Even before the Demonspawn corrupted them, the people of Yakai were renowned for their skill in the arts of infiltration and spycraft. And as they were twisted into the cruel Shadowkin, so too those arts were further honed and perfected to serve Siroth’s dark designs. For never was there a greater need for agents of subtle influence than in the centuries that followed the last Great War. The Dark Lord had realized brute force would unite the mortals against him, and only through guile could his goals be achieved.
Nogoryo does not remember his origins, for like so many others, he had been ripped from his mother’s arms and taken away to be raised in servitude to the cruel demon-blooded masters. He was to be nothing more than a weapon to be wielded by the hand of Siroth – a role that Nogoryo embraced with disturbing glee.
The natural talent and ruthless training in the ancient Shinobi arts had instilled Nogoryo with the patience of a born predator and taught him to slip unseen through the shadows like a ferret on the hunt. For years he had done the bidding of his rulers. Assassinations, abduction, blackmail, and sabotage across the kingdom of Yakai and far beyond its borders solidified Nogoryo’s reputation as an efficient, if somewhat temperamental, killer. In time, his exploits came to the attention of a powerful Demonspawn noble. It was not the kind of attention that boded well for those who attracted it.
Unbeknownst to Nogoryo, his fate was all but sealed. A mighty demon was to be bound to his body – a ritual that was considered a great honor among the Shadowkin, for they were told it empowers the chosen warrior with the blood of Siroth’s heirs. And, at first, Nogoryo believed that his skills as an assassin had risen him above the common rabble. When the truth finally came to light, it was a dreadful revelation indeed.
On the eve of the ritual, an apparition coalesced before Nogoryo’s baffled eyes: a woman of otherworldly beauty stepped into his dream and spoke to him at length. She unravelled the secret of the ritual, explaining how it was devised to tear the very soul from his body and replace it with the twisted creature of Shadow. It was to be a death more painful than any he had ever inflicted. When Nogoryo woke up, sweating in terror, he found a single white feather clasped in his fist – proof that his vision was more than just a fever dream. That night, he had finally chosen to break the chains that bound him.
The assassin escaped from his enslavers using the very same skills that they had taught him, slaughtering all who stood in his way and evading all pursuers. Where he had gone after, none can guess. Hunted both by those he had fought on the Demons’ behalf and the Demons themselves, Nogoryo had no allies and no safe haven. Was he destined to be an exile, eternally on the run and relying on his wits alone to survive? Or did the mysterious red-haired woman guide him to a greater destiny? That is a story yet to be discovered.