About Kakita Atsuko
Feats: Exotic Weapon (Katana, Wakizashi), Ouickdraw, Daisho Expertise
Skills: Perception +5, Sense Motive +10, Diplomacy +9, Autohypnosis +8, Acrobatics +8
Background Skills: Craft Armor +5, Perform Dance +11
Stances Known: Scarlet Einhander
Maneuvers Known: Flowing Creek, Following Wake, Tidal Blade, Panthera on the Hunt, Scything Strike, Blade of Breaking
Maneuvers Readied: Flowing Creek, Following Wake, Tidal Blade, Scything Strike
Atsuko was a young girl no more than 5 years old when the Crab marched to take Beiden Pass. Unfortunately, her family lived in one of the villages the Crab sacked along their march north. Her home left collapsed and on fire. She would not have survived if not for her celestial blood. Her mother and father did not have the same fortune and died that day. Once she regained conscious she made her way from underneath the rubble soon finding other survivors. They gathered and marched to the heart of the Crane lands looking for support.
Upon arriving it seemed others she traveled with had families to take them in, left alone she wondered the streets that night. As it was a cold night she was drawn to the glow and warmth from a smithy working late into the night. She snuck in and curled up close to the forge, the smithy focused on his work did not take notice until returning the next day to find the girl still asleep. Upon wakening she asked for food. The smithy sent an apprentice for some tea and food as he asked the girl what she was doing there. She shared what she could remember. Mostly just the flame and how at first it was hot then it was not so bad, but she could only hear the screams of her parents as she laid pin beneath debris. A tear ran down the smithy’s cheek, he embraced Atsuko. It was at this moment, things sunk in and she too began to weep. He offered the girl a bed and food to help in his labors. At first it was medial things like fetching water and pumping bellows. She was not good at any of it she had trouble paying attention and understanding, but she tried.
A few years passed. One day she was carrying a heavy bucket. She tripped and rested her hand against the forge to keep from falling. The smithy looked on in shock as she pulled away unharmed from the heat. Until now he though her just luck from her tale but now he sees the truth. Her ability to work closer with the hot steel allowed her to work much easier with the steel. He began to teach her the trade. Atsuko now felt happy. She would dance and sing around the shop as she was now able to create. A few months went by. A couple came into the shop. The man introduced himself as Kakita Aki. He was there to request a blade be made as a gift for Doji Hisoka’s birthday. The woman stayed behind him with a smile. It was she that took notice of the singing. What a lovely voice she thought. Soon Atsuko came bounding in to see who had come to the shop. She danced and twirled with grace and beauty as she continued to sing. Once she realized she was standing before a Samurai she stopped and bowed. Asking for forgiveness for her actions. She had no idea someone so important had come. The man simply smiled as the woman decided to speak. “Do not be ashamed for such a display of art. Your daughter is very talented.” The smithy smiled and thanked the woman but explained the girl was not his daughter. Looking back to the girl the woman took notice of a brooch she wore. “That is a Crane pin. Did your parents give that to you?” Atsuko visibly became sad as she nodded and said “Yes.” The woman then went on to ask why she was sad. Soon Atsuko started to weep. She told the story best she could remember and spoke of the kindness shown to her by the smithy. The woman too began to cry. Her hands moved to her stomach as she looked to her husband. As he looked down to her hands then back to her gaze he too shed a tear. He nodded and asked the smithy to speak in private. It seems the couple were both Kakita Samurai. The woman had been wounded in the Clan War, and in the years since unable to bear a child. A deal was struck and Atsuko agreed and became the adopted daughter.
Her adoptive parents were now overjoyed. As elves they live a long life, and a long life without a child was going to be a tough one to bear. They were even happier still when they learned of her celestial blood and how she too aged at a much slower pace. Soon she started receiving instruction from both. Her mother fostered the arts and how they interacted with Bushido while her father taught her the sword. She caught on quick and soon was enrolled at the Katia Academy. With instruction from the Sensei and her father she excelled and became top of her class. Proud of what she had achieved her father spoke too and recommended her acceptance to the Scarlet Sentinels. An order sworn to protect the Doji one another and the clan. Holding brotherhood and service above all. She was proud of what she had achieved and proud of how she made her parents feel. It was her pride that caused her first stumble.
It had been a few years now and she was out celebrating and gaming with some classmates. It was one of their birthdays. They were playing shogi when a drunk stumbled into the board and upset the game. They both set a moment and awaited an apology but got none. The drunk started to move on when Atsuko stood. Sir, it is my friend’s birthday and you have ruined our game. Please apologize. The drunk surprised turned, then more surprised to see a woman speaking to him in such a way smiled. A few insults came Atsuko’s way as her smile turned to a hardened stare. “My name is Kakita Atsuko, and I will ask again for you to apologize.” The man laughed. “Kakita huh, little girl pretending to be samurai, I am Daidoji Haru. Why don’t we go outside, unless you wish to end this now and apologize to me?” Her stare turned to a smirk. “Outside then.” She said. She raised her cup and finished her tea. She nodded to her friend and begged for forgiveness as this would take only a few moments then they could get back to celebrating and playing a new game. As the two met gaze outside it was Atsuko to make the first move. As standard she accepted in her mind the duel would end with first blood, but her pride pushed her. As the blade erupted forward from it’s sheath like a bold of lightning the duel was over just as quick. The man’s hand still gripped the tsuka as he brought his arm to his face. He looked on in horror as blood poured from where his hand was. He fell to the ground and begged for his life as the hand finally fell to the ground. Atsuko asked once more. “Apologize?” The man cried and did such. He grabbed up his hand and ran off. Soon the story spread.
When news got back to her parents they were disappointed in Atsuko’s actions. The spoke of the stain she had placed on their family honor even to the point of reminding her of what they have done for her and how her true parents would feel. It was these words she carried over the next few years. The plagued her. Even entering her dreams. It was there she would see her parents burn again and again. All while here adoptive parents would weep. As the dreams persisted they warped. As she learned of the world and the threats to the south. She became inquisitive of the shadowlands. She read what she could find, and would listen to the stories from her parents on what they faced when the clans again united to bring peace back to the land. The more she learned the more tormented her dreams became. Not only did she watch her parents burn but now she watched as tainted Oni did it. The dreams became a burden. She spoke of them with her parents. The father thought he knew someone that could help. He called on a close friend, Kakita Yaru. Yaru had been wounded in the war. Along with the wound he was also tainted. As the taint corrupted his mind he knew he was doomed, until a monk came to his bed. The monk offered tea. It was tea of the jade petals. The monk said he could let the taint consume him and die, or swear the oath against darkness and fight. Yaru was intrigued and did not want to die a young man. It was there he joined the Servants of the Sacred Hymn.
Kakita Aki new none of this, only that Yaru was able to live with the taint. Worried her dreams could manifest into taint as well, especially now an Oni entity was present in them. Yaru took Atsuko as a student. It was here she gained control, she too took the oath and became a member of the Servants of the Sacred Hymn. A few more years passed before she returned to her parents. Now with peace and control she wished to regain the honor she lost. Now she had purpose. With renewed faith her father presented her the family sword. She now has set out to regain her honor.