Doji Ayano

Doji Ayano

Doji Ayano was a Crane Clan courtier. She was a good friend of Kakita Hideo, who was three days younger than her. [1]

Early life Edit

Ayano was the daughter of a Kakita duelist, known for his dedication to his art, and an artisan of some renown. From an early day, she was constantly trained that Honor was the one and only path for a samurai, and she came to feel that Bushido was the core value in all that was good in the Emerald Empire. [2]

The Doji Innocent Edit

Doji Ayano 3

Doji Ayano

As she had shown no real talent in either of her parent's specialities, but was an elegant speaker, her parents reluctantly enrolled her in the Doji courtier schools. There she was a natural student, but had trouble accepting some of the less savory practices sometimes necessary for a courtier's duties, specifically the need to lie at times. She held that an absolute devotion to the truth would be sufficient enough. While some of her instructors despaired, she found others who had similar feelings, and they began to refer to themselves as the Doji Innocents. [2]

Early duties Edit

Considering her 'weakness', Ayano was, after her gempukku, sent to a minor court where she could not do much damage. To their surprise, she was soon instrumental in the creation of a number of minor treaties and arrangements. Ayano had learned to use her strict sense of Honor as deftly as the sharpest Kakita Blade. It was not long before she began to rise in the ranks of the Doji courts. [2]

Toshi Ranbo Edit

Negotiations Edit

Doji Ayano 2

Doji Ayano

Ayano was in Toshi Ranbo during the Phoenix occupation in 1169. She had been stonewalled by Bayushi Gihei regarding an agreement regarding gate fees for Scorpion merchants entering Heigen Toshi. Ayano tasked her yojimbo Kakita Hideo to act as a bodyguard of Asako Risa. The Phoenix was the bureaucrat of the judge Isawa Toshiji. Risa was in another blocked negotiation with the Mantis Yoritomo Heikichi, but the presence of a Kakita Duelist scaried the Mantis who quickly concluded the list. In return Toshiji gave Ayano a full set of travel papers to the Phoenix provinces, signed and sealed by him. Gihei had been tried unsuccessfully for weeks to obtain these travel papers, and after they were gifted by Ayano, the Scorpion turned and concluded the matter of Heigen Toshi the next day. [3]

Lobbying to improve the Scorpion crops Edit

She warned Isawa Kyoko that the Phoenix shugenja would be approached by a Scorpion intent on obtaining information on the use of kami to improve growth and production of crops. Surprisingly Ayano advised that Kyoko aid the Scorpion, but Kyoko was inclined to do so anyway. The Scorpion, Bayushi Eisaku, approached Kyoko and was shocked and suspicious when he heard of Ayano's actions. [4]

Race for the Throne Edit

At Kyuden Otomo Ayano pondered with Kitsuki Taiko who would be best suited for Emperor. Taiko supported her Lord Togashi Satsu, and Ayano the Crane's ally Lady, Otomo Hoketuhime. They did not see they had been lurked by Bayushi Eisaku. [5] This year her assistant Doji Hibariko was betrothed to Bayushi Hisoka as part of negotiations concerning trade on the River of Gold. [6]

Kyuden Doji Edit

Ayano was speaking with Kakita Hideo and the Crane Clan Champion Doji Domotai in Kyuden Doji in 1170 when they discovered that Kitsuki Orika, who was about to marry Kakita Matabei, had been murdered. [1]

Kyuden Bayushi Edit

Darling of the Season

Darling of the Season

Ayano was in attendance at Empress Iweko's Winter Court in Kyuden Bayushi in winter 1170-1171. [7]

Dark of War Fire Edit

When in 1171 Asako Kanta explained that the libraries of Kyuden Isawa had to be moved due an attack by the Army of Fire, Kitsu Kiyoko and Doji Ayano offered the assistance of the Lion and Crane, respectively. [8] She often spoke with Kanta. [9]

Destroyer War Edit

The Destroyer War had begun, the plague was striking the Empire, and the Fall of the Wall led in the announcement that the Crab Clan Champion Hida Kuon would die to cleanse the Crab Clan's failure. Ayano was sad and overwhelmed by the news. [10]

Meeting with the Empress Edit

Ayano aided her friend Hideo to get an audience with the Empress. Kitsune Narako's guardians wandered in the garden of the Imperial Palace to approach those who coul negotiate an audience with her. Eventually Iweko heard their history, journeying in the Shadowlands, the encounter with Kali-Ma, the death of several of his companions, and the second prophecy of Narako. The Empress ordered them to stay in Toshi Ranbo. [11]

Imperial Wedding Edit

Ayano was present in the Imperial wedding between the Empress Iweko I and Akodo Setai at the Temple of Jade Sun, after the end of the winter court at Kyuden Gotei. [12]

Furumaro's group Edit

In 1173 Ayano met the group of her friend Hideo. The Empress had summoned them. Hideo, Hiruma Akio, Mirumoto Ichizo, Akodo Shunori, Yoritomo Saburo, Isawa Kyoko, Bayushi Kurumi, and Utaku Kohana followed. Only the monk Furumaro excused his presence. The group told they possesed a Black Scroll, and Iweko bid them to continue their guardianship for a time, and gave them a letter which should be delivered to Daigotsu, in his lair in the Fingers of Bone. [13]

Visiting Daigotsu Edit

There were doubts in the group about the opportunity of the Empress' commands, but reached the border of the Fingers. They were met and escorted by Daigotsu Hotako, the Obsidian Champion. There were present Shahai, Daigotsu Usharo, the Onyx Champion Takasho, and the Dark Lord. After Daigotsu read the message he gave the Tao of Fu Leng to Ayano as requested by the Empress. The group returned to the Imperial City. [13]

Moving on again Edit

They eventually moved on again. When they crossed paths with the remnants of a battle maiden patrol near the City of Masks, Kohana had felt compelled to join her kinsmen and left the group for a time. [14] They reached a Scorpion temple which was being evacuated because the near presence of the Destroyers. [15] The temple could be Shinden Gyokei, currently the point were Kali-Ma was marching. [16]

The Scroll is opened Edit

The group somehow knew that the Empress was traveling in the region, exposing her to be killed by the forces of Kali-Ma. They believed the group quest had been the motivation and bearing of the Empress journey, and several decided to act, making anything that could protect Iweko. Ichizo suggested to open the Black Scroll, because the safety of the Empress was worthy of the group damnation. Akio was the only one who openly disagreed, but Saburo retrieved the scroll and opened it. [15] At that time, Fu Leng, formerly known as the monk Furumaro, recovered his divinity and exposed his true identity to Akio, while the rest of the group were unconscious. [17]

Shahai and the Tao Edit

Shahai appeared before the group of young samurai who held the Tao of Fu Leng, told Daigotsu had died, and enacted a ritual to steal power from the gaijin goddess. Shunori and Saburo decided to condemn their souls to save the Empire and were beside the Lady of Blood. As a vessel for divine power, the Tao contained what was stolen, draining Kali-Ma of her divinity, but not all. When Shahai sacrificed the samurai who had helped her, Shunori and Saburo, Akio killed the Dark Daughter and stopped the ritual. Nearby the dying Fu Leng had given his divine power to Daigotsu, who emerged from Jigoku as his Master and slew the weakened Kali-Ma. [18]

Susumu and the Tao Edit

From another temple where other events had happened arrived the Voice of the Emperor Togashi Satsu, who questioned the group survivors. During the explanation appeared the corpse of who was the Imperial Advisor Susumu. He requested the Tao and Satsu attacked him without result, Susumu seemed beyond injury. Somehow he channelled the power cointained inside the book and departed with Satsu to parlay with the Empress. [18]

End of the War Edit

The Empress informed to the Great Clans of the new condition of the Spider Clan. Those free of taint could remain in the Empire, and the tainted were put under guard of the Dragon Clan, to extend the Empire in the Ivory Kingdoms, in the Spider's exodus. For first time since Iweko was ascended as the Child of Heavens, she spoke, proclaiming the Iweko's Conquerors. As a side effect Shahai and Susumu had been eleveated by Daigotsu as Dark Fortunes. [18]

No one censured the survivors of the group for what had happened, as they were acting on Empress authority. They were simply overlooked and let them lapse into obscurity. [19]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


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