Lost: The Edge of Everything
Summer Daimyo, Military Historian
“Goodness, kindness — for samurai, these are decadent luxuries. Courage, loyalty. These are the measure of a soldier.”
Born in 1923, Peter Charles Forsythe left Worstershire for Oxford at 18 to study military history, and enlisted two years later as an interpreter for the No. 5 Commando.
Deployed to Madagascar, India, and Burma, his rise from lowly translator to First Lieutenant of the elite jungle fighters is a tale grand tale all on its own. And it’s what brought Forsythe to the attention of Dove-Eater Hachiman,
The Summer Daimyo speaks openly of his Durance. Forsythe was abducted amid an ambush his Keeper engineered, watching his men die as he was dragged away. It was Hachiman’s obsession to pit Changeling avatars for different cultures’ ways of war against one another, and Forsythe was chosen to replace the last slain Japanese Samurai.
His days were spent aping the rudiments of Japanese culture and politicking with his rival abductees, his nights spent leading his allies and subordinate hobgoblins in endless war.
On the eve of one battle, where Forsythe’s allies outnumbered his enemies, his alliance struck out away from the battlefield, fought their way through their own hobgoblin armies, and fled Hachiman’s demesne. Of course the Dove-Eater gave chase, and only Forsythe and one ally managed to make their way through the hedge into the streets of Kyoto in 1983.
The Japanese Courts were not welcoming to a Westerner with Samurai airs — it was they who gave him the derisive nickname Kurabaru, after writer James Clavell. So he went west, finished his doctorate in Japanese military history, and took a teaching position at San Jose State University.
Clavell kept aloof from matters of Court until November of 2001, when his own child was taken by the Others. Within a year he was the Summer King, and within another he had led his Court into Faerie itself and brought home his daughter and the head of Dove-Eater Hachiman.
Clavell is rightly honored throughout the courts of Northern California as a war-leader and politician, though he takes pains to uphold the seasonal cycle of rule. He styles himself Summer Daimyo, not King, and his court holds to a Japanese aesthetic out of respect.
Professor Clavell looks to his students like a shortish, gaunt fellow of sixty-something, with a keen eyes and a hooked, once-broken nose. His once-blonde hair is now very pale yellow, and he sports thick eyebrows and permanent stubble. He dresses in khakis, loafers, and button-down shirts, in case anyone ever forgets he’s a teacher. Of course his jacket elbows are patched.
Clavell’s chin, cheekbones, brow, and nose are all very sharp, the skin straining as if actual blades are poised to tear out at any minute. His hair spikes up and back like a Samurai from a painting, and his eyes are steel gray, as if paint has been scraped away to reveal the metal underneath. Instead of teeth, a single katana blade emerges from his upper and lower gums. More than anything, his mien looks painful.
When holding court, Clavell wears Edo-period-accurate kamishimo, the iconic Samurai ensemble of loose pants and sleeveless jacket under a formal kimono. If expecting trouble, he wears comfortable jeans, tabi shoes, and the No. 5 Commandos bomber jacket he’s had since World War 2. His daisho is never far from his side.