Shadow over Rokugan
Former Samurai of the Lion Clan
Akodo Takeshi was a member of a minor branch of the legendary Akodo family. His ancestors lost most of their influence when the Akodo family was disbanded, and they never really regained it. Takeshi served a minor daimyo of the Ikoma family, and helped to keep the peace in their small area of Rokugan.
Takeshi was the quintessential samurai. He was always courteous, polite, sincere, and honest, and placed his lord’s well-being above his own. He was a skilled swordsman, having studied in the Akodo Bushi school. He did not shy away from battle, but recognized that throwing one’s life away needlessly is selfish. He treated those below him with compassion, and those above him with respect and deference. Even among the Lion Clan, Takeshi was recognized as a man of exemplary honor. Because of this, he was given a sacred Akodo Blade by his lord, a gift which Takeshi treasured.
In order to enhance their family’s standing, Takeshi’s parents arranged for him to marry a shugenja from the Iuchi family of the Unicorn Clan. This pleased Takeshi’s lord as well, since his lands lie close to those of the Unicorn. This woman, Iuchi Kurisu, was unlike anyone Takeshi had ever met. The two were quickly married, and despite their differences, fell deeply in love with each other.
Takeshi and Kurisu contrasted sharply with each other. While Takeshi was serious and reserved, Kurisu was playful and outgoing. Takeshi was extremely polite, while Kurisu was unafraid to criticize others. Takeshi was content with the way of life he knows, but Kurisu was always seeking to expand her horizons. Kurisu often poked fun at Takeshi’s formal and uptight behavior, although Kurisu was perhaps the only person that Takeshi relaxed around. The two learned from each other, and valued the perspective gained from a person with a different approach to life. Takeshi valued the compassion Kurisu exhibited in her dealings with the lower classes, a virtue that is lacking in many of the Lion Clan. For her part, Kurisu admired Takeshi’s focus and dedication, a trait that The Unicorn are not known for. The couple had two children, a boy named Hayato, and a girl named Mayuri. Takeshi continued to serve the Lion Clan, while Kurisu ran their household. She took to this task with great enthusiasm, and as a result, Kurisu and Takeshi were wealthier than normal for samurai of their rank.
Recently, the Lion Clan decided to send groups of deathseekers to assist the Crab Clan in their endless battle against the shadowlands. These dishonored warriors needed an honorable commander to guide them. Takeshi was a natural fit for this assignment, due to his honorable nature, and his low rank among the samurai. A journey to the shadowlands is, after all, not a pleasurable task. Takeshi accepted this task without complaint, and began his journey south.
Takeshi’s two children were Hayato and Mayuri. Hayato was a serious young man, much like his father in many regards. At the tender age of five, he already intended to follow in his father’s footsteps, and become a great swordsman. He spent much of his time practicing with wooden swords. Mayuri was very talkative for a two year old. Unlike most children her age, she was normally sweet and happy. She followed Kurisu around everywhere, and tried to help with the household duties. She hated seeing people unhappy, and always tried to cheer them up.
Takeishi did not react well to his fate as a shadow-maho warrior. The only things that keep him from performing Seppuku is the emperor’s last command, and his oath of vengeance upon the Scorpion Clan. He no longer carries a katana or a wakizashi, much less his sacred Akodo Blade, as he considers himself unworthy of the honor. It their place he carries a No-dachi. He also no longer wears his family, clan, or school mons. Takeshi has adopted the life of a hermit, and avoids other humans as much as possible. He waits for the day when he will return to Rokugan and fulfill the distasteful duty that has been thrust upon him.