As you alight at Ringyo Kyuso, there is a pleasing lack of resistance; you form up and sweep down the plains towards your first target, Ogou Bagadri brandishing his incredible polearm, the bizarre but rather effective-looking Gnollish Disembowler.
There are a handful of massively determined Kamakuran humans standing forth outside Tamago, spears set in what they appear to think is an impenetrable hedgehog formation, daring you to send your rabble to die on their spears.
Fortunately, you brought three wraiths.
When the Kamakurans are good and engaged with the large quantity of their brethren that the Evocati thoughtfully lent you, Ahzek, Robert Smith and Newton Smith break the formation with their innate powers of fear, sending the extremely tough and well-disciplined Kamakuran spearmen running in all directions, utterly broken.
Even isolated and terrified, each sells his or her life rather dearly; there are thirteen of your untrained Kamakurans and two Hadiya that die of their wounds, for six casualties amongst the enemy, and you think one or two might have got away.
Chatu's Payback sweeps through the Lands of the Emerald Lotus, burning everything in its path. At Tamago, there are a small number of monastic human spearmen who make their best stand against them, but eleven versus over a hundred was only going to end one way, even though the highly disciplined and well-trained humans dispatch almost three times their number before being overwhelmed.
Even more disturbing is the composition of the attacking army; along with the expected Gnolls and their leader Ogou Badagri, wielding a bizarre but impressive polearm rumoured to be the famous Gnollish Disembowler, and twenty Fidelian axemen they have hired from the Evocati, the mercenary company has also sent sixty untrained Kamakuran humans against the Lands of the Emerald Lotus - kept in line by three wraiths, terrifying undead creatures whose supernatural powers of fear were too much even for the incredibly stalwart defenders of Tamago to resist…
Chatu's Payback sweeps through the Lands of the Emerald Lotus, burning everything in its path. Ogou Badagri, wielding a bizarre but impressive polearm rumoured to be the famous Gnollish Disembowler, leads a variety of his own troops and twenty Fidelian axemen they have hired from the Evocati - but that is not the most disturbing rumour that comes out of the smoking ruins.
Apparently, the mercenary company has also sent sixty untrained Kamakuran humans against the Lands of the Emerald Lotus - kept in line by three wraiths, terrifying undead creatures whose supernatural powers of fear swiftly break the will of all that would resist the invasion…
Wounded, shamed, and out of breath, six of Ibara Section bow low before you.
The outstandingly trained humans tell you, in calm and measured voices that are slightly ragged around the edges from their grief, of the fate of Tamago - and, to their eternal shame, probably the rest of the Land of the Emerald Lotus by now.?
The day dawned like any other; up at dawn, they began the day's exercises, purifying their bodies and minds for the prospect of future battle. It was a small child, one of the townsfolk, that dared approach them, running onto their training grounds and tugging at an armoured leg.
"Look!" he had exclaimed, and they turned as one in the direction he pointed.
On the horizon, issuing from the port town of Ringyo Kyuso, an army marched across the plains.
A sixty-strong rabble of distinctly lower-quality Kamakuran humans were being driven forwards by twenty Fidelian axemen, all wearing the uniform of the Evocati mercenary company. Guarding their flanks, thirty-five Gnollish troops - a few Tritoni and assorted humans among them - and seven uncertain-looking troopers of the same colour with pistols, crossbows and longbows.
But it was the commanders that gave them the most pause. Alongside the heavily armoured Gnollish general Ogou Badagri, armed with the most unpleasant-looking polearm the world has ever seen - one of the humans ventures that it might be the weapon the Gnolls call 'Disembowler' - three wraiths coasted silently, ensuring none of the troops even thought of stepping out of line. The pale creatures had all once been human, but appeared to have left the trappings of life long behind them, preferring to rely on their innate powers of terror.
The humans apologise profusely for their next actions. They were preparing to march out and stand against the enemy, selling their lives as dearly as they could, but they believed that you would want a report. So they took a handful of reeds from the garden, and drew lots for who would stand against the enemy, and who would attempt to escape and report back.
Even worse - they chose only two. The others - well, they headed out to stand against the enemy, and they stood firm as the enemy engulfed them, back to back, cutting through the rabble like scythes through what - and then the wraiths descended, and all was blind terror and flight. Unable to even make out their companions in the melee, they decided you would rather have them back than dead for no reason.
Their lives, they say, are yours; but no handful of men could have stood against the forces arrayed against them.
As they left, they saw Tamago burn behind them.