THE THUNDER GUARD

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The Thunder Guard

The Thunder Guard has become one of the most important parts of Yin-Jin as it is today, for they facilitate that most important of civilizations aspects—trade. The overland routes between the eight cities are dangerous places, with packs of roving hungry-dead, and unquiet spirits— for many years following the Breaking of the Wheel, the eight cities remained largely isolated from each other. Today there are Thunder Guard posts in every great city where merchants, traders, and travellers can hire heavily armed and seasoned warriors to guard and lead them through the wilderness. The name “Thunder Guard” comes from the noise their caravans make while on the road. Unquiet spirits, in particular, can often be driven off by loud noises such as gongs, bells, drums, and even fireworks, all of which are carried in plentiful supply by the guard. The Thunder Guard itself is divided into many different agencies called, “Banners”. To receive a banner, a prospective agency need only petition the Minister of Travel in Chiwen, the kingdom is typically only to happy to add to the number of banners protecting trade and travel throughout the land, although in recent times banners have been given to less than scrupulous agencies that have robbed travellers out in the wilderness, or fought with other banners on their routes. The oldest and most recognized banners are the Golden Shields, which is the largest agency with posts in every city, recognizable by their brown cloaks and gold shields. The Blood riders, recognizable by their red sashes, who do not guard travellers but instead deliver messages and small parcels anywhere in the kingdom. And lastly, the original “Thunder Guard,” the first agency created by the founder.

Image: A heavily armed and armored man on horseback carry a tall banner and leading travellers through the dark and dangerous wilderness.

Trigram: Thunder

Founding: Early Winter Dynasty

Founder: The Pale Captain. The Pale Captain was a soldier serving in the city of Yazi just after the Breaking of the Wheel. During the famine and disease that followed all of the chaos, his beloved wife fell ill with a wasting illness. The illness had a widely known cure, but the city had long since run out of it. The capital city was said to hold large stores of it but travel had become impossible. Undaunted, the soldier set out on his own through the dangerous wilderness between the great cities. Part way through his journey it became obvious he had contracted the illness as well, but still he pushed on— battling through the hordes of roving hungry-dead while feverish and near delirium. Against all odds he arrived in Chiwen. He gathered as much of the remedy as he could carry after taking some himself, and despite doctors imploring him to wait and recover his strength, he immediately set out on his return journey. He again had to do battle with unknown numbers of undead, delaying his progress to a maddening degree, but at last he did make it home. It is said, no one could hardly recognize him after the illness and harrowing journey. His countenance had become pale and haggard, and many though he almost looked like one of the hungry dead himself. Sadly his wife’s illness claimed her life before he return although the medicine he brought saved countless others. If only he could have gotten there sooner, drove him to despair. He might have remained that way, but others began calling upon him to help make some dangerous journey to one of the other eight cities, and with nothing to lose, he would guide them. He began to attract other likeminded warriors to help him, and they learned the hard way what worked and didn’t work against the undead as they made journey after journey. As they visited other cities their fame grew, and the other cities began to see the value in veteran fighting men who could reconnect the kingdom—and so the Thunder Guard was born.

Leadership: Each banner has its own captain, and there is no central authority among the various agencies beyond the Minister of Roads (who is the only person who can revoke a banner).

Head-Quarters: There is also no central headquarters although all three of the most famous banners are headquartered in Yazi.

Relics: The most sacred item to each agency is their banner, which is the symbol of their strength, as well as their license to operate— but they are not known to possess any inherent qualities in and of themselves. The Thunder Guard does occasionally come across forgotten relics during their travels.

Virtues: Loyalty & Force

Fortune: Brothers in Arms A close bond is forged among men who fight together and survive the worst the world has to throw at them, the Thunder Guard may spend joss to summon a group of minions equal to their rank.

Specialization: Life on the roads of Yin-Jin is extremely harsh, all Thunder Guard receive a free hardiness specialization.

Internal Kung-Fu: As the Crow Flies (Nine Sun Birds)

External Kung-Fu:

  • Autumn’s Harvest (Ravenous Wings)
    Rending Claws of the Sky-Father
    If you’re in the Autumn’s Harvest stance and use Hou Yi’s Arrows, that technique also gives a +5 bonus to Damage and if you’re in the Autumn’s Harvest stance and use Scattering the Golden Feathers, you have a +5 bonus to Damage if you don’t make the Area attack selective. This bonus is granted by this Loresheet Secret and so it stacks with Kung Fu
  • No-Shadow Blade (Shadow Catching)
    Diving Eagle Spirit.
    If you’re in the No-Shadow Blade stance and use Light Diffused by Clouds, the technique also works against people whose initiative beats yours by 30 points or less and if you’re in the No-Shadow Blade stance and use Supreme Burst of Speed, the bonus to finesse and footwork is +10
  • Fist of Sun-Yu (Bone-Fed Wolf Fang)
    Heavenly General.
    If you’re in the Fist of Sun-Yu stance and use Reincarnating Nine Brothers, you may also use the Burn effect’s result to Disrupt the target if it hits and if you’re in the Fist of Sun-Yu stance and use Cry of the Golden Crow, any groups of minions under your command act on your initiative rather than at the end of the round

Secret Technique: Second Skin. The Thunder Guard have learned to fight, eat, and sleep in their armor, and rarely remove it on the roads. They treat medium armor as light, and heavy armor as medium with regards to penalties.

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THE THUNDER GUARD

GHOSTS OF YIN-JIN QuietlyQuixotic