L5R: The Coastal Katana Dojo
Opportunistic former pirate that founded the Dojo.
Ren was not the best or most loyal pirate to sail the seas of Rokugan with the Mantis, but he might have been the wisest one. A bit of a coward and a lot of an opportunist, Ren was very motivated to make his fortune and get the heck off the ocean, despite being one of the best hand-to-hand naval fighters in the Mantis fleet. While his shipmates spent their koku on sake and geisha, he nursed his drinks, manipulated his shipmates to pay for his women, and stashed as much koku as he could in a hidden spot on the ship. However, when his stash was uncovered and his life was threatened by a particularly abusive shipmate, it was a Chipped Tooth Nezumi that had also been the target of abuse that came to Ren’s aid, permanently disposing of the threat. With that, an alliance was formed and Ren, who had no particular opinion on the Nezumi, figured it was better to have friends than enemies.
Working together, Ren found life on the ship a little easier, and while his affiliation with the Nezumi on board was looked at a little strangely, there were enough Nezumi on board to not cause too many issues. It wasn’t long before Ren was able to leave the pirate life behind.
The final piece of the puzzle came about when Ren was looking to start a Dojo to make easy koku training future pirates and sailors in hand-to-hand naval combat. Hitching a ride with his Chipped Tooth allies, he landed with them on an out-of-the-way island where the matrons, children, and elderly of the tribe made their home. The Nezumi only used a portion of the island and Ren saw a perfect spot for a dock and dojo on a separate part of the island. With built-in defenders he could take advantage of in case of trouble, he figured he had found a good spot. It took some convincing but eventually, he had his location for the Coastal Katana Dojo.
During the reign of Yoritomo Kitao as Mantis Champion, Ren’s talents and his school caught her eye. Hoping to conscript some Nezumi as well as better her crew, she invited Ren into the clan in exchange for his assistance. He focused his school more into what could be considered a master class in naval HTH combat and his place in the clan was secured.
The new Yoritomo Ren wasn’t a stupid man, though, and he saw the way the tides were going during Kitao’s battles with Yoritomo Kumiko, and he waited for his opportunity. When it came, he provided some vital intelligence to Kumiko and ensured his future survival.
An older man now, he has begun to pull back from a full-time teaching schedule at the Dojo. A small town as grown up by the dojo, but with the island mostly off the traditional sailing routes, he enjoys the solitude and quiet. Ironically, after mostly using the Nezumi for years for protection and for their skills, he has grown very fond of them and he has become a friend to the Nezumi on the island. This has lead to the unique stipulation that all in the town and at the Dojo must treat Nezumi on the island as equals and not as the pests most Samurai see them as, with banishment from the Dojo for those that ignore this rule.