Daimyo (BFCC)

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Daimyo (BFCC)

Postby padfootsm » Wed May 09, 2007 6:29 am

(For those who don't know, this is based off a world from Big Furs called Big Furs Community College, though honestly this could have gone anywhere. If you need help on the characters, as these piece does assume you know them, you can either look me up on Fur Affinity and look for the strip poker piece or go to the Fur Base at www.bigfurs.com. They'll be listed there. Just enjoy it. This was being posted on BF.com, but I was asked if I would post it here and I said yes. So here! =3)

“Alright Padsy, I want an honest game out of you this week.” The speaker, a rather large and busty white furred cat poked at another figure. Her light blue hair shook with mirth as her pure red eyes twinkled though she was trying quite hard to be serious. Even her tail gave it away as it swayed from side to side against her normal choice of a skimpy outfit.

“Psh…honest game? What was so wrong with the last game?” There was a little quirk in the corner of this one’s mouth. He really couldn’t help it. It was quite natural to one who found his own humor in the situation that had occurred the week before. The wolf that had received the cat’s pokes was a wolf, which made the pair a rather strange combination. His fur was grey almost all over, except for strange slash-like marks of red fur on his arms and legs. His hair and eyes were a deep brown to match the earthen tones of his fur. “I mean, come on Wyld…strip poker just sorta demands some kind of cheating!”

Both looked at each other for a moment, and then burst out laughing hysterically. Wyldsyde wiped a tear our of the corner of her eye after a few moments of laughter, “Rhen was so very mad! She hated having to strip all the way down when her hands were pretty good, yet ‘somehow’ she kept losing to you.”

Padfoot laid an arm against Wyld’s shoulder, “Hoo boy, that was nothing! Did you see the expression on Mika’s face? That totally made my night. She was looking at her cards like they were the from another planet! Oh Wyld…I owe you big for that one. Thanks for agreeing to do that to em. Those pictures are going to be priceless one day, mark my words.”

There was a sudden pause in the laughter on the white cat’s side, “My little Wolfy Snhookums better not forget his side of the bargain. But no…he wouldn’t do that would he?” Pad sighed, shrugged, then shook his head from side to side to confirm that he would not forget to uphold his end of the deal.

“So any idea what game Mika is bringing for us tonight?” Padfoot plopped himself down on a chair in front of the table, pulling out a few of his students’ papers while he waited. He didn’t even have to look up at Wyld to know she shook her head in denial.

“I honestly have no clue, but I bet it’s going to be really good. At least, as long as there is no cheating.” Her eyes had that fun glint to them once more as she walked from one end of the room to the other.

The wolf held up his left paw with one claw extended, his eyes still on the papers in front of him, “That was a one time deal. I swear it won’t happen again.” Of course, the paw holding the pen was slightly crossed, but who would really look that close?

The banging coming down the stairs was sudden. The sound resounded easily so they always knew when feet were walking down. There was one advantage to being a bit on the ‘lighter’ side in the group and it came from the fact that one could enter the basement room they played in rather quietly. The two other players were notorious for having to use a bit of effort to get in and having a bit more weight to their step. “Alright, I know someone is down there and I’m kinda stuck. I could use a bit of help here.”

Padfoot gave a shake of his head and set his pen down, “Again Rhennessa? How many times do I have to tell you that you really need to grease your breasts before coming down here?”

“It’s not my fault that there’s no elevator installed here!” Padfoot walked over to the stairway, the only way in or out of the room, and looked up it. There was a pair of breasts stuck about half way up with a vixen rather nicely attached to them. Rhen grumbled down at them, “You know you enjoy getting me unstuck anyways Pad…now blast it all, give me a damn hand!” Her arms waved in circles as she tried to shift her breasts, which were already nicely wedged in where they were.

With a bit of effort on all parties, Rhen finally popped into the basement room. She stretched a few times and adjusted her clothing. “You know guys,” she began. “Privacy is nice and all, but this is just getting ridiculous.” She walked over to her chair and fell back into it with a loud creak, getting comfortable quickly.


Pad studied the doorframe, which was loose, “Maybe if we took this off it might become easier…?” The discussion veered towards ideas between Rhen and Pad as they bounced suggestions off of each other on how to make the vixen’s entrance slightly easier. Then another banging began upstairs, notifying them that Mika was there. Her entrance was graceful as always, her kimono dragging behind her. Padfoot, the only male in the room, did not do more than greet the enticingly clad Kitsune. No matter how many times the teacher wolf told his students that he only played games with the girls, they always assumed the worst of him. Strip poker aside, the games they played were good clean fun.

Mika’s voice was quiet and slightly mysterious, “Are we all ready to play?” The table was quickly cleared, the drinks were set out, and everyone took their places. A slow smile crept up the corner of Mike’s lip as she took out a box from inside her kimono. As she set the box down, all leaned forward. The box was ornately carved out of what seemed to be a dark wood and it had jade inlayed at different spots. The designs on each side of the box formed a weapon of some kind. Padfoot raised his brow as he noticed the sheathed katana that lay on his side. Rhen furrowed hers as she saw the spear design on hers. Wyld gave no indication whatsoever when her eyes finally saw the arrow that decorated the box on her side. The top of the box was a helmet carving right out of Ancient Japan, face mask and all attached.

“What…what is that,” Rhennessa asked as she reached forward with one paw to investigate the box. Mika slapped it away.

“It is a very old board game called Daimyo. It was played in my homeland. It’s been carefully made by Kitsune hands.”

“So we shouldn’t trust it,” Padfoot concluded while crossing his arms. His eyes betrayed him though. They were alight with curiosity.

However, it was Wyld who asked, “Would you show us how to play?”

“Before I do, there is something you all must understand,” Mika cautioned. “This is a very difficult game of strategy. You must be prepared to play all the way through though and not give up at any point.” She looked at each of them as she moved the box to the middle of the table. “If you still want to play, place your hands on the box.”

All eyes contemplated, but it was the wolf paw to edge forward first, “Strategy is my type of game.”

Rhennessa gave a sigh as she turned her body slightly to touch the box, “Why couldn’t we just play a video game?”

Wyldsyde stared at Mika, “It this game safe?”

The Kitsune tilted her head, “It’s only a board ga…”

Wyld cut her off, “That isn’t an answer.”

“Fine…it is a safe game. You will not be harmed while playing it. I would never play such a game like that.”

“That’s what I wanted to know,” the white cat paw reached out to join the others. Mika’s paw touched the box last. When she did, there was a snap and all paws save Wyld’s jerked back.

“What was that,” demanded Pad as he looked at his paw. A drop of blood appeared on his fur.

“It was necessary,” was the only answer the Kitsune gave as she opened the box, the top pulling out in two pieces like a throne room door. Inside the box was an ornate map, but not of Japan or any other land known in the world. There were two main pieces of land, separated by a series of islands between them. The sea or ocean was shown as calm with rocks placed here and there. Even the land had hills and mountains painted in. The detail was exact and seemed exquisite to those who had never seen it.

“The rules of the game are simple…you learn them as you play instead of explaining most of them now. The only thing you have to do right now is pick a weapon.” Mika reached into one of the sides of the box that had once been the cover and pulled out four different marble pieces. There was a katana, a spear, a quiver, and a staff. “Pick what you like. It makes it more interesting.”

“Call me crazy Mika, but I’m not used to learning the rules as we go,” Pad complained. “Is there any advantage or disadvantage to these?”

“Only the obvious.”

“Well that tells me a whooole lot. Fine Ms. Mysterious Kitsune, I’ll take the katana.” He grabbed it and held it in his paw.

Rhen looked at Wyld, who shrugged, then the vixen reached out and grabbed the spear. “It was the symbol on my side. Seemed fitting.” Wyld smirked and grabbed the quiver, leaving Mika with the staff.

“Well then…let us begin,” the voice seemed distant, but it was definitely Mika’s voice. It just suddenly had gotten further and further away. Wyldsyde noticed it first and tried to shout, but it felt like her mouth was clamped shut and the air around her wasn’t going to give her a chance. The room seemed to get darker and darker…


Strangely enough, it wasn’t Wyld who came to first. Eyes flickered as a groggy mind pushed away the fog surrounding it. A paw was moved to her forehead as the haze left. Rhennessa blinked a few more times until her vision and mind totally cleared. She was seated at a table with the three others still, but nothing else was the same. First of all, the other three were slumped in their chairs, either asleep or unconscious. The map that had once been the board alone now encompassed the entire table from edge to edge. As Rhen’s hands returned to the table, her fingers found that it was textured and certain portions were now raised and lowered appropriately. The entire map was broken up by dotted lines dividing the land mass up into areas.

Mika began to stir, her head rolling and her kimono shifting slightly. Rhen’s eye, ever quick to notice details, caught that Mika was wearing a totally different Kimono than before. This one was blue with white cranes rippling across it. Her eyes shifted to Padfoot and Wyldsyde. Both were wearing ancient Japanese outfits that seemed to be tailored to fit them elegantly. Paws touching her own cloths, Rhen felt a soft material that covered her adequately. She too was wearing a kimono of some sort. Everyone was stirring now, but Mika’s eyes seemed to glow with an inner satisfaction of some kind. Leave it to her to play a trick like this.

As Padfoot and Wyldsyde awoke, Mika spoke, “Welcome to the game of Daimyo.”

“Wuzzat,” the wolf asked as he rubbed his bleary eyes, still confused.

“Before us is the game map. A northern and a southern continent as well as a middle ground of islands. The purpose of the game is to take out your opponents by either destroying both of their armies or taking their stronghold. Keep that in mind!”
Padfoot’s eyes were the first to gleam. He may have been the last to wake up, but this was the type of game he really loved to play. Wyldsyde’s eyes were drifting around the room, which had walls made of rice paper sliding doors like an old dojo. Mika kept going despite the eyes all over the place, “The game is pretty simple in truth. Each turn we get a certain number of koku, which is the money in this game. You get a certain amount depending on how many territories you have. Each turn your army can only move one space, from one territory to another…so keep that in mind.” Her arms stretched and pointed at one territory on the southern continent and then moved it to another territory right next to it.

Padfoot was rubbing his paws together now, “Where are our armies and what goes in em?”

“Hold on Pads…you gotta walk before you can run. First we need to pick generals!” She suddenly grinned widely without the slightest trace of doubt in her eyes. “Pick anyone you know.”

“Uhhh…anyone,” Rhen questioned carefully.

“Anyone at all,” was the reply.

“Why don’t you go first Mika?”

A slight head tilt and a nod, “Alright then. Well…hmmm…first of all, I’m going to have to go with someone who will probably be a good commander. Well then…Tomy Ironmane!” As the words left her mouth, a tall Tigress stood just behind Mika. There was no confusion in her eyes as might have happened with the players, but it really did look like the living orange and black tiger. “Then…huh, why not someone who could be lucky? I’ll pick Shingo Kazegin for my second!” The half wolf man appeared behind her on the right. He was wearing his military vest and had his arms crossed, looking beyond all of them. Padfoot waved at him, but the lack of response caused the wolf to sit back down.

“Well…anyone then? Alright.” Padfoot rubbed his chin, “Guess it doesn’t matter then? I’ll take Ransom and Crux for my generals. Warriors for the win!” They appeared, one grey cat and one blue Labrador standing on either side of the wolf’s chair.

Wyldsyde looked over at Rhen, then shrugged, “Why not? I’ll give it a go too. I’m really confused how this is going to help or hurt me…but let’s go for team Draggie! I’ll take Stampy and Heartwing as my generals! Any general who can stomp the enemy is probably a good idea…” Instead of their whole bodies appearing the room, two dragon heads appeared, their necks stretching outside the room and into the outside world. There was no doubt that they represented Wyld’s military might though.

Rhen was the last to go and her eyes carried a note of concern in them. “Can I pick my robots for generals?”

A slight note of surprise crept into Mika’s reply, “For one possibly. Definitely not both though!”

“Huh…in that case, I chose Rhen-bot for one general.” A mechanical whir answered her call as a robot that looked realistically like the vixen player appeared on her left hand side. “I guess…how about Tescon Whitepaw for my other? He’s a pretty smart general.” A grey and white wolf materialized on the other side, a slight smirk on his face along with his paw on his chin.

Kitsune stood up and smiled, rubbing her paws. “Alright then. It’s time to get this game going.” She snapped her fingers and a card appeared in front of everyone. Each card was exactly the same except for the name and symbol on top. “Those represent your generals. The bows represent the two legion of bowmen we each start with in each of our armies. The katana represent the swordsmen and so on and so forth.”

She paused to look up at everyone, who seemed to be studying their little army stat cards. Padfoot looked up, “What’s the number in the lower right corner of those symbols mean?”

“That’s what you have to roll in order to kill an enemy model. Since you chose the katana Pads, your swordsmen kill people a lot easier.”

“Oooh…makes sense. I think.” It actually took a few more moments of explaining to let everyone know that they started with two bowmen, two swordsmen, and two spearmen in their armies, each requiring different dice rolls to succeed. There was even a miniature model of their generals on each of their sheets.

“So,” Mika said clapping her hands. “Your armies can attack only once per turn. Knowing that…you gotta be careful. Don’t get your generals too far away from your stronghold if you wanna defend it. With that…let’s deal out the territories!” A deck of cards was pulled out and mixed before being dealt out.

Wyldsyde had kept strangely quiet during the whole explanation of the game. It seemed to remind her too much of a board game Padfoot had tried to teach her called Risk. It was a simple board game of taking over territories and continents to get more money in order to buy soldiers. The only difference seemed to be that you got a stronghold that you had to defend. Wyld gave a sigh and rubbed her head. She liked playing games, but this was the type of game that could go on far too long.

As each territory card was flipped and looked at, a marker appeared on the table. Wyld’s flag had a blue background with a smiling kitty face. Rhen’s flag had a grey background with a black wrench. Mika’s had a green background with a red fox tail on it while Padfoot seemed to have a white background with a black dog paw. All in all, the board quickly filled up with colors.

Padfoot knew and loved strategy games. He had another 'gaming' group that he got together with once a month to play games like Risk. As such, it wasn't that hard to get a feel for this game. True, he only had two armies instead of many, but adjusting shouldn't be too hard. His mind searched every little nuance of the game so he could fully grasp it.

"Hey Mika, what happens if an army moves into an enemy country that's empty?"

-

“A fair question. You take over that country! It becomes yours now.”

“Huh…can you…defend your empty countries at all?

“Well Pad...at this rate I’m not going to have to explain much on my own! The only way to defend an empty country is by leaving men behind from your army. Meaning that when your army moves on, you can leave any of your units except your general behind. Think of this entire game as real warfare…”

Rhen’s eyes gleamed suddenly as she caught a hint of how the game was going to be played, “If we leave units behind…then our armies will just keep shrinking…? So we have to be able to buy more units.”

Mika nodded sagely, “That’s correct. The koku you get each turn can be used for a few things. The first is to buy new units. The second is to increase the defenses at your stronghold so it’s harder to take if an invading army gets close. The final one is the risky one, the Ninja.”

Despite all of Wyld’s misgivings, her red eyes lit up at the word ‘ninja,’ so she joined the other two in leaning forward. “What does the ninja do,” Wyld asked with a smile.

Mika reached to her side and picked up a small cup with water in it, wetting her throat. “The Ninja…” She emphasized the first letter as only she could do… “Is bid on each turn by everyone if they want to take a risk. The highest bidder on the ninja gets it, but the ninja only has two options. Either it can be used to attempt an assassination on an enemy general or used to weaken a stronghold’s defenses. Neither are guaranteed success, but the assassination is much harder. It all comes down to dice rolls there.”

Padfoot nodded and started to study the board carefully. The board itself was uniquely divided. Padfoot found himself quickly measuring up and assessing not only his situation and position, but that of the others. Of the eight islands that made up the middle ground of the map, he held a majority of five of them. Each island had three to five territories on them. It wouldn’t take too long for him to overpower the one or two territories that weren’t his as long as no one placed their armies there. Plus the islands had only two ways in and out of each, so there was less to defend from. Meanwhile his forces on the northern and southern continent were far too spread out for him to make any read stands there. He liked to have a focal point for his forces. Mika’s center was obviously the northern continent, though she could have a nice hold on some of the islands if she chose to. Rhen seemed to be nicely split between the northern and southern continents, while Wyld was lucky to only really be focused in the south. It was true that each had scattered lands, but why defend the land surrounded by enemies? Pad smirked as he thought about the advantage of defending a land with allies nearby.

“Alright,” Mika said as she clapped her hands and the generals that had stood behind them all disappeared. “We place our armies and strongholds now. Just so you know, each stronghold has four special defenders or bodyguards to start. So they’re not easy to take…especially if upgraded!” The teacher wolf smirked and nodded as he had already figured this part out while Rhen puzzled in her own mind. The blue kitty raised an eyebrow and shrugged. One or two more clarifications were brought up, but easily answered by Mika. It was time to place their armies and strongholds.

Mika, already planning her entire strategy out, placed her stronghold first, securing it in the top right corner of the Northern continent. Her two armies were placed adjacent to it, ensuring that no attackers would try to wipe her out too quickly. After all, the stronghold was an important place. Pad volunteered to go next, placing his stronghold on one of the sea routes, and his armies on either side of it so that he could easily expand.

-

Wyld adopted the strategy that Mika took, placing her stronghold in the south and putting her armies on either side of it.. Rhen, going last, smirked as she placed her stronghold on the south continent, but on the west side. Her armies, she quickly chose to place both on her stronghold. Mika only let her eyebrows raise briefly before nodding and continuing.

“From here on in…you can ask questions, but tactics are your own…should your generals take three countries, they each have a special power you can designate to use in combat. Please try and keep that in mind. Once used, you have to take three more countries before it can be used again. Once that general dies, so does the army. It can’t come back. Now game on…”


For Padfoot…this was something exciting. His mind was awhirl with excitement and strategy as he thought the game over carefully. Their turns had been randomly assigned and would change each round, another variable to the game. He liked it though. Mika may have pulled this little game out as a way to get even at him for Strip Poker, but he found this to be the most fun he’d had in awhile with this group.

Rhennessa was the first to go and he didn’t mind that at all. Her strength was divided, so she had logically focused on one side. Her stronghold was in the south and only had one island connection near it, which Pad had no territory on. It didn’t bother him at all for her to go for the island or to try and take on Wyldsyde. Either way, in his mind he was good. The board depicted a small castle where she had placed her stronghold, looking rather realistic too. When Rhen declared that Tescon’s army would be moving to the north to take one of Mika’s undefended territories, a micro Tescon marched forth out of the castle, grey and white fur and all. When this miniature figure reached the territory, Mika’s green flag was lowered and Rhen’s grey flag was raised. A small mark appeared on the army card for Tescon, showing he had taken one country. The game was afoot.

-

The others waited for Rhen to move her other army. It took her only a second to declare an attack to the east with Rhen-bot, which wasn’t that surprising. It took two of the three adjacent lands to her stronghold, leaving the last empty one in the clutches of Mika for the moment. With that, Rhennessa shrugged and sat back. She was done with her turn.

In that manner, the first turn proceeded without any problems whatsoever. No one was near the other so no major battles broke out. Mika simply moved one army south, moving towards the only entrance to the northern continent on the east side, hoping to hold it while her second army, led by Shingo, went west. Wyldsyde went third. Her moves were a bit less tactical as she moved into a country that could’ve been taken later if she had moved in a different direction. Meaning she could have formed a line of countries instead of making it so she would have to waste a turn moving over her own territory. Padfoot finished his turn the fastest. He had time to watch and learn, plus he was quite the fast learner. The problem was that his mind had this quiet little nagging thought in the back. It was Mika.

He looked up at her before ending his turn. His moves had taken one full island while keeping the entire thing defended from invasion. It had only three ways in and an army sat on two of the sea routes while his stronghold held the other. The stronghold was the foundation for the empire he would have to build…which meant he could not lose it. It helped that he had a single territory on the other island that was connected to this one. It was the one that blocked the sea route to his stronghold. In other words, if someone wanted to get to his castle, he would be able to see it coming. It was just…Mika had picked this game. She knew it. That meant that there might be some trick up her sleeve which he would have to watch out for. He would keep his generals alive and strong. Still…there was something in the back of his mind nagging him that wanted to be thought, but he just couldn’t hit on it… “Done,” he said aloud while inwardly condemning himself. There was something there, but he could not find the shadow that kept lurking behind him mind.

-

The next turn went rather differently as far as Wyldsyde was concerned. At the beginning of the turn, everyone was given these small coins that had holes in the middle of them. They were called “koku.” Since turn 2, Padfoot had randomly been chosen to go first (the turn order changed each round apparently), he had spent his money to get more swordsmen in his armies. Seemed like a good idea to her, especially since he seemed to get more money than the rest of them. The island he controlled boosted his income apparently. Rhen was second this turn, and she didn’t expand any of her armies. Instead she upgraded her castle. Mika was third and she too went for castle upgrading. When Wyld went, she really had no idea what she was going to do. “Whatever,” she grumbled as she bought her armies one bowman extra each and then put some koku into her castle. She figured a balance of the two would be for the best.

Pad’s turn went the quickest. He now seemed to have the best grasp of the game Wyld thought. Of course, that also meant she was sitting pretty good. If anything, Padsy Wadsy wouldn’t go for her first. Manipulation was a powerful tool she mused with a sly smirk. And when it came to manipulating Wolfy Shnookums, she was the master. Pad’s armies each went their separate ways, across the water to take territory on two other islands. He still had his island protected this way while still taking new land. Rhen sent Tescon further north, heading for the sea route apparently, while Rhen-bot actually move one south to take more land. Mika simply swept west. Wyld considered…then moved her armies to get more land. The southern continent would be hers. With that, another turn ended.

“Mika,” she inquired, “Is there a point to this?”

“How so Wyld?”

“We’re obviously not going to attack the other directly…and right now this looks like it’s going to take forever for anyone to win.”

“As of right now, it does look that way because things are moving slowly. Keep in mind though that this is only the second turn. So far, each turn has taken a minute or two at most.” The white cat pondered this and realized it was truth. Yet the game would probably take quite some time as she had seen in games of Risk. Early on they were kinda fun, but later on they got really boring because of how long and drawn out they could be.

-

The third turn went much as the second and the fourth turn likewise. Each got their generals powered up and didn’t do a thing with them though. Padfoot had taken over three islands by the end of the fourth turn and heavily fortified his castle, focusing on it’s strength to the key point it held on the coast. Mika simply moved one army towards the only sea route on the eastern edge of her continent while keeping her other army, Tomy, moving westward. Rhen did the odd move. She moved Mecha Rhen back into the castle after taking three territories and kept Tescon moving northward to the island. Her money was spent on filling her armies ranks. Wyld, knowing that Pad wouldn’t be attacking her on the east coast, just sent both armies attacking westward. She and Mika had balanced between army development and castle development. Then the fifth turn came…

“Well,” Mika began with a small smile creeping up the corner of her muzzle. “It seems to me that we each hold our different lands fairly strongly…now that turn five is upon us, we have the options of investing in new things.” Pad’s eyes jerked upwards, glaring at Mika. She hadn’t told him everything and that bugged him. His entire battle plan was based on what Mika had already told him about the game. She was toying with them. “With your castles and their surrounding lands established, you can invest your koku into your economy. The results for such investments can be good or worthless. It varies from turn to turn. Aside from your economy, you can also invest in trade. That also can sometimes be very good or quite worthless.”

“And what do each do,” Rhen inquired with a slight edge to her voice. Padfoot deduced she too was upset over this revelation.

“You’ve got to invest to find out!” Mika’s grin turned into a little giggle behind a paw. The other three glanced at each other and sighed. They were in her game, they had to play by her rules, and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it.

It was then that Rhen blinked a few times. Her mind had been aflame calculating the entire game, trying to figure out the best way to win things. It had been the thought of this being Mika’s game that brought a sudden idea. Not everything in the game was Mika’s…the generals weren’t. Maybe their powers were key? After all, Mika shouldn’t know what each did. She pondered this for a few moments and then looked at the map. In three turns, not a single army could get near Tescon and he could take three lands. It all made sense suddenly to her. Mika was purposefully keeping them all off balance and unsure. Each could try to figure things out as they would, she was going to make her own move and hopefully it just might help her.

The turns were assigned and out of all, Padfoot went first. Rhen watched him with interest as he studied the board. He was the biggest threat in her mind, but Mika was her primary target. Padfoot nodded and made his move, investing his koku in a few things, which due to the design of the board, was hidden away from everyone else. “Alright,” he began. “My first investment is in my castle again…” Each nodded as they had all expected this. On the board, the castle grew slightly taller and a wall sprung up around it. Rhen blinked a few times and leaned close to study this. It was rather neat that the game did little things like this. “Second, I’m investing heavily in trade.” Rhennessa glanced back up at Padfoot; she hadn’t expected him to take such a risk. A change in the board caught her eye as a ship appeared on the sea next to Pad’s castle. It simply floated there. Padfoot continued, “I invested also lightly into my army, adding another bowman to each.” The army’s didn’t change on the board, only on Pad’s army cards. He had quite a lot of bowman actually, but that had been his specialty. “And finally…I bid for the ninja.” There was a noise…but it didn’t come from the board.

A shadow landed behind Padfoot and stood, his body cloaked not in black, but in a non-descript grey. His outfit was tight around the legs, loose around the arms. His slit for the eyes marked him as a ninja, his pose refined and without wasted movement to take. Pad grinned like a little boy at this appearance and turned to the rest, “I’ll wait to see if he’s mine for next turn or not.” Rhen suddenly remember, others could bid for the ninja too! If they outbid Pad, he would lose this figure cloaked in grey to them. Yet no one knew exactly how much Pad had put into his ninja bid.

“Wait just a frill, how are you affording all this,” Wyld demanded to know.

It was the vixen who answered her question, “He has land. Each island that he completely owns adds to his koku income. We, on the other hand, are trying to get the continents which give a lot more koku should we get all of it. Of course, right now Pad is getting triple what the rest of us are earning.” Her eyes flitted over the board and then back at the ninja. Pad had moved in a few new ways and suddenly Rhen wasn’t so sure that Mika had been able to predict the writer’s moves.

-

It was her turn. Inwardly she struggled with the set-up of the board. This was all wrong. That clever vixen was holding back information on purpose, trying to toy with them at every little step. By doing so, she made sure that she knew the full range of the game before they did and could set up for it. That simply bothered her. Rhennessa had had enough of this game and the information withheld. If the islands gave Padfoot so much of that money stuff, then she was just going to have Tescon take an island to the north for her. He was sitting perfectly on a sea border for it. The money she had was going for her army and economy. After all, strong economy meant more money hopefully and more money meant the ability to buy more men. The others could just specialize in their field of battles as they wanted, she bought a bit of everything. At least that way her armies weren’t weak in any way.

Tescon took his forces across the sea to take another land, this one from Wyldsyde. Mecha Rhen would defend the castle and hold it against any and all takers. That was the way it was going to have to be. With that, she ended her turn.

Wyldsyde stood there, carefully studying the board and then just shrugged. “I have no clue anymore what I’m doing. I’ve never been good at these games anyways. So…let’s go for more defense on my castle for now…” The white cat had to have put all her koku in her castle as not only did it sprout walls, but the land it rested upon suddenly elevated above the surrounding area. Mika’s eyes didn’t even glance at it more than a moment, while the others studied its fine detail. “Then…I’m going to try using both of my generals’ powers!”

“Wait, come again?” Padfoot turned to stare at his girlfriend. “Why the heck would you use them now? There are no enemies nearby.”

“So..? You don’t know what their powers do…maybe it’ll help me now!” She pushed a finger on each of her army cards. As she did so, both Stampy and Heartwing roared from on the board. As one, they spread their wings out. There was no protest now as Wyld directed her armies to take over new territories. Yet when the dragons arrived in their new lands, they remained active, ready for more orders. Pad quietly rose up from his seat to watch carefully as Wyld told her dragon generals to take another land each. Four new territories were no given to Wyld. The dragons finally went quiet and their wings were furled. Pad sat back down.

“I think that was worth the use of their powers, don’t you Wolfy?”

“I’d say so…” Pad’s eyes weren’t on Wyld at all, they were drifting elsewhere. “Mika…” His voice was calm and quiet as he spoke, “This game has some magic in it, that much is obvious. All these little neat things happening, including the ninja actual appearing…what are you hiding from us?”

Mika’s lip twitched slightly, “I’m not hiding anything Pad. The game is spread out before you.”

“That’s exactly what terrifies me the most. I know you did this to get back at me for strip poker…and I know you’re a kitsune Mika…now what are you hiding?”

“My dear, why would you think I was trying to get back at you over a silly card game?” Mika’s eyes flashed at Pad, then smirked slightly as she played with her kimono. “This is about a bit more than that.”

Wyld and Rhen watched the exchange without saying a word. This was not their battleground for the moment. The grey wolf studied Mika and her expressionless mask that she had put on for the moment. His brown eyes darted over her carefully, not studying her body, but her face. “Why did you bring the others into this?”

“We needed four players for the game.”

“Then you just admitted this was for me.”

Her voice, like a breath expelled, let out a, “Yes.” Pad leaned back into his chair and considered. It was enough to know this was all for him.

Wyld ended her turn, letting Mika take hers. Mika chose to not use her general powers, but instead invested in trade while simply taking two more territories. A ship appeared on the only sea route she held. When she had finished, the turn order did not change.

A tap on Pad’s shoulder made him turn around to face the ninja. “Honorable leader, who shall I kill?”

The wolf considered and sighed. He wanted to kill Mika’s generals out of pure emotion. It was anger at her for causing him to do this, but he knew that an emotional action in a game of tactics was generally a foolish choice. His biggest threat was neither Wyld nor Mika. Their forces were both heading west, in order to take continents. His biggest threat lay in Rhen and Tescon’s army now that they lay on the islands. He hated to attempt this, but he was going to have to. His finger stretched out and pointed at Tescon.

-

The ninja gave a slight nod and then jumped back. He stood stock still, his body quivering before he threw down some sort of glass that broke and smoke filled the place where he had been. With that the ninja was gone and a single die had appeared in front of Padfoot. He reached down gingerly and picked it up. It was a six-sided, with four of the sides remaining blank and the other two showing a bloodied knife. Pad gave a short sigh, ran his other paw through his hair, and rolled. Rhen stood to see what the die would fall face up on, her breath bated. Pad simply looked away. To him, this wasn’t enjoyable. It was necessary.

An audible sigh escaped the vixen’s lips when the dice came up blank. It was enough for Pad to hear it and know that the assassination attempt had failed. He too gave a short sigh and turned his eyes back upon the board. “Well, then…next turn order I believe?”

The order was randomized once more, this time starting with Mika and ending with Wyldsyde. Rhen would be second. The blue and white cat studied the board, her eyes darting her and there. Her armies almost had taken the entire southern continent. The only bit that really was left was Rhen’s section and she could soon take that easily except for the silly castle. It stood in defiance of her hopeful reign. Throw in the fact that Rhen had her general sitting inside and Wyld had some problems on her paws. To the north, Pad still wasn’t a threat, his armies going different directions and no where near her own lands. It was just Rhennessa that she had to deal with.

As Wyld debated over her next move in the game, Mika began her turn with a simple declaration, “I’m putting all my koku into trade.”

Pad leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms, his eyes harsh. “Why?”

Mike retorted with two words and an innocent smile, “Why not?” A snort was the only reply she got. She carefully plotted her moves and split her two invading armies. One started to head east across her continent, power still in reserve. This was Tomy’s army. Meanwhile, Shingo’s forces continued to invade to the west, attack and taking new lands for Mika’s benefit. With those two simple actions, she ended her turn.

Rhen’s turn was just as short and sweet. She poured all her koku into her castle. Tescon took half of the island just north of Rhen’s spot, while Mecha Rhen stayed in the castle. Of the eight islands that existed between the major two continents, Rhen had taken one where it would take Padfoot quite a few turns to get to her, a sure benefit.

“If you can play this game, so can I Mika.” Padfoot gave a short huff, trying to bring his emotions under his own control. He quickly invested all his money in his economy and in trade. The ship didn’t seem to move at all, but that wasn’t any surprise. Wyld wasn’t sure if she had really expected it to do something or not. As for army movements, one of Pad’s armies, Ransom, headed west while Crux headed north. In three more turns, Padfoot would own another two islands to add to his income.

Finally it came to Wyldsyde’s turn. A grin spread across her face with a slight hint of fervor. Half of her koku went into her castle, but she saved the other half and placed it in the ninja bidding tray. As soon as the little coins had been placed, the ceiling panels shifted aside and down dropped a new ninja, this time wearing a jungle camouflage set of colors. The army movements were predictable, heading west towards Rhen’s castle. If she could take that, then Rhen would be out of the game. That alone would be a major accomplishment for her. The ninja tapped her shoulder once she had finished moving her armies. “Who would you like me to kill?”

“I’m thinking that Mecha Rhen needs to die.”

“I shall do my best mistress.” The ninja placed a fist over his heart and then leapt back into the ceiling, moving the panel back. The die appeared in Wyld’s space and she picked it up.

“What’re you doing Wyld,” Rhen asked with a hint of threat in her voice. “You don’t want to do that.” Fingers holding tight to the table and gripping hard was all that Rhen could do for the moment, but as soon as she could find a way around this…

The die was rolled without any hesitation.
"The quill is truly stronger than the sword."
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Postby padfootsm » Wed May 09, 2007 6:31 am

(As an aid...a really crappy map I made to help you see what the board game looks like from above. Or whatever...)
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"The quill is truly stronger than the sword."
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Postby padfootsm » Wed May 09, 2007 7:57 am

It was the loud shrill scream of celebration that emanated from Wyldsyde, letting Rhennessa know the results of the dice roll. On the board, the miniature figure of Mecha Rhen fell to the ground, a katana sticking out of her back. There were a few twitches, but then she was still. Padfoot stood up suddenly, a thought entering his mind that had not been there before. His voice came unbidden to him, trembling but strong as steel. “Mika, the characters on the field that we’ve chosen to be our generals…they are just…images right?”

The other two females turned their eyes sharply on Mika who had a small smile on her face, “Why would they be anything else than that?”

“Mika!” The voice was harder now and fierce. “Do not dance around an answer, tell me.”

There was an indrawn breath from Mika, a smile spreading across her face as she inhaled the anger and emotion that was seeping off of each of them. Then she answered, “Yes, they are just images.” She did not mean to play with them at all in this case, but she couldn’t help but delight in the emotions that were flowing around her. She was a kitsune after all.

Padfoot let out the breath he hadn’t even known he was holding in. He sat back down as relief etched its way across his face, “Thank you…I just…I had to be sure.” A small droplet of sweat ran down his face, hidden amongst his fur. The very thought that he could have put the lives of those who he considered friends on the line was scarier than any this game could have presented up till now. With the death of Mecha Rhen, Wyldsyde ended her turn. All the turns for turn six in fact were done.
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