A family from the far Eastern lands of Wushanko, House Hiroto is a renowned family for its warriors. Bound by honour and duty, a Hiroto's blade sworn is said to be among one of the most binding pacts made in the East. They follow a traditional Eastern name system, with the Surname before the given name.
The symbol used by the Hiroto, the Fenghuang, is called a Kamon. Kamon, or Mon, are the equivalent of European Ancestral Heraldry. Orange, Red, and Gold versions of their Mon are used repeatedly across the fabric of the family, to denote their status.
Most Hiroto are short by average standards of humanity, between 5'3 and 5'7. However, they are average height for people from the Eastern Lands. They all carry dark brown eyes, and black hair that grays with age. Facial hair grows slow for them. House Hiroto is a skinny, nimble family. They fight best inside Lamellar or traditional Samurai armour, though some have proven to be able to use tight-fitting armour similar to the Death Lotus Assassin's garb well.
House Hiroto makes their living as a noble family. The few people who work under them supply them with all they need, requiring the Nobility to simply manage the work completed. They train from a young, mouldable age to either fight, or be a presentable Geisha; naturally depending on their gender.
House Hiroto makes use of Wushankii Nobility armour in almost all activities. Their armour and blades are more of an extension of themselves than tools, and are treated with both awe and fear.
Made of metal plates and leather, Samurai armour is designed to be used for speed and protection both. It is typically very plain, the helmet being the most ornamented piece of the whole set. The entire armour set weighs in at about 50 pounds.
The helmet is a key part to the warrior's intimidation. The crests on it make the wearer appear to have horns, while the mask itself obscures the face to give a mystical, and intimidating, appearance. The armour itself is highly resistant to slashing attacks, while also able to knock away arrows with ease. Crushing attacks and stabbing are best to harm the wearer.
A sharp sword, House Hiroto's Katana are all four feet of steel, the soul of the blade bearing a flame design. The family uses these swords as a badge of office, only the warriors of the family are allowed Katana.
House Hiroto is known to sacrifice various animals to a local sea serpent. This serpent is massive, but in turn protects the island that the family lives on. Over the years, this has become quite theatrical and religious to the people of the island. They do not worship this being as a Deity, but solely as a protector. It's power when near the shore supposedly repels the Demons known as Oni, and helps protect and serve the Hiroto's Naval Fleet.
In addition, there is a belief in five elements permeating into the Hiroto Culture, similar to their allies the Renderra. In Hiroto Culture, Fire, Water, Earth, and Wood rise as the elements, with the Void, nothingness, making the fifth. Fire is associated with the South, Water with the North, Earth with the West, and Wood with the East. Between them all, when no element is physically present is the Void. The Void is not worshiped, it is feared. To protect their populace from the Oni supposedly tied to the Void, it is encouraged to learn about the Four Elements and embrace at least one into your life. For the Hiroto, this happens to be their Sea Serpent.
House Hiroto is a relatively new Noble House to the Far East. They started as two brothers, Hiroto Yami and Hiroto Hikari, crafted excellent weaponry for themselves. Yami's Katana and Hikari's Yumi bow are treated with ancestral respect, for they were the weapons that slew their oppresssing Samurai in the year 1850 of the Fourth Age.
The two brothers, for both their military leadership and charismatic skill, were hailed as the new lords by the townspeople. The Shogun above them approved, secretly planning to slay the Samurai to obtain a nearby mine of silver. With the Hiroto brothers managing to do it for him, the Shogun simply took it as payment for his warrior's life, then forgave them.
As the elder brother, Yami went missing at sea childless, the title of Samurai passed on to Hiroto Hikari. Hikari had three children, Sennin, Zedaki, and Shinto. When Hikari died of old age, he passed his title to Sennin, the eldest.
Sennin took up the mantle, and with his father's death and uncle's disapearance, the townsfolk grew uneasy. They were unsure of this new leader, and immediately attempts were made upon his life by hired assassins, from the Kutabaru Guild. The Kutabaru Assassins tried three times to kill Sennin, but each time they failed to kill him. Sennin soon grew older and weary of fighting the assassins, learning a powerful wind spell from a sea witch named Miyako Ranchi. With this spell, Sennin slew an assaulting assassin, torturing the other to learn the blacksmith had employed them.
Sennin was enraged, slaying the Assassin and ordering the blacksmith to smelt a Katana cooled in the Kutabaru's blood. When the Smith finished, Sennin slew the man with his own work, none questioning his right to rule after. The Kutabaru, however, persisted to assault the Hiroto, eventually slaying Sennin in his sleep.
Taking Sennin's spot was Hiroto Roshi, his eldest son. Roshi had three children, Hiroto Jirou and Hiroto Haru with his wife, and a girl with Miyako Ranchi named Aoi. Roshi was very displeased with the Kutabaru, rallying the townspeople to support him. A well-liked ruler, Roshi was known to feed the poor, and fire coins from his cannons. They gladly supported him, taking up his spears to fight the Kutabaru, eradicating them from the Hiroto lands.
The Modern Years
Roshi was eventually killed by his son Haru, who successfully blamed Jirou of working with the Kutabaru Assassins to overthrow their father. The townsfolk were outraged, Jirou escaping only when the Death Lotus assassins recruited him for this dangerous, yet skillful kill he didn't even commit.
Jirou was certainly skilled with his work. He eventually reached Master rank of the Death Lotus, before his final task. He was to kill his brother. Jirou ran through his ancestral grounds, but found a knife in his knee tendon. Unable to run, he not only did not finish the contract, but was also forcibly retired from the Death Lotus. With nothing else to do, Jirou went West, posing as a Hibatchi chef.
Eventually, Jirou met Nathan Renderra, who gladly helped the former assassin by arming him, and finding him a way to repair his leg. The two worked together, before Jirou pledged his blade as a Samurai to the Renderra in exchange for reclaiming his noble house.
A powerful melee weapon, Yami's Katana measures three and a half feet in
length, of flexible steel and brittle iron alloyed together in the traditional method. Otherwise, the blade is noticeably plain. The sword itself is a symbol of wealth, though the lack of ornamentation directly implies the person purchasing it was fairly poor by Samurai standards. As a result, it more resembles a Ronin's sword than an ornate, Shogun blade.
Notably, the "soul" of the blade along where the hardening occurs left a fiery pattern to draw upon the sigil of House Hiroto in spirit. This has been considered proof enough among the people to say the blade was originally commissioned by Hiroto Yami, rather than stolen from another House.
Notable Family Members
- Hiroto Jirou - The exiled brother of Haru, seeking to reclaim his titles. Exiled to secure the throne by his brother, Jirou forced himself to join the Death Lotus Assassins to escape, eventually leaving West. When he returned, Jirou overthrew Haru and established himself as ruler, pledging swords to the Renderra as thanks.
- Hiroto Haru - A horrible schemer oppressing his people to maintain order after usurping his father. Is believed to be resposible for a change bringing about a Demonic invasion. Converted to Saradominism as a result of the Order of the Crown Archival, and ultimately abandoned the principles of local pagan traditions that repelled demons.
- "Uncle" - One of Sennin's children, and the brother of Roshi, as well as the Uncle to Haru and Jirou. A very talented Ritual Mage, and former Onmyoji, or Court Mage. It is not known which brother it is, but it is known that "Uncle" is very wise, regardless of his apparent insanity.