Barasume Miwa
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Winterhawk99
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Re: Barasume Miwa

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The long days are here and with it the heat of summer. For some reason the seasons here are much more drastic than at home. The winters are cold, very cold. Snow forms and drifts in the lowlands as well as at the tops of mountains. In summer the heat of the day tests even my senses of comfort.

Still the quest must go on. Again, I feel the residual power deep within my blade. I have been able to tap into the part of my essence placed into it when I was young. The blood ritual every Onna-bugeisha goes through when their blade is made for them. Once again, I am becoming whole with the part of me infused into my weapon.

It has been two weeks since I have met Master Z. I have yet to find adamantine. The mastery of my current blade has occupied all of my time. Still, I have met with Samwell yesterday. We planned a trip deep into underdark to find the precious ore to make the perfect blade. I have found 3 more jasmal this outing. So now have 2 wolverine pelts and 4 jasmal, and my original katana which will be melted down and added to this new blade. I will look for other items to use and before the work starts ask both Master Z and Samwell what is best to use in the making of the new sword.

Another point to make is while Samwell and I were discussing things at the guild we found something called an adamantine helm in its shop. The cost is 20,000 in coin. He suggested that perhaps the helm could be melted down and reused in my blade's manufacture but hesitated because he did not know if it was truly made from the rate metal.

During this last outing I have met several new people; Two of which set my nerves on edge. The first is a human named Asher. A large man with many open tattoos. At first, I thought him yakuza, but he is too prideful and blatant in his aggressions. He likes to taunt me and my ways while in the commons. I seem to be a target of his angst in some way, for some unknown reason. I would have taken his head if I was home, however I am not home and in command of my husband's territory. I must abide by the western law of these lands. I must come up with a way to trawl his bitter irritations. In the least he is just a sand flea that digs under the skin and takes tiny bites. A harmless nuisance that should be treated as such. I think this is the perspective I should take with this irritating man.

The other is an archer who claims to be the best alive in the world. I forget his name something like Elidor Moonfeather or something similar. I met the sharp ear last outing when Makoto staged an exploration of underdark. He was and is a competent archer. In fact, better than most, however his arrogance knows no bounds.

I met him again in the commons. Again, he went on about being the best archer that ever lived. Thau'lira was in the commons with me along with Ichiro. (I have not mentioned Ichiro yet because the bushi may have dishonored himself by claiming the title of samurai when he is not. I did not personally see it so the jury, so to speak, on his indiscretion. I did warn him not to take a title he does not truly hold. He knew enough to be respectful when we spoke of it.)

Where was I? oh yes. Thau'lira was there along with Ichiro. We took him to the range at the Witch and Seer. There we tested his abilities.

Ichiro sat down right in front of the target. Elidor went to the expert distance of the range (about 50 yards). As Elidor was preparing for his shot, his arrowhead lit up with a blue light. I saw his lips softly chanting like a wu-jen preparing a spell. When he shot: The arrow went around Ichiro and hit the bullseye behind him.

Using magic to augment your abilities is not a true test of any archer's or warrior's abilities. I was disappointed. Having seen enough, I went to the rooftop garden at the Witch and Seer to speak to Ryuu. He will always own a piece of my heart. My gentle husband that died too soon.
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Re: Barasume Miwa

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Miwa looks up to the sun before writing in her little camp. The air is both hot and dry. It is comfortable for her. She then looks at her journal a moment sighing beginning to write.

I went to town for two days after studying, meditating and training for 10 days. Much happened in those 4 days. Some things I somewhat regret. Some things that give me hope that I will find the metal I am looking for. I only have one more month to find it. Otherwise, I will use the other metal suggested. Mithril.

The first major thing that happened was a meeting of a new woman in town from high hold. Her name is Rika. She wanted to go exploring to the south. I an elven by the name of Ediuth and another elven male a mage went with her.

We went south of Norwick fighting hobgoblins. All being quiet experienced the hobgoblins had no chance. We wandered our way into troll lands where giant beetles and other creatures lurked finding ourselves at the edge of bugbear lands. I cautioned them on just where we where and knew this would be very dangerous.

Coming to a bottle neck and peering around Rika informed us there was some form of meeting going on deep in the woods and hills at the edge of these lands. There were several humans in the forest about 2 dozen. She rattled off the names of western gods I do not know. Malar, Auril, and Sylvanius. It seems this was a meeting of people that can use the magic of nature. Eventually some saw us and went to investigate angry that we had come to the meeting. They attacked us with the full forces of their magic and marshal skill.

At first the four of us did well until the leader of the meeting with the rest of them rushed us. I heard one of my companion’s shout “Elder Druid!” We were in trouble. Rika went down. The two elven started to flee. I was in a desperate battle to hold them off so that the elven could escape. I went down with honor holding the horde of nature people off so they may escape.

I woke up in the temple of Chauntea in Norwick disappointed in myself but thankful I lost no connection with my blade. Ryuu was watching, I think.

Earlier I dared explore the secret room in the ice goblin caves with Ichiro Shimazu; a bushi from the land of Wa. There are a few from Wa here. I have not met another from Kozakura. We found a great dwarven refinery still operating without any dwarf in sight. There were mechanical spiders and mechanical men working the foundry. I jumped at the idea that there may be some of the metal I need here. We explored the entirety of the top level to find platinum ore, copper ingots, jasmal and sunfire stones. Finding a door that leads lower into the abyss we used caution and did not explore further.

The next day I met Samwell and told him about the place. He did not recognize it. I was determined to explore more of this foundry. Just before going back to camp, I took Raazi, Axe, Ediuth and others. We again explored the top level of this foundry then went down deeper exploring the next level deeper within the earth. We found platinum, gold, and electrum spider machines along with iron and copper golems. These fights with the machines were much harder. The iron golems can instill magic fear. Something I find myself susceptible to. In the last room was a giant iron golem. We fought it down. When finished we found a doorway going down, but it was choked and clogged with debris. We all vowed to come back with picks and shovels to free the doorway and explore deeper into this place.

Two days into my 4 in public I was riding from Norwich to Peltarch when Lucian riding like a madman crashed into Pickles and myself. I was wearing a dress. He put a large bruise on pickles, tore my dress and almost knocked the both of us over. Instead of stopping offering assistance and apologizing he continued riding off at a crazy pace. Angry I gave chase. He went into the spider woods. I had to break it off because I was not in armor and ready to fight giant spiders while trying to chase him down.

The next day I caught him sitting in the commons. I went up to him and punched him in the face. Screaming about what he had done. I was so angry. Not so much in the crash. Dresses can be resewn, Pickles will recover. It was in the cowardly way he ran away. He would not admit his mistake. I was leaving angerly when a constable a red head with a mustache charged me 300 gold for getting into a fight. He did not see what had happened along the path, so I paid without putting up a fuss and left the area. Still, it now looks I was the one in the wrong even though I did get justice in the end.

The last day I found him again in the commons. I could not help but taunt him on his lack of etiquette and his egotistical self-absorption. He challenged me to a fight and walked off. I went to the place he told me ready for a good fist fight. I found him on his warhorse and in full armor ready for a dual. What did I miss?

I told I was ready to fight or to talk to work out our differences. He only had admit his wrongdoing. I would have attempted to pull his armor off piece by piece and disarm him had there been a fight even if out classed with not armor or weapons. It would be honorable.

I even lied and said I was galloping too fast myself. Something I would not normally do but did for the sake of diplomacy. Now I wish that I had not. It is against the code to bear false witness. He eventually turned round when a few people showed up and left like a coward.

I had thought even though Lucian a brusque and hardened veteran that he had honor. I was sorely disappointed now finding him as egotistically self-centered as many in these western lands. I will not walk with this man now, ever.

Ichiro is in fact a completely different story. When he first came, he claimed to be a samurai. I watched him carefully and when sure called him out on it. He admitted his mistake not so much in words but in actions. This gave me pause and I watched him more traveling with him on several occasions. He does not follow bushido but has his own code. Much of this code involves charity. It seems he was hurt badly on more than one occasion by the samurai of Wa. I cannot say otherwise for I know there are evil men in all walks of life. Samurai are not immune to descending into the evilness of privilege and the pain it can cause.

I find that even though he is not samurai, he is a better man than even some samurai I have known and a bit wiser. He is a good example of a what a bushi can become as a man. I have come to appreciate his presence in both the commons and while exploring the land in my quest.

Just before I left Raazi the one I call crazy (because she is completely out or her mind) had a heart to heart talk. She told me of her nobility and the duality of people. I completely agree with the duality part. I am a bit questioning of the nobility part but then again the west is a strange and mysterious place. Perhaps it is true. I found out that her baby is well taken care of. That at least is a good thing. She realizes she cannot take care of the babe in her condition and has others taking care of it.

I did notice that she does have some insight into the nature of people. I did appreciate our talk before I took leave to come back to camp. She’s still utterly crazy and should be carefully watched but I have never seen her hurt anyone but the foes of the kingdom. That is all I have to write on my 4 day experience. In a few more days after some training and meditation I will again take up my swords and venture out to complete my task.
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Re: Barasume Miwa

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It has been some weeks since writing in this journal. My quest continues steadily for both adamantine and to become one with my sword. I have brought others to face the goblins in their mines and the golems of the dwarven foundry. Never thought myself much of a teacher for I am unwise when dealing with others. Still, they seem to appreciate my Prescence and watch what I do carefully as I have watched others in the past. I bought that adamantine helm in the guild store at great cost and two silk bags in Ghauntown.

Ghatntown is deep underground that has a strange market of creatures. Some merchants are Gnolls and strange floating eyes. I was down about 32,000 in coin and have made about 1/2 of that back. I also found a remarkable piece of chainmail for sail. I am not limber enough yet to use it to its full capacity but in time I will be able too.

The only truly inspirational thing that has happen was a talk with Samwell where I told him of my misgivings about the bushido code. Not the code itself but how I have interrupted the code in the past. He helped me think more upon it. I am in camp meditating for 10 days. I plan to go out for some time among the public next time I go into town. I need these 10 days to meditate on the code in depth and to rest.

Once i come back I only have two more weeks to find that special metal. If not I will use mithril for the blade. Hopefully all will be good in the end.
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Re: Barasume Miwa

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Miwa goes to camp thinking of all that had happened to her over the last week she had been training in the region. She had fought giants, goblins, Lizard folk and many other things. She had gone with an elven called Isendir to dangerous lands and found a wereboar defending its territory. It attacked the two of them. She made it focus on her and went into a defensive stance. In but three blows the mighty monster had rend her shield given her a blow that broke her collarbone and sent it into her lung and thrown her across the valley. She woke up in temple once again.

In another incident involving Raazi the sorcerous she went to a place they called Kront with others to go swimming. A ship at some distance started to fire ballista bolts at the group. Some swam up to the ship. Being in heavy armor she held her shield up to protect the ones beside her. A sergeant of the Peltarch guard called George and two others. one of the bolts had a powder sack that exploded near them. Her armor being fire resistance Miwa was unphased but George and another called the candy mage were. The ship sailed and crashed into the beach exploding. Some of the people that swam to the ship were thrown off. Luckily no one died. There was some treasure retrieved. Then the strangest thing happened. the ship reassembled itself and sailed away. the captain at the wheel. Some form of ghost ship. Miwa had never seen such a sight.

The last incident became deeply personal and shook her to the bone. Miwa takes a sheet of paper on it and writes a letter to someone she has much feeling for since she has set up in Narfell. It is written in High Shou her native language being a noble woman of her homeland. She hopes he will get it translated so he may know what had happened to her.

Dear Samwell,

It is Miwa of the Barasume clan. I am writing to let you know I am not dead. You have been a mentor and friend since I have arrived in this region so I write to you to explain why you will no longer see me. I had planned to train much longer here possibly to complete my quest. It is no longer possible to do this.

The last place I was training was in the goblin pass. I was in the first area with a shack by a lake. I had already cleared the immediate area when I heard something. I wandered to the northeast corner. against the mountains. There are three singing crystals there. their song sweeps across the little valley along this part of the pass. What I heard is that song had changed for some unknowable reason.

Seeing this as a sign, and knowing the valley was clear of enemies, I sat down between them and began to meditate. It did not take long before a sparrow flew up from the pines below and perched on a rock in front of me. As I considered it the little bird grew and transformed into the form of a woman. She wore a grey robe and carried a staff in one hand and an hourglass in the other. Her hair was made of feathers. Her eyes remained those of a bird. I knew at once she was Hengeyokai.

She told me that her name is Haruki and that she is a servant of Namikami the goddess that created the Kozakura islands with her twin brother god. A priestess I would guess. She told me that I must leave these lands and go west for those that would stand against me gather in shadow. I did not understand why there would be those that stand against me. I have ever the purpose of my quest and have done my best to bother no one. I said nothing confused by her words. she nods to me seemingly knowing my confusion. She said, "I thought that would be the case. Look into the hourglass, Miwa." She turned it. Something happened. It made my head dizzy then I had a vision."

In the vision a bandit king of some kind rallied hundreds of troops and surrounded Peltarch. They demanded things from the city. One of them the one that had beheaded so many of his men. The king met them along with many like the man that owns the tower Jonni. there was Isolde, Ros, Lucien, George, Asha, Meadow even Raazi and more. After they spoke with the bandit king, they searched the city for me. I was in the commons sewing like I usually do. They surrounded me and started talking to me. Because there were so many that abandoned me, I got up and started to bow as to leave the scene so that peace may still be attained. Lucian then punched me from behind on the back of the head.

I tried using my jujitsu being no one had weapons but there were too many of them. They got my weapons away from me then beat me into submission. Lucian breaking my legs so I could not move. They then dragged me before the Bandit king. I was almost dead already.
The bandit king lifted me up and tied me to a post. He doused me with oil and lit me on fire. As I screamed, I looked out to those I had known. Some smiled, Some, just had that gleam of victory in their eyes. All were proud of what they had done. As I screamed out with my last breath the vision ceased. I saw the last grain fall to the top of the sand pile within the glass.

"If you stay Miwa-san this will be your fate. Lord Barasume still has purpose for you if you succeed in your quest. A purpose far greater than was told to you. You must move one to another land. Concentrate on your quest." With that she turned her back, transformed back into a sparrow and flew off to the east.

A servant of the 8 million has spoken Samwell. I must leave these lands and find another to train in. I will always value our talks by the fire, The wisdom you tried to impart to me, and a friendship I will cherish the rest of my day. I am also sorrowful I must leave but I must for the betterment of your community and the betterment of my own quest to become a true mistress of the blade.

Sorrowfully

Miwa, Onna-bugeisha, of the Barasume clan.


Miwa seals the letter with a tear in her eyes knowing most likely she will never see Samwell again. She packs the rest of her things and heads to Norwick where Samwell makes his home. She drops the letter off at the crafter's guild. From there she measures the wind. She looks south, then west undecided. She looks down at Pickels her war horse while patting him on the neck. "We go Southwest and see what there is to see. Find a community where I may continue my quest in peace." She guides him down the path headed back to the Golden Way.
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Re: Barasume Miwa

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Miwa sits by a campfire for adventurers close to an inn called The Bait and Tackle. She sees no one but the local knights patrolling around the inn's general vicinity. The environment is much warmer than the last place she trained. It is an Island far west of the sword coast called Thain. She looks up at the blue sky then back to her journal. She writes.

It has been six months since last I wrote in this journal. After my vision I packed my things and left. I stayed at a place called Impiltur for several weeks. Finding the small nation lacking in good training grounds I moved on to the coast. There is a city of splendors there with many people. I kept quite looking for a place to train but the people there were much like the people of Narfell. Most corrupt by ideas of self and not community.

They have a large harbor. I politely asked questions on what lies across the western sea and if there were any place wild enough where I could train for my mission. I was given many, many answers of the strange lands beyond the ocean. One of these intrigued me. It is an island nation by the name of Thain. I carefully spoke to people of other places keeping my questions on point. From all I have gathered this is the best place to go. I then found a ship to this Island and paid board to travel there.

Here these people, although much the same stock as the other western nations, are more sedate and affordable. I am careful to keep my conversation sparse and direct. No one bothers me as I have set up and started to knock the rust off my swords. It is better this way. I will no longer trust these westerners and their selfish ways. I will be polite but will disengage except if a greater evil infects the lands and I am needed by the islanders to help with some great evil that means to control or destroy them.

Thus far no one has bothered me. I have seen a few adventurers pass by me near this inn at a crossroads to many other places. It is best this way. There is only trouble when east meets west and I have a greater mission for my Daimyo. I must continue my quest to become one with my sword so that I may teach other women what I have learned and to warn them not to go into these lands of chaos and vise.

Thus far I have tried to help a farmer. I completed his mission, but the healer still does not understand why his cows are sick. I helped the local innkeeper with a badger problem by hunting down a sick badger and taking its heart. Afterward he asked if I could find a lost magnifying glass the little lizards in the area stole. I have gone down into the kobold layer several times each time deeper and have yet to find this magnifying glass as of yet. only a mirror which I could not sell so put in the trash.

I rest now by the fire here and meditate while thinking on where this glass may be withing the lair. The chief did not have it. I will go again in a few weeks after rigorous non-combatant training in the safety of the village. I hear there are other towns and cities, but I must complete this mission before moving on.

On a good note, I am told if I continue to sail west for three months, I will round the world and come back to my home in Kozakura. It gives me a little more time to complete this mission and find out about what the hengeyokai told me of Daimyo Barasume and what plans he has for me if I am successful in my quest.
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