After sneaking on merchant ship at the port town of Ling’hurak, Morken Mindus, a rogue with a silver tongue sharper than the point of his dagger, and Yoshinori, a samurai whose path of honor and tradition forsook him, hid amongst the ship’s ration bay as they sailed to the continent of Nava.
In the darkness, both men talked to pass the time when as swiftly as lighting strikes, the two men simultaneously realized they couldn’t be chained to a more unfitting companion. Chained? You see, both men committed what the throne of Raijin considered to be unlawful and were bound together as consequence to their crimes.
Their fate was unveiled on an evening at a local pub. After drinking down a mediocre glass of sake, Morken was in the mood for a few more glasses; he drank heavily in recent nights. He reached in his pocket and found a few measly pieces of silver lining his pocket, not near enough to drown himself.
This simply would not do. Morken reverted to a game he knew quite well, a game of “chance.” This game had great odds for Morken’s riches: 1:1 he would certainly have his fill of sake. He went about his usual set up, looking through the crowd for a pawn. This is were Morken first met Yoshinori, although neither man knew how close their relationship would become.
Through a quick silver-lined remark, Morken brought Yoshinori into his game. Playing Yoshi as a stooge to prove legitimacy, the pub’s patrons quickly took notice and wanted their own shot at coin. Here Morken began to secure his drinks for the night.
In a move unlike him, Morken goofed a palm right in front of one of the town’s guards. Without hesitation, the guard took siege to Morken. One of his comrades restrained Yoshinori with the belief that he was Morken’s partner. The two were swiftly taken to the dungeon.
The odd couple could not have picked a worst time to find their way into this mess. That night, the guard captain was on duty and he immediately recognized Yoshinori, for Yoshi once held the title himself and the captain could never forget his partner that disappeared one year ago.
It was when tasked with a long tour of reconnaissance to infiltrate a growing insurrection, that Yoshi realized that he had spent his life fighting or the wrong side. Those rebels weren’t the cold-blooded, murderous anarchists the throne made them out to be, but rather families who have been long repressed by the iron fist of the dynasty.
With this knowledge came a decision that weighed heavily upon his soul. Yoshinori held, above all else, a strong sense of justice, valor and loyalty taught to him by his mentor. If he sided with loyalty, he would have ended his life before betraying his liege. Justice would have him face the moral challenge with bravery and put an end to the insurrection once and for all. While valor would have him commit to the rebels and fight the crown for equality. Yoshi couldn’t face these outcomes, and disappeared from his past, putting the life he lived behind him.
This decision opened the door for his once comrade to step into Yoshinori’s old role, never expecting to run into a man who he thought dead. However, that night was full of unexpected coincidences. It so happened that the High Mage of Raijin was set to bind the worst criminals to the crown that evening; ensuring they could not put the dynasty at risk again. Yoshi had become such a criminal and to the guard, Morken was his partner.
Both men were bound to one another by a 15-foot chain baring the Raijin crest on either cuff. They then faced the High Mage, who magically sealed their fate. “Forever bound,” were the words of the mage as he unknowingly put into motion events that would shape the world of Circa for generations.
Not long after their incarceration, Yoshinori and Morken saw an opportunity to escape their imprisonment. Their burden became their salvation when they used the 15-foot chain as a means to knock out the guard watching over them as they slaved outside the castle wall. The two quickly took to the nearby wood and headed straight to Ling’hurak, as they knew this was the only way off of Shan’jin soil.
After sneaking onto a merchant ship heading across the ocean, they sat hidden and nerved. Each man dreading the next word from the other. As quick as their hatred blossomed, it found a way to form an impenetrable alliance, a common goal prioritized over everything else: find a way to become unchained. Morken knew what their next step must be, a trip to Vineyard. There they would discover what was necessary to break their bond and be rid of one another.