Shadowed Autumn Leaves
Amenbo no Kaiyo
Background and Organization
The Water Striders are one of the oldest pirate gangs to ply these waters, having roots in these seas since well before the Battle of the Broken Wave. They, and their long time rivals, the Okamiketsu, fought viciously over the right to plunder the Phoenix coastal routes before the raising of Kaigen’s Island. In those days, trade ships were scarce and such territorial disputes were a matter of survival. After construction began on Koware Nami Toshi, however, things changed rapidly. Trade vessels of all kinds became commonplace, and with the massive upswing in trade came many opportunities for thuggery. As the two former adversaries grew fat, all manner of new kaizokuban materialized in and around the Ring to cut off a slice of the plunder for themselves. With such new competition came a need to adapt. The Water Striders became masters of the sail, naval technology newly brought to these waters with the influx of Mantis. These old roots make the Amenbo no Kaiyo prideful and aloof for pirates, and this pride lead to them being among the last to ally themselves with the Hunger and Thirst.
A simple, yet powerful, doctrine lies at the center of the Water Striders tactics: hit fast, and escape even faster. Their kobaya have well-made sails and second tier of rowers on the main deck. These rowers, protected by mantlets, can give their ships great bursts of unexpected speed. The most prized of these pirate’s vessels also have the incredible advantage of the lanteen, a Mantis-made naval technology which greatly improves the efficiency of the sail. Using these advantages, the Water Striders single out heavy goods-laden bune and harry at their escorts. Often the headstrong samurai will give chase, opening up the trade bune to lightning quick assaults. Despite this, they must choose their targets wisely, for in a protracted battle the Water Striders relatively low numbers of boarders and archers can leave them at a grave disadvantage.