Dawn of the Empire
Hideo hides his face behind a porcelain mask which covers his upper face and cheeks, but leaves an opening for his mouth and chin, though the chin and mouth are hidden behind a piece of silk that covers the inside of the mask, draping down past his neck to his chin. His kimono is cut in the fashion of the day, in a dark brown cotton punctuated by bright orange and red watered silk at the seams and edges. He wears the Scorpion mon on his back, and the Shosuro mon on his sleeves, embroidered in shining black silk thread.
EARTH: 2 WATER: 2 Fire: 2 Air: 3 Void: 2
sta: 2 Will: 2 STR: 2 Per: 2 AGI: 2 Int: 2 Ref: 3 Awa: 3
2sleight of Hand
Silent – 1k0 to stealth rolls (2pt)
Shadowed Heart – +5tn to detect what’s really going on with Hideo (5pt)
Absolute Direction (1pt)
Compulsion – Sake (2pt)
Dark Secret (5pt)
Kata/Kiho: (cannot obtain kiho until ninja 3)
Air: Riding the Clouds (Air 3)
*air: Stain upon the Soul (air 3)
*air: The Great Silence (air 4)
Ashigaru armor, Sturdy dark brown clothing, daisho, Han-kyu bow, travelling pack [Spare Kimono, fine Kimono, Makeup Kit, Mask, Grapple Hook, Bottle of bleach, Bottle of dark dye, Vial of black grease paint, perfume,sake cup]
The Shadow Warrior who would become Shosuro Hideo began life as simply Ni-sama, second son of his family. As was the custom of his family, he remained nameless until his gempukku, where he would choose his own name. From the time that he could walk, to his later death at a monastery Hideo’s grandfather took a deep interest in his grandson’s training and education, using his position to ensure that he would have a personal hand virtually all aspects of his grandson’s life. Finally, several days before his gempukku trials, Hideo was summoned to speak with his grandfather in the monastary overlooking the valley. Hideo found his grandfather in the bath house, staring out over the valley, looking at distant, unseeable things.
Minutes passed before he spoke.
“Ni-sama. Fromt he day that you were born, until this minute, you have been told that the Kami guide and rule us as gods to men.”
Hideo stood silently.
“Even our illustrious emperor,” continued grandfather, “long may he reign, is descended fromo the Kami and by his divinely-descended right he bids us do his bidding. Commands where we may live, and were we shall die.”
Hideo silently considere dthis; it is of course, the way things have always been, and will always be. Something tickled at the back of his mind, it was how it has always been…but this did not seem quite, entirely, right.
“The lives of men should be decided by men, do you not think so Ni-san?”
Hideo started. This statement, from so venerated a figure. Honored grandfather, practically his true father who he had never known, telling him that the kami should not be rulers over them? And yet…
“How, Ni-san, can we be governed by divine beings, who cannot know our pain, our tribulations, our triumphs and joy by very definition? They order us to death in battle, without ever knowing the threat of death. How can we allow such rulers?”
Hideo found himself nodding in agreement. Grandfather’s words rang so right, so true.
“Ni-san, I see that your heart’s feelings are much the same as mine. The Kami have their place, as gods to men, but the rulers of men, must be men, who live as men do, and know the joys and trials of being mortal.
“There are others, Ni-san, who feel as we do. We work together, in secret, in small groups, silently struggling to put men in the place of rulership, that we may be commanded by men.
“Soon, you will succeed in your trials, and you will become Shosuro. It is my heart’s wish that you will join us in our fight to fix the Empire, and put men in their rightful place.
Wordlessly, Hideo dropped to his knee and nodded his assent. He would forever be Scorpion, but in his heart he was Kolat.
Several days later, Hideo undertook his trials, succeeding as Grandfather said he would. The twilight man visited, as he always did, but Hideo was not chosen. Finally he emerged, Shosuro Hideo, and entered the school, beginning his true training.