The Unicorn Project

A place for those from far and wide to present themselves to the Khan and engage those from far and wide in conversation.

Moderators: Moto Seals, Ide Yesugei, Utaku Hidaki, Shinjo Magistrates

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Nomad Chronicler
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Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:16 pm

Inspired by the Daimyo Project, I am making this thread to be a database of Unicorn characters, both Canon and Player-Created, to be a resource for RPG players who need Unicorn NPCs, or heck, maybe the ST's will even take a peek at it now and again. I will try to keep up with this thread, and edit the listing as people add characters.

Please post in the following format:

Name in Bold

School. Please do not include insight rank or other stats, so as to make them a little more flexible.

Approximate Glory/Status for purposes of how well known they are and their social standing.

Background. As much as you want to write here.

Horiuchi?:

Ide:
Ide Kaur
Ide Wabara

Iuchi:
Iuchi Navashi
Iuchi Maryth
Iuchi Kwaida

Moto:
Moto Khedai, Jester of Death
Moto Thames
Moto Shao-Shi

Shinjo:
Shinjo Rava, the Twice-Cursed
Shinjo Yosama
Shinjo Matahai
Shinjo Omaiya

Utaku:
Utaku Kayasu
Utaku Kinowa
Last edited by Nomad Chronicler on Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:05 am, edited 14 times in total.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

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Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:30 pm

Moto Khedai, Jester of Death

Moto Death Priest

Status 2, Glory 5.6

Moto Khedai was always fascinated by the heritage of his people, especially as far back as the Burning Sands. It came to no surprise that he expressed interest in worship of the Shi-Tien Yen-Wang, and he rode for the Honored Watch Castle when it came time for his schooling. Shortly after leaving his home, he discovered among the possessions given to him by his parents a box containing an old reed flute of a style he had only read about, an artifact of the Desert Moto. While he did not play, clearly his family had honored him with this gift, so he resolved to teach himself.

The flute became his constant companion during his training, and in fact, he often paid more thought to the instrument than his lessons. But, as his skill with the flute grew, so too did his longing for the Burning Sands, and so one day, he asked permission to travel before his gempukku. Thinking that a journey would cure him of his distraction, his sensei agreed. So, he gathered his supplies, and rode for the edge of the Empire. It was on the windswept plains of the Unicorn lands that he found what he was looking for.

One moonlit night, when the longing for the Sands surged within him, he arose from his rest, took his flute, and walked into the plains. There he played, channeling his longing, his desperation, and his wanderlust into melodies that had previously been far beyond his reach. He felt awash in the night, the same music that had quickened the blood of his ancestors tugging at the very essence of his soul. Feeling overwhelmed, he closed his eyes, but could not stop playing, as though the very life force of his people compelled him to pour forth their memory, the saga of the Burning Sands told through music.

When he was finally able to open his eyes, he saw the Shi-Tien Yen-Wang. While recognizable from his studies, these were not the somber judges he expected, but wild dancers, twisting and leaping in celebration. Theirs was a dance of the hunt, of life and death, the blood of a beast sustaining the will of a people, of another day survived under the unrelenting gaze of the sun. Skeletal forms seemed to fill out, growing limber and strong as the dance echoed the movements of the long passed, grey flesh again regaining color until brilliant bronze warriors rejoiced in their ferocious gaijin way. Fearsome and beautiful, their forms enticed and terrified the young Moto, but when he blinked, they were gone. As the last notes of the flute drifted into the night, he ran back to his camp, and as soon as his horse was able, rode hard for his dojo, the image of the dancing gods blazing every time he closed his eyes.

When he told his sensei of his experience, he was at a loss of what to make of it. While the tale seemed impossible, the surety in Khedai’s voice made him think otherwise, and so sent the young shugenja to tell his tale to Moto Akikazu. When the Sensei heard the tale, the twinkle in his eye suggested that he knew more than he let on, but his recommendation was that Khedai train with both the Moto and the Ide, for a time would come when he would be valuable to his clan and family to have at court.

Khedai was forever changed by his experience, and while he excelled at the prayers and magic of the Death Priests, his vision gave him misgivings about the scripture he studied. With what he had seen, accepting the severe imagery put forth by the theology was difficult at best. In addition, he had to travel frequently to meet the tutors who would train him in the ways of diplomacy. While this set him apart from his fellow students, none could deny that on the nights when he would ride out of the castle to play, the notes that drifted back were as beautiful as they were haunting.

On the day of his gempukku, his sensei was overheard as saying that “All wise men know to fear the Lords. Here is one who will make them venerate them.” Since then he has been sent to many courts, for not only does he possess the unyielding will of the Moto and the Lords of Death, the face he puts forward makes samurai of all clans question their prejudices. He is a more compassionate Death Priest than they have ever seen, and he uses the confusion caused by their disrupted expectations to undo the negative sentiments towards his family and clan. Where they expect to see a barbarian priest of foreign gods, they find the scion of a people with an honorable and ancient tradition, and all who hear him play feel just a touch of understanding, for the music carries with it the very soul of the Ujik-hai.

Moto Khedai stands tall for a Moto, his skin a burnished reminder of his heritage. Eschewing the skull mask that many of his comrade’s favor, his tight-fitting kimono is embroidered with patterns of bones that trace his own skeleton. Still a young man, he wears both his hair and facial hair long and only restrains them when called to court. His flute never leaves his side, a potent symbol of his heritage, religion, and his devotion to his art.

Moto Khedai has many friends, but counts some of his oldest and truest among the Pheonix Clan, including the Jade Magistrate Isawa Taisho, and the Colonial Ambassador to the Unicorn Asako Maemuki. As a result, the war has hit him harder than most. He thinks it a pointless war, and scoffs at the Curse, for if the Moto have truly been cursed once more all this time, why should they do anything different now that they know of it? Instead of calling for vengeance like many of his kin, he focuses on providing for those samurai who left or were cast out of other Clans for the discovery of their parentage.

Khedai was among the Unicorn delegation at the Imperial Winter Court of 1199, where he headed up the peace talks with the Pheonix delegation. While they did find mutually acceptable terms, the treaty still awaits the affirmation of the Clans' respective Champions. While there, he also strengthened his connection to the Shi-Tien Yen-Wang, as being touched by the presence of the Celestial Dragon allowed him to walk in Meido for a brief moment, awakening his flute as a Nemuranai in the process.

During the court, he partook of a wild courtship and eventual betrothal to his childhood friend, Kitsune Makiko, who hopes that their marriage might lay the groundwork for an alliance between the Mantis and the Unicorn. They are deeply in love with one another, and look forward to their union in the coming year, when Makiko will be joining the Moto family.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

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Nomad Chronicler
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Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:05 pm

Shinjo Rava, the Twice-Cursed

Shinjo Bushi

Status 1, Glory 0.5

The stars do not favor the unfortunate soul that is Shinjo Rava. His grandparents include both a Moto and a Yogo, and he has inherited both of their curses in full. When it became known that he carried the Yogo curse, he had originally determined that he would simply remain stoic, avoiding the doom in his blood by remaining unattached and aloof. This gave many the impression that he was simply an unlikable person, and began to avoid his company, which suited him just fine. His bad reputation lead to his lord sending him to the Colonies, where he was set to the task of providing protection along the road to the Empire. The arrangement was pleasant enough, and he maintained his aloofness by learning the native tongue as soon as possible, only speaking to other samurai if they knew Ivindi and only speaking to the native people of the former Ivory Kingdoms if they spoke Rokugani.

Then the announcement of the Moto curse happened, and he was one of the first colonials to hear of it. His world fell apart, and in a moment of despair, he decided that he was not safe even to be near his kin. He likely would have abandoned his duty right then and there, asking his Lord for seppuku, had it not been for an elderly Shinjo that he met along the Path.

The samurai-ko, Shinjo Komaxie, represented the wide-ranging group of explorers known as Rojin's Wanderers. After drawing the story of his heritage out of him, she offered to sponsor him for inclusion into the group, as a way that he could serve his Clan with honor while not often coming into contact with any he might harm by association. He cautiously accepted, and his lord released him from his duty of Komaxie's recommendation.

Life in the Wanderers is hard on Rava, as he is inherently a somewhat social person. Even when he pushed people away, he still needed to be around them, to hear other human voices. As a result, he often camps near native villages and settlements, learning the various dialects and speaking to them as a way of preserving his sanity. However, for the first time in his life, he is content that he is able to do good for his Clan without bringing them into danger with his blood. In his wanderings, he has discovered many valuable mineral deposits for the Clan, as well as becoming an expert in the native flora and fauna. He is a masterful hunter, vanishing into the jungles and hunting the most dangerous beasts with almost as much skill as a native of the Colonies.

In recent days, Rava has felt that his Yogo Curse has been discharged. This confuses him greatly, as he never really considered himself to love anyone, but the Curse has discharged nonetheless. He fears that, not being a full-blooded Yogo, his curse was weak enough that the requirement of that love could be considered as ideals, for his only true loves are the Wanderers for giving him this opportunity, and the people of the Ivory Kingdoms for providing him the human contact he needs. As a result, he has taken to larger and longer rangings as of late, deliberately avoiding visiting the same village twice for fear of seeing the ramifications of his discharged curse.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

Shinjo Yosama
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Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:26 pm

Shinjo Yosama

Shinjo Bushi School

Status 2, Glory 3

Born 1112 Rokugani Calender, Shinjo Yosama would spend time as a boy listening to the stories of the warriors. He would listen enrapt in their tales of glory, and battle. He devoted himself to the way of battle, and of the sword. He passed his gempukku, and swore fealty to Shinjo Yokatsu in 1126. Yosama proved himself a man of honor and of cunning inguinity on the field of battle. Yokatsu took a liking to the young man.

During Clan War, Yosama was assigned to escort supply caravans to the troops stationed at Beiden Pass, and to escort refugees from the pass, northward to villages, or communities where their skills and talents could be made useful. He often wondered why he was held back from battle, and turned into a manager of people.

The day finally came when Yokatsu called for all able bodied. The call to make a final push on Otosan Uchi, and put an end to the reign of Fu-Leng possessed Hantei the XXXIX. During the months it took to make their way to Otosan Uchi, Yosama saw many horrors. He was actually grateful for his former position as caravan master, and people manager. Dealing with bandits, and oppurtunists was one thing. The horrors of Jigoku unleashed upon Rokugan sorrounding Otosan Uchi was another matter.

Yosama had led his men to victory over the ground he was assigned to claim, and hold. He heard after the fighting that his friend Shinjo Takimono, and his betrothed Kitsune Yuno had not survived the Master of Fire's assault. His dark reign of fire had claimed the lives of two people Yosama held dear. His mind, and soul were shattered at his loss that day, and he asked to be allowed to go on a mourning pilgrimage.

Yosama began his journey, heading northwest from Shiro Shinjo. His intent was to travel Ki-Rin Pass, and see the exodus path of the Unicorn so long ago. However he never made it to the pass. He was spirited away into a realm that lay between Ninjen-do, and Tengoku. His host there was a Kitsune family, the very ones who would have become his in-laws. They were concerned by his shattered state, and knew he would need time to mend. Healing a wounded spirit, and mind was much harder, than healing any physical wound.

Many times Yosama tried to leave, to escape this Spirit Forest, and return home. Every time he tried he ended up at the same location. The Lake of Reflective Thought his host had called it. He would peer into the lake, and most of the time only see his own reflection staring back at him. other times he would see vague images, hear voices. He did not know what these visions meant, so he would speak of them to the Kitsune. They would listen, then try and explain as best they could. He appreciated their effort, but was just as confused by their cryptic explainations as he was by the visions themselves.

Yosama also suffered nightmares of that day at Otosan Uchi. He kept trying to change things, save one or both of his friends. However even when he did save them, his men died when they tried to hold their ground without his leadership. A Ki-Rin eventually showed herself to Yosama breaking his hellish dream. She showed him that he had responded to the events at Otosan Uchi rightfully. His actions had saved lives. She also let him know it was time for him to return. She lead him out of the forest, and pointed him toward the heart of Unicorn Lands.

Shinjo Yosama returns now to Rokugan after what seemed to him was fifteen, maybe twenty years. When actually nearly seventy years have passed in his absence. Yosama's memory, and his clan do not match, and he has trouble re-assimulating. Everything has changed, and there are rumours of a dark tide rising.

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Nomad Chronicler
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Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:43 pm

Iuchi Navashi

Iuchi Shugenja

Status 1, Glory 1

Iuchi Navashi is a historian and scholar as many of the Iuchi are, but she chooses to focus her studies on cultures rather than magics. In recent years, the focus of her interest has been on the Yobanjin tribes. She has mastered their language, as well as the various dialects of different tribes, and spent nearly four months living in the mountains alongside them.

Her interest begun when she was exploring the mountainous border between their lands when she came across a lone man conducting a ritual sacrifice of a mountain goat. Initially thinking it was a form of blood magic, she started and hid, but continued to observe. As she watched the entirety of the ritual, she saw that it was not Maho after all, but a form of supplication to the Elemental Spirits not unlike what Rokugani Shugenja took part in. Near the end of the ritual, the man seemed to seize for a moment, falling to the ground and muttering as though in a trance. Navashi crept closer, her Compassion overriding her good sense, but the trance seemed to vanish as quickly as it had come upon him. As the shaman drew himself to his feet, he started, having spotted Navashi. He called out to her, but she was already running back to her camp. It was only later that she would realize that he had called to her in the Rokugani tongue.

She returned a few days later, but the man had moved on. Using the experience as a sign, she returned home and began researching the Yobanjin language. It was a long time before she learned it well enough to speak confidently, and upon that day, she ventured once more into the mountains. It was some time before she found the man once more, but this time she was able to greet him in his own language. He was a shaman of the Mountain Wind tribe, and they spoke for a long time about their respective lands and people. She became absorbed by his description of their code of Rujia, and immediately noticed the parallels with Bushido. Resolved to know more, she returned once more to Unicorn lands to ask leave of her lord to court a Yobanjin husband. Receiving permission, she packed for an extensive journey and left for the mountains.

Navashi can most often be found in the Northern provinces of the Unicorn, either returning from or preparing for another excursion. She is writing a treatise on Rujia, and how a Samurai can use it to more easily understand the demands of Bushido. She is actively courting the shaman she encountered, but proving herself to the Mountain Wind is a long and arduous process, especially since she is seeking the hand of one of their shamans. She has also taken up the study of Wyrms, thinking it pertinent to know as much about them as possible, originally by spyglass and then later approaching them directly. Recently, she has been building a resistance to their disruptive aura, and can impart some small measure of the calm brought by the water and earth kami upon the massive creatures. Her prospective husband does not know of her studies, and she is unwilling to tell him, unsure of how he will react. This failure of Rujia and Bushido bothers her, but she has yet to bring herself to admit her activities.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

Shinjo Yosama
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Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:43 pm

Utaku Kayasu

Shinjo Bushi
Utaku Battle Maiden

Status 1, Glory 2

Kayasu was the third child born to Shinjo Maku, and Shinjo Minhua. Minhua had been a battle maiden, but an injury left her unable to ride. She settled down to marry Maku, and raise a family. Kayasu became Minua's secret favorite, because she was their first daughter.

Maku loved all his children, and made sure each was taught the basics of Shinjo horsemanship, and blade dancing. Kayasu was determined to be just as good as her older brothers at kenjutsu. They were stronger than her, but she possessed more speed. She also trained as an acrobat for festival shows. She discovered ways to blend her speed, acrobatics, and kenjutsu to confound her brothers.

During a visit with her mother to see her cousins near the Shiotome Palace. Kayasu was celebrating her tenth birthday. Her and her cousins were playing in the field near the stables. She was showing them some of her techniques, and they likewise were giving her tips to use against her brothers during practice. That was when something unusual happened that changed Kayasu's fate. A newborn foal left its mother's side to go nudge Kayasu. Kayasu at first joked with the young foal, and called it a rascal. That is when her mother, and aunts walked over. The foal still showing favor to Kayasu. Their heads nodded in agreement. Kayasu was to immediately begin training in the Utaku Battle Maiden School. Her cousins were excited. Kayasu was of mixed emotions. This would mean not seeing her father, and brothers as often.

The years passed, and she did a good job of both caring for Rascal, and learning the Shiotome Way. When it was time to take her gempukku, Kayasu and Rascal were more than ready. She passed her trials with an innovative flare. There were those present who called her reckless, but her sensei defended her bold flare. Utaku Kayasu had not only performed well, she exemplified Otaku Shiko's instruction to all who would follow her. Expand upon your understanding of horsemanship, and battle. Bring honor to your family through character. Your words, and deeds shall define that character. Minhua was never more proud of her daughter.

There are rumours among the older women of the Utaku family that Otaku Shiko's spirit rides with Kayasu. Kayasu is a beautiful young woman who due to her acrobatic training does not walk as obviously bow-legged as many of her kin. Very few have heard Kayasu sing. Those who have are entranced. It would seem that fortune itself favors her. Her deep compassion has been interpreted as her downfall. She too often holds back when sparring.

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Shinjo Kairu
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Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:43 am

Just wanted to let you two know that you're not the only ones that are interested in the Unicorn project. I just want to make sure that all the stuff I am going to write down is accurate to the story and setting. Speaking of which is there another place that I can learn more about magistrates other than l5rwikia?
I shall act as Shinjo's jitte, breaking the sword of any who would harm her people.

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Nomad Chronicler
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Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:58 am

Chapter 7 of Emerald Empire is all about Law and Order, well worth a read, and for Unicorn-specific magistrates there is a great little section on page 255 of Great Clans
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

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Shinjo Kairu
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Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:56 pm

Awesome thanks!
I shall act as Shinjo's jitte, breaking the sword of any who would harm her people.

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Suko
Heimin
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Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:13 am

Ide Kaur

Ide Emissary

Status 2 (3 in the courts of the Second City), Glory 3.

The child of two Ivinda sworn into the Unicorn clan as part of land negotiations when establishing the overland route to the colonies, Ide Kaur's gaijin heritage has always set her apart. Many were the occasions when, growing up in Journey's End Keep, one of the many new arrivals to the colonies would take offense at the notion that a girl of such obvious gaijin heritage should be treated with the same respect due to anyone of the samurai caste. Kaur quickly learned that the best way to handle such events was with overflowing courtesy, ignoring slights and rising above them by proving her demeanor the more honorable. This talent, coupled with her knowledge of the Invinda language and culture caused Kaur to rise quickly within the ranks of the Ide Emissaries. Shortly after her gempukku, Kaur was granted a position as an ambassador to the villages and towns that survived the bloody rise of the Destroyers. Working closely with Imperial Explorers, Kaur was instrumental in convincing countless village elders and chieftans to accept imperial rule, most commonly through forging bonds of commerce.

Following the edict that remaining Ivinda survivors of the Ivory Kingdoms be dealt with as a whole, Kaur was relocated to the courts of the Second City. Her talents and unusual heritage brought her to the attention of Otomo Suikihime, who quickly began to dispatch the Ide as slight to her more conservative foes within the courts, who would immediately bristle and be unarmed by being forced to treat one of gaijin blood as an equal.

Ide Kaur is devoted to proving herself every bit as capable as a full-blooded Rokugani diplomat, but secretly she despises the petty games of Suikihime's convoluted bureaucracy. She longs for an opportunity to return to the wilds of the colonies, exploring uncharted lands and encountering new, uncontacted people.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ide Kaur is from my fanfic "The Gaijin and the Radish", the story I should have submitted for my story team application. You can read it here.
Ronin * Wandering Scribe

My Fictions: The Gaijin and the Radish, Divisions, and Opportunities Amid Chaos

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Nomad Chronicler
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Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:49 pm

Ide Wabara

Yasuki Courtier

Status 1 Glory 2

Born into the Yasuki family of the Crab, Wabara's marriage into the Unicorn is entirely on of political convenience rather than any sort of affection. However, both she and her husband are understanding of the situation, and as such are happy enough with the arrangement. Her marriage, however, is not the main source of her woes.

When she was with her parent Clan, she worked primarily brokering deals with more traditional Clans such as the Lion, and grew up surrounded with Rokugani xenophobia in full measure. When her family arranged for her to be married into the Ide, reasoning that the shared mercantile mindset might make for a more harmonious pairing, she went into the engagement silently screaming her frustration. However, as cool as their marriage may be, her husband has always been a perfectly honorable samurai, and as such they make do.

Life as a Unicorn has not been easy for Wabara, running into several cultural differences that seem almost impossible to reconcile in her mind. She has been married a year now, and while she has partaken of many exotic dishes, she still finds the thought of eating red meat repulsive. She has only recently begun incorporating fur into her winter garments, and even then is careful to have it placed such that it will not accidentally touch her skin. Most telling however, is the differences inherent in the shared profession of the Yasuki and Ide. Where previously she would insinuate and embellish to make a product more palatable to a potential buyer, she finds herself admonished and corrected by her peers if she tells more or less than the truth. The concept of making a deal based on boldfaced honesty is still an alien concept to her, and she works hard to try to wrap her mind around it.

By all accounts, Ide Wabara is a very bad Unicorn, but she is trying to become a better one. In a (possibly foolhardy) attempt to simultaneously understand the Ide way of trade and shake her deep-seated xenophobia, she has asked her lord to be included in a caravan bound for the Burning Sands to trade with the foreign nations there. In preparation, she has even begu to study their language, though the foreign words still come haltingly to her tongue.

A final point of interest is that, attempting to get used to Unicorn materials, Wabara started to wear a strap of leather as a bracelet a few months past. She wears it all day from the moment she wakes up, and after taking it off at night she thoroughly cleanses the area of skin that was under it. This has become part ritual, part nervous habit, but it has worked in the sense that touching leather no longer bothers her.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

Shinjo Yosama
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Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:42 pm

Iuchi Maryth

Iuchi Shugenja

Status 1 Glory 2

The dream was starting again. She knew how it would play out this was the third time she was experiencing it in as many days. A second replay of the dream she had dismissed. Now with it recurring a third time, she decided to treat it as any commune. She focused her mind and spirit to be perceptive to the details that would hopefully make sense of this dream. It began as always, she was walking along a river in the dense jungles of the Colonies. The river led to an unusual rock formation where a small portion of the river went astray from the main flow. It cascaded over a series of rocks, sparkling in the dappled light that shone through the canopy above. This time however the reflected light highlighted various symbols. Some were pictorial, others resembled kanji. This became her first major discovery. The illuminated characters revealed a date, year, month, day, and hour. A date that was still two weeks away. She thanked the spirits she sensed, giving thanks for their revelation, and the dream advanced.

The terrain blurred, it speed beneath her, carrying her far away from the jungle of the Colonies, and into the Burning Sands. Now she stood upon a great pyramid, about halfway between its base, and its apex. She noticed an outline, and she traced it with her finger. A door slid open, and she stepped inside. She found herself in a grand room, with a vaulted ceiling. The room seemed to be a miniature model of the Burning Sands itself. The ceiling was cleverly painted to resemble the night sky above the sands. Maryth observed unsure of what to make of this once again. Yet as she watched this time one of the miniature pyramids began glowing, its top becoming translucent. A ship launched upward into the void of the night sky where it lit ablaze, and was no more. A single spirit form ascending from the burning ship to be absorbed into the void. This was the copy of the pyramid Maryth was now inside. She continued watching, and as the rising sun heralded the coming dawn a ray of light struck the model pyramid. Illuminated a single sarcophagus. The top of the pyramid once again became solid, and the room went dark for a short time as Maryth's eyes adjusted. She searched for that sarcophagus, and found it. The lid was adorned with a crystal sun. A golden chain was connected to the crystal sun, and Maryth could feel the power emanating from it without even touching the pendant. This was an ancient, and powerful meishodo amulet. Maryth wondered what spell could be associated with such an item. She knelt to say a prayer over the soul that rested inside the sarcophagus.

When next she raised her head, she was upon a grassy knoll. Giant stones stood around her in concentric circles. Strange glyphs adorned the massive stones, and power radiated all around her. Maryth knew she stood in the middle of what is called a nexus by the druids of Merenae. These druids would meet together at these nexus points to divine their future, casts rituals to shape their nation, or to petition what they called Forest Lords. She remembered reading that in some book during her early lessons on meishodo, and other foreign sorceries. Yet standing here now she also realized this was an observatory. The night sky above here, cleverly carved notches, and holes cut into the stones. The stones tracked the passage of celestial bodies. The stone ring itself was a divination device. Here now in her dream this was the second device telling her about a date that would arrive in two weeks. Once again she thanked the spirits she sensed present, and again she whirled off rapidly across miles of terrain.

She felt a bit disoriented this time when the earth beneath her once again stood still. Now however, she was not at Shiro Shinjo as she had been the previous two nights at this point in the dream, Maryth stood in the Ruins of Otosan Uchi. She stood upon Seppun Hill, the location of the Sacred Duel. She was being called toward the north wing of the old palace. There she found a room partially buried in rubble. An ornate dresser fashioned of cherry wood. Most of the dresser had been crushed, and parts of it that had not were riddled with holes from countless vermin gnawing on the once finely carved piece of furniture. The object that called her resided within the last intact drawer still visible. She opened the drawer, and through the holes eaten into the base of the drawer she could see something shiny. Before she could tear the rotting wood away, Maryth awoke.

Maryth raised herself up off her matte, and went out into the garden. She splashed water from the stream onto her face. She cupped her hands, and drank of the water. She looked around to be sure no one witnessed her. Then she sighed, and went back to sleep. The kami had assigned her a quest. Not an easy one either from what she had deciphered. She looked at the quartered piece of a mirror she had found in an old trunk at her sensei's house. He had given it to her, and since bringing it home, the dreams had begun. She shook her head to dispel her sudden thought. There was no way. That ancient mirror had been lost long ago. She chuckled to herself as she once again drifted off to sleep.

Shinjo Yosama
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Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:28 pm

Utaku Kinowa

Utaku Stable Master

Status 3 Glory 2

The entire place had been chaos ever since the alarm rang this morning. Wildfire blazing across the fields was nothing to take lightly. All hands worked to contain, and hopefully end the blaze. This seemed to be no ordinary fire, soon as it began to be contained, a new jet of flame arose at a new place in the field. His task was to protect the stables, and have fresh horses ready. Not to mention keeping the horses calm, small fires at bay. His face was full of soot smears already. He ached to move toward the flames, see if he could get a better look at the source. However he was being kept adequetly busy where he currently worked. Battle maidens, and others kept giving him affirmation of appreciation for his hard work, and dedication. He just felt it was not enough, with the fire still blazing, and his growling stomach telling him it was well past breakfast, possibly past lunch now.

The smoke drifting in on the wind was beginning to reduce visibility, and he felt it was time to move the horses. He opened a gate leading to a corral that would allow the horses to quickly evacuate away from the drifting smoke. He climbed atop the stables to see where to lead them next, for the corral led to two differant pastures. He wanted to be sure they would not just be running from smoke into flame. Some returning maidens were passing by, and he signaled to open the west gate, allow the horses to flee across pasture westward toward White Shore Lake. They nodded, and swung wide the gates, riding with the herd toward the lake's shores.

Kinowa cried, and rubbed his face when from atop the stable he could see most of the northeastern pasture was blackened, the flames encrouched closer. It seemed evacuation was in order for all. He could see a few still remained out near the largest cluster of flames. They fought a desperate battle against fire and smoke. He almost swore the fire was something living, intelligent, hungry, and evil. He could feel the heat rising, and a maiden signaled for him to slide down onto the back of her mount. They raced off after the herd, and he was sped away from the blaze.

A large group of his kinsmen were gathered at the lake. He slid off the horse, and thanked the maiden. She only smiled in response. Her hair matted with dirt, and soot, her face smeared with much the same. Her smile seemed genuine though, a highlight to a rather grim day. Iuchi Shugenja were present tending to wounds, and from the talk many bearing the water kami's favor had already left to aide in the fight against the blaze. Then he finally heard something that confirmed his fears. One of the battle maiden's who had been among those fighting, several burn marks across her arms, and face spoke the word, "...Oni..." Utaku Kinowa looked back, and thought If just one oni can do this much damage? Then let us hope the heavens take notice of our plight.

Shinjo Yosama
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Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:39 pm

Moto Thames

Moto Bushi School

Status 1, Glory 2

The fire crackled before him, but his focus was divided between the preperations he was making, and the memories that were very much a part of those preperations. He dipped his ring finger into the war paint and traced around the socket of his eye. This mark was for "Bright Eyes" who always had a smile upon her face for him. Even after she had taken an arrow to the chest meant for him. Her last words were said with a smile, as she looked into his eyes.

He dipped his index finger into the war paint, and marked a wave crest upon his cheek. This was for the Iuchi Priestess whose last act was to ensure he and his men escaped a very recent ambush by Scorpion Oppurtunist. It seemed death kept striking those around him, those he swore to protect.

Next his thumb went into the war paint, and he pressed it along the base of his jawline. My father who taught me what it means to be a Ujik-Hai Warrior. May your strength guide me this night in claiming the blood of those who took the blood of those I loved.

Finally three fingers into the warpaint to make the mark of the beast upon his face. I will be ferocious as the sand panther that stalks its prey, giving no quarry to my enemies this night. He stomped out the last embers of the fire. He gave one last glance to the burnt pyres of his men who died of poison that was applied to the arrow tips. Arrows that had struck all but himself. He gathered their horses. Led them to the head of the valley. The Scorpion were camped further down this valley on a hill over looking the river. Tonight they would hear thunder. He set the horses to stampede. He lay low upon the back of his own horse, and rode into chaos. "Tonight Shi-Tien Yen-Wang, I send you the souls of mine enemies. Torment them as they have tormented me!"

A wind blew up across the valley, so that by the time the Scorpion Sentries heard the rumbling thunder of hooves, the first horses were breaking through the tree line, and into the light of their camp. Hasty orders, and shouts were barked, but drowned under the gale of wind blowing, and the thunder of hooves. Most were trampled in their tents as they scrambled to awaken. Those were the lucky ones.

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Nomad Chronicler
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Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:28 pm

Glad to see there's still interest in this! Sorry I haven't been posting any, I'm moving right now, so packing is taking the attention that I normally write with
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

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Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:51 am

Moto Shao-Shi

Status 2, Glory 3

Moto Bushi School

Shao-Shi entered court for his second season. His achievements in recruitment in the previous one were good. He knew this time would not be as easy, he was not a hot topic anymore. Still, he might still impress a few new faces, after all, he did choose a different battleground this time.
"Shao-Shin-san, I hope you had rice today, come, tell your story to these friends of mine. The one about how you got to be called commander on your first assignment." He smiled, sadness hidden behind a practiced On. Here we go again. This time his audience was a few younger courtiers, as young as himself, perhaps. He should make the story shorter and more exciting for their ears, after all, even in court, you need to choose your weapons with care. If he played his cards right, he could get the aproaval for a campaign he was planning for next spring.

"My mother had secured me a duty as caretaker for Commander Shinjo Katsuo-shirei. She always wanted me to do less fighting and more thinking. She says Moto have good minds, if they put them to good use, and mine should work twice as hard, to honor her former Shinjo family. Anyway, we were told a small group of bandits were doing some strange commerce close to the west borders. Katsuo was to find their encampment and secure the location for the magistrates to arrive. As you know, Katsuo-shirei was not one to wait patiently. We discovered their wereabouts quickly and stormed it in the next hour. It was not much of a fight, they were barely organized and Katsuo-shirei always fought with... so much passion. A few managed to escape. Without a second tought, he ordered me and a few more barely out of gempukko to follow him. The rest were to clean up the place for the magistrates. I dont think he noticed the group of young Moto he chose to follow him, none of us had seen more then 3 or 4 real skirmishes in our lives. We bravely followed, his passion always making us braver then we thought ourselves to be. They got cornered in a crevass, and like wild cornered animals, they turned on us. Unfortunately, one was a shugenja, possibly a bloodspeaker, and Katsuo-shirei's flame of passion was extinguished in a moment. He did not resist the foul magic. The others looked to me for guidance. I was not above their rank, but I spent more time with Katsuo-shirei, so they naturally waited for... whatever i had to say. It was not easy to do it, and I still feel like I robbed a bit os Katsuo-shirei's identity that day. I used his words of encouragement." I called them slowpokes, asked if they needed some imperial aproval or Seiken's chop to take down the trash that dared attack their commander. It worked. "Their passion burned again, even more furiously, and the deadly Moto efficiency shined that day. When we came back, I present my sword for failing to protect my Commander. Instead, my cool was complimented by peers. I had their trust, and that is something that we need in our army. So now, more then their friend, I head out with them, order them and fight with them, in front of them, I bleed with them. My mother, surprisingly, didn't kill me outright. I must have done something right.

But enogh of this. How did your village fared this spring? I hope no troubles with bandits." Good crops? Can you spare a convoy? A few guards?
"And is your theather been popular with their new play?" Did the Shinjo Scout Sensei attend? I need to speak with him and ask a few favors.
Unicorn Clan • Samurai • Chui • Reserve • Reverse-Destined

I was Ide Ibiki at WC IV

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RavenSoul
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:48 am

Shinjo Matahai

Status 2 Glory 1
Shinjo Bushi

At Shiro Shinjo:
"Hoy, Masane, I have a report from your favorite rotten apple."
"Again? It that a relocation request from his superior?"
"What else? Why dont we just strip this boy of his duty? Noone seems to want him around."
"He probably just started talking with his superior's daugther... again. Anyway, his father is rather influential, and, after the stunt his oldest one pulled, this seems almost non-existent. And also... He is flat out the best hunter I have. He gathers sensitive information so fast, half my man still think he has some shugenja gift in him."
"I bet thats because of all the Geisha houses he goes to. I have an idea, send them to my cousin's province, he has sons only, and his wife passed away some time ago. No improper things he can start there that would anger the governor."
"Oh, I kindly disagree with you. I trained them both. Sadly, they are not perfect, but they are still terrificly good at getting what they need. And stubborn. That too."

Some months later, somewhere close to the Dragon lands:
He is not here either... I have to force another relocation. Pity, this place is not bad. I might have to pull off one with the governor's son here... And I dont really apreciate men.
"Matahai-san, what are you thinking about? You are distracted. Do you not like our company anymore? Are we so... boring?" said the young geisha, leaning over to the side, her shoulder slightly on sight. He smiled.
"Not at all, Mika-chan. You girls are the only light in my world, right now... I just get frustrated for not doing a proper job."
"But, we helped you find that other filthy dishonorable trader, was that not enogh?" she made her eyes wide and full of sadness, her puppy-eyes. It was almost adorable. He leaned in closer.
"No, Mika-chan... that was truly impressive and I am very grateful for you girls. I will be sure to bring you something from the Crane lands, something almost as beautiful as you are." he touched her gently on the side of her face.
"ooooooHHHH, dont tease us. We know you are going away... You got tired of us... is it because we can't find that other man? Your description isnt exactly great. Noone can be as dashingly beautiful as you, and that scar on your face just adds an adventurous and seductive touch. Not having it would be just too plain. He is your brother, right?" He went silent.
"Yes." he managed after a while. The young girls knew better then to speak more. "Yes, he is. I need to find him. He needs me. He really does." He needs my sword to cut his head. Father doesnt want me to chase him, he would rather forget. I can't. I am sorry, Father.
Unicorn Clan • Samurai • Chui • Reserve • Reverse-Destined

I was Ide Ibiki at WC IV

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RavenSoul
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:13 am

Quick question: What happens to a Utaku horse when its rider dies and what happens to a Utaku Maiden when her horse dies? Do they try replacements or something?
Unicorn Clan • Samurai • Chui • Reserve • Reverse-Destined

I was Ide Ibiki at WC IV

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Nomad Chronicler
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Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:49 am

The Utaku steeds will never accept another rider once they have bonded, so if they do not die of heartbreak, they are put out to stud/foal if their rider dies.

The Battle Maidens, in theory, only ever have the one horse, but the realities of combat mean that if their mount dies they do try to find a replacement. Some retire if their horse dies though.

Keep in mind for both of these that Utaku steeds are literally divine-blooded creatures, so their average lifespan can match a human one. Any loss is likely to happen in battle.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

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Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:36 am

Shinjo Omaiya

Status 2 (3 in Unicorn lands), Glory 1

Shinjo Bushi, Calm Heart Duelist

A man of singular skill with the blade, Shinjo Omaiya served with such singular distinction when the madness of Pan' Ku gripped the Colonies that he was appointed an Ivory Magistrate in the middle of the conflict. He was a different man at the time, cocky in his skill and sure in the righteousness of his cause, always quick to seize upon an opportunity to defend the good name of his charges. His direct connection to the Royal Shinjo bloodline bought him much respect among his kin, and he quite let it go to his head. However, when the Second City itself burned, he was in the thick of the fighting, cutting down the mad of his own clan as well as the others. While those who had to do such deeds were absolved of responsibility for breaking Shinjo's Law in the aftermath of the chaos, his deeds hit him harder than most. Those close to him saw him drift away in the months that followed, becoming colder and more distant.

The breaking point, however, came when he was personally called a murderer by the distraught relative of one of the samurai he had slain in the conflict. The Ikoma who did so challenged him to a duel to the death, and when the request for such was denied, began stalking him, berating him publicly and privately. The stress becoming overwhelming, Omaiya finally agreed to a back-alley duel with the disgraced Lion, and in the boiling heat of the Colonial summer, he betrayed his teachings by striking the man through the heart.

Following the killing of the Ikoma, he requested a transfer back to the Imperial proper, giving up his appointment in favor of the small estate that he was in charge of back home. His lands are fertile, but not immensely prosperous, as a good amount of the revenue generated by his lands pays for the opium habit that he has picked up to try to distance himself from his memories. Being of the Royal Shinjo bloodline, however, the blessings laid on his family by various fortunes over the years allow him to metabolize toxins extraordinarily efficiently, which prevents him from finding the peace he seeks even in hard drugs. He is still called upon to defend the honor of the Unicorn from time to time, which he does with dispassionate swiftness, but he finds no joy in his victories.

At court, he holds a great deal of respect as a war hero, a Royal Shinjo, and a skilled duelist, but his name is practically unknown outside of Unicorn lands, the glory of his victories covered up along with the shame of his habits. These days, he can most often be found at his estate, which is prominently managed by his seneschal, either in a sober and cranky mood or "away on business," as the servants tell guests when he is chasing the dragon to forget the past.
Moto Khedai, WC IV

Wielder of too-many words.

"Khedai casts Castle of Earth, calling seven raises. Success. A massive, sturdy, imposing wall of text rises forth at his bidding."-Iuchi Chiwa

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