The Shadow Above
A Yoritomo Bushi
Yoritomo Barushi is an very difficult man to understand. He is Bushi through and through. where some men are tempered to stay their hand to prevent a fight and bloodshed, Barushi revels in it. He would rather be wading into a fight against an army than walking into Winter Court. Though rough around the edges, he places great worth on his friends and family.
Barushi was born to Yoritomo Kujira and Yoritomo Ro, the sister of Wantanabe Tsuchiro. His family has a big holding on the island of Koutetsukan where he used to play in the shipyard as a boy. He was playing in top of the mast of a ship one day when he lost his grip and fell. In the darkness he lived another life. One plagued by self doubt and hardship. He was found several hours later by his father’s yojimbo Yoritomo Taiki. When Taiki reached his young lord he found his lower body shattered and Barushi unconscious. While in that dark night, as Barushi would later come to call it, his mother Ro and his family’s shugenja worked several nights trying to save the injured boy. When he awoke his family celebrated, though he was changed by that dark night. The playful happy boy was gone, left was a driven young man to find honor and glory like he did in the dark night. After seeing this change in her son, Ro approached him and offered him a tale:
When Shinsei was traveling the land to better understand Rokugan and her people he found a mantis in the road. He said, “Little one, may I pass?” The mantis replied, “I am sorry but if you continue going down this path I will have to stop you or perish trying.” Fascinated by the mantis’ resolve Shinsei asked, “Why must you do such a thing? I mean you no harm. I only wish to see this great land.” The mantis looked up at him and said, “I do not know why I need to fight, it like a storm rages inside of me. If you pass I will stop you or perish trying.”
Shinsei continued to talk to the mantis for several hours, when dusk settled he set up his tent for the night. “I will try again in the morning little one.”
When dawn came, Shinsei packed his tent and started down his path again but the mantis was still there, arms poised to strike. “Little one,” Shinsei said, “we have talked and you know that I mean you no harm. Can you quell that storm and allow me to pass?”
“After we first met, I have been trying to quite the storm inside of me,” The mantis said. “I fear though that it is all that I am, all I know, all I can see. To proceed you will have to kill me in battle.” And with that the Mantis charged forward hovering quickly towards Shinsei.
Shinsei stepped on the mantis. “You died with honor little one, but you let the storm consume you. You did not need to perish this day…” and with that Shinsei continued on his journey.
Barushi has since become a very apt bushi and works under his uncle Tsuchiro. He has been tasked with delivering Yoritomo Kikida to his father in Second City.