Naruto d20 is a free tabletop RPG / supplement for d20 Modern. It can be downloaded at narutod20.com.
Kaien Kaji, the Genius Puppeteer
Kaien Kaji was born in the Village Hidden in the Sand (Sunagakure), in the wind country. His father was an ANBU ninja from Konohagakure (The Village Hidden in the Leaf) named Hideki Hideyaki, and his mother was a Chuunin from Sunagakure named Kaori Katsuo. The two met just before the Second Shinobi World War, while Konoha and Suna were still performing subterfuge against each other and against the other Ninja Villages; Hideki was seventeen and Kaori was fifteen.
At the time, Hideki was working to become an ANBU Captain. He had always been gifted, and rose through the ranks to ANBU faster than most ninja. He was good at what he did too, and the Village recognized that; his one problem was that he was passionate and rebellious. Hideki always believed that he knew better than his superiors, but he seldom made poor choices in the field. This passion led him to fall in love with a ninja from another village.
Kaori was a Puppeteer in the Sand Village’s Puppet Brigade, and, although not considered a genius, was a rather skilled Puppeteer. One day (12 BNT [Before Nine-Tails Attack]), while she was on a mission with her chuunin squad, they were ambushed by a large group of Stone Ninja (Iwa Nin), and her entire squad was killed in front of her. Before the Iwa Nin could get to her, a strange man leapt between her and her assaulters and convinced them to leave her. He carried her back to her camp where he left her in her tent, but before he could leave her, she demanded to see his face and know his name so that she could remember the man who saved her; he revealed himself to be Hideki of Konoha. Hideki was a handsom man, and she immediately fell in love.
Over the course of the next year, Hideki frequently kept an eye on Kaori from the shadows. Unbeknownst to him however, she noticed his presence, and one day, she addressed him. After that, they became lovers. Their romance had to remain secret due to the war, but that didn’t stop them from seeing each other as often as possible. A few months later, Kaori became pregnant, and was forced to return to her village until she gave birth. At last, the two lost contact with each other.
Nine months later, a baby boy was born. Shortly after, Kaori returned to the front lines, and, since she had no family to take care of him, she brought her son along. While Kaori was away on a mission, the camp came under attack by the Iwa Nin and everyone in the camp was slaughtered except for a single child who was found by an Iwa Jounin and brought back home with him. This Jounin’s name was Kaidoh Kaji.
Kaidoh already had a wife and daughter, and when he brought the child home, he was quickly made a part of the family. They named the boy “Kaien,” and raised them as their own. Kaien grew up with his father, Kaidoh, his mother, Suzami, and his sister, Ayami. From the time he met her, Kaien adored his older sister Ayami. She was ten at the time that he was brought to live with them, and Kaien wasn’t more than six months. Ayami also cared deeply for her new baby brother (whom she truly believed was brought by the stork), and doted over him night and day. At the time, Ayami was also a recently graduated Genin, and constantly displayed feats of extraordinary ability for her brother, such as walking up walls and changing her appearance.
By the time Kaien was three years old, he could throw a kunai and perform the Kinobori Jutsu (wallclimbing). Seeing this natural talent, his father insisted that he be enrolled in the ninja academy. Kaien spent two years studying the ninja arts, and in that time, learned all of the basic graduation requirement jutsu, including Tadayou (waterwalk), Bunshin (clone), Henge (change appearance), and Kawarimi (replacement).
When Kaien graduated from the academy, his father, Kaidoh, informed him that he had been adopted. He told Kaien that his real mother had been a Sand Ninja who was killed during a raid, and that Kaidoh had found the baby and rescued him. Kaien took the news rather well, tossing the information to the back of his head–what did he care about some people he never met? As far as he was concerned, his family was his family. When Kaidoh revealed this information to Kaien, he also presented him with a small, wooden puppet about the size of a doll; this, he said, was the only thing that he possessed of his birth mother. After that, Kaien became fascinated with puppets.
The Puppetry Technique was not unknown to the ninja of Iwagakure, but was not popular amongst them. Kaien spent much of his time researching puppets and puppeteers at the academy’s library. When he read of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, he vowed that he would become like him, and become the greatest puppeteer in history. After that, he began building small puppets and educating himself on the use of poisons. He wasn’t too fond of the idea of poisons, however, and liked to build special components and weaponry attachments for his puppets. He graduated the academy at the age of five, and is currently a member of Team 11 of Iwagakure, along with Hanzo Hizashi, a medical ninja, and Katsuhiro Koga, a ninjutsu specialist, and their Jounin Captain, Takeshi Uyaeda.
Kaien’s father, Kaidoh, is an Ex-ANBU Captain, and currently operates as one of the Elite Jounin of Iwagakure. He is part of a Jounin team with Uyaeda and Hisashi.
Kaien’s mother, Suzami, is a restaurant-owner in Iwagakure. She trained as a ninja until she became pregnant with her first child, Ayami. At that time, she was a Chuunin, and had always dreamed of owning her own restaurant; her pregnancy was the perfect chance for a career change.
Ayami is a Chuunin. As Kaien’s older sister, she enjoys spending time with him, and training him. Kaien however, prefers to stay in his room and work on his puppets, so their time together is restricted. Ayami trains as a Katon (fire style) specialist, and is part of a Chuunin Team.