Meditations on the Void

Sci fi/Fantasy image by

Caroline Berg

Here is my most beloved RPG character of all time: Mirumoto Kaori; doing what she does best: meditating.  She was my character in a long running Legend of the 5 Rings (aka L5R) campaign several years ago.  However, her memory lives on!  I enjoy creating complex characters that quite literally take on a life of their own.  For those who want to know more about her, read on! Oh, and for those who are wondering, the rings are not my design.  No, they represent the 5 rings of L5R, and the symbol of the Dragon Clan (which Kaori was a member of.)  Starting in the upper left corner and going clock-wise, they are: Fire, Air, Water, (the tiny ring with the dragon is the Dragon Clan mon,) and Earth.  She is sitting in the Void ring.  So perhaps this should be named "Meditations in the Void." Backstory: Mirumoto Kaori wanted nothing more than to settle down and raise a family in the quiet Dragon Clan mountains.  But this was not to be.  In her family, each child was designated a task, and was trained according to one of the three schools to become either a shujenga (mage), bushi (samuri), or courtier.  Kaori's oldest brother was a shujenga, so she was given over to be trained as a bushi.  Her younger brother was to be trained as a courtier.  As for her task, well, once it was complete, then she could return home and start the family she wanted. However, just because she did not want to be a bushi does not mean she did a terrible job.  That would bring dishonor to her family.  So she studied and trained hard.  In time, she became a master duelist, even though she rarely participated in duels.  But when she did, she always won.  (Except once when she was challenged to duel Kiryu, a Crane bushi and the one person she secretly admired.  Of course, she did not try to lose.  That would be dishonorable.  They both fought well, and he beat her by a scant handful of points.  He really was the better duelist.)  Since she rarely dueled, she was not know for that skill.  Rather she was known for her superb archery.  Once she silently took out a ninja on a rooftop before he spotted the party.  (She rolled 65!!!  Take that ninja!  I consistently rolled exploding tens for her archery skill throughout the game.  I have never rolled as well for any other character of mine.) Of course, no character of mine is complete without their quirks.  Kaori was slightly anti-social, but had a fear of being alone.  So, whenever the party was at a court, she would give the usual present required and then go and meditate in the private outdoor gardens.  This allowed her to be away from people yet not be totally alone.  But she was never alone.  Yes, Kaori was haunted (haunted 3, the highest level!)  She was never alone from her ancestor spirits.  She gave them rice cakes every night to keep them happy (and quiet!)  Kaori was also soft-hearted.  She cried at the sight of blood, which is dishonorable for a bushi, so she always was making up excuses for her tears...  Because of her soft-heartedness, she also often gave money to the needy, poor or crippled.  And could be counted on to give money to anyone who asked, whether they needed it or not...  (Her dice rolls suffered tremendously after she watched her older brother and his wife die.  They were misguided and turned to the dark side (evil Shadowlands!)  Then they realized the error of their ways and were killed for it.  They went out in a blaze.  It was a tragic time for Kaori, and her soft-heartedness only made things worse.  She was drawn out of her depression eventually, thanks to the help of other party members.) As for her strengths, Kaori was ambidextrous and learned to fight in the deadly two-sword Mirumoto style.  She was also a clear-thinker.  She never lost her head in a battle.  She was always prepared.  She carried tessens to be used for signaling, incense to ward off evil spirits, rope, anything else you could possibly need, and writing tools, for when she got the urge to write poetry.  During the course of the game, she was given the honor of carrying a magic katana.  It had to be used once a day to kill, but any more than that was not allowed.  It was as much a burden as a blessing, but Kaori didn't mind.  It meant her task was going well. Kaori was a good poet as well.  She wrote a lot of haiku.  Sometimes she gave it away as gifts, but often it was exchanged with Kaga (a Ronin bushi and other party member.)  When Kaga was killed, she promised to keep his dream of an orphanage for the poor alive.  So, at the end of the game, when Kaori was allowed to settle down, she continued Kaga's orphanage and now takes care of orphans as well as her own family. At the end of the campaign, Kaori finally got her wish: her task had been completed and she was allowed to retire from fighting, marry and live in the Dragon Clan mountains.  Of course, her crush had already been married to someone else... but she tried not to dwell on that too much.  Much to my chagrin, her son grows up to be the enemy of the next campaign my GM had.  Well, I guess the misguided youth was taking after his uncle... Kaori Mirumoto is purely my creation.  Her backstory is mine.  Her image is mine.  She was created by me for a pen and paper RPG.  Her whole existence is thanks to me.  You cannot have her!  After all, she's already married! Drawn in pencil and inked in June 2007 and colored in GIMP around the same time.  Took a long time to draw the rings just right and to draw the armor (oh, the tiny scales!)  The original is still in black and white.  Coloring via computer takes the same amount of time it would take me to color something by hand.

Published More than a year ago

Category Horror

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