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Hi Kyuden

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Hi Kyuden Empty Hi Kyuden

Post by Katrina A. Russel September 30th 2020, 5:03 pm

Hi Kyuden

Katrina Kawada

The Origin

Hi Kyuden was founded by Katrina’s grandfather and meticulously updated through the years.
The Looks

The Russel Family Land

Russel land contains 100 square miles situated , or 6,400 acres, of land. On this land sits the wild forest Kurai Mori, fertile farmland, the Jomachi Hiyakuna Basho, and the Russel Shiro, Hi Kyuden. Hi Kyuden is built on a lake ten miles at its widest and fathoms deep. This lake is called  Furui Mono no Tatchi, though the locals call it "Shinso Mizu".

Russel Family Forest and Farms

Russel land is backed up against a large forest, mostly untouched save for a road cutting through it. Many different kinds of creatures live here, from deer to wild boar and even, on occasion, larger mammals and creatures such as moose and bear. It is large, the single largest privately owned forest on the continent. It completely surrounds Hiyakuno Basho, Hi Kyuden, and Shinso Mizu. It backs completely against the reinforced walls that protect the lands. It is so thick and untameable that only a portion have been explored by the local population, and not even the Russel have fully discovered all its secrets. It takes a group of twenty strong men to prevent the road from being claimed by lichen and vines, to keep wild animals away from the road, and to keep the road safe for travelers. The result of this is a leafy canopy, casting mottled light and a cool, mysterious atmosphere to the forest road. These men are called "Forest Guards", and are revered among the town's folk. They reside in the "Forest Home", near the gate to Russel Lands.

The trees nearest to Hiyakuno Basho are bamboo and pine, two plants used for building and raw materials. Further in about ten miles, bamboo becomes increasingly rare, giving way to far more pine, cherry, and plum trees. This in turn soon fades into massive oak trees, standing resolute over the land and blocking the view of any who might wish to peer into their land. These oaks completely ring the lake, imposing a visual and physical barrier between the Hi Kyuden and the rest of the world. It is a crime punishable with death to cut down, build upon, climb, or otherwise bring harm to, or attempt harm against, these oldest oaks.

Kurai Mori is thick for 25 miles from the forest gate, stretching from wall to wall for fifty miles. After that, however, it gets progressively thinner until the farms start. Russel Land has over twenty miles of farm and ranch land, and produce is its main source of income. It is completely self-sufficient  from the rest of the world if need be. Everything from rice to beans to wheat is grown here. Herds of cows are not uncommon sites, with farmhands ushering them through the gaps in crops to the grass where they may feed. The farms cover both sides of the road, equally chaotic on both sides. Farms and steadfasts are scattered every few miles, where farmers and their wives pause to break bread, worship their gods, and lay their heads down.

Castle Town Hiyakuna Basho

Unlike the chaotic farms and mysterious forest, Hiyakuna Basho is quaint and idyllic. Located on the shore of Shinso Mizu, it is neat and picturesque, with the beautiful and imposing Hi Kyuden towering in the background, visible in nearly every part of the town. The houses and shops are small, but organized. It is nearly impossible to get lost in this town, despite its size. The streets are paved with cobblestone and colored stone, and are lined with Cherry Blossom Trees, save for areas around the Shinto shrine - which uses traditional pine and maple - and around the forge, where the smoke from the metal working would kill any plants that tried to grow.

Hiyakuno Basho is completely self reliant, boasting its own cobbler, blacksmith, tanner, tavern, mill, as well as any other amenities a small town needs to thrive. Additionally, they have a separate force of fifty six soldiers, separate from the castle garrison, most of whom are spent in the twelve watchtowers placed on the road. The remaining few patrol the town, keep peace, and make sure what few visitors they have know the rules. The mayor's building is the largest building in town, beaten only by the mill. A river flows between the farms and the town, an artificial moat dug as a first line of defense against invasion and attack.

Lake Shinso Mizu

Shinso Mizu is a massive, large lake, situated near the backend of Russel Property. It's cool, crystal waters and calm rapids have been the site of many a romantic date, but this lake has claimed more lives than any other natural feature of the lands. Sudden pitfalls, freshwater sharks, and rip currents powerful enough to tear the hull off a boat reside in these waters. It ebbs and flows, and only the Russel family has the means to navigate it properly.

That's not to say that it isn't frequented. It's a popular vacation spot among the friends of the Russel, and the few fishermen brave enough to face its waters tend to make out well. A full dock is erected on the eastern shore, with small fishing boats and several yachts nestled in the harbor. The water is clean and crystal clear, and it is from the lake that the city and Shiro get their water (though heavily purified to get what few impurities out of it that exist.)

Russel Castle Hi Kyuden

Hi Kyuden, the fire palace, has existed for as long as the Russel have, meticulously kept up by a dedicated series of groundskeepers, gardeners, carpenter's, and electricians. Overall, it consists of three mura with the Tenshukaku consisting of a central keep, five stories high, and five connected Tenshukaku, each three stories high. Hi Kyuden is gorgeous, painted red and black. It is built on an incline, in the center of Shinso Mizu on a rock islet that extends all the way from the lake floor, fathoms below.

To get to Hi Kyuden, you must start from Hiyakuno Basho. A bamboo bridge, capable of being submerged in case of invasion, extends from the lake shore all the way to Hi Kyuden. You must continue on foot, bicycle, or carriage from here; automobiles are not allowed on Hi Kyuden. Upon stepping foot on the spongy grass that surrounds the outermost wall of the castle, the large gate opens, revealing access to the Shogowaru, the fourth gate, and your feet strike cobblestone. Here, servants scurry about, smoke pours into the air, and the noise of pack animals can be heard. The Shi-no-Maru is used primarily as storage, though it's secondary use is as homes for the chimney sweeps, groomsmen, and other undesirables who are best not seen. The area is clean enough, but loud and busy, servants crossing in front of each other carrying everything from bales of wheat to gunpowder.

The third gate, San-no-Maru, couldn't be any more different from its predecessor. The cacophony of the Sogowaru fades into the distance, muffled by the greenery around them. Inside this gate, flowers bloom and trees grow, making a beautiful tapestry of scent and smell. Underfoot is a soft canopy of grass and flowers, woven in such complex ways to form a rug that only magic or meticulous amounts of gardening could be involved. Various churches are scattered throughout this area, ranging from temples to synagogues to shrines. A thin cobblestone path leads to the various doors and gates.

The Ni-no-Maru, second gate, opens to reveal a wide courtyard, ringed by large, imposing buildings. Guards patrol and train while samurai lounge around, basking in the shade and sipping tea. There is an unobstructed view of the Honmaru, the largest, strongest wall that protects the Tenshukaku. Many different warriors make their housing here, from the lowliest foot soldier to the Captain of the Guard. Only the highest ranking members of the Russell Family, and their honored guests, live in the keep.

Inside the Honmaru, the organized chaos of previously fades completely to be replaced by serenity and quiet. Maids hang delicates to dry while machines whir in the background. Wizened gardeners go around, pruning the bushes and trees to perfection. A group of samurai walk past, talking boisterously. A group of laughing boys prod a bug while their sisters play house nearby. Parents, black haired all, talk under the shade of a gazebo, talking gossip while the men swap stories. And underneath it all, there is a beauty and natural serenity to the place. One could imagine staying here for centuries untouched by time.

Inside Hi Kyuden

Tastefully decorated and altogether fancy, Hi Kyuden nonetheless boasts the golden phoenix to an extent that starts to become tacky. The phoenix herself dominates the vast majority of the entry hall, watched by portraits of every Russel through time. They all share the same straight black hair and sharp features. A winding staircase goes to the upper floors, while hallways lead to the various rooms within the castle; the kitchen, den, library and dance hall, to name but a few. The captain of the guard, particularly high ranking individuals whom are in good standing among the family, and all members of the Russel Family make their home on the upper floors. Meanwhile, the maids and most of the household staff make their home on the lower levels.

The Russell Armory

Underneath the idyllic setting of Hi Kyuden lies the Russell Armory, wherein lies the weapons and equipment that make the Russel great. In display cases are the items, the knives and swords that allow the Russel to fight, the explosives that make them great. The Armory is manned by the Russel Quartermaster, a title passed from father to son. Only those with a Russel Signet Ring can pass beyond the great steel doors, hidden deep underground in the Hi Kyuden sub basement.

Phoenix Dojo

This traditional-looking dojo, blocked off from the public by a combination of samurai guards, spiritual steel, and Kido spells is only accessible to the Russel family and it's friends. Bamboo floors dotted with mats dominate three quarters of the room, the back quarter boasting training dummies of all kinds. Two doors lead off of this room. The left goes to a metal room, empty save for a keypad with only numbers, 1-10. Once a number is selected, a variety of floating robotic balls come out of the walls. These Robots will use a variety of methods, some magical other not, to challenge the individuals. The right door, meanwhile, takes the Russel in question to a large room, colored black with striated blue lines. A keyboard, attached to a monitor, controls this room. By choosing a scenario, this room will change to represent that. This holographic “danger room" is the Russel’s ultimate training secret.

The Layout

Hi Kyuden doesn’t have quite as many rooms as one might expect; the Russel Family values comfort over quantity. On the first floor, there are the guest rooms; seven fully-equipped bedrooms meant to house the honored guests of the Russel family. These rooms are arranged concentrically around the main dining hall, for easy access and security purposes, if necessary. The upper floors are where members of the family live. A spiral staircase leads from the middle of the hall to the upper floors. Each floor has four wings; and each wing has multiple rooms, including a bedroom, a waiting room, a private bathroom and dining hall, and various other amenities customized to the family member.

While Hi Kyuden boasts its own advanced armory and training facility, within the walls of the castle complex are various places where weapons and defenses are stored in case of an attack.

The Purpose

Hi Kyuden was originally built as a home for Edward and his wife, Mary, Katrina’s grandfather. From there, it evolved into the headquarters of Russell Incorporated (and later Osiris Industries) and, in most recent years, the home of the Blackguard and the headquarters of Olympus. It is a functional home, despite its militaristic appearance and build.

Application created by Chellizard | This code is open-source and available for free use.

Katrina A. Russel
Katrina A. Russel
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