Susaneko – Swordmaster of the South

US$6.00

A Swordmaster of Uikku, a continent in the far East of Edrador. Known as the Swordmaster of the South in his homeland, he has earned his reputation as one of the most proficient but expensive ronin of Uikku. A job taking him to Tharador ended poorly when his employer was betrayed, and Susaneko hunted across the city, ultimately bested by the power of the flintlock firearm. Markamin has taken the dying catfolk and used him as his wildcard entry into the Crucible of Champions, promising him with resurrection and returning him to his homeland.

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Description

The full story

Susaneko – Swordmaster of the South

A catfolk raised far from his home in Zandoriel. Susaneko was born in the foreign kingdom of Uikku, far on Edrador’s east. Raised in a seaside city, the young cub found life difficult as a beastfolk, in a land where very few people had ever encountered his kind. Susaneko never knew his parents, having been placed on the doorsteps of an orphanage in the seaside city of Shio. Though he was still young when he was adopted by a local merchant, Akio, seeing the feline as an excellent lookout to guide and guard his trade routes. Susaneko was still a cub, though life on the road and seas quickly forced him into a life as a soldier and guard, learning to wield a blade and slaying his first man when he had only seven winters to his fur. He saw Akio as a father figure, though the merchant held little care for his orphaned guard unless he successfully avoided an ambush on the road.

Though a cat’s senses can’t always be sharp, and while nursing a hangover one morning, the young master was oblivious to an ambush brewing on the road ahead of them. Deserters from the Second Exile War swarmed the caravan in seconds, Akio was cut down and all the other guards were quickly disposed of, riddled with arrows or cut down by swords. Susaneko fled with naught but his sword, sprinting into the forest for hundreds of metres until he stumbled upon the lone hut of a woodcutter. There he was taken in by the elderly man that lived there, Shintaro, a retired soldier who had lived as a hermit for decades. Shintaro was a veteran of the First Exile War almost three decades prior, and was a commander in the Second Exile War which had ended only a year before.

Shintaro saw potential in the young Susaneko, believing his catlike reflexes could propel him to be a better swordsman than any man native to Uikku. The orphan found warmth, wisdom and a sense of belonging with Shintaro, eagerly studying under him for three years until illness took his master’s life during a particularly harsh winter. Though Susaneko’s mastery with a blade had passed Shintaro’s own peak, he became a wandering ronin through Uikku, selling his services for an extortionate price. One such job saw him sent to the foreign land of Tharador, an escort for a spice merchant. When they landed in the city of Sundestra, Susaneko found the spice he was protecting was in truth an entire cargo hold of illicit hallucinogenic drugs, and the deal was not going well. Susaneko cut down many of the Rossa Cartel thugs who betrayed his employer, then cut his losses and faded into the underbelly of the gargantuan city. With no knowledge of the local tongue, a handful of coins and no way home, it seemed he was stuck there. The Rossa Cartel had not forgotten about him however, aiming to avenge the deaths of their comrades and tie up loose ends. A whole platoon of thugs were sent after him, and though he cut down almost half, their firearms bested him and he fell, mortally wounded.

Though fortune smiled upon him, as the Divine of Chaos and Luck, Markamin, took an interest in the wayward warrior. He offered him a chance at redemption, a wildcard entry into the Crucible of Champions, and should he win, he would be revived and sent back to his homeland of Uikku as a reward.

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