Hitosashi’s birth into a minor branch of the Yoritomo family caused little stir in the Mantis clan. It was not until his tenth year, when a powerful Moshi shugenja guested at his father’s house that his family, and his clan, came to understand the true nature of the child born unto them. The mystic fell into a trance upon meeting the boy, and for the next forty-eight hours he was lost in the spirit world. When the shugenja came back to himself, he summoned all the members of Hitosashi’s household and told them of the dark fate that shadowed the boy. The greatest clan ancestors had revealed to the shugenja that the boy would one day spell out the doom of the Mantis. Through Hitosashi’s actions all of the gains the Mantis clan had made in recent years would be undone, their honor turned to dust, and the remnants of the clan hunted and despised by all honorable men. The ancestors revealed nothing of how Hitosashi would bring about such total destruction, but they were very clear on when. On the thirty-first anniversary of his birth, Hitosashi would doom his clan. The only ways to prevent the destruction of the clan would be to commit seppuku, the ancient right of ritualistic suicide, to fall in battle, or to otherwise be killed before the appointed day.
The Mantis clan leaders gathered to discuss the portents, and determined to suppress the dark prophecy, in the hopes of giving the boy Hito some hope of a normal life amidst his fellow. They agreed as well, however, that if the boy grew into a man and did not take his own life by his thirtieth birthday, the clan would take whatever steps necessary to ensure their survival. Hitosashi remained ignorant of the clan fathers’ decision, but painfully aware of his own destiny. He became determined to leave a lasting mark on the roles of Clan Mantis, to be remembered not as the scourge of his clan, but rather as an honorable warrior and a true son of the Mantis. He attended the clan bushi school, disdaining the weapons of the High Clans and focusing instead on the peasant weaponry that had brought his family to greatness. In time he joined his clansmen on the ships, patrolling the shores of Rokugan and guarding against incursions from gaijin and the Shadowlands alike. Here he joined the famed Storm Legion, earning the respect of his fellows and recognition from his clansmen. But still he felt the shadow of his impending doom.
Hito left the ships with a new purpose in his heart – to learn as much as he could about his clan, about Rokugan, about the Shadowlands, about anything and everything that might give him some clue as to the how and why of his doom. He dedicated years to the study of history and heraldry, in the hopes of finding the vital clue that would allow him to circumvent his destiny. The years passed, and though he learned much, Hito found nothing to assuage his fears or make him think he might be able to cheat fate.
Which brings us to today, a few months passed Hito’s 26th birthday. He is acutely aware of the time slipping through his fingers, but his studies have lost their luster. Instead he has chosen to spend his final years serving his Lord as best he can and traveling Rokugan as much as possible, in the hopes that he may find through chance what he has been unable to find through study. He is sure of only one thing – he does not want to die.