Hachiman - God of War

By Edward May.

      Back in a time, long before the rise of man's great technological marvels, and before the cataclysm had shaken the Earth, the Japanese people worshipped an every growing number of Gods and Goddesses. It was a magical era for these people where wizards, magic, and the might of steel all existed simultaniously. The Gods were not unreachable dieties man could not associate with, in fact men frequently interacted with these Gods on varying levels. Men and women in this land could even become dieties - if they lived their lives in such a way as to become noteworthy enough. Hachiman's story is perhaps the most known of these amazing stories of ascention from the mortal coil to the height of Godhood.

      Hachiman was born to this world as Ojin Tenno, the son of Jingo, the Empress of Japan, and Chuai, the Emperor of Japan. Even in this early stage of life, he was associated in a way with war. Shortly after conception his father died a mysterious death. This left his mother to complete the conquest of the Korean Kingdoms. Instead of waiting until she bore her child, she insisted of Ojin, while he was still in her motherly womb that he not be born until the campaign were finished. How it happened - nobody rightly knows, but in fact he remained in the womb until the Kingdoms were defeated. He was born mere hours after his mother returned to Japan - born with a birthmark of an archers pad on his arm, all the more to indicate the omens for this boy's future.

      Growing up, Ojin was a bright, fearless child who was wise beyond his years and a grand strategist. He did all he could to learn the ways of the sword and the bow, spending vast portions of his days dedicated to these pursuits. He didn't stop with these however, he also learned the ways of the court and the politics of running a nation very early on. It was apparent that although serious when it counted, he could also be counted on to relax from time to time - being a notorious drinker, who was reputed to slip out of the palace from time to time to go bar hopping!

      Once his mother died and left him to the throne, Japan of the time flourished. Technology and culture increased by leaps and bounds. He even insisted that Korean and Chinese scholars be brought over to teach his son and all the members of court of history, Confucious, and especially literacy. His main legacy, however, was war - Ojin waged several successful military campaigns both at home and abroad. This earned him a truly undying respect and reverence with the people of Japan, and with their dieties.

      When he finally died at a ripe old age, he was entombed in an elaborate burial mound - with all his prized possessions of the age. On the day that they cast the final bit of earth onto the top of the mound, a great earthquake did ensue - and the center of the burial mound collapsed inward - as he and all his possessions mysteriously slipped away. Unbeknownst to the tomb builders - he had transcended this world into the heavens. His divinity assured, Ojin was to become a God.

      At first, Ojin simply did not know what to make of it. Approached by the leading diety of his faith - Amaterasu - he was offered the ability to be the power for the people as the Divine Protector of the Japanese people. His first few centuries as a diety were rather unremarkable, spent in training - learning the ways of magic, gaining in power, and offering assistance to this warrior or that looking towards the heavens asking for help from any who would hear his pleas. He would do this in this realm as well as a handful of others. Before long, he was known by the name Hachiman - the God of War. A couple of centuries after he began, a monk had a dream - revealing that this God of War was one in the same with their Emperor Ojin.

      Hachiman gradually grew in power among the Japanese people, as he tweeked events to lead the people into an age of militarism. Warriors around the world were the leading class of people - but none so like Japan, led by the warrior class known by the now infamous name - Samurai.

      As time wore on, he represented warriors on both sides of various civil wars in Feudal Japan. It was not until the two attempted invasions of the Mongols - that he truly got to flex his muscle as the divine protector of Japan. Twice the Mongols sent overwhelming numbers of Mongol, Chinese, and Korean warriors - twice they were met and fought to a standstill by the Samurai, and twice Hachiman summoned a mighty storm to destroy the invaders in their ships. In doing so, Hachiman grew to be one of the most worshipped dieties in Japan.

      It was growing so that he was no longer even worshipped as just a God of War. He was also worshipped by the average Peasants praying for a successful crop, worshipped by fishermen for him to fill their nets. At about this point Hachiman surpassed all but Amaterasu, the leading diety of the Pantheon, in terms of power.

      This in and of itself caused problems. With the God of War being so highly valued among the Japanese people, so too was the value of war itself. Thus in his name, the Japanese waged a war against the chinese in the late 1800s. Hachiman again emerged as the hero of it all, both among his worshippers, and among his contemporaries. Cheered on by this success, he continued. Again in the the Early 1900s Hachiman prompted the series of events that led to a humiliating defeat of Imperial Russia, in the Russo-Japanese war. In the aftermath of this war, Japan then annexed Korea into their sphere of influence. A few years after this, Japan joined the Allies in fighting the Central Powers during the Great War - the first world war. Again Hachiman's guidance led the Japanese to victory. Another war would be waged against the Russians and then again the Chinese, in which the Japanese were victorious - but that was before World War II.

      By this time, the military was almost completely autonomous of the regular government - the second war against Russia being fought even without government conscent. How this translated in the heavens was quite simply this - Hachiman had grown so bold - he no longer waged wars only at the orders of Amaterasu and her decendents on Earth. Hachiman felt that he was above that now - he was after all the Divine Protector of Japan. Although she would have liked to have reign him in, Amaterasu knew he had grown so much so in power - even she would be hard pressed to stop him.

      By the time the late '30s rolled around, Japan controlled most of China, Manchuria, Korea, Taiwan (Formosa), and many islands in the Pacific. There was, however, trouble on the horizon. Japan had only a modest stockpile of necessary supplies to continue to wage war due to a trade embargo held over Japan by many of the other world powers. With the proper battle plan, Hachiman believed he could sieze those necessary supplying territories, and continue his war ... a war to hand control of the world to the people of Japan.

      This was the mind set of Hachiman when the attacks against the Dutch East Indies and Pearl Harbor occurred early in December of 1941. Then, unexpectedly in February of 1942, the most strange thing happened. A squadron of sixteen American planes flew over Japan and bombed it. It was not a shattering blow, nor was there even that much damage inflicted - but it revealed that Japan could be put in harms way. Still Hachiman pressed on ... to his folly. In June of 1942, the attack that was to be the first in the long line of attacks leading towards the invasion of the Americas, was defeated before it began. Somehow the Americans had deciphered the code that Hachiman himself had initiated with designers that should have been unbreakable, and the Japanese fleet was caught at sea. The pride of Japan, the best of the Navy, the best of their pilots, their elite invasion force - crippled, and much of it laying at the bottom of the Pacific. This began Hachiman's first defeat.

      Soon the forces of Japan were in full retreat, being pressed back ... and back ... from every front. That was until only Japan itself was holding out. Hachiman prepared his noble people for a great war that would see the barbarians of America running back to their homes. He prepared for this invasion, by readying the Kamikaze to wipe out the invading Americans as he had the hoardes of Mongols on two occasions in history. This invasion would never occur however. In August of 1945 two Atomic bombs - the first in history - were dropped on Japan, utterly obliterating the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This infuriated Hachiman, but behind his mask of fury was glimmer of fear. He now faced an enemy who has arrows capable of destroying entire cities - while he is without even a bow that can strike the enemy at his heart. Still though, he was the divine protector of Japan - he would not surrender. He turned to Amaterasu for her blessing in this battle - which he will fight and win or die trying, only to be startled by her response. She sent word to the Emperor, her own decendent - for him to surrender unconditionally to the Allies.

      Hachiman was FURIOUS! He couldn't understand, WHY surrender? Every other time war had ever come to Japan, the defense of the homeland was the rock upon which the wave dashed itself to oblivion. What followed then, was remembered well by all the Shinto dieties present. Amaterasu berated Hachiman for his foolishness in waging this war against a powerhouse that was far greater in numbers and resources and weapons than they themselves were. She called him a fool, and a disgrace to the title as divine guardian of Japan. She proclaimed at that moment that he would NEVER grow to have such power in her pantheon again. Then she told him to leave her sight - and never approach her again.

      Hachiman left her sight, and brooded for a time. He wept openly as he watched the surrender signed on the foreign warship in Japanese waters. The declaration of the Emperor stating that he was not of divine origins only made matters worse. True to Amaterasu's words, the worship of Hachiman continued to a great degree - but not in the same fashion, and not in the same seriousness. His power dwindled to a fraction of his former greatness until few ever uttered his name. After his defeat, Japan never did go to war again as a nation.

      Hachiman went out into the cosmos and created his own diefic realm, populating it with his few faithful remaining on Earth, and the faithful of a half dozen other realms he had grown to be known within. About fifty years after he had created this, the cataclysm on Earth began. Hachiman was stunned by this event, and naturally he rushed back to witness what was occurring. As is natural of any God he opened his mind to prayers, and heard a miriad of them spoken to his contemporary dieties. Only one voice - one singular voice spoke out in prayer to him. A soldier in the Japanese Self Defense Force named Tamiya Dogu, prayed to him - asking him for the strength to battle a monster from one of the RIFTS. Hachiman's heart fluttered that any would remember him and call on him as what he was intended - a God of War. He granted this man his wish, and made him a favourite.

      Afterwards, he returned to his realm and began to brood over the past half millenium, when an idea sparked in his mind. His life as a diety was ideal - perfect - until the Americans came along. His victory in World War II SHOULD have been complete. At this point he should rule at least half this world, and yet all he can call upon is one man. He decided with this thought - that he would have further use of this man in the future. HE would be the key to reattaining his rightful place - and with it to make his vengence over the Americas complete.

      From Dogu, grew a line of men who each called upon Hachiman as their patron diety. In time this family line eventually grew into power to be at the helm of a minor Daimyo in the northern portion of what would later be the New Japanese Empire. While the majority of Japan worshipped a handful of the original Shinto Gods and Goddesses along side of Buddhist dieties, only this Daimyo called upon Hachiman as he was intended. Although Hachiman had an entire realm to himself full of his faithful servants, this Daimyo was a prized possession of his on Earth.

      In 98PA the 12th decendant of Tamiya Dogu's line, Tamya Toryu was killed by a mysterious wasting disease - leaving his Daimyo to the hands of his protege and eldest son who was also known as Toryu. Toryu was an aggressive individual, who was hungry for glory and victories that would endear him to the new Emperor of Japan. This made him a favourite to Hachiman.

      When a mysterious series of attacks that resembled Dragon's Fire began to occur, Toryu began to train his own personal division of Samurai in the ways of Dragon Combat. A nearby mountain face was believed to be a nesting sight for numerous species of dragons, and as such that would be their target. (In fact it was a modest meeting place for a half dozen dragons who were great explorers of the megaverse.) Naturally, Hachiman encouraged this action. When it came time to begin the attack, Toryu and the majority of his forces left the Daimyo to go destroy these dragons once and for all. He left with approximately 600 retainers and Samurai, and about twice that number of armed peasants. About three quarters of the way there they were suddenly attacked by a massive force of Oni who believed the Samurai incursion was meant against them, as they were the proclaimed rulers of "The Zone". Ironically, this force of Oni - were led by a number of dragons. Their folly revealed, they were caught in a massive killing box - being annihilated from all sides. Only a handful including Toryu managed to break free, and headed back for their Daimyo. Hachiman was stunned - as even he realized that he was mistaken.

      The Oni followed the survivors back to the Daimyo, and with the small number of defenders present - managed to steam roll over them. The entire Daimyo leadership was captured, many without a fight disgracing them horribly. All of them - but one. The one member of the Daimyo family not captured, was the younger brother of Toryu. He fought with a savage fury, with blinding speed, and incredible strength. Even as he came face to face with an adult dragon, he raised his swords and shouted a battle cry. This action moved Hachiman - and so he spared him with a carefully opened portal, that led him to a random place on Earth. This man was none other than Tamya Nyan.

      Nyan managed gradually to make his way to North America, gaining in experience, and expertise in the use of his swords. It was not too terribly long before the name Nyan became a household name - the stuff of legends. Few swordsmen could ever hope to hold a candle to his skills. It was then that Hachiman began his next moves. He went to Baffin Island in the old Nunavut province in Canada. With the help of an old acquaintence Kiraboshi, he was able to cast a spell over the land that would last for five hundred years. This spell would alter the climate of Baffin Island, and make it grow as though it were the home land of Japan. Animals were transplanted there, and overnight 200,000 of Hachiman's most loyal were brought to this world. Once this was complete, he made his appearance to Nyan and asked him to help him build a mighty Empire. Nyan, ever the humble servant of Hachiman, obeyed and embarked on a massive campaign to gather up supplies, equipment, builders, and worshippers to populate the whole of what would become Kyatashiro.

      About fifteen years have passed since, and Hachiman has helped to build what may be the most powerful Navy in the world - the Allied Naval Fleet, and an impressive army as well. With 500,000 people living in Kyatashiro, it is the most powerful founding member of the Alliance - and undeniably the most warlike. He did not participate in the Tolkeen War primarily because he knew that it could NOT be won with the foolhardy leadership of the Tolkeenite elite. (Although he claims that IF he were in control, he would have been able to lead Tolkeen to a complete victory over the Coalition States.) In the near future he plans to continue to expand his already noteworthy military forces. The first large scale conflict he plans to partake in, however, is the Vampire Wars. The primary attraction - manpower and natural resources. Mexico is rich in both commodities, and both commodities are useful to a nation that has such plans for expansion. Eventually with the Alliances citizen numbers bolstered with the dominion status of the Mexican Kingdoms, he plans a full out invasion of North America. Naturally, the other members of the Alliance are completely oblivious to these plans.

Page 2 - Hachiman's Stats

Questions?|Gods of the RRVGG|SirTenzan's RIFTS Gallery