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> Every land needs her defender, The Rise of the Warlord
Will
post Nov 26 2018, 10:26 PM
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The rise of those who seek to claim it to power in the far off lands of Amlas is rarely smooth. The paths that must be trod are well pathed in traps and snares for the unwary, and a fine line must be trod between honour, respect and strength.

Much talk had come about in the days previous to the gradual rise of one seeking such position. Warlord of the Shadowlands, Neko Panama seeking to step further up that ladder, avoiding the Snakes on the rungs to become Warlord of the Jade Empire.

Of course, such a rise to prominence could not go unnoticed. And you can never keep everyone happy.

In one of the more salubrious drinking establishments of Amlas, the news was met with broadly positive tones in conversation. She had proven herself before, she would prove herself again. However one voice, one loud voice, spoke against. Heora Kagana of the Mantis clan, arguing furiously with any who would hear. The Shadowlands needed her full attention. She could, and should not split her attentions. This was power for power's sake, a name for name's sake.

Her arguments fell largely on disinterested ears...


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Will
post Nov 29 2018, 08:53 AM
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The Kagana estates in the Mantis lands fell into a level of calm shock.

The information that was forthcoming was limited, but word gathered that Lord Heora Kagana had committed herself to the blade in the act of Sepuku.

Questions were kept to a minimum as a show of respect for someone who had otherwise been well regarded, though a level of alarm was apparent when it was disclosed that Lord Kagana had expressed that they had dishonoured themselves prior to the act.

Further detail was extremely limited.


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Will
post Dec 2 2018, 01:36 PM
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The week had been a whirlwind of rumour and drama, uncertainty about the future of the defense of Amlas. Full of suspense and agony, questions asked but unanswered.

In some ways the ending was an anticlimax. Almost predictable, like... was it ever a doubt what the outcome would be?

But the rumour mill spiraled to the point where rumours become more than that. A certainty.

Lord Neko Panama, Warlord of the Shadowlands, Warlord of Amlas. May the burden she shoulders be bearable and her duty fulfilled always.


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Will
post Dec 3 2018, 03:39 PM
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The Wall of Blood was quiet. No one had travelled across the Shadowed Bridge for over a month. Lord Neko had left, summoned by the Emperor to assume her new position as Warlord of the Jade Empire.

My-Sung stood on The Wall. He had been on The Wall for more of his life than off it. Originally from the Boar clan he no longer viewed himself as such, he was a servant of the Wall. 21 years, and while he bore the scars, both mental and physical, he remained strong.

Some even suggested he would be the next Warlord of the Shadowlands. Not a politician, or even one that sought power, he knew the ways of the Oni and how they attacked. So he stood and he watched, waiting for what may come.

And it was rain. A thick grey mist had been building over the weekend, and now it began to rain. Far away in the capital, Jia Muryo, Lord Neko arrived at the Imperial Palace to assume her new duties. Entering the palace she was shown through to the Emperors private chambers. As she arrived she saw a westerner, in a plain black garb and purple tabard. A gold rose upon it, and a silver skull on his left shoulder. He carried a sword of bone at his side, rare for an outsider to be allowed to carry a weapon in the Emperors presence. With him was a women in a plain Jade dress. Both bowed respectfully, the man pausing to congratulate Neko on her ascension.


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Will
post Dec 4 2018, 11:41 AM
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The mist had been growing thicker, even with the constant drizzle. It was a strange weather. Indeed it seemed it stretched south, through the Kabe province and down to the lands of the Thun. It was not cold, just strange. As the mist made it difficult to see the Shadow Bridge My-Sung had sent a group down to set fires closer to the structure.

They moved, approaching the ruins of the shrine to the fates that sat around the bridge. The dark portal swirling, the shadows ebbing and flowing. Perhaps a hundred yards from it four great bonfires were built, each standing close to 12ft tall. The group began to withdraw as the fires were lit.

While the Wall may not be able to see what came through they would at least see something.

While this happened in the Ukhel province the body of Heora Kagana was laid upon the pyre. Tsu Ku Kamakiri, Daimyo of the Mantis took the brand and lit the dry kindling.

“My Lord, why do we not lay her to rest?” the Death Knight that stood beside him said.

“Because her soul must pass to the afterlife to purge the sin form it”

“Then perhaps My Lord Acabus could return her to use after this has happened?”

“No, it will be the will of the Fates and the heavens that guide her”

“But my Lord...”

“No buts, I have spoken. I must leave for the Capital to be at the ceremony”

“You would grace her with your presence?”

“No I will grace the Emperor with my presence”

That evening in Jia Muryo the throne room stood in silence. The Imperial court lined the walls, the Daimyos of the Great Clans, and the lesser that had managed to arrive in time were present.

To the side the man in the black robes and purple tabard stood slightly behind the western woman in the green dress.

The drum began to beat as Neko Panama walked through the Imperial palace. Entering the throne room she knelt, handing her sword to the Emperor and the ceremony to confirm her as Warlord before the Fates, the Heavens, and to all of Amlas began.

My-Sung Looked into the darkness. The Wall was his to command officially, even though most of those that would stand above him listened to him. They however had been called to the Capital. The rain still fell, and the mist lingered. The fire burnt bright in the darkness and the portal remained still.

In the capital it was late in the evening as the gongs sounded. The ritual was complete, Neko Panama was affirmed Warlord of the Jade Empire.

<All PC Daimyos and anyone "important" can choose to have been present if they wanted to, or not as they please>


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Will
post Dec 5 2018, 01:21 PM
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The capital was quiet. The celebrations had gone into the night, and now they were preparing to celebrate the day of the Dragons on the 10th. The Emperor was seen walking through the palace talking to a scribe. He was accompanied by the westerner in black and purple, and the western woman, this time in a simple purple garb.

As the scribe was dismissed the trio headed towards the imperial gardens, where the man in black and purple left, returning to his chambers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The rain refused to stop on the wall, and the mist grew thicker. Veng-Su, Samurai of the Snake clan, had returned. He was seen speaking to My-Sung about the mist; both agreed that it could not be natural. The entire Kabe province had been suffering from it for days, but it had slowly begun to clear. Still it remained around the Wall.

Riders were summoned and sent out to the nearby settlements to warn of impending danger. Messengers were also sent to each of the provinces and the capital.

Caution was needed; if this was preparation for an attack then the Empire should be ready.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Crane Island a messenger of the Imperial Court arrived to speak with the Lady Dansu.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As evening set in the rain at the wall intensified. The fires around the Portal began to splutter and fail. Veng-Su turned to My-Sung.

“I will take a group and relight the fires. With this mist the portal could send an army through and we would not see until they were at the base of the wall."

“Lord I should go, you are in charge until others arrive or a new Warlord is chosen”

“My-Sung, I may be in charge, but it is you the Wall cannot lose until a new Warlord is chosen. You know every rock as if it were your own body. I will be quick though”

Veng and his group of twenty climbed down the ropes, the cart with wood already waiting for them. Half began pushing the cart, while the others watched for danger. As they closed on the portal thay saw that everything remained calm, but the fires were not wet enough to have gone out, and there was still plenty of wood.

“Ready yourself” said Veng. “You two light the fires, everyone else be on guard”.

“I think you are too late Veng” A vague figure emerging from the mists.

“Who are you?” responded the Lord.

“I am No-Zuko and you I am afraid will be the first to die here”.

Three figures moved in the shadows as No-Zuko stepped forward. His skin a dark shadow, and his eyes amber.

“But how did you arrive, the portal has not opened?” questioned Veng.

“The portal? Look around you, are you too blind to see our new path?" He paused. "I fear that you are. It matters little now. The portal will open and it will be too late”

“Run warn the Wall!” exclaimed Veng. Five of the group set off at a full sprint.

“Stop them” No-Zuko uttered, devoid of emotion or concern, an expectation that his will be done. A score of creatures appeared from the mist and began to chase down the warning group. Veng stepped forward to attack, but his blade simply passed through No-Zuko.

No-Zuko drew his blade, calm and serene.

“I told you that you would be first”. With a wave of his hand Veng collapsed, spasming on the floor. His accompanying group rushed to his aid but No-Zuko ignored them and with a single precise blow drove his blade into Vengs heart.

The group of four Oni quickly descended on the remaining men. In the distance the screams of those that had been trying to reach the wall could be heard.

On the wall My-Sung said a prayer for Veng and turned.

“Raise the alarm, the attack is coming”.


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Will
post Dec 6 2018, 09:27 AM
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The rain and mist continued to fall. The attack began shortly before sunrise. Close to a thousand Oni had poured through the portal in the first hour, and more still came. The wall was
prepared and ready, standing strong.

After the initial attack the forces seemed to pause. Even in the afternoon sun it was difficult to tell how many stood ready. The occasional nervous warrior would test his bow length, but they remained outside its reached.

My-Sung looked and pondered. They waited... but why? If attack was their aim the mist gave as much, if not more, advantage that the night itself. Or was their lord preparing to arrive?

Or worse.

Then... the army began to part as a single figure walked towards the wall.

“Hold your fire!”. My-Sung ordered.

The figure stopped just inside bow range and bellowed;

“I am Khiru-Lu, Last Daimyo of the Bison clan. I stand once more upon these lands and I offer this warning. Join us, or make peace with this world. Your time is not long in it”

That evening the mist grew stronger.

And then the true attack came…


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Will
post Dec 7 2018, 09:21 AM
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As Dawn broke the mist cleared. The space between the wall and the portal was covered in the dead. On the wall itself the bodies of Oni outnumbered those of the Amlesian's three to one.

Ji-Tu began to walk the wall. He had been separated from My-Sung sometime after mid-night. Part of the southern wall was suddenly consumed in a thick mist so My-Sung took a group to investigate or if needed help.

Reaching it Ji found over a score of Oni bodies and marks in the wall indicating that they had been trying to descend on the other side.

As he moved on he found the body of My-Sung slumped on a wall, the wounds upon him enough to have killed any normal man tens times over, but he must still have fought on for three more Oni lay at his feet. On the wall next to him was a message in what must have been his own blood;

"The Black Shrine"

Ji turned. “Send word to the Shrine of the black Dragon”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the forces arrived at the Shrine they found it surrounded. A force of Oni stood in dark robes with gold trim. They did not seem to be the normal Oni that assaulted the world...

Whilst drawing back the group sent word. This would need more help than they had, and a group skilled at fighting through corridors rather than on a field.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The messenger from the Wall arrived in the Capital and was shown through to the Emperor.

Word was quickly sent; The Warlord should travel south and ensure the Shrine to the Black Dragon was secured, and the Oni dealt with.


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