|Daughter of Dragons|
|Released:||May 2000 ()|
Daughter of Dragons
Isawa Ijime was raised as the youngest daughter of a large, poor family, but they were not her parents. They found her among the fields of the village, a babe unaware of her true heritage. Growing without love or attention, Ijime built imaginary places in her mind, an entire world that she could manifest and manipulate. Then, one day, as she sat alone in her small portion of the hut, her beloved dreams became real, and the images danced upon the ground with feet as light as rose petals.
Ijime hid her talent away, fearing scorn and hatred. But she was discovered, condemned for using evil magic, and sentenced to be stoned to death by her family. Only the intervention of an imperial magistrate saved the young girl's life... but the spirits that plagued her mind continued to gather close around her.
At the age of 16, when she was prepared for her gempukku, the Celestial Dragon came to her in her dreams and offered his hand. "You were never meant to be alone," he smiled, and placed her among the stars.
But before Ijime followed the Dragon, her true father, into the heavens, she opened the portal of her mind. Seventy evil spirits - one each for the horrors that had been visited upon her - came forth from her hands. Each represented some evil, a wickedness that had been brought about by the world. "Let them know," she whispered softly, "the evil that they have brought upon themselves." From her torment came greed and lechery, division and dishonor, and many things more. These are the vices of humankind.
Yet among the horrors and evils of Ijime's life, a single bright mote flew. It was the spirit of Hope, the one virtue that had been given her. The face of the kind magistrate leapt to her mind, and from Ijime's hands flew a shining orb filled with goodness and faith. "This too," she whispered, "is the fate of mortals." With that, she died, and her body was found by the Phoenix Clan.
She was given honor upon her death, and it is said that the brightest star in the dawn is the spirit of Isawa Ijime, following her celestial father as he holds the world in his coils. Each morning, the folk of Rokugan bow to that small, bright light, remembering how, without the hope brought by the unknown magistrate, our Empire would be a much darker place.
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