The flag of the Akai Tora
|Alternative name(s)||Red Tigers|
|Symbol||A red tiger's head on a field of black|
|Title of leader||Shogun|
|Title of lieutenant||Colonel|
|Base||Vulpengaard Keep (since 1017 AE)|
|Region(s)||Northern Remon (until 1006 AE), Southern Yamato (since 1006 AE)|
|Allies||Forgotten, Grand Alliance|
|Enemies||Northern Horde, Southern Horde|
Akai Tora (lit. Red Tigers) is a group of freedom fighters whose base of operations is currently in Vulpengaard Keep in Southern Yamato. The most recent incarnation of this faction has been fighting against demons ever since the Cataclysm although their history is long and colourful which goes all the way to the beginning of the Third Age.
Quest for RedemptionEdit
- "We are the descendents of those who remained behind when our people in Grandbell departed to Yamato. One of my ancestors once usurped the throne of Grandbell, and the Akai Tora are those who would remain behind to atone for that sin. We have seen the vision of Tes Pellaria, and believe this our chance to redeem the sins of the past. We--and I--are at your service. My people are trained warriors all, skilled in polearms, missile weapons such as bows and shuriken, and the great no-dachi."
- —Kazuya Ofuchi to Marcus Sarillius
Although the Akai Tora first came into prominence in the Third Age, the origins of their motives reach back all the way to the Second Age when Taro Ofuchi usurped the throne of Grandbell in the Ofuchi Usurpation. Due to the actions of Taro blackening the Ofuchi name, a line born from Nobuhiro Ofuchi decided to not travel with the rest of the Ofuchi Clan to Yamato at the beginning of the Third Age; instead they remained behind in Remon and adopted the name Redeemer which they would use until they had redeemed their family's name and could call themselves Ofuchi once more. Nobuhiro's descendants who remained in Remon would form the Akai Tora, Red Tigers, and serve as ronin, master less samurai who worked for whatever cause they saw as noble and which would allow them to redeem their clan's name.
During the Great War, Kazuya Ofuchi, who went by the name Kazuya Redeemer and was the Daimyo of the Akai Tora at the time, saw a vision of the spirit of King Agarwaen declaring in Tes Pellaria that the paladin Marcus Sarillius had the royal Remonian bloodline in his veins and was thus the rightful heir to the throne of Remon. Kazuya and his Akai Tora located Marcus and the Fellowship of Tes Pellaria and rescued them from an attack led by the combined forces of the Yamato Empire and the Clergy of Mardük who had wanted to slay Marcus before he could rally support behind him. After disposing of the Yamatian attackers, Kazuya and his small but deadly force pledged themselves to Marcus in order to help redeem the Ofuchi name, thus becoming Marcus's personal samurai army in the conflict against the Yamatian occupation.
Disbandment and Great WarEdit
- "I am Ofuchi Miyuki, daughter of Ofuchi Kazuya. I did not claim command of the Red Tigers after my father's death because of our traditions. The Red Tigers will not follow a woman. Nevertheless, I am versed in the arts of battle, and I wish to serve at your side."
- —Miyuki Ofuchi to Kagetsu II
The Akai Tora were of great use to Marcus and helped him form the Grand Alliance with the dwarves of Drithenspire and the elves of Sanae. However, the Yamatians rallied a large army which attacked the new Alliance force on the outskirts of Folsworth Woods, which led to the Battle of Folsworth Woods and the Alliance's baptism by fire. During the fierce battle, Kazuya lost his life in the hands of Yousei Kaizoku.
The Akai Tora now knew themselves to be without a Daimyo, and thus without a successor to turn to. They decided amongst themselves that they were disbanded. Most returned to the King Marcus's camp and sought entry into established units, as they considered themselves Remoners above all else. Many, who considered themselves Yamatian first, sought out Yousei Kaizoku. A few sought out Marcus's Maar Sulais ally Kagetsu II and elected to become citizens of Maar Sul, most notably Kazuya's daughter Miyuki Ofuchi who couldn't claim command of the samurai because the Akai Tora followed the old traditions which prevented women from taking an active leadership role.
Thus the Red Tigers who had fought to redeem the Ofuchi name since the days of Nobuhiro Ofuchi came to an end as the samurai's paths diverged. Miyuki would later redeem her clan's name by slaying her treacherous brother Hideyoshi Ofuchi during the First Battle of Remonton as well as helping Leon Alcibiates put an end to the threat of the Krystallopyr shard which Hideyoshi had tried to use against the Alliance.
Miyuki and a few Akai Tora veterans lived through the Great War and helped liberate kingdoms from Yamato one at a time although they witnessed several Alliance members losing their lives such as Kagetsu II who perished with several samurai in the First Battle of Vulpengaard Keep. The Alliance's string of costly victories ended in Yamato, however, when the Cataclysm struck and abruptly ended the conflict while demons took over Yamato. The Alliance was forced to flee in the chaotic aftermath, leaving the remnants of the once mighty Yamato Empire behind to fend for themselves against the overwhelming demon hordes.
Miyuki married Leon who became the Prince of Maar Sul when Kagetsu's son Gerard Aurelac was still too young to take his slain father's throne. The Akai Tora who had sided with Kagetsu settled into Maar Sul while some of those who had sided with Marcus returned to Remon. However, some Akai Tora were disgusted by the Alliance's hasty retreat and leaving Yamatians to their grisly fate, so they remained behind in the former empire's lands and banded with a few like-minded, former Yamatians to fight against the new demon menace.
Yamatians who fought demons in the former empire's northern provinces eventually more or less banded together under the leadership of the Yamatian officer Hiroshi Takamoto. Due to having several recruits from the former Akai Tora and being impressed by their skill and bravery and seeing their history as noble and just, Hiroshi decided to call his band of freedom fighters the Akai Tora to honour the earlier incarnation.
Unlike Kazuya, however, Hiroshi didn't style himself as Daimyo but as Shogun with hopes that by using such a prestigious title he could be seen as a worthy authority figure and successor of the Empire's previous Shogun Masamori Hyuga and thus rally more Yamatian survivors under his banner. Hiroshi appointed Colonel Samachi Nomura as his right-hand man and also gained a few gaijin such as Damian Resta in his force too who had helped him create this new incarnation of the Akai Tora.
Hiroshi's actions raised concerns among the more traditional Yamatians, however, and some saw him as a mere upstart who didn't deserve leadership, and thus he didn't get quite as many followers as he had hoped. Still, the Akai Tora, despite their low numbers, proved to be a worthy and respectable foe as they hindered operations of various demons, most notably the Northern Horde, in the following years, which led the horde to send various assassins after the Red Tiger leaders.
Alliances and ConflictsEdit
At some point the Akai Tora allied with the Forgotten, a benevolent offshoot of the Clergy of Mardük which opposed the demons as much as Hiroshi himself did. They benefited from each other and thus formed a useful alliance. When the Fellowship of Maar Sul, which included Leon Alcibiates among others, arrived in Akai Tora territory, the Red Tigers seized the opportunity and forcibly took the fellowship to meet with Hiroshi and the Forgotten high cleric Alathor who asked for their help in taking Vulpengaard Keep from a Northern Horde force while the rest of the horde was busy fighting elsewhere.
The resulting Second Battle of Vulpengaard Keep ended in the Tigers' victory, and they claimed the keep as their own although they soon had to face a scouting force from the Southern Horde which tried to take over the keep. Ultimately they drove the South's forces off but also nearly lost their Shogun Hiroshi Takamoto to the blades of assassins who were suspected of being members of the Fellowship of Maar Sul which had to flee from the angry Akai Tora.
The Akai Tora later sent a unit led by Alathor and Samachi Nomura to Vanna when they discovered that the reason the Northern Horde hadn't had as many defenders in Vulpengaard as it should've had was because the horde had sent its armies to invade Libaterra through the Sultanate of Karaganda. The Tigers arrived just in time to witness the Battle of Vanna, and their timely arrival gave the Alliance and the defending Sarquil a chance to thwart the demons' advance for a while longer. However, Vanna was ultimately lost, and the survivors, including Samachi's Akai Tora unit, barely managed to flee to Alent with the Sarquil refugees and the Alliance.
Armor and EmblemsEdit
The armor of the Akai Tora varies although most of them follow the colour coding of the Yamatian infantry by having armor with a mix of blue, red and white. Their flag has a red tiger on a field of black.
- Hiroshi Takamoto - Shogun and founding member of the post-Cataclysm incarnation
- Mamoru Uematsu - Lord Warden of Vulpengaard Keep
- Rinto Bayushi - warrior
- Samachi Nomura - Colonel and Takamoto's right-hand man
- Damian Resta - warrior (dead)
- Kazuya Ofuchi - former leader (dead)
- Miyuki Ofuchi - warrior (retired)