Shuhōken Families

Kakusei

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Bonus Attribute: +1 Reflexes

Though theoretically the lords of the Shuhōken, those who bear the name Kakusei are neither a true Family, nor are they descended from their divine namesake, for the Clear-Eyed Lord of the Mountain never married nor sired children. Rather, those who bear his name are the adherents of the monastic brotherhood he founded, the Illuminated Order. Though granted a family name and the status warranted a samurai by membership in the order, Illuminated Monks are drawn from many walks of life, whether Shuhōken retainers, samurai of another clan, or even former peasants.

Due to their varied origins, there is little uniformity of appearance among the Kakusei, with one notable exception: every member of the Illuminated Order bears at least one tattoo of mystical significance and perhaps even spiritual power, with many displaying a great number of such. These tattoos are as varied as the Kakusei themselves, ranging from bright and colorful to somber and understated, from small and simple, to sprawling and intricate. The longer a person has been in the Order, the more tattoos they seem to acquire, though some never gain more than handful. These tattoos are always prominently displayed, and as a consequence the Kakusei often wear much less than is customary elsewhere in the Empire.

In temperament, the Kakusei seem very odd in comparison with the rest of the Empire. They tend to be enigmatic and whimsical, speaking little and observing much. Many of them tend towards asceticism, rejecting material trappings and worldly attachment, but it is far from a rule among them, and some few do concern themselves with mortal affairs beyond their mountain homes.

Though the Master of the Illuminated Order is the ultimate authority within the Clan, in practical terms that authority is seldom exercised, and the day-to-day operations of the Clan are most often left to the Hirin.

Hirin

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Bonus Attribute: +1 Agility

The Hirin are the most numerous of the Shuhōken Families, and the ones most commonly seen abroad in the Empire. They serve their clan primarily as warriors, renowned for their unique style of swordsmanship. They also administrate to much of their clan's lands due to the seclusion of their masters, the Kakusei. Physically, they tend to be rugged and raw-boned, with broad cheeks and square jaws. Hirin are predominantly left-handed, but it is not uncommon for one to be ambidextrous. Like the Kakusei, they are often tattooed, though to a lesser extent, and they do not display their tattoos as openly, dressing slightly more conservatively. Unlike the Kakusei, these tattoos are often of more personal than mystical significance.

In demeanor, the Hirin are often direct of action and abstruse of speech, commonly making use of poetic metaphor and allusion in conversation. Despite their sometimes circuitous words, however, they tend to be highly practical and grounded, particularly in comparison with others of their clan.

Reitakibi

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Bonus Attribute: +1 Awareness

The Reitakibi serve their clan most often as diplomats and magistrates, and are among the finest investigators in Empire. They tend to be tall and thin physically, with bright eyes and narrow noses. The Reitakibi, like others of their Clan, are often tattooed, but very rarely extensively, and seldom in places easily or commonly displayed.

Reitakibi are often distant in temperament. They are highly observant and often patient, and they tend to have a strong understanding of the law, though their traditional views on investigation and enforcement are typically unconventional. Despite their unorthodox attitude in this one regard, they are by far the most traditional of the Families of the Shuhōken, adhering to standards of dress and etiquette that the other Families of the Clan do not.

Midokaji

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Bonus Attribute: +1 Willpower

The Midokaji serve their clan most often as warrior-priests, smiths, and alchemists, practicing magical arts centered on understanding and transforming the elements as they are found in the natural world, rather than in the realm of the spirit. Physically, they are often sturdy of frame, with deft hands and high brows over wide eyes. The Midokaji are often tattooed to the same extent as the Hirin, but these pieces are typically of more religious significance, are often displayed ceremonially, as a part of their role as onmyoji, and covered when not appropriate to the given moment or rite.

They tend to hold themselves very still when not in purposeful motion, and are meditative and silent much of the time. Company can sometimes make them dour, for many Midokaji prefer solitude and contemplation, which their isolated homes reflect, but among friends they become much more open and direct.

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