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MattyQ MattyQ is offline


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  • About MattyQ
    Matty is on the road to become a writer, hopefully. He likes stuff, and things.
    Chester, NH
    Writing, gaming, hanging out
    Creative Writing Student, Chester College of New England
    Nobuwa-Ryuu "Shokubai" - The Sage Dragon:

    Ryuu was born in Edo to the family Nobuwa. His father, Nobuwa-Kuso, was the owner of a large inn and something of an eccentric man (those who knew him referred to Kosu as "Kosu Kijin" (Odd Kosu) or Kiko for short), though respected for the success of the Edo-based business. His father thought the name Ryuu (Dragon) suited the babe when he was born, for he claimed that Ryuu had the fiercest eyes he had ever seen. In truth, he also appreciated the contradiction made between the name Nobuwa, a name with Peace inherent to it, and a creature with such passion and anger.

    On his fifth birthday, Kiko found Ryuu with one of the servants, helping with scrubbing a floor. Ryuu explained to his father that he sought to better understand why the woman performed such duties daily, and to find out if he enjoyed them himself. Kiko was furious at his son for participating in such paltry duty, berating him for the "thoughts of peasantry". Ryuu was immediately sent to one of the military schools that had been setup under the Ashikaga shogunate.

    Ryuu studied at the school for 12 years, focusing intensely around the arts of strategy and Zen philosophy. He was trained in the use of katana, but was apt to forego strength, perferring intellect.

    For a year of his tenure at the school, Ryuu travelled Japan, mainly in the areas around Edo and with a brief journey to Kyoto. He was appalled by some of the situations he found the poorer citizens of Japan in, and pledged with fierceness to right the injustices, to bring happiness back to the destitute. There was such fire behind his words that his teacher, Kouhei-sensei, began to refer to him affectionately as Chiryuu, or "the Little Dragon".

    When the little dragon returned to the school, which he now felt was his home more than the inn had ever been, he dove headlong into his studies, devouring anything that could better help him in his oath.

    On his eighteenth birthday, fresh from the Academy, Ryuu recieved the honor of riding as strategist with one of the smaller armies of Tokugawa against a civilian rebellion force. With his aptitude for strategy, and the well trained troops of the soon-to-be-shogunate, the battle was an overwhelming victory. The battle was unique, also, as it had had a little less then three hundred casualties. Recognizing the superiority of his troops, Ryuu had ordered that the blades of weapons be bound in fabric so they could not cut. The men were uneasy with the unorthodox strategy, but it proved itself. Juxtaposition with the low number of casualities were an incredible number of prisoners. Perpuating his unorthodox strategy style, Ryuu demanded the release of all prisoners to the daimyo of the area, and they were. However, the daimyo was deeply insulted and for that, the battle was virtually expunged from the history books and Ryuu would never find himself working with the Tokugawa again.

    Ryuu was not unhappy with this arrangement, and he wandered for several years through Japan, sharing and learning from those he came across in his travels. The Tokugawa shogunate established itself during his travels, and Ryuu soon found a growing number of impoverished peoples and disgustingly rich and decadent magistrates and nobles.

    When Ryuu was 26, he came across a band of several hundred citizens of a poor township. They had been refusing to pay taxes and now a force was being prepared to be lead against them in retaliation. Ryuu offered his voice as strategist, and with his help the people were able to drive away the force of warriors, though with several casualties. Despite the celebrations and the acclaim among the destitute that Ryuu won, he mourned for a year in silence over those who had died under his strategy. He was bequeathed the name, "Shokubai", or 'Catalyst', by the thankful people. It was under that name that he became notorious.

    At 30, Ryuu had assisted in several other resistances, though had never stayed in one place longer then he was needed. Wanted posters with a crude sketch of his face and his name upon them could be seen here and there, but as word of his deeds travelled, they would be torn down and people would refuse to give descriptions or give ones so fantastic that they could only be untruthful, doing so that government would have a much harder time trying to find him.

    When he was 37, not old, but not the young man he once was, he fell in love with a peasant girl he met in the province of Mino. Ryuu settled with her, and within a month of his 38th birthday, his son, Nobuwa-Kouhei (named for the beloved sensei of his youth). Unfortunately, in the time that the local magistrate successfully tracked down his whereabouts, and hired a small band of ronin to dispatch of him and his family. The farmer who had betrayed the location of Ryuu to the magistrate for ten ryo, a man who Ryuu had considered friend, and who knew of the night upon which the ronin would attack Ryuu's home was struck suddenly with the gravity of what he had done in betraying the man who had lived only to help the destitute. In a fit of repentance, he invited Ryuu over to his home for a drink on the night that the ronin would attack. When Ryuu went to take the first sip of the sake, the farmer broke down sobbing, telling Ryuu what he had done and begging him for forgiveness. Ryuu rushed home, only to find his homestead burning and his wife and child dead.

    It is written in legend that the tears did not cease to flow from Ryuu's eyes for two years, a year for each of them.

    Ryuu wandered Japan again, hiding his true name and going simply as Haiyaku (a broken promise). Though he came upon some old friends who knew him for who he truly was, he would simply wave them vaguely away, apologizing all the while.

    It was when he was 51 that a young man by the name of Rikuren came seeking him. The young man reminded Ryuu much of himself when he was younger, and had sworn an oath similar to Ryuu's. For a month, Rikuren came to Ryuu, and asked the older man to teach him what he knew. Each day, Ryuu sent Rikuren away with a denial. Finally, on the first day of the new year, in a garden as the cherry blossoms bloomed and fell around them, Ryuu agreed to teach Rikuren what he knew.

    When Ryuu was 56, and his pupil Rikuren 24, a great force marched upon the area in which they were staying, led by a magistrate who had grown mad with his power. He had sought a ridiculous tax from the people, trying to take more then eighty percent of their croppage and proceeds. The people tried to pay, but it was impossible, and so the magistrate had marched troops forward in a fit of rage. And he brought with him firearms, a weapon that had grown in notoriety through Japan. Ryuu had never yet led anyone against the weapon, though he knew of the devastating strength and the cold, passionless way that they killed. He knew there was a single way that he could successfully lead the farmers against the magistrate's forces - he would need to set the terms of the engagement.

    It was not unknown in the region that the magistrate was a man of superstition, and so Ryuu, after putting Rikuren in charge of the battlefield strategy, he went to the man as the Sage Dragon. By this time, Ryuu had been out of the government's view for twenty years, and was considered dead by many, and so he was not recognized when he was led to the tent of the magistrate.

    Ryuu informed the man that he was a great teller of fortunes, and was with such gravity that the magistrate swooned and completely believed the story Ryuu told him. Ryuu stalled the man until a day that he saw great gray clouds covering the sky and smelled the rain in the air. He went to the magistrate, and informed him that, "the Heavens have bequeathed on me that today is the day of your victory, Magistrate. Now is the only time you can lead your troops."

    The magistrate led the forces forward and as they raised to their muskets to fire upon the approaching army of peasants, a mighty rain broke and torrented down upon the army. The muskets were rendered useless as they became wet, unable to strike a spark. Suddenly, three hundred peasants that had been hidden under thatched weaves in the field sprung up almost directly before the musketmen fell upon the army, and soon assisted by rest were able to drive away the force.

    However, before the magistrate fled, he fell upon Ryuu in a great rage. "This is your doing! You are no sage! I know your face, Shokubai!" He raised a musket at Ryuu, one that he had kept with him in the tent. Ryuu merely smiled softly, and closed his eyes as the man pulled the trigger.

    Rikuren found Ryuu in the tent of the magistrate who had fled, bleeding from a great wound in his stomach. Ryuu lived for several weeks. The wound became infected after the first week, and Ryuu fell soon into a delirium from which he would lift only once, a moment before his death. Rikuren did not leave Ryuu's side until he passed, and it is written that the moment before Ryuu died, he was taken with a moment of strength and clarity of speech. He kissed Rikuren softly on the forehead, murmured, "Well done, my little Kouhei," and passed away.

    Rikuren transported Ryuu's body back to Mino, and buried him alongside his wife and son. Though Nobuwa-Ryuu's name would never be recorded into the great books of history, he would live on in legend and spirit through Rikuren and the many peasants whose lives he had affected and helped to better.
  • Signature
    "Gold offers a beautiful reflection, but can drag one to the river floor as quickly as a stone." -Nobuwa-Ryuu to Rikuren


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  • Last Activity: 11-21-2013 12:50 PM
  • Join Date: 10-08-2005
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