Imperial Chancellor & Adviser to the Emperor
As the Imperial Chancellor, the 2nd-most powerful political position within the Empire, Noburo moderates the Imperial Court and serves as the Emperor’s ambassador, expressing his interests when the Emperor cannot make a personal appearance. During other periods, Noburo acts as an adviser to the Emperor, assisting him with decisions.
Standing at 5’5" and 200 lbs., in his late 40’s or early 50’s, with a bald head, fleshy cheeks, and narrowed brown eyes, Tonbo Noboru does not cut a very imposing figure. He dresses often in fine clothing befit a member of the Imperial court, often favoring the Imperial colors and the Imperial chrysanthemum mon embroidered on the back and breast.
Due to his status as a eunuch, Noboru speaks with a higher-pitched voice than would be expected for a man his size. He is unfailingly polite, with a pleasant demeanor and often a thin smile.
A member of the Tonbo family of the Dragonfly clan, Noboru entered the Emperor’s service 23 years previously when the Emperor was still in his teens, having come widely recommended by a Crane daimyo in the wake of a diplomatic incident between the Lion and Crane clans. There, Noboru displayed extreme cunning as well as a political savviness with defusing situations. The appointment was backed by the Snake and Phoenix clans, which felt that as a member of a minor clan, Tonbo Noboru would not be beholden to any specific major clan with his loyalties.
It has been speculated that Noboru studied among the Dragon clan, and may have learned several monk or possibly shugenja techniques, as the Tonbo family are related to the Dragon clan by blood. It is whispered that this is why Noboru chose to be made a eunuch, in exchange for greater knowledge or magical skills. While at court it is rumored that he has some sort of magical powers (possibly of persuasion or divination), no evidence of such abilities have ever been observed; the less superstitious among the court believe that Noboru has actually cultivated a large network of loyal eyes-and-ears that report to him. However Noboru accomplishes his skills, his service has been invaluable to the Emperor, and often appears to rely heavily on Noboru’s advice and suggestions. Noboru is adept at maneuvering the court and setting the near-daily agendas, and has the Emperor’s full confidence to express his desires when the court is in session.
There are a number within the court who do not trust the eunuch, and find the Emperor’s reliance on him to be distressing, among them Otomo Shinichi, who fear that Noboru may have actually have set himself up to be the true power behind the throne of Azeshouri.
Thus far, Noboru has proven to be moderately approachable to the heroes of Valleyhaven, willing to answer some questions, and offering some advice regarding their interactions with the other courtiers.