Shadowed Autumn Leaves
“Have you eaten rice today? If you haven’t, my friend, I know all the best places in town!”
Appearance and Personality
Akodo Torokai is an ample man, broad and somewhat plump. He is mirthful and good-natured at heart with a ready sense of humor. Torokai is a connoisseur of various fine cuisines from across Rokugan, noodles of all kinds being a particular favorite. When he has a mind to, a large bowl of noodles can be finished in just a couple of minutes. Despite his gusto for consumption, Torokai is always careful not to be sloppy. When times are calm, Torokai is a lover of go, shoji, poetry, and stories. Beneath his lighthearted exterior, however, is an honorable and traditional samurai. In times of conflict he readily sheds his friendly manner, and becomes the very model of an Akodo; taciturn, reserved, and absolutely deadly. Akodo Torokai is a rare sort of samurai, one who is successful, and at the same time, joyful and full of passion, and also without pride, sloth, or fear.
Torokai is the second child of Akodo Tsunobu, Lord of Kitakabe Province, a small but strategically crucial holding adjacent to the Unicorn lands. He has an elder brother, Akodo Yoshinobu, and a younger sister, Akodo Izuko. Due to the nature of his family’s duty, Torokai and his siblings grew up in far flung provinces far from home, or without the guiding hand of their parents, especially so during wartime. Few samurai have as numerous or myriad talents as Torokai. Although he is a master of no particular art he is more than competent in many. Hunting, sumai, kenjutsu, law, wordplay, horsemanship, kyujutsu, athletics, zen meditation; Torokai’s interests know few bounds. Torokai’s sensei attempted to focus the young Lion’s attention, though they had little success. As it turns out, his varied aptitudes were a great asset; shortly after his gempukku his sharp eye, wit, and skills gained him the eye of the Emerald Magistrate of Shiro Akodo. A young and well-connected Kitsuki with little experience outside of the the Dragon mountains, she took Torokai on as her yoriki to fill the gaps of her own sheltered training. After serving her faithfully for several years, he was offered the badge in Dragon’s Guard City, which he heartily accepted.
Efforts in Dragon’s Guard City
During the height of the Race for the Throne, the Mantis Clan seized Dragon’s Guard City from its ancestral protectors, the Seppun. In this time of upheaval, the Six Dragons, the six yakuza gangs controlling the underworld of the city, grew exponentially in power and scope. By the time Iweko I had been crowned, Dragon’s Guard City lie completely in the coin pouch of the yakuza. In spite of the new Mantis governor’s tacit approval of the criminal syndicates, Torokai made the destruction of the Six Dragons his top priority. In the Spring of 1184, a new group of young yoriki, fresh from their gempukku at the Topaz Championship, were assigned to Torokai. He wasted little time; with his new-found strength the Lion magistrate began a campaign of systematic destruction of yakuza resources and holdings, and successfully prosecuted many corrupt officials which lent the Six Dragons dominance and safe-haven. By the turning of the year the influence of the yakuza had dwindled down to a fraction of what it had been. As a result, Torokai has many enemies in Dragon’s Guard City, and with his chosen yoriki moved on to other duties, has precious few friends.
A Family Sundered
At the Cherry Blossom Festival of 1184 in Shiro Matsu, Akodo Torokai’s father, Akodo Tsunobu was killed in his home. The local Chief Magistrate Matsu Ayano believed Torokai’s brother, Akodo Yoshinobu and his wife, a former Shinjo, Akodo Matoko to be the culprits. Ayano had the two arrested and committed to the local eta torturer to elicit confessions. Remembering his Kitsuki mentor’s lessons, he decided to personally remove himself from the investigation, though he tasked his yoriki with ascertaining his brother’s guilt. The yoriki, through careful investigation, discovered the actual murderer was Torokai’s sister, Akodo Izuko. With the ordeal behind him, Torokai emerged even more focused on his work in Dragon’s Guard City.