Quelques éclats de jade
Priests of the kami are rare even in the ranks of Great Clan samurai. Finding a ronin with the ability to speak to the kami is truly an impressive feat. What only a handful among the priests of Rokugan have ever discovered, however, is that the kami are immortal and generally speak to individuals because of their family association. If an individual mortal captures the attention of the kami, they may well continue to speak to his children or grandchildren, which is why the abilities of shugenja usually occur along family lines. If one ronin has the ability to speak to the kami, his children will almost certainly possess the same talent, as will their children, and so on. So despite their incredible rarity, ronin shugenja do in fact exist, difficult though their lives may be. Ronin shugenja generally fall into a handful of broad categories:
- Self-Taught Shugenja: This is the rarest and most difficult path for a shugenja to follow, as it requires incredible determination and intellect. Only those who are born with the most prodigious gifts of the kami can follow this path, since others generally give up long before their lesser talents let them accomplish anything of note.
- Dutiful Disciple Shugenja: Other ronin shugenja are fortunate enough to find a sensei to help them along. This might be another more experienced ronin shugenja, or even a sympathetic shugenja of the Great Clans; some priests consider it blasphemous to ignore the gifts of the kami and will teach anyone who they judge can cope with the burdens and responsibilities of priesthood.
- Ronin Order Shugenja: A third group of ronin shugenja gain the favor of some independent order or monastic sect, and are taught in that manner. The Brotherhood of Shinsei, which contains numerous retired clan shugenja in its ranks, is the most frequent source of such training. Other groups do exist, however, such as the Kanosei Furudera order, or the Order of Isashi, a group of mystical healers who count many shugenja among their ranks.