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Kaz Nakano | The Peg-legged Merchant

on Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:06 pm
Character Name: Kaz Nakano

Age: 36

Gender: Male

Race: Human - Kyokan

Nationality: Kyokan - Shogunate of Kyokai

Place of Residence: Kumano, Island of Joushu, Kyokai

Appearance: Kaz, somewhat of a perfectionist, is very critical of his own appearance. His robes are never soiled, his hands are always clean, and his caravan is never in need of repair. Though his hairline grows higher with each year, Kaz keeps his hair neat and clean. It still retains its full black color, and his hairstyle, short and trimmed to perfection, has not changed in twenty years. His wife, Mayu, believes that a beard has never been on Kaz’s face. Each morning, early at dawn, he takes time to shave. Kaz advocates routine to all of his apprentices, as he believes it is the most important factor in success. Short and thin in stature, Kaz does not have a hint of intimidation in his appearance, though the friendly smile that he possesses has been known to flip into an expression of fury when necessary. His wooden leg, the result of a tragic accident, often draws the eyes of strangers. Though he has been adjusted to the awkwardness of his artificial limb, he still often requires a cane to maintain his balance. While he shows no signs of being ashamed of his disability, Kaz prefers to keep conversations about gunpowder rather than his ailments. A weapon is never seen by Kaz’s side unless he is maintaining or selling his rifles. While he is immersed in his craft and proud of his work, Kaz detests needless violence. When emergency strikes, however, the caravan always has a weapon at the ready.

Background: Kaz has no recollection of where his town of birth may have been. When he was young, the family was always on the move. His father was a travelling salesman, selling whatever products he could get his hands on. One month it would be life extending tonics, another it would be blades that could never be broken. There were times when the family was wealthy, enjoying meals of exotic fish and drink, but they were also forced to ration out small portions of rice during harsh months.

The world was always changing for Kaz. He knew both wealth and poverty, something most never experience. When he was growing older, approaching his teenage years, he began to understand that his father made most of his sales based on lies. He would exaggerate his product, always claiming that it was the best in the land, had numerous benefits, would last for eternity. Most of the time he was wrong.

One day, during the night, his father was closing up shop, preparing the convoy for departure. Kaz was sitting within the caravan, laying on a mat, preparing to dream once again. Commotion woke him. A few men, armed, had approached his father. He could see them through the slits of the wagon, see the hatred and disgust in their eyes. His father cowered, back against the vehicle, as they beat him. They punched him in the face, kicked him in the guts. They beat him until he was a quivering, crying pile of flesh. Kaz felt guilt for not helping his father defend himself, but knew it would have made no difference. If he had intervened, they would have both paid for it.

His father never discusses this event with anyone. They simply moved on. Covered in bruises, his father explained to his mother that it had been a fall. He was drunk. He wasn’t paying attention. His mother didn’t buy the excuse, but let it be. They continued their cycle, working their way around the various towns and villages across Joushu, seeking whatever wealth they could gather.

When Kaz was fifteen, he left them. While he admired how hard his father worked, he began to hate the way he deceived others. His father was a snake. Kaz left to search for something else, maybe a career, maybe a higher purpose in his life. All he knew was that he wanted to be different from his father. He wanted to make an honest living, enjoy the wealth he accrued without feeling guilt.

After a year of traveling, groveling, and generally getting pushed into the dirt, Kaz decided he was going to be a soldier. When he approached a recruiting officer, they turned him down. They told him he was too young, despite his outcry that he was an adult. With his small stature and the wispy fragments of a beard sprouting on his chin, he could not convince them to reverse their decision. He left, heart filled with the darkness of failure, and spent many years doing what his parents had taught him: never stop moving.

He travelled for years, working many odd jobs until his journey led him back into the world of trading. At first, he was reluctant, as his father had given him the impression that all merchants were deceitful. Working as an apprentice for a successful businessman gave him a change of heart. He was introduced to honest sales, customer satisfaction, steady income. He never sold a product he wouldn’t want to use himself.

When he was twenty-three, Kaz bought his own wagon, similar to the one his father had owned. He used it to take his work abroad, spending a prolonged amount of time in towns that had good business. When money was tight, he’d work with the merchant’s guild and deliver goods to various towns. During this time, he began to establish a connection with the Kyokan military.

Gunpowder was becoming a popular demand, and the people he worked for were discovering this quickly. They knew it was a risky product, one that could easily be a failed investment, so they decided to task Kaz with the sales. He was younger than many of him and was proving himself to be a successful businessman. His clients trusted him, and he had a knack for getting people to like him quickly.

He delivered and presented the weapons to various military posts in the country. Kaz learned about his product’s functionality so that he could easily sell them to various military commanders he met over his travels. Showing off the power of a black powder rifle become almost a stage performance. The soldiers always cheered at the display, a good sign that the deal was sealed. He made a lot money for himself and the company he worked for. One day, however, a sale went south.

During a presentation he offered a few soldiers from the crowd to test his weaponry, a thing he had never done in the past. They were excited for the opportunity, and the excitement let to a horrible mistake. Given their lack of experience with high powered weaponry, one of the soldiers did not understand the danger of the weapon he was holding. While absentmindedly aiming the barrel in Kaz’s direction as he was explaining the mechanism to another soldier, he weapon misfired. Kaz lost everything from the knee down on his right leg. Shortly after, his company let him go.

Kaz worked independently for a while, as his wagon was purchased with his own money. Not long after the incident, he was approached by someone affiliated with the military. The wanted to work with him, promising to provide the funding if he could get his hands on more of these weapons. Kaz did not know if it was them seeking forgiveness for the incident or not, but didn't’ care. He shook hands with the man and started direct business with the military, making him a frequent visitor to their outposts. It was there that he met Mayu.

She was on her way out of the service, walking back into the world of civilians, a world she hardly understood. He extended a helping hand, offering her a job working for him. With nowhere else to go, she accepted his offer. They worked together for a while before becoming romantically involved. They were married when Kaz was twenty-eight years old, a late age for most. She was thirty.

Working from Kumano, Kaz had a small web of apprentices who helped run his shipments. They settled down for a few years in an attempt to start a family. Nothing seemed to work. They grew desperate for a while, seeking herbal and spiritual remedies that would cease their difficulties. Kaz dreamt of his father during this time, remembered the falsehoods he preached to the masses, and they stopped looking.

Meanwhile, money was starting to become tight. Mayu had to work in the town while Kaz desperately searched for ways to keep themselves afloat. He sold weapons to local militia after the Kyokan military found themselves another client, but it wasn’t enough. Seeking a way out of their hardship, Kaz has prepared the wagon for movement. The quiet life, evidently, was not meant to be. In search of success and a new venue, Kaz and Mayu have hit the road once more. With assistance, perhaps, they could finally make a name for the Nakano family.
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