For generations, honorbound warrior clans watched over the lands of Yakai and shepherded its people in their quest to create a perfect society of order and discipline. They were the hereditary rulers of the kingdom and its greatest protectors against threats both within and without. Though stern and unforgiving, these warriors were nonetheless ready to lay down their lives for their homeland without hesitation. But evil will always find purchase in mortal hearts.
When the armies of Siroth invaded, they did not do so unprepared: cunning agents had worked in secret to create vile cults and subvert the noble Yakai. Many clans turned on their brethren when the dark hour arrived, and the chaos of war engulfed the Dawnlands. Ultimately, it was that strategy that allowed the Demonspawn to prevail, yet there were some who resisted against all odds.
Ginro, called the Stork for his peculiar fighting style, was a lord of great renown, and his domain encompassed the western borderlands. He was among the first to face the invaders, holding firm, surrounded though he was on all sides by demons and wretched traitors. There was no hope of a lasting victory, yet the path of a true warrior remained clear – a glorious death was preferable to surrender. Ginro gathered what loyal soldiers remained and marched forth to confront the hordes of Siroth.
The two forces clashed amid the verdant Tsuza Hills in a bloody battle that would last a week with nary a moment of respite. First, Ginro and his warriors faced the treacherous Yakai lords who had turned their backs on the kingdom and now sought the favor of the Dark Lord. Their minions numbered in the thousands, but Ginro outmatched the enemy generals in the art of war and knew he was fighting for a righteous cause. His host repelled the traitors’ onslaughts and pushed them back, while Ginro himself sought to end as many of the unworthy curs as he could ere his own life was cut short. Many fell to his spear as the grim samurai advanced through the carnage, his resolve unbroken no matter how many losses and wounds he had to endure.
Not even when Demonspawn legions entered the fray did Ginro the Stork waver. Inspired by their general’s example, the survivors rallied to his side for one final, desperate push. The demons were stopped in their track, then forced to give ground before the fury of the Yakai; alas, there was nothing Ginro’s brave warriors could do when one of their own had to face ten of the foe. All that remained was to sell their lives as dearly as possible, and that is what they did. Soon, Ginro alone remained, bleeding and surrounded by demon corpses.
Yet just as a blade was about to pierce his throat, a blinding flash illuminated the battlefield, sending the demons reeling in primal terror. And when at last the light faded, they saw that of Ginro there was no sign. A single white feather remained to remind Siroth’s spawn of a defiant samurai who refused to bow and fought to the last.