Ninja All Stars
Ninja Battles In the Mystical Realm of Kagejima
Welcome to the island of Kagejima and the Kingdom of the Moon. Build a team from six mighty clans, each with its own strategies and traditions on how to walk the ninja’s path. Employ all of your skill and strategy to survive the Moon Princess’s challenges and emerge victorious against your rivals. Guide the growth of your team, and prove it worthy of serving the Moon Princess as protectors of Kagejima.
In Ninja All-Stars, 2 – 4 players compete in a series of challenges. Between games, ninja earn experience to gain new abilities and combat aptitudes. Ninja All-Stars features stunning, fully assembled Soda Pop miniatures and an exciting community-driving, league style of gameplay. Build a team of elite ninja and compete for honor and glory!
The Kingdom of the Moon
When Ameratsu dipped her jeweled spear into the world’s sea it is said that each blessed droplet, falling like pearls from the blade as it was withdrawn, became the lands of man and beast in the dark waters. Among these hallowed pearls, a black pearl formed and fell away into the sea—unseen and obscured. The shadowy isle of Kagejima was thus born into the world shrouded in darkness, moonlight and magic.
The first explorers of this mystical land immediately felt the island’s influence. Hardy and rugged explorers, far from the powers of the Imperial Court and fiercely independent, the people who made Kagejima their home were touched by the island’s magic and the six mystical powers: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Spirit and Void.
Six distinct clans evolved over time, each with their own understanding of the mysterious connection to the land and sea, each possessing their own unique view of the world and their place in it. Their strong beliefs and traditions led to the clans warring for dominion of Kagejima. From this chaos rose a dynasty of rulers that commanded all of the powers of the moon. With the chieftains and wise men of each of the six clans as their advisers and vassals the rulers united Kagejima, creating the first Kingdom of the Moon.
Over the centuries, the Imperial Court attempted to lay claim to the mist-shrouded island, and failing negotiations with the smooth-tongued and wary rulers, tried several ill-fated invasions. Each invasion resulted in tragedy, as if the very gods of oceans and air conspired to send the fleets of the Sun Emperors’ armies to the depths. Those few that did manage to make it to shore were never heard from again.
To halt the bloodshed, the Moon Princess of Kagejima struck a peace accord with the Sun Emperor; offering the service of her finest shinobi from across the kingdom to serve the Emperor in keeping the peace across the lands of the Sun Empire for a time of one year. Each year a new group of shinobi are sent to assist the Emperor. To be chosen to serve is a great honor that benefits the clan whose skilled warriors are selected with the Moon Princess’s favor.
At the apex of summer each year, when the nights are balmy and the moon shines huge in the sky, all the clans send aspiring warriors to participate in the Moonlight Tournament. The tournament lasts the month between the full moons. The shinobi lurk, sneak, and battle in organized games of cunning and skill to outsmart and defeat their rivals, winning honor, and the favor of the Moon Princess. The tournament has the added benefit of providing an outlet for internecine clan conflict, reducing the infighting and assassinations that the squabbling clans can easily fall into.
Kagejima is a large island nation—a short gulf away from the island Empire of the Sun—shrouded in mists and darkness, and protected by harsh seas and terrible sea monsters. Once the veil of the O-Kage is broken, the seas foam and break against the imposing Black Cliffs. The wrecks of the Sun Empire’s armada and failed invasion attempts lie as rotten timbers, like bones of long dead sea monsters, bleaching in the sun at the foot of the cliffs. They are a warning to those that would think to again attempt to invade the O-Kage.
In and amongst the dark cliffs that surround Kagejima are inlets and coves with bustling fishing villages. Humble stilt towns with small fleets of equally humble fishers casting their nets, and running the rocky coastline catching the giant crabs that inhabit the shoals and jetties. These are the lands of the Ika clan.
The clan revere, Ika, the squid-like incarnation of the primal elemental force of water, with a devotion that borders on fanaticism and cultism.
In a land where paranoia and insularism are a way of life, the Ika are famous for being even more secretive, cryptic, and distrustful of outsiders than usual. Ika stick to their own families and clan, only taking part in the larger politics and power struggles of Kagejima based on mysterious criteria known only to themselves.
For all these dour stereotypes the Ika are warm and fearsomely protective once their trust has been gained. The ire of the Ika is like the sea, ponderous, but not to be trifled with. They are also renowned throughout the Kingdom of the Moon for brewing the most potent and delicious Sake. Many shinobi claim this powerful drink makes them better fighters.
Travelling inland from the east, is a great expanse of fields and lush forest that gives way to the foothills of the great Getsu-san, a mighty mountain that breaks the skyline from anywhere on Kagejima, named for the cool snow-capped luster of its white peak – bright in the day, and reflective at night in the moons glow.
The countryside east of the mountains is dotted with doughty villages spread amongst the edges of the great forests to the north and the broken lands to the south. The foothills yield great rewards to the industrious people there, both in mineral wealth, the black blood of the earth, and access to chemical ingredients in the manufacturing of powerful compounds used in making raw materials that fill the forges of the various clans. These are the lands of the Tora clan.
The Tora are, much like their totem the Tiger, a proud and haughty people, always ready to pounce, taking the initiative or advantage. Taunting and one upmanship are favorite pastimes among Tora youths. Challenges to a foot race or other contest of strength or agility are never far from coming. Not being able to give as good as you get, or not having a thick enough skin to laugh off the constant flamboyant bragging and bravado is a sign of poor sportsmanship to the Tora. The Tora find it hard to understand or trust anyone who won’t fight for their ideas or express their emotions with passion. Honor is of extraordinary importance to the Tora, and they pursue it and defend it with the utmost of their fiery passion.
The Tora have applied their fiercely competitive nature to the arena of the mind in the same way that they compete physically. Combined with their mountainous homeland this inquisitive competitiveness has shaped the Tora into the preeminent smiths and alchemists in all Kagejima. Tora weapons are finely forged and their understanding of alchemical reactions is unsurpassed, leading them to make, not only the first firearms on the island, but the finest as well.
Forming the crescent moon shape that is so well known to Kagejima’s cartographers, south of the Moon Princess’s palace, lies the great gulf of skulls. Deep caverns, barred with iron and oak, guarded by stone carved war gods serve as the only warning for anyone foolish enough to traverse this blasted landscape. Within the dark caverns reside the flinty residents of this inhospitable land. Adept at working in darkness, and sculpted by hard labor, the people of this region are tough, iron fisted, and suffer no insult. These are the lands of the Ijin clan. Read More.
The Ijin value strength above all else. Their clan is founded upon the belief that might makes right. All leadership and societal positions within the clan are won based on martial prowess. The Ijin believe that the weak should serve the strong. The harshness of their homeland has honed them into an efficient, focused culture with little room for indulgence.
Void Witches are an exception to the Ijin’s strength based society. These elder Maudoushi mystics act as advisors to the warrior leaders of the Ijin. Most of the clan view Void Witches with suspicion, as the Ijin mistrust the arcane or esoteric, but the witches’ supernatural powers require that the clan treats them with respect.
Many clans refuse to travel to the lands of the Ijin, even by sea, as the locals are not only harsh of tongue but extremely critical of outsiders, and prone to locking away travelers in iron cages deep within the mountains. While Ijin can be rebellious and cruel, outsiders that are able to show strength earn respect and are granted privilege to treat and trade with the clan.
At the farthest northern point of the island, as the lush bamboo forests give way to the craggy pines and low mountains of the O-Kage, snowdrifts and granite boulders break up the greenery in the heights of the mountains. Fierce and hardy people make their homes here, the winding mountain paths are dotted with stone carved shrines, and snow topped Tori gates, terrible storms wreak havoc on the northern realms, making it quite inhospitable to all but the most stoic of man and beast. Stone hearths billow smoke into the dusky sky from the heavy timbered village huts. These smoke columns are the scant evidence of civilization to be found amongst the cold stone and trees of the wintery landscape. These are the lands of the Yamazaru clan.
The Yamazaru are hardy, fierce, spiritual, and good natured people. While most of them value stoicism and aestheticism, necessary traits to survive in the harsh mountainous environs they favor, there is also a very playful side to them. They gleefully play pranks on one another and any outsider that braves the mountains to visit or trade with them, and are highly curious about new things.
The Yamazaru believe that material possessions are merely shiny amusements. While possessions may be pleasant and enjoyable to look at, true value is in relationships with others—family and friends—as well as having a rich spiritual life. Connecting with their majestic but rugged surroundings without all of the normal distractions of a more cosmopolitan life is what drew the Yamazaru to the mountains.
Yamazaru warriors are capable of feats of toughness unmatched by the other clans. They face extreme ordeals in their training: standing still as a statue for days, swimming without breathing, traveling without rest, punching trees without bleeding, and carrying massive stones without bending. The Yamazaru endure much to discipline their bodies and free their minds so they might perceive the great wisdom of the elements.
As the spine of the mountains gives way to the eastern lands, dark and mysterious forests cover the great northwest. Wet, damp, and mossy, the lush ferns and spongy ground are seldom travelled except in times of the greatest need. There are many superstitions about the secretive denizens of this verdant expanse. Mythical creatures are said to walk freely here, the kami, fickle and quick to anger, range far and wide, sometimes luring unwary travelers into the forests depths, to what ends, no one knows. Under the shadowy and damp canopy many magical and natural herbs are grown and traded by the few people who live in small villages along the safe paths through the woodland realm. These ingredients make the most powerful of healing agents and the most deadly of poisons. These are the lands of the Kitsune clan.
For many on Kagejima, the difference between the Kitsune and the kami inhabitants of the dark forest is nonexistent. For their part, the Kitsune are a relatively open and happy people glad to share friendship with any worthy of their esteem. However, they do possess a mercurial and fickle nature much like their namesake. Normally this is expressed through silly jokes and tricks, but their playful behavior can can quickly turn dark depending on the mood of the Kitsune. Many of the more stoic clans view the Kitsune as unreliable rogues, while their friends see them as wise tricksters.
The Kitsune are powerful mystics and expert herbalists with access to herbs and fungus found nowhere else in the world. They trade their remedies and poisons for the other clans’ wares while keeping the most potent and arcane poultices for themselves.
Traveling north from the Moon Palace, leads to vast expanses of whispering woods and bamboo forests. The winding paths within the woods are guarded by silent sentinels, spirits connected to the oldest trees that touch the sky, draped in bound cord and hung with tamagushi as offerings to the kami. The villages of the people here are not found on the forest floor, but amongst the heights of the trees, with interconnecting walkways, secret entrances, and the ever circling birds that are the eyes and messengers of its people. These are the lands of the Tanchyo clan.
The Tanchyo can seem aloof and distant. As though, by living among the tree canopy of the great forests, they have lost touch with the ground and are above its concerns and problems. The Tanchyo have close ties to the many spirits of the air and earth that they share the great forests with. They view it as their sacred duty to defend the deep forest from the encroachment of human culture, keeping it pristine for the enrichment of later generations. Even those who deal regularly with the Tanchyo rarely glimpse the Tanchyo’s great tree villages. The exact number and location of these amazing feats of woodworking are a jealously guarded secret.
The great canopy cities are not the only amazing items crafted by the Tanchyo. Their longbows are finest in the Kingdom of the Moon, and their ingenious climbing gear allows them to move through the canopy as though they were born to it. While every clan in Kagejima is familiar with the use of the bow, the Tanchyo elevate its use to mastery—even artistry. Tanchyo warriors favor the bow over all other weapons, and every child learns to draw a bow as soon as they are able. Every man, woman, and child is trained and ready to take up a bow and rain death upon any threat to clan or forest.