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Tale of a Deathseeker
A family. I had a family once. That was all years ago, a different life back then. I live by the Bushido. As did my father. More or less. It was on his death bed that my father finally confessed his greatest failure.

My father was invited to the Court of the Emperor by a Crane he saved in battle. This man, Doji Harada, had cooked up an elaborate plan to thwart my father in the Emperor’s Court and curry himself favor. My father arrived in court before the Emperor and this screwed up Harada’s plan. The Scorpion he hired drew their weapons and declared they worked for my father; the leader of a coup that was about to occure. Harada acted quickly and challanged my father to a duel. My father won and quickly cut down the servants along with all other witnesses before fleeing the Imperial Palace to return home. When the Emperor arrived he blamed Harada since no one knew my father was suppose to be there.

My father told this story to his children as he lay dying. He was attended to by his long-faithful servant but what none of us knew was that the servant was a spy planted by the family of Harada. The spy relayed all this information to the Harada’s younger brother, Doji Kusi. Kusi in turn relayed it, in a fashion, to the Emperor.

The information was twisted and Kusi insisted my father was raising a rebellion and barely escaped with his life when brave Harada attempted to thwart his plans. Kusi hired some more Scorpoion and they confirmed this story. The Emperor declared our family name outcast and we were stricken from history.

I was content with remaining Ronin and being a simple farmer. My years at the Akodo War College were left behind when I met my wife and started a family. For a few seasons after my family was dishonored everything was peacful and serene. Then Kusi showed up at my home with his minions. He felt that since I wasn’t suffering that his vengance wasn’t complete.

The years of easy living had left me out of shape and despite my best efforts the men overpowered me. They beat me within an inch of my life, tied me up, and hung my broken body from the roof. I watched in horror as they beheaded my wife at my feet and then brought my eldest son out next. Something inside me snapped. I pulled myself down from my bindings and flew into a death rage. My son picked up another man’s blade and together the two of us fought off the last of Kusi’s men.

I checked the house and found the rest of my children already murdered. Only my son and I remained. We packed our things, set the farm house aflame, and left to seek admitance to the Deathseekers. I asked for the Deathseekers to accept me into their legion and my history had favored me in this endeavor. While I had trained at the Akodo War College and was at the time considered to become a great general. All that was left behind after meeting my now late wife and when the Deathseekers heard the woeful story of my family’s betrayal I was admitted, but my son was not.

My son was to young to join the Deathseekers but the legion offered to pay from my son’s stay in the Akodo War College. I bid him farewell and spent many seasons with the Deathseekers Legion traveling far across the land. There were many other men and even some women with me willing to give their lives to reclaim their name and battle after battle I missed my chance. I even befriended some of them and even came to fall in love with one of the female deathseekers at my side.

We planned on leaving the Deathseekers together, finding my son, and giving up on our quest to die for honor. The Legion was heading back north so we opted to continue to fight until we were home and it was home, in Crane territory near the Crab border, that I found my destiny.

My unit engaged a group of Crab insurgents in Crane land. I was struck down in combat only to rise up from a surly fatal blow. My lover saw me fall and stand back up. She froze and her panic earned her a sword through her chest. I rushed to her aid and fought off the Crab around me with furious anger. The Crab fell back at the sight begain to bellow that I was tainted by the Shadows. Grief stricken I denied the accusation with anger. A Witch Hunter named Kuni Goso was near by and he confirmed that I was not a shadow creature. All this happening as the din of battle rang out around us as my lover died in my arms.

Goso, after seeing that I was not tainted, kneeled down next to me and whispered to me that he could end this battle for us. I nodded and he began to call out for the insurgents to flee. Before he left my side Goso told me that “A Lion who could not die surrounded by Lion that only wanted to die was more then they had bargained for when the decided to try and take this land.” He then turned and started to jog away but stopped a few paces from me, turned and spoke. “I am sorry for your loss. If you are ever in need of help, Lion, simply send for me. I would be honored to serve with you.” Then he turned and departed. We had won the day and so many of my allies left without their honorable deaths, except for my lover.

My unit saw what had happened to me on the battlefield and began to grow more wary of me as months passed. I lost my desire to leave the Deathseekers, having lost my family twice now. My inability to die coupled with my exposed plans to abandon the Deethseakers had made be a leper among the pariah. Soon we had heard of a break in the Kaiu Wall and made haste down to find Kyuden Hida under siege. We fought our way in and many a brave man fell next to me. We found ourselves standing at the foot of the wall and as the battle broke I found myself under a club and going towards the bloody mud quickly.

I rose from yet another blow that should have surely killed me and quickly looked about. My unit had saw what happened and started putting distance between themselves and me. Aside from them no other soul seemed to notice. The battle raged on and soon the Shadow retreated and the Palace was defended.

As I made my way into the city my legion was abandoning me. They walked away as I approached, none would return my hails, when I was walking down the street they ducked down alleyways. I managed to confront another man from the unit in a Tea House. I demanded to know why I was being avoided and he told me that they feared what I had become, as did I. How was I to give my life to restore my family name if I can’t be felled? Think of how it would reflect on the Legion! I threw him out and proceeded to drown myself in sake that night.

Word has arrived that a small monastery up Tani Giza has ceased to answer messengers. The journey is long and perilous, stretching across the whole of Rokugan. It will take us back through Lion territory and if I can survive that long it might give me a chance to see my son, Matsu Kade. He should be old enough to take up the blade by now and perchance his desire to join the Deathseekers has not yet faded.

I have agreed to travel to Tani Giza for are a few reasons. Solving this mystery could earn back my family name or maybe some battle along the way will, and maybe I can find a way to rid myself of the images of my family and lover murdered before my eyes.

There is a darkness the lurks in my heart that would want to see Doji Kusi suffer as I have. To break him and his family with my own hands. I fear this desire but I’m not sure that if I was offered the chance I could turn it down.

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