The Lion Clan is the Right Hand of the Emperor, the defender of his lands and his person, although many times the Seppun family and the Imperial Legions are allowed to stand as poor substitutes (or so the Lion believe). The Lion are militant to a fault and possess the greatest army in the known world. They are feared for their prowess and respected for their unflinchingly honourable natures.
The Akodo Family: The lords of the Lion Clan, the Akodo are the unquestioned masters of battle throughout the Empire. It is said that no army led by an Akodo has ever known defeat, and while this is something of an exaggeration, it is not all that far from the truth. Akodo samurai tend to be calm and analytical, and often lack the fiery nature for which the Lion are so well known.
The Ikoma Family: The voice of the Lion Clan, the Ikoma speak on behalf of the Clan in court and in the annals of history. The family provides not only the majority of the clan’s courtiers, but virtually all of its historians and storytellers as well, studies that the Clan considers extremely important. For every stoic Lion who refuses to allow emotion to affect him, there is an Ikoma bard who weeps openly when he tells the samurai’s story to others.
The Kitsu Family: Quiet and reserved, the Kitsu are the most traditional and conservative, some might say old-fashioned, shugenja family in the Empire. Descended from the union of men and the ancient kitsu creatures that were driven nearly to extinction by the Lion during the dawn of the Empire, the Kitsu samurai possess a unique spirituality.
The Matsu Family: The Matsu are the largest family in the Empire, and they are the reason for the image many have of the vast legions of the Lion Clan. They are also the source of the tempestuous stereotype for the Lion, and it is largely correct; the Matsu are fiery in nature, quick to anger, and eager for battle at all times. They were founded by a female warrior, Matsu, and have a famous all-female military unit, the Lion’s Pride.
The Yoritomo Family: Recently the leader of the minor clan of the Mantis swore alligience to Akodo Toturi. Yoritomo and his followers have been formally adopted into the Lion Clan, and form the new family of the Yoritomo. This family is not currently available for players, but may become so in the future.
The Current Status of the Lion Clan
Military: High, Ranked first in the Empire.
The Right Hand of the Emperor is a title well deserved by the Lion. There are substantial Lion armies in each of their provinces. Diligent peasants work their land hard to supply the armies with enough grain and rice to feed the masses of soldiers. The Lion armies are the strongest in terms of arms and physical prowess, tactics and cunning. However the Phoenix have recently taught them a harsh lesson on warfare and the Lion are learning that lesson well. The addition of theYoritomo family to the Lion forces can only serve to strengthen the clan.
Politically: Low, Ranked sixth in the Empire.
The Ikoma work tirelessly on behalf of the Lion clan, extolling their virtues as well as their impressive victories. However the recent war with the Phoenix has left them at a political disadvantage. Though the Phoenix surrendered, the Lion did not win the war. The Phoenix have politically taken advantage of their recent surrender to the Lion, seeking sympathy from the courts of Rokugan, something that does not sit well with the high ranking Ikoma. The situation has become worse however. With the attack upon the Empress and the Heir as well as the death of the Emerald Champion in their midst, the Lion have taken a major loss within the courts. Even the Crab are scoring major victories over the Lion and a major change will be needed if things are to turn around.
Econimically: Low, Ranked sixth in the Empire.
Managing an army that effectively controls a third of Rokugan is an exhaustive effort for most clans. This is made more difficult due to the natural Lion distaste for economics. While control over the former provinces of the Ki-Rin has given the Lion a large surplus in wheat, the rest of the land is unsuitable for traditional rice growing and the Lion are yet to develop a suitable use for the sparse, open plains they control.
Akodo Family Daimyo and Lion Clan Champion – Akodo Toturi
To say that ‘only the heavens know what is to transpire for a man’ is an understatement when speaking of Akodo Toturi.,With his brother Akodo Arasou as Champion of the Lion, Toturi was content to study at a temple and considered joining the Brotherhood of Shinsei to devote his life to a higher understanding.
However things were not to be. In the war against the Crane, his brother, was captured and executd by the Daidoji Daimyo, Daidoji Yamato. This lead to Toturi ascending to the rank of Clan Champion, a role that he finds himself uncomfortable with. He harbours no ill will towards the Crane, however, having fostered himself to the Doji family in order to prevent war. Having trained with the Crane as part of his fostering, becoming fast friends with both Doji Hoturi and Doji Kuwanan, and travelling thoroughly throughout the Empire.
Having returned in the early part of 1119 from his fostering in order to reassert control of the clan after the disasterous battle against the Phoenix, he is guided by his former sensei, Akodo Kage. Together, they will see the Lion strengthen again and become the greatest clan in the Empire once more
Matsu Family Daimyo – Matsu Tsuko
To see Matsu Tsuko is to see the Lady Matsu reborn. Her ferocity and skill are unmatched and her devotion to the Lion Clan and the Matsu family is absolute. Trained from the age of ten she was to be the greatest of warriors of her age. However, the war against the Phoenix has reshaped her destiny for good.
On the day before the legions marched out, Matsu Tsuko earned the right to pass her gempukku early, achieving it with flying colours. She was to participate in a war against the pathetic Phoenix clan where the Lion army would outnumber the Phoenix by two to one.
And then it all fell apart. The assassins that swept into her parents tents managed to kill both her parents before she was able to eliminate the four of them with her bokken. Her fiancé was not so lucky and was killed where he slept. Not only this but the other Daimyo of the Lion were also slain leaving no one else of her rank left alive.
Valiantly, she addressed the Lion army and in her rage and fury, urged the Lion forward to slaughter the cowardly Phoenix. ‘If the Phoenix think that their cowardice can frighten us, then they have yet to understand the true strength of the Lion!’
Then her world burned before her. The Phoenix unleashed the terrible might of their Firestorm Legion. Torrents of rolling fire cascaded through the valley and burned the Lion to ashes. Of the 15,000 Lion soldiers that marched on the Phoenix, only 800 made it to the enemy lines, Tsuko included.
Tsuko slayed over 30 Phoenix herself before the Phoenix surrendered. At the realisation of their surrender she screamed with a primal vengeance. Those that were with her, bent a knee and swore that they would avenge their dead on the murdering Phoenix, that they would pay for their cowardly ways and that they would see the Phoenix burned to the ground.
Were it not for the death of the Emperor and the return of the Clan Champion, Akodo Toturi, a man Tsuko despises as being weaker than his brother, she would have already begun her path of revenge. Even now she waits for soon she will avenge her parents and the Phoenix will pay for their transgretion.
Ikoma Family Daimyo and Kitsu Family Daimyo – Currently young heirs to the roles have been nominated, but these two individuals have yet to pass their gempukku.
What is arguably a tragedy for the Lion is the loss of two of their most experienced daimyos at the hands of the Phoenix assassins. They and their families were slaughtered while they slept. Unlike the valiant efforts of Matsu Tsuko, the Phoenix found their Ikoma targets and executed them. Now a search goes out through these families to search for suitable replacements. Time will tell for the fortunes of these two valiant and important families
Revered Clan Sensei – Akodo Kage
Wise, peaceful, patient and stern. Akodo Kage, revered sensei of the Lion clans Akodo Bushi School, is all of them. Having the distinction of being related to the Emperor thorugh marriage, he is one of the greatest and sadly one of the few surviving advisers of the Lion Clan. His tactical prowess is legendary as is his Go playing skills. Yet what makes him honoured throuh out the lands has been his dedication to peace. It was his idea to young Toturi, to be fostered out to the Crane after the demise of his brother and through this a peace between the long time enemies has come to pass. WIth the Lion in difficult standings thanks to the Phoenix, it will be through his guidence that the Lion are corrected.