One Empire, One Brotherhood

{This is an excerpt from Black Ninja Handbook, by the Dark Lords.}

One Empire, One Brotherhood

Historically, the Ninja of Iga and Koka Provinces developed a concept they called Ichigun Ichimi—One District, One Band. This became the motto of the loose-knit brotherhood of Ninja clans that existed there, in the historical heartland of the Ninja. Natori Masatake explains this idea in the Shoninki:

Later, the people from Koka, next to Iga, followed this path of ninjutsu and having made the oath of Ichigun Ichimi, the friendship oath of “one district and one band,” joining the people together. They went out expansively to various provinces to utilize their skills. Thus, being universally recognized as the premier shinobi, they exchanged a firm written form of oath, which says “If I come to where you are, you should show me everything of your province, and if you come to where I am, I will show you everything about my province.” By doing this, it is said they should show that their family tradition was extraordinarily exquisite and outstanding and also show the marvel of their tradition of ninjutsu, at its best. However, being asked what they should do regarding the offspring of shinobi, or if a complete stranger comes along without recognition, there is a traditional way of constructing a torch within the clan. You should regard this torch as evidence, so that you should never suspect anyone who bears it.

In other words, the Ninjas of any clan that took this oath were willing to share secret knowledge with each other, provided they could prove their belonging in the Ichigun Ichimi brotherhood by demonstrating a secret Ninja skill. Thus a Ninja secret society was created, which helped them to survive amidst the larger samurai-dominated society.

Similarly, the Black Ninja will have a loose brotherhood of Clans, each of which maintains its independence, but agrees to share its knowledge and offer assistance to members of other allied Clans. Collectively, these clans form a secret society that is loyal to the Dark Lords’ new order, called the Empire. Their slogan, spoken in the Black Tongue of Borgâl, reads:

Gûm Kârzath, Gûm Gâzûl

{ One Empire, One Brotherhood }

Every Clan who belongs to our Brotherhood should display this slogan in their dojo. Written vertically in our Hârzad script, it looks like this:

Dred Nightstalker paints the “One Empire, One Brotherhood” slogan for his dojo: