Yorinaga Kurita

Yorinaga Kurita (Born 2980[1], died October 24 3029) was a early thirty-first century nobleman, MechWarrior, and distant cousin to Draconis Combine Coordinator Takashi Kurita who played a prominent role in the life of Yorinaga.

Character History[edit]

Early Career Highlights[edit]

Yorinaga was a graduate of the Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy. After graduation he served in the Sun Zhang Academy Cadre for four years. He was then assigned to command a company in the Second Sword of Light.[2]

Battles of Mallory's World[edit]

Yorinaga commanded the 2nd Battalion in the Coordinator's personal regiment, the 2nd Sword of Light, when the unit assaulted Mallory's World in 3013, fighting against the 4th Davion Guards. The 4th was led by the Federated Suns' First Prince, Ian Davion. In the course of the battle, Yorinaga's battalion isolated the 4th's Command Company and he dueled Prince Ian's Atlas with his own lighter Warhammer. Yorinaga successfully defeated and killed the Davion Prince as he tried to cover the 4th's retreat. After killing Ian, Yorinaga attempted to claim the Prince's body as a trophy for the Coordinator but was unable to capitalize on the victory, prevented from doing so thanks to the actions of Colonel Morgan Kell and his mercenary battalion, the Kell Hounds. Salome Ward successfully crippled Yorinaga's BattleMech and kept his force at bay long enough for Kell's forces to recover the body of the late Davion Prince.[3] Yorinaga felt terrible shame and disgrace because of this failure and the Second was later forced off planet with Yorinaga returning to Luthien.

Despite his disgrace, the Coordinator honored him with the rank of Tai-sa and appointed him commanding officer of the 2nd Sword of Light regiment. Yorinaga was ashamed by his defeat at the hands of Morgan Kell and hatched a plot to avenge himself to redeem his disgrace at "losing" his greatest victory.

After three years of waiting and planning, he successfully executed a strike against the Kell Hounds while they were once again defending Mallory's World. He commanded two units; the 2nd Sword of Light and the 36th Dieron Regulars as part of a plan to destroy the Kell Hounds' 2nd battalion regiment. He used the 36th to pin down the Kell Hounds' 2nd Battalion while personally leading his command to attack Patrick Kell's command. On the way Yorinaga's scouts spotted Morgan Kell with the Hounds' 1st Battalion in a heavily fortified position. Despite being entrenched in strong defensive position, Colonel Kell marched his 'Mech out from the fortification and initiated a samurai duel which Yorinaga felt honor-bound to fight. After recounting his own family lineage in perfect English, he engaged Morgan's Archer with his Warhammer in a one-on-one fight to the death. As the fight progressed Morgan closed in with his Archer and surprised Yorinaga. Yorinaga thought he crippled Morgan's 'Mech when it fell to one knee but after closing in to deliver the final blow Yorinaga found that he was unable to hit Kell's Archer because his targeting sensors could not detect his opponent. Morgan Kell then stood his Archer up and bowed to Yorinaga using the rules of bushido against him, thus robbing him of the chance to defeat Kell in honorable combat. Yorinaga returned the bow with his Warhammer and ended the duel.[4]

Yorinaga was crushed by his inability to defeat Morgan Kell despite his best efforts. It then occurred to him that by turning the Combine's strict tradition of Bushido style combat against them, Morgan's tactics could spell the end of the Draconis Combine. He then broadcasted his haiku, with its message that he saw the mythical yellow bird that could defeat the dragon.[5] He then threw his matched "daisho" samurai swords (given to him by the Coordinator) out of his cockpit to ground for Kell to retrieve and departed.[6]

Exile[edit]

After being defeated in 3016 by Morgan on Mallory's World, he returned to Luthien where he told his cousin the Coordinator about the battle. He then requested the right to commit seppuku to regain his honor. The Coordinator refused, declared him to be a non-person, and exiled him to the monastery on Echo V. There Yorinaga became a monk and in meditation studied the 3016 battle with Kell. Each year he sent the Coordinator a request for permission to commit seppuku. Then 3027, Takashi Kurita sent his ISF Chief Jiro Ishiyama to conduct a traditional tea ceremony which acts as if he himself was there talking to Yorinaga. The Coordinator, through Jiro told him that he found a solution to Yorinaga's request to commit seppuku. He directed Yorinaga to teach a group of elite MechWarriors. After this was done that these trainees would then pass along the teachings to additional troops. Jiro then told him that the Coordinator would use these men to form an elite military command to which Yorinaga would be granted command.[7] As part of the Coordinator's plan, Jiro told him a scheme was set into motion to destroy the Kell Hounds. Eventually this assault failed which led to a meeting between the Kell Hounds and Yorinaga's force.

Formation of the Genyosha & Silver Eagle Incident[edit]

Yorinaga left Echo V for a training base on Nashira where he began to train his new combat unit which eventually became known as the Genyosha.

Later, Yorinaga and his Genyosha were dispatched to the Styx star system to help with the capture of Melissa Steiner. The information of her kidnapping and whereabouts was given by the rebellious and ambitious Lyran noble Aldos Lestrade. ISF agents attemped to seize the asteroid base but were stopped by passengers of kidnapped DropShip.

Yorinaga's force then encountered the Kell Hounds attempting to rescue the Lyran heir and he dispatched his forces in an attempt to stop them. Yorinaga's men threatened the destruction of the cruise liner the Silver Eagle in a hostage exchange for Melissa Steiner. The Kell Hounds then attacked in a delaying move. Lt. Colonel Patrick Kell confronted Yorinaga with his Victor assault 'Mech and a duel began. In the course of the fight Yorinaga demonstrated he had learned Kell's ability to avoid being hit but his opponent knew the same tactic. The knowledge of this ability allowed each to land hits on one other. The duel ended when Yorinaga brought down Kell's 'Mech but the victory was short lived as Yorinaga was struck by a Valkyrie conducting a sacrificial strike against his Warhammer including a self-destruct of its fusion engine in a powerful blast. Yorinaga survived the explosion but the Heir-apparent escaped.[8]

Escorting the Dragon to Terra[edit]

In the early part of 3028 Yorinaga continued to expand his unit to full regiment size and in this process his son was unknownly chosen to lead a company of Rasalhague-native MechWarriors.

His son, Chu-i Akira Brahe was interviewed with leading officers of the regiment present and Akira told them about his struggle to survive from a lowly factory 'Mech pilot to a MechWarrior in disgrace in the 11th Legion of Vega. After being told he disobeyed a suicidal order that would not have resulted in victory, Yorinaga questioned him if Chu-i would obey an order to commit seppuku. The tall, blonde, half-blooded Rasalhague removed the top of his robe, bareed his chest, and said he would glady do so if only his father would be second so he would not dishonor his family. With that Yorinaga accepted him with officers present and installed him as Chu-sa. Shortly after, Yorinaga asked him about the use of his mother's surname. Akira reluctantly explained to Yorinaga that it was the only way his grandfather could save him from slavery and the seppuku of his mother.

In August of 3028, Yorinaga and his son escorted the Coordinator to the wedding of Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner on Terra. There at the ComStar headquarters on Hilton's Head Island, they encountered leaders of the Succession Houses & military commanders. At their initial arrival on the island, Dragon was confronted by an angry Colonel Jaime Wolf. Colonel Wolf berated the Coordinator for betraying and murdering his own people and threw the samurai swords the Combine leader gave him at the Coordinator's feet.

After few days, Yorinaga discovered that his son went to investigate the mystery of ComStar's island after finding a map he left behind. He ran into mercenary Colonels, Morgan Kell and Jaime Wolf. The three set their differences aside and went to find Yorinaga's son. Following the map, they found him under assault by a ComStar security patrol. Wolf and Kell quickly dispatched the security troops. Akira then told him that "ComStar is bounded by steel" and that he discovered a large quantity of Star League BattleMechs stored under the island. The next day they met with the mercenary colonels where Yorinaga ordered his son to tell them what they found.[9] Yorinaga then thanked the mercenary colonels for helping him save his son. Yorinaga attempted to apologize for having no choice in killing Morgan's brother Patrick but, Kell angrily told him that he should not use his newly learned tactics. Yorinaga prophesized that the two were destined to confront one other in a battle to the death. After the wedding, Yorinaga and rest of guests were shocked when Hanse Davion announced a declaration of war on the Capellan Confederation. The Coordinator and rest of the Kurita wedding party departed immediately.

Fourth Succession War[edit]

In January of 3029 Yorinaga received word of Kell Hounds being on the Davion world of Northwind and moved against them. He arrived only to discover that the 5th Sword of Light & 36th Dieron Regulars already began an assault against the Hounds and world's defenders. Later in the battle it became known that the "Kell Hounds" on the planet were not part of Morgan Kell's main formation. ISF liaison officer of 5th and 36th in the course of the battle tried to influence them. The Genyosha entered the battle and prevented the 5th Sword's Command Quarters from being overrun. Yorinaga's force swept an additional mercenary regiment, Team Banzai, and the Kell Hound's 3rd Battalion from the field.[10] Yorinaga shot down Team Banzai's leader in battle in midst of the fight and was undamaged in return.[11] 5th Sword's commander Palmer Conti then recalled all the top officers on planet. During the fight Genyosha disobeyed the Coordinator's orders to kill all mercenaries. Yorinaga later discovered, thanks to an ISF officer's mocking, that their base on Nashira had been destroyed by the "real" Kell Hounds.[12] Shortly after this he attacked a number of mercenary regiments in employment of House Davion and the Northwind Highlanders pushed the Kurita forces off the planet.

In May, Yorinaga returned with his regiment to the ruins of their base on Nashira. The base ruins appeared unnatural with various formations of wreckage set about the base's interior surrounding the single intact building. Yorinaga went to the surviving building's roof and realized that the ruins of the base were set up as giant star map. After studying the wreckage, he realized that various formations in the wreckage signified worlds. He told Akira that Morgan Kell intended for them to do battle in June on the world of Ryde.

The two then hastily went to Ryde so to make the deadline but found the Kell Hounds were delayed. They arranged for a "message" to the Hounds explaining where to meet next.

Eventually they ended up on the world of Nusakan where they found the Hounds in battle with the 5th Sword of Light's forces. The battle had nearly concluded when the Genyosha arrived. Yorinaga witnessed Kell Hound's 3rd Battalion leader, Scott Bradley going one-on-one with with 5th's Sword's General Conti. When Conti's Banshee was taken down the 5th's members prepared to attack the Hounds. Yorinaga then intervened telling them to stand down or face the Genyosha in battle.

Now, as before, Yorinaga began his duel with Morgan Kell. In true bushido tradition they bowed to one another. In the course of their battle both were able to hit one another. Yorinaga fired his Warhammer weapons without considering the effect of the desert world's high temperature on his 'Mech as did Morgan whom barely managed to return fire. After his 'Mech was about to shutdown, Morgan made his Archer bow, which in bushido tradition ending the fight. Yorinaga attempted to return the honor but his 'Mech locked up.

After the battle Morgan asked Yorinaga to forgive him for not being able to fight, stating that his abilities prove him to be nearly invulnerable. Yorinaga realized what Morgan had been attempting to tell him since meeting him on Terra and agreed to forgive him.

Yorinaga then committed the ritual suicide of Seppuku in a public ceremony with the Hounds, Genyosha, and 5th Sword of Light present as witnesses.

Family and Legacy[edit]

Yorinaga married Sula Brahe[13] and had one son, Akira.

After he was sent into exile as a non-person, his wife and son were sold into slavery. His father-in-law saved the two and his wife was allowed to kill herself after her master agreed to it. His son was then adopted by his grandfather.[14]

His regiment, the Genyosha, continues to honor Yorinaga's name and teachings and defend the honor of the Dragon. The unit would expand into two regiment brigade by dawn of the Jihad era.

Character Notes[edit]

Yorinaga Kurita was an exceptional Warhammer pilot. He also was one the few known individuals to gain the Phantom 'Mech ablity.

There is no information on Yorinaga prior to 3013. Since the character was the creation of author Michael Stackpole, the character was not included in the original House Kurita source book.

References[edit]

  1. Historical Turning Points: Mallory's World, p. 9
  2. Historical Turning Points: Mallory's World, p. 7 - Character background - Early Career
  3. Warrior: Coupé p. 62 - "Yorinaga tells his son of the battle against Ian Davion and how Morgan Kell stole his greatest victory from him".
  4. Historical Turning Points: Mallory's World, p. 7
  5. Warrior: Coupé p. 65 - "Yorinaga tells his son Akira Brahe, that his duel with Morgan Kell had showed him that the Draconis Combine's restriction to bushido tradition, would lead to destruction of the Draconis Combine."
  6. Warrior:Riposte, p. 45 - "Captain Dan Allard recounts to Brother Keith on Zaniah III Morgan Kell & Yorinaga's duel in 3016".
  7. Warrior: En Garde, p. 103 - "Jiro Ishiyama conducts tea ceremony for Yorinaga Kurita to cut deal with him to train and form elite combat regiment based on his teachings".
  8. Warrior: En Garde pp 317-319 - "Kell Hounds battle Yorinaga and his forces and escape with Melissa Steiner, but at a terrible price".
  9. Warrior: Riposte, pp. 198-202 - "Chu-sa Akira Brahe reveals to Morgan Kell & Jaime Wolf of his discovery of Star League era BattleMechs being maintained under ComStar Compound".
  10. Warrior: Riposte, pp. 283-284 - "Kell Hound's 3rd Battalion CO Scott Bradley, talks to Team Banzai's 2nd in command, Major Tommy Lester mauling their two units received from Genyosha".
  11. Warrior: Riposte, p. 283 - "Tommy Lester comments how Tai-sa Yorinaga Kurita had taken down Doctor Banzai during the battle, yet he was unable to shoot at Kurita's 'Mech".
  12. Warrior: Riposte, p. 281 - "ISF Liason officer mocks Akira Brahe with the news of destruction of their base on Nashira at the hands of the Kell Hounds".
  13. Warrior: Riposte, p. 61 - "Akira names his mother".
  14. Warrior: Riposte pp. 63-64 - "Akira tells his father, what happened to him and his mother".

Bibliography[edit]