Mythology Monday #2: Legends of the Equinja

Well, we’re still a bit behind on posts, but I should be caught up by tomorrow.

Today, we’re going to discuss the Equinja. Specifically, we’re going to discuss the various rumors and legends that surround them and the various people in their faction. Like all factions, the Equinja have their secret and fables. None of these are necessarily true, but they can make for interesting adventuring hooks for parties that are either heavily allied with the Equinja or fight them a lot.

The Theft of The Gunnar Technology
As mentioned in their backstory, the Equinja have earned the ire of the Gunnars more than any other Pirate faction. This is because of the rumor that the Equinja’s technology was stolen from researchers at Goggles and Wrench, the premier mechanics guild. While there’s nothing to substantiate this claim, it’s hard to explain the similarities between Equinja engines and the steam engines of the Gunnar mechanics.

Of course, there is still a question about how they came across this technology. While reverse engineering is a possible explanation, and the most widely accepted explanation, this theory fails to explain how the Equinja became so adept at it so quickly. Perhaps the Equinja tortured a Gunnar into defecting and working for them. Maybe a Craftsmen with the know-how from working with the Gunnars decided to sell their secrets for a profit. It’s even possible that one of the Equinja is a pirate that changed sides for some reason or another.

Either way, it ensures that Gunnars and Equinja have an even more unhealthy relationship than the average Pirate and Ninja. Even Gunnars that are prone to do occasional deals with ninjas will think twice before working with their sworn enemies.

The Masked Riders
One of the most unusual mysteries about the Equinja is the existence of the Masked Riders. It’s not unusual for a Ninja to want to conceal his or her identity, but the Masked Riders seem to never remove the masks they wear. Still, they are a large part of the Equinja. The masks are of different styles ranging from practical to outrageous. They exist in various ranks in the organization and generally avoid questions when asked about their mask. Others will merely crack a joke and say nothing more.

Even Midnight Rider is a Masked Rider. It’s even said that only Ebbin Flow, his old master and friend, has seen his real face. This, of course, has led to rumors that the Masked Riders are an elite group of Equinja selected for a very specific purpose by Midnight Rider. There are also rumors that this might mean that the Equinja have connections with Ellipsis himself. After all, Ellipsis always wears a mask as well. The similarity would seem to insinuate a connection. If it were true, it would mean that Midnight Rider holds a much larger role in Ninja society than even his elder leaders would expect.

Still, it’s unlikely that anyone will break the mystery, and until there’s a reason to suspect it’s a major threat and not just a fashion statement, very few people will press on it too hard.

The Great Race
The Equinja do have their competitive streak and for the last 20 years have held a contest in a secret locations where they invite mechanically inclined Pirates to a race that lasts several days. If the rumors are true, the Equinja are still undefeated. Still, many Gunnar mechanics dream of entering the Great Race and being the pirate to take down the Equinja once and for all.

Not much else is known about this race. Everyone has come back from it (although, some more battered than others). No one will explain everything that goes on though. This leads many to believe that the Equinja aren’t cheating or harming the pirates that enter directly, but its believed that the race is that dangerous. If a Gunnar wanted to enter the race, it seems like all they have to do is prove their mechanical prowess and the Equinja that run the Great Race will find them if they’re worthy.

Equinja Heroes
Equinja hold an interesting place in Ninja society. There is currently a cultural split between the newer ninja factions and styles (like the Shoninja and the new style Rokinja) and the traditional faction (like the Evadinja and Hitinja). Despite their supportive stance of the Shoninja, the Equinja actually hold sway in both sides of the political controversy.

The key reason for this is that no matter the side, the Equinja are seen as Heroes. With Ninja society being less technological in nature, there are hundreds of stories of Equinja braving an all-night drive through monster infested forests just to deliver a crucial message or package just in time to protect a ninja settlement under siege. There are also stories of Equinja reving up their engines and bursting right into Pirate towns and bases alone to rescue one ninja or to take down an official before being taken out by the guard.

As such, the Equinja do hold a certain amount of sway among the Ninja factions and many factions will typically show respect. At the same time, this also means that Equinja have been somewhat cast as soldier and messengers. Many Equinja find this to be a burden instead of an honor. They notice as Equinja are constantly asked to go on suicide missions and do exhausting and unrewarding labor. Still, some Equinja grin and bear it.

Riders of Great Monsters
The Equinja aren’t above showing off and doing things purely for glory. Numerous young Equinja have even made it a sport of trying to break even bigger and more ridiculous mounts than their friends. Anyone can ride a horse, but not every Equinja can ride a T-rex or a Yatagarasu. This has led to a culture of showing off and an obsession with impressive mounts over practical ones.

This has, of course, led to some not-so-smart kids thinking of trying to make giant legendary beasts their mounts. In the worst case scenario, some Equinja kid every 3 years gets it in his head that he’s destined to ride the Kraken. No one has succeeded or at least long enough to tell others of their achievement. This is usually a problem with younger Equinja though. Older Equinja tend to prefer more maneuverable mounts that can fit in smaller spaces. This seems to be less a case of young vs. old and more of a case of die young vs. survive long enough to know better.

So, there’s some stories to get you started putting Equinja in your campaign. These legends should help you flesh them out as a GM and give their faction more life.

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