Bayushi Jakuchu

Retired Adventurer and Master Duelist

Description:

Bayushi Jakuchu is a tall man, weathered and scarred by years of adventuring. His age has yet to catch up with him physically and he still moves with the deliberate lithe agility of a master duelist. Jakuchu’s dark hair is just beginning to grey. He wears a mask, like all Scorpion Samurai but has taken to wearing more and more concealing masks in the past few years. His dark eyes are the only feature visible through his mask and they shine with a predatory light and seem to pierce straight to the soul.

Bio:

Bayushi Jakuchu was born a second son, lacking in the dishonorable ruthlessness that characterizes the Scorpion Clan. Jakuchu was an honorable soul and was driven to prove himself a true samurai and to become the greatest swordsman and duelist in Rokugan. He had many successful adventures with an intrepid band of heroes and rose to power within his clan following these accomplishments. Jakuchu was tasked by his clan with founding and perfecting a new Scorpion Dueling Technique. Frustrated by the continued constraints to his honor of working within his clan Jakuchu maneuvered to be granted greater autonomy for himself and his household to form a more classically “honorable” corps of Scorpion Duelists.

Jakuchu was successful in perfecting his swordsmanship and began entering tournaments and became a fixture at the Imperial Court as a great duelist. Jakuchu remained undefeated as a duelist and his fame increased. He won many tournaments but in the Great Tournaments (those that were held to determine important ranks, titles, and positions) he always withdrew from the competitions (as ordered by his clan). Eventually the Empress took note of this fact and called together the Champions and notable duelists of the realm (each of which had been beaten at some point by Jakuchu in Iajitsu duels, many of them informal). A consensus was reached amongst the Empress and the various Champions that Jakuchu was the finest swordsman and duelist in Rokugan; though he continued to reject opportunities to win recognition as a Champion. After saving the life of the Imperial Heir, the Empress ordered Jakuchu to establish an Imperial dueling school. Jakuchu founded a dojo and soon withdrew from adventuring to focus exclusively on this project.

The call arose for noteworthy samurai around the Empire to follow the cryptic instructions of Nonami’s final prophecy and rescue this newborn “hero” from the Shadowlands before the taint of evil clamed him. Bayushi Jakuchu was unwillingly forced to join the hunt and so he ventured once again into the dreaded Shadowlands, masking his fear and paranoia with a near-suicidal recklessness. But luck smiled on Jakuchu as it had time and again and he had the honor of finding the prophesied child.

Jakuchu found her secreted in a mysterious box, marked strange runes that seemed to tell an important tale. He carried her from the Shadowlands before smashing the box to splinters with his magical sword (Jakuchu insisted to all who inquired that the box was “damn scary” and had been looking at him funny). While many had fought for the honor of raising the child, such enthusiasm dissipated when the Court gazed in horror upon the child for she not only part Gaijin but also clearly marked as not entirely human by small but vicious tusks and a reddish tint to her skin. The child was examined by Kuni Witchhunters, Pheonix Sages, and the Shosuro but none were able to detect any sign of the taint within the infant. When none would take the child the Empress commanded that Jakuchu take her to be raised within his household that he might keep an eye on her.

Reluctantly, Jakuchu took the child into his household and, after naming her Nasako, he gave her to the care of his great nephew- claiming he was too old to raise a child. Nasako was unwanted by this family and shunned by adults and peers alike and so she was mostly raised by the serving staff at the dojo. Jakuchu (being a man of exceeding paranoia) had Nasako secretly but closely watched. Nasako’s lonely childhood was often interrupted by shugenjas jumping out of the shadows and casting Jade Strike on her (in an attempt to smite any evil that may exist within her monstrous form).

Nasako took refuge from the drudgery of servitude and the her bitter ostracism by spying on the dueling classes at the dojo and practicing in secret. Jakuchu had continued to monitor her for signs of evil and was growing fond of her despite himself- especially once he noticed her innate talent for the sword. Nasako fought with a passionate rage unknown in Rokugan. Jakuchu began to train Nasako in secret and gradually entered more and more into her life. He commanded her proper integration into the household and insisted that she be allowed to attend his classes and that she be referred to as a Bayushi- her right per being adopted by a ranking samurai of the Clan. Over time Jakuchu taught Nasako to channel her rage and temper it into a cold hard, clarity, clarity of passion.

Though Jakuchu was increasing crotchety as he aged, he also began to withdraw from active dueling (though he still remained undefeated). Despite this he became a popular fixture at Court and remained a favorite of the Empress (whose children all had trained with Jakuchu). Even with his influence and stature Jakuchu was reprimanded when he entered Nasako into an Imperial tournament for newly-of-age bushi. Nasako was banned from competing due to her appearance and a furious Jakuchu refused to attend the tournament that his star pupil had been barred from.

Jakuchu’s name still strikes fear into the hearts of many. He seems to have some undisclosed method of communication with Master Phung. Rumors abound as to how he manages to communicate from the empire of Rokugan when other communications have been cut off. There is a small branch of his dueling school in New Rokugan. The samurai in the caravan whisper that Jakuchu has sent some sort of secret agent to track the quest to Border Town and to protect his young protege.

Bayushi Jakuchu

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