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Thinning the Herd - Ayu
Thinning the Herd is the second mission in the Samurai Story Campaign. After almost successfully driving the Vikings from the Imperial City, The Orochi and her friends find themselves under the reign of a new Warlord, courtesy of Apollyon. Now they must survive in any way possible. The Kensei Ayo makes the first move. This mission has five Breakables and five Observables.

 I left five daimyo to fight for control of their people. We would see how strong their unity truly was. I gave Seijuro the palace. The other four survivors of my test, I left in the swamp. It was the daimyo Ayu who made the first move.  - Apollyon

Initial Cutscene

Ayu: I was the last daimyo set free in the Mire.

A mounted Apollyon walks a bound Ayu behind her horse in the Mire. She cuts Ayu loose and drives her Katana into the ground in front her and tells her "Happy hunting" before riding away. 

Ayu: Happy hunting? Apollyon thought we would fight each other to claim the Emperor's power. She was right. Every daimyo who had passed her test, was a war criminal. We would tear our people apart, or.. I could finish it, before it had a chance to start. 

Gameplay

This mission begins in the Mire. Ayu has decided to eliminate the competition for the throne and unite what is left of the people. The other three Daimyo are in three different directions. While it probably doesn't matter which way the player starts, the closest one is almost straight ahead. Each boss will have a group of AI and minion warriors that will need to be defeated first. Each color representing a different Daimyo.

Danja (sp), like Ayu, is a Kensei and yells " You DARE disrespect this place?!". She will share the same abilities as the player. Players facing her will need to eliminate a Shugoki first. Near him is a Steadfast Pick-up that will grant immunity from Throw attempts for a short duration. Pick it up and use it against him if needed.

Keisa (sp) is the second closest Daimyo, and he is a Shugoki saying " you are not worthy to be emperor. To get close to him, the player will fight through several groups of warriors, including archers. The archers will be firing fire arrows at Ayu from a bridge, so take them out as soon as possible. There will also be an Arrow Storm Pick-up nearby. Give them a taste of their own medicine or save it for the group near the boss. When used where enemies are already standing, the arrows fire immediately, so take care. If the player is also standing in the same area, they could die from their own trap.

The third boss (depending on which way the player went first) also appears to be a Kensei. The player will need to fight several AI bots simultaneously including Orochi and Nobushi before reaching the boss.Ayu will say " YOU ARE A COWARD" with him replying"Better that than a corpse" .he will be waiting on the bridge.

After the last battle, Ayu walks back into the Mire but finds herself surrounded by three groups of Samurai, each led by lesser armed leaders. Ayu tries to reason with them saying" THE EMPEROR IS DEAD! THE BLASKTONE LEGION DID THIS! APOLLYON WANTS US TO GO TO WAR WITH OURSELVES! I REFUSE!!!". To make them see that this is exactly what Apollyon wanted. To make them fight among themselves. Her friend Okuma arrives and says "Umm....Vikings" and points into the distance. Ayu looks again at the Samurai surrounding her. The leaders give a quick bow, then head of in the direction Okuma pointed, the warriors in tow. Ayu then says " Apollyon will regret leaving me alive."

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