Between Crimson Skies
Servant in the Ikoma Household
Kenta is gnarled, old and has a gaze which seems to look in miles rather than yards. His tan skin hangs on his bones lie wrinkly rags, and his beard is patchy and matted with dirt. To any common passerby, Kenta would seem to be nothing more than just another babbling old peasant.
Kenta grew up in the lands of the Unicorn. His lord was an honest man and allowed Kentato pass from province to province unhindered. This allowed Kenta to see much more of the world than a normal man of his status would. During his travels he discovered a new source of Diamonds which increased the wealth of the clan’s coffers. With the blessing of his lord he began trading some of the jewels that he had found, starting locally and eventually building to the lands of neighboring clans. During his travels in the lands of the Ikoma, he met a woman and fell very deeply in love. The lord of the lands allowed him to marry the woman under the condition that he would cease his wondering ways and give up his trade. Kenta agreed and the two lived very happily serving Ikoma Ujiaki and his bride.
Things started becoming trouble when Ikoma Ryozo was born, for he was born deformed, with his limbs shrunken and hands withered. The night of his birth his mother stayed beside his cradle and prayed to the Fortunes. When the morning came, Ryozo had miraculously changed – his limbs were straight, and his hands strong.
As the grew up, his mother came to be thought of as a paragon of virtue among the Ikoma family, her son’s ‘curing’ being seen as a gift from the Sun Goddess. Ryozo’s father, a samurai from the Matsu family, spoke little about his son’s birth, and approached his wife only rarely after his birth. Some among the family said this was because he did not want to taint her purity, nor create another twisted child.
In truth, he did not wish to know how his son had been changed, for he knew his wife was a dabbler in forbidden magics. After they had married, he found documents in a strange tongue containing maho, along with blood rituals and other dark secrets. He had forbidden her from using magic and burned all the documents, and never spoke of it again.
Shortly after his father was killed, Ryozo’s mother left for a convent in the lands of the Dragon Clan, and Ryozo never knew that magic had saved his life.
However, Kenta’s wife did know, and after her death he fled the lands of the Ikoma carrying her secret with him fearing reprisals should the truth of Ryozo’s recovery ever be known.