Fourth son of Kiyomori Taira, and graceful in both words and appearances. From the outside he would appear to have little use for war, however, he has time and time again demonstrated himself to be a fierce warrior, a superb general, and a trusted advisor to Kiyomori.
Though the Heike appear to be at the height of their power, Tomomori senses a change in the wind, and knows that all things in this world are one day bound to perish.
Born the youngest son of Yoshitomo Minamoto, Yoritomo’s father and older brothers were all killed by the Heike in the Heiji Rebellion. Just fourteen at the time, Yoritomo’s life was spared from execution by Kiyomori Taira’s step-mother, Lady Ikenozeni.
Instead, Yoritomo was forced to live the hard life of an exile in the land of Izu. After many lonely years, Yoritomo’s heart became cold and isolated. Now he lives with only a single mission, a mission for which he will risk his life: to restore the Genji Clan with himself as its leader.
Previously a monk at Mount Hiei, Benkei was expelled from that temple after an incident with the Heike. Since then, he has been stealing the swords of Heike officials in response. After being defeated by Shanao, he pledged to become Shanao’s vassal.
Kind, gentle, and good-natured, Benkei and Shanao both share a history of growing up in temples and a dissatisfaction with the brutal rule of the Heike.
Born a child of Shigenari Minamoto, a vassal of Shanao’s father, Yoshitomo Minamoto, Shungen was brought to Kurama Temple upon the death of his father at the same time as Shanao. Because the two have been together since they were very young, Shungen is aware that Shanao is a woman.
Like Shanao, Shungen was raised at Kurama Temple by Kakunichi. While not as skilled with a sword as Shanao, Shungen is extremely bright and well-read. Despite his small stature and kind appearances, Shungen is extremely brave and protective of Shanao.
Nephew of Kiyomori Taira, and son of Norimori Taira, Noritsune holds nothing but contempt for the soft, decadent clan the Heike has become. Though he may not like the present aristocratic nature of his clan, he takes deep pride in his role as a samurai and is said to be one of the clan’s finest warriors. Unlike Tomomori, Noritsune does not see the gathering storm on the horizon for the Heike.
Being the same age as Shanao, he feels a deep sense of competition with her.