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Thickening the plots
09-20-2018, 06:06 PM
Post: #1
Thickening the plots
OOG intro: in this thread I am trying to fill in some gaps in Vittmarker recent events. Chronology will be a mess.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-20-2018, 06:42 PM
Post: #2
RE: Thickening the plots
Toshi-bu, 7569

"How do you know these things?"
Chopper was looking at Tera for answers. Her remark that the white settlers might want to create their own allegiance with some far a way power had messed up her mindset. Since her birth, she had been convinced that the rickety gang of weirdos who were messing up the eastern part of their island would soon be whipped into a more sensible structure by their northern neighbors. That's why there was a huge emphasis on getting more pupils to learn basic Hallish, it was inevitable that the two cultures would meet.

"The Oto has deep sources, on the mainland in the north, the islands in the east and west, but even with the settlers."
Chopper was still looking in awe. Tera could know, she was very close to the Oto. In fact, her group could have become the first all female leading faction since the waves, if the Oto had not been so darn eclectic. Then Miko, Tera's best friend and Chopper's main mentor, entered the room.

"The blade is gathering. It is time graduate."
But Chopper was not a bit worried about the culling. She had been the 13th pupil of the Sitchi-Nenne blade, thereby already defying tradition that only 12 could be selected for an education. Her group Pinkuporu was not only very popular, she herself was by far the most skilled on her instrument. Well, beside Flower maybe.

The 13 pupils were divided into two groups. So far nothing surprising. Chopper noticed Flower sitting there, as well as Ita. But when the others were asked to leave, she noticed something. There were eight of them.

"Right," Orange began, "this is a bit embarressing, me being the spokesperson for our blade and a pupil as well. But someone has to explain. Flower,,, you're cut... Feel free to continue with Supedo..."
Then it struck Chopper. She was sitting in the loser bracket. Flower was cut because of her preference for women. Ita was of mixed descent. So was she herself. They were unpure in Kakuri terms. So when flower silently stood up to leave the Kotan, Chopper jumped up.

"Fuck that shit. We don't need this, we're better than that."
She grabbed Flower's right hand and dragged her outside.

"How about..." she started when the two of them were standing in fromt of the Kotan. "How about... you and me, starting our own group and show the lot who is the best. In 100 or 200 cycles, they will refer to us as the first all female leader group of our people."

Flower hesitated. "We have just been kicked outside the Kotan by our own."
"I can get us in. Not officially, but as guests. Miko and Tera will make that happen. And Sohoko of the Oto just loves you."
"How do you know?"
"I overheard him when I was waiting for Riku, getting some pointers from him."

Riku was the reluctant shamisen player of the Oto. His vocal storytelling was one of the best, but he wasn't an entertainer. So he ahd been forced to pick up the most impopular task, playing the shamisen.

"Suppose we could," Glower countered, "we still would be needing a koto player, at least."
Chopper looked over Flower's shoulder and pointed to Ita who just was coming out of the Kotan at that very moment.

"Sure, why not," Ita replied when Chopper explained her makeshift plan. "But on one condition. If my sister can join."
"Who is your sister?" Chopper wanted to know. Ita was already regretting her acceptance of the proposal. After a long sigh she explained.
"The two of you should know. You replaced her when you entered the kotan."
"Arimu? Arimu is your sister? But... that's perfect! This means she can perform. And she is blonde... That will upset the blade even more."

"I don't want to upset the blade," Flower countered. "I want to change their opinion. And then change Kakuri culture. We're just as worthy as the rest... now..."
"And across the now," Ita concluded.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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09-25-2018, 08:25 AM
Post: #3
RE: Thickening the plots
Blåkulla, about the same time... 7569-ish...

"Where is Moa?" Queen Anna asked Swen.
"In the bedroom, your majesty," Palne's older brother replied. Anna had made an unplanned journey to Blåkulla after her mother had suggested her to marry Palne. The little talk with Moa had been refreshing, mentally speaking. But as a result, she had been stuck for the night there, while Palne had to stay over at Anna's mansion at Hederskulla. Vind moves in mysterious ways.

"She's not feeling well, Your Grace," Swen continued. "I haven't seen her today, no one seems to. Except for Ada, who shares quarters. But now she just keeps the door locked."
"Just show me to her quarters, she might make an exception."
But at first, Moa wasn't responsive. Anna sent Swen away and tried one more time.

"Please... go away," it sounded softly from behind the door.
"I was planning on leaving, but not until we said goodbye," Anna insisted. "I'm staying here until..."
Anna heard the door unlock. She slowly opened it and stuck her head around it. She found Moa in a fetal position on the floor.
"I'm dying..." she moaned.
"We're all going to die, just not today," Anna tried to break the ice. It did not have the anticipated effect.

"My belly... it just hurts... and I'm bleeding..."
"We're all..." Suddenly Anna got it. "How old are you again?"
"Fourteen..."
"Way too young to die. This is the first time you have cramps in your lower belly and are bleeding?"

"What?"
"Are you bleeding... down there..."
Moa looked up with a panic struck face.
"I... don't... how do I tell this... to a queen..."
"We're all girls in here. Just girls. Let me help you."
"I'm bleeding out of my ass."
That's not your ass silly," Anna started laughing. "You will be fine. Just get on the bed, I'll get some..."
"No one can..."

"Hey, I'm the queen remember, and you're my subject. Now get your bleeding ass on that bed and let me take care of this. You will be fine."
Anna started ordering the house's caretaker around for a warm bottle, some clean clothes and especially a telephone connection to her own mansion.

"Isn't there a message we could relay to Palne, your highness? No need to..."
"This is something I need to discuss with his lordship himself."

"How serious is it," was the first thing Palne asked when the connection had been made and the right persons were at the telephone.
"My future stepdaughter is fine, or she will be in a day or so. But you are in deep trouble..."
"Am I? What is it I have done wrong this time?"
"You haven't done anything, that's the problem. Your daughter is suffering from her first period and she does not know what is happening to her. What is wrong with you?"

Palne was flabbergasted by the candidness, but managed to formulate an answer anyway.
"Ehrm... I have tried to explain her the concept, several times, and enquired on a regular basis as well. She's not really sharing that kind of information with me. And there isn't a womand she can confide in in our household yet."
"This is not exclusively a woman's task," Anna almost barked.
"It's not exactly something I have a personal experience with," Palne replied, "so my possibilities are quite limited here. She is lucky to have you around at this time."
"Yeah... Vind knows..."

It remained silent a short while.

"Wait," Palne suddenly realized something he heard before, "did you say stepdaughter?"
Anna started laughing. "You heard right, old man."
"Am I involved in the set-up somehow, or are you taking her out of my custody?"
"Which one do you prefer?"
"She is my daughter, so I will be involved as much as possible... Sorry, but this must be the lamest, most unromantic marriage proposal in history."
"Most arranged marriages are, and besides, romance is something I already have with Teres."

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-13-2019, 08:26 PM
Post: #4
RE: Thickening the plots
Toshi-bu again, still 7569

”What are you doing here?”
Rono of the Oto clearly was not amused when he noticed Chopper and Flower inside the Kotan. ”Your blade has chosen others to represent and aim to become our successors.”

”I would not even want to be part of that bunch,” Chopper bitched back. ”They're nice people, most of them, but as a group they suck egg.”
Flower tried to calm Chopper down while addressing Rono.
”Miko and Tera have allowed for us to continue ourselves. No education, just the opportunity to play. Beside our usual work of course.”
”You're Flower, right,” he replied, ”I've seen you play with Supedo. You're good. And one of the few willing to play shamisen. What is the hothead playing?”

”Shamisen...” Flower replied.
”So... you switched to koto then?”
”Percussion...”
Rono looked bewildered. ”That... I simply have to see.”
”If tensho would allow us to rehearse, we could show you...”

------

The next evening, Rono had a surprise for the audience.
”Well, it has been a dynamic week for many of you, and we just witnessed the first performance of the new spearhead group Beri Subaru of the Sitchi-Nenne blade. But there is another new group from that blade... What are you called?”

”Thank you, sexy, I'll take it from here,” Taeke replied. She was dressed only in two very small pieces of red silk across her hips and breasts, stepping onto the stage in front of the pavillion almost naked.

”Let me introduce my sister, Kumo no-Ito, the spider's thread, on koto. Then we have Kumo no-Sano, the spider flower, on percussion. Kumo no-Kirisaki, the killer spider, tortures her shamisen. I am Kumo no-Arimo, the lonely little spider. Together we make the spider's web, the Nokumo, the first all-female leader group of the Kakuri people. All we need is more power.”

And with that, the quartet kicked of with a brand new song. An unusual thing to do for a new group, and especially a bunch of second rate misfits like the Nokumo. Orange's eyes were spitting fire when she saw what the four rejects tried to pull off.
”Can you believe that,” she said to Little Finger. ”What do you think of those losers?”

Little Finger hesitated a while.
”You're right, I can't believe this. They're energetic... fresh... uplifting... we need to become much better, that's what they are showing us.”
Orange looked at Little Finger in disbelief. The two of them had been together in Tosui for 4 or 5 years now and both had been selected for Beri Subaru. But then she got it. Little Finger had a point. A bunch of losers hunting their backs might be exactly what the Beri needed to become good enough to become the Oto's successors.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-19-2019, 08:51 PM
Post: #5
RE: Thickening the plots
(not too bad in chronology, this is the day after... still Toshi-bu, when it was operating hidden from the colonizers of Fisks)

Ita and Taeke were waiting in front of the Kotan.
”What has happened to you?” Chopper asked when she noticed Ita's wounds and bruises. Especially her black eye stuck out.
”I am quitting,” she replied. ”Maybe you get a kick out of upsetting and agitating the crowd, but I can't live like this.”
”Blade runners tracked her and beat her up after our little performance yesterday,” Taeke elaborated.
”Who...” Flower wanted to know, while punching her right hand fist onto her left hand.
”Doesn't matter,” Ita replied. ”Today it's them, tomorrow someone else. I'm not having it. I'm out.”

With that she turned around and walked away. She bumped into Little Finger who was walking up to the Kotan as well.
”Gloating?” Chopper asked Little Finger from a distance.
”What... What happened with Ita?”
”As if you don't know. Beri followers...”
”I have nothing to do with that... None of the Beri... So...” Little Finger paused a while. ”You're without a kotoist?”

”If you start laughing now, I'll punch your other teeth out off line as well,” Flower replied. Little Finger looked at the trio standing there and took a decision that changed the history of the Kakuri people.

”Can I try out?”
”What? Seriously? You'd have to leave the Beri...”
”You're much more fun.”
Flower and Chopper looked at each other. ”We still want Ita back...”
”Of course. We need to be 5 or 6 anyway.”

------------

Orange was scoffing audibly in the audience after the introduction.
”By popular request, Sitchi-Nenne Blade's graduates, the Nokumo...”
Flower walked onto the stage and started playing an interestingly complicated thing on percussion. Little Finger addressed Orange.
”That's my call. And if anyone tries to beat me up, I'm sending her...” while pointing at Flower.

Without waiting for a reply, Little Finger grabbed her koto, hung it around her neck and rushed onto the stage. The crowd that had gathered in front of the pavillion now stood up, because something unexpected was happening. A quick solo bit was being played, after which the audience started to yell. Then Chopper appeared, led the audience in to handclapping and then set off on an impressive solo on her shamisen herself. Both girls then started a little dance, one hand horizontally above their heads, one in front of their chests, and changing those every other beat. After Flower's solo bit, Taeke entered the stage, as if she already was the divine leader of the Kakuri people. She was working the crowd in a way the Kakuri never had seen before.

When the people were hyped up enough, they kicked in with the same song as the previous time, They played about twice as fast as the usual music group, their energy was bouncing of the stage and the audience caught on. To emphasize the whole thing, Taeke grabbed two torches and played around Chopper's sweaty body while she was doing a solo halfway the song.

Without a pause, they rolled right into the next song. Where the previous one was called ”More power” as a request to the Kakuri people, this one called ”Across the now” wasn't very subtle in it's message either. The Nokumo was challenging the groups of their generation in a very provocative way. To top it off, they ended with a new one, where Taeke was boasting about how she picked up guys and dumped them as soon as she was done with them, because the hunt was more interesting than catching prey.

Sohoko leaned over to Rono. Both members of the Oto, the leading faction of the Kakuri people, were sitting at their usual spot, at the back of the stage under the pavillion roof.
"I think we are withessing the future of our people, Ro," he said while trying not to interfere with the performance.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-22-2019, 10:37 PM
Post: #6
RE: Thickening the plots
Uppforsbackar, 7566
(OOG - For those of you keeping track, this is before King Karl was assassinated, so even before Gotha's virtual start date of 7567...)

Palne entered the cabin of Rawa and her two daughters.
”Dad, dad,” Moa rushed towards him.
”Happy belated eighth birthday,” he replied.
”That was over a month ago. But I know how you can make up to me.”

Rawa appeared from behind her children. She was looking tired.
”You OK?” Palne asked her.
”That one,” she mimed while pointing at Moa, at the same time raising her head in despair. Palne looked at his oldest.

”Still troubling your mom?”
”Can I live with you?” she replied with another question.
”What?”
Palne looked at Rawa again.

”She has been threatening me with this for months. 'Dad would let me do that, dad knows, dad this...' ”
”What did I tell you about respect for your mother,” Palne addressed Moa. ”You should know that no matter how horrible your mother is treating you,” he continued while winking, ”I'm actually worse. It's just that you don't notice, since I'm always on the road.”

”Yes, you missed my birthday. But you can make up to me, if I can live with you.”
”I'm always travelling...”
”I'm always stuck in this little cabin, I would like to travel. See the world.”
”Trust me, there's not a lot to see there. Just more people, more grass, more cows, more buildings...”
”Then why are you always away?”
”I'm trying to build a better future for our people.”
”Then start with this one,” Moa replied while pointing at herself. Palne found it difficult to surpress bursting out in laughing.

”You know what? If it's OK with your mother, you can tag along.”
”That's no lifestyle for an 8-year old,” Rawa objected.
”The coming 3 to 4 weeks I will be in Fjällsta, I have to be near the courthouse in Uppförsbacke anyway.”
”You could stay here.”
”You know, I might do that, from time to time. But there's work to be done in Fjällsta and it's too far to travel from here.”

Rawa looked at Moa. ”Sure you want this?” The little girl nodded. Rawa sighed. ”Well, let's try it then. Maybe you have to see that both your parents are equally awful.”

”You're not awful,” the other little girl half yelled while throwing herself at her mother. ”Is Moa going with dad?”
”For a while. Won't you miss your older sister?”
But Sanna did not reply. ”Then I have you for myself,” she said instead. ”That's fair. Before I was born, Moa had you and dad to herself. I never had that.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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06-25-2019, 08:47 PM
Post: #7
RE: Thickening the plots
Back to Toshi-bu, around 7571-ish or so.

Two years the Nokumo had been performing parallel with the blade's preferred performers Beri Subaru. They knew they were never going to become administrators as long as their own blade backed the Beri. So Chopper had carved out a daring plan. The four of them would travel to the settlers main toshi-bu, wipe out their leaders and burn down as much as possible.
”They will be singing songs about us for dozens of cycles, or we will be singing them ourselves. We can't loose...”

So one late night, Chopper and Little Finger were waiting for the other two to show up and head down to Carl's Nybygge.
”We have a problem...” Flower said when she arrived. ”Or maybe two. Taeke is ill.”
”Again? Or still... She has been missing our rehearsals, we haven't performed in weeks.”
”What's the second problem?” Little Finger asked. She got her answer when a large silhouette appeared. Sohoko of the Oto.

Chopper looked angrily at Flower. ”I might have... accidentally...” Flower apologized.
”Why do you always hang out with these old geezers anyway?” Chopper replied.
”Because we have the same taste when it comes to women,” Sohoko joked. ”I am glad she mentioned your little enterprise. Listen, the Oto likes a bit of initiative. And beating the bleachies, always fun. But have you thought this through? This isn't without risks...”
”We're ready for any consequence,” Chopper replied determined.

”Who will sing about your actions when you don't return? Or what if you do return and the bleachies have followed you? We can't let that happen. That's why we follow along...”
”What? No... No no no, this is our mission...”
”It is and it will be. We will remain in the background. You're on your own. After all, you're only women, you're expandable. But we need to register what happens and if necessary stop the bleachies from entering our forest.”

Sohoko turned around, showing the large katana sword on his back.
”You would do that... for us?” Chopper asked.
”Not on my own, and not without permission.”
”You just gave us permission.”
”You might be expandable for Kakuri society, but maybe not for your blade. I would need to hear it from your blade elder.”
”Orange? Well, it's off then, it's just the three of us... That Beri puppet will never...”
At that precise moment, Orange appeared from behind Sohoko in the company of Roto and Riku, also of the Oto.
”What is off?” she asked.

Chopper sighed. This was the end of the road. Flower could always go back to her house building, Little Finger to the clothing workshop, but she herself had never invested in anything else than writing, playing and performing. She had nothing...

”The four of us were planning a little roadtrip to the settler's Toshi-bu, but we're not going anywhere since Taeke is ill. Again. Or still...” She already wanted to head back to the village, but Orange stopped her by stretching out an arm and blocking her way. She knew that Chopper hated physical contact, so she would stop.

”So what was the plan, once you are in the open land?”
Chopper was furious and frustrated at the same time. She started ranting so quickly that the people present found it difficult to follow her.
”It's all nice the Beri is aiming to become the next leader group, so our blade can boss around the other Kakuri, but at the same time the settlers are eating away our land, making our forest smaller, raping and killing our sisters. Once, just once, they would need to suffer as we do, feel how it is to be helpless, disattached, maybe then they will go away. We burn their cubes, their land, their goods and drive them onto their Loud Stars. Cut off the snake's head and the rest is harmless...”

”Just the four of you..." Orange replied slowly. "You're so desperate to become leaders that you head out on a suicide mission?”
Chopper ripped open her shirt, grabbed Orange's arm that still was stretched out and put it on her chest.
”Feel that? That is a Kakuri heart. A 100% Kakuri heart. No matter what you all call me, I am 100% Kakuri. And so is Flower, and Taeke. I'm not interested in leading, I am interested in surviving, as Kakuri people, on our terms, for our way of life. You call me a half breed, a misfit, but I care more about the Kakuri's future than these so called full bloods. You all got your rights and privileges delivered to you and it makes you soft. I had to fight for my rights, just like Flower and Taeke. We care more about Kakuri culture and our future, because it is something we chose to stand for. Just like Little Finger chose to stand with us. If we don't act now, it does not matter a single bit who is leading what. Once the white men come to us, find out about our Toshi-Bu, we're all dead, or we'll become their toy dolls. I'm gonna rip off their heads to save the Kakuri people, or I'm gonna die while trying.”

”It sounds like you're criticizing us,” Sohoko replied while Orange still was looking for words. Chopper walked up to him while dropping Oranges hand from her chest. She stood really close in front of him, looking up to him since he was one foot taller. That posture exposed her neck.
”Feel free to use that vegetable cutter on your back on me, if you think that I am wrong. Maybe it's better to die for what I stand for instead continue to live and wait to see that I was right anyway.”
Chopper closed her eyes and heard Sohoko draw the katana from its sheath.

”That would be a bloody waste of resources,” he said. He grabbed Chopper's arm, which made her sigh from relief. She might get away with just a fleshwound instead of having her head chopped off. But instead of feeling the forged iron on the inside of her wrists, Sohoko grabbed her hand and put it on the swords handle. Chopper opened her eyes from chock. Nobody was allowed to touch a swordmaster's katana. But Sohoko was putting his hands around Chopper's, who was now holding the katana, blade pointing down.

”With a fire burning inside you like that, you will become an excellent swordbearer,” he said. Chopper did not know where to look. She tried to look away, but met the eyes of Orange.

”It seems you're one person down, at least. But you're right. We're focusing on ourselves while we should worry about what's around us. We're isolated, but we're surrounded. I'm joining you...”
”What?”
”You can fill me in on the details while we walk. I can always turn around. But maybe it's time I get to know you and Flower a bit better, trying to understand what Little Traitor sees in you lot.”

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
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