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 Post subject: The Order of the Blackened Blossom [New Monk School]
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:58 am
Posts: 3783
In ruthless deluge
Even sakura blossoms
May rot and grow dark
But pale and black fall alike
To nourish hues of next spring

Kakita Koresada's death poem got leaked soon after his remorseful seppuku and became the slogan of growing dissent against Doji Tanaka's leadership. While nominating Kakita Wayozu, a revered kenshinzen and artisan sensei of the Academy, as his replacement could have allayed it, slighting late Kakita daimyo, a servant to three Champions, by relegating his earthly remains to a backwater place like Aketsu rather than allowing him be buried in a kofun near Kyuden Kakita, was too much for too many. Tanaka struck pre-emptively, and requested seppuku of Koresada's staunchest known supporters in the family. Many expected Wayozu to do something, anything about the purge, but it didn't happen. With few ways to fight against the falling Honour of the Crane, a group of senior Kakita committed kanshi before Wayozu, but facing an impossible situation, she again chose not to oppose her liege. And soon after, her family began to unravel.

Hundreds more committed seppuku, and thousands joined the wave, both young and old. But a sizeable group drew another lesson from Koresada's last words, and decided to seek an agreement from Sozan, the shinpu of the Brotherhood of Shinsei, to find a sect of their own dedicated to the protection of the remote kofun of their late daimyo at the edge of the Crane lands, adjacent to the Ronin Plains. Sozan, having his own reasons to do so, leveraged his position as the Imperial Adviser to bestow a nearby dilapidated and mostly abandoned Shingon monastic complex to those that wanted to call themselves the Order of the Blackened Blossom. Even though some of the Asahina retired as well to the Blackened Blossom to guide their former brethren on the new path, it is the radical Shinseist doctrines of esoteric Newer New Ways from Shinmaki wanderers that flocked in that took some root in the disgruntled minds of former Kakita. Being no theologians, they have committed themselves loosely to the idea of spiritual renewal that must come after the current struggles, and fell back to the teachings of 'The Sword' for some guidance in their role in bringing it about.

Their leader, who was now calling herself Kurozakura, may have had a defiant statement to make by destroying her tsuba and mounting the blade of her sword on a wooden shaft. Many of her fellow monks followed her in making the naginata the weapon of their guardianship, thus keeping the blades of their forebears, and began adopting the martial insights of their former lives into their routines. Their main effort was to maintain the new kofun and plant sprawling gardens spanning the area between the mound and the monastic complex. They have never run out of martial opportunities, however, with the Ronin Plains being a notoriously lawless and dangerous land. But their final martial test may be of different kind.

Tanaka has disavowed the new Order as sham and its members as traitors or idiots useful for the enemies of the Crane. The Lion invasion of the domain of the weakened Kakita family right after the Order's formation both prevented him from taking direct action against the former Crane but also lent credibility to some of his accusations. Many ask themselves the question: is the creation of the Blackened Blossom a true commitment to a spiritual journey, or a political ploy of whoever Kurozakura was, or some hidden hand? After all the times when Hantei Kusada pitched the Brotherhood against Gozoku are not far behind, and there is little doubt that Tanaka's possible action against the sohei would be framed by that precedence...


The Order of the Blackened Blossom Monk

Devotion: Shintao
Benefit: +1 Agility
Honour: 5.5
Skills: Athletics, Defence, Lore: Theology (Shintao), Meditation, Polearms, Any one Artisan Skill, Any one High or Bugei Skill

The Next Spring - In this confusing era, the Blackened Blossom seeks a path toward the future that entails giving up something to retain or restore what truly matters. While the monks of this Order use Polearms Skill to wield naginata in combat as normal, they can utilise all katana-related mechanical benefits derived from mastery abilities of Kenjutsu or Iaijutsu, techniques or special properties. It also means they can spend a Void Point on a damage roll with naginata. In addition, upon acquiring this technique one Bugei Skill needs to be named. Half the Ranks in the selected Skill, rounded down, can be added to the total of a School High Skill roll the monk makes a number of times per session equal to the monk's Void Ring.

[Character Creation Guidelines: If the character is joining the School at Insight Rank 2 or more and is a former Kakita, the School may be acquired via Forced Retirement Disadvantage rather than Multiple Schools Advantage, but comes with a 6-Point Sworn Enemy: Doji Tanaka Disadvantage, and no points for it.]

Head GM ✿ Floating Lotus ✿ Gunslinger ✿ Merciful ✿ Experienced 2
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