To the North of the desert region Va’ Sif lays an island in the shape of a raven. There sits Sanzoku Yokai Kakurega, the first and only Guild founded and run by Yokai. Yokai who would steal from the wealthy and horde their riches. Whether or not it was gained through unjust means didn’t matter. Only their position did. Some believed they gave the riches to the poor to help aid areas ravaged by war. Others believed their definition of “poor” included themselves being homeless monsters. Regardless of which was true there was one prize they cherished above all others, the Savage Crown. It’s said when worn the user is sent into a blind murderous frenzy. If your will is too weak your mind will be destroyed and your body will wither. But if you succeed in taming the bloodlust your muscles will grow exponentially. The wearer will become a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut while maintaining all their intelligence.
The Colsana Ocean covered 95% of the planet Zeratal and all but 5% was in the Uncharted Territories. Unruly weather, sea monsters, and the unknown are all that awaits. Not even Neith is enough to protect ships foolhardy enough to traverse deep into it. The few islands that can be found on the border being every bit as dangerous as the creatures hidden beneath the waves. For Lei the Topaz this was nothing new. For two years she had been exploring Zeratal, finding and exploring numerous ruins. Returning many obscure and sometimes extremely dangerous relics to the vaults of Endymion. She wore a padded white kimono with golden cloud designs and her family crest over the heart. Grey Pants were held up by a black leather belt with a carrying case containing a notebook and several tools attached. Leather boots for traversing harsh terrain, leather armored gloves to protect her hands, and the Staff of Nirvana strapped to her back. This was the first time a “ruins” was an abandoned Guild and not something more elaborate.
“See anything?” Lei calls out to the elven navigator. Her eyesight was good enough that she didn’t even need a handheld telescope.
“Nothing yet miss.” She replies.
“Could it have a cloaking spell?” Lei thinks to herself as she rereads her notes.
“What’cha doing?” A small voice asks. Rai the Topaz was her 8-year-old adoptive sibling. Like Lei his tunic was white with golden clouds and the possessed the family crest. His being placed across the entirety of his back. He also wore leather wristbands, gray cloth shorts, and a bag around his waist holding some emergency food. Hardly the most protective outfit but ideal for someone as energetic as he was.
“I’m trying to figure out if this was just another myth.” Closing her book she sits down and gives Rai her attention. “How are you doing?”
“I don’t like the ocean.” He complains. “Hate it when my fur feels so dry.”
“Aww, I’m sorry. I promise after this we’ll go somewhere nicer.”
“You promise?” Rai smiles with tail springing upward in joy.
“But before that, we have to find this island.”
“Okay!” Rai forgets all about his discomfort and eagerly looks over the side of the boat in hopes of finding the island.
Minutes pass with no sign of their target. The Captain and crew were getting antsy having to wait in the Uncharted Territories. The longer they waited the more risk they were at coming under attack. Even with several spellcasters onboard it was a risky venture.
“Maybe I’m looking at this wrong.” Lei sighs as she rests her head on the banister.
“Um, they were monsters right?” Rai inquires.
“Well, Yokai are their own thing but yes Rai.”
“And people hired them right?” Rai continues.
“Yes, Rai.” She answers again.
“Hmm…Maybe there’s a magic word. Like…um…” He pauses to think briefly. “I wanna hire you!”
“Rai I don’t think-” Lei’s words are cut short when the air begins to ripple. Sanzoku Yokai Kakurega sat a mile out before them. “Makes sense Yokai would have a simple dispel phrase Good work Rai.”
“Do I get a treat?” Rai excitedly asks.
“Hmm…I don’t know…”
“Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease.” He whines with his usual doe eyes.
“Okay, just promise when we get to the island you listen to me. Promise?” Lei says sternly.