L5R - The Great Dusk
Gunso of the 2nd Guntai, 8th Kaisha, 1st Daibutai
Mantis Clan archer
“Let the sound of your bowstring be the thunder and your arrows be the lightning, daughter. Your storm will restore our honour.” – Tsuruchi Haruka
“I always hated my name, ‘Lightning’. Lightning is transient, shining for only a second before disappearing forever. It strikes only where the storm directs it, without any volition of its own.” – Tsuruchi Raiko, drunkenly talking to Kitsune Tokaji
Raiko has never met Yoritomo Yoshita, but she knows she has to kill her. Many years ago, Tsuruchi Haruka and Tsuruchi Hitomi were good friends, but the friendship slowly began to disintegrate after the two became rivals in affection for Tsuruchi Ichiro, a handsome young Wasp of some status. Ichiro was the commander of their unit during the Gaijin War, but tragically died in battle. Hitomi and Haruka each blamed each other for his death and a bitter rivalry ensued. It culminated at Winter Court, during the great archery contest, when Hitomi throughally beat Haruka and forced her to drink deep from the Cup of Shame. As far as Hitomi was concerned, that was the end of it. Haruka, however, became consumed with bitterness, for she knew that she was right about the cause of Ichiro’s death, but was forced to recant her statements due to her loss. Perhaps the real tragedy is that Haruka is correct and Hitomi was really at fault for Ichiro’s death.
Haruka may be forbidden from taking further action, but she has groomed her daughter well, instilling in her her own hatred of Hitomi. That Hitomi’s daughter, a Yoritomo no less, is a Tsuruchi archer by training was enough for Haruka to push Raiko into pursuing Yoshita as a bitter rival.
As for Tsuruchi Raiko, she is a modest girl, possessed of sharp wit, but burdened with a hatred that is not her own. Thanks to her domineering mother, she has never been able to fulfill or even conceive her own ambitions. Still, she feels the stain upon her family’s honour quite keenly and defeating Yoshita might just be something she wants for herself.
Raiko recently attempted to mend bridges with Yoshita, after having opened up to some of her fellow gunso, she reached the decision that she did not want to be the tool of another’s vengeance. This did not work out, however. The Battle of Sanada’s Island saw her lose an arm in combat to the Captain after Yoshita failed to stop the pirate lord with an arrow. Crippled and unable to use a bow ever again, Yoshita has become consumed by hatred for Yoshita and has vowed to make Yoshita pay. Raiko will kill Yoshita, not for her mother, but for herself.
Yoshita grew closer to Heichi Masu, sensing something of a kinship with the young Boar, but after finding out that she and Yoshita were sisters, her mind finally broke and she attempted to provoke Yoshita into killing her. When Yoshita refused and attempted to make amends by cutting off her own arm in restitution, Raiko stopped her and finally admitted total defeat in life, shutting herself off from the world.
Currently, she is comatose in Kyuden Ashinagabachi.