L5R Rings of Fate Campaign
Crane Clan Samurai, Kakita Duelist, Wielder of Kihaku no Kaze, Jade Magistrate
: 3 Reflex:4 | : 2 | : 3 Agility: 4 | : 2 | : 3
3.8 | 4.6 | 3.1
: Kakita Bushi/2
: Great Potential [Iaijutsu] , Quick , Sacred Weapon [Kakita Blade]
: Brash, Idealistic, Meddler, Bad Fortune, Compulsion [women] 2, Haunted 1, Driven [prove myself worthy], Driven [kill ancestor], Sworn Enemy 2
: Iaijutsu 5 – Focus | Etiquette 2 | Courtier 1 | Meditation 2 | Defense 3 | Kenjutsu 1 | Kyujutsu 1 | Athletics 2 | Storytelling 1
: Way of the Crane | The Sudden Strike
: Kakita’s First Stance
“For the coward; there is no life. For the hero; there is no death”
To Kakita Hotsuma that phrase is much more than just the Kakita family motto, it is his driving focus. Ever since he was a small boy, Hotsuma has held that ideal in the highest regard and strove to one day live up to it. This was not made easy for him as there was a certain stigma that came with being born to his particular family line. Centuries ago, an ancestor in his family line commited an act so cowardly and treacherous that every child born since has been suspected to have within them those same qualities by those who know of their lineage. Every descendant since has had to disprove this misconception by going above and beyond to show their honor and devotion to the Empire. Hotsuma’s father, Kakita Hanzo, was such a man, working his whole life to earn the respect of his kinsmen and the rank of clan magistrate.
On the night that Hotsuma was born, not only did he come into the world under the shadow of the deeds of his ancestor but also with ill fortune. Hotsuma’s mother, Doji Hatsumi, passed from this world. Though he never blamed his son for the death of his wife, on that night he vowed to guarantee that he would not let it be in vain. He would make sure that his son would not only shed the bad reputation of their lineage, but strive for the greatness that their family deserved. From the moment he could understand such things, Hotsuma was taught of honor and the Bushido by his father. He was taught not only about his vile ancestor but also the brave and honorable ones as well. Hotsuma took a particular interest in the stories of Kakita Jenho, a courageous samuarai who was a hero at the Battle of White Stag. The stories of this brave ancestor inspired Hotsuma’s desire to follow the Way of the Sword. During his studies, he practiced as much as he could with the blade, sometimes at the expense of his father’s lessons of a more courtly nature. Though he himself was not much of a swordsman, Hanzo knew that every man must pursue his own path and this seemed to be the one that his son wanted to travel. As soon as Hotsuma was old enough, he enrolled him in the Kakita Dueling Academy. Hotsuma took to the training exceptionally well. He excelled at all of his training and exercises and soon became head of his class. Hotsuma soon astonished his senseis as he began training with students of higher level and more experience. Though he excelled in his studies he was still an outcast to many of the other students, most shunning him for the rumors they heard of his dishonorable ancestor. Hotsuma always abidded by the Bushido and poured all of his efforts into the perfection of his art, and thus was indignant that he would be so casually cast aside because of actions that weren’t his own. Thus such disregard and insult were met with fiery response from Hotsuma, ready to challenge anyone who would dare question his honor.
As time went on, Hotsuma kept refining his skill and soon with all of the praise he received, developed a confidence that most viewed as arrogance. Along with his skill with the blade, his ego was further fueled when he noticed that the girls at the school with him began taking a liking to him. It soon became known that there were two things that Kakita Hotsuma would not turn away from: a challenge of honor and the smile of a pretty girl.
When the time came for his gempuku, Hotsuma was bestowed a great honor by his father. During the ceremony, when the time came to grant Hotsuma his own katana, Honzo rose and stepped forth with an object wrapped in fine silk. He knelt before Hotsuma and pulled back the silk to reveal an exquisitely crafted katana sheathed in an ornate saya. Hotsuma instantly recognized the blade: Kihaku no Kaze, Soul of the Wind, one of the famed Kakita Blades. Kihaku no Kaze was an ancestral weapon that had been passed down to the greatest warriors of each generation, and a blade one wielded be Kakita Jenho himself. Hotsuma proudly accepted the honor of wielding the blade and Hanzo gave him his blessing and made him swear that he would use it with honor. Hotsuma solemnly took this oath and promised his father that he would would bring honor to the family as to try to was away the stain of disgrace from their ancestor.
Hotsuma spent the next few years refining his art and serving the empire as a samurai of the Crane. It wasn’t until one fateful day during practice at his school that Hotsuma found the path that could lead him down that path of greatness. An Imperial herald came to him with a message from the Jade Champion, requesting Hotsuma’s presence at his palace. It was at that meeting that Hotsuma learned of his importance, his new found calling: as one chosen by the Kami to search for the rings of legend. So began his quest to save Rokugan from an unspeakable darkness, and unbeknownst to him, also leading him on the path to ending the dark legacy that has plagued his lineage for centuries…