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Netheril : Age of Magic

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Author Topic: Hu Shangkun  (Read 107 times)

ElvenStarr

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Hu Shangkun
« on: November 06, 2021, 03:40:28 am »
Hu Shangkun



A Shou man from the far east lands of the continent of Kara-Tur, Shangkun, or just ‘Shang’ of the Hu Clan was raised from the time he could hold a blade to be a Samurai warrior in the Emperor’s elite guard. His father was Samurai, his grandfather was Samurai and so on down the line. Shang was raised with a strict code that he adheres to in all of his decision-making and actions. He was raised to prefer death to dishonoring his code, his family or his emperor. He excelled in sword skills, quickly rising to the best and most favored among his peers. Some saw this as favoritism since Shang’s father, Hu Koshing, in addition to being captain of the guard, was also the chief trainer to who all the other teachers answered to.

A longtime rival of Shang’s was Zhang Long, the haughty nephew of the Emperor himself.  He was chief in spreading any rumor of nepotism at any of Shang’s accomplishments. When the final test came to move up from student to guardsman in the Emperor’s ranks, only a small number of the class would be deemed good enough to advance. The final spar for the final spot came down to Shang versus Long. When it became apparent that Long was not going to win the bout, he used underhanded tactics, feigning a strike, but instead throwing a handful of salt into Shang’s eyes, momentarily blinding him. Long scored several good hits on Shang as a result. The sly action was not noticed by the spectators but was noticed by the one who mattered, Shang’s father Hu Koshing. He immediately called out disqualifying Long, and advancing Shang to the prestigious position.

Enraged, Long stormed out of the fighting ring vowing revenge for the ‘obvious favoritism’ of father to son. There were many dissenting murmurs within the gathered throng. Suspicious of Zhang Long’s tactics, Hu Koshing went alone to conduct a search of the young man’s room. In a hidden compartment of Long’s trunk, some of the paraphernalia associated with ninja assassins. It was then that the ninjas made their presence known, attacking Koshing en masse from the shadows. Though he slew many, Hu Koshing fell. The ninjas and their dead vanished into the night as is their way.

Shang found his father’s corpse this way. Through his grief, his suspicions of the culprit were confirmed as he saw the name of ‘Long’ traced into the floor in blood by his father’s hand. In righteous wrath, he sought out the man and attacked without a word. He focused all his fury on the fight, it mattered not that there were scores of witnesses. It was a brutal, bloody fight, but in the end, Shang was always the better swordsman, and Long was slain, his head flying from his shoulders in the final stroke.

The other students moved to corral Shang. Feeling betrayed by his school and ultimately by his emperor, in allowing the same nepotism in Long as Long had accused between Koshing and Shang, Shang fled. He has been running ever since, staying ahead of any of the forces the Emperor might send after him, moving further and further from Kara-Tur. He earned coins as a guard along the way, taking boats and caravans, moving as far as he could from his home. It had been almost a year since he’d encountered any of the Emperor’s agents when he ended up in the lands of the Netherese. Feeling a calm settle on him, he decided to stay for a time in the city of Conch. His meeting with an intriguing young woman named Cori might have also been influential in this decision. Though a dark past haunts his dreams, for now, he feels at peace.