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CardShark Content - Randy Villarica (8/9/2005)

Nobutada winced as he stared up at the midday sun. His guard duty had started very early that morning and he could already hear his stomach complaining. Having already eaten both his rice cakes and having no more rations left he slumped down near the gate resigned to a long wait before his relief arrived. Guard duty these days consisted mainly of guarding versus the unremitting boredom of watching the dust from the plains rise and fall. Fifteen years since the Kami War had seen peace slowly spreading across the land of Kamigawa. In his mind, Nobutada thought that peace was for old toothless men past their time. Eiganjo, rising straight out of the plains like a mountain overlooking the countryside; its gleaming façade always brought a sense of wonder to Nobutada. A hero in his own mind, he drifted off in reverie, seeing again the rise of the Kami War.

21 Plains
Plains
PlainsSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool.


He had been hand picked from his small village by no other than Captain Nagao of the Royal Guard. He and his retinue of samurai had rode into the village of Kurakama one sleepy morning and announced that he was there to enlist the young men of that village to serve the great Daimyo Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
Konda, Lord of Eiganjo
Konda, Lord of EiganjoSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
7
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
R
Number:
30
Artist:
John Bolton
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Vigilance (Attacking doesn't cause this creature to tap.) Bushido 5 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +5/+5 until end of turn.) Konda, Lord of Eiganjo is indestructible.
in the great Kami War.

Captain Nagao stood with his helmet in one hand, the other resting on the pommel of his katana. Behind him stood rows upon rows of samurai, their faces veiled, blade-breaking jitte slung on their belts on the left and swords on the right. They were said to fight as well as any human samurai, some said better as their foes never rose from where they fell. They were as well practiced in the art of the sword as they were with the fan, these fox warriors were known as the Samurai of the Pale Curtain
Samurai of the Pale Curtain
Samurai of the Pale CurtainSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Fox Samurai
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) If a permanent would be put into a graveyard, remove it from the game instead.
. Mounted on fierce warhorses, their armor gleaming in the sun was the vaunted Hand of Honor
Hand of Honor
Hand of HonorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
. Some fought with short horse-bows or spears, others with the weapon-catching manriki-gusari, they were the greatest warriors among the cavalry. Captain Nagao stepped forward and addressed the village.

1 Nagao, Bound By Honor , 4 Samurai of the Pale Curtain
Samurai of the Pale Curtain
Samurai of the Pale CurtainSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Fox Samurai
Rarity:
U
Number:
43
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.) If a permanent would be put into a graveyard, remove it from the game instead.
, 4 Hand of Honor
Hand of Honor
Hand of HonorSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Samurai
Rarity:
U
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Protection from black Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
, 4 Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's Jitte
Umezawa's JitteSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Legendary Artifact
Sub Type:
Equipment
Rarity:
R
Number:
163
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put two charge counters on Umezawa's Jitte. Remove a charge counter from Umezawa's Jitte Choose one — Equipped creature gets +2/+2 until end of turn; or target creature gets -1/-1 until end of turn; or you gain 2 life. Equip 2
, 2 Manriki-Gus
Gus
GusSet: Unglued
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Gus
Rarity:
C
Number:
62
Artist:
DiTerlizzi
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Gus comes into play with one +1/+1 counter on it for each game you have lost to your opponent since you last won a Magic game against him or her.
ari

“Eiganjo, our capitol, our home.” He started, “Since the war began, the castle’s walls mark the only place on Kamigawa where no kami has ever set foot.” He paused at this and took in every eye in the crowd. “And that is because we make it so!” He raised his sword in the air and his army let up a great shout into the air. Over the cheering his rumbling voice reverberated like thunder, “Courage, Honor, Indomitable Will
Indomitable Will
Indomitable WillSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
17
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
You may play Indomitable Will any time you could play an instant. Enchanted creature gets +1/+2.
! Join me now and the poets and storytellers will sing our praises and shout our names long after our bones have turned to dust.” It was with these words in his ears that Nobutada strode forward and joined the ranks of the Daimyo’s army.

1 Eiganjo Castle
Eiganjo Castle
Eiganjo CastleSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Color:
Land
Type:
Legendary Land
Rarity:
R
Number:
275
Artist:
Wayne England
Text:
T: Add W to your mana pool. W, T: Prevent the next 2 damage that would be dealt to target legendary creature this turn.
, 3 Indomitable Will
Indomitable Will
Indomitable WillSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
17
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
You may play Indomitable Will any time you could play an instant. Enchanted creature gets +1/+2.


Nobutada broke out of his reverie as a large form lunged at him and pushed him onto his back. He tried to draw his weapon but found his hand pinned underneath the great mass. He prepared himself to enter the stony gray of hell when the shaking mass developed a tongue and started licking at his face. “Isamaru!” he shouted helplessly unable to fend off the large Akita, “get off me you mischievous dog!” Isamaru bounded off the fallen warrior and sat down on the ground, panting from his exertions. “And what are you doing so far from the kennels you old dog?” Nobutada asked playfully, “Have you been sent here to relieve me of guard duty then?” Isamaru barked once and sat up, seeing if the samurai was up for more sport. Suddenly the Akita’s ears pricked up and his hackles rose and a low rumbling started deep within his throat. Nobutada turned and squinted against the dust that had been lifted up by a sudden breeze. Through the haze he could just barely make out four figures coming towards him. From this distance he could see that they were kitsune, the fox-folk, come perhaps on an errand for Princess Michiko. “Empress Michiko!” he chided loudly, correcting himself. It had been a long time since Daimyo Konda’s death and now Michiko-hime held the throne.

3 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Isamaru, Hound of KondaSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Hound
Rarity:
R
Number:
19
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
2
Toughness:
2


“Hail soldier!” the lead kitsune shouted, less than twelve paces away, “Yes! We come to heed the summons of the Empress.” Nobutada started, unaware that the kitsune had almost reached the gate. He turned towards the leader, a wizened old fox holding a walking staff in one hand, which chimed musically as he ground the butt into the ground. “Greetings warrior, I am called Eight-and-a-Half Tails, and these three warriors are Dawn-Tail, Blade-Tail and Frost-Tail.” The elder kitsune said. “Greetings elder.” Nobutada replied. “If you seek audience with the princess then I will escort you.” He said with relief. “Isamaru, stay here and guard the gate.” Nobutada commanded. Isamaru happily complied and the party wove their way into Eiganjo castle.

4 Eight-and-a-Half-Tails, 3 Kitsune Blademaster
Kitsune Blademaster
Kitsune BlademasterSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Fox Samurai
Rarity:
C
Number:
25
Artist:
Keith Garletts
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike Bushido 1 (When this blocks or becomes blocked, it gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)


“So what brings you out so far from your homes, noble kitsune?” Nobutada asked curiously. “Certainly the kami incessions have since ceased since our great Empress Michiko’s sister Kyodai took hold of the kakuriyo and reined in the angry kami.” “The greater majority of spirits have calmed,” Eight-and-a-Half Tails started, “but there are still some that defy the rule of the sisters. Among those the great Myojin and some of the greater kami as well.” “I have fought my share!” Nobutada proudly stated, swinging his blade this way and that, toppling a lantern on its side. “Snuffing the light of a lantern without saying a small prayer is bad luck. Though its flame can only singe, its soul can repeatedly visit misery on one’s house.” Eight-and-a-Half Tails lectured, setting the lantern back on the stand. “And what of this kami you fought?” one of the Tail brothers interjected, “what was it called?” “It was called the Kami of Ancient Law
Kami of Ancient Law
Kami of Ancient LawSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice Kami of Ancient Law: Destroy target enchantment.
.” Nobutada answered breathlessly, “It took my squad and four foot soldiers to slow its advance and three other samurai to bring it down.” “A minor kami!” Dawn-Tail laughed derisively, “I would have dispatched it in a few steps without even breaking stride!” Dawn-Tail boasted. Nobutada made as if to answer but wisely kept his peace. They arrived at the ornately carved doors to the throne room where the party halted, awaiting the Empress’ summons.

4 Lantern Kami
Lantern Kami
Lantern KamiSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
32
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Flying
, 2 Kami of Ancient Law
Kami of Ancient Law
Kami of Ancient LawSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Sacrifice Kami of Ancient Law: Destroy target enchantment.

“Sensei Eight-and-a-Half Tails, I am glad that you have arrived. There has been troubling news from the East.” Empress Michiko explained as the kitsune made themselves comfortable on the cushions laid out just for that purpose. Nobutada chose to stand. “Word has spread of a rogue kami terrorizing the villages east of the desert. This greater spirit is aided by a lesser kami who has cast protective magics which protects the beast from direct assault. Its charge across the Araba has brought much destruction to our neighbors and now threatens the outlying villages at the border of the desert. I have sent for you and your warriors to help in dispatching these spirits. My most trusted General Nagao will accompany you, as well as this young samurai Nobutada. He is familiar with the area and will be able to guide you. You ride out at sunrise.” She finished.

2 Shining Shoal
Shining Shoal
Shining ShoalSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
R
Number:
21
Artist:
Ben Thompson
Text:
You may remove a white card with converted mana cost X in your hand from the game rather than pay Shining Shoal's mana cost. The next X damage that a source of your choice would deal to you or a creature you control this turn is dealt to target creature or player instead.
, 2 Charge Across the Araba
Charge Across the Araba
Charge Across the ArabaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Plains you control to their owner's hand. Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn for each Plains returned this way.



Sideboard:
1 Charge Across the Araba
Charge Across the Araba
Charge Across the ArabaSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
5
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Text:
Sweep - Return any number of Plains you control to their owner's hand. Creatures you control get +1/+1 until end of turn for each Plains returned this way.


The sun had scarcely crossed the treetops when the daily ritual of the kannushi, temple priests, started. Today would be a glorious day indeed for the promise of bunrei hastened their steps and filled their meditations. When a new branch of an already existing shrine is established, the spirit of the deity of the former shrine is divided, and a portion enshrined in the new location. Bunrei then referred both to the act of dividing and to the newly formed branch spirit. A new kami would be born into this world from the essence of the greater one! The kannushi started the Shubatsu no Gi, the ritual purification of the shinsen, food offerings, then the ceremonial objects, the priests and villagers who had come to participate in the ritual and then the area where they stood. As the participants bowed their heads the kannushi recited the Harae-no-Kotoba, the words of purification, calling on the Harae-do-no-OhKami, the Kami of Purification, to cleanse the area of kegare, impurity that may obscure the pure energy of divine nature. The kannushi waved his harai gushi, the wand of purification and the antennae for the Harae-do-no-OhKami to sweep away stagnation but as he passed his wand across the people gathered there a blinding light issued from the end of the wand and engulfed the participants. Those stood on their toes, enraptured, as the light enveloped their entire beings and burned away hair, skin, eyes, leaving only their spirits. The kannushi tried desperately to stop the ritual, to wrench the wand away but tendrils of pure light lashed out from the shrine of Terashi the sun kami and took hold of the wand and broke it. The priest fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face as his vision was obscured by a brilliant flash of light and then everything was silent. Silent except for the moaning of the spirits that had been left behind. The priest got up and shuffled towards the shrine but the spirit of the sun kami no longer inhabited that place. An empty-shrine kannushi was what he was now, as hollow and empty as this temple, he turned towards the lost souls and guided them towards him. He would try to find a way to atone for the sins that the great Terashi had found in their mortal hearts. He would keep vigil, in this empty shrine. This was fifteen years ago. This day the Kami War started.

2 Promise of Bunrei
Promise of Bunrei
Promise of BunreiSet: Saviors of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Text:
Whenever a creature you control is put into a graveyard from play, sacrifice Promise of Bunrei. If you do, put four 1/1 colorless Spirit creature tokens into play.
, 3 Terashi's Grasp
Terashi's Grasp
Terashi's GraspSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
3
Color:
White
Type:
Sorcery
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
C
Number:
26
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Text:
Destroy target artifact or enchantment. You gain life equal to its converted mana cost.
, 3 Empty-Shrine Kannushi

General Nagao halted the column as they neared the shrine to one of the great kami. A withered, old man stood at its steps. The man wore the robes of a kannushi, a temple priest yet they were ill-fitting these days as the years had left the priest gaunt and his frame wracked by old age. He motioned to Nagao to come inside as he shuffled deeper into the shadows. Outside the wind stirred a cloud of dust into the air.

“Why have you brought me here old man?” General Nagao started as he surveyed the inside of the dark building unlit by any lanterns. “I have brought you here because they told me to.” The priest replied, pointing to the shadows where an eerie light started to coalesce into human shapes. Nagao made to draw his sword and defend himself when he felt the old man’s arm on his sword arm, stopping him. “Fear
Fear
FearSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Mark Poole
Text:
Target creature cannot be blocked by any creatures except black creatures and artifact creatures.
not, General. They have told me of your great debt of honor that you carry as a burden inside you. You have done many great deeds to meet this debt but in your heart it is not diminished, the debt remains unpaid. In all things there is a balance of negative and positive, this is your chi, a vital force that is inherent in all things, your debt versus the honor you have gained in trying to repay it. It cries out to those spirits, they sense your purpose and wish to join with you to fulfill this purpose. I will now imbue you with the necessary magics to accomplish your task. My essence, along with these spirits and your chi will form within you a spell which will bridge the gap between the utsushiyo and the kakuriyo, this connection will only last for a moment but that should be enough to bring the great spirit back to its home. Use it well.” The priest finished and as he did so he put his hands together as if in prayer and a gentle glow started from his palms and spread outwards, surrounding Nagao, the priest and the lost souls, they were one with the light, the light and Nagao were one. At the last moment before the priest dissipated he opened his eyes and breathed, “Peace at last.” And with that he and the light were gone.

Nobutada pushed himself off from the ground and dodged another one of the kami’s attacks. The Tail brothers, exhausted well beyond their limits, continued to slash at the greater kami. They had since dispatched the lesser kami but that had only brought the greater spirit, Hokori, Dust Drinker
Hokori, Dust Drinker
Hokori, Dust DrinkerSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lands don't untap during their controllers' untap steps. At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player untaps a land he or she controls.
. They had been fighting a losing battle for what seemed like days now though he knew it had only been hours as the sun had not yet set beyond the trees. General Nagao had entered the temple but had not yet returned. Nobutada turned just in time to dodge a claw swipe. He quickly turned and slashed his katana into the retreating kami yet it passed through the form as if parting sand. Sensei Eight-and-a-Half Tails sat on his haunches, trying to regain his strength as his magic had been pushed to its own limits healing the wounds inflicted by Hokori. “How do you destroy a kami that has no form other than sand and dust?” Nobutada cried out desperately. “Perhaps you should pour some water on him little brother?” Dawn-Tail answered back, his teeth gritted against the dust of the kami’s wake. Nobutada tried to cry out a warning yet Hokori had taken Dawn-Tail by surprise as he simply enveloped the kitsune in a cloud of dust, choking him. The two remaining brothers tried to come to their brother’s aid yet were engulfed themselves. Eight-and-a-Half tails ran to their aid, wrapped once again in protective magics only to be flung away by a claw swipe. Nobutada stood helplessly, when he saw General Nagao step slowly from within the temple. The General drew his katana and advanced on the great spirit. Hokori looked at him mockingly as one would look at an ant about to be squashed. General Nagao lifted his katana into the air then thrust it into the ground and shouted, “My honor intact, my debt repaid!” and a blinding light surrounded the combatants. When it dissipated the landscape was still and there was no sign of the General or the great beast. “They have taken an otherworldly journey.” Eight-and-a-Half Tails breathed. “His debt repaid, those souls freed.” Nobutada helped the old kitsune to his feet and they started to make their way back to Eiganjo.

3 Hokori, Dust Drinker
Hokori, Dust Drinker
Hokori, Dust DrinkerSet: Betrayers of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
White
Type:
Legendary Creature
Sub Type:
Spirit
Rarity:
R
Number:
7
Artist:
Darrell Riche
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Lands don't untap during their controllers' untap steps. At the beginning of each player's upkeep, that player untaps a land he or she controls.
, 3 Otherworldly Journey
Otherworldly Journey
Otherworldly JourneySet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Instant
Sub Type:
Arcane
Rarity:
U
Number:
37
Artist:
Vance Kovacs
Text:
Remove target creature from the game. At end of turn, return that creature to play under its owner's control with a +1/+1 counter on it.


A somber funeral followed by a grand celebration ensued after the survivors related the news. Eight-and-a-Half Tails left along with the thanks of a grateful nation and Nobutada was given much honor and praise for having served the Empress. In his mind’s eye Nobutada heard once again then Captain Nagao’s words as he left his village to join the Daimyo’s men. “Courage, Honor, Indomitable Will
Indomitable Will
Indomitable WillSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
2
Color:
White
Type:
Enchant Creature
Rarity:
C
Number:
17
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
You may play Indomitable Will any time you could play an instant. Enchanted creature gets +1/+2.
” he said to himself as the Empress herself bestowed upon him the rank of Captain and then with a bow to the Empress he left her court.

In the shadows an exchange was made. Gold passed from one to the other as battle plans and tactics switched hands. The pale blue hand of the soratami folded up the parchment and withdrew into his robes. “Many thanks Captain Nobutada, you have done well.” The soratami whispered. “Who would have thought that the honorable and loyal hero of Towabara would turn out to be a spy?” “As long as I am paid well.” Nobutada answered and with that he left.

It had been a long day and Nobutada was desperate for some rest. He went inside his new captain’s quarters and locked the door. He pulled out a dagger and slashed his arm, taking the blood and drawing crude symbols on the floor. He then took off his shirt and stood in the middle of the circle of symbols. He gripped the dagger in both hands and proceeded to slash a line from his navel to his chest. As soon as he did so a dark figure emerged, it had four horns and glowing red eyes of an oni and it sloughed off the skin as one discards a set of clothes. The oni moved his head to the left then the right and stared at the skin of the human he had possessed, oni possession was a skill that he had practiced almost to perfection, melding mind and thoughts to the point that one was indistinguishable from the other. “The Master will be very pleased.” He said to himself as he got down on the floor and started to devour the grisly mass of skin and blood. He had been promised certain things, and as he feasted on the body of Nobutada he licked his lips in anticipation of tasting Nobutada’s soul. After all, he was not one to waste his treats.


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