This is where you place your groups, establishments, factions, famous NPCs and so on…
Factions, Organizations, Etc…
A fairly new and quite mobile outlaw posse comprised of Johnathan Davis(a disillusioned veteran of several skirmishes against the Higashi people), his brother Bertrand and assorted malcontents who joined them along the way. Primarily nomadic, they make their bread on horsetheivery, bank robbery and human trafficking.
Johnathan Davis's death at the hands of Sheriff Leonard Holliday and his posse has been confirmed, as well as the deaths of what is presumed to be a large portion of the gang, and destruction of much of their assets. Bertrand remains At Large and the remainder of the Davis Gang are considered armed and EXTREMELY dangerous. Bertrand and his accomplices are wanted, with a bounty of two-thousand dollars dead or alive for the entire gang, or five-hundred for Bertrand alone.
Last Seen in: Beecher's Folly
People of Note
A professional kidnapper and consummate professional, the Remarkably Unremarkable Man(AKA "Kevin"), has been doing his job for a long, long time. He prides himself on being efficient, unfailing, as polite as possible and as discrete as practical. He is a skilled practicer of his art, taking pains to avoid hurting his prey, and to prevent them from hurting themselves during capture or delivery. His prices are high, but his compentency is unquestionable. When his captives are cooperative, he is also more than willing to accept a higher bid for their release. What his captives face when turned over, he does not trouble himself about.
"A man's got to make his living…"
Myths, legends, and things you've heard stories about…
The High Warlord, The Blade Legend, Higashi's Truest Swordsman…
Higashi has a long history of inner turmoil and civil war. Seventy years ago, Higashi anointed its first woman as Empress of the nation, Heiyeko Katsusaki. Katsusaki empire was thrown off balance by her rule, as many fiercely opposed her reign. She bore seven children and ruled with a kind and gentle hand, though it came to an end thirteen years after her rise to power when hegemonic priests forced her out of authority, and exiled her, blaming her for the growing uprising in many parts of the nation. Her children were scattered. One such child, Heiyeko's fifth son, Daigoro, was adopted by the Lord General Rantano Garuwashi and taught the way of the blade.
Known by the surname Katsumori as he grew into a young man, Daigoro was transformed under the tutelage of the Lord General and made into a fine swordsman and strategist during the troubled times after Heiyeko's upheaval. Loyalist militias rose in the power vacuum, battling the tentative government for control of the Higashi nation. Lord General Garuwashi fought to quell the uprising, and during a decisive battle on Mount Dunai, high above the nation's capital city, the Lord General commanded his army outright destroy a militia-occupied villages. Garuwashi's decision cost many innocent lives before his adoptive son opposed him, and slew him in single combat. Thus was born Higashi's youngest warlord, Katsumori Daigoro.
The High Warlord turned the tides of war at the tender age of 17 and battled for twelve long years to establish peace in the nation, calming the discord throughout the land over the course of many heated conflicts and battles. It was said that Daigoro was unstoppable on the battlefield - man capable of incredible skill with a blade. Grand masters of the art have fallen to Daigoro on even ground, and tales speak of his terribly powerful voice as he waded into battle, turning away blades like his skin were made of steel. That's what the legends say anyway.
Daigoro was present in Los Ares about ten years ago as he accompanied the newly appointed Emperor Daji in the peace treatise between Higashi and the Nortanic government, along with the legendary Jack Munden. There are famous paintings and a steel-print photograph of the two heroic figures shaking hands.
Emperor Daji ruled well with the peace Daigoro had helped found, soothing the war-tired land for seven years before Daji was assassinated - ten years go. Daigoro was known to fight on through other conflicts after Daji's death, but but seemed to vanish for a few years before reappearing in the north to don his stunning pure white armor once again to fight off an invasive threat to the nation. The tales say he had died in the conflicts years ago, but was summoned from the underworld to battle a great demon who desired to destroy all the land, only to seal the demon - and himself - away in another realm, for after that threat was dismantled, Daigoro vanished once again.
- TL;DR - High Warlord Daigoro Katsumori is a legendary swordsman and military leader of the Higashian people, recognized by the Higashi people (and some Nortanic) as the greatest warrior in living memory. He spent most of his life fighting for the good of the Higashian people and helped found an era of peace after a long life as a dedicated practitioner of the blade.
The Sand Devil, the Beast of Ordinale, the Grinning Typhoon, Ky'aal's Rampage, the Razing Butcher, The Serpent of Fury, The Uncoiling Ruination, The Laughing Man…
Known by hundreds of titles around the world, there is a being of myth. The endless source of nightmares, folk tales, children's fright stories, poems, songs; every person knows of him by some name. He is responsible for the deaths of thousands, the destruction of whole towns, and particularly, the gruesome murders of many women and children. Despite being a world-wide legend of terror, the populace can't agree on what The Sand Devil is, if it's a person, what it looks like, or even if it exists at all. Reports are often unclear, and sightings are often unreliable. Many outlaws claim some of his titles to inspire fear, and many bounty hunters claim they've captured him to take the reward. The most popular belief is that he is in fact a man, due to the many stories of his horrifying laughter during the many acts of destruction he's committed, thus bringing into being his best-known title, The Laughing Man. Whatever the truth, this mythical monster is blamed for horrendous murders, rapes (not just of women or humans), cannibalism, child-taking, and the complete ruination of whole villages, towns, and in one instance, an entire civilization.
The Last Masterpieces, the Cursed Hands, the Soul Drinkers, The Collection, Fox Blessed Blades…
A relatively new myth not previously well-known outside of Higashian borders, the 108 Blades of Kisuke Iburo is often spoke of in hushed whispers among collectors and madmen in government prisons. The first retelling of the tale came about, when a monk ventured to the 'mountain of spirits', Mount Izuma, north of the capital. There he came into contact with the numerous Izuma talking foxes, and treated with them, offering his liquor and food. Mollified and pleased, the kitsunes led him deeper into the mountain, and spoke of the reason for the valley in the center's abandonment…
The only son of the princess Kurohime, Kisuke Iburo was meant for grander things in life besides toiling away on blades for the rest of his life in a mountain forge. But the art called out to him, and once the castle guards in his home were found using his carved wooden blades rather than their own issued weapons, Kurohime had no option but to petition the local master swordsmith, Jyuzumaru Tsunayoshi to take her son on as an apprentice. He denied her at first, resulting in a rather public scandal and a ban on Tsunayoshi blades in the Kurokime estate. Shortly after, however, an anonymous package containing several of young Iburo's wooden blades arrived at Tsunayoshi's mountain retreat, and the swordsmith immediately sent a letter requesting the boy after turning them in his hands.
Pleased and mollified by Tsunayoshi's careful apology in the letter, the princess sent her son away with all due haste, his footfalls sounding in the forge by the end of the month.
For 10 years, Kisuke Iburo worked days away at the forge, his meticulous once-politician's hands becoming rough and calloused tools. The dawn of his test to become a master himself was fast approaching, and would have passed smoothly if not for one issue in the works Iburo produced…
Every single time the man worked with steel the result was flawed in some strange manner. This one, too light. This one, too heavy. This one refuses its sheath. This one…
Exasperated, Tsunayoshi left the forge for a time, and traveled the Izuma providence, some say consulting the kitsune there on what he should do with his student. When he returned, he delivered an ultimatum to Iburo: create a masterpiece within 108 attempts, the number of cherry trees in the providence. Iburo went to work immediately and with a fervor, sealing himself within the forge for days at a time, only leaving to eat and drink when the steel was cooling. His results were disappointing at first, the first fifty being of a higher quality than his other works, but still inheriting some small flaw. Frustrated, Iburo slowly grew madder and madder in the grip of the forge, the optimism in his blue eyes slowly dwindling down to some dark green eerie light.
Finally, in the dead of winter, the 107th sword was pulled from the fire, and it was found unworthy. His spirit crushed, Iburo set upon any method of aid he could; he prayed to gods, he offered, he sought advice from other smiths. Finally, he settled on some inspiration, and grew confident in the 108th; his master noted his strange change of mood but said nothing. Iburo's mother Kurohime was invited to watch the forging of the 108th blade, and she accepted out of pride and confidence in her son's skills.
Halfway through the creation process, Iburo stood from the fire and walked over to his mother. He kissed her on the forehead once, and then bashed her head in with his forging hammer, throwing her body into the coals. The fires immediately sprang up, consuming the woman's pale skin, burning a bright fel-green.
Iburo Kisuke the master smith pulled the Kurohime Iburo blade from the fire a mere hour later and set it to cool, unlocking the forge and going to eat with a smile on his face. Confused by Kurohime's absence, Tsunayoshi entered the forge and discovered the princess' bones in the fire, and immediately sent for the authorities, seizing the 108th and placing it in a sheath.
Iburo was exiled for the murder of a royal, and his hands were removed. All of the 108 Blades were seized by the Emperor, and reworked and repurposed into soldier's swords save the last - the Kurohime Iburo - which is lost to history and time.
- TL;DR - The Iburo 108 are a collection of cursed Higashian swords, bearing blood and fire where they go and cursing the holders to fates of torment and slow death. Most still exist, coveted by collectors, thieves, and the power-hungry.