Azami's bust, by Moira.
|Full name||Azami Ishida (石田 薊)|
|Relatives||Yuzu, Kiri, Hinata, Kurako (Subordinates)|
|Nationality||The Old Country.|
"Of course, of course." Azami's voice is ever so calm and dry, carefully devoid of emotion. "In a world like this, one cannot trust monsters; one needs to be hard-hearted in order to survive. Your actions were perfectly understandable.
"Thus, I trust you will extend this same understanding when we are equally hard-hearted in detaining you for your trespass. Our debt to you will be repaid with the exact same coin with which you have been so kind as to bestow upon us."
While she was speaking, the other kitsune have set aside their meal and drawn weapons from under the table; Azami herself whistles sharply, and a beautifully carved bow of foreign make materialises in her hands.
"Please, allow us to settle all accounts here and now as Lord Keros teaches."
Azami is a five-tailed wildling kitsune who oversees the entrance to the Kurokawa kitsune den and ensures the safety of its environs.
What greets your eyes is a rather homely sight: four kitsune sit on cushions around a square low table, a heavy tablecloth draped atop its surface, thick enough to be a blanket. Laid out between them is a simple spread: rice, chilled vegetables in sweet-smelling sauce, several grilled and salted fish — the kind of food that's not exactly tasteful, but intended to put meat on one's bones against the cold.
Seated at the head of the table is a five-tailed kitsune who can only be described as wild. Lacking much of the refinement others of her species you've met possess, she wears what looks like work clothes — plenty of room to move, solid wooden clogs, fabric resistant to tearing and staining. Looks like some things don't change across cultures. Your attention, though, is drawn towards the other three at the table, the first thing you notice about them being their colouration — one blonde, one redhead, with the only male in this quartet black from head to tail.
History/Personality/Information of Note
Azami is descended from yamabushi who followed Den Matron Komari across the ocean from the Old Country more than two centuries ago. Following Komari's disgrace in allowing her liege Kiyoko to die and even worse, survive her, Komari was ordered by Keros himself to return across the ocean and as part of her penance finish up the task Kiyoko had set out to begin: the establishment of a stable colony in this newly-vacated land. In Komari's darkest hour when all of respectable kitsune society had abandoned her, Azami's ancestors voluntarily gave up their spiritual practice, asceticism, and station in society to stand by their friend. The decision to follow Komari into disgrace and exile went against the entire weight of tradition and their spiritual beliefs; knowing what they had given up to stand by her, Komari vowed to watch over their line for as long as her undying penance required her to live.
They were not very good ascetics, perhaps, but the strength of that friendship is undeniable.
Five generations on, Azami still serves the Kurokawa clan and Komari herself in as much a manner as her ancestors did: scouting the lay of the land with azusa-yumi in hand, keeping the den and its environs safe for those who wander out into the woods seeking benefactors, and personally serving as concierge to the den's entrance. She is responsible for managing the handful of scouts and wildlings who reside in the den, and this task is taking up a bit more of her time as the freshness of her early youth has recently begin to fade.
Azami is mostly a dry, polite person; Kurako openly derides this behaviour when her boss isn't in earshot, calling it akin to being "a piece of dried-up meat". The quiet, pointed personality nevertheless belies a deep concern for those she cares for, be it her own subordinates or members of the Kurokawa clan. Perhaps owing to her not being married yet, a point that several other kitsune endlessly tease her for, she behaves much like a mother to her own subordinates, albeit a rather strict and humourless one.
Azami is the first boss of the kitsune den; the player will immediately encounter her in the wardens' lodge upon moving away from the starting tile. Entering will have the champion seeing her, Yuzu, Kiri and Hinata having a meal about a table; this may have several outcomes depending on the player's earlier choices:
- If the player helped the forest kitsune earlier in the game AND has the amulet of union on them, Hinata will speak up and vouch for the champion. The champion will explain their situation to Azami; content that one of her subordinates has vouched for the trespasser and that they have a valid reason for being in the den, Azami will order her subordinates to stand down and they will finish their meal. The champion may then proceed further into the den without a fight.
- If the player helped the forest kitsune earlier in the game but does NOT have the amulet of union on them, Hinata will still speak up and vouch for the champion. However, as the player does not have a valid reason for being in the den, she cannot overlook her duty and will give battle, even if her heart isn't in it.
- If the player refused to help the forest kitsune earlier in the game, Azami will immediately order her subordinates to give battle.
- If the player had never encountered the forest kitsune prior to this, they and their party will attempt to sneak by while Azami and her subordinates are preoccupied with their meal. However, Yuzu will notice the champion and raise the alarm; Azami and her underlings will move to detain the champion for their trespass. Either way, battle is joined.
[Redacted until later because I'm cruel that way]
Losing to Azami without having the Amulet of Union on the champion's person will result in a bad end.
- Azami's name means "thistle", which is somewhat appropriate given her quiet, prickly personality.