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By Mathias Eliasson
INTRODUCTION.................................................... 7 THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN .................. 9
The Nipponese ........................................................... 10 History of Nippon ...................................................... 22 Timeline of Nippon.................................................... 31 The Great Clans ......................................................... 33 Map of Nippon........................................................... 37 The Land of Nippon................................................... 38 Ninja........................................................................... 67 Shinobi ....................................................................... 68 Great Guard ................................................................ 69 War Machines ............................................................ 70 Mikoshi Shrine ........................................................... 71 Oni ............................................................................. 72 Tengu ......................................................................... 73 Kitsune ....................................................................... 74 Ryujin......................................................................... 75 Yoritomo Ieyasu ......................................................... 76 Empress Jungi ............................................................ 77 Hitomi Gozen ............................................................. 78 The Red Ronin ........................................................... 79 Sarutori Hanzo ........................................................... 80 O-Sayumi ................................................................... 81 Lore of the Kami ........................................................ 82 Clan Mon ................................................................... 83 Ninjutsu ...................................................................... 84 Vessels of the Kami ................................................... 85
WARRIORS OF NIPPON .................................. 49
Army Special Rules ................................................... 50 Commanders .............................................................. 51 Shugenja .................................................................... 52 Hatamoto ................................................................... 53 Samurai Warriors ....................................................... 54 Samurai Cavalry ........................................................ 56 Ashigaru .................................................................... 57 Warrior Monks .......................................................... 58 Yamabushi ................................................................. 59 Sumo Warriors ........................................................... 60 Onna Bushi ................................................................ 61 Kabuki Dolls .............................................................. 62 Yabusame .................................................................. 63 Red Devils ................................................................. 64 Ronin ......................................................................... 65 Wako Pirates .............................................................. 66
THE NIPPON ARMY LIST ............................... 89
Lords .......................................................................... 91 Heroes ........................................................................ 92 Core Units .................................................................. 95 Special units ............................................................... 97 Rare Units ................................................................ 100
SUMMARY ............................................................. 102
Compiled, Edited & Partly Written by: Mathias Eliasson
Cover Art: Craig Mullins
Art: Legend of the Five Rings by various illustrators, Paizo Publishing by various illustrators, Wayne Reynolds, Angus MacBride, Creative Assembly, Emilio, Björn Hurri, Tom Edward, Genzoman, kerembeyit, Andreas von Cotta, Miguel Coimbra, Michal Ivan, Nate Barnes, Steve Argyle, Rowiel, Zvezda, chagan, James Paick, vimark, Sengoku Game, epson361, stevegoad, shima99, ColdFlame1987, alp, BeneOctavian, jgskectch22, Dreamlord, vladlegostayev, krypt, GBrush. Mariusz Kozik, Hangman801, DiosdadoMondero, artoflinca, Zenzzen, Wen M, One Vox, vablo, camilkou, Neil Bruce, diegogisbertllorens, crutz, reau, agnidevi, raynkazuya, capprotti, MaBuArt, vladgheneli, jubjubjedi, artifart, devjohnson, obrotowy, skaya3000, artozi, chaser226. Noah Bradley, sundragon83, Nordheimer, J Wilson Illustration, coolart, clovery, funkychinaman, DiegoGisbertLlorens, Rob Alexander, Fenghua Zong. Book Design: Mathias Eliasson. Rules Development: Mathias Eliasson. Original Material: Legend of the Five Rings by Shawn Carman and others, Andrew Fawcett, Arne Dam, Bill Ward, Shogun: Total War & Total War: Shogun II by Creative Assembly, Aldebrand Ludenhof, Tito Leati, Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson, Thomas Heasman-Hunt, Stefan Barton-Ross, Simon Sullivan. Special Thanks To: All the players that have contributed with feedback and ideas. This book is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited. The Chaos devices, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Golden Demon, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Lord of Change, Nurgle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tzeentch, Warhammer, Warhammer Online, Warhammer World logo, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer world are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 20002013, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.
Welcome to Warhammer: Nippon, your indispensable guide to the mysterious realm of the east. This book provides all the information you’ll require o play with a Nippon army in games of Warhammer. WHY COLLECT NIPPON?
The Empire of Nippon demands much of its samurai: service to one‘s lord, service to one‘s Clan, and service to one‘s Emperor. Bushido‘s staunch and unyielding code of conduct binds samurai to duty, strengthening their character and defining their choices. A Nipponese army is a magnificent sight, filled with colour and variety. Samurai form the main battle line, supported by the lowly Ashigaru and brave Warrior Monks. Sumo Warriors march with them, as do the Clans‘s greatest warriors and the mysterious Kabuki Dolls. Daemonic Oni summoned by the Shugenja accompany them, followed by deadly Ninja. The armies of Nippon are lead by the Daimyo and the Taisho, the clan leaders, all sworn to the sovereignty of the Shogun. history. You will also find information on the land of Nippon, the Emerald Empire of the east. Warriors of Nippon. Each and every troop type in the Nippon army is examined here. You will find a full description of the unit, alongside the complete rules for any special abilities or options they possess. This section also includes the Vessels of the Kami – magical artefacts that are unique to the army – along with rules to use them in your games. Nippon Army List. The army list takes all of the characters, warriors, monsters and war machines from the Warriors of Nippon section and arranges them so that you can choose an army for your games. Units are classed as characters (Lords or Heroes), Core, Special or Rare, and can be taken in different quantities depending on the size of the game you are playing.
HOW THIS BOOK WORKS
Warhammer army books are split into sections, each of which deals with different aspects of the titular army. Warhammer: Nippon contains: The Land of the Rising Sun. This section introduces the Nipponese and their part in the Warhammer world. It includes their society and
FIND OUT MORE
While Warhammer: Nippon contains everything you need to play the game with your army, there are other books and updates to be found. For the other books in the series and the latest rules updates, visit: www.warhammerarmiesproject.blogspot.com
THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
A samurai is a servant, first and foremost, and according to tradition, their first and most sacred duty is to die in the name of their lord if necessary. It is a fate to which most bushi aspire, and even though those who follow the path of a shugenja are ostensibly people of peace, there are many among their number who would relish a similarly honourable death. Fortunately - or unfortunately, depending upon whom you ask - the Empire's history has been full of war and conflict, giving the samurai of Nippon plenty of opportunity for self-sacrifice.
SOCIAL CLASSES AND THE CELESTIAL ORDER
The Nipponese believe all living beings, indeed all of existence, are organized into a hierarchy set in place by the will of the Celestial Heavens. This hierarchy – known as the Celestial Order – was revealed to the Nipponese by the Kami at the founding of the Empire, and they regard it as the sacred and unquestioned expression of divine will. To ignore or violate the Order is to blaspheme against the cosmos itself. Thus, the citizens of the Land of the Rising Sun are organized into three distinct castes, each of which is divided into several smaller ranks and sub-castes. Typically, a person is born into a caste and remains within that caste for their entire life, although exceptions are possible. At the top of the social order are the samurai, the rulers of Nippon. They are the only ―real people‖ of Nippon, and have complete power and rights over all below them. The samurai caste itself is, of course, divided into social ranks of its own – the Kuge (nobility) and the Buke (those who serve). The Kuge include the Emperor, the various high Imperial officials and daimyo, the Clan Champions who rule over the various clans of the Empire, and the daimyo of the various families within each clan. All other samurai belong to the Buke. Of course, there is considerable social striation within the buke as well, ranging from the top tier of provincial daimyo and city governors, down through magistrates, advisors, military officers, and other officials, and ending in the vast numbers of simple warriors, courtiers, and priests who serve the Empire – the so-called ―ji-samurai.‖ In general, a samurai is not permitted to question or oppose someone of a higher social rank without the strongest possible justification. Conversely, a samurai can easily lord it over those of inferior social rank, and it is expected that such abuse will be endured honourably. Samurai are supposed to always treat each other with extreme respect and politeness, even if they are actually bitter enemies, for to fail in public manners is to violate Courtesy and possibly even ―lose one‘s face,‖ an unforgivable social error. Below the samurai are the Bonge – the common folk, also known as heimin or ―half-people.‖ These comprise the vast majority of Nippon‘s population, and are the ones who keep the nation and economy running. They are generally not permitted to use weapons, although exceptions are made for specific duties such as Ashigaru (peasant military levies) or budoka (personal armed retainers to samurai). Samurai can demand anything from a heimin without recompense, and can kill any heimin who disobeys or fails to show respect. However, the Celestial Order also dictates that there are responsibilities between the different castes of society, something emphasized in writings like the Articles of Heaven. So while it is the heimin‘s duty to produce and obey, it is the samurai‘s duty to protect and administer. Nevertheless, the life of the bonge is a hard one, full of difficult labour and suffering. Only a few commoners are fortunate enough to serve a samurai who truly cares about them – for the most part, their lords treat them with indifference, if not outright cruelty. Naturally, heimin are always respectful and obedient toward samurai, since the alternative is to earn their wrath, but they seldom feel anything toward their masters other than fear and wary respect. However, the rare samurai who goes out of his way to fulfil his duties to the heimin caste will soon draw their notice, and such exceptionally compassionate samurai are often rewarded in turn by extra loyalty and effort. Even within the ranks of the bonge, there are social striations. The highest-ranking of the heimin are the peasants, for they grow the food which all the Empire needs to survive. Slightly below the peasants are the artisans and craftsmen – carpenters, blacksmiths, stonemasons, brewers, seamstresses, and so forth. Although they do not grow food, these persons still create things of use and value, and truly skilled heimin artisans can actually earn the respect of samurai who admire their work. (In fact, some samurai are artisans themselves, although they pursue rarified arts such as painting and sword-making rather than simple things like building furniture or forging horseshoes.) At the bottom of the bonge‘s ranks are merchants. Merchants are regarded with contempt by samurai, since they do not actually make anything for themselves – they simply buy and sell things made by others. However, commerce is important to the Empire‘s economic
health, and many clans rely on commercial activity to swell their coffers – a contradiction which troubles more than one samurai. To get around this problem, some samurai appoint themselves as ―merchant patrons,‖ watching over and supervising the activities of commoner merchants, thereby allowing them to conduct commerce without directly dirtying their own hands with such distasteful activities. Monks occupy a peculiar position within the social order. They are not samurai, and by strict interpretation of the Nipponese social system they cannot be considered anything other than heimin. However, their role as upholders of the Empire‘s religious traditions affords them a respect which other commoners do not enjoy. Most samurai treat monks with a certain deference, and prominent members of the monks are sometimes invited to court to provide counsel and guidance to daimyo. If the position of monks is peculiar, that of ronin – those samurai who have no lord, no clan or family to call their own – is far more difficult. A ronin is technically still of the samurai caste, but with no lord or clan to protect or care for him, he must make his own way through the world, tossed by the waves of fate – hence the name ronin, or ―wave-man.‖ Since ronin cannot rely on a stipend or household, most of them are forced to work as mercenaries or bodyguards, earning food and lodging by the strength of their swords. Some ronin ultimately must engage in manual labour to earn their keep, but as samurai they consider this bitterly shameful, and many of them resort to crime or banditry rather than live like common folk. Below the bonge are the lowest of Nippon‘s social order, the hinin or ―non-people,‖ who are born into those tasks which the Nipponese consider to be intrinsically spiritually impure. Primarily, this involves any activity which leads to touching ―unclean‖ substances such as blood, garbage, or dead flesh. Morticians, leatherworkers, and refuse collectors (known collectively as eta) form the bulk of the hinin caste. Such persons are regarded as less than nothing, and even peasants look down on them and abuse them. The eta‘s life is bitter and unpleasant, and their only hope under the rules of the Celestial Order is to fulfil their duties well enough to be reborn into a higher station in their next life. The rest of Nippon ignores the eta as much as possible. Nevertheless, these people have a vital role, performing the ―unclean‖ jobs no one else will touch. Although most of the hinin are eta, the ranks of this caste also include a few other individuals. Torturers, who must constantly inflict harm and touch blood and sweat, are also considered hinin, although they are permitted to serve samurai more directly than the eta. Finally, geisha – women who offer samurai entertainment and companionship – are considered to be hinin, although unlike eta and torturers they are accorded certain fame and respect by the rest of society.
RITUALS OF LIFE
All samurai life is ritual, and a samurai‘s standard day is simply moving from one ritual to another. This is true for all samurai, whether they be trained as bushi, courtiers, or shugenja. Although the rituals may differ from clan to clan and family to family, the respect a samurai has for them does not. Even a clan as militaristic and pragmatic as the Crab has all manner of rituals which its samurai follow with care and devotion. The rituals of samurai life begin at birth. Whenever a samurai child is born, special blessings and religious ceremonies are held to ensure that evil spirits are driven away, lest they curse the child or bring bad fortune upon it. Portents are also taken from the positions of the stars, and all possible omens are examined for hints at the child‘s destiny. One month after birth, the new samurai child is taken to the nearest shrine to be blessed and recorded in that shrine‘s rolls. Nippon does not have anything resembling a true census, but a dedicated researcher can learn much about a province‘s population by consulting the birth records at local shrines. Children enjoy care-free lives in their younger days, although dedicated parents will make sure to remind them of the samurai duties which await when they
grow older. They do learn to read and write, as well as the basics of etiquette and proper behaviour. A key transition point comes when the child is old enough to begin training in one of his or her clan schools. This usually happens between the ages of 10 and 12, although true prodigies may begin their training two or three years earlier. The decision of which school a samurai child should attend is a momentous one, since it typically sets the samurai‘s path for life. Almost all samurai attend a school, as failure to do so implies a lack of the skill and dedication expected of them, and it is quite rare for a samurai to be able to switch from one school to another. Thus, parents carefully consider their family‘s traditions and the needs of their lord and clan, as well as their child‘s visible talents (if any). Priests and astrologers may also be consulted to determine where a child‘s path should lie. The wishes of the child are seldom if ever considered. A family which has served the clan as bushi for ten generations is liable to continue to do so, regardless of what their child might wish. Schooling typically lasts four years, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the talent of the student. When a student has mastered the first Technique of the school, he or she is considered ready for a gempukku, or coming-of-age ceremony, one of the most important rituals in a samurai‘s entire life. The gempukku ritual varies greatly from one clan, school, or family to another, but in general, it is both a celebration of change (from child to adult) and a testing to prove what the child has learned. Typically, the child will be
expected to demonstrate mastery of the school‘s first Technique, as well as to perform other actions which show dedication to family and clan traditions. Once the ritual is complete, family and friends offer gifts to the newly-made adult, who is permitted to choose a personal name. Some prefer to keep their childhood name, but many take a new name to symbolize their hopes for the future or their dedication to family, friends, allies, clan, or Empire. The next great ritual in a samurai‘s life is marriage. In Nippon, marrying is a duty, typically undertaken at the command of family or lord. Marriages are treated almost as a business matter, and are typically arranged (a process called mi-ai) by the parents of the couple, often with the help of a middleman, or even a professional matchmaker known as a nakado. Mi-ai traditionally begins with a formal interview between the parents of the prospective bride and groom. Samurai seek pairings which can better their family‘s station, increase their lands or prestige, or cement some long-term political or personal goal through blood ties, as well as seal bargains or alliances between clans and families. It is not expected for the couple to be in love, or even to know one another prior to their wedding. The process of arranging a marriage can take anywhere from a few months to several years, and a mi-ai interview is not considered an immediate guarantee of success – rather, these preliminary meetings are done to make sure both sides are comfortable with a future pairing, ensuring an ultimately successful union. If the two families live far apart, a nakado or other go-between will be enlisted to help ferry messages and gifts back and forth. Among truly high-ranking families it is not uncommon for children to be betrothed long before they reach adulthood. One of the most basic purposes of the Imperial Court is to bring people together in marriages that create alliances and cement bargains for the following year. Fathers and mothers of noble lineage always bring their most gifted children to the Imperial Court, hoping they will catch some royal eye. Weddings themselves are very elaborate rituals, performed with the presence and supervision of both daimyo and priests, and many blessings and prayers are made to prevent bad fortune, remove evil spirits, and bring harmony and fertility to the match. Usually the ceremony is held privately, with only the immediate family and a presiding priest, but this is followed by an elaborate public reception in which guests enjoy a magnificent feast and offer numerous gifts to the new couple. The bride traditionally wears white, the colour of death, at the beginning the wedding, symbolizing that she is dead to her old family. After the ritual is complete and she emerges for the reception, she removes the white kimono to reveal a red one underneath – the colour of life, showing she is reborn into her new family. Once the ceremony is done, the newly wedded couple often spends a month apart, meditating on what it means to be married, before they take up their new household together.
When a samurai reaches the age of forty, it is traditional for him or her to retire from active service to the clan. This is not mandatory, however, and samurai in the more active and pragmatic clans will often continue to actively serve their lords long after reaching their fortieth year. High-ranking nobles and daimyo also tend to stay active longer than the normal time. A samurai who does retire will most commonly choose to join the monks, taking a new name and beginning a new life as a monk or nun. Such retirement is accompanied by an extended ritual celebration, in which family and friends commemorate the samurai‘s deeds and bid him goodbye. At the conclusion of this ritual, the samurai shaves his head, a transformation symbolizing his entering a new life of religious contemplation. Not all retiring samurai join the monks, however – some of them instead remain with their families or their lords, living quiet but honoured lives, and offering advice and counsel when it is sought. Retired samurai may also sometimes return to active service, taking up their swords once more when a crisis or threat requires their attention. The last ritual of every samurai‘s life is their funeral. These, like everything else in Nippon, follow a strict protocol. By Imperial Law, all bodies must be cremated. Traditionally, a funeral takes place four days after death, and those four days are filled with prayers, as well as the burning of special scrolls filled wi th ―last words‖ which are the final parting words of the living to the dead. The body is anointed and purified by eta, then kept in state with an honour guard until the day of the cremation itself. Special foods are prepared on that day, and relatives and friends gather to observe the funeral pyre, which is also blessed by shugenja and monks. Once the body has been burned, even more
prayers are spoken, to speed the spirit of the departed on its journey to the afterlife. The immediate relatives gather at the pyre and use special chopsticks to remove the remaining fragments of bone from the ashes – these are placed in a crematory urn, which is kept in a place of honour for 35 days before finally being buried, an event accompanied by a final round of prayers, chants, and blessings.
The official religion of Nippon is called Jinto and has been so for thousands of years. During Nippon's history it has existed as an amorphous mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination techniques, hero worship, and shamanism and unusually it has no recognised founder. It is a religion of nature and spirituality and the belief that human nature is inherently good, and evil is thought to stem from the individual's contact with external forces or agents that pollute their pure nature and cause them to act in ways which are disruptive. Jinto worship is centred on the reverence of the gods or kami. Kami may be anything that is extraordinary and that inspires awe or reverence. Consequently, a wide variety of kami exist in Jinto: there are kami related to natural objects and creatures -- the spirits of mountains, seas, rivers, rocks, trees, animals, and the like; there are guardian kami of particular locales and clans; also considered kami are exceptional human beings, including many emperors. Evil spirits are also known in Jinto, but few seem irredeemably so. While a god may first call attention to its presence through a display of rowdy or even destructive behaviour, generally speaking, the kami are benign. Their role is to sustain and protect.
In a way Jinto is similar to the Old World religion in that it consists of a pantheon of deities. However, the priests of Jinto worship all the gods or kami as one rather than there being any single clerics of a particular god. Although some gods are more popular than others, such as the Sun Goddess Amateratsu for example, it is highly unusual for anyone to take on a monotheistic perspective. There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of gods in the Jinto pantheon which are discussed further in this chapter but suffice to say the Sun Goddess Amateratsu is one of the most preeminent of the kami as well as the divine couple Zanagi and Zanami who were said to have created Nippon.
Courage is in many ways the most basic and universal of all the Bushido virtues, since every samurai is expected to be ready and able to die at a moment‘s notice. The central importance of courage to a samurai‘s life cannot be understated. A samurai must be prepared to fight and die without hesitation, whether at his lord‘s command or simply due to unavoidable circumstance. Indeed, it is popular to say that a samurai lives at all times three feet from death, since that is the reach of a katana. But in truth there is no clan which ignores courage. All recognize that courage is important if their samurai are to fulfil their duties properly. It should be noted that courage does not mean foolhardiness. After all, a samurai‘s life belongs to his lord, not to him. A samurai who throws his life away in a useless and selfish gesture is not behaving honourably, but rather is failing in his duty to lord and clan. Indeed, there are many times when retreating from a fight requires more courage than merely staying and dying.
THE TENETS OF BUSHIDO
All samurai are supposed to live according to a strict and demanding set of ethical principles known as Bushido (literally, the ―way of the warrior‖). They quickly came to be accepted by all the clans in Nippon, and as the roles of samurai evolved to include courtiers and artisans, the Code of Bushido evolved into a complete philosophical view of the role and duty of the samurai. In modern Nippon, Bushido is integral to almost every aspect of a samurai‘s life, and the proper way to uphold the Code is a subject of continual discussion and debate among all samurai. Bushido is comprised of seven Virtues: Courage, Compassion, Courtesy, Duty, Honesty, Honour, and Sincerity. These virtues are held to represent the proper way in which samurai should live and serve their lords. In its ideal form, Bushido values each of these virtues equally, and a samurai is expected to adhere to all of them with equal vehemence. In practice, however, few samurai can live such spotless lives. Moreover, every clan in Nippon views Bushido in a slightly different way, according to their respective views of duty, honour, and life. The true nature of Bushido is constantly debated within the courts of Nippon, and the true way to uphold its Virtues is seldom fully agreed upon even within the same clan. Every clan, has its idealists who try to uphold every Virtue no matter the cost, just as every clan contains a few dark souls who laugh at Bushido and flout its principles.
Samurai are civilized men and women, not barbarians, and are expected to behave with courtesy and proper manners at all times. A samurai who shows undue emotion or rudeness is not only violating Courtesy but is also losing his face (on), disrespecting those around him and shaming himself. A true samurai remains courteous and well-mannered at all times, even when
Compassion teaches samurai that, as the warrior elite of society, it is their duty to protect and guide the lesser folk of Nippon. In its most obvious form, this means offering military protection, guarding the commoners against bandits, criminals, foreigners, and the monsters of Haikido. It is this form of Compassion which is most widely respected and revered in Nippon, for all clans recognize the importance of keeping their peasants alive and productive. Bullying or abusing those of lower station is an act unworthy of a samurai, even if the social order allows it. Some clans take Compassion more fully to heart, however, and seek to offer guidance and help to the lower castes.
Honesty is in principle the simplest of the virtues of Bushido, but also perhaps the most troublesome. Ideally, it would seem obvious that an honourable warrior should always tell the truth, and indeed, there are some families and clans which embrace Honesty with the same fervour as the rest of the virtues. Honesty is also strongly associated with justice, and thus tends to be a virtue admired by magistrates (or at least by those magistrates who take their duties to heart). However, many other samurai, especially those who serve their clans in court, find that Honesty is often a virtue which must be danced around, or perhaps even violated, in order to fulfil their duties. Almost all those samurai who serve in the arena of court and politics practice the art of deceiving or manipulating their opponents while still remaining technically truthful, and some families make almost an art form of employing such tactics while still satisfying themselves that they are behaving honourably. Most highly political schools and families quietly accept that sometimes they will simply have to lie for their clan, and therefore tend to emphasize Sincerity far more than Honesty in their approach to Bushido, counting on their adherence to the other virtues to make up for their sometimes erratic observance of this one. The Scorpion, naturally, ignore Honesty altogether, and exhibit almost open contempt for samurai who strive to tell the truth or who follow the path of justice.
facing his bitterest sworn enemy, or provoked with vile insults and malignant behaviour. A samurai who openly insults others is showing his own weakness, which is why Nipponese courtiers endlessly practice the art of the subtle and indirect insult. Conversely, when a samurai is confronted with failures of Courtesy by those of higher station, his own honour is demonstrated by his ability to endure such provocations and avoid drawing attention to others‘ failures. Nipponese as a whole make a point of ignoring those who engage in uncouth and improper spectacles, since to draw attention to such discourteous behaviour is to make matters even worse. As one might expect, those who serve their clans in politics and the courts tend to place a very strong emphasis on Courtesy, since it is a vital element of social and political negotiation. The most heavily political clans place a special value on Courtesy, although for some this is more for the Virtue‘s tactical value in court than due to any moral commitment to it.
Both the subtlest and the most basic of the virtues, Honour teaches that every samurai stands in judgment over himself, at all times. Bushido is not merely enforced by social convention or superior authority, but by each samurai‘s own heart and soul. A samurai without Honour cannot truly follow the other virtues of Bushido, for he is merely acting as others expect, not as his own sense of honour demands. Conversely, a samurai with true Honour will follow the ways of Bushido even when the society around him becomes corrupt and his superiors expect him to behave dishonourably solely because they command it. Almost all samurai in Nippon respect Honour, for it lies at the very heart of Bushido.
If there is a Virtue which competes with Courage for universal acceptance, it is Duty. A samurai must always be ready to serve his lord in whatever way is required, no matter what the cost. Death is the least that a samurai may face – he must be prepared to endure humiliation, dishonour, shame, and failure for the sake of Duty. He must remain faithful to lord, family, clan, and comrades no matter what temptations may fall in his path. A samurai who violates loyalty to his lord or clan is violating Duty, and such untrustworthy individuals are hardly worthy of the title ―samurai.‖ Duty is the reason why love is so problematic for samurai, since a samurai in love will feel a conflicting loyalty to his (or her) beloved which may disrupt or diminish the fulfilment of duty.
Samurai are taught from childhood that they must express absolute sincerity in both word and deed. A samurai who speaks on behalf of his lord in court, but does so in a lackadaisical or unconvincing manner, is serving his lord as badly as if he refused to speak at all. A samurai who shows a lack of dedication in his actions, who acts and behaves without absolute commitment, is a samurai who fails his lord and his clan. Sincerity is regarded with particular admiration by political clans and families, but most samurai respect it.
The Concept of Face
Face is a vitally important aspect of samurai culture. It is intrinsic to the belief that samurai are exceptional persons, chosen by birth to serve the Empire in ways that mere peasants cannot. A samurai is expected to maintain self-discipline at all times, to control himself and to never show the sort of open emotions and outof-control behaviour that characterizes ―lower people.‖ A samurai who cannot control his emotions is a samurai who cannot serve his lord with honour and trust, for his emotions will override his judgment and loyalty. Thus, maintaining dignity and self-control is vital to a samurai‘s life. The ability to maintain this self-control, never showing one‘s true feelings, is referred to as maintaining one‘s on or ―face.‖ A samurai who maintains face is a samurai who cannot be manipulated, a samurai who can deceive his enemies, a samurai who serves his clan without fail. By contrast, a samurai who loses face, who loses self-control, shames both himself and, worse, his family and clan. Face is a purely samurai concept, one that is not expected of peasants and other common folk. Maintaining face is sometimes compared to wearing a mask, a mask which must be kept on every hour of every day, concealing one‘s true feelings beneath on.
purpose of seppuku is to protect the family, rather than the individual. In Nippon a family is the repository of all the collective deeds and accomplishments of its members, and it is commonly said, ―I have borrowed my name from my ancestors. I must return it to them untarnished.‖ A dishonoured person thus brings dishonour and shame to the entire family. By committing seppuku, a samurai spares his family from the shame of his deeds. A samurai who is committing seppuku in a formal setting dresses entirely in white (the colour of death), and traditionally writes a final poem, a death-haiku, before taking up his wakizashi to commit suicide. The ritual may be witnessed by the samurai‘s friends or relatives, representatives from his daimyo, or other individuals. The actual suicide is usually performed by means of the wakizashi, the blade which symbolizes a samurai‘s honour (although another blade can be substituted in a pinch). The samurai kneels and makes three cuts across his belly, disembowelling himself. In order for the ritual to be properly completed, the samurai must not flinch or cry out in pain. Since this is extremely difficult, by long-standing tradition seppuku is assisted by another individual, a ―second,‖ whose task is to complete the ritual by beheading the samurai, ensuring he dies with honour. Serving as a samurai‘s second is an important and honourable task, and the sword used to behead the victim is carefully cleansed with water beforehand. Seppuku is usually not something a samurai can do at will. Samurai who are facing total battlefield defeat or the military annihilation of their bloodline, however,
SHAME AND DISGRACE
A samurai who is shamed by dishonourable actions or loss of face will be expected, at the very least, to offer deep and sincere apologies for such actions. Typically, if the disgrace was fairly modest, the samurai will be punished in a non-permanent way – assignment to less prestigious duties, for example, or expulsion from the castle, court, or city where he misbehaved. Although such punishments are not lethal, they nevertheless represent a deep and profound shame for the samurai involved, who may well spend the rest of his life trying to redeem himself for his failure. More extreme failures, such as a violent outburst, an attack or serious insult against someone of higher station, or a breach of duty or loyalty, are punished much more severely. A samurai who commits such acts is quite likely to be ordered to commit seppuku (if he does not offer seppuku himself out of shame). On other occasions, such disgraced samurai may be expelled from family and clan, and thus made ronin. A samurai may also forsake his fealty and become ronin by his own choice rather than face the prospect of punishment or seppuku, particularly if he feels he is not actually guilty.
Seppuku is a form of ritual suicide which samurai perform when they have been irretrievably dishonoured. By performing the ceremony and thus dying honourably, the samurai wipes away the stain of dishonour and leaves his or her family name clean and untarnished. It is important to remember that the main
will sometimes commit seppuku immediately rather than face the eternal shame of utter defeat. Indeed, entire samurai families have been known to commit suicide under such circumstances. More normally, however, permission to commit seppuku must be granted by the samurai‘s daimyo, and cruel or intolerant daimyo have been known to deny seppuku and force their samurai to live with their shame. Aside from acting to preserve family honour, the other form of permissible seppuku is to protest unjust orders from one‘s lord. This form of protesting seppuku is known as kanshi, and must still be authorized by the daimyo. Most daimyo don‘t care for such an act, but it is considered quite dishonourable and ill-mannered to refuse one‘s samurai permission to commit kanshi. Women of the samurai caste who are not bushi are permitted to kill themselves in a less painful fashion, known as jigai, in which they stab themselves in the throat with a knife. This is generally reserved for women who are courtier or shugenja. Given the chance, they will bind their ankles together before performing this act, so as not to shame themselves with wild kicking during their death throes.
negotiations and manoeuvres of courtiers have changed the Empire as often as war, if not more so. Indeed, skilful courtiers can sometimes alter the outcomes of wars after the battles are fought. Although some bushi look down on courtiers and the subtle arts of politics, those who must serve their clans in court reject the notion that they are any less samurai than their warrior cousins. Courtiers must pursue their diplomatic struggles with the same courage and zeal as a bushi in combat, for their failures can be as catastrophic as a lost war, and their victories can bring glory and success to their clan without the need to fight a war at all. Failure in court can mean death as certain as failure in combat – courtiers must walk a perpetual knife-edge, working to obstruct, undermine, and destroy their opponents without falling prey to the same fate themselves. Seasoned bushi who get reassigned to court are often forced to admit it is just as taxing a field of conflict as warfare itself. In Nippon, politics takes place primarily in the various courts of the Empire. Every daimyo and governor maintains a court in their castle or palace, inviting emissaries and visitors from other families and clans to attend and meet as their guests. The higher- ranking the host, the more prestigious the court, and the more important will be the political discussions and negotiations which take place there. The most prestigious court in the Empire, of course, is the Imperial Court, hosted by the Emperor and his chief advisors. Many courtiers spend a lifetime trying to win
The way of the samurai is often considered synonymous with the way of the warrior. But in the Land of the Rising Sun, samurai do not serve their clans solely on the battlefield. Politics has been a vital element of Nippon‘s history since its founding, and the
an appointment there. The heaviest political activity takes place during the winter, and just as the Imperial Court is the most important and prestigious of political postings, the Imperial Court is the most desirable of all courts to spend the snow-bound months. Court, more than any other part of Nipponese life, is suffused with delicate etiquette and indirect speech. After all, diplomats speak for their clan, and have the weight and prestige of that clan behind them. A minor daimyo who insults or ignores a courtier without legitimate cause could well be forced to commit seppuku for his breach of etiquette. Nor is anyone so uncouth as to openly discuss alliances or treaties in open court. Trained diplomats employ hints and subtle conversational gambits to suggest a possible topic of discussion. Much of the truly important and crucial negotiation at court takes place in private meetings, rather than in open chambers where others might overhear it. Political agreements in Nippon are seldom expressed as written treaties, save when both sides wish to present a formal agreement to the rest of the Empire. More commonly, negotiations are handled through personal commitment and word of honour. Clans trust their courtiers to handle delicate situations, and courtiers in turn can call on the trust of their clan to give their word great weight. Indeed, minor daimyo or provincial officials may well have difficulty keeping their positions if a powerful, influential courtier speaks out against them to their feudal lord – especially if the courtier‘s accusations turn out to be true.
A major part of politics in Nippon is the exchange of letters, and experienced courtiers spend much time and effort each day in composing and sending such missives to each other. A good courtier can maintain a steady flow of correspondence with dozens of people from across the Empire, dropping small tidbits of information to them and carefully reviewing the snippets of gossip they send him in return. For many courtiers, this network of correspondents can be just as important as the allies in their own court. Correspondence can build an alliance that lasts generations or begin a feud that lasts centuries. Indeed, a timely piece of information from the far side of the Empire can turn the entire course of negotiations, and a courtier‘s fame and fortune can be founded, built, or shattered by a single letter. Within the courts themselves, critics and blackmailers alike employ letters as their weapon of choice, and lovers use them as their most subtle but most direct gift. This continual flow of correspondence within a court is known as the ―Game of Letters.‖ Unlike letters sent to and from those outside court, these letters are designed primarily to display skill and to manipulate others rather than to convey information. Nippon is a society ruled by a caste of armed warriors who follow a strict code of honour and etiquette. When a samurai is insulted or maligned, and even more so if his (or her) family, clan, or lord is the target of such insults and slanders, he will usually respond by issuing a challenge to a duel. Duels are considered the appropriate and socially acceptable response for any situation where a samurai feels that honour or reputation has been threatened or compromised. Indeed, failing to issue a duel means the original insult or slander is left unanswered, in effect making it true. Conversely, once a challenge has been issued, the other samurai must either back down and apologize, retracting whatever slander he issued, or else defend his words with steel. Backing down, of course, is a tremendous loss of prestige and face, and a wise samurai will never issue an insult or accusation without being prepared to back it up in a duel. Duels are not always to the death. Samurai are not supposed to throw their lives away without cause, and when the insult or offense which caused the duel is not of great magnitude, a duel to first blood, or until one combatant acknowledges defeat, will be considered sufficient. When the insult is serious, however, duels are always lethal, and end only when one (or both) participants are dead.
Regardless of whether it is to first blood or to the death, a truly honourable duel must be authorized by higher authority. Typically, this requires the permission of each samurai‘s daimyo, but other high-ranking samurai such as Imperial officials and district governors can often approve duels as well, especially duels to first blood. Magistrates also have the power to authorize duels to prove the guilt or innocence of an accused criminal. This is not to say that a duel cannot be fought without such permission. Unauthorized duels are a regular feature of Nipponese life, especially where samurai passions become involved, and while such duels are considered socially scandalous and improper, they are not punished in the same way as a murder. Typically, the samurai is subjected to little more than house arrest or a public reprimand. Traditionally, any samurai who wears a katana is signifying his ability to defend himself, and if he is challenged to a duel, he must fight on his own behalf. A samurai who carries only a knife or a wakizashi (such as the typical courtier or shugenja) is signifying that he is not a warrior and cannot fight his own duels. If he is challenged, he can call for a champion to fight on his behalf. Likewise, if such a samurai issues a challenge to another, he is expected to have a champion available to fight for him. Usually, daimyo will supply champions for their samurai, although they may refuse to do so if they consider the duel to be fought over insufficient justification. Once the duel is resolved, the losing party is expected to share the fate of their champion, committing seppuku if it was a duel to the death.
Once a challenge has been issued and accepted, the challenged party will be permitted to specify the time and place of the duel (a custom known as the ―rights of the challenged‖). When passions are high, the duel may be accepted and fought immediately, but more typically the challenged party will choose a symbolic or beautiful location at some noteworthy time, such as dawn. In theory, a duel can be held weeks or months after acceptance – sometimes as much as a year, though never more than that – but delaying a duel in this manner is often considered a sign of lack of selfconfidence or even cowardice.
WAR IN NIPPON
The Code of Bushido is also known as the ―Way of the Warrior,‖ and although the Nipponese religion often focuses on peace and compassion, most samurai of the Empire are bushi, raised in the path of arms and taught to seek glory and fame on the battlefield. Minor wars and border skirmishes are a constant reality of life in the Land of the Rising Sun, where the different clans are constantly jockeying for power and influence, and major wars erupt with some regularity. During periods of crisis, such as the eras of the Clan War, war is nearconstant and major clashes of arms become a regular part of every samurai‘s life.
Armies and Tactics
Nipponese armies are primarily infantry forces. The native Nipponese pony is not hardy enough to support full-scale cavalry warfare, although it can be used effectively for scouts or mounted infantry.
certain restrictions on foreigners as well as restricting his own people from leaving the island. Most foreigners are confined to sealed off areas in whichever city they are occupying and dealings with them is often conducted by lower class characters, such as merchants.
There have been very few dealings with the Empire and few Imperial merchant ships have ever made the long and arduous journey to the Far East. However, the Empire is anxious to change this not least because of Marienburg‘s enviable position with Nippon and the Far East as a whole. They do not want to be barred from the riches of the Far East as they are from Lustria, although this has more to do with Marienburg‘s alliance with Ulthuan than anything else. Emperor Karl-Franz therefore sent a diplomatic mission to Nippon in order to cement some kind of an alliance or treaty. Unfortunately progress has been painfully slow as they try to get to grips with Nippon customs. The fact that they are confined to sealed off foreign quarters in the capital of Hyudo also possess problems as many days can go by without any meetings with Nipponese officials and what is more is that the translators present at all of the meetings are Marienburgoise Clerics of Haendryk. It is rumoured that they are economical with the truth when relaying back to the Nipponese what the Imperials want and can give in return. However, the Imperials have been successful in converting a few people to the cult of Sigmar both in and outside the city. Sigmar‘s appeal to the new converts is one of strength and unity and they view him as another kami or god. With dozens of Nipponese Sigmarites created maybe the Empire can make some gains?
Thus, the only samurai who employ true cavalry tactics in Nippon are the Taneka, who imported full-size horses from Cathay. Other Nipponese armies developed some degree of anti-cavalry training and tactics, but their lack of full-size horses prevented them from deploying any large-scale cavalry force of their own. When armies go into battle, regardless of their strength, it is the smaller units – legions and companies – which form the primary units of tactical manoeuvre. They usually deploy in rectangular blocks, wider than they are deep. However, the Nipponese generally do not have concepts like phalanx fighting or maintaining a ―shield wall.‖ It is expected that once two enemy units collide on the battlefield, the soldiers on each side will engage each other in personal combat. Consequently, the Nipponese march and advance in a more dispersed and open formation than Old World armies, and once contact is made with the enemy, any formation will quickly break down into a sprawl of hundreds of small melees. Thus, battlefield tactics tend to focus more on pre-contact manoeuvring, bringing more troops to bear on the decisive point through effective scouting and skilful march and deployment, and wearing down the enemy with archery and magical attack prior to engagement, as well as on successfully withdrawing and rallying units after combat.
Estalia, especially the great seaport of Magritta, is in competition with Marienburg when it comes to securing trade with the Far East. This has even amounted to clashes in the Ind Ocean between Estalian ships and those of Marienburg. As these incidences are very embarrassing both sides have conveniently chosen to brush them under the carpet. The Estalians haven‘t been as successful as the Marienburgers in their dealings with Nippon but they occupy a bit of the merchant quarters in the port of Tokaido. The Marienburgers are unhappy with their presence and rumour has it that both sides are seeking to sabotage each other‘s trade.
Basically-speaking Nippon is not a very open society and distrusts all foreigners, save those from Cathay perhaps, and all Old Worlders are viewed as hairy savages. When Shogun Yoritomo Ieyasu rose to power, and re-united the warring states of Nippon, he imposed
The most important Old World trading partner is Marienburg. It was Marienburg who introduced firearms into Nippon some twenty years ago and one of the merchant houses, the den Euwe, has an heir married to a daimyo's daughter Lady Katsi Okumoto. It is not presumptuous to say that Marienburg has a firm foothold on Nippon. Although they are, like the Imperials, confined to sealed off quarters of Hyudo for most of the time, they also occupy a small island just off the port city called Dejim. The tiny island is complete with its own set of quays so that ships can anchor there and if anything the island is a piece of Marienburg transported some seven thousand miles across the globe. The Marienburgers were given the island when they first came to Nippon to keep their influences away from the populous as the Jinto priests viewed them with distain because they were merchants. But on Dejim the Marienburgers are free to do as they please although the Shogun isn‘t without his eyes and ears there, as a shrine to Jinto attended by several priests testifies along with the fishermen who often moor their boats on the island. The Marienburgers, while they are happy to join them in their religious ceremonies, do not trust them. Nippon itself has a little community in the city of Marienburg. It was there quite a few years before the present Shogun made it harder for people to leave his island. While he was opposed to it at first Yoritomo has grown used to the arrangement.
High Elves used to live in several of the cities of Nippon pre-Incursions of Chaos, but when Tor Elithis was attacked by the forces of Chaos the vast majority of the Elves left to defend it. Small communities lived on in some of the cities but over the subsequent years they gradually left. Most chose to go back to Ulthuan but those who did not decided to go to the Gates of Calith and reinforce the garrison there against sporadic attacks from Chaos armies. To this day that is where they remain. The High Elves are welcome in Nippon although they are often feared.
The Phoenix King, although he would like to regain Tor Elithis, is more concerned with keeping his island territories in the vast ocean between Cathay and the southern tip of the Southlands which are: the Fortress of Dawn, Tower of Stars, Tor Elasor and the Tower of the Sun. In truth, King Finubar is not too bothered about Nippon and sees the Kingdoms of Ind and Cathay as more valuable. However, this has not prevented High Elf clippers from exploring the ocean east of Nippon, as in the past, though long ago, the Dark Elves of Naggaroth sailed a Black Ark from the western New World to the coast of Cathay. Fortunately the Black Ark was destroyed therefore preventing a probable Druchii invasion.
History of Nippon
Like many peoples, the Nipponese see themselves as the children of the gods. Nippon came into being when the gods Zanagi and Zanami stood on the bridge of heaven and stirred the waters of the Earth with a spear. The drops of water that fell from the spear tip gathered together to become the islands of Nippon. The pair then descended and raised the spear as the centre pole of their house. Nippon had been created. Zanagi and Zanami had many children, which would be known and worshipped as the Kami. Amateratsu, the Sun Goddess was the first-born of these. Amateratsu inherited the earth and would rule Nippon and guide its people through her palace in the sky. Even so, the land was far from unified, with many different clans vying for power and fighting against each other for thousands of years. ventured alone into the Kanto-Yoshida Mountains to the east, where he returned sixty days later carrying the Ryatso Katana and flying on one of the legendary Kirin. This wondrous magical mount stayed with him until the day he died. The Jinto priests took these events as proof of Yamyakyuki's ancestry that he was indeed of Amateratsu‘s blood. The Ryatso Katana, a sword of true craftsmanship lost in the wars against the Korgians, was to become the staff of office for all future Emperors of Nippon and Yamyakyuki was worshipped as the divine descendant of Amateratsu. He declared that he had a vision from Amateratsu: he must gather all of Nippon into a single empire, to bring peace and harmony back to all of the Sun Goddess‘ people or die in the attempt. Yamyakyuki mustered a mighty army and finally conquered all of Nippon, though the campaign took a full twelve years to achieve. The defeated armies were given the choice of submitting to the rule of Yamyakyuki or die; only in two cases did an enemy choose the latter. These were the warlords of the Ichymoni and Koijo clans respectively, whose warriors, cousins and their families were decapitated in days; it was a blood bath. By -1 I.C. resistance had been broken and in the same year representatives of all the clans of Nippon gathered at a coronation feast at Mount Fuji where Yamyakyuki was proclaimed the First Emperor of all Nippon. On the first day of the coronation Yamyakyuki entered the cave in Mount Fuji. When Yamyakyuki emerged from
THE FOUNDING OF NIPPON
Around -13 I.C., Emperor Yamayakyuki was the agent of an important change in Nipponese history. Nippon at this time was composed of many clans, of which the strongest was the Imperial Yamayakyuki family. The Yamayakyuki were one clan amongst many — but they claimed the right to rule because they were descended directly from the Sun Goddess, Amateratsu. When Yamyakyuki was finally declared ruler of Usaki he was already an imposing man of some thirty years. The story goes that on more than one occasion his opponents surrendered before a sword was drawn due to his defeating charisma and leadership alone. But already as a young man Yamyakyuki proved himself a man second to none. Before his twentieth year he
the cave it is said that the sun shone so brightly that the gathered masses turned their eyes lest they be blinded. During the early period of Yamayakyuki‘s rule the influence of the mainland began to be felt in Nipponese culture. Cathay had already advanced to a comparatively high level of civilisation, and thanks to the relative ease of travel and trade from Cathay, iron, writing, literature and philosophy came to Nippon. Nippon was divided in ten regions which were further divided in a total of 66 provinces. Yamyakyuki ruled Usaki, while the rule of the other nine regions were given to the most capable and loyal of the Kamato clan leaders, who had fought as generals in Yamyakuyuki‘s army. The individual provinces remained under the rule of the local clans who had accepted Yamyakyuki as their liege lord, though one province was given to each of the nine region rulers. Yamyakyuki retained a firm and just rule of Nippon until his death in -12 I.C. His oldest son, also named Yamyakyuki, ascended the Imperial throne as Yamyakyuki II. Unfortunately, he had not inherited his father‘s leadership skills. The Daimyo saw the opportunity to increase their own power within their provinces. The strongest Daimyo, lead by Mitsusaki Onokate, pressed the weak emperor to grant them tax liberation of their personal lands. Others seeking tax evasion became vassals of these governors and thus avoided tax payments to the Imperial coffers. As the years passed, the loss of tax revenues and the increasing strength of governors undermined the central Imperial authority. Already during the reign of Yamyakyuki‘s grandson, Yamyakyuki III, the emperor, though still the formal ruler of all Nippon, only
effectively controlled the Imperial Province, home of the capital Edo. Nippon had dissolved into feuding chiefdoms lead by ambitious clan leaders. By the 9th century the Emperors were actually pulling back from the day-to-day business of ruling a country. They were becoming symbols of power rather than the wielders of power. As the Emperors retired from government, control passed to the court officials. The Emperors continued to reign, but they no longer ruled the country. This period was a time when Nipponese culture came into its own, leaving its Cathayan-dominated roots behind. At the same time, this changed the way that Nippon was governed. The central government became corrupt and weak. Land ownership started shifting to great estates. The nobles who held government offices were given tax-free hereditary estates as payments. Many peasants and lesser landholders were only too happy to hand over their property to these estates to escape from the heavy taxes levied on them!
THE RISE OF THE SAMURAI
At around the same time, the samurai were coming to prominence as more than just another group of fighting men. Like the knights of the Old World, the samurai were the leaders of common foot soldiers. Like the knights it was possible to win promotion to the ranks of the samurai. And like the knights, to be samurai also implied a degree of service to a superior. In the case of the samurai, this service was to the Emperor, a noble or a warlord. The Imperial government found the samurai incredibly useful in putting down rebellions, but with the shift in power to mighty land-owners, the loyalties of the
samurai also shifted. The samurai came to serve and protect the great lords, fighting against other great landlords, bandits and rebellious locals. Although some of these samurai were from humble families, the clans that prospered and attracted allies could trace their ancestors back for centuries, often to some (minor) Imperial relative banished from Court to seek his fortune elsewhere. Among these clans of aristocratic samurai were the Mirumoto in the east and the Hotomo in the south west of Nippon. No longer content to merely serve, the samurai began to interfere in government politics.
executed for their defiance by order of the would-be Emperor Hirakawa. Among these were the old Emperor‘s cousin and many of the chief members of the Mirumoto clan. However, rather than allowing their enemies to execute them, they cut their own stomach with their swords in the first seen display of seppuku. This victory allowed helped the Hotomo clan to rise rapidly to power in the Imperial Court, and Hirakawa declared himself Emperor. The Mirumoto, though beaten, were not defeated, and longed for revenge. This time, the civil war that followed was a straightforward fight between the Hotomo and the Mirumoto. Although the war seemed to go well initially for the Mirumoto, events soon turned against them. The Hotomo attacked the Mirumoto headquarters, and then lured them into a counter-attack that failed when Mirumoto Yorimasa refused to join in because he could not violate his duty to the Emperor. The surviving Mirumoto were pursued and slaughtered without mercy. Mirumoto Yoshitomo fled with three of his sons one of whom, was so badly wounded that he begged his father to kill him so that the others could flee with more speed. Yoshimoto did this, but to no avail. He was caught and murdered in his bath, taken when he thought he had outrun his pursuers. Hotomo Kiyomori then beheaded the Mirumoto clan – literally.
THE IMPERIAL WAR
In 1155 there was a crisis in the Imperial succession, when the current Emperor was found poisoned without a clear heir. This led to heavy arguments of whom would take the trone, with the Emperor‘s uncle Hirakawa and cousin Jozun being the most suitable candidates. The Mirumoto supported the cousin and the Hotomo the uncle, each of which were positively inclined to either clan respectively. That meant that whoever would have their candidate become Emperor would have a great boon at having their will go through at the Imperial Court. Naturally, there would not be a peaceful solution to the matter. The Mirumoto and Hotomo were now in open war with each other. At the Battle of Hogo, the Mirumoto samurai were defeated, with the majority of them being
Hotomo Kiyomori was seemingly unassailable. He had beaten his samurai rivals and was now the most powerful Daimyo in Nippon. However, he had not quite killed all the Mirumoto and in twenty years the survivors had become strong enough to challenge him once again. The Imperial War would last for another five years. Once again, the Mirumoto opposed the Hotomo, but this time they were supported by the sohei, warrior monks from the temples of Kumano. However, the Hotomo were initially successful again, defeating the Mirumoto army at the battle of Mount Fuji. In 1183 the course of the war began to turn for the Mirumoto clan under the leadership of Daimyo Mirumoto Nobunaga. They won a series of brilliant victories, culminating in 1185 with the Battle of SanoIru. Both the Hotomo and Mirumoto clans aboard fleets of warships and headed into the straits north of Usaki. In the middle of the Hotomo fleet was the newly crowned, Emperor Ontaku. He was still very young and the symbol of Hotomo and Imperial legitimacy, and thus an important element of the Hotomo claim to rule Nippon. What happened at the Battle of Sano-Iru was virtually a land battle fought from ship to ship. The sea is supposed to have run red with blood during the battle as the Mirumoto smashed the Hotomo army. The unfortunate Emperor Ontaku was drowned. His military victory secured, Mirumoto Nobunaga did not bother with any of the political manoeuvring at Court that the Hotomo had used. His power was based on his armies, not on any Imperial family connections. The Emperor was forced into retirement, becoming a
mere symbol. Nobunaga took the title and office of Shogun, becoming the true leader of Nippon‘s power. Nobunaga also moved the centre of power from Usaki to Hyodo. The old Imperial Court was ignored and became largely irrelevant to the running of the country. The Mirumoto clan would hold Nippon in an iron grip for many centuries to come.
In 1745, the Hung amassed a great horde and assailed the Cathayan province of Han Kou. After running rampant throughout the land, The Hung set their eyes upon Nippon. Wanting to conquer all the kingdoms of the east, the Hung Warlord ordered his army to construct a great fleet of several hundred ships, to sail to conquer the islands. Nippon at this time was still strong under Mirumoto control, but severely outnumbered by the Hung. The Shogun of the time, a rash man who attacked first and thought later, ordered the entirety of the Nipponese fleet to meet the Hung head on. Only a dozen ships returned, and the Shogun, shamed by the defeat of his mighty fleet, performed seppuku. However, not all was lost. The Empress Jungi, though but a symbol like the Emperors before her had been for many centuries, was an extremely powerful Shugenja. With the Shogun gone, she rallied her people and took to the battlefield herself. Stunned by this expected show of courage, the Nipponese followed her. She took the Imperial Ship with her closest bodyguard to protect her, and sailed towards the approaching Hung fleet. With all her might, she summoned a huge tidal wave that swept across the Hung fleet, capsizing their ships
and drowning the marauders in the murky depths. Over two thirds of the Hung fleet was destroyed in one strike, though Empress Jungi almost perished from fatigue, for such was the exertion caused by the spell. She did not let that stop her though, and personally led the Nipponese armies against the parts of the Hung fleet that managed to land on the coast. Nippon was saved from the Chaos menace, and Empress Jungi was hailed as its saviour. The other clans rallied behind her and proclaimed her the true ruler of Nippon. The Mirumoto Shugonate was soon overthrown, and Empress Jungi would be the first ruler in the period that would be known as the Imperial Restoration.
years as Daigo and his heirs fought against the Ujimasa and their Emperors. In 1792, however, an Ujimasa ambassador convinced the true Emperor to abdicate. With the Ujimasa puppets now seen as the rightful Emperors, their Shoguns came into their own, but their power was to be relatively short-lived. The Ujimasa period was one of great refinement of manners, of great art and literary works. However, during this period real power passed from the Shogun to the other great clans. The Ujimasa shoguns were never able to control these clans, and this failure was to lead to a century of terrible violence.
Long ago, a warpstone meteorite had crashed in the northern part of Haikido, and the once prosperous island instead became a lair of evil. A terrible fate began to afflict the people of Haikido as the clouds of warp dust blew into the towns and villages. They began to mutate and became things much less than human. The castle of Kamakura was inhabited by foul beings, with many of the people turning to the worship of the dark gods. For millennia, those pure in spirit would fight against the Chaos forces of Haikido, holding them off from moving south into Koshu. In 2302, the forces of Chaos were on the march over the entire world. Though it was the Old World in the west that bore the worst brunt of it, all was not quiet in Nippon either. From their Castle of Decay in Haikido, the Chaos worshippers known as the Black Samurai
WAR OF THE COURTS
Though Empress Jungi actually managed to restore the Imperial administrative system and did away with the Shogunate, this would not last. When she mysteriously disappeared some ten years later and the throne was ascended by her son Daigo, there was soon talk about rebellion. Daigo did not possess the same level of leadership qualities as his mother, and some rumours even spoke about him having her assassinated to get to the throne himself. The Ujimasa were the first to take advantage of this, rallying several of the clans and openly accusing the weak Emperor of murder. They drove Emperor from Hyodo and set up another Emperor under their direct control. The Wars of the Courts" dragged on for 56
marched south, aided by many Oni that were able to traverse into the material plane through a newly opened warpgate. The clans of Nippon would set their differences aside for the first time since the time of Empress Jungi, and gathered to face the forces of Chaos. On what would be known as the Fields of Death in Haikido, the armies of Emperor Naganori, Shogun Ujimasa Horotome and his Samurai would battle the largest Chaos incursion ever seen in Nippon‘s history. It was a brutal battle as Chaos Warrior fought Samurai in bitter combats. For the first time the Nipponese were to experience the horror of magic cast by the Chaos Sorcerers; many of these foul wizards had come across the seas from the West. The Nipponese could not hope to win being pitched against such a devastating weapon. But just when the Chaos forces were to gain the upper hand the ground began to rumble as great cracks opened up directly underneath the main Chaos column. Within seconds the column was swallowed by a great earthquake, separating it from the main battle in the process. The Nipponese saw this as a sign from the Kami and fought with renewed vigour as they finally destroyed the followers of Chaos. It was a great, but costly, victory for Emperor Naganori and Shogun Ujimasa Horotome. The surviving forces of Chaos retreated back north. Unable to pursue them among the warp dust, the Nipponese have never been able to fully eradicate the forces of Chaos from their position at the Castle of Decay. It is said they still plot and plan to overthrow Nippon once more, though that day has not yet come to pass.
ARRIVAL OF GUNPOWDER
In 2322 the first Old Worlders arrived in Nippon, when a group of Marienburgers traders landed in Konshu. The Marienburgers brought with them one thing that would greatly affect the future of Nippon‘s warfare: effective gunpowder weapons. Gunpowder weapons were not a complete mystery to the samurai. They certainly knew about Cathayan artillery, but gunpowder hadn‘t really arrived in Nipponese warfare, until now. The guns that the Marienburgers brought to Nippon were handguns or matchlocks. They were light enough to be used by one man and relatively safe. The handgun had a slow rate of fire on the battlefield, but it did have one massive advantage that was recognised in Nippon as quickly as it had been spotted in the Old World. Training as an archer takes years of dedicated work. Learning to use a handgun takes days, at most. The Ashigaru were a pool of soldiers in every army ready and waiting for an easy-to-use missile weapon. Given the level of skill that Nipponese swordsmiths and armourers exhibits, it‘s hardly surprising that it took remarkably little time before the handgun was being produced in Nippon, and that it was adopted enthusiastically by the Daimyo for their armies. However, although everyone could see that the handgun was a useful addition to the armoury, it would take time before someone would integrate a substantial force of Matchlock Ashigaru into his army in a tactically effective manner.
WAR WITH CATHAY
In 2355, Shogun Ujimasa Hideyoshi became Shogun after killing his predecessor in a duel. Hideyoshi was a ruthless man, who saw the decline of the Ujimasa Shogunate and the rivalling Daimyo as a pest that must be eradicated. In an effort to once again rally Nippon in more than just words of peace on a paper, he called for an invasion of Cathay to increase the borders and wealth of his glorious land. Cathay had been hit hard by the Hung and Kurgan during the Great War Against Chaos, and had not quite recuperated as well as Nippon. Now was the perfect time to strike. He constructed a huge fleet of thousands of ships which would take his troops across the Far Sea to Cathay. Over 250 000 troops was sent across the treacherous waters, making landfall near Fu Chow on the eastern coast.
unstoppable, beating back every Cathayan army sent against them and conquering more and more cities on the eastern coast. The Cathayans became more and more desperate, resorting to hiding in the woods and attacking supply caravans rather than facing the Nipponese on the field of battle. The war would rage on for a total of 120 years, until the Cathayans and Nipponese would face off at the battle of Xenyong. As the Nipponese forces tried to engage the Cathayans, they were constantly lured closer and closer into a valley, where the Cathayans had planned an ambush. As the Nipponese cavalry charged into the Cathayan army, they were shot down by dozens of rocket batteries, so many that the sky could barely be seen for all the arrows that covered it. The Cathayan Emperor even cut of the head of Hideyoshi, who was leading the assault, and sent it to Hideyoshi‘s brother who was governor of Fu Chow. When news of this defeat reached the rest of the Nipponese forces, they began to lose heart. City after city was taken aback by the Cathayans, until only Fu Chow remained. Hideyoshi‘s brother ordered his remaining forces to take the ships back to Nippon. The war was lost.
This sudden attack was a large surprise for the Cathayans, who were quickly overtaken by the Nipponese forces. Hideyoshi‘s armies established a foothold with Fu Chow as a base from where they could take in more supplies and fresh troops from Nippon. The Nipponese would prove to be
This defeat was the greatest in Nipponese history, and would ultimately cost the Ujimasa the power of the Shogunate. Certain that the Ujimasa were too weak to lead Nippon after the defeat against Cathay, the clan Daimyo once more began plotting against each other and the Shogunate.
THE TIME OF THE WARRING CLANS
In 2487, Nippon was a powder keg waiting to explode. The Ujimasa Shoganate was at an all time low, spending more of their time arguing and performing tea ceremonies than leading the country. It hardly came as a surprise when full-on civil war broke out. The weak Shogun did nothing to prevent this, and soon rioting became prevalent in Usaki. It did not take long until the rest of the clans followed suit. Each of the great clans attempted to invade their neighbours, minor clans were trampled underfoot and destroyed, and burning fires could be seen every night. As the war spread throughout Nippon, Daimyo took the opportunity to settle old scores (and gain territory at the expense of their neighbours) with mixed results. The central government had, for all intents and purposes, vanished. The Daimyo were free to wage as many wars as they wanted or could afford. The lesser samurai families were quite free to dream of greater power and steal land from each other as well. A shifting pattern of rivalries and alliances emerged. One clan would ally with another against the threat from a third, only to find that their allies had become just as great a threat, or that previously loyal underlings were now more dangerous than any external threat.
Samurai warfare had always used dirty tricks, assassination and outright treachery but during earlier conflicts, such as the Gempei War, the clans who had behaved in this fashion were widely regarded as villains. In the Warring Clans period, however, all was fair in love and war. A quick murder was as acceptable as winning a battle. The daimyo, of course, had access to the ninja, who saw much use during the war. It was a wise man who took precautions against assassination, even if he did not plot the deaths of his rivals and superiors.
During this time, the Yoritomo clan was another one of those small samurai families who had managed to gain control of a province during the time of the Warring Clans. In 2506, the grim Yoritomo Ieyasu became head of the clan. When the Batake marched towards Hyodo, taking advantage of the fact that the Horumi and Taneka were busy fighting each other, they came upon Ieyasu‘s province. Fiercely defending his home, Ieyasu decided to attack. After a brilliant bit of trickery, he managed to convince the Batake that his army was camped in one place, and then ambushed the main Batake force in a gorge. The battle lasted minutes rather than hours. The Batake Daimyo was killed, and only realised at the last minute that the samurai who were attacking were not
part of his own force who were the worse for drink. Yoritomo Ieyasu was now a real power in the land. The temptation to march on Hyodo must have been there for Ieyasu as well, but he bided his time and secured alliances with his neighbours by marrying off his daughter and younger sister. Soon his route to Hyodo and the Shogunate was open. Yoritomo Ieyasu entered Hyodo in November 2508, taking the city with little resistance from the Shogunate. Now, all he needed was to defeat the rest of the great clans. In 2508, he fell upon the Mushagi and fought the indecisive, but victorious Battle of Onogawa. While his forces won the day, they didn‘t crush the Mushagi who pulled back to consolidate their strength. Troubles now multiplied for Ieyasu and he rapidly found he was facing not only the Mushagi, but the Horumi and Taneka as well. The Taneka moved against him, almost trapping Ieyasu in his castle. Ieyasu was faced with a simple choice: stay where he was and fail in his duty to prevent the Taneka from reaching Hyodo, or fight. He chose to leave the castle and met the Taneka army in the snow on a stretch of open moors near the Ekawasaki River. The battle that followed was a triumph for Yoritomo Ieyasu and for the arquebus. Ieyasu organised his 3000 best shooters into a single unit and placed them in three lines behind a palisade of stakes. When the Taneka clan charged across a very waterlogged battlefield blasts of gunfire tore them to pieces. Those that survived the gunfire were cut down by Ieyasu‘s other soldiers. His victory was a fact. Having heard of this, the Horumi and Mushagi soon capitulated and swore fealty to Yoritomo Ieyasu. Ieyasu‘s army now turned its full power towards the Ashiwara. He made steady progress, and besieged their castle at Izumo. The entire Ashiwara clan gathered to try and lift the siege, and Ieyasu summoned reinforcements when he realised exactly what he was facing. The Ashiwara were defeated, and they too swore fealty to Ieyasu. The stage was now set for the confrontation between Ieyasu and the Daimatzu clan. The battle was fought near Nagashige, and when it was over, Ieyasu sat down to count almost 2500 heads taken from an enemy army of around 9000 soldiers. His army‘s losses were around 600 men. With Ieyasu‘s army standing outside their city, the Daimatzu surrounded. Ieyasu was in a position to conquer the rest of Nippon. That he managed this as quickly as he did is a tribute not only to his military skills, but also to his political skills. When facing the Shinzei clan, there was little point in fighting to the bitter end in the mountainous regions of Haikido. Instead, Ieyasu was more political and cunning. He was generous towards his enemies, letting them keep their holdings. He left them in charge as they had been, having first secured their loyalty. As a result, he managed to add the armies of the Shinzei to his own forces and grow stronger over time.
Now, there was only one clan left to conquer – the warlike Uruchi to the west of Koshu. During the time of the Warring clans, they had been relentlessly attacking the castles of the Batake, but to no avail. Even being as outnumbered as they were, diplomatic discussion was fruitless – the heads of Ieyasu‘s messengers were simply sent back in a basket. Ieyasu gathered his armies and prepared for the final confrontation. In what would be known as the Battle of the Sundered Realm, the two sides met, or almost blundered into each other in the fog, in damp and miserable conditions. Both armies were soaked through and neither side could see the other because of dense fog. In the early part of the day, however, the fog lifted and the battle commenced as one huge, mud-soaked brawl. The Uruchi, however, were both disorganized and outnumbered, and stood little chance against Ieyasu‘s disciplined troops. By mid-afternoon, Ieyasu was again counting the heads of his defeated enemies. The captured Uruchi Daimyo challenged Ieyasu to a final personal duel. Ieyasu accepted, and promptly cut his head off. The Uruchi immediately submitted afterwards. From this day on, Yoritomo Ieyasu knew that he would be the undisputed ruler of Nippon. In 2517, he was declared Shogun, the title having been unused for nearly 30 years after the removal of the last of the Ujimasa clan. Now, Nippon is officially united. Even if enmity and smaller conflicts between the clans still exists, the land is officially at peace. The courts whisper of what Ieyasu will do to keep it, and with that, his power. Some even whisper of gathering the armies of all clans in a new attempt at invading Cathay...
Timeline of Nippon
Time in Nippon is measured in several ways. The seasons are the most obvious division of time, as the weather in Nippon switch from oppressive heat during the summer months to crippling snow in the winter. A more formal system of months and days also exists, dividing the year into twelve months of 28 days. Additionally, the years themselves can be counted by another system: the Emperor's Right, which refer to the year of the reign of the Emperor and is the official method of recording the passage of time in Nippon. For convenience though, all dates here are written using the Imperial Calendar of the Old World. Date Event C-5900 Zanami and Zanagi create Nippon. They give birth to many children who would be known and worshipped as the Kami, with their first born being the Sun Goddess Amateratsu. C-5600 Amateratsu inherits Nippon, and becomes its guide for thousands of years. Though the people worship her as the Sun Goddess, the many warring clans fight amongst themselves for territory without a proper leader to unify them. C-1500 A large Warpstone meteorite crashes in the north of Haikido. Humans and animals begin to mutate into horrid Beastmen, and daemons and chaos worshippers begin to spread across the island. C-1350 Skaven are first sighted in Haikido. They strike a bargain with the predecessors to the Shinzei Clan, learning the art of Ninjitsu in return for refined Warpstone. -87 Dark Elf ships start raiding the coasts of Cathay and Nippon. Yamayakyuki is declared to be the descendant of Amateratsu and begins a large campaign of conquest to unite the clans of Nippon. Emperor Warlord Yamayakyuki founds the Imperial Family and unites Nippon for the first time as one nation. Jinto becomes the state religion. The Great Temple of Amaterasu is built and the Imperial Palace is completed in Usaki. Emperor Yamayakyuki dies. Dark Elf raiders are sighted off the coast of Nippon. Many coastal villages are raided and the populace are taken as slaves. The power of the Emperors is losing its hold. The Emperors are soon rulers in name only, with powerful clan warlords taking control instead. The Dark Elf Black Ark Talon of Agony is over-turned and sunk of the coast of Cathay. 1377 1185 1103 Date Event The people of Nippon believe this to be the cause of the Ryujin, summoning a massive tidal wave to destroy the invaders. An unknown Ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town. He succeeds in his endeavor, killing off all but one of the bandits who lives to tell the tale. The Ronin then leaves, never to be seen again. The Dark Elf Laithikir Fellheart begins a century of merciless raids around the coast of Nippon. The Imperial War. The Mirumoto and Hotomo clans fight in civil war, each supporting their own candidate for the Imperial thrones. Battle of Hogo. The Mirumoto samurai are defeated, with the majority of them being executed for their defiance by order of the would-be Emperor Hirakawa. Battle of Sano-Iru. The Mirumoto defeats the Hotomo in a great sea battle, killing their Emperor. Yoritomo Nobunaga becomes the first Shogun of Nippon. Imperial Capital is moved to Hyodo, with Shogun Mirumoto Nobunaga taking up seat in Usaki castle. A poor village under attack by Beastmen recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves against marauding Beastmen. The Samurai all succumb in battle, but the village is saved. Hitomi Gozen becomes the first female Samurai and Daimyo, inspiring thousands of women to take up arms and become Onna Bushi. A group of assassins attempt to kill the ruling Shogun. They are ultimately unsuccessful and slain during the attempt, but the Shogun dies from illness soon after. Rumors of this merely being a cover up soon spread through the Imperial Court.
Increased raids by Nipponese Wako Pirates against Cathayan ports. Cathay blames Nippon and demands action to be taken. Animosity between the two nations increases, with many minor skirmishes between them to follow. The famous Ronin and Kensai, Toyotomi Samushi, wanders Nippon for many years, engaging in over 60 duels, winning them all. He writes a treatise on war, strategy and tactics, rivalling that of the Cathayan TzuSun. Hung raiders invade Nippon with thousands of ships. However, thanks to Empress Jingu, two thirds of the Hobgoblin fleets are destroyed at sea, and the Nipponese armies are able to defeat the remaining forces that manage to land. The time of Imperial Restoration and fall of the Mirumoto Shogunate. Supported by the clans, Empress Jungi becomes the sole ruler of a unified Nippon, and peace settles during her reign.
Wako Pirates attempt to seize the trade cargo of the great "Black Ship" of Marienburg. They are ruthlessly dispatched by its many cannons and allied Imperial Nippon Bune. Samurai rebelling against the increasing industrial development of Nippon are defeated by Shogunate and Marienburger forces. The rebels are slain to man using the newly introduced firearms. Nipponese forces under the second Shogunate invade Cathay. Start of 120 year war between the two great Empires. Evil Necromancers take the opportunity to attack while a majority of Nipponses forces are fighting overseas. The dead are raised from their slumber, and lay siege to Usaki. They are defeated by the many Shugenjas residing in the Imperial Court who manage to dispel the evil magics, allowing the Shogun's Great Guard to break through the Undead hordes with a decisive charge. Nipponese Shogunate forces are forced to withdraw from Cathay after defeat at Xenyong. The Ujimasa Shogunate is severely weakened. The Great Clans start plotting for themselves on how to increase their influence. The time of the Warring Clans. Each of the Great Clans of Nippon vies for power in a bloody civil war. Yoritomo Ieyasu captures Hyodo from the Shogunate, establishing himself as one of the major players among the Clans. Battle of the Sundered realm. Yoritomo Ieyasu defeats the Urichi clan in a great battle, finally ending the time of the Warring Clans. After 30 years of infighting, Nippon is united by Yoritomo Ieyasu, who is declared Shogun after emerging victorious at the Battle of the Sundered Realm. Imperial Capital is moved back to Usaki, with Hyodo becoming the seat of the new Shogunate. Shogunate armies begin to muster for new campaigns. Some speak of a new attempt at invading Cathay, others that the Black Samurai of Haikido are growing in power once more, yet others talk of corruption in the Imperial Court and that certain clans will soon attempt to seize power. The future of Nippon will be decided soon…
2475 1757 Empress Jungi mysteriously disappears. Imperial rule is once again weakened. The Ujimasa takes control after a coup against the Imperial Family and establish the second Shogunate. 2487 1939 74 Ronin set out to avenge the death and dishonour of their master. Successful in there endeavour, the Ronin then turn themselves in to Shogunate forces, where they are allowed to perform seppuku like honourable Samurai. Emperor Mifune is found assassinated in his chambers. There is no sign of a break-in, and the assassin is never found. A Nipponese army is ambushed by Oni and Beastmen in Kamayama forest. They are mysteriously saved by what appear to be fox spirits erupting from the foliage, causing disarray among the Beastmen ranks, allowing the Samurai to gain the upper hand and drive them off. Chaos warbands known as the Black Samurai from Haikido invade Nippon during the Great War Against Chaos. They are eventually driven back after a great battle on the Fields of Death, and the Warpgate used to summon Daemonic Oni into the mortal realm is closed. Ships from Marienburg arrive in Nippon. Gunpowder is introduced, and many years of trade ensue.
The Great Clans
THE ASHIWARA CLAN
The Ashiwara have a long and proud history, claiming descent from the first Cathayan Emperor Chung IHsien, whose family travelled to Nippon long ago. Ashiwara Kunichika, the daimyo, is certainly bold and brave enough to have imperial blood in his veins: he once jumped off a castle wall on a dare! Regardless if whether or not their heritage is true, they certainly know how to act like nobility. The Ashiwara diplomats are among the most prominent at the Imperial Court, and have won many of their battles in the courtrooms rather than the battlefield. They are a mostly peaceful clan, and have made few open transgressions in the past, instead preferring to solve conflicts through diplomacy rather than open battle – their favourite method being of forging alliances with other clans to fight their battles for them! That said, the Ashiwara do not shy away from a fight when faced with one. Opting for defence over offence, they have perfected their skill with the bow over many years, becoming the best in Nippon. The Ashiwara generally have a good standing with the other clans, if only due to their wise choice of words in meeting with them. Some would perhaps consider them cowardly due to their non-warlike manners and dislike for close combat, though this is hardly the case. The way the Ashiwara see it, mind wins over matter, and theirs is the strongest by far.
THE URUCHI CLAN
The Uruchi clan was founded by Uruchi Tomomune when he was given control of Okakama by the first Shogun Mirumoto Nobunaga at the end of the 12th Century. The clan steadily gained influence until recently, when fighting broke out within the clan over the issue of a marriage alliance with the Horumi clan. Uruchi Harumune quarrelled violently with his own father, Tanemune, over plans to marry off his younger brother: a large number of the Uruchi retainers and warriors agreed with Harumune and the old man was removed. The Uruchi are known for their aggressive behaviour, both towards other clans and members of their own. They respect only strength and bravery in battle, and look down upon the other clans whom they consider weaker. The Uruchi have often been at the forefront of many conflicts, and have probably been the catalyst for more conflicts in Nippon than any other clan. Other clans consider the Uruchi rather barbaric in their ways and mostly stay away from them if possible. Uruchi warriors have fierce and unforgiving natures. Their foes learn this on the battlefield, shortly before they die. They favour the no-dachi sword which they swing with reckless abandon, barely being slowed down despite the length of the blade. They are famous for their Sumo Warriors, and have the largest Sumai dojo in all of Nippon.
THE BATAKE CLAN
The Batake began their rise to power modestly enough on the Kanto plain, taking advantage of civil war and the troubles of others to establish themselves. Takamura Shinkuro, a powerful official in the shogunate, founded the clan, but it was his son who adopted the name Batake. The Batake control the coast north of Tokaguchi, where they often battle against the Wako Pirates who pursue their raids against the region. Their fortresses are the steadiest in Nippon, and one of the reasons so few has ever tried to invade their lands. Some say the Batake castles protecting their borders the only reason the Uruchi clan has not tried to invade anyone during the past ten years. The Batake are considered rather haughty and arrogant by the other clans, for they consider themselves the future of the Nippon whose technology will outlast the traditions of old. They spend most of their time researching new technology, developing their engines of war and iron industry, and have access to far more gunpowder than any other clan. The Batake are the greatest builders in Nippon and produce better siege weapons than any other clan. On the battlefield, they use their war machines to rain death on their foes from afar before engaging them in combat to mop up the remaining forces. Though this might seem dishonourable, the Batake have garnered great successes using this tactic, and are confident it will one day win them the Shogunate of Nippon.
THE SHINZEI CLAN
The Shinzei reside in Haikido in the north of Nippon, a place where few men dare travel. Despite the large amount of daemons, Beastmen and undead dwelling there, the Shinzei have kept their old realm for themselves. Residing high up in the mountains, their fortresses are virtually impenetrable to attack, and thus they have been able to survive any serious attacks from the island‘s fell inhabitants. Indeed, Haikido‘s foul reputation is even beneficial to the Shinzei, who have their secrets to keep. They developed a school of martial arts, the ninjutsu, which combined martial arts, assassination techniques and unconventional warfare tactics. They used their ninjutsu to keep their independence, and then to make themselves wealthy as swords-for-hire to the other clans, for there are no greater Ninja than those of the Shinzei clan. The tradition of independence, however, has remained strong among the Shinzei. Ninjutsu remains a dark art, passed down through families and jealously guarded from outsiders eyes. It is not surprising, then, that their ninja also have more expertise, both on and off the battlefield. The exception to this has been their ancient trade agreement with the Skaven, whom they taught the art of ninjutsu in return for refined warpstone they could use to increase the potency of their poisons. The Shinzei are generally distrusted by the other clans, both due to their residence and their reputation for assassinating those who would seek to oppose them.
THE MUSHAGI CLAN
From his castle in Hydo, Mushagi Nobuhide commands a clan with a formidable reputation. The Mushagi are rightly respected for their skills as inspiring battlefield commanders of Ashigaru. Originally retainers of the Hita clan, the Mushagi grew as the Hita faded, but this only led to decades of strife within the family for supremacy. Eventually, a branch of the family came to prominence and eventually changed the clan name to Mushagi, a respectful acknowledgement of their ancestor of the same name. The Mushagi are looked favourably upon by the common people, for their samurai almost treat the lowborn as equals. Well, at least as equal as they could be without lowering their standards in the Celestial Order anyway!
The other clans can certainly respect the forces at the Mushagi‘s command, for theirs is the largest armies in Nippon, though some also consider them ―peasant lovers‖ behind their backs, thinking they let the simple Ashigaru bask in the same glory as the samurai on the field on battle. That said, the Mushagi Ashigaru are the most well drilled in Nippon, who fight on against great odds out of devotion for their commanders.
THE DAIMATZU CLAN
The Daimatzu are a proud clan, with a long history worthy of their pride. To the Daimatzu, loyalty is everything, and their generals are less likely to develop ambitions of their own. Failure to adhere to the bushido code is much more strongly looked down upon than by any other clan, and for this reason, more Ronin can be found originating from Daimatzu lands than anywhere else. The clan can trace its ancestry back to Mirumoto Nobunaga, the founder and first shogun of Nippon. In 1187, Nobunaga appointed his son, Tadahisa, as military governor of northern Koshu. The young man took the name of Daimatzu in Sumata province, his seat of government, as his own. Thanks to a wellorganised army and administration, abundant local resources, and a certain distance between Nagashige and the Imperial court, the Daimatzu clan became rich and powerful. The Daimatzu considers themselves the most honourable of the clans, and they adhere to the strict traditions of old more than anyone else. They have a strong dislike for trade outside Nippon, and generally shun the use of gunpowder and missile weapons, instead favouring the use of the katana above any other weapon. Their samurai are among the most skilled in Nippon, and they are great duellers and wielders of the blade. The best swords in Nippon are made by Daimatzu sword smiths, for which the clan are famous for and earn much of their income from. Other clans usually respect the Daimatzu for their dedication to the way of the sword, though their behaviour border on being arrogant towards those who think Nippon needs to advance technologically to survive in the future.
THE HORUMI CLAN
The Horumi are proud of their faith. Despite this religious solidarity, the history of the Horumi is not tranquil. The current Horumi leaders were originally the Nagado clan, and were vassals to the Horumi clan, who fought against themselves in a bitter dispute. Weakened by a war with the Mushagi, the Horumi were forced to seek help from the Nagado lord, Kagetora. His help included adopting the name of Horumi, and taking control of the whole Horumi clan! He was an adherent follower the war god, and took religious vows that his descendants have followed ever since. The Horumi are known for their piety and religious devotion, and have far more Warrior Monks in their armies than any other clan. Hardly surprising though, since their lands are high up in the Kanto Sanchi Mountains, home to many monasteries and wandering Yamabushi. Their faith is reflected in their magic as well, for their Shugenja are the most adept wielders of the five elemental magics in Nippon. While the other clans have no official qualms about the Horumi, many see them as zealots who are best avoided if possible, while others admire their strong dedication to their religion. To the Horumi, all others are basically heathens, who should all bow down to the might of the Kami and their heavenly guidance.
THE TANEKA CLAN
Taneka warlords have ruled from their home province since the 12th Century, but they have known little peace. Clan infighting, a long series of struggles against repeated invasions and wars against the Batake and Mushagi clans saw to that. They have however, mastered diplomacy as well as horses, and have achieved peace on occasions. The Taneka Clans reside on the many fertile plains of the region, where their many horses can wander freely and graze to their hearts content. The Taneka take great pride in their horses, which is their most valuable possession. Originally imported from the steppe nomads of Cathay long ago, the Taneka horses are the finest steeds in Nippon, able to outpace any others when pressed. It is hardly surprising then, that the Taneka have built most of their armies around cavalry, of which they are widely famous for. No other clan can match them in speed and ferocity, and the Taneka‘s ambitious nature has resulted in many attempted expansions into other clan territories. The other clans respect the Taneka‘s strength and courage, but do consider them rather too impetuous for their own good. Still, the Taneka possesses a fair number of skilled diplomats which has helped in quelling open conflict on more than one occasion, for the benefit of all.
Map of Nippon
The Land of Nippon
Nippon is a land of diverse geography, ranging from open plains and fertile farmlands to rugged mountains and tropical islands. For the most part, the climate is temperate, with a long and fairly warm summer but a surprisingly bitter winter – all of continental Nippon experiences significant snowfall during the winter months, and travel slows to a crawl during that time. Nippon is rich in natural resources. There are many rivers and streams, with plentiful supplies of fish, large forested areas - much of Nippon is heavily forested, providing ample wood for construction and burning and mountainous regions rich in precious minerals. The land can be roughly divided into three geographical regions: forests, mountains and hills. The forests of Nippon contain a wide variety of trees because of varying zones of temperature. Western and southern Koshu (the main island of Nippon) is home of broad-leaved evergreen forests; characteristic trees are shii and kashi, both a type of oak. Northern Koshu and southern Haikido are home to beech trees because of the relatively cool temperature. Central and northern Haikido are home to pine trees because of the much colder climate. Not surprisingly the people stay clear of the forests preferring instead to stick to their settlements for protection against bandits and rampaging beastmen; the latter are more common in the cooler regions of northern Koshu and Haikido, where they are many. The mountains dominate the central spine of the main island of Koshu and the centre of the island of Haikido. They are largely uninhabited by Humans, however there are many isolated communities of Yamabushi and temples and shrines to the Nippon pantheon. There are also many empty temples and auxiliary castles that have, as yet, not been reclaimed due to the inevitable impracticalities of traversing through the treacherous mountains. However, many daimyo, due probably to their own failed attempts, have dismissed the notion of trying to reclaim any lost temples and castles. Aside from the unnatural dangers of beastmen and bandits there is also the danger of occasional volcanic eruptions and the odd earthquake. These natural occurrences also unwittingly serve to protect some of the most unwholesome creatures who lurk in the mountains. Mount Fuji is the most sacred of mountains in Nippon, it rises to over 14,000 feet and is surrounded by the nature god's sanctuaries. Many make pilgrimages to see Mount Fuji and to climb her, though women are not allowed to do the latter. It lies in the stretch of mountains known as Kanto-Sanchi that travel 400 miles down the centre of the island. Some peasants claim to have seen the ancient Kirin galloping across the heavens of Mount Fuji. Isolated temples to the gods lie in these mountains. The mountains aren't without their dangers, Chaos creatures, there since the Incursions of Chaos, sometimes enter the lowlands and attack villages and even the mountain temples - should it be a particularly large monster. The hills are physically less dangerous to traverse than the mountains but can still be, nevertheless, awkward due to bandits and beastmen. Dangerous regions ofhills are known as 'Hill Country' to most, which is a
Nippon consists of two islands situated 300 miles, at the closest point, off the east coast of Cathay. A backbone of mountains lies in the centre of the main island, Koshu, where some active volcanoes still remain to belch poisonous gases and burning lava. Within the natural boundaries created by river, hill, and mountain, are many semi-autonomous provinces and castles ruled by powerful warlords called daimyo. Pride of place in Nippon is the province of the shogun, the military dictator of all Nippon. His province is the most productive and the largest fief in the kingdom. On its borders lies the provinces of the martial governors who are tied to the shogun through blood and/or oath and these are known as the Exalted-daimyo. Further still from the provinces of the Exalted-daimyo come the provinces of the outer-daimyo; warlords the shogun would rather have as far away from him as possible, or those who are of little use to him. This is established through a census of each lord's wealth; the wealthier daimyo near to the shogun and the less wealthy, or those with small armies, as far away as possible from him.
Haikido is a large island to the north of Koshu. It is a place shunned by many of the inhabitants of Nippon. The island is situated just to the north of Honshu and seems to be a focal point for Dark Magic. Mutants roam the forests and hills and ghouls haunt the cemeteries. Undead creatures have also been seen in places. It is not unknown for the despicable beings from Haikido to raid the other parts of Nippon. Not surprisingly there is no law here, it was destroyed in the Incursions of Chaos of 2271 IC. Haikido is a place where even criminals on the run dare not venture to, although the most determined will try their luck here. Some of these criminals will become Champions of Chaos and lead bands of Beastmen against the small coastal settlements of Honshu. The terrible Black Samurai are seated in the decaying castles of the once proud island, waiting for the time when they shall conquer Nippon and create a kingdom of darkness.
broad ring of hills surrounding the main mountain spine of Kanto-Sanchi in the centre of Koshu. The hills of Haikido are similarly known.
The waters off the coast of more northerly areas are home to sea lions, fur seals and beaked whales. Even walrus are known to visit the cooler island of Haikido from time to time. On land, western Koshu is inhabited by the crested serpent eagle, flying fox and the variable lizard. Wandering the rest of the lands of Nippon are raccoon dogs, foxes, copper pheasants, giant salamander (one of the largest amphibians), wild boar, deer, bears, hazel grouse, the common lizard, and the macaque (a race of small monkey). Rivers, especially those of warmer climbs, are inhabited by sea snakes and freshwater sharks. While these creatures are not wholly dangerous to people they have been known to attack when disturbed or provoked. Some sea snake, for example, possess a poisonous bite and the freshwater shark is able to tear flesh with its razor sharp teeth. Some rural people catch these creatures and eat them. The Kanto-Sanchi Mountains and hills dominate the main area of the island of Koshu. Its southern peaks overlook the wealthy provinces of the Shogun and the Exalted-daimyo. The most mountainous areas lies in the centre and further away the mountains merge into Hill Country. Close to the origin of several rivers, and the sites of dormant volcanoes, there are areas of boiling water and calcified tubes, which intermittently spew forth jets of the bubbling liquid. Sometimes these plumes are as little as one to three yards high but can be as much as twenty yards. On occasion, an iridescent rainbow will rise out of the spume making for a splendid sight. Geysers such as this are rare and can only be found in a few places in the whole of Nippon. The region of hills surrounding the Kanto-Sanchi Mountains is commonly known as Hill Country. While some parts of it are picturesque and peaceful, combining luscious forests with volcanic ash, there are
FLORA AND FAUNA
As mentioned briefly above, Nippon has a wide range of temperatures and significant rainfall, which make for a rich abundance of flora whose foliage changes colour from season to season. The highlands of Koshu and the island of Haikido are characterised by alpine plants such as komakusa and subalpine plants of Sakhalan fir and Yesso spruce. Pine (Matsu) and cedar (Sugi) are common throughout Nippon - even in warm southern regions. The pine trees make for splendid scenery and the large pines, of which can grow to 40 metres in height, sometimes serves as windbreaks in coastal areas. Small pines are used as bonsai, garden trees and materials for houses and furniture. Pines are also considered to be holy trees. Most Nipponese are awed by nature and see in plants and trees symbols of divine spirits. At times, for example, it is common to worship evergreen trees such as pine, cedar and cypress because they are thought to provide habitation to heaven-sent deities. Other flora includes the sakura or cherry tree, plum tree, and bamboo. The plum tree carries beautiful blossoms in the spring. Bamboo grows very fast and is also an evergreen. Bamboo wood is used for various handicrafts and constructions and young bamboo plants (takenoko) are also eaten. Trees are commonly used for naming three items like, for example, three different dishes of sushi: pine for the deluxe version, bamboo for the medium dish, and plum tree for the small portion. The fauna is richly diverse because of the widely differing climatic conditions from north to south. The tropical sea off the western coast is home to coral fish, turtles, sea snakes, dugong and the black finless porpoise. Horseshoe crabs, the giant spider crab, and the frilled shark can also be found in Nipponese waters.
as many parts that are deadly to any unprepared travellers and perilous even to larger groups. Beastmen and bandits are known to lurk in this region and safe passage through can only be guaranteed in very large numbers.
The Yodo serves as the southern boundary for Munoguchi province. It is one of the largest rivers in Nippon and flows some way through Hill Country before it abruptly ceases at the Ikawa spring. Close to this spring is the Nakano Geyser. The Onachi river flows through the Okakama forest and separates the provinces of Wakakawa and Yamakama at the western most region of Nippon. The river is known for an abundance of fish but also for freshwater shark and the odd sea snake.
There are many rivers and streams throughout Nippon. Major waterways are maintained and guarded by gatekeepers and garrisons of soldiers. This means that such rivers can be easily fished by local farmers who may go about their business without fear of attacks from bandits, although they too often find their cargoes confiscated by ruthless gate-wardens to supplement their own greediness. The Ekawasaki is one of the longest rivers in Nippon. It runs through Hyodo, and passes across the northern boundary of Akita, after which it finishes its journey when it meets lake Kiri-Ko high in the Kanto-Sanchi Mountains. The major river crossing is guarded by an auxiliary fort and a small garrison of troops, ever vigilant for any signs of trouble that could endanger the bridge. Anyone is allowed to cross the bridge as long as they can pay the toll. The Moruto flows along the northern boundaries of Yoshida province. Its spring lies deep within the Kanto-Sanchi Mountains where its flow joins the River Sakuma as it forks westwards into the bay of Kumayama-Wan. The Hita forms the northern boundary of Izumo province and the southern one of Munoguchi province. It provides, like so many of the waterways of Nippon, vital irrigation for the many rice paddies along the river's route. The Komato runs down from the north out of Munoguchi-Wan, almost symmetrical to the Yodo.
Much of Nippon is covered in forest with trees ranging from broad-leaved evergreen to beech and pine. People, usually peasants, tend to steer clear of the forests, not because they can be dangerous, but because they believe that the animals that live there have supernatural powers, such as the raccoon-dog and the red fox especially. This is why only the buke tend to hunt and the peasants stick to catching fish and growing rice. The Okakama Forest occupies the northern region of Wakakawa province and practically fills up the entirety of Yamakama province to the east. The River Onachi flows through it on its western side and continues its journey until it reaches the Hida-Sanchi Mountains. The Okakama is dominated by evergreen trees and is inhabited by the Nipponese macaque and copper pheasant as well as the giant salamander and dragonfly. The Yamanashi Forest smothers much of Yamanashi province with a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees. Where the forest meets the southern slopes of Kanto-Sanchi, pine trees grow. The Kumayama Forest is one of the largest forests in Nippon. It is a mixture of evergreen and deciduous; the latter dominates the mountain and hill regions of the northern half of the forest. One of Nippon's major
highways passes through this forest and just because it lies within the Shogun's province it does not mean it is safe. Because of the fact that many nobles use it to travel to and fro from the capital to Izumo, many bandits lurk in the trees ready to pounce upon any travellers they deem as 'rich pickings'. Only daimyo, with the escort of a small army, which they do, can pass through this forest safely. There is only so much that the gate-wardens can achieve on the Moon Highway. The Forest of Haikido is perhaps the most dangerous in all of the lands of Nippon. The forest is a mixture of pine and cedar variety and in its depths lurk foul beastmen and mutants and some of the most vicious warbands of cut-throats, who are almost certainly in league with the Gods of Chaos. There also remain isolated communities of the Ainu who, with their unsurpassed knowledge of the forest and its secret ways, can survive adequately enough against these unnatural threats. They do not greet trespassers, whether fair or foul, with much warmth. Aside from the unnatural threats comes the natural ones of the great Haikido brown bear which can grow to a height of fifteen feet and is easily angered if it is provoked.
Usaki castle is home to the Emperor and is the capital of Nippon. It is the largest of the castles of Nippon whose tall pagoda topped towers can be seen for miles. The battlements are patrolled day and night by the Emperor's loyal troops. At regular intervals, the battlements are fixed with bolt throwers and the odd cannon. The many keeps in Usaki are home to the Great Guard, the most elite samurai in the entire realm. These soldiers accompany the Emperor to places all over Nippon. Underneath the castle are the labyrinths that contain many terrible and deadly traps along with equally dangerous monsters and confusing illusions. This is the final training ground for the Emperor's ninja assassins who train in secret dojos throughout Kamato. Only the greatest of the ninja come out of the labyrinths all in one piece, only then is he given the honour of a mission. Surrounding the great castle is a bustling population of 15 000 souls, the largest single population in Nippon.
To the east of the Kanto-Yoshida Mountains lies the region of Edo. The entire western half of the region is nothing but volcanic ash. Centuries ago Edo was the seat of the Emperor, but now the Shogun resides here in the castle of Hyodo. Hyodo is the second largest castle in Nippon and is almost as impressive as Usaki, after all it was the residence of the Emperor in centuries gone by. Castle Hyodo lies atop a series of steep hills built in the traditional Nipponese way whereby if one part of the castle is lost it can be closed off relatively easily thereby keeping the invaders away from the rest of the castle. Even then, surrounding this area is a series of moats and trenches stretching some nine miles in length. The inner most moat is one and a half miles long, and their scarps are built up with colossal blocks of granite. Even the gardens within these walls, with all their sophisticated elegance, cannot conceal the military nature of the roads and paths leading to the central buildings. They constitute a labyrinth whose very pattern is a closely guarded secret, and they pass beneath bridges and are, in many places, lined with bastions in such a way as to expose any unwanted
CITIES & TOWNS
The towns and cities are sited close to the Shogun's own province. The further one goes away from the capital the more scattered the towns are, as wealth concentrates in and around the Shogun's province and the provinces of the Exalted Families. Riots and dissent are not wholly uncommon in town and city streets, though they are ruthlessly repressed. In the cities, and large towns, the civilian population has developed several professional classes which consist primarily of a number of ruling landlords, wealthy wholesalers, and moneylenders, who lord over the various guilds and corporations of merchants, craftsmen, tenant-farmers, and servants in near-slavery. At the bottom of this social stratification are the entertainers, porters, foreigners, the destitute, and, below even these groups and outside society, the unmentionable outcasts.
The Kamato region is the spiritual birthplace of Nippon, where the first Emperor ruled thousands of years ago. The very first settlers of Koshu came to this region and it is believed that Usaki was one of the first true settlements. Usaki is a prosperous city and has, arguably, the finest centres of education in the whole of Nippon. The fortified mansions of the great lords lie perched upon steep hills where, it is said, that the occupants keep an eye on the citizens, for the Shogun's bakufu or government have residences here. The Imperial Palace of Usaki itself lies in a flat basin. Surrounding it are hills where garrisons of the Shogun's troops are stationed. The Emperor's palace is garrisoned mostly by the Shogun's troops but some of the Emperor's own household also help to guard its halls and picturesque garden paths.
guests, regardless of their number, to a concentrated attack with bows and arrows, crossbows, or firearms. The Shogun's castle is more like a veritable city itself with mansions, to accommodate the daimyo, plus residences for the hatamoto and the gokenin, covering its 180 acres.
This is another port-city similar to the country's capital of Hyodo some four-hundred or so miles to the east, where one of the Three Roads ends. It lies in Yoshida province at the top of the gulf of Tokaido-Wan. From the castle of Tokaido, rules the Daimyo Taneka Shengin, a distant cousin of Shogun Yoritomo Ieyasu. Travellers to Tokaido almost always enter through the east gate (known more commonly as the Shark Portal) although many, mainly fishermen - Tokaido has a thriving fishing community - will enter through Tokaido-Wan. Fishermen from Tokaido often fish in the warmer waters of Ishiguchi-Nada and bring back plentiful stocks of shark. Nothing is wasted as the fins and teeth are used as well as sharkskin, which is used for some items of footwear and armour. The island off the coast of Yoshida, Mikura-Jima, is a place of thriving fishing villages. However, it is not an independent province and is part of Yoshida itself. The best horses in the empire come from the region‘s ranches, with a large part of them being sold to the Shogunate armies. In part because of the city‘s association with the nation‘s military, canny farmers along the Moruto River have turned much of their rice crop over to the production of sake.
Omari is the hold of the Mushagi Clan, and one of the greatest cities in Nippon. From here rules Daimyo Mushagi Nobuhide, who can often be seen standing watch personally at his castle walls, overlooking the busy nature of the city. Less than six centuries ago Omari was nothing but a port-city but ever since the rise of the shogun, and being wealthier than all other cities in Nippon through maritime trade, it has grown in power and eminence. Now, through a series of long and bloody civil wars, From Omari the famous Three Roads branch out for hundreds of miles until they greet the city of Tokaido, to the west, Kumano, to the north (continuing to Usaki), and lastly Hyodo, to the east. The road to the west travels through the Celestial Portal, the road to Kumano travels through the Wagtail Portal, and the road to Izumo travels through the Moon Portal. The chief trading port in Nippon, it boasts a mile long wharf from which a multitude of junks sail every day to other Nipponese ports and beyond. The port of Omari-Wan is a hive of activity, especially when a Black Ship comes (any merchant ship not of Nipponese or Cathayan origin), when there are boats to be unloaded of their cargo and then taken to the city.
Closest to the Nippon capital is the city of Kumano. It lies in a horseshoe of hills and has an impressive landscape of mountains at its north-easterly point.
Furthermore it lies close to a plain of volcano ash and the north Road passes directly through it. Many are the times one can see the sulphurous gases rising from the ash dunes. Kumano rose from a prospecting camp back in the midst of time. It has suffered many natural mishaps in the past, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and has been rebuilt many times. So far, for a century and a half, the nearby volcano of Shirani-San has remained dormant, only reminding the inhabitants of Akita province of its power by minor eruptions every decade or so. The ruler of Kumano and Akita province, of which the city lies in, is the Daimyo Horumi Kenshin. Some years ago Nobunaga was but a mere warlord of a castle in some desolate region of the province until he saved the Shogun's life in an assassination attempt. For his act of valour, courage and, above all, loyalty to the shogunate, Nobunaga was made an Daimyo and given Castle Kumano as a reward. This did not prove to be a problem for the then present Daimyo as he died seven days before the assassination attempt on the Shogun from a wasting disease contracted while on a hunt in Hill Country. Kenshin accepted the reward and made the former servants of the late Daimyo lords in their own right. Kumano is a walled city and the old castle of Kumano itself can be seen rising from its centre. Travellers can only enter from the southern gate (the Phoenix Portal) and the northern gate (Dragon Portal) from Hyodo.
Lying along the River Hita is the city of Izumo, the realm of the Daimyo Ashiwara Kunichika. The city thrives on trade from the other major ports of Nippon, including Hyudo itself and even faraway Okakama. The extensive mudflats here form several small islands. The farmers have exploited these in the form of dozens of rice paddies. Where the earth is firmer is the castle of Izumo itself, just a little way up the river and away from the extensive rice paddies of the Ekawasaki delta. The river passes through the town's wards and onwards to lake Kiri-Ko. It is possible for ocean-going vessels to traverse the waters of the delta, through Izumo, and then a little further up the River Ekawasaki. However, rarely do they travel more than fifty or so miles away from Izumo. Typically, goods are bought and sold at the city and the ships depart just as swiftly as they arrived. Then there is the danger of fog. In the winter and spring, at times, thick fog gathers enveloping the entire delta in pea soup making it next to impossible for anyone, who doesn't know the area well, to leave. Sometimes this fog moves until it threatens even the little island of Taran-Jima in the Izumo-Wan. Even without the fog, wrecks on this island are not uncommon, especially when there are dangerous reefs to avoid on the approach to the Izumo-Wan. The granary of Nippon, Izumo ‘s countryside hosts the most productive rice paddies in the empire. The city itself has seen the coming and going of thousands of Tian immigrants, recruited to work as farmhands in the rich estates of the local feudal lords.
Tokaguchi is the seat of the Batake Clan, led by the enigmatic Batake Ujimasa. A large fortress city, built on a favorable landing on an otherwise treacherous coast, the concentric terraces of Tokaguchi climb the hills that overlook the narrow shoreline. The lowest terraces lean on the ruins of a stone fortress built millennia ago, whose ancient stone walls— adorned with reliefs of ancient warriors—are almost completely hidden by modern structures. Tokaguchi is famous for trading in silver and pearls. Silver is extracted in the nearby Kanto Sachi Mountains, where several fortresses protect the mines from bandits and evil humanoids. Pearls are fished along the entire northwestern coast, where an abundance of coral reefs and natural lagoons favor the growth of oysters and conches. Tokaguchi grew rich on the copper-mining activity in the hills south of town and the manufacture of bronze objects, which are exported to Kasai together with the raw material needed for the empire‘s coinage. With frightening unpredictability and varying organization, Wako Pirates attack ships as they leave Tokaguchi‘s port, dragging metal goods and sailors alike back to their hidden ports. In response, the city‘s harbor patrol has grown into a veritable navy, captained by daring samurai and their students, who train endlessly with a variety of pole arms.
Uruchi Harumune. His castle lies three miles away from the coast and can only be reached by walking along the River Path, which is basically a pavement of stone slabs meandering this way and that until it reaches the gates of Castle Okakama itself. The River Path runs through a humid forest of evergreen trees which is inhabited by a large population of macaques. They are no threat to people but they have been known to steal food from unwary travellers. The warm waters of Okakama-Wan are home to coral fish, turtles, sea snakes, dugong , black finless porpoise, horseshoe crabs, giant spider crab, and the frilled shark. It is a common sight to see peasants in small boats catching many of these aquatic creatures in their nets and taking them to market to trade. The town of Okakama itself is basically a collection of villages along the coast of Okakama-Wan. However, the town is still separated into wards with gate-keepers stationed at appropriately placed intersections.
Sumata is a wealthy province on the northern end of Koshu. Home to the Daimatzu clan, it has a long and impressive swordsmithing tradition. Its remote location and good trading links make it a good place for foreign trade. Travellers usually come and go by ship to the well protected harbour or along the road from Usaki. They are always checked by gate-wardens along the route and any discrepancies, such as the absence of a sekisho (pass), are usually dealt with harshly. Once inside the city, the traveller is met by small patrols of doshin (police) and segregated town wards. At night the wards are closed off by gates and anyone walking around
Located in the subtropical west, Okakama is one of the major towns in the region and lies within Wakakawa province of which it is its capital. The ruler is Daimyo
after dark is arrested and detained. During the day Nagashige is quite pleasant with farmers selling their rice at the markets and artisans openly forging weapons in the streets. There is a strong otokodate presence in many of Nagashige's wards, which is why the people here are seldom bothered too much by the doshin (police) although at night this changes quite starkly. The prosperity of Nagashige is mirrored by its culture. Besides rich shrines and temples, the town boasts a refined entertainment district that is famous for both its teahouses and theatres, which are second only to those in Kasai. The high standard of living of the town‘s middle class, coupled with the somewhat lenient attitude of its governor, has allowed the yakuza to thrive in most of their traditional activities, especially gambling. The openness and appeal of these games have become something of an attraction for visitors, lending the city‘s single yakuza group a measure of legitimacy not found elsewhere in the country.
dangerous parts of the main island of Koshu. Perhaps it is because of Haikido's cold climate that so many beastmen lurk in its pine forests, safe in the fact that the sparse human population will not venture far from their settlements because of the inclement, cold weather? Outside Kiroshima, the risk of being prey to the many foul creatures that inherit Haikido grows considerably larger. For this reason, not many people understand how the Shinzei can manage to survive like they have all these years, for few are the merchants who dare travelling there for trade. No wonder then, they are known as the most secretive clan in Nippon.
The landscape of Nippon is dotted with castles and fortifications of every possible size and style, which the provincial warlords have erected wherever it is feasible to station garrisons of warriors. Every strategic site, which affords a superior defence against armed attack and an optimum position for controlling the movements of people and goods, have been well fortified. Castles have been erected at the top of a small mountain, or on the hill between a mountain and a plain, as well as the plain itself. Military clans have constructed castles and established garrisons in major towns, near important temples and shrines, at highway intersections and markets, near ports and sea inlets, etc., thus forming that typical balance between military protection and exploitation on one side and commercial
This is the major town of Haikido and lies within Toyakita province. It is ruled by Daimyo Shinzei Watanabe from Castle Kiroshima. The castle itself lies upon a mountain of pine forests and steep ravines. At the foot of one of these lies the town of Kiroshima. Like so many towns in Haikido, it is protected by a perimeter ditch filled with water and sharp stakes. The reason being is that there are more mutants and beastmen in Haikido than can be found in most of the
productivity on the other, which is the salient characteristic of the medieval Nipponese castle-towns which actually sprung up around a feudal lord‘s manor. In structure, the Nipponese castle has evolved into a sophisticated and practically impregnable fortress. It was generally designed as a series of concentric compounds isolated from each other by ramparts, moats, or walls and comprised such an intricate network of courts and passages that if one compound were lost to an invader, it could be recaptured from either side or totally cut off without substantially weakening the defensive strengths of the other compounds. The approaches to its fortified perimeters are protected by excavations filled with water, by ditches, by swamps, or by a combination of all three. Water-filled moats are considered to be the best form of protection. Earthen walls or stone walls rise massively from the first defensive line, offering only two major openings - the heavily fortified main gate and the equally strong but smaller rear gate, both usually constructed of large timbers, plated with copper or iron, and densely studded with large nails. The passages within, linking one courtyard to another and each compound to the next, are usually designed in such fashion as to lead through cleverly arranged double gates in which one gate is set at right angles to the second, allowing room enough between them to contain (and control from the sides and from above) only a certain number of people - which is usually considered to be a maximum of 240 warriors or 40 cavalrymen, and never more. The castle compounds are generally composed of three units: the main section in the centre, surrounded by the second section, and then the third section of
fortifications, containing respectively the main tower and residences of the warlords, the storerooms, and the living quarters of the garrison. All of these are elongated structures integrated into massive walls, with doors and passageways on the inner side and openings on the outer. The openings are of different sizes and angles according to the weapons employed to repel an invader at that point. Rectangular openings for arrows, circular, triangular, or square for guns, and, for those that have them, for cannons, among other chute-like ducts, trapdoors which open wide to send huge stones crashing down upon the heads of foes beneath. Towers rise from these compounds. They consist of structures containing three or more levels, heavily fortified, with the uppermost functioning primarily as an observation post, or, in times of peace, as a spot for contemplating the moon or performing ritual suicide, depending on the circumstances. These towers are located at the most strategic point: on the outer compounds, towards the northern and the western sides of the horizon; at the corners of the compounds; in the centre, where they are given poetic names of "guardian of the sky", or, more prosaically, the "keep", because this point represents the final defensive position against invading forces.
Some of the mightiest clans maintain a vast network of supporting fortress, smaller outposts or auxiliary castles. These are constructed to form a wide, defensive line that encircles and protects the boundary line of a provincial domain and its base castle. These auxiliary castles can be found in the most unexpected of places and are generally identified by their primary purpose, such as boundary surveillance, watch post, communication, and attack. Encased in this vast
network of fortifications, lorded over by fiercely independent clans of warriors, the larger masses of commoners are, for all intents and purposes, effectively imprisoned. Auxiliary castles, being nothing but small military outposts, are not immune to attack. Many times have they been destroyed by goblinoid or Chaos warbands, or rival clans who have then subsequently taken the outpost for themselves and absorbed it into their territory. The most vulnerable outposts are those constructed in the mountains where they sometimes come under attack from goblinoids and Chaos beastmen.
comparative in rank to the lower ranks of the buke and their heirs are even allowed an education, which most of the heimin are denied, and are permitted to carry swords. A typical village has a population of 10D10 inhabitants and will also have a mix of artisans and traders, though the latter will almost always be found in towns or cities.
The main land routes linking the cities of the Exalted Families with Hyudo are known as the 'Three Roads'. These are highways, together with some of the most important roads that lead to city-ports, which are under particular surveillance and inspection. Strategically placed along these routes are minor outposts where special inspectors, with the protection of many warriors, check every traveller. The traveller must be able to produce his or her pass called a sekisho, which is issued by their superiors in the clan. The sekisho is basically a piece of paper that gives the character's position in society, i.e. a craftsman, merchant etc., and his or her physical description. If they match the character in question then he or she can continue with their journey. If there are any discrepancies then the character will be detained until the character can explain himself satisfactorily to the local authorities. The Shogun's province and the provinces of the Great Clans, use this method of strict surveillance to keep movement in their territories regulated. The minor daimyo may or may not employ these methods, as it is impossible for even the Shogun to know, even with his complex network of spies, what they are doing within their territories.
Villages predominate Nippon as the majority of the heimin live outside towns and cities. They are clansmen, in a way that most Nipponese are, with the exception of the outcasts and ronin. When there is war the provincial daimyo will muster his forces from his villages. Villages are very important to the ruling clans because they invariably grow rice and in Nippon he who controls rice will wield power; rice is still often used as money. So a province with many, many rice fields within its boundaries is in an advantageous position because the whole of the Nippon economy rests upon the production and distribution of rice. Heading a village will be a district elder or village elder, exactly as in the Old World. They are
WARRIORS OF NIPPON
The warriors of Nippon are among the finest in the world. They place honour above everything else, and gladly sacrifice their lives to keep it. They are an unstoppable force on the battlefield, greatly skilled in all things of war. They fear little, and horrors that would make any lesser man run in terror barely affect them. They are the reflection of the true warrior incarnate, and those who seek to defy them will perish at their blades. In this section you section you will find details for all the different troops, heroes, monsters, and war machines used by a Nippon army. It provides the background, imagery, characteristics profiles, and rules necessary to use all the elements of the army, from Core Units to Special Characters.
Army Special Rules
This section of the book describes all the different units used in a Nippon army, along with any rules necessary to use them in your games of Warhammer. Where a model has a special rule that is explained in the Warhammer rulebook, only the name of that rule is given. If a model has a special rule that is unique to it, that rule is detailed alongside its description. However, there are a number of commonly recurring ‗army special rules‘ that apply to several Nippon units, and these are detailed here.
SAMURAI EQUIPMENT KATANA
There is no weapon so revered as the katana. Three to four feet in length and slightly curved, the katana is a triumph of design, the midpoint between artistry and craftsmanship. Specially forged so that the blade is hard and the inside is soft, the katana combines a devastating cutting edge with enough flexibility so as to not shatter when cutting into armour or bone. While the wakizashi may only be worn by those of the samurai caste, only warriors carry the katana. Families pass the swords down through generations; carrying a famous katana is an honour and pledge. A katana is not only a weapon of war; it is an expression of the soul of its bearer. The Katana counts as a hand weapon. If on foot, the wielder may choose to use it as a two handed weapon which requires two hands. If he chooses to do so, he gains the Parry special rule.
WAY OF THE WARRIOR
The Warriors of Nippon have a strict code which they live by. Anyone breaking this code is forever shamed and cast out of society. As a result, the warriors of Nippon fight with unmatched determinism and valour. Models with this rule must always accept challenges and re-roll all failed Psychology tests. In addition, they ignore Panic caused by friendly units without this rule. Characters with this rule may only join units that also have it.
Kenjutsu is the art of sword fighting practiced by the Samurai of Nippon. This allows each warrior to quickly follow up a successful attack with another, overpowering their foes in a flurry of fast swings. Each unsaved wound caused by a model with this special rule generates an additional attack in Close Combat. These additional Attacks do not generate extra Attacks.
Sashimono are small banners worn by Nipponese soldiers for identification during battles. The sashimono are usually fitted to the backs of Ashigaru, samurai, and in special holders on the horses of some cavalry soldiers. A unit equipped with Sashimonos counts as having one more rank than normal for the purposes of Combat Resolution and Steadfast.
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR
When a Samurai is defeated in battle, thus dishonouring himself, he may choose to perform seppuku on the battlefield to cleanse himself of his shame, or to avoid being captured as a prisoner. Whenever a unit with this special rule is required to take a Break Test, they may choose do so using 3D6, discarding the highest dice. However, if this test is failed, they will immediately perform seppuku, killing themselves. Remove the entire unit as a casualty. Enemies may not pursue or overrun against a unit that performs seppuku.
Horo Cloaks are stiffened cloaks fashioned of finely woven silk and wrapped around the body. Their primary purpose is to improve the visibility of the wearer on the battlefield, but they also serve as arrowcatchers. Any mundane shooting attack directed at a model equipped with a Horo Cloak is resolved at -1 Strength. Horo Cloaks have no effect against black powder weapons or Flaming Attacks. A model wearing a Horo Cloak may not have a Sashimono.
The Daimyo are the feudal lords of Nippon, outranked only by the Shogun and the Imperial family. Daimyo have almost total autonomy in the day-to-day running of their territory, and it is therefore unsurprising that civil strife is common as Daimyo fight over resources and pursue personal vendettas. Though bound by the Way of the Warrior like all Samurai, Daimyo tend to be more pragmatic about its application as they involve themselves in the politics of the Empire. Although the Emperor owns all land within the borders of the Empire, he has granted members of the samurai class the honour of protecting and overseeing his affairs, acting as his stewards over the vast majority of land in the Empire. Samurai that have oversight of a particular area are granted the title "Daimyo" and given permission to swear other samurai into their service. Rather than serving the Emperor directly, a Daimyo of this sort is usually appointed by and subordinate to the reigning Daimyo of the family or clan that controls the province within which his land falls. The primary responsibilities of a Daimyo of this sort are protecting his assigned territory and ensuring that the proper taxes are collected for the Emperor. In order to fulfil these responsibilities he is allowed to take a portion of the rice and other goods produced in his province in order to equip and maintain samurai sworn to his service. Each family recognized by the Emperor has a designated leader who is Daimyo of that family. Family Daimyo are the highest authority within their own family, although they are subordinate to the Daimyo of their clan. Family Daimyo are also the honorary heads of their family's schools. The actual duties of running the schools are often delegated to someone more inclined to teaching, or in the case of families with multiple schools, someone who is more familiar with the lessons. Nevertheless, for any matter that would require the attention of the head of the school, the family Daimyo's approval would be required, whether or not he has an active hand in the school's day to day affairs. The leader of a clan, whether a Great or Minor clan, is also given the title Daimyo, although they are more often referred to as the Champion of the clan. The clan Daimyo are generally also the Daimyo of their family within the clan. The clan Daimyo are the most powerful in the Empire, second only to the Emperor and Shogun, in both political and military might. Taisho is a military rank similar to a captain. A Taisho will have many Chui and their units serving beneath him, and reports directly to the Daimyo, who command the force in which the Taisho serves.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 6 5 4 4 3 6 4 9 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
The Ten Orders A leader always carries a text with him. The mind must be exercised as well as the body. When a lord called his samurai, he ran, fall at his feet and spoke his name loudly and proudly. Keep one's sword close and ready and clean. Keep servants only if necessary. Zanagi and Zanami made a samurai with a left hand and a right hand. In the left hand went the text and in the right hand went the sword. When a samurai came before a superior, he dropped hands at his sides, and bowed lower than they, showing trust. Men followed the example of those they admired. A samurai went to bed early, then, at midnight he would be fresh, rested and ready for any foe who creeped in late hours. Be clean, because a dirty man must itch and scratch, and an itching and scratching man was slow. Be ready to die.
The samurai caste holds the keys to the magic realm, proof that the greatest blessings of the Sun and Moon are reserved for the nobility. Occasionally, peasants have a strong affinity for the Kami and in all but the rarest cases this is the same inner path that the monks follow. The peasant then goes on to study among the peaceful Brotherhood of Shinsel. Peasants who show true magical affinity are quickly granted samurai status and trained as Shugenja. Shugenja do more than simply cast spells. They are the priests of the Kami, their very power a testament to the wisdom and truth of their beliefs. Shugenja record and keep the names of the Fortunes, act as intermediaries between the world of mortals and spirits, and carry the wisdom set down by the Celestial Heavens. Though not the official keepers of the Tao of Shinsei, a duty held by the Brotherhood of Shinsei monks, almost all Shugenja are familiar with the text, and view it as a valuable guide to life. Shugenja bless villages many times during a year, to help bring about a greater harvest, healthier livestock, and protect the village against threats both mortal and supernatural. They also commune with spirits of the dead, creating a link between the living and the revered ancestors of the family. Such a duty falls to them as both a great honour and a staggering burden. as many souls of the dead are troubled with unfinished business, and will seek a Shugenja's aid in fulfilling It in return for their wisdom. Magic in Nippon, is not simply a Shugenja bending the elements to her will, magic underlies all activities: the bird taking flight, and the Sun rising each morning. Man too comes from the confluence this magic projected in the blood and tears of the first Moon and Sun mixing together to create something new. Magic spirits dwell everywhere, simply waiting to be called upon. In a more common definition, however, magic is the art of Shugenja, and even the monk's kiho. While the average Nipponese understands that magic surrounds them every day, it is still a holy practice, and something to be looked upon with wonder. Shugenja, the most common practitioners of magic, bring with their vocation the blessings of the Kami upon the Empire. As a force, magic represents a tool and a blessing as a genuine gift from the Heavens. With the power of magic, a Shugenja can purify foul water, tell truth from fiction, hurl fire into their enemies, and convene with the wisdom of the Celestial Heavens. This immense power commands respect both for the Shugenja who wields it, and for the Kami who provide such strength. Shugenja tend be peaceful women. While most clans have their Shugenja trained for war and capable of casting impressive battle magic, the path of the Fortunes and Kami impresses a Shugenja with a strong reverence for life in all its forms. Shugenja believe life is a gift, and should never be squandered for any reason. Shugenja stand out as the one exception to the samurai's usual aversion to surrender. As servants of the Kami, they are always treated with respect and offered the option of being taken prisoner when possible. Most Shugenja realise how rare and precious their gift is, and how wrong it would be to deny the clan their gifts, and accept the offer even if the idea of being held hostage is otherwise intolerable. Most armies keep at least one Shugenja on hand, both as a potent weapon against the enemy and to call upon the blessings of the Fortunes for the battles ahead. Once the battle is done, they give thanks to the Kami and purify the taint of blood and dead flesh that inevitably stains a victorious army.
High Shugenja Shugenja
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 8 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 7
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). MAGIC: A Shugenja is a Wizard that uses spells
from the Lore of Fire, Lore of the Heavens, Lore of Life, Lore of Shadow or Lore of the Kami.
Those Samurai that distinguish themselves on the battlefield become part of a Clan‘s inner circle in the form of Hatamoto. A Hatamoto, or honoured retainer, is the official representative of the family name. It is the chief aid and advisor to a daimyo. The main duty of the Hatamoto on the battlefield is to protect important members or allies who were not expected to always defend themselves. People such as courtiers and Shugenja were most commonly not trained in the sword, and as such would require someone to protect them. In the case of duels of honour, a Hatamoto can often be someone‘s designated champion, although this is not necessarily always the case. At other times, the Hatamoto is usually assigned the carry his lord‘s banner into battle as his personal champion. These glorious standards are rich in colour and highly detailed, made from the finest silk available. The Hatamoto takes this honour very seriously, and would rather die than see it fall into enemy hands. Above else, the Hatamoto acts as the Daimyo‘s bodyguard, both on the battlefield and in the castle. The Hatamoto take his given task extremely serious, for to them there is no greater shame than failure. Failure to protect the one they have sworn means their life is forfeit, and there is no other solution than to take one‘s own life, for a life in shame is completely unthinkable to them. Hatamoto M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour. Yojimbo: A Hatamoto may be assigned as a yojimbo, meaning bodyguard, to one character in the army (but not anther Hatamoto). While in base contact with this character, all failed "Look Out, Sir" hits are taken by the Hatamoto instead of the character, and all challenges issues by enemies are taken up by the Hatamoto. If the character the Hatamoto is assigned to protect dies, the Hatamoto will immediately commit seppuku as per the Death before Dishonour special rule. Each character that survives the game with a Hatamoto assigned to it as a Yojimbo gives the Nippon player an additional 50 Victory points. A character may only have one Yojimbo assigned to it at any time, although a new Yojimbo may be assigned upon the death of another Hatamoto.
The Kensai is a duellist who over many years of practice and dedication has reached spiritual perfection through use of the sword. He is a master of the tea ceremony and other arts like handwriting. The Kensai spends many hours in meditation and has reached the point where he is almost considered a saint and only kills when absolutely necessary, without resentment or pain. The Samurai of Nippon prides themselves on their adherence to tradition and their reverence of the brave warriors that served their clan before them. They pass down their methods and kata, ensuring that the next generation of bushi perform them exactly as their ancestors did years before. The Kensai have mastered the kata and made the movements a part of their very souls. The Kensai have devoted his life to perfecting the skill of the quick draw, known as Iaijutsu. He focus his training and meditation into a rapturous perfection of the use of his katana, channelling his arcane might through it in a dizzying and deadly dance beyond the abilities of even the greatest of mundane warriors. The Kensai are the best of the best, skilled duellists who epitomise the Way of the Sword. To be a Kensai is to be one of the fastest blades in Nippon. The Kensal's speed, skill and dedication to the tenets of bushido are known throughout Nippon, and even their enemies must grudgingly accept the strength of the Kensai. The Kensai are known throughout Nippon for having an almost supernatural connection with their katana. They are masters of the duel, earned with hours and hours of practise. These samurai go from village to village challenging the different Dojos in order to increase their knowledge and prestige. The Kensai are exceptional individuals whose martial prowess makes them almost invincible in battle. These men are capable of taking on many opponents at once while emerging victorious, and often untouched.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 7 5 4 4 2 7 3 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour, Killing Blow. Iaijutsu: A Kensai must always issue and accept challenges if possible. At the start of each round of close combat, he may choose to utilize one of the following duelling techniques. He may not use the same technique two rounds in a row. Drawing the Void: The Kensai gains +1 To Hit and To Wound. A Single Moment: The Kensai gains the Always Strikes First Special rule. Ritual of Steel: The Kensai gains +D3 Attacks. Wanderer: A Kensai may never be the army's General.
"The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy's cutting sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him."
The Samurai assume the highest rank of the Nipponese social system, as decreed by the Celestial Order. The word "samurai" means "those who serve". All who were born in this caste were considered samurai, regardless of their occupation. The Samurai warriors make up the bulk of Nippon‘s armies. Greatly skilled with both sword and bow, and wearing heavy armour, often with accompanying battle masks, these fearsome fighters are a match for any opponent. The Samurai wield a variety of equipment in battle, and can adapt to any situation. They represent the height of human martial prowess, and fight according to a strict code of honour, displaying fanatical bravery and loyalty on the battlefield. Unlike Old World nobles, samurai tend to live frugal lives with little interest in riches and material things, but rather in honour and pride, though as privileged persons in society much of their needs are supplied, and respect and honour fearfully enforced. Samurai are expected to not only be great warriors but to be well versed in more classical arts such as calligraphy, mathematics, and song and dance. However, it is often the case that these pursuits are overlooked. Though it is their duty to wear the daisho and lead troops into combat, samurai are more than mere warriors. They are direct vassals of the Emperor, the ruling class of the Empire. The kuge and buke classes enforce the law of the Emperor, and hold domain over the lesser classes. Samurai are professional warriors, members of the noble class who are trained in the arts of warfare. They are not only trained for their role in society, they are born for it – born into a system of allegiance, loyalty, and honour that influences every stage of their lives. A samurai's loyalty to the emperor and his local feudal lord is unsurpassed, and a samurai that becomes masterless either from the ruin or fall of his master, after the loss of his master's favour or privilege, or otherwise through his own will becomes a Ronin, an outcast mercenary for hire. A samurai's first responsibility is obedience to his lord, usually the head of his family. This is simultaneously an endless source of adventures and a potential hindrance to a life of adventure. A low-level samurai's lord may command him to investigate a mysterious occurrence or subdue a gang of bandits. If he performs these duties well, his lord will call on him to deal with more significant problems. However, a samurai usually cannot simply disappear on an expedition without his lord's command or at least permission, and if a samurai's lord has an important mission for him, he must make that his top priority. Samurai are distinguished from ordinary fighters by their adherence to bushido, a code of honour, loyalty, and obedience. To a samurai, dishonour is worse than death, and the loss of his swords is possibly the worst dishonour imaginable. Bushido, the code of the samurai, demands strict obedience to standards of behaviour and honour. Samurai learn their combat techniques and the principles of bushido in established, well-organized schools. The only measure of a samurai that matters is living life in strict accordance with the code of bushido. This ancient code was established during the dawn of the Empire, and although the interpretation of the individual virtues it describes has changed from time to time, the code itself has endured the centuries virtually unchanged.
Samurai Warrior Samurai Chui
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
Cavalry warfare is traditionally the preserve of the samurai. Only they have the skill to wield a sword while steering a horse into battle. Being a mounted warrior requires wealth and position to sustain the expense of horses, armour and servants. Despite the fact that most Samurai go about their business mounted, generally merely as a sign of their station, only a very few have truly perfected the art of war from horseback. The mounted Samurai are truly deadly warriors and the scourge of any commander foolish enough to incur the wrath of a Nipponese army. They eschew the heavy plate armour and cumbersome barding favoured by the knights of the Old World in favour of increased speed and flexibility. They attack in combination with infantry, using their excellent horsemanship to outmanoeuvre and strike the enemy from multiple directions at once. Bows, spears and katana are all used from horseback and, if a samurai is wealthy enough, he usually has an assistant to carry and hand him his weapons as needed. The katana, although traditionally used with two hands, can still be effective when used in a one-handed grip by a horseman. Swung downwards onto an enemy foot soldier, the sharp, curved blade could easily cut through a man. Samurai Cavalry are swift, and can deliver a devastating charge thanks to their spears, which they focus all the power of their fearsome charge into the points of as they smash into enemy cavalry and infantry alike. Samurai cavalry are extremely well trained and the weight of their steeds adds to the power of their charge. Their speed over a battleground comes in useful when chasing down fleeing troops, or when they are needed to deliver a final blow to wavering enemies. After a charge, they remain mounted and can engage the enemy with their katana keeping a height advantage over foot soldiers. Samurai Cavalry demoralise, harass, and cut down the enemy ahead of the foot soldiers. Units of specially trained mounted samurai are also famous for running daring night time raids on enemy camps and fortifications, using their lightly armoured horses to cross rivers and move quickly through woods and mountains, before striking at the flanks of an unprepared enemy. One of the most famous cavalry charges was seen at the Battle of Xenyong, where the Nipponese cavalry charged straight into the Cathayan formations through a rain of crossbow bolts and steel tipped spears. Even though the Nipponese suffered horrible casualties, their unwavering morale managed to break the Cathayan formation, securing victory against the Cathayans.
Samurai Cavalry Samurai Chui Warhorse
M WS BS S T 4 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 8 3 0 3 3
W 1 1 1
I 4 4 3
A Ld 1 8 2 8 1 5
TROOP TYPE: Cavalry. SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour.
A Samurai's Purpose A samurai keeps in mind and heart the understanding that he must die. Surrendering to ambition, lust, greed, or any other thing, a samurai will hesitate for that one crucial moment when it comes time to sacrifice his life for his lord. Samurai live, train to fight and fight to live. Only alive can a samurai fulfil his Duty and protect his lord. Duty beyond all things is the soul of a true samurai. Living to fulfil Duty is why a samurai forego ambition, abstain from lust, and sacrifice his personal morals.
The absolute lowest ranking members of the buke are Ashigaru, or career soldiers. Technically peasants, they possess far keener training than the average peasant or carpenter. While hardly comparable to samurai by any stretch of the Imagination, Ashigaru are skilled warriors in their own right. Many Ashigaru families have served their samurai lords for generations, and bear themselves with fierce pride and loyalty comparable to samurai. Most houses have several families of hereditary Ashigaru, serving as guardsmen, doshin (soldiers serving magistrates), and scouts during times of peace. The majority of most Nipponese armies are composed of Ashigaru. Unlike the levies of the Old World though, the Ashigaru are armed with high quality weapons and are well drilled for battle. Though they cannot equal the martial prowess of their Samurai masters, they are effective troops. Their preferred armament is the yari spear, but they may also march into battle with the yumi bow and the matchlock arquebus. Ashigaru occasionally prove to be deadly when given sufficient direction and purpose by a competent leader. After all, arrows in sufficient numbers may maim or even kill the most highly trained, armed, and armoured bushi before he gets close enough to even wound anybody. Even then, however, most samurai look upon the Ashigaru as mere tools: as Tsuruchi Nobumoto says, "What we do is art. What peasants do is merely adequate."
The yari is a remarkably flexible weapon in tactical terms. It can be used in single or mass combat and is equally effective for attack and defence. Yari Ashigaru are armed with very long spears that are almost pikes, and can be used to lead a charge into battle or act as pincers. They are well-drilled, but lack the skill and dedication of samurai. Yari Ashigaru are most effective when they work together as a block, forming a wall of sharp points. The yari is the most common weapon issued to Ashigaru, which they use in formation, particularly against cavalry charges.
Ashigaru Yari Gashira
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 6
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Fight in Extra Ranks.
These soldiers do not possess the prowess or prestige of samurai archers, but they are still a formidable force. Perhaps surprisingly, Ashigaru bowmen were not made obsolete by the arrival of guns. While gunners reload, archers can continue to fire arrows, provide cover and maintain the pressure on an enemy. In the same time it takes to fire and reload a firearm once, these archers can let loose a dozen arrows upon the enemy.
Ashigaru Yumi Gashira
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6
TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
Estalian merchants arriving in Nippon sold handguns to the Nipponese, and it didn't take long for them to produce their own designs. The role of matchlock Ashigaru is to unleash massed gun volleys upon the enemy, keeping them confused and, in the process, weakening them enough for a frontline charge. Once fired, the guns take a long time to reload, but their hitting power more than compensates for this lack of speed.
Ashigaru Teppo Gashira
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6
TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
Monks occupy a tenuous position In Nippon's social order. As a rule, they are not forthcoming about their past, and it is considered almost blasphemous to inquire. A monk has left his old life behind. The fact that some were peasants and others samurai makes interacting with them difficult, as one never knows what station should be afforded a monk. Given the uncertainty and their position as religious figures, the honourable thing to do when interacting with a monk is to treat him with respect and admiration. This mindset is common to all but the most dishonourable samurai. While samurai feel some uncertainty when interacting with monks, the peasants simply revere them. Monks are teachers as much as anything else, and they treat all people equally. Also, many monasteries send their adherents into villages and towns to aid heimin and hinin with menial tasks. Monks represent the entirety of Nippon's religion, which is a surprisingly diverse, eclectic, and elaborate institution with three distinct facets. While an Imperial decree technically links two of these facets together, and the third is so widely accepted that none dispute it, the truth is that the three do not fit together particularly well. Generally speaking, the average individual, including monks, selects an aspect he finds most desirable and uses that as the basis of his devotion. Deep in the inaccessible areas of Nippon lie the many mountain retreats of religious warrior monks. In these martial monasteries, monks not only study religious and academic texts, but also a variety of martial arts. The studying of martial arts is seen as a means to improve oneself mentally and spiritually, not just physically, and these monks show a skill and dedication that surpasses even the samurai of the military aristocracy – and indeed many Samurai abandon their feudal lord to learn from these master monks. Warrior monks are the de facto private armies of the secluded monasteries, and are fundamentally similar in many respects to the religious templars of the Old World. They are more militant than holy, and receive very little religious instruction. Instead they are trained in the art of fighting. Warrior Monks defend their monastery against attacks and advance its political claims in the outside world. They are subject to the leader of their temple. They are often charged with defending their temples in times of conflict, but they can also expect to strike against enemy incursions, to hunt down evil monsters terrorizing the countryside, or to recover a relic that is sacred to their order. They welcome all challenges as tests of their prowess and, secondarily, their faith. Warrior Monks mix martial prowess with divine power that grants them the ability to heighten their strength and speed in battle, and protection from mental and bodily harm. Very experienced sohei can shrug off physical damage and ignore certain magical effects. Warrior monks live a life of strict discipline and obedience to their orders. Many join their orders as children, and become sohei when they demonstrate strength of both body and mind that lends itself to the temple's defence. Often, though, young men and women who show little promise for the contemplative life of the monk are the ones selected to become sohei.
Warrior Monk Sohei
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 3 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 3 3 3 1 4 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Immune to Psychology, Magic
Resistance (1). Martial Arts: Warrior Monks are skilled combatants, studying the old martial arts of Nippon daily. They have learned to bring use of this to on the battlefield, fighting with fist and feet as well as any weapon they might carry. Warrior Monks may re-roll 1's when rolling To Hit and To Wound in Close Combat.
Nippon is inhabited by a people who feel bound to their land by a sacred ancient duty. The structure of society is rigid; and so too are Nipponese religious observances. In monasteries scattered across Nippon, shaven-headed acolytes toll brazen bells over silent courtyards. A life of study and ritual under gingko trees and behind paper panels has gone unchanged for many, many long years. The early history of the priesthood is lost in the mists of time. As far as the peasants are concerned, the moss grown roads of heavy stone leading to the temples of the gods have existed since time began. The people of Nippon know of their religion through hearsay and grandmothers‘ tales; the monks keep a certain distance from all the rest of the Nipponese, especially the peasants. Some monks wander round and preach, going barefoot from town to town, or even overseas, and are fairly universally respected. Besides their ability to affect the gods themselves, and popular opinion and morale besides, the monks‘ abilities as warriors encourage the samurai clans to keep as many monasteries as possible on their side. Monks in the monasteries are principally scholars, but train bare fisted and barefooted. They can be called upon to go into battle if lands near their monastery, or their monastery itself is threatened. More deadly, up in the mountains of Nippon various warrior sects known as Yamabushi train more rigorously and more violently, slaying oni in the blackest depths of the forests. Their rituals include walking across beds of red-hot coals, chanting while sitting under ice-cold waterfalls and hanging from their feet from the edges of cliffs. The peasantry and even the monks regard these men with a certain respect, and fear their supposedly magical abilities. These hermits are like wandering lay-priests who live alone in secluded mountains. Those with a smattering of Nipponese might suppose that "Yamabushi" means "mountain warrior", but in fact the second character is written differently and means "one who walks in the mountains". He seeks mastery of certain arcane combat techniques and magic arts, the lore of herbs and nature, and ultimately satori, or Enlightenment, through the study of Zen. These men and women trace the origin of their tradition as a militaristic religious order back to hermits who went up to the mountain regions in search of divine inspiration and supernatural powers. They are more tactically astute and combat trained than their generally non-martial brothers, but are no less stubborn in defence of their religion. Their training as warriors helps teach them the ways of discipline and control of the mind, and this is looked on well by the daimyo classes and Shogunate, for various reasons.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Immune to Psychology, Magic
Resistance (2), Martial Arts. Prayers of the Kami: Yamabushi know the three Prayers listed below. Prayers are innate bound spells (power level 3). All Prayers are augment spells. In addition, the Yamabushi may channel Power and Dispel dice just like a Wizard. Prayer of Invigoration: One friendly character within 12‖ of the Yamabushi will regain all Wounds previously lost during the battle. Prayer of Protection: One friendly character within 12‖ of the Yamabushi will gain a 4+ Ward save until the start of the caster‘s next Magic phase. Prayer of Potency: One friendly character within 12‖ of the Yamabushi may re-roll all failed rolls To Hit and To Wound in close combat. Remains in play.
Before Emperor Yamakyuki, many noblemen of Nippon lived in constant danger of assassination, whether from the hired killers of other noblemen or the ambitious members of their own family. In the complex web of family and group loyalty that is Nipponese society it was sometimes best to employ outsiders, individuals who have no clan or family ties to interfere with their personal loyalty. The Sumo Warriors were such men, separated from their families in childhood and raised in special schools they are sold to any noble who can afford their services. Iron muscled frames sheathed in mountains of fat, the Sumo Warriors are the products of a strange bodybuilding regimen of force-feeding and tortuous strength and endurance routines. In the performance of their bodyguard duties Sumotori was expected to interpose themselves between their master and potential threats, in effect providing them a living shield of unyielding flesh. This dedication to duty and complete lack of concern for their own safety made them a formidable foe on the battlefield. After Yamakyuki took the throne and unified Nippon, the practice of Sumo bodyguards was redundant, as most Daimyos began to hire their most loyal Samurai to act as their bodyguards instead. Sumo Warriors instead became sportsmen in the very popular sport of Sumai. Sumo wrestlers go through intense purification and meditation rituals before a sumo bout, and spectators come for the ceremony as much as the sport. An actual bout of sumo is over in seconds, as two massive wrestlers slam into one another with the intent of knocking the opponent off his feet or pushing him out of the ring. Matches are separated into four categories according to the skill and reputation of the wrestlers. In ascending order, these are juryo, maegashira, sanyaku, and yokuzuna. The Imperial Court only allows bouts of yokuzuna. Sumo tournaments take place between two teams of wrestlers who perform seventeen bouts before the Emperor and his entourage. A beautifully crafted masterwork bow goes to the victor whereupon they receive an invitation from the Imperial court to perform bugaku, a complex ritual of ceremonial songs and dances; the champion dances while twirling the prize bow. While the Sumo Warriors are sportsmen most of the time, they still train like any other Samurai. In times of war, these massive warriors go into battle wielding nodachi swords, easily capable of cutting though a knight and horse with a single blow, making them excellent shock troops.
Sumo Warrior Yokosuna
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 1 8 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour. Unstoppable Force: When Sumo Warriors charge, they are an unstoppable force of mass and muscles that can tear through a regiment with ease. On any turn that Sumo Warriors charges, the enemy must re-roll successful Break Tests.
The Uruchi Sumai is an advanced school of training, and is considered to be a set of clan secret techniques. The Uruchi Clan rarely makes exceptions to this, and only a few lucky outsiders have been taught them. Testing their strength is a favourite pastime of many Uruchi samurai, and is one of the more popular forms of duelling when facing another Uruchi. Sumai is a commonly accepted method of duelling in Nippon, a method with which the Uruchi are very familiar. They respect and rely on this form of competition when dealing with other clans to a high degree, and have several dojo dedicated to training different techniques.
In Nippon, a woman's caste, rather than her gender, constitutes her position in the Celestial Order. As such, any woman who so wishes may become a samurai, earning the same rights and respect as their male counterparts. Nipponese women are trained to defend their homes in times of war but few take part in open battle. Those who do though, quickly become legends. Onna Bushi are treated with the deference due a lady of their station, unless they are dressed and prepared for war. If an Onna Bushi is dressed in 'mannish' attire, she is referred to with her military title. Female samurai are treated with the same respect as their male counterparts though they are typically expected to be softer-spoken and more lady-like in most clans. This varies from clan to clan, with some families being strictly matriarchal. Some have in fact higher standards for their Onna Bushi than they have for their men, an expectation of chastity and honour not held to many men in the Empire. One of the favourite stories of Nipponese poets is of the sister of a murdered samurai who put on her brother's armour and took up his sword to avenge him. "Hitomi‘s Tale" has moved many young women to become samurai, and has justified the act in the eyes of many daimyos. The samurai ritual of changing one's name has brought many Onna Bushi female samurai to take the name ―Hitomi‖ upon taking the daisho. One of the vows that some Onna Bushi take during their initiation ceremony is a vow of celibacy, as a Onna Bushi cannot he devoted to both a daimyo and a lover or husband, after all. If a celibate Onna Bushi is found to have a lover, she often renounces her station and joins the ranks of a monastery. Of course, the key word is ―discovered‖ There are many Onna Bushi who take lovers, and every poet's repertoire has several stories of samurai and Onna Bushi who doom themselves for love. Onna Bushi are treated as samurai warriors in the Celestial Order. They are no different from male samurai in that regard. Onna Bushi are usually armed with the naginata, a long pole arm that is tipped with a deadly curved swordblade. They favour a defensive strategy over assault. Since they lack the physical strength of the men, they have instead become very proficient at holding their foes at bay with their naginata until reinforcements can arrive and finish them off.
Onna Bushi Onna-Bugeisha
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
Death before Dishonour. Stalwart Defence: Enemies charging a unit of Onna Bushi to the front lose all charging bonuses. In addition, Onna Bushi may re-roll failed Break Tests.
"Samurai maidens who remain
faithful to their lords get their name in the history books. The ones who fall find their names in tragic love songs."
Kabuki is one of the most common forms of theatre in Nippon, and focuses on lively and almost violent action, dancing and tension. Singers and orchestra often provide the backdrop for the actors and key information about the setting. The name Kabuki comes from the word kabuki-odori which means "stylish and shocking dances". The plays make use of elaborate costumes, makeup, sets and special effects to accompany the story, and the actors move in special stylized patterns known as kata. The set is changed by stagehands dressed entirely in black during the show, and the stage contains many trapdoors and rotating platforms to aid in this endeavour. There are two major types of Kabuki plays; the jidaimono, or "rough stuff style", and the sewamono, the "talk of the town". Most performers of Kabuki theatre are professional dancers and actors; however a small and secretive cult of masked assassins also trains its members in Kabuki, treating the intricate gestures and extreme posturing of the dance as the basis for a martial art form. These Kabuki Dolls, as they are called, receive lifelong training in diverse arts, from assassination, protection, and diplomacy, to proficiency with exotic and traditional weapons like the battle-fan and poisoned hair needles, as well as skill with a musical instrument, rhetorical excellence, and of course Kabuki dance. Kabuki is an ancient stylised dance form of such complexity and nuance that only the most cultivated of aficionados can truly appreciate its subtleties. Revitalized and adapted for the tastes of the more traditional-minded clan leaders it has become an iconographic form of status entertainment in Nippon. Some nobles flaunt their Kabuki Doll escorts when in public, as it is a great status symbol in society to own one, and accomplished Kabuki Dolls can command the price of a small mansion for a single evening‘s entertainment - or a single, spectacular kill. The Kabuki Dolls can use the skills of their trade in battle as well, favouring the two major types of jidaimono and sewamono. Though the battlefield is not their ideal environment, units of Kabuki Dolls make very effective combat troops, and their expertise in the martial arts, bravery and dedication to duty are second to none.
Kabuki Doll Dai-jô
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Skirmishers, Poisoned
Attacks. Kabuki Dance: You must choose one of the two dances for the kabuki Dolls to perform at the start of each close combat phase. Jidaimono: Yelling and braying their often nonsensical lines, the Kabuki Dolls throw themselves at the foe in a flurry of death. While performing this dance, the Kabuki Dolls have the Always Strikes First special rule. Sewawono: Moving gracefully and without pause, the Kabuki Dolls dodge strike after strike. While performing this dance, enemies must re-roll all successful rolls to Hit against the Kabuki Dolls.
Fans are often used in Nippon by courtiers to hide their faces, and by generals to signal the troops. Eventually it was developed into a weapon as well. The War Fan was primarily developed to be defensive but it can also be used to strike blows with its sharp, metal edges. A War Fan may be used in two ways: it can either be used as an additional hand weapon with the Jidaimono style or as a shield in close combat with the Sewamono style.
The Yabusame are a special caste of Samurai that excel in the art of Kyudo archery. They train tirelessly daily to improve their skills while firing from galloping horseback, and hold great tournaments to find the best amongst themselves. This is done by riding past three targets and shooting at them at high speed. They wear traditional hunting attires while doing so, both in tournaments and in battle, as a way of signifying their station as masters of the bow. A true warrior never stops learning his craft. He should strive for perfection. Only with death does his education and his personal quest come to an abrupt end. Only a foolish and arrogant man believes himself to be unbeatable. All training, all practice, improves ability and confidence in battle. Accuracy is allimportant: the best shooter is useless if his arrows fall wide of the target! Speed is also improved, as a great master can have one arrow in his hand, one in the air, and one striking the target. archery and these troops remain invaluable despite the introduction of gunpowder. Matchlocks may be powerful, but they are also unreliable and inaccurate, and the Ashigaru who use them simply lack the skills and mobility of mounted samurai. These cavalry archers can quickly move to the flanks of an enemy, or harass the enemy at a distance before retreating away.
Yabusame Bow Master Warhorse
M WS BS S T 4 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 3 3 8 3 0 3 3
W 1 1 1
I 4 4 3
A Ld 1 8 1 8 1 5
TROOP TYPE: Cavalry.
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
Death before Dishonour, Fast Cavalry. Kyudo: The mind and sight of any archer must be trained, as surely as his muscles: a distant target must be recognised before it can be killed. The Yabusame are trained to find the weak spot in their opponent‘s armour with their arrows, all while moving at full speed around the battlefield.
The Nipponese bow is asymmetric; far longer above the grip than below, to make it easy to use on horseback while retaining power. The bow can be swung from side to side without getting tangled up in saddle furniture. It has a composite of a wooden core, covered in layers of lacquered bamboo, making it strong yet flexible, capable of shooting a wide variety of arrows. Its beautiful simplicity disguise the fact that this was a weapon that required tremendous skill, strength and grace to use effectively. With both hands occupied by aiming and firing a bow, these men must use their knees to control and steer their mounts. Nippon has a long tradition of mounted
Yabusame do not suffer penalties to Hit for moving and shooting. In addition, all their missile attacks have the Armour Piercing special rule.
"War is inevitable, and in such times a daimyo will call upon his men. A samurai will serve and command, but before that, a samurai must prepare and study. Victory is not taking the lives of the enemy, but saving the lives of one’s kin. Those who would falter first would be the first to fall, that the price of defeat was greater than honour or pride. Learning to win is not enough, it is necessary to learn how not to lose."
The Red Devils are a special order of Samurai, focusing only on the aspect of war and death, completely neglecting the other parts of the Way of the Warrior. They wear blood-red armours and banners, often decorated with skulls and bones of their fallen enemies as well as smearing their blood on their armour. They wear helmets with closed masks, each with the face of an Oni. They top their helmets with two large horns, from which they have gotten their name. The Red Devils were founded by Taneka Naomasa from the Taneka Clan. Being obsessed with gaining honour and glory in battle, he quickly rose in prominence among the other less offensive generals, and had soon made a name for himself. His army swelled with young recruits of impetuous Samurai who sought to quickly rise to power or was simply consumed by the lust for battle. His finest hour was to come at the Battle of Bloodied Souls, where his unit of bodyguards outpaced those of other generals, drawing the first blood of that battle. However, Naomasa was shot down on his horse while charging together with his bodyguard against the remnants of the opposing army. All of them died together with him, but the battle was won, and Naomasa would forever be remembered for his great actions, with his son taking upon himself to keep the code of the Red Devils alive. Many Samurai would flock to his banner, wanting to relive those deeds and die honourable in battle like Naomasa. The combination of the Red Devils‘ unsurpassed abilities with the horse, their singular skills in battle, and their intense devotion turns these samurai from simple warriors into something more like unrelenting forces of nature. The Red Devils have the speed, mobility, and power of all Taneka cavalry, but they also have the strength of their convictions. The Red Devils are very particular about who may join their ranks. Only samurai with years of service and outstanding martial skills are accepted, and on top of those requirements, all successful candidates must demonstrate truly exceptional piety, as determined by the sensei of the Red Devil dojo. Today, the Red Devils have gained a lot of influence in Nippon, and the order draws in recruits from all the provinces. The Red Devils are a terrifying foe to face on the charge, attacking with no disregard for their own safety, slaughtering anyone who dares stay before them and fight.
Red Devil Red Devil Chui Warhorse
M WS BS S T 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 3 4 3 8 3 0 3 3
W 1 1 1
I 4 4 3
A Ld 1 8 2 8 1 5
TROOP TYPE: Cavalry.
SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
Death before Dishonour, Frenzy. Fearsome Charge: The Red Devils‘ gruesome appearance combined with their fearful battle cry and reputation means only the most stout-hearted dare stand against their charge. Red Devils causes Fear on any turn that they charge.
“He who is intent on dying can
be murdered. He who is quick to anger can be insulted. He who is self-conscious can be humiliated. He who is compassionate can be troubled. But the commander whose mind is focused, and whose soul is taken up by the strike, he will know victory.”
No matter how prosperous or beleaguered the Empire becomes, there are always samurai who serve no master but themselves. To these samurai, known as Ronin, or "wave men", the notion of a life without duty is far worse than death. Some men are born to this lot, the child of a samurai who chooses not to recognize his offspring for whatever reason. Others are cast out for failure, denied even the honourable redemption of seppuku. Also known as the "Samurai without masters", for individual reasons each Ronin has found themselves on the path of the mercenary. They are renegades, soldiers of fortune and wandering vagrants, but they are no less dangerous warriors than normal Samurai for it. A samurai becomes masterless from the ruin or fall of his master, or after the loss of his master's favour or privilege. A samurai is forbidden to become employed by another master without his previous master's permission. When the samurai's previous master dies without an heir, or is stripped of his lands and title, the samurai is unemployable by other Daimyo. In addition, a samurai can become Ronin if he is not recognized as an heir by his samurai parent, is outcast for a failure and denied seppuku, or is simply someone who has chosen to abandon his station. Generally, a samurai will request to commit seppuku to absolve himself of whatever shame caused him to become Ronin, though this step could be forbidden by the samurai's Daimyo, if becoming Ronin were a punishment. Ronin exist outside the Celestial Order. They are still samurai, but they are not subservient to any greater power. They wear the daisho, but they do not have the protection of even the eta who live under a Daimyo. The Ronin roam Nippon seeking their fate in battle and searching for ever greater tests of their swordsmanship and honour. If two powerful and well known Ronin happen to meet they may well duel to the death simply to test their skills. But despite their bloodthirsty trade, the Ronin share a deep mutual respect for each other and will often form into bands to offer their services in war. Since there is no reason for a Samurai to exist without his honour, they want nothing more than to fall in the field of battle, thus relieving themselves of their shame by finding a worthy death. Most commanders are happy to allow them to join the armies of Nippon, as they fight for practically nothing in return, and hopefully results in a few less Ronin in the world.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 3 4 3 1 4 1 10
TROOP TYPE: Infantry.
SPECIAL RULES: Kenjutsu, Skirmishers,
Unbreakable. Redemption: Every model in a unit of Ronin may issue and accept challenges as if they were a Champion.
The Tale of the 74 Ronin
A group of samurai who were left leaderless after their master was forced to commit seppuku for assaulting a court official named Hira Toshinaka. The Ronin planned to avenge their master's honour after patiently waiting and planning for over a year to kill Hira. Early in the morning, in a driving wind during a heavy fall of snow, the Ronin attacked Hira Toshinaka's mansion. According to a carefully laid-out plan, they split up into two groups and attacked, armed with swords and bows. A drum would sound the simultaneous attack, and a whistle would signal that Hira was dead. A few days following this event the 74 Ronin handed themselves in. As expected, the Ronin were sentenced to death. The Shogun ordered them to honourably commit seppuku, instead of having them executed as criminals. The 74 Ronin did so, having finally redeemed themselves, and thus joined their ancestors without shame.
Pirates have long plagued the coast of Nippon, striking quickly against lone ships or coastal villages before retreating back out to sea and their hidden bases. Wako are men who have forsaken the code of bushido for a life of plunder and piracy, or peasants who find themselves tired of the treatment of their lords. Some successful Wako pirates become so called ―sea lords‖, and even make out small clans of their own, seizing large areas as their fiefdoms and ruling them through their own clan structures. They extort tolls from passing ships for ―protection‖ if they are feeling friendly or simply take what they want when the opportunity arises. The Wako patrol the coast and inland waterways, occasionally venturing out to sea in the hope of waylaying a Cathayan or Old World ship. Sometimes they even conduct raids on the mainland, carrying off valuables and people to ransom. They sail in black junks and are ruthless and fearless fighters, expert in combat at sea and the boarding of other vessels. Their bases are islands or hidden ports where they can hide from justice and the admiral of the Shogun's fleet. These reavers and their swift craft lurk in isolated coves and remote islands along the rocky coast and swoop down on rich merchants and unsuspecting kobune. Wako are often little better than thieves and prey upon coastal trade mercilessly. Strangely, they never prey on the fishing boats, which are perhaps just too poor to whet a pirate's appetite. But then many a quiet fishing village holds darker secrets, and the nimble boats catch more than fish when the opportunity allows. When crushed by taxes, it is very tempting to take the riches that sail by, and some peasant fishermen turn pirate when the need takes them. The Nipponese ability to deal with their pirate problem was hindered by the Clan War and the lack of a strong central government. The Cathayans, who have on the receiving end of many Wako depredations, continually demanded that the Nipponese deal with the pirates, but each solution only seemed to halt them for a short while. Attacks on known Wako ports, mass beheadings and even bans on foreign trade did not seem to make much difference to the Wako. However, with the reinstatement of a new Shogun, the Wako threat has been diminished somewhat. By forbidding peasants from owning weapons, fewer are able to become Wako, and thus the threat has lowered, if not disappeared. While Samurai generally hate the Wako with a passion, some Clans have seen the advantages of hiring them as mercenaries in their armies. With the promise of an Imperial pardon and a share of the enemy loot, plenty of Wako take up these offers, knowing most Samurai are too bound by their honour to break their promises. The Wako usually sail around the flanks of the enemy army where they can strike unsuspecting enemy regiments in the rear as the battle rages on. Wearing little to no armour and armed with swords and bows, the Wako can be a large threat if not countered in time. After the battle, the Wako take their time to plunder the enemy corpses before disappearing back to their ships, with many disgruntled looks from the Samurai. Still, it‘s a low price to pay for being able to hire some of the most feared sea farers this side of the world.
Wako Pirate Bosun
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 7 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 2 7
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Ambushers.
Distrustful: Wako and Samurai are not known for getting along, even during their brief alliances. Each side is constantly worried about the possible betrayal of the other one, which in the case of Wako, is not often far from the truth! Friendly units with the Way of the Warrior special rule and Wako Pirates both suffer -1 to their Leadership if within 6" of each other. In, addition, Wako Pirates must re-roll successful panic tests caused by fleeing friendly units with the Way of the Warrior special rule.
When the wealthy and the powerful need an enemy eliminated quietly and without fail, they call upon the ninja. When a general needs to sabotage the siege engines of his foes before they can reach the castle walls, he calls upon the ninja. And when fools dare to move against a ninja or her companions, they will find the ninja waiting for them while they sleep, ready to strike. These shadowy killers are masters of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination, using a wide variety of weapons, practiced skills, and mystical powers to achieve their goals. Ninja mostly come from the Shinzei Clan, although it has been rumoured that other clans have Ninja of their own. Due to the nature of their duties, Ninja have to violate the tenets of Bushido at every turn. For this reason, Ninja groups usually adopt a slightly different code of honour. These vary from family to family, but almost always involve some form of the Three Oaths, originally devised by the Shinzei. Ninja almost always operate under a cover identity or another. Often, even their own family does not know about their covert activities. This protects not only the Ninja himself, but also his associates. A Ninja can only depend on his compatriots, and they only on him, making loyalty even more important than for normal samurai. He must also be prepared to deny allegiance to his lord when caught, and face the consequences alone. A Ninja‘s duty is even more arduous than for others, as it often alienates him from his friends and family. In addition, he must be ready to solve difficult tasks on his own, often at the price of his own life, without the prospect of eternal glory and veneration a bushi enjoys. Due to the need for secrecy, most ninja orders are very small. Generally, new students are only inducted if a member dies. How new students are chosen varies depending on the dojo. The children of ninja are raised as ninja, and take up the ninja-to to honour the memory of their ancestors. Vagrant children with a talent for theft are also likely to catch their eye — they have a knack for survival, no one will miss them, and they often come to regard the dojo as a surrogate family. There is no formalized gempukku ceremony for ninja. Ninja of the samurai caste, of course, still undergo gempukku, but this has more to do with their social status than their role as a ninja. Instead, the true induction into the order is the ninja's first mission. During training, young ninja are sometimes allowed to accompany more experienced agents on scouting missions, but they never participate. It is the ninja's first mission that truly gains him equality and acceptance within the order. Either he fails and dies, or he succeeds and becomes a full ninja. The majority of ninja orders place a heavy emphasis on training. Most ninja dojo have an extensive training area featuring obstacle courses, target dummies, and occasionally even complex reproductions of the actual quarters of important daimyo so that operatives can practice missions well in advance. In contrast with a samurai, ninja have greater periods of inactivity (the lord doesn't always need someone robbed or assassinated), so maintaining one's skills is critical. A single mistake while on a mission might not only cost the ninja his life, but expose the existence of his entire dojo. Those who are unable to perform adequately in training are removed from active missions. Such ninja either aid the sensei in instruction or simply guard the dojo. The skills of the Ninja are the product of a lifetime of intensive training, cunning and the clever use of misdirection. Though generally distrusted and loathed by the Samurai, some commanders see past the Ninjas‘ lack of honour and see their uses on the battlefield. The ability to move about largely unseen on the battlefield means they appear from nowhere, launch an assault on an enemy general and then vanish before they are caught or killed. They are armed with throwing knives for short-range attacks and their blinding grenades can disorientate an enemy for a short time, reducing their fighting ability. Groups of Ninja scouts ahead of the army, assassinate valuable targets, and harass the enemy supply lines.
Ninja Shadow Eye
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Skirmishers, Scouts, Ward
save (6+). Quick Shot: Ninja may use their throwing stars as they charge or when choosing Flee as a charge reaction (if the enemy is within range before they make their move). This counts as moving and shooting as normal.
The Shinobi are the most secretive school in the most secretive Clan in Nippon, and for good reason. The Shinobi are spies, and assassins. When diplomacy, strength of arms, and magic fail, it falls to the Shinobi to protect the Shinzei's interests. Most Sarutori students are drafted from the other Shinzei schools when they begin to show great talent in stealth or the cold instincts that are so useful for an assassin. Most are instructed privately while they continue studies in other schools, adapting guises as samurai or courtiers as they continue their Shinobi training. Above all else a Shinobi's most prized possession is his identity. A Shinobi conceals his true nature from any whom he does not trust completely. The Empire of Nippon hates ninja and though the Shinobi do not consider themselves ninja, they do recognize that their tactics are so similar as to make little difference in the eyes of their enemies. Shinobi who are exposed must claim to be acting without the knowledge of the Shinzei Clan. They reveal nothing about their training or objectives. If there is no possibility of escape, a captured Shinobi will take his own life rather than revealing the Shinzei's secrets under torture. The Shinobi are the highest ranking of Ninja in Nippon. They are employed to eliminate enemy commanders, small units and war machines, and are a match for anyone in combat.
Shinobi Optimally, a Shinobi has a full life and duties aside from those he learns in school. When his Clan calls upon him, his skills are ready, but until these deadly samurai hide in plain sight.A Shinobi is trained to move silently, kill efficiently, and blend effortlessly into the shadows. They are also knowledgeable in all aspects of Nippon‘s criminal underworld, for the duties often require them to seek aid or information there.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 7 6 4 4 2 7 3 9
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Always Strike First, Poisoned
Attacks, Ward save (4+), Scout, Quick Shot. Dishonourable: The Samurai have a great enmity towards the Ninja of Nippon, and would never lower themselves to fight side by side with them. Shinobi may never join any units with the Way of the Warrior special rule. Hidden: A Shinobi is a special type of character. He may begin the game hidden in one of the following units: Ashigaru, Kabuki Dolls or Ninja. Make a note of which unit the Shinobi is hiding in. A hidden Shinobi is not placed on the table during deployment, but is revealed later in the game. If his concealing unit is wiped out or flees from the battlefield before he is revealed, the Shinobi is also lost and counts as a casualty. There is no other way the Shinobi can be harmed before he is revealed. Hidden Shinobi may be revealed at the beginning of any of your turns, or at the start of any Close Combat phase. Declare that the unit contains a Shinobi and place the model in the front rank. Displace a rank-andfile model to make room for the Shinobi. If the unit is in close combat, the Shinobi displaces any rank-andfile model in the unit that is in contact with the enemy. If there are no rank-and-file models to displace in a suitable position, a command model or character must be moved to make room for the Shinobi. A Killer not a Leader: Although Shinobi are character models, no units in the Nippon army (except Ninja) may use a Shinobi's Leadership, and a Shinobi can never be chosen to be your army's General.
Throughout Nippon‘s history, the Emperors have been protected by a group of extraordinary warriors handselected by the Emperor and his closest advisors. These individuals have been known as the Great Guard, and together they have protected the wives and families of countless Emperors over the course of more than one thousand years. These greatest of Samurai are usually recruited from Hatamoto or aspiring Taishos whom have proven themselves worthy in battle by protecting their liege above all else. They are then selected through a great tournament held in the Imperial Courtyard once a year to determine which ones are deemed most fit to protect the Emperor. At least half of the potential recruits usually perish during this tournament, and as such only a few dozen Great Guards exists at any time. These prestigious soldiers are then presented with the finest armour and weapons available in Nippon. Their lacquered steel armour covers their entire person, and offer significantly more protection than the normal armour worn by samurai. Likewise, their katanas have each been folded several hundred times during many months by the master smiths of Nippon, giving them a sharpness unmatched by any other weapon, allowing to cut through steel with ease. Rounding off their arsenal are there resplendent mounts, the Kirin, said to be among the most noble and virtuous of beasts. Atop these mighty creatures, the Great Guard takes to the field in times of need, riding upon the wind, and descending upon their enemies with unrelenting fury and determination to their cause.
Great Guard Citadel Sentinel Kirin
M WS BS S T 4 5 4 4 3 4 5 4 4 3 9 4 0 4 4
W 1 1 3
I 4 4 5
A Ld 2 8 3 8 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Cavalry. SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu
(Great Guard only), Death before Dishonour, Armour Piercing (Great Guard only), Fly, Stubborn.
According to the legends of Nippon, the Kirin were born of a union of Air and Earth when the world was young. The story is typical of Nippon, and hence manifestly fanciful, but does reflect accurately the potency of these creatures. Kirin are creatures of wholly unnatural composition, although appearing not unlike normal flesh and blood. They live amongst the devastating forces of lightning, storms and thunder. Kirins are aerial creatures who ride the roaring winds and storm clouds, bellowing like thunder and screaming great cracks of lightning through the electric-charged air. Kirins have horse-like bodies with long, flowing manes spun with sparks and slivers of lightning. In the centre of the creature‘s forehead sprouts a long silver horn used to impale its foes. They are truly celestial beings of great intelligence and wisdom, and a symbol of swiftness and good fortune. Kirins are noble creatures that roam the sky in search of good deeds to reward or malefactors to punish. A kirin superficially resembles a unicorn; it has the body of a stag, covered with luminous golden scales, a thick mane and tail of darker gold colour, deep violet eyes, and a pinkish horn and hooves. Kirins sometimes establish lairs on high mountains or plateaus, simple on the outside but with luxuriant interiors. More often, however, they simply fly with the wind, never settling in any place for long.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8
TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Beast.
SPECIAL RULES: Fly, Magical Attacks.
Impale Attack: The Kirin attacks with +1 Strength when it charges into combat.
The Mangonel is the most widespread of all modern Nipponese siege weapons: a large counterweight propels missiles long distances via arcing fire. Because of its small size and limited throwing ability, the Mangonel does not have the power of a cannon, so rather than destroying the walls of a castle, it simply ignores them by hitting what‘s on the other side. The Mangonel's projectiles are small earthenware bombs, filled with gunpowder and placed in the bucket at the end. The fuse is then lit and the bomb is thrown in an arc over any obstacle. Hopefully, when the bombs hit the ground they explode, spreading flames everywhere, panicking anyone nearby and setting fire to any surrounding buildings.
In I.C. 2343, the Nipponese had their first contact with the Estalians, who soon established the ‗nanban‘ trade, providing the Nipponese with arquebuses and cannons. The Flaming Arrow is a light Nipponse cannon that wreaks havoc on enemy units. The weapon is exactly what its name suggests; a barbed projectile fired, in most cases, from an Estalian cannon, as the Nipponese have not yet developed effective artillery of their own. Each arrow is wrapped with a flammable covering and ignited, ripping straight through a regiment with ease. Flaming Arrows are slow to fire and relatively inaccurate, but anyone unfortunate to be hit will find himself skewered with immense force and set ablaze.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld - - - 7 3 - - 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
Flaming Arrow Crew
M WS BS S T W I A Ld - - - 7 3 - - 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6
TROOP TYPE: War Machine (Stone Thrower). SPECIAL RULES:
Fire Bombs: All shots fired by a Mangonel have the Flaming Attacks special rule.
TROOP TYPE: War Machine (Cannon). SPECIAL RULES:
Flaming Arrows: Flaming Arrows are fired using the rules for Cannons. However, hits are resolved like that of a Bolt Thrower (D3 Wounds, loses 1 Strength for each model slain) with Strength 7. All hits from a Flaming Arrow have the Flaming Attacks special rule.
A shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house the spirit of one or more Kami. A shrine is usually characterized by the presence of a sanctuary, where the Kami is enshrined. The sanctuary may however be completely absent, as for example when the shrine stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated, or when there are nearby altars that can serve as a more direct bond to a Kami. Smaller, more portable shrines are called Mikoshi. The followers of the Kami believe that it serves as the vehicle of a divine spirit in Nippon at the time of a parade of deities. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing. The body, which stands on two or four poles for carrying, is usually lavishly decorated, and the roof might hold a carving of a Phoenix. During festivals, the people bear a mikoshi on their shoulders by means of the two or four poles. They bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, and in many cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks, for a time before returning it to the shrine. Some shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the water of a nearby lake, river or ocean. At certain festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it wildly from side to side. Shrines dedicated to the Kami can be found everywhere in Nippon, scattered across the land. The blessing of the Kami is an important aspect to the Nipponese, and as such, it has become an increasing sight to see on the battlefield. Mikoshis are carried into battle by Warrior Monks who fight to the death to protect it. The presence of these shrines is not just a boost of the morale to the soldiers, but a potent weapon as well. Warriors true of heart may benefit from its blessings, giving them strength and purpose for the task at hand. However, those that spoil their gifts and are weak hearted should beware, for no sooner than they have received their blessing may it turn upon them.
Shrine of the Kami
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 8
TROOP TYPE: Unique. SPECIAL RULES: Stubborn, Immune to
Psychology, Ward save (4+). Blessings of the Kami: The shrine houses the spirits of the Kami within it, each of which has their own blessing to bestow. At the start of your turn, you may use up to D3 Blessings as detailed below. Each Blessing may be given to a friendly unit within 18‖ that is not fleeing. A unit may only be affected by one Blessing at a time, and each Blessing may only be used once per turn. The effects of each Blessing lasts until the start of the next Nippon turn. However, if a unit with a Blessing flees for any reason, they immediately lose the Blessing and take D6 Strength 4 hits. Blessing of Strength: The unit may re-roll all failed rolls To Wound in close combat. Blessing of Persistence: Enemies attacking the unit suffer -1 To Wound. Blessing of Swiftness: The unit may re-roll the distance moved when charging and pursuing. Blessing of Courage: The unit may roll 3D6 for all Leadership tests and discard the highest result.
“I borrow my name from my
ancestors. I must return it to them unharmed. I borrow my honour from my descendants. In shaming myself, I shame them as well.”
Oni are ferocious daemons that use their awesome strength and magical abilities to dominate and terrorize the regions they inhabit. They are thickly muscled giants with arms and legs covered in coarse hair. Their hands end in dirty, thick talons, and hooked toenails grow from their wide feet. Their skin is usually red, but can also be green, black, orange, or purple. They have one, two, or three bulging eyes, one or two large horns, and broad, pointed ears. Their hair is usually long and may be silver, black, or green. They have long fangs of gold or ivory colour. They dress in a manner similar to the local population inherit they reside, but always appear filthy and ragged. Most common Oni are bloodthirsty and cruel. Not only do they attack for food (for they delight in eating humanoid flesh), but also for the sheer pleasure of hurting and bullying other creatures. Hungry or enraged Oni typically attack by charging, slashing with its claws like an uncontrollable beast. Oni make up the most powerful forces of Haikido. Many Oni gain physical form in the Realm of Mortals either as the spawn of an Oni Overlord or by being summoned from Jigoku by someone willing to share her name in exchange for power. In either case, an Oni's motivation and location is practically unlimited, though they are more frequently encountered in the Haikido. Usually, summoned Oni remain inside Nippon during their period of servitude and only for a little while after gaining their freedom from their would-be master. A newly-freed Oni generally expresses its joy through wanton destruction, and then eventually migrates to Haikido. An Oni's personality is rooted in its bestial nature – it is a living expression of the will of Jigoku – but can be influenced by the personality of the Oni Overlord or Shugenja that brought it to the mortal world. An Overlord's spawn tends to have the exact nature of its master, while a summoned Oni becomes more and more like its summoner the longer the two co-exist. While the Oni more often than not acts as enemies to the warriors of Nippon, the Shugenja have unlocked the secrets of summoning them for their own agendas. Summoning an Oni seems very simple at first. The Shugenja will have to take the risks necessary to learn the maho knowledge needed and seek out the summoning scrolls. The ritual requires the caster to have a proper name for the future Oni (See Naming an Oni. The Shugenja must first draw a circle of powdered bones on the ground. At the centre of the circle, the summoner must then put a scroll with a name of a living human being on it. While the summoner spills blood all over the name scroll, the ritual described on the summoning scroll will proceed, destroying the scroll at the end of the ritual. At this moment a gate to Jigoku will open to let loose one of the spirits inside. The Shugenja must then name the spirit, declare power over the oni and make his demand. There is no way to know which form will take an Oni before it is summoned. The Oni will then obey, argue the demand or even rebel against the Shugenja. If its will is weaker than that of the summoner, the Oni is compelled by the summon to carry out the demand of the Shugenja. If its will is stronger, the Oni can escape back to Jigoku. A summoned Oni becomes more and more like its summoner the longer the two co-exist. Oni are brought to battle as beasts of war obeying their summoner‘s will, which usually involve crushing her foes into a bloody pulp. Oni strike terror in all who lay eyes upon them. They attack mainly with great sweeps of their massive, clawed hands, and a solid strike by an Oni can crush a man's bones to powder. While they lack skill and strategic cunning, their strength and stamina are great, and it may take a dozen or more men to bring it down by normal means.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 6 5 0 5 4 3 5 3 8 6 5 0 5 4 3 5 4 8
TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Fear, Unbreakable, Unstable,
Magical Attacks, Ward save (5+)
Tengu are humanlike beings with reddish faces, often featuring round cheeks and long, beak-like noses. They possess black-feathered wings, which they sometimes conceal beneath a robe or cloak. Tengus often dress in loose, simple clothing bound tighter around their arms and ankles, with only a small bit of adornment. Among their own kind they relax these styles and flaunt whatever adornments they can find, purchase, or pilfer, especially favouring rings on both fingers and toes. Though rarely sharing their culture and its workings with outsiders, they happily integrate aspects from other cultures in the same way crows pilfer bits of twine and shiny baubles. Tengu revere their elders, and when they gather together, they defer leadership to age just as much as to experience. Their bones, though very strong, are hollow in the avian manner, which makes them significantly lighter than a human of equivalent size would be. Tengu usually have dark hair, which grows grey or white with age, and many of the males sport beards and moustaches. Tengu ages slower than humans, and as such can live much longer – some Tengu have been known to live for upwards of 300 years. They remain vigorous even in old age. Tengu are mysterious, and often reclusive, mountain and forest spirits of Nippon. Many are content to live in near-solitude in distant places; it is not unusual to find Tengu watching over small mountain shrines. Younger Tengu, who are more impulsive, are more likely to be drawn to adventure. Tengu adventurers tend to be motivated by a search for lost knowledge or by the opportunity to hone their skills with a blade, rather than by material wealth – although they are also very curious, and they have an appreciation for beautiful and well-crafted objects, especially swords. Tengu expect much of themselves and their companions, and often are prone to treating those they meet as lessers until they have proven themselves. However, they feel a strong sympathy toward children and the helpless, and their loyalty, once gained, is unwavering. Despite their own pride, many tengus see it as an obligation to punish pride in others, particularly in those priests and monks whose doctrine includes humility. Tengu are a race of avian humanoids that resemble crows or ravens, and often bear much of the same stigma. Though they frequently choose to live among other races in densely populated cities, their society is tight and closed, and they rarely allow others to see its inner workings. Tengu often band together in small groups to create roosts in vacant warehouses or condemned buildings, and these raucous gathering places are generally assumed to be thieves‘ guilds by outsiders—an assumption that‘s correct roughly half the time. Like the crows they share physical traits with, Tengu are naturally covetous, especially of shiny or colourful items, and prone to bouts of good-natured kleptomania if they don‘t carefully keep themselves in check. Vain and prideful creatures, they are easily persuaded with flattery. They are rarely seen in nature, but they can't resist battle or duel, and thus they appear in battlefields clashing through the woods and behind the rocks, disappearing after the battle the same way they came. Many stories are told of these creatures, such as their ability to shift shapes, and they are also told to tempt samurai and monks to their settlements and punish them from ignorance and misuse of their power.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 2 8 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 3 8
TROOP TYPE: Infantry. SPECIAL RULES: Fly.
Independent: Tengu are not affected to Panic caused by friendly units except other Tengu and do not cause Panic to them either. They may never use the Leadership of the army‘s General.
The Kitsune are fox spirits, perhaps the most famous denizens of Chikushudo, the Realm of Animals. Though they are often mischievous and overly bold, they are generally good-natured with an insatiable curiosity about the ways of mortals. They often visit Nippon, sometimes joining samurai in their travels to study their strange ways. The Kitsune are known throughout Nippon for their love of art, beauty, and whimsical trickery. A kitsune has two forms—a single human form and its true form, that of a humanoid fox. In their human forms, kitsune tend toward quickness and lithe beauty. In all forms they possess golden, amber, or brilliant blue eyes. In their true forms, they are covered with a downy coat of auburn fur, although more exotic coloration is possible. Kitsune society is enigmatic, as kitsune prize loyalty among their friends but delight in good-natured mischief and trickery. Kitsune take pleasure in the pursuit of creative arts and in all forms of competition, especially the telling of stories interwoven with tall tales and falsehoods. Kitsune live in tightly-knit family units, with a dominant male and female directing the efforts of the rest of the pack. Even those that wander free from their homes still maintain a strong connection to their home pack, and will someday return. Kitsune believe in personal duty to one's clan and to one's self. Though proud, they are not vain and try not to show off their reputation too much. Kitsune believe in humility and in dignity, and it is everyone‘s duty to remind each other of those values through trickery and humiliation. If a Kitsune becomes too proud or haughty he will often find himself being bombarded with a variety of jokes, pranks, illusions and other things that would embarrass him. Kitsune learn to let their actions speak for themselves and enjoy a good puzzle or riddle to exercise their wits. They value those who can confuse their enemies with verbal trickery and confusing conundrums. Ironically as much as kitsune deceive and trick they try to be logical and real with themselves. If they see someone who is more skilled than they, they will admit it. If a fight goes awry they will not hesitate to run if their abilities are not up to par. Though easy going they do not take mortal insults or infringements lightly, especially to family members, and will demand compensation for the misdeed or start seeking out revenge themselves. The Kitsune worship and revere their chief god Taichiro, the Thousand Tailed Fox God of Illusions and Protection. He is both wise and elusive, and loves both riddles and hidden meanings to the world. The kitsune believe that they are the direct result of the illusions once made by Taichiro. These illusions were made so life like, so tangible that they became the first kitsune. When subtlety and guile are required, these shape shifters take on their human form and blend into human society. In battle, however, they take on their war aspect - that of a giant, ferocious fox. The Kitsune are also powerful magic-users and many fear the spells and charms that a Kitsune can visit upon them. It is with much caution and respect that the people of Nippon treat the Kistune. That is, if they know who or what they are dealing with in the first place. The Kitsune serve as Taichiro's eyes and ears both abroad as well as within the Isles of Nippon. They bring precious information to the Lords of Nippon, endeavouring to further their patron kami's goals through them. The capricious nature of these spirits, however, calls for careful handling of the information they provide, for they care not how their master‘s wishes are fulfilled, only that they are. Kitsune are peaceful creatures, but have been known to strike out violently at those who prove themselves to be without honour. They are especially defensive of their home forest. They use spell-like abilities to confuse and distract foes when possible, leaving them to perish in the woods.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 9 5 0 4 4 3 6 3 9
TROOP TYPE: Monstrous Beast. SPECIAL RULES: Ethereal.
Trickster Magic: Any enemy models in base contact with a Kitsune suffer a -D3 penalty to their Weapon Skill and Initiative.
The Ryujin Dragons of Nippon are close relatives of the Celestial Dragons of Cathay. They are slightly smaller, but also have long serpentine bodies, and do not have wings. They live in the deep oceans beneath Nippon; often sleeping under smouldering volcanoes or in dark caverns. Infused with the power of waves and storms, Ryujin are draconic protectors of oceans and their creatures. Possessing tempestuous natures, the Ryujin wander widely, sometimes claiming thousands of miles of ocean and coastlines as their protectorates. Their origin is not known, but it is widely believed that they have inhabited the world since the beginning of time from when the Kami created Nippon. Stories tell that the Ryujin saw the creation of the Children of the Earth and were fascinated. They offered gifts to those they thought worthy, and even brought mortal souls to live among them in the Celestial Heavens. Daimyo who is able to seek out and successfully entreat a Ryujin for aid, for they are mighty and terrifying warriors on the battlefield. The Ryujin control the tidal flows, the seas and the waves, and anyone passing into their domain would do well to respect them lest their ship would be capsized and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. For this reason, it is customary for many Nipponese, especially sailors and fishermen, to give offerings of food to the Ryujin to please them and keep the seas calm. More than once have the Ryujin thwarted invading ships from Cathay, Wako Pirates and Dark Elf raiders.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 6 5 0 5 6 5 3 4 8
TROOP TYPE: Monster.
SPECIAL RULES: Fly, Large Target, Terror,
Breath Weapon (Strength 4), Scaly Skin (4+), River Strider. Lord of Tides: As long as a Ryujin is in a water feature, it is at -1 to be Hit with missile weapons, and causes 2D6 hits with its Thunderstomp attack.
Zanagi and Zanami however, soon grew jealous. Concerned that the Dragons' interest would lead to the destruction of the Empire, they lifted the Celestial Heavens away from the firmament of Nippon and created Earth and Sky, and banished the Ryujin to live beneath the waters. But the Dragons still watch the lands and see the Empire as it grows above them. They know little of humans and their Empire, so they try to learn as best they can without violating the separation of Earth and Sky. Like their counterparts in the west, they are ancient and wise creatures and revered by the Nipponese. At some point in history the two races befriended each other and have become allied in protecting the Island Realm from invaders. It is said the Ryujin hide some other secret deep within Nippon that they do not share with even their human allies. This matters not to the brave THE TIDE JEWELS
According to legend, many centuries ago the Empress Jungi planned an invasion of Cathay. She prayed to the Ryujin and was given some magical Tide Jewels by the Ryujin. The Nipponese fleet then set sail towards Cathay and the Cathayan fleet sailed out to confront them. When she saw the approaching fleet, Jungi quickly threw the Low Tide Jewel into the sea so that the tide receded at once and the Cathayan fleet was beached. The Cathayans all jumped out onto the mudflats but at that moment the empress threw the High Tide Jewel and a tidal wave drowned the men. The tidal wave carried the Nipponese fleet on to the coast, into the harbour and to victory.
Yoritomo Ieyasu Shogun of Nippon
The position of ―shogun‖ (approximated in Old Worlder as ―General against barbarians‖) is the title granted to Nippon‘s top military commander by the emperor. For the last three or four centuries it has become the most powerful position in the country so much so that it has taken over the Imperial court and, as a result, government. The shogunate is highly coveted, as one can imagine, and there have been many a war over its succession. The title is usually hereditary, passed on from father to son, but sometimes, as the past has amply shown, there have been endless disagreements over the succession. But sometimes the Shogun‘ s family would become weak and a rebel leader would seize power from them, after which he would be named shogun and would start a new ruling family. When Yoritomo Ieyasu, the son of a powerful Daimyo warlord, was born, Nippon was in the midst of a decades-long civil war. With no ruling Emperor and the Shogunate weak, rival clans battled for dominance and the whole land suffered. As Yoritomo came to manhood, he formed an alliance with the neighbouring clan and began a long campaign of unification. When his closest ally died in battle, Yoritomo not only avenged him, but also incorporated his lands into his own, securing his power base further. Eventually, after many wars, Yoritomo's power was unmatched, and he finally defeated the last of his enemies in the Battle of the Sundered Realm. The Emperor named Yoritomo Shogun following his final victory, and he has reigned unopposed ever since. Yoritomo was instrumental in opening up Nippon to trade with the Old World and embracing the military advances of the distant western lands. Yoritomo Ieyasu is a ruthless military dictator and a harsh disciplinarian. As Shogun, he controls the combined might of Nippon‘s armies. All the Clan Daimyo are subject to him, and he answer to no one other than the Emperor. Known as the greatest warrior of his time, he has all but put an end to the civil war between the Clans, and Nippon has grown stronger than ever during his reign, where he rules with both charisma and an iron fist.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 7 5 4 4 3 6 5 10
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Special Character). SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior,
Kenjutsu, Death before Dishonour. Shogun: Yoritomo Ieyasu must be the army‘s General. His Inspiring Presence rule is 18‖ rather than the normal 12‖. An army led by the Shogun ignores the restriction on not allowing multiple Clan Mons in the army.
Blade of the Silver Moon (Magic Weapon) The Blade of the Silver Moon is one of the most potent weapons in Nippon, a blade of dull but deadly power. The moon can be seen constantly reflected in its blade, destroying everything in its wake. Katana. All attacks that hit wound automatically, and have the Multiple Wounds (D3) special rule. Armour of Iron Resolve (Magic Armour) Created specifically for the protection of the Shogun, this armour surrounds the wearer with a faint aura of light that can reflect any blow. The Armour of Iron Resolve gives Yoritomo a 4+ armour save. In addition, he gains a 3+ Ward save against mundane Attacks, negated to a 5+ Ward save against magical Attacks.
The Empress Jungi is the only sole female ruler throughout Nippon‘s history, but that is far from the reason she is still remembered today. She was the most powerful Shugenja of her time, being blessed by the Sun Goddess Amaterasu herself. Her magical powers, once discovered at a young age, were unrivalled after only a few years of proper schooling by the court magicians. At the age of twenty her father died from illness, and Jungi, having no male siblings, became Empress of Nippon. She was a wise and benevolent ruler despite her youthfulness and inexperience, and Nippon saw a great influx in prosperity during her time, with abundant harvest and little civil conflict. That‘s not saying all was well during her reign, as the Hung tribes, believing Nippon to be weak during the reign of a woman, invaded with a large fleet in 1745. However, they soon felt the power of her magic, as she singlehandedly sunk most of their ships off the coast of Nippon, summoning massive tidal waves to bring the Hung vessels to the bottom of the sea. Unlike most of Nippon‘s Imperial family, Empress Jungi could often be seen on the battlefield, where she would personally lead her bodyguard of samurai against her foes. She managed to unite Nippon under Imperial rule for the first time since Emperor Yamayakyuki, defeating the Mirumoto shogunate that had held the power for several hundred years. Peace would then follow during the remainder of her reign. Under mysterious circumstance, Empress Jungi disappeared some ten years later, and details on how or why are still scarce. The people say she was uplifted to the Heavens by the Kami themselves, where she now watches over her subjects for eternity. She is celebrated as one of the most glorious of all of Nippon‘s leaders throughout the ages, and many people still give their prayers to her in many of Nippon‘s shrines.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 1 9
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Special Character). MAGIC: Empress Jungi is a level 4 Wizard. She may
use spells from the Lore of Fire, Lore of the Heavens, Lore of Life, Lore of Shadow or Lore of the Kami.
Supreme Shugenja: Empress Jungi may channel up to three Dice in each Magic phase. In addition, she may re-roll one dice for when casting and dispelling each turn. Empress of Nippon: As the Empress, the warriors of Nippon are sworn dying to protect her. Any unit joined by Empress Jungi becomes Unbreakable as long as she is in it. In addition, she benefits from a 3+ ―Look Out, Sir!‖ roll in close combat.
Headdress of the Imperial Family (Talisman) This headdress has been used by the Empress of Nippon for as long as anyone can remember. It radiates a faint aura around the wearer, which can blind enemies who gets too close. Talisman. Enemy models in base contact with the Empress suffer -1 To Hit. In addition, it gives her Magic Resistance (2).
Hitomi Gozen The First Onna Bushi
The tale of Hitomi Gozen is one of the most famous in all of Nippon, for she would become the first Onna Bushi, the first female samurai. Hitomi proved that she was special when but a small child, for were normal girls were playing with dolls in the gardens, Hitomi wanted to fight with the boys. This was naturally not approved by her father, a stern Daimyo with conservative views who spent his time trying to teach his son, and Hitomi‘s older brother, to be a true warrior. While Hitomi was overlooked by her father who refused her wishes of becoming a warrior, her brother was more inclined to help her. Every day, he would train her in secret in the same way he had been taught himself, and Hitomi proved to have a natural ability for quickly picking up his lessons. As the years went by, she would almost become as good a warrior as he was, all without her father knowing. However, one day shortly after Hitomi‘s eighteenth birthday, the Gozen lands were invaded by another clan under the command of a Taisho of rarely seen ruthlessness. Hitomi‘s brother and father gathered their troops and set out to meet this foe on the battlefield. Unbeknownst to them, Hitomi‘s followed, hidden in a weapons cart. Here Hitomi‘s brother challenged the rival Taisho to a duel to the death to determine the victor rather than spend the lives of his men. The rival Taisho mockingly accepted. He was a giant of a man, clad in steel armour from top to toe, and wielding a massive no-dachi sword. The duel was fast paced, but despite his efforts, Hitomi‘s brother could not best the Taisho, and was struck down with a blow that cut right through his shoulder, killing him instantly. Hitomi‘s father cried out and rushed to his son. The victorious Taisho laughed as he withdrew his sword from the body, only to throw it straight through the chest of Daimyo Gozen. With their lord dead, the Gozen army began to waver. At this point, Hitomi rushed from her hiding place and screamed in fury towards the Taisho who murdered her family. He simply tried to swat her aside with his massive armoured arm. But Hitomi was faster and dodged his blow by rolling under him. She picked up her brother‘s n aginata from where he had fallen, and before the Taisho could react and turn, she had pushed the weapon with all her might through the back of her foe, the shimmering blade protruding from his ribcage. The Taisho grasped at the blade in shock as he fell to his knees and died. With that, Hitomi called her army, invigorated by the sight of the last Gozen defeating the enemy leader, and they crushed the rival demoralized clan in a bloody battle. After this, Hitomi would become leader of her house, and her father‘s samurai would loyally fight for her. News of her victory spread throughout Nippon, and inspired by her deeds, many women sought to join her army, to the point where most part of her forces consisted of female samurai who called themselves Onna Bushi. Though Hitomi eventually perished in battle against an army of Oni, her legacy would live on. The Onna Bushi are still a significant force today, with many young women seeking to honour, and possibly become, the next Hitomi Gozen.
Hitomi Gozen Warhorse
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 5 5 4 3 2 6 3 8 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5
TROOP TYPE: Cavalry (Special Character). SPECIAL RULES: Way of the Warrior, Kenjutsu,
Death before Dishonour. Onna Bushi Commander: If Hitomi is the General of your army, units of Onna Bushi may be taken as Core instead of Special.
The Thundering Blade (Magic Weapon) The thundering blade is the ancestral weapon of the Gozen family, once belonging to Hitomi’s brother. She now wields this weapon herself, each strike a reminder of her love for her brother. Halberd. All attacks with this weapon has the Armour Piercing special rule. On the To Hit roll of a 6, the attack is resolved at Strength 6. Daikyu of Commanding Presence (Magic Weapon) This asymmetric longbow is made of laminated bamboo, wood, and leather with a grip crafted from the hide of an imperial dragon. Long bow. Once per game, Hitomi may fire a special arrow. If this arrow hits, any other missile attacks targeted at the same unit may re-roll failed rolls To Hit for the duration of the turn.
The Red Ronin
The real name of the Red Ronin is no longer known, for he cast it off as become honourless, no more the same man as he was before. He was already a Taisho at the age of seventeen, and showed a huge amount of promise for his future. His promising future was destroyed when he was manipulated into killing his master. His downfall began when his master sent him to deal with a band of ronin bandits that were plaguing the locals. Although the leader of the bandits was easy to dispatch to Jigoku, one of the bandits‘ followers battled with unnatural speed and power, and proved a challenge to destroy. When the bandit leader died, the strange follower turned to the Red Ronin and swore that he would get revenge, upon which he melted into black smoke. The Red Ronin reported the incident to his master and was commended for his actions. Unknown to him, the strange follower was a shapeshifter, and posed as the Red Ronin's master to present him with a new sword, a sword that he stated was the true sword of the Red Ronin's father. This was the bloodsword Revenge. After taking up his new sword, the Red Ronin's master began to act out of character, insulting the sensei of the dojo and disrespecting his ancestors. Soon after this he ordered the Red Ronin to attack a samurai outpost. Before the Red Ronin followed the orders, he realised that the bandit's follower must have been a changeling and replaced his master. The Red Ronin challenged his master and in the struggle slew him with Revenge. His master did however not melt into shadow though, but lay bleeding at the Red Ronin's feet. The shapeshifter had been impersonating the Red Ronin's second in command, goading him into action against his master, and revealed his actions upon the Red Ronin's master‘s death before vanishing into smoke. The Red Ronin swore he would find the true killer of his master, and he would know that man by his eyes. Since that day, the Red Ronin has been travelling the lands of Nippon as an honourless Ronin, searching for his master‘s killer to exact his revenge and restore his honour. He is a menace to all whom he faces on the battlefield, filled with hate and equipped with Revenge, he slays anyone that comes within range of his blade.
The Red Ronin
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 6 4 4 4 2 6 3 10
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Special Character). SPECIAL RULES: Kenjutsu, Unbreakable,
Hatred. Loner: The Red Ronin has no master, and no honourable samurai would ever follow him into battle. He may never be the army‘s General, and he can only join units of Ronin.
Revenge (Magic Weapon) The bloodsword Revenge was forged by Asahina Yajinden in 508 on the Anvil of Despair. It was the first of four bloodswords forged by Yajinden.It grants the wielder great power, but threatens to destroy his mind from within with its sinister force. Katana. Revenge allows the Red Ronin to re-roll all failed rolls to wound. In addition, for every Attack that Hits and Wound (before saves) the Red Ronin in Close Combat, he may make an extra Attack back immediately. Armour of the Cursed (Magic Armour) The Red Ronin took this blood red armour from an Oni while venturing to the north of Haikido. Sensing its dread powers, he donned it himself, thinking its constant whispering voices a fitting punishment for his failure until he could prove himself worthy again. However, its fell powers almost drive him insane, and he must always try to muster his all his willpower to control himself. Heavy Armour. This armour gives the Red Ronin a 5+ Ward save. The armour makes the Red Ronin subject to Frenzy. In addition, he causes Fear.
Sarutori Hanzo Shinobi Assassin
Sarutori Hanzo is the greatest Shinobi in entire Nippon, his skills putting the rest of his brothers to shame. During the Clan War, he assisted Shogun Yoritomo Ieyasu in claiming the seat of power from his adversaries by assassinating his rivals. Hanzo was born a member of the Sarutori family in the city of Kiroshima, and was trained in the arts of the ninja like all his family members before him. He soon gained fame as a talented spy and imaginative assassin, and was eventually recruited into the Shinobi. Slimly built and of below average stature, Hanzo is hardly impressive physically. An attentive observer, however, might notice an unusual, almost inhuman agility in his every move. When in the vicinity of others, Hanzo is always sharp and attentive. He tends, however, to alternate between moments of lucidity and periods of melancholy. During these latter periods, he embraces seclusion as a form of defense, and can hide away from the world for weeks.
Now an agent of the Shogun, Hanzo follows his master‘s will, eliminating anyone who might seek to overthrow the current ruler. As long as Hanzo is the Shugon‘s side, few would even consider rising against the Shogunate at risk of finding themselves with a blade across their throat. Appearing as nothing but a quick shadow in battle, Hanzo quickly moves between his foes, swing his chain sickle in lethal arcs before moving in for the kill. Few can match him in battle, and fewer still who have tried have survived to tell the tale.
POISONS: Fauntei Shi, Night Milk. MAGIC ITEMS:
Biting Wind (Magic Weapon) This chain-sickle sweeps through the air, cutting at anyone within its reach. Those unfortunate enough feel the sting of its blade find their strength to fight quickly diminished. The wielder causes an automatic Strength 4 hit on all models in base contact in addition to his normal attacks. In addition, any model wounded, but not killed, loses all their attacks for the duration of the turn. Kage Mask (Talisman) The cloth of a Kage Mask is not remarkable in any fashion, except that one cannot easily identify which type of material it is. When looking at a Kage Mask in its true form, some think the item to be made of silk or velvet, while others see it as simple cotton or rough wool. A closer inspection, however, will reveal the strange material has a texture and feel that doesn't closely resemble any mundane fabric. The wearer of this mask causes Fear. In addition, he automatically passes any characteristics tests he might be required to take.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 8 6 4 4 2 8 3 9
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Always Strike First, Poisoned
Attacks, Ward save (4+), Scout, Dishonourable, Hidden, A Killer not a Leader, Mon of the Shinzei Clan. Shadow Magic: Hanzo is skilled in the ways of deception, and can disappear in the heat of battle at will. He may cast the Steed of Shadows spell from the Lore of Shadows as an innate Bound Spell (power level 3) on himself. He may use this spell even if engaged in close combat.
O-Sayumi Legendary Geisha
O-Sayumi, made an orphan while but a babe, was given to be brought up by other Geishas in a tea house in Makudo, an elegant building with shiny brass gutters in the entertainment district. Here she learned to play the samisen and began training to become a geisha. O-Sayumi is a master of traditional geisha skills, including song, classical music, dance, song, and the tea ceremony. O-Sayumi is a virtuoso performer on the samisen, and is also an accomplished practitioner of the geisha fan dance, which she has modified into her personal fighting style. Her weapons are two folding fighting fans that she normally carries in her sash. OSayumi loathes violence, however, and fights only in self-defence. A beautiful young woman in her early twenties, OSayumi bears a striking resemblance to her mother. With her noble features, jet-black hair, and slender body, O-Sayumi cuts a stunning figure. An epitome of the geisha spirit, O-Sayumi believes in peace and goodness, and is exquisitely mannered and gentle, at least to outsiders. While appearing as but a frail girl, O-Sayumi‘s training as a Geisha means more than just being able to perform tea ceremonies or play the samisen for entertainment. She is well-versed in combat with her two war fans, being able to quickly strike down unsuspecting foes with her poisoned hair pins or razor sharp fan edges. For this reason, she sometimes appears in Nippon‘s armies, where her skills as a Geisha can both be a boon to her allies, and a distraught to her enemies.
M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 3 3 3 2 4 2 7
TROOP TYPE: Infantry (Character). SPECIAL RULES: Poisoned Attacks.
Legendary Geisha: Any friendly unit joined by OSayumi may re-roll all failed Leadership tests. Against enemy characters, O-Sayumi may re-roll failed rolls To Hit and To Wound, and have the Killing Blow special rule.
Karyukai Tea Set (Enchanted Item) This tea set includes an array of utensils, painted with pictures of willows and flowers, used in traditional tea ceremonies: a small teapot, three bowls of various sizes and shapes, six cups, bamboo utensils (a ladle, a scoop, and a whisk), and several smaller containers, all stored in a wooden box. One use only. O-Sayumi may conduct a special tea ceremony at the start of the Nippon player‘s turn. This has a calming effect on all around her, putting them into an almost dreamlike state. O-Sayumi and any unit she is with becomes Unbreakable until the start of the next Nippon turn. Samisen of Oracular Vision (Enchanted Item) This elegant, long-necked samisen is crafted of cat skin stretched over a wooden frame. The samisen’s three silken strings are magically keyed to the past, present, and future. O-Sayumi may play her samisen once in each Nippon Magic phase. Target one friendly unit within 12‖. That unit gains +1 To Hit in close combat until the start of the next Nippon turn.
The crane soars higher; its wings brush cherry blossom; my soul flies with it.
- Death Poem
INVOCATION OF THE KAMI (Lore Attribute)
Lore of the Kami
LIGHT OF THE SUN GODDESS (Signature Spell) Cast on 8+
If the Kami is appeased by the Shugenja through prayer or sacrifice, they might take to heart and heed their wishes. If the prayer is too weak however, the Kami might hurt the Shugenja for her weak display of affection. The Shugenja may attempt to appease the Kami at the start of the Magic phase by passing a Leadership test. If passed, the Shugenja may add +D3 to her casting roll whenever a 6 is rolled when casting a spell. If failed however, she will take a Strength 4 hit with no armour save allowed.
3. FIERY WRATH
Cast on 9+
The Shugenja summons the power of Amateratsu, scorching her enemies with divine light. Those who survive will instead be blinded, their sight replaced with a stunning white shine. Light of the Sun Goddess is a magic missile with a range of 24‖ and causes D6 Strength 4 hits. Enemies that suffer a casualty suffer -1 to their Weapon Skill and Ballistics Skill until the start of the caster‘s next magic phase. The caster can choose to increase the range of this spell to 48‖. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 10+.
The caster conjures mighty flames with a prayer to the Fire Kami, causing a burning inferno all around her to incinerate her foes to a crisp. Fiery Wrath is a direct damage spell that affects the D3 closest enemy units of the caster as long as they are within 12‖ of the caster. Each unit suffer D6 Strength 4 hits. These are Flaming Attacks. The caster may increase the range of this spell to 24‖ and the number of units affected to D6. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 15+.
4. BORNE ON THE WIND
Cast on 10+
1. BE THE MOUNTAIN
Cast on 7+
The caster calls upon the Earth Kami to give their determination and unwavering loyalty to the troops in battle, sometimes going so far as to cover their skin in stone to withstand stronger blows. Remains in play. Be the Mountain is an augment spell with a range of 12". Whilst the spell is in effect, the affected unit will be Stubborn. The caster may increase the power of this spell to include giving the unit a 5+ Scaly Skin save. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 10+.
The Shugenja lifts her allies high up in the air, allowing them to run across the clouds for a brief period of time before setting them down behind the unsuspecting enemy. Borne of the Wind is an augment spell with a range of 12‖. The affected unit may immediately make a Fly move up to 20‖. They may not use this to charge an enemy or if they are engaged in close combat. The caster may increase the range of this spell to 24‖. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 13+.
5. VOID OF EMPTINESS
Cast on 11+
2. STRIKE OF THE FLOWING WATERS Cast on 9+
The Shugenja empowers her allies with the might of the Water Kami, giving them to power and suppleness of a swiftly flowing river. Strike of the Flowing Waters is an augment spell with a range of 12". Until the start of the caster‘s next Magic phase, the target unit gains the Always Strikes First special rule, and the enemy must re-roll successful armour save roll of 6's. The caster may increase the power of this spell to include all units within 12" instead. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 16+.
The caster shreds the mind of her enemies, rendering them helpless and unable to either move or think. Void of Emptiness is a hex spell with a range of 18‖. Until the start of the caster‘s next turn, the affected unit may not do anything and will be Unbreakable. The caster may increase the range of this spell to 36‖. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 15+. This spell has no effect on units that are Immune to Psychology.
6. CALL OF THE WAR GOD
Cast on 15+
The Shugenja calls upon the might of Bishamonten, the war god of Nippon, to invigorate her allies with supernatural strength. Call of the War God is an augment spell that affects all friendly units with the Way of the Warrior special rule within 12‖ of the caster. Until the start of the caster‘s next turn, the affected units gain the Devastating Charge special rule and may re-roll all failed rolls To Wound. The caster may increase the range of this spell to 18‖. If she does so, the casting value is increased to 21+.
Mon is a term used for Nipponese family crests. They are either associated with a particular family, or an individual who had achieved some variety of public recognition. Your army may be associated with one of the Greater Clans below. Buying a Clan Mon will allow your army to use special abilities on the battlefield that reflects their famous Clan. Certain units in your army may have a Clan Mon, as detailed in the army list. If possible, your General must always have a Clan Mon if one is chosen. You may not have multiple Clan Mons in the same army.
MON OF THE MUSHAGI CLAN
Units 1 point per model Others may covet titles, but Ashigaru, common spearmen, are the bedrock of Mushagi might. All know us, the commanders of a thousand spears. It is an honour to lead such men. Our generals are battle-scarred veteran of righteous strength! Do not look down upon your common man; but embrace him, and together our foes stand no chance! Ashigaru only. All units with this Mon gains +1 to their Leadership and may use the Leadership of any character with the Way of the Warrior rule within 6‖.
MON OF THE ASHIWARA CLAN
Characters 5 points Units 1 point per model Our archers are admired by all. No arrow flies true than the Ashiwara shaft. They will cover the sky, our enemies will fear death from afar, and with it we shall be victorious! A Character or unit with this Mon ignore penalties for shooting at long range with long bows.
MON OF THE DAIMATZU CLAN
Characters 15 points Units 1 point per model We trace a line back to the first Shogun. Loyalty runs deep in among the Daimatzu. It is in our blood, our traditions, and in battle our swordsmen are the envy of Nippon. No blade is swifter or more feared than ours! Infantry only. A character or unit with this Mon may re-roll 1‘s when rolling To Hit with Katanas.
MON OF THE URUCHI CLAN
Characters 15 points Units 2 points per model We do not walk the same path as other clans. We are revered and strong, independent, and brave in battle. Our warriors are feared, our skills with the no-dachi unrivalled. In battle, we terrify the foe! A Character or unit with this Mon do not have the Always Strikes Last rule if armed with great weapons.
MON OF THE TANEKA CLAN
Characters 10 points Units 2 points per model To be Taneka, is to be born in the saddle. We are master horsemen, our cavalry astound all. Let other march, we ride. We fly, like storms in the mountains. We thunder in battle! We will ride down our foes and bring us glorious victory! Cavalry only. A character or unit with this Mon may re-roll one dice when determining their charge distance, and re-roll 1‘s when rolling To Wound on the charge.
MON OF THE SHINZEI CLAN
Characters 20 points Units 1 point per model All clans fight, but not all clans fight by the same rules. We embrace the darkness. We embrace the shadows. The Shinzei are silent. Deadly. We will strike unseen, sowing dissention and falling upon our foe before they can even blink. Each Shinobi adds +1 to deciding which table side to deploy on and whether or not to deploy units (including scouts) first or second. In addition, units of Ninja, Kabuki Dolls and Shinobi gain +1 Attack in the first round of combat.
MON OF THE HORUMI CLAN
Characters 20 points Units 2 points per model We are indomitable in our faith, for without it we are nothing. Faith is our strength, our wellspring. Let others be corrupted, we have the guidance of Heaven. Our monks pray, but they also fight – and fight well! Warrior Monks with this Clan Mon are Stubborn. Shugenja and Yamabushi may add +1 to their casting rolls.
MON OF THE BATAKE CLAN
Units 15 points Our castles are strong, the envy of Nippon. We are rightly admired as master builders. Strong walls, strong souls. Our siege engines are equally mighty, nothing stands before them! The enemy’s walls shall crumble before their eyes! War Machines only. A War Machine with this Clan Mon may re-roll the Artillery Dice once per battle.
A disgraceful practice, ninjutsu is the art of using specialized weapons created specifically for use by the deadly assassins and shadow warriors known as ninja. No honourable warrior would ever humiliate himself and his ancestors by demonstrating knowledge of such a shameful nature, and indeed many samurai, when confronted with the bizarre implements of the ninja, have difficulty fathoming their use altogether, other than as crude and relatively ineffective weapons. Those of the Shinzei's Sarutori Family are the undisputed masters of poison lore, and in their gardens bloom a variety of beautiful and deadly herbs. Naturally their interest in the matter is purely academic, at least as far as the rest of Nippon is concerned.
Blowguns firing poisoned darts are among the Ninja’s favourite weapons, able to cripple to toughest foe. Range 12" Strength 3 Special Rules Quick to Fire, Poisoned Attacks, Multiple Shots (2)
The deadliest poison in the arsenal of the Shinobi, a trace of Fauntei Shi can kill even the most robust victim. The poison is a secret held dearly by the Shinobi, and few ktow the methods by which it is crafted. Fauntei Shi is employed only when the Shinobi need to be absolutely certain their target will die. A model wounded (after saves) by Fauntei Shi must pass a Toughness test or lose all remaining wounds.
Caltrops are an antipersonnel weapon made up of two or more sharp nails or spines arranged in such a manner that one of them always points upward from a stable base. The Caltrops may be used as a Stand and Shoot reaction. The enemy unit charging them deducts D6" from its charge move, as they must be careful not to trample on the caltrops scattered on the ground.
A staple of an assassin's arsenal, dripping poison must be swallowed. It is usually administered by hanging a thread over a sleeping victim's mouth and dripping the poison down the thread from a hidden place in the ceiling. Dripping poison is especially deadly because it is administered at night, and usually allowed to go untreated for hours while the victim sleeps. One enemy character, chosen by the Nippon player, starts the game with -1 Wound.
Ninja use grappling hooks to scale walls and buildings otherwise impassable for them. Ninja equipped with grappling hooks ignores penalties for impassable terrain like walls, rocks and building, but not water and the like. Note that they may still not end their move within impassable terrain.
Not as deadly as snake's toxin, a spider's bite can nonetheless create significant problems if left untreated. Most spiders are so small that their bites are harmless, but some larger or deadlier varieties are able to kill children and even grown men . A model wounded (after saves) by spider venom loses 1 Toughness at the start of each of his turns for the rest of the game.
The smoke bomb of the Ninja is a small eggshell filled with blinding powder, used to facilitate escape. At the end of any Close Combat phase in which a unit of Ninja take part, they may choose to use their Smoke Bombs. On a 4+, the unit may disengage the combat by making a flee move. If they do so, the enemy cannot pursue them and they will rally automatically in their next turn.
Snake venom may be inflicted by a serpent's bite, gathered and administered internally, or synthesized by crafting a poison with similar effects. The venom attacks the victim's motor skills, lowering his agility and reflexes. A model that takes a wound (after saves) from snake venom will lose one Attack and gains the Always Strikes Last special rule for the remainder of the game.
The use of poison as a weapon is an extremely dishonourable practice generally associated with ninja. However, poisons can be quite an effective tool. All too often the results of poison resemble a natural death, so investigators cannot spot foul play. When properly applied, a poison can remove enemies without suspicion.
One of the first poisons developed by the Shinzei Clan, Night Milk foregoes devious and disabling effects for sheer brutality. Night Milk allows the Shinobi‘s Poisoned Attacks to automatically wound on a to hit roll of 4+, instead of the normal 6.
Vessels of the Kami
This section contains the rules and background for some of the most iconic and powerful magical artefacts used by the Nipponese. These may be used in addition to the magic items found in the Warhammer rulebook. DRAGON CLAW KATANA
Magic Weapon According to legend, the Dragon Claw Katana was a blade crafted by the Void Dragon from one of its own claws, before it withdrew from the mortal realm to allow mankind to realise its own destiny. Before departing, the enigmatic Void Dragon gave the blade to Agasha Ashiko, a pious and introspective woman with a latent talent for Void magic. Ever the dutiful wife, Ashiko gave the blade to her husband, Daidoji Kedamono. He, in turn, gave it to his Daimyo. Katana. When fighting in challenges, the wielder gains the Killing Blow special rule and may re-roll all failed rolls To Hit and To Wound. In addition, for every point of basic Leadership that the wielder exceeds that of any enemy model in base contact, he gains one additional Attack.
ARMOUR OF IMPERIAL RULE
This distinctive armour was designed for Nippon’s imperial family and their highest-ranking and most loyal samurai. This intricate suit of heavy armour is made of various pieces of different shades of blues and greys, trimmed with black and gold leather, silk, and steel pieces. Although the suit itself offers a fine display with all the complex designs that decorate its torso, it is the kabuto that completes it, which looks most impressive. The dark blue helmet covers almost the entire face, masking it with the dreadful visage of a mighty warrior. From the front of it, a wide pair of ivory horns protrudes, forming strange, white Wings that stand above the helm. Heavy armour. This armour contains a helmet, giving the wearer a 4+ armour save. Enemies must re-roll 6‘s when rolling To Wound against the wearer. Enemies who fail their rolls To Wound suffer a Strength 4 hit.
MEMPO OF HONOUR
The naginata appears to be an unremarkable weapon, but when the wielder is threatened, its blade begins to glow as brightly as the sun. This acts as a sort of alarm, as well as a rallying point for any friendly troops in the vicinity. During times of crisis, the naginata will be removed from the Imperial chambers and typically used by the most powerful samurai into battle. Halberd. This weapon gives the wielder +1 to Hit in close combat and Flaming Attacks. In addition, on the To Hit roll of a 6, that attack is multiplied into D3 hits.
This golden mask takes the form of an Oni's jaw, elaborately tooled and covered in small mirrors that catch the sun and shine it back into the enemy's eyes. On the field of battle, the mempo shines brightly, enabling anyone, including enemies, to find the wearer. Only the boldest Samurai have ever been granted the right to wear the mempo into battle. The Mempo gives the wearer a 6+ armour save that may be combined with other armour as normal. Enemies attacking the wearer in close combat must reroll successful rolls To Hit. However, if the wearer flees for any reason, spirits will return from the Realm of the Ancestors with the express purpose of killing him to remove the stain of his delinquency. Remove the model as a casualty.
These items, known as Tokens of Bronze or simply Bronze Pendants, are simple-looking yet very impressive magical items. Each Token is a small round plate of bronze with strange magical designs on one side and holy symbols on the other. Typically, the Tokens are tied around their wearers' necks with lengths of silk. The wearer gains a 4+ Ward save against Magical Attacks and spells. In addition, the wearer may re-roll one failed amour save each turn.
CANDLE OF THE VOID
Initiates of the Shugenja Schools learn to craft these items as part of their regular training. They take the form of candles, imbued with faint but very practical elemental magic. Although they outwardly appear to hold only the power of Fire, each Candle of the Void actually incorporates all of the Elements. These magical candles are made of black wax. They are extremely thick and usually about one foot long when newly created. Imbued with faint but very practical elemental magic, it can greatly aid the Shugenja in casting. The Candle of the Void may be placed within 12‖ of the Shugenja at the start of the game, but may not be moved during the game. The Shugenja may use it to cast spells, using it for purposes of line and sight and range.
The Imperial Standard is an ancient artefact. Many believe it holds a small portion of the essence of Amateratsu. The standard is made of the purest white silk and can never be soiled by normal means, so it is always clean and vibrant. The Chrysanthemum flower of the Imperial Families is woven upon it in golden threads. The item remains one of the most cherished possessions of the Imperial Court, for not only is the Imperial Standard imbued with potent magic, but it is also a distinctive symbol the Emperors of Nippon. All friendly units within 18‖ may re -roll failed break tests, rather than the normal 12‖. In addition, the unit carrying it is gains +D3 to their combat resolution.
FAN OF COMMAND
MIRUMOTO'S BATTLE STANDARD
Discovered long ago by a merchant, the Fan of Command is a war fan of exquisite quality. No one knows who created this item, but the Fan of Command has passed through many hands since it was originally found - especially ronin hands. The Fan of Command appears as a typical war fan made of steel and overlaid with dark red lacquer. Fifteen branches, build like small dark spears, cut the lacquered steel of the fan, giving the item a sombre look. War Fan. Once per game, the bearer and any unit he is with may make a free reform in the beginning of the Movement phase. In addition, they automatically pass any test to reform, march, re-direct charges and restrain from pursuit.
The battle standard of the Mirumoto Family is an imposing flag made from layers of white silk, decorated with a golden dragon coiled inside a narrow ring of gold upon a night blue sky. This nemuranai is always attached to a pole shaped as an inverted L. This allows the standard to be tied on one of its sides as well as on its top, ensuring it remains open and visible even when there is no wind. The unit carrying this standard adds +1 To Hit and to Wound in the first round of close combat.
The Dragon Pearl is one of many dangerous artefacts collected during the period after the Clan War, when the clans scoured Nippon for potentially dangerous nemuranai. It is presumed to be a remnant of some sort of the dragon P'an Ku, an entity whose purpose in the Celestial Order is unknown because it was driven mad and eventually destroyed, in the time before man came to exist in Nippon. Enchanted Item. At the start of the close combat phase, the bearer may transform the Dragon Pearl into an exact replica of any magic item carried by an enemy character in base contact, retaining all of its abilities for as long as it stays in base contact.
THE NIPPON ARMY LIST
The armies of Nippon are some of the most disciplined in entire world, with each clan vying for supremacy and upholding their own virtues. As commander of the Nippon army, it is by your honour and leadership that the warriors of Nippon will face their foes and do battle for honour and their clan. This section of the book helps your turn your collection of Nippon miniatures into an army of brave warriors, ready for a tabletop battle. At the back of this section, you will also find a summary page, which lists every unit’s characteristics profile, for quick and easy reference during your games of Warhammer.
USING THE ARMY LIST
The army list is used alongside the 'Choosing an Army' section of the Warhammer rulebook to pick a force ready for battle. Over the following pages you will find an entry for each of the models in your army. These entries give you all of the gaming information that you need to shape your collection of models into the units that will form your army. Amongst other things, they will tell you what your models are equipped with, what options are available to them, and their points costs.
As described in the Warhammer rulebook, the units in the army list are organised into five categories: Lords, Heroes, Core Units, Special Units and Rare Units.
ARMY LIST ENTRIES
Each army list entry contains all the information you need to choose and field that unit at a glance, using the following format:
Profile Samurai Warrior Samurai Chui Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Katana Heavy armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Troop Type Infantry Infantry
10 points per model
Options: One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a Samurai Chui.......10 points One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a musician............... 10 points One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a standard bearer....10 points - A unit of Samurai Warriors with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to...................... 25 points The entire unit may be armed with one of the following: - Additional hand weapons.......................................... 1 point per model - Halberds..................................................................... 1 point per model - Spears............................................................................................... free - Great weapons...........................................................1 point per model - Long bows................................................................ 2 points per model The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos.................... 30 points
1. Name. The name by which the unit or character is identified. 2. Profiles. The characteristic profiles for the model(s) in each unit are provided as a reminder. Where several profiles are required these are also given, even if they are optional (such as unit champions). 3. Troop Type. Each entry specifies the troop type of its models (e.g. 'infantry, monstrous cavalry' and so on).
4. Points value. Every miniature in the Warhammer range costs an amount of points that reflects how effective it is on the battlefield For example, a Yari Ashigaru costs 5 points, whilst the powerful Yoritomo Ieyasu costs a whopping 350 points! 5. Unit Size. This specifies the minimum size for each unit, which is the smallest number of models needed to form that unit. In some cases units also have a maximum size, or can even comprise just a single model. 6. Equipment. This is a list of the standard weapons and armour for that unit. The cost of these items is included in the basic points value.
7. Special Rules. Many troops have special rules that are fully described earlier in this book or in the Warhammer rulebook. The names of these rules are listed here as a reminder. 8. Options. This is a list of optional weapons and armour; mounts, magic items and other upgrades for units or characters, including the points cost for each particular option. Many unit entries include the option to upgrade a unit member to a champion, standard bearer or musician. Some units may carry a magic standard or take magic items at a further points cost.
YORITOMO IEYASU, SHOGUN OF NIPPON
Profile Yoritomo Ieyasu Equipment: Blade of the Silver Moon Armour of Iron Resolve M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 7 5 4 4 3 6 5 10 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Shogun
Troop Type Cavalry (Special Character)
Options: May be mounted on one of the following: - Warhorse............................................................ 18 points - Kirin................................................................... 50 points
Profile Empress Jingu Magic: Empress Jingu is a Level 4 Wizard. She may use spells from the Lore of Fire, Lore of the Heavens, Lore of Life or Lore of Shadows. M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 1 9
Troop Type Infantry (Special Character)
Equipment: Special Rules: Hand weapon Supreme Shugenja Headdress of the Imperial Empress of Nippon Family
Profile Daimyo Equipment: Katana Heavy armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 6 5 4 4 3 6 4 9 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Options: May be armed with one of the following: - Spear................................................................................. 3 points - Halberd............................................................................. 6 points - Additional hand weapon................................................... 3 points - Great weapon………………………........………............6 points - Long bow.......................................................................... 5 points May wear a Horo cloak........................................................5 points May be mounted on one of the following: - Warhorse......................................................................... 18 points - Kirin................................................................................50 points May take one Clan Mon and/or magic items up to a total of.............................................. 100 points
Profile High Shugenja M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 8 Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Magic: Equipment: A High Shugenja is a Hand weapon Level 3 Wizard. She may use spells from the Lore of Fire, Heavens, Life, Shadows or Kami.
Options: May be upgraded to a Level 4 Wizard............................... 35 points May take one Clan Mon and/or magic items up to a total of.............................................. 100 points
HITOMI GOZEN, THE FIRST ONNA BUSHI
Profile Hitomi Gozen Warhorse Equipment: Katana The Thunderous Blade Daikyu of Commanding Presence Heavy armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 5 5 4 3 2 6 3 8 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Onna Bushi Commander
Troop Type Cavalry (Special Character) -
THE RED RONIN
Profile The Red Ronin Equipment: Revenge Armour of the Cursed M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 6 4 4 4 2 6 3 10 Special Rules: Kenjutsu Hatred Unbreakable Loner
Troop Type Infantry (Special Character)
SARUTORI HANZO, SHINOBI ASSASSIN
Profile Sarutori Hanzo Equipment: Katana Biting Wind Kage Mask M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 8 6 4 4 1 8 3 9 Special Rules: Always Strike First Ward save (4+) Infiltrate Dishonourable
Troop Type Infantry (Special Character) Poisons: Fauntei Shi Night Milk
Hidden A Killer not a Leader Shadow Magic Mon of the Shinzei Clan
O-SAYUMI, LEGENDARY GEISHA
Profile O-Sayumi Equipment: Hand weapon War fan Karyukai Tea Set Samisen of Oracular Vision M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 3 3 3 2 4 2 7 Special Rules: Poisoned Attacks Legendary Geisha
Troop Type Infantry (Special Character)
Profile Taisho Equipment: Katana Heavy armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 5 5 4 4 2 5 3 8 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Options: May be armed with one of the following: - Spear................................................................................. 3 points - Halberd............................................................................. 6 points - Additional hand weapon................................................... 3 points - Great weapon.................................................................... 6 points - Long bow.......................................................................... 5 points May wear a Horo cloak........................................................ 5 points May be mounted on one of the following: - Warhorse……………..................................................... 12 points - Kirin………………..……............................... ...............50 points May take one Clan Mon and/or magic items up to a total of................................................ 50 points
Profile Shugenja Magic: Equipment: A Shugenja is a Hand weapon Level 1 Wizard. She may use spells from the Lore of Fire, Heavens, Life, Shadows or Kami. M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 7 Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Options: May be upgraded to a Level 2 Wizard............................... 35 points May take one Clan Mon and/or magic items up to a total of................................................ 50 points
Profile Kensai Equipment: Katana M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 7 5 4 4 2 7 3 8 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Killing Blow Iaijutsu Wanderer Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Options: May take an additional hand weapon……………………...3 points May take magic items up to a total of………………........50 points
Profile Warhorse Kirin M WS BS S T W I A Ld 8 3 0 3 3 1 3 1 5 9 4 0 4 4 3 5 2 8 Troop Type Warbeast Monstrous Beast
Special Rules: Kirin: Fly, Magical Attacks, Impale Attack
Profile Hatamoto Equipment: Katana Heavy armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Yojimbo Troop Type Infantry (Character)
ARMY BATTLE STANDARD
One Hatamoto in the army may carry the Battle Standard for +25 points. The Hatamoto carrying the Battle Standard can have a magic banner (no points limit) but if he carries a magic banner he cannot carry any other magic items. A Hatamoto carrying the Battle Standard can never be the army's General.
Options: May be armed with one of the following: - Spear................................................................................. 2 points - Halberd............................................................................. 4 points - Additional hand weapon................................................... 2 points - Great weapon.................................................................... 4 points - Long bow.......................................................................... 5 points May wear a Horo cloak........................................................ 5 points May be mounted on a Warhorse........................................ 12 points May take one Clan Mon and/or magic items up to a total of................................................50 points
Profile Yamabushi Equipment: Hand weapon. M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 4 2 4 2 8 Special Rules: Immune to Psychology Magic Resistance (2) Martial Arts Prayers of the Kami Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Options: May be armed with one of the following: - Halberd............................................................................. 4 points - Long bow.......................................................................... 5 points May wear heavy armour...................................................... 4 points May take one Clan Mon and/or magic items up to a total of................................................ 50 points
Profile Shinobi Equipment: Two hand weapons Throwing weapon M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 7 6 4 4 2 7 3 9 Special Rules: Always Strike First Poisoned Attacks Ward save (4+) Scout Dishonourable Hidden A Killer not a Leader Troop Type Infantry (Character)
Options: May be armed with any of the following: - Blowgun........................................................................... 5 points - Caltrops............................................................................. 5 points - Grappling Hook................................................................5 points - Smoke Bombs................................................................. 10 points May take poisons up to a total of....................................... 50 points May take one Clan Mon............................................ no points limit
Profile Samurai Warrior Samurai Chui Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Katana Heavy armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Troop Type Infantry Infantry
10 points per model
Options: One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a Samurai Chui.......10 points One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a musician............... 10 points One Samurai Warrior may be upgraded to a standard bearer....10 points - A unit of Samurai Warriors with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to...................... 25 points The entire unit may be armed with one of the following: - Additional hand weapons.......................................... 1 point per model - Naginata (halberds).................................................... 1 point per model - Yari (spears).....................................................................................free - No-dachi (great weapons)..........................................1 point per model - Long bows................................................................ 2 points per model The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos.................... 30 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no points limit
Profile Samurai Cavalry Samurai Chui Warhorse Unit Size: 5+ Equipment: Katana Heavy armour M WS BS S T 4 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 8 3 0 3 3 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour W 1 1 1 I 4 4 3 A 1 2 1 Ld 8 8 5 Troop Type Cavalry Cavalry -
16 points per model
Options: One Samurai Cavalry may be upgraded to a Samurai Chui...10 points One Samurai Cavalry may be upgraded to a musician...........10 points One Samurai Cavalry may be upgraded to a standard bearer.10 points - May carry a magic standard worth up to...................... 25 points The entire unit may be armed with one of the following: - Yari (spears)...........................................................1 point per model - Naginata (halberds)..............................................2 points per model - Long bows............................................................2 points per model The entire unit may wear Horo cloaks.....................2 points per model The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos................30 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.........................no points limit
Profile Ashigaru Yari Gashira Unit Size: 20+ Equipment: Hand weapon Yari (spear) Light armour Special Rules: Fight in Extra Ranks M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 6 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
5 points per model
Options: One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a Yari Gashira.....................10 points One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a musician........................... 10 points One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a standard bearer................. 10 points The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos.................... 30 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon............................. no points limit
Profile Ashigaru Yumi Gashira Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Hand weapon Bow Light armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
6 points per model
Options: One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a Yumi Gashira...................10 points One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a musician........................... 10 points One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a standard bearer................. 10 points The entire unit may skirmish........................................ 1 point per model The entire unit may take one Clan Mon............................. no points limit
Profile Ashigaru Teppo Gashira Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Hand weapon Handgun Light armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 4 3 4 3 3 1 3 1 6 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
9 points per model
Options: One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a Teppo Gashira..................10 points One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a musician........................... 10 points One Ashigaru may be upgraded to a standard bearer................. 10 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon............................. no points limit
Profile Warrior Monk Sohei Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Hand weapon Naginata (halberd) Heavy armour Special Rules: Immune to Psychology Magic Resistance (1) Martial Arts M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
11 points per model
Options: One Warrior Monk may be upgraded to a Sohei........................10 points One Warrior Monk may be upgraded to a musician.................. 10 points One Warrior Monk may be upgraded to a standard bearer........ 10 points - A unit of Warrior Monks with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to...................... 25 points The entire unit exchange halberds for long bows............................... free The entire unit may take one Clan Mon.............................no points limit
Profile Sumo Warrior Yokosuna Unit Size: 5+ M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 1 8 4 4 3 4 4 1 3 2 8 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
14 points per model
Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Equipment: Kenjutsu Hand weapon Death before No-dachi Dishonour (great weapon) Unstoppable Force Light armour
Options: One Sumo Warrior may be upgraded to a Yokosuna................10 points One Sumo Warrior may be upgraded to a musician.................. 10 points One Sumo Warrior may be upgraded to a standard bearer........ 10 points - A unit of Sumo Warriors with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to...................... 50 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon......................... no points limit
Profile Onna Bushi Onna-bugeisha Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Katana Naginata (halberd) Light armour M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 1 8 4 4 4 3 3 1 4 2 8 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Stalwart Defence Troop Type Infantry Infantry
11 points per model
Options: One Onna Bushi may be upgraded to an Onna-bugeisha……...10 points One Onna Bushi may be upgraded to a musician……………...10 points One Onna Bushi may be upgraded to a standard bearer……....10 points - A unit of Onna Bushi with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to……………..25 points The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos……………30 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon………………….no points limit
Profile Kabuki Doll Dai-jô Unit Size: 5+ Equipment: Hand weapon War fan Light armour Special Rules: Skirmishers Poisoned Attacks Kabuki Dance M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 5 4 4 3 3 1 5 2 8 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
12 points per model
Options: One Kabuki Doll may be upgraded to a Dai-jô....................10 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon....................... no points limit
Profile Yabusame Bow Master Warhorse Unit Size: 5+ Equipment: Katana Long bow M WS BS S T 4 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 3 3 8 3 0 3 3 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Fast Cavalry Kyudo W 1 1 1 I 4 4 3 A 1 1 1 Ld 8 8 5 Troop Type Cavalry Cavalry -
17 points per model
Options: One Yabusame may be upgraded to a Bow Master...................10 points One Yabusame may be upgraded to a musician......................... 10 points One Yabusame may be upgraded to a standard bearer............... 10 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon............................. no points limit
Profile Red Devil Red Devil Chui Warhorse Unit Size: 5+ Equipment: Katana Yari (Spear) Heavy armour M WS BS S T 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 3 8 3 0 3 3 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu Death before Dishonour Frenzy Fearsome Charge W 1 1 1 I 4 4 3 A 1 2 1 Ld 8 8 5 Troop Type Cavalry Cavalry -
20 points per model
Options: One Red Devil may be upgraded to a Red Devil Chui.........10 points One Red Devil may be upgraded to a musician...................10 points One Red Devil may be upgraded to a standard bearer.........10 points - A unit of Red Devils with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to................ 50 points The entire unit may wear Horo cloaks................... 2 points per model The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos..............30 points The entire unit may take one Clan Mon....................... no points limit
Profile Ronin Unit Size: 5-30 Equipment: Katana Special Rules: Kenjutsu Skirmishers Unbreakable M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 3 1 4 1 10 Troop Type Infantry
11 points per model
Options: The entire unit may be armed with additional hand weapons.................................................................2 points per model The entire unit may wear light armour……………1 point per model
Profile Wako Pirate Bosun Unit Size: 10+ Equipment: Two hand weapons Special Rules: Ambushers Distrustful M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 1 7 4 3 3 3 3 1 4 2 7 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
5 points per model
Options: One Wako Pirate may be upgraded to a Bosun....................10 points One Wako Pirate may be upgraded to a musician................ 10 points One Wako Pirate may be upgraded to a standard bearer......10 points The entire unit may wear light armour....................1 point per model The entire unit may swap one hand weapon for a bow................. free The entire unit may skirmish......................................................... free
Profile Ninja Shadow Eye Unit Size: 5-20 Equipment: Two hand weapons Throwing weapon Special Rules: Skirmishers Ward save (6+) Scout Quick Shot M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 1 8 5 5 4 3 3 1 5 2 8 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
12 points per model
Options: One Ninja may be upgraded to a Shadow Eye.....................10 points The entire unit may be armed with any of the following: - Poisoned Attacks................................................ 2 points per model - Blowguns............................................................ 2 points per model - Caltrops................................................................1 point per model - Grappling Hooks..................................................1 point per model - Smoke Bombs....................................................2 points per model The entire unit may take one Clan Mon...................... no points limit
Profile Oni Overlord Unit Size: 3+ Equipment: Hand weapon Special Rules: Fear Magical Attacks Unbreakable Unstable Ward save (5+) M WS BS S T W I A Ld 6 5 3 5 4 3 5 3 8 6 5 3 5 4 3 5 4 8
55 points per model
Troop Type Monstrous Infantry Monstrous Infantry
Options: One Oni may be upgraded to an Overlord...............................10 points The entire unit may be armed with great weapons.................................................................... 8 points per model The entire unit may wear light armour..................... 3 points per model
Profile Tengu Elder Unit Size: 5-20 Equipment: Hand weapon Special Rules: Fly Independent M WS BS S T W I A Ld 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 2 8 5 5 3 3 3 1 5 3 8 Troop Type Infantry Infantry
11 points per model
Options: One Tengu may be upgraded to an Elder................................10 points The entire unit may be equipped with light armour... 1 point per model
Profile Great Guard Citadel Sentinel Kirin Unit Size: 3+ Equipment: Katana Imperial armour (4+ save) M WS BS S T 4 5 4 4 3 4 5 4 4 3 9 4 0 4 4 Special Rules: Way of the Warrior Kenjutsu (Great Guard only) Death before Dishonour Armour Piercing Great Guard only) Fly Stubborn Magical Attacks (Kirin only) Impale Attack (Kirin only) W 1 1 3 I 4 4 5 A 2 3 2 Ld 8 8 5
62 points per model
Troop Type Monstrous Cavalry Monstrous Cavalry -
Options: One Great Guard may be upgraded to a Citadel Sentinel……………………………………………….10 points One Great Guard may be upgraded to a musician…...10 points One Great Guard may be upgraded to a standard bearer…………………………………………………10 points - A unit of Great Guard with a standard bearer may carry a magic standard worth up to........50 points The entire unit may wear Horo cloaks..........5 points per model The entire unit may be equipped with Sashimonos......30 points
Profile Mikoshi Shrine Unit Size: 1 M WS BS S T W I A Ld 4 4 4 4 4 6 4 4 8 Equipment: Hand weapon Troop Type Unique
150 points per model
Special Rules: Immune to Psychology Stubborn Ward save (4+) Blessings of the Kami
Profile Kitsune Unit Size: 1-3 M WS BS S T W I A Ld 9 5 0 4 4 3 6 3 9 Equipment: Claws and teeth
75 points per model
Troop Type Monstrous Beast Special Rules: Ethereal Trickster Magic
Profile Ryujin Unit Size: 1 M WS BS S T W I A Ld 6 5 0 5 6 5 3 4 8 Equipment: Claws and teeth Troop Type Monster
250 points per model
Special Rules: Fly Large Target Terror Breath Weapon (Strength 4)
Scaly Skin (4+) River Strider Lord of Tides
Profile Mangonel Crew Unit Size: 1 Crew: 3 Crewmen M WS BS S T W I A Ld - - 7 3 - - 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 Equipment (Crew): Hand weapon Light armour
90 points per model
Troop Type War Machine (Stone Thrower) Special Rules: Fire Bombs
Profile Flaming Arrow Crew Unit Size: 1 Crew: 3 Crewmen M WS BS S T W I A Ld - - 7 3 - - 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 6 Equipment (Crew): Hand weapon Light armour
50 points per model
Troop Type War Machine (Cannon) Special Rules: Flaming Arrow
LORDS Daimyo Empress Jingu High Shugenja Yoritomo Ieyasu - Warhorse HEROES Hitomi Gozen - Warhorse Hatamoto Kensai O-Sayumi The Red Ronin Sarutori Hanzo Shinobi Shugenja Taisho Yamabushi CORE UNITS Bow Ashigaru - Yumi Gashira Samurai Warrior - Samurai Chui Samurai Cavalry - Samurai Chui - Warhorse Matchlock Ashigaru - Teppo Gashira Yari Ashigaru - Yari Gashira SPECIAL UNITS Onna Bushi - Onna-bugeisha Kabuki Doll - Dai-jô Ninja - Shadow Eye Oni - Overlord Sumo Warrior - Yokosuna Tengu - Elder Red Devil - Red Devil Chui - Warhorse Ronin Wako Pirate - Bosun Warrior Monks - Sohei Yabusame - Bow Master - Warhorse M 4 4 4 4 8 M 4 8 4 4 4 4 5 5 4 4 4 M 4 4 4 4 4 4 8 4 4 4 4 M 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 6 4 4 5 5 4 4 8 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 8 WS 6 3 3 7 3 WS 5 3 4 7 4 6 8 7 3 5 4 WS 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 WS 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 4 4 5 5 4 4 3 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 BS 3 3 3 5 0 BS 5 0 4 5 4 4 5 6 3 5 4 BS 3 4 4 4 4 4 0 3 4 3 3 BS 4 4 4 4 4 4 0 0 3 3 3 3 4 4 0 4 3 3 4 4 4 5 0 S 4 3 3 4 3 S 4 3 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 S 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 S 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 T 4 3 3 4 3 T 4 3 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 T 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 T 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 W 3 3 3 3 1 W 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 W 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 W 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 6 4 3 6 3 I 6 3 4 7 4 6 8 7 3 5 4 I 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 I 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 5 5 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 A 4 1 1 5 1 A 3 1 2 3 2 3 3 3 1 3 2 A 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 A 1 2 1 2 1 2 3 4 1 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 Ld 9 9 8 10 5 Ld 8 5 8 8 7 10 9 9 7 8 8 Ld 6 6 8 8 8 8 5 6 6 6 6 Ld 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 5 10 7 7 8 8 8 8 5 Type In In In Ca Type Ca In In In In In In In In In Type In In In In Ca Ca In In In In Type In In In In In In MI MI In In In In Ca Ca In In In In In Ca Ca 64 59 66 67 65 74 61 73 68 63 Page 62 58 58 57 56 53 54 82 80 81 69 54 53 60 Page 58 MOUNTS Kirin Warhorse M 9 8 WS 4 3 BS 0 0 S 4 3 T 4 3 W 3 1 I 5 3 A 2 1 Ld 8 5 Type MB WB Page 70 var. Page 79 Page 53 78 54 77 RARE UNITS Flaming Arrow - Crew Great Guard - Citadel Sentinel - Kirin Kitsune Mangonel - Crew Mikoshi Shrine Ryujin M 4 4 4 9 9 4 4 6 WS 3 5 5 4 5 3 4 5 BS 3 4 4 0 0 3 4 0 S 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 5 T 7 3 3 3 4 4 7 3 4 6 W 3 1 1 1 3 3 3 1 6 5 I 3 4 4 5 5 3 4 3 A 1 2 3 2 3 1 4 4 Ld 6 8 8 8 8 6 8 8 Type WM MC MC MB WM Un Mo 72 76 75 71 70 Page 71
Troop Type Key: In = Infantry, WB = War Beast, Ca = Cavalry, MI = Monstrous Infantry, MB = Monstrous Beast, MC = Monstrous Cavalry, Mo = Monster, Ch = Chariot, Sw = Swarms, Un = Unique, WM = War Machine.
The Empire of Nippon demands much of its samurai: service to one’s lord, service to one’s Clan, and service to one’s Emperor. Bushido’s staunch and unyielding code of conduct binds samurai to duty, strengthening their character and defining their choices. Eight Great Clans form the heart of Nippon’s culture. Each is defined by its own principles, values, and agendas. Each sees the Code of Bushido in its own way. Each seeks to serve the Emperor with its own unique talents. Now is the time for heroes, in a world where Honour is a force more powerful than Steel. 106
Inside you will find: A Bestiary describing every unit, monster, hero and war machine in your army. An army list to arrange your collection of miniatures into a battle-ready force. A comprehensive section that details the land of Nippon, their culture and their history. Warhammer: Nippon is one of a series of supplements for Warhammer. Each book describes in detail an army, its history and its heroes.
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