Lion Clan Politics

   Per request, here’s some information on the current leaders of the Lion Clan for the Legend of the Five Rings campaign.

   The Current Clan Champion is Ikoma Keisei. Keisei was something of a compromise. After his predecessor was killed in battle, there were numerous candidates – but a series of lethal duels, political intrigues, and family objections removed several possible champions and left the Lion Clan Council unable to agree on any of the obvious possibilities. Eventually somebody proposed Keisei – who was adequately skilled, popular with his troops, notable for getting along with everyone, and had no serious enemies.

   By that time being unobjectionable was probably the most important qualification that anyone could have. Of course, for the suspicious-minded, the height of manipulation strategies is to make everyone else believe that doing what you want is entirely their own idea – or at least the most profitable thing they could possibly be doing.

   Keisei is only 33, has been in office for fourteen months, and has notably seized a chance to slap a bandage over the perpetually-bleeding wound of Toshi Ranbo, settled a series of border disputes with the Dragon, and authorized a fair number of other settlements and agreements. Most of the more militaristic Lion clansmen are a bit disgruntled – especially over his conceding Toshi Ranbo to a Ronin and a Crane Child (Imperial directive or not) – but no such grumbling has yet survived one of his audiences.

   The Akodo Daimyo, Ogami, is 84, and has been in power since he was 48. Not unexpectedly, he’s notable for his considerable tactical skills, which extend to a considerable variety of games and activities. Unusually for a man of his age, he continues to practice with his sword and weapons on a daily basis, and is said to have lost little – if any – of his youthful skills. He is recently notable for having personally slain several demon-assassins and having survived the opening of one of the first of Fu Lengs little love-letters – although there were a number of other casualties in the radius of effect.

   The Ikoma Daimyo, Takaii, has been in office for almost five years at this point. He’s notable for his use of obscure minor techniques – of which he seems to know a considerable number – and his sponsorship of both an assortment of small schools and of the recovery of “lost” schools and techniques through historical research. He apparently that the contribution of versatility to strength is too often overlooked.

   The Kitsu Daimyo, So, is a rather extreme ascetic, and has mastered a variety of Monkish disciplines. He’s effective, extremely hard-working, keeps track of innumerable details in his head, has never been touched by even the slightest rumor of scandal, and isn’t especially popular, since he tends to insist that everyone within reach follow a similar regime of self-denial, obscure dietary rules, and exercise. Some years ago he revamped the chain of command among the Kitsu forces to emphasize small unit tactics rather than broad military actions – or the usual individual heroics. While he – admittedly – has few troops at his command, he personally trains a small core of them. No one is quite sure whether or not they appreciate it.

   The Matsu Daimyo, Gidayo, is notable for her straightforward destruction of whatever is put in front of her. While it may, in part, be due to stereotype, she’s still known as one of the empire’s major proponents of crushing military force. She provides most of the active opposition to the more conciliatory policies of Keisei. Since the fall of Toshi Ranbo – which had been under Matsu administration at the time – she has been making every effort to ensure that the Matsu forces are at a peak of readiness and has been expanding the Beastmaster school.