The Empire Reborn
Turn 2 Ayo
Battle for Ayo Province
In the cool Spring night on the steppes of Ayo province, one rider approaches another. Hitomi’s eye is half lidded, as though she is regarding these two strange riders with suspicion. They are an unusual sight in the heart of Rokugan. Their thick riding leathers are rimmed with white and black fur and decorated with elaborate embroidery depicting wavy lines and interlocked circles. Thick black hair hangs wild down to the waist of one.
“Hail Tegus, son of Sube,” says one, speaking in a harsh and guttural tongue. “Horselord and Master of the Seven Tribes.”
“Glory to you, Boke son of Negan,” replies the other. “And do not forget-“ and here Tengus stops, and then speaks more slowly in heavily accented Rokugani “Champion of the Unicorn.”
“Ha!” retorts Boke, continuing in his native tongue. “How have you learned that sing-song speech so quickly?”
“You need to learn more,” replies Tegus “we have the Blood Bond with these men, they are as any of the Tribesmen. They are mighty and skilled warriors. Unlike those mewling pigs hiding in the steppes below us.”
Tegus can see that the bandit force is somewhat smaller than they were last month by their dying campfires. It seems this Shodokai has gone to ground in Shisame. No matter.
The Unicorn are excellent horsemen, skills refined by centuries of practice, and their military skill and tactics are impressive. But their distant cousins have some lessons that they have taught. One had to do with night.
“The light of the bright orb is great, but do not discount it’s lesser kin. The pale orb, and the glittering snows of the sky kingdom can provide light as well. If they are not enough light for your two eyes, then you are half blind. You have four eyes, man and horse acting as one. For four eyes, half the light should be enough,” said Tegus, early in the training.
The Unicorn approached the bandit camp like a field of heavy mist – slowly, silently, nearly invisible in the time before dawn. The silent hand signals newly taught to the samurai spread Tegus commands in a ripple through the troops, allowing adjustments while maintaining the silence. At the last moment, Tegus raised a warhorn and blew a triumphant note that split the air and shook the bandit camp in surprise.
The whipstaff-thin form of Batu son of Gal materialized out of the mist beside Tegus, looking perplexed. “Was that out of some sense of this hon-or?” he asked.
Tegus laughed, and his laughter became the sound of thousands of hooves thudding into the ground as his men roared forward in a wave of muscle and steel.
“No my kinsman. I am that confident in victory.”
It was over in minutes. The few hundred bandits, thugs, and ashigaru still in Shodokai’s service were slaughtered to a man by the charging Unicorn forces. They did not even pull together long enough to even consider taking the initiative.
The Unicorn claim the province.
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