Kaiu Sugimoto 
Kaiu Sugimoto 
Born: Unknown 
Spouse: Kaiu Rina,
Kasuga Mino 
Children: Kaiu Taikan, un-named son 
Titles: Keeper of Earth

Kaiu Sugimoto had not only led one, but three walks of life. He was a grizzled old man with a stiff right arm, always accompanied by a large crow, the same bird that had always accompanied Shinsei.

First Family Edit

He was married to Kaiu Rina in early life, and had a son with her Kaiu Taikan. In 1159 Rina died defending the Kaiu Wall. He had a younger cousin, Kaiu Tasuku. [1]

Station Edit

Sugimoto was an experienced soldier of the Hida dojo, who served on the Kaiu Wall for much of his life. [1]

Fall of Otosan Uchi Edit

After his wife's death Sugimoto had fallen into a dark depression. Hida Kuon had reassigned him in the Crab Embassy in Otosan Uchi. When Daigotsu mounted his attack on the Forbidden City in the Fall of Otosan Uchi, he defended the embassy. The fight left him with his son dead and his right arm crippled, making him useless for combat duty in the eyes of the Crab. [1]

Kaiu Tasuku Sensei Edit

Armorsmith Edit

Hida Kuon ordered him to serve as an armorsmith, a skill he had learned in his youth. He was apprenticed to his cousin Tasuku. Sugimoto made his own armor. [1]

Rosoku's Challenges Edit

It was his cousin and master who had the idea to meet Rosoku's Challenges of Enlightenment and planned to win the Trial of Earth for Hida Kisada. Knowing of a rare iron ore that could only be found in the lands of the Badger Clan, he had arranged that they were dispatched on a diplomatic mission there, and expected to exchange the ore for their aid. A jade vein in the Badger lands had collapsed, and they blamed the yobanjin of the Mountain Wind Tribe. [1]

Keeper of Earth Edit

Keeper of Earth

Keeper and Book of Earth

In 1166 they reached Shiro Ichiro. There Kasuga Mino, daughter of the Tortoise Clan Champion Kasuga Taigen, informed that the yobanjin had given her words that an oni, which matched with Hideo no Oni the monster that nearly destroy the Badger Clan in 1126, had been seen near the collapsed mine. Tasuku and Ichiro Jinzaburo planned the assault against the Mountain Wind, giving no credit to Mino. Sugimoto felt that the Yobanjin were innocent, and lobbied against the attack in the presence of the Badger Clan Champion, Ichiro Kihongo.

Resolution of the Challenge Edit

When his courage was called into question by his cousin, Sugimoto stamped his helmet upon the map table where the officers planned their strategy, insulting them for having forgotten their true duty. Attacking the Yobanjin tribe would have been the plan of the oni. The assembled officers realized the wisdom of Sugimoto's words and planned to find the oni. By using his own crafted helmet he had shattered the planned attack of one thousand warriors, Sugimoto had completed the challenge and proven he was Enlightened. He had become the Keeper of Earth. The oni was nowhere, and they supposed it fled after his plan did not come true. Sugimoto found in the ruined mine the Book of Earth. [1]

The smith who can craft a helmet strong enough to shatter one thousand blades shall keep the Book of Earth.

Second Marriage Edit

After he returned to Crab lands Hida Kuon commanded him to marry Kasuga Mino. [1]

The Keepers Edit

After joining with the Keepers, he has had many fierce debates with the Keeper of Fire, Kakita Tsuken. Earth was often stubborn and sticking to his point of view while Fire was always on the attack with new ideas, always looking at a problem from all angles. [3] Sugimoto was patient, strong-willed, disciplined, and stoic, and in his heart he championed principles of balance and purity. He had understood and accepted himself for who he was, a mental state called satori. [4]

Destiny of a Dragon Edit

Rosoku gathered the four existing Keepers, Mirumoto Masae, Jun'ai, Tsuken, and Sugimoto. He sent them to the Crab village of Takatsu Mura, to solve a problem there. They found the village had suffered a serie of murderers, and the local magistrate who investigated them, Hiruma Hitaken, was currently a madman in the wildernes. They found Hitaken and gave him focus enough to recall what had happened. They arrived to a near ruined monastery where two identical man where fighting each other, and gradually changing their shapes, one to an oni, and the another to a serpentine dragon. Hitaken who had been attacked by the oni had lost part of his soul, which drove him mad. The magistrate attacked the monster, as the only way to recover his sanity. The oni, Musaboru no Oni, and the dragon and Fortune of Vengeance, Yozo, destroyed each other. Yozo while dying told his tale to Hitaken. The Crab got a piece of both beings retake his sanity and became the "Heir of Vengeance". [3]

The Badger Edit

Sugimoto returned to Badger clan lands with the other Keepers to aid the Badger in ending the threat of Hideo no Oni. Hideo no Oni was successfully destroyed and the Badger were proven worthy of receiving the Emperor's Blessing to rebuild. Asahina Hira raised as the Keeper of Void. [5]

Rosoku's Legacy Edit

After the death of Rosoku at the hands of the Bloodspeaker Shukumei, the Imperial Legions were mobilized to find the last remnants of the cultists. Shortly after Asahina Sekawa, the Jade Champion, was proven to be enlightened, and became the Keeper of the Five Rings. Toturi III proclaimed him the Master of Enlightenment in a ceremony at Toshi Ranbo. [6] The Empire must find a new path, a path of hope. [7]

Heir of Rosoku Edit

The Quest Edit

In 1168 Sekawa had retrieved several scrolls from the Tomb of the Seven Thunders. They informed about an heir of Rosoku, a living descendant of Shinsei. Rosoku himself had left there before he returned to the Empire. The prophet foresaw his own demise, and planted the scrolls that would allow to reach his descendant. Sekawa sent the Keepers to find the boy. Tsuken and Jun'ai came to lion lands, a terriotry under the assault of the Khan's army. Hira and Sekawa were in the coastline, to reach Mantis islands. The heir of Rosoku, and of Shinsei, was out there. They must find him or her, or the Empire might not survive. [8]

Dragon Mountains Edit

Sugimoto and Masae reached the dragon mountains near a village where there were stories of a boy who the locals believed had some sort of special powers. The stories also said that he had been taken from his parents. The Keepers met the village's magistrate, Mirumoto Naoki. He had the look of a bureaucrat rather than a warrior, and the Keepers quickly knew he had been involved in the banishment of the child. After questioning the boy was found shackled in chains. Naoki was a wicked man that wished to use the boy's powers, if he had any, on his own benefit. The magistrate was forced to leave the village in the middle of the winter, with few chances to survive. [8]

Rosoku's son is found Edit

The heir of Rosoku was found far from anything of note, in a distant village several days' ride west of the Shinomen Mori, son from a peasant woman. [9]

Leaving the Empire Edit

Ten days after the Khan's assault on Toshi Ranbo in 1169, Sekawa and the other Keepers arrived at the city. While there Sekawa announced to the Protector of the Imperial City and Master of Void, Bayushi Norachai and Shiba Ningen, that he was retiring from the position of Jade Champion. Later the following day he announced to his Champion, Doji Domotai, that he was also stepping down from the position of Asahina Daimyo and Keeper of the Five Rings. He travelled north out of Rokugan, carrying the young child of Rosoku with him, to teach and protect the child so that in the future the Empire would have the guidance of Shinsei's line again. The Keepers remained in the Empire. [9]

Heir of the Tortoise Edit

In 1170 the couple bore a son, who became the first in line for leadership of the Tortoise Clan. [10]

See also Edit

Kaiu Sugimoto looking the Tower of Vines

Kaiu Sugimoto looking the Tower of Vines

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Keeper of Earth
1166 - ?
Succeeded by:
Daidoji Ebizo


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