderac.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=142&t=100162&sid=c41c329a2f7271d1ba29e96b5c04ca9e

The work is a collection of three works.

I Am Ess-Ry is the character back-story accompanying the RP character. This is the official entry, the other two are companion pieces. It was word capped (I came in ~48 words under. Some of the language has been cleaned up a litte).

The Wind Beneath Me is the travel journal found among Ess-Ry's possessions. It is written in a Journal form, with travel poetry brushed into pages randomly. Some are from previous Way of the Unicorn books, some are those I created for the piece.

Honors Fall is a pillowbook of unknown origin found among Ess-Ry's possessions. The handwriting is similar to that in the travel journal, though of a higher quality. It carries three stories in it, one of romance, one of political affairs, one of combat sure to come, all three tied together. Note: While "clean", I'm not sure if it should be posted here. I'll consider it.


Each piece ties into the other two, though each makes sense if read alone.

Formatting on the Travel Journal will be "interesting", as it is intended to be read exactly as I wrote it, with interruptions in the story placed for emphasis. I'll try and re-create it.




I Am Ess-Ry



There is no substitute for feeling the wind beneath you, around you, and with you.

Those so-called 'Great Cities' of the Empire hold little value for me. Civilization abandons the nomadic and simple lives of those who predate them, but the old ways are ingraned squarely into my sense of being. The freedom of the open plains, power of the flowing rivers, tranquility of the hidden glades and majesty of the unfettered outdoors at midnight are unmatched by man-made stone and thatch. No city in Rokugan or elsewhere can compete with the raw magnificence of nature left on its own.

When I was younger, my wanderlust was sometimes problematic. For several years, I served as an apprentice to a Shinjo Magistrate, a stern man of few words and fewer needed actions to complete any task at hand. Growing up, I had something of a talent for creating poetry, though I had been told on several occasions it would never measure up to the high quality of the Crake masters. Why I would want to spend my days in court, though, was the bit that escaped me. Poetry served as my way of maintaining focus for those few years. He taught me more about understanding people's thought processes than I could ever consciously remember, and I melded that with my more compassionate nature to create more pieces of written work than I could carry with me.

The time spent with him impressed someone in my family, and I soon found myself accepting a much more interesting position in service to my clan.

The founding of the Second City, and with it the push into expanding into the previously untapped colonies, had begun to inspire the people of Rokugan to travel; and who better to escort them than the Children of the Wind, who have been everywhere? The major travel route we had established cut through the small village I had been raised in, giving someone the idea I would make for an ideal candidate for escort jobs. My ability to use a blade and bow would also serve me well as we began to push deeper into the colonies.

To escort though, we needed a route to escort on, and our first job was clearing the forests. We met with a small contingent of Spider for this task. Agile monks with proficiencies in weapons the rest of our world sees as oddities, they are looked upon with suspicion by many. From them, thougm I learned the use of the Bisento, a polearm more comfortable in my hand than the yari I had been using the past several years.

As our system of waystations on the route grew, our free time was spent learning from the other. I taught them a few basic forms with the scimitar, and in return, was given training with the Bisento. With any other free time I had, my time was spent writing and practicing the art of storytelling. One of our gursts remarked that if I could fight twice as well as I told stories, I might cause panic in our foes some day.

The city itself... just another stone-walled prison. I had hoped for more, but I had an entire continent of largely unexplored land to explore. On one of what would become regular expeditions outside the walls, I discovered a small tomb, and inside, a book written in Senpet. None of us spoke the language, however my family had, at some point in our lineage, spent time among the Senpet in the Burning Sands, and from what little written works remained from those times, I was able, over the course of the next few years, translate the book n what we would later learn was mostly correct. From that translation, it seems the Senpet also had their fair share of storytellers among them. Seemingly, art is as universally understood a concept as war.

My company spent years traveling and taming the Gold Road, and the once wild and untamed colonies began to see signs of civilization spout up. Ancient sites gained small tent cities with buzzing activity. Wonders of the colonies saw Kaiu built towers erected around them. Vast plains became dotted with small towns. It was one of those that would soon find me facing fortunes for survival.

While we had been clearing, the clan had established two significant trade path, and they found it easy to turn a tidy profit on the escort missions I had once had a small hand in. My knowledge of the regions, however, led me to being used on specialized missions, generally involving higher priority individuals. My team had used passes thought too treacherous for larger caravans, but a pair or two of horse and rider could easily maneuver them, resulting in substantially quicker travel time.

My fare that day was a young Tamori, known to most of her clan, and to us, as 'The Governess'. It was explained she needed to be escorted to the "Burning Square", Chugo Tamori no Kiz, with extreme urgency, and the Dragon had paid quite a hefty sum to ensure it happened quickly. Following our fastest path, we would stop at the waystations long enough to change out horse and water, before setting out again. The journey normally spanning several weeks would be cut down to a manner of days.

For the first few of those, she spoke little, answering direct questions, but having litte to add to any conversation, leaving me the task of creating and reciting new travel poetry to keep her awake and upright over the grueling days of travel. As we neared her new home, she began to open up and regail me with stories of her life at home.

I was not opposed to her carrying the weight of conversation at this point, though some of the practices she mentioned make the Unicorn look tame and genteel by comparison. I was both intrigued and slightly taken aback by some of those.

Parting company with her at last, I noticed signs of Scorpion encampment in this area. She had explained that this tract had once been Scorpion land, and pieces of them stll remained, but I was a touch unsettled by signs of recent life. Given that this region was in close proximity to a major Crab thoroughfare, I was not too suspicious, but made a minor note.

My path back to our Second City saw me stumble upon a messenger, with a missive to me informing me to stay somewhat near the Dragon outpost. To do this, I was to help my old clearing crew with their current project to the west.

The days I spent in route invigorated my spirits, and I arrived refreshed and eager to assist where needed. The work was tiring, but a welcome change from political niceties and riding at an escorts pace. My soul yearns for the freedom of the world, and relishes any chance it gets to feel truly alive and truly free.

It was a couple days after the Festival of the River of Stars when an urgent missive came to me by way of the Ide provinces. A terrible occurrence had occurred, it said, and the simple line of text "We Are Betrayed" said more than a hundred times that many words could accomplish. I was instructed to continue my task, but to be on guard for signs of trouble, as my skills might once again be required. In a week, they were. I was to return to the Besieged or Burning square (it had many names, depending on who you spoke to) and extract several Ide merchants through the pass back home as quickly as possible.

The Dragon, following Shikei's Betrayal of Naleesh, had closed their gates to the Ide caravan lords, and a host of Scorpion, led by the not-quite-removed from the area Bayushi were en-route to detain them.

I had to act quickly, heading to the outpost without stopping to resupply, figuring the Ide would have spare provisions, in an effort to outpace and out-maneuver the Scorpion, rather than risk having to face them head on.

I was not quick enough.

Before I was able to slip the last of the pack carts through the narrow pass, we were confronted by the Scorpion lordling and a regiment of crimson-garbed soldiers. I was out-numbered and out-matched, but perhaps the fortunes would deem fit to smile upon us that day. I readied my warhorse anf prepared to crash into the mountains with the force of the greatest tsunami. My blade lowered, anticipating the impact. Muscles tensed, my mount strode across the fields, delivering me into the midst of my enemy.

They ask what a Unicorn travel guide knows of honor.

I intend to show them exactly what Honor means.

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2 Re: Ess-Ry's Path on Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:39 am

Barraind


Great Writer
The Wind Beneath Me



The contents within these pages is the account of my travels in accordance with Shinjo herself.

Always in service
Always riding the wind
For clan and Champion

Moto Ess-Ry






The forests are particularly dense in parts. The spider and our group are forced to rely upon primitive methods to clear some of them.

It is expected to take weeks.

We do not have weeks. Perhaps we must use the horses for this, in ways I dare not need to.



--


These monks are an odd lot. One has offered to train me in use of his polearm, the Bisento.

It has a strange feel to it, but something about it is familiar.

I could get used to wielding one of these. It is far more comfortable than my yari is.


---


The forest is endless. I do not know why the Spider chose this particular route, but there is no ease to it. At least it is the wilds though, and not the city.

I cannot stand the city.


--


Fast is Foes Grasp

Showed Himself Quite Brave
Even though a loathesome race
Fast is foes Grasp
Assuredly he was dead
Open wound on his head
The chosen child was not mine


--


We have cleared an initial path to the Second City. This place is haunted by a spirit so powerful, its name alone almost has complete power.

Its as if an oni walks the streets.

The hearts of men are not meant to carry this burden I feel.


--


I am called to escort a contingent of White Guard to the city.

I ride, for the lady.


--



Gifts

Great Praise can be won
With small gifts
I have found friendship
With something
As simple as
A pastry twist


---

Riding with the White Guard, am reminded of the words of our ancestors.

Those who rode the burning sands, those who survived and bested the Lords of Death. Those who cleansed the Moto taint of the shadowlands.

"You tell me to follow the path of my ancestors, and shame me for my ways. But my words are the path my ancestors laid out for me. They ate meat, they wore skins and leather, they drank blood! Know this: I do follow the ways of my Ancestors, I am certain in my cause. Question my ways again, and you question those who guide my hand. I assure you, you will feel their strength behind my blade if you sleight their honor again" - Yokatsu to Satsume.


---


Enemies

You cannot escape death
By escaping enemies
The dearer a friend, the deadlier an emeny he will be
Life is fear and pain
Take no comfort in promises
Peace lives at the end of a blade


---


I am to escort a young Tamori known as 'The Governess' and a Togashi monk to the Second City, before escorting them to Chugo Tamori no Kiz.

This town is not one I would stick a young woman, but it is not my choice


--


Scorpions

Do not play games with truth
You gain nothing but loss
Sly smiles tell no truths
A mask hides nothing
But morals
Repay cunning in kind


---


The governess speaks little, and the Togashi speaks in riddles.

The Dragon are a strange lot, but I'd rather them than the scorpion.

I could compile a collection of shinesis wisdom should he keep drinking without slumber.


---


Perspective

I put my hat and robe
On a hanging rod
I contemplated their countenance
The rod gained poise
Gold and Purple
I was naked, but I had lost nothing


---


'The most difficult act in the world is to sit still'

But is not the act of sitting still counterproductive in many cases? The ability to chose not to do is great indeed, but it is not the ability to chose to do a better one?

The governess talks more, and the monk speaks less, but still only in riddles.

She asks me to read travel poetry to her, and has, on occasion, taken and read my writings when I was unawares.

This one needs watched.


---


Searching for Solace

Mighty fighters were they
Magnificent Warriors All
Battle steals brave men
Lifeblood wells out in waves
Lifeless corpses empty
Souls searching for solace

---


Out journey is long because the Dragon are not accustomed to hard riding. The governess gros more friendly each day, and the ise-zumi ignores her to avoid appearing as if he condones her actions.

I have watched others pass us by. I long to fly.

Instead we crawl.

---

Generous and Just

Better be generous than wealthy
Better to be just than well-to-do
One s assured, the other anxious
One earns esteem and respect
One earns obligation and debt
And fears favors he must repay


---


'See obstacles as they are, not as they appear to be'.

I feel the mosk is attempting conversation with me, but sayngs and practice are not harmonic.

How does one see an obstacle as it is if one can only see it as it appears.

With more knowledge, it would appear different as well, but in a different way.

The monk does not seem to want to discuss these things with me. Or with anyone.

She continues to pipe in, though. I'm not sure she understands any more than I do.

Only a few days remain until the city. I hope they decide to stay for a few days. I need to take a ride without these weights on my leg.

I suppose I might as well tell that to a fish.


---

Age

Before my eyes could see
Blind did I become
War, not age has taken
My battle cry
My fighting arm
Wisdom is my wealth

--


My guests have business in the city.

They told me they would be ready again in three days.

It is a welcome vacation. She has started to grow affectionate.

I am just a guide, just an escort through the wilds.

--


Silence and Serenity

A loud voice startles the wind
Pious prudence is best
No one listens to boisterous boasts
They who pass silently
Pass for wise
Silence is where serenity is found


--


We ride again.

She seems closer every day.

as we ride through the crab lands, I feel slightly more secure, but something within is unsettling.

This Tamori is trouble of some kind, I can feel it.

Her new home is close by.


---


Tempered by Time

Fulfill the will of your people
Forget not the dawn of time
Many nights memories frighten
Terrible enemies appear
Tempered by time
Leaders true fear not death


---


As we parted, the governess said something I cannot repeat in this life or any other.

The Ize-zumi, on the other hand, spoke freely for the first time since we started.

"Every moment has a lesson" he said. "Learn to listen".

With that, they were gone


-

It has been three weeks since I left the dragon in their new outpost, and I have been told by messenger that I am to rejoin the spider in an effort to clear more forest land.

I seem to be the one on friendliest terms with them.

Some days, I wish I were not memorable.


--


Sorrow

Wild winds of winter
Warm breezes of spring
Nowhere to go, no one to see
Captured last year or more
Cornered by time
A samurais sense of sorrow


--

I am reunited with an old friend in the jungles. Shiba Yo'ssh, whom I once rode with through Rokugan has found temporary respite from his wife.

I wonder if Tsukimi's Eyes ee anything here.

There is no love lost between Scorpion and either of our clans.

It is a wonder if the Crab help them because the slippery Scorpion struck correctly, of if the threat of a new Festering Pit was an unavoidable problem requiring immediate solution.


--


I've recieved a missive that Chugo Tamori no Kiz is being assailed.

Surely, the Scorpion would not take overt actions against the Dragon even here?

I do not trust this completely, but they are our new allies...



---


No Death is Handsome

Be not too clever if you wish to be happy
Half rely on fate and circumstance
Half a mans destiny should be hidden
The best life looks dark at the end
Be content in your doom
No death is handsome


---

They move with such subtelty. They strike without pain. But their touch is as poisonous as any other.

Their claims of honesty are as false as their smiles, and their sinister reputation is justified.

Yet, amid almost universal hatred, they continue to thrive. Theres a lesson in that, one we would do well to learn. If that means getting closer to them...

What did the wise man say about your enemies?

-

There are scorpion inside the Dragon town.

I must report this to the Lady and figure out what to do.

With the impending ceremonies, she is distracted, and lines of hat must be done are blurred.

I am worried about the sincerity of this whole manner. The gatesare intact, the town isnt burning, there is no sign of foul play.

Its as if the entire Scorpion host was allowed access inside. I dislike this notion. I dislike being used in plots.

I have few contacts remaining in the Crab, and a scorpion or two. Perhaps they would be honest with me if I ask specifically about this manner.

I have not been a Magistrate since my apprenticeship, but this concerns me greatly.

I will not abandon my duty, but I dont know where my duty lies.

No good can come of this


---


Yojimbo

Complicated orders make men falter
Duty and death collide unrelenting
The brave stand
Go where ordered
Die where needed
A simple life lives best


---



Fire


A cleansing warming light
Ember glow eternal
Burning Impurity
Sundering Flames
A grip on death incarnate
Alight and Shine


---


It is stranger than we thought. The scorpion, save a handful, have left the city.

We have sent several scouts in to investigate.

We are on guard for scorpion tricks.


--

"We are betrayed"


Should this be found separated from my person or home, you bear this knowledge.

The following contains Naleesh's words as they were sent.


---


(the next 4 pages are ripped out, leaving only a handful of words and letters)

The
Scorpion
Run. I
the bu
city can
we are h
cannot s
A legion.
come of
Gover
us.
Flee
- Otaku
- maidens
- escort
- Shikei
- compliance
- luck.
- sh.

We have
behind t
is Bayu
dangerous
ninja?
canno



--


Harmony

Two breaths beat together
Four legs churn over land
Onward pressed
Sharing the burden
The fields pass quickly
Riding in Harmony



--


(The remaining pages are blank)

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