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The Battle at Oblivion's Gate

Deep in the belly of the world, the Shadowlands began to fester. Within their tainted forests and foul swamps, the darkness has prepared for this day since the world began. A thousand souls marched into those dark lands, hoping that their sacrifice will save not simply the future - but also the past.

Long ago, the children of the Moon and Sun had a brother - the youngest son of the Celestial Heavens. He did not live through his father's hunger, and so his soul became the Lord of the Underworld - Jigoku, the land beyond the Empire.

I look out over the wastes of the far south and I see a thousand samurai.

Ten thousand Shadow.

A hundred thousand creatures of Fu Leng, marching on the heels of the armies of Rokugan.

Behind those brave souls who fight at Volturnum's gates, the last of the Ikoma give their lives to keep Akuma's minions from destroyed the allied troops. Without their sacrifice, the armies of the Empire would be overwhelmed.

Before the terrible gates of ancient Volturnum, a thousand brave souls stand, willing to risk their honor, thier lives and their souls against the faceless Shadow. If they are victorious, Volturnum will fall, and the Shadow will be named. If they fail, the Shadow will destroy Jigoku, and the Empire will fall into Darkness.

And far beyond the Great Wall of Kaiu, beyond the Crane fields and the Scorpion mountains, an army of Goju spreads out from the shadows of the Imperial City. If the Shadow is not destroyed, they will seize Otosan Uchi, and destroy the Jade Throne. Toturi's loyal men, the Fox Clan and their allies stand upon the walls of the capitol, watching the Goju darken the land with a stain unlike any nightfall.

The Crab march, iron strides shattering the ground with each step. They carry the wall within their hearts, and the fury of their founding kami in their hearts. They will not fall.

The Crane, led by Kakita Kaiten and his lord, Kuwanan, stand ready with glistening blades. "For Toshimoko!"

And at the gates to the great city, the Elemental Masters chant, holding apart the wide iron doors with sorcery and strength of will. Remember the Phoenix, samurai of the Empire - for their courage has opened the way.

Dragon, remember your Lady Moon who has sacrificied to bring you strength.

A thousand samurai will fight at Volturnum.

If they are victorious, they will claim the ruined city, save the Empire and name the Shadow.

If the Darkness wins, the heart of the Empire will fall.


*****

Deep in the Twilight Mountains, a different war was being waged; a war of blood that will decide the fate of a family. If Fu Leng's servants win, the Moto will forever join the Shadowlands: If the Unicorn are victorious, the Moto will be saved. Beneath the Akui Cliffs, Gaheris leads the Shinjo, Iuchi and Ide against the Dark Moto. It is a never ending cycle of death and dark rebirth.

At Volturnum, battle rages. Lion samurai claim the first great victory; tearing open the gates and flooding through the city streets with fury. In the midst of the combat, Motso's crystal swords shatters, and he lifts the shattered parts of the blade in his hands. Ignoring the blood that poured from his palms. "For honor, and the Empire!" Motso cries, and his shout is taken up by his men.

But Even with Lion ferocity, they were repelled, and Voltrnum was sealed once more. Weary, the Elemental Masters prepared another great spell to tear open the iron gates. "Wait," said Hitomi Iyojin. "This is our place." A hundred Ise Zumi, guarded by Mirumoto samurai, charged forward toward the Goju and their shapeshifters. Nighthaunts and shadowwalkers fled before them as the clouds above were torn apart. For a moment, a silver brightness shone down from the celestial heavens, bathing Volturnum in light for the first time since the world began. The Ise Zumi began to chat as they ran, and ancient song of death and duty. They reached the gate, hammering upon it with cold hands, and the wood began to crack.

Shadows tore at their flesh, but the stone began to shiver.

One by one the Ise Zuni fell, but the steel twisted and ore from it's moorings, pulling free from the great stone walls. As each man collapsed, his body turned to light, burning away the shadow and giving strength to his fellows. It was Hitomi's last gift - and it served the Empire well. When the last of the tattooed men were gone, the gates had been torn from their iron hinges, shatters and ruined beneath the Moon's pale light.

Through the opening in the wall, a golden aura began to spread across Volturnum's bloodied and ruined streets. Uncountable faceless shadows poured from every wall, every shattered building and devastated bridge, and above them hovered their master; Goju Adorai. As tall as ten men, he stood upon darkness and clouds, watching his servants pour from the city's walls. Adorai's laughter echoed from broken rocks and rang like thunder in the sky. "At last," he said. "The time has come. Now you will know why you fear the coming of night, and why you hate the darkness."

Behind him, the golden glow of Oblivion's Gate began to change. As the First Goju raised his arms, it turned a bloody red and heat flashed through the city with searing intensity. Th ekami clenched his fist and red light cascaded from the heavens. From behind Obliviion's Gate, tortured screams echoed through Volturnum, and the land of the ancestors burst into blackened flames.

Jigoku had begun to burn.



 

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