Yanaka War Song

The Yanaka War Song is a pre-battle ritual originally used by the indigenous peoples of Elysia, however was borrowed on several occasions by King Xavier i's revolutionary army.

A violent, disturbing affair, it consists of a dance and loud chant by one force of warriors to intimidate the other. Bizarre facial expressions, growling, snorting, screaming and lashings of the tongue are all included, often to great effect in convincing foes that one's force is comprised of snarling murderous monsters.

The following is an excerpt from a forward report by Solomon Riley, early chronicler of the revolution:

The Novari 4th Army stood like a great red river across the plain, well-kempt, polished, possessed of vast discipline and superior equipment, they watched Xavier's ragtag force approach with smirks on their faces. A disorganized rabble of underfed defectors, runaway slaves, farmers with torches and sickles, and half-naked Yanaka braves, it was a pitiful sight against the Novari's polished metal and tight lines.

Then, several of Xavier's outrunners came out and faced their troops, and one, a painted, naked Yanaka stood out among the entirety of his army, waving a stick, and began to dance. First with little ministrations, he built to a wild and unrestrained stupor, calling out words of their savage language until his throat sounded raw and terrible. The throng responded in kind, even the Elysians and their slaves having learned the bizarre Yanak dirge. They all danced, slapped their chests, threatened with their elbows and screamed terribly at the Novari, who were beginning to become bewildered. They wore their faces like ghastly tribal masks, tongues out, eyes bulging, cheeks puffing and teeth gnashing like a group suddenly set over by some terrible mania.

What followed was the most ghastly of all, as the Militia charged the field. The Novari, thinking they were up against a group of lunatics in possession of demon magicke, felt a tremble in their steel. As the throng of vicious beserkers crashed into Novari lines, the Empire's ranks were split and fragmented. Knowing not what to do they threw themselves at the screeching serpent of Xavier's army, and were devoured by the disorganized and cacophonous horde one by one. Full 1200 Novari were brutalized by the small band of a few hundred at most, as the rebel leader, Xavier as he styled himself, sat brooding like a statue around the raging fury of his men. And here the legend of the Yanaka War Song was born.

Though having fallen out of disuse by Colonial Elysians, the practice was taken up again during the Arrym Invasion and following war, to great effect. Both the Queen's Army and Royal Yanak Corps soldiers employed the war song, starting at the Battle of Vanir, intimidating both the Arrym and later the Novari during the early stages of the Occupation.

Against the protestations of the Arrym and Novari members of the Coalition Government, the Queen's Army now actively teaches all of its soldiers the Yanaka War Song. Both Yanaka and Colonials now feel it a part of their shared heritage as Elysians, and from that solidarity and pride is born great unease in the Novari.

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