Between Crimson Skies
A Servant of Two Masters
A girl of no more than twenty-two, Ikoma Tsanuri is in the prime of her life. She carries herself with dignity and respect, bearing little of her childish awkwardness which she was known for when she left the lands of the Ikoma. She wears her jet-black hair cut short, framing her face and her somewhat severe features. Though she walks like a warrior, she has the keen, intellectual eyes of a scholar, betraying the duality of her teachers: [[:Akodo Toturi]] and [[:Matsu Tsuko]].
Ikoma Tsanuri was born under highly auspicious circumstances – she was born on New Year’s Day, and a crow landed on her crib and cawed when she took her first breath. Later, her family learnt of a leper who had been cured of his disease, and they rejoiced, for she was surely destined to become great.
Even at an early age, shugenja watched and waited for some sign from the child, and they marvelled at how quickly she learned. Kitsu Agunori suggested that she be allowed to choose her own destiny, so on her fourth birthday, she was placed before three objects – a fan, representing the courtier, a mempo, representing the samurai, and a scroll, representing the shugenja, and whichever item she chose would be the path she followed. Tsanuri spent some time looking at all three items, then she looked to the throne of the Lion, then to the daimyo of the Lion Clan. Finally, she stood up, and walked past the three items, past the throne, and past the daimyo, to stand before the man standing in the shadows – Akodo Toturi. She took his hand and turned to face her parents with a smile on her face.
Her mother and father were outraged, even going as far as accusing Kitsu Agunori to be a spy from the Scorpion Clan, sent to dishonor the family. Agunori responded with “If I had a sword, I would make you pay for those words,” leading Tsanuri’s father to toss him his own katana. It was then that Tsanuri stepped forward, still clutching Toturi’s hand, and returned her father’s blade to him. Her father in turn, gave Tsanuri over to Toturi’s care, saying that he was her father now, for “her true father has failed her”. That night, he fell upon his own sword.
Tsanuri left the Lion lands with Toturi and went to live with him in the monastery for ten years. Whilst there, Akodo Kage taught her kenjutsu and kyujutsu.
At the age of 15, some of the monks in the temple began to question Tsanuri’s presence among them, but, by coincidence, Akodo Arasou was killed at that time, leading to Akodo Toturi being called back to the Lion Clan lands to serve as the Akodo daimyo.
Since her return to the lands of her birth, she has spent nearly all of her time in the lands of the Matsu, learning the arts of swordsmanship and bushido from Matsu Tsuko herself. The close relationship the two women have shared has turned Tsanuri into a valuable asset both politcally and militarily.
As the tensions in the Lion lands build, it remains to be seen which side she will chose.