Lion Clan Daiymo
Toturi is a pale man, with a long dark mane of hair which has been dyed golden. He stands very tal, nearly six feet. Toturi rarely wears his armor, preferring the light robes and kimono of the monks. In the past, his attitude and courtly words have caused the Lion Clan to mutter uncomfortably, but his intelligence is gaining a reputation – in the court and on the battlefield.
The first son of an Akodo and a Matsu, Akodo Toturi has lived a life of delicate balances. Before his birth, Akodo and Matsu samurai were not allowed to marry, not only due to the competition between their houses, but also to prevent the strife such a child would cause. However, Toturi’s father, younger son of the ruling Champion, was allowed to marry the youngest daughter of the Matsu daiymo, provided their male children be raised as Akodo family members. Toturi’s father changed his name from Akodo Daio to Matsu Daio and swore allegiance to their house.
Toturi’s father did not choose this path out of love or power. The move was calculated to strengthen the loyalty between the feuding families. The Matsu had been gaining significant power through the many combats and skirmishes with the Crane, and threatened to usurp the Akodo power within the house. The Akodo were weak, and their armies had diminished. In order to keep the two families at peace, Akodo Daio married Matsu Sodohime.
When the family’s first child was born, he was celebrated by the Akodo as heir to his father’s house. However, the Matsu, expecting a daughter, immediately turned upon the boy with suspicion – he would clearly be a weakling and a failure. At five years of age, young Toturi was taken to the Akodo dojos, to be trained in kenjutsu. Even at such an early age, Toturi’s training proved disastrous. The child was meek and thoughful, more interested in the Tao than in warfare. Despite numerous sessions of instructions and drilling, Toturi seemed to have no talent, and worse, no interest in martial prowess.
The Akodo soon came to agree with the Matsu – the boy was useless.
In order to save face, Toturi’s father sent his son to a monastery within the Phoenix lands. Isolated from his Clan, considered an embarrassment to his family, Toturi lived with the monks for more than ten years. He dedicated himself to the study of tactics and strategy, as well as writings o enlightened masters such as the famous Uikku. His teacher, Master Suana, was the Acolyte of Water in the Brotherhood, and took the boy into his care. He soon found that Ttori had a quick mind, a clever wit, and an eagerness to learn. He educated him in ancient texts, often studying late into the night over some obscue work of an ancient general.
The only Lion Clan member who paid any attention to the boy was Akodo Kage. Kage did not want him to grow up completely untutored in martial arts. For ten years, he traveled to the monastery, claiming that he wanted meditation and time to study the Tao – but used much of the tie to work with the struggling lad. When Kage retired and became the Akodo sensei, h asked Toturi’s father to send for the boy, but his request was refused.
Back at home, Toturi’s parents turned their attention to their second son, a boy born three years later. The child, Akodo Arasou, grew to manhood under the eye of the Lion Clan, who studied every move he made, afrid he might turn out to be a ‘failure’ as well. Arasou’s force and courage was great, and his skill with the blade impressed even his Matsu sensei. The teacher soon refused to teach other students and spent all his time guiding the boy’s natural ferocity. Arasou seemed to have all the aptitude for war and violence that Toturi lacked, and although he was a difficult child, he was loved by the Matsu, who considered him a ‘proper’ son. Arasou was proclaimed Heir to the Akodo lin on the day of his first major victory against the Unicorn. His skill soon became legendary, achieving heights of military conquest through strength, daring and cunning.
Arasou and Toturi met only rarely, when Toturi came home for festivals and formal occasions. The two children were as different as night and day. Toturi studied life, contemplated tactics, and relied on intelligence and wisdom. Arasou had little time for studies, preferring to spend his days learnign new weapons skills and gaining strength. While Arasou hunted, Toturi meditated. Arasou challenged the bushi of other clans and fought with ruthless abandon, while his brother practiced martial arts to understand and unify the body and the spirit.
When Arasou was seventeen and Toturi was twenty, Arasou was betrothed to Matsu Tsuko, daughter of the Matsu daiymo. This was an unprecedented move, because if Arasou became the Champion of the Lion, it would mean the Matsu and Akodo leadership would be one. Nevertheless, both Arasou and Tsuko demanded that the match be made.
They were perfect for each other – brave, reckless, and daring, determined to prove the Lion’s might against the other clans of Rokugan. They fought side by side, and loved boldly.
For nearly a year, they delayed the marriage. Arasou boasted that he would give his new bride the gift of Toshi Ranbo wo Shien Reigisaho (Violence Behind Courtliness City), an ancient palace stolen from the Lion by the Crane. It was to be a neutral ground from which the two families would begin their union.
However, during the battle to capture the city, Arasou was killed. His uncle, the heirless Lion Champion, was wounded beyond hope of recovery. Soon after, the Lion Champion died as well. Too old to sire another son, Toturi’s father was forced to recall his son from seclusion to lead the Akodo.
Toturi was not ready to be a daiymo, much less a war leader, but he threw himself into the task with the skill and wisom learned from Master Suana. Under his guidance, the Akodo grew in strength. Although Toshi Ranbo wo Shein Shite Reigisaho was never successfully retaken, the Lion thrived. However, Tsuko never became reconciled to Arasou’s death, and did not accept Toturi. She still considers him a pacifistic, weak-spined substitute for the glory the Lion woud have gained under Arasou.
In three years, Toturi has never failed his duty to the Throne or to his clan. He considers strategy more important than bloodshed, a strange view which sets him apart from many Lions. His skill in tactics and his ability to negotiate have given him the reputation of a good daiymo, if not a good warlord. The years of studying hand-to-hand combat with the monks has given Toturi an advantage with kenjutsu, and he spends much time in the compay of Akodo Kage. Under the guidance of Kage, Toturi is combining his talents, to become a competent and deadly swordsman. His style with the sword is unusual, relying on strategy rather than strength, but it is rapidly becoming popular with the Akodo house.
He is engaged to marry the dark-skinned Master of Void, Isawa Kaede. Their wedding was arranged when both were infants, and now there is much debate about whether it will be allowed to proceed. The two have not met for many years, and Toturi knows little of the woman who is to be his wife. Only a few letters, written beneath the watchful eye of the go-betweens, tell him of his distant fiance.