Ronin Assassins

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Name: Ronin Assassins http://www.maddcow.org/Ronin/templates/Solaris/images/forumlogo.jpg
Shortname:Ronin / RA
Server:AM / TR Apprentice
Leader:Pointy Stick Wielder
Mission statement:To provide a place where Jewish kids can eat pork
Website:Who's your daddy?
IRC:#ronin
Status:you never know...

== History ==

A work in progress

By Jakistorian

Prologue

When piecing together the origins of the Guild known as Ronin Assassins the main difficulty you encounter is the lack of written records. The origins of this group date back to a time that amounts to a Dark Age in Terra’s history. Few of the historical accounts written at the time escaped the book bon fires and political editing that ran rampant by the many political entities that have held sway over the masses throughout the ages that followed it’s founding. The basis of my intent for this piece of work is to include commentary for the myths and minor historical references to make a frame work for the few accurate historical accounts currently at our disposal.

Sources Other than tracking down the oral histories of the Northern tribes there are two main historical texts that are most frequently used by Historians trying to piece together the history of this shadowy Guild. The First being Memoirs of a Deranged Cow. Memoirs appears to be written by the Northern tribes folk hero Maddcow and while being a someone flowery piece is usually considered THE definitive reference. The Second is Histatio Secrata or roughly translated The Secret History. Authoring of The Secret History is credited to a figure who goes by the name Era the Thorn. Nothing is known of this Era or even if he (she) actually ever existed. There is no other references to Era in any other known text dating back to the founding of the Ronin Assassins or in more modern times. Who ever authored The Secret History they are very obviously a member of Ronin

Until recently Memoirs and Secret History where the only two known texts that appear to be authored by people present during the actual historical events they describe. Recent findings at a dig on the Northern Coast changed all that. The site is now believed to be the fabled Liev Toeber or Tower Life2. The Tower was burned out during the Mari invasions when that race of despicable Automations sent their mechanized hoards in an attempted genocide of the Archmages. Buried beneath the collapsed structure and the layers of sediment many partial texts where discovered. One and all these texts had their covers and/or multiple chapters destroyed by flames or water damage. But fragments of a few of them remained intact. Many appear to be Biographies or Autobiographies of known Assassins such as Arathorn, Celebon and Tikhman. While others are mere scaps of war manuals or texts with undistinguishable focus.


CHAPTER ONE Before the written word. The Shit Kickers INC

The very beginnings of the history leading up to the formation of the group that modern historians refer to as the Ronin Assassins lies in the region of the Northern Tribes. The Northern Tribes where a nomadic, herder bases, society with no written language. All historical accounts where passed down from generation to generation as oral history. The few written accounts of these oral histories where made mainly by Kindred and Rifter of Matter historians many years later. These accounts are very obviously twisted to suit the politics of the time and are therefore of only minimul use as historical references. In a few of these works there are a couple of minor references to a warrior class or small warrior group existing among the Northern Tribes by the name Shit Kickers INC. and the existence of this group can be substantiated by songs sang by the bards in the Northern Lands to this day.



From Northern Tribes Bard Song Author unkown

“Many a tribal council walked in fear Of offending the rites claimed by the dung kickers And the shining star of Maddcow led the way”1.


The references to this group that remain in the oral histories are always linked to or make references to a Northern Tribe hero by the name of Maddcow. The fact that all historical references of this group are always linked to Maddcow and the fact that the Shit Kickers are often mentioned in accordance with the early history of the Ronin Assassins substansiate the belief of many historians that Maddcow was one of the founding members or THE founder of the Ronin Assassins. This belief is also substantiated by the memoirs of Maddcow. But note the lack of any mention by Maddcow of the Shit Kickers.


Excerpt from Memoirs of a Deranged Cow

"There was once a place. A dark world ruled by powerful mages, some of whom were powerful enough to be known as Archmages. It was called Terra. The archmages waged constant war with one another. They forged alliances among themselves to defeat their enemies but then just as quickly turned upon their allies in their never-ending search for power. The gods of Terra looked upon this destruction in alarm. Lucifer assembled the gods and it was decided that for the good of Terra, the gods would take magic away from the mages to prevent further destruction. Peace reigned for some time....... But eventually a group of mages assembled and garnered favor with Lucifer. In return for their loyalty, Lucifer who was having some meaningless disagreement with the other gods granted to the mages the return of magic. It was a mistake. After the foolish mistake of Lucifer, the Archmages once again waged war on a massive scale. The ascendant mages believing in piety and righteousness harnessed the healing powers of the heavens. They grew a bitter rivalry with nether and eradication mages. The eradication mages harnessed the fiery powers of hell to smite Terra with destructive militancy. They develped fierce rivalries with ascendant and phantasm mages. The nether mages harnessed the power of the undead, selling their souls to various incarnations of the Devil to try and increase their own power. They found themselves at odds especially with ascendant and verdant mages. The verdant mages understanding the circle of life harnessed the power of Terra itself and learned to summon the creatures of the world to aid them. Their battles with phantasm and nether mages are historical. The phantasm mages retreated within themselves and learned the basic nature of the elements and inner power. This by design put them at constant odds with verdant and eradication mages. For centuries these mages battled with each other, raining destruction over the ancient world. In despair the gods finally decided to act decisively. The mages were struck down by the 7 gods themselves, and cast into the fiery pit of hell to suffer for all eternity. It was supposed to be the end of our story......but it is not. For during their time on Terra, the archmages had learned well and had, in fact harnessed some of the powers of the gods thorugh frequent acts of devotion. Not all the archmages, but some were able to escape hell after some time and return to Terra. But they had not learned their lesson. They were still hungry for power, and sought to find a way to become immortal. The stage was set for war on Terra once again. It was rumored that the gods would allow the decisive battle to be fought upon the stage of Terra once only. Those mages who proved to be most powerful would be granted a gift beyond all gifts...the gift of immortality. The rest would be returned to the torments of hell for all eternity.

It is here that the heart of our story begins, the current age of the Archmage. Fearing a return to hell, many mages formed themselves into guilds, some powerful, some not. It was hoped that by forging relationships among the mages and alliances among the various guilds that one or another faction would win the power struggel allowing its members a greater claim to power and a greater chance at immortality. Among the guilds was ROM, the Rifters of Matter. ROM was a peaceful guild (as peaceful as mages can be, that is) they sought to teach their members how to survive and flourish in these destructive times, amongst this guild was a sub-guild. It was known as the Archangel Guardians. They were loyal to ROM to the bitter end, and when the great war occured, pitting two huge coalitions against each other, the Archangel Guardians dutifully answered the call of ROM and joined the battle. The battle was fierce and fought out over a long time. Many mages were sent back to hell earlier than they had hoped. The attrition was fierce and many on both sides were lost. Among them were many members of the Archangel Guardians. The leader was killed in battle and the rest of the mages soon followed, incapacitated by the loss of their leader.....except for one. One unknown mage. He was young and had not yet learned all the ways of the Archmages, but his spirit was strong and he had a fierce warrior ethos. His name was Maddcow and he was the sole survivor of his guild."



Despite Maddcows lack of any mention of the Shit Kickers he does mention a warrior group by the name of “Archangel Guardians” as a possible founding core for the RoM Assassins which later became known to modern historians as the Ronin Assassins. This group is also known to us by the works of several RoM historians who claim it allied itself to the Rifter Empire with an understanding of mutual defence.

The fact that Maddcow himself makes no mention of the Shit Kickers as a founding entity in his own personal account of the early history of Terra and his role in that history leaves us with a quandary. Did the Shit Kickers ever really exist? And if so what exactly where there goals? Unfortunately I fear the answers to these questions are lost in the fog of history.


CHAPTER TWO The First Age. RoM Assassins

In, what is considered, the first Age for the Ronin Assassins Maddcow either joined Rifters of Matter or did so in the previous Age. Maddcow seems to have begun gathering around himself a group of Northland mages whose major interests were killing and plundering. This was considered very rebellious within the RoM social setting of the time because RoM considered itself a peaceful guild and only mobilized it’s troops when threatened. This group operated under the name RoM Assassins which was a group within the Guild RoM (or Subguild) that is described by one RoM historian of time as “Young and rebellious hell raisers of the sort usually seen in any societies youth.”



Memoirs of a Deranged Cow

His name was Maddcow and he was the sole survivor of his guild. He wandered as Ronin for a while, but soon, lacking a master to serve, he made his way to the gates of ROM. His old master's master would become his. ROM gave him a home and tasked him with the restoration of their sub-guild. After pondering his task for a while, Maddcow gathered around him some of his trusted friends. At his request came Keley, Tha Mad Hacker and BCBOY. They became the core of a new group known as the ROM Assassins. Their code was simple and their task was well defined. They existed to kill on behalf of ROM, when ROM could not be seen to engage in violent activities the errand was given to their assassins. Over time the Assassins grew in numbers as like minded mages joined the group. They existed in the shadows and to this day there is only whispers about what they did and what their true purpose is. Some say they were never loyal to ROM, some say they still are....but this is getting ahead of our story. What is known is that the ranks of the assassins soon swelled. Barebones, a mysterious and skilled nether mage rose to the rank of co-leader and along with Maddcow helped train a long list of assassins in their deadly ways. There soon came a select group of assassins who lived to engage in actions beyond simple assassinations. They were skilled in the art of war and rose to the rank of Sergeant at Arms. They were Arathorn and Celebon. Led by these four mages, the ROM Assassins soon became a group to be feared among the guilds of Terra. They led the way in a vicious war against the SPC guild and to this day historians debate whether ROM would have survived without the Assassins leading the charge. It is for the historians to debate still. All that is clear is that ROM and their Assassins emerged victorious.


The RoM vs. SPC war seems to be the defining characteristic of the first age and probably the Assassins first taste of blood and smell of smoke that made their mouths water for more. Who exactly the victor was in this contest for immortality seems somewhat unclear. Some of the sources say right out that RoM was the supreme victor. While other say “Histories debate the outcome” or “both sides claimed victory”


Chapter from Histatio Secrata (Roughly translated The Secret History)

1st Reset

I'm pretty sure that this is basically the first reset for the Assassins (it was the spring/summer 01 set). Being a subguild of ROM was basically like being in ROM. Full forum access (a shitty delphi forum at that time). The leaders of the ROM Assassins were Maddcow and Barebones, and the short memberlist consisted of Tha Mad Hacker, Keley, Ihlana, and the new recruits Celebon, and Arathorn (I think).

During this reset, ROM was stacked with talented players, including Blog, Xelco, Elusion, KH, Hetter, Egnaro, etc, and where one of the top guilds. Luckily, a few months into the set ROM and RA both switched to avidgamers boards (much better than delphi, believe it or not), though our board was pretty much dead and we used the ROM board.

About halfway through the reset is when the huge SPC/ROM war started. I don't remember who started it, but it probably resulted from diplomacy gone bad. Soon it was a massive war, with one side being ROM, RA, LoA(Library of angels, ROM's peaceful subguild), and ROM's ally the Horde. The other side was SPC(socio political control), and their allies B&F(blade and fury) and THM (treant hill mob, OME's warguild). It was a very bloody war, with good kill counts on both sides (I think I died twice, only researched to SL 80 ). But by arma, ROM was ranked higher, and we also had more mages at that point, so we killed every single person in their guilds by about half an hour into armageddon


Scrap from a nearly destroyed Tower Life text

First reset war with ROM vs SPC -This started when Xelco and Elusion got a bit pissy about too many randoms from SPC mages in the top ten so both beat the holy hell out of Porfirio and dropped him from hall contention. This war lasted the rest of the reset with both guilds declaring victory in the end. \


Even if the victor of this contest is unclear it is clear that the Assassins gained supreme amounts of confidents and began to more clear identify themselves as a warrior class operating along side the polar opposite of the wealthy and sophisticated Southlanders of RoM.

The following pieces are texts discovered at the Tower Life excavations and give the perspective of the war from the eyes of a youthful Arathorn and the new member Celebons perspective.


Arathorn

On one fateful day, a mage freshly reincarnated from hell appeared in terra. Dying to get some new land and some blood on his hands, he picked up an old tome of guilds from his library. He perused it quickly, and one name caught his eye: ROM (Rifters of Matter) Assassins. With his true violent nature, he sent a letter to the guild leader maddcow. Some days later, after he became a little accustomed to the game, he received a reply: Arathorn was now a true ROM Assassin. After a bit of communication through letters, he found his way to the rickety old ROM tower, the heart of the guild. There he met his fellow assassins Celebon, Barebones and Maddcow, and heard the last tales of the living legends Keley and Tha Mad Hacker. He also met complete celebrities from ROM in KingHenry, Falkayn, Romses, blog (will always be Golb to me), Xelco, Elusionn, Hettar and others.

During this time, trouble was brewing for ROM. While the beginnings of the war with SPC were starting, Arathorn was still asking questions about stacking and perfecting his signature (Arathorn was later proclaimed official design coordinator or something like that by maddcow). Unfortunately, Arathorn's great designs made with only dots and dashes of ink on birch bark were destroyed during the brutal war with SPC. During this time, the old ROM tower finally toppled and new castles were built, one for ROM and one for the assassins. While Arathorn was still learning the tricks of the trade, he fought valiently against SPC members. Having over 4000 other archmages ranked above him, his job was to finish off enemies beaten down by his guild, and to harass enemies reincarnating. Unfortunately, a few spells were thrown his way that he did not have the patience to wait out, and is no novice in the art of reincarnating from hell.

When judgment day finally arrived, Arathorn had fought his way up the ranks, and helped dispatch his enemy's forts. Within an hour of Armageddon, SPC and their ally Blade and Fury had been completely annihilated, leaving ROM and the assassins victorious.


Celebon

A flare of atinic light and a burning red pentagram heralded the fact that another mage had reincarnated himself from the fires of hell. At first sight it seemed that this mage was trully reborn from hell. His garments were black as night and his skin so white it was translucent. His eyes glowed with the red fires of hell and gazing into those eyes you seemed to be falling into a never-ending sea of fire.....

Brought to this realm by the promises of rich pickings by mages who had already returned to terra, Celebon quickly re-mastered the arts of the nether mage. It is said by some that he still has a soul but most agree that this mage sold his soul eons ago to gain these dark, terrible arts. That aside, Celebon *did* have an honorable core to his being and sought out like-mages who could better show him what had happened to terra in the ages since he had last been ruler of his domain. These mages of ROM showed him that the dark cities of Naggarash and Bortuil were gone. Gone the Necropolis and the dark woods of Sarisil. Learning from these mages within the ROM guild, he decided to rebuild these once great cities and once more begin his reign of darkness.

Before long he had heard rumors within ROM of a darker guild, a guild of Assassins who killed all before them. Stalking the shadows, these killers worked on behalf of ROM and liked nothing more than the sweet cry of the slaughtered mage and the scent of fear in their prey. Celebon smiled a terrible smile and with a high heart set out to find these Assassins and their leader Maddcow


To be continued

1. It is a rather beautiful piece but loses a lot in the translation

2. Also refered to, in other historical texts, as the Lifers Tavern. It is believed that there might have been a drinking hall at the center of the tower where the major players of the guild might have met to celebrated victories or plan wars.

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