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Korin Baisotei

"With no master we have no reason to live but to find one anew."

0 · 383 views · located in Japan- Sengoki era

a character in “Ways of the Samurai: Journey”, as played by whscorbin

Description

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”Tradition is power for many, yet it is also our weakness”




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Age
19
”The warrior is not made with age, he is made despite it”
Appearance
Korin can normally be distinguished from other samurai on sight, this isn’t always a good thing though. For instance his heritage causes his skin to be a little darker than the normal light skin of others making him seem more like a farmer whose skin would get tanned in the sun. His skin isn’t worn though, it still possesses an almost fresh look to it without many wrinkles or major problems with his complexion. The other main difference between him and others is that he possesses slightly more distinct features, these come in the form of his nose being a little more angled than the soft features of the japenese, his eyes a bit less angled and his mouth a little wider. Most of these small things could be missed but closer scrutiny makes it so that you can tell something isn’t the same about him.
His hair is dark brown and hangs in long locks, he keeps it either tied up in a ponytail or it is allowed to hang loosely. When in combat it will almost always be in a ponytail though and thrown around his neck so that it will not get in the way when moving. The hair is a bit wavy, almost curly, making it so that it doesn’t hang straight most of the time and as such it can seem to be lumpy or disheveled at times, yet Korin has a general sense of order around him.

Korin normally wears a simple purple kimono with white underneath, on the back is the symbol of his now extinct clan. His entire attire seems as though it never gets dirty, never even seems to get ruffled when he’s moving around and this all just creates a sense of order around him. On his waist he wears his Daishō consisting of the long katana and the shorter wakizashi, in addition to these he wears a small carrying satchel on the small of his back where he keeps two kama or small scythes and a number of other tools while above this he has his bow and quiver, normally his bow is unstrung and wrapped in a water proof cloth.

Likes
-Meditation
-Nature
-Birds
-Calligraphy
-Adaptation

Dislikes
-Impatience
-Loss of control
-Constraint


Personality
To those who don’t know him very well, Korin might seem rather cold and separate from everything, almost detached form the world around him in any emotional way. In truth Korin feels very strongly about certain things but those things have all just kinda been taken from his life. This creates the sort of detachment since most of those things that he cared about most he has lost, even with these scars though he still seeks some way to belong, a way to regain his lost honor but more importantly his lost place in society or rather position in society where he belongs.

The main reason why he may seem cold is his ability to never lose control of his emotions, he has spent a lot of time working on things such as meditation and working on his zen archery which forces one to be able to control their emotional state and calm it down. Because of this Korin is capable of doing what he calls feeding the flame, when he is doing something such as fighting, shooting a bow, meditation or any important activity that requires focus he imagines a flame in his head and then feeds all thoughts and emotions into it. He then lets the flame slowly fade away into a pinprick until he is left with a void of no thoughts, this void is where he finds perfect focus and clarity and it is from constant work on improving this focus that he has gained a powerful control over his emotions and never loses control of himself to such things as anger or despair.

Many are surprised by how artistically talented he is, an artist with the brush as well as the blade Korin spends what time he can painting or writing. His patience has also allowed him to become a very dedicated person when it comes to studies and practices, he will often work on a single thing until he has mastered it; this could be anything from a way to blend colors on the canvas to a way to make it so that his arrow draws are a tenth of a second faster. His artistic and scholarly pursuits have made him intelligent also, as many samurai need to be since they often must command troops and be able to strategize, Korin is in possession of a keen intellect and insight. Sadly this doesn’t extend to such things as thinking ten moves ahead of his opponents but rather comes in the form of him being able to study and learn things quickly as well as spotting flaws and gaps in an opponent’s form that he can quickly capitalize on.

The most drastic change of Korin from the traditional samurai is that he doesn’t allow himself to be constrained by things like tradition, his way of fighting and his family was not the most traditional. While he still fallows bushido he does believe in adaptation, this is why he wields the Kama. His father taught him that stagnation in anything leads too decay of ones abilities, wits and eventually one’s life.
Relationships
Korins family are all dead, there is no one left in his life that is important to him or that he has any real ties too.


Equipment
Katana and wakizashi-this is the traditional long and short sword, the short blade that Korin weilds is a little longer than normal but it is also a bit heavier
Kama -These are Filipino scythes that are used in tandem, the gap between the blades and the handles can be used to catch blades and scythes, these weapons are unusual and as such often catch opponents off guard.
Yumi Bow- This bow has a long range and incredible draw strength, this allows it to peirce armor from a distance with the long arrow shafts and bow design. The one down side is it takes time for the arrow to be refitted and fired, this is not a fast process but it is an accurate one in the hands of a master.
Strengths
Adaptation-Korin is more adaptable than most, able to come up with solutions to problems and move how the situation needs him too
Emotionally Controlled- Not the sort to go into a blind rage or mope around out of sorrow, he possesses an iron grip over his emotional state and as such can keep going even when the times are tough and can fight at his best when others would be afraid.
Physical Peak- The body is a temple and this temple is clean and powerful, constant training and focus on improvement have given him great abilities in strength, speed and coordination.
Ambidextrous- Training from child hood has allowed him to use both hands equally well, this trait allows him to excel at dual wielding weapons and also with his hand coordination.
Weaknesses
Emotionally Cold- Emotional trauma combined with zen training makes him seem frigid to the world around him, an uncracking stone. This often creates issues between him and those around him.

Lone Wolf- Time spent alone and away from people have made him more comfortable on his own than with other people, while this doesn’t mean that he cannot be around others it does mean that he sometimes becomes uncomfortable or feels crowded.

Attachment Issues- Due to his extreme fear of loss the main problems he has is that he doesn’t form loyalties or attachments easily. This also works another way though, if he does become attached to something he will be extremely hurt if he does lose it and also he go to insane lengths in order to protect it.
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Home
Korin used to live on the southernmost tip but after the death of the daimyo he has wandered from place to place with no real home to call his own.

History
On the southernmost part of Japan was a small province ruled by the Nageswai clan, the daimyo their was an honorable lord but he did not possess so much power as to be considered of any real note.Korins father was a retainer of the Daimyo, an honored council and protector. An oddity of this main was that one of his wives was a foreigner, a Filipino women to be specific. That wife produced only one son, Korin. Korin was born to a rather large family, he already had an older brother who would soon perish in service to the clan as well as a few older sisters who would be married off to various clans and people; later on he would have a number of younger siblings who would grow close to Korin as an older brother and mentor.

For the beginning of his life he almost never left his mother’s side, even during this time though he was made to undergo intensive training. The daimyo had ordered early training in the hopes of raising his standings by having a number of powerful warriors. From the moment he could walk Korin was taught the basics of japenese martial arts, when he was five years old he even began accompanying his father and learned basic lessons in samurai culture form him. In this way Korin developed a close relation to both of his parents, instead of them being separate from him they were actually his teachers and instructors in things. During these five years he had three brothers and four sisters born, these siblings developed a rather odd relationship with Korin since they did not share the same mother.
By seven years of age Korin had begun to attend the small school in the local village, he was educated formally along with the other local children. One of the other samurai children even became a sort of rival for Korin, they both competed for a place of dominance in the class, basically they tried to one up each other in whatever they had to do. One of the strangest things to happen from this though was that Korin was brought to the center of the village one day by his father, his rivals father committed seppuku for failing in his duties to the daimyo. Korins father had him watch the enire thing, explaining that in death the man was earning back his honor. This was the first real death that Korin had ever witnessed, soon after his rival just seemed to vanish and Korin never knew what happened to him. A few days later Korin was sent on a task by his father, part of his training in this time was in honing his emotions and being able to do small things such as fetch materials or travel for long distances in order to prove his abilities, this particular task was to journey out to a reputedly haunted house and find the severed head in the house and place his mark upon that head. Korin completed the task with some trepidation but he was his father’s son, able to conquer his fear and do what was needed without too many issues. This was the first time that Korin had ever seen pride in his father’s eyes, a sight that he would aim to gain again and again.

Between the ages of seven and ten Korin began his training with weapons, a local monk was instructed by his father to teach him mediation techniques and zen archery. He would spend hours focusing on pulling the bow string back and visualizing the shot, everything from the flight of the arrow to the thud of the arrow striking. Also during this time his father gave him his bokken, or wooden sword, that Korin began to carry with him and practice with. This was his first instruction on the use of a sword, this instruction would become more rigorous and intense as time went on, he would almost never be apart from a blade after this moment. With the beginning of his formal sword training his father also made him begin doing things with his left hand, these things ranged from writing and eating. Anytime he failed to do something correctly such as if his calligraphy was wrong or bad with his left hand he was punished. This was done until he could use both hands equally well.

Ages ten to fifteen had more activates for him, or at least more events that stuck in his memory. The first thing was the death of his mother, even at this time he had been taught how to hold back his emotions and as such he did not cry at this event. One again he saw pride in his father’s eyes; this caused a lot of confusion from him. This was also the first time he was given the kama, his scythes from his mother’s people. His father began teaching him how tradition was important but that there was a certain amount of power in things which were not traditional. At the age of fifteen he was an adult and given his blades, the next day he left on a task for his master and succeeded. This marked the first time he felt himself truly become part of a society, part of a clan and welcomed by a master.

This time of happiness wouldn’t last long though, his entire life was turned upside down when one day while on guard duty at the Daimyos summer home, a rival Daimyo sent his samurai to attack and kill Korin’s lord. During the battle the Daimyo was indeed slain but Korin was also badly wounded. While he was unable to move due to wounds Korins father and the last of the clan made a huge attack against the offending Daimyo ending in his father’s death but also the destruction of the rival Daimyo and his clan. By the time Korin had even recovered his entire life had been ripped apart and he had lost his home and family. With that done and reduced to a masterless ronin Korin began a trek across Japan, fighting and slaying bandits for money while also continuing his training and searching for a new master and new home. Tales of this vagabond ronin became common among bandits, an avenger who hunted the hunters. In truth though Korin simple hunted them to keep his skills sharp and in order to provide for himself.

So begins...

Korin Baisotei's Story

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Korin Baisotei


“You should consider going, they would be well served by one of your abilities.” Korin couldn’t help but smile a little at the old women, her voice seemed to him the sound of an old creaking tree; each word filled with a deep and rich history behind it. The women herself fitted the voice she wielded, her back slumped from age and a wrinkled face showed her great age. Korin shook his head though, the smile fading from his face as he did. He glanced around for a moment, looking at the crisp and informal walls of the small home in Edo, before him sat a cup of tea which he quickly emptied before speaking. “ You think too highly of me. I am sure plenty of other ronin shall be at the lady Chinatsu-donos call”

“Others will go for money, how many would go with honor and duty? How many will stay when they find the reward too small for what is being asked of them?” The lady moved now, gesturing beside her and drawing Korins eyes to the three heads that sat there. His latest work, he had spent an entire week hunting down the bandits for the ancient lady and he could still feel the dirt of the road on him. The bandits had killed the ancient ladies son who had been a minor samurai, in her want for justice she had offered a reward for their heads. The only one who had gone after them though was he, the reward offered had just been too small for anyone else to be bothered with going. He was looking at the head of his recent kills when he froze, moving his eyes back to the old women before him before he spoke, a chill now to his voice. “How do you know what is being asked for them? I heard it was but a call to service, a return of honor to those without.”

The old women smiled then, an almost cute act on such a face. Her eyes actually got a little shine to them as she started to speak. “Oh dear chocho-sama, you are still so young. You should listen to gossip more, they will certainly be hunting a very large prey” Korin winced slightly as she called him chocho, a name he had accidently picked up while protecting a small village in the mountains. One of the children had seen him fighting and with his style and purple clothing the child had called him chocho. Butterfly. Worst of all they kept on insisting that it was an honorable title. “What prey, and how would you know of this I doubt the gossips so bold as to name names?”

The old one leaned forward, pouring more tea into his cup as she spoke to him. “Of course they would not name anyone out right but, her husband was killed by lord Yousuke Haru and she is gathering powerful warriors together, it takes one to drink far too much sake for them to think these two things are not connected. ” A frown graced Korin’s face now, the wheels in his brain turning as they tried to piece together what she was saying. He had never bothered with gossip but he knew who Yousuke Haru was, and he was more certainly a big prey. The lady put down the pot of tea again, speaking once more. “How many do you think would be willing to fight a foe like that? One who could pay them far more than the most honorable lady? At least consider it chocho, it would do you good to have a purpose other than helping out helpless old ladies. “ Korin shook his head now, rising from his kneeling position as he bowed to her. “I shall consider your words, I do not think you as helpless as you might claim.” Turning easily he left, his thoughts more than a little troubled. The old women watched him go with a small smile on her face, turning she regarded the three severed heads before her. Reaching out he ran her fingers along the edge of one of their chins, tears running down her face freely since now there was no one to see them.

Standing outside of the house Korin looked up into the sky, the sun beating down on him as he thought. would it not be right that I die like my father did before me? Seeking revenge for a fallen master?....not my master though Turning Korin started away, the villagers moving from his path when they noticed he was a samurai. He walked slowly at first, going away from where the tryouts would be until he stopped, turning quickly he picked up his pace into a fast and hurried walk towards the building. He would look in on it he decided, if they did not need anyone else he would leave.

When he reached the home in which the Ronin were supposed to assemble he made his way in quickly, moving towards the sounds of fighting and the gathering crowd. More than a few people had come but Korin couldn’t help but frown at them all, many of the ones he saw fell into one of three categories. More than a few fresh faced boys stood around, eyes wide as they looked at the other warriors. They would be no help in a battle, many had probably little skill with the weapons they wore on them. The other group were men on the opposite end of the spectrum, warriors far past their prime whose time was well past. While they would have the experience the young ones were lacking they did not have the abilities to use it correctly. It was the third category that concerned Korin even more though, the last warriors were the men who seemed most dishonorable. The type of warriors who wanted money, not honor. The type of men that would easily be bought out by an enemy but more importantly might stab you in the back if they saw it as beneficial to them. They had no honor, and wanted none.

With that Korin closed his eyes, a small sigh escaping him as he moved his hand to his blade. If he left there was no way he could be sure one of them might not be chosen by mistake, the only solution he could see was to fight, to make it so that each of them left in disgrace. Opening his eyes with a new determination he found himself smiling. I guess the decision was not that hard to make after all

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#, as written by Ion


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Three days’ leisurely walk after leaving the village he’d called home for the last ten years, Ryuunosuke came at last to Edo, his temporary destination. The leaving had been rather simple—though he grew to care deeply for the people at each new place he lived, he was simply a transient being by necessity. When one lived as long as he had, one learned not to put down too many roots, not to place too much value in the bonds one formed—never get too close to tear yourself away. It was a sad thing, and lonely, but born from need and inescapable.

The day was dawning warm and sunny, the scents of summer pungent on the light breeze. It teased gently at the ends of his hair and the edges of his dark clothing, creating a picture of serenity that was somewhat at odds with the permanent disquiet in his heart. Across his back, he carried only the barest necessities of life, plus two scrolls, sealed in waterproof containers, upon which he had painted his latest pair of works. He had been meaning to make a trip into the city to sell them, anyway, so it had seemed the most natural destination upon his departure. The ronin’s geta made only the softest of scuffling sounds on the dirt road before him, for he knew that to pass in silence was utterly suspicious, and had no wish to draw such unwelcome feelings upon himself. It was better to be thought humble and left be than to be thought mighty and constantly forced to prove it one more time.

Gradually, the road led into the city itself, the cultivated landscapes of rice paddies transitioning into the wooden buildings of residences, and then of a large marketplace. Edo was as bustling as ever, and he supposed it would never be otherwise, unless it met with some great calamity that even he could not foresee. He found himself hoping that it would not—for all their imperfections and cruelties, humans were generally worthy beings. Fragile, yes, and ephemeral, but for all that worthy.

His steps carried him eventually to his art dealer, a middle-aged man who seemed to be perpetually smoking a pipe, and after a few moments of admiring the scrolls and bargaining over the price they would fetch, Ryuunosuke left rather enriched, tucking the new purse of ryo into the space between his gi and his kosode. It was at this point that something caught his attention: affixed to the front wall of a tavern was a notice. Diverting from his arrow-straight course, the violet-eyed fellow approached it, tilting his head slightly to one side as he read the script thereupon. A contest for ronin? Apparently with the ultimate aim of selecting them for a dangerous job.

It was the family name of the requestor that drew his attention, however. Kobayashi. It was a name he’d heard before, on a few sparse occasions. More than that, however, he had known a Kobayashi, several centuries ago now. To suppose that this Kobayashi might be a descendant of his was a bit improbable, but he owed the name enough to check and see if the cause for which they were assembling so many men was something he could stand behind.

Acquiring directions to the dojo from a passerby, he walked for another twenty or so minutes, finding himself at last where he sought to be. The locale was not one he knew, and he surmised it probably belonged to the Kobayashi in question, as he was aware of the family having attained the status necessary to procure such a homestead. But perhaps they were yet vassals to some noble house, and this property belonged to such as was their lord or lady.

Between twenty and twenty-five other people were assembled, some already engaging in practice bouts under the eye of the one he assumed must be Kobayashi, an older man of regal disposition and bearing—though he looked little like his predecessor if so. Perhaps he was a relative from another family or something of that nature. Casting his glance about the room, Ryuunosuke occupied himself with feeling out the ki signatures in the room with his magic. There were a few of considerable strength, which he supposed would be heartening to the assessor, but from the looks of things the majority were poorly-suited, and nothing was yet properly underway regardless.

Folding his arms into his sleeves, he approached the man nearest him—a fellow in a purple kimono with what appeared to be quite the assortment of weapons on his person. Inclining himself somewhat at the waist, as one should upon meeting a stranger, he inquired. “It appears as though the trials are yet to begin in earnest. Is it clear for what we wait?”




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At the approach of the puppet-creature, Tsubaki’s eyes slanted sideways, to glance at it disdainfully from the corners. Despite the fact that she was sitting and it was not, she still managed to convey a very deliberate sense of looking down upon it, the particular brand of haughtiness that only a noblewoman or a very high-class oiran could even manage fitting as smoothly to her delicate face as a second skin would.

The vessel addressed her first, which was most irregular, earning itself a vaguely-disturbing retribution from the puppet-who-was youkai. Low-class, base youkai hardly worthy of her time, but youkai nonetheless. “Do not presume to address me so,” She said, the words so soft and cold one could almost feel a thin layer of ice forming upon their surface. “You, maggot, are not the one that holds my strings.” she had not thus far moved to look at the creature she was addressing at all, and indeed after the first glance, her eyes had shifted dismissively back to the front.

Now, though, she turned, just a tiny bit, causing a little waver in thin chains of silver flowers that hung from the ends of her hair ornaments, and the softest whisper of silk fabric. “You seem to have enough trouble holding a maddened human in your sway. You could not master a creature such as I.” And he shall not, either. Her eyes narrowed to obsidian slits, but then she turned away again, clearly a gesture of dismissal.

She was not here to entertain fools, and she did not have to indulge this thing that believed it held some form of sway over her. If so, it was sorely misguided. It took more than a few stray words, spoken of the obvious, to stir her passions, of any sort. Not that she knew any of them but anger, these days.

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Korin Baisotei


Korin turned slightly as the stranger approach him, he returned the bow he was given as he looked the man over. The man who stood before him was by far one of the tallest men Korin had ever seen, the dark clothing made him seem even larger than he probably actually was. Unlike many of the other men their Korin had no doubts that this one would be able to handle the blades he had with him. The man resembled

The giant spoke then, a sound that had the barest hint of something being off about it though Korin had no skill to place it and it was only the barest of sense of something beneath it; not something that he even gave a passing though. “It appears as though the trials are yet to begin in earnest. Is it clear for what we wait?”
Turning back towards the field before him Korin regarded the gathered crowd of ronin, many seemed to be in no rush and more importantly the person who seemed to be in charge had yet to direct or do anything of note. The few people practicing on the field were kicking up a bit of dust, clouding the air around them. Even these ones though didn’t seem to know exactly what it was that they were doing. Turning back to the giant Korin spoke in a low voice that would carry between the two of them but no farther. “I do not know for certain, I have only just arrived here myself. To my eyes it seems as though no one knows what it is that they should be doing. “

Korin paused then; he himself didn’t know exactly what it was that he was doing there. He had only ended up here on a whim and it was simply another win that had kept him here. He held in a small sigh before speaking once more, curious about the giant who stood beside him as he did not seem to fit into his previous thoughts about the other ronin here. “I take it you are also here to sell your blade then, is money what you are seeking?

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Character Portrait: Korin Baisotei Character Portrait: Maeda Nariko Character Portrait: Kurosawa Ryuunosuke Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The sun rose and with it, so did Maeda Nariko. She had a nasty habit of rising early, much like her father, but her preference would have been to sleep in. Unfortunately, her body wouldn't allow her to be lazy, a trait that was drilled into her by her father. The first thing she did after sitting up from her small makeshift bed was to pull her purse from inside her robes. She let the money fall into the palm of her hand. She had only ten coppers to her name. Sighing she placed the paltry amount back into the purse and slipped it back into her kimono. She shouldn't have gambled her last ryo away last night playing dice but at the time it called her name, begging her, convincing her that she would win this time. In the end, she lost it to a man named Chiguma.

She picked herself from the floor, folded the bedsheets and placed them in a corner. She was nothing if not neat. She didn't have the money to pay the innkeep. She could make a very easy escape through the window, though her father would frown upon the action, but what else was she to do? She wrote a note, explaining to the innkeep that she had no money with which to pay him, but she would be sure to come back and do so once she gained some. Leaving the simple note in the middle of the floor so that it would be easily found, she slipped through the window moving slowly across the rooftop of the bar next door. She lowered herself carefully from the rooftop onto the hard packed soil and brushed herself off. Thankful that she had remembered her straw sandals, she pulled them on her feet and walked the alley way until it let out onto a busy street.

She was strolling leisurely along the street, drawing looks left and right from men and women alike when she glanced at a poster. This certain poster made her take pause and as she studied the elegant script, it revealed a possible work opportunity for her. One which she was desperate for.

She followed the directions presented on the poster to a rather well-built estate, belonging to the infamous Lady Chinatsu. Everybody knew of the Massacre in the Mountains, as it was being called. It would seem she was rallying warriors so that she could exact her revenge on the Warlord Yousuke. Whatever the cause, it did not matter to Nariko. All that concerned her was whether she gained coin or not for her services.

As she set foot onto the practice yard, she surveyed her competitors. It was unsurprising to see that she was the only female present. Some Ronin were already sparring in the yard, most likely getting in some well needed practice before the actual trials begin. She spotted a place where others were sitting and waiting for further instructions. She decided that was where she needed to be and sat next to a rather tall man who in turn was seated next to a young man with strange brown hair and a purple kimono. They were having a discussion about when the trial's would actually begin. She sat quietly for a moment or tow, listening in, when she could no longer hold her tongue. "Pardon the intrusion, but do either of you know where the host of this little gathering is? I grow more anxious the longer we wait."