South Jersey Jade Regent

Caravan Tales III: Ameiko Kaijitsu

Ameiko was born in 4689 AR to Lonjiku and Atsuii Kaijitsu. Although she’s not Atsuii’s or Lonjiku’s first child, she was the first legitimate child from that marriage. Ameiko had a lonely childhood. Her father strictly controlled who she could keep as friends, and filled her days with lessons in music, diplomacy, magic, and academic subjects. He kept a close eye on her, but Ameiko still managed to sneak into town to play with friends, explore old buildings, and visit her half-elven half-brother Tsuto at Sandpoint’s Turandarok Academy every chance she could.

When she was 13, Ameiko tried to reconcile the bad blood between her brother and father, but the attempt backfired. Tsuto struck her in a fit of rage, and Ameiko was so betrayed and distraught by this that she ran away from home to Magnimar for several months. When she learned of her mother’s death in a fall from the cliffs near her house, though, Ameiko returned home to Sandpoint. She found life at home more unpleasant than ever, but when another family argument broke out at her mother’s funeral and Tsuto left town, Ameiko resigned herself to staying in Sandpoint to care for her father.

Ameiko left home for the second time at age 16 after life in the house alone with her father and the help grew too depressing to bear. She joined an adventuring group, and became particularly good friends with the group’s priest of Shelyn, a handsome young Varisian man named Alder Vhiski. But in 4706, the group was captured by a degenerate family of backwoods cannibals living in an old mine in the southern Fogscar Mountains. The group was within a hair’s breadth of being eaten, abused, and worse by the degenerates, but Alder led a heroic attempt to escape. The resulting flight from the mine was nightmarish, as members of the group were picked off one by one by the pursuing cannibals, who were led by a spry druid who favored snakes as his pets. As the group neared the exit, only Ameiko, Alder, and Sandru remained alive. Alder used the last of his healing energies to revive Sandru. As the three prepared to scramble into a rickety rowboat that would take them to safety, Ameiko was attacked by the druid’s animal companion, a viper of prodigious size. Bitten twice, Ameiko would have died had Alder not pulled her to safety, and in so doing Alder was himself bitten. Already weakened from the fight, the snake’s venom killed him. The last Ameiko saw of Alder, before too succumbing to the poison, he was being torn apart by the degenerates. With Sandru’s help, the two survivors eventually made it back to Sandpoint, but they never spoke of what they had endured in that old mine. Some months later, Ameiko got a tattoo of a snake on her left arm and shoulder as a sort of memorial to Alder, then cashed in most of her earnings from her adventures and purchased an old tavern in downtown Sandpoint called the Rusty Dragon. Since then, she’s run the Rusty Dragon as a place for adventurers to gather and relax.

Although very outwardly upbeat and cheerful, the last few years have been hard on Ameiko. She had close call during the aftermath of a series of violent goblin attacks on Sandpoint. Her half-brother and father died during these events, and she had come close to death but was saved by Sandpoint’s heroes.

Prior to the stone giant attacks, she was happy to see old friends trickle in and out of Sandpoint, some of which, she had not seen in many years. This included Jorum, one of her childhood friends who eventually became better known as one of Sandpoint’s saviors, Shalelu, a protector of Sandpoint and Ameiko’s best friend, Sandru, the older brother she wished she always had, and lastly Tayllon, Shalelu’s protégé. The five of them share an understanding and bond, having all risen past personal tragedies to become the people they are today

Following the death of her stepbrother and father, Ameiko was the sole remaining Kaijitsu in Sandpoint. She was the last of one of the town’s founding families and effectively a noble though she’s never really cared for the aristocracy. While she has a lot of friends and admirers in town, Ameiko has never accepted anyone as anything more than a friend, diplomatically avoiding personal questions and proposals of romance, much to the frustration of several eager suitors in Sandpoint. She’s a talented singer and samisen player, and if she wanted, Ameiko could have led a comfortable life in Sandpoint, but her heart always had an urge to explore, and she always loved hearing stories of adventures and daring deeds.

And then, one day, the doors of the Rusty Dragon swung open, and a half-Tian woman entered saying she was Ameiko’s younger sister Mira. Transitioning into an older sister was new for Ameiko, leading her to often turn to Shalelu and Sandru for guidance, who served as better older siblings then her stepbrother ever did. Mira was quite clumsy at first, annoying Ameiko, but that was remedied thanks to Sandru, who suggested Mira be taught by his Aunt Koya.

As with the others, the journey has assuredly rekindled Ameiko’s adventuring spirit. After the recounting of the events at Brinewall, Ameiko realizes that Mira was meant to be an adventurer. Since Ameiko’s recovery from the events at Brinewall, she performs for the caravan nearly every night, happily assisted by Spivey.

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