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Tuesday Screenshot

The Command Tent, 29 May 2012



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As Itsuki struggled to tread water he searched his mind trying to figure out how it had come to this. Just five days earlier, Itsuki had been assigned to a Minamoto Bow Kobaya ship. Having grown up along the coast, his knowledge of ships and his skill with a bow qualified him for naval service. After two days of training, Itsuki’s ship along with two others set out on patrol up the coast in search of Taira vessels. After three days of spotting nothing but fishing boats, two Taira scout vessels were spotted emerging from the early morning mist.

Immediately, the Minamoto ships began to pursue their Taira enemies. As Itsuki and the other men readied their bows and prepared for combat they seemed confident of an easy victory over their outnumbered foes. The Minamoto ships quickly gained on the Taira ships when suddenly both Taira ships slowed and broke their formation. One turned left and the other right, both circling back around to attack the lead Minamoto ship. Itsuki’s ship was third in line and followed the first two Minamoto ships into the crossfire. As the Taira ships came into range, Itsuki and his fellow bowmen unleashed a volley of arrows, half of which fell short of their intended targets and splashed harmlessly into the sea.

Already undermined by splitting their fire between the two Taira ships, the lack of accuracy from the Minamoto ships did not help their cause. As Itsuki notched another arrow a shout went up and, as he looked skyward, the air was filled with fire. Quickly diving behind the limited cover afforded by the deck of the ship, Itsuki watched in horror as Taira fire arrows rained down among his fellow bowmen. Both Taira ships now targeted Itsuki’s ship while the other two Minamoto ships labored to come about and reengage the enemy ships.

A second volley of fire arrows from the Taira ships, just as accurate as the first, fell among the Minamoto bowmen succeeding in lighting the deck of the ship afire. Within seconds the fire began to spread across the deck and another volley of fire arrows decided the issue. With the deck of the ship engulfed in flames, the order was given to abandon ship. Not having to be told twice, Itsuki and the other surviving bowmen leapt from the fiery ship into the frigid water. As Itsuki treaded water the heat of the fire from the burning ship upon his face snapped him back to reality. Quickly turning from the doomed ship, Itsuki began to swim to shore. As he did he could see the two unscathed Taira ships attacking the second Minamoto ship while the third appeared to be fleeing back down the coast. Upon nearing the shore to the dismay of Itsuki he could see Taira soldiers waiting on the beach, forcefully dragging any survivors out of the surf.


from Shogun 2 - Total War

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