Five Hills and Five Tribes : A Tale of Ten Falling Stars
a young ghao boy known for precise and unrelenting honesty
an orphan without siblings
paragon of honesty, precise memory
can’t lie, antisocial, idealistic
- 2 stamina
- 3 willpower
- 2 reflexes
- 3 awareness
- 2 strength
- 2 perception
- 3 agility
- 4 intelligence
1 athletics (str)
1 defense (ref)
1 hunting (per)
1 spear (agi)
1 stealth (agi)
1 investigation (per)
1 lore: five rings (int)
3 sincerity (awr) (+1k1 paragon -1k1 antisocial)
1 medicine (int)
1 meditation (void)
1 tea ceremony (void)
1 artisan – calligraphy (int)
Sang-woo’s parents disappeared while he was still an infant. he was found on the bank of the north-east river during a season when swollen waters had flooded the ford.
the ghao monks took him in despite the tradition that no child can be accepted before they can walk, talk, and write their own name. the infant Sang-woo was a quiet, thoughtful child and became a favourite of many of the master monks.
that all changed as he learned to speak. he grew up with the monk’s teachings and accepts it all as absolute truth. he holds himself, and everyone else, to an uncompromising standard. if a new novice has trouble learning their lessons then he will relentlessly correct them every time they make an error. if the grand-master monk makes an error during teaching then Sang-woo will make sure that everyone knows the correct passage, possibly interrupting to do it.
this is a challenge for the master monks. upholding the traditions is a good thing, of course. no one would suggest otherwise. it’s just that, perhaps, they don’t need to be held up quite so high?
more than that, the grand-master monk is uncomfortably aware that Sang-woo will soon reach the level when he will be taught the order’s secret calligraphy. ancient truths, from the time before the five tribes settled these hills, are recorded in this writing. the aged plates with these secrets are always kept locked away in the deepest chambers of the monastery. none of the monks have seen all of them, save himself.
himself, and one other. years ago, he allowed himself to take the infant Sang-woo into the inner chambers as he reviewed those dusty plates. it seemed a harmless indulgence that gave him some comfort.
years later, the unexpected nature of that infant’s memory became apparent.
during his lessons, Sang-woo would make sudden jumps in understanding that his teachers couldn’t understand until they realized that he could remember almost everything he saw. this apparently included writing that he had seen before he had learned to read. when he was taught how to understand the characters he would suddenly know what plates he had seen, sometimes years before, had said.
the grand master was in an untenable position. there was no grounds to deny this prodigy the schooling that was due all monks in his position, but continuing to do so would threaten the very basis of their society.
so, when he learned that Elder Byeol was gathering youths for a mysterious project he made a request that this strange young child be taken from the monestary.
Elder Byeol was happy to grant this favour. she always intended to take the child and now she banked a useful debt for the future.
Sang-woo considers his new-found ability to impale ogres: