SpiresNinja

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First Encounter (after Ting Ting's Gambit, Book 3 Run 10)

You spend the day prowling around the City of Spires, and towards evening, you spot a figure settling into position high on the roof of a spire, with a good sightline to a courtyard currently being decorated as if for a night-time party. It's in one of the fancier estates. You don't think you've been spotted in return, but your current position doesn't have nearly as good a view of the party.

You don't think you're noticed sneaking up, but as you try to put the note in his pocket, you can take an action in the surprise round, which happens concurrently with what the ninja is doing.

Kasumi: I lay the letter at his feet.

"So sorry, didn't mean to interrupt your work, the letter will explain."

Also in the surprise round, you get nerve struck - he rolls well, and you lose 1 / 2 / 3.

In 2, he quietly, and surprisingly politely, asks you to lay your sword down.

Kasumi superleaps to another rooftop in the hope of escaping the combat.

As you're superleaping, he breaks his hold to nerve-strike you again, this time just for two actions, so you fall in a heap 21 hexes away. As it turns out, he doesn't have the fancy superleap, so it's going to take him a few actions to get to the new roof; you don't see whether or not he picked up the letter on the way. You hear him pulling himself onto the roof of your current building as you need to make new speed rolls.

He closes & picks up Kasumi's sword.

"I do not know of any houses we are at war with; I am most disappointed to see the peace broken without proper protocol. May I know my enemy?"
"Ack, this is totally why I need training! I didn't know giving you a piece of paper was something that would break the peace! I just wanted to meet you for tea so I could ask you questions! Now I've screwed up your good viewpoint and everything!
"Oh, wait, you asked for my name. I'm Kasumi, from the House of the Laughing Shadow."
"... Oh, by all the great and little demons, the *Monkey* House. Do you even *have* protocols?"

Kasumi thinks, Do we even have protocols? Well, there's some rules about how when you're pranking another ninja house, it's important to make sure it's clearly a prank as opposed to an attack. And some other stuff that the Master said about dealing with other Houses, but nobody listened to him nearly as much when he was talking about boring stuff, as opposed to teaching about leaping and nose-grabbing.

"Um, protocols... I don't think I was listening during that lecture. Honorable sir, is there some way we can start over?"
"Interesting thought. However, at your current level of education, a next attempt can hardly be expected to go any better."

He glances at the letter, which he does seem to have retained in the chase.

"Well. You have acted in hostility against me, before your House has declared against mine, so I am entitled to the spoils of battle from any ensuing misunderstanding. But it was not much of a battle, so..."

He thinks for a moment.

"Go away, and read the Book of the Second Shadow, and the Essays by Masaaki Hatsumi. Read them again if they confuse you. Then read them again. *Then* meet me at your tea house, wearing red and yellow, and if you can answer three questions, I shall return this."

He indicates your sword.

"Oh, thank you, that's great!"

Kasumi is totally thinking to herself "This is not great. Ninja masters are just like Master Zhou! This is terrible! Will I be that grumpy if I become a ninja master? I only got to use that sword once!" But she knows better than to say that.

In some great book of protocol rules, you have just gotten a tally mark in the Appropriate box for not saying this out loud. It's a good start!

"I don't suppose you can tell me where to find those works? Or is that part of the homework, too?"
"If your House does not have copies, as I must indeed assume it does not, I would try the Spire of Ink and Paper . *Not* dressed like that."

I give a good bow and ask "How will I find you again when I have finished my reading? to schedule our tea house meeting, I mean."

"If you go to the tea house, I will hear of it. Do try to stay for an entire pot of tea."