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Unexpected Allies write ups

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1 Unexpected Allies write ups on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:19 am

Bayushi Dave

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Amateur Writer
Bayushi Orijitte
From an early age, Orijitte broke conversations with her beauty. As the young maiden grew into her stunning beauty she failed to remain inconspicuous within the market districts around Kyuden Bayushi. Once she enthralled the gaze of a mentor who offered to train her in the courtly ways of the masters of deception, her parents found the restitutions bestowed upon them more than rewarding.

For the next few years of her life Orijitte learned the subtle techniques of mystery and discretion to gain as much information while granting as little about her affairs. She came into her own as a woman and a courtier, and these things coincided with the rising of her status within the smaller courts. Gratitude and some semblance of praise from her mentor came with her removal from her entourage. Trusting Orijitte with the best interest of the clan, she sent the young courtier with a yojimbo to the far southern reaches of Kyuden Yasuki.

While the duo passed through Crane lands they developed a kindred link. Neither came from noble birth or lineage, but both found themselves traveling on behalf of rulers whom insisted they cover their faces with masks. Orijitte maintained a veil to allow her beauty to stay focused as her primary means of courtly battle, her yojimbo, Bayushi Koto, covered all but the lower sections of his face with a crimson metal mempo.

During a border crossing along the Crab-Crane border a very conceited Doji began to pressure the young courtier on the matters of her business. Orijitte found her subtlety tested and her engrossing beauty failing. Before the Doji could intercede upon a brief stumble of her sentence, Koto interjected. “Do not be alarmed my lady. Doji-sama is not used to true beauty overcoming his vanity.” With a smile Orijitte wrested the proper words to silence the officer.

Perhaps their souls came along the strings of fate too closely, for before they could arrive to Yasuki lands to conduct their visits tragedy struck. The general unease of the lands bred bandits escaping from a patrol of Crab magistrates. Before Koto could move to defend Orijitte, a slice of a blade glanced off of his mempo and tore a deep crevice across the beautiful face of Orijitte. Koto fought to defend his mark until the magistrates routed the remaining bandits, but some scars never heal.

Feeling a sense of failure at the loss of her potency, Orijitte and Koto returned to the Palace of Crimson Shadows. Both stood ready to face their respective prices for failure, and a disheartened mentor told Orijitte her death at the hands of the bandits would have served the clan more than her disfigurement.

Orijitte prepared for the worst as she feared what could lie in store for her, when she received a summons to a place she never expected: Seven Stings Keep.

With each village she passed by the looks of pity began to weigh on her heart. Her boon of beauty now devolved into a curse of disfigurement. No mask could ever hide such a terrible mark on a courtier.

But, within the halls of Seven Sting Keep she found herself rectified. “You are young.” Bayushi Morojite examined her sullen face. “And bare knowledge of the world.” His fingers stopping just shy of touching the scar across her face. “You will serve as others served you.” A servant stepped forward to present her a mempo—the same crimson mempo Koto wore. “And you will serve with a beauty only a distraught soul can embrace.”

Orijitte took the mask without question. She knew the fate of Koto for his failure, but she learned to move past it. With every blade stroke, every bruise, every scar, she could feel her mourning for Koto aspire into admiration for his passing.

Truth is superficial. Wisdom lies buried. Wisdom begets beauty.
Beauty is Bitter Lies.

***********************************

“Every wise man finds solace in truth, but the uncertainty terrifies me. I do not fear the Destroyers or what will come from our defeat. I fear what we must become to win this war.” –Asahina Yasutora

The tranquil gardens surrounding the multitude of temples making up Shinden Asahina reflect the passive nature of the school. Even as the temples stay unguarded, a simple knowledge prevails never leaves the mind of Asahina Yasutora—if the temples were ever attacked, the Empress would intercede. What sort of edict would need to precede such an egregious act?

Just as the shrubbery twirled through the garden verandas, so did the offhand decree find itself wrapping and warping its thorns through the meditative studies Yasutora put himself through.

The years did no service to the aspiring shugenja. His father, a seasoned shugenja who seen the evils of battle far too often, took his son to the cliffs overlooking the southern sea, and spoke with him on the trials he would face. “Never be afraid of what can happen. Fear what can never happen.”

During his treks through the lower reaches of the Empire, Yasutora assisted in the hospitals erected when the plague began to sweep through the villages along the Scorpion-Crab border. Living up to the standards ordered of the priests, Yasutora refused service to no child, but the pandemic became more severe—and the reports of the rising dead spread faster than the plague.

It was within a small town Yasutora met a young lord who owed allegiance to no one but his people. Fearing for what could come from the rise of the dead, the young lord insisted the priest only treat adults, for both the preservation of an adult, and the denial of a full grown zombie. The reply Yasutora gave was simple. “No.”
Fearing for the worst, and forsaking the celestial order, the young lord ordered the children of the town relocated to nearby villages, forcing Yasutora and his priests to operate in the manner the lord commanded. When the confrontation came the lord held his resolve. “I must save my people.”

In every direction Yasutora could see the skies burned red. The brashness of the action came and Yasutora knew his time with this man drew to a close.

With the children removed any fear of unnecessary destruction waned from the minds of the forces dispatched to remove the young lord. Yasutora went to speak with the young man, to offer him one final reprieve. “I do not want to remember you as a martyr for a lost reason, Byuko-san. I want to be rid of the memories I will have of the plague over this land, the memory of sick children and dying mothers, of doomed spearmen led by brash lords.”

“This is why we exist. Why the Kami allow us to suffer. Don’t you see in all of your wisdom why we are made to act in this manner? Become these things we despise? If we do not remember the dying mothers, the doomed legions, and if we forget the faces of the plagued children we lose ourselves. I may die a martyr, but you will carry the the burden we all share.” The brash young lord drew his blade, and with a careful strike cut a superficial incision into Yasutora’s lower torso.

Byuko did not survive the night. Nor did his village survive the arrival of the Imperial Legion with the news of his attack on an Asahina. When the eta came to claim the bodies, the Imperial commander insisted Byuko take his place outside of the Celestial Order and to leave no markings of his trace.

Barely speaking a word, Yasutora revoked the commander’s right. “No.”

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