Alleys of Zakyo Toshi
A reluctant ronin thug
Height: 1,62 m (5’4”)
Weight: 62 kg (127 lbs)
Hair: Black, unruly, somewhat poofy
Parents: Kenro & Sayaka, Formerly Akodo Naoya and Sachiko
Kui was born as Akodo Masako as a member of a proud, if very minor branch of the Akodo family, likely destined for marriage to a distant relative and work as a yojimbo. She passed her gempukku with customary skill. Nothing exceptional, but not a failure, either.
The failure of Toturi and the disbanding of the Akodo derailed any such plans rather early. Her parents and most of her other family followed Toturi onto the waves, but Kui slipped off from their loyal, idealist tide and pledged herself to the Matsu instead.
The Clan War didn’t bring her a lot of positives either. Involved in a dismal failure early in the war, she found herself offered seppuku as the noble, honourable way out. She accepted, but sitting at sunset, looking at her wakizashi, her courage failed and she broke ranks, cast out with a lot of scorn, left to wander on her own.
She ran far away, ashamed and humiliated, but mostly afraid to die, leaving Lion lands and going away from the front of the war, instead earning her livelihood dealing with thugs and crooks from the many outlying villages left alone in the chaos of war.
This worked decently until the closing weeks of the clan war. Sitting in Mantis territory at a noodle stand, she was approached by a young Yoritomo courtier flanked by two ji-caste hired muscle, rewarded with the right to bear their charge’s mon. At first, the Mantis was clearly flirtatious, but when met with a cold shoulder, this turned to unkind taunting and mockery. Clearly a former Lion by her appearance, she was called a disgrace and a coward, the trio assuming that she had run from the war and abandoned Toturi, by now looking more and more like a hero in the making.
Kui, normally conflict-shy and relatively timid, if not actually cowardly, snapped in an uncharacteristic, impulsive moment. Before anyone had time to process the situation, the two hired guards were lying on the ground bleeding out, and the Yoritomo himself had been very unceremoniously decapitated.
Unfortunately, this was a brazen attack in public, in Mantis territory, and the Mantis was soon to be a great clan. Kui fled before magistrates could get to her, once again choosing life over facing her blunders.
The magistrates and yoriki have a way of getting word out about who you are, though, and not much later, she had to skip town somewhere else to avoid capture. This, unfortunately, caught the attention of the leader of the Carps, who press-ganged the bushi into thuggery with threats of surrendering her to the authorities, perhaps after a good beating or other humiliating things.
Kui submitted in a resigned, almost defeated manner, and is now slowly hating herself more and more, dragging herself further and further down the order of life and the echelons of honour. And she is not really sure if that’s not what she deserves-