L5R: The Coastal Katana Dojo
Mantis Brawler that prefers fists over blades.
School: Mantis Brawler
Jiujutsu (Grappling): 3
Chain Weapons: 3
Craft: Fishing: 1
Hands of Stone (6 Pts)
Quick Healer (3 Pts)
Strength of the Earth (2 Pts)
Hero of the People (2 Pts)
Soft Hearted (2 Pts)
Sworn Enemy (1 Pt) (Clan Samurai embarrassed in a brawl)
Obtuse (3 Pts)
RANK ONE: WAY OF DRUNKEN FISTS
The basic techniques of the Mantis Brawlers are based on the need to prevail in chaotic fights on tilting ship decks…or when reeling drunk through a sake house. Brawlers are tough and slippery fighters who evade the grip of their enemies while striking them at every opportunity. If you are Prone, you do not suffer any penalties to your Armor TN or to your attacks with Small weapons (or when unarmed). You still gain the Prone Armor TN bonus against ranged attacks. Also, you gain a bonus of +1k0 to rolls made to take control of Grapples and to your damage rolls with unarmed strikes, improvised weapons, and Small weapons.
Yoritomo Nantetsu – Background
Yoritomo Nantetsu was the youngest of three brothers and also the smallest of them, a fact that they were more than happy to prove to him on many occasions. With a father that thought that the youthful roughhousing would “toughen him up”, Nantetsu was forced to learn to defend himself at an early age. At first, his goal was survival, but it wasn’t long until he found weaknesses in his brothers’ attacks that he could exploit. By the time he was 11, he was able to subdue or defeat his older siblings and the roles reversed.
When his brothers left home to serve the Mantis, Nantetsu began looking for a different outlet for his aggression, and it wasn’t long before he was goading other samurai into fistfights or seeking out peasant brawls. His natural speed and talent more than compensated for his smaller stature, and he rarely met defeat.
When his time came to go off to sea and train on a Mantis kobune, he was met with the same teasing and mockery that he had received at home for his smaller stature. A week of “behavior modification” ended with more than a few black eyes and the occasional broken bone before the ship Captain put a stop to it once and for all.
A year into his training on the ship, Nantetsu learned a surprising truth about himself. During his first boarding of an enemy pirate ship, Nantetsu fought valiantly but as the battle continued he saw that his Captain was being pinned down. Nantetsu took the head of the pirate leader to save his Captain, but as the head rolled to land at his feet, Nantetsu was struck with crippling nausea and guilt over taking another life. Another pirate moved in to avenge his fallen comrade and Nantetsu was able to snap to attention in time to defend himself. However, when an opening appeared to finish his new opponent, Nantetsu froze and couldn’t take the pirate’s life. Instead, he quickly moved inside the pirate’s guard and knocked him out with a quick punch.
Shortly after that, Nantetsu focused his training on chain weapons that could subdue or knockout instead of kill (although the kusari-gama does have a blade if it becomes necessary). His Captain was concerned with this and talked about it with Nantetsu. A threat was made that if his inability to kill an enemy ever harmed a crewman, he would be killed or asked to seppuku in shame. Nantetsu, understanding the severity of this, assured the Captain that he would never let that happen, and for 5 years, it hasn’t. Nantetsu has been forced to kill an enemy three times in that time, and each time Nantetsu had to spend many off-hours in seclusion coming to terms with what had happened. There is the occasional jest about it from newer shipmates, but those usually stop after he breaks the jester’s nose.
Nantetsu’s Captain has recently left the seas to become an Ambassador for the Mantis. One of his final acts was to ask Nantetsu to come with him. Nantetsu is concerned that he might embarrass the new Ambassador in court, but his Captain knows that if Nantetsu stays on the water, his new Captain might not be as understanding of his soft heart. He likes the young Mantis, so he’s doing what he can to try and keep him alive.
Of course, Nantetsu can’t make that easy on land, either. While out carousing with his shipmates before he left for good, Nantetsu ended up intervening when a couple of samurai were bullying some peasants. Some well-timed words turned their attention to him, and the ensuing fight saw the two samurai out cold. Unfortunately, Nantetsu was into the sake by that point, and ironically, he became exactly the type of person he usually can’t stand: a bully. He took his time finishing off the last one, leading to cheers from the peasant onlookers at the samurai’s expense. Nantetsu woke up the next morning not realizing that he’d made an enemy that day, but he had.
The future for Nantetsu is wide open. His Captain wants to help him find his way in this world and this is his opportunity. If he can keep himself under control.
Yoritomo Nantetsu – 20 Questions
4) Squat but sturdy, almost always with some form of bruises and cuts on his face and body.
5) Nantetsu’s primary motivation is to help his clan and help those who can’t help themselves. He’s hoping that these actions will help show him his true purpose in the world, as he sometimes feels directionless.
6) His family and his former ship captain, whom he continues to serve on shore.
7) People who know Nantetsu see his willingness to stand up for the less powerful as an admirable trait. On the other hand, they find his overeagerness to engage in fisticuffs, which is unbecoming of a samurai in most cases, to be a weakness. From Nantatsu’s perspective, he feels that helping the less powerful is just doing the right thing and doesn’t find it a strength. The Mantis are known to for sticking up for the common folk and his stance is no different. Different motivation, perhaps, but still the same.
For him, his skill with his fists are something he’d point to if asked, but he’s still looking for something more than that. As for his weaknesses, he’d never point it out, but his distaste for killing is something that is commonly considered unbecoming of a samurai and something he constantly struggles to keep hidden from his fellow Mantis.
8) He has no issue with Bushido, although he’s not a big follower of it. Courage (Yu) is his strongest trait, although Compassion (Jin) isn’t far behind. He also is fairly dutiful and loyal (Chugo).
9) Nantetsu loves his clan and is devoted to the Mantis. While he prefers to not kill enemies of the clan, its not because of any issue with his clan, its a personal preference. As someone who admires strength, he has no issues with the current allies of the Mantis, although some Crab Clan Bullies get to him.
10) Nantetsu is not married, and his clan is not really going out of their way to find him a spouse due to some of his more recent escapades.
11) Nantetsu is not a fan of the Crane and Scorpion. The former for taking advantage of weaker courtiers in open court and the latter for taking advantage of people through blackmail. He holds a special place of hatred for Ninja.
12) Nantetsu is most loyal to his previous ship captain, who retired to the city and is the reason that Nantetsu is still in port. One of the few men that know about Nantetsu’s distaste for killing, he made a point of keeping Nantetsu out of as many situations as possible where that might be the outcome. If his previous captain stays in town, Nantetsu will likely follow suit.
13) Nantetsu loves carousing with his shipmates at a local sake house as much as he loves finding a quiet bank to drop a fishing line. Which he prefers at any one time depends on his mood. He doesn’t like activities that require courtly behavior, as he hasn’t had much practice. He is far more at home with the less desireable population. And while he sometimes finds that his gruff exterior can intimidate less powerful people, he doesn’t actively seek to bully others, and he does not like it when others do that.
14) With the number of scars and scabs he has from various fights, he is often itchy from his body healing. At any time, when his hands are idle, they will inevitably start scratching and itching at a scab or scar.
15) Nantetsu is not the best samurai when it comes to containing his emotions. From the joy he feels when he’s roughhousing or fighting with someone to the anger he feels when he sees someone pushing around a weaker man, Nantetsu does find himself having trouble maintaining his On. He enjoys being allowed to let his guard down when he’s among the common folk.
16) Nantestu tries to maintain a demanding front to people under his command, but its partly a front as he really would not like to order someone to commit seppuku. Despite his bluster, he would try and correct whatever problem exists if possible.
17) “Soft iron”. A man with fists of stone that loves to fight but with a big heart that wants to protect the helpless.
18) Despite being from a clan that is known for its ambition, Nantetsu doesn’t have much. Part of that is an uncertainty about what he would like to do for his clan and part of that is concern that he’ll be asked to do something for his clan that will make him uncomfortable and could cost him his honour if he can’t follow through.
19) He is not particularly religious. He will occasionally say some words to Bishamon, but he mostly foregos prayer.
20) One of two ways: 1) He’ll pick a fight with the wrong person or 2) He’ll hesitate to kill an enemy because of his aversion to it and they’ll kill him first.