The Shadow Above
Tsuruchi Bounty Hunter
During the early days of the Tsuruchi family when they were known simply as the Wasp Clan, the vassals of Tsuruchi were well known for two things: their incredible skill at archery and their unwavering tenacity as bounty hunters. The clan was authorized by the Emerald Champion to hunt down fugitives from justice for a fee, and for many years the Wasp survived largely on the income generated by this practice. Although many samurai condemned this mercenary practice, no one could deny Tsuruchi prowess and few clan magistrates refused to employ them.
Since the Tsuruchi family joined the Mantis clan, its two iconic pursuits have separated somewhat, becoming distinct schools which young Tsuruchi may choose between depending on their aptitudes and preferences. The majority choose to pursue a career as soldiers and archers within the Mantis military (the Tsuruchi Archer School), but a select few continue the family’s original tradition by becoming members of the small but famed Tsuruchi Bounty Hunter School.
Members of the Tsuruchi Bounty Hunters are usually treated as clan magistrates within the Tsuruchi provinces and often within the Mantis Clan’s territory as a whole. The contract between Tsuruchi and the Emerald Champion still exists and thus the family can impart authority to a select number of students that is roughly equivalent to an Emerald Magistrate, at least insofar as the ability to apprehend known criminals. The Tsuruchi are extremly cautious in whom they trust such authority, however, since they are keenly aware the contract could be nullified if it is abused or misused.
Tsuruchi Bounty Hunters traverse the Empire in search of fugitives, those accused of crimes by superior authorities who have escaped the justice they deserve. Although they can technically only hunt those decried by an Imperial authority, the Tsuruchi also accept individual bounties from clans or families who wish their assistance. Bounties are usually a number of koku equal to the Insight Rank of the target. This fee is doubled if the target is a violent criminal or a shugenja, and may increase even further if special or unusual circumstances apply.