The 3rd Age Life of Jai Asad Kojima
Born in Tar Valon and raised to be an accountant and apprentice banker (though he had intended to abandon his father’s wishes in order to become part of the Tower guard), but became an Asha’man of the Black Tower when it was discovered he could learn to channel. The youngest of three brothers – and probably the most balanced of his siblings.
The taint touched his tendencies and he became wildly paranoid, sometimes with good reason. His natural OCD hbaits became marked, especially when uncomfortable and stressed. He is something of a mathematic genuis, and can perform complex equations in his head. The Black Tower made use of his talents as a code-writer and breaker. He is the namesake of Asad Kojima.
As a channeler he is strong enough to Travel, only slightly more than average Asha’man strength. He learned and rose through the ranks very quickly due to his OCD habits.
Zakar Kojima – eldest brother. Strict, professional, germophobe, OCD tendencies, married with two children and having an affair with a barmaid named Jaslene. One of her children may be his. Has a terrible temper. Manipulative and controlling of Jaslene. Brilliant accountant and chief executive in charge of the Kojima banking house.
Andreu Kojima – middle brother. Wild, outgoing personality. Life of the party. Wildly paranoid and bipolar. He tends to go on months long disappearances. Gambler. Drunk. Good at knife fighting and fisticuffs. He is a financial officer at the banking house.
Asad Kojima – The Malkieri great-father whose bride to be was found by Aes Sedai and sent to be a novice in the White Tower. When she was put out after refusing the Arches, she stayed in Tar Valon and Asad abandoned his life in Malkier to be with her. They founded a small banking house with what fortune he had. It is his sword that became the heirloom passed down from father to son ever since. The sword was destined to become Zakar’s.
Jon Foxsus – Owner of the Golden Fox inn and tavern. He was Jai’s best friend growing up despite the enormous gap between the two families in social structure.
Jaslene (Foxsus) Basinthe – Jon’s sister. Jai’s first love and boyhood crush. He wanted to propose to her but was distracted by the testers from the Black tower. After being discovered he could channel, he never got the chance. She has red curly hair, a bubbly personality and big smile. She’s now having an affair with Zakar, and she never loved Jai the way he loved her.
Mikel Basinthe – Jai and Jon’s other best friend growing up. He became a Tower Guard, just like Jai always planned to do (he was going to blow off the banking business and become a Guard). He ended up marrying Jaslene.
Lt. Tomdry – a veteran lieutenant in the Dragon’s Legion. On a campaign near the blightborder, he led the charge to save the life of a single Asha’man that had become so exhausted and wounded, he foolishly took on a Fade single-handedly, sword to sword. The Fade cut him down, slicing up his belly, and Tomdry and his men valiantly charged. They killed the Fade, but at the cost of all their lives, and saved the Asha’man so he could be healed. That Asha’man was Jai in his first battle after gaining the Dragon pins. The tale was sung by a gleeman (Byron Calanail) in the Golden Fox, and while Jai’s name was left out, he recognized the tale as his own.
Daryen Daimon – Asha’man king of Arad Doman. Much stronger in the power than Jai. He is the one Jai reported to in Arad Doman to aid in battling the ongoing seanchan presence. They’ve been good friends and lovers for some time, although not in a romantic relationship per say. Jai also serves as a level of protection for Daryen and stays near him in court when not dismantling seanchan damane-houses, and was bonded by him for that purpose.
Fate Sedai – A sitter of the Brown Ajah and Daryen’s sister. Her machinations got Nythadri involved in plots in Arad Doman, entangling her with Jai. Jai met her in the Golden Fox, and made a bet to eat an entire ghost pepper without passing out. In exchange, he would get to ride one of her prized Razors. He survived, but accidentally blinded himself when he rubbed his hands in his eyes. He had to be healed to see again.
Lennox Orander – A very powerful Asha’man in the Black Tower and a blade master.
Araya – Asha’man of the Black Tower and former Tinker
Nythadri Vanditera – An Accepted of the White Tower that sees Jai as more than an an insane dangerous Asha’man
“A Razor. I’ll pay any cost. But your .. countrymen .. are not so willing to sell. I don’t blame them. If I win, you find someone who will. Of a good age. Broken and trained.” He wasn’t sure if there were any unhealthy, sickly Razors out there, but might as well cover your terms well up front. Broken was a must. Trained? It wasn’t like he was sitting on the long years of the rest of his life. Taking 6 months training to ride the animal would be worth it for most men, but may not help him very much. “Sooner rather than later.” Aes Sedai may have hundreds of years ahead of them, but he calculated the odds for long life were lower for his kind.
She gave the go ahead and Jai prepped himself, folding his neck first one way and then the other, making a show of stretching his shoulders and cracking fingers, warm up worthy of serious wrestling. He took one last look at that pepper. Jon used to mention more often than not the hottest ones were green rather than red, small and wedged shaped rather than long and slender, and puckered rather than smooth. The slender thing in his palm couldn’t be that bad. Not like those wedged shaped green things he made the mistake of eating as a lad. Popping those bad boys in his mouth whole. He plucked the stem off and tossed it away. Then gripped each end and snapped it in half, bending and breaking like a dry twig to minimal spray of juice. The scent wafted up after that. The open pepper in the air was enough to burn at the corner of his eyes. He didn’t remember those green things doing that before.
A little hint of nerves touched his expression when he tore his eyes off the red-orange piece of art in his hands and checked Fate’s. That half a pepper settling in her drink. Might as go for it. He shrugged, took a deep breath, and popped the first half into his mouth.
The heat was very sudden, but surprisingly he found the flavor of fruit rather than pepper. But that thought was quickly replaced by the 3rd chew. The mild taste faded to heat and the burning started with the explosion of saliva and juice on his tongue, then the first swallow spread the pain toward the back of his throat. He kept his bearings, but the struggle was obvious. Airways from mouth to throat to ears erupted in ferociously hot pain, then as the remaining pulp and flesh and crunchy seeds left his mouth and journeyed down the gullet, he was suddenly aware of his stomach, and not in a my-guts-are-falling-out kind of way but in the -i’m-going-to-claw-my-own-guts-out-with-my-bare-hands kind of way.
His jaw dropped open to get some cool air between his teeth, but no relief, and still the other half of the pepper waiting. A deep breath again did nothing for relief, rather it re-circulated everything all over again. Bloody Jon! Doesn’t know what in the Blight he’s talking about! Red, slender, long peppers are not short, small, green ones. Yet this red spawn of the Blasted Lands was not heat, not pain, it was awful. It was sticking a bloody piece of coal in your mouth.
He stole a look up at Fate Sedai. “Its like swallowing cobra venom. Fun.” Sarcasm. Laced sarcasm.
How the hell did she sit there with not but flush on pretty cheeks? While Jai’s forehead erupted in sweat. It felt like his very eyeballs were going to swell and burst out of the sockets. Second deep breath and he reluctantly shoved in the other half of the pepper. This wave hit faster and hotter than the previous, if it was possible. The firebomb in his head burst out another layer of sweat, this time around his ear and along his hairline, brows collecting them and diverting the lines away from his eyes, which swelled with water, like every drop of water in his very body was trying to burst its way out. This swallow spread the heat down to the stomach, across his chest and warmed his very arms. He tried to get some cool air in again, but once more it did nothing but recirculate everything inside his head.
At some point, he wasn’t sure when, he had leaned forward, elbows on his knees and hands rubbing at the pressure between his temples. The wince had left his face, but he clearly struggled. If his luck held he’d pass out, at least that much happened when his blood sprayed a new layer on that Fade’s armor and guts fertilized the earth. But unfortunately, no such relief came. A few tortured minutes like that and it seemed the heat plateaued. He slid his hands from his temples and rubbed at the sweat layering across his eyelids.
“Jai, you are an idiot.” He heard Jon’s voice. Apparently his friend came over after Jai got through that first half and was standing with them ever since, even going so far as shared a few chatting words about sunset and ghost and cobra peppers with the Sitter. He even offered his friend the oosquai, but Jai heard not a sound of it. He didn’t hear anything until now. But he finished the pepper! Why call him an idio…..
“Blood and ashes…” Now he knew. Some of that pepper was on his hands, and he just rubbed his eyes. “Blood and bloody ashes!” What was the hot coal shoved onto his tongue was now pouring liquid steel straight from the smelter’s forge in his eyes. “Pit of Bloody Doom Jon! What are you buying these days?!” He looked around, looked up for Jon, looked for Fate. Saw nothing. A little panic hit him.
“Guys. I can’t see.”