Negurakori Lore

Relics of the Negurakori

Gomatsubara

When the Primordial War ended, the gods sealed their accord through the marriage between Senkō, the Shining Lord of Steel, and Kagayaki, the Radiant Lady of the Sun. Though each of the gods bore arms and armour as befit their divine birthrights, to celebrate his wedding, the Lord of Steel forged eight blades for his fellow gods.

However, though all were pleased by the gifts, the Clear-Eyed Lord of the Mountain made prophecy when he beheld them: that none of the gods would wield the blades that Senkō had forged for them, for their fate lay elsewhere.

Sure enough, though the swords were indeed fine, the gods did not wield them, preferring instead the divine weapons that they had always carried, each tied to its bearer’s domain and power. Instead, as followers began to flock to the gods’ banners, each sword was in turn given to the closest among the god's companions, as an affirmation of their bond. Swords were given to Yagarō, Fujizuru, Hakato, Shinjugawa, Itsumaru, and Tōyama.

Itsumaru carried the sword for twenty years, but never drew it, nor permitted anyone else to draw it. Instead, it came to be a symbol of the authority granted to him by Wamori, and when Itsumaru and his four chief students gathered to study and strategise, the sword occupied the head of the table. Overtime, Itsumaru's students became masters in their own right, and together they came to form the Council of Sages. The sword became a symbol of the authority that Wamori had invested not only in Itsumaru, but in the council as a whole. The blade was given the name Gomatsubara, for the Lord of the Forest's five seneschals.

When Wamori's son Naegi was born, the Council of Sages had a hand in his education, and upon his gemppukku, Wamori appointed his heir their champion. Learning this, Itsumaru and his fellow Sages presented Naegi with Gomatsubara, to wield in their service and his father's name. Since that time, the sword has been the inheritance of the Wamori daimyo. When Wamori departed from the Mortal World, he left his clan under the command of the Council of Sages, and his heirs have been their right hand ever since.

Petrified Wards

The Negurakori are famed for their knowledge of magic, and for the dark and deep forests of their home provinces. Deep withing those forests lie oaks so ancient that they have become one with the Earth, standing petrified as trees of stone. These trees have resisted change for uncounted ages, and their properties make them a powerful ingredient in defensive talismans of all kinds.

The sacred weapons of the Negurakori are wakizashi infused with that same stoic essence. When a Petrified Ward is to be forged, a skilled Wamori smith selects a tree and carefully cuts a single bough of stony wood. Iron is mined from the same slopes where the trees stand, in the shadow of their stiff, dark leaves, and brought to Steel Root Forge, in the heart of the Negurakori territories. There, the smith spends one hundred and eight nights in communion with the earth kami of the metal and wood, before beginning the forging process and finally quenching the blade in a mountain stream. When the blade cools, the saya and hilt are both carved from the petrified oak, which retains the strength of stone and the lightness of wood. The hilt is carved with vine patterns to provided grip, and fitted with tsuba and pommel of burnished bronze.

The result is a wakizashi which guards its bearer against harmful magic, and especially against dark sorcery, while striking truer than a mundane blade.

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