Dramatis Personae

MANTIS

Yoritomo Aramasu
Age – 31
Sex – Male
Height – 5’ 9"
Social Position – Clan Champion of the Mantis
Bio – Aramasu is the son of Bayushi Aramoro, younger brother of the Scorpion clan Champion, Bayushi Shoju. Because of politics, Aramoro arranged for Yoritomo to foster his then young son Aramasu. Over time, they became closer, and when Aramoro came to reclaim his son and use his knowledge against the Mantis, Aramasu chose the Mantis. Yoritomo became his adoptive father, and taught him much. When Yoritomo died fighting Goju Adorai at Volturnum, Aramasu was made Clan Champion. His raising by Yoritomo is apparent; he is both aggressive and ambitious, but retains the cunning only a Scorpion can appreciate. He is fully committed to his Singh allies, as well as to the cause of the Black Lion, the Emperor Toturi I, and when the Steel Chrysanthemum tried to convince the Mantis to serve him, he rejected him outright.

Yoritomo Arai
Age – 40
Sex – Male
Height – 6’0"
Social Position – Captain and Commander in the Mantis fleet – head of the expeditionary fleet
Bio – The son of Yoritomo Gutai and Tsuruchi Kurai, both Storm Legionairres, Arai grew up side by side with Yoritomo himself. He began his career as a marine on the Sea Serpent, serving there for 3 years. Several acts of heroism garnered him the attention of his commanders, and he was assigned to the Rolling Wave, commanded by none other than the young Clan Champion Yoritomo himself. For the next 9 years, they fought alongside each other, and he rose to second in command in 5. Where the Son of Storms was, Arai was there with him. Unusually for a Mantis, while he uses the Kama like so many Yoritomo bushi do, he pairs it with a long knife, more the length of a wakizashi. It has an ivory handle and a well honed blade, and it has become somewhat of an iconic weapon. After Yoritomo died at Volturnum, he was offered the command of the First Storm, but declined, stating he’d rather just be leading ad hoc war fleets than as the actual head of a storm. Therefore, while he has lower status than many, there are few Mantis alive who would offer him insult, or not offer him the proper regard for his ability. He has sailed to the Kingdoms several times, the last most notably to train the Singh fleet in amphibious assaults. When word came that the cult of Ruhmal was on the rise, Arai was given the job of leading an expeditionary fleet to assess the situation and commence operations. How this goes will depend on his men, but with such a distinguished commander leading them, many Mantis cannot see how they could fail.

Yoritomo Tadaka

Age – 45
Sex – Male
Height – 5’ 7"
Social Position – Clan Ambassador

Yoritomo Tadaka is an oddity in some ways among his clan. He is a diplomat that doesn’t rely more or less on intimidation and control. His methods are closer to the traditional Doji methods, with a dash of Ikoma charisma and personality. His early years were spent in service on the fleet, where he fought hard, gambled well and wenched like Ikoma himself. When he managed to negotiate out of a difficult situation involving a minor daimyo’s neice, a spurned husband and the minor daimyo himself, his captain sent a letter recommending his transfer to the ranks of the clans diplomats. He soon adapted, and though he still isn’t as honourable as an Akodo, or as well connected as a Doji, he is smoother than water. His experience in the fleet has tempered his demeanor, and his easy going nature mean that he readily makes friends, and very easily can convince most that his and their interests are similar. He figures trying to strong arm someone to be counterproductive, when you can win them over with good talk, good sake and puppet theater. His natural smoothness got him an appointment to the Ivory Kingdoms, to the court of the Singh Raja,Dahar Singh. He learned the Ivindi tongue, and since then, has been a regular fixture. He has aides to maintain good relations with the various minor nobles, but leaves much of his organisation to Moshi Kulani, his senior aide, who provides a focus for his diplomatic efforts.

Moshi Kulani
Age – 26
Sex – Female
Height – 5’6"
Social Position – Minor diplomat/Senior aide to Yoritomo Tadaka

Moshi Kulani is a remarkable woman. Possessed of an almost classical standard of beauty, and a talent for oratory, she lacks the natural warmth and amiability that Tadaka has. This is not a comment on her abilities as a diplomat; she is one of the most promising diplomats produced by her family and by the Mantis in a generation. Her organisational talents, however, are what have earned her her place as Tadaka’s number two. She organises the minor aides and staff, and she sets his schedule, giving structure and form to his personal style of diplomacy, making them a formidable team. In fact, one of the reasons they are in that particular order is that the Singh are somewhat less accepting of women in positions of power than the Mantis, or a house like the Suresh. As a formally trained diplomat in dealing with hostile lobbying courtiers, she most likely defeats Tadaka, but his experience and easy going nature mean that for maintaining cordial relations, as well as his knack for finding out information out of people, he remains senior. They get along for the most part, arguing in the evenings about everything from the best sake, to theater, to even native arts and their merits.

SINGH

Dahar Singh

Age – 57
Sex – Male
Height – 5’ 11"
Social Position – Raja of the Singh

Raja Dahar Singh is an aging man, but his sword arm is still strong. He does lead from the front every so often, and unusually, he is a proficient wielder of the Rajput Tulwar. He does wield the spear and bow, like many of his warriors, but his tulwar Rokurran never leaves his side. He hunts, he trains, he oversees the movements of his nobles, in short, being an active and interested Raja. His reign has overseen war with Cholsa and Rajput, and in the last war, he himself slew the general of the army,famed Cholsan commander Yhorik Cholsa. In 25 years, he has maintained borders with both of them, and expanded relations with the Suresh, and the Cheiron. Improved relations with the Suresh, based on mutual give and take, have led to the Suresh generally providing their fleet to assist the Singh in their minor wars with the Rajput and Cholsa. The Suresh are more than happy to practise their age old traditions of naval warfare and reaving on their “progenitors”.

Vashna Singh

Age – 27
Sex – Male
Height – 6’0"
Social Position – Heir to the Raja of the Singh

Vashna Singh is a young and thoughtful man. The son of Dahar and a Cheiron noblewoman, he is the eldest of three, two girls and one boy. His teachers noted that, although when given weapons instruction he took to it well, he found the natural world far more fascinating. His father indulged his passion as only a father can with his only son, and the Cheiron fostered him for a few years, showing him their sciences and learning. The lessons he took to best were ones about building, destruction and craft. He would frequently watch the master smiths of the Cheiron forge crystal weapons, admiring the subtle taps of tools and use of water and substances to edge the blades and make them strong. He was given access to their builders, and devised several new siege engines, as well as personally noting improvements that could be made to the cities of his home. He left with the gift of a crystal sword, and the good will of the Cheiron. His father, while intially trying to fast track him to military leadership realised his son was a thinker, not necessarily a fighter. He gave him the rule of the western borders, instructing him with limited resources to defend the border, waiting with warriors should the Cholsa break through. Through a system of small, portable fortifcations, he managed to contain the Cholsan warmachine. In fact, it took the full cavalry under Yhorik Cholsa himself to make a breach, and even then, the threat of attack in the rear led to reinforcements being tied down to oppose the garrisons. This would lead to his father Dahar winning a famous victory and killing Yhorik in single combat. He is less amiable toward the Mantis than his father, but accepts his fathers judgement and continues to watch the western borders.

Akhtai Singh

Age – 44
Sex – Male
Height – 5’ 10"
Social Position – Brother of Dahar Singh, and General of the Singh Kshtriya

Akhtai is the younger half brother of the Raja Dahar. Born of former Raja Khuran Singh and a peasant woman, Akhtai was a topic of much scandal during his early years, but for love of his mother, Khuran raised him as a Kshtriya. He rose through the ranks swiftly, ignoring jibes made at his expense and concentrating on solid warcraft under his commanders. In 3 years, he rose to command his own company of spearmen on the Oron river. During the periodic fighting, he ended up facing a Rajput raiding force of 200 men that crossed his position. He led his unit of 100 men and harassed them all the way to the border of the Forest of Silence, where his remaining 60 men engaged the 177 Rajput in a night raid. Whilst the casualties were enormous, with barely two dozen of his men surviving, and not one of those unmarked, his distraction allowed the ranger detachment nearby to flank them, delivering a crushing victory in favour of the Singh. Though his fathers advisors tried to place him on charges of dereliction of post, his commander managed to steer him through it, and promoted him to command larger forces. Under Dahar, he rose further still, replacing his commander Takhaarn Singh, who had died in a revenge attack by the Cholsa. He is a close friend to Yoritomo Tadaka, who he plays regular games of chess with, and recognises that the aid the Mantis offer to his House is useful.

Isha Singh
Age – 39
Sex – Female
Height – 5’3"
Social Position – Spiritual Advisor to Dahar Singh

Isha Singh is from a major Singh family, and though this would normally have seen her married off to another family. However, when she was born, she was born an albino. The midwife who delivered her was renowned as a seer of sorts, and seeing this announced that this child was the reincarnation of a minor water goddess, Isha. The parents, pious Kshtriya both, pleased and displeased in equal measure at this news arranged to build a shrine to Isha on their estates for their daughter to tend to. Over the years, Isha began to see visions, and her shrine became famous for those who wished to see the future. Though the Ivory Kingdoms is less superstitious than most, such a gift was swiftly noticed by the Raja’s, and upon turning 30, Dahar Singh requested she take up the position of his spiritual advisor. Though most of her time is spent at the now sizable shrine, she travels to the Singh court at times her unearthly insight is needed.

Ramik Singh
Age – 65
Sex – Msle
Height – 5’0"
Social Position – Vizier to the Raja Dahar Singh

Ramik Singh is a snake of a man. Since childhood, he has been mistrusted by most who know him. His size and lack of physical might meant that he had to use his cunning to defeat his contemporaries. While other boys fought or played, Ramik read, and watched. He learned how to read peoples tells, what motivated them and ultimately how to manipulate them best. He was appointed to his fathers estate, managing crop yields and taxation. His tenure there saw a steady rise in both; him using the latest methods he could, as well as good old fashioned threats to maximise tax gathering. His “friends”, a loose knot of social pariahs helped him assume control over his family after his fathers sudden mysterious death, and his penchant for scheming and statecraft earned the attention of the Dahar Singh’s grandfather, Salan IV. He was appointed as his vizier and overseer of the Singh treasury. Since then, the Singh have been wealthier than before, but whilst he serves currently, rumours that Ramik harbours dark schemes are always present, and in his company, one cannot wonder how true such charges are.

Old Malik
Age – Unknown
Sex – Male
Height – 5’11"
Social Position – Singh Captain

Old Malik is a 1st Singh Ranger company captain, and has been so for a significant time. His tenure has overseen his company being known throughout the region as “fox warriors”, as they have the speed, cunning and maneuverability of those animals. His beard is grey and long, and his eyes have seen more than a bit. His men trust him to lead them well, and he has yet to do otherwise. Rumours abound that he has been considered for higher ranks, but he dismisses these rumours and gets on with it.

CHEIRON

Raja Fahaarn Cheiron
Age – 47
Sex – Male
Social Position – Raja of the Cheiron

As Raja of the Cheiron, Fahaarn is not only an extremely high status man, but also a consummate scholar: he is the Chancellor of the University of Clear Thought. His personal scholarly interest is that of law, but he also is a keen proponent of crafts.

Master Vishta Cheiron
Age – 50
Sex – Female
Social Position – Master of Law
Vishta is a very dignified looking woman, with dark eyes and greying hair. Her sex in many other houses would see her in a less salubrious position, but she is the most superb Cheiron jurist in a generation. Her developments on the system of judges and law in Cheiron lands have been grudgingly adopted by several other houses, most notably the Rumas, though no-one is aware of why they chose to do so. Rumours place her either as a conservative woman, only concerned with the law, or as a woman who is deeply concerned with the plight of those below her (a feeling unbefitting a Kshtriya of such high standing). These rumours remain thus, and Vishta serves as she will.

Master Lakhsmi Cheiron
Age – 22
Sex – Female
Social Position – Master of Medicine
Lakshmi inherited the position of Master from her father, Tuha Cheiron. Young and fresh-faced, but with a instinctive grasp of medicine, she is a wild card amongst the Masters, and though movements among the older Masters will always oppose her, the Master of Medicine is sufficiently important to be above it for the most part.

Master Karai Cheiron – DECEASED
Age – 39
Sex – Male
Social Position – Master of Religious and Arcane studies
Karai is an interesting Master among the Cheiron. He is not only a Master of Arcane studies (a dubious study among that people), he is also regarded as an odd man for his personal interest in the esoteric, and he has done little bar his social position to dispel this. The machinations of the Rafiq in the Maharajah’s court have kept him in his position, as well as his conservative allies Mahara and Calorme. He remains powerful, and his schemes are known to none save him.

Master Jikern Cheiron
Age – 52
Sex – Male
Social Position – Master of Economics and Business
Jikern is the second son of the previous Porosan Raja, and his raising amongst the Poros have given him a sense for making coin and managing an enterprise to maximum effect and profit. His ventures have seen trade incomes and tarriffs with Medinaat al-Salaam and the other houses increase by 30%, a massive increase. This he has invested into other ventures, as well as improvements into the infrastructure of the house and to the regiments who serve under him. They bear the best Cheiron or Rumasan plate, armed with the finest forged blades available and their barracks are slightly better than the average. Most of these accompany his caravans, making money nmot only for the house, but for his own pockets. Some whisper this is manipulation of the Porosan markets for his own ends, and using his own contacts, but his status in both houses make him beyond most reproach, and the Cheiron care little for how he progresses in coin.

Master Asai Cheiron
Age – 46
Sex -Male
Social Position – Master of Foreign Relations and Politics
Asai is an interesting man, since he is the keystone of the Singh friendship with the Cheiron, and he is less insular than many of his Masters. He understands the politics of his position and of the Houses with a great understanding, and knows that the other Masters have agendas. In particular, he remains a firm enemy of Karai, mistrusting him because of his eager study of esoteric and incomprehensible forces.

Master Mahara Cheiron
Age – 64
Sex – Male
Social Position – Master of Linguistic Studies
Mahara Cheiron is one of the oldest sitting Masters, and his sage counsel is regarded well among others; both friend and foe. His area of study ensures he remains a part of several key areas of the University, including Economics, Law, History, Politics and Arcane studies, for he is an accomplished scholar in not only his own tongue, but many that predate the current civilisation,foreign tongues , and indeed, some of non-human provenance. Accordingly, he is regarded with respect and a certain amount of leeway, since his talents are fairly unique within the Cheiron (and by general inference, the Ivory Kingdoms). His attitude is somewhat liberal, but widely conservative, and he is closely linked with Karai and Calorme in studies and machinations.

Master Nismeh Cheiron
Age – 40
Sex – Female
Social Position – Master of Artisans and Crafts
Nismeh Cheiron is a talented artisan; this much is true. In particular, she is a famed and accomplished sculptor, but by no means the best. The qualification that earned her the Master’s seat over her older sister (who is considered to posses even greater skill at sculpting than Nismeh) is her almost unnatural talent to understand and adapt to different crafts: She is as much at ease discussing the forging of swords with the hardened blacksmiths as she is with the University’s small pool of professional chefs discussing particular recipes and cuts of meat to use. She tends to work alone; her particular area makes her a useful ally to have, but she is too fixated on her own work and that of her students to care much beyond that. Whilst the weapons, armour and gear that leave her workshops are of masterful quality, she does not exercise the political maneuvering of her fellows, a trait that earns no approbation or honour from her fellows. She cares little for this, the quality of her work and her students is the only thing on her mind, and there is always something new to learn.

Name – Master Delui Cheiron
Age – 38
Sex – Male
Social Position – Master of Engineering
Delui Cheiron is a hard-bitten man. He cares little for the feelings of his students or for his fellow masters. He regards only the work he gives himself to as important. He has no qualms with crushing the spirit of a student who has failed, for he reasons that the strong will endure, and the weak will collapse, a metaphor perfectly suited to his skills. He has personally designed half of the new defenses around the Maharajah’s summer palace, and they are close on flawless. Killzones of siege engines, high ramparts, undermining defenses; utterly brilliant. His particular disdain lies against masters like Mahara and Karai, who he sees as providing little practical benefit, since after all, magic is the realm of gods, and words can only get you so far, and only be trusted so much. Only stone, brick and steel can be trusted he reasons (leading his students to wonder in whispers as to the quality of his home life.)

Name – Master Calorme Cheiron
Age – 35
Sex – Female
Social Position – Master of History
Calorme Cheiron, of an ancient scholars lineage, is unusual, owing to the fact that till now, her family line was renowned for its studies of Engineering; indeed, it was owing to the fact that Calorme was so ill-suited for the task of Master there that Delui was given the job, and she was tasked with her own passion; history. She has in her time as Master compiled historical records from before the Conquest and has published material to fill several libraries. Her students are constantly at work trying to learn the histories of all nations possible, as well as collaborating with other disciplines on research and compilation. She forms the youngest part of a conservative triumvirate with Karai and Mahara; indeed, it is spoken (quietly) that her and Karai form a rather attractive pair, and whilst this has not been denied openly, Karai’s wife would strongly disagree with this.

Name – Master Tarim Cheiron
Age – 51
Sex – Male
Social Position – Master of Military Studies
Tarim is a former General in the armies of the Maharajah, and a former Overcommander of the Cheiron military during the attack by the Maratha 25 years ago, leading to the Cheiron forces, massively outnumbered, holding the Maratha long enough for the clans to begin feuding. His temperament is calm and collected, and of all the Masters, he is regarded as the most stable of temperament, and he lacks the impatience with others that other Masters may have. He teaches students in a practical fashion; by giving his students command of young troops in wargames exercises, he teaches the basic principles, as well as the hands on experience that books and study don’t teach a commander. In particular, he teaches small size infantry tactics, emphasising squad level special weapons and defensive fighting, building on the Cheirons traditions strengths and weaknesses. He collaborates with Delui on fortification, with Nismeh on gear for his lessons and with Calorme on historical studies. In short, most Masters tend to like him, and he has no lack of friends and capacity to teach his craft in the way he wishes to.

Name – Captain Tariq – DECEASED
Age – Unknown
Sex – Male
Social Position – Captain in the 6th Cheiron Battalion

Tariq commands a company of men in 6th Battalion, roughly 250 men. His scar was earned in battle with the Rajput, and he is as hardened a officer as exists. He did go through officer training, and was not raised from the ranks, but he is as tough as any man in his command, for he expects nothing but the best, and regards imperfection to be the greatest crime a man can perpetrate. His men and officers fear and respect him and “Old Slice-eye”, as some of the more daring men call him behind his back, is a force to be reckoned with in the 6th.

Dramatis Personae

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