A war rages under Heaven. It is a war between feuding lords, Shoguns and Daimyos who would make the Eight Islands their own. It is a petty squabble, concerned with rice, land, steel and men – what most would consider power. But amidst this chaos, there are those who seek out battles of far greater importance. For Heaven too is in conflict; a debate in steel about the laws of the world.

The Sword-Saints of Yashima are burdened with responsibilities far greater than those of any ordinary samurai. They wield the Blades of Destiny, and will shape the future not just of the Eight Islands, but of everything under Heaven. Ultimately, it is their hearts who determine what way Heaven will take.

Each Sword-Saint is burdened with a Blade of Destiny, which carries within it the potential to decide the future. And these are some of the Destinies:

Empire: The Blade of Empire rules over unity and harmony, but also tyranny and oppression. The one who wields this blade has a mighty voice and a powerful appearance, and can subjugate or even kill men with his voice, and enslave lesser minds to do his bidding. Should he achieve greatness, the Eight Islands are fated to unite; but if he is cruel, tyranny awaits.

Family: The Blade of Family rules over brotherhood and love, but also over abuse and betrayal. The one who wields this blade can inspire her allies, divine the truths in men’s hearts, and heal those in need. Should she achieve greatness, the Eight Islands are fated to enjoy strong bonds of family, but every betrayal she makes shall echo in Destiny forever.

Winter: The Blade of Winter rules over the cold times, when the world is at rest. The one who wields this blade controls frost and decay, snow and air. He can freeze enemies solid or turn the weather to a storm. Should he achieve greatness, the Eight Islands are fated for a harsher climate. If he is benevolent, fire will burn in the hearths, and the earth shall be rejuvenated come spring; but if he is evil, the winter that follows him is death.

Strength: The Blade of Strength rules over physical power. The one who wields this blade is terrifyingly strong, capable of cutting through any foe and breaking down walls with her fists alone. Should she achieve greatness, the race of Man will become more powerful – but perhaps also bestial, if she does not mind her behavior.

Beasts: The Blade of Beasts rules over animals. The one who wields this blade commands the animal world and can take on their aspects. Should she achieve greatness, the animals of the Eight Islands will be healthy, powerful, perhaps even revered as gods; but by her behavior, wolves can become friendly as dogs, or horrendous monsters in the night.

Silence: The Blade of Silence rules over the unseen and unheard. The one who wields this blade is one with the darkness and can strike from nowhere. Should he achieve greatness, spies and deception will take the place of violent war and bloodshed. He might bring about a harmonious state where every criminal is caught – or an era of a horrid secret police, wherein privacy is forbidden.

Many other Blades of Destiny exist. Which one is yours?

The Field of Red Flowers

Riklurt 20130516561 MrGreany Sydow