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mccoyed posted a topic in Guilds of HistoricaAbove: Maps showing the location of One-Eye's prison and neighboring environs (click to enlarge). "Capt. One-Eye was taken back the way he'd come, to a little town called Yoku. They kept saying he was going to meet this "daimyo", a Yureishimese word for lord. Now, the Yureishimese clans are all run by lesser and greater lords, all with their own territory. Not that different from Avalonia, really. The main difference is the extent of the authority. The Yureishimese of the Red Lotus Clan believe even their very lives are owed to whichever lords are above them." -Artur Rimbyld, University of Petraea Geographical Society "Yureishimese are a coastal people, but not really a sea people. They don't seem very interested in making long voyages. Their ships are small and efficient, but can't handle the deeper waters and storms that they'd hit trying to head west to Historica. That said, extensive roads connect their towns and villages. They seem adept at road construction even in poor terrain. Because of their history of warfare, these roads are typically well-maintained and wide enough to accommodate legions of warriors." -General Marnix Hettle, formerly of Queenscross, in his paper 'On the Conquest of Foreign Regions' Wolf Island, Yureishima, Two Days after One-Eye was freed: The village of Yoku seemed like many others that One-Eye had seen, all around the world. The people seemed cheerful as they went about their work or leisure. Some looked curiously at him, but very little emotion was betrayed by their faces. When his eyes met theirs, they would smile and bow politely. As if he wasn't a prisoner, but a visiting dignitary. The official was always with him and seemed the only person he met who was permitted to show disrespect. This is my lord Kawashita Ieyasu's village. He lives here? No, fool. He lives north, in Okami City. But he is here now, so he will speak with you. Maybe he can tell me where my bricking crew is and how I can get them back. Show him any disrespect, Shujin, and your head will be removed from your body before you can blink. Uhhh. They passed a man placing fish in a fenced pond. He seemed real happy about it, too. The fish looked fat and delicious, but also beautiful. Their scales were a bright orange, iridescent in the sun. As they approached the largest, fanciest house in the village, One-Eye almost froze when he saw who stood on the stoop with a lord even fancier than his jailer-official. The official and his guard bowed immediately while One-Eye eyed the beautifully-crafted sword that this daimyo held naked in his hand. But it was the daimyo's companion that he really cared about. Timmermans! You're alive! Uh. Yes, Cap'n. I seem to be. Best news I've gotten in years. Where's everybody else!? That's when One-Eye noticed the wooden cage off to his left. He had to squint to recognize three of his crew: Big Bald Barrington, Legs Al-Bara, and the cabin boy Colin who had grown in their years of captivity. He wanted to run up to them immediately, but the voice of the fancy lord barking the Yureishima language stopped him. <Yureishimese> He says you're to stay where you are, please. Wait a minute. Timmermans, what are you doing up there with him anyway? Long story, Cap'n. Let's just say that we... we work for him now. I don't think I like where this is going. <Kanshu, thank you for bring me this... man. He almost looks like one of us in that garb.> <You're most welcome, my lord Kawashita.> The two Yureishimese conversed for a while, leaving One-Eye to stand there waiting. He saw a red-skinned man standing watch over his crew. The man looked sort of like a Yukari orc, but must have been some tribe or folk native to the islands. After a few minutes, One-Eye lost his patience. Hey Timmermans, what are they saying? Is it about the crew? <Go ahead and tell him, Timmerman-san.> No, it's about you. Looks like they want to travel north to the city and present you to the Red Lotus overlord. Kawashita Ieysau believes he can use you to gain great favor and prestige. Wow. Are these Lotus guys going to just pass me around like a mug of ale? They haven't even asked me for anything yet. They're not big on sharing, Cap'n. I'm supposed to tell you that all will be revealed in time and that this is the only chance you've got at getting the others freed. Whatever they want, it can't be good. Tell them I'll only help if I can speak to BB, Legs, and Colin. Right now. Timmermans translated while the official, left by the wayside, watched One-Eye warily. It seemed One-Eye had the answer to the mystery of how anyone here had learned the common tongue of Historica. Finally, the daimyo nodded. BB, Legs, Colin! <Hey, keep your distance.> He says not to get too close. By my beard, it's you, Captain! I'm glad you're alive! I'm glad to see you as well, my Captain. But perhaps you can talk to our... hosts... about doing something about my leg? They keep saying they'll fix your leg when you stop singing in the middle of the night. But that is the best time! Yay, the captain is alive. Woopee. I've still been stuck in cages the whole time I've been an adult. Colin! You've grown up! What's your sister going to say when she sees you? We'd have to find her first, One-Eye. That's the fun thing about being locked up for years. You don't know who's alive or dead! Oh, don't mind him. He's happy to see you, Cap'n. He just wants to know, we all want to know, what you're going to do to get us out of here. For now, I'm going to play along. They want something from me and I'm hoping I can gain some leverage. You all have to stay alive until I get back here, okay? Then we'll find us a boat and get the heck away from here! They ran out of time. The guard tapped his greatclub, motioning for One-Eye and Timmermans to return to the house where the daimyo waited. One-Eye did not know how long it would be until he saw his friends again, but he steeled his resolve to meet whatever challenges were to come, all so he could turn this unlucky situation into an opportunity. Builder's Notes:
mccoyed posted a topic in Guilds of HistoricaAbove: Maps showing the location of One-Eye's prison and neighboring environs. "It seems that for most of the three years he spent confined to a hut, Capt. One-Eye was treated in a manner one might expect a prisoner to be treated anywhere in Historica. However, once the local lord decided what to do with him, there was a major change in the demeanor of his captivity if not of his captors. Never again would One-Eye's prison be one of squalor and isolation. The more he penetrated Yureishimese society, the more gilded his cage became." -Professor Artur Rimbyld, University of Petraea Geographical Society "We can no doubt learn something from Yureishimese grooming standards. Accounts vary based on social rank, but it seems that their society generally prizes a clean and ordered appearance at all times. Who knows what reason they'd give for their bathing and grooming practices, but hygiene seems twice as important to even the commonest Yureishimese than it would be in, say, Mitgardia where many of the clansfolk believe (with some empirical evidence) that spending time wet is an invitation for illness. I would be interested in comparing the rates of illness among Yureishimese directly with that of comparable populations in Historica. If only it were possible!" -Professor Nora Furnasdottir, University of Petraea Physicians' College Wolf Island, Yureishima, Date Unknown: One-Eye was led some miles away, on foot, to an isolated but well-appointed complex of buildings. Outside, a man who appeared to be a gardener seemed to be raking... sand? He created swoops and whorls in the fine gray sand, seeming to be focused around a dark gray boulder that was placed just so in the sandy area. One-Eye had no idea what that was about and decided he didn't want to know. Once he got inside, he changed his mind. As they shoved him into a wooden tub as if he was laundry, One-Eye very much would have preferred to be raking sand with the old man. Noooo! What are you doing to me!? Stop your whining, Shujin! Can't you see I am trying to enjoy my lunch? <How hairy he is! Wow!> <Ehhhhh. I have seen much hairier.> What are you saying? What is that claw thing for? Get it away from me!!! <Hold still, Shujin. Your hair and beard are so thick you're forcing us to break out the heavy duty gear.> <I am glad it is not me who has to clean this barbarian!> <It's not so bad, eh? He's so smelly and big! This is more interesting than our usual bathing jobs.> <Shhh! You'll get us into trouble being so informal.> <But look at his tooth! It is made of gold! Kawaii!> I hate this so much. <Everyone shut up while I'm eating!> Eventually, the women finished up with One-Eye and he realized he was no worse for wear. What was more, he felt kind of... good? Refreshed! The women had fixed his hair and beard and given him fresh clothes. Now he was starting to feel like a human being again. His irritation and fear subsided. He couldn't think of a reason why they'd bathe him if they were just going to kill him. He was starting to notice the details of this strange land. Its beauty, which was not rustic and wild like his homeland. Everything he had seen was cultivated, ordered. He wondered if the land was naturally like that or if its occupants were responsible. There, Shujin. Now you are staring to look like a human being again. I was just thinking that. I could use some food though. Something red and bloody! All you people feed me is fish and those little white grains. You don't like gohan? You do not have it... where you are from? Something like it but it's brown. I think they eat it in Kaliphlin. Kaliphlin? Never mind. It's just some desert back home. Look, you got me all cleaned up and pretty. What the deuce are you planning to do with me now? His jailer, this official, whoever he was, seemed to be treating him far more civilly than before. Had the bath or the lunch improved his mood? One-Eye would have believed either at this point. You will be escorted to Yoku Village where the daimyo is waiting. These lands are Akahasu 赤蓮 and what happens to you will be for the good of the clan. Aka-whatsu? You would say 'Red Lotus'. It is the name of the clan to whom your life now belongs, Shujin. Hey! My life belongs to just me. I don't care if you Aka-whatevers are the most powerful clan in wherever-this-is, you'd better not forget that. Respect, Shujin. It is what binds these lands together and you will learn to show it to your betters or it will prove costly. Ha! I've got nothing to lose and thanks to you I'll leave a pretty corpse. Better to die free anyway. Who said it would cost you? Perhaps if you keep up this insolence, the price will be paid by your men. Think on that. The official walked away, leaving him with the soldier and the gardener who seemed preoccupied with a bird in a tree. He'd provoked the official into dropping his friendly facade. Good, One-Eye thought, he hated playing pretend anyway. And now he had learned that they did know something about his men. Besides, he was starting to understand this guy was just a flunky. He was going to meet someone with power, this "daimyo" character. Then he'd have some answers! Builder's Notes: Bonus Shots:
Above: A map of the islands of Yureishima. More detailed maps showing settlements, territorial boundaries, and geographical features are currently being secured. "To the purpose of developing further interest in the Ghost Islands of Yureishima, I submit the tale of a pirate called 'One-Eye'. We know little of his origins save for that he was Mitgardian, or claimed to be, and that he captained a ship called The Hold Fast with a motley assortment of scoundrels from across Historica. In these pages, I hope to document all we have learned of their adventures. Because of his particular status among the Yureishimese, One-Eye will remain our primary focus. Please note that a reward for more information about him has been posted. We are especially keen on discovering his whereabouts since the events to be described." -Professor Artur Rimbyld, University of Petraea Geographical Society Wolf Island, Yureishima, Date Unknown: In a secluded hut on a beach deep in the Red Lotus Clan's territory, a secret has been kept for over three years... One-Eye and his crew went missing three years ago from the waters between Historica and Varlyrio. After taking a very juicy prize indeed, the Hold Fast ran from Varlyrian pursuers into uncharted waters and was shipwrecked. One-Eye survived, washing up on a beach in lands that were strange to him. Shortly thereafter he encountered people in strange garb and speaking an even stranger tongue. They were not kind and quickly subdued him. Long ago he was poked and prodded and examined by many visitors but it's been years since he has last seen a human face. He knows the guard is always outside his door but he never speaks and never shows himself to One-Eye. He is a prisoner, a natural risk of a pirate's life, but he never expected to be a prisoner in a mysterious new land. Maybe in some Varlyrian dungeon but this? Now, a visitor has at last come. Some sort of official? You! Shujin! Get up. W-what... you speak my language!? Silence! Get up. No! You will tell me what you've done with my crew! Are any of them alive? Where are they!? You will learn respect, Shujin! The official slaps One-Eye across the face. Weakened by his years of imprisonment, One-Eye nonetheless feels all the rage of those years welling up inside him. And yet... he considers his options. If he kills this man, the guard outside will no doubt kill him. Even if not, he'll be no closer to finding out what happened to The Hold Fast and her crew. Much less getting himself out of the mess he was in. A mess he'd been in so long he had just started getting used to it when this egg dispenser showed up. One-Eye decides to play along, biting back his rage and pride. He gets up. He will do as the official asks. For now... Good. We go now to prepare you. Daimyo Kawashita Ieyasu will not want to see even a Shujin dog in this condition. Builder's Notes: Bonus shot showing the experimental surf technique I used for this build:
Folk of Historica, the Crownlands and the Guilds, allow me to introduce you to an ancient and haunted new land, the Ghost Islands of Yureishima. Yureishima is a cluster of four major islands surrounded by smaller (mostly) uninhabited isles. It is a land dominated by humans, but also filled with creatures, spirits, demons, and inhuman races almost beyond description. It is an ancient land where every rock and tree is alive, both with meaning and with the local spirits and gods that the folk of Yureishima recognize. Because the empire that has long ruled the islands has had a policy of hostility to foreign visitation, no trade or diplomacy has ever been established between Historica and Yureishima. However, times are changing and the Empire is in disarray. The Imperial Family has fallen and the cohesion of the realm has drifted into civil wars, clan feuds, and power struggles between their feudal lords, which they call "daimyo". It is possible that soon, commerce and diplomacy will be possible with the Ghost Islands, leading to a great potential for adventure, fortunes, and knowledge. Though dominated by humans, the Empire is also home to nonhuman peoples broadly referred to as "yokai". Depending on context, yokai can refer to evil demons or benevolent demigods. The yokai are not collectively organized into a political body, kingdom or otherwise, and instead live within or at the edges of human civilization. The more numerous and humanlike yokai can be exceptions, such as the oni who are orc-like in appearance and dwarf-like in industry. Other yokai are difficult to categorize, especially since many of them are said to be shapechangers and tricksters, possessing supernatural powers and mercurial, alien personalities and motivations. Whether this is true or whether these "yokai" are mortal creatures we might find familiar remains to be seen. Here is some information gathered by the few Historicans who have manages to reach Yureishima and return alive: t Builder's Note: These pictures are MUCH bigger and clearer on Flickr. Please check them out there if you want to get a little more detail. I was worried about posting overly large photos here... Group Shot: groupmastershot2 by mccoyed, on Flickr