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Thread: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR-(Updated Chapter XXXXII 30/9)

  1. #1

    Default Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR-(Updated Chapter XXXXII 30/9)

    Way of the Bow: A Chosokabe AAR

    About the AAR 1545- Sengoku Jidai. The Age of the Country at War. For two hundred years the Ashikaga Shoguns have ruled from Kyoto. Great splendor and power were theirs. Now, the almighty clans no longer obey. The time has come for a new warlord to become Shogun. But who will reign victorious?Yuki is a naive, young man. He has little knowledge of the outside world and he knows nothing but his small village. Yet a glimpse of the outside world, and the temptations of the power of the yumi, are enough to draw him out into a dangerous and deadly world. Men are but pawns of the people who rule over them, and though many claim to live by it, honor is all but gone. Now, total war seems inevitable and Yuki must find his place in a world, which cares little for the common man. But the gods seem to have their own intentions for Yuki. In a cruel and unforgiving world, one man will shape his own destiny and with it, his country’s as well.

    Note from the author:
    AARs have always interested me, ever since I found this forum. At first, I started out reading the most simplest versions. The ones that are nothing but a retelling of a campaign. Yet, as I trawled through the various AAR forums, I found some more complex AARs, ones that were much closer to a piece of creative writing than anything else. I decided to have a go. My first AAR, City of Lagoons; A Venetian AAR, died out after various computing problems. My second AAR, with another Italian state, From Island to Island; A Sicily AAR, died out after I lost interest with both the game and the AAR. But here I am again, third time lucky. After reading some of the more acclaimed AARs, stories such as Radzeer’s Primus Inter Pares and Robin’s Takeda, I soon found myself beginning yet another AAR, this time focused on a narrative structure. In this thread you will find my attempt at a narrative AAR, and I really do hope you like it. Of course, any feedback or comments would be very much welcomed and taken on. Here goes nothing, this is The Way of the Bow; A Chosokabe AAR.
    Mods I am using

    Table of Contents
    Volume One: Out into the world
    I:Letters from friends and family
    II: Why do we fight?
    III: Foreigners, Sake and Yokan
    IV: A new island.
    V: Lost
    VI:First Love
    VII: Dealing with the pain
    VIII: The Wako
    IX: Running Away
    X: The Rebirth of the Otomo
    Volume Two: Up in the world
    XI: Where Next?
    XII: New Enemies
    XIII: A Fine Day for an Execution
    XIV: Offence is the BestDdefence
    XVI: Celebration and Grief
    XVII: The Apple Falls Very Far From the Tree
    XVIII: An Unforgotten Treachery
    XIX: For the Good of the Clan
    XX: Delays on the Path to Revenge
    XXI: Good Medicine Tastes Bitter
    XXII- His Father's Heir
    XXIII- Across the Straits
    XXIV- A Revenge Most Cruel
    XXV- The Monster's Wife
    XXVI- Innocence Lost
    XXVII- To Become What You Hate
    XXVIII- The Hunt Begins
    XXIX- In the Woods Somewhere
    XXX- Temptations
    XXXI- New Friends
    XXXII- Delicious, Little traps
    XXXIII- The Carrot and the Stick
    XXXIV- The Price for Stories
    XXXV- But a Breath Away
    XXXVI- Dear Cousin
    XXXVII- Of Hopeful Air and Impromptu Kisses
    XXXVIII- Amateur Plotters
    XXXIX- Noble Intentions?
    XXXX- The Tiger and the Eagle
    XXXXI- His men
    XXXXII- A Game to Pass the Time
    Characters (May Contain Spoilers)
    Aki- Born 1527.Aki is Yuki’s best and closest friend. After discovery Yuki’s hidden talent with the yumi, Aki encourages him to enlist. He then looks out and cares for Yuki like a brother and is instrumental stopping Yuki’s sake addiction. He accompanies Yuki on the invasion of Kyushu (circa 1547) and is distraught when Yuki is lost in a surprise ambush (circa 1548). The pair re-unite when Yuki returns and they both participate in the siege of Fin’nai (circa 1551). He is caring and shows particular affection for Yuki, though he is jealous of Yuki’s quick rise in the ranks.

    Shizurako- Born 1505.
    Shizurako is the leader of a group of buddhist monks, whose monastery is atop Mt Sakurajima. This group of monks are rather war like and train with both the yumi and naginata. His left arm was severed by Yuki, when he led an ambush against Chosokabe forces after they defeated him at the siege of askas (circa 1548). He finds Yuki again when the latter travels to the former’s monastery in order to find someone who will fix his broken yumi. The pair soon form a special bond, with Shizurako as a sort of mentor to Yuki. Shizurako seems aware that Yuki’s wedding to Suzume will be the last time they see each other for a long time and the pair share an emotional farewell. As a farewell gift, Shizurako sends three of his best monks to Yuki as personal guards when he hears of Yuki’s promotion. Shizurako is devout religious man, though he does not let his beliefs cloud his judgement. He is wise and forgiving.

    Suzume- Born 1531. Suzume is daughter of a former farmer, now turned merchant and lives in the small town of Kurokamicho. She is a beautiful young lady who, despite being twenty one when she first meets Yuki, is still rather childish. She is absolutely in love with Yuki and the pair have a deep bond. She is the one who persuades Yuki to leave her village in search of adventure and she is the one who makes the decision of bringing a bedraggled Otomo Sorin, whom they found on the side of the road, with them. She is caring and energetic though sometimes quite careless.

    Yuki- Born 1530. Yuki is just a common farmer boy when he first enlists in the army. He is young, naive and does not know much of the outside world. He manages to stay alive long enough for the invasion of Kyushu (circa 1547), but gets lost in an ambush by remnants of the Shoni clan (circa 1548). He then meets Suzume, who, after long hardships, he will marry and eventually return to the service in the army. But after finding the famous Otomo Sorin, once lord of Bungo, Yuki is offered a position as a representative in Sorin's court by his daimyo, Chosokabe Kunichaka. Yuki is a caring, lovely person who usually puts others first, though he can sometimes let his emotions get the better of himself
    Map of Kyushu
    The lords of Bungo province and those who swear fealty to them
    Otomo Sorin, Daimyo of the Otomo clan, Shugo of Bungo and Kokujin of Bungo
    Tawara Tomeshide of the Tawara clan, Kokujin of Taketa
    -Tawara Chikakta of the Tawara clan, heir to the kori of Taketa and first son of Tawara Tomeshide
    Usuki Akistsuga of the Usuki clan, Kokujin of Ama
    Saeki Korenori of the Saeki clan, Kokujin of Naoiri
    Tsurunai Munetsune of the Tsurunai clan, Kokujin of Kitsuga
    Tabaru Chikatada of the Tabaru clan, Kokujin of Kunisaki
    Sagoneski Tokiuji of the Sagoneski clan, Kokujin of Saiki
    Tachibana Dosetsu of the Tachibana clan, exile Kokujin of Najima.
    *Kokujin- Equivalent to a European count
    Shugo- Once an imperial appointed military governor of a province, it now comes to represent a powerful warlord, equivalent power to that of a European duke.
    Prologue I remember the first time I picked up a yumi. It was a normal day spring day, the ground was covered in a pink carpet of cherry blossom tree leaves until Kiro Masaya, the Daimyo’s brother showed up. He was surrounded by servants caring to his every need and followed by a group of loyal retainers. Behind him marched two hundred or so men armed with a yari and light armour. They had come to enlist more men for the army. I paid no particular attention to them, joining the army did not seem such a bright idea to me. After all for what was a measly wage you would risk your life for a general who had never done anything for you. My younger brother thought otherwise. He saw the army as a way to become successful. Join the samurai and noble class and spend all day participating in tea ceremonies and fighting in battles instead of working hard in the rice fields. He rushed to me yelling “Brother, Brother” and “Look, Look” when they unveiled the weapons. It was only a selection of a yari or a yumi but somehow my brother was even more attracted to joining the army then ever. A soldier approached me. He was a yumi ashigaru. He said he too disliked the idea of enlisting for the army when they came to his village but he said there was something powerful, even magical about the yumi that it changed his mind and he enlisted straight away. He urged me to hold his yumi to feel what it was like. I did not feel anything special until he gave me an arrow. He showed me how to draw and fire it and it was then that I felt it. As the arrow left the string, the bow vibrated sending shockwaves through my body. I quickly asked if I could do it again. He said yes and gave me another arrow. It was only a simple yumi but it felt magical. It gave me a feeling of strength, a feeling of power. I could only imagine how this simple weapon could take down men, clad in armour from head to toe in one simple action. You could end a man’s life just by letting go of the bowstring. I let go of the bowstring a second time and the arrow flew into a tree in the distance.“You’re good!” exclaimed the soldier. “That took me weeks to do and you weren’t even trying!” I now did not care for farming one little bit now and only wanted to use a yumi. I thanked the soldier and ran to where you enlisted. My brother had already enlisted and was both shocked and surprised when he saw me enlisting.“You’re enlisting in the army brother! I thought you said any one who joined was as mad as a squirrel without nuts!”“But brother I was not as wise as I am now. I had not tried a yumi.”“A yumi!” scoffed my brother. “ A yumi is for cowards, for someone who is too afraid of fighting. Of risking their own life in the name of honour.”“No brother, a yumi is for the smart person. I could do more damage with a yumi before you have even seen the enemy. Do not be so quick to judge, brother.”“ When you are still with the ashigaru and I am commanding an army you will see how wrong you are!” And so, I left my brother to daydream of the success he hoped he would gain from fighting. It is only now has an old man that I realise the irony, that I have been the more successful one.
    Last edited by Merchant of Venice; February 21, 2018 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Editing OP

  2. #2

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Chapter I: Letters from Friends and Family

    Spring 1545-
    My first couple of weeks as a soldier in the army were gruelling. We did no fighting; new recruits were unable to fight until at least a season’s worth of training. On the march to Kochi castle we passed many villages, each fairly similar to each other. Some of the men were happy about enlisting to the army, like my brother and I, but some hated it. You could see it their eyes. They knew they would die in some foreign part of Japan, away from their loved ones. I could not help feeling sorry for these men. To be forced into a war, with no chance of peace. Kochi castle walls embodied this idea. That no one, not even the simplest of peasants was safe from war and the machinations of daimyos and their generals.

    The castle walls were built from mud and brick and the tenshu rose above the surrounding countryside like a tree in a field of flowers. Outside of the castle, houses, shops, markets and sake dens were littered the nearby countryside. Soldiers patrolled the town, breaking up any fights that occurred and generally keeping order. We were given simple accommodation and simple rations and forced to start training immediately. The Daimyo wanted more men for his planned conquest of the neighbouring province of Iyo and eventually the whole island of Shikoku.
    It was here where I truly learnt the way of the yumi. I learnt how to aim, how to fire so you could kill a man and how to fight in melee if ever the need came up.
    Aki sent a letter detailing the battle against the Ichijō rebels to give me a real taste of war and what I was getting my self into.

    Dear Yuki,
    You will probably already of heard about the victory over the Ichijō rebels but I wanted to write to you in person detailing the battle so you have a taste of what you have enlisted for. I was surprised when our Daimyo joined our army with entourage of bodyguards and retainers but he said he wanted to destroy the rebels himself, it must have been a personal thing. His presence gave the men something to fight for and even though we clearly outnumbered our opponent his presence was beneficial to the morale of the men. I couldn’t care less, as he was just another noble who had done nothing to get where he is now. Anyway, we went into battle in standard battle formation. The yumi ashigaru in front in order to skirmish with the enemy with the yari ashigaru behind ready to engage the enemy. The yari samurai were stationed behind to supposedly protect our general and Daimyo but my theory is that they were there in order to potentially stop us routing. Our Daimyo and his brother, were protected by a loyal group of bodyguards of about thirty men each, and were at the rear of our forces. The enemy, outnumbered took up position on a nearby hill hoping that the terrain advantage would propel them to victory. In order to counter the terrain disadvantage we had, we took up formation to the right of the enemy, hoping to be able to attack them in the rear. Their general was not has inexperienced as we thought and re-arranged his troops to face us. As we were marching their general took advantage of our disarray and charged his light cavalry in to our flank inflicting serious damage on us yumi ashigaru. Many of my friends died that day. Luckily our yari ashigaru counter-charged the enemy cavalry and many horses lie dead next to my friends.

    Once in formation we could start skirmishing the enemy. It was clear Bishamoten favoured us that day, as miraculously us yumi ashigaru decimated the enemies, their men clearly being nothing more than a rabble of untrained peasants. With the battle tipping in our favour the enemy general charged his yari down hill into our forces. We yumi ashigaru did not make the same mistake this time and ran behind the yari ashigaru’s spear wall which held the enemy at bay. Some of the poor men were skewered by our yaris, and as the bodies piled up and the enemy’s morale wavered, our Daimyo and his brother charged into the enemies flank, routing them in a single charge. Victory was ours and the enemy lay dead on the ground, their pathetic rebellion crushed.
    Your friend, Aki

    PS. The Daimyo is looking to replenish his troops so it looks like you might be called up to the front line sooner than you think.

    I was lucky that week to also receive a letter from my family back home wondering how I was going.

    Dear Yuki,
    The house has seemed empty without you and your brother constantly arguing between each other. I heard from one of the other mother’s that you have been stationed in Kochi castle. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard this, thanking the gods that you are not on the front line with your life in danger. Your father is well but has only just finished coping with both his son’s leaving. He would like me to tell you that this was because of his love for you but it is just because he cant run the farm on his own. He has managed to convince his brother to move here and help and his brother’s wife and I have been enjoying weaving and cooking together. Your younger sister has started to explore the world even getting lost in the rice fields once or twice. Your grandmother and grandfather would like to say hi and wish you luck if you ever need it. Please come and visit one day and please pass the attached letter to your brother.
    Your loving mother and father

    PS. Please don't read your brother’s letter!

    It was just after I had finished reading this letter that my brother came barging into my room.
    “Brother, Brother we’re going to the front line!” And thus my fate was sealed.
    Last edited by Merchant of Venice; January 16, 2014 at 10:02 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Chapter II: Why do we fight?


    I felt alone for the first time in a long time. I was with a group of men that I didn’t know. I was supposed to entrust these men with my life. I did have Aki though. But he was just one man and what happened if he got killed. My brother was here in the army but I didn't know where he was. If he died in a battle, how would I know? Would I have to check each dead body? Would I have to ask each and every soldier in the army? I was scared. Scared that death was right around the corner and if I died no one would know. My family would cling on to false hope that I was still alive. I was lucky that most of the other men were also afraid like I was. It was not hard to make friends. We told stories around a fire and each of us watched each other’s backs. We were becoming closer as a group and I would find this would serve us good in battles to come.

    Our group leader was not a harsh man and clearly knew what it was like the first couple of weeks. I only caught glimpses of the man who was supposed to be our daimyo but his brother seemed to be less elusive. He could be found ordering around the troops but he too was not a harsh man. Being from the upper classes he could not imagine the life of an ashigaru but was not snobby like other men from the upper classes. The men in the yari samurai unit were different though. They pushed around us ashigaru like we were nothing more than mere animals, some would steal our belongings and tease us. These men deserved everything they got in later battles and their impatience for honour and victory has cost them dearly.
    As we were on our way to Imabari castle, scouts discovered a Kono army ahead. The whole army was ordered to halt. The Daimyo held a meeting about the situation with his brother and most trusted advisors. A decision was made. We retreated into our own lands, knowing even if we claimed victory we could not continue marching to the castle in time to be able to take it before winter hit and attrition started to take its toll. And so the wait began….


    With the winter over we began the march to Imabari castle. Yet again scouts reported a Kono army situated just ahead of us. Our daimyo, confident of our army’s ability, attacked the enemy. The coward’s retreated behind their castle walls, like a mouse before a cat. And thus we began the siege. I didn’t know that besieging a castle was such a hard job. We bombarded the castle walls with our makeshift siege engines; rocks were flung into the air, over the walls and into the castle, destroying building and man alike. Screams could be heard coming from within the castle as rock after rock hit its target. Then the doors flung open. Hundreds of men poured out of the castle ready to go to battle. They must have been brave, very brave. I could not imagine what they were going through. Your home threatened by the enemy. Out numbered and out match. How could they go to battle knowing that they would die? I suddenly did not want to fight. Not because of cowardice but because of admiration for the enemy. They were only doing what they needed to do in order to survive. They did not threaten us. Why do we fight?
    To conquer?
    To protect?
    To survive?
    These questions it seems I will never know the answer to. It is unfortunate that I had to fight. I am sure these other men also had second doubts about war but they would fight. So I had to too. I had to fight to protect my fellow archers. To watch their back.

    As the enemy marched towards us, we took up formation on top of a wooded hill. It is regretful that the tree trunks would be bathed in blood, of both friend and foe, once the battle had ended. Then I heard the words that my bow yearned to hear.
    A volley of arrows shot up into the sky. The clouds concealed them for only a few moments. And then they came down as if the sky was raining arrows. Cries of pain came from the men who had been hit and it sent shivers down my spine. I fired my first arrow into the enemy that day, my first of many arrows, which I would unleash on various enemies during my lifetime. Possibly too many I think sometimes.

    Anyway, the enemy infantry charged at us, knowing a skirmish would fall in our favour. The enemy got closer… and closer… and closer until they came up from behind the crest of the hill, yelling at the top of the lungs. Our group leader ordered a retreat but I could only stand and stare at the oncoming enemy. For what seemed like eternity, I could only stare. My trance was broken and I was pulled back to Earth, as Aki tugged on my shoulder urging me to retreat. And then the adrenaline kicked in. I ran faster than I thought possible. The yari spear wall seemed so close yet so far. I was certain I would not make it and end up on the end of an enemy yari. Just as the thought festered in my mind, I looked behind me not to see the enemy but to see the rear of our own forces. I fell to my knees pinching and punching myself as I hoped this was real and I was not dead. I felt a hand on back, its warmness spread through my body rejuvenating me. I looked up to see Aki smiling at me. He held out his hand, his fingers covered in blisters from notching a bow too many times, and I used it pull me up. I looked around the battlefield. Our spear wall was holding strong as the enemy relentlessly pushed foreword hoping to break our line. To my right a flash of horses charged past me into the enemy general’s bodyguard.

    Men went flying off their horses and onto to the soft grass, which had become tainted by blood, and were trampled over as the general fled the battlefield and our general was in chase. In the centre, the enemy had routed and it was only after our troops gave chase that the bodies of both friend and foe could be seen. Dead bodies formed piles and blood flowed out of the piles like a fountain. The battle was over and the result clear. We had won!

    Our Daimyo and his brother paraded through the streets of Imabari castle. Families watched on as their former Daimyo could be seen, wrapped up in chains. His face was no longer home to the confident grin he had worn before the battle but rather an embarrassed look as he was paraded in front of his former subjects. It had seemed too much for him, he grabbed one of the guard’s katana and plunged it into his chest. Blood flowed out of his mouth as his lifeless body fell to the ground. Mother’s covered their children’s eyes and screams of horror echoed through the castle. Yet still our Daimyo could not help the sinister grin that started to creep along his face.

    I will never forget the day that we were sent to suppress a small revolt in one of the remote villages. The sun torched the ground, and anything with a brain took shelter in the shade. Only about two hundred men were tasked with this job. It was unfortunate that I was in that expedition and what I saw both horrified me and changed me. The revolt only consisted of about hundred men, only peasants who could not do any serious harm and who had refused to pay taxes. We marched into the small village. Only the unnerving sound of silence met us while the mothers and their children hid in their houses. In the village centre stood hundred men. They charged us, armed with only pitchforks and kitchen knives, the whites in their eyes visible. They were horribly outnumbered and outmatched yet they fought on until only a small group of men remained. Surrounded by trained warriors, they surrendered dropping their weapons on the grounds; the clank of the metal hitting the paved road still haunts me to this day. The samurai leader marched up to the rebel leader his arrogance obvious in the way he walked. He unsheathed his sword and held it to the man’s neck. The man trembled with fear, as the sword was pressed harder and harder to his neck. Then the samurai retracted his sword to the amazement of everyone who was watching. What happened next did not amaze us but rather horrify us. In one large swing he decapitated the man’s head, the lifeless head rolling off his neck on to the ground. Blood cascaded from where his head had been, as gasps of shock came from the onlookers.

    “This is what happens when you revolt. When you choose the wrong side. Hopefully this will teach you a lesson.” A wicked smile crept along his face. He continued

    “Actually, I think you need to be taught another lesson.” He turned to the samurai next to him

    “Burn the houses, Burn everything!” he turned his back and walked away, the same kind of arrogance in his step. The rebels ran up to him and fell on their knees begging for mercy. “Mercy is for those who do not revolt against Chosokabe rule!”

    The men, women and children all watched as their houses and belongings burnt. A kid looked at me with hope that I would do something. Sadly, I could only watch. He tightened his grip on his mother’s hand while attempting to hold back his tears. He could not hold on to them any longer and they flowed down his cheeks like a river that had been blocked but was blocked no more. His mother stroked his hair whispering

    “ Come on Satoshi, be strong, hold back the tears.” But she too could not back her own tears. The samurai laughed at the peasant’s suffering. The leader whispered to his friend next to him.

    “Pathetic peasants, at least they’re wiser now. They will know not to revolt again!” I turned my back on the inferno that was raging for I could not bear to watch.

    Last edited by Merchant of Venice; October 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Very brave attempt to write in this style. I would advise you to try and put in more pictures (you do them well), and maybe change the font ... enlarging it would make a good difference and some line breaks would help with reading.

    Good AAR, though

  5. #5

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Basiliscus View Post
    Very brave attempt to write in this style. I would advise you to try and put in more pictures (you do them well), and maybe change the font ... enlarging it would make a good difference and some line breaks would help with reading.

    Good AAR, though
    Thanks. By pictures do you mean battle pictures or some campaign screens? BTW your AAR is coming along nicely as well. I was surprised when I saw it on the first page of the Total War: Eras AAR again. Surprised but delighted.

  6. #6
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    I was thinking of overall battle screens, where you can possibly sneak a peek at what's going on on the battlefield ... so we can more easily picture what you say. The campaign map pics would be great as well ... many (including myself) aren't able to play Shogun 2, so a depiction of a campaign would draw our attention more to the AAR.

    Again? Were you there at the beginning?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Nice start. I'd upload the images onto imageshack or photobucket so there's not the box of thumbs at the bottom.
    The Wings of Destiny - A FotS AAR (Chapter 12 - Updated Apr 24)
    Takeda - a Shogun 2 AAR (Completed) Reviewed by Radzeer

    My writing | My art | About me | Sekigahara Campaign - Developer

    ~~Under the proud patronage of Radzeer, Rogue Bodemloze. Patron of Noif de Bodemloze, Heiro de Bodemloze, and Hitai de Bodemloze~~

  8. #8

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by robinzx View Post
    Nice start. I'd upload the images onto imageshack or photobucket so there's not the box of thumbs at the bottom.
    Yeah I that was I my to do list. I have one just need to remember the password! And thank you robinzx your AAR really made me motivated to try again to write an AAR(after previous failed attempts) and try a Shogun 2 one( I didn't even think they existed!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Basiliscus View Post
    I was thinking of overall battle screens, where you can possibly sneak a peek at what's going on on the battlefield ... so we can more easily picture what you say. The campaign map pics would be great as well ... many (including myself) aren't able to play Shogun 2, so a depiction of a campaign would draw our attention more to the AAR.

    Again? Were you there at the beginning?
    No I only joined this year but i have been really interested in AARs ever since I found this forum. I read many AARs even when I didn't have an account and it was only when I wanted to write my own AAR and ask questions on the forums that I created an account. And it was only when I was browsing the Total War: Eras AAR page when I saw yours and the name rang a bell. I read the first chapter and realised it was one I had already read. So now i wasnt there at the beginning.

    Anyway on another note, i will add some more campaign screens and battle shots. BTW you should really get Shogun 2 it is an absolutely great game
    Last edited by Merchant of Venice; January 05, 2013 at 09:27 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    I'm loving this so far! I can't wait for more Good style.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by HateDread View Post
    I'm loving this so far! I can't wait for more Good style.
    Thanks HateDread but if you want some really great AARs check out robinzx Takeda AAR or some of Radzeers AAR such as Primus Inters Pares or the Wolf among the Dogs.

  11. #11
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant of Venice View Post
    BTW you should really get Shogun 2 it is an absolutely great game
    I know it is, but sadly I would need to buy a new computer, which I don't have the money for right now

  12. #12

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Basiliscus View Post
    I know it is, but sadly I would need to buy a new computer, which I don't have the money for right now
    True, True Shogun 2 does take a pretty powerful computer with pretty high specs. It is also 20GB!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    The next chapter should be out either today or tomorrow. Sorry for the wait

  14. #14
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    No worries ... btw, I saw you've become a Content writer ... what do you do?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    PM Legio about it. You will probably have to go through a test to become one. Yeah so as I said PM Legio. I'm pretty sure they need some more staff as I saw an advert on the front page a couple of weeks ago saying they desperately need some more staff. The best bit is that even if you don't know wiki code you will be able to pick it up quite easily.

  16. #16
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    No, I meant what do YOU do

  17. #17

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Oh we'll pretty much you are in charge of cleaning up pages, creating new ones and helping out on the wiki. If you have ever been on wiki you will see many pages missing and stubs so you're pretty much in charge putting that to a stop and making the wiki better and greater!

  18. #18
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
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    Jul 2008
    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Ah, I see

  19. #19

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Chapter III:Foreigners, Sake and Yokan.


    I would never forget that day and the memory was strong even after a few weeks. We continued training every day and life was no different there than it was in Kochi castle yet my mind would not concentrate on anything but that fateful day.

    My friends joked when I told them.“How can you be in the army, when you’re disturbed by one little fire!” They mocked me.

    “I...I don't know. There was just something about how the samurai leader laughed as the village burnt, as the lives of hundreds were destroyed.” That was my only response, but even that fell on deaf ears.

    “Cheer up. We live in peace and you’re worried about something that is already in the past. You have got to look to the future. Sure, relations with our neighbours, the Miyoshi clan, are good but what if they decide that the island of Shikoku belongs to them and them alone. Rumours circulate that the Shoni clan, who occupy on the northern parts of Kyushu, plan to go with war on us as if the island of Kyushu is not enough? You care for the men, women and children in that village? You don't even know them. If war broke out who would be hardest hit. Us and our families or them? They will continue farming if our lands are taken and the only difference is that the tax they pay will go to another lord. We live in a very fragile peace and like glass it only takes one tap to break.” I knew my friends were partly right but they did not understand. I was more disturbed with the way the samurai classes treated us peasants, like we were nothing more than mice that lived in the rice fields. If we went around burning samurai houses we would be severely punished, most probably executed so what gave them the right to do it to us? I knew these thoughts were dangerous and tried to push them to the back of my mind but like a force of nature they would not be subdued.

    I seemed to find my only refuge in the sweet taste of sake. Its sweet, fruity taste seemed to be the only thing that pushed back the memories and nightmares. Within a few weeks, I had become a regular at the local sake den. At the sake den, I saw many other soldiers; maybe they too had witnessed what I had. I could not recognise any of them, their faces obscured by the shadows as they drank bottle by bottle, not wishing to be disturbed unless the visitor brought a bottle of sake. I knew that was my future, to sit in a dark corner in a sake den, excluding every friend and loved one. I knew it but I couldn't do anything. I couldn't resist the temptation, every time I tried to stop it just pulled me back into its grasp….


    “See that?” Aki pointed to the envoy, which were just entering the castle.

    “Yeah, what about it?”

    “It's diplomatic envoy from our neighbours the Miyoshi clan. There’s talk of an alliance between them and us.”

    “How do you know it's from the Miyoshi clan?” I asked hoping to catch Aki unaware and take him off his pedestal of greatness.

    “The flag stupid!” He replied, with that patronizing tone he uses all too often.
    “But, but aren’t they the only thing standing between us and total conquest of the island. And isn’t that our Daimyo’s goal, to unite Shikoku under the Chosokabe clan.”

    “Yes but now he wants an alliance. There is talk that the Shoni clan prepare for war. So war means allies… and enemies. When that day comes he wants support if ever the Shoni gain the upper hand. That’s the reason behind all the extra training.” Aki replied to my stupid question, amazed at my lack of knowledge of politics.

    He explained. “Politics changes quickly my friend and it is only the clans which use it to their advantage that win the wars. You should take your head out of the sake bottle. I don't know what you find so great about it. I always find it a bit too bitter for my liking.”

    Those words I had heard from Aki too many times, he was always urging me to stop. He said using a yumi requires complete and utter concentration, and that sake muddles with your mind and does not let you concentrate.

    “ You know... I know something that you may enjoy even more than that sake. Wait here and I will go get some.” He ran off in the direction of the shops. I was intrigued by what he would show me so I waited in the sunshine. He was soon back.

    “Here have some.” He pulled out these strange small, white cubes from a basket and handed me one.
    I looked at it suspiciously.
    “Nicer than sake.” I muttered to myself in a sarcastic tone. “I’ll see about that”
    I hate it when Aki is right, I really do. It is unfortunate that he is consistently right.

    He was right, it was nicer than sake, much nicer.

    “It’s yokan.” Aki replied, as his grin grew larger, as he saw how much I enjoyed it.


    “Yokan. It is made from sweetened Azuki bean paste, sugar and I also asked for honey just for you.”

    “It’s…….It’s great! Can I have another one?”

    Aki gave a small chuckle. “Of course my friend. You can go get it from the bakery if you want more.” I snatched the second one from his hand like some sort of hungry, ravenous beast.

    “I’m glad you like but I think it would be wise if we both resumed training instead of yapping all day about politics and yokan.”

    “I think it would be wise too.” And with that I was introduced to the wonder of Yokan, the one thing that saved me from myself.


    “Hey Yuki, pass the yokan and stop keeping to yourself.”

    I gave a faint sarcastic laugh before replying. “All you had to do was ask!”

    “Yeah, yeah excuses, excuses just pass the yokan.” He snatched it from my hands.

    “I know this is good but it’s not just for you! Anyway come over here the Daimyo’s wife has given birth to a daughter and he is throwing a massive party. There’s even fireworks and they’re about to start!”

    I quickly rushed over. I had always loved fireworks. They were like magic. They shot up like startled birds; burst out into every colour then fell like raindrops. Gasps of awe came from the crowd. Countless fireworks shot up, one by one into the night sky illuminating it.

    Aki bent over and whispered. “They never lose their magic do they?”

    All I could do was nod and whisper back. “No, they don’t.”

    Later that night

    “Hey Aki have you ever actually tried sake.”

    “Yeah, of course.” Aki replied. Yet there was something about the way he said it that made me think differently.

    “No you haven’t, you’re lying. I can tell.”

    “Your point” His tone became more agitated.

    Yells of “Aki, Aki” came up from the rest of our small group of friends.

    “Here, Aki have one.”

    “Err no thank you. I think I’m right.”

    “Come on Aki, just one. Please?”



    “But just one!”

    “Trust me Aki you’ll love it.” I handed him a glass of sake.

    He looked at it suspiciously, like a wild animal sensing a trap.

    “Well here goes nothing.” He muttered. He picked the glass up and gulped it down in one go. His face turned sour and he tried to spit it out but it was too late, he had already swallowed it.

    “How can you drink this stuff? It’s bitter and…and just horrible!’

    I gave a small chuckle.

    “So you’ve just learnt a valuable lesson.”

    “What’s that Yuki?”

    “Never trust anything your friends offer you!” Laughter erupted from a small group of friends mainly at Aki’s displeasure. His sour face turned into a smile as he too joined in with the laughter.


    Summer that year brought change. The cherry blossom trees still swayed in the wind and the sun still scorched the ground but the lives of many, although they did not know it yet, were about to change. It all happened while I was walking through the port at Iyo, enjoying the various odours: the salty tang of the sea, the exotic scents of the newly imported spices being unloaded, and the delicious aromas from the noodles being cooked, which was making me feel hungry. Suddenly there was a loud bang similar to the sound of fireworks. It echoed through the port, bouncing off each of the boats. I was intrigued at first but when everyone resumed work like nothing had happened my interest waned.

    Until a second big bang sounded, and then a third and a fourth and a fifth. I could feel the vibrations from these mini explosions pulsing through the air around me. We all turned around to ascertain where these bangs were coming from, over to the left of the port in a clearing surrounded by pines.

    Men and women rushed to the area, workers dropping their goods as they approached the clearing. What we saw puzzled us; a soldier held what looked like a curved walking stick and was aiming it at a target, a hundred paces away. Another soldier stood next to him, giving him instructions and waving his hands as the other soldier attempted to follow them though to no avail. As we watched the other one took the walking stick off him and with only a press of his fingers, a loud bang came from the walking stick and to our amazement a hole was made in the target as well. Gasps of amazement came from the crowd. The man next to me did not seem so impressed though. He leant over and whispered

    “You know what that is?” asked the stranger eager to show off his knowledge

    “Err… no”

    “It’s a tanegashima. Men in huge ships sailed over here and brought them. They said they could kill a man in one action. I’m a merchant and have seen them before. Apparently they’re similar to fireworks although I can’t see the resemblance.”

    Just as he finished explaining to me what this piece of weaponry was - as it was clearly not a walking stick - a man clad in metal appeared behind the two soldiers. He spoke in a foreign language. He had pale skin and a long, curly moustache. A long sword hung at his waist and next to it a smaller version of a tanegashima. He pointed to his ship. It was larger than anything I had ever seen, a true monster of the seas. With huge, white sails and what looked like enough room to keep a hundred men. On board were large metal cylinders. The foreigner waved at one of his crew on the boat and then another bang, only deeper and louder, echoed through the port. The man said something to the soldiers and then all of them walked away towards the castle…


    “Oh no!” exclaimed Aki, his distress clearly showing on his face.

    “What now?”

    “That's the Shoni flag”

    “It is? I thought that was the Ouchi one?” Aki had been teaching me the mons of each of the different clans but I was still unable to remember them all.

    “Yes stupid!” His distress had now turned to anger,

    “Anyway does it…” I was interrupted by yelling coming from the tenshu. The courtyard suddenly fell silent.

    “WAR? This is not war you pathetic little peasants. This is PEST CONTROL!”

    “Oh that does not sound good.” Just as I finished the door to the tenshu opened and a head rolled out followed by its owner’s body. Our Daiymo came out cursing, his retainers and servants trying to calm him down. His face red with fury. He turned towards us.

    “What are you looking at? Get back to your training. This is WAR!” Each of us rushed back to our position eager to keep our heads on our bodies.

    “It seems we are off to Kyushu” Aki whispered to me after everything had cooled down.

    “Yes, unfortunately fate has taken us down that path."


    The next couple of moths we spent preparing for war. Extra training was scheduled and more and more men were recruited. Down at the docks, ships were being constructed. Sadly, these were not ordinary ships but rather warships designed to destroy our enemy’s ships. Men were being recruited for the crew and even some of our own men went, hoping that the war would not be so horrible at sea. We said goodbye to our loved ones and farewell to Shikoku and on the last day of summer we boarded the ships and set a course for Kyushu.

    Last edited by Merchant of Venice; October 11, 2013 at 05:50 PM.

  20. #20
    Rex Basiliscus's Avatar Senator
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    Default Re: Way of the Bow:A Chosokabe AAR

    Glad to see they're off to war. I would advise you to organize your style -- I mean the line breaks, the space between writing and pics etc. There are some good lessons here, which can help

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