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Yamato Empire (formerly)
Legate Nobuo Iwasaki is the right-hand man of Dreadlord Leraje Thanadar of the Northern Horde. He is often drunk, but despite this he is quite skilled in swordplay. Although he has betrayed his Yamatian heritage by siding with the demons, he is happy to be alive and to advance his military career. He sees working with the demons as a necessary evil to keep his people alive.
Plotting a Coup
Nobuo Iwasaki was born into a low-class Yamatian family. His father and brothers had a military career, so it was only natural that Nobuo would become a warrior of the Yamato Empire. Nobuo's father and a few others were never shy of expressing their opinions about the cowardice and corruption of the current Yamatian government, and this did not please Emperor Takeshi Ofuchi who eventually had Nobuo's father among several other soldiers and officers executed for treason. This disgraced the entire Iwasaki Clan who were forced to flee their ancient family lands along with a few other disgraced clans.
Fate would smile upon the Iwasakis, though, as they happened to find a sanctuary from the lands controlled by the Hyuga Clan. Nobuo quickly became friends with the young Masamori Hyuga and the young Yasunori Amano, and they often sparred together, honing their skills.
As years went by, Masamori began his plan of rising through the ranks. Nobuo and Yasunori supported Masamori who eventually became the Shogun of Yamato. It was around this time that Nobuo got to know one Samachi Nomura, and the two became close friends. The posse of Masamori Hyuga, Nobuo Iwasaki, Samachi Nomura and Yasunori Amano would remain as close comrades for years to come.
The Unification of Yamato
As the Shogun moved to the next phase of his plan and get rid of Emperor Ofuchi, Nobuo was instantly supporting the Shogun as he still remembered what Ofuchi had done to his father. Masamori was successful in taking over Kageshima and assassinating the emperor, and Nobuo was one of the officers leading the charge to the city. Nobuo was not happy when the Shogun formed an alliance with Distreyd Thanadar XII and the Clergy of Mardük, but he respected his old friend's strength and let things be.
Nobuo helped Masamori unite the Yamatian clans under one banner. Yasunori and Samachi became captains and were sent with the main army to invade other countries while Nobuo had to stay behind in Yamato to consolidate the Shogun's rule. Nobuo eventually became a captain too, but he never got to see any of his comrades because Masamori had fallen ill and locked himself into his room in Kageshima while Yasunori and Samachi were busy taking over Remon.
The Great War
Years passed, and rumours of a Grand Alliance began spreading. The news reached Yamato rather late, but they were shocking nevertheless: a paladin named Marcus Sarillius had united dwarves, elves and men under one banner, liberated Remon from Yamatian rule and was now heading for Maar Sul. The Great War had begun, catching the Yamatians completely by surprise, because they had not expected any gaijin to be capable of gathering a sizable army in such short notice.
Nobuo was glad to hear that Samachi had managed to escape from the angry Remonians alive, but Yasunori had not been so lucky. Nobuo learned that Yasunori had been involved in the Battle of Folsworth Woods during which he had been betrayed by his allies. He also heard that a woman with a large scar on her face had slain Yasunori in a dishonourable way.
Nobuo became angry after he heard of his friend's death, and he used his spies to find out the identity of Amano's killer. Eventually he discovered that the scarred woman was called Axikasha Keiran. However, the woman had disappeared without a trace in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Myridia, and Nobuo assumed she had met her end. The death of Yasunori Amano would keep haunting Nobuo, and he began drinking more heavily.
The Grand Alliance eventually attacked Yamato in order to defeat the Yamatians for good, and Nobuo was reunited with Samachi. The two fought fiercely but despite their efforts they were forced to retreat until they had their final stand in the Second Battle of Kageshima.
It was then that the dark god Mardük appeared and released the demons into Yamato to fight against the Grand Alliance. Nobuo and his allies did not benefit from this for long, though, because the Godslayer appeared and devoured Mardük, thus making the now leaderless demons run amok.
Nobuo and Samachi were separated in the chaos as the demons began attacking both their forces and the Grand Alliance with equal ferocity. The Grand Alliance fled Yamato quickly, leaving the Yamatians fend for themselves against the superior and bloodthirsty hordes of demons. Nobuo eventually ended up with a young boy who turned out to be Distreyd Thanadar XIII, and they led a large group of Chaos Dwarves in the defense of a castle in Northern Yamato.
When all hope seemed lost, an archdemon named Malphas d'Xuvadon appeared. He promised to spare the civilians and soldiers of the castle if they became his slaves. Seeing no other option, Distreyd XIII and Nobuo accepted the terms and became servants of the Northern Horde.
Nobuo knew that he would be betraying his Yamatian ideals by serving the vile demons and that he might end up facing his old friend Samachi if the man was still alive. However, the demons offered free booze and also let officers rise through the ranks more easily than in the service of the Shogun, so the pros outweighed the cons in Nobuo's mind. He would continue serving in the horde's ranks, slowly gaining more power and prestige.
On Death's Trail
- "Sir, if I may, Captain Nomura is a skilled strategist, and it wouldn't be unlike him to use a clever plan to lure us into a trap. He--"
- "A clever plan? From a lesser being? Don't make me laugh!"
- —Nobuo and Leraje Thanadar
Nobuo went to inform his superior officer, Dreadlord Leraje Thanadar, that his scouts had found an Akai Tora encampment nearby. It was also a personal matter for Nobuo, because apparently the leader of that rebel group seemed to be none other than his old friend Samachi Nomura. Leraje ordered him to just send some forces to the camp and exterminate the rebels, but Nobuo tried to argue that Samachi would be the sort of person who preferred to lure his enemies into a trap.
Leraje scoffed at Nobuo's belief in the cunning of the Akai Tora and claimed that no lesser being can ever be as cunning or powerful as a demon. The Dreadlord demonstrated this by killing his slave girl in a brutal manner. He offered the girl's eyeballs to Nobuo who refused politely. Content with seeing Nobuo's frustration, Leraje sent him back to the barracks to get the troops ready.
The Winds of Wrath
- "This is the opportunity we've been waiting for, Iwasaki!"
- "If we leave immediately, we'll reach Vanna by dawn."
- —Nobuo and Leraje Thanadar
Nobuo followed Leraje and the army of the Northern Horde to Southern Libaterra to conquer the land. They took over many southern towns, including Kilm as they prepared for the final push against the big city of Vanna which stood in the middle of the Libaterran desert.
He witnessed the arrival of Iblis al-Djinn and Awar to the camp and saw how Leraje brutally slew Iblis once he had made Iblis spill out what sinister plans the Southern Horde, whose agent Iblis was, had in mind for Vanna. Realizing that time was of the essence, Leraje ordered Nobuo to prepare the men for a long march ahead. They had to conquer Vanna before the Southern Horde would figure out that the Northern Horde was interfering with its plans.
Nobuo reached Vanna with the army of the Northern Horde and participated in the ensuing Battle of Vanna.
Nobuo is starting to get old, and his constant drinking has left its marks. He often looks like a haggard tramp with weird-looking eyes and a horrible stench. He does try to trim his hair and moustache, but he often has a stubble because he has not bothered to shave his beard when he has had hangovers. He wears the red and black armor of the Northern Horde, but he rarely polishes it nowadays as it gets dirty during various battles that he has been involved in.
Personality and Traits
Nobuo is a drunkard and can be quite obnoxious to anyone who is not his superior. His drunken mannerisms often make him seem like a harmless fool, which is far from the truth because he can be very efficient and brutal when needed. He is frustrated because of his current situation as the slave of demons, but he does his best to keep his soldiers safe in the ever-growing ranks of demons.
Powers and Abilities
Nobuo is an expert swordsman, and he often hides this fact by acting in a random drunken manner and then striking when the opponent becomes more relaxed. He has often caught many of his enemies off-guard, and he seems to fight surprisingly well even when he is drunk. He is a pure warrior and does not know any magic, but he is more than capable of defending himself with his katana and wakisashi.
Distreyd Thanadar XIII
Nobuo cannot stand Distreyd XIII whom he considers to be a mere shadow of Distreyd XII. He considers the Clergy of Mardük to be nothing but deceitful bastards who never fight fairly, and he laments whenever he has to work with Distreyd XIII. The two men tolerate each other, though, and try to avoid talking to one another when possible.
Nobuo is frustrated with Flavius Severus who used to work for the Grand Alliance during the war. Flavius is a prodigy, but Nobuo often thinks that the man's plans are too complicated for straight warfare. He has come to respect Flavius for the creation of various useful weapons of war that Nobuo has eagerly used with promising success. The two do not talk much, but they have learned to co-operate as it is the only way to guarantee survival among bloodthirsty demons.
Nobuo despises Leraje with all his heart. He sees the Dreadlord as a cruel and arrogant being who has arrived at Yamato uninvited. Still, Nobuo has learned to coexist with his cruel master who constantly keeps taunting him. Nobuo still cannot be sure why Leraje tolerates him and why he was chosen to be the Dreadlord's right-hand man when there could have been more capable officers. One of Nobuo's theories is that his drunkenness makes him speak things straight and that Leraje might appreciate such honesty.
Nobuo practically worshipped the Shogun. The two grew up together and taught each other important skills. Nobuo supported Masamori in taking over Yamato, and he remained at the Shogun's side during the years of the Great War. Masamori's fate after the war was unknown, and Nobuo presumed that he had been slain by the demons. Nobuo secretly wishes that someone would become a worthy successor of Masamori, but he thinks that no such person can ever again exist.
Samachi and Nobuo got along well. Nobuo often discussed politics with Samachi who had never been a friend of the Emperor. The two showed extreme loyalty to the Shogun, though, and would have died for him. Samachi disappeared in the aftermath of the Great War but resurfaced as a commander in the Akai Tora. This made him and Nobuo, who served the Northern Horde, into conflict, and they have not been able to talk because they are on opposite sides. Nobuo sees Samachi as a fool for clinging to old honour codes, and Samachi sees Nobuo as a traitor.
Captain Amano was a dear friend of Nobuo. The two shared similar backgrounds with fathers who had died by Emperor Ofuchi's hand, and they both grew up admiring the skill and strength of the Shogun. Amano's death affected Nobuo deeply as he began drinking as soon as he heard the news. He has never quite recovered from it as he never got a chance to avenge his friend's death.