Dragons of the Sun
It is said that just south of where the trade road between Ember and Kamthahar begins to wind its way through the Summer Mountains, is the village of Naranbaatar, also known as the village of Fifteen Masters. Here, a semi-secret dojo exists where students in the south can learn one – or more – of over a dozen styles of Martial Arts. There is only one problem.
There is no road to Naranbaatar.
There is a village, to be sure. And enough would-be students return from it having learned something that the school must, in some form, exist. But getting there requires three days of following game trails and goat trails through twisty foothills and narrow ravines until arriving at a lone watchtower accompanied by a narrow rope bridge – three ropes tied in a “v” shape with a fourth guide rope above over a 30 yard wide canyon. There Pula and his family will greet travelers and invite them to enjoy refreshments – or even a meal if the timing is right before they cross to the far side. While there, Pula will talk jovially to the visitors while gently probing about their intents. Meanwhile, one of Pula’s children sends up the signals to the village watchtower that visitors have arrived along with their general disposition toward Naranbaatar . After dinner, visitors who have made a good impression on Pula will be offered the aid of a harness for themselves and a pulley net for their goods to make crossing the canyon easier. Those who have not impressed Pula will find that somehow, all harnesses and nets are still in the village and no one has brought any back yet. Those travelers rude enough to try to attack Pula and his family will find the bridge cut from the village side, and themselves the targets of archers positioned over the village gate while Pula and his family seemingly vanish into the rocks.
The village of Naranbaatar has a blacksmith, carpenter, tea house, tanner, weaver/dyer, apothecary, a house and meeting hall for the current headman, and a shrine to the local god Pankuko, all flanked to the north and the east by the farmers and goatherds that make up the rest of the roughly two dozen families that live in the village. While the village isn’t surprised by the occasional trader that makes their way to the valley, what most travelers for the past fifty years have come for is the Akara. A large sprawling complex that some villagers say was once home to some forgotten king, but for the past sixty years, has been home to Itzal Kala and her extended family.
Kala arrived with her husband and her father looking for a place to rest and to work on developing her own martial art style, and after the three of them dissuaded an overzealous wandering immaculate from beating up Pankuko and forcibly converting the village to the immaculate faith, they were welcomed. Over the years, the Akara and the village have developed a healthy partnership, where the Akara teaches the village children martial arts, reading, mathematics and (an admittedly somewhat skewed) history, and the village supplements the Akara’s own orchards, flocks and fields with enough food to allow the Akara to support Kala’s family and non-village born students. Within the past couple of decades, word of the school and Kala’s own Five Shadowed Mountain Style has spread and the school has at times had over fifty students in residence at once.
While the primary style taught at the Akara is Five Shadowed Mountain style, Kala’s own experiences and extended family does indeed mean that while a bit short of the reputed Fifteen masters, there are Fifteen Martial Art styles available to learn at the Akara, though persuading one of the masters to teach something other than Five Shadowed Mountain style isn’t always easy. The school prefers to teach through work wherever possible, using maintenance on the Akara and care of the Akara’s fields and orchards to build muscle memory. Styles that don’t lend themselves well to motions learned while cleaning, harvesting, or herding are reducing the amount of maintenance and care the Akara receives from its students, so Kala and her family tend to be less inclined to teach them.
The Akara teaches (in order of preference from the teachers. Only homebrew styles will eventually have links)
- Five Shadowed Mountain Style
- Snake Style
- Steel Devil Style
- Tiger Style
- Five Dragon Style
- White Reaper Style
- Crane Style
- Single Point Shining into the Void Style
- Ebon Shadow Style
- Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style
- Silver Voiced Nightingale Style
- Orichalcum Chef style
- Wood Dragon Style
- Righteous Devil Style
- Orgiastic Fugitive Style