The Encounter

by Kirk Bushell, Mark Chamberlain 11th March 2021 4 : 01
This article is narrated by Mark Chamberlain, and is available only to subscribers. Subscriptions are currently managed via the FaB DB Patreon page. You must purchase Supporter+, Majestic+ or Legendary+ to get access to The Rathe Times' Pro Series content.

Did you know?

lore

Katsu is the head of the Mugenshi clan, and as such is responsible for their happiness and wellbeing.

The jungle was quiet. Too quiet.

He had been wandering for days, seeking a woman that supposedly lived in these parts, whom he had been informed possessed an expertise in procuring particular potions and elixirs. He felt that this stranger could help him address a recurring dream he had been having of late. One of a grim future. And darkness.

"Katsu!" came the pained cry from within the dream. "KATSU!!"

Katsu awoke numerous times as the dream appeared to have no end. He had to find out what it meant.

Worse still, Katsu was hungry, tired. He was done with this quest - if you could call it that. Yet the dream carried a profound meaning that had to be resolved, lest it become true. His eyes darted to one side, his ears open... Why couldn’t he hear any birds?

A branch snapped to Katsu’s right, bringing his attention into full focus, like the narrowing of a tunnel with a light ahead, his right hand moving to the sheathed Kodachi beneath his cloak. A tall, brutish creature came crashing out of the jungle, a small creature wriggling within its grasp, as a flock of birds flew up from the undergrowth.

The brute was at least seven feet tall, dark and olive in colour. It didn’t seem to notice Katsu as it snapped the neck of its prey between its giant hands and threw its head back, throwing in the poor creature and swallowing it whole. The brute closed its eyes, as though enjoying the aftertaste of a fine beverage, before opening them again with a slight amusement as it first recognised the being standing to its left.

"Man lost?" it appeared to ask, grinning.

Katsu, surprised at the creature's ability to form words with such a bestial visage, regained his composure.

"I seek another."

The brute, still grinning, reached for the weapon at its side, a ghastly, crude weapon made from what appeared to be a branch and several dead animal specimens from within the jungle. A club of sorts. It looked like a torture device, and Katsu did not intend on becoming a victim of the brutality that it would inflict at the hands of such a muscle-bound creature.

"I do not wish for combat, friend. I am here only to find one within your lands", Katsu calmly explained.

"No choice, fight NOW!"

The brute took 3 giant steps toward Katsu, swinging its right hand faster than he gave the creature credit for, nearly taking his head clean off. He ducked just in time, darting forward with his Kodachi in hand, and grazed the right leg of the frenzied animal, before turning to face the creature once again. "Who are you?"

The brute stopped in its tracks and looked down, seeing the open cut and the blood leaking from his body. Enraged, it took two massive fingers and touched the wound, before licking its own blood from its fingers.

"I Rhinar", the creature explained. Before Katsu had time to react and without rhyme or reason, Rhinar once again launched at Katsu, this time with the club held high overhead. The club came crashing down with so much power that Katsu had barely enough time to escape not just the impact of the weapon, but the small explosion that resulted in a small crater around the impact site. The blast itself knocked him back and winded him. He had dropped his Kodachi.

"How on Rathe..."

Katsu realised this creature was far more powerful than he and that he would need more than pure strength to defeat it. He would need to call upon the Zen State to which he had been trained.

While the dust still settled between Rhinar and himself, Katsu closed his eyes and immediately felt the energy around him condense, surrounding him in a protective barrier that may help him should the worst occur. Opening his eyes again Katsu decided to waste no more time and take a more proactive approach.

"I've heard of you, Rhinar. But none of the stories told me of your strength."

Rhinar chuckled, "You seen nothing".

Planting his left leg behind him and passing the club to his left hand, Rhinar beat his chest with his right fist and let out a deep bellow that awakened the jungle, creatures of all kind fleeing their places of safety, or returning to them as fast as they could.

Katsu could hardly believe it, it was as though Rhinar grew an extra foot in height. He couldn't waste any time. He assumed a stance that provided more power to his legs and as he did so, launched forward toward Rhinar, picking up the dropped Kodachi as he approached the hulking beast. Rhinar tried to swat him away like an annoying fly, only to have Katsu launch into the air as though aided by a springboard, somersaulting over Rhinar and lodging a Kodachi into his upper back, before rolling back into a defensive stance.

Rhinar gasped in pain, reaching for the Kodachi in his back and pulling it free. Enraged and beyond reason, Rhinar charged toward Katsu, rapidly beating the club through the air and into the ground, but hitting nothing of value. Before he let up he once again switched his club to his right hand and with Katsu expecting a club strike, backhanded Katsu straight across his left cheek with his left hand.

The blow sent Katsu roiling backwards, his barrier slowly fizzling out of existence.

Rhinar looked notably confused. That should have knocked the ninja clean out.

"Yes, that worked well, didn't it?" asked Katsu, breathing heavily.

Rhinar grunted as Katsu adopted a defensive stance, grabbing his club with two hands.

"Let's see that again."

Kirk Bushell

Kirk is the sole developer of both FaB DB and The Rathe Times, proving an obsession with the game of Flesh & Blood and supporting its communities. Additionally, he loves writing articles, the game, and the general hobby of collecting cards.

Mark Chamberlain

Our narrator, Mark Chamberlain, is a long-time card game player-- but they're all sitting on the shelf while he practices Guardian in Flesh and Blood. Mark is based out of Colorado Springs, USA.

Discussion (28)

Justin Mathews
READER
9 months ago

I love stories like this! It makes me appreciate matchups in the game even more. Katsu is a crafty one!

David Christensen
READER
9 months ago

It's a lot of fun to imagine matchups into stories like this. Rhinar, wearing a fine spring tunic... well sometimes it doesn't translate as well.

kyle m
READER
9 months ago

The head of the Mugenshi clan, Katsu belongs to one of the hidden households of Misteria, concealed within the Gorge of a Thousand Winds. Undergoing the traditional journey of the Jokyoku, he successfully regained his memories and returned to the clan, earning his place as head of the clan. Years later, he has left the gorge again determined to find a cure for the curse hurting his people. Calm and level-headed, some might underestimate Katsu, mistaking his practical nature for an aversion to violence. However, underneath his peaceful demeanour is a sharp intelligence, capable of becoming a deadly force of nature when provoked. In the heat of battle, Katsu can call upon the power of the wind, striking down his opponents with the speed of a hurricane. Katsu is a dedicated leader with patience and determination to help his people

corey ellis
READER
9 months ago

lmao This is pretty similar to how I envision the match up. Katsu jumping around and chipping away at a swoll Rhinar who himself is acting like a total lunatic.

Kirk Bushell
ADMIN
9 months ago

@corey - hahaha, right?! :D

Ales
READER
9 months ago

I can reenactment of a battle I had 4 weeks ago in my dreams now. My mind will make Katsu a little more sneaky - hiding in the shadows / mist and Rhinar will not care. He will rush towards unknown and discover Katsu. Both brutal and deadly they will clash ...

Andrew Van
READER
9 months ago

Talk about a swing fist, think later go again into romping club moment.. Was fun trying to imagine which cards matched each combat description..

Tommy Mains
CONTRIBUTOR
9 months ago

I thought about doing my first tournament report in this kind of fanfic style. At the time I didn't know near enough of the lore to make it a worthwhile read for anyone else. FAB's worldbuilding is top-notch. EXCEPT for one of the thug's in Azael'a story wielding a "baseball bat." That really broke the illusion for me.

Jake Smith
MEMBER
9 months ago

I love see my favorite hero in action and make me want to just keep putting in reps with my Katsu deck. Great, creative way to pull people in and connect with the game/lore.

Tim Bunn
READER
9 months ago

The history of the Mugenshi is super intriguing to me. Misteria is one of the regions I'm most looking forward to exploring!

Travis Barton
READER
9 months ago

Great story need more like this with the other Heros. The character interaction fit the two for the fight really interesting read. If more of these would be done it would be interesting to make a story with the monarch mentors in mind.

CinCityGames
MEMBER
9 months ago

I appreciate the open ending and not picking a winner, don't want to make Katsu or Rhinar players angry haha

Paul Smith
READER
9 months ago

I was surprised as Katsu when the beast bothered to speak before attacking.

Edgar Leroy de Pedro
MEMBER
9 months ago

Man I love this story. Imagining the scene as I read the narrative felt like a page from an anime show (like Samurai X). I played against a Rhinar in last week's RTN and this match and how it played it out is exactly the same -- with the exception of my Katsu losing in the end. Was thinking of doing a tournament report as I'm joining 2 RTNs over the weekend.. now I know what style to use. :)

Christopher Yee
MEMBER
9 months ago

Love the story :) Thought it captured the essence of both characters very well. Would love to see more stories such as this covering the heroes from the other sets.

Matthew W
READER
9 months ago

My guess is that Katsu wins the skirmish and as a result Rhinar gives clues on where to find the woman.

Victor Marques
READER
9 months ago

For those who enjoy lore, Benji is also from the Mugenshi clan but Ira is from Ikaru clan.

William Cooper
READER
9 months ago

Why am I just imagining two timmys playing a game of blitz at the table? Loved the story!

Felix W Chung
READER
9 months ago

We need more creative fan works for FAB, including fanfiction! Thanks for sharing and hope we can see lots more to come.

Betim Begolli
READER
9 months ago

little irresponsible of Katsu to venture through the Savage Lands alone when he's got people he's responsible for - knowing the dangers/stories about them :D

SamZ
READER
9 months ago

This is a great write-up. I love the details in Katsu's fighting style and the callout to Zen State! The story leaves me wanting to know what Katsu is doing wandering in the jungle and what brought him there.

Ryan Rich
READER
9 months ago

Great story with Katsu, would love to read more.

Karol
MEMBER
9 months ago

A fine story it is! And shortly after I've read it, I found a matching playmat in one of the stores :D

Jeannette
READER
9 months ago

I was team Katsu all the way.

jacalope
READER
9 months ago

I would love to learn more about what Katsu is looking for and how the fight ends.

Jessie Quinn
MEMBER
9 months ago

I really like the potential flavor in the word of FaB. I don't feel like there is very much flavor/story on the cards yet. I wonder if that might change over time. Especially around the heroes themselves, to get players more attached? I'd also be excited to read books and graphic novels set in the universe! That World Guide I have heard about seems impossible to find. I also think the more flavor they pack in the more opportunity there is down the line for fun callbacks and little Easter eggs on the cards (which I love).

MajorMayday
MEMBER
9 months ago

I hope the lore in this game continues to grow. I'm already impressed with the card art and general design direction, so I'm loving all of this.

Nathan Taylor
READER
9 months ago

The more I read, the more invested I feel in the worldbuilding and lore. Ton of thought and attention to this space shows LSS is being intention about the game. Hats off to them

Want to get involved in the discussion? Come join us in the article thread on the Discusson board.