OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: To work on the Lore of Atrisia and some things that have been getting worked on in mention for RP's
- Image Credit: Image Created by Shoma Ike
- Event Name: The Unification Wars
- Results: Kitel Phard/Atrisia was unified into an Empire under the Jade Empress who died shortly after the final battle passing it to her son the First Pearl Emperor.
21. DON'T CRY, DON'T BEND:
Things had changed where before the Jade Empress had welcomed others to accept change with the deaths of her friends, changes and growing threats... she wasn't playing around anymore and entering the waning years of the Unification wars the battles intensified. THreats on all sides as they thrust into the last strongholds and hold outs against the empire. Embittered warlords and petty lords mounting betrayals as the lesser kingdoms scrambled to try and match her force for force.
THe Crimson Kracken had taken charge of the navy, the Ki Utesomo her ground forces. THey pushed forward into the villages around Wu mountains. Where monks and more peaceful villagers had been harassed and attacked. Armies clashing and from the sky her airships had been improved dropping black powder explosives on enemy lines. Entire threats that they had were being wiped away and the order for no quarters was given to those who fought. She could give them an honorable death on the battlefield but generals were not ones to break now.
Ga0-In sent her units, the screamers to assault and ride down their infantry, airships to drop explosives and deploy soldiers on them. The heavy infantry brought out siege weapons to smash into their gates and walls. Tear them down as fighting through the mountains had the soldiers faces hardships but the soldiers of the empress had been working for years to better improve themselves. Better supply lines, better areas to fight and resupply. Advanced cartographers to get the areas for everyone to see.
There was even more coming from them, even more as she put many more to the sword to cow the die hards either into submission or into their last stands. The fortress island of Mitsu with its massive walls, sheer cliffs and embracing lagoon. Rock walls that had only a single protected entrance tot he lagoon itself that they used. Boats would catch on the sandbanks themselves and stall but there were a nuber of fish and food so they could holdout if it came to an extended fight. She and her navy was not going to let them do that.
THey were working on it, releasing rocks and casks of oil while it was on fire. Using oil to ignite the water itself so that the trees and lushness of the island burned brightly long itno the night. The mines of the island with rock and coal were set ablaze smoking them out and turning the island itself into a furnace that they could not escape from. Their attacks were bringing up some of the notions that Ga-In was suffering from madness brought on by grief. A campaign of propoganda about her mental state was launched.
Her metsuka silenced them with the deadly assassin clans of the Ves who were loyal and dedicated once they had been brought in and raised up. Ga-In say the talks but there was a great deal going on before she found a reason to smash through the gates of several cities. Political intrigue as the vassal lords had to deal increasingly with the Prince and his antics.... loyal to his mother but unwed he was prone to have mistresses and servants frequent.... child of his own that were not recognized as the heir to his mother.
One such was when he and his two friends, children of his mothers generals were together with him. THey were close to brothers but not quite.... drinking long into the night, speaking of the past and working to recite the most beautiful poems. Something to do as he spoke about his conquests of different lords daughters as well as the ones who vexed him. A recount of arriving to the home of his old wet nurse a woman who traveled with his mother while she was leading campaigns across the planet. There he spied the most beautiful woman.
Iyo No Sai was his man servant at the time and live nearby, using him as an excuse to spy he learned as much as he could and approached in the night. Veiled and looking a common as he could. Sneaking into her room and cutting away the partition he discovered her with a sister. Both of them kept in the room of the small estate by their father a minister who had joined his mother. He announced himself and one of them fled in a great freight while he stayed and talked with the other sister. Long into the night and leaving before guards could come.
Their little brother was brought on as his servant and page. Learning what he could at court and being a confidant as he was fair skinned and had soft features that made him look more like his sisters then his father. The sisters themselves were separated as the one was with child afterwards and the other sister who had fled that night was not returning his letters to her poems, invitations. He sent her little brother time and time again until finally she relented telling him that she didn't think it would be proper to indulge his obsessions.
He was angered in many ways but he still spent time with the brother. Lamenting what had happened there was not much to do. his friends commented and gave ideas but they were in similar situations. one finding a girl who while or noble birth compared to many pretended to be simpleminded and equal with her servants. Even forbidding them from calling her mistress and dressing them like her in robes and some of the hair... She just coulnd't hide the smell of perfume from her baths compared to them.
The stories and drinking continued late into the night until they retired, stories from other ministers and children of the empress about their exploits came. Some serving with different houses to get them better into the fold of the Empire. Kiyoma Ike a loyal servant spent much time with Suyetsumu one fo the empresses grandchildren and adopted ward of the Ruby Kracken. The pale haired and skinned beauty was renowned as one of the finest minds at Seito palace deep in the mountains. A beauty among the clouds itself.
Suyetsumu's tales ad legends go a long way. It was said she would later enact a law within the empire by seducing her uncle the prince though means. Her skills she learned from some fo the last Jei priestesses who sought refuge in the mountains could go a long way towards making her considered oen fo the most dangerous officials within the empire. She had learned from her grandmothers friend. Her beautiful form was carved of wood and iron to adorn the front of their ships.
More tales, more stories and news as Ga-In tore through the western reaches and prepared tos et her sights on the final prize. Kital Phard had fallen under her blade and power. THe last holdout was where they all started to fled. The FOrtress of the Dragons Gate, Kuramagi Fortress. The Jade Empress was coming home after nearly twenty seven years of conquest and fighting to unite the planet and then to hold it. She wouldn't lose it to one holdout who had managed to resist thanks to the charismatic child of the old warlord.
22. DANCING BLADES:
Kuramagi was ancient even by the time of Ga-In's empire. The fortress had been built into the side of a mountain and had nearly a dozen levels of construction each one going higher and higher to tower. In theory it would require conquering each level which was dangerous, from above they could rain down arrows, rocks and other weapons.
THey had survived, they had kept stronger and powerful using their mountain. Dug in deep, connected to the Yeem ocean with a supply route through the mountains themselves. There were soldiers and villages within it and the clan head remained in power. Koga was old despite his reputation. Fighting other warlords well into his nineties and marrying at the time his tenth wife with who knew how many mistresses.
It was reputed he that he was a man of indulgences and decadence while still fighting his enemies. He had built up Kuramagi from the riches in the mountains and imported stone. Towering over the mountains and into the early morning mists. When Ga-In issued her command and started to prove herself a capable warrior he remained steadfast in resisting her.
He demanded that she submit to him and when she refused he sent men to steal away one of her children the girl would be raised properly by him. It was his plan at least but Keigo proved more dangerous mixing poisons that immobilized the old warlord. Making him unable to move from his bed as he grew fatter and it was certain that he would be passing away soon enough from his injuries. Keigo was killed and her head mounted as warning.
His two sons Shoma the younger and Yansigasawa the elder were vastly different children. THeir deadly dance against each other for their fathers favor that he fostered and risked many times over his clan instead of having them be united. Yansigasawa was proving himself to be dangerous like his father with the dangers of his obsessions with others outside fo the fortress. .
Since the clan was cut off from the outside world. Ga-In's ten year blockade and siege of the fortress brought about the dead of Yansigasawa in battle and his father eventually died.Slowly with rumors of his deviant intentions with more of the clans members. Shoma the newest head of the clan retreated inwardly allowing those who wished to leave to do so. He freed hostages they held, freed women and children from the towers.
THis went some way to buying trust but he also needed to send out children and women.... his nieces/grandniece, sisters cousins and more that his father and brother had done. His mother in law one of the brides of Koga remained with him not because of love but because she had been at one point his wife... Taken after his failure in punishment as news had come to them.
She remained at his side but he was soured to her at least for the most part.... still in love he raised her child as his own and had with her a daughter. His son perishing in battle against Ga-In's forces when she started bringing in airships to attack the fortress and get over their thicker walls. THe fortress still couldn't fully be taken but there was a lot more danger to it.
The dangerous assaults were beginning to take its toll but the first gates never broke and the airships could go overhead but they weren't able to drop enough soldiers into the levels to take the gates. Where she was moving around with soldiers to try and make an opening. They couldn't do it, they couldn't make a dent for nearly thirty years from the onset of the war.
Kuramagi had other mysteries about it, the first explorers found sections already made with strange patterns that allowed the light to fill the caverns. Sections of rock that had been carved into alcoves, rooms, chambers and a massive open area with a bridge and the Yeem below. Lightless and unable to be seen while high above it went into the mountain itself.
The first ones, who came before the ten thousand clans crossed the mountains aren't well known across Atrisia... their ruins remain in places. Ukiyo-E was a place they seemed to have been and the Oni claimed to have been descended from them. Tales of them fighting the old gods in a thousand areas of Atrisia have been collected as well as signs of their ingenuity but nothing to support them aside from anecdotes.
The first owners of the fortress itself built a statue to Taito and worked to keep it a secret that they had a way through parts of the mountains themselves bringing about the first confrontations where they were all going now. They could expand and control passes through the mountains, storehouses in caves but there was going to be more from them.
Shoma had worked long and hard to study and understand what had happened here, what the fortress itself and the mountain offered to him and his clan now that they were significantly smaller. Outcasting a number of his family who were corrupted by the decadent ways of his father. THe soldiers were digging in and making a number of ways for them to move around.
He had prepared for the assault and there were new threats and players on the board. As the news of it came, the final holdouts falling to the Jade Empress herself and dangerous situations coming when their allies marched on them. Originally they had prepared and would need to really protect themselves but sooner rather then later they had to face that they were alone.
He celebrated the birth of his child and had them prepared a second son who would be around with his daughter and hopefully live as his wife passed bringing him into the world. The one daughter his ever faithful companion there as they fought and prepared for the main defense of the fortresss itself. He just needed to be able to wait them out.
He was preparing many thing and tried to prepare his men for the real challenges ahead. They weren't going to win and break the empire.. it was already to large. Eventually they would run out of supplies, they would fall off from the deaths and passings. THeir warriors would lose heart, their farmers and villagers grow weary and the only reinforcements would be half trained children.
He only had one hope or at least one sort of means. If he could stop the Empress herself then the unity she brought to the many clans and warlords would be taken away. He didn't know much about the prince or her other children but there was only so many options he could do without resorting to poison or dishonorable tactics. He would challenge her while their armies clashed.
The isle of Hatsu, large, frigid and something few actually wanted to see. It was here that the crimson kracken when she had heard the news that the empire was meeting with one Hold out sat among the palace staff. They had worked on it, they had fought here in the ice and went against polar bears, ice spiders, lizards and mammoths... massive giants gorax that were thickly furred and had built these homes.
The atrisian's on the island went by some names, The Yuki was the most important. They had skills and knew how to survive. Pale skinned with white hair and wearing thick winter made kimono's. They served their rulers who answered to the Jade Empress with a fervor. Using what few resources were on the island or where they could do.
THe crimson kracken herself was proving more powerful and effective here, riaiding and whaling with them. The oils the whales produced and the blubber, the bones could serve them well in terms of what they constructed. New types of ships and improvements using the bones. THick breakers with reinforce breakers along the hull, they cut through the ice and were essential to getting around. Massive oars and sled wolves.
Rabu the first mate of the Crimson Kracken was one of the few men that they really trusted, coming from the island he knew about most of them and he knew about some of the dangers that the people here on the island face. So he was vital and important to smoothing relations with them. THen soemthing happened as he was seen running out fo the woods covered in blood. Arrows in his back.
THey were investigating and it would delay the trip back, what would already take months to return and help out the Empress at Kuramagi could be delayed days or even weeks but leaving without doing this... they would have to work on it when she moved around the island. Armored soldiers had been brought into place to ensure everything transitioned smoothly.
THe crimson kracken stayed around the island and the smaller ones just off of the coast of it. THey weren't large enough but some of them had been used in the distant past for everything that they were doing. Staging areas, holding cells, locations to send prisoners who were being questioned. The truth was they only knew they had to settle up as best they could.
Political rivals themselves though were not uncommon on the island as Ga-In Wei a child of Namimi who sought to gain favor with the empress herself. The child was a mere infant but she had been kidnapped by whoever was trying to cause strife on the island. The Crimson Kracken discovered a secluded section of the island a cove that could only be accessed by a cave.
The cave was strange, lined with ruined sections and geothermal springs that spewed sulfur. The warriors she had sent through reported that even with the snow above in some areas it was lush, fertile and even burning. Smoke risiing into the caves around them and parts of the island itself was there for them to see. Older mirrors, telescopic crystals and mirrors so it could be spied from different peaks.
THe murals she discovered were older as well depicting the sun god, with two children and from them the eight continents formed with a ninth being swallowed into the sea. Then they had a million children to form the hills, rivers, rocks, streams, trees, oceans and lakes. The children were young but they gave birth to man and from them the people learned fire and farming.
The crimson kracken found an old map of the stars that would tell them where they were from the night sky itself. THey made their way through and came to a large cavern sealed away with a boulder. The marks showed that it had been recently moved. THey were going down, deeper and deeper with the remains around them. THe Crimson Kracken was uncertain about what they might discover.
The lower reaches of the island seemed to be lined in alcoves with statues, twisted, deformed, beautiful. Faces warped and worn with age, lights blinking around them and stone giants that seemed to walk and patrol around the area. She had never seen things so massive or powerful that were being kept around. They still moved and had crystal and glass control rods she could see.
The floor was lined with a thousand thousand statues.. or were they people. She couldn't tell it looked like suits of armor, strange armor. Smaller, compacted with full face masks and swords. There were statues of creatures, larger ones when she had seen, ancient lizards she knew were on the world... smaller now. Falcons and within the cave there were bones from slaves who had been buried here.
THey were all sitting around waiting fro attend to their masters in the afterlife, they were guessing it was much like the normal soldiers. for each one there was several apprentices learning and who attended to them, servants for food and wine, slaves for other things, family.... Any number of slaves per son here in clothing and what looked like a mass grave of them.
The warriors were moving through and had to scale some of the statues, stone giants were not something seen but as they came out the underground city itself was massive in scale and scope. With a palace dedicated to the underworld god they were able to see in the murals. THey assaulted the citadel itself and were bringing their forces to bare once they could se it. Not knowing where they were as it seemed to be under the sea itself.
THey moved and faced off against a small force but they were dedicated, massive lizards that had been on the world were being used. Rode on with cybernetic mounts like horses that had weapons on them. These dino riders had put up a fight but the creatures themselves were dangerous and once they had their control box destroyed by an archer.
The creature went wild and smashed through several of them eating them but it was going to endanger the infant who they had chased within. A ripple came from the citadel itself and the Crimson Kracken couldn't fight all fo them and the creatures as it seemed things were waking up. Ancient undead things on the world that had been made to protect the citadel itself.
So they ran and ran fast, grabbing the child and rushing to get out of there only stealing enough time to close the massive boulder back into place. To seal the cave itself as they had been talking with some of the beings. THey threatened to kill a thousand children a day for this insult and she promised that it would be dictated by the empress... a thousand children would be born a day to replace them.
THey returned the child and started heading off quickly the delay was dangerous... something was happening and with news that the assault had started the Crimson Kracken had to take her place as one of the five generals with Ga-In.. she had to replace her sister which would be hard to do. The trip back brought them to the mainland where they would be able to get as far as they could up the river. She was moving in with her soldiers and everything they had gathered in the way of reinforcements with them to march on Kuramagi.
24. SPIRITS PRINCESS:
Kimiko Shonagon was a young girl when the raiders came. Seeking supplies to try and fight the Empress they had attacked villages throughout the region. Her clan was simple or at least appeared to be, they were revered and reviled for their skills. She was witness to the destruction, fires, enslavement, their warriors put to the sword before the armies of the empress could march upon them...
THen it is said she woke up, no longer sixteen she was still four... in her bed being held by her mother and father. Such a freight and fit of fear that the next morning her father left the village. His family moving away to the hills and giving away all of their lands, holdings and everything because it would be there she had said and he loved his daughter enough to put her mind at ease.
The village of ash as it came to be called twelve years later when raiders came from the mountains and burned it all. The fields would burn for a year, the animals put to slaughter and the wells poisoned. Everyone within died except for a single family who had retreated into the mountains themselves and into one of the forts. The father hearing this looked at his child he knew the family had visions but this....
THis had been something else entirely as they had worked on much more. Being found by the be official who had been there and he had heard the rumors when he was younger about the claims of doom that would reach the village and the region. Seeking out this seer who could prove a most skillful and worthwhile gift to the empress to improve his favor.
He spent time with her, talked with her and while she was you g her visions of the past, future and far off places made her different. She appeared wiser then normal, wiser then most and was telling him what she had seen. A united world under the banner of the Empress but there was a danger that only he could help prevent. Playing on his ambition to increase his position.
THe small manipulation itself was used to do just that... be a manipulation and he sent his soldiers, he sent the finest warriors with her. SHe marched as the leader getting them a chance to make it there faster as the youngest general on Kital Phard was leading the ground forces. THey arrived at Kuramagi itself and were deploying to cover the ground.
Nearly five hundred thousand men would be used with reinforcements from the kracken and the others. THey had more generals moving around and she was introduced to the empress herself. Seeing the older woman who stood there with the assault plans for the academy she was asked what she saw and Kimiko focused. Eyes glazing over.
She could see much from it, the assault on kuramagi's massive walls could be turned away. THey were made to handle large armies, its soldiers even while reduced had supplies, arrows, swords, rocks and things they could drop on the heads of attackers. IF any managed to scale the wall they did have back up in the form of a warrior defending the archers.
The one leading them was also skilled, young and powerful... his daughter was being raised yes but she was not seeing the empress in victory over this. Kimiko relayed this information but she also told what she had felt and smelled. No destruction, the conquering of the fortress would only take the death of one man the heir to the fortress and clan. Shoma.
The jade empress herself was looking at it and then at her as she seemed to have a better notion and idea. She would fight and there might be a chance that she could die in this.. destiny could be cruel to allow her to make it this far and take it all away... but the seer hadn't seen the empire falling apart. That would mean there could be someone worthy enough to take her place.
The visions though were just that a vision of the future, something possible and that meant it could be changed... if an assault was not going to work then she would just have to be smarter then that and she summoned from the furthest reaches of her empire everything she could get. THere was a plan but they would have to make sure everything was fully prepared to do it.
Kimiko herself though in these trying times found herself with a great deal more tasks and things to do but she also had a purposes. She was leading her people, leading them with more from the empire who would be making the assault against the walls of the fortress itself. She had seen some other challenges that would be coming from all of them.
The time that was being spent preparing also served for her to properly learn how to fight... how to face attackers in case she actually did have to face them. Receiving a suit of scaled armor from the Crimson Kracken so she could move around, sword lessons from Ga-In the empress herself in terms of what she would be able to do. Kimiko was working to fully build herself and her skills up.
Her other interests int he time as they waited after the others came.... was for the weather to be just right. Rituals were being preformed to try and alter or accelerate the weather but one couldn't do this.. they needed to be able to move at a moments notice as she was learning from her empress other skills. Education, technology, armor and weapons.
The dangerous situation only got worse though as the siege breakers came, horse lords from the mountains, Oni from their hidden world and even more dangerous beings but they were generals. She was slightly replaced by Reikaiden Murakami who spent time with the empress but she was also one fo the newer generals who had proven herself in a decisive battle before getting here through the mountains and smashing defenses along the way.
Kimiko didn't hate the woman or ONi... she identified herself as such and she didn't fully understand why when they were working on may more siege engines and ladders. Methods to get the walls and doors opened or scaled. SHe had a vision of the pricne and told him that he would find his bride soon enough. A titan of the world with strength that matched his own and his mothers.
25. BATTLE OF THE MANDARIN:
Reikaiden Murakami was an Oni handmaiden who had served under a lesser general. The Jade Empress had taken her home in the early years of the war and while she had no real feelings about that preferring a united planet to what else they were doing of nothing... she did have to admit that Ga-In was strange. Her soldiers tried several times to fully set up outposts but the parasites and creatures proved dangerous.
She had served one of the generals... he wasn't much in terms of tactics and he suffered sickness several times. One fo the bone eating parasites getting to him for a short time before a remedy was found... but by then his leg had been infected and the bone eaten away until it was like glass easily broken in comabt or even from walking.
The sicknesses and creatures of the hidden world were dangerous, something that many could not face and with everything that was going on, with everythign that was being discovered here.. it attracted more dangerous things. THere were the remnants of kingdoms come seeking refuge only to not find it and there were others seeking riches to fight the empress.
All fo them mostly met death, with few of them surviving long enough to get away with a few things. One in ten would get sick from something, one in twenty would maybe survive the creatures and everything that was around them. She helped as best she could learning the dialect of Atrisian that the general spoke even going so far as to learn about his family.
He was young and idealistic but also unsure about it he didn't like the idea of killing which was why he decided to come here to a place where nothing really happened they said. THe occasional explorer or raider trying to take the riches back with them but the continent's parasites and creatures would take care of most of them. He seemed an alright if short and stout man.
Granted he was standing next to the Oni, tall, muscled with black hair, dark skin and golden eyes. He looked out of place with his pale skin that only seemed to get paler as he was constantly sick and clammy. He taught her what Atrisian's were good with, math, sciences, languages, history. How to lead the men and talk with them, how to read a map of a battlefield, how to organize soldiers.
Then he passed away, a sickness in the night some said and others that he had given his life up to her. Either way she was acting in charge as the closest to him and had to face an attack. SOmeone had managed to steal one of the airships and flew over their home. Dropping black powder and fire bombs upon them. Water couldn't put the fires out nor could smothering it.
The Battle of the Mandarin was as much a naval battle in the air as it was one on the ground. As forces descended to the ground to fight and engage them. Oni riding on rancors surged forward to smash into their lines and Rei herself was in the vanguard who went after the airship. Her prowess and learning with the former genrral gave her an idea and she used when their airship got damaged rope and herself to control the direction.
Preforming an airship slice as she tore into the other ship and broke through the hull sending it down towards the surface. Most of the crew abandoned ship while she had them preparing to make some repairs while heading back to base. The Oni who were here could handle the stragglers who might survive within the jungle itself. Rei fought and was going after everything they could.
The news of the victory and her skills reached the empress itself and she was sent for with a special promotion. SInce the Oni needed someone to lead their forces and sending someone new there might take too long.... mgiht have to come with another replacement she would be in charge. THe Oni could lead themselves and serve her needs as warriors.
She was sent for and within their fleet of airships the ONi went... leaving their homeland en mass wfor the first time in thousands of years, with spears, blades and bows... With battle mounts and bpoats loaded with other things. Small frogs that were secreting a poison to coat their weapons. SMall blow darts and other poisonous creatures that would serve them well.
Rei herself had been given a new set of armor and as the airships themselves wwere setting off so were boats that had been brought by the kracken to collect them. THey were semi closer then most so their main armies could march albeit slower across the ancient destroyed bridges and section of ruined roads. The Oni forces coming to join at Kuramagi and add their massive numbers to the growing assault forces.
Rei was met by Ga-In herself... unsure of what the empress would be like as she had only read the communications between her and Yana the general she served. With Ga-In seeming to be impressed by her skills and how she inspired her people. It was seen as a mixture of political tactics and respect to appoint her as one of her five generals.
Other parts of the news that was going between them, it was rumored that she while waiting was personally trained by the Empress with swords and combat. Replacing Kimiko to some or sharing the attentions fo the empress with Kimiko... no one can really be certain as it was considered a sign of respect and Ga-In loved her people as it was.
That love is the subject for something else entirely... I'll detail it later but back tot he empress herself and Rei. The general and the Empress trained for the three months while the rest of the forces arrived. She seeded the Oni forces with their riders into the other units. They could defend with the larger beasts units like the siege weapons and screamers. The airships would be used to get soldiers in close.
There was more things prepared for them, more areas to do but Rei discovered that a great many of the other forces were just as unique as the Oni. The Hana from the mountains were dangerous but their warriors, a chronicler of the events that would be taking place. Writing it down in her book, a white make up covered woman in a flowing dress. The battle itself was about to begin.
26. THE FIVE GENERALS:
IN truth there were more then five, you can't win a war across a planet with only six people. There were many generals but always five who were loved and held close to the Jade Emrpess herself. From the ones who served her since the beginning to the half brother who betrayed her.... to a child who had visions enough to see and bring to her the forces she would need as well as news of how she would win.
They had all been working hard, all been bringing their soldiers and assembling to bring the forces to bare against the fortress at Kuramagi. Risks and dangers would be a thing to see but marching the armies across the continent gave them more then enough purpose. They brought all of them around and towards the end the massive force surrounded Kuramagi
The Crimson Kracken Rokujo no Suke twin sister of the Ruby Kracken Omyubo no Suke survived and returned to her empress with forces that could fill in the gaps. Reinforcements from the sea and the northern regions of the planet. Airships, exotic mounts like battle elephants and rancors, tyrant lizards as well as horses with stripes and faster legs.
Kimiko Shonagon the spirit princess of Kensai Province who was drawn to Kuramagi by visions. She had survived and given warning of the doom that would come to her village. Attracting when it came to pass over a decade later the attention of a youg official. He summoned her and brought her to his palace... sending word of what could happen and at the head of the army her with his finest soldiers.
Koremitsu the son of Ga-In and a warrior from the mountains. He was raised in war and one of her strongest supporters. He was considered young without the experience but his father had died killing the traitor Li which gave him much in the way of respect and being the seventh son of the empress meant that he was not expected to be the heir though he was much loved by his sibling the Pearl Prince.
Sosokan-Sama chief general and investigator of Jar'Kai who had survived through the years since he first joined Ga-In in her ambitions. Bringing the force of his personal investigators and retainers... he had trained them to discern motives and sneak around. The shinobi were something dangerous to those who didn't suspect them. They were spies and had all of the information that they could get.
Reikaiden Murakami an Oni general and rumored latest paramour to the empress her skills with military tactics were considered second to none. She fought and won the battle of the Mandarin a decisive victory against the Kingdom of Huang that had surfaced in the waning years and broke the lines into the mountains of the Hana. Securing the cannibal wastes and sections of the North.
The armies were assembled, airships from as many forces, elephants, horses, rancor, tigers, horses, bears, spiders. Anything her men could ride and use as a sort of mount. Units of Hana, Oni, beings from the corners of the empire wearing standards of the Jade Empress herself. It was a marvelous sight as the numbers were said to be nearly two million to the measly ten thousand within the Fortress.
THe general were assembled around the table, massive and carved of wood that showed the battlefield, details from the scouts and history books that would let them see the caves, the goat paths and with some scale to it for each of them. THey had been working on parts of it for months but now as she could see Kuramagi's fortress with its towers and walls.
THe discussions went on for three days and nights to come up with the assault some were said to suggest sneaking in, to get close enough to attack them and take out their leaders. If Shoma fell then he would be the head cut off of the forces who would scatter hopefully... or the other plan was to smash the doors, through the walls and they had all of their plans.
All fo the plans that were being presented to her were equally with merit but also reflected the personalities of the ones suggesting them. Sneaking around and ending the threat with minimal danger, brute force and giving everyone an honorable death. Assault with siege weapons and continue to blockade them while using the tunnels and paths to pick at them.
THe empress was said to have considered all of it, to look at each option until finally she was making a plan that would work. She would just have to send the message to Shoma and treat with him... to give him a chance to not be like his father or brother or family... to give up pride and bend the knee to join the rest of his people.She had a better plan then many.
The main forces were being assembled to handle the danger, her magic users had come and were beginning to use and create a spell that would turn the tide of the battle in their favor. Her screamers, her creatures, her soldiers all of it was standing there while she went back to her tent and look upon herself. This was considered the final battle the last storm and what her seers said she might not survive.
The visions that had been had by Kimiko and others but she dind't speak of that was that she would unite an empire... she would bring to heel all under her banner but she would never know the joys of it... she would not... it saddened her but she prepared for the battle when the first sounds of thunder came. Rain, dropping in large splotches when she got ready.
Hot water steaming for her, scented oils that would coat her and make it so that if she did die she would not smell as a corpse. it was a common practice, her hair was given a black oil. To hide the grey hairs and streaks that the wars had given her. Her armor was polished, her katana's were sharpened and she could fel the special properties of the colossus blade. Famed for her but presented as a gift.
27. A DARK BEATING HEART:
The battle was ready, the forces prepared as storms started overhead. THey had been raging for a full day and night until the skies were dark and the ground slick. The wind was blowing the rain into the faces of Shoma's men as he stood there. Golden armor adorned with rubies and jade jewels in the form of a dragon and fox. Sword at his side and even across the field he could see Ga-In.
She was dressed in her black and silver armor, jade emblems and sigils that had been given, thick kimono underneath and twin blades. Behind her all of her yovshin and forces as the assault began. Thunder across the battlefield were roars of battle ready soldiers charging and moving in, their war beasts, their drums and the sight of their banners.
The men in the fortress could hear it coming but they couldn't see it. THe rain slapped them in the face and blinded them, the archers on their horses were the first to arrive with bows firing up to the fortress walls. A mixture of arrows to try and attack them but also dig grapples into the grooves and slots of the walls. Where they could be used to climb up.
The forces were moving in, the airships deploying soldiers at the towers and walls to work on assaulting them as the men stationed in the mountains began their assault on the gate. The fabled dragons gate protecting them from the mountain passes was harder to get into but if it was being attacked then it would require people to defend and prevent eventually from being destroyed.
They had been working at everything... presenting parts of it when Shoma himself was opening smaller alcoves for him to send out soldiers. They were moving in to fight and take out the more dangerous ones bringing explosives to breach the walls. His archers firing as he directed them and Ga-In's voice was booming even over the storm. She was challenging him to fight.
The wind blinded more of the men as spearmen managed to climb the ropes into the fortress and start attacking. Riders continued to move around firing arrows, Shoma was moving down and out of the fortress leaving his daughter to command their forces within while directing it. He would face the empress on the battlefield as once he came out some tried to go after him.
Ga-In rose to meet his challenge facing him in combat while her men used the moment to surge the descending army. Shoma knew that if they were going to die just standing behind the walls would only do so much so for those who wanted to advance and fight in the open field takiong as many as they could with them he allowed it when he approached.
Their numbers swelled through the gates and smashed into the infantry lines as Ga-In and him fought in one area, both cutting down half a dozen men before finaly meeting each other in combat. Her twin blades in the new style that was used. Named after the capitol of her empire, Jar'kai and his blade gleamed. The silver blade was folded until they were confronting each other.
The blade clashed, thunderous and rebounding with the energy from the two of them, each strike creating shockwaves that sent men and beast flying into the air until a ring was cleared around them. The pair moved quickly, across the battlefield and as their soldiers were fighting the empress herself unleashed the creatures of the hidden world as massive leathery skinned rancors (as we know them now) tore through soldiers.
Again their blades clashed and the first strike was given, Ga-In's helmet was cleaved into breaking it as she discarded it. The emeralds adoring it fallign to the ground like a cascade of green blood. her blade bit into his leg smashign into a ruby dragon at his kama. The gemstones were said to be so valuable men stopped fighting and tried to pick them up.
The swords continued to clash into the night as the fortress walls itself could not be breached the army within managed to turn them away but their numbers were being depleted trying to keep away and stop the holes being created. The warlord and the empress battled it out until the skies roared with lightning that struck around them. Mud turned to glass and crumbled.
Still for another day they fought and the mud started to seep and fill. The rivers overflowing but they were not flooding yet. It was coming out fo the mountains in great rivers enclosing the massive army into its confrontation before another strike was made. Shoma taking a strike to the forearm and it severed partially his wrist to let it hang limply.
Ga-In took a strike as Shoma was bleeding out, the water washing his blod away and drawing a blade he severed the rest of his hand. The empress took an arrow from one of his more overzealous archers fired a shot that managed to catch her neck. She didn't perish from the strike but the shot dug in deep and her voice vanished a silent cry when she snapped the arrow itself.
Shoma was moving now and brandished his blade throwing the dagger into his own man, the fight was between the two of them and no one else was supposed to interfere in this. He couldn't take it back but when he offered to end it, to let them both be treated she refused him holding her blade. The other hand been lost with the attack and she couldn't hold it and staunch her bleeding.
They both had a deathly pale look to them from the blood loss as they finished, the final blow being struck as her blade plunged into his stomach. Slowly bleeding when she held him and couldn't walk away. Shoma didn't die but the battle was over and his men came to get him back. THey would bother bleed out, both would perish as Ga-In was taken to her tent and surrounded by her generals.
She couldn't speak, the physicians said she would die as the bleeding to her throat was fatal and removing the arrow would several veins and arteries in her neck. She placed a hand on them and thanked them for everythign they had done and was leaving them to protect and care for her son. THe Pearl Prince received his crown of jeweled blades and gemstones while she passed away surrounded by them.
28. THE GOLD WEDDING:
The death of Ga-In sent ripples through the empire. her son was named the new ruler the Pearl Emperor.... his generals moving around and pushing for them to finish the fight. THey had the advantage... all that was left in the fortress itself was a few hundred people. He knew that could last but Shoma had perished as well the strength of them was diminished.
He made a decision to finish the fight.. the generals and vassals swore to serve his mother and by extension they would serve him. He would see to it and they were marching on the city itself. Everything set up for them to finish eventually this conquest as they arrived within sight of the gates. Standing on front of them was her.
The daughter of Shoma stood there in her armor. She looked ready to resist but he could see something else. The gates were closed and barred. She didn't expect to survive this and women were manning the walls. Spears and bows defending it as only the females were there. This could mean that the others were secreted away or...
Or that the fifty or so warriors with her were all that were left. THe Pearl Emperor stood there prepared to fight but as he announced his mothers passing and that both of them had perished he made a different offer. In honor of his bravery and legacy they could join the empire. A union of both great houses.
THey were checking out the plan and she agreed to it. Coming forward and bringing what they might be able to do. THe Pearl Emperor himself accepted her and her people as the gates of the fortress opened up revealing to them all that they were barely just surviving. Boiling the leather of their shoes and armor, with rats and trying to keep who could defend them fed even minimally.
He saw to it that each of them were fed and laid out the plan for what was to come, he planned to unite the houses in a ceremony that would unite fully all of the planet. Envoys were sent out to announce it, leaders were invited, woman and children were said to lament in the streets that the prince was being married off.
THe legends of it all, of what happened was impressive to say the least. The Golden Wedding as it was being called, massive in scale and at Jar'Kai itself which was hosting it. The generals assembled with an honor guard of Yovshin, the Emperor's family from across the em pire returned and he acknowledged Murasaki the purple Kracken.
She was often considered a secret to everyone because of the circumstances but Murasaki served as a flower girl giving orchids and roses to the procession, A small child no more then twelve she had been broight to the capitol by her father from Sno city and given a small wing of the palace to herself.
The celebration lasted for nearly a month as the people came to the city bringing riches and wonders from across the empire. Keisei wearing exotic silk kimono's and giving dances to show their skills, Hana presenting an arena and challenges to the horse lords and other fighting groups. THey had built up their skills in stories and now they were setting out to prove it.
As the Emperor and his future Empress were set to be married with the ceremony starting they presented to the others their united front. A test of their combined prowess in ruling so that their houses would fully be united and the claims that she would only serve as a puppet be quieted. Court ruled over and saw problems of the planet to solve and give help where it was needed.
THe cases that were being brought before them were simple in msot cases. The local vassals were giving their reports, requesting soldiers or funding for construction projects. Business and advancement being picked up, forges to get equipment to their armies or farmers to grow more food. Roads to make it safer with guards and patrols.
All fo what they were doing was simple enough to her and the Emperor ruled fairly, he was not his mother in this regard as she wa known to play to the strengths and what would advance the goal and purpose but the planet was united in a single dynasty that would last he hoped forever or at least long enough for his family to live a long and happy life.
They continued until the month of gathering was done and the ceremony was set to begin. Still massive and impressive as they rode through the city on the backs of one of the larger elephants that had been raised to fight for his mother. With the Yovshin following and a procession of the officials as cheers and celebration went in the streets.
The rest of the procession provided them any number of beautiful sights, there were works until finally on the steps of the royal palace when they returned with everyone able to see them who was in the massive street itself. The two of them stood in flowing kimono's of silk and gold encrusted with gemstones that glittered in the sun.
The wedding ceremony itself was short, they said their vows, they exchanged cloaks and she was brought into the marriage as the Pearl Empress. Legendary now for her fairness and beauty she was forever loyal to her husband giving him over a dozen children and within their time they rarely ever spent a day apart.
The few times they did were entitled the quarrels when they disagreed and while never stopping their love and devotion to each other they also needed time to cool off. Herself returning to Kuramagi Fortress itself and he remained in the capitol of Jar'Kai. THere were three times and the last only lasted for a year.
Afterwards when she became ill he returned to her side and being carried by several of his yovshin and servants to his age. There was risks and dangers to moving him from the capitol. They passed away with each other as news went out to their children and most returned quickly to the palace surrounding them and seeing them off.
At the age of ninety four the Pearl Emperor and Empress were cremated and interred in the crypt for the royal family. They were succeeded by their great grandson and his bride the Ruby Prince and Princess the youngest and favored of as it were by the family. Slowly over the years the dynasty changed hands but always the Emperor and Empress were legendary for their time.
29. THE EMPIRE OF KITAL PHARD:
The second Battle of Kuramagi fortress began as many rebellions do with a spark, someone sought to upend the dynasty that had presided for thousands of years to come to power. I will not go into the details of every ruler, some of them were noble, honorable, some were cruel, some were inept but each of them did something to garner respect and show their prowess.
We'll focus for this chapter on Chujo no Li descendant of the Jade Empress, heir to the dynasty and his brother Kana no Li who ignited the rebellion. Some say it was over a woman they both fancied spied in her palace at night. She was a reclusive creature and both fell in love with her before they had ever set their gaze upon her. hearing her voice in the night... listening to her singing and playing her six string.
No one is certain what set off the spark between the two brothers in this case though. Chujo was married to Fijitsuma who would become known as the bloodstone princess. A cruel and hard woman that was several years his senior and rumored to have only given him a single child in their entire marriage.
Kana though with his charisma managed to convince some fo the yovshin who served him and his brother as protectors to follow. Splintering the group as they dueled and he stole away in the night Sedimitsu the woman from the house. In a black rage that heralded violence Chujo ordered the deaths of anyone involved who allowed it to happen.
Two years later as the rebellion began to turn in favour of the Bloodstone princess and her forces General Kagi of the rogue Yovshin found himself pushed back to Kuramagi after the latest defeat from imperial forces. This though was not a lasting set back as General Kagi still had a sizable force with him with which he could oppose the Bloodstone princess with the help of a fortified settlement.
Kuramagi proved to be a good strong hold in which to establish such a presence, the constructs steep sloping walls and other natural defences greatly increasing his ability to defend it from any sieging army. The general knew they would be able to hold out and even staying there as it rotted with minimal repairs it still had the defenses to protect them as they escaped into the mountains.
Unfortunately, imperial forces knew this too and where not hasty to assault the walls upon catting up with the retreating army. Wasting no time imperial forces laying siege to the fortress with the intended goal of starving out the defenders and attain a surrender, the war having already cost many lives. Though a mighty defensive complex Kuramagi lacked the original resources for sustaining and growing food.
With time passing away the defenders had to formulate a plan on escaping the fortified position, knowing that no friendly force would be arriving any time soon. It was clear that meeting the imperial force in open combat would be unwise, themselves having erected a decent defensive line around the main entrance of the Fortress. Though there where other methods to depart from the fortress all would have taken too long and there was the large risk of being spotted and caught out in the open.
Due to this situation General Kagi devised a plan to break out form the defensive fortress, aiming to also use the nearby waterway in the mountains to evacuate the majority of his troops to a new location. The aiming to gather more support among the few nobles he knew disliked Chujo and gain a military force large enough to face the empresses troop in open combat.
The plan involved sending a small diversionary force out from the fortress to flank around the main enemy army and cause a distraction, hopefully pulling enough defenders away from the siege camp to permit a break out at the ancient dragons gate entrance. It would be costly as opening the gate into the mountains would expose them to everything there as well.
This plan however was not air tight, spies working on behalf of the emperor delivering details of the breakout attempt to the sieging army. In turn a counter measure was put in place with a majority of the imperial archers and spear men put on a wide flanking position to prevent the diversion troops from reaching their goal. Additionally, a vanguard unit comprised of the princess herself and her most elite troops acted as a defense between Kuramagi and the river to prevent the generals escape.
Such a tactic proved to be a misstep as the strength of the flanking force was much small then suspected, the main bulk of the defending force sallying out to face the vanguard. Though the covering troops easily cut down the diversionary forces such left the imperial troops spread thin and dispatched from the empress and her forces. Alone and seeming to be cut off the vanguard unit was pushed back across the river, general Kagi sensing the possibly of attaining victory by killing the Bloodstone princess pushing the attack.
Such proved to be a fatal mistake as bit by bit the imperial forces came to reinforce the empress, leading to a bloody enjoyment at the side of the river both forces at a disadvantage. Imperil troops arriving in waves deepening on how far the unit was away from the vanguard, with general … troops having difficulties navigating across the river. Knowing that such would be a draw out battle that would ultimately result in the loss of many lives and possible defeat general … quickly challenged the Bloodstone Princess to duel along the banks of the river to decide the outcome of the battle.
Both combatants where equally skilled, their blades clashed along the water front, neither able to lad a decisive blow, though each scrape, close call and dent in the armour wearing the fighters down. They stayed at it and the princess struck a blow to the back of Kagi's leg. Severing the tendons and he fell down. She claimed his head before heading back towards the camp as the forces overran and smashed into the resistance.
The forces were crushed and Sedimitsu was killed by Kana in his fear of her being taken from him. THe bloodstone princess finding them and taking the news back to her husband where they celebrated but she only continued to remain cold towards him. THe time away at war had allowed him to find something new to fawn over. She cared little based on her diary for him in the waning years but stuck around out of duty while he forgot about this great love he had with some woman.
Not much is known about what happened afterwards with them all, not many cared to really see what became of Ga-In and her children because the legends and stories of them were so much better. We have worked with the emperor of Atrisia to gather these stories and legends, accounts from different journals that had been recovered to create this official record for you.
From what journals and accounts we have managed to recover of Ga-In herself we know her mind about things. Musings of people of places, her plan for taking one place and then another as opposed to just expecting them all to fall in line and follow her. SHe was patient, she was tactical and she was one of great passions in her ambitions.
There are even more records from her generals, the Keisei themselves have allowed limited access tot he notes some of them took of life at the empresses court among the nobles. We know historical records of other who painted and made murals of the final battle where she fell and from genealogy we know a number of houses that can trace her various children.
We have been able to trace some and the name Ga-In has been used by different houses to try and invoke her spirit and favor. For ambition and power, prowess in battle and her legendary beauty. We have not been able to find notes of other Ga-In's in history doing more historical or noteworthy works but there are several from her generals and their houses.
Her bloodline filling them as she was known for her prowess in battle always willing to lead soldiers into a fight but also able to stand back and tactically command them. She was much loved by her soldiers, she was loved by her generals and known to love each of them as well. Tales of her exploits and her passions as it were or her fluid nature going with whoever inspired her.
Such actions did have dangers but there were others undocumented. The lamentations of the lovers of the jade empress is a story for nother time and another book emperor. FOr now we are discussing what came of it, what helped create this companion piece to the other chronicles that have been created. I have tried to present it to you are complete but without the minutia of daily lives presented in the journals.
There are more things though, that came out of this with the records being consolidated in that time and scout reports certain things were brought to light. Unexplored previously unknown regions fo the world brought to our attention. The expeditions to map the coast lines of the nine continents of Atrisia... of Kital Phard were important even though now it seems the ninth is partially submerged and only exists as an island.
We have charted other areas of the planet now with advances in technology and know where some regions are but the anomalies the strangeness of some of the ruins we have discovered. The world is older then even our records indicate, there are murals, scrawlings, runes and everything that points to us just being the latest civilizations here within the world.
We have spent so long exploring the unknown regions of our world of seeing the mysteries that we may have forgotten the fundamental facts of it. How it all started, how it came to be and the lies, deceptions, the passions of our people honorable emperor. The people of Kital Phard have always been ones to chart their own path.
We have detailed here other accounts as well, the people who are still in some ways influential today. The line of gemstone rulers, the strangeness of some of the tales and the mystical arts, the mysteries of the world for you. I hope that this message reaches you emperor in good health and you learn from some fot he mistakes that have been made.
The added chapters are from one fo your predecessors, I know that we have been facing some of the problems. One fo the battles that returned us to Kuramagi nearly a thousand years later. ONe of the dangerous situations with your ancestors and in some cases we have tried to detail the risks of having some of the false friends.
There are also detailed accounts from some of our clans, serving within Seito Palace was making it legendary, the White Pearl of itself was brought to fund and give us gold, aurodium, silver, gems and other riches. Silks that would cost most a lifetime to afford a single bolt for a simple kimono flowed into the kingdom.
We have been working with the new ones, the Republic that has discovered us. We have worked with some of the more exotic and exclusive places that were now discovering our world. Our advances in technology have worked harder for us, to explore the world but not turn it into an industry. The clash between the classes and our people have been difficult but we have dealt with it.
The battle between your great grandfather and anti imperial forces at the second battle of Kuramagi is a good example of the dangers present still to this day. I will not claim to know it all, I shall not claim this to be the most objective account. My family like many others can trace themselves back tot he creation of the first Empire.
This humble chronicler herself does not fully... know the scope or depth of what you have planned but I have seen enough of the past and written about it to understand that there are dangers to greatness and power. All of the work I did for your sister, all fo the works I have written about will hopefully prevent mistakes from being made in the future.
That is my closing for this chronicle but there are so many other tales hrre and within this book, hopefully when it finds you, when it is presented it will be done with an open mind. I am also sending all fo the research materials I was able to collect should you wish to see your ancestors notes and journal, experience an idea of what it was like in those days of the war.
Edited by Junko Ike, 01 September 2018 - 05:13 PM.