The West Umbra Initiative - Chapter One - The groundbreaking The one the clan called Toumoku raised the ale to his lips. It was cold. The night outside howled with a bitterness that he oft felt as well. Tonight promised change: a turning of seasons, a cooperative agreement between clans, a new beginning. Two of his family joined him this night the death talker and his seer for the past eight months, Obake of the Yamamoto clan and Daigoro, his eldest son. The negotiations had past this was the formalities … tomorrow would bring a return to glory – a new focus on the vision for the Empire. A woman joined them at the table holding a steaming cup of tea, not of the blend the Clan enjoyed each afternoon, no this was richer and spiked with rum. “Shall we get down to it then?” she asked the old warrior. He nodded slightly. “Topaz!” she shouted. “Bring these men another round.” She turned to the woman joining her at the table, a homely woman battle scarred and brutish, the Sheriff of Iantown took a seat. “Today marks a new dawn in the history of our …” there was a long pause “… existence in this realm. The Wakayama Clan pledges to defend the citizenry of Iantown in any conflict should a conflict arise. We shall build a consulate within the confines of the city and it will be both a place for prayer and meeting as well as an armory should the need arise.” Yasuo bowed slightly indicating he had nothing more to say. Sissy made an exasperated face. “We told you this was not to be a partnership to further your clan’s war mongering. Your emissaries were quite clear that war was not the objective here – nor would you bring violence to our peaceful enclave.” Daigoro responded, “Miss Mayor, if war was our goal would we be building a consulate within your town proper? We will be here to aid you should the need arise but to help our mutual citizenry is our goal here.” Spree rose to her feet. “You had requested two warriors from amoung our citizens to fill your ranks. These two will help serve as liaisons between our two cultures and it is our hope that they can both learn and teach.” Two men stood up from a corner of the bar. One was young and appeared quite debonair the other was older, battle hardened, and bore the scars of many conflicts. Spree continued, “Fate is a young warrior that is a skilled field medic, and Se’an is an expert archer who knows these lands and it’s people best amoung our citizenry.” Yasou stood and beckoned them to come closer to him. He placed his hands out so he touched the shoulder of each of the men. He said to the two of his Clan, “Behold your brothers. With them we shall achieve many wonderous things.” ______________________ Waldo was annoyed. Why would the Wakayama Empire enter into an agreement with Iantown? He had heard of a concept called the West Umbra Initiative – to gather all the inhabitants of that realm into the Waka Empire; but it was more then that. It was rumored around the trade shops in the cities that the Initiative was actually a financial agreement amoung the merchant peoples of that area. Blanket protection by the Wakayama Empire and sole suppliers to them. This did not bode well with old Wlado – while he had been lax of late but he was always the man for such things. He decided to head toward Umbra himself and see if the latest rumor was true … had Sharika joined this Initiative and what of her sister? Waldo practically ran towards the moongate … ____________________________ Hung-Lo and others of the Wakayama Kindred gathered in Southern Iantown. The ground had already been broke on the future consulate and his men were pleased. This would be a good base for what they had planned. Yasuo had been clear – Iantown is a town of peace – and so it will be – by any means necessary.