The Colorful Language of Broken Wave City

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From Shishinza’s Dossier

Throughout all the Empire no place is like Broken Wave City: the City of Salt and Storms, the City Atop the Sea, the City Without a Past, Koware Nami Toshi. Risen from the bottom of the ocean’s depths, cultivated and molded into a city possessing only a present, and a future. In just fifteen years a barren rock has become the most modern city in Rokugan. It’s unique nature has given rise to a few pieces of interesting slang which an esteemed Emerald Magistrate should familiarize himself with. I have presented here several of these turns of phrase for your reference, though I must warn you, few are used among polite company.

  • “Bathing with the Fortunes” – To be very poor, destitute, or unenviable. Comes from those who must bathe themselves in the reflecting pools at the Seven Fortune’s Reflection.
  • “Chit” – A note or letter, also may refer to a debt owed.
  • “Copperhead” – A member of the Watchmen.
  • “Dead Horse” – Advanced payment for services rendered. May also refer to a bribe.
  • “Displaying Honor” – To be armed.
  • “Dragon’s Ash” – Smokable Opium.
  • “Drowning” – Suffering from the effects of an overindulgence in sake.
  • “Dwelling on the Past” – One who is either an outsider or a newcomer.
  • “Flesh Wound” – A guilty conscience.
  • “Friend of Phoenix” – Someone who is either not trustworthy or soft-hearted, a patsy.
  • “Going Dry” – A sailor who is out at sea with one of the Squalls who is about to return to the city.
  • “Have you Eaten Seaweed Today?” – An impolite greeting, and a crude parody of the age old salutation of “have you eaten rice today?”
  • “Landlocked” – A location which is secure or well-guarded.
  • “Lion Pennant” – A loose end or a matter which is still unsettled.
  • “Native” – Something which does not exist or has disappeared long ago.
  • “Ningyo” – A mischievous child.
  • “Orochi’s Piss” – Hard liquor, such as shochu.
  • “Pearl-eyed” – Naive, innocent, or otherwise foolish.
  • “Piety” – Considerable wealth.
  • “Returning to the Womb” – A ship which is being repaired, also, a euphemism for someone who has been beaten badly and requires bed-rest.
  • “Saltwater” – Purified opium suspended in alcohol. A very potent form of the drug.
  • “Shakuhachi Player” – A snitch or informant who gives information to magistrates.
  • “Stranger” – Someone who frequents the House of the Laughing World.
  • “Swept out to Sea” – Someone who has been murdered and left to the ocean’s waves.
  • “Taiko Drummer” – A lookout during a criminal act.
  • “Turned to Smoke” – Someone who has been killed by the yakuza, kajinin, or other lowlifes and disposed of. Comes from the eta tradition to deposit common dead in the Fire Fountains.
  • “Vagabond” – Someone who lives or spends most of their time at the Natsu-Togamaru’s Bounty.
  • “Weasel” – A local magistrate who is good at his job.
  • “Well-Travelled” – Being familiar with the Natsu-Togamaru’s Bounty.
  • “Wet Fig” – A whore or prostitute.

The Colorful Language of Broken Wave City

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