Kitsu Aika – Priestess, Healer, Grandmother

2 August, 2010

Kitsu Aika, Priestess, Healer, Grandmother

Quote: The Ancestors will guide us to victory.
Come and listen children to the tales of our fathers and mothers.

Description: Kitsu Aika is elderly by still healthy and stalwart, she does not move with the grace that she once did but she rarely puts a foot wrong.  Her once black hair has gone almost entirely gray and worn long, her brown eyes are still clear.  She wears her fifty-odd years surprisingly lightly.

Aika usually wears simply clothes, in tans and browns, and carries a heavy pack and a well-wrapped seven-ring staff.  For formal occasions, she has both a nice court kimono in Lion colors and two sets of priestesses’ robes.  She wears no jewelry but does carry a set of carved rosewood and jade prayer beads.

Background: Kitsu Aika was raised in the traditions of the Lion and of the Kitsu family, a deeply conservative upbringing even in by the standards of a conservative society.  But she was more willing to travel and spent quite a bit of time talking with monks and nuns and visiting shrines.  She took her duties to the gods every bit as seriously as those to her Lord.  While she served with the army when she was ordered to, she preferred the life of a priestess and healer.

Aika was lucky in that her chosen husband, Ikoma Aijima, and her fell deeply in love. Together, they had a happy life together, raising seven children (six of whom made it to adulthood).  Her husband died on campaign four years ago and she misses him dearly, often sinking into melancholy when reminded of him.

Only two of her daughters inherited her talent with the spirits.  One of whom, Aizome, was recently killed on the field of battle leaving Aika to care for and raise her young granddaughter, Yuki.  Yuki is her pride and joy and she guards and teaches her.

Presenting this Character: Aika is a peaceful grandmother, focused on visiting shrines and teaching her granddaughter and other children and helping those in need.  For her past service, she is given considerable leeway in her travels by her lord.

She is very grand-motherly, advising those she meets to dress warmly, sharing stories with important moral elements and providing hearty meals.  Only when her kin or the Empire is threatened, does she cast off her kind ways and becomes an agent of the ancestors and the gods, using the element to scour away those so foolish as to provoke her wrath.

What can she do?: Aika is a powerful priestess able to manipulate the spirits of the elements, especially with the spirits of waters and the arts of healing.  Her training emphasized battle magic and prayers to the Ancestors.  She makes certain to thank the gods, ancestors and spirits that aid her, once the danger has passed.

Beyond her training in the arts magical, Aika is skilled in ancestor lore, the medical arts, storytelling and kenjutsu (swordsmanship).  Her seven ring staff in fact conceals a no-dachi (two-handed sword) which she will use in emergencies.

Who might know her and why: Anyone who was trained with the Kitsu, a small group at best, has probably met her.  Younger Kitsu may have been trained by her.

She could have crossed the path of any other priests in her visits to the various shrines and temples.

Aika served alongside other warriors of her Lord, any of those soldiers may remember her (or their children may have been told of her).  Equally, her enemies might recall having faced her across the field of battle.

Plot Hooks: A group of bandits has kidnaped Yuki, Aika comes to the heroes looking for help rescuing her.  She will offer her skills as a healer in return for their help, but she will also insist on accompanying them.  Woe be it to any who were foolish enough to hurt Yuki.

If the characters were wounded in service to the Empire, Aika can be on hand to heal and advise them.  She will even offer to help and may even feel compelled to do so if the threat is serious enough.

If the heroes need information on ancestors, there are those with less knowledge than Aika.  Though she may require that those who seek such knowledge prove themselves worthy.

Using her in other settings
: Aika has a place wherever loyalty to one’s ruler and to the gods and ancestors is paramount.

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