House Kensei, a Noble house of Old Gelt and entrenched power that stretches back before Horus was the name for evil on the lips and hearts of men.
Like a knife in shadow the House was everywhere, even the wind carried its essence. But when a presence is so omnipotent it is easy to deface, to portray in a far darker manner.
A house of Swordmasters, a house of warriors, a house of Darkness; of Heresy.
Let me tell you of the fall, the darkest act of Jimushi Koga and how it is you have never heard of the house of devils.
House Kensei had humble beginnings as a sword school that taught its ancient arts to anyone who was willing to travel to the school. Located in a remote mountain range not too dissimilar to the Himalayas of ancient Terra. The path of Pilgrimage was fraught with danger and most who attempted to reach the school never made it.
As time passed the Old Masters allowed news to spread of the sword saints and eventually the Planetary Governor, Philano Mearse, reached out to the school for an audience. House Kensei answered and invited the Governor to their humble school and demonstrated to him and his council their art forms. Philano was captivated by the swordsmen and put into motion a series of events that would see the transformation from humble school to noble house.
Over the following centuries the school became integrated in the planet's nobility and as a direct result of this, became host to an ever growing stream of willing students. As time elapsed the selection became more and more elitist, until only wealth or blood would see the doors to House Kensei open.
As part of the House's new found position was tithe fealty, the House was to put select Astra Militarum and Tempestus candidates through a strict training regime who would then pass the teachings on. This was a great honour for the House.
Many centuries later and at the height of the House's power the planet was victim to a brutal invasion by one of the System’s many Murder Cults of Khorne. It would seem word of the Sword Saints had spread to the very Warp itself, and Dark ears had heard the word.
Whilst the invasion was brutal and many thousands were slaughtered by the invaders, when the warriors of House Kensei descended from their mountain, they brought with them the wrath of heaven, and righteous murder was unleashed.
The God of Hate granted his followers many gifts in the coming battles but none could best the warriors of House Kensei, their martial skill a match for that of even of the most blessed scion of the Blood God and their fervour burnt hotter than the fiercest rage of the cultists.
Two of the Noble House's warriors stood apart from their brethren though; Jimushi Koga and Kamui Iga, the prodigal sons of House Kensei.
Throughout their young lives the pair were inseparable, ever pushing one another to greater and greater feats. Their skills were unrivalled even within the hallowed halls of House Kensei. It was said before they had seen eleven summers pass they had practised every possible offensive and defensive movement a sword could make ten thousand times. The Master of the House could not have been prouder of these two paragons of his House's teachings.
During the battle they cut a swathe through the cultists and challenged their leader to single combat. The disciple of Blood God was bitterly enraged by the notion of two mere children challenging him, but he would not deny skulls for his master's throne. The ensuing fight lasted one day and one night, and as the planet's star crested the horizon it was Jimushi's blade that followed and laid the foul cult leader to rest.
It was in this instance young Jimushi Koga's fate was sealed. The Blood God cared not for any of his followers who had been put to the blade, they were weak and were dead because of it. But Jimushi was not weak, Jimushi had spilled blood and taken many lives; his champion’s life. This prize would not escape Khorne, and so it was that with his killing stroke Khorne did curse Jimushi Koga and would name him his new champion.
It was many years later before the seeds of this Dark act began to show their malign influences however, and they were indeed insidious. Not known for subtlety, the Blood God had surmised for his will to come to fruition he would have to be patient. He had gifted Jimushi with a growing bloodlust, knowing the young sword master was a being of inner peace and calm. His curse would take many years to erupt into his violent vision for a champion.
Over a decade later the two boys had ascended to adult hood. Now in their early twenties the two were selected to act as personal body guard to a senior noble of the sector's governing body. Unbeknownst to the two young men and their Master, this was to be a gruelling selection test for the Holy Ordos.
During a routine tithe inspection Inquisitor Felden Heliosz had seen the martial prowess the teachings of House Kensei had bestowed upon the local regiments and was intrigued to find out precisely how skilled the Sword Masters truly were.
Heliosz had planned upon following the completion of his inspection he would follow an investigation into nearby cult activity and trafficking of the Heretical narcotic; Flects within the System. Knowing the cult had made rumblings of taking a member of the sector's government hostage in order to secure passage out of the System, The Inquisitor had all the means to test House Kensei he could have wished for.
Heliosz requested an audience with the Master of House Kensei via the proxy of his interrogator, who posed as the head a of security detail. It was agreed the House would send two of its best students in order to assure the safety of all involved.
Naturally Jimushi and Kamui performed to the exacting standards of the House and Heliosz knew he had found two perfect Acolytes.
Heliosz used his unwavering authority and forced the hand of House Kensei's Master to release the two into his employ. Being a fare man however, Heliosz ensured the Old Master the two would return whenever he could spare them. The Inquisitor did not lie but the Old Master could never have expected his prodigal sons return to be marked in blood.
Further decades past and Kamui had grown increasingly ill at ease with Heliosz’s mission selection, the Inquisitor had gone from being a mild radical to making actions he had considered questionable, almost bordering on heretical. Conversely Jimushi seemed at ease with the Inquisitor’s actions, at times the Swordsman seemed to revel in them; particularly during combat actions.
Kamui had noticed a change in his friend, his brother. Jimushi seemed to have descended from his comrade to a dark, distant, brooding and almost malevolent being who was driven purely by the urge to shed blood. Whilst moving ever farther from the light and their Master’s teachings Jimushi had grown increasingly closer to the Inquisitor. Pained to see his brother changed in such a way Kamui confronted Jimushi, the result of this confrontation would forever split the two and ultimately lead to an event known as the Heliosz Schism.
The chain of events that lead to the Heliosz Schism are known only to the survivors of this darkest of events but what happened next will be remembered forever in some of the most crucifiyingly accurate accounts ever recorded.
Circa 20 years after the schism the two brothers were united again, but not as brothers, as mortal enemies.
The Blood God’s patience had indeed been worthwhile, for Jimushi had transcended from a boy to a rage fuelled star killer. For nearly two decades the surrounding planets had been plagued by a series of brutal massacres. Entire cities laid to waste in what appeared to be mass sacrifices to the God of War and Hate. By the time the Inquisition had caught wind of the events, House Kensei was doomed.
Jimushi’s attacks had appeared random and wild but in fact were guided by his dark master’s hand. For each city laid to ruin, if plotted over the local system’s star chart, made a perfect eight pointed star with the final point indicating House Kensei.
After the schism Kamui had been award the rank of interrogator and served under Inquisitor Corvidae but this relationship became frayed as the pain in Kamui’s heart could not be abated. As such Kamui became a sleeper agent and information broker for the Inquisitor.
Kamui had all but given up, he was ashamed to return to the school, he felt he had failed his House, Master and above all, his brother. Little did he know the mass killings and Heretical shrines he had been hearing whispers of were in the fact the work of his former brother.
Knowing no one could get to House Kensei in time to counter Jimushi’s plan, Inquisitor Corvidae was forced to pull the broken Kamui from his current duties and explain what was to unfold.
Flooded with emotions Kamui moved like the will of The Empror himself toward his old school, his previous home, his former life; his brother.
The Blood God had created maelstrom around the planet and ensured no warnings would reach the House or the planets inhabitants, his champion was to murder the world.
Jimushi had other goals as well, his will was take the artefacts and weapons of his former Master. To take the forbidden teachings his Master had guarded and what had been entrusted to his former House centuries ago. Ancient artificer armour, blessed and heretical weapons of impurity and slaughter. Jimushi would have them all and the stars would bleed his name for his new master’s honour.
Jimushi's presence on the planet poisoned the very atmosphere and by the time he reached the House of Kensei the current students were at war with one another. Jimushi’s rage had infected their very minds, those not strong enough to oppose his murderous will became his Dark Master’s servants.
Kamui, having fought through the Maelstrom in the face of almost certain death, defied the blood God and was not long before joining the battle.
Forced to fight through tears of blistering agony as he stood back to back with his former Master, Kamui bitterly cut down the possessed students of the now cursed house.
Before the sun rose on the second day Jimushi stood before his former Master and friend, a blood soaked effigy of murder and hate, the two wept at the very sight of Jimushi.
Fuelled by pure pain, Kamui flew at his once brother and the two engaged in a beautiful agony of visceral brutality. Kamui strong and fluid, Jimushi rage incarnate. The display would have been spectacular were it not for the lethality. Every clash of blades screamed a cry of unadulterated, raw and savage emotion into the air. With each attack Kamui clenched back tears of utter devastation, with every parry and riposte Koga's rage grew more intense and he howled into the aether.
Unable to bare watching his children fight like this, the Old Master calmly walked toward the fray and with movements utterly untraceable to the naked eye, made a gesture with his blade that saw both men unarmed and tossed like leaves in the wind many meters apart. Unaware of the fate that had befallen Jimushi, the Old Master attempted to reason with his ill begotten son. Kamui cried out a warning to his Master but the second the Old Master did not strike Jimushi down, he was already dead.
Kamui found himself scrambling and attempting to power himself forward using the last of his essence watched in abject horror as Jimushi ripped his Old Master apart with his bare hands.
Kamui dropped to his knees, frozen, empty and utterly lost. He was void, everything he cared about had ripped away. His Master lay mutilated in front of him, his former brother, who he had deep down held hope of being able to save, had just died in front of him as well, his last act sealing the coffin in Kamui’s eyes.
Jimushi reached down with gore entrenched hands and picked up his Old Master’s sword and walked forcefully over to where his former brother was knelt. Kamui seemed utterly oblivious to the approaching threat and without hesitation Jimushi rotated the sword and raised it at an angle ready to cut down and eradicate the last remnant of the House of Kensei from this world.
As the blade came down Kamui felt a fire ignite he thought was long since doused.
The insult of this vile creature that had murdered his Master now wielding his blade was a sin he would not forgive, he could not forgive. He would make the heretic atone.
Heretic, that’s what Jimushi had become, it was clear to him now. A clearness of mind he had not known in decades, his Master was dead, his brother was dead and the heretic stood before Kamui had murdered them both, and now the Heretic was about murder him as well. Kamui decided he was not ready to die, to give up. He was an interrogator of the Holy Ordos, he was an agent of the Throne of Terra and he was faced by an insurmountable Heresy.
In a fraction of time unperceivable to the human mind, Kamui awoke, his hands raised and he struck the blade at the tip with one hand and Jimushi's wrist with the other, he struck both points in opposing directions. The speed and suddenness of the strike threw the now over confident heretic's cut off centre and afforded Kamui a split second to roll to the side and spring back to his feet.
Knowing if he was only to achieve one victory this day, it would be to see that bastard form of Jimushi without his Master’s sword. Kamui attacked.
The resulting fight was over in six steps. In the end Jimushi stood screaming at the stars for strength from his Dark Master and Kamui bellowing at the Heretic to come again.
Kamui had lost his lower right arm,
Jimushi was unarmed.
None can say precisely what transpired between those two souls thereafter, but both live to this day.
Many of the House’s treasures and artefacts were lost during the battle and in the short time after when the Segmentum's officials had declared the site Extremis Diabolis and levelled the remains of the house.
House Kensei has been expunged and redacted from all but the most highly secured Imperial archives and to mention its name is now Heresy.
Many years later Kamui built a modest villa on the grounds of the School and a small shrine to all those who were lost that fateful day.
Kamui eventually returned to active duty and is now a fully-fledged Inquisitor. He has undergone various treatments and Gen-hancements so that he may strike down with the Emperors wrath all who follow in the Blood God’s path. Ever hopeful he would encounter Jimushi Koga once again.
There have been no records of a Jimushi Koga since that fateful day, and all traces of the Murder Cults have all but disappeared from the system. The Holy Ordos have largely been unable to explain this. There is however whispers of a devastating incursion from The Eye of Terror lead by a Berserker who has named himself ‘The Red King'. All records of events associated with this being indicate he is named ‘Kho-Gar’ the Red King. Whilst this may well be coincidence Lord Inquisitor Corvidae has seen fit to despatch Cell Iga to investigate.
One day there will be reckoning, a final showdown between Iga and Koga, and when that day comes Devils and Saints will clash.
May the Emperor Protect us all.
Ever since my original iteration of this many months ago I've wanted to revisit the Characters and have been constantly asking, what happened next!
So here we have it, there's still a lot of dimensions I want to explore and think I've dug myself a considerable lore hole I need to fill and flesh out. Next month Bronislaw Czevak is planning a game and I'd like Inquisitor Kamui Iga to be on the board with a new retinue, so before I blather on anymore;
Inqsuisitor Kamui Iga
Jimushi Koga, The Red King: Kho-Gar