School: Togashi Tattooed Order
Spoiler: Twenty Questions
1) What Clan does your character belong to?
Ishi is Dragon, born to the mysteries of the clan and their mountains.
2) What family does your character belong to?
Ishi belongs to the Togashi, and though he may not have been born to the name, it has chosen him.
3) Is your character a Bushi, Shujenja or Courtier?
Togashi Ishi is a monk, following the Togashi path towards enlightenment.
4) How would others describe your character's appearance?
To some, Ishi's appearance is unsettling. To most, it borders on monstrous. Due to his jutting brow, large teeth and narrowly-set, small dark eyes, more than one observer has remarked that he looks more ogre/oni than man. None of those, however, are of his Order. In addition to the tattoos that mark him as a member of the order, his skin shows the scars and weathering of a physical life in the mountains. Ishi is generally bare-chested, not out of a desire to disquiet others or to display his physique, but to continue to be exposed to the elements and be shaped as the mountains are shaped.
5) What is your character's primary motivation?
To serve his order and achieve enlightenment. To do one is to attain the other.
6) Who is the person your character trusts most in the world?
Though he trusts those of his Order and would meet any directive of those above him with obedience, he trusts most Togashi Kawa and would take any word from him as truth (at least truth as Kawa knows), no matter how unexpected.
7) What is your character's greatest strength and weakness?
His dedication to the Order and the path to enlightenment is both a great strength and a great weakness. While it provides him armor against temptation and keeps him from falling afoul of political maneuvering, it does provide a way for the clever and subtle to manipulate him. From a more physical standpoint, he is well suited for juijutsu and is expected to excel as he grows more experienced. In order to do so, however, he must become more mountain than stone. His isolation from more worldly concerns has limited his suitability for delicate interactions and it is likely in these areas he will most often evidence weakness.
8) What does your character think of Bushido?
As it is inspired by the Kami it is of value. As it is the purview of the bushi, it is not Ishi's primary concern.
9) What is your character's opinion of his Clan?
The Dragon are the very essence of Rokugan, embracing each element as do the true Dragons. Perhaps more than any other clan, the Dragon are the soul of their founder and the expression of what it is to be fashioned by the divine.
10) Is your character married?
No. While Ishi is not concerned with such matters, he also does not disdain them.
11) Does your character have any prejudices?
While Ishi would prefer to think otherwise, he is more companionable with other monks or shugenja (or other persons evidencing faith regardless of social standing) than bushi, courtiers or those more interested in the physical trappings of life. The expression of this prejudice generally exhibits itself as being less distant to those he prefers as opposed to being more unfriendly or cold to those he does not.
12) To whom does your character owe the most loyalty?
Togashi Kawa is the venerable monk who brought Ishi into the Order, and while he holds all of his brothers in high esteem, he feels most beholden to Kawa.
13) What are your character's most and least favorite things?
Though he struggles not to evidence it, Ishi's most favorite thing is the peace he attains exposed to the elements in and around his home - the Dragon mountains. He does recognize, however, that he must experience the elements in all their forms and places in order to gain real understanding.
He least prefers his appearance in that it limits his ability to teach and learn from those outside his Order. Still, he is working on viewing it as another step on the path of enlightenment rather than an obstacle to the same.
14) Does your character have any recurring mannerisms?
Not any of particular note. He does sometimes tilt his head and narrow his eyes when concentrating on another person, which can have the unfortunate side effect of making him appear to respond like a dog trying to grasp the meaning of its master's words.
15) What about your character's emotions?
Ishi tries to hold to his name and keep emotions from unnecessary outward expression. He is working to achieve the observant detachment of the elder members of the Order, and understands that while experiencing emotions is important, particularly for neonates, the control of expression of those emotions allows the greatest opportunity to learn from them.
16) How would your character handle a subordinate's improper behavior?
Though clearly the Tattooed Order does not follow the same strictures and rigid hierarchy as other schools, there are times when a Brother is put in a position of leadership. This is a responsibility, not a privilege, and improper behavior reflects more on the teacher than the student. Any damage to the Order or Clan must be prevented or mitigated, and responsibility addressed...but to teach, not to punish.
18) What is your character's highest ambition?
Ambition is a concern for others. That being said, Ishi would most like to attain enlightenment...for his order, his clan and all Rokugani. And, secretly, deep inside, for himself.
19) How religious is your character?
To Ishi, religion is not faith. It is simply truth. Though interpretations may vary, and there are always those that try to use the words of the gods to achieve their own ends, the fundamental basis of life is the Kami.
20) How will your character die?
Ishi, like all of his Brothers, will die knowing he has spent his days seeking to understand his place in the universe and thus it was a life well spent. If he could choose the place and manner of his death, it would be high in the mountains of the Dragon clan, serving his order.
Spoiler: Character Sheet
Rings and Traits
Antisocial (4 pts) - Reduce social skill rolls by 1k1
Ascetic (3 pts) - Reduce Glory awards by an additional one half
Disturbing Countenance (3 pts) - TN of all Social Skill Rolls is increased by +5
Obligation (3 pts) - Owe a debt that must be repaid
Seven Fortunes' Curse - Diakoku (3 pts) - -1k1 to all Commerce Skills and reduce starting koku by 1
Friend of the Brotherhood (4 pts) - Purchase Kiho as if a Monk of the Brotherhood of Shinsei
Hands of Stone (5 pts) - Damage Rolls for unarmed combat are increased by 0k1
Athletics: 3 (6k3)
Craft: Tattooing: 1 (3k2)
Defense: 3 (6k3)
Investigation: 1 (4k3)
Jiujutsu: 4 (6k2)
Lore: Theology: 1 (4k3)
Medicine: 1 (3k2)
Meditation: 3 (6k3)
Staves: 3 (5k2)
Blood of the Kami
- Gain two tattoos
Body of Stone
- Crab Tattoo - While active, gain Reduction Rating equal to Earth Ring (3)
- Mountain Tattoo - While active, all Wound Penalties are reduced by School Rank +2 (4)
- All unarmed attack and damage rolls +1k1
Way of the Earth (Earth 4, Martial) - While active, opponents engaged in Grapple suffer 3 wounds per round
Touch the Void Dragon (Void 4, Internal) - While active, one Ring and associated Traits are considered one rank higher
Unarmed: 7k3, 5k3 (Jiujutsu Mastery Rank 3 + Hands of Stone + Body of Stone)
Tonfa: 5k2, 3k3
Bo Staff: 5k2, 4k2
TN: 20 (5*3 + 5)
Insight: 150 (130 + 20)
12 - Stamina 3
12 - Willpower 3
12 - Perception 3
12 - Strength 3
05 - Athletics 2, 3
05 - Defense 2, 3
09 - Jiujutsu 2, 3, 4
01 - Investigation 1
01 - Medicine 1
05 - Meditation 2, 3
05 - Staves 2, 3
04 - Learn Way of the Earth
04 - Learn Touch the Void Dragon
- Disadvantages Surplus
Togashi Kawa found great peace in wandering the rivers and streams of the Dragon lands. The invigorating cold of the mountain-snow born waters encouraged clarity of mind and the rushing currents forge surety of body. It was while walking in such a stream in the extreme northwestern region of the Dragon lands that he came upon a most unusual scene. An infant, no more than a few weeks old and naked, lie in the shallows of the stream. The child was silent, but his eyes moved, showing life. A woman's body was nearby, face down in the scrub. It appeared she had been dead for at least two days. Though not so tightly bound by the prohibitions against touching dead flesh, Kawa chose not to examine her more closely. It was the decree of the Fortunes that she come to her end here, and the details thereof where not of his concern. Though initially inclined to continue on his way and allow the natural course to play out, he quickly came to the realization that no child so young should have lived so long in the cold water. Furthermore, how the child ended up in that water rather than near his mother's body was a curiosity. Kawa returned to the child and pulled him from the water. Swaddling him in his own robes, Kawa regarded the unpleasant looking boy. "You are a pebble in this stream, child. I wonder why Fate has cast you here."
Kawa brought the child to a small village downstream and asked a family to look after the boy until he returned. Though put off by the child's already disturbing appearance, they honored the Ise Zumi's request. Two years later, Kawa returned, thanked the family and took the child - near twice the size of most toddlers - with him into the mountains. "Well, pebble, you continue to survive. We will see if you have it in you to be more."
Ishi spent the remainder of his childhood in the Whispering Cave Monastery of the Ise Zumi. For three years he was allowed to be a child, exploring the grounds within the stone walls and living as a child. He was curious enough, but seldom spoke. When he fell, he would weep but did not cry. When happy we would smile, but did not laugh. Five years from the day Kawa plucked him from the stream, his childhood ended. Ishi was physically ready to begin his training as a monk of the Tattooed Order. He had continued to grow larger and stronger, and so Kawa gave him his new name - Ishi, the Stone. As befits his name and his stature, he is most akin to the element of Earth. As a monk, he was taught the ways of the other elements, but it is to Earth he most often returned. His physical characteristics helped him excel in his martial training, and the teachings of the Order provided him with greater capacity for emptiness.
Like Kawa, his mentor, he displayed an affinity for Kiho, mastering Way of the Earth by the age of 8. His greatest achievement was mastering Touch the Void Dragon at 12. While some Ise Zumi use the Tattoo to address weaknesses, Ishi felt the rightness of Crab and Mountain, tattoos speaking to his natural strengths.
While he has great appreciation for the artistry of the Ise Zume tattoo, the skill does not come easily to him, and his devotion to the Kami is unquestioned, but his ability to recall the specific details of stories is often limited. He is neither slow, nor disinclined to intellectual pursuits, as evidenced by his comfort in meditation and the ease with which he achieves the calm state necessary for reflection and rejuvenation.
Ishi also took after his mentor in embracing the long walk, and while he preferred the mountain peaks to the rivers and streams, the effect was much the same. His body strengthened ever more, and his tolerance for pain and injury continued to grow. Now, a full initiate of the Tattooed Order, he has expanded his ranging to include the whole of the Dragon lands.
Togashi Ishi, though just a youth, is already much larger than most full-grown Dragon. While he has not yet reached his full girth, his 6'1" frame and broad shoulders are imposing. Had he a more pleasing look to him he might be thought a physically attractive man. Fate was not kind to him in this regard, however, and his features are ill-suited and not pleasing to the eye. His lower jaw and brow jut out much further than they should, his teeth are large and square, save for the canines, and his eyes are small, dark and too close together. Combined with his size it is easy to understand why children fear him and why some whisper he is tainted with the blood of the oni. Ishi keeps his hair shorn, though not as regularly as some of his brothers, and there are often small tufts of coarse black hair on his head. His skin is rough and covered with scars typical of one that spends his time outdoors in harsh conditions.
While Ishi does not delight in the reaction of others to his appearance, he does not flee from it either. He spends virtually every moment bare to the waist, not only so that the tattoos of his Order might function, but so that he can feel the elements upon him. Though he would likely prefer to go about without any clothing, decorum dictates that modesty must still be observed when in the presence of others. Simple breeches or hakama are a concession he makes to decorum, belted with a plain swath of fabric. They typically show signs of wear, and he has neither the inclination nor the means to do anything about their state. Barefoot whenever possible, Ishi does have a pair of worn and frequently mended sandals for the rare occasions that call for such footwear. His bo and tonfa are his only other possessions, all of simple, unadorned wood.
Five Ise Zumi were chosen to accompany the Dragon delegation to the funeral of Hida Munisai, one initiate for each element. Ishi was chosen as the representative of Earth. While others might see great honor in being chosen to represent the element most valued by the Clan being honored, Ishi simply knows that he must do his duty to the Clan and the Order, experience what the journey has to offer, and return to the Dragon mountains better for the time spent away.
Ishi will speak in the Gray of Stone and Earth...assuming it shows up sufficiently well. Otherwise it'll have to be the Brown of dirt and earth.