L5R - The Great Dusk
“A ruler may be called a beast or a tyrant. This is irrelevant so long as he rules.” – Hantei XVI
“While others lament on what they should have done, the wise man prepares for what he should do next.” – Shinsei
Former Scorpion Clan Champion
Shoju’s entire life has been a test. Born a twisted cripple, Shoju has fought tooth and nail to become what he has become. He is a brilliant tactician, a political genius, and a duelist without equal, all despite what the Fortunes gave him. Few in the empire can match Shoju’s will or drive, and even at his advanced age there are still few who can match him, mentally or physically.
Many decades ago, Shoju found a selection of prophecies from Uikku, a great Phoenix prophet from the dawn of the empire, who gave a series of Dooms, predicting the downfall of the clans and the empire. Shoju was horrified to find that the last Hantei would be the vessel of the Dark Kami, the one who would end the empire’s thousand years of peace. Shoju was presented with a terrible choice: he could kill the emperor and save the empire, or save the emperor and change the empire forever. He chose the path of power. He knows that all are against him. He knows that for all his power and the powers of his son, someone will supplant them. He was too arrogant in the past to see that, but now, now he has learned. His job is not to rule, but to prepare for the one who can. Until he sees that worthy man, he’ll kill every samurai in the empire if he has to to keep the shogunate safe from weaklings and failures.
Shoju has only two regrets in this life. The first was underestimating Hantei XXXIX. Sotorii learned how to play the political game faster than Shoju could have anticipated and turned his soft power into one of the greatest threats to the Shogunate. Shoju knows, however, that Sotorii will not rule forever. Hantei Asakura is almost ready to take the throne and when Shoju feels the time is ripe, Sotorii will die. The second was letting Shoju Dairu kill Doji Hoturi, Dairu’s true father, for it cost Shoju the only person he ever truly loved: his wife Kachiko. When Shoju pushed Dairu to kill Hoturi, Kachiko retired and disppeared into the Brotherhood of Shinsei, for while she truly loved her husband, her heart always belonged to Hoturi. Without Kachiko, Shoju lost his only equal and his closest adviser.