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Horiuchi Rikako

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Horiuchi Rikako 
Horiuchi Rikako 
Born: c.1141 
Died: Unknown 
Titles: Advisor to the Shogun
People

Rikako, also known as "the Shugenja", was one of the Shogun's Advisors.

Ronin Edit

Orphan Edit

Rikako was little more than a newborn, when her parents were killed during the very last days of the War of Spirits. She was taken in by Horiuchi Shoan and trained in the arts of the shugenja from a very young age after showing much aptitude for it, within the Traditional Priest school. [1] At her gempukku, however, Rikako decided to decline an oath of fealty to the Horiuchi family and instead decided to wander the Empire. Her magic skills were honed after years of near-constant use, and many of her techniques were unique among the shugenja of the Empire. Her uniqueness was due mostly to as bargain called a 'geas' that she struck with a spirit in the Burning Sands. As a side effect of the geas, the fingernails on each of her hands had become long and black. [2]

Kaneka Edit

Rikako first met Kaneka in 1150. Not even ten years old, she helped nurse Kaneka back to health after he visited Horiuchi Shoan in a very poor state. [3]

Gift of the Shogun Edit

In 1168 Kaneka had been wandering in the Empire disguised of a nondescript warrior known simply as "the Ronin". From Shoan's orphanage he sent word to Rikako that he wished to extend an offer to each of the Great Clans: to endorse his occupation of Toshi Ranbo only so long as the Emperor Toturi III remained indisposed, as the Empire believed. In return the Clans would be served by one of the greatest of the Shogun's Advisors. Shiba Danjuro was tasked with announcing the Gift of the Shogun to the Imperial Court. Rikako gathered the advisors, informed them of the task set before them and then met with the Shogun's lieutenant Shiba Danjuro. She showed Danjuro the letter, which asked him to make the announcement to the Empire. [4] It piqued the interest of many clans. Kaneka returned to the Capital after an absence of two months. [5]

Joining the Unicorn Edit

This year Rikako rejoined the Unicorn Clan and after a meeting with Horiuchi Shem-Zhe at Shinden Horiuchi, became Horiuchi Rikako. The Khan Moto Chagatai assigned her to work alongside Moto Tsusung until her loyalty could be proven. [6]

Studies Edit

In 1168 Rikako was studying artifacts with Moto Tsusung when Moto Chen returned from the Shadowlands after the Battle at the Tomb. Chen presented a small jade model to Chagatai which Rikako believed was a fragment of the vessel that the Fortune of the Sea, Suitengu, used to travel between Ningen-do and Tengoku. Rikako and Tsusung were tasked by Chagatai to study the artifact and determine if it had any use to him. [7]

Rikako discovered that the boat had the ability to sail between the realms, and brought this news to Tsusung. Rikako's original idea was to sail to Meido and bring back Unicorn whom had died, but Tsusung refused the notion, knowing that the Shi-Tien Yen-Wang would take offense at souls being stolen from their realm. She then suggested seeking aid from the realm of Yomi, which the Lords of Death held no sway over, and Tsusung agreed. [8]

Sailing to Yomi Edit

As a means of further solidifying ties between the Unicorn and the Mantis Clan, Rikako enlisted the aid of Moshi family daimyo Moshi Amika to share use of the kobune. Initially skeptical, Amika eventually relented and said she would aid the shugenja. In 1169 they then traveled to Yomi, where they sought out Yoritomo to be their guide in the Realm of Blessed Ancestors. Yoritomo was able to lead them to the person they sought, Otaku Kamoko. The four then traveled to Tengoku, where Kamoko decided to take her place as Shinjo's yojimbo and defend her Lady's place while Shinjo was away. Yoritomo, too, decided to stay at Kamoko's reasoning that it was finally time for the Mantis to have a place in the Celestial Court. Kamoko rewarded Rikako with a trinket, that would sumon the Battle Maiden to her side. [8]

Kaneka's death Edit

Otoya, Naoharu, and Rikako

The advisors honor Kaneka's legacy

After the death of Kaneka during the Battle of Toshi Ranbo in 1169 [9] his former advisors were ready to bring glory to his memory. [10]

Jade Championship Edit

Rikako witnessed the defeat of Horiuchi Shem-Zhe in a magical duel with Kitsu Katsuko. [11]

Rokugan will be punished by the Heavens Edit

In 1169 during the Lion march to Shiro Moto Chagatai sent Rikako and Tsusung to seek Heavens's aid against the invaders. They took the Heavenly Kobune and traveled to Tengoku. In the middle of a fierce storm Suitengu appeared and ordered to return them back to Ningen-do. The Heavens were displeased with the Empire and Rokugan would be punished. They might retain the Kobune, but never to use it again. [12]

Scorpion spies exposed Edit

Immediately following Daigotsu's assassination campaign against the clans in 1170, Susumu, representative of the so called Spider Clan, approached the Unicorn Clan Champion Moto Chen, telling him that the Spider had prevented many assassinations against the Unicorn, and offered proof in the form of dead assassins. Susumu then showed a letter that exposed both Ide Tang, the Ide Daimyo, and Shinjo Nakaga as Scorpion Clan spies. Chen ordered the execution of Tang by quartering. For this, the Spider were rewarded with the support of the Unicorn Clan. [13]

Plague Edit

In 1171 several Unicorn villages had been struck with plague, and despite the combined efforts of the best Unicorn shugenja no answer had been found. [14]

Destroyer War Edit

In 1173 during the Destroyer War Rikako was advisor to Akodo Raemon, a Lion commander. In the first engagement during the Battle of the River of Gold along the riverbank a Destroyer detachment was routed. His advisor Horiuchi Rikako counseled to wipe them completely, to avoid they could be reinforced with more forces of Kali-Ma, to battle again with knowledge of the terrain. Raemon gave the order to press the advantage, to pursue and eradicate them. Rikako joined the pursuers, despite she knew that shugenja exercising extensive magic against these creatures ran the risk of exhaustion or death. [15]

Fate Edit

No one had seen Rikako since a year after the Destroyer War. More than twenty years later, the Unicorn did not know if she still lived, and they guessed Rikako had long since departed from Rokuigan and the oaths she took. [16]

External Links Edit

References



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