By Norse_Nomad 9 Comments
The Avatar of Susanoo
"To you, I award my blade of legend. The Totsuka-no-Tsurugi. Used by my father to slay my brother. Used by me to slay the Yamata-no-Orochi. And now used by you to carry out my will" -Susanoo, to the first Espada-
The very first wielders of metaphysical chi in undocumented history, the Espadas, legendary precursors to the eventual numerous chi-harnessing martial arts clans, were spawned from an abrupt cataclysmic decision by the Shinto storm deity of Japanese mythology. Hundreds of thousands of years in the distant past, Zenku, the demonic progenitor of all global chi had been mysteriously reborn, free to commence a virtually unstoppable rampage of anarchic chaos and unmitigated destruction. With the potential death of a beloved world looming closer, the Shinto god of legend, Susanoo, selected one of the world's premier warriors, imbuing him with extraordinary powers and divine items of esoteric capability. Wielding specifically crafted artifacts, these chosen Avatar of Susanoo was tasked with confronting the chaotic Zenku, harboring an ethical obligation to carry out his destined duty. With the aid of his exotic weaponry, the Susanoo avatar eradicated its soul, cast asunder its overwhelming chi, and banished its physical shell in a ceremonial urn of supernatural significance. Christened the 'Espada' in honor of his Spanish heritage, the chosen unnamed warrior was tasked with carrying out the will of Susanoo until the flames of his soul are permanently snuffed. Rewarded with the Shinto god's legendary Totsuka-no-Tsurugi sword, the Espada was crafted into the deadliest of warriors, an agent of divine will who would inevitably spawn a dynasty of martial arts magnificence.
The Espada Dynasty
The very first to be selected as an avatar of the Shinto god, Susanoo, Andres was born many thousands of years in what is now known as Catalonia. A reputation crafted from an admirable series of virtuoso fighting skill, Andres was widely feared as a peerless combatant, possessing an indomitable will and inherent sense of justice. Initially unaware of the potential ascension into the higher planes of martial arts, Andres arrogantly harbored a firm belief in his supposed supreme martial mastery which he convinced was incomparable. An undefeated fighter, the future Espada soon sought things beyond the mere realm of violent battle, finding solace and spiritual direction in meditation, unknowingly unlocking his metaphysical potential. It was upon his fifteenth meditative session that contact was established with the divine Susanoo. Through a vision, the Shinto god instilled within him the knowledge of the probable apocalypse that approaches due to Zenku's past rebirth. Imbued with unbelievable powers and a set of exotically enchanted artifacts, Andres confronted the demonic manifestation, and nearly embracing death, managed to formulate a strategic plan that saw him awarded victory over the defeated entity. Awarded the appropriate title "Espada" as a result of his Spanish heritage and preference for swords over all weapons, Andres was made an avatar of Susanoo and taught the secrets of the life-giving energy known as chi. Prior to his passing, the Original Espada had amassed a group of allies, forming a personal clan of martial artists with which he shared the invaluable secrets of chi with. Unnamed, the clan's initial purpose of ambitiously progressing in the existent martial arts had altered, focusing instead of nurturing their future children, hoping that one would be chosen to serve the will of Susanoo, a blessing in its truest form they believed. Gifted with the ability to harness chi, Andres developed a series of exotic combat techniques and a meditative exercise that extended his lifespan. Passing away many years after his undocumented legendary heroics, Andres' image became a standing example for future Espadas.
The second and most powerful Espada in history, Fu is fabled to have been an incomparable Japanese swordsman who experienced an inevitable transition to darkness. Seduced by the desire for power, he was both the greatest warrior of the Espadas as well as Susanoo's greatest failure. Selected by the Shinto storm god, Fu was a renown sword-master at the time, a supposed fighting genius who knew no equal when wielding the blade. Imbued with the power of Susanoo and awarded the legendary Totsuka-no-Tsurugi sword, Espada Fu was tasked with retrieving the stolen urn that contained the monstrous Zenku's physical shell. In the possession of a sect of anarchic sorcerers and martial artists, the urn was fondly prepared in a ritualistic ceremony that would bring forth the rebirth of Zenku. Confronting the plotting opposition, Espada Fu with his incredible skill and power dealt them a swift defeat, however, the rebirth ritual had already taken effect, Zenku's rebirth would become an inevitable occurrence. Left with no other choice, and secretly hungering for the urn's contained power, Espada Fu resorted to one of the esoteric artifacts in his possession at the time, using it to transfer the Zenku entity's incomplete, dormant shell into himself, locking it within his soul. An anticipated consequence of his action was his eventual descent into darkness, the resulting influence of Zenku's physical presence in his soul. With access to a portion of the entity's metaphysical energy, Fu harbored within him chi reserves the likes of which the world had never seen. Truly monstrous and seemingly bottomless in his chi, a multitude of exotic techniques were mastered by the dark Espada. Experienced a demonic transition, Fu was soon deemed a menacing threat to the globe, his undeniable evil driving him towards nefarious goals. Forced to orchestrate what would lead to Fu's fall in power, Susanoo stripped his avatar of the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi sword, the Espada title, and the mystically imbued powers. Gifted only with the overwhelming dark power of Zenku's chi, the former Espada commenced a rampage of terror, fueled by Zenku's growing influence. Having selected Fu's successor, Susanoo left with in his new Espada, the responsibility of stopping Fu which resulted in the former Espada's death.
The last of the Espadas, Darui was the direct precursor of the various chi-harnessing martial artists that would grow to obtain fame for legendary feats of combat. A child of the unnamed clan created by Espada Andres, Darui's training and at the time unmatched prodigious talent had successfully cemented his position as Susanoo's Espada. Upon maturing into adulthood, the kenjutsu prodigy was awarded a set of supernatural armor and the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi blade of legend. Tasked with confronting the former Espada, Fu, Darui's actions would go on to have an impact on the history of countless future martial arts clans. Doing battle with the overwhelmingly powerful Fu, Darui had grown increasingly aware that through power and skill, he would not obtain victory, realistic regarding the sheer, intoxicating power in Fu's possession. Aware of Zenku's demonic presence in his opponent, Darui instead opted for a sacrificial strategy that while would result in his death, would ensure that Zenku's rebirth would be prevented, and Fu, stopped. Utilizing a suicidal technique involving the summoning of a Shinigami (God of Death) through the Totsuka sword, Darui eradicated both his and Fu's souls, transferring their physical shells (bodies) into a supernatural stone tablet, and prior to his impending death, transferred Zenku's physical shell from Fu's inner spirit back into the ceremonial urn. His heroic death spread across the Asian continent in the form of countless variable legends, inspiring many to study the poorly understood concept of chi, hoping to one day harness it like all past Espadas. As several clans and individual had emerged, most prominently, the Seven Daimyo who would go on to bring about the birth of the legendary Keijijo Clan, the legend of the Espadas were forever lost in the sands of time, the result of their undocumented history. Prior to his death, Espada Darui was well known for wearing a highly distinct red-black armor imbued with the power of Susanoo. It is said that the clan once founded by Espada Andres soon broke down after Darui's death, with many harboring different ideals and desires, leading to an inevitable division which resulted in the birth of other less prominent clans across the continent of Asia.
The current Espada, Shinji symbolizes the rebirth of a dynasty of forgotten warriors of legends. Wielding the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi sword, the power of chi, and the mystical set of armor once worn by Susanoo himself, Shinji is the first to be made the Shinto god's avatar, countless thousands of years since the death of the last Espada, Darui. Born into an infamous clan of Japanese samurais, famed for being one of the highest concentrations of the world's greatest swordsmen. The member of an elite class of clansmen, Shinji's training served as an outlet for his youthful energy and nurturing of prodigious martial arts talent. Gifted with a natural aptitude for both armed and unarmed combat, the future Espada found himself recognized by the Shinto god, Susanoo himself. Convinced that mankind had spawned those worthy of carrying out his will of morally ambiguous justice, the legendary Susanoo gifted the prospective avatar with a set of supernaturally enchanted armor, esoteric chi-based abilities, and most importantly, the symbolic sword of the Espada, the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi blade. Driven by the ambition of becoming the greatest Espada in the history of mankind, the Susanoo Keshin has convinced himself that only through amassing the highly coveted martial arts and techniques of the numerous warrior clans of Asia, will his skill become supreme. Setting his sights on the world's premier martial arts factions, Shinji's main priority has come in the form of his desire to seek out the Original Keijijo Exile, Oni, now known as Abacha Cavat. Aware of the potential opportunities that could come from studying the countless forbidden techniques mastered by the Martial Arts Messiah, Espada Shinji's intention lies in both learning under the manipulative Oni and eventually, be the one responsible for the martial arts menace's death. A warrior of focus and unmitigated ambition, Shinji intends to carry out his various mysterious objectives, leaving his true alignment a question of moral ambiguity.