"Faithful Dog Hachi." That was the mocking nickname his detractors gave him, back when he was the emperor's youngest general. He was thrown headlong into desperate conflicts across three continents and the oceans in between, and endured all the most hellish battles of a thirty year war. Though his body is pincushioned by old scars from spears, swords, arrows and bullets, his foes all lie dead and buried, yet the Faithful Dog remains. When he retired from military service he set his mind to master the practice of meditation. Two decades later, he found he could project his soul into the astral plane, and before long he stumbled upon this place. A training ground for all the irregulars of the universe. Here is where ascended spirits and elementals come to make war on changelings and the whelps of gods. By the unspoken law of the place, none of the thousands of bizarre beings that trained here ever killed one another. Hachi sparred three times with a Demon King, and was genuinely surprised each time that when he finally slipped up, and the black claws of the creature were poised to do what the world of mortals could not, the beast abdicated, simply walking away into the shadows. The terrain was a bizarre patchwork of settings and landscapes from every region, and some that looked so alien Hachi assumed they must be other planets. He theorized that this dimension was made up of people's thoughts, and that when they arrived, they unwittingly projected a landscape from their memory onto the surrounding matter. When he first phased into being here, he was bewildered to find himself standing under the peach tree he had watered as a child, down the river from his house, before raiders burnt it down in the early days of the war. His pet dog and the family's two sleek black buffalos were there, chewing hay contentedly in their stable. He had even found his favorite green teapot, the very same one that steamed warmly in front of him right now. He refilled his teacup and drank, observing the leaves and flower petals that drifted by on the surface of a small creek.