Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:59 pm
Obsidian and Salvation
Ok, for the writer's commentary:
I love the Damned. That's apparent from my posts on other forums. That being said, I thought it would be interesting to see how a die hard Hida Samurai would deal with the taint... dealing with it, etc. So here you have Obsidian and Salvation, the story of a Damned Samurai who became Lost. I plan on rolling with this for a while because I, biased I know, really like Kenpachi. As far as anyone wanting to use these characters on their own, go ahead but please post a link in this story... I'd like to read it.
*****Obsidian and Salvation****
You found your strength. Do not wallow in weakness
Smoke rose from Kenpachi's shoulder. He felt the sting of Jade fade, and the sting of his newfound regeneration replace it. The smoke would've choked him if he were still breathing. He'd grown accustomed to the feeling of the corruption. The burn of jade was something that still seemed to shock him.
You are Lost. You have to accept that. You have to find them and continue your war.
The Hida snarled, "You made me kill him."
You had to kill him to survive. You need to survive to finish them.
The Oni that gave you the gift. The ones who blackened your family honor. I know you want revenge. I can give it to you.
Kenpachi drew his wakizashi, "There is only one path left to me."
The samurai heard what sounded like laughter inside his head.
Lord Sun never blessed the shadowlands with his light. Nor did Lady Moon. It was eternal clouds. Sometimes dark clouds, sometimes darker clouds. As Kenpachi twitched every time he felt his entrails begin to slip a little more back to their rightful place, he laughed. It was a sick, soulless laugh. He raised his fingers and stared at the dried, blackened blood. He understood the whisper's laughter.
"So Jigoku won't take me... What do you want?"
I want what you want. I want to Oni to pay. I want you to fight your former clan's never ending war until it comes to its concluson.
"And once I can move again how do you propose I do what a thousand years of war hasn't accomplished?"
I didn't say you'd end it. You will fight them until they are dead and then I'll let Jigoku have you.
The silence settled back in as Kenpachi pondered another attempt at seppuku. He reached into his Armor and pulled out the jade charm his sister had given him at his gempukku. He closed his eyes and let out a defeated sigh. He felt the power of the obsidian invigorate him. He steeled himself for the fate he'd chosed, "What would you have me do?"
The City of the Lose was more awe inspiring, terrifying and evil than the Bushi had imagined. There was a feeling of darkness, but not the evil he'd expected. Not the evil he'd known, but something much more sinister. Virtue and Honor corrupted in pursuit of the self. It was a sick parody of the feeling he got when he first entered Shiro Hida.
A Guard approached, "What do you want, Crab?"
Kenpachi turned to see a guard in obsidian armor. It looked like Lion armor, and his hair was wore in the style of the Akodo. "I want to kill, Lion. Let me pass."
"Save your what little strength you have. The Obsidian Legion will decide what to do with you."
"Fine. Where do I find a gunso?"
Daigotsu Fotsu stared at the corrupt crab, "How did you come to receive the Gift?"
"I was the only survivor of my hunting party. The wounds became tainted, and weren't treated in time. There was no way to stop it."
"I see. And why aren't you dead then?"
"I was sent to the Damned... when my time came I killed the Kuni sent to end me."
The fallen gunso said nothing for a moment, "You tried to die with honor I see."
Kenpachi snarled, "It seems I'm unable to die for the time being. I tried to commit seppuku but the taint healed me before I could die."
"Do you want your Honor back little Crab?"
The two samurais' eyes met. Kenpachi tried to suppress the urge to kill the man, "How would you propose I do that, Daigotsu-Sama?"
Fotsu leaned in, "By doing for our Lord what you did for yours. I'm willing to let you into my squad, regain your honor through the blood of your enemies."
"I will not kill my kinsmen."
Fotsu let out a loud, disturbing laugh, "That sentiment will change soon enough, but it's nothing to worry about. My men are concerned about Kyoso's leftovers, and protecting OUR wall. But by accepting you also accept certain... conditions."
"You will obey me or pay. You will kill without mercy, no matter who. We see few Crab this far out, but I will not have some gutless coward in my ranks."
Kenpachi didn't hesitate, "By my word I will."
The gunso smiled, "Then welcome to the Obsidian Legion. Let me show you our dojo Kenpachi."
Fotsu had lead Kenpachi for six weeks now. It, in its own way, was much like his previous life. He'd spent the last month and a half killing Oni on the Wall of Bone. After every one of their 7 day rotations on the wall, the unit found themselves at Tuftuf Sake House. Black Water Sake hit him hard, and he liked it. The woozy, disoriented feeling was the closest to feeling human he was capable of, it seemed.
An older samurai named Daigotsu Guenjuko stumbled to him bottle in hand. He sat down and poured the new Lost Samurai a drink, "Drink brother! We have lived another week!"
Kenpachi smiled and lifted his glass, "Another week, my friend..."
"Brother! We, believe it or not, are brothers in our own way..."
Guenjuko poured him another glass, which Kenpachi immediately downed, "What the hell are you talking about?"
The old samurai let out a loud long laugh, "Before I was blessed, I was Hiruma Guenjuko. Maybe you heard of me?"
Kenpachi considered the glass as if it held some answer. In a moment, he turned to his companion, "You were THE Hiruma Guenjuko? Wow, how' you end up here? I was just past my gempukku when you were lost in a recon mission."
The scout downed a large glass, "The way all Hiruma end here. My Jade ran out and I realized my mistake."
Blood sprayed from a fight behind them. Kenshiro looked in his cup. It was filled with more than sake now. He called for another one and turned to his new drinking partner "What do you mean 'my mistake'?"
"Well, I came to something just this side of enlightenment. Once I hit that, I gladly fought for Daigotsu."
"I...I stil don't understand Daigotsu-Sama. What tiny enlightenment would have you give yourself to this City of the Lost so easily?"
The corrupted Hiruma seemed to regard Kenpachi as insane or just stupid for a moment, "Kenpachi-Chan, you hold on to the mindset you had before you were blessed." The drunken look on Kenpachi's face relayed only confusion. The Lost Hirums sighed, "Let me explain. Our Lord Fu Leng blessed us with this. Those that don't understand it call it a curse. Those of us who have received it call it a blessing, you never questioned why?"
The Lost Hida warrior shook his head in confusion.
Guenjuko shook his head, "Children can't be expected to know about Honor. They haven't had the need for it. They don't have the experience to appreciate and truly realize its purpose. Before I was blessed, even I didn't undestand it. Then... in those final moments as a child I understood. The Lost PROTECT the unblessed. They try to spread the truth to them. We who know the truth try to help them. Even if it hurts at the moment, in the end the gain strength, knowledge... the most enlightenment someone can obtain."
Kenpachi poured himself a glass from Guenjuko's dwindling bottle, "And this is why you fight? This replaces the honor you knew before your... 'blessing'?"
Guenjuko nodded, "Of course. Listen, Lost Crab, you will realize the difference between Lost Crab and true Lost Samurai. You struggle to maintain your childish notions of honor. Lost Samurai do not. You know why?"
Kenpachi shook his head, still completely confused.
"Because," said the older samurai, "The Ninth Kami gives us his strength. We take it and turn it into the strength of Rokugan. We are the true Samurai. We do not make the people peasants, eta, ashigaru, but we make all willing servants... we make them their own masters. And that is true Strength. Not to defend the weak until they find strength, but to give them their own strength. To see the whole of Rokugan find their own strength? It was only a dream as a Hiruma... but the Dark Lord's blessing has opened my eyes. We have been fighting our dearest friend since the beginning... that is why I took Daigotsu's name and swear my life for him. Not because I am 'corrupt'... but because I am finally pure my friend."
Kenpachi ordered another bottle and poured them both another drink, "And the oni who share our 'blessing'? How do they factor into your philosophy about the Taint?"
Guenjuko shook his head, "A test to prove our resolve and honor, nothing more. But alas, I've got more brothers to celebrate with. You think about what I've said. Maybe once you realize our purpose you'll abandon these crazy ideas that you're still a Hida. Accept the Gift for what it is, don't fight it. Fighting strength only causes the weak to suffer. Accept it, and you can bring strength to the world itself. Goodnight my friend..."
And on that, Guenjuko left to share drink with other squadmates leaving Kenpachi on his own to contemplate his own strength.
Kenpachi walked out of the sake house and found himself in the dojo of his Oni Hunter platoon. There in the candle light was Fotsu. He stepped in and heard his Gunso's voice, "Kenpachi, why are you here?"
The sake still in his head, he assumed the position of a subordinate speaking to his superior, "My apologies, Daigotsu-Sama... I came to practice Kata in private."
Fotsu rose, "At ease, Kenpachi... I didn't mean that. You've been with the platoon for six weeks. Are you finding the vengeance and honor you came for?"
Kenpachi relaxed, and nodded, "I am doing the best I can, Gunso."
Fotsu shook his head, "That's not what I meant. When you came, there was uncertainty, fear... it's become different, but it's not what it should be. Why did you come to the City of the Lost. It has nothing to do with Oni, or nowhere to go... it has to do with you, little Crab. You've taken the first step... now admit to yourself what it was."
Silence was a rare commodity in the City of the Lost. Kenpachi savored it, and thought deeply about his true intention. His steely eyes met his Gunso's gaze, "Because I live to protect, and I didn't have the strength to protect before I was Lost. I came to see the side of the equation no Crab could ever comprehend... and I have given myself to eternally serving my clan even as Lost. My life, my soul for the Empire."
Fotsu chuckled, "You came to serve Rokugan?" Kenpachi nodded, expecting his leader to strike him down for the heresy, "What do you mean by that, Hida?"
"Gunso-Sama, Hida was the embodiment of strength, but I think deep down he knew that those without our gift couldn't understand it. Rokugan wasn't ready for the Ninth Kami's Blessing. So he stood against the Horde to ensure that only those strong enough to truly use it were blessed. He is one of Fu Leng's greatest servants. After the corruption took me, I realized what our... dance... with my brothers allows. It allows the weak to grow until they can accept strength. I will continue what my Clan seeks, even if they cannot say what it truly is. I will kill the Oni so that their madness will not interfere with the honor of the Shadowlands... so that all of Rokugan may one day know true strength." Fotsu's shock was well hidden, but Kenpachi could feel it... almost touch it. "Daigotsu-Sama, I come to serve as a Crab, and for eternity I will be a Crab. Not a Lost Crab, but a proud child of Hida... though an enlightened one."
A smile crept across Fotsu's face, "Interesting ideas Kenpachi-san," Fotsu's smile faded, "Fine then, live and die as a Crab... but a Crab in Daigotsu's armies. Follow me, I have something to give to you."
Kenpachi followed, steeled against consequences he knew were coming.
Later that night, in the barracks, Kenpachi knelt infront of the daisho he'd been given. The Lost Daisho of Hida Yokiko... the Damned general whose troop ended the Maw's rampage after the Battle of Cresting Waves. She was a legend among the Damned. She was thought killed. The Dark Blue and Steel of the daisho infront of him suggested otherwise. Kenpachi grasped the handle, and pulled the Katana free of the saya. He felt it... the rush of bloodlust and madness, harnessed by a crab heart into death itself. He smiled a fierce, mad smile.
"Welcome back Sorakiri. Tomorrow, the Oni will hear your song once more..."