Even before the disappearance of the Emperor, there were many parts of the Empire that did not share in the prosperity that many lords were fortunate enough to experience. Tanaka Masakazu was born into such an area. In the northernmost part of the mainland, largely lacking in farmland or other natural resources, the land was nevertheless contested by two local lords who both had little, and wanted what the other had. Imperial displeasure could not stop the fighting; a visit from a magistrate would merely suppress the fighting until the magistrate's departure. Masakazu's was eight years old when his father died in the fighting, and ten when his mother died in yet another battle, at which point Masakazu entered the household of his uncle, Tanaka Takaya. It wasn't long after his coming of age at 15 that Masakazu was in his first battle. He entered it hoping to make his family proud. By the end of it, he was just trying his best to stay alive.
Over the next four years, the region continued to see increasingly violent, bloody battles. The feud finally ended in mutual loss. The enemy lord's castle was stormed, and the lord was put to the sword. At the same time, however, Masakazu's lord had lost all of his heirs, and was an old man. He managed to rule over the new land for just over a month before fever took him. Masakazu took advantage of the opportunity to become ronin, more than happy to be his own master.
Over the next twelve years, Masakazu wandered, fighting as a mercenary, sometimes working as a bounty hunter. The money has only grown better since His uncle managed to find a new lord; Masakzu still visits him from time to time, although they tend to argue over Masakazu's life choices.
Description: Masakazu bears the marks of war in the form of many small scars on his face and his body. His face can best be described as "fierce", with hard lines, a sharp nose, rigid jaw. A life of travel often means he spends less time on personal appearance than others, so his hair is often a touch unkempt, and his beard is often a touch ragged. A massive iron-studded club is secured to his back. His armor is the only piece of equipment that shows regular signs of care, having inherited it from his father; even with the numerous dents and scrapes of constant use, it is well polished, it's deep red color still showing.
Disposition: A scowl often appears on Masakazu's face, partially due to his cynical attitude towards the life of a samurai, and partially for show; most people prefer to hire an intimidating mercenary! He often waits, evaluating before speaking, observing before acting, although when he does act, he commits fully to his action. Underneath the rough exterior is a... rough interior. Rough, but fair. Despite his solitary wanderings, he enjoys being part of a group. To his companions, he is loyal, and will do his best to see not just himself, but also them through any battles. They will also discover that he has a sense of humor, often sarcastic. He also has great sympathies towards those who have fallen on exceptionally hard times, and will sometimes help them for free. Afterwards, he will implore them not to tell anyone; can't have his reputation ruined.