Traitors of the Shogunate

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Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:47 pm

A man knelt, eyes closed and expressionless. His hair was ragged, his clothes tattered and dirt-stained. This man was a criminal, and deemed an enemy to the Shogunate - he was officially branded a traitor. He was quite alone, kneeling there in the short green grass within a courtyard somewhere in Eidou, the capital of the Shogunate. At his left was a Koi Pond, it's peaceful rippling seemed a far cry from what was going on within the man's mind, as well as the world outside of the courtyard.

The man was to be dealt with in the most effective way - Seppuku - assured death. He was on death row, execution imminent for being a traitor to the nation. After all, he did attempt a coup de etat upon the Shogun. It was obviously a huge mistake - he had underestimated the Shogun as well as the view of the people. Perhaps his own clan wanted to leave the Shogunate, but everyone else seemed content in the world. After he was captured and brought before the Shogun himself... his fate was sealed.

From a large bolted door into the courtyard, armored soldiers filed in, followed by a soldier with a light blue haori who glared at the prisoner with something akin to anger or disgust. As he stood before the kneeling prisoner, he fished a scroll of paper from inside his robes and unfurled them.

"Akechi Marechiyo, you have been sentenced to immediate death by Seppuku for the following crimes against the nation. An attempted coup at Eidou with intentions of overthrowing the Bakufu; The attempted assassination of the Lord Shogun himself as well as his family; and finally the ultimate intention of destroying the longstanding peace of Kyokai." The man with the blue haori informed with an inquisitive tone.

"I won't deny any of it." Marechiyo stated. "But what makes you think the Shinsengumi have any right to oversee my execution?" He ended with an ugly sneer.

"Perhaps it's because we're the Shogun's private soldiers. Either way, you will have to be happy with the aid of a Wolf of Mibu in your death." The Shinsengumi soldier stated with a sly grin.

The prisoner spat onto the ground and stared with such a look of hate up to the Shinsengumi.

"May I know the name of the dog who ruined everything before I die."

"Of course. My name is Okita Souji - bring it down to Yomi (the underworld) and present it to King Yama for me."

At that, the Shinsengumi named Souji grasped the hilt to his sword and unsheathed the gleaming black blade. Marechiyo flinched as he saw the device that would soon slice clean the last thread of his life. Closing his eyes, he grabbed the small knife that a soldier threw to him. Unsheathing it, he aimed the blade directly toward his abdomen - the gleaming piece of metal was mere inches from his flesh.

Souji lifted the blade over his head as he stood at the side of the kneeling prisoner. The air was tense with the anticipated swing that would behead the prisoner. At the height of the tension, Marechiyo thrust his blade into his stomach with an audible and sickening grunt of pain. As he dragged the blade horizontal through his abdomen, blood spurted from the slicing wound. At that moment, Souji gave a bellow and swung his sword downward - it only took one slice to completely behead the prisoner. Their body collapsed, lifelessly, to the ground.

Souji glanced down at the body as he took a white cloth and wiped down his blade, clensing the blood from his katana.

"The Shogunate does not stand for insurrection, Akechi Marechiyo. Now you've started something foul and we have to clean up the mess." Souji said more or less to himself.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:10 pm

Soon after the execution of Marechiyo Akechi, many things seemed to transpire in a very short amount of time. The first event that occurred was the secession and declaration of war from the Akechi Clan - a large and rather noble clan toward the very north of Kyokai. Upon the declaration reaching the hands of the Shogun himself, the north of Kyokai was seemingly thrown into a military rule. Publicly, and without cause, Shogunal soldiers based in the north were executed - those who escaped the massacre barricaded themselves into the Shogunate's fort based at the coastal-tip of Fushima.

The second event that finally persuaded the Shogunate to deem this uprising as an immediate threat, was the Akechi Clan's actions toward the Emperor himself. Boasting a slogan of "Down with the Shogun, Revere the Emperor" the Akechi denounced the power of the Shogunate and the want for the Emperor to become the sole invested power within Kyokai.

Calling forth a Shogunal Meeting that would include all the Daimyo - including Kanato Uematsu of Fushima who fled the city upon the take-over of the Akechi Clan. Once gathered within the Regent's Chamber within the lowest confines of Eidou Castle, Ieyasu Torunaga began the meeting.

Soon, he highlighted in his speech that the north of Kyokai was essentially a hot zone to be quelled immediately. The city of Tenken, being the Imperial Domain in Kyokai, was also declared part of the enemy. The Akechi Clan was the largest of them all, consisting of thousands of people - it was a Samurai clan at a glance and highly militarized. War was imminent, everyone present at the meeting knew it.

Torunaga stood at his podium and looked to his Council, his Regents, his Daimyo, and their Kage, expressing his gratefulness that they all stood with him and the Shogunate. They all expressed their solemn belief that this current regime was one of the moral right, and thus must remain. At this, the Shogun himself declared war upon the Akechi and mobilized his armies for war.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:01 pm

Soon after the defection of the Akechi and the Imperial throne from the Shogunate, a full militarization of the traitor clan had started. Using slander and propaganda, the Akechi brought several thousand people under their control, persuading them that a "New Age of Peace" would only begin once the Shogun's head was atop a pike. Rallies and mobs effectively pushed any Shogunal forces out of their cities - those who remained were systematically put to death in public - an action that only served to throw more fuel to the fire it seemed.

In the Shogun's eyes, this was the final straw. Before edo castle, the full brunt of his massive military stood at the ready. Columns and ranks of armored soldiers stood in matching uniform - dark ore breastplates, tempered steel helmets for Samurai and melee units, Sakkat hats for all musketeer troops, bracers and finally matching uniform kimonos for all (except the Shinsengumi). It was quite a sight to see, and bordering the giant square in front of the castle's entrance that stood upon the peak of the Seiji Mountain, the civilians who could crowd in to gather cheered and applauded the army.

"STAND FOR ATTENTION!"

The order was barked with quite an authoritative voice from one of the veterans generals to stand at the forefront of the ranks. All sounds stopped at his voice and finally the doors of the great castle swung open. Clad now in armor and flowing white robes stood their Shogun. Wearing two swords at his side, he descended the stairs accompanies by a military commander and a Shinsengumi.

Through the use of an archaic form of magic, long forgotten, the Shogun amplified his voice loud enough for every soul in the courtyard to hear him clearly, as if he stood alongside them. Soldiers quickly noticed many newspaper reporters standing by, and various artists sketching their Lord and the army below - likely in preparing to send this news article across the world.

"Honored soldiers of fortune, you stand here today before my humble being at an hour of great misfortune for this land of Kyokai. The next months, or perhaps years, shall be times of mourning, for every speck of Kyokan blood dissolved into our soil is a tear that Izanagi sheds from above. However, let this be the incentive to thrust yourselves into battle, to shake your blades and feel the crack of the musket. Let this be the day that you all share in the pride of Kyokai, and the honor it is to have you fight for us - and with us. These battles to come with test every bit of fortitude you might have, it is a dreadful test that must be passed at all costs. I fear, that should defeat befall us, it would spell the end of the Shogunate - and not only that, but the end of any chance to freedom and liberty that we might share. The values instilled since the Shogunate's founding would be lost forever I fear, unto a dismal system of greed, misery, and injustice for all. If we lose, then the moral good loses as well! But defeat will not come! We cannot lose this war when the fate of Kyokai stands upon our shoulders. I will join battle at the front lines if I must! WE CANNOT LOSE!"

At the end of Ieyasu Torunaga's rallying speech, which was written completely by the scribes from the newspaper, the entire court seemed to explode with cheering and applause. Battle was on the horizon in the color of blood red at the suns setting. Just as the gong of battle was finally tolled by the Shogunate, the enemy had started to move as well. It has finally begun.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:42 pm

After perhaps a month of strained quiet, the first gunshots would finally erupt in the Shogunate. The first battle would take place in the city of Tsukishima that lay to the very west of Tenken. The shouts of battle came by courier to the Capital as reports of soldiers marching on Tsukishima came in. Calling up arms, one Division of 10,000 Shogunal soldiers marched to the Bay of Kyokai and set off north of the coast. It would likely take almost the entire day for the fleet to voyage there, however it would take a day longer for the enemy to make it there over land.

Quite early the very next day, the ships landed at the ports of Tsukishima. Marching forth from the transport ships were thousands upon thousands of musketeers, all trained for combat and ready (as much as anyone might be) for war. Carrying themselves proudly through the main street of Tsukishima, the civilians praised their arrival and the decree of the Shogun to beat back the enemy that slowly encroached upon their lands. Rumor of their pillaging and burning of small villages along the way met their ears.

The commanding officer of the forces, a Colonel Nobutatsu Oda, was the son of the Daimyo to Tsukishima. He was a tough man, respected far and wide in Kyokai for his traditional views and warrior's mentality that naturally made him quite a tactical and physical force in battle. Leading his troops, he honored them only through effort and not merit in anyway, though he was considered a noble himself.

As the day progressed, and defenses were erected both by the river and around the city itself, the soldiers stood at the ready. Scouts returned then telling of the enemy's numbers, condition, and distance from the city. They had around the equal number of troops, likely many volunteers from Fushima and even soldiers from Tenken. They bore a flag representing the Emperor and his divine right, and promptly named themselves the Ishin-Shishi (Men of High Purpose). They seemed to also chant a haunting motto to their organization - "sonno-joi", which meant "Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians".

Around an hour later, a long horn-call was blown by a watch tower toward the front of the city. At that, the commanders led their forces forward. Gathering into battalions, rank and file ensued until the marching ceased.

"Naginata to the front! Musketeers - lines 1 through 3 follow up. Form ranks!" The booming voice of Nobutatsu came from the front lines as he rode forth upon his horse, the glimmering blade of a katana flashing in the sun.

The front line, made up of Naginata pole-blades knelt to the ground. The shimmering blades to their pikes cast a deadly glow as they pointed out to the enemy that had yet to ascend the hill before them as they stood out in a long open field before the entrance into the city. Musketeers knelt just behind the Naginata, their muskets held at the ready and position in between each of the front line. Behind them stood another row of musketeers at the ready.

"JUUTEN (Load!)!" A command flowed among the ranks.

The musketeers readied their muskets, pulling out their powder and shot. Stuffing through the barrel, the battalions cocked back their hammers almost in unison. The enemy was nearing closer now, they could be seen just beyond the hill ahead of the field. Soon, they would be in the muskets range.

"JUUWOKAMAETE (Ready[your weapon])!"

At that command, the muskets of the thousands of soldiers leveled to the enemy. In an horrible, almost beautiful synchrony the rifles were all prepared to fire, the soldiers stony-faced in the sunlight as they closed an eye and aimed for the enemy. The only sound within the ranks could be the large flags of the Shogunate flapping violently in the oncoming wind. The tensity of this wait was almost palpable as the last order was anticipated, as still yet the enemy neared them... almost there.

"UTTE!!(Attack)"

That last order was all they needed. Thousands of great claps, as if the Thunder God was enraged, rang through the wind as the ranks were shrouded into billowing white smoke. The screams of the enemy came to their ears just as the order to reload was given. The smoke cleared and they could see the enemy forming rank only a hundred yards away. Enemy soldiers lay on the ground - a bloody mess. The war had truly started.



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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:50 pm

From within the walled city of Tsukishima, it might have sounded like thunder rumbling all around their domain. However, it was far from a weather condition that caused such a ruckus. Just as cannon and morutaru (mortar men) started to carry or wheel their artillery in from the shores, tens of thousands of civilians were evacuated from the eastern half of the city to the west. With a lack of sufficient ships to bear them across the bay to the Capital, there was no real escape. Traveling by land was far too dangerous as well, and there was a lack of soldiers able to leave the city and guard a convoy of civilians. The situation was rather grim in this respect, however the hope was that the enemy would not be able to reach the city at all.

Back at the front lines, volley upon volley of musket fire had resumed with great precision and decent accuracy on the part of the Shogunal Army. Surprisingly, the enemy did not falter at all. Their training was obviously well enough to have soldiers fire a musket well and accurately. Along the lines of musketeers to the Shogunate, men fell like flies just as the enemy had. However, a monstrous explosion could be heard from the far back lines where the cannon where finally set up in positions. Hundreds of yards away, within the ranks of the Ishin-shishi Army, clouds of dust and debris filled the air in great plumes as the allied artillery met the ground.

Just as the front line fired again, they moved back to the third line just as the second moved forward in succession. As the third line reloaded, the fist fired and the second line moved forward again as the first went back once more. The machine of war was unwinding rapidly unto a bloodbath. The enemy's tactics were much the same, however a sudden order by their hands greatly surprised the Shogunal Forces.

"OSHIYOSERU!!" The command could be heard from across the field like a lead weight smashing into their ranks already.

At that, the first lines of the enemy charged across the field just as the first line had started to shift for the second. There was only time to fire once more, and the enemy would hit their ranks. Some of the Shogunal Army's lines had started to falter, moving slowly back until Nabutatsu Oda, the Commander barked orders to stand firm and fire. As the volley went, the enemy was a mere fifty meters from the lines. One last order was given by the commander before her drew a pistol from his robes and fired on the enemy.

"JUUKEN O SUGERU (Fix bayonets)!!"

At this, every musketeer affixed their bayonets to their muskets and got into position for a defense. The ranks collided in a mass of yells. The Naginata to the front had advanced a step and sliced down the first line of enemies easily with their pole-blades. Next, with the horn for the charge, the Shogunal forces had charged into the running enemy.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:54 pm

The tides of war shifted momentarily from dead center toward the Shogunate. It was obvious that the Shogun had many more skilled Samurai and musketeers than the enemy, and their training came to the forefront as more and more of the enemy advancements were destroyed by the allied Naginata and Musketeers. Upon the obliteration of the enemy front lines, a horrifying realization hit the commander and the troops before the gates of Tsukishima - the enemy reinforcements had been delivered already and without notice from any Shogunate scouts.

As troops poured over the hill and started to fire on the Shogunal Forces, the call to hold firm was announced. Rank and file was set back into place and the volley was fired with less accuracy than before. The situation was rapidly growing more hectic as the battle became a race for dominance. The troops mentality also started to deteriorate just as quickly as the lines started to thin out.

Soldiers had then been thrown into a certain kind of hell only seen in war. Their comrades or friends standing strongly at their side one moment, would drop in a flash - expressions of horror upon their faces, open and bleeding wounds incurable, missing limbs, the smell of death mixing with the overwhelming odor of gunpowder and sweat... all humanity or morality had been lost in only a few mere hours.

"TAIKYAKU (Retreat)!!"

The command was perhaps the only thing that saved the entire company from being destroyed. As the troops retreated, the first two lines continued to fire in fashion volleys reversed. The sight of the cannon and morutaru moving back into the city was a telltale sign of how far that the enemy had pushed them. The tides of battle had shifted them to the Ishin-shishi.

The battle became very very different as soon as the troops ran into the city. It was now a war completely for the defense of the city. Tsukishima was a walled city, thus troops were hastily driven to the palisades and battlements at the top of the walls. Firing down indiscriminately after the order to "open fire" was given, the enemy found it tough to get close to the walls.

From behind the walls and in the city, the morutaru set up positions and started to rain shells down upon the enemy. Those who bore melee weaponry were given clay pots to throw at the enemy - of course they were filled with oil. The pot was topped by a strip of cloth that the soldier lit with a torch and tossed into the enemy. As a salvo of these Fire Bombs were thrown, the enemy seemed to scatter slightly away as several soldiers caught fire like a scarecrow in a dry field. Other soldiers heated water and poured the boiling liquid into more pots and slung them over to cause a terrible splash effect.

These tactics seemed to unnerve the enemy and the call for them to retreat was given. Before the Shogunal Forces could celebrate their successful push back, enemy cannon were spotted at the top of the hill - the battle wouldn't end there.

The thunder of their cannon was only muffled by the explosions of their shot hitting the thick stone walls of the city. They couldn't give the entire day, it would only take so much until they fell - the gates were also now exposed to ramming or cannon blast.

Orders from above were to start barricading half of the city away from the other. The entire eastern half was emptied of civilians so should the enemy invade, none were in danger as long as the Shogunal Forces could hold the western half of the city. Tsukishima was divided by a river of course, and the bridges across were ordered to be destroyed should the enemy push inward toward the center.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:01 pm

Dated: February 2nd, 1571
Location: In the frigid city of Tsukishima


It has already been two weeks since the war started. It is quiet now however far from peaceful. Just because it is night, we have been told to expect an attack at any moment. The commanders were right - for several nights in a row, the Ishin-shishi have launched full blown assaults and every time we are pushed back to the western half of the city. Every time we advance, we are forced to retreat. No one said that the enemy was as well trained as we are.

Now, we have been pushed completely over the Tsukishima River. It had started to snow a few days before today, and it has continued ever since. There must be two feet already, and we don't have the necessary clothing for this climate. Coming from Hinamizawa doesn't help much either... it's warm down there most of the year.

Reinforcements aren't due for weeks yet, and from what I've heard from the Major, we've already lost over three thousand soldiers. We also are not to expect any winter clothing, or extra ammunition. The new muskets that we received from a foreign country are well made, so I suppose that could be our saving grace. Our guns are better made and consequently more accurate than the enemy's. Both of us share several issues now though -

Illness is spreading, wounds are untreated or treated the wrong way, and ammunition is running at all time lows. Even the cannon have gone silent and have stayed as much for a week. Looking at my own supplies, I wonder if I will make it through this battle. I have a few bandages, an empty canteen, perhaps a handful of powder, and around thirty more rounds in my satchel.

Since we had to retreat into the city, the battle has taken a turn for the worse. No longer do we stand by rank and file anymore. Now, we have been ordered to attack by squad, use buildings and debris as cover, and to ambush as many of the Ishin-shishi as we might come across. Our guerilla tactics seem to work, however now both of our forces have adapted the same strategy. Now, because of our limitations, we have been forced to delve into a war of endurance - who will starve before the other? Who will lose ammunition before the other? Who will descend unto madness before the other?

I have seen death. Not only down the sights of my musket, but alongside side where I stand. And in the medical tents. I always wonder if that musket ball that hit my comrade to my right was meant for me. I dream about death - its warm embrace, and falling into a world without war and tragedy. If I die, Izanami will bring me to Yomi - maybe I won't have to see my comrades die around me - that's all that's up here now. The only things surrounding us now is pain, death, and the ruins of a burning city.

I suppose the only thing I can do now is have some hope that ammunition will come soon, and food, and clean water since the river has been dammed and poisoned. Clean, warm clothes would be nice too. Soon enough, I fear that this battle will descend even further into insanity - we will run out of ammunition - both of us, and we'll use our hands... our blades... and our teeth to destroy one another. And by the time everything we should have had comes to us, the city will be vacant and devoid of all life. The only thing that will remain are animals not fit to walk on this earth. Starving, ravenous, volatile beasts.

The only thing I will take with me to my grave (should I finally die), is that I know why I joined this war. The Shogunate is the only government for Kyokai, and even if I lose everything through this battle, I will hold to it that it is for the honor of my nation, my family, and my fallen comrades.

Long live the Shogun,

Serizawa Kamo - 芹沢-加茂
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:36 pm

Indeed, the snow continued to fall. Tsukishima had not only endured through a war the likes it had never seen, but a winter just as terrible. Though soldiers died every day from the musket ball or blade, even more died from starvation, hypothermia, and gangrene. By now, both forces had started to dwindle down in number - 10,000 Shogunal troops marched on Tsukishima and worked to defend the city, only 3,000 remained many of which were sick or wounded in some way. The Ishin-shishi attacked Tsukishima with almost 11,000 troops, only 2,300 remained.

The way or warfare changed drastically during this war. Due to the circumstances of the battle, the troops could no longer stand in rank and file lines, firing vollies from one side to the next - an interesting new way to battle, a hybrid of warfare, was soon born. For conditions in which the battle occurred in the city or in areas similar, cover was taken, squad based tactics emerged, and ambush strategies developed.

Tsukishima became a ruined city - much of the eastern half was burning or in ruins - mere skeletons of the homes of buildings merely stood among charred wood and corpses of the dead. The street was littered with pock-mark and crater from cannon ball and shot - makeshift camps were created for the soldiers spread around the city. No longer were massive charged conducted, for no longer did a soldier carry ammunition - those that had a single ball left, saved it for themselves...

Three months after the Battle for Tsukishima began, everything had changed. It was now March 23rd, 1571 - no reinforcements have arrived due to climate restrictions, the civilians in the eastern half of the town huddled in homes, afraid to leave. The soldiers continued to hold the eastern portion of the city and used anything they could to keep their opponents away from the River - whether it be stone, pot, or charges. Those who held the East were named the "Snow Leopards" by the public and were soon famous all around the country. The Snow Leopards died their uniforms and armor white to blend into their surroundings and used shock attacks that grew to be infamous with the enemy - a source of fear. As a symbol of their resolve, these soldiers painted an actual snow leopard upon the Shogunal flag and upon their armor.

On March 23rd, the order from Nobutatsu was finally given. It was time for the Snow Leopards to claw their way to victory. It was the dead of night - quiet for once, and this would be the time in which the Shogunal forces would destroy the enemy. A mass advance with the last of the forces was given, however in small units and spread throughout the city. Plans to attack specific portions in order to draw the enemy out were made, and thus a pincer movement was ordered to close them in like cattle to the slaughter.

Crossing the river by small boats, the troops moved in all clothed in white. Bearing the last vestiges of valor and resolve, every soldier armed themselves with their katana or their empty musket with bayonet. Slowly moving into the city, the troops split then and went on toward their own objectives. After a while, screams of terror and surprise shot through the air - the diversionary troops made their final debut. The rest of the soldiers flanked every which way and silently, through the alleyways and roads they knew so well, they slowly cornered the wounded tiger called the Ishin-shishi. As every outlying enemy was cut down, the Shogunal Forces pushed in and finally happened upon the enemy main camp. Bellowing war cries, all 3000 troops swarmed the camp and took much of the enemy by surprise.

That last attack, later to be named the Final Offensive, was an attack hearkening back to Kyokai's feudal history of Samurai warfare. The ragged soldiers in tattered clothing, dented armor, and worn faces attacked with the vigor of a wild animal onto its prey. Every enemy was slaughtered aside from their commander who was hastily taken prisoner. Later in the day however, as the prisoner was moved from the eastern half to the west, he committed suicide as he forced his guards away and lunged his bound self onto a jagged piece of wood, standing as a spike from a ruined waterwheel.

The battle ended with cries of victory. It had tolled more than 16,000 deaths in total. As the civilians both cheered for the Shogun's final victory, and mourned for their decrepit city, they already started work on cleaning up and reconstruction. The soldiers were still stuck in the city, however after being treated by the grateful citizenry, and given warm plates of food, recovery had finally started. The dead were honorably buried, even the enemy for they fought them with tooth and nail. Soon, a message would make its way to the war-torn city of Tsukishima that would promise the immediate removal of all troops that fought in the city, and reinforcements for those who wished to continue on in the war. So, while many would leave to go back to their families and peaceful lives, some would stay to fight again another day.

One significant thing that this battle showed to the Shogun was that the enemy was not to be underestimated. This war was indeed for the survival of the Shogunate, and of Kyokai as a whole.

And thanks to the invention of the printing press earlier in the century, the battle would be reviewed world wide, making the Snow Leopards and their struggle for survival an international wonder.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:46 pm

THE SHOGUN'S JOURNAL

Dated: March 30th, 1571

March 23rd shall henceforth be made into a National Holiday - the respect that the brave soldiers of Kyokai have earned should be celebrated forever here. The Battle for Tsukishima will never be forgotten in the minds of Kyokai, and neither shall the sacrifices made by those who fought there. It is because of the outcome of that battle perhaps that this Shogunate still stands. Still, the grim flag of the Ishin-shishi still stands as an impediment to this government's natural progress.

I know not where the next conflict shall take place, and as of yet, I feel the time for our own offensive has yet to come. My troops have been mobilized for war, and Kyokai stands by the brink of hell. Tsukishima has taught me many things - I can no longer rely on archaic battle methods to win this war - it is time for a great change. During the last stages of the battle, I sent several Military Tacticians to the Republic to observe our friends across the sea. Their army is newer than ours in both strategy and technology. My tacticians are still there, and with their information I seek to create our own New Model Army.

With the new muskets shipped from Capua during the Battle for Tsukishima, I have had our own Military Engineers analyze the weapons. Perhaps through doing such things, Kyokai will advance our armories with newer weapons to provide for Kyokai's troops. The Tanegashima Muskets we have now are too many steps behind to use anymore upon the field of battle. I expect developments on our plans for the future army to come to me soon enough.

Tactics upon the battlefield during Tsukishima have served to give our forces a lesson in future warfare. There is a place for squad based guerilla tactics, new attack methods, and obvious a recall for rank and file movements. I fear the age of the Samurai is long gone, though the Samurai shall not disappear in presence of course. The age of the musketeer and cannon has taken over - the Gunpowder Revolution has taught me that.

In a direction far from war and battle, I currently have two foreign diplomats in my midst. I think our dealings have gone without a hitch - quite successful shall our countries be should our relations not sully. I have an urge to visit the Republic one day, call it a vacation. I haven't been able to explore anything since I was but a child journeying to the Island of Joushu... I miss the days of careless adventure, truly. Perhaps with our new bonds of fellowship, I would be able to make that voyage, just as Nagano-san did months ago!

I have much to think about, and thus I must end this entry for the night.

For the Peace and Tranquility of my people,

~ Ieyasu Torunaga - 家康-徹ナガ
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:27 pm

Dated: June 7th, 1571

It has been nearly two months since the Battle for Tsukishima. Everyone now anticipates an upcoming attack by the Ishin-shishi. Perhaps this is false however, many people think that the Shogunate will throw the next punch - they're correct. I have been in meetings with my closest military advisers, tacticians, and officers planning the next stage of this Bakumatsu (Civil War) that we find ourselves in. And yet, I find no rest even after those meetings adjourn.

I must deal with the economy, I must deal with my unhappy citizens, I must deal with everything that every leader or every nation determines to put up with. I cannot lie and say that it isn't taking its toll. I feel that my health has declined as of late - of course, I shall never let anything like this remove me from this world, nor the position I have been entrusted with. Should I die, I shall seek to haunt my successor - at least until my vision of the future Kyokai has been realized. I have ambitions that I shall never cast down before some degraded, immoral enemy like the Ishin-shishi.

The Regent of War - Kenshi Yutagane-san, my Head Officers, and I have all come up with a strategy for the next conflict between us. We shall seek to end this - once and for all. The attack will be on Tenken, the Imperial City. That is currently the seat of their power, both militarily and symbolically. If we take the city, the Ishin-shishi will only need a nudge before they crumble to pieces. Without the Emperor as their leader and figurehead, the entire resistance will falter. I will take full advantage of that. Of course, destruction of the Imperial City is strongly prohibited, so use of artillery shall be... limited.

The idea is to attack from the Tenken River. We will use several ships, and by cover of night, we will float right into the city and attack from its core. Not only should this catch them by surprise, but it should confuse them as I will also have a unit attack the west entrance directly as a decoy. Should all go according to plan, the enemy will send the brunt of their troops to the walls, while they leave the core and river rather unprotected.

While the river would likely be considered a great liability to the enemy, they will think that their forward outposts at the north end of the coast would be enough to spot the enemy. We instead shall take the long route through the southern end of the river through the jungle. A day sooner, a surprise attack on their jungle outposts will occur, allowing us safe passage without any alarms sounding the next day.

More planning is to be done of course. No plan is perfect. We must take the utmost care in devising this battle, for if we don't, the loss would be catastrophic for the Shogunate.

Interestingly, it seems that the Republic has sent a small contingent of their own proud soldiers to Kyokai. I suspect it is to observe our own military actions. I will ask them if they wish to observe the Battle upon the Tenken River, of course it shall be their choice whether they want to or not. Two months ago, I sent my own observers to the Republic to watch Capua's military. We have since gained much information that has aided in my creating the new model army. I pray for their safe return once all is done.

Alas, it is late. I suppose rest would help greatly at this point.

For the Peace and Tranquility of my people,

~ Ieyasu Torunaga - 家康-徹ナガ
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:25 pm

After the events of June 15th, 1571, the call was made to join in meeting at the Military High Command at Inuwashita, the Eagles Talon. It was the largest military base Kyokai had, based at the foot of the Kamizawa Mountains. It stood as a black castle in Kyokan style within an artificial moat. A single, ornate bridge crossed over to the fortress, guarded 24/7 by heavily armed Elite Troops and obviously gated at both ends of the bridge. The castle, though beautiful to behold, and hosting a grand circular courtyard out front with such a peaceful environment it might be hard to tell it was a military compound.


There, in the council room, several Daimyo, Officers, and finally the Regent of War met with the Shogun to discuss their next plans of action. As they spread a large map of Kyokai out upon the long table they sat at, Torunaga rose from his seat.

He looked pale, ill, and older than he had before the war began. Some of his old eccentricities seemed to have faded along with his vitality. Standing firmly, still able to convey his dignity and inner strength, he pointed to the north of Kyokai. Leading his finger along one river in particular, he then landed right upon the marked Imperial City of Tenken.

"Our plans to attack Tenken from the River must be done. We shall strike from the southern inlet, as planned, and move straight into the city's core. Troops will have already played as our decoy by the western entrance to the city, drawing the rats out of hiding. From there, we will begin a bombardment of the city from both our decoy positions, and of course the river. Focus fire away from the core to lead the enemy away from our main positions. From the center, our troops will attack from the inside and outside. If all goes according to plan, we will have not only cut off the enemy troops from one another, but also destroyed supply lines and surprised them enough to make the attack a complete success. We must keep the Tenken River well under our grasp of course, for should anything go wrong, there is no escape but from the River." Torunaga stated.

"My Lord, what if the decoy troops crumble? What if they are waylaid in their efforts to seize their attention?" Asked the Daimyo of Ezojima, Keishi Uesugi.

"Lord Uesugi, then we shall call for reinforcements from both Eidou and Tsukishima as they are the closest cities to Tenken. If all goes horribly wrong... then I shall call for a full retreat." Torunaga responded bitterly, even thinking about a defeat was a foul taste in the mouth.

"Should the Shinsengumi participate in this battle, my Lord?" Asked Kondo Isami, Captain Commander over the Shinsengumi.

"No. I will have them stay at Eidou this time around. After all, you are my special forces. I do not foresee the need for me to mobilize your Units as of yet." Torunaga replied as he sat down once more, taking a sip of tea he had prepared.

"At least send a unit, My Lord." Persisted Kondo. "I heard you wanted to observe the battle first hand. Allow them to be your guard! The Hatamoto, Genshin Iawmaru won't be enough there... no offense intended, Iwamaru-san." He added at the end with a placating look to the Shogun's closest adviser and bodyguard.

"Perhaps he is correct, My Lord. A small unit of Shinsengumi would be more than welcomed in the battlefield." Genshin said looking to his Master.

"Mmmm, yes. Maybe so. Isami-san, please notify Souji Okita-san to mobilize a squad from his 1st Division. He will take part in this offensive." Torunaga ordered after thinking for a while. Kondo bowed upon the order. "Now then, let us mobilize the troops. Tomorrow we shall head out to battle. I will be no exception."

At this last statement, most of the Daimyo and officers there looked to each other cautiously. Most didn't think that having their nation's leader on the field of battle was the best thing, however they did not want to go against his command. They knew their place, and never questioned his own. After all, Torunaga was a seasoned warrior himself - perhaps he'd be OK.

Before everyone filed out of the chamber, Torunaga made to contact the Ambassador to Capua who now held residence right in Eidou by the castle. Recently, a small amount of dwarven soldiers had come to observe the Kyokan military. This battle might be the perfect chance for them to truly observe how his soldiers fought.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Redcoat on Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:12 pm

Sergeant Olivier Tirmont of the Republican Army marched along, leading a column of twenty-five Republican Bluejackets. Twenty of them were your basic musketeer; five of them were Rangers. Despite carrying guns and ammunition, they had no intention of fighting anyone in this far-off land. Indeed, they had no intention of getting their hands dirty at all.

Olivier had accepted their mission, "Project Plato", the moment the messenger had presented him with the idea. He had longed to travel; most of all to areas almost totally unexplored by his kind. Kyokai offered the best opportunity to do this he was likely to ever see. And on top of that, it came with a substantial pay raise. All he had to do was march around and take note of things, with a special eye to how the Kyokans fought their civil war.

The Foreign Affairs people who'd explained this to him had left nothing to chance. Learning was valuable; this was, even to a peon like himself, obvious enough. To learn from a people with so different a set of circumstances was an even more valuable opportunity. The soldier had no complaints.

However, the practicalities of the situation had wrecked his thought of simply going on holiday. This was business, after all! State business, in fact. He was as much a diplomat as the Foreign Affairs official--Louis Riviere--walking next to him. And as he and his men marched down the cobbled streets of Eidou, away from its magnificence and pleasures, to meet up on a well-travelled junction, upon a main road down which a few minutes later the Kyokan main force was to pass, it dawned on him that he and his men would soon find themselves in the thick of it all.

As the small group of Dwarves approached the junction, the great cloud of dust nearby parted momentarily to reveal the Rising Sun standards of the Kyokan Army; their black, white, and red made them truly striking. Their standard-bearer couldn't help but raise their own flag a bit; a subconscious reaction. Olivier and Louis prepared themselves as they halted, their twenty-five a perfect square near the side of the road.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:09 pm

The square of dwarves was easy to spot, so out of place among the Kyokai people. Civilians about gave fleeting, curious glances to the gaijin (foreigners) before going about their daily business. The long ranks of troops marching through Eidou to the port at the Bay quickly met up with the visitors. At a barking order from the officer at the head, the soldiers stopped. They stood quite still as statues, well trained and obviously prepared for battle with all their weapons shined and maintained and their uniformed armor polished and lacquered.

The officer in charge, a gruff General by the name of Jushiro Onihara galloped to the front of the visitors garbed in full armor. At his back was a long barreled blunderbuss, while the more traditional Samurai's weapons were at his side. Dismounting his steed, the man bowed to the dwarves curtly, then straightening up he looked to the officer in charge of the Observation squad from Capua. To their surprise, he could speak their language quite well.

"You must be Sergeant Olivier Tirmont of the Republic. I welcome you and your host to Kyokai. I hope your welcome was well received and you didn't have any troubles while heading to Eidou. Going outside the city... it's dangerous now." The General said in his gravely voice, his Capuan noticeably understandable, however dulled by a thick accent. "I am General Jushiro Onihara, I am to be commanding the invasion force at Tenken. For your information, Major Hanya Inokaze is leading the first battalion, 1st Lieutenant Senzo Harikawa is leading second battalion, and Colonel Kakashi Inoue is leading the third. We also have the 1st Unit Commander, of the Shinsengumi here to provide some heavy assistance."

At his mention, Souji Okita, the Shinsengumi's commander rode up alongside. Behind him was a small force of his own personnel, all garbed in the rather flamboyant uniform of their force. Unlike the mainly red, white, and black colors of the standardized military uniform, the Shinsengumi retained the traditional colors of the Torunaga clan - light blue, black, and white. In the rising wind by the coast, the short haori coats that they wore over ornate black armor breastplates flowed behind elegantly. The soldiers in his unit looked tough, much more foreboding than in the regular military. After all, these troops were deemed as the "special forces" directly under control of the Shogun himself. Usually tasked with the guard of the Capital City, it was rare to see them in the battlefield.

"Ah, here is the man himself. Allow me to introduce 1st Commander, Souji Okita-san." General Jushiro Onihara said.

"I've met their President. He's a good man, and the Capuans are good people." Souji complimented with a bow from his horse. "I'm afraid I must see that my unit is properly placed, so I bid you farewell. Perhaps I'll spot you all from the battlefield." Souji said, a devious grin upon his face as he ended and trotted off, waving goodbye as his troops followed behind.

"Alright. We should probably make it for the docks. You're all going to be on the flagship Raitonmaru with my force." The General said as he started to mount his chestnut horse.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Redcoat on Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:41 pm

Olivier was quite quiet during their introductions, doing his utmost to be as respectful to his hosts as possible. He couldn't help smiling a bit; certainly his job would be much easier with the Kyokans' support. And thinking pragmatically for a moment, they'd opened everything up to his watchful eyes--even their beloved Shnsengumi. He would have to be sure to pronounce all of this correctly.

"My men and I thank you for your welcome," Olivier replied, bowing low. "I hope that we may learn from your expertise."

With the pleasantries finished--at this point during a formal conversation in Capua he'd have taken a swig of his whiskey--he indicated his acceptance of the General's plan.

"We'll follow you," he said to Jushiro. He turned to his men and, instantly changing to a command tone, barked orders. "Unit! Left turn! Colour to the front! March!"

As the armies were off, the Republican troops took their place within the Kyokan ranks, marching along one of the flanks--a tiny spot of blue and white in a sea of black and red. Olivier, however, left a lesser officer in command of them--they were marching less than ten miles, what was going to happen?--and aimed instead to discuss military matters with Jushiro. He began walking alongside; his short stride--he was a Dwarf after all--just barely keeping up with the horse's trot. But Capuans were used to this.

"So, I suppose then all that remains is to discuss the plan," Olivier said. "Your three units, plus Shinsengumi, are to land near the city of Tenken, if I'm not mistaken--but I am unfamiliar with the details. Perhaps you could enlighten me?"
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:08 am

As the small Capuan unit of observing soldiers fell in with the rest of the marching soldiers, their commanding officer, Olivier strode alongside Jushiro's steed. Finding this as an insult to his new friend, he dismounted his stallion and gave it a slap on the side - an order to trot off ahead and wait for him by the docks. Jushiro started to walk alongside Olivier, who was a bit surprised by the genuine actions of the Kyokan general.

"I confess that the battle plan is not so simple as landing troops in a designated spot outside of Tenken. You see, Sergeant Olivier, Tenken is a city that holds quite a vast importance to the people of Kyokai. It is the Imperial City, home of God personified. You must realize that the defense of such a city will be quite expansive, yes? And it is not only the private soldiers of the Emperor himself, but the Ishin-shishi - the traitors have provided ample troops themselves from their base city of Fushima to the north of Tenken. We cannot simply perform a siege, it would exhaust us. More troops would die before reaching the high walls then breaching." Jushiro explained.

"This is why the Shogun and all of Kyokai's top military advisers and strategists have come up with a plan for the invasion that should work if all goes well. From Tsukishima to the west of Tenken, we have dispatched a small decoy force that shall engage the city of Tenken directly. This should lead the enemy to strengthen their defenses on the western end of the city while leaving the rest quite weakened. We have also sent troops ahead to deal with the communication lines and the patrol posts at the southern half of the Tenken River that leads out to the Arashi Sea - the very sea we will be voyaging to quite soon. This will ensure that the enemy does not know our approach into the city by river. We, the main force, will be invading Tenken by its core - the river runs through the city itself."

Jushiro could see questions written all over his guest's face. Hopefully he could answer them all. He continued on:

"Perhaps a month ago, around the 4th of May, we planted a double agent from the Shogun's Reconnaissance and Intelligence Corps, the Teisatsubutai, into the ranks of the Ishin-shishi themselves. He was able to gain their trust, and has planted enough false information to inform the enemy that the Shogunate plans to launch an attack from two ends - the west and the northern end of the city by the mouth of the river. Of course, we will be heading up through the southern end. Once inside, the objective is simple - swiftly take down the forces defending Tenken. The attack will be as a surprise, so we should have the upper hand." Jushiro finished.

Before he allowed Olivier to ask any questions, he suddenly remembered something else about the entire battle that even he wasn't entirely sure about.

"Ah, and the Shinsengumi... I believe they have their own objective separate from ours in the battle. The Shogun has not told me about it, and I do not have the authority to ask Commander Okita about it either...."
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Redcoat on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:19 pm

"I see." Olivier's tone remained academic, despite his surprise at his comrade's dismounting. "That is a worthy plan, then. If we are to retreat, would we be forced to use the boats?"

In truth, he had all sorts of questions. Why would the Shogunate assault Tenken if it was not sure of victory? Granted, he would have ro report most favourably on their use of misinformation to confuse and misdirect their enemy--but attacking from within the city seemed a death sentence. Or perhaps who dared won. He'd have to wait and see.

"This strategy takes guts," the Sergeant said, chuckling a bit. "We admire that where I come from. I suppose then that once we land, we'll trap the force defending the walls. I'd imagine you're aiming to take the city's supply stores intact?"
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:34 pm

The General, Jushiro Onihara chuckled at mention how daunting this military strategy was. Indeed, he had doubts of it as well, and yet confidence as well. It was one of those plans that would either win them the day gloriously... or end terribly with the cost of many lives. Jushiro silently hoped for the former.

"Yes, the plan is indeed daring. It holds its risks, but then there would be no easy way to invade Tenken. Personally, I sense a secondary reason for us piercing our forces into Tenken's core - I think it has to do with the Shinsengumi's mission. It is not my place to ask, only obey my orders." Jushiro said.

As they marched on, Jushiro looked ahead. He could finally see the glittering waters of the Bay of Kyokai close ahead. It was too bad that they wouldn't be sailing upon the crystalline waters of the Great Ocean, but rather through the river systems leading to the Arashi Sea far to the east. The sails of their ships could be seen as great triangular white masses.

"As for that," Jushiro continued. "Yes, we intend to take the supply stores intact without damage to anything if we can help it. However, orders have been given that in the case of an impossibility in reaching the supply storms, they must be burned to ground. Should the enemy procure their own supply lines, it could mean defeat. And yes, after invading the city, when the forces split, two companies are to assault the wall's defenders from the rear and flanks, while the third and largest force attacks the auxiliary defenders within the core. If our misinformation works, then the enemy won't expect the main force to take them from within, as they will be focusing on the defense of the north, and the west against our decoy regiment."
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Redcoat on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:40 pm

"Excellent," Olivier said. "Then I suppose these ships are what we should board."

Ahead of them now, after about an hour's walk, was Eidou's port district. It was still bustling; though the Capuan imagined that ordinarily this port was of great commercial importance, today it had been converted to a military purpose. The mercantile buzzing was replaced by a solemn air. There were crowds gathered at the docks; some were clearly regiments that had made it there before the main force, likely supporting arms, but others were distinctly not soldiers. They were crowds of civilians, kept away from the business of the docks by hastily erected barriers.

As they approached, the people bowed. There was little cheer. A few offered gestures or shouts to particular men--no doubt wives and children. White lilies were thrown by the crowd in great numbers. They adorned the path to the ships; Olivier clued in rather quickly that this was some sort of well-wish. He felt truly foreign here; for his men there were no lilies. He had stepped into, and was observing, what was well and truly someone else's affair.

As his men, and the Shogun's Army, boarded the boats, they were herded to the belowdecks. They would set sail for Tenken immediately, and be there in a few days; upon which time they would proceed to raise hell. Olivier had his doubts--especially about the Shinsengumi and their "secret objective", and the sheer audacity of the assault. Retreat was practically impossible. But perhaps this was the idea.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:57 pm

As the soldiers filed onto the ships, sailors rigged the sails and got them ready for taking off. The waters were quite strong in the Bay, perhaps a sign of what was to come. The soldiers stayed calm though, even tranquil in the face of an impending battle. They chose their bunks below deck, silently prepared their equipment for the next days to come, and chatted with their comrades.

A lurch of the ships told the soldiers that the mooring was taken away and the ships had taken sail. Those on deck waved and cried out to their loved ones, just as their families did the same. War was indeed a sorrowful affair, seen in the swelled, crying eyes of the civilians who buried their faces in their hands of the embrace of another. The soldiers couldn't help but use this time as a reflection - they would use this as an incentive to get through the battle, to see their families again. If they should die, it would be for the honor of their Shogunate and clan.


Days went by slowly and without much instance. The soldiers spent their time as anyone would during a voyage to battle - talking, eating, sleeping, meditating. During the first day, after sailing from the bay into the inlet of the Ouken River, they found themselves traveling through Eidou, however within a sort of canal - lower than the land and bordered by shaved rock walls as if a moat. This was done purposely to make an invasion by the river quite difficult.

The Ouken River was wide and long, traveling from the Bay of Kyokai and then into a Juncture that split into the various river systems moving south and north. They would take the northern route of course, and make due east to the coastal outlet from the Shiro River that was a junction off of the Ouken.

It took many days, but in those hours spent, the soldier physically and mentally prepared themselves. Sparring matches were held on the top deck, a demonstration of martial arts learned for hand-to-hand, close quarters combat. One could hear the thudding from soldiers being slammed into the deck from even the bow. Training with weapons was also included - bayonet drills, weapon-assisted close quarters combat, and swordsmanship practice were daily.

On the lower deck, the Samurai on board would engage in friendly bouts with one another using their own swords. The clashing and clanging of their blades introduced quite an atmosphere onto the ships. Their martial prowess was observed by a circle of soldiers who witnessed their sword techniques who clapped an cheered. Some even held betting games to pass the time by.

Officers chose to forget all of this - of course, this wasn't in demonstration of some lack of authority on the ship, but rather a lenience. The officers, more than anyone there, cared for their soldiers and didn't want to see morale low. At least until the day before the battle, Sake (rice wine) was passed out alongside the food prepared by the ship's chef - laughter and general fun was encouraged. Keeping the mood "loose" was everything now. To have tense soldiers was the last thing they wanted.

With their Capuan observers on deck, many soldiers took an interest in them. With the aid of those who could speak a bit of the Capuan tongue, many questions were asked. Bonds were formed between them soon enough as they spent more time among them. Though they were not to fight in the battle, the general sentiment of the Shogunal soldier was that they still were there alongside them. It took courage to step within the battlefield, even without the intent to shed the blood of another man.

And after a two and a half day voyage, they finally found the Eastern Coast. Many of the soldiers who had lived in the west of Kyokai never saw the waters there. To their surprise, it was quite different than they imagined. In the western coast, the Great Ocean, the waters were dark blue and normally quite ferocious once out far enough. These waters were calm, aqua-marine and warm to the touch. It was clear enough to see many feet below, with fish swimming in and out of sight in bright colors, large and small. One soldier even swore he saw a giant sea turtle. They now lay within the Arashi Sea.

Though the name seemed paradoxical, as Arashi meant "Storm, or Tempest", the officers promised their soldiers that the Arashi was named as such for a reason. This eastern sea had the worst storms that the ocean had to offer - tsunami season, though long past now, would come again and most notably from the east.

The armada of ships headed north along the coastline. Soldiers spent their time as before - training or meditating - many looked to the land. It was filled with forest and jungle, high bluffs and cliffs led unto thick forested areas that stretched out right to the eves of the water below. Fantastic rock formations jutted out into the sea, natural arches of rock large enough for the most titanic warship to pass through marked their passage. Fire giant arches marked their path to the Tenken River.

"Those are the Kami no te Zeppeki." Jushiro said to his Capuan comrades. "It means 'God's Hand Precipice'. They are formations said to have been carved by the hands of the Gods themselves at Kyokai's beginning. This is the first time I've ever seen them, they're magnificent!"

Upon the tallest of the Arches, stood a single Torii Gate marking the formations as holy ground. Sitting against the edge of the cliff nearby, leading out to the arches, sat a great Shrine Temple dedicated to all the gods of the Shinto religion. Roped across the tallest arch, from the deck of the Shrine, was a pathway to the Torii gate that the priests would make for prayers.

Passing through, the thick jungle lay before them. Two tall towers could clearly be seen, flags of the Ishin-shishi still standing upon them as banners for war. The attitude became quite stoic on board the ships. The officers notified all that the towers were currently under hold of the Shogunate's advance forces who were ordered to capture them days before - no fear was needed at this point. Just as the ships approached, soldiers could be seen in their red, white, and black uniforms running to the towers and replacing the flags with the Shogun's. It was the signal... all was clear. It was time.

"It will be around two hours time until we make it to Tenken. This is the time my comrades. Steel yourselves, the day of awakening is upon us - we are the Fist of the Shogun, the Tiger of the Bakufu. We must strike with deadly force - allow no prisoners. The Rising Sun shall greet us this day, just as our shot and blade shall meet the traitors called the Ishin-shishi! No more fear. No more apprehension. The only thing you must do is KILL! FOR THE GLORY OF THE SHOGUNATE!"

Jushiro mounted his horse and bellowed his speech to his flagship. The waters were still enough that even the ships nearby could hear him. Cheering roared out to meet his speech as he flashed out his blade and aimed it to the Tenken River where they would advance into. The gong of war was tolled, and the Second Battle of the Bakumatsu had just begun.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:39 am

Date format -- June 25th - June 1st, 1571

The Battle for Tenken


The soldiers had prepared themselves as best they could for what was to come, but physically and mentally. However, something wasn't right, and General Jushiro Onihara seemed to believe this most noticeably. The first sign to him, was how their men on the watch towers at the eves of the Tenken River had run just as soon as they raised the Shogun's flags and into the forest. They ran toward the city of Tenken, prompting most soldiers to assume they ran to the forward lines of battle outside the wall where the diversion was to be advanced into their own position.

Jushiro decided to shrug it off as something merely odd, however he couldn't get rid of the terrible feeling he had. Silently, his soldiers prepared for the siege that was to happen - loading shot and powder to the cannons at starboard and port, preparing muskets for the first call to fire, furling sails for a slower approach by oar. Soon, every soldier stood at the ready, musket firmly in hand.

The Samurai seemed to take less time donning their armor and cleaning their katana than the infantry. Their own rifles were slung to their backs or upon their shoulders, as prepared as their iron will to destroy the enemy. The Shogun's Army was indeed impressive as it stood.

As countless trees passed them by as they rowed the ships up the Tenken River toward the city, soon sounds of battle could be heard. The diversion had been set and was currently underway. The "primary wave attack" on Tenken was, by all rights, a success.

The edge of the city appeared, bathed in the shadows of the wall that they would pass through via a large opening for trade vessels. What lay up ahead was completely unknown to them, aside from what their plans notated. Nevertheless, the sentiment of all there on the ships was that they would meet their enemy upon the battlefield and either win or lose. They aimed for the former.

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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:47 pm

THE BATTLE FOR TENKEN (CONT.)


All hell had broken loose. Fire and water melded into a brilliant, yet horrifying display of utter chaos just as the attack began. The Ishin-shishi knew that they were coming - that the invasion was to begin at Tenken's core. The enemy was prepared for their boat landings. Just as the fifth boat sailed into the city, from all sides seemingly, gunfire blazed around them.

The entire first boat was annihilated right there on the spot, then most of the second and third. Even the steadfast, yet shocked commands of the COs were drowned out by the yelling of the surprised and bewildered soldiers, and those that lay dying on the boats. Many fell into the water, quite dead or barely alive only to drown after a few moments. The water ran red with the blood of the Shogunal Invasion Army.

However, even with all the chaos about them, the Generals and his adjutants snapped their soldiers back into action. Those still in boats crouched and aimed, firing into the mobs of enemy soldiers. Those who could, launched themselves onto land from the rocking boats and formed into ranks to bring hell down upon the ambushers. Barking commands, the General, Jushiro Onihara, formed the army back up - most could only just tell how shaken up he was.

Just as the ranks were made, the Ishin-shishi formed a charge - cries of Banzai and Yatta pierced the air as their feet stomped into the stone courtyard that the core of Tenken consisted of. Without fear, the CO of each regiment and platoon commanded the ranks to simply aim and open fire without fail. The Shogunal Army, finally drawn out of the clutches of despair and confusion, followed the orders to the T. Their muskets and longrifles roared to life as the ranks fired upon the charging enemy.

White smoke filled the air around them, however before the plumes set down upon them, it was quite evident that many of the enemy fell. Shots continued to fire from their backside, indicating that the enemy behind hadn't charged at the troops set over there. Onihara gave the next command: fix bayonets and prepare for the remaining enemies to charge.

The infantry did so, unsheathing their gleaming bayonets and snapping them onto the ends of their rifles. The Samurai within the ranks drew their katana and prepared with narrowed, menacing eyes for the oncoming onslaught. The white smoke started to clear then, allowing for a full view before them - the enemy was nearly there - a line of dead bodies littered the ground behind them.

When the ranks clashed, the clangs of metal on metal rang out. Screams of the soldiers being slain down on the spot created a dread atmosphere for the newer soldiers who hesitated before plunging their own blades into another man. And during this entire time, the Shinsengumi had made their slip...

The Shinsengumi detached from the army during the first volley, covered by the billowing clouds of gunpowder smoke. They ran past the suffering enemy and to a sidestreet. Their exit was well planned, and conducted smoothly. As they ran, the soldiers that they met up with - small groups of Ishin-shishi taken completely unawares, were swiftly cut down without prejudice.

As they made their way through the city, they finally found the great walls surrounding the "Hidden City" - the very hub of the Emperor's regime. The members of the Shinsengumi's 1st Unit all looked to each other, then to their commander - Souji Okita.

"Prepare yourselves. Order 117 must be fulfilled."
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:45 pm

THE BATTLE FOR TENKEN (Cont.)


The center of the city, eventually, was occupied by Shogunal Forces. This resulted in the widespread retreat of the Ishin-Shishi from the core to all over the outer fringes. However, with the orders from General Onihara, no advance was made. The dead lay around the entire courtyard - many of whom happened to be soldiers of the Shogunate. Those Ishin-shishi who were still alive were either taken as prisoner, or killed on the spot depending on their condition. All in all, the first battle of the siege of Tenken was quite unsuccessful.

Nothing was going as planned. Onihara sat amongst his advisers, tacticians, and fellow COs to discuss the recent happenings in the battle while the soldiers started to fortify the city core. As they started down at the battle map, something was horribly wrong. The distant explosions and gunfire told them that the decoy attack was still progressing to their west by the city limits, however if that was the case, the enemy should have had no idea that the main force was to advance through the river and into the center. How did they know - this question pounded through the General's mind as he angrily looked down to the map.

By all means, the battle wasn't over; however now, the tables had turned. Their own intelligence was flawed, despite all confidences - the enemy had the upper hand now. The popular consensus was that either their intelligence was false, or that their battle plans were leaked. Both results boded ill for the Shogunal Army, every officer and soldier alike knew what this meant. The invasion had quickly turned against them - now they had to hold the city core for their lives.


...............................


Meanwhile, the Shinsengumi progressed with their own, shadowy mission. As they ran from side street to side street and finally came upon the "Hidden City of Tenken", their true intentions were finally enacted. Order 117, the assassination of the current Emperor, and the massacre of all His retainers was to be made that very day. Luckily for them, their intelligence was not flawed - the defense of the Hidden City was lax, as evident by the severe lack of guards around the Palace's walls.

The 1st Unit under Souji Okita advanced, slicing down the gate guards before the wall's gates. Making things a bit harder, the gates were closed, however four of the Shinsengumi brought grappling hooks and long rope. Breaking into two homes adjacent to the Palace walls, the Shinsengumi climbed to the top floors and threw their hooks. Making it to the walls, they secured the ropes and shimmied across one by one.

Making it to the battlements, engagement was almost immediate once the patrolling guards caught sight of the soldiers traveling across. The Shinsengumi that made it across split and started their attack against the guards who hastened to load their muskets that they carried. It was too late.

The two Shinsengumi who advanced upon them, instead of drawing blades, drew their sidearms and fired upon the defenders with dread efficiency. The guards fell lifeless to the ground, both with musket balls to their heads. As they crumpled, the Shinsengumi advanced still, not waiting for their comrades who still shimmied across the grappling rope. The attack began just as soon as their shots were fired. However, the entire 1st Unit was across soon enough and the massacre had started.

Several guards, heavily armored and armed had come out to defend the court in which the Shinsengumi converged upon. Battle commenced quickly as swords clanged and yells of invasion had been cried by the defenders. The Hidden City went into full alert, however it was far too late for an effective defense. The reality of the situation hit the defenders like a load of bricks - they weren't fighting ordinary soldiers.

Not one of the Shinsengumi fell yet, however more and more bodies hit the ground limply. A Sergeant of the Guard had come out from the Main Palace and into the courtyard, peering to the battle before him. That's when he bellowed in a loud voice, addressing his soldiers.

"We fight the Wolves of Mibu! Hold fast, men!"

The Shinsengumi continued their vicious assault just as the toll of alarm bells began from one of the towers within the Palace. More and more guards arrived, only to be cut down as the increasing number of unarmored, ill-prepared defenders piled up. The last of the veteran guards called for the retreat and ran off toward the gates of the palace, however were pursued by their assailants.

Several gunshots broke out, felling those closest to the gates, which prompted for those running behind to drop to the ground in fright. The Shinsengumi continued forward, only stopping to impale the stragglers and pass through the gates. As soon as they were inside the Palace, the next phase of Order 117 went into action. The gates were closed and bolted by the Shinsengumi. Splitting up, they went on in pairs to each successive room in the Palace.

The Massacre took only around twenty minutes - the Shinsengumi lost not one person in the assault but slew everyone who got into the path. Servants, Council Members, cooks, family members; all within the Palace was soon dead - all aside from the Emperor himself who still sat within the Imperial Chamber Hall.

Covered in the blood of the fallen, and the grime and filth of battle, the Shinsengumi all stood before the great double doors to the Chamber Hall. The last, most important target sat just inside, upon the throne he was thus deemed unfit for. Souji Okita approached the door, and to his surprise, he found it quite unlocked. As he pushed it open, the Unit made its way into the great Hall.

It was quite a marvel; the architecture of the Hall was indeed of Kyokan tradition, however long and elegant with marble columns and gold-trimmed groin arches. At both sides of the long expansive hallway, stood white-rocked statues depicting all the past Emperors of Kyokai in their regal poses. The great symbol of the Imperial Family sat at the very center of the hall, glittering with specks of silver and gold - a giant Chrysanthemum symbol.

The Emperor sat still upon his gilded throne, peering proudly upon the soldiers sent to kill him. The Shinsengumi stood still where they were at the opposite end of the hall, Souji took a step forward and bowed lowly toward the Emperor.

"So the Wolves bear their fangs against me? I suppose it was only a matter of time." The Emperor said quietly and calmly as he sat upon his throne in lush robes of red and gold.

"Heianhito, you have been deemed a threat to this nation and thus must be put down. The Mandate of Heaven shall be passed on to the one most worthy. Do you have any last words?" Souji said, still bowing.

"I only hold one regret, and that is that my life should end so soon before a new regime starts under the Ishin-Shishi. Perhaps my successor shall be more fit as a ruler of the world."

Souji and the rest of the Shinsengumi said nothing, however the Commander straightened back up. Drawing his own katana, he started to advance on the Emperor, who still sat quietly. The rest of the Shinsengumi stood behind at the gates, watching intently on the situation.

"Meisuru, Heianhito-dono" (Rest in Peace...)

At the moment that Souji was around twenty feet from the throne, the Emperor fished a hand into his robes and retrieved a vial of white liquid. Going to pop open the cork cap, he tipped the bottle toward his lips, prompting Souji to run forward in surprise. Running his blade through the Emperor's stomach, he fell back upon his throne, impaled and coughing up blood at the blade within struck his lung. The Emperor dropped the vial before he could take a draught, causing the glass to shatter all over the floor and the contents to spill over the velvet, silken rug.

"There will come the day... when the Shogunate falls and... leads the way unto the true Ruler of the Land. Your efforts are futile... even with my death." The Emperor managed to splutter out before he collapsed upon the throne in a pool of his own blood.

Souji removed his blade from the Emperor, and cleaned it with a white cloth. Sheathing it, he walked back to his comrades in arms and with that, they left the Chamber, calling the mission a complete success - a far cry from how the main body of the Shogunal forces perceived their situation.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:24 am

The Kyokan Chronicle
DEFEAT AT TENKEN?

Dated: July 6th, 1572


"The troops are on the way home to the Shogunate today, however not in victory as one might have hoped. The Shogunal Forces mobilized to take the Imperial City of Tenken have met disaster at the hands of the enemy, the Ishin-Shishi. With over three quarters of the entire force decimated, the rest have called forth the retreat and are currently en-route south along the coast. Word has reached us, however, that perhaps a total defeat was not sustained!

Though the main forces met the enemy in defeat, the battle may not have been a total loss. The first Unit of the Shinsengumi, under the directive of the Shogun himself, had single-handedly seized the Hidden City and put an end to the Emperor's reign of terror throughout the north. Perhaps now, without their leader, the rebels will end hostilities and---"



With a look of utter disgust, Ieyasu Torunaga threw the paper down onto his dark, wooded desk. His mood, since learning of the several mistakes that he, and everyone else involved in formulating the battle plans for Tenken, had turned quite sour. This article, as true as it might have been, did nothing to quell his rising temper. Even his wife, Yuki, could not calm him.

This defeat resounded around Kyokai as if a gong had been hit. What was worse, such a blunder would be known across the seas as well. One of the only saving graces for his military was that the Shinsengumi had been able to return to the main body of the SKA and coordinate a retreat before even more people could die. The Capuan observers, whom survived the conflict, but not without their share of wounds, would indeed have many things to report back to the President - Ieyasu could already see the glaring Capuan headline upon their papers "Shogun Makes Blunder - Intelligence or Inadequacy?".

Of course, the one thing that helped to soothe such a defeat for him, such a loss of life, was the fact that Order 117 had been successfully completed. He knew that the Emperor and all but one of his party were dead - all but one - a small, small child. It was the last child of the Emperor, not yet 1 year old. The Shogun fully intended for this one survivor to make it back, for they would be the future Empress of Kyokai. Of course, she would be properly raised as all children of the Shogunate - well educated, taught manners and all traditional values of society - and most importantly, they would not be told of their eventual future until the time was right. Ieyasu wished for the child to live a mostly carefree life, and thus adopted the child into his family.

As for the truth of how she came to be a part of the Torunaga... that would be kept a secret only until the child asked questions of their true heritage. It was only right that she know why such a thing had to be done. However, alongside the defeat at Tenken, this bitter thought of the future also plagued Ieyasu's mind.

Looking back down to the paper, he read the last few lines once more. "...and put an end to the Emperor's reign of terror throughout the north. Perhaps now, without their leader, the rebels will end hostilities...". And end to hostilities? Their leader? Ieyasu questioned out loud with a frustrated laugh. He knew better than anyone within the Shogunate, that their Revolution wasn't finished yet. The real ringleader in this act had yet to rear their ugly face - the Emperor was only a figurehead, a person to rally behind.

How ironic that two governments so similar in practice could be completely different.
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Re: Traitors of the Shogunate

Post by Kamikaze_X on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:44 am

(REMINDER WIP - working on this Friday at some point)
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