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Storm Riders

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Tempest Island Initiate

A Storm Rider

The Storm Riders were the elite shugenja core at the heart of the Mantis Clan navy. Only Mantis shugenja could become Storm Riders, and while Kitsune and Moshi shugenja were certainly allowed into their ranks, they were primarily composed of the best and brightest students of the Yoritomo Shugenja school.

Abilities Edit

Storm Rider 2

A Rider

The Storm Riders oversaw and trained the Orochi Riders. [1] While the Yoritomo Shugenja sought to influence the waves, the Storm Riders were the undisputed masters of the oceans. When other Clans hesitated to tread the waves for fear of the Mantis, it was the Storm Riders that terrified them the most. From their dojo at Tempest Island, the Tempest Island Temple, they sought to master the intricacies of the sea and further the Mantis' naval superiority. Serving under the Storm Riders were the Storm Acolytes, the most promising of their students, who one day hoped ascend to the ranks of their masters. [2]

Organization Edit

The Storm Riders had no particular centralized school or specific teaching strategies. The power of the Storm Rider was very much an inherent trait that awakened in a small number of shugenja when they achieved a certain level of proficiency in the art. [3] They maintained a loose organization among themselves, based mainly on respect and personal power, and sometimes gathered to share discoveries or discuss major issues regarding the sea or the Mantis Clan. Those meetings were often held in very hard to reach locations, adding to the mystique of this most secretive of orders. [4]

Notable Storm Riders Edit

Yoritomo Kaigen Edit

Yoritomo Kaigen was the greatest of the Storm Riders, the head sensei at Tempest Island, the teacher of Moshi Sayoko, and a staunch supporter of Yoritomo Kumiko. Kaigen died at the Battle of Broken Waves after he and Master of Earth Isawa Sachi (who he had been fighting prior to the arrival of the Dark Wave) were gravely wounded and thrown onto a small island off the Phoenix coast. Despite this, the duo went out with a final act of defiance: Sachi raised an island from the depths of the sea, and Kaigen commanded the waves to smash the Dark Wave vessels onto it in a massive hammer and anvil attack, destroying roughly half the Dark Wave fleet in one fell swoop. The Mantis named the new island Kaigen's Island in honor of their fallen sensei, and erected Kyuden Kumiko upon it in memory of their fallen Clan Champion. [5]

Moshi Kiyomori Edit

Moshi Kiyomori was the Topaz Champion in 1166, the first time in ten years that a shugenja had won the tournament. An outgoing man who has always made friends easily, it was, ironically, the help of his classmates that allowed Kiyomori to be nominated for the Topaz Championship in the first place. Having won, however, he was offered a position in the Storm Riders. He served with distinction at the Battle of Broken Waves, sinking no less than five Dark Wave vessels. Since then, he rose to become the Shireikan of the Mantis Third Storm, making Kiyomori one of the most important military commanders among the Mantis. [6]

Moshi Sayoko Edit

Moshi Sayoko was born with the innate magical abilities of the Moshi but with a temperament that paralleled far more closely the tempestuous nature of her Yoritomo brethren. While she attended the Moshi Shugenja School as a dutiful daughter, it was not until her posting to the Second Storm of the Mantis fleet that Sayoko truly discovered her place and began to distinguish herself. It wasn't long before she was sponsored (by no less a personage as Komori) as a member of the Storm Riders. It was there that Sayoko truly began to excel, becoming something of an apprentice to Yoritomo Kaigen. Following Kaigen's death at the end of the War of Fire and Thunder, Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Naizen appointed Sayoko the successor to Kaigen as the leader of the Storm Riders and head sensei of Tempest Island. [7]

History Edit

Pact With the Orochi Edit

The Orochi were humongous, intelligent sea-serpents originating from Sakkaku, the Realm of Tricksters. They were often the targets of Mujina and other spirits of that realm, and for this reason and others they always strongly desired to escape Sakkaku. The Storm Riders were able to offer them a way out, discovering a method to help the behemoths cross over into Ningen-do. A bargain was thus struck between the Storm Riders and the Orochi: the Mantis shugenja would help bring the Orochi into Ningen-do, gaining in exchange the services of the Orochi for both the War of Fire and Thunder and afterwards. Thus were formed the Orochi Riders. [8] Despite this, Orochi Riders were extremely rare, as the Storm Riders became hesitant to summon and bind more young Orochi, for fear that the practice would backfire dramatically upon the Mantis Clan. [9]

Losing the Favor Edit

The orochi Storm Riders gave the Mantis supremacy over the Phoenix near the coastline in the War of Fire and Thunder. In 1167 the Master sensei of the Storm Riders Yoritomo Kaigen noticed the marine serpents were moving sluggishly. He feared that it might be a result of the colder weather, which the serpents might not have experienced in their home realm. [10] The Orochi Riders fallen out of favor for that drewback. [11] The Riders were temporarily decommissioned when the first Orochi bound to the Mantis, Tsurayuki, unleashed a ferocious rampage against the Mantis he had previously served, sinking several of their ships. It would take several years of fefining the bargains and spells involved in the binding ritual before the Orochi Riders were safe to unleash once again. [12]

Destroyer War Edit

Sayoko commanded the Storm Riders in battle during the Destroyer War. [13] In 1171 they mitigated the effects of a floodwater wich threatened several towns and even the people of Clear Water Village. [14]

The Destroyers changed their pattern and began to dispatch groups against the Mantis islands. The Storm riders were recalled to protect homeland from the menace. Only the Deathless of the Lion remained patroling the Empire coast from the gaijin incursions. [15] The Riders dealed with an outbreak of plague within the Mantis mainland provinces. [16]

The Riders escorted the Legion of Flame, home to the Islands of Silk and Spice so that the Phoenix could examine at their leisure the lore contained by the Storm Rider sensei. [17] The Bayushi Elite Guard and Storm Riders dealt with war profiteers operating within the Scorpion provinces. [18]

Known Techniques Edit

References

  1. Prayers and Treasures, p. 26
  2. Prayers and Treasures, p. 36
  3. Way of the Shugenja, p. 51
  4. Book of Water, p. 54
  5. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  6. Masters of Magic, pp. 69-71
  7. Masters of Magic, p. 71
  8. Four Winds, p. 9
  9. Prayers and Treasures, p. 26
  10. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  11. The Emerald Championship in the RPG (Imperial Herald v2#23), by Shawn Carman
  12. Book of Water, p. 55
  13. The Kotei 2010 MegaGame
  14. The State of the Empire 2
  15. The State of the Empire 6
  16. The State of the Empire 12
  17. The State of the Empire 13
  18. The State of the Empire, Week 16, by Shawn Carman


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