Kenji Komura

"What is in your head, boy? Don't throw-in with that lot, they're no better than the Thayan beasts roaming the foothills. Make something of yourself!"
-Kenji Komura, speaking to his nephew, Aenin

Kenji's Eastern Curios has been a mainstay in Phsant for the past 40 years (1334 DR- The Year of the Blazing Brand), long before the Nine Golden Swords had even organized enough to become the power they are now, and long before the threat of the Tuigan Horde. Kenji opened the shop with his wife Yufi shortly after arriving in Phsant's then-tiny Shou Town. It was little more than a booth and a tent in those humble beginnings but Kenji was a shrewd and merciless businessman which earned him the nickname "Young Dragon". He could smell a deal (or a sucker) from a mile away and before long he had made enough money to build his own shop and hire a stay-on alchemist/wu jen. His fame grew through the years and passing caravans made his shop a top priority. Kenji offered many strange items from Kozakura, Wa, and Shou Lung as well as items from as far west as the Moonsea. His alchemist, Ming Tien, was able to prepare many of the common alchemist items plus many unique items infused with his own eastern magic. Things were looking fair and fine for the eastern trader. Then the Horde came.

The Tuigans tore through Phsant like hail through a cabbage leaf (1360 DR- The Year of the Turret). Kenji lost his shop, his livelihood, and, most heartbreaking, his wife. For some time, even after the defeat of the Tuigans, he was inconsolable. Ming Tien was left to oversee the rebuilding of the shop and the day-to-day sales from their temporary set-up. It seemed Kenji would eventually die of heartache, and possibly would have if it weren't for a timely visitor. It has never been said who brought the five-year-old Aenin to Kenji's doorstep, but it is likely that it was one of Aenin's parents, possibly his father. The responsibility of family snapped Kenji out of his funk and he busied himself with raising his nephew, rebuilding his shop, and making trade, after trade, after trade.

Eventually his shop was reborn as a massive, two-story shopping complex spanning much of a city block. Many merchants vied for the opportunity to run a booth in Kenji's Eastern Curios. Kenji taught Aenin the ways of the merchant, how to haggle, how to spot flaws in merchandise, and how to find the deals. Aenin took to the weapon and armor smiths in the complex and was often found at many of their elbows, watching intently. When Kenji saw his nephews interest, he decided it might be time to teach him the ways of the warrior. No stranger to the daisho, the merchant schooled his nephew in the use of the katana and wakizashi.

As the Shou Town grew up around them, Kenji noticed the arrival of jealous eyes peering from the shadows and unsavory street gangs. The Nine Golden Swords had organized in Phsant. He watched, helpless, as they muscled in on the lesser merchants, extorting obscene amounts of their income. Wishing not to fall prey to the criminal organization, Kenji made a desperate alliance with a passing merchant ambassador from Thay; Maercus of the Masks (1368 DR- The Year of the Banner). In exchange for a reasonable percentage of his profits and a plot within the shopping complex, Kenji would receive Maercus' unseen protection. The merchant began to notice other figures roaming the streets of Shou Town; ever-so-subtly orbiting his shop in a regular pattern. He also received a pair of massive jade statues that he placed flanking the inner courtyard. Ming Tien (Wu Jen lvl 9) swore up and down that they were dragons trapped in stone, but Kenji has never found anything but beauty in them.

Protected and free to prosper, Kenji carried on much as he had for the next six years. The small Thayan Enclave within his shop actually drew quite a bit more business for everyone, and the merchant was free to focus on Aenin's training. As his nephew grew in stature and skill, age and prosperity were beginning to show on the Old Dragon's face (and gut). Aenin would often sneak out at night to romp with the street gangs, engaging in battle with wooden practice swords and causing more than a few broken bones. Once Kenji discovered this he nearly disowned his impetuous nephew, and if Aenin had used the actual daisho Kenji had given him, he certainly would have.

As chance would have it, Kenji found his solution in the form of another passing Thayan; Khalia had come to Phsant with a small contingent of adventurer escorts (1374 DR- The Year of Lightning Storms, present year). Kenji had dealt with Khalia several times since the Thayans opened their enclave in his complex. He came to her now asking her to take his nephew with her, to get him away from the allure of the street gangs. She accepted and so Aenin began his life as an adventurer.

Kenji (Expert [merchant] lvl 12, Aristocrat lvl 2) has focused more intently on his business since his nephew left for destinations unknown. His prosperity has earned him a seat on the Merchant's Council, which has come as both a blessing and a curse. The intrigues of politics are very similar to the intricacies of trade, but corruption is rampant among many of the other council members, and Kenji's alliances must be carefully considered. Even in all of this his thoughts rarely stray for long from his last remaining relative, and would-be son.

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