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Kage

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Please note: This article is about the Kolat Master. For other uses of the term, please see Kage (disambiguation).
Kage 
Kage 
Born: 1072 
Died: Unknown 
Spouse: Hantei Arumihime 
Titles: Kolat Master
People

Akodo Kage was one of the most beloved sensei of the Lion Clan, and taught many heroes including Akodo Toturi. Kage was a Kolat Master and after he faked his death, cutting his Lion lineage, becoming Kage.

Early YearsEdit

Kage was born to a lesser noble and was one of the families many children. He lived in relative peace in the inner Lion lands throughout his childhood, and attended the Akodo Bushi School when he came of age. He mastered kenjutsu quickly, and became the senior student (sempai) to the Master of the school. As a youth, he served in the Emperors personal guard, as well as the Akodo family army, to which he entered as an officer due to his expectional performance at the Bushi school. Kage served in the Imperial Guard after being invited to join by the Emperor himself, and quickly made a name for himself over many battles. He also served as an Imperial Magistrate within Otosan Uchi [1] as a councilor to both the Emerald Champion and the Lion Clan Champion. [2]

Favored by the Scorpion Edit

Somehow Kage was in high steem by the Scorpion Clan, because they gifted him with their original manuscript of the Book of Sun Tao. [3]

Marriage Edit

At the age of 32, Kage was invited to marry the Emperor's cousin, Hantei Arumihime, and it was said among the courts that if Hantei XXXVIII did not produce an heir before his death, Kage would assume the Throne. Five years later, the Emperor's son celebrated his second birthday, and shortly after Arumihime died of the plague. Kage was striken with grief, and he never remarried. [4]

Secret Plot Edit

Many believed that Kage never remarried because of the grief caused by his wife's passing, but that was merely what he wanted Rokugan to think. Kage was actually behind his wife's death when their marriage became a hindrance to the Kolat's goals. The marriage of Arumihime to Kage was a means of bringing a Kolat member to the throne. While Hantei XXXVIII was childless, marriage to Arumihime opened the chance for Kage to ascend to the Emerald Throne on the Emperor's death. Once the Hantei's heir survived past the requisite waiting period, marriage was no longer a benefit but a hindrance. The heir's direct line of inheritance removed any chance of ascending the throne and the marriage kept Kage under too much royal scrutiny to allow him to oversee the Kolat's goals. [5]

Serendipitously, an outbreak of the plague occurred at the same time that the heir was celebrating his 2nd birthday. Unfortunately, Arumihime contracted the disease at the same time. Kage demanded to remain at his wife's bedside despite the risk of contracting the plague, but Arumihime refused. She could not stand the thought of her beloved husband possibly catching the disease killing her and passing into Yomi before his time. She died alone and sequestered. Kage became the grief stricken husband, who was praised for his love for his wife, even risking the plague to be with her. His stature increased further in the eyes of all. The only cost, which was expensive, was the purchase and transport of a poison from the Burning Sands which had many symptoms reminiscent of the plague. With his unloved wife's death and Kage was free once more to pursue the Kolat's goals while being honored even further. [6]

Imperial Guardsman Edit

Kage was appointed as Imperial Guardsman under the command of Seppun Daiori, and was companion to Shiba Katsuda. Kage devised a plan to make a pawn of Daiori, who was the third in the line of the Seppun after his two elder brothers. The Seppun Daimyo was killed by a bandit attack, in which Kage simulated a counterattack to save his life, which never really happened. He used the death of Daiori's brother to blackmail him, locating witnesses who could testify that Daiori was at his brother's side at the time of his death, and the wound which killed him came from a closely placed knife. Daiori kept silence on Kage's betrayal and began to follow all his dictates. After the death of the second brother Daiori became the Seppun Daimyo and Kage's puppet. In the next years Kage surveyed carefully Daiori and sent him threats and commands to keep him under control. [7]

Eye on Toturi Edit

Kage and Toturi

Kage and Toturi

After his wife passed onto Yomi, Kage had begun to meditate and study the Tao, retreating to monasteries for periods of time. It was at one monastery that he learned of the presence of the Lion Clan Champion's first-born son - Akodo Toturi. After learning of the boy and his story, Kage took more time to visit and teach Toturi the basics of bushido and kenjutsu during ten years. When Kage was summoned back to the Akodo family lands, he asked the Champion for a once in a lifetime boon - for Toturi to be recalled so Kage could continue tutoring him. His boon was refused, even when the old champion died - and Akodo Arasou inherited, over Kage's protests. [8] In 1118 Kage had suggested Toturi to spend a summer in Unicorn lands. [9]

The Crane called him the "Gentle Lion", after Kage spent some time in the Crane lands to seek peace between Lion and Crane, which was not possible. [4]

In 1120 when Arasou died in combat against the Crane, [10] Toturi came back to Shiro Akodo, for the first time since his sixth birthday, becoming Lion Champion. [4]

Engineering the Doom of Hantei Edit

Kage believed that Toturi held the key to unseating the Emperor. By placing Toturi in the right place at the right time, Kage planned to engineer his dishonor, and as the last of his family line accomplishing the ancient prophecy. [11]

"When the last Akodo falls, so falls the last Hantei."
The Darkest Day [12]

Revered Sensei Edit

Akodo Kage

Revered Sensei Akodo Kage

Since his student Toturi had reached the Lion championship Kage was a renowned sensei, having taught many notable people including Ikoma Tsanuri, [13] or Shiba Tsukune. [14] [15]

Peace with the Unicorn Edit

Kage was instrumental in making peace with the Unicorn Clan after a border skirmish. Unicorn and Lion armies were seeking a group of bandits and the Lion crossed the border. The Lion Warden unit withdrew, but not before the Battle Maiden leader, Otaku Kamoko, died when rode off of a cliff. Since then the Shinjo considered him a man of great wisdom and presence. [4] In true Kage had been requested to kill the Battle Maiden leader by his kolat fellows within the Shinjo. Kage used his contacts to force Matsu Agetoki, the Warden's leader, to kill Kamoko. Kage earned quick honor in the Lion and had aided his fellows in the Unicorn Clan. [citation needed]

Hiroru's tutelage Edit

Hiroru had a complicated relationship with Kage. Kage noticed a young boy who had begun to play subtle, vicious pranks on his fellow samurai, pranks that went unnoticed by all except Kage. He met personally Hiroru at a martial arts tournament where sensei from the Seven Clans gathered to recruit students. The event was held near the Hall of Ancestors. When Hiroru won the competition for his age group, Kage asked the Matsu family daimyo for permission to train the boy, and she agreed readily. [16] Kage spent seven years training him as a kolat. Kage took great care to not reveal who he really worked for, instead couching the kolat philosophy in terms a Lion could accept. Hiroru completed several missions successfully, even though he had no idea whom he served. Kage ordered Hiroru to begin a romantic liasion with Doji Kuwanan's bethroded, Shiba Nosuriko, which resulted in the suicide of Norusiko the day before her wedding. Shocked, [17] Hiroru confronted Kage, striking at his sensei in anger for instructing him to do such a horrible thing. Though surprised by Hiroru's attack, he was no match for Kage and barely escaped with his life. [16]

Akodo name Edit

Akodo Kage 1

Kolat Master Akodo Kage

Following the Scorpion Coup in 1123, the Akodo family were disbanded for what the new Emperor Hantei XXXIX percieved to be a failure of duty to the recently assassinated Emperor. All but Kage were stripped of their name. [18] [19] Kage attempted to counsel the new Champion Matsu Tsuko, but the brash samurai-ko did not listen him. Toturi's old protégé Ikoma Tsanuri turned to Kage for advice, so Kage still had a link to the implacable Matsu family. [20] Kage lived at Shiro Akodo, the palace that kept its name after Kage begged for it to the Emperor. [21]

Clan War Edit

Uncovered by the Scorpion Edit

In 1126 the Scorpion Ronin Bayushi Tomaru had uncovered the kolat to his Lady, the Emperor's wife Bayushi Kachiko. He had learned of their existence while investigating near Morikage Toshi the disappearance of his beloved Usagi Tomoe. Kachiko contacted them in hopes of forging an alliance, but the Kolat were skeptical to ally with her. [22]

Plotting Against Toturi Edit

In 1127, when Toturi the Black was not allowed to cross the Beiden Pass by Unicorn forces, Kage assured Toturi that his army would be provided safe haven in Lion homeland. [23] The aid was a ruse, as Kage sought the destruction of Toturi's Army. Toturi attempted to move his forces through Lion territory to aid the Crane Clan. Because of his messages to Kage, Kachiko was fully aware of his position and movements. Every time Toturi made a maneuver, the Lion general Ikoma Tsanuri cut him off. [24]

Moving against the Crab Edit

Later in the year Kachiko informed Kage that the Crab planned to invade Otosan Uchi by sea. Kage informed Matsu Tsuko, who moved her armies out of Crane territory to the north where she could protect the capital. [24]

Supposed Death Edit

Kage 2

Kage

In Winter of 1127 Kage was found with a dagger through his heart in Shiro Akodo. [25] In truth Kage had only faked his death, having become tired of Kachiko's blackmail over his position within the Kolat. Kage fled to the Hidden Temple. [26]

Kolat Master Edit

Little known to those who so admired him, Kage was a member of the Kolat, and one of that sect's Ten Masters. The Masters had the trust of the Lion Daimyo, the might of the Unicorn Clan, and hundreds of other agents to do their bidding. [citation needed]

Rturning his Daisho Edit

Kage's daisho was kept at Shiro Shinjo, honored by the Unicorn. The blades were stolen in 1128 [27] and moved to the Hidden Temple, as Kage commanded. [citation needed]

Legacy of Disgrace Edit

Shortly before of the Second Day of Thunder, [28] in response to his "death", Kage was revealed to the Empire as a Master Kolat, to disgrace and dishonor his Clan. [29]

Second Day of Thunder Edit

In many ways, the goals of the Kolat were met when Kage's former pupil, Toturi, became Emperor Toturi I following the Second Day of Thunder.[citation needed]

Hidden Emperor Edit

Kage 3

Kage

In 1130 Toturi I announced a great festival for his second anniversary as Emperor, and important members of the Clans gathered into the Imperial City. Before the celebration began, a guard announced the disappearance of Toturi, and it was found a Scorpion silk scrap in his chambers. The Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Tsukune gave testimony that Bayushi Kachiko had been in the Emperor's chambers just one hour ago. Tsukune had led the guards through the secret passage beyond the Emperor's room and had found an Akodo Dagger in the hands of the dead Bayushi Tagumura, a minor Daimyo, who also held a piece of Toturi's cloak. Within the dagger's tang was found the name of its owner, Akodo Kage, who supposedly had died during the Clan War. Only a Lion could have this weapon, making the matter confuse. [30]

Mantis Invasion of the Phoenix Lands Edit

After Toturi I was kidnapped Kage held a kolat meeting in Otosan Uchi, engineering further manipulations of the Great Clans. The Lion Clan was marching toward the Crab Clan while Yoritomo was marching to the Imperial City. Kage thought to divert the Mantis by subtley suggesting he occupy Phoenix lands, giving free access to the empty Imperial Throne to a Kolat member. Shortly after the meeting Kage killed the kolat monk Taro, because he had became expendable. Taro had been followed by Doji Shizue to the meeting, and had hidden in the shadowsand listened in. Shizue had actually been lured there by Kage, who allowed her to hear what he wanted her to hear. [31]

Asahina Dorai Edit

Kage was the sensei of Asahina Dorai one of his most promising students. He taught him in mind communication but Kage felt the Asahina would not match the skills of Hiroru. [32] In 1132 Kage believed it was the time for Dorai to fake his death. First, he had to take a new master, who would be his supposed killer later. [33]

Madness of Toturi Edit

Kage 4

Kage

Kage gathered some of his most promising students to protect them from the Lying Darkness. Goju Adorai staged an ambush in Crane lands for the former Akodo, who was saved by Asahina Dorai. [34]

Kidnapping Shizue Edit

In a secret meeting at night of Hiroru and Ginawa with Doji Shizue, Kage and Dorai appeared. Kage had manipulated Shizue to be near his preferred student Hiroru. Kage used gaijin words to force Shizue, a Sleeper Agent, to stab two times Hiroru in the back. Kage lobbied to retrieve Hiroru again under his tutelage, to become his succesor. Ginawa did not allow it and managed to kill the second kolat, but Imperial Guards lead by Toku arrived in time to think Ginawa was a murderer. [35] Kage fled with Shizue, while Ginawa was apprehended by Toku for murder. [36]

Hidden Temple Edit

Kage came with Shizue to the Hidden Temple. Shizue had been tortured by the kolat when child, and "used" as a geisha by Kage himself. She was put under the control of Chinoko while the kolat masters were seeing the Assault on Otosan Uchi with the Oni's Eye. Kage knew that Hiroru had been traveled to the Valley of Shadows toward Volturnum, and he was confident to return him again into the kolat organization. [37]

Encounter with the Grey Crane Edit

Kage was faced by the Grey Crane, another man who also had faked his death. [38] The kolat had stolen the Tao of Shinsei, including the New Tao, and Toshimoko tried to recover the records, but was wounded. [39]

Tao of Shinsei Edit

Kage's plan was to protect the New Tao from the Shadow, that was destroying other important historical records, [40] as they had revised the writings, changing bits to suit it with the kolat philosophy, [41] but others disagreed. The New Tao was eventually stolen by a kolat agent and Goju Adorai sent his minions against the responsible, killing him and the scrolls he carried were presumed lost [42] when the ronin who carried it was hunted down by by the Lying Darkness and the scrolls were scattered across a cliff, falling toward the sea. [43] Half of the Tao had already been passed to the kolat monk Ikudaiu, who betrayed his masters and delivered the ramaining Tao to Daidoji Rekai. [44]

Dorai's Betrayal Edit

Dorai regreted the loss of half of the Tao. He decided to disobey his master Kage, and to give his life for the Empire, who was fighting the Shadows; for the Crane, aiding Rekai in her safely return with the other half of the Tao; and for the Ten Masters, to whom he would return after he fulfilled his duty. [45] Dorai came to a temple where Rekai was sheltered and destroyed with his magic the Goju who were attacking the Daidoji. [46] Kage had given the missing half of the Tao to the Crane Clan, expecting to spread the Kolat propaganda. Before her excution by the Shadow-possesed Emperor, Isawa Osugi had removed the Kolat teachings from the remaining half. By the time Kage realized that the Tao was to longer seeded with Kolat propaganda, too many copies had already been dlstributed. [47]

War of Shadow Edit

The kidnapped Doji Shizue encouraged Kage to fight the Lying Darkness. While the kolat stood by the Shadow turned Empire into a kingdom of ghosts. [48] Kage was in a unique position at the time the War Against Shadow broke out, as the Kolat had been aware of the Lying Darkness for some time. His crystal weapon stockpiles saved many lives during the following conflict.[citation needed]

Unleashing the Phoenix against the Shadow Edit

Kage saving Gensui

Kage saving Gensui

Kage saved the life of the Phoenix General Shiba Gensui. A minion of the Shadow killed a decoy of Gensui who had been dropped by the Kolat Master. [49] When the Mantis Invasion was halted, the kolat filled Gensui's pockets with Gold to raise an army and marched to Volturnum [50] [51]

Kage loses Hope Edit

In the War against the Shadow many kolat fellows had left Kage. Isawa Osugi died to save the Tao from the Shadow, and her name was cursed throughout the Empire. Hiroru had betrayed him. Dorai had disobeyed. Bayushi Aramasu had given up. Kaouta, Chinoko, and Kado had been hunted. Kage was almost alone in the Hidden Temple, with his prisoner Shizue. Kage lose all hope and had prepared orders to force a Phoenix in his command, to stand down and let the Shadow take the Imperial City, whilw he would watch the Empire fall. [52] Shizue encouraged Kage to fight the Lying Darkness, instead stood by as the Shadow turned Empire into a kingdom of ghosts. [53]

Attacked by the Shadows Edit

Kage was attacked by a Goju, who struck, unseen, and claws of shadow and blood tore into Kage's arm. With a shout, Kage parried, but it caught his hand and twisted the crystal knife to the ground. [54] Gathering her courage, Doji Shizue lifted the dagger and buried it deep into the Goju's thigh. [55] The Goju nighthaunt dropped Kage, howling in pain at the crystal thorn in its side. [56] Kage seized the knife and cut open the nighthaunts throat. As the creature fell, Kage saw blood pooling around his fallen captive. [57] Kage asked why the storyteller had aided him. Shizue, who had been mortally wounded smiled through tears, and talked about of the tales about honor that comes true. Kage knelt with her until death came, then scattered her ashes in the Doji seas. [58] Shizue prove to him that honor did indeed have value. [59]

Death Edit

The details of Kage's eventual demise remain a mystery. Some believe that he might still be alive and active as Master Tiger of the Kolat, though he would be in his nineties.[citation needed] During the Age of Conquest an area of the Colonies was named Kage's Rest in his honor. [60]

See also Edit

Kage Sensei

Kage Sensei

External Links Edit

References

  1. Way of the Lion, pp. 62-63
  2. Clan War: Lion Army Expansion, p. 34
  3. Way of the Wolf, p. 42 Sidebar
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Way of the Lion, p. 63
  5. Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, pp. 83, 87, 91 Sidebar
  6. Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 94
  7. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 107-108
  8. Way of the Lion, pp. 63-64
  9. Way of the Unicorn, p. 16
  10. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 17
  11. The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 85
  12. The Darkest Day (Anvil of Despair flavor)
  13. Way of the Lion, p. 68
  14. Clan Letter to the Phoenix #2 (Imperial Herald v1 #2)
  15. Way of the Phoenix, p. 84
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Legion of the Dead: The White Ninja
  17. The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, pp. 85-86
  18. Scorpion Clan Coup, Scrolls 1-3
  19. Way of the Wolf, p. 111
  20. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 77
  21. Game Master's Guide; 2nd Ed, p. 34
  22. Time of the Void, p. 9
  23. Clan Letter to the Toturi's Army #3 (Imperial Herald v1 #3)
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Story So Far: Forbidden Knowledge (Imperial Herald v1 #4)
  25. Shioda (Fire and Shadow Foil Chase Cards flavor)
  26. Time of the Void, p. 53
  27. Time of the Void, p. 99
  28. Clan Letter to Toturi's Army #4 (Imperial Herald v1 #4)
  29. Promo flyer (Anvil of Despair)
  30. The Exile of the Scorpion, Part I, by Ree Soesbee
  31. Rulebook Story (Hidden Emperor 5)
  32. The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 2, by Ree Soesbee
  33. The Storming of Morikage Castle, Part 3, by Ree Soesbee
  34. Hidden Emperor, p. 28
  35. Rulebook Story (Pearl), by Ree Soesbee
  36. Rulebook Story (Honor Bound), by Ree Soesbee
  37. Rulebook Story (Ambition's Debt)
  38. Ninja Tricks (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  39. Clan Letter to the Brotherhood of Shinsei #8 (Imperial Herald v3 #4)
  40. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 23
  41. Ikudai (Siege of Sleeping Mountain flavor)
  42. Hidden Emperor, p. 65
  43. Run four your Lives (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  44. Shadows, by Shawn Carman
  45. Clan Letter to the Crane (Imperial Herald v4 #2)
  46. Relief (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  47. Way of the Open Hand, p. 19
  48. Kingdom of Ghosts (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  49. Decoy (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  50. Kolat Assistance (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  51. Shiba Gensui (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  52. A Letter from Doji Shizue (Imperial Herald v4 #4)
  53. Kingdom of Ghosts (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  54. City of White Clouds (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  55. City of Loyalty (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  56. City of Tears (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  57. City of Living Flames (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  58. City of Empty Dreams (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  59. Legend of the Five Rings: Hidden Emperor Who's Who PDF, p. 18
  60. 2012 Kotei: The Age of Exploration



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