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|The First Battle-Maiden|
|Released:||May 2000 ()|
The First Battle-Maiden
When the original Otaku left to fight by Shinsei's side, she left behind a small daughter, Otaku Shiko. Raised by her wise father, Ide, Shiko grew into a fine, strong young woman. Her mother's fiery spirit burned in her veins, tempered by the calm eloquence of her diplomatic father's nature. She was skilled, bright, decisive, and inventive.
Near the beginning of the Empire, Shinjo gathered the Ki-Rin Clan together and announced that she would go on a quest. Otaku Shiko was one of the first to step forward to offer Shinjo her loyalty, protection, and friendship. Taking her mother's armor and swords, Shiko followed Shinjo into the unknown.
She stayed by Shinjo's side until the day the Ki-Rin Clan split up in order to find a way back to Rokugan. Shiko proved an excellent leader, combining the strength and skills of a warrior and the tact of a diplomat to steer her followers through many perils and adventures.
While her mother is considered the first battle maiden, Shiko was the founder of the battle-maiden tradition. During her travels with Shinjo, she realized the enormous potential of the saddle and stirrups of the Ujik-hai. She began to practice riding with the new device, to experiment with different techniques of riding and fighting. She called her new style of fighting "freehand riding." With the saddle and stirrups, she was able to ride much faster and farther, and with more maneuverability. With her hands free, she could use many different kinds of weapons. She developed techniques for using almost any weapon from horseback at thundering speeds. She taught these new ways to her family, encouraging others to experiment as well. She knew in her heart that this new form of mounted battle would be a great advantage to her clan, perhaps their key to survival. She encouraged the qualities of loyalty, swift action, and fierce determination in her students.
Shiko's fighting techniques, refined and perfected by her descendants, are taught at the Otaku battle-maiden school to this day. Her fierce warrior's code shapes the spirit and attitude of one of the finest and most feared fighting forces in all of Rokugan.
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