The Firelands Job

Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-02-28 12:34:49
Toshiba raises the siege crossbow, exhales, and squeezes the firing lever, aiming for a good solid timber near the building's roof. Lee's still in the bottom floor - if they can cross and be waiting for him upstairs, all the better.
Gatac 2014-03-04 11:41:52
(Toshiba's Attack: 1d20+10-2 = 13)

THUNK! The arbalest's string slaps against the bolt, a sound amplified to wincing levels of volume by the echo of the small cave. The bolt flies...and flies...and flies, rope trailing behind it, until it seems to disappear into the night. You're too far away to hear the impact, but if you squint, you can just about make it out, embedded into the wall of Lee's home. Not quite where Toshiba wanted it to go, but a few tugs confirm that it's good enough. He re-tensions the other end, then there's deep breaths, ninja tools hooked into the rope, and...

Well, with the full moon silhouetting them against the caves and the spray of the waves ahead of them, it would make for a pretty fucking sweet woodcut, that's for sure. Too bad there's nobody to watch it, though.

(Toshiba's Sneak: 1d20+20 = 35)

Toshiba's so used to soft landings he hardly even knows how to step loudly anymore, and his arrival at the house is no different: braking in time by grabbing the rope above with his gauntlet, Toshiba glides the last few yards to a photo finish, loud as a whisper.

(Kiara's Sneak: 1d20+16 = 34)

Although one might surmise that Kiara only cares about stabbing, slicing and burning her enemies, with not much in the way of - shall we say - "hobbies", she has well learned the lesson that getting into position to apply violence requires a certain amount of finesse. Trusting Toshiba's braking skills more than her own, she swings her legs up to brace her feet against his back as he slows down. The duo arrives in style and stealth, and even the dogs in their kennel below seem undisturbed - though how long they'll remain that way depends greatly on how quietly our ninjas make their entrance.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-03-04 12:00:18
Toshiba considers the dogs - they're within sausage range, but if the two ninjas can do their job right, it won't be necessary to poison the animals. Instead, he looks at the nearby window.

Locked. Of course. Toshiba steps lightly from handhold to foothold, looking for a good spot to dangle while attempting to pick the window's lock.
Gatac 2014-03-04 12:10:36
(...which is where I realize that neither of you has ranks in Prestidigitation. Where is Kagemaru when you need him?

Toshiba's Untrained Prestidigitation: 1d20+3 = 19, reduced to 15: BUMPED!)

Trying to pick a lock in the dark hanging off a wall above a couple of vicious guard dogs without really knowing what you're doing - that would be hard for anyone else. But Toshiba is a ninja, damn it. He makes this look easy. The lock gives up its secrets with the slightest of clicks, and Toshiba quietly slides the window open. It's not until he and Kiara have silently climbed inside that he allows himself to breathe out. You seem to have found your way into Lee's bedroom. Footsteps sound below you - he's still downstairs, and doesn't have the slightest clue he has visitors.

Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-03-04 13:30:53
Oh my... it has been a while since my lockpicking lessons at the Ayami. Toshiba gives silent thanks for good tools and luck, then stands silently in Lee's room, listening. He hears the human movements of Lee downstairs - shuffling, creaking floors, rustling of fabric. No other guards? He can't tell yet. Better not to assume, however. Lee won't expect them in his bedroom, so all the better to have a brief look around. Hishimu will need his payment, after all.

(looking for either Obvious Military Documents or Easily Transported Valuables)
Gatac 2014-03-08 08:56:10
(Toshiba's Notice: 1d20+17 = 23)

Garretting through Lee's bedroom yields a few woodcuts, a drawer with some foreign coins and an ornate (blunt) dagger of some sort, probably received as a "thank you for your service" present from whoever Lee answered to on the mainland. It's got to be worth something, but Toshiba doubts it'll be enough to satisfy Hishimu. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be a lot going on in this bedroom, except for some wrinkled underwear hastily pushed under the bed in what must have been a passionate encounter between Lee and his...ladyfriend.
Nevina 2014-03-13 19:26:39
Kiara eyeballed the myriad trinkets with a hint of disdain. She shot her partner a silent glower, as if to say well this was thoroughly entertaining. Not one for extended pessimism, she left the exploratory work to Toshiba and turned her attention to the sounds downstairs, inching to the door for the sound of any approach. Surely there was some other office or hidden passage filled with men to defeat--er, the answers they sought, of course--in lieu of bedroom browsing. She doubted anyone would keep documents or goodies in a room with a window where ninja could sneak in. Not that they would.
Gatac 2014-03-15 10:59:09
Kiara's wish for action seems to coincide with Lee's wish for some rest; pressing against the door, she can hear the creaking of the stairs as he walks up. A quick scan of the room: she might fit under the bed, while Toshiba's kinda too big to hide - but then, there's always a quick exit through the window. Failing that, pressing up to the wall behind the door won't hide him from an inspection of the room, but would probably shield him long enough to get the drop on Lee.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-03-17 21:21:50
Toshiba decides in a heartbeat - it's time to talk to Lee. He slides up behind the bedroom door, knife in hand, waiting for the caravan king to wander into his room. He nods to Kiara, hissing "we need him able to answer questions!" before calming his breathing and willing the quiet noises of Stonesky's night and Lee's mansion to cover their intrusion.
Gatac 2014-03-18 12:18:26
A few seconds later, the door does open, and Lee walks in. He's short and wiry, dressed in a plain changshan, and for a moment, it seems as if he suspects nothing - until his look falls upon the window, which - while hastily closed - is still unlatched.

Now or never, ninjas.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-03-19 08:50:08
"Be thou silent," Toshiba hisses, placing his knife at Lee's throat, smirking at using the Oni's old parlance. "Whoever you might call shall arrive too late to aid you should you attempt anything untoward, so let's keep this a private dialogue."
Gatac 2014-03-25 13:35:05
"Oni!?" Lee gasps. "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in Kargbeck with Olafsen! Does the General even know you're here?" After a moment, he adds - quietly - a few more words. "...did the General send you?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-03-26 10:01:43
What an opening, Toshiba thinks. Then:

Probably too good to be true. Jumping into subterfuge with both feet and eyes shut. We are shinobi, not spies. Okay, so traditionally that is also a common role, but we're not THAT kind of shinobi. Then:

Probably a trap, but "too good to be true" is also too good to pass up.

"Thine information is as out of date as a humble peasant's decor. The less thou and I speakest on the Olafsen... fiasco, the more temperate my mood. Let it be known that Noronu's confidence in the seafaring brigand has been shaken, and by association, has caused a shadow to fall upon the machinations of thou. I am here to ensure this part of the great endeavour goest smoothly, and while I understand that thou mayest not be culprit thineself, thou may have treacherous souls nestled within the operation. As soon as thou canst - as soon as thou canst - we shall travel to these critical locations. We shall travel as though naught be in error, of course, for that is how I shall discern the true nature of your organization here and bring news - pleasant, I trust - back to the General."

"Give thine answer, Lee, and speakest thou true, so that I may sheathe my blade still unbloodied."
Gatac 2014-03-26 12:40:00
(Toshiba's Bluff: 1d20 = 15
Lee's Sense Motive: 1d20+5 = 20
Toshiba's Action Die: = 9 LADY LUCK SMILES UPON YOU)

Toshiba seems to have stumbled upon a rich vein of distrust between Lee and Noronu, and strikes gold with his latest threat, to judge from the sweat on Lee's brow.

"Absolutely!" Lee replies. "We'll go...we'll go first thing in the morning! Just a regular inspection tour, nobody will suspect a thing - but you will need to disguise yourself, I can't have anyone see you with me and ask questions. Is that acceptable to you, Oni?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-03-26 12:58:22
"You ask the Blue Oni if obfuscation, if subtlety, if disguise are within his kingdom?! Hah! They are my boon companions! A disguise it is, then. I shall see you upon the morrow."

The Oni heads to the patio and is gone in the sudden roar of boot jets, disappearing into Stonesky's night before anyone can recognize or even place the strange sound's origin. He doubted Kiara would be discovered before the next morning. The question was, would he return to the estate to find her dancing on a pile of corpses? Surely even she could recognize the windfall of having their enemy open his own gates to them...
Nevina 2014-04-03 14:46:50
Kiara's blade was quick on the draw, and while she was quietly hidden underneath the bed, her eagerness not so hidden on her face. She listened for any further approach while Toshiba dealt with the less thrilling talking bit. She was disappointed at the lack of resistance.

Tomorrow is a lot of time to make a few calls. Kiara mentally grumbled, her eyes flashing warningly behind her silver blade. Her eyes followed the Oni as he left, and an ominous silence hung in the air. It would be easy enough to follow after, it likely didn't matter if her presence was revealed or not after the Oni. But, well, waiting 'til tomorrow in the room would be more fun than waiting out there. At least here she might accidentally be discovered and be forced to defend herself. Or if there was any notion of tattle-telling about the Oni's visit, then she'd obviously have to make a few choice.. words.

An uneventful night was the worst case scenario.
Gatac 2014-04-07 13:17:50
Well, the night isn't really uneventful - but it's not the kind of fun Kiara's looking for. She gets to watch (and hear) Lee have a slow-motion breakdown as he loudly talks over his situation, trying to figure out how to get his neck out of the noose, spinning in circles all the while. It's clear that Toshiba's words have an iron grip on his mind - probably because Lee does have something to hide from General Noronu.


(Toshiba's Disguise: 1d20 = 19, reduced to 15 because it's untrained)

The next morning, Toshiba shows up in front of Lee's house - and the disguise is actually not that bad. A large tarp pilfered from a clothesline has been expertly (if hastily) readjusted into a rough poncho-cloak-thing, covering the distinctive Blue Oni armor beneath. His luscious hair has been blackened with soot and slicked back into a wild tangle, while a bushel of horse hair affixed to his chin with a mixture of sake and tree resin makes for a decent beard. The pièce de résistance, however, is the large leather eyepatch that covers his right eye - just the thing for a proper sneaking mission.


Lee could use an eyepatch himself, to hide the rings under his eyes. He has his two dogs on their leashes, and the way he's gripping those, he seems to be considering the odds of the two dogs killing Toshiba if he lets them loose on the ninja. Toshiba only has to glance upward to see Kiara sitting on the roof above them to know it could never get that far.

"I thought you would be here sooner," Lee says nervously.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2014-04-07 14:14:29
"Kept bumping into things," Toshiba quips back in a slightly-too-artificially-rough voice, gesturing to his eyepatch. "Let's go."
Nevina 2014-04-12 14:35:59
Kiara was more than ready to go, having only had the mild entertainment of a makeshift soap opera for the night. She opted to keep to the shadows this time, despite her general preference for the upfront and out loud approach. She could always change tactics later, and for now she felt content with observation, noting the wind direction in hopes of avoiding scent detection by the dogs. Though she had sat in the musky room long enough that she was probably covered in the man's stench by now.
Gatac 2014-04-13 03:16:51
(Kiara's Sneak: 1d20+16 = 36 GHOST MODE)

Lee (and his dogs) go for a little walk with Toshiba through what passes for Stonesky's uptown - men in expensive coats, women in shapely kimonos, and children in their finery, with the red knuckles to show for trying to ruin their clothes with such intangibles as frolicking or playing. Nobody looks at Lee, who's not exactly a good fit for the neighborhood, but people stare at Toshiba, who makes Lee look like a High Lord in contrast. Though some of the curses are in the tongues of the foreigners and the mainlanders, Toshiba understands "snobbery" just fine, no matter the language.

Their first step is about 200 steps, give or take a few aching knees, as they ascend a serpentine staircase hewn into the side of the levee, all the way up to the top. A little promenade has been established here, with plenty of gentry on the benches just soaking up some morning sun while the ocean gently splashes against the levee, spraying a cool, salty mist into the air. Off in the distance lie the cliffs and a second large cave, this one half-flooded to serve as Stonesky's harbor. And although it is a visually interesting place full of intrigue and colorful characters, you're not going there now. No, your journey takes you the other direction into the grass-lined hills, past the lighthouse and herds of livestock.

How does Kiara stay hidden through all this? Very well, thank you.

After what seems like a half hour (but was actually just 25 minutes), you reach a small wooden hut on a meadow, where a young man sits on a stool outside, whittling statues of ancient dragons out of wood. A barrel full of those status behind him seems to indicate he has a lot of time to pass this way. When he sees Lee approach, he puts the block of wood away, then rises from his stool and walks to greet him.

"A good mornin' to ya, Rock," the whittler says. "Who's the bloke?"

(Whittler's Notice: 1d20+5 = 10 OBLIVIOUS!)

"Oh, yeah, good morning," Lee says. He turns to look at Toshiba. "This is my friend..."