Shadowed Autumn Leaves
“I have seen far and wide, from the frozen plateaus of the Yobanjin, to the sun-burnt oases on the way to the Desert Jewel. I have seen the gentle wind lift sakura blossoms into Earthquake Fish Bay, and I have seen the gilded streets of Toshi Ranbo. I have seen the Ivory Coast and its jungle canopy stretch far onto the horizon. I have seen the Isles of Silk and Spice, and the Plains of Thunder. All of it pales when compared to the shine in your eyes.”
Appearance and Personality
It is said a merchant puts a price on everything, even something as simple and free as a smile. If that is true, Shinjo Ren is a generous man, indeed. His infectious smile, wide as the River of Gold, is given freely to lofted daimyo and lowly peasants both. His is an innocent mirth, born from a genuine love for the Emerald Empire and its myriad sights and peoples. Like many men from the Utaku family, Ren is short and thin. His hair is worn long, often spilling from a loose knot and over his soft brow, following the gentle curvature of his face. Below his broad nose lies a light and well maintained goatee, and his ever smiling lips.
The youngest of four children, and the only son, of an Utaku family, Ren was hardly born for prominence. When he was just a toddler his fortunes shifted in a most tragic fashion when his elder sisters were all, one after the other, taken by plague. Ren, too, barely survived the disease, and its effects on his young body followed him into adulthood, leaving him with an unsteady gait. As the sole survivor, Ren became the heir to his parents lucrative caravan and their duty to produce arrows for the ever hungry Utaku warriors. However, as a male, it was decided he could not inherit this duty alone. A match was made, and Ren was engaged to be married to a Shinjo girl who was deemed promising. For a large dowry, that girl was all but adopted into the Utaku, and risen as a Shiotome worthy to take on Ren’s inheritance. While many would be distraught with such a fate, in the fullness of time, Ren discovered that he was rather fond of the girl, who seemed to him so much different than the powerful and haughty women of the Utaku. Gladly sharing the duties of his family with his wife, Ren has found one of the rarest and most valuable things in Rokugan, a marriage blessed with romantic love.