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Shiba Ujimitsu

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Shiba Ujimitsu 
Shiba Ujimitsu 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1128 
Spouse: Seppun Shimiko 
Children: Shiba Saija,
Shiba Tsukune (Saija's reincarnation) 
Titles: Phoenix Clan Champion
People

Shiba Ujimitsu became Champion upon the death of Shiba Burisagi and retained the position until his death during the Second Day of Thunder. During his time in office, he did great work to bring honor and respect to the armies of the Phoenix Clan. He was reputed to have extraordinary powers, even for the Champion of the Phoenix, though Ujimitsu always denied these rumors.

Appearance and demeanor Edit

Shiba Ujimitsu was a small and unimpressive man. His eyes were dark and dreamy, quick to smile, but there was always a haunted look to his features, as if his mind was on some darker matter. [1] He did not have the dominating presence of most Clan Champions, and even seemed somewhat uncomfortable with the attention his position brought. But what Ujimitsu did have was the certainty and command of a thousand years of guidance and wisdom. His dress was always traditional, and he always carried his swords, ever ready. He preferred walking to riding, and always wore the same pair of sandals.

Ujimitsu often disagreed with the Council of Five, arguing for policy and military changes. He never did so in public, however. Any arguments between the Champion and the Masters always took place behind closed doors. He always speaks with the authority of Shiba, but never speaks ill of the Council in public.

In all his years as Champion, Ujimitsu never stopped his sketching. He would often retreat for solitude into the Mori Isawa, attempting to capture the beauty of his homeland. He never showed his work to anyone, however, claiming it was too crude to share. [2]

Abilities Edit

Even with the obviously supernatural nature of the Phoenix Clan Champion, Ujimitsu reportedly had powers that even the Phoenix considered unusual. There are those that have said he could move at incredible speeds, travel hundreds of miles within an hour, and even to be in two places at once. Ujimitsu always denied these rumors, though those close to him knew that he enjoyed the mystique that such rumors gave him. [2]

Life Edit

Training Edit

Shiba Ujimitsu was an unremarkable child. He was studious and disciplined, but never outstanding. His main interests were in the arts, primarily sketching and singing, though he was never particularly good at them, nor did he ever share his works with others. He did well in his studies, though not exceptionally so, and had a rather uneventful gempukku. Afterwards, he took an unexceptional post working with a border guard unit of others from his Shiba Bushi class. [3]

Ascension as Champion Edit

Shiba Ujimitsu 2

Shiba Ujimitsu, Phoenix Champion

In 1113, [4] in the morning that Shiba Burisagi died, Ujimitsu was patrolling the southern Phoenix coastline with his unit, when he suddenly collapsed, falling from his horse into the surf. In Ujimitsu's head, a thousand voices instantly filled his head. To those around him, he screamed in agony, in languages that none of his companions had ever heard. He cried out to "his mother" the sun, begging her forgiveness. Most of his patrol thought that Ujimitsu had gone mad, but his gunso knew different. The sergeant had been trained to recognize symptoms just such as these.

Once he was well enough to travel again, Ujimitsu was dispatched to Shiro Shiba. There, he was studied by his clan, and it was determined that he indeed held the Soul of Shiba. Soon thereafter, he was confirmed to his new position. The unexceptional bushi who had the week before been on border patrol, was suddenly the commander of all the armies of the Phoenix Clan. [2]

Ujimitsu's reaction Edit

Needless to say, Ujimitsu was quite surprised with the turn of events. His aspirations in life were mostly to gain the honor of being yojimbo to one of the Isawa Shugenja; becoming protector of the entire clan was far more than he ever dreamed. Additionally, the chorus of voices constantly in his head was a terrible strain. Over the first few days, Ujimitsu began to slip dangerously close to madness, until Isawa Ujina and the other Elemental Masters taught him techniques to calm his crowded mind and to harness the power of the wisdom he possessed.

With the guidance of the Council and the wisdom of those before him, Ujimitsu became an amazing leader. He learned the secrets of using observation to assess the weaknesses of others -- either to correct them in his own men, or to exploit them in his adversaries. He managed to restore the respect of the Phoenix Clan's military, damaged not only by the clan's noted pacifism, but also by the disastrous Battle at Fate Gorge. [2]

Dreams Edit

Ujimitsu was plagued with dreams, which oftenly told about the future of reveal secrets from the past. [1] They foresaw the corruption of the Clan with the Black Scrolls. [citation needed]

Winter Court Edit

Ujimitsu and four of the Elemental Masters left the Asako winter court to go to the Hantei XXXVIII's Imperial Court at Toshi Ranbo while the Master of Water Isawa Tomo remained at Shiro Gisu. [5] Ujimitsu came with Shiba Himitsu, who was in grooming to be the next Phoenix Champion. [6]

Family Edit

Ujimitsu once had a family -- a wife, Seppun Shimiko, and daughter, Shiba Saija -- though they died early in his Championship. His father's wife, Seppun Waritsu, was branded a traitor to the Imperial Court. Hantei XXXVIII decreed that Waritsu and his entire line had to commit seppuku. Ujimitsu returned home with the dark news and was stopped by a strange spirit, a ronin hooded figure passed before his eyes and felt the soul of the Kami within him. Ujimitsu had a moment of darkness and forgot what passed. [7]

Death of his family Edit

Shimiko was forced to commit jigai in presence of the Emperor, and Ujimitsu was forced to kill his own daughter at the ceremony. The girl had cursed the Emperor and the Hantei family, and left her father with no choice but to cut her down. The voice of his kami had urged Ujimitsu to cut his daughter's head with a clean stroke, to save her soul. [7] No one present speaks of the event, and only the truly foolish would ask Ujimitsu. [2]

Saija's Soul Edit

Ujimitsu had no memory of the next hours. He was in front of Shiba Jimen's daughter, who was at bed. She was of the same age as Saija, eight years old. Jimen bowed and thanked Ujimitsu for appeared at the chamber. His sickened daughter was healed upon the presence of the Phoenix Champion. The city was Shiro Shiba, hundred miles away the Imperial City. The healed girl looked to him and she had her daugther's eyes. The spirit of Jimen's daughter had gone to the Celestial Heavens and was occupied with the soul of Saija. Ujimitsu knew the girl on the bed, his daughter, was of critical importance to the future of the Empire. The effort of saving his daughter's life debilitated Ujimitsu, and his strength was never as great as it once was. [8]

Seeking a bride Edit

Ujimitsu asked the Crane to send a theater troupe which had Ameiko as one of its members. The girl was a beautiful young Fox maiden. The Crane hoped Ujimitsu would take her as his wife, but two months passed and she returned with much honor and favors for the Crane, though no husband. [9]

Scorpion Coup Edit

In 1123, in the days following the Scorpion Coup, Ujimitsu was one of the few who thought that Bayushi Shoju could be reasoned with. [10]

Winter Court - 1126 Edit

Winter Court 1126

Ujimitsu seeing Kuni Yori's arrival to Kyuden Asako

Tensions between Asako and Isawa Edit

In 1126 Ujimitsu hosted the Imperial Winter Court as Kyuden Asako when the tensions between the Asako and Isawa had been high of late. Isawa Tsuke and Isawa Eizan vowed for intervention in favor of the Crane during the Lion-Crane War, while the Asako Daimyo Asako Togama lobbied to keep the Phoenix at bay. [11]

Guests Edit

The illness of Hantei XXXVIII kept him sequestered since his arrival and his wife Bayushi Kachiko was the only representative of the disbanded Scorpion Clan. Agasha Hisojo had been invited to aid Ujimitsu to maintain the court peacefully, as Doji Takashi and Matsu Morishigi would argue about their petty war. The Miya Daimyo Miya Satoshi announced the unexpected arrival of Kuni Yori, his retinue Kuni Nakiro, and the yojimbo Hida Ekiken. [12]

Appeasing the Conflicts Edit

Yori was dearly greeted by the Isawa, but nearly rebuked by the Asako, because of the rumors about an ill alliance of the Crab with the Shadowlands brokered by Yori. Suddenly the Kuni Daimyo was snapped with a jade tear by Asako Miyo, to test if Yori was already tainted. Blades and scrolls were drawn to retaliate the insult, so Ujimitsu stepped in to stop the ensuing brawl. Yori did not claim satisfaction, and Eizan's request to duel Miyo was quickly refused by the Phoenix Daimyo. [13]

The Henshin Exposed Edit

Eizan, the abusive husband of the Shiba Tejina shugenja Isawa Hirofumi, [14] appeared murdered, and Miyo was accused. Yori came with Asako Oyo, an immortal Henshin, giving testimony that Hirofumi and Miyo were twin sisters, and both had devised a plan to kill Eizan. Using the Tejina magic they had interchanged their features, in order to cover the murderer Miyo. As both women denied the accusations, Oyo was put under custody of Tsuke for further testimony. Exposing the secrets of the Path of Man to the Isawa, Yori would create strife between the Isawa and Asako. [15] The Phoenix weakness would help the quest for power of Yori's Lord, Hida Kisada. Not only Oyo's appearance had been devised by Yori, he had also had summoned shiyokai, the dream demons, that drove the Phoenix twins to murder. [16]

Clan Wars Edit

First Scroll is Opened Edit

The shugenja known as "The Nameless One" reported that he had sensed the power of the Shadowlands growing. Ujimitsu sent out Isawa Tadaka to investigate. He returned with dark news. One of the Black Scrolls had been opened. Tadaka went to the Shadowlands to discover who was responsible. After his return, Tadaka had changed. There was a force in the Shadowlands they would had to understand. In order to do that, they would have to embrace its energy and take it within themselves. So the corruption of the Phoenix Clan began. [17]

Kisada's Ambition Edit

In 1126 Ujimitsu was present in the Imperial Court when a tainted Seppun messenger told Hantei XXXIX that Hida Kisada had raised an army against the Emperor, composed by Crab warriors, oni, and minions of the Shadowlands. It was the beginning of the Clan War. [18]

Supporting the Crane Edit

As if with preternatural insight, Ujimitsu knew to council with the Isawa Elemental Masters and to take steps to prevent the Crane Clan from being overwhelmed at the start. [19]

Katana of Fire Edit

In 1127 Ujimitsu entrusted a group of samurai to deliver an Elemental Nemuranai, the Katana of Fire, to Tsukune. The gunso was leading the Phoenix armies aiding the Crane in their war. [20]

Phoenix Corruption Exposed Edit

In Spring of 1128 Ujimitsu was visited by Otaku Kamoko and the misterious Iuchi Karasu. They told an army formed by undead Phoenix ashigaru had been defeated in the Unicorn lands. Ujimitsu was greatly troubled and despite what appeared to be an error on the Unicorn's part, Karasu insisted they stay a little longer to protect the Phoenix. [21]

Shiro Shiba Sacked Edit

A superior Shadowlands army advanced to Shiro Shiba, so Ujimitsu dispatched messengers to Kyuden Isawa, the true target of the foul force. Despite the efforts of the supporting Unicorn force the stronghold was sacked, but not destroyed, and Phoenix losses were light in the Battle of Phoenix's Flight. Yogo Junzo's Army continued his march north. [22]

Battle At Isawa Palace Edit

Yogo Junzo's Army seemed to draw strength from the land around Kyuden Isawa, corrupted by Black Scrolls opened by the Elemental Master. The Phoenix's own spells were twisted by its foul presence. Unable to do anything else, Ujimitsu retreated and watched as Kyuden Isawa was pillaged for the Black Scrolls, then set ablaze. [23]

Clans United Against the Hantei Edit

After the failed assault on Otosan Uchi against Hantei XXXIX in the Month of the Hare of 1128, the surviving Crab forces laid a camp near the ruins of Kyuden Doji. In winter this year the possessed Emperor announced the cancellation of Winter Court. Hida Tsuru, Hida Kisada's brother, sent invitations to hold a mock Winter Court outside the city, which was soon attended by the leaders of the clans and their military advisors. Now united, the clans began joining their forces against the Shadowlands. [24]

Death Edit

From the ruins of North Hub Village Ujimitsu saw the fallen Eastern Enchanted Wall. With the arrival of Yoritomo's fleet the flagging forces of the Crab and unified Lion found new strength. He and the Master of Earth Isawa Tadaka recognized the flames of Isawa Tsuke, the master who had fallen the farthest. [25] In 1128, on the Second Day of Thunder, Ujimitsu aided Tadaka in killing the severely tainted Master of Fire Tsuke, but was mortally wounded in the process. Tadaka distracted Tsuke while Ujimitsu struck him down, but the Champion was lit aflame by the dying Master and he fell from the walls of Otosan Uchi.

On the ground below, as he lay dying in the arms of Shiba Tsukune, he whispered seven words into her ear, put the Clan sword in her hands and then passed away. The Soul of Shiba and the Championship passed to Tsukune, and Ujimitsu was one of the voices guiding her from then on. [26]

My soul, my life, for the Phoenix
-Ujimitsu's last words [27]

After death Edit

Shiba Ujimitsu 3

Shiba Ujimitsu

In 1172 Ujimitsu was alongside Hiruma Yoshi in the fields of Yomi seeing the Destroyer War. He was concerned how deep the Destroyers had penetrated the Empire. His heart was rejoiced with the honor and bravado shown by Shiba Jinzaburo in the field against the yobanjin Army of Fire. [28]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


Preceded by:
Shiba Burisagi
Phoenix Clan Champion
1113 - 1128
Succeeded by:
Shiba Tsukune


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 177
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Way of the Phoenix, p. 87
  3. Way of the Phoenix, p. 86
  4. Imperial Histories, p. 126
  5. Code of Bushido, p. 19
  6. Code of Bushido, p. 25
  7. 7.0 7.1 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 114
  8. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 114-115
  9. Way of the Crane, p. 83
  10. Clan Letter to the Scorpion Clan (Imperial Herald v.2 #4)
  11. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 7-9
  12. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 8-10, 14
  13. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 14-16
  14. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 78
  15. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 48-50
  16. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, pp. 62-64
  17. The Story so Far: Shadowlands Imperial Herald #4
  18. Three Days, by Ree Soesbee
  19. Clan War: Phoenix Army Expansion, p. 38
  20. Time of the Void, p. 38
  21. Time of the Void, pp. 52-53, 73
  22. Time of the Void, p. 74
  23. Time of the Void, pp. 75-76
  24. Time of the Void, p. 100
  25. Time of the Void, p. 97
  26. "The Last Master"
  27. Immortal, by Rich Wulf
  28. The Fields of Yomi (Imperial Herald v3 #4), by Nancy Sauer



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