Legend of the Five Rings Aftermath
"Daughter" to the Emerald Champion and Crane Clan Champion, Doji Satsume.
She was born with a crippled foot – “twisted in the mouth of Fu Leng,” as Satsume gruffly says – she never lets the physical limitation hamper her spirit or her ability. Shizue is not a great beauty, but she is a lovely woman with bright grey eyes and long white hair. Her smile is quick, and her laughter is like the ringing of silvery bells. Her voice, carefully trained by Kakita Yoshi, can convey a tremendous depth of emotion.
Although her step is slow and rhythmic, she moves gracefully, and has remembered some of the art of dancing that Teinko taught her as a little girl. Shizue is a gentle soul, of noble bearing and lineage, who seems content to lead the peaceful life she has been given. She is small and physically weak, but makes up for it with one of the greatest intellects in the Empire, capable of memorizing manuscripts in a glance and deciphering codes and hidden messages in script as well as speech.
School: Kakita Artisan (Storyteller)
Doji Shizue is the only child of Satsume’s younger brother. He father was killed in a skirmish with the Crab and her mother died within days of her birth. She was raised by Satsume’s wife, Teinko, with Hoturi and Kuwanan. She is considered a sister to the two heirs to the daimyo’s house, although her lineage is less prestigious.
She passed her gempukku just as the Clan Wars ended 15 years ago. Her presence is constantly requested in the finest courts of the Empire. Her gift for storytelling is unmatched and there are those who say she is the reborn spirit of Kakita Kiyamori, sister of the first Kakita. She is also talented in song and calligraphy. Satsume himself has mumbled faint praises of the maiden’s ability, although only when he thinks no one is listening.
Difficulties have only given her a stronger sense of her place in the universe. If anyone has grasped the Artisan’s ideal – “Life is an art; do one thin well and you will do everything well,” it is Shizue. She spends much of her time in the gardens of the Crane, telling stories and helping the Crane remember their past. Satsume is the only father she has ever known, and Teinko is the only mother she can remember, believing her birth parents were designed by the Tao to help her find her place.
Shizue is more than a simple Artisan, however. Satsume ordered kakita Yoshi to train the girl as a spy, skilled in the art of political negotiations and the discovery of secrets. Her stories often contain delicately coded information which she transmits between Yosh, Satsume and Hoturi through the secret cadance of the Crane. Her travels into the courts of other clans allow her access to critical information on their movements and strategies, which was invaluable during the Clan Wars. Though they were at war, there were many Great Courts requesting her services to entertain the troops during Winter Court.
To the other clans, and to most members of the Crane, Shizue is no more than a simple goodwill ambassador, her sunny disposition making any room cheerful. Her stories cheer the people through the cold and teach the children of all clans about Rokugan’s glorious past. Her stories of the present make samurai glow with pride for their part in the deeds which she recounts.
Doji Kiyo met Shizue was a very young girl. When Kiyo’s family was being attacked by Maho-Tsuki who were about to be discovered by her parents, Doji Satsume let her family stay at the palace as they gave their reports and the Maho were destroyed. During that time, the four-year-old Kiyo found herself drawn to the garden as she listened to Shizue singing. While under guard, her brother Doji Eien and Kiyo would spend hours listening to the stories of the Cranes.
Shizue would listen as the girl would retell the stories to her. Though the girl did not quite know the proper way to deliver the stories, Shizue quickly determined the girl had a memory and was able to tell the stories in great detail, even if it lacked the conviction. Kiyo kept in touch with Shizue after the maho incident was dealt with. When her brother was visiting from school, he would write the letters to Shizue for her until she was capable herself.
Once Eien had completed his gempukku three years later, he was assigned to Shizue as one of her Courtier troupe. Though not many truly understand what the station entails, it has been made clear that he works under her. Eventually he became her right hand man, and the two are almost inseparable.
It is due to Shizue’s connections (and no small part of keeping a keen eye on Kiyo) that Kiyo was invited to be one of the representatives of the Crane for the 1145 Topaz Championship. Although Kiyo was from a vassal family, few thought she would be able to “out score” a Kakita Duelist. With her strong negotiation foundations, she was able to get Kiyo into the Topaz Championship. And she gained even more ties when she was proven right as Doji Kiyo completed her gempukku as the Topaz Champion.
Shizue took the opportunity to travel Rokugan with Kiyo as they completed the Topaz Tour. Shizue introduced Kiyo to some of the friends she had persuaded and negotiate new alliances along the tour.