A4.5: Fluff

Turn 0
 
Lahao die and leave their skins; people die and leave their names.
--Nipponese proverb

Everything changes, given time. Lives so furiously and desperately lived become meaningless as time stretches out into infinity, faceless generations living and dying as the world they inhabit turns ceaselessly around them. Empires rise and fall as the people who birthed them change or vanish altogether. Step back far enough and these too become trivial as the world itself shifts like a slumbering beast, its surface slowly drifting across the ocean as the fire at its heart rumbles like a restless star. Yet all history was lived once, the fates of Empires decided by blood freely given by those who wished for nothing more than the survival of their way of life.

Cathay stood at such a tipping point. Weighed down by centuries of senseless tradition, sabotaged by corrupt politicians and blighted by plague and famine the oldest Empire of Mankind teetered on the very edge of destruction. Armies came from the four corners of the Old World and beyond, as the Celestial Dragon withered and died under a blood red sun. Yet not all who came did so with blood and conquest in their hearts, and through the intervention of the most unlikely heroes, Cathay was preserved. At least, for a little while.

Step forward far enough, and it all becomes meaningless as mountains fall and seas rise to take their place, but here and now, as the East itself marches to war under a cold, uncaring sky, nothing could be more important.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare.
--Nipponese Proverb

My fellow scholars have shed much ink in their ceaseless debate, attempting to identify the precise cause or causes of the near fatal collapse of the Cathayan Political system and the Empire that birthed it. It is enough, I think, to state simply that throughout this time in its history the great Empire of Cathay had been acting without vision. It had become complacent. Mired in centuries old traditions, clinging to an outmoded belief in its own inherent superiority it was the near loss of Zhong-Sheng to Zaihai Nuer's army that really opened the Noble family's eyes to the precarious nature of their situation. The emergence of the child-Emperor and the rise to prominence of Xie Zhiqian restored the Empire's vision and gave it purpose once more.

Some have argued that this direction and purpose was granted too late to have lasting impact. That what remains is but a shell of what once was. That without The Anointed's curious decision to lift the siege of Wei-Jin and withdraw it's forces from Zhong-Sheng, the Empire of Cathay would have most certainly crumbled and burned beneath the weight of its own corruption. Yet it seems to me far more plausible that The Anointed made the decision to withdraw when they glimpsed the restoration of the sense of Empire that had been lost to the Cathayan people for so long. Belief may be a cliche, but it is so for a reason. Hope rekindled can carry an Empire a long way.

In the south, the Greenskin horde run out of momentum. While they had managed to make large gains within central Cathay, they had over extended and a daring raid deep into the jungles of Fukiwara cut the Greenskins off from supply and reinforcements. Yet this bold action did not come without a cost. Alexander, their spiritual leader, was killed while a raiding part struck at his encampment. There were persistent rumours that the great man had died peacefully in his sleep long before the battle began, yet these were not confirmed at the time and remained as nothing more then rumour. I can only hypothesis that the one person who could confirm or deny this is the now infamous Moumoku-Kensai, otherwise known as Jijing Shashou.

As winter turned to Spring, the Anointed were slowly driven from Cathay. Their momentum too had stalled and a reinvigorated Cathayan Army aided by its Ogre allies made decisive gains in the North. An-Sheng was recaptured swiftly leaving Nan-Gau as the Anointed's only foothold within the Empire they had so nearly destroyed. Thought it took three long years of Siege before the Cathayans reclaimed it, the Anointed's time had passed. No one knows what became of Zaihai Nuer, if she even existed at all.

At the same time the Greenskins that remained within the Empire were slowly driven back into the Hinterlands. Fan Hua proved to be an inspired choice for Governor of Tung-Sheng and his campaign in the south, which eventually expelled both the Greenskins and the wandering remnants of Alexander's followers who elected to stay in the frontier, became the stuff of legend.

Laughter cannot bring back what anger has driven away.
Attributed to the former Ambassador Yamato.

As Cathay flexed it's muscles and drove out the infection that struck at it's heart, Nippon attempted to do the same. Greenskin raiding parties had captured large swathes of land in the North and had ransacked the capitol, forcing the Emperor Khota to flee south with the majority of the small standing Nipponese army. It was during this time that Ambassador Yamato resigned from his position and took up the life of the sword.

Yamato's guerilla campaigns were terrifying to behold. He was utterly ruthless, sacrificing whatever he deemed necessary to drive the Greenskins back and as winter turned to spring the Ghost Fang forces were pushed further and further north until they they had nowhere left to retreat. It was at this time that Wanshi again provided the stage for a glorious victory for the armies of Nippon. The second Battle of Wanshi was a bloody affair, yet it was the Greenskins that came off by far the worse as desperate and unarmed women and children joined the ranks of Nipponese willing to sacrifice their life for their country. By the time the battle finished it is said that the dead numbered among the tens of thousands.

The Greenskins were broken, their strongholds overrun, and in all likelihood Nippon would have reclaimed their Empire within the year, but fate had other ideas and it was with heavy hearts that the resurgent Nipponese army sighted fleets of ships off their coastline. The darkness that had almost consumed the Celestial Dragon had finally come to their door. In a strange reflection of the arrival of the five armies at Cathay's borders less than a decade ago, the remaining military might of the East began to converge upon Nippon. From the West, the remnants of the Greenskins fleeing from Fan Hua's armies reinforced their beleaguered forces and found themselves joined by warriors from the Animoted, driven by blood lust and the desire to destroy. Although no formal alliance was signed, both parties sought the destruction of Nippon. If they could overrun Cathay's vulnerable neighbour, then perhaps the Celestial Dragon could finally be stilled. Tsung-Fai, the Nipponese called them, the Raiders.

Meanwhile, the surviving Outcasts following their dream across an Ocean arrived in the South where Emperor Khota offered them a home. The price for this generosity was their support in driving the invaders from Nippon's borders and as the Nipponese army fell back before the Raider's onslaught, the Survivors, as they came to be known, readied themselves once more. They had faced this foe before, and though they had driven it from Cathay the price they paid had been beyond their imagining. Bolstered by veterans of the Cathayan war who recognize the necessity of a stable Nippon, they are, nonetheless, outnumbered.

Finally, as Cathay returned to some semblance of normality the vast armies of the Order of the Dragon Shield and the great Migration drifted home, their duty accomplished. Yet not all who fought within their ranks did so out of a desire to uphold sweeping principles of good and righteousness. Many were driven by greed and as whispers of war rising over the sea began to build, many made the journey to Nippon in search of glory and gold. These Mercenaries are available for hire, to any who can pay their price.

Cathay had been saved. Barely. But it was Nippon where the fate of the East would be settled, once and for all.
 
 
Turn 1
 
When a red sun rises, man does fall.
~Nipponese proverb


The opening moves of the war for the Nipponese Isles were tentative but sound and like the maw of a great whale closing on a school of fish the enemies of the Nipponese people inch ever closer to their homes.

From the North the Merchants’ began to move South and West lead by Tarlen Foeburna and Gibsee Lefttusk who both set sail for the Passage of the Rising Sun. Meanwhile a group of Mercenaries Orcs made landings on one of the Northern Islands of the chain, claiming a foothold and possible base for future operations. Further to the West, Sir Filmore ships encountered a flotilla of pirate Junks. Like a swarm of insects the pirates used their smaller size and speed as they darted through the dangerously shallow waters around the numerous small islands to harass Bretton Warship.

From the South the savage raiders surged forward like a pack of hungry wolves. Numerous sightings of raiders prowling the fringes of the Passage of the Rising Sun with Zugbad da Great claiming a small trading junk in a daring night time boarding action. To the West, raider forces have spotted heading towards the rumored settlements of the children of Alexander while ships under the command Hekatina prowled the western approaches to the island chain.

As for the Survivors of Alexander, they have taken steps to secure a foothold within the island chain and with the arrival of former Ambassador Yamato it has spurred their forces forward in an effort to position troops and ships in order to interdict any potential threat.
 
Turn 2
 
On the strong eastern breeze promises of wealth do sail
~ Nipponese Proverb


With the opening maneuvers of the island war having been made, the factions are each now positioning themselves to launch strikes against their rivals and the innocent Nipponese people.

From the North, the Merchants and Mercenaries pressed forward. Forces under command of Captain Barbette, Drathfin Truecrown and Sir Filmore arrived just before dawn off the shore of the Pirate control town of Fu-Tong. Catching the Pirate defenders by surprise the initial bombardment had a devastating effect on the pirates. As the pirates scrambled to prepare their defense of the inevitable landings Pirate Warlord Xi sent forth an offer of Parley to the Merchant captains. Further to east, forces under command of Tarlen Foeburna and Gibsee Lefttusk were spotted in the vicinity Tryoko and Weikino respectively.

Unfortunately for the Merchants, the Raiders have begun to strengthen their hold on the Passage of the Rising Sun which threatens the flow of trade to the Old World. Possibly more worrying for the Merchants, is the apparent clash that is developing between the Survivors and Raiders over Chi-Hun. During the Night, troops under command of Zugbad Da Great, Jaap van Hofsommer and Kaptain Moreguns landed troops outside the town’s palisade and under the cover of darkness they breached the defenses and pillaged the town. As the raiders celebrated their victory through the night, ships bearing the banners of the Survivors of Alexander moved in position and isolated the port town. Even now, former Ambassador Yamato is organizing his forces for possible landings, to liberate the village and secure the entrance to the Passage. Although prospect of their enemies fighting is appealing to most Merchants the the potential blocking of trade routes and destruction of friendly ports of call could ruinous to the traders.

To the west, the camp of Captain Maximillian Breytenbach was raided by local pirates who were operating in payment of the Survivors of Alexander. Fortunately for the Captain the vast majority of his forces had already abandon their encampment and moved on when the pirates struck. As for the remainder of the Survivors, Mathi Kane and Unbok Stonebeard were spotted near Mt Ajinko while Templar Grok Facechruncha and Vincent Valencia secured a mountainous section of an island near Chi-Hun.
 
Turn 2.5
 

"Few things are tougher to kill then Gisha Flies and Pirates"
~ Quote by Admiral Suki Asuro Former Nipponese Naval Task Force Commander of the Passage of the Rising Sun


After a long and drawn out discussion the Merchants captains united in a decision. They choose to refuse the offer of Warlord Xi and toss his parley man overboard. As he frantically swam back to Fu-Tong the Merchants prepared their landings. The troops rowed ashore just east of Fu-Tong expecting fierce resistance from the cornered pirate but they were surprised to find no enemies awaiting them as they marched in column toward the village. As the troops entered Fu-Tong, they discovered why.

Warlord Xi had used the time of parley to effectively loot much of value from the village and only a handful of wounded and stragglers remained. Those stragglers were immediate questioned and based on their information runners were dispatched to the northern end of the island where they spotted the silhouettes of several small junks slipping over the horizon.
 
Turn 3
 
The Goddess and the Mountain are one and like all women, her temper is fiery.
~A common description of the Goddess Ajinko


After their success in securing Fu-Tong and driving off the Red Sun Pirate the Merchants hoped to continue their momentum while their enemies battled each other. To the East, both Tarlen Foeburna and Gibsee Lefttusk pressed their assaults on Tryoko and Weikino. Unfortunately for the Foeburna just has his forces were preparing to land on Tryoko the guns of the Kaptain Grootka flagship scattered his landing flotilla and forced him to withdrawal. Meanwhile to the North Sir Filmore secured a small island possibly searching for the remains of the Red Sun pirates, while Sir Richard and Captain “One Eyed” Barbette moved to secure the secluded island of the Mystic of Wyso with only modest success.

To the South the war between the bloodthirsty Raiders and the increasingly desperate Survivors waged a blood toll. On the slopes of the Mt Ajinko, just as forces of Mathis Kane and Unbrok Stonebeard were to pay their respects at the temple of the Fire Goddess they accosted by raiders under the banner of Hekatina and Bernhardt Gustmann. Although Kane and Stonebeard were successful in driving off their initial assault it is unclear how long they can reply the pillaging raiders without reinforcements.

The isle of Nijinko was also a scene for fighting between the Survivors and Raiders. While the forces Ulrich von Kahajen and Aneirin Cuthláin secured the key trading village, Captain Maximillian Breytenbach forces looped to the North and in a daring strike secured the gem mines in the nearby mountains. The two forces now await reinforcements before striking at the others holdings.

Meanwhile, Zugbad da Great and Jaap van Hofsommer landed forces at the Survivor’s temporary camp near the center of the island chain. Fortunately for the Survivors the majority of the women and children had already been transported South to a new fortified encampment in the mountains west of Chi-Hun.
 
Turn 4
 
On summer breezes the words of the goddess are carried, and her vengeance is enacted
~Nipponese Proverb


The war for the Nipponese isles has escalated and numerous clashes between factions have ended in bloody stalemates. On the slopes of Mt Ajkino the forces of Bernhardt Gustmann drove off the remnants of the retreating Outcasts but they were unable to claim the shrine as their own. To the North Hekatina Dark Elf raiders launched a lightning raid against fishing village of Wah Song Chi but frustratingly found her forces insufficient to claim the town.

Clashes between the Raiders and the Outcasts were some of the bloodiest that this war has scene to date. To the south, Ambassador Yamato managed to convince bands of local pirates to support the landings to reclaim Chi-Hun. These bloody cutthroats in addition to the Ambassadors ally, the Orc Warlord Templar Grok Facecruncha were enough to drive the raiders from the settlement. The town of Ninjiko as many expected was the site of the fiercest fighting with forces of Jaap van Hofsommer and Captain Maximillian Breytenbach unsuccessfully attempting to breach the defenses under the command of Aneirin Cuthláin and The Viscount, Valenius Von Albern. The raiders were forced to retreat back into the surrounding hillsides and plan their next move.

Meanwhile Tryoko was the scene of continued clashes between Raider and Merchant forces. The forces of Tarlen Da Foeburna made another attempt to land at the village but he faced fierce opposition from the Raiders. Surprisingly, it was not the forces of Kaptain Grootka but those of Gorby that managed to repel the Orc’s determined attempt to take the town. Unfortunately, for the DaFoeburna the disappearance of Kaptain Grootka was quickly solved as the pirate Orc had slipped north and assaulted the supply convoy that was meant to reinforce Da Foeburna’s landings. To the East, Gibsee LeftTusk finally made successful landings and securing the Northern edge of the village of Weikino.

Merchant forces under the command of Sir Richard and Captain Jacques "the One Eyed" Barbette made landings near the fabled Seers Hut. It is unknown what the Seer has to offer to the two merchants but it is said that she holds a great power under her command but along with that power, she holds many enemies.

As the summer storms threaten the Nipponese Isles the tides of war appear to be shifting the question is, who can take advantage?
 
Turn 5
 
Eye of the Storm…

The howling winds and raging seas tested the warriors of the factions who battle for control of the Nipponese Archipelago. The storm also appeared to reveal the plans of those who seek to control these isles. Their movement curtailed by fierce seas and strong winds the Survivors moved to solidify the boarders of their new home. Several of the Survivors top commanders including Vincent Valencia, Naea, Grok Facecrusha and even Unbrok himself set out to secure minor islands and block narrow passages in order to establish a defendable border with the potentially hostile neighbors. Mt. Ajinko was yet again the scene of an effort by the Survivors to Ulrich Von Kahajen along with pirate allies launching another attack, unfortunately they were unable to overcome the stranded raider forces defending the volcano. Meanwhile the town of Nijinko is quickly become a know for death and destruction. Raiders forced under command of Zugbad the Great, Captain Maximillian Breytenbach and Jaap van Hofsommer managed to breach the hastily erected fortification around the town only to be pushed back by the warriors of Mathius Kane and Aneirin Cuthláin.

Fortunately for the Raiders they found success elsewhere. After pushing back the Merchants efforts at Tryoko, Kaptain Moreguns and Kaptain Yo'and da Hook made a highly risky landing under the cover of the storm. Fortunately for the pirate Orc Kaptains the risk paid off and Tryoko is now in Raider hand. To the North, Hekatina yet again found her efforts at taking Wah Song Chi foiled, this time by Sir Filmore and his privateer forces.

As for the Merchants, the forces of Sir Richard appear to have secured a narrow passage just North of what appears to the Survivors northern board. To the east, Gibsee Lefttusk forces moved into Weikino home of Dynamo Hyaru Kanji unopposed while Tarlen Foeburna secured the waters just north of now Raider held Tryoko.

As the eye of the storm settles over the isles and the people emerge from their shelters, rumours are rampant that forces are massing just over the horizon. Flush with wealth from new found allies the Pirate Lord Xi hastily rebuilds his forces. While far in far off Wanshi, rumours persist that the Emperors War Council is preparing to dispatch as powerful Naval force to reestablish order in the far-flung but vital archipelago.
 
Turn 6
 
A Cup of Tea Sir???
 
Rumours of treasure and treachery spread across the Nipponese Archipelago like the storms which so often battle these islands and the tempest first broke as the Outcasts struck near Nijinko. Mathias Kane and Aneirin Cuthláin moved north from trading port leaving Naea and Grok defending the settlement. Marching north, expecting to face heavy raiders and pirate resistance as they defended the valuable gem mines the Outcast generals were surprised to learn that as their troops crested the low rocky hills that overlooked the mines, the sails of raider vessels could be seen on the horizon leaving the island.

It did not take long to discover where the Raiders went. Just north of the Nijinko, Merchant and Raider forces battled tooth and nail for control of a tiny atoll by rumours of buried pirate riches which drove the men to new levels of savagery as neither side was able to secure a position to properly search for the treasure. While to the south Zugbad da Great breached the Outcasts defensive perimeter and although the lightly defend interior sits before him, it is assured that the Outcasts will not let these attacks to go unanswered.

At, Mt Ajinko the Sacred Temple of the Fire Goddess are now in the hands of Master Unbrok and Ulrich Von Kahajen despite the tension between the two commanders the raiders also appeared to have given up their attempts to claim the Temple and retreated again. Meanwhile to the south, Vincent Valencia continues the Outcasts efforts to establish a solid defensive parimeter while Ambassador Yamato forces engaged the forces of the Merchant Captain Sir William despite his insistence of a Rite of Passage.

In the Passage of the Rising Sun has Merchant and Raider forces exchanged control of various sea lanes with neither side able to drive the other back while local Nipponese Mercenaries liberated Tryoko in the name of the Emperor.

But it was in the North where the most surprising events unfolded. Hekatina finally took control of the fishing village of Wah Song Chi while disaster struck one of the commanders of the merchant fleets....

Sir Filmore sat in his captain’s mess pouring over maps of the Wah Song Chi area; attempting to plan some sort of ambush for that Sea Hag Hekatina. Much to his frustration earlier that day the Dark Elf corsairs had managed to escape carefully laid trap with only minimal loses. Knowing that such opportunities do not come often, the Knight-Commander did know whether he should be more furious with himself for not observing the potential escape route before hand or the fact that he now had to attempt to lure the Dark Elves into another ambush.

A knock at the door interrupted the Knight’s train of thought and with a terse “Enter” a faceless steward entered the mess carrying a silver platter that bared an ornate tea set. The steward crossed the room and set the platter down on an end table and without being told he prepared a cup of tea for his commander and after presenting the steaming cup and offering a short respectful bow the steward withdrew from the commander’s chambers.

Taking a sip of the sweetened tea, Sir Filmore took a moment to enjoy the aroma and flavor of the fine Nipponese blend, a blend that he had become quite fond of during his time in the Eastern Realms. For the next quarter of an hour Sir Filmore continued his planning, pausing only to take an occasional sip of the tea and to shift his weight as the pitch of the ship changed over a particularly large swell. Finally, finding his cup drained, Sir Filmore crossed the spacious mess to the end table where the silver platter sat. As his mind continued to maul the problem of the Dark Elf raiders, the knight prepared another cup of tea and only as he set the tea pot back onto the platter did he notice that something was amiss. Sitting next to the porcelain cream cup was a small black origami crane and as Sir Filmore’s mind raced to find meaning in this paper bird, his vision blurred and darkness quickly enveloped him…..

 
 Turn 7
 
Treachery and Greed :P

Tarlen Da Foeburna stood on a small atoll awaiting the arrival of his contact and as the Red Nipponese sun began to set below the horizon a Raider’s Junk appeared in the distances.

As the darkness settled over the Orc a small boat finally rowed ashore. “Itz takin dem long enough” grumbled the Orc to his second before he called out “Oi youz Zugbad”

“Da big boss Zugbad gotz uver places to be, so he sent me, iz second, to dealz wif you. Responded the Orc as he climbed from the raft as two goblins lifted a sizable chest from the vessel. “I’z gotz youz spoils and orderz.”

Looking down at the chest Tarlen eyed it carefully, “Openz it.”

The Pirate Orc turned to the two goblins and nodded and one of them pulled a key out of a pouch and unlocked and opened the chest. Tarlen glanced down at the chest and saw that it was filled with gold coins and jewels.

“Datz da shineyz youz were promised and herez are yourz orderz” stated the pirate Orc and extending a hand with a piece of parchment. “Welcomez to da Raiderz”

“Fankz” responded Tarlen, as he drew a pistol and shot the pirate orc between the eyes as his second cut down the two goblin deckhands.

Drawing a second pistol Tarlen fired it into the air, and immediately his flagship opened fire on the Raider’s junk, quickly set the vessel ablaze.

Closing the lid of the chest and taking the key out of the dead Goblins hand Tarlen turned to his second, “Letz get dez shinyz back to da Mercz....”


Unfortunately for Da Foeburna despite his success at deceiving the Raiders the rest of the Merchants were not as fortunate. To the north Nipponese Mercenaries were paid to launch a raid on the Dark Elf held town of Wah Song Chi with only minimal success. Meanwhile at Tryoko, Al Muktar attempted to punish Da Foeburna for his treachery as their forces clashed just off shore, Al Muktar drove the traitorous Da Foeburna off but was unable to capture the town. The Mercenaries only success came from Gibsee Lefttus claiming another region near Weikino.

Fortunately for the Mercs vast majority of the Raiders were on the hunt for treasure, as no more than 4 captains descended upon a rumoured location of Warlord Xi’s treasure. The combined force of these captains easily repulsed Drathfin Truecrown and Sir Richard efforts to stop them and they secured the small corel isle where the treasure was rumoured to be located. Those Raiders, who didn’t not take part in the treasure hunt proceeded to attack the various Survivors holdings.

After the Survivors success at defending Nijinko and claiming Mt Ajinko they withdrew from the sacred Temple of the Fire Goddess as a sign of respect for the local traditions choosing to leave the treasures which are held within in Nipponese hands. Although this decision has won them some support from the locals, many are still wary of these outsiders’ intentions. To help sway these individuals, the Survivors quickly turned to solidify their control over their portion of the Nipponese Archipelago by seizing a number of key passages and islands that help secure not only their holdings but the Nipponese people who are currently in their territory.

It is from these people that rumours spread like wildfire. Fishermen have reported spotting numerous of pirate vessels barring the banner of the Red Sun converging on the region while word has reach these remote areas that Admiral Kanji has set sail from Wanshi with orders to re-establish Imperial control over the region Archipelago.
 
Turn 8
 
In the darkest times, the true nature of man emerges.
~Cathayan Proverb


Barely had the earth stopped shaking when the forces of the three factions began to move. The Survivors, sensing the plight of not only their own people but their Nipponese neighbors immediate set out to offer aid to their fellow man. Unfortunately, not all men shared their good intentions.

AS Aneirin Cuthláin, Naea and the Orc Warlord Templar Grok Facecruncha attempted to reach the devastated island of Tryoko they found their path blocked by a Raiders force under command of Yo'and da Hook and Bernhardt Gustmann. Although the Survivors attempted to run the blockade, they found themselves repulsed by the Raiders and their pirate allies. Fortunately for Tryoko the Raiders forces were too weakened in the battle with Survivors to make landings on the island.

Meanwhile in Nijinko, as the The Viscount, Valenius Von Albern oversaw rescue and repair operations he found forces under attack by Zugbad da Great and local pirates as they attempted to seize the vital trade port. As the battles spilled into the rubble filled streets, the Viscount forces managed to drive the Pirates and Raiders back but control of the city now hangs be a thread, with the vital harbour under Zugbad’s control.

Fortunately for the Raiders, they found success at Mt Ajinko. As Mathias Kane’s forces were attempting to rescue the trapped monks from their collapsed temple they were assaulted by the combined force of three Raider Captains. Finding himself out manned, out maneuvered and out gunned Kane was forced to order the withdrawal, while vowing to himself that he would have vengeance.

Strangely the Merchants and Mercenaries appeared to not see the profit in aiding the Nipponese people in their time of need. Instead they manoeuvrings their forces into positions where they could potentially strike their enemies in the coming days and weeks with only Tarlen Da Foeburna taking territory from enemy hands.

As the sunset over the ruins of the Archipelago, the masts of the warships of Admiral Kanji and Warlord Xi forces began to appear over the horizon.
 
Turn 9
 
Chaos reigns...

The arrival of Kanji and the return of Warlord Xi did nothing to calm the tense situation in the Archipelago with battles erupting from one end of the island chain to the other.

In the north, the Raider outpost of Wah Song Chi saw determined attack by both the Merchants and vengeful Survivors. Unfortunately for these would be liberators their forces instead of working together to claim the fishing village turned their guns on each other which allowed the battered Raider forces to maintain their hold on the settlement which caused the pious Mathus Kane to break into another fit of rage.

To the south, Fu-Tong saw a determined attack by Captain Maximillian Breytenbach. Although Sir Richard managed to hold off the initial assault from the Raider’s forces, reinforcement led by Warlord Xi himself arrived and forced the Bretton lord to withdraw or face certain destruction.

The Raiders also struck out towards the Seer’s hut and Tryoko with little success as both forces lacked the support to storm the locations. In the case of Tryoko, only the timely arrival of Orge Mercenary Gibsee Lefttusk saved the village from being claimed by the Raiders.

The Survivors continued their efforts to strengthen their holdings by plugging a numerous gaps in their lines as well as heavily reinforcing and fortifying Nijinko against an attack that never came.

The presummed attacker Zugbad da Great instead withdrew from Nijinko and positioned himself to intercept a portion of the Nipponese task force that now approaches on the northern entry to the Passage of the Rising Sun.

Finally to the South, Kaptain Moreguns continued to threaten Outcast holdings near Chi-Hun, while the devious Tarlen da Foeburna chased rumours of buried treasure in nearby shallows.
 
Turn 10
 
The Goddess waits for those who walk the path of honour and glory

Again another round of bloody combat, gripped the Nipponese Archipelago which has now quickly evolved into a two front war. The northern theatre has quickly been dubbed by both locals and foreigners as the Triangle of Death stretches from Wah-Song Chi to Nijiniko to Mt Akinko. With the second theatre, centering on the Passage of the Rising Sun.

In the north, Warlord Xi forces found themselves on the receiving end of a fierce counter attack by the Mercenary captains Sir Filmore, Sir Richard and Drathfin Truecrown. Unfortunately for the Merchants the pirate lord was not willing to surrender his stronghold this time and for the time begin he has kept the Merchants and Mercenaries at bay. Just south and east of Fu Tong, Xi forces managed to make minor gains while Japp van Hofsommer attacked the now deserted Seer’s hut with only minor success. Meanwhile the Viscount, Valenius Von Albern found him engaged in a running conflict with Captain Maximillian Breytenbach as their ships played games of cat and mouse around numerous coral islands while the Dark Elf Corsairs of Hekatina managed to claim the nearby sea lanes just east of the now fortified Mt Ajinko. Unfortunately for the raiders, these fortifications were not enough to hold back the Survivors as Parodius Valt, Templar Grok Facecruncha, and a vengeful Mathus Kane all assaulted the volcanic island and reclaimed in the Survivor's name.

To the south, Admiral Kanji’s forces made their first tentative moves into the Passage of the Rising Sun and after initially scattering some minor raider forces, Kanji’s forces were hard pressed to drive back Yo'and Da Hook near Tryoko. Meanwhile Unbrok Stonebreard and Aneirin Cuthláin both claimed the sea lanes to the east and west of Kanji’s forces although their future intentions are not entirely clear. As for Tryoko itself, it also saw another round of bloody fighting as the Raider Bernhardt Gustmann force’s managed to hold off a concerted effort by Tarlen da Foeburna and Gibsee Lefttusk to claim the now ruined village. While further south in the Passage, both Zugbad da Great and Kaptain Moreguns claimed additional sea lanes.

------------------------------------

Hyaru Kanji sat in a tent outside the earthquake ravaged ruins of Weikino. As a strong sea breeze rustled the canvas sides of the tent the lantern that hung above his head swayed gently as he gazed down at the creased plans of the newly constructed fortification that the Merchants had erected.

As a strong seaward gust caused the light to flicker and the sides of the tent to sway. A sharp twang pierced the night air as one of the ties holding one of the tent flaps gave way causing the Dynamo to look up towards the new opening in his tent. Hyaru’s brow furrowed and slowly walking towards the opening favouring his injured left leg, and he peered out into the cool night air as another gust of the cool sea breeze washed over him.

After pausing to look into the heaven starry heavens above on a rare moonless night the dyanmo bent down to tie the loose flap and as he did so Hyaru could hear a second flap had come loose. As he gingerly stood and turned toward the Dynamo saw that was suddenly confronted by a figure clad in black in his tent.

Without a word the figure lunged forward and plunged a dagger into the lord’s chest, his hand stifling the attempted scream. The assassin carefully lowered Kanji to the ground as blood began to spurt from his mouth, Hyaru vision slowly faded to darkness but as it did, he saw his assassin carefully balance a black origami crane on the nearby table before he slipped out of the opening in the tent and into the moonless night.
 
Turn 11
 
Betrayal...
 
As the war in the Nipponese Archipelago reaches a fever pitch the ability to tell friend from foe becomes more difficult as forces battle over the islands, reefs and passages at an ever increasing cost. The Raiders struck forth with troops of Yo'and da Hook and Kaptain Moreguns breaching the fortification of Chi-Hun and even entering the town before being driven back by Survivor defenders. In Tryoko, Bernhardt Gustmann made another attempt to secure the village but again found himself frustrated by a lack of support which resulted in his second consecutive withdrawal. Currently the settlements at both ends of the Passage hang in the balance. Meanwhile to the North, several raiders were spotted pillaging minor sea lanes and islands and despite their relative success, it is unclear whether the bloodthirsty raiders did this for their own greed or as a part of a greater plan.

The Merchant struck the first successful blow against Warlord Xi forces as Tarlen da Foeburna and Gibsee Lefttusk both struck the Pirate Lord’s forces south of the Passage of the Rising Sun. Unfortunately for them the bulk of Xi’s southern forces bypassed them and moved into the coral islands east of passage. Meanwhile Sir Filmore of Villamore continued to isolate Wah Song Chi in the hope of driving the Raiders out of the village; unfortunately someone else was one step ahead of him.

Lead elements of the Survivors under command of Parodius Abel and Templar Grok Facecruncha bypassed the Merchant blockade and assaulted Wah Song Chi, quickly breaking the Raider meager defenses and seized the town. To the South, both Vincent Valencia and Aneirin Cuthláin seized additional sea lanes in the name of the Survivors while Valenius Von Albern’s forces fortified the earthquake scared ruins of Mt. Ajinko. But despite their successes not all was well within the Survivor ranks.

Mathis Kane stood on the bridge of the Stormwolf watching the burning hulk of the Burning Dragon slowly sink beneath the waves as a blood red sun slowly slid below the horizon. After taking a few moments to enjoy the sight and allow his crew to celebrate their victory, Kane began to call out orders to secure the ship from action stations and to set a watch as he turned to other matters. Slowly walking towards his quarters, Kane pulled a letter from a pocket within his chest plate.

The letter boar the seal of the Merchant’s council, and taking a moment to re-read the note as he walked, it stated that they had agreed to his terms of joining into the Merchant’s council along with his first payment being authorized.

Kane shook his head. “Just like that” he thought, “he had left his brothers in arms to their own devises.”

Reaching his cabin door, the two Marine guards snapped to attention and saluted which Kane returned with a gruff nod as he opened the hatch into the spacious cabin. Kane crossed the room and tossed the letter onto a cluttered map table as he began to loosen the straps on his full plate armour. As he removed his bracers, a strange reflection in the polished steel caught his eye and spinning around he saw a rat creature lunging towards him, a vile green blade poised to strike.

With a cry, Kane did what his instincts told him was best, strike. As he gasped for the rat creatures, forearm to prevent the blade from striking him, his fist collided with its snout, causing to stumble back just as the two marines came crashing through the door. The assassin immediate turned to the Marines and before Kane could bare register what was happening a throwing star was embedded in one of their necks, causing blood to spurt across the room as he fell to the floor.

As Kane drew a sword from a nearby scabbard the second Marine had move forward, the assassin’s green blade still ominously glowing and with lightning speed the assassin cut down the second guard, the blade slicing his armour like a knife through butter.

Turning back towards Kane, the assassin grinned a sinister grin baring his pointed teeth, “Give up man-thing itz will be soo much easier”

“Never!” cried Kane as he lunged towards to Rat creature, their blade clanging as sparks leapt from the assassin’s weapon....

As the sounds of fighting echoed through the Stormwolf, a group of soldiers came running to their commander’s aid. As the five burly sailors dog piled onto the rat creature his blade was knocked from his grip and after of few frantic moments where the assassin tried to bite and claw his way to freedom he was held aloft by the sailors, one man holding each limb the rats tail hanging limp between his legs.

Catching his breath, Kane picked up the rat’s discarded blade and turned towards his would be assassin. Mathis could see fear in the Rat creature eyes and he approached and holding the blade inches from the assassin’s face he asked “Who sent you?”

It took the cowardly rat-creature less than a second to respond with a fearful cry of “Parodius Abel” and as he did so the Skaven tail drew a second hidden blade from the folds of his cloak and plunged it into a gap in Kane’s armour.

As Kane stumbled backwards onto the map table, one of his soldiers drew a pistol and shot the struggling assassin in the back of the head. As sailors called for a medic, shock quickly overwhelmed Kane and as darkness closed on him, his mind was focused on one thing.... VENGENCE
 
Turn 12
 
An assassin’s blade knows no friend or enemy.

The bombardment began at first light, just as it had once before. Merchant and Mercenary forces had used the cover of night to close on Fu-Tong and as the pirates awoke the found themselves cut off. After several hours of sustained cannon fire, the pirates attempted to send out a parley with the merchants. Unfortunately for them, the ploy would not work a second time, as the small craft was immediately fired on and sunk. By noon, the troops of Sir Richard and Sir Filmore had come ashore and were fighting to take the stronghold but it was the arrival of the newest mercenary, Sanguine at the head of a large ramshackle gnoblar flotilla were what finally allowed the Merchants and Mercenary’s to break the pirates forces and seize the stronghold.

To the south of Fu-Tong, new first General Templar Grok Facecrusha seized the northern end of Mt Ajinko while The Viscount, Valenius Von Albern battled Hekatina for control of the mountain itself. To the east, Vincent Valencia was spotted sailing in the open ocean his destination unknown while Captain Jacques "the One Eyed" Barbette attempted to navigate the treacherous Su-Song reef.

Meanwhile in Chi-Hun, Father McGuire and Aneirin Cuthláin both oversaw the fortifications of the town for an expected Raiders attack that never materialized. The attack never materialized because the Raiders meanwhile finally seized Tryoko with Zugbad da Great and Yo'and da Hook leading the assault while Kaptain Moreguns secured the Northern approaches to the town from the Survivors.

In Weikino, a newly recovered Mathus Kane sailed south, securing the final passage to the town in the name of the Merchants and Mercenaries, while Tarlen da Foeburna and Gibsee Lefttusk both attacked Warlord Xi’s positions in the shallows between the Tryoko and Weikino.

Just North of the Passage of the Rising Sun, Admiral Kanji forces fought a number of running engagements with Warlord Xi and his Raider allies with all sides trading territory.

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Parodius Abel returned to his cabin, exhaustion showing on the wizard’s face, he had just stepped aside as First General of the Survivors. Entering the modest cabin, Parodius crossed the room and with a groan he sank into his favourite arm chair and allowed his eyes to close.

“You almost accomplished what I needed,” said a voice in fluent Reikspiek.

Abel’s eyes snapped open and Parodius looked upon a masked figure stepping out of the shadows near the open window, a delicate Nipponese Hand Crossbow pointed at his chest. Parodius could only make out a pair of cold black eyes staring down at him.

“Who are you, what are you talking about,” asked Parodius, his eyes now darting around the room for a weapon or method of escape.

“You nearly did it, you were so close.” Responded the figure to no one in particular, “But you failed, and unfortunately for you. That means you must be dealt with.”

“Failed at what? What are you talking about?” responded the wizard, panic beginning to creep into his voice.

“It was all falling apart, and in the collapse he would have been forced to show himself. But your foolish actions united the faction. He regained his protection...”

“I...”

The twang of the crossbow firing and the thud of its impact on the wizard’s chest seemed to echo into the night as the gurgling cries of Parodius rang out.

Turning towards the window, the assassin lowered his mask, revealing his face, and as Jijing Shashou took a moment to survey the chamber, he gently balanced a black origami crane on the window sill before slipping into the night.
 
Turn 13
 
It is not the wealth or power of a nation that ensures victory, but the fighting spirit of their people.

As the final season of fighting began tension across the archipelago had risen to a near fever pitch. In North, the Merchants and Mercenaries scored a series of victories against various positions held by the Raiders and Warlord Xi. As Skeat oversaw the fortification of Fu-Tong, Sir Richard, Drathfin Truecrown and Sir Filmore of Villamore all managed to claim territory. Meanwhile, Captain Jacques "the One Eyed" Barbette seemed to launch a probing attack into fortified positions of The Viscount, Valenius Von Albern at Mt. Ajinko. To the East of Ajinko, Templar Grok Facecruncha drove back a token raider force, while to the south Vincent Valencia secured another gap in the Survivor’s territory.

To the south, the situation remained chaotic. As Father McGuire and Aneirin Cuthláin both attempted to remove the Raider forces that threatened Chi-Hun from the east but they were unable to close the gap in their lines before Yo'and da Hook and Kaptain Moregunz assaulted and captured Chi-Hun.

Despite the heavy fighting in both the North and South, it was the Passage of the Rising Sun, which was most heavily contested. Tarlen da Foeburna, Gibsee Lefttusk and Mathius Kane forces all converged on Tryoko and along with a paid detachment of Nipponese naval forces they seized the town and while the defenders retreated. Meanwhile those under the command of Bernhardt Gustmann drove back a small merchant convoy. But it was just to the north of Tryoko where the battle for the fate of Nipponese Archipelago was waged.

The Battle of the Red Sun

Admiral Kanji stood on the forecastle of the Golden Lion. Peering into his spyglass in the distance he spotted his quarry, and with a terse order to a nearby steward, signal flags were raised and all five ships in his flotilla raised their battle color and closed on the enemy…

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“Ships on the Starboard side,” cried the look out.

At these words Warlord Xi rushed up to the bridge of his flagship the Red Sun, and grabbing the spyglass from the quartermaster he looked towards the silhouettes on the horizon. Xi immediately recognized the ships for what they were, Imperial Navy. Centering his gaze on the large War junk at the center of the formation Xi spotted the large golden lion figurehead that identified Admiral Kanji’s flagship.

A small smile crossed Xi’s lips. Although Xi’s warjunks were larger than his own vessels, he had nine Dhows in his flotilla, and his smaller and more agile dhows could easily out maneuver the lumbering Warjunks plus he had a surprise in store for the good admiral. So the question became, does he fight or flee?

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“Enemy ships, turning towards us Sir,” called a look out.

Kanji momentarily lowered his spyglass in surprise by this action. His Warjunks easily out gunned the smaller Dhows, and despite their maneuverability and speed they would be no match for his ships. For some reason Kanji suddenly felt uneasy.

“Battle stations”, called the Admiral, as warning bells rang into the air.

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As the two forces closed on each other, both sides attempted to secure favorable positions. With the wind at Kanji’s forces back, he quickly closed on the numerically superior forces of Warlord Xi in order to bring his longer ranged cannons to bear. The Warlord for his part used his numerical superiority to attempt to envelop the Admiral’s forces by sending a pair of ships down the flanks of the admiral’s force, while a single Dhow matched up against a larger Warjunk. Kanji for his part was overjoyed by this turn of events, as the Pirate Warlord appeared to be attempting a suicidal maneuver that would ensure his victory. Unfortunately for the good admiral, not everything was as it appeared. As the opening salvos from his forward cannons thundered, he was unsettled to find no response from pirate vessels.

As Kanji peered towards the nearest vessel to inspect for damage from the first volley, he could clearly see the portholes shuttered and covering what should be the forward cannons of the pirate vessels. As the second salvo from his cannon’s thundered the first hits of the battle struck home as the Emperor’s Pride scored a pair of hits on its opponent. It was only as the Kanji’s vessels neared point blank range and prepared to turn to port to fire a broadside did the cannon ports finally open...

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“Let them burn” cried Xi.

Immediately the Red Sun belched two spouts of oil from the forward cannon ports. This action was followed down the line and within moments all five Dhows were pumping oil into the sea and with a rush like a dragon’s roar the gushing oil was set a blaze...

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“Turn now” screamed Kanji as the first gush of oil landed just short of the golden lion figurehead on his bow. As the Golden Lion heeled to port, Kanji watched in horror as two of his ships were enveloped in flames as the oil was ignited and both ships forecastles were consumed by fire.

Quickly recomposing himself, Kanji knew it was now his turn. With his ship turning its broadside to the approaching Dhow the order to fire was given with devastating effect. The broadside ripped through the Dhow’s fragile forecastle and ruptured one of the oil tanks, and as if the fire goddess herself smiled on Kanji, a single spark ignited the oil tank, causing the vessel to explode like a firework.

Both the Emperor’s Pride and Jade Dragon also managed to avoid the flaming torrents and to fire broadsides into their opponents with devastating but not as spectacular effect. While both the Hansu and Ajinko were being consumed by flame as the crews desperately tried to fight the fires.

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“Three Dhows for two Warjunks... certainly a fair trade” though Xi.

Looking out to the Port he could see the jaws of his trap closing as his flanking vessels were now upwind of the Admiral’s forces.

As the Red Sun fired a volley into the side of the burning Hansu a lookout cried out “Warlord, ships approaching from the south-west.

Looking into the direction, a smile crossed Xi’s lips. An uninvited but welcomed guest had just arrived.

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“Admiral,” called the quartermaster, “Three hulks flying the Raider’s colors are now approaching from the South.”

Kanji immediately turned and looked in the direction and peering through his spyglass he spotted the ramshackle vessels, all of which showed signs of battle damage.

“They must be forces fleeing Tryoko, we received a message that the Merchant have taken the port” commented the quartermaster.

“How fortunate for them,” responded the Admiral.

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Over the following minutes the battle degenerate into the equivalent of a close combat at sea with ships narrowly avoiding collisions and broadsides being fired at a range which men could nearly step from one vessel to the other. During this time, Captain Hykaro commander of the Ajinko rammed the burning hulk of his vessel into the Dhow Bloody Eye, crippling the vessel while the Golden Lion herself sank the Dhow Greedy Soul. Unfortunately the Jade Dragon was caught by the flaming oil from Xi’s Red Sun and was now ablaze from stem to stern. The battle was barely a half hour old and a third of Xi’s forces had been sunk with others damaged while only two of Kanji’s five warjunks remained in the fight.

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Warlord Xi turned the Red Sun away from the fray as the jaws of his trap closed in on. Although he was glad for the arrival of the Raider hulks upon closer inspection the vessels were hardly combat ready, it appeared that they had run the gauntlet fleeing Tryoko and as they closed on the battle one of the hulks masts collapsed causing the rigging to crash down on the bridge, killing the bridge crew. The uncontrolled hulk then veered to port like a wounded beast before stalling directly in the path of one of the other vessels. With a thunderous crash the vessels collided causing the ramshackle vessels to disintegrate and sending their crews spilling into the sea.

“Amateurs” commented Xi as he turned his attention back to Kanji’s remaining vessels.

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Admiral Kanji now stood at the center of a maelstrom. The four Pirate Dhows circled his two remaining Warjunks like a pack of wolves. Each time they passed they attempted to maneuver their forward facing flame cannons into position to fire while avoiding the deadly broadsides from the larger vessels.

Knowing that unless drastic steps were taken his ships were doomed to a slow torturous death at the hands of the smaller vessels, Kanji took actions. Turning his vessel towards the Red Sun, which currently sailed just beyond cannon range outside the ring of circling Dhows, Kanji had made his decision. Unfortunately for the Admiral a pirate Dhow blocking his path but with unflinching nerve he rammed his vessel into the dhow sheering off a portion of the pirate’s vessels stern while tearing off a portion of his bow superstructure.

Meanwhile behind Kanji the opening he created allowed the Emperor's Pride to turn and fire a broadside into one of the circling wolves, punching several holes in its hull and snapping portions of its rigging leaving it dead in the water.

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Xi watched as the Golden Lion turned towards him, smashing aside the Crimson Tide and bored down on the Red Sun.

“Should we turn away?” called the helmsman.

A small smile crossed Xi’s face. “No bring the flame cannons to bear, and prepare to fire. This ends here.”

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Seeing the Red Sun turn toward him Kanji gave the order to evacuate the forecastle of the ship and to prepare to board. Just as the last crewman left their forward post a wall of fire erupted over the bow of the Golden Lion. The wooden forecastle instantly caught fire and as the flames spread to the rigging the entire front portion of the Golden Lion was engulfed in flames. Unfortunately for the Red Sun, the Golden Lion was too large to avoid and with last turn of the ship’ s wheel the two vessels scraped alongside one another, grappling hooks were thrown and Imperial Marines lead by Admiral Kanji himself leapt onto the pirate vessel.

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Xi stood on the bridge of the Red Sun watching as the Imperial Marines poured onto his vessel. He had confidence in his crews fighting abilities and he only need to kill one man in order to ensure victory. That man wasn’t hard to find, Kanji was fighting right to him, his katana cutting down pirate after pirate as he made his way towards the bridge. It appeared that the Admiral had the same thing in mind.

As the Admiral reached the bottom of the stairs that ascended to the bridge Xi stepped back from the railing in order to give the Admiral an open and unfettered path to the command deck.

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Kanji looked up to the bridge where Warlord Xi stood smiling. Tightening his grip on his Katana, Kanji climbed the stairs the sounds of the battle behind him were drowned out by his tightening focus on Xi. As he stepped up the final step the Warlord drew his own blade and with a slight bow of the head, the duel began.

The two combatants battled back and forth along the command deck, Kanji’s powerful two-handed Katana blows being barely deflected by Xi’s faster short sword. As the dueled the fires that had engulfed of sails and rigging of the Golden Lion spread through the tangled masts to the Red Sun. Oblivious to the inferno that was engulfing the ship around them the two combatants continued to dual back and forth, neither able to gain the upper hand.

Finally, the ignition of the oil wells in the forecastle of the Red Sun brought the two combatants to a standstill. As they looked down on the ship the deck was a washed in flame with both pirates and marines burning as they fought to dive overboard. Realizing time was short Xi, drew a dagger from his sleeve and attacked Kanji. The Admiral, taken aback by the second blade was hard pressed press to parry the blows with what now appeared to be an unwieldy blade.

As they fought the fire continued to spread until it finally reached the forward powder magazine. The explosion was enough to send both men tumbling to the deck their weapons sent flying through the air. Both men immediately scrambled to retrieve a blade, Kanji grabbed the knife that Pirate Lord had wielded with deadly efficiency and plunged it into his back as Xi reached for his short sword.

As the fires continued to burn Kanji tried to regain some semblance of perspective on the battle around him. Over the roar of flames the admiral could hear the roar of cannon fire and peering through the smoke and flame, the sleek outlines of Merchant galleons pouring firing into the crippled hulk as the Emperor's Pride chased the scattering Dhows. The day had been won.

Aftermath

Following the battle Admiral Kanji was pulled from the water by the Merchant forces that quickly transferred the flag officer to his last remaining ship, the Emperor's Pride. As the sun set in a blood red sky the Merchant task force escorted the Admiral’s damaged Warjunk by to Tryoko for repairs.

Over the coming days and weeks as the word of Xi’s defeat and death at the hands of Kanji spread, the loose coalition of warlords and pirates began to fracture. Rival warlords attacked on another as each attempted to via for Warlord Xi’s former position. With the threat from Xi removed the Admiral Kanji turned its attention to other matters. To his Merchant and Mercenary allies the Admiral awarded them shipping rights through the Passage of the Rising Sun, as well as allowing the Merchant’s to construct a fortified trading post in Tryoko, to be a permanent safe haven for merchants and traders from the West. Meanwhile, Mercenary portion of the faction was offered employment to provide security in the Passage of the Rising Sun and to deal with the ruminants of the Pirate and Raiders force. These Mercenaries would be based both from the Merchant Stronghold in Tryoko and from Merchant controlled Fu-Tong. This agreement allowed the majority of the Imperial forces to withdraw back to the home islands where they can be employed more effectively.

The news of their ally defeat hit the Raiders hard. Having been taking advantage of the Nipponese navy distractions the Raiders suddenly found themselves in the direct sights of the Imperial forces and their Merchant allies. Over the coming days and weeks the raiders found themselves being pushed back from the principle trade routes. Meanwhile Chi-Hun found itself blockaded by Survivor forces and after it became apparent that they would not be able to hold out the Raider set the village ablaze and in the chaos of trying to save the trapped civilian the Survivors were unable to prevent the Raiders from slipping away under the cover of darkness. Following this escape the vast majority of the Raider disappeared into the countless islands and atolls where they remained an ever-present nuance.

This left the quandary of the Survivor’s for Kanji to deal with. After exchanging numerous correspondents with the former Ambassador Yamato the Admiral and Ambassador agreed to meet in Nijinko to negotiate in person. After four days of negotiations between the Ambassador and the Admiral a deal was reached which Yamato then presented to the representative of the Survivors and after another day of debate, agreement was reached....

Admiral Yamato returned to his chambers in the small Inn in Nijinko after the final vote of the Survivors council he had presented the draft treaty to the Admiral who after carefully reading it for nearly three-quarters of an hours, accepted. Setting the final treaty copy down on the table he began to read the articles of the Treaty of Nijinko.

1- Those Survivors wishing not wishing to abide by the articles of this treaty will be given supplies and a ship. They will then be escort from Nipponese Territory and will not be allowed to return.
2- The Survivors will be given stewardship over Mt Ajinko and are responsible for the safety and security of Nipponese citizens who undertake the pilgrimage to the sacred locations.
3- The Town of Chi-Hun is seeded to Survivor control, all Nipponese citizens who choose to relocate must be allowed to do so with all of the valuables and possessions without harassment.
4- The town of Nijinko is placed under the stewardship of the Survivor but the Gem mines of Nijinko remain under the ownership of the individual Nipponese mine owners.
5- The village of Wah-Song Chi is seeded from Survivor Control to Nipponese Imperial Control.
6- The territory between the Nijinko, Chi-Hun and Mt Ajinko is seeded to the Survivors and recognized under Imperial authority as a separate Dynamo from the Nipponese Empire.
7- The Survivors are required to send an ambassador and establish and a residence in the Imperial Court of Niejokyo.

Turning the page, Yamato looked up from the papers and attempted to rub the tiredness from his eyes. After allowing his eyelids to close and rest for a moment and taking a deep breath, the ambassador opened his eyes again, It was then he noticed for the first time, a black origami crane sitting on the corner of the desk across from him....
 
 

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