There are very few people left alive that remember life before the current Pirate/Ninja war. After all, the 3 legendary heroes went missing around 30 years ago, and in a world filled with T-rexes and Onis, a person is lucky to live past 40. Even less people remember the first Pirate/Ninja war. This is probably on account of the fact that the original war ending somewhere around a 1,000 years ago. Of course, there could always be a few immortals or time travelers running around the world. Stranger things have happened.
This doesn’t mean such history is lost however. While the average human life is short, this is not true of all non-human life. There exist many creatures that can live for hundreds or even thousands of years. The ones that can talk and think for themselves remember quite a few things about the world’s history. That’s why the lore-minded adventurers in the world have given such creatures the nickname “The Secret Historians”.
Of course, not all old creatures are willingly to dispense their knowledge to any traveler. A Siren or Oni does not live to 1,000 years old by trusting every traveler that comes by (actually, it’s rare for an Oni to live past 200 on account of being so outstandingly stupid). A smart traveler will have to either strike a deal with such an entity or otherwise trick them. Once again, you don’t live to 1,000 by being easily tricked though. Still, if given a reason to believe its in their benefit, many of The Secret Historians will give their information.
Such information may come out a bit weird in its translation however. After all, monsters don’t think like humans. So what may be an important detail for a Siren (how many fish were killed) may not be as important for humans (who did it). So, other hints in the land or the left over artifacts will be necessary to determine the full scope of what happened.
Now, the obvious question to all of this is, “Why?”. Pirates vs. Ninjas is mostly about the now. The Pirates and Ninjas of the first war didn’t have the technology or skills that the current living populace has. Furthermore, any history beyond a few decades won’t even relate to the discovery of the Takara or give hints about its whereabouts. The reason is pretty obvious though. First, there are many ageless artifacts and strange places in the Pirates vs. Ninjas universe that have been lost to time and are waiting to be discovered. A trip to the ruins may not sound like fun to most adventurers, but the chance for ancient power that no one else has is much more appetizing. Likewise, since most abilities practiced by current factions are based on the styles of Ellipsis, Two-Eyed Pete, and the Raven, this does mean that there are a number of styles lost to time. Considering their lack of modern steam-power and weapons, there are likely to be some powerful lost techniques.
Power’s not the only objective though. A number of loreseekers believe that the far past DOES hold a key to helping to solve the current situation. After all, the Wanderers ended the first war. It may be possible to end it again. Furthermore, if one of the legendary heroes did steal the Takara, the past might not help with its current location, but it might help with what the Takara does or what its is used for.
So, the next time your party considers killing a monster that’s capable of talking, consider that it might hold hints to great power, secrets of the past, or many other things. Respect your elders. Don’t kill them. Only rough them up a little bit, then drill them for information.