Zou Tso Zongtang

Deep within seldomly traveled waters lies a chain of islands forming a nation. Across the half dozen islands of this nation are many feudal Lords controlling their respective states. Though the cultures of these states are quite similar, they are often engaged in conflict with one another; gaining and losing lands, proving superiority, subjugating new citizens, and pursuing countless other objectives. This climate of battle over centuries forged many small, but strong military forces. The most elite soldiers across the islands in all separate states are no doubt the tremendous Samurai.

Almost every Lord controls a legion of fiercely loyal Samurai. One Lord was served by a Samurai named Zou Tso. Tso was born to nobles and, like most Samurai, his father before him was a warrior of this elite order. Zou Tso displayed unrivaled ability in the area of strategic battle planning. Tso quickly climbed the ranks of his state’s military and was, at the age of 33, assigned as High General by his Lord. At this time Tso’s son, Zongtang, was just a young boy but was already beginning his training in the ways of the Samurai.

Zou Zongtang grew to bring honor to his renowned father by being more than capable in all the disciplines of the Samurai. From calligraphy, to etiquette, to combat, and the all important adherence to Bushido; the Samurai’s sacred doctrine of conduct. By the time Zongtang had reached the age of 22 he was being considered for a promotion among the ranks of Samurai to a position of more prominence. Before he would decide to accept a promotion Zongtang felt it prudent to consult his father.

“My son” began Tso. “You have never dishonored me and I feel you are almost beyond my ability to guide you. Were you to receive this promotion it would bring great honor to you and indeed the house of Zou. However, I fear to see you follow the same path as I have. There is no greater honor for a Samurai than to well serve his Lord and I have no regrets in the decisions I have made in my life, but I don’t know if the life I’ve lived is the life I wish to see for you. I, myself, would have liked to see more of the world. I know there is a great deal beyond our island, but it is a world I will never know beyond the short writings I have found in our libraries. I know that you would bring great honor to the name Zou here, but I would wish you could spread our name to further reaches so that others might know our honor.”

Zongtang contemplated this. He had never considered venturing forth from their island. However, if this is what his revered father wished, it is what Zongtang would do. The only authority higher than Tso, in both the family and the state, was the Lord. And Zongtang had no orders yet from the Lord. “As you wish father.” he began. “I will carry your name to the lands beyond the sea and with the honor of the Zou house I will face trials no Zou has yet to experience.”

Tso smiled back at his son. “It pleases me greatly to hear this” he said. “I would like you to return to me when you can bring me reports of your experiences.” “I will do so father.” promised Zongtang. It was only a few days later that Zongtang took leave of the state by his Lord’s permission. As Zongtang is experiencing this new world in the name of his father he introduces himself as Zou Tso to most of the people he meets. Zou “Tso” Zongtang has now been questing in the lands of Faerune for 2 years.

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