Hō no shikkō Samurai
They are warriors who seek to destroy forbidden knowledge, they are destined to years it from these lands in which their empress protects. And they will do so no matter the cost.
The Hō no shikkō Samurai are an elite warrior taskforce of Shikyuo tasked by the empire with seeking out and destroying any remnant of the Odegai people and their history, including those individuals that still practice Odegai ways. These warriors were first instituted by the 2nd Toshitsuga Emperor of the current Era when rumours started to spread about how things may not be as they seem, and that the Odegai people may not have been as vile as once believed. In order to counteract these rumours, the Hō no shikkō Samurai were formed and sent out to cull these rumours. They did so swiftly and efficiently, within a year of their formation they had eradicated these rumours and put enough fear into the land that even those that remembered the rumours would be too afraid to share them. Once this had been completed the Emperor decided that instead of disbanding them he would give them a new task, one that they would continue to work at to this very day. They would be tasked with the retrieval and destruction of any Odegai artifact, teaching, or evidence that put stress on the founding stories of the nation developed by the lords of the Toshitsuga rule. As well, the Hō no shikkō Samurai could be called upon by any Emperor or lord whenever their brutal services were required. They are a popular tool in the arsenal of the current ruler of Shikyuo, Empress Toshitsuga Hatsuto. Eventually, their duties would include the eradication of the Heiwa Ronin as well, a group of wandering ronin that practice old Odegai ways. The Hō no shikkō Samurai would be responsible for driving the Heiwa Ronins to near extinction, though some still survive to this day. They are feared across the land for their swift and often brutal violence, burning and destroying anything that harbours forbidden knowledge or poses even the smallest threat to the Toshitsuga rule.
The Hō no shikkō travel across the lands of Shikyuo, entering into each of the provinces as they see fit, collecting and destroying any holder of forbidden knowledge found in the area. None even think of trying to stop them, even local authorities must bend to their will, as these samurai have been placed above the law. They have been granted clemency from their actions as a way of empowering them towards their given tasks. This samurai force has abused this right for generations, entering into small villages only to leave them mere hours later smouldering and reduced to ash. Often this occurs because of hearsay and rumours that an artifact may lie there. Regardless of whether or these rumours are true the Hō no shikkō Samurai find it more efficient burn it all done than to spend weeks in the village investigating the case. This occurs more often in smaller villages or remote settlements, as there are limits to what the empress can avert her eyes to. As such the Hō no shikkō will conduct more subversive investigations when stationed in larger cities, as they don't wish to raise the hackles of their empress. Since their beginnings of the Hō no shikkō their numbers have only grown in number, with each province of Shikyuo harbouring hundreds of these warriors. Most have been drafted into the service of the Hō no shikkō for their penchant and skill in combat and tactics, with many of their forces being compromised of experienced military soldiers. As such, there are no common soldiers holding rank in the Hō no shikkō, all are warriors of high regard and experience. The size of these roaming bands of Hō no shikkō differs depending on the region but can be commonly found in groups of six to a dozen. These groups will always include a captain, in charge of the entire group, and a lieutenant who holds sway over the remaining soldiers if the captain is pre-occupied. The Hō no shikkō are brutal combatants, and it is extremely rare to find any that follow non-lethal combat tactics or styles. They use extreme and brutal force in order to quell any potential threat, and will not think twice before burning down a home or slaying commoners that get in their way.
Legacy of Destruction
Tools of Hō no shikkō SamuraiHō no shikkō Samurai use a large arsenal of armour and weaponry, carrying with them everything and anything that may be of use in their various sieges and attacks. It is a common sight to see large wagons of supplies, weapons, and tools being hauled behind Hō no shikkō squads. They use an assortment of weapons, but most of the Hō no shikkō opt for the katana as their primary weapon, though others have opted for heavier weapons like the Kanabo or Sasumata. Other weapons commonly carried by these samurai include the Kanabo, Mitsubishi, Horokubiya, and the Hiya Taihou, a destructive cannon that can fire large projectiles to weaken structures or decimate groups of enemies. The Hō no shikkō Samurai also opt to wear heavy and ornate armours, they do so for two purposes. The first is to provide them with increased defensive capabilities, as they tend to avoid subtle tactics in favour of sudden and overwhelmingly brutal encounters; they often find themselves in the middle of multiple combatants during combat. The second reason is to instill fear into those that see them coming, their armour being adorned with dragons, demons, and beasts. Hō no shikkō Samurai always carry with them something that indicates who they are, as their name carries much weight in Shikyuo. This often includes clothing emblazoned with their symbol, flags carried by their horses, and some have even had their symbol pressed into the hilts of their blades.
Path of the BerserkerIt is rare for an enforcer to follow a pacifist's life, most would rather follow the path of least resistance and destroy their foes by crushing, slicing, or burning without pause on what the outcome may be. They will fight in order to remove their foes from battle quickly, even if it maims or kills their opponent.