Name: Tsuko (Formerly Shiba Hisae)
Clan: Ronin (Formerly Phoenix)
School / Rank: Shiba Bushi 1
Status: 0 (Ronin)
Meditation 1 (Void Recovery)
Perform: Biwa 1
Polearms 3 (Naginata; +5 Init first round of skirmish)
Tea Ceremony 1
Advantages: Paragon of Compassion (7 points)
Disadvantages: Social Disadvantage (Ronin)
Outfit: Light Armor (+5 TN, 3 reduction), Sturdy Clothing, Daisho, Naginata, Traveling pack, 5 koku
Traveling Pack contents: Musical instrument (biwa), coin purse, chopsticks, tea set, week's rations, small tent, spare kimono and sandals, blanket, wide-brimmed straw hat, flint and tinder
Q: What Clan does your character belong to?
Tsuko once belonged to the Phoenix clan; she was cast out for directly disobeying the orders of her daimyo, to abandon an affair that had been discovered
Q: What family does your character belong to?
Tsuko was born as Shiba Hisae, but her exile has forced her to leave her family behind; she has taken the name Tsuko to spare them any further shame.
Q: Is your character a bushi, a courtier, or a shugenja?
As the only child of a Shiba yojimbo to an Asako courtier, Hisae was expected to follow a like course, and received her training in the Shiba dojo.
Q: How would others describe your character's appearance?
When bathed and properly dressed, Tsuko is an athletic girl who carried the attractive features of her shiba ancestors; Few would call her beautiful, since as a bushi she doesn't properly conform to social expectations of feminine beauty; too muscular, a little too tall, uncomplicated hair, and a somewhat brusque demeanor.
Q: What is our character's primary motivation?
Tsuko's ambitions are twofold, and contradictory; She wants to seek revenge on Daidoji Shiori, whose embrace - and manipulation - resulted in Tsuko's ronin status. Second, she wishes to clear the shame of her clanless position from both her name and that of her ancestors; unfortunately, to gain revenge on the crane samurai will likely require an act of murder, while to regain her position as a phoenix - or even another clan - will require her to leave her past behind in service to a new lord.
Q: Who is the person your character trusts most in the world?
Even though they are separated by untold miles and the rift between her and her former clan, Tsuko has utmost trust in her sensei, Shiba Ujiro, who remains in Phoenix lands to train future generations. It is doubtful he returns the same trust, given his student's gross failure of Loyalty.
Q: What is your character's greatest strength and weakness?
Tsuko's greatest weakness is a lack of social ability; she was always a shy girl, and the Shiba dojo does not well-prepare its students for time at court (unless that court is held at a temple, perhaps.) So when Shiba Hisae went to winter court at Kyuden Ikoma, as a yojimbo to an Asako diplomat, she was easy prey for another yojimbo, Daidoji Shiori; the older woman seduced Hisae, with hte goal of shaming her and thus weakening Asako Tamae's position i nthe court... and it worked spectacularly.
Her greatest strength is her compassion; Tsuko may have failed harshly at a test of duty to her lord, but none could ever say that she is a cruel or unjust woman. In her time as a ronin, this has only grown more true; without the power of a clan at her back, Tsuko has discovered herself to be reliant on the buge even more than before; and of course, she was raised and trained as Phoenix; all people are of the celestial order, all humans are sons and daughters of the kami, and ought to be well-treated.
Q: What does your character think of Bushido?
Since her failure and casting-out, Bushido has become more important to Tsuko than ever; It is like a floating log for a drowning woman, to her. Without it, she would likely be little more than a bandit with a daisho. Of course she's hardly perfect with the philosophy; Compassion comes naturally to her, as does Honesty. However, Hoensty and Sincerity clash; even more now, divorced fro mthe sourts as she is. Duty is a worrying thing for her; after her failure it has become more important than ever in her mind, but with no lord to serve, what use is it?
Q: What is your character's opinion of her clan?
Tsuko holds sorrow for the shame she brought her clan... but at the time, she held their traditional ways in contempt for denying herh eart. it wasn't until she found the truth of Daidoji Shiori's manipulation of her that genuine sorrow came to her... and of course by then, it is far too late. She still respects the Phoenix and honors her ancestors.
As for ronin... Tsuko tries to judge them individually. Unfortunately this judgement still coems from her lost place as a Phoenix samurai, and she instinctively sees other ronin as below her, and judges according to a standard of Bushido she herself has not perfectly upheld. She means well, but you know, not being really adept at hiding her true feelings...
Q: Is your character married?
No, and it's unlikely to change. If someday she ever did, it would likely be a passionless marriage. There is, after all, a reason she fell into shiori's arms so easily...
Q: Does your character have any prejudices?
Tsuko has allowed the slight against her to fester into a strong dislike for the entire crane clan; though she respects their duelists still, their politicla machinations, false faces, and worldliness make Tsuko grit her teeth; she holds more trust for the scorpion, even, becuase with the clan of Bayushi, at least they tell you that they will manipulate you and seek the upper hand. From her days as a Phoenix, Tsuko has little patience for the warlike nature of the Lion or crab - or others who pursue to answer all challenges with a bloodstained blade.
Q: To whom does your character owe the most loyalty?
Most Ronin would say "myself," but Tsuko does not necessarily regard herself as worthy of loyalty; betrayed by a woman she felt love for, in turn betraying her own lord over it? What is there to be loyal to, there? However, Tsuko feels a bond of duty to the small people of the empire. While not exactly loyalty, it is they she feels the closest bond to, beyond of course her own ancestors and the Empress. Should the shibva family, or the Phoenix clan ever seek her out, though...
Q: What are your character's favorite and least favorite things?
Tsuko's favorite thing is music; the rise and fall of a lovely voice, the subtle strains of the koto, or the sound of her own biwa. For her, it is the highest expression of beauty; it cannot be corrupted by time or th elements, is transient yet lasts forever in the mind.
Her least favorite thing is riding horseback; she does not dislike the animals themselves, but despite the supposed glorious nature of cavalry combat, she has always found being carried by a beast to be somewhat degrading, and well, awkward. She can ride, just not well. She finds talk of horses incredibly dull, which is unfortunate given the resepect she's coem to find for the Unicorn she has encountered in her travel.
Q: Does your character have any recurring mannerisms?
When idle, Tsuko tends to pick at her clothing, as subtly as she can, clearing it of lint, stray hairs, loose dirt or the like. This is a product of having it instilled in her that she must always look at her best at court, and has only gotten worse now that she is on her own i nthe world, and clothing now tends to pick up leaves, spider webs, and all sorts of assorted grime.
When uncomfortable in a social situation, Tsuko tends to let her eyes explore the ceiling, not wanting to submissively stare at the floor or make her discomfort worse by looking at the people she has to interact with.
Q: What about your character's emotions?
Tsuko is still young, and temperance is a bit of a struggle; even more now as a ronin, without so many eyes on her. She's not so brash as to weep publicly or roar in anger... but the temptations are certainly there, and failure is always an option...
Q: How would your character handle a subordinate's improper behavior?
Subirdinate to who? Her, a ronin? Hah! Still, she enshrines compassion; hypothetically she would forgive the subordinate's first failure, and demand he repair what damage was done; if possible. Frankly it has never come up, and Tsuko is unsure of what she would do in such instances.
Q: How would your character's parents describe her?
After the Ikoma winter court? A disappointment, no doubt. Tsuko has broken her exikle somewhat by writing unsigned letters to them, but of course has never received a response. She has no idea what they truly think, but it's hard to not feel melancholy over it all.
her father, Shiba Mofune, would have once expressed pride in his daughter's following in his footsteps, in the Shiba yojimbo tradition. Of course, she would always be his little girl, even if he could not actually express such sentiments and preserve both of their on. Her mother would be less reserved, and would happily describe her daughter as the most beautiful Shiba woman in two generations - probably in hopes of luring a suitor, so that she could finally get some grandchildren to dote on. Oh, she knows, but that doesn't matter!
Q: What is your character's highest ambition?
Shiba Hisae always saw herself as an eventual provincial governor. It's a rather mundane ambition, but still rather ambitious. The odds of that happening now are... slender. Not impossible; she has learned stories of ronin who govern towns or cities or even are granted permission to found their own families or clans; she has not quote accepted her ronin station yet, and such ambitions are not yet in her gaze.
Q: How religious is your character?
For a bushi? Very. Especially since she now has time to devote to her ancestors, rather than constant practice and court functions. Though not a shugenja, she could likely perform the basic functions of a priest, in the absence of someone with a genuine ability to speak with the kami.
Q: How will your character die?
Most likely full of arrows with a spear in her belly from some bandit band, in defense of a farm village. Assuming of course, she doesn't die against the gaijin now sailing against the empire...
Also, will likely come up with a spare, because, well, you know how combat in this game goes