Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters
A conflicted Shiba that has trained with the Scorpion
Shiba Hachi is a tall, well-featured, urbane man. He dresses well, and is pleasant in court. He’s somewhat notorious within the Phoenix, because he was trained with the Scorpion before the war. Even at the height of the Scorpion Coup, he was slow to speak ill of them, and was known to retain close ties to his friends and sensei at Kyuden Bayushi.
He is settling into the life of the court as he seeks to assist Shiba Kasai, Doji Bakuto, and Isawa Mattyu with preserving and advancing Smoking Waters in the public eye.
Obvious advantages and disadvantages:
Insensitive – Shiba Hachi has a very scorpionlike “What’s in it for me?” attitude.
Obligation – Training with the Scorpion makes Shiba Hachi indebted to them for life. He’s quite friendly with a Bayushi that married into the Phoenix before the war (Asako Genzo) and often practices with the older gentleman.
Different School – He is Scorpion-trained.
Shiba Hachi was named Hachi because he was his parents eighth child, Three of his siblings died young, leaving five brothers. He was mostly unremarkable as a child, and tended to blend in to his surroundings and avoid notice. His parents did not provide much for him, so when an opportunity arose to send him to the Scorpion as part of a family exchange before the war, they didn’t hesitate. He came back a changed man – handsome, grown, confident, and full of rather strange Scorpion-like ideas. Shiba Hachi was settled into an arranged marriage to Shiba Nazoko when he returned. Their relations are cordial and formal, but no more than that.
Shiba Hachi’s parents (Tadashiro and Haruko) are mostly retired, spending their days doting on the grandchildren of their other sons. Two of his brothers died in various actions related to the Scorpion coup – a very uncomfortable subject at family dinners. His eldest brother, Shiba Yori disapproves of him immensely, and always has, and always will. Shiba Yori is not-so-secretly convinced that Shiba Hachi is some sort of clan traitor. Shiba Yori makes it a point to keep his wife and children away from Shiba Hachi as if he was infectious. The other survivng brother, Shiba Sakamoto hasn’t made up his mind about his youngest brother yet.