The Ballad of the Lion and the Dragon

Genji's Descent into Madness

13 Days until departure

Just two weeks ago I decided the date I would leave the island in search for the
goddess and now their is just under two weeks before I will head out. Mother
called me into her office the other day and reccommened I keep a journal of my
travels and the time I have left here in Mu. She seems to think it will help
keep me on the right track and remember what home is like so I may never forget.
I don’t think I will forget though, afterall I will find the goddess.

12 days until departure

Father called me into the Magisters tower today. He seems to think it’s a great
idea that I am taking off from the city like he did so many years ago and seems
cheerful for something. I never know what his secret agenda is but I assume he
is up to something. I did manage to catch a glimpse of their most recent
creation while I was being escorted out, he seemed so lifeless and yet the
slightest movements showed otherwise. I do not know what purpose this
creation has but I have other things to worry about. Father did ask the next
time I return to the city to come see him before anything else. He has always
said he see’s so much of him in me and that he thinks I’ll turn out just the
way he hopes, If I wasn’t to leave soon in search I would have begun working with
him and the other magisters of the city.

10 days until departure

Boring day but quite the extravagant performance was given in the city today by
some outsiders who were passing through to visit some of those on the other side
of the city. Then of course again a member of the Ishida and Kiga houses were
at it again at the tavern tonight.

5 days until departure

Gathered supplies today for my journey. Mother was busy with the other officers
of the city looking for some group of troublemakers that have been causing
problems as of late. Father hasn’t been seen since a week ago since he called
me into his office. He seems rather sure something good is going to happen
out of this journey but I wonder what it is he is working on in there while
I am gone and what it is he is hoping I will tell him upon my return. Mother
seems to believe I will come back better and with a clearer view than I leave with.

3 days until departure

Had a local blacksmith sharpen my Cresent Moon Blade for a few coins just in case
I need to make use of it during my travels, although I prefer to avoid getting
so close and personal as to need it, but you never know. The officers managed
to catch the Washio boys who were causing so much trouble recently and have them
in custody. Since I will be leaving soon I found it my duty to make sure I said
my personal goodbyes to all the lovely women at the tavern tonight and oh how
I will miss them.

Day before departure

I seemed to of misplaced many of my belongings the night before today as I spent
most of the morning trying to find where I had left everything. I have begun
making notes on a map as to where I should start my search. I have decided to
head towards Kyotara in Nihonshu to the east to begin my search for our
goddess and god.

Day #1

Upon leaving the city I decided to use one of my favorite spells to date and ride
my Disc over to the city on the island. Upon arrival I would be greeted by a
rather large human who I would later find out has managed to make it to 85 and
look as young as myself. He would invite me into his place of work, a forge, as he
would end up to be a blacksmith. He would have 3 underlings working for him as
well, the most interesting and notable characters being Sakura and his pet turtle Kametaro. I believe my large
friend to be oblivious of Sakura’s feelings for him. After a while he would lead me
through the city and along the way I would find a shrine to the god Yi, I of course
payed my respects and asked for guidance on my journey. Afterwards we would find
our way to a Tavern where we would run into 2 people who appeared to be friends
of Koizumi’s (The blacksmith). One of which an alchemist known as Gino, who didn’t
seem rather startled to see a full blood Yueren. Gino would be a Half breed, as to what
his other half is I would assume human which would explain why he wouldn’t be
from Mu. The other is a friendly face to be seen, a Mandragoran named Dasa.
Then a horrid sight, a foreigner. I would assume he was here to scout out
a way to attack Mu or to attempt to gain entrance but he was oblivious to even
Dasa working her magic on his coin purse, their is no way someone that oblivious
could be the one sent for such a task, he must be a traveler like myself then. (Vexille)
Then a Faen of all things to be seen in this city named Minh. Faens tend to visit Mu every now and then as they make friends with some of the Yueren. I didn’t think to ask if she had been to see the island or not. Minh would propose to us after we were all at the table to travel together to
“South” and tried to give some spill about Destiny but oh how Destiny is just a
load of shit. Koizumi would share my sentiments although much more harshly.
He would leave the tavern in a blind anger and I would quickly follow.
I gave him what I would consider as wise a speech as I could in an attempt to convince
him to join us, although part way through our discussion the one who enraged
him would come outside as well but I would continue talking in order to keep
his attention on me and not to continue hostility towards her. Soon he would
have us follow him to his forge and come to find out he use to be a Samurai
just like the many who have tried to tackle our walls and failed, his lord
died some time ago and now he would truly believe that he does not deserve to take
up his uniform and fight again. How sad and wrong he is though, I believe after
leaving I had said enough to convince him to join the rest of us on our journey.
After returning to the tavern where everyone waited we would get a room for the
night and with Dasa, Minh, Vexille, and myself staying up in the fine rooms we would
send vexille off into his own room while we waited for the foreigner to leave, after
all he can’t speak a word of Nihon or Yuxian. After he was behind his closed door
we would conspire to “Make some extra coin” and successful we were. The innkeeper
has a very weird and strange fetish I must say. We would divide our loot and head
to bed. What good fun, and now I have a general idea of ways to make use of Dasa
and Minh on our travels. Dasa appears to be a very skilled Rogue while Minh seems
to be quite the fortune teller and is willing to assist in even the most
ridiculous schemes. I’m not sure how to make use of Vexille yet so he remains expendable. Koizumi, should
he join us, has obvious uses with his great stature and Gino has an amazing trade
that’s uses never end. Kametaro just makes me smile. BEFORE I forget, I don’t
remember her name but their was a very fine fellow Yueyenrin I ran into at the tavern
tonight for some fun. So not is all for naught, Their shall be plenty of other’s
to see on this journey even if for one night. All in all, not too bad for a first day and now I have others to keep me company and to make beneficial on my journey.

Day #2

Today Akira decided to join the party after all but will not be ready to leave until tomorrow as he is at work on some armor for the journey. After the news I began my search of the city to only find a shrine to the Goddess within the city. After that I would get a map to have for the travels and informed everyone of the new tavern to stay for the night and we began choosing where we would head next, seeing as south is just a direction with no real idea of where to go. We decided on heading towards Nasca.

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Observation Journal #4: South-bound Journey

Entry #1

Recent turn of events have inspired me to write an observational journal for a trip south of my current location of Kyotara, the capital of the Nihonshu island-nation in the east. During my journey, I will be traveling with a group of travelers to our destination, some of which are of races that I’ve only detailed before previously through the studies and second hand experiences of other scholars and alchemists like myself. This is a rare opportunity to directly observe racial interaction on a small scale as well as gain first hand experience with each race’s particularities, though there will undoubtedly be other recordings of whatever else crosses our paths. My initial two days with the group has already shed some light on what I might expect from them.

First is the one that proposed the journey and asked for my aid, Minh Ai. Her stature would suggest that she is a species of Faen, most likely of the Loresong variety judging from her mannerisms and interests. She seems to be a practitioner of Feng Shui as well as typical tarot readings (demonstrated when determining our group’s composition and direction). The accuracy of her statements remain to be seen, but doubt will come only after results. So far there is no clues as to any knowledge of defending herself; possibly prefers flight to fight, though magic may not be out of the question as her mystic mannerisms may hint at. Physically, she seems to be typical of her kind; no major abnormalities in hair, skin, or eyes. An opportunity my arise later for a closer inspection, but I will respect her privacy otherwise. As for her personality, she seems more reserved than most Faen, but considering their history it’s not too unusual for them. Still, it is a detail worth keeping an eye on.

Next is the Yueren that arrived about the same day I did (according to a regular of my services), Ukita Genji. A male Yueyinren (an incredibly rare sight these days), he seems to bear all the usual traits (physical and mental) of his particular Yueren Clan; refer to journal #2 for more details. While haughtier than most in our group, he is more than likely the most knowledgeable here besides myself, and quite possibly the more capable if he has taken to the magical disciplines his Clan tends to favor; no proof of this yet, though context clues within his clothing and mannerisms strongly suggest this is so. While violent confrontations should be avoided in general, I will look forward to his capabilities in combat situations. His physical appearance and speech imply that he’s well versed in social situations. This skill will more than come in handy for the journey ahead. Apart from the unusual male phenotype, no overly noticeable physical or mental abnormalities. Again, opportunities may present themselves for a closer examination; privacy will be respected when asked. Worth noting that I have yet to notice any adverse reaction to sunlight usually present in his Clan, though it could simply be him wanting to “act tough.”

Our next subject for observation is a seemingly rare sight for the local area (though not in general), a female Mandragoran. The caste name “Dasa” and numerous headvines places her easily within her society at initial glance. [For my initial encounter with Mandragorans, see Journal #2; General details of their bodies and society in Journal #3.] A healthy specimen of her race, Dasa’s skin has a blueish-green tint; this is within the normal skin pigmentation of her kind. Her interests in gambling and chance are noticeable traits unusual to most, if not all Mandragorans, though seemingly harmless for the time being. Her quite numerous and lengthy headvines (accurate measurements unavailable at this time but appears roughly 2/3rds to 3/4ths of her body height) appear to have the prehensile and sensitive qualities normal for her kind, though personal concerns note the willingness to touch others with them. I recently saw her sift through one of our companions belongings as she held him in a friendly manner, however seemingly nothing was disturbed. [Note to self: Warn Dasa about the varied medicines in my possession that may adversely affect her should she feel the need to do something similar to me.] No noticeable physical or mental abnormalities at this time, though she seems to be more full bodied than what is usual for her kind (in a way that would please most males of compatible coupling), it is still within recorded deviations and not a sign of degenerative disease. Dasa’s spores perform as one familiar with her kind would expect, though her social skills are impressive in tandem with the scent as demonstrated with the companion mentioned earlier. [Additional note to self: Test the effects of incense and other scent based medicines in regards to counteracting the spores.]

An unusual companion for our journey is Koizumi Akira. Local blacksmith and once loyal samurai to the previous local Shogun, has been a resident here for roughly 80 years and still looks healthy and in his prime. I have known him for a while as he is a repeat customer to my services and I’m a valued drinking partner to him. He claims that he is human, though observations show otherwise as he seems to have physical characteristics of Dahren. However, as he’s been exposed more to Humans than Dahren during his development, it may have left an imprint on him to believe he is such. That said, having outlived the Lord he served has led him to believe he is cursed. I have considered telling him my suspicions of his true heritage, but I decided to wait until he has met with other Dahren to aid in my reasoning and possibly avoid upsetting him immensely. His strength and size should help in deterring any assailants we come across on our journey. The only unusual physical traits that I deem unusual for what I suspect is his race are his red hair and fullness, not to mention thickness, of facial hair; something other Dahren would certainly be impressed about. Mentally sound, though personality differs greatly from usual Dahren, more than likely due to predominately human influence throughout lifetime. I will keep an eye on his mental state as we make this journey.

Finally, a truly rare sight among us, not to mention most of the continent, a western foreigner by the name of Nevan Vexille. While some trade has been established with the newly discovered Western Continent, never have I seen a foreigner this far east of the trade cities. His purpose here is a mystery for the time being and something I’ll be sure to find out. Fortunately, we’re able to communicate clearly; I am thankful for my dedication to my alchemical studies to such degree as to trade and decipher foreign studies in my search. That said, he will be an interesting case to study, even for a human. Humans of the foreign lands tend to exhibit slight, yet noticeable differences in physical phenotype from the local humans. From my studies, limited as they are, it may have to do with the difference in environment and quite possibly culture as they tend to place personal achievements over family honor (among other things), possibly resulting in features more favorable in such conditions. So far, the difference in local customs is making it a little hard for him to adjust to our culture; such things as treating people with immediate familiarity is off putting to most people, much to his confusion. It is my hope to bring him up to speed on what he needs to know, though that will largely depend on how much he’s willing to learn. Dasa appears to take a liking to him though, and it seems the feeling is mutual despite not sharing the same language. Taller and sturdier than most local humans and seemingly of sound mind (though upbringing my bring about differences in judgement), he is a wild card within this group; one which is best kept with us or at least me as we’re the only ones so far willing to understand him.

I will continue documenting in this journal their behaviors and activities between each other (and myself) and in reaction to significant events that occur during our journey. I will also document any and all unusual creatures or people I meet along the way. With any hope, I may come one step closer in understanding myself.

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