Katsuo is a tall, strong Hobgoblin dressed in a strange form of chain armor and wielding a large single edged sword. He stands nearly six and a half feet tall, and must be nearly 220 pounds. His skin color is a dark orange-brown, his eyes are yellow with dark spots and he displays a mane of black hair. He is dressed in spartan, utilitarian clothing; obviously designed for extensive traveling or warfare.
Katsuo was born 14 years ago in a Sessou Hobgoblin birthing farm, as is typical for his people. He was raised in a communal lodge until six years of age, when he entered his first barracks. Katsuo stood out early on as not only strong and fast, but also as a clever and dedicated Hobgoblin. He was the equal of almost all his barracks-kin in running, fighting, and other physical tasks. He was also particularly good at his historical studies and demonstrated a fondness for meditation. Katsuo demonstrated a strong passion for individual recognition in his youth. At one point another youth claimed credit for success in a mock field exercise. Katsuo felt slighted because he felt his strategy suggestion, an application of the historical Seven Lotus Flowers tactic, was key in the victory. He challenged the boy who claimed credit. In the resulting duel Katsuo wounded the older boy, removing one eye, but did not kill him. The instructors refused to let the duel continue, to this day Katsuo feels he would have been victorious if not for that interference.
Katsuo was selected at age 10 by Yuudai Osamu to attend his school. Yuudai’s school specializes in a very strange and ancient art; The Seven Swords. Katsuo’s primary teachings would be at the hands of Master Tanaka. Tanaka is renowned for his skill in one-on-one swordsmanship, and is rumored to know techniques that allow him to virtually stop time and to find an opponent’s most vulnerable point to attack. Tanaka may be selected for an Honor-Name at the next naming ceremony due to his heroism in putting down a small rebellion. In that action 3 years ago Tanaka led a force consisting of 4 other Masters, and 20 more experienced students to battle a force of over 200 rebels. Tanaka is recognized for single handedly defeating over 60 warriors, and the tales of the battle indicate at many times he would engage several at a time. A technique not widely reported as his expertise before that battle. Katsuo was present at the battle, but along with most of the younger students he was ordered to remain with Yuudai to defend the school if necessary. It was not necessary thanks to Tanaka’s furious heroism.
Katsuo is in what is expected to be his final year of apprenticeship to Tanaka. He has begun to learn the arts of swordsmanship well. He has also continued to pursue meditation and Tanaka has taught him that a clear and calm mind may be more important than any feat of physical strength. Katsuo has nonetheless improved his physical abilities as well, he is fast, strong, and believes himself ready to face whatever challenges may come. Katsuo’s meditations have led him to realize that he is young and impulsive, and that he must learn to control his emotions and his thirst for glory, however, at his young age he has not yet mastered this level of control. His Master has repeatedly agreed that the student is far too impulsive.
Weeks ago Tanaka summoned Katsuo to tea. During that tea ceremony Tanaka explained that he would be leaving the school and would not return for some time. Given the nature of his duties he would not be able to continue training students. Katsuo initially felt furious, he wanted to rise up and scream at his master. He wanted to question how such a betrayal to his student’s loyalty could be tolerated. Katsuo even raised his first finger, the first motion in an iajutsu strike he had been practicing; but, his self control held out.
Katsuo instead measured his words, and replied that he was very disappointed, but if his master was choosing to leave the school it must be for a very important reason. Tanaka displayed something Katsuo had never seen before, he smiled. Tanaka advised Katsuo that his young student demonstrated great restraint in his response and that he was obviously learning the last things he needed to in order to become a true warrior. Tanaka explained that among all his students, Katsuo was most certainly the most skilled with the sword and one of the most dedicated to learning the techniques. He said Katsuo was clever, strong and fast enough to face any of the other students, but that he lacked one aspect; understanding.
Tanaka left the school a few days later, taking only one student with him. Weeks ago Tanaka, along with a small mysterious group arrived in the strange city of Freeport. Katsuo studied the language on the ship, his natural ability, combined with dedication and hard work has allowed him to learn the language in a very short period of time. Katsuo still trains with Master Tanaka, but not as often. Tanaka has even assigned Katsuo to train with a strange Gaijin on some occasions. Katsuo has offered to assist his master in his mission in Freeport, but Tanaka has refused those requests and has never discussed why he is here. Tanaka has explained to his young student that he may not reach his true potential if he only serves the will of others. Tanaka has even made mysterious statements that he believes his student will find his own reasons for coming to this strange land. Somehow, this place is part of the final stages of Katsuo’s training.