Ninpocho Chronicles is a fantasy setting storyline set in the World of Ninjas where feudal daimyo, clans and ninja villages all wage war on each other for money, glory or for a common goal.

Each ninja starts from the bottom and start their training as an Academy Student. From there they develop abilities akin to that of demigods as they grow in age and experience.

Along the way they gain new friends (or enemies), take on jobs and complete contracts and missions for their respective villages where their training and skill will be tested to their limits.

The sky is the limit as the blank page you see before you can be filled with countless of adventures with your character in the game.

This is Ninpocho Chronicles.

Forging Memory ; Seeking Journeyman status

Shinzo

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Shinzo took to ninja life relatively quickly, given his lack of memories, it seemed his body remembered combat and efficient movement even if he did not consciously recall such. That said, Shinzo did not like relying on 'stock' weapons and repairs. Not that he didn't trust Sunan craftsman, he had difficulty trusting work done by one he did not know. To that end, the Oniguchi found himself in the Hall of Hammers. He'd sought the knowledge to forge and craft his own equipment so that he need not rely on unknown craftsmanship.

His crimson eyes flashed about as he observed his environs, watching men and and women sweating and pounding at their forges while plying their craft. While many would consider the forge work grueling an unforgiving, Shinzo already knew how difficult shinobi life itself could be, and so more spent his time analyzing the stroke of each hammer and how the work progressed as he stepped by the forges in turn. The memoryless ninja wasn't entirely sure who he was looking for, though if Sousuke did not seem busy when Shinzo caught sight of him, he might approach the steward. For now though, he simply observed the work intensely while doing his best not to interfere in said work.

While he couldn't place why, he found himself musing on the vast difference between his chosen career path and that of those who worked this hall for their sole living. Heat of the forge versus the heat of battle. Each hammer strike like a clash of blades, sparks flying on occasion. Each material it's own mission, each blow a kill.

(Edit: Marked For Training, 270 words.)
 

Raizo

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Episode 1: 'Welcome to the Hall of Hammers'| Journeyman Arc said:
[col]Prior to his personal journey through the desert and the changes that had followed it, he had already been accepted into the ranks of the Order thanks to Sousuke and had quickly taken to the practice like wildfire to a dry field. It would be passe to say he was a natural, but it was very clear that his own personal passion for building was amplified by the tools and skills the Order opened for him. Since returning to the village, he had made it rather routine to stop by the hall and continue to work on his skills. While he continued to grow in what he could craft, there was still nothing he had built that was truly meaningful to him, regardless of the quality he created. His eyes would glance down to his missing left hand as he would let out a sigh and send another thunderous blow of his hammer into heated metal. Sweat continued to accumulate across his face and over his exposed upper body. While it was nice to build up a good sweat, he still was just aimlessly hammering away once more. That is, until a new face walked through the door.

His gaze would fixate on the new person as they seemed to wander around as if in search of something. Tossing his hammer, which was an oddity to itself as the handle would almost be as long as the over six foot man and the head was overly large to almost a cartoonish extent, casually over his shoulder with no noticeable strain he would make his way to the man. With the nub of his former left hand resting at his hip while his right arm kept the hammer, which should have toppled the man by now, in place, he would smile at the newcomer.

"Can I help ya?"
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Name: Roku
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Blood Type: O Negative
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Shinzo

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Shinzo very nearly 'jumped' when Roku spoke, the man's gaze having been drawn elsewhere before being pulled to the source of that voice. Once his gaze met Roku's form, it was all Shin could do not to raise an eyebrow at the sheer size of the hammer. A brief silence as the Takahashi appraised the sennin(not that Shinzo knew him as such).

"Mm? Perhaps, it certainly appears as if you've taken to the Hall of Hammers like a tribble to a carmot-trail. I was interested in learning to craft my own arms and equipment." He commented simply, eyes cast about the room. "I did not see a sign-up form for classes, however." He concluded. The sennin had several inches and likely quite a few pounds on Shinzo, the redhead being more for toned muscle and sleek aesthetic over power and muscled form. Further, Shinzo feigned ignorance to the missing hand. It wasn't his business, clearly.
 

Raizo

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Episode 2: 'Not Your Normal Smiths'| Journeyman Arc said:
[col]It seemed that curiousity led the man here, which was not much different than the calling that brought himself to this very hall. But the Journeymen were more than just smiths of the average variety. A smirk would slide across his face.

"Came here looking to learn some skills to make some equipment, aye? Unfortunately, you are looking in the wrong place if you are just wanting to make yourself some items."

The hammer resting on his shoulder began to glow revealing an intricate design of ruins that seemed to be etched across the entirety of the item. With a slight pause, the hammer would suddenly begin to shrink, snapping up off his body and into the air until it popped into a more compact, normal hammer. The item would hang in the air for a moment, losing the glowing designs, and fall back into the hand of the Sennin. Gripping it, he would compress to points on the new handle of the hammer that would send off the sound of gears clicking as the item would begin to spin, whirl, crack and lock back into place. Within seconds the once large, then little, hammer would have transformed once more, this time into an item that looked like an oversized key.

"If, however, there is an urge dwelling deep within you that brought you here for the purpose of designing things that were more than just mere items, crafts that not only served any and all purposes you could ever imagine but also carried a piece of your own living essence in them..."

It was clear that some of Sousuke's insanity towards this stuff was rubbing off on him.

"...well then you might be in the right place."

He would motion for the new person to follow him, and if Shinzo did he would lead him to a large wall that held a collection of various hammers of differing sizes and designs. Within the wall would be a unique hole that seemed to be big enough to receive the newly formed key in the hand, the poor only hand, of Roku. He would turn back to Shinzo and extend the key out to him.

"You may not realize it, but these Orders, whether you are aware of them or not, instinctively call out to people. You might be here because you believe you want to learn how to smith some items... or maybe you are here because you belong here... or maybe this was a poor choice of a lost man... either way, you've now hit a cross road. Take this key, put it in the wall and continue down a path different from others... or... don't. Turn around and leave, obtain instruction for your hobby elsewhere."

Simple choice, confusing words. It was now time for Shinzo to decide what he wanted.


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Shinzo

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Shinzo quirked a brow at the man's words. The Hall of Hammers certainly appeared to be the correct place to learn to forge things. The crimson-haired man hardly skipped a beat perceptibly as he observed the variety of changes the hammer went through, before hearing the next words. "That is exactly the sort of equipment I want to create..." He paused, "Though I'm not entirely certain about the living essence bit..."

Once the man led onward, he followed without missing a beat as he let his curiosity lead him. It wasn't as if the Hall of Hammers held threats to the average shinobi, at least his education left no such impression, and this man seemed familiar somehow. It was unlikely he was being led into a trap as he'd yet to engage in any serious political machinations. Once offered the key and the cryptic words about a crossroads, he accepted the key wordlessly and inserted it, giving a brief wiggle to gauge which direction it turned before turning simply.

"I came here to learn, and so I shall."
 

Raizo

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Episode 3: 'Raw Materials'| Journeyman Arc said:
[col]A small chuckle would escape as the man mentioned the hesitancy towards creating things imbued with his living essence. So while he took over the key from Roku and prepared to place it in the lock, the Sennin would offer some more advice.

"The Journeymen are an Order that has lineage born through the First Men and their escape from slavery of the Ancients that once ruled these lands and the rise of humanity within this country. The items we make here aren't just simple pieces of armor or a weapon, if you are truly destined to be a member of this Order you will have to be capable of creating items that truly possess a uniqueness that only those worthy can pass on to their crafts. So, as I stated before, if you are just looking for a simple smithing lesson you are about to go down a long adventure that will not benefit you in the slightest."

It was a hard thing to grasp. He himself did not fully understand it or appreciate it when he first asked Sousuke about joining the Order. In fact, much like Shinzo, he merely came because he wanted to craft his own weapon and armor. So there was some gentle irony in the fact that the first person who would come looking into the Order following his own acceptance into it would be so similar to him. The skepticism would need to be overcame, however, if the man wished to gain anything from this moment. An Order was not some social club and the Journey Hall was not merely something someone enters into without conviction. Much like the Rangers and the Oracles, the secrets of the Journeymen were not passed on lightly to those with weak resolve or no interest in maintaining the Order.

The turning of the key by Shinzo would set off a series of loud clicking and grinding as the wall rattled, shaking the ground they stood upon. The hammers hoisted upon the wall would vibrate in place, creating their own unique chorus, but did not seem to be at a real risk of falling from their mounted position. Slowly, a jagged line would appear in the middle of the wall, making the once whole wall look like two puzzle pieces that had been fit together to create a single surface. Now, thanks to the key, the wall's halves would pull apart and slowly reveal a room hidden behind the wall.

The walls, ceiling and floor of the room would have intricate designs carved into it. Within the room there would be a table, a very ordinary one, a chair and a hammer, a very ordinary one. Peaking into the room, Roku would nod his head and give an audible "huh".

"So this is what the room chose for you..."

His attention would turn to the man.

"Okay.... what is your name?"

Once getting the name.

"Okay [whatever name you give], go into the room and take hold of the hammer. From there your test will begin."
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Shinzo

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Shin clearly wasn't sure what Roku was on about with his talk of uniqueness of weapons and destiny, however he was rather determined to continue forward despite this. He wasn't about to be dissuaded from learning the craft, as a proper tool is an extension of oneself and therefore should reflect the quality of the owner. Life and death can hang on the craftsmanship of my tools, therefore I should ensure they are of the best quality and know their ins and outs...

He quirked a brow as he saw the wall shake, taking a half-step backward as the hammers rattled, readying himself should he need to avoid falling hammers. After a few moments, it became clear that was not happening, and he relaxed slightly, studying the wall's shifting and opening. The empty room left the man rather confused. A hammer on a table with a chair...? What...?

When Roku turned to him and spoke, he blinked slightly. "Rooms don't 'choose' things..." He began, before hearing the question, "Oniguchi Shinzo. I chose to seek this place out over a traditional smithy due to its ties to the Takahashi line, whose blood I apparently share." Once the man gave him the instructions, he shrugged and stepped forward, examining the intricate workings of the walls, ceiling and floor before comparing to the table and the hammer. He slowly walked around the table so that he could grasp the hammer and look at Roku without turning. "What happens now?" He asked.

[MFT: 250 words]
 

Raizo

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Episode 4: 'This Room Can Choose'| Journeyman Arc said:
[col]Upon taking hold of the hammer there would be a sensation that would start to surge through the body of Shinzo. If he maintained eye contact with Roku, he would see the one hand Sennin waving to him.

"The rest is up to you... hopefully I'll see you soon."

Upon the completion of the words, the sensation coursing through the body of Shinzo would overtake his body completely making him feel heavy as if being pressed against the table. The walls would shake once more as the opening that he had once walked through would quickly snap shut, apparently sealing him in the room with the table and the hammer he now held. Within the initial moments, he would be sitting in darkness, but the sensation would keep him from moving. Regardless of his strength, it would seemingly be completely drained while holding the hammer, and yet, no matter how strongly he wanted to release it he seemingly could not. The carved designs in the wall would begin to glow with an energy that was similar to normal chakra, yet the feeling would continue to grow increasingly different, alien, ancient. Whatever it was radiating within the room, it was no normal chakra. The glow of the energy would go from faintly illuminating the room until a blinding light that would consume everything. Shinzo's eyes would be forced shut from the intensity of the light and once they did, he would get a sensation of release, like the weight had been lifted and he had fallen asleep.

Upon opening his eyes, Shinzo would find himself no longer holding the hammer or at the table... or even in the room he had just been in. Instead he would find himself in a vast and open room, a much bigger version of the journeyhall he had entered. There would be a rumbling shaking the ground as a voice boomed forth.

"Runt! Come here runt."

From the distance, across this great hall, a large figure, seemingly made of stone and metal, would be beckoning in the direction of Shinzo. To make matters even more confusing, if Shinzo was to look down at his own figure he would notice he would be in tattered rags of clothing and had odd shackles upon his ankles and wrists.

What will he do?</SIZE>
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Shinzo

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Shinzo's brow quirked in confusion at the sennin's words, obviously not understanding the implication until the doors began to close. He attempted to release the hammer, yet his hand remained. He tried to pull his entire body away just before he felt an oppressive weight pressing him toward the table. Struggle as he might, with his chakra being drained and rerouted into the mysterious chakra of the room, it did not take long for the somewhat panicked Takahashi to pass out beneath the weight and the blinding light created by altering his own chakra.

When he awoke, he shook himself and looked about in confusion as the entirely changed environs. Then he heard a voice. Runt? I'm not a runt... not tall, but no runt for sure... He looked down and blinked once more before deciding to play along for the moment, though he attempted to flex his spirit, get a feel for his chakra reserves as he approached the veritable titan before him. Not that he had a clue what was going on, but he assumed playing dumb and refusing at this moment would only complicate his situation while hindering information gathering. Besides... he wanted to know what made this thing tick...

He didn't speak, he merely approached the being as he was called, unsure about the shackles, and occasionally testing how securely they were attached and assessing how they'd impact his motion. Once that was ascertained, his sole focus moved to the strange being. He looked up at the stone man and waited for further information.

[MFT: 259 words]
 

Raizo

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ctE896K.png
From a distance the figure may not come off as large as what he was. Maybe it was whatever had transpired to get him to this point had messed with Shinzo's perception? Maybe it was just the human mind trying to comprehend the magnitude of the thing approaching? Maybe it was just the confusion of all of this? Was he in a genjutsu, was this a memory, was this a spiritual view through the eyes of an ancestor, was this merely smoke and mirrors being performed by the man with one hand; there were plenty of questions he might have had but ultimately it would not matter. In this case it wasn't important to know the trick, to understand how one got in this situation as much as it was why or what they could learn from this moment. Some, many actually, had a hard time dealing with this sort of drastic change. Weaker individuals grew consumed by trying to uncover the 'trick' that they believed was being pulled. Those individuals not only missed the mark of this journey but also missed an opportunity to enter something unique. Some also lost their minds, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves it is time we return to the present situation Shinzo found him in:

With each encroaching step, the sound of earth slamming into earth would only intensify. The tremors that started off as minor shakes would begin to turn into large quakes that would test the balance of those within the area. The figure was no longer in the distance, as it appeared to be moving towards Shinzo as the man made his hesitant movements towards the figure that had called out to him, and it was no longer hard to fully grasp its entire magnitude; before Shinzo would be a large being composed of earth and what appeared to be veins of molten rock coursing through its body, with some spilling off to the ground around it without warning. The entity stood above Shinzo standing as tall as the Kazekage Tower. While he might have resented the runt comment, the comparison between the two figures would make it very apparent why, in this situation, Shinzo was considered such. The entity would lower its head downward towards the man, the sound of rock scraping against one another could be heard with his movements.

"Runt, it is time for you to show me what abilities you possess."

As the creature spoke, Shinzo might notice on the other side of the huge rock being there were several stations with anvils, pits containing metals and other materials and furnaces. It was as if several small scale forges were constructed in one location for some purpose. If Shinzo looked closer he would see that most of the stations had individuals, dressed and dirtied like him, at them preparing for something. From the feet of the rock being, smaller humanoid rock creatures would begin to appear, standing at roughly ten foot each. The figures would approach each of the individuals, with one making its way to Shinzo to usher him along to one of the open stations. If Shinzo went/followed, once he reached the station the rock creatures would speak in unison;

"You have 10 hours to produce the finest craft you can. Only the truly skilled will be retained."

An ominous threat for a man who came searching to learn how to craft himself. What would he do?