Because of their ties to the Beast Courts, the Same-Bito do not have as much to fear from other Rokea, despite being an entire society of betweeners. Many Same-Bito spend significant amounts of time on Unsea, learning the ways of humans and the other Changing Breeds.
The few homid Same-Bito prefer to spend most of their time in the sea. The Same-Bito have worked in concert with other members of the Beast Courts to drive off the few young Rokea who attempted to gain renown by hunting them on land. This cooperation between land and sea dwellers is yet another reason for other Rokea to hate the heretics. So far they have decided to leave the Same-Bito alone and only attack betweeners who lacked other shapeshifters willing to defend them. The Asian weresharks may be traitors and heretics, but they’re organized traitors and heretics.
Same-Bito regularly work with the other members of the Beast Courts, but their relationship is somewhat distant because of their need to stay close to Sea. Like the other Hengeyokai, they actively oppose the Wyrm, and fight against its manifestations both on land and in the oceans. The Same-Bito have close ties with the Zhong-Lung, the Mokolé of the Beast Courts.
These weresharks revere the Zhong Lung as wise and sacred teachers, and, from them, have learned much about both the land and the long history that these two Breeds share. However, for all their wisdom and good intentions, the Same-Bito remain a minority among a depleted Changing Breed.
Differences from regular Rokea
The Same-Bito are the only Rokea to accept homid weresharks in any way. Same-Bito reduce their starting Rage by one point compared to the same auspice of Western Rokea. They can also purchase human kinfolk as a Background, but must spend two Background points per dot on it.
A few Same-Bito can transform into a type of small shark known as the goblin shark. These Rokea are the spiritual leaders of the Same-Bito. All of them have the Swim Sideways Merit for free, and can purchase Step Sideways for 3 points in order to enter the Umbra on land. Due to their small size, reduce a goblin shark Same-bito’s Strength by one in both Chasmus and Squamus forms.
Like the Rokea, Same-Bito congregate in slews, most often numbering between three and twelve members. Unlike the Rokea, almost a quarter of the Same-Bito are homid-born, and they protect and value their human kinfolk. Same-Bito also belong to families or factions called habatsu that are similar to Hakken clans. Factions choose new leaders using trial by combat. They split this combat into two parts, half on the land and half in the sea. Most losers survive, but suffer disgrace. The majority of Same-Bito leaders are small goblin sharks, whose ability to step sideways into the Umbra gives them a great advantage over other weresharks.
The Same-Bito regard their Western counterparts as little more than murderous animals, and take great pride in their dedication to the teachings of the Zhong Lung. The epic journey of their legendary hero Mizuchi onto the land was one of the most important events in Same-Bito history.
A Zhong-Lung elder found Mizuchi shortly after he ventured ashore and tutored him in both wisdom and ethics. When he returned to the sea, Mizuchi revealed these laws to all of his kind. The Same-Bito state that most weresharks refused this wisdom and swam West, becoming the savage Rokea. Those who remained listened to Mizuchi and his Zhong-Lung teachers.
Since that time, all of the Same-Bito have followed the six sacred precepts:
- Attend the elders; you owe them all.
- Respect tribe members, and they honor you in return.
- Dishonor is a mark of lower beings.
- Battle is always honorable.
- If you are alive, you are still learning.
- Protect territory that the Emerald Mother and the Dragon Kings have given to you.