Shadowed Autumn Leaves
Hunger and Thirst
From Shishinza’s Dossier
My greatest shortcoming has been my inability to not only fail to apprehend the bandits known as Hunger and Thirst, but not even come close to. The pair command a small flotilla of raiders, but, unlike the various kaizokuban gangs, these raiders show an alarming discipline, and have been drilled extensively in small unit tactics. The flotilla, which is often called the Godatsusha no Kisho-sei, Reavers of Scarcity, have, over the past eighteen months, assaulted thirteen trade ships, seven Yoritomo, three of the other Mantis families, and three of the other naval Clans. They have committed no less than five raids on warehouses and private stores on Kaigen’s Island, and another two raids on Mantis holdings on some of the surrounding islands. Hunger and Thirst are highly prolific, much more so than mere pirates. The commodities which are stolen or destroyed are always specific, and have included rice, water, legal opium, stone, wood, and other miscellaneous products. It is clear that Hunger and Thirst are not simply attacking targets of opportunity, and are instead very deliberately affecting the various commodities markets within Broken Wave City. It is obvious from this level of sophistication, both martial and intellectual, that Hunger and Thirst are former samurai. Little is known for sure about the pair, though rumors run wild. I will write here only what I know to be fact. Hunger is the military commander of the Reavers, and is known to wear traditional heavy o-yoroi armor, rare indeed among seafaring warriors. Thirst is a slight woman who often wears an oni mask, and utilizes a yumi. Their hit-and-run style occasionally resemble the cavalry maneuvers utilized in ground war but they are clearly also experienced sailors, well versed in standard naval tactics. The Reavers they command are highly loyal, and prefer seppuku or suicide to capture. Every Reaver who has been captured has ended his own life, taking whatever secrets he held to the grave. Due to the speed and precision of their operations, I have only ever arrived to the scene after the fact. All my attempts to collect information on their safe-houses, or implant shakuhachi players or undercover operatives into their ranks have failed miserably. It is a grave mistake to treat Hunger and Thirst like common kaizokuban. The Umi-Tora have declared Hunger and Thirst to be their top priorities, and despite my full cooperation with the Sea Tigers, the Reavers continue to raid Broken Wave City’s assets with apparent impunity. Their destruction should be a top priority for any proper thinking Emerald Magistrate.
Communique with the Emerald Magistrates
Early on the morning of the Thirteenth Day of the Month of the Dragon, two shakuhachi players inserted into the Fire Beetles were found dead at the Emerald Magistrate’s compound with a note attached. Written in a purposely blocky and unisex hand was the following letter:
To the honorable Emerald Magistrates, Daughter of Shinjo, Son of Bayushi -
Seventeen days in Koware Nami Toshi and you have already accomplished much. A high ranking Fire Beetle executed, a Mantis brutalizer brought to justice, not to mention planting two nearly invisible shakuhachi players in the Fire Beetle’s midst. Unfortunately the insertion of these agents was ill-timed, hence, their current condition, Shinsei’s smile upon them. Still, commendable play. Yoritomo Jera, it is said, eyes you with contempt, and the island watches intently. Jera cares only for players, and he, very clearly, does not underestimate you. Could the same have been said of your predecessor? Unlikely. A pawn may be promoted. It may become a Gold General, but, alas, either way it is a simple piece. A piece can not become a player. Shishinza was but a piece, he lived and died as a piece. What will you become? Ignorant pawns to be sacrificed in a strategy you can not hope to comprehend, or masters who sacrifice those beneath them for a grander purpose? Both are cruel fates. Shall we play a game of Shogi, honorable magistrates?
- Hunger & Thirst