The Lost Clan
A crab shugenja burdened by life.
Name means: Fireflies
School: Kuni Shugenja, Toritaka Exorcist
Hotaru is a lithe samurai-ko measuring 5’7". She is a rather well-kept samurai, considering she was born and raised by the Kuni family. Her hair is sloe black, and only ever put up into a maiden’s knot when she is “working”. Her hardened, slate grey eyes betray little of her thought, unless you are someone she has claimed as one of her own. They do, however, dart around her surroundings, being wary for the next fight. Her pale skin is a few shades darker than the white mask she painstakingly paints on each morning; her sensei’s mark eloquently drawn onto her face.
There used to be one thick, jagged line deliberately drawn through her face paint that cut from her hairline down diagonally past her nose. Since she was assigned her new sensei, Kuni Munetoki, she has stopped placing this line.
On her left arm is an open sakura blossom with delicate petals. The exquisite tattoo has realistic details. However, upon closer inspection it can be seen that one petal has a crashing wave hidden within, another with ‘zombies’.
- Those who have seen her in the bath house also know about the tattoo on her back. A gnarled willow tree begins near the top of her right shoulder blade down to the base of her back. In the background is a serene waterfall. Dancing between the leaves and the waterfall’s river are various fireflies. The count before her 2nd Rank training was just under 30. It is now over 40 fireflies that flutter along the willow tree, more branches being added along with the fireflies.
If there is something that Hotaru wants to write down specifically (like notes on a particularly nasty Oni or lesson) she starts to write the kanjis in the air so she won’t forget until she can write it down. Though some Kuni Shugenja are willing to let their face paint fade, especially if they are in dangerous territory, Hotaru will find a way to do touch ups to her paint until she can dedicate the time to do it honor. She is always on the lookout for a fight or ambush..and the occasional stray firefly.
Her wakizashi is something she takes great care of. The wakizashi and it’s saya used to belong to her mother before she passed, and given to her as a gift when she joined Kuni Miyah in training by her father. The saya is weathered, thanks primarily to Hotaru’s travels.
The fox designs that were artistically covered up when it changed clans with her mother are starting to peek through the steel-blue associated with the Crabs. Though Hotaru knows she should have it touched up soon, she can’t bring herself to hide the foxes under paint. When her father gifted the saya to her, he had two small details added to it. There is a thin rope laced through the throat of it. At one end of the ribbon is a small, palm-sized disc imbued with the Kuni family mon. On the other end of the ribbon is a similar disc, this one emblazoned with the Kitsune family mon, so she would never forget who she is and where she comes from.
The grip of the wakizashi is a beautiful mix of the silver and browns of the Fox clan it started in, and the deeper red of the Kunis, with the cream background of the Kuni at the very edges of the top and bottom of the hilt.
She was 9 years old when her mother, Yoshima, was pregnant with her 4th son. While suffering an early labor with him, she died from complications. Within the month, Hotaru and Kazuhiro began training as shugenjas with Kuni Miyah.
At age 12, while traveling along the Wall, slowly learning how to wrap injuries, she and her brother heard the commotion of yet another conflict against a raiding party. They arrived too late to assist in much of the fighting, but put their lessons of medicine into action. Hotaru and Kazuhiro lost their first yojimbo to a goblin who was pretending to be dead, taking a rusty knife in the leg before it stabbed him a second time in the neck.
-There were many more bodies they performed last rites for than medicine. Among the fallen was their father, Kuni Shinobu, who had not survived the fall off the Kaiu Wall when a flying enemy (unseen before or since) tossed him off the Wall.
14 marked a gruesome year. During the last week of winter, Toshio was assigned guard duty between Kyuden Hida and the Kaiu Wall. When he heard the alarms call, he and his post responded. As samurai fell one after another to the bloody obsidian claws of several Oni, he led what was left of his unit into the fray. Yelling for the injured and dying to retreat to the Wall, he fought like a man possessed, cutting deeply into the Oni leading the assault. However, the injuries he was sustaining slowed him down and eventually led to his fall. The remaining survivors collected their injured and made the slow return home as the Onis fell back, having tested this section of the Wall. When the Champion himself returned with an army, he hunted the unholy bastards down.
-The shugenja “attending” court performed last rites and started the funeral pyres. Hotaru and Kazuhiro being among those visitors with their sensei, heard the heroic tale of their older brother’s fall, but were unable to locate his body, though they did identify the spot he should have been from the pieces of Oni that had been sliced off.
Later that year, Hotaru lost her twin, Kazuhiro, and her first sensei, Miyah, as their small scouting group were infiltrated by a bog hag in the middle of the night. The bog hag was ahead of an ogre “captain” and it’s squad of goblins who were trailing behind it. The Ogre overran her sensei and the bog hag killed Kazuhiro in his sleep. Hotaru lost her second yojimbo during this skirmish.. Shortly after she was put under the care of Toritaka Seina, to continue her training.
Last year, a month before Winter Court, Toritaka Seina was overpowered by a Maho-tsuki’s magic and succumbed to her injuries. Hotaru lost her third yojimbo during the conflict. Eventually, injured and on the brink of death, Hotaru was able to defeat the Maho-tsuki before it killed her with its twisted blood magic.
Father: Kuni Shinobu *endurance (deceased; age 43)
Mother: Kuni (Kitsune) Yoshima *good lucky girl (deceased; age: 37)
Kuni Toshio *generous leader, hero (deceased; age: 20)
Kuni Kenta *large, strong, healthy (Age: 23, Hida Bushi)
Kuni Kazuhiro *great harmony (Deceased; age: 14)
Kuni Hiroyuki *great journey (Age: 10, starting Hiruma Scout this year)
Half-Brother: Kuni Arata *new, fresh (Age: 7)
Stepbrother: Kuni Ichiro (Age: 4)
Stepsister: Kuni Suzue *branch of little bells (Age: 1)
Yasuki Isamu *brave, courageous (deceased; age: 8)
Hida Taichi (Age: 19)
Kuni Miyah *temple (deceased; age: 41)
Toritaka Seina *holy child (deceased; age: 53)
Daisuki *great help (Age: 46) – Eta