In the beginning there was nothing. Light and darkness were born from the silent blackness and from them the gods and demons, whose destiny was to live together in the Ama, the celestial kingdom, thus keeping the universal balance. Soon, that balance was broken. The gods, believing that they were the first ones to be created, started the Great War, after which the demons were expelled to Jigoku, the infernal kingdom, a place from where the desperately cry out seeking vengeance.
Upon seeing the celestial lands free from the demonic stain, Aramasu cried out of sheer joy. Those tears fell into the sea and created the Hymukai islands, “land bathed in light”. The gods considered these islands as sacred land, as they were born from the goddess herself, thus they decided to make these lands a defensive bastion for the future war against the inhabitants of Jigoku.
This is how the story of Kensei starts, a new wargame that takes place in Hymukai, a fantasy world based on feudal Japan. There, you will find out all about the history of the Imperial family, of treason, love, war and death. Choose one of the great clans and fight for conquering the throne of Hymukai.
The World of Kensei
Hymukai, the dragon islands, is the land where the story of kensei started and develops.
The tale of “A Brief History of Hymukai” recounts the major events from the beginning up to our days that created the current arrangement of the provinces, main clans, families and characters that inhabit Hymukai.
That time forged the actual “Political map of Hymukai“. A rich glossary of events and descriptions of each region.
The Kuge consider themselves the head of the government. For many years they had dominated all trading routes and diplomatic relations in such a way that most of the bigger cities were under the domain of the Kuge families. They consider themselves to be honourable for the mere fact of having divine blood in their veins and they will not tolerate any questioning of their honor and do not deign to demonstrate it for those they consider their inferiors. They specialize in scheming and the use of ninjas, that seek cover in the darkness to carry out their plans.
The Buke for centuries have protected and farmed the lands of the islands, owing vassalage to the Emperor. They were considered as the arms of the Empire; the strength and the sword. Most of them were rural samurai, an inferior class than the Kuge that despise them for being so. These rural samurai are tough fighters, seasoned by life in the mountains and they live by an ancient warrior code, the Bushido. They are great horsemen and archers; some of the most fearsome warriors of the Intermediate World.
The Sohei consider themselves the heart of the Empire. In the Dragon Isles the Sohei have always been a separate power, keeping their privileges distinct from the Kuge and the Buke. For centuries they have trained warrior monks with whom they defended themselves from any intrusion considered to be against their way of life or their morals. When the conflict between the Kuge and the Buke started to raze the fields to the ground, the peasants, defenseless, started to seek refuge and implore the Sohei monasteries and temples for help. On contemplating the suffering of the people they began to take their side, “in defense of the interests of the most disadvantaged”. This way they started to gain power and luring more and more people who commended their souls to the Kami of the temple in question. They imposed their own rules about territories, based on religion and quit obeying the Imperial Law.
The Otokodate consider the time of the samurai and aristocracy has ended and a new class stands tall among the ashes of ancient clans that have disappeared because of the war. Many port cities have risen against their lords declaring their independence and that of the surrounding lands. These new regions are governed by the old families of traders from Hymukai that have taken advantage of the power vacuum caused by the disappearance of the Emperor and the weakening of many lords.
Traders have always been considered as a deplorable class by the samurai, who have committed all kinds of abuse against them. Now, in order to end the constant pillage and attacks, they have organised themselves in family clans called the Otokodate. These have the main purpose of guaranteeing security and trade, expanding their power as a net from which their enemies cannot escape. Facing the constant threats they have created their own armies, with which they defend the new laws installed at their own convenience.
A huge army of undead creatures slowly advances, unstoppable, on the lands of Hymukai. Among their ranks there are samurai skeletons and ashigaru whose mon nobody is capable of recognizing. Creatures and abominations from Jigoku accompany them guided by intangible spectres whose empty gaze causes terror in whoever dares to face them. They make no sound at all when they walk, no cries, no harangue, only the clanging of armour against bone and putrid flesh. Wherever they tread plants wilt and animals run away even though they are miles away. The mon that the standards of this damned army from Jigoku waves is a skeletal hand, with spread open black fingers. The inhabitants of Hymukai upon seeing this mon and the terrible beings that carry it have called them “Kuroi-te” (the Black Hand).
Inside the Kuge clan there is a minor clan of courtesans and artists. Their works are recognized and respected by all Hymukai, travelling the islands from end to end showing their art. What few know is that the Hattori are actually ninjas. This military group of spies and elite assassins are no more than legends and campfire rumours for the inhabitants of Hymukai, but reality is that they are the executing arm of the Kuge plans. The Hattori have become more visible and dangerous than ever, and their assassinations have grown bloodier and more terrifying than they had ever been.
This situation is not of the liking of the Kuge clan. Their supreme concern is discovering the existence of real ninja armies prepared to march to the battlefield and how infernal creatures, the Shikomi, accompany them.
The presence of foreigners has exponentially increased lately. These Namban say that they only want to do trading business but their firearms and preachers of the new religion are things that bring great unease to the daimyo of Hymukai. Their powerful armors, cannons and strange spears and swords can make them fearsome opponents.
But not only foreigners are coming from the distant oceans. Dozens of Wako pirate ships are reaching Hymukai’s shores. With nothing to lose and lots to win, these bands of looters turn everything upside down wherever they go, and their ransacking seems to just have started. Commanded by their evil leader Turgot, they intend to cover all the Dragon Isles’ shore in blood.