L5R: Hammer and Flame
How does your character view her clan and family stereotypes?
Momoko sees the cultivation of fear as useful to her clan. That the Bayushi are known, open controllers is something of a worthy sacrifice, as well as a distinct social advantage – it allows more bland, subtle families to act without notice while a more flashy and obvious Bayushi is there to work in plain sight. Stereotypes are meant to serve and further the interests of people. She struggles to find ways to use these tools to her advantage in practice.
Bushi, Courtier, Shugenja – each path requires its own form of discipline and occupies its own role. Why did your character pursue her path?
As a Bushi, Momoko not only realizes her own talents and has a steady outlet for an incredibly violent fantasy life, but has a simpler manner of trying to clean her nuclear family’s name. As a Bushi, expectations are managed – and she can more ably catch others by surprise. It is the best of all worlds, for how very little she cares about the spirits. Also, as the possibly less courtly figure, she finds an easier task in observing what occurs and recording it.
How did your parents serve their clan? Are they still alive?
Loyally, and by any means. Her mother was a keen manipulator and oversaw many lucrative trade treaties and acquisitions. Her father was often away in military matters, and sacrificed his life for the Empire. Both are dead. Her mother was slain by her true father in a fit of jealous rage, when he discovered her with her body guard. Shortly after her murder, he himself committed seppuku.
All samurai know Bushido – what tenet is most important to your character and how does he follow it?
Yu, Courage. Duty is imperative to all Scorpion – but Momoko would be nothing without courage, which has become her own chief tenet and shield in life. It guides her to live a life not controlled by fear, expectation – or remorse. She tries to cast off fear, and throw limits to the wind in her life, refusing to be a mere object in the face of her earlier developmental periods. Honing herself into the most capable tool for her lord, regardless of her compartmentalized emotions, is of paramount importance.
Who does your character trust most and how much do they trust her?
She doesn’t truly trust anyone – least of all implicitly. She shares enough guarded trust with those she works with to, well, work together, but remains too keenly aware of the danger of making emotional connections, and the reality that any of those above her station may choose or be forced to betray her in bloody, painful ways for the sake of a goal, or the interests of the clan. Her lord is merely he most justified among them all to do so. She had cared deeply for the aunt that had taken her in after she had been orphaned, had trusted her, but their relationship has been deeply strained for many years by the woman’s resentment of Momoko’s unblemished state after a house fire had disfigured her. She trusts people just far enough as she needs to in order to function, and works not to get too cozy with anyone, certain they will inevitably betray or abandon her.
What is your character’s greatest strength?
Ability to become capably violent. Emotional disconnection. Objective view of the situation, recorded clearly.
Is your character bethrothed? To whom? If they are over twenty – why have they not been married if they are not?
Yes, to a Monkey clan samurai. Her would-be husband is several years younger yet, and hasn’t had the chance to pass his Gempukku. They wait until his adulthood to wed. They haven’t met, but she quietly hopes for a polite young man that can keep house well.
What is your character’s greatest flaw?
Her distrust of others can be an alienating factor. Though she is capable in court as any Bayushi is taught to be, she has less understanding of her fellow human beings than many others. She has an incredibly cynical world view, and a frankly brutal idea about how to handle spirits, servants, and criminals.
What three things would your character never do under any circumstance?
1) Publically disgrace her family and/or marriage with shameful indiscretions. 2) Kill a Nezumi in cold blood. 3) Die before killing her great-uncle.
How does your character view the lower classes?
Part of the celestial order, and Heaven help them if they hide the rice and taxes. Essentially born servants, non-persons.
How religious is your character and how do they express it?
Not very. Sparse visits to temples. She prays to the fortunes, tends to keep a very modest shrine in her home, and lights incense regularly out of duty to her ancestors, except for the memory of the Nameless One they’ve stricken from the family records – worse than the villains of the Bayushi.
What event has most defined your character’s life?
Seeing her mother murdered. She still doesn’t quite understand the look that overcame Yogo Tetsunosuke’s face when he’d spied her, and spared her. She doesn’t understand it, and fears the vulnerability that a lover brings, shunning them to this point on principle. She’s been striving ever since to become strong, capable, and tough. Now that she’s old enough to take up the cause, her ancestors’ sins have become a crucible for her.
What motivates your character?
Success at any cost, power, perceived “honor”, duty, expression of courage, will to continue her family. Returning family purity – and that means going into the shadowlands and slaying her great-uncle for his corruption.