Shadowed Autumn Leaves
The blade does not care,
It seeks blood from friend or foe.
A heart shifts like wind.
Born in 1163
Growing up through both the War of Dark Fire, followed immediately after by the Destroyer War with its plague, made a harsh man of young Ikoma Toshi.
His family was spared the pain of loss compared to some of the others in his area, with only his uncle Akodo Katsu falling to the machinations of the Destroyer’s plague. While attending the funeral in 1173, Toshi witnessed his Uncle rise up and attack the attendees, despite the ritual purification and the samurai’s religious adherence to the Code of Bushido. Already dubious of the value his mother’s family placed on Honor, and the tales his father sang of so passionately about, this atrocity broke Toshi. As his uncle slayed the unexpecting honorable bushi, Toshi instead stuck to the shadows, waiting for the right moment to do what he knew he must. Toshi grabbed his Uncle’s katana and severed the head of its former master. He set the body to torch before it could spread its vile infection further.
The event made it clear to his parents that he would be suited for the life of a bushi, and Toshi agreed. But when his Akodo mother began to plan for his admission to her former dojo, Toshi contested. “Akodo’s Honor is not a weapon I can wield in war.”
The Matsu offerred a spot in any of their 3 schools (Berserkers, Beastmasters or Elite Spearmen), Toshi’s affinity for battle already proven, but Toshi again refused. “Matsu’s ferocity will not protect us when the battlefield is a court.”
When word of Toshi’s actions reached the family of his father, the Ikoma knew they had fond a perfect candidate for the Lion’s Shadow school. A Lion who favors pragmatism over honor is rare indeed.