Last time we covered the first five fire characters in Engage Knights and today we’re finishing the last five.
Known to be the greatest swordsman in Japan’s history, we can’t be exactly sure how much we know about Musashi Miyamoto is actually true. Spending much of his life as a traveling swordsman, we do know he was likely undefeated with at least sixty different duels across his years. To put things into perspective, Ito Ittosai was another well known swordsman from the era, second only to Musashi for sheer number of victories. He had only thirty three. There’s too many possible tales to tell so I’ll stick to the main two things Musashi was known for, the first being dual wielding, as you’ll notice in the card’s favor text. Musashi’s writings on the matter are rather nebulous in his book, The Book of Five Rings, but he generally regards wielding a sword with two hands to be cumbersome and difficult to move freely. On the other hand, using two swords allows for far greater movement on difficult or unstable terrain or while on horseback. Moreover, he apparently held his swords a bit oddly, both single wield and dual wielding, he kept his index finger floating, middle finger neither tight nor loose, and ring and pinky in a hard grip. That apparently enabled a lot of flexibility he highly valued in his style without ever losing strength in his slashes. However, if you look at the card art, Musashi has an oar, that’s because one of his most famous stories is that he beat a trained swordsman with just an oar. One variation of the tale goes that he took a boat to where his opponent was, Sasaki Kijiro, The Demon of the Western Provinces, during high tide. Sitting on the beach, he took one of the oars and cut himself a new blade that reached slightly longer than a traditional long sword. Angering his opponent by showing up late and with a mockery of a blade, Musashi promptly defeated Sasaki using the slight bit of unexpected reach his oar had and proceeded to high tail it out of there on the boat with the low tide pulling out before Sasaki’s followers could catch him.
Otherwise known as Pachakutiq Inka Yupanki, Pachacuti had probably one of the single coolest names ever, meaning “He who overturns space and time”. It was a very deserving name considering that he was arguably the most influential and powerful of the Incan Emperors, having numerous military victories. His first and most well known battle was when the Chanka, another tribe in Peru, attacked his home. His father and brother fled, leaving him to hold the ground alone. Despite overwhelming odds, he turned the tide into a massive victory and drove off the opposing army. Thus he lost his given name of Cusi Yupanqui and gained the title Earthshaker for his defense was so great that even the stones stood up to fight alongside him. Then, being acknowledged as the best possible successor to his father, he became emperor and promptly expanded the Incan Tribe into a proper empire while leaving everything stable. That, in turn, let his son, Tupac, expand even further outward north, into modern day Ecuador and Colombia. Pachacuti was so well loved and adored by his people, he gained the title of “Son of the Sun”, which is pretty much the equivalent to Jesus Christ for the Incans, except way better at war. He was also notable for being the first of his family lineage to retire peacefully instead of getting murdered, assassinated, executed, or so forth.
Saladin is prominent figure in Muslim history, who, like many of the other Vingolf figures, was really good at war. He was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria as well as founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. His greatest military feat was scoring a decisive victory against the crusading forces that had originally invaded the Middle East to take back the holy land. With the Battle of Hattin in 1187 won by him, he forced the crusaders back and opened the way for allies to push them further back until most of the holy lands were won back and the invading forces were pushed back out. This eventually lead to the Third Crusade with forces coming back in such amounts that Saladin couldn’t defeat them. However, using his political skills, managed to negotiate a deal that allowed the Muslims to keep control of Jerusalem. Despite this defeat, it hardly tarnished his long history of victories, including several battles in Egypt and Syria. He also befriended the sect known as the Assassins, the same ones that the Assassin’s Creed series is based on, back before the group managed to kill so many political figures that they made their name into a commonly used word. On top of everything else, Saladin was a very religious and generous man and well celebrated as a result. By the time his death came, he had given away nearly all of his possessions to his poor subjects. As a result, there was no money left over for a funeral, so he went quietly and humbly.
Sun Tzu’s actual name was Sun Wu. Sun Tzu is actually an honorific meaning “Master Sun”, though not literally sun. Despite being incredibly well known for his writing, The Art of War, we’re aren’t actually sure if Sun Tzu existed or if his book is merely a gathering well known ideas published under a single pen name. He does have quite a few stories attached to his name, one of the more famous of which was when the King of Wu tested Sun Tzu’s abilities as a leader by telling hi to train one hundred and eighty concubines. After splitting them into two groups, he appointed a leader to both and had them all face right. When they failed, he explained to the two lead concubines that if a soldier fails to follow an order, it was the general’s fault, his own at the moment. So he gave the order again and when they failed, he had the two lead concubines executed. As a result, both groups performed far better, training efficiently now that they knew what would happen to them is they disobeyed. Sun Tzu’s writing is similarly focused on not just war, despite the name, but general administration and strategy for all things involving leadership. Because of its Taoist view on management, it has been often times required reading in Asian countries due to its unique perspective and take on a variety of common situations. However, even now the book is gaining popularity among executives in the West.
Sir William Wallace was a rebel of Scotland that spearheaded the fight against England’s King Edward I. The conflict started up when Edward forced the Scottish king John de Balliol off the throne and declared himself king of Scotland. Already very unpopular with the Scottish people, this pushed many of them into in action, including Sir William. Eventually, English forces moved in and the true rebellion sparked when William’s small and out numbered forces came face to face with the occupying Englsh forces. Using tactical positioning and forcing the English troops through a small choke point, he was able to pull out an unlikely victory, resulting in the people of Scotland finally believing they could defeat England. With that, they eventually pushed Edward’s forces out of the country and enjoyed several months of peace, resulting in him being knighted. However, the English forces returned and William’s troops suffered a defeat in the Battle of Falkirk, quickly stripping him of his military status. After that, he worked as a diplomat for a short while, garnering the French to their side, though even that went awry when the French turned against them and pushed the English back into ruling Scotland again. William was eventually captured and executed. Despite, twenty three years later, Scotland finally won its Independence from England with a treaty, catapulting Sir William Wallace back into popularity as a figure for freedom and resilience, permanently putting him among Scotland’s greatest heroes.