Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

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Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:27 am

Hilmar Schuler, Captain of the Zahl, was at his last straw.It was over a week now since the fleet had split up with Captain Bartsch and so far nothing had been spotted. They passed through the straight and were in open water. The crew's morale was low and nothing seemed to go as planned. He needed some form of relief to get the crew going again.

"Captain! We've spotted an unknown vessel!" Schuler jumped down the small flight of stairs leading to the helm and ran to the sailor. He extended his spyglass and saw the vessel. It wasnt meant for battle, no real ports for cannons. It must have been for fishing. Schuler ordered to raise the flag as they approached the ship.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:14 pm

The long white fishing sloop of local fisherman, Kenichi Oritomo had been out on the calm waters of the Lower Great Sea, off the coast of the island of Joushu by around ten miles. Bringing in his catch, he had been at the same old motions for six hours starting at the usual time - sun-up. While those hours passed as nothing special or out of the ordinary, the old fisherman sat upon the starboard gunwale of the Hinami-san.

The triangular, Kyokan-style sails fluttered in the wind as it sat at anchor there in the ocean. Looking out in a blissful daze to the vast water before him, Kenichi silently waited for his bob to sink below the water for a catch. Just as the bob did sink, he went to stand and haul up what he hoped would be a net filled with fish and lobster. Something stayed his hand as he looked out to the horizon. Squinting in the sunlight, he put a hand over his forehead to block out the rays. A ship sailed at the distance, perhaps a half mile out.

It's make was definitely not one of Kyokai. It was large, foreign, and obviously could be used for war. Looking behind toward his far off homeland, he could only hope that these foreigners... these Gaijin... would not be barbarians. Grasping a harpoon in a hand, he waited for the ship to come closer. His curiosity only increased once a flag was raised - not a Rising Sun, nor a white flag of peace, but a red flag with a grey eagle as the emblem.


Something like this, but a bit smaller
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:05 pm

The Zahl pulled up next to the Hinami-san and Schuler walked to the starboard railing. He held up his hand and began to speak.

"Hello! We come in peace. We need to speak with your leader. I have papers from the Ironhull Empire. We come in peace."

He didnt know if the man would understand him.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:40 pm

Kenichi watched as the ship drew around and sailed alongside his sloop. One of the men aboard, likely the pilot or captain, said something to him - the words of which completely escaped Kenichi. This ship was indeed foreign, and their language was far from similar to his own. As the man took out some papers and pointed to them, likely trying to find if Kenichi understood his purpose in being there, he squinted his eyes to try and get a good look at the writing.

Unlike the many thousands of Kyokan characters to their writing, these were curly... lines it seemed, repetitive every so often. He understood nothing that the document showed, however putting the pieces together, a light flickered on in his mind. The foreigners must be on a voyage for diplomatic purposes. Scratching his ruffled white beard, the fisherman looked to the foreigner, wondering what the best course of action would be. Perhaps, he thought, he should guide them to port and allow the authorities to take control of the situation. After all, Kenichi was but a fisherman in a small village off of the city of Onigafuji on the Island of Joushu, Kyokai.

"Watashi wa kaikou ni idō shimasu. Watashi ni shitagatte kudasai. (I will take you to port. Please follow me.)" Kenichi said.

He realized, with a silent curse under his breath, that the foreigners definitely would not understand what he just said. Making various hand gestures that obviously indicated that he would sail them to port, he waited for some affirmative reaction from the captain.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:54 pm

The fisherman didnt know what they were saying. Great Schuler understood the signing the old fisher was using and ordered his men to stations. The fishing ship pulled out and the Zahl followed behind it.

Schuler was nervous. Diplomacy was knew to him, just as Ironhull was new to the world. He knew that somewhere Frantz and the others were having the same, if not more luck then he was.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Maikuolan on Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:42 am

OOC: Sorry to be a pain. If I may ask quickly, because I've had a long day and I'm not thinking entirely straight - I'm assuming that the Ironhull fleet that split up consisted of all those diplomatic ships sent out to various nations and that they split shortly after they left, and that most diplomatic ships would all be arriving at various nations at the same time? No problem here, just hoping to confirm. Thanks. Fun read by the way.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:47 am

OOC: I definitely wouldn't imagine them all reaching simultaneously considering the difference in distances between nations. From Ironhull, Kyokai would be quite far away, considering it takes three full months to voyage between Capua and Kyokai as it is. Tyskland would take even longer as well since they're even farther east.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:08 pm

Soon, land had started to loom ahead. It was cliff-faced, high and mountainous, and hosted rolling green hills that faded off in the afternoon fog that had rolled in over the coastline. Kenichi the fisherman threw and arm forward, pointing toward the land as he steered his ship his free hand.

"Joushu." He merely said.

He hoped they would catch the fact that this was Kyokai's second largest Island of Joushu. It was vast, and mostly devoted to agriculture and fishing. Of course, instead of bringing this ship to his home city of Onigafuji on Joushu, he headed for the larger city of Hinamizawa due to its larger ports and more significantly, the southernmost military base belonging to the Shogunate. Kenichi figured that as long as they were foreign diplomats, the military could guide them across the Yukari Channel to the main island of Hekkaido.

As they sailed east along the southern Joushu coastline, the fog had started to lift. Homes of villages dotted the hills surrounding the coast, as well as high pagoda styled Shinto temples led into by characteristic Torii Gates. Cherry trees sat in forests, their pink and vibrant red leaves finally starting to fall at the month's end. On the water ahead, more ships could be seen, large and small. Most were fishing ships, however some were mighty military vessels bearing the flowing standard to the Shogunate - the Rising Sun of Kyokai. Finally, once the cliff-face ended and the sea of trees died away, a large port opened to view amidst the starting of the vast coastal city of Hinamizawa.


Torii Gates

Upon the docks bustled many people going about their daily business. Everyone from merchants to fishers to soldiers walked about the docks and pier, utterly engulfed in their occupations. Small dinghies rowed out to fishing ships at one part of the dock. Merchant vessels were being loaded, moored to the central docks which were wider to accommodate large pieces of cargo and traffic. At the other end, vessels dedicated to the military patrolled the waters, ever vigilant, or sat at the docks being washed and maintained by their dedicated sailors.

As they neared the docks, Kenichi asked a few sailors to help moor his boat. Happily, they obliged and upon roping and anchoring the boat, Kenichi dismounted and hobbled up onto the dock. Waving the foreign ship over, he had it moored at the central docks amongst all of the merchant vessels. Before the foreigners exited the ship, Kenichi ran to a guard post to ask for an officer and some soldiers. Upon his request, five soldiers - all Ashigaru wearing their breastplates and sakkat hats, carrying a sidearm pistol, a nodachi shortsword, and of course their Tanegashima Mk. II musket strapped to their back. Their uniforms all matched of course, as standardized infantry to the Shogunal Army.

The officer was a Samurai, ranked as a Colonel in the army. He was around thirty years old, wore full armor as traditional of his rank, and at his side he carried two katana. Strapped to his back was a customized musket with a shorter barrel made for mid-ranged combat. Two pistols were holstered as sidearms. Similar to his adjutants' uniform, he bore the colors of white, red, and black as colors upon his armor. Luckily for the foreigners, he knew a bit of their language - enough to get by however with a thick Kyokan accent.

As they advanced on the foreigners upon their mooring and laying down their gangplank, the Major bowed rigidly to them and with a gruff, gravely voice, he addressed the newcomers.

"Welcome to the Shogunate of Kyokai. I am Major Katsuo Nakamura."


Think this guy as Katsuo
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:12 pm

"Ah, Hello." Schuler held his hand out waiting for the colonel to shake it. When it became apparent that that wasn't the case, he returned it to the side. On to business it was then.
"I am Captain Schuler of the Ironhull Empire. We have come in search of new lands and potential allies. His Lordship Durn Grushna III would like to extend his arms in friendship and trade. Will you take us to your leader?"
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:34 am

Colonel Katsuo Nakamura understood that the foreigners did not know of their customs, most notably of bowing instead of the more common handshake. Thus, he didn't take any offense and let it pass as ignorance of course. As he listened to the man's introduction, he found the Ironhull diplomat very direct in his pursuits - especially so with his drive to meet with Kyokai's shogun. Scratching his finely trimmed beard, he wondered if he should lead these diplomats to Eidou. It would be around a five day journey however to get to the Capital.

"You have come at a rather hectic time, Captain Schuler. I'm afraid that time might not be on your side - the Lord Shogun is a very busy man. Of course, the Regent of Foreign Affairs might be able to speak with you on his behalf." The colonel said.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:07 am

Schuler looked confused. He ALWAYS had a look of confusion on his face. He nodded slightly and said, "Yes, the Regent of Foreign Affairs. Perfect! When shall we meet with him?" He stood there, waiting for an answer. He could tell that Colonel Nakamura was slightly angry with him, so he tried to be on his best behavior from there on out.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:29 pm

Colonel Nakamura looked at the foreigners, his expression was as hard as ever - these Gaijin were rudely persistent. The five soldiers, though they couldn't understand what their officer and the foreigners were talking about could plainly see the displeased expression upon Nakamura's face. Most of them shifted in their stops, hands ready to grasp hold of their sidearms should need arise for their use. The Colonel noticed this, and with a harsh barking order, the soldiers stood straighter and put on expressionless faces of indifference.

"You will meet with the Regent when he is available to be seen, Mr. Schuler. The Regent of Foreign Affairs is a government official, quite a high position under the Bakufu itself. Patience is a virtue." With a hand gesture, he motioned for the foreigners to follow him. "We will be heading for the Capital. It's a long journey, Mr. Schuler, about five days by ship and ten by horse."

He could see the impatience and dismay on the man's face. Being honest to himself, the Colonel didn't care much, in fact he was rather content seeing them ill-at-ease. It wasn't every day that a Kyokan met a foreigner, but his curiosity was lessened by his frustration at their rudeness and lack of manners. He was no diplomat, yet even he could safely say that such behavior was quite unbecoming and gave their nation an ill-reputation.

Heading through the bustling city of Hinamizawa, a different life and culture separate from the Capital was quite apparent - at least to a seasoned traveler. The homes were a bit less ornate; simplicity was favored in Hinamizawa, being a rather agricultural based city itself. The buildings were wooden of course, yet of duller colors and hues. Some roofs were thatched, whilst others had the same Kyokan style tile roofing as other cities. The roads were pebbled, not cobblestoned, and traveled by ox-cart, horse, palanquin, and foot. The people were friendly, curious, and truly defined that southern hospitality feel within Kyokai. While in some sections, outdoor food stalls were erected, in others large inns and hotels stood busy with patrons and visitors from out of the city.

Surrounding the city of Hinamizawa was mostly fields and woodlands. Banzai and evergreen shed shadows over the outskirts of the city and send adrift in the air a wonderful scent of pine and sap that mixed delightfully with the local bakeries and restaurants. As they traveled north through the city, though they didn't purposely travel to show their sights, they were taken in anyway. The main thoroughfare was all they needed to do as much.

After some hours of walking through the city, they finally advanced over a large hill road and looked down upon the glittering northern coastline of Hinamizawa on the Island of Joushu. There, a ship would no doubt be waiting to take them along the western coast of the mainland, the Island of Hekkaido to the Capital City of Eidou. From where they stood, the channel between the two large islands was as vast as an ocean - Hekkaido was not in sight, not yet.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:55 pm

Schuler looked in amazement. The city was different then the traditional stone brick hoouses of Ironhull. The people here seemed nicer and friendlier then those back home. Life here was truly amazing.

he stood staring out to the channel, there was nothing like that at home. This country seemed at peace and the nature reflected it. The hills rolled softly, and the trees gently blew in the breeze. Even the water, which should have been rolling with roaring waves seemed to lap the shoreline. There was nothing like that at Ironhull. The mountains were steep and perilous. The wind roared across the plains and the coastline was gray and the waves rolled with whitecaps across the beach.

Schuler snapped out of his trance and looked toward the Colonel, He could see the distaste of working with the foreigners from the expression on his face. Schuler turned to the military professional and gave him an Ironhull salute.

"Sir, i understand any anger and frustration when it comes to working with us. We are foreigners, not only to your land but to the world stage. We have not had much time to practice the art of diplomacy. I ask your forgiveness for any harsh feelings i have given you and hope that your feelings for us, and Ironhull will change for the better. I would not mind the wait for visiting with your Regent of Foreign Affairs."

Shuler stood there at attention, saluting an unknown commander of a new land. A breeze blew across the hill and Schuler's standard issue Officer's Cape blew in the wind and waves rolled in the distance.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:57 am

Colonel Nakamura's expression softened. Perhaps there was something more to these diplomats from Ironhull than he originally thought. The apology from his guest was genuine at least, and this he acknowledged. The people of Kyokan revered patience, trustworthiness, and respect. Though at the beginning, he was unsure whether these Ironhull diplomats had such values, he deemed that they were merely new to all of this.

The Colonel nodded to Schuler then, and with a kinder face, he replied.

"Your apology is well received. Now, let us be off, we have no time to waste."

Soon, there were heading north along the main thoroughfare of Hinamizawa toward the great docks and the channel that lay between the islands of Joushu and Hekkaido. Informing Schuler of the lay of the land, Nakamura gazed over the vast amount of water before them. Making it to the pier, a ship was readied for them. Joining the Colonel, his five soldiers, and the Ironhull diplomats was a contingent of the Kyokan military who had been dispatched to Hekkaido to strengthen the guard around Ezojima, the southern most city in Hekkaido.

By all rights, the contingent was a full battalion, perhaps around one hundred soldiers in all. Where a foreigner might feel uncomfortable, surrounded by so man men-at-arms, the soldiers were actually quite peaceful. Most simple stayed quiet or congregated into small groups of friends and chatted peacefully with one another. Many continued their duties, even aboard the ship - guarding and patrolling the decks, fully armored and armed.

Whilst on the ship, Nakamura spoke with Schuler of all types of things. Most of their chatting focused primarily around each others nation. Nakamura was quite interested in the outside world - he had never been away from the shores of Kyokai. The ship had finally started its sail, the journey would take all day, and once they landed it would indeed by nightfall. They would have to find lodging in Ezojima of course since traveling by night was dangerous now while the country was in civil war.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:41 pm

As the ship docked and Schuler and Nakamura left the ship, Nakamura led the group to a local lodge. He couldnt help but notice the amount of military personnel on the streets. Nightfall seemed like a bad time here, wherever they were that was.

Schuler left his crew with the soldiers and he moved up closer to the colonel. He saluted and then began to speak.

" Sir, i cant but notice the amount of military presence on your streets. Ironhull has never been in a state like this, so if i may ask, what is happening here that is causing this phenomena?" They approached a lodge and Nakamura ordered a few rooms to be prepared. Not knowing what to do, Schuler pulled out five pieces of gold coins as payment.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:34 am

Though Nakamura offered that he would pay for Schuler's room for the night at the inn, the Ironhull diplomat was quite insistent that he would pay instead. The Colonel wondered whether his coins would have any use there in Kyokai, a nation that used their own form of currency named the Sen. Shrugging it off, he figured there had to be some value exchange rate.

When Schuler asked him about the strong military presence there in Ezojima, Nakamura automatically knew the true answer. Kyokai was in a state of war, the Bakumatsu was currently happening in northern Kyokai - the Torunaga Shogunate versus the Ishin-shishi. Pro-Shogunate forces versus Pro-Expulsion forces. Direct polar opposites occupied the battlefield in both ideology and policy. Nakamura chose not to tell the truth in this instance. He would only share a fraction of the truth.

"Yes. The military presence here is rather undeniable, but then we are currently in the port city of Ezojima on the Main Island of Hekkaido. Ezojima hosts quite a large military compound actually, so seeing this many soldiers around is quite normal. Truly, this is nothing compared to the Capital."

Nakamura couldn't completely trust these foreigners yet, and he likely never would. They were from another country, involved in government, and were currently making their way through Kyokai in order to make first contact. They would report everything that they could, or would be allowed to see. This would include the information that the Shogunate was currently in civil war. Though Ironhull was but a fledgeling in comparison to Kyokai - a nation that had been in power for hundreds of years, he couldn't be certain that these people would sell information off to a larger, belligerent country like New Solaris. The last thing the Shogun would want would be the wrong information getting to the wrong hands - information that could perhaps mean getting taken advantage of in such a situation. They had to stay in the dark. News of the Bakumatsu would spread anyway, but hopefully after the Ishin-shishi would be stomped out.

Paying the innkeeper 40 Sen, he walked alongside the diplomats to the next floor and bid them goodnight with a last, curt bow. Shutting his door, he lit a candle at his bedside table, opened up his window to allow some air in, then fished a scroll from his robes after stripping from his armor. At that, he fetched some ink and a quill and began to document everything that happened that day, including his orders to troops and all the work he had yet to complete. The night was still young, he had plenty of time.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:03 pm

The room Schuler was in was cozy. Accommodations included a bed, a closet, a writing desk and a few chairs and candelabras. He sat down in a large chair and pulled off his boots and then took off his cloak and jacket. He placed the items on a rack, sat down at the writing desk and pulled out a piece of paper and a quill and inkwell and began writing his observations on the new country.

Arrived in a new land. The people seem friendly but also secretive; This could be a result of our unannounced arrival. Houses seem to be made of wood and a papery substance and roofs are thatched. Terran is mostly hills and the coastline seems to be sheer cliffs and beaches were ports are located. Currently in progress of reaching a political figure to negotiate with.

Schuler laid down the quill and let the ink dry. He then folded the parchment and placed it in a pocket of his jacket. Afterward he walked to the bed and fell back into it. He fell asleep.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:36 am

The night went by with naught but the soft sound of crickets and tree-peepers outside the inn by the pond that lay out toward the back of the establishment. The city was quiet as all citizens and soldiers alike shut their lights off for the evening and slept well. Morning would be there soon with new life and excitement in its own way.

In the morning, Colonel Nakamura awoke early as per usual, stretching his body and walking outside with katana in hand. Sitting cross-legged on the polished wooden porch in an exterior courtyard, he meditated for a while as the sun started to rise well in the morning sky. Returning to his suite, he donned his uniform and armor, slipping his sidearms and katana into his obi sash before leaving the room along with the rest of his belongings.

Meeting his company outside of the inn, they made their way into the still quiet streets of Ezojima, heading north along the main street. Waling down a side street, Nakamura found a palanquin supplier, who kinda provided their entourage a horse and palanquin for a small fee of 70 Sen - likely due to Nakamura's military status.

Mounting the open carriage, a horse rider straddled the chestnut hare's saddle and gave the stallion a pat on the backside, prompting the animal to take off at a well-paced trot.

After smelling the fantastic scents of breakfast pastries and delights being made all down the main-street, Nakamura asked their driver to halt for a moment while he went to grab his guests some traditional Kyokan breakfast that morning. They might as well eat a bit on the road north to the outer limits of the city. It would take a few hours as it was, then some days before finally reaching the Capital.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Armos on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:45 pm

Schuler didnt know what to say. He allowed Nakamura to lead on and eventually also hoped into the carriage as well. When the party had stopped for breakfast, he graciously declined and pulled out a container of salted fish and a flask. Under normal circumstances he would have gladly taken the pastries over the fish, but lately he had grown to like the odd taste, and the booze helped to give it a nice flavor.
The caravan continued down the road. Time seemed to have inched by. In Ironhull carriages were drawn by six horses and travel was faster. Perhaps this island didnt have as many wild horses as Ironhull. Schuler heard Nakamura mutter something about the trip lasting a few days, or at least thats what he heard, and silently groaned.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:07 pm

Nakamura chose to ignore his guests' not so silent groaning. As annoyed as he was, he considered that they were merely arrogant, or perhaps more so ignorant than anything. In his mind, he had already judged the man as a Gaijin - maybe not a barbarian, but damn near close. He had no patience or respect for those that didn't treat fellow diplomats or foreign peoples with similar respect.

Their traveling would take days indeed. Perhaps this man from Ironhull did not own a map, for otherwise he should have known that they'd have to journey over half of the mainland to reach the Capital - not to mention natural impediments like mountains and forest. It was not an easy journey, and Nakamura started to wonder how long he could stand him and still restrain his hand from drawing his blade.
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Re: Eastward Bound (ATTN: BLEACH)

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