"Be more concerned with good actions than with great ones." Musical Inspiration: Rush, Tai Shan Clan:
Crane Clan, Doji FamilyClass:
Shugenja Class, School:
4'6 (1.36 meters) and 70 pounds (31.75 kg)Name:
Riel is a true child of Crane, still and quiet, elegant and gentle. She feels the wind in her bone and body, and often wonders if true shape-change or flying would not be possible, after all. She is sometimes distracted by the beauty around her, and when painting has been known to tune all else out.
She has trouble hurting or destroying beautiful things or people, even if she really ought to; indeed, she is very idealistic and softhearted, expecting the best of everyone. She holds honor more dear then all else. She has never killed, and hopes to never kill, for she deeply believes that negotiation is the wiser, more honorable course, and that through talk and negotiation all things can be overcome.
She despises being dirty or disheveled, to the point of not concentrating well and making mistakes with her magic when she is not properly put together. She thinks of this as a struggle with the earth elements, and worries that she will take more training and practice then most to raise her Earth Ring, and to master Earth magics.
She is tiny, much smaller then most, and must rely upon her water magics and Yojimbo in a crisis. She is fragile, and suffers mood swings with the weather, growing less constrained and more wild on windy, stormy days, and quite placid and boring on calm ones.
Like all little birds, she enjoys bright and pretty things. Being of the Doji family, she was raised amongst art and beauty in even the simplest items. She has enjoyed her trips to court, though her craving for a life of elegance and grace is equaled by her fascination with the peace and tranquility of the Crane Gardens.
She has spent her whole life focusing upon the magic within her, and striving to understand the ideals of her clan and family. She is a little uneasy to find herself out of the safe and known temple environment, and is more relieved then suspicious of her Clan choosing to safeguard her body and honor by providing a Yojimbo for her.
Her family sent her to the school as soon as her gift with spirits was discovered, around age five. She has thrived there, though she has been a touch too focused on her studies to be properly well rounded. It is hoped by the clan that this experience with the Legion will balance her.
Doji Riel's Twenty Questions
1. What clan does Doji Riel belong to:
“I am Crane: grace, beauty and harmony are in all that I do, my duty to Rokugan, mortal and spirit beings alike. In the seeking of peace lies our honor.”
2. What family does Doji Riel belong to:
“I am honored to have been born to the Doji family, who honor the Kami Doji in spirit, appearance and deed. Her final words to us were, 'Be more concerned with good actions than with great ones.'
I shall always strive to honor that command.”
3. Doji Riel is a shugenja.
“It was known what path I would follow before I could walk. My mother and grandmother tutored me even before I went to the Asahina school, at five.” She takes her fan and gently unfurls it, hiding all but her eyes and forehead from view. “The henna marks here were earned then, and are carefully placed each day, that my family's ancestors might know me from all others, and answer.”
4. How would others describe you character's appearance.
Doji Riel is tiny, a porcelain doll standing no more then 4'6 (1.36 meters), with silvery-white hair, silver eyes and the traditional henna-mark upon her brow. She has a cherry blossom-and-snow complexion, and her hair color is also natural. Though she has an exquisite natural beauty, with delicate features, she feels uneasy without Kohl to darken her eyebrows and eyelashes.
Riel moves with a nearly-unearthly grace and lightness of step, so in tune with Air that she often feels she might suddenly leap into the air, and fly. She has slender hips, a tiny waist and elegant hands. She is alert and strong, fragile yet fierce, delicate and swift.
She prefers to dress in the colors of cherry blossoms or deep blue, and always with an elaborate Crane motif.
She has a soft, silvery laugh, a quiet smile, and mysterious eyes.
She smells like Japanese cherry blossoms and silver, and tastes like cherries and cream.
5. What is Doji Riel's primary motivation:
“I know the spirits and trust in their plan, in the way of this world. Our honor is how we serve them, and must always be our primary concern; it is by following honor that we improve our station, if not in this world then in the next.” She sits very still, deep in thought, anguish glimmering in her eyes. “Honor … does not always encompass compassion or mercy, but … where ever possible, let us seek it; such lends to harmony. The preservation of beauty, art and harmony is always my goal, and nothing is more painful then when honor … and beauty … are in conflict.”
(She is an idealist, who believes in honor above all else, but who suffers from a deep compassion that makes such choices heart-breaking for her)
6. Who is the person Doji Riel trusts most in the world:
Her Yojimbo, Daidoji Misaki
A shy smile erupts and she blushes deeply. “I am honored, deeply honored by the friendship and service of lady Daidoji Misaki. Her heart and honor are unbowed, her skill unmatched.” Silver eyes gleam with delighted joy and utter faith. “She is the strong sword who shields me and the gentle hand who eases me. I will do all I can to aid her and support her, as she aids me.” She gives a secret smile, blushing faintly. “I pray she never leaves my side, but might grow old within my family, treasured all the days of her life.”
7. What is you character's greatest strength and weakness:
“My faith, that lets me keep to honor's path, is my greatest strength. Even if it seems … painful, in this life, it is the spirits who set such paths before us, to test us and hone our soul for some great purpose.” Her fan dances and twirls, then goes still, like a petal falling to the ground, forever stilled. “I am often ... too soft. I care too much, even for my enemies, and thus on occasion find honor's sword painfully sharp.”
(She believes her greatest strength is in her strict regard for honor, and her weakness, a tenderness of heart and love of beauty that leads her to too much compassion. But her greatest strength is a loving family, who taught her ethics as well as honor, and give her a stake in how the future turns out. Her greatest flaw is her too-strict need for rules and honor.)
8. What does Doji Riel think of Bushido:
She blinks in mild confusion, as if not quite understanding the question, then answers gently, “The Seven Virtues of Bushido are how we prepare ourselves and serve honor. It is everything, the core of my duty as a Samurai woman. Honesty and justice
are my duty to all who come before me, weather they be peasant or Samurai. Courtesy
demonstrates my status and place, and should always be adhered to, less I dishonor both my family and my calling.” Her eyes drop and she bites her lip. “I have been chosen at last to demonstrate my courage
upon the field of battle; I have never before faced true risk, and can only strive to uphold the high ideals of Bushido. As for honor,
it encompasses and frames all the rest, but is the highest point, the single virtue that must hold out, for through it are we shaped into the future.” She smiles gently, and says softly, “It is compassion
that softens all the rest, and permits peace and harmony between people; compassion, and mercy.” She looks up, very intently, “A clever man might twist words, and so claim to be honest, whilst yet deceiving.” Her eyes flare distaste at some harsh memory. “Yet the virtue of sincerity
forbids such deception, even by omission, bringing words and actions into harmony.” She relaxes and smiles, clearly this last aspect has not so far troubled her, her faith in herself and others remains as yet unshaken. “Duty and loyalty
means a Samurai must always consider consequences both above and below her. It is so for Shugenja, especially, as we must see also a person's future lives. So it is that our every ceremony to honor a spirit, no matter how small; to respect our ancestors and even to revere the kami, all become part of Bushido. It is all one.”
(She sees her duty as a samurai woman as to uphold those ideals and guide others on the path to ascension in the karmic cycle. She takes very seriously her priestly role in the proper functioning of the world, delighting in even the small festivals and ceremonies that keep the wheel of life turning.)
9. What is Doji Riel's opinion of her clan:
She smiles and blushes, bowing whilst seated. “I am deeply honored and thankful to have been born into the Crane clan; it is all that I believe in, beauty and art, peaceful negotiation, yet with a graceful strength for when both reason and compassion fail. I trust my clan and my people.”
(She loves the Crane, and believes in peace, beauty and negotiation, not violence.)
10. Doji Riel is not married, nor successfully promised in marriage.
She stiffens, though she does not quite fidget; she opens her fan and shields her face for a moment, before answering softly, “I remain as yet unwed and unpromised; I was promised in marriage to Daidoji Akimitsu, a powerful and handsome Bushi, when I was a little girl. I went to Winter Court with his family, several times. But … just before the marriage, when I was fourteen, we received word that he went to support the Crab Clan on the walls. My family waited, for we had been much devoted to each other, and that attachment was honored by a caring father. I received a letter from him every month, until partway through my sixteenth year. Thirty of his letters, all told.” She closes her fan carefully, and slowly in a precise ritual. “The Crab fight a desperate battle, with too few resources ensuring our prosperity and peace … he would not leave until another came to take his place on the wall … his goal was two men or women of honor to stand in his place, each demanding the same from their clan, doubling the support, year by year, until the Crab did not face destruction from one bitter sortie.” She kisses the fan gently, and then slowly unfurls it. “There has been no news since his final letter, not … even news from the Crab Clan, for whom he risked so much.” She folds open her fan once again, looking away. “My father is … looking into other matches but the Legion, and service to the Empire come first. For … however long that maybe.”
(Her betrothed went to the wall for a year, but seeing how understaffed they were, he would not go home until someone came to replace him. No one did. Her father let her grieve for a while, for the attachment was of long standing. During her appointment to the Imperial Legion, her father was negotiating among several possible marriages; however he sang her praises once too often in front of those who had the power to staff the legion, and he found that he could not refuse an Imperial appointment for her, so immediately had a Daidoji Yojimbo assigned to her.)
11. Does Doji Riel have any prejudices:Crab:
“They frighten me, as no other does. They face war, death and strife daily. I know this though I do not, cannot understand it. They have a harsher school of honor then we face, and we … we let them carry our burden.” She looks away, anger and fear and shame and loss glimmering upon her countenance, though not her words. “We owe them a debt.”Dragon:
“For all I am shugenja, I do not quite understand living a life harder then it needs to be; if they truly wish to be ascetic, let them send all their wealth and warriors to the Wall, in support of the Crab.” She flips her fan and catches it, shaking her head. “Perhaps I need to spend some time speaking with a dragon.”Lion:
“The Lion clan is fierce and proud, yet to turn that pride upon their children distresses me. I do not understand Matsu ladies who do not cherish their male children anymore then I understand a family who does not love their daughters.”Mantis:
Her fan opens and closes slowly, as she stares into the distance. “They have a divine appointment in the heavenly courts. There is nothing else to be said.”Phoenix:
She smiles, shy and sweet, and with a wistful note in her voice says, “The Phoenix hold the heart of the Kami, I often think. So many of them may touch the void … it is something I long for, to be gifted with training amongst the elders there. Their background is sweet and romantic, and I say that if a Kami was willing to bow to a Phoenix, we should not be too proud around them!” Her soft, rippling laugh escapes. “Not all of my kin agree on that, yet I think all of the Crane clan counts them as true allies.”Scorpion:
Her face grows cold and remote. Her eye glitter with deep seated resolution. “They are enemies. They deal in lies and deceit, lead honorable men and women to vice and dishonor … we must sometimes deal with them but they are tricky and dangerous, the more fair and honest the appear, the more likely they are to deceive and destroy. Never, ever trust a Scorpion even if you must deal with one.”Unicorn:
From certainty and a case of clear cut good and evil Riel falls into deep, uneasy thought. He eyes turn pensive and she blushes, faintly. “The Unicorn are allies, who came back with much knowledge of the outer world and a need for guidance in how to adapt to our lovely empire. They … they have lovely horses.” She pauses and shakes her head, then leans close to whisper, “I cannot quite be comfortable with Utaku Battlemaids who love their horses more then family or … especially ones who despise their sons. This is as wrong to me as a family who cannot cherish its daughters.”
12. To whom does you character owe the most loyalty:
Riel smiles and looks down, caressing her fan and gently. “It is true that many clamor for our loyalty, but before Diaymo, Sensei or even Emperor, my heart inclines to my beloved father. And it is indeed a relief to me that such is an honorable thing, for is not my father first loyal to his Clan and Emperor, and they to the Kami, so that it all aligns, like little dolls that fit one within the other … Father, Sensei, Family, Clan, Emperor, Kami.” She twinkles, delighted, “I shall have to commission an artist to make just such a set for me.”
13. What are your characters most favorite and least favorite things:
She lights up with joy and spreads open her fan, showing that one side is intricately painted with the Crane Garden. “This magical place is my favorite place in the world. It is a place of joy and laughter, of inspiration and hope.” Her joy softens to gentle, sad pride and she flips her fan over. On this side is a less skilled, yet painfully detailed section of the Wall. “This is my least favorite place, yet its existence makes the other possible. So it is here I plan to go, when I am free to so choose.” She then folds the fan and holds it to her as if to protect it. Face averted she says softly, “I love to paint, especially when I am troubled. I hate dirt, though, in any form so take care not to spill or leave traces. And I make sure maids clean things properly, as well.” She looks briefly guilty and whispers confidingly, “I'm not so very fond of having to stand watch, even for ceremonial functions at school … I shall detest that, if they ask me to do it.”
(Her favorite thing in the world is the Crane Garden. Her favorite activity is painting. Her favorite possession is her crane fan. She despises being dirty, above all; she hates the blood and mud of battle, she vastly dislikes lazy maids that do not clean well enough. She also dislikes standing watch, as there are so many better things to do with her time …)
14. Does you character have any recurring mannerisms:
She closes her fan and thinks for a moment. “Now you sound like my Sensei, who valued a quiet stillness. I suppose I pray often, and use my fan.” Tilting her head to the side she glances up at you through her eyelashes. “I do not like to speak over much, as it is … distracting.” She blushes faintly and sighs wistfully.
(She likes to use her fan, to flirt and gesture and talk with it.)
15. What about you character's emotions?
She looks down and away, hiding behind her fan. “I have been blessed with a loving family. I hope to come to love the man my father chooses for me to wed. Through love lies redemption, I feel.” There is a reserve in her manner, a hint of things lying unspoken.
(Riel is a passionate, loving person who has not yet had honor or deep conviction conflict with the demands of her heart. Being young and something of a romantic, she does not truly expect to ever love again, having lost her betrothed.)
16. How would your character handle a subordinate's inappropriate behavior?
Riel nods slowly. “For most minor infractions I would speak mostly plainly and clearly of their task and duty. If a lazy maid should happen to fail to clean something properly, I would speak so: 'Do you see this? Yes, I know you did your hardest and I am aware of the demands. We each have our part to play in this world and so I ask only what destiny has given you. So, wash. this. again.'”
17. What is you character's highest ambition:
“I wish to unite the Crane and Crab so that the Wall is once more finished and to convince the Emperor to properly rotate support to the Wall so that the Crab are not overburdened. Both Dragon clan and Lion clan have much to offer to those who hold the line.”
18. How would your character's parents describe her?
Father: “Riel is very devoted, a good Shugenja but she has allowed her calling to eat up too much of her grief over her lost love.” He shakes his head gravely. “I have long been looking for an equally good match for her, and find this Imperial appointment ill-timed. It must be honored, of course but I should have several grandchildren by now … and that last match would have pleased her.” He sighs and shakes his head. “She is one who needs a bit of looking after, one to temper her idealistic flights of fancy, so I've arranged for a most excellent bodyguard of her very own.” He frowns again and shakes his head. “This Imperial business … she'll need to be on the forefront, and win recognition and glory .. but it had best not go to her head. Her first duty as a Crane woman is to marry, and have children.”
Mother: “Riel is a treasure, a true daughter of the Crane. She is terribly kindhearted though and needs a strong husband to look after her. Like my mother … and even myself … she hears the spirits and they hear her. I eagerly await her first daughter, though like my husband I fear she may have waited too long to wed.”
19. How religious is you character?
Exceedingly devout priestess.
Riel honestly looks confused at the very question. “I am both faithful and deeply enjoy my calling; I trust in the spirits and their guidance. Why do you not sit here, and tell me why you do not?”
20. How will your character die?
On the Wall, casting some great magic.
She tilts shakes her head at you repressively. “It is not about how we die, but how we live. Still, I hope to live a good life, and raise a loving family. When I grow old and weak, I will travel out to the Shadowlands, and their pour my spirit into a great spell to assist and protect those I love long after my death.” She listens to the last insulting, probing question and frowns frostily. “There is of course some small chance of dying ignobly on some other errand, but I very much doubt dwelling upon it is sensible or helpful. If I could not die as I wish, why, I would still insist that my death, however unknown, would serve the Empire. Now, if you will excuse me.” She stands, and bows.Statistics:
Air 4 [Ref 4 Aware 4]
Earth 2 [Agi 2 Int 2]
Water 3 [Str 3 Per 3]
Fire 2 [Sta 2 Will 2]
She can cast 4 air per day, 3 water, 2 earth, and 0 fire and 2 bonus spells of any element. She has 3 air scrolls:Blessed Wind
. (Defense) 10' whirlwind for +15TN vs ranged (Only 2 raises for targeting another)To Seek the Truth
Counter mental/social penalties from wounds/techniques/spellsTempest of air
AOE Cone Knockdown, 75'x15', Resist: earth v my air, 1k1 damageShe has 2 water scrolls:Ebbing Strength:
(Defense) Reduce physical trait to give bonus (4 round duration with free raise)Path to Inner Peace
Healing spellShe has 1 earth scroll: Jade Strike
, 3k3 vs targets with 1 rank or more of taint; nothing to innocents.Memorized Spells:
Sense, Commune and Summon.Affinity/Deficiency:
The Soul’s Grace – The Asahina have harnessed the power of the kami for art, not war. You may spend a Void Point to reduce the total of all opponent's damage rolls inflicted within 20’ of you by 0k1 for a number of rounds equal to your School Rank. (Using this technique again before its duration expires “resets” the duration but does not increase the damage penalty). You also gain a Free Raise on any spell with the Defense keyword.Skills and Flaws:
1 Artistic Skill: Painting
1 Calligraphy (Cipher)
1 Lore: Theology
1 Spell Craft
1 Artistic: Painting
1 Tea Ceremony
1 Medicine (treat wounds)
1 Etiquette: Fan
Idealistic (with softhearted) -2
Cursed by Fortune: Ebisu -3
Koku= large golden coin
Bushel = medium silver coin = Bu = 5 Bu in a Koku
Zeni = small copper penny = 10 z in a Bu, 50 in a KokuGear:
Outfit: Robes, Bo, Wakizashi, Scroll Satchel, 1 koku, 5 Bu, 3 Zenzi
On her person at all times: Her Courtier's Fan (4 bu, coin purse (3 zenzi).
Traveling Pack (Asterisk is 'free' from school):
(1) Tea Set* (1 koku)
(2) Small Tent* (1 koku)
(3) Makeup* (1 koku)
(4) Ink Brush Kit*
(5) Metal lantern (4 bu)
(6) Mirror (3 bu)
(7) Spare Kimono and Sandals
(8) Folding Stool (3 bu)
(9) Umbrella (2 bu)
(10) Meditation Pillow
Jewelry (x5, 1 bu ea. = 1 koku) (first spent koku)
Perfume (2 bu)
Nice blanket (1 bu)
Brazier (1 bu)
Sake Cup (1 bu) (second spent koku)
Paper: 20 sheets (bought, 4 bu)
Good Medicine Kit (+2 bu=3bu)
Candles (x3, 3 bu) (third and fourth spent Koku)
Sweets (box of 20 servings, 5 bu) (fifth koku)
Writing Box (1 bu)
Painting Vial (x4, ?1 bu ea?) (sixth Koku)
Traveling cloak (75 zeni 1.5 k) (Seventh & Eighth Koku)
Water bottle (bought) 1 zenzi
Flint and steel (bought) 1 zenzi
Lantern Oil (bought, x3) 3 zenzi
Pillow book (5 zenzi, silly romance, bought)
Small Knife (5 zenzi)
Tatami Mat (5 zenzi)
wide brimmed staw hat (1 zenzi)
Chopsticks (bought, 1 zenzi)
[/size] Riel Romantic Interest Preferences
2. Self respect and honor.
3. He needs to be mature
enough to have worked through and internalized his own morality, he must be at least contemplating the spiritual ethos and he needs to have actual opinions.
7. military expertise
8. A heroic cause.
9. Is downtrodden/misunderstood or has been mistreated.
10. Tragically romantic past.
11. Devoted, dogged and determined pursuit in the face of all wisdom to the contrary.
12. Respectful of the kami
13. Someone who wouldn't hurt her Misaki.
14. A man who is a little bit dangerous, even to allies. Riel Romantic Interest Turn-offs :
1. Dim, uneducated or very narrow minded characters. Note that 'educated' does not mean a law degree … it means generally they are not ignorant of the people, powers and places of their world.
5. Too well off Riel Sexual Turn Offs (Italics are my turn-offs and are non-negotiable)
1. Nothing anal. Nothing. Nothing goes in there. You may pat, touch, play, caress, etc the bottom but .. nothing in that end, please.
2. No Enemas, Pegging, Rimming … just NO.
3. No gags, no collars, no brands.
4. No humiliation, disrespect, abuse, degradation, competing with others.
5. No spanking, mutilating, killing, chopping off bits. No pain, no torture, needleplay.
6. No excessive semen, or forced feeding, forced vomiting. No semen in face.
7. No scat, vore, watersports, snowballing.
8. I am not so fond of pierced genitals.
9. No paddles, no strap ons.
10. Too controlled OR too uncontrolled
11. Too safe.
12. Lack of deep, powerful feelings.
13. Dirty Riel Sexual Turn Ons:
2. Battle scars
3. a little bit ticklish
5. a bit of danger or risk.
6. having enough light to see, but other wise dim and romantic lighting.
7. Foreplay, yes. Properly done, it starts -way- before the first kiss or intimate touch. Much of the story, power plays and character development is played out in this stage.
8. Being tied up in a mild, non-harmful or injurious way… silk ropes, scarves … usually something the man, if he REALLY wanted, could break.
9. Ladies have breasts for a reason; ideally a partner would notice and enjoy them.
10. Nipping, licking, grazing, just about anywhere. Biting just hard enough to leave a mark in non-sensitive areas – neck, shoulders thighs. . NO blood, no injury. Both giving and receiving.
11. Properly done coercion and blackmail can make marvelous scenes. The key being properly done. Likewise kidnapping. (For any story arc in this area, I we would need to do extensive per-story planning and concrete limits on harm/fear/results)
12. Most of my characters have well-cared for nails. Expect to get scratched, just enough to break the skin but NO BLOOD. Are you noticing a theme here?
13. Nibbling on hands is scandalously wonderful. Or nibbling on toes. Or nipping ears …
14. Teasing, tickling, massages … the magic of touch. Ideally highly mutual.
15. Mmmm … kissing. Yes. Essential. Kissing …. all over.
Crab Slang and Battle-Language
The mixture of isolation, constant danger, and harsh duty which the Crab face on a daily basis has given rise to an entire set of slang terms and catch-phrases which are unknown to the rest of Rokugan.
Many of these are used as short-hand terms during battle or danger, allowing the Crab to react swiftly and automatically to complex and challenging situations.
Banjaku! (Big Rock!)—Used to warn that a creature can only be hurt by crystal.
Dairyo! (Big Catch!)—Warning that a large Shadowlands force is approaching. Hearing this from a Hiruma scout is never a good thing.
Iye, dozo, osakini—Literally, “No, please, after you.” A phrase widely used on the Wall when speaking with those who have drawn ire… especially annoying non-Crab.
Kannishiki! (Anvil!)—Used to warn that a creature can only be hurt by jade.
Koma (Pony)—An insulting term for a non-Crab who has been sent to the Wall. Derived from the Yasuki custom of supplying lame ponies to the Hida for archery practice. In the Crab view, an outsider serving on the Wall is about as useful as a lame pony, only able to stumble around and bleat for help.
Mami! (Deceiver!)—A word warning of the presence of a shapeshifter or similar infiltrator; the Crab have standard drills for responding to such a threat.
Maru—A unit of time with a specifi c meaning: it is the minimum time it will take an Invulnerable oni to kill an armored Hida warrior. About two seconds, usually. The most common usage is when
discussing the sacrifice of troops for time.
Suihi! (Liquid Manure!)—Used to warn of a creature that is insubstantial, can pass through walls, etc.
Tsuta (Ivy)—Warns of the possible presence of Shadowlands creatures in a “civilian” location where they would not be expected, such as an inn, geisha house, or similar. Crab hearing this word know to get their weapons and meet at the exit.
Yamijiai—Warning that a military situation is dire. Sometimes rendered as “Fighting unknown assailants, the situation is a mess.”
Yasha! (Demon Woman!)—A companion term to “Tsuta.” Warns that the jig is up, so fight your way out any way you can.
Zakennayo!—A general-purpose phrase of frustration and anger. Heard quite often on the Wall.
Doji Riel NPCs
Still need to make:
Her old Sensei, who comes to visit from time to time, and who taught her mother as well.
Her oldest brother, a Bushi who is in love with Misaki
Her middle brother, a courtier
Daidoji Akimitsu, Riel's former betrothed
Doji Isamu is a brilliant and charismatic man, who spends time at the Imperial Court as well as at his Clan's court and his families. He remains tall and slender, unbowed by age and remains fit despite his courtier status. He practices with his Katana but does not normally wear one.
He deeply loves his wife and feels it is his duty to arrange marriages for each of his children wherein they will find such bliss as well.
He was the sort of father that never needed to physically discipline any of his children; A look from him could make her or her brothers feel as if everything they had ever done wrong was suddenly running through their minds and that he was fully aware of each thought. He would just arch an eyebrow and she'd find herself stammering out a confession. His follow up, “I -trust- it won't be necessary to speak of this again?” would normally end the discussion; should she attempt a defense ( “I … he... it wasn't … HE STARTED IT!”) He would simply raise an eye brow which would result in her heartfelt sigh of defeat and a quiet, “So you want me to punish myself or … is there something else?”
His instructions to Misaki:
Lady Daidoji Misaki,
I thank you for consenting to protect my daughter and already her letters home speak of your beauty and courage and skill. It is most delightful that she is so taken with you, and her oldest brother as well tells me you are something out of the ordinary.
I know she is persuasive, and charming,but there are a few instructions I have resolved to send to you, as you prepare to join the Imperial Legion.
At all costs, Lady Riel must never, ever meet a member of the Hare Clan. All minor clans are a risk but these are likely to inflame her imagination. I look higher then a minor clan for her husband and do not wish to battle her over this. She would find their daunting task – fighting an enemy that they cannot tell from their allies, and one that does not follow the codes of honor at that to be worthy of great sympathy and aid. It is enough that she cannot stop praising the Crab Clan; I will not have her enamored of Hare as well.
Do not let her come across or speak with nor even see any remnants of the Boar Clan; for all my skills at Court I cannot single handedly re-instate them! But when she learns their history, that they were all sacrificed to a great evil artifact … well by now I am certain you will guess how she would respond. She is NOT to go looking for it, nor yet to try to fight Bloodspeakers.
Lady Riel is also forbidden to speak with, fraternize with or otherwise socialize with a Sparrow Bushi. The combination of muscular frame, shining honor and great need will entice her unduly; I will not sit through long dinner discussions about how better trade agreements for the Sparrow would benefit the Empire, nor will I permit her wed such a man, even though her own portion is quite generous; she would bankrupt her family and her children to aid their Clan.
Indeed, Lady Misaki, I require her to be returned to us with her heart and honor intact. You are authorized to use all means at your disposal to see to it that this is so.
Lady Kasumi comes from an ancient lineage who spoke to the spirits before the Asahina school existed. She accepts their preeminent place in clan politics, but has carefully tutored her daughter in the old ways, as well as being certain her own Doji Sensei took charge of Riel's schooling. Strong willed and traditional, she has done her best to raise devout, sensitive children who will bring honor to the Doji name. She is more prone to laughter then to scolds, and much more apt to permit her children to make their mistakes ...and learn from it … then to step in and solve every problem.
She is conflicted about the need to send her daughter to the Asahina, but bows to her husband's ruling on this. When she was a child it was a bitter battle to be accepted at all, though she expects her efforts have smoothed the way somewhat for her daughter.
A scheming Courtier, and downright unlikable individual. Riel's uncle, he was the one who lead the expedition that discovered Kai, and sent him to live with the monks. In Saborou's mind, this adds up to Kai belonging to Saborou, thinking about the Monk as one might think about a dog. For now, Kai is allowed to play, but someday, Saborou will call Kai to heel, and he expects him to listen. He has a number of disagreements with Riel's father, Doji Isamu. He schemes to remove his elder brother, and use the families resources 'more effectively.' Unfortunately, one of those resources is Riel.
Saborou is a high ranking member of the Kolat, and desires to become master of the Coin Sect. He intends to marry Riel to a highly placed member of the Silk Sect, and use the information provided by the man, along with the resources of his family, to become master of the Coin. Isamu stands in his way, but the Lotus Sect provides a simple solution to that problem. With that power, Saborou intends to see Kai placed as master of the Seven Thunderers Temple. With a major Shinsei temple in the hands of the Kolat, he would wield an immense amount of power.
Utaku Saki is tall and fierce, a proud member of the Unicorn clan and the seventh daughter of her mother. She loves her battlemare above all things, and thrills to the risks of battle, suffering from dejection and boredom without it. When she had the opportunity to join the battle legion at the Emperor's request, she lept at the chance, willing to put off the time when she must settle down to hearth and family forever. She has brilliant red hair that she wears in a long braid down her back, and large, new-green eyes, with a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose.
She is prone to a poet's distraction, to sudden, intense passions and quiet, deep depressions. She is hoping to die gloriously in battle, and have all the Unicorn mourn her loss. Despite her respect for physical strength, she has found her current passion alighting upon the fragile Doji Riel, feeling a distinct and alarming urge to protect and cosset her, sparking a fierce jealousy of her Yojimba, Misaki.
A Shosuro, he largely works as a Courier for the Scorpion. He is common sight in many corners of the empire, delivering messages, taking replies, that sort of thing. Why the Scorpion use such a disliked man as the face is unknown. Shosuro is an unpleasant man, slightly overweight, and fond of drink, fine food, and women. He is also unrelenting stupid. He is, as yet, unmarried, but he is whispered to have set his sights on someone. He’s thought of generally as an unpleasant guest, but nothing more. The past few winters, he’s joined the Doji at the Winter Court, a guest of Doji Saborou. He’s had the odd habit of hanging around Doji Riel.
The Scorpion regard rats as sacred. Ichiro feeds them. A few can normally be seen in his quarters, and not nice White Rats; Ugly, scarred, disease infested vermin. He gave one to Riel as a gift.
Ichiro is much more then he appears. While he is quite fond of the finer things in life, he is an incredibly competent infiltrator. Many of his missives are simply cover for him to enact his missions. He is an assassin, a spy, and whatever else is required of him. He is nowhere near as foolish as he acts.
Ichiro serves two masters. He is also a high ranking member of the Silk Sect. He schemes with Doji Saborou to see the other rise to the place of Master of the Coin Sect. His price for this is Riel’s hand in marriage. Why he is so attached to the Shugenja is unknown. He has gone as far as finding a courtesean who resembles Riel, and refers to her by that name, often taking her in the clothing of the Crane Clan. Some speculate he is playing a deeper game, that there is something special about Riel. Others think the fat man is deceiving them, causing those around him to underestimate him by pretending to be obsessed with Riel. Still others think he is quite serious.
He goes as far as to release his rats into the Crane household when he stays for Winter
Kaiu Katsu, a brilliant combat engineer and hardworking architect of the Crab Clan, had been chosen in an unusual move by his Clan to wed a wealthy Crane. It was hoped that his high intellect would enable him to influence the flighty and frivolous Crane into sending money and resources to the Wall. He is a good man, honorable, ethical and kind, who hopes to wed with Doji Riel, helping to build a future where Crane and Crab become allies. Her father's stories of her idealistic nature and gentle demeanor, along with a tiny painting of her, caused him to fall helplessly in love with her, though they had never met.
When he heard of her appointment to the Imperial Legion, and his family subsequently refusing the betrothal, he girded on his (mostly unused) sword, and stormed off after her, vowing to stand between her and all harm! He keeps the picture in his breast pocket, and takes it out to inspire him whenever he looses heart.