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  1. Above: 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: