L5R - The Great Dusk
“I never knew fear until I saw the Son of Storms”
The Son of Storms
Mantis Clan Champion
Admiral of the Imperial Navy
Yoritomo cuts a dramatic figure. The Son of Storms, as he is known, is one of the tallest men in Rokugan, with an athletic build and sharp green eyes. He is rarely seen out of his armour and even rarer still without his great storm kama. His entire life, Yoritomo has believed that the Mantis are no less worthy than any of the Great Clans and has dedicated himself to one day seeing them elevated to that status. Reknowned for his courage and infamous for his audacity, Yoritomo is a cunning tactician and a fearsome warrior.
Yoritomo was the youngest son of Yoshitsune, champion of the Mantis. In 1110, when he was three, assassins attacked the Mantis Clan champion and his family. The mysterious assassins, whose foot and hand prints burned themselves into the stone floors of Kyuden Gotei, killed the champion’s wife and his two eldest sons and left Yoshitsune a cripple and Yoritomo with an ugly scar across his face.
In 1117, Yoritomo became the champion of the Mantis. His father had taken him to one of the cliffs overlooking Kyuden Gotei and told Yoritomo the truth of the assassinations before throwing himself off the cliff. No other Mantis knows what was said, but Yoritomo’s already dark moods became darker. The truth was terrible indeed.
By 1120, Yoritomo had made a legend for himself, taking a Crane castle in the dead of winter. A few years later in 1124, he fought for the Crane against the Lion leading the Mantis as mercenaries, winning vast profits for the Mantis. It was later that year, however, that the surviving Tortoise made their way to Yoritomo and provided him with information of their gaijin networks. The Mantis and the Tortoise had always been close, as both took part in highly lucrative and highly illegal gaijin trade. Yoritomo was greatly disturbed by Shoju’s move and began to wonder about the shogun’s intentions. Seeing the Three Man Alliance, he began to court the other Minor Clans into forming an alliance. Some, like Tsuruchi of the Wasp, were receptive, others were not. As news from the Ivory Kingdoms became more dire, Yoritomo began to prepare for the southern invasion.
In 1138, Yoritomo, bringing with him refugees from House Singh and the few remaining Tortoise, met with the leaders of the Minor Clans and told them about the immanent invasion. With this proof, the Minor Clans agreed to the alliance and Yoritomo lead the preparations for the invasion. When the forces of the Maharaja arrived in 1140, the Mantis fleet, supported by the armies of the Minor Clans, were ready, and bought the Empire vital time to prepare for the invasion. At the Battle of Otosan Uchi, while Akodo Toturi lead the charge against the leaders of the invasion, Yoritomo prevented the sack of the Imperial Palace and the Mantis fleet blocked off the defeated invaders retreat. After the end of the Gaijin War, Yoritomo found himself well rewarded. The Mantis were given again a family name, “Yoritomo”, and Yoritomo was made Admiral of the Imperial Navy, a new position created by the Emperor. Yoritomo made an offer to the other Minor Clans to join the Mantis, but only Tsuruchi accepted.
In the wake of the Gaijin War, Yoritomo found himself in a difficult position. Whether he wanted it or not, he was now firmly bound into the Imperialist faction against Shoju’s Shogunate, the kind of position he desired to avoid. Now, as tensions rise once more and Shoju focuses his cold eyes upon the Mantis, Yoritomo wonders if he should change his goal from elevating the Mantis to ensuring their survival.