The Empire Reborn
Turn 2 Yoritomo
Battle for Yoritomo Province
The island of Yoritomo was named for the legendary champion that had secured Great Clan status for the Mantis more than a century ago. He was a larger than life figure in many ways, from his massive physical frame to his raucous and outgoing personality. The peasants who populated his namesake island took pride in sharing some of characteristics. Unfortunately, this did not include the extreme loyalty he had to his Clan. When the collar came, they were one of the first to declare their independence and cast off the weakened Clan leadership. “The Son of Storms would be proud of us,” their leaders jeered. “He blesses our actions! We have his favor!”
The time has come for that to be tested.
Dark clouds crowd the sky as the storm blows into Yoritomo harbor. The increasing wind whips the waves into white crests that rush toward the land and slam against the docks and rocky shore. Most of the lookouts and guards retreat to the warmth of buildings and taverns.
“Come on, Hatsu,” shouts a stout peasant armed with a spear. “This storm will stop sea traffic for the rest of the day, we can take time off collecting docking fees and get a cup of hot sake early!”
His companions shakes the light rain off his wide straw hat. “I suppose you are right Takao,” he says. “Only a madman would try and sail in this!”
They each laugh as they turn to leave, but slight movement catches their eye. Dark shapes rise up through the increasing gloom of the storm. Ships?
Several dozen small kobune are charging the shore, sails filled to the max, ropes creaking and hulls rising up and crashing down as they ride the cresting waves at nearly impossible speeds. Somehow their pilots keep each ship from twisting or rolling, holding each as an arrow loosed toward the harbor town.
“Go! Sound the alarm!” screams the surprised Takao, and the unprepared peasants scramble to mount a defense.
The Mantis ride the wind and the surf directly into the harbor, slamming their ships into docks and stony shore. In seconds, scouts and ashigaru leap from the rails. On the deck of Lightning’s Web, Moshi Koiso laughs softly and whispers an offering to the water spirits. As they reach up to hear her, the Mantis leaping from their boats run along the surf as if it were land.
The peasant levies begin to charge out of their taverns, workhouses, and homes, but the Mantis are already on shore. The rebels are cut down by blades as they exit, and from the harbor Koiso’s flagship launches a rain of stone which collapses the town hall on the men inside. Koiso turns her attention to the growing storm, whispering the sins of the men on shore, and gleefully watching as the Heavens send down bolts of lightning to punish them.
The Mantis drive inland, away from the harbor toward the stone and wooden fort at the center of the largest settlement on the island. The storm is raging now, and the ashigaru are unused to fighting in the driving rain and roaring thunder. But the Mantis troops seem empowered by the storm, and the puddles and streams that fill the streets become stained red with the blood of the peasant rebels.
In the final push to secure the city, the remaining peasant rebels make a stand. Soaked to the bone and armed with improvised weapons, they strike through the flashes of lightning at the Mantis troops slowly surrounding them. Some of the Mantis’s ashigaru are killed, but the remainder of the troops easily turn aside the clumsy and inaccurate strikes.
Koiso’s feet gently touch the ground as she lands in front of the peasant’s leadership, on their knees and held at spear point. Her long black hair is plastered to her soaked form like webbing, and she grins toothily at the sullen peasants. She points to the ground. Two of the peasants bow, scraping their faces into the mud. A third stares at her defiantly. Her grin grows wider, and the lightning flashes off a steel blade.
The Mantis take the Province
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