Just arrived in the camp, everyone is alive with the might and power of Lo Shen! Goddess of the waters, may she bless Myamyr forever. Shogun Raiyu has been given this sacred charge by Lo Shen herself! He is the son of a minor Myamyr lord but his devotion and pursuit of the truth and faith in Lo Shen he quickly rose through the ranks of warrior-monks of Myamyr and was given the charge of leading the third Mizu Crusade into Suzaku. I know the two previous crusades ended in butchery, death and futility but Shogun Raiyu inspires an immense devotion in our men and I truly believes our cause is just. I’ve been placed third in command, just under Wan Xi, a strong and loyal leader, I’m in command of nearly 50 able-bodied soldiers, only a fraction of our full force. We’ve been put in charge of locating the Lo Shen statue so that we all may gain our goddess’ blessing.
We’ve located the statue to Lo Shen and I’ve felt the touch of my goddess. Shogun Raiyu congratulated me himself, called me out by name. I was the first to receive Lo Shen’s blessing, and the Goddess has touched my soul. The Statue was found on the rocky northern coast on Genbu, and it is a beautiful thing to behold, carved from an enormous pearl, the statue nearly glows in the moonlight. When I came upon the Statue, I discovered a poor Oracle, dying of hunger next to the Statue. He said his name was Aminji and said he’s been lost at sea for several days before the water goddess brought him to this statue. Surely he is a great omen in our cause, Shogun Raiyu had him fed and clothed and has made him his personal advisor, the Oracle has a direct connection to the goddess.
BYAKKU JOURNAL 1
Fortunes on this expedition could not be greater. Not only have we been blessed by the arrival of Aminji, a holy oracle with unparallelled power, but today as we were bringing the ships into the bay a great powerful dragon rose from the sea and spoke to us. Such a beautiful creature I have never seen before, its scales the color of the sea on a perfect day in Myamyr. It moves with the grace and elegance of a cat but is larger than any whale I’ve ever seen. The wyrm calls itself ‘Dxarmiga the Rising Tide’, these creatures always give themselves such extravagant names. He is an emissary of the water goddess herself! With such a creature at our side there is no way we could lose.
All of the men and supplies have made it safely from Genbu to Byakku. One of my men found a strange metal effigy on one of the ships that I hadn’t seen since my youth, its unmistakably made to honor Xui Kahn, but how something like that turned up on one of our ships is beyond me.
I still worry about my Kagame, she has still not returned from seeking vengeance on the Tiger Lord on Byakku and I fear the worst for her. I pray nightly to Lo Shen that she remain safe and unharmed by the storms life throws at us. Otherwise I have been leading prayer services, providing my men with counsel or advice should they need. Not much to report on lately, but this is still early on our crusade, we know too well the challenges that await us on Suzaku, I suppose before this is over I will be missing many friends.
We leave this northern camp on Byakku today. I am to take the first group of crusaders through the scorching and dangerous Taigong desert. I have seen two of the death worms already, they creep up on us in the dead of the night and without any sound will carry away both axe beak or man, as if they were nothing more than rabbits. I am nervous about making this journey, but we must reach the shrine at Burning Sigh Oasis if we are to receive all the blessings needed from Lo Shen to complete our noble crusade.
BYAKKU JOURNAL 2
Crossing this desert has been slow going on dangerous. We’d lost over a dozen men to the Death Worms and another four just to exposure and exhaustion. I can’t understand some of the Shogun’s orders’ intentions. We move slowly through this sand, far away from our ships and waters where Myamyrine feel most at home. Amiji approached me while we crossed through the desert on a day I thought I would collapse. The oracle offered me water and I drank, but then he started talking about the Aspect of the Water Dragon within the faith of Lo Shen. I’d grown up in a Lo Shen devoted house and I had never heard of a Water Dragon Aspect to Lo Shen, such notions seem like a distraction from complete reverence to the Lady of the Seas and Shores. I told the priest I wasn’t interested in broadening my worship, sometimes I think even the holiest of men can be made foolish by the constant searching for answers and faith when all that needs to known is what is in your heart.
The Shrine at the Burning Sigh Oasis, never have I seen something more beautiful. You can tell the ancient Hung La people worshiped and devoted their lives to these magnificent monuments Lo Shen, as we do today. This place reminds me why our cause is true and just, Myamyr is meant to retake these islands and reclaim our position as the new Hung La empire. Shogun Raiyu had been missing our morning prayers lately, saying he’d been feeling ill, but I saw him and Aminji enter into the shrine while the rest of us were leaving, I can only imagine what sort of great holy rituals may be happening in that blessed privacy. My gut tells me that the Goddess is speaking directly to them herself, if that’s true, then the Goddess has blessed us herself!
The desert has taken its heavy toll on our morale and composition. We’ve made camp on the Southern Shore of Byakku, from here we will sail into Saikon Chok to receive the blessing from the High Priest of Lo Shen. I’ve never been to the Holy City, I’m hoping that our time there will quench this rage that seems to be burning in several of my fellow crusaders. I understand the anger over the deaths of our men by the Death Worms and the strange spirits that lurk in the shadows, but to say things falling so close to blasphemy…I’ll be happy to get off this island. I hope that Kagame has made it to Saikon Chok safe and well, if she isn’t there I may return to Genbu myself to search for her.
Something terrible has happened, and I cannot explain my involvement, only to say that I am completely innocent of what I have been accused of. Last night, several of the most devoted and pious men I have ever known were killed in the middle of the night. Their throats slashed and left to bleed out, only to be discovered in the morning. Worst yet, a knife was found in my tent, stained with blood. I don’t know who put that knife there and I’d never seen it before! But the look on Aminji’s face when he saw the knife…the Oracle condemned me right there, me and my four closest soldiers of being traitors and heretics. They say we are to be put to death come morning! Surely that can’t be correct, Shogun Raiyu must see my innocence!