Family of Hojo
Heroes of Might, Magic, and Song
No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
OverviewThe Hojo family is a lineage of heroes stretching far back to the first prominent great hero of the family, Saint Alexander Hojo, who ascended the name to prestige through his heroic actions and sacrifice during the First Great War. Since then, many great people have changed history bearing the name, forging all of Vabu on a path of self-liberation and salvation from the darkness. The Hojo lineage is known as a line of great heroes, adventurers, and scholars. Many legends, songs, and works of art have been made over the millennia about this one family. They exist in every great epic, every major culture, and have become synonymous with the word hero both literally and figuratively. To be born a Hojo is a great gift and honor, but also a burden and as a drive to meet the astonishing expectations of their name. Unlike some families who have a tight group dynamic and identity that only belongs to them and their inner group, the Hojo family line has captured and become part of the great cannon of vabuian history and legend. Therefor, the culture of Hojo belongs to everyone rather than a select few. Many have taken upon the name (through marriage, self-application, or earning like a title) without having been born into the family. This resulted in scandals revolving around the ownership and legitimacy of someone having this last name in a few high-profile cases. Like how the socio-cultural dynamic of families work in general in vabuian society, the Hojo family can be described as an blood-based, honor-based hybrid lineage; which means their actions determine the honor and reputation of the family. However unlike most families, one has to (in most cases) earn the right to have the name to be recognized as part of the family. This is different from most families on Vabu whose actions impact the overall honor of those who bear the name regardless of how they got the name or whether they deserve to be associated in the first place. This results in having a family that can only be, by virtue of these nuanced cultural rules, dishonored by the actions of someone who was up until that point, honorable and noble. In current history, there are several prominent members of this massive family that have survived long enough to influence recent history and the events of the Adventures of Zack The Great. These include Zack Hojo, Nate Uzu Hojo, and Edward Hojo.
StructureUnlike a traditional 'family of influence' where the eldest members have the most influence and the youngest the least (both inside and out), the power structure of the Hojo family can be best described as semi-decentralized. There are several prominent figures who act on behalf of the family by virtue of simply being a part of it's lineage of honor, but no one person speaks for the entirety of the Hojo family, for no one has or can ever have the level of honor required to speak for the interests of Vabu's greatest heroes, many of whom who have passed on. That being said within the family itself (or in cases of out-group conflict-of-interest) those who have accumulated the most glory through their actions has the most say in any given situation. However because the family is so far reaching, the most structure in which they have is their familial guild - The Guild of Hojo. It is through this in which they exert as a more formally recognized association.
EtymologyThe name 'Hojo' has no derivatives and is an invented word as a part of the family of root words gifted by Thoth when language was written into vabuian minds. It originally simply meant hero in the time of Alexander, but since then the name has actually transformed to mean Great Hero, even though the proper form for that would be Vaz'Hojo. The name has transformed into many other names deriving from them, mostly as new family names basically as inspirations and a way to live (unofficially) vicariously in the light of their honor. These include Hinjo, Hejo, and Hijo. Interestingly names of other things beside family lines are derived from the original meaning, such as Hajo, the Sword of Heroes.
InfluenceThe influence of the Hojo name cannot be understated. The name appears in many legends, stories, and historical events. From the Seven Year War, Night of Blood, to the First and Second Great War, to humbler stories and local legends of exploration, sacrifice, and service. The family has disproportionately affected global history, and their influence in history seems to grow with each passing chapter, both as its characters and its storytellers. The entire vabuian identity of honor, glory, the culture of heroism, and even the narrative of great people in history was built by the actions of this one particular family. The historian who kept history alive during the Great War, and the many who were inspired after chose this lens, and even before the significance of people-focused history had started to be influence by the tales of those who pushed from the Island of Creation into The Great Unknown. There is also the Guild of Hojo, an economic enterprise located in the Godester Empire capital of Kamika. There the guild influences the politics and commerce revolving around adventuring, militarization, and knighthood. They also have their own code, their own special social benefits, and even their own say in the governing of the country. Internationally this guild also has several forms of prestige that allows for more favorable deals with other guilds and companies.
Power and PrivilegeThe name itself is an honorable asset to a person, as it opens the door to opportunity through a form of glory-based privilege. In countries with honor-based laws, one can use their family's name as a legal defense, both criminal and civil. And in many places, the name works positively as a form of merit in applications to thing they wish to be a part of, adding to their overall worthyness. To be a Hojo is to be born with the birthright of glory and the right to attain one's own glory. It can be best described as a positive feedback loop. As Hojos make history they enable more people with that name to be allowed and given resources as well as opportunity to make history by being the best version of themselves (that fit the narrative) as possible. This is a thing with other great families too, but none more so than this particular family itself. In fact, it is the main reason people choose to marry Hojos and keep their name as their dominant last name versus making it their maiden or secondary last name. It allows them and their children to have as many opportunities and chances of a better life than they did.
Early HistoryMain Article: Thoth's Prophesy
The first of the Hojo line began in ancient times, back when the world was new and long before vabuians had stepped foot outside the Island of Creation. A Sterian by the name of Ian Malnus was spending the evening with his family, when he was visited by Thoth in the year 4450 BGW. Ian and his son were told he had a premonition through a glimpse in time that there was going to be a great catastrophe twenty two generations from then, and that about on the twenty third generation in his line his descendants would need to rise against the darkness. It was then he gave Ian the new last name of Hojo. From there two kinds of people rose from Ian, those who would make history and those who would record it. One line of Ian's family, the eldest son who went by the name Oran Hojo, went out to become the first adventurer. Inspired by the vision of Thoth, he went out to combat the darkness that was the wilderness that kept his people away from the Great Unknown. He popularized the idea of pushing into the wilderness and exploring, slaying monsters and keeping the peace against the savagery of nature. The other, Ian's youngest daughter Alexa, went on to record these accounts of new lands beyond the Great Unknown to learn from them. They followed Thoth who was a devout teacher of teaching, and a devout lover for the recorded, and the cataloged, for it was Thoth who gave the vabuians knowledge and gave them their love of writing. And so they did. They recorded the great epics and histories of vabuians as they marched onward to their unknown destiny. Adventurers turned into heroes of all kinds, leaders and protectors who served their communities. As knights and officers, as soldiers and as barons, as the mighty by the pen and the mighty by the blade.
Rise to GloryAs Thoth predicted, on the twenty third generation of the Hojo line -when the world was four millennia and a half years old- a great darkness and calamity befell the world. The beginning of the Great War was marked by the arrival of the Devilers during the Night of Blood, destroying everything and everyone on their merciless war march. Upon the port of Larga, people fled by boat to escape the onslaught. It was there as the Devilers breached the jungle's edge that Alexander, who had prepared himself for the fulfilling of Thoth's prophesy, confronted them and bought time for countless innocent lives to flee. The gods, who watched his sacrifice, stepped in with their armies and their own champions to help drive back the darkness, at least temporary. The gods and their angels praised the acts of Alexander, and the glory he attained through his sacrifice lifted his family's name to great heights as well as attain him the title of the first saint in history. From there the historian and brother of Alexander, Maximus Hojo, went on to keep the record of history alive as his cousins and siblings went out as adventurers to help tame the New World.
Golden Age of HojoThe world praised the Hojo family for Alexander's deeds, and further collective actions only further served to raise an solidify the Hojo name in lore and legend. Master Hojo, became the first Grand Knight in the world following Xin foretelling the Prophesy of Heroes, Olan Hojo who invented the first magi-tech automobile, and Yuri Hojo, who became the first vabuian astronaut in space. Most of the remembered contributions to the family name have been of adventure, service, or of might and power. This makes the Hojo line prominently remembered as a line of those who serve in the military, those who explore the wilderness and slay great beasts, and of great heroes who have helped to shield Vabu every step of the way. This reached a peak when Edward Hojo became the First Grand Knight of the Godesters, one of the highest and most noble ranking positions in any vabuian military.
The Fall and RiseSpoilers ahead!
When it was revealed to the world after the calamity of Paragon that Edward Hojo was indeed the invented falsehood of a Fallen Angel, the honored, revered, and fabled name of Hojo fell from grace in the public eye overnight. There was a great debate over if Paragon's dishonorable actions should even effect the name and honor of the Hojo family, and Zack was outwardly spoken in this regard, and rightfully so. He did not believe that the actions of one man who took the name dishonorably and appropriated it to build a false narrative to benefit their agenda, should effect those who were Hojo. While his status as Savior of Vabu should have had great weight on the conversation given his own honor, many opponents argued that Zack wasn't even a Hojo since his father wasn't. Eventually, several laws were passed in various countries as a result of this controversy. Changing one's last name was considered illegal unless there was a good reason such as for one's own protection, or if they had believed they earned the name to the degree it should supplant and replace their original birth last name. As for global politics around the honor of names, the majority came to the conclusion that Zack's own actions and his continued service to Vabu warranted his name. That the actions of one who had appropriated a name did not have the weight to dishonor it, and that within the Hojo line specifically that to be truly considered a Hojo (in the sense a part of it's legend), one has to earn the right through their actions and merit. Despite this, to this day there are many who believe as honorable as Zack is, that he is not, indeed, a Hojo.
Alexander HojoMain Article: Alexander Hojo
Alexander was born on the 7th of Mordum, 25 BGW. Because of the specific numerological implications of his birth, some believed to his birth to be a bad omen, as seven is bad luck in vabuian. Despite this he grew up a relatively normal life against superstitious expectations. As he approached adulthood, the weight of Thoth's prophesy started to bear upon on Alexander as he prepared himself for the same path his brothers and sisters had taken. This was the path of martial education and service to his people. Alexander served as part of the The Old Guard, a remnant of the Ster Nation and the first organized effort of defenders to protect It's citizens. Their mission, to protect from creatures of the night and other monsters. He served as his father did before and his father before him, and it was there where Alexander shined not with his swordsmanship, but with his magical ability. He had the ability to utilize non-elemental magic in ways thought only possible by elemental means. He could cast spells of pure magical walls, fire bolts and beams of raw magic, and throw targets around with invisible forces. This power would serve him well in the future as the time for the prophesy came. As Thoth predicted twenty five years after the birth of Alexander, the moon turned red and the Night of Blood occurred, the Devilers breaching into the Realm of Heroes starting the First Great War. When the Devilers emerged from the jungle and hit the edge of the city, Alexander was there on guard, ready to defend his people with his life as he always knew he would.
Zack HojoMain Article: Zack Hojo
Born to the First Grand Knight of the Godesters, Edward Hojo and his mother Galla Vale Hojo on the first of Julyia, 1143 AGW. Following in his father's footsteps of service to his people, he grew up in the small town of Happelton where he regularly made trips to Kamika for his training. He was graced from the finality of death by a group of mysterious scientists during the Raid of Happelton during the Second Great War. Originally set on the path of knighthood, he sacrificed everything in his quest to avenge his father from dying at the hands of Karzdack - his anti - and took that of an adventure who through circumstance and familiar honor was enabled to accomplish his goals thanks to the power of his god Xin and the steadfast and loyal family of friends, the Association of Zack The Great, who helped him every step of the way.
Nate UzuMain Article: Nate Uzu Hojo
A century into the Second Great War, a boy was born in the small town Ancientster town of Hoka to an uncertain father and Fanelle Uzu. Raised by his birth mom and his step father, he was expected to be nothing more than a farmer whose duty it was to raise the crops that would support the Ancientster military. That was until his town was attacked by unknown and dark assailants whose target was him and his mother. He sought to avenge his mother through the path of knighthood, and his uncertain past came to haunt him as he struggled with enemies both from the country he served and those who threatened, rising against all odds versus the darkness. His heroic actions to save his people not once but twice as a result of aiding his then-revealed half-brother Zack Hojo, caused him to earn the right to use the name Hojo. While able, he prefers to simply be refered to by his birth last name and feels he has done plenty to make it an honorable name. Despite this he is often refered to as Nate Uzu Hojo despite his protests.
Edward HojoMain Articles: Edward Hojo, Legend of Edward Hojo
According to legend, Edward was born from the long forgotten brother of the decedent of Alexander, John Doe Smith Hojo in Puretopia on Septembra 5th, 1074 AGW. They fled due to the fear of another 'Night of Blood' where the city would fall to the darkness again. Raised in the outskirts of Kamika, he was to live up to his family's name by eventually serving in the Godester military. Orphaned right as he was turning an adult, he disappeared in the surrounding forest to discover himself and his purpose. Years pass, and Edward would get his wish though a vision from Xin of his purpose. Determined, he showed up at the registration office and signed up with the stated purpose of proving himself and his devotion to Xin to be a Grand Knight. He quickly rose through the ranks through a combination of ability, merit, and honor due to his lineage. It was not long until he was knighted as the First Grand Knight of the Godesters, replacing Thomas Astaxin who had an untimely demise from a dishonorable assassin.
- The name Hojo was invented on the spot by the game's creator at around 2008. Not realizing due to lack of experience, that it was real historical and very prominent last name of Japanese origin. It is also likely that the name was subconsciously pulled from Final Fantasy VII, even though game's creator only ever played and had access to a demo version of the game.
- The idea of Hojo meaning hero and the entire idea of the lineage of heroes stems from when the game's creator wondered if the name existed in real life, and used a site that spat out positive, not entirely accurate name meanings. It returned the resulting meaning of "Great Hero", and it has stuck ever since.
- This was especially fitting since Zack The Great's name was originally just his title with no last name, and the last name seemed to echo that in a kind of prophetic way. This resulted in the idea of the Prophesy of Heroes which caused the entirety of the world's lore and history to click in a way that allowed it to be interconnected in a way that makes it feel full and alive. Every idea that was just a loose strand became meaningful as a result: the power of Hajo and why Zack was the only one able to wield it, the reason adventuring is a popular profession in a modern society, and why the main character had so much privilege in the first place.
"For Honor And Glory of All Generatons To Come"
Nate Uzu Hojo
- Political, Family
- Alternative Names
- Hojo Family, The Hojos, the Hojo Line
Night of Blood
Prophesy of Heroes
The motto of "For Honor And Glory of All Generatons To Come", relates to the Prophesy of Thoth and how the original purpose of the family was its role in what would become the Night of Blood and the First Great War. It also relates to, more relevantly, to the family's commitment to their community and specifically to the future vabuians of the world. Their actions have and continue to pave the way for a better and safer way of life for future generations, by taming the wilds and stopping the darkness. Family Crest
The Hojo family crest has evolved over time from being a simple design consisting of just a shield and the symbol of the Arc of the Covenant, to a complex coat of arms depicting their current identity. The crest was made by the Guild of Hojo, and while not every Hojo is a member, the crest has become the defacto 'official' crest for such a large family of culturally diverse individuals. The shield itself is what is known on Vabu as a merchant's shield, a shield with a tipped pointed bottom, broad sides, and a rounder but still geometric top that resembles a cut gemstone with a soft crown and prominent table split in half. It relates to the oldest known prominent historical accounts of Hojos who would go out and explore the wilderness as adventurers who would pave the way for enterprising individuals to go out and exploit the land. It also relates to the most common militaristic outfitting of Hojos, who would be hired to protect trade routes as they traveled to far away lands from Puretopia. The colored elements in the crest relate to the family in more abstract ways. The red in the design depicts divine power, or power given by Xin, which complements the wings. These relate nicely to the white which depicts purity and holiness and is a prominent color in Xinism. The focus on Xin stems from the Prophesy of Heroes in which Xin foretells of great heroes who would save Vabu, and a prominent savior who would lead them. With the focus on great heroes through history, the Hojos firmly believed that it was someone who would bear their name that was this leader of heroes, and rightfully so. The focus on the Prophesy of Heroes is why the sword Hajo is the most prominent and central element in the crest. It relates to the sword being made for the Prophesied and is a central focus on the narrative of the prophesy, as only the one who would lead the heroes could wield it. As a bonus, it doubles as a callback to some of the earliest crests using the Hero's Stone as part of it's major element, of which is a major element in the hilt of the blade. The gem itself is a symbol of Hojo since the gem and their family share the same vabuian name, as well s it being a powerful and empowering stone that can only be broken by the gods themselves, indicating strength from the divine. The orange in the design depicts raw power, more specifically relating to Ramagodden as Thoth gave the name in the first place in his prophesy, and is where the entire line began. This is why the flame itself is behind the shield, indicating it came before everything. The silver relates to industry (steel) and to wealth (silver metal). The gold also relates to wealth but also to, more importantly, glory. This relates to the glory and honor the family has earned through their collective actions and is indicated by the legends around them. Black has a more complicated meaning in the design, it is an uncommon choice for heraldry as black is normally means things that are uncooth or evil. However for most of the design, it is related to the Xinsters whom played a major role in the family as well as their meaning for the color. The color relates to loyalty and absolute, raw, uncorruptible power. Normally reserved for members of the military and nobility in that country, the color in this context has taken on the international meaning of divine power without the connotations of the right to rule based on said divine-given power. This is not true, however, of the crossed black blade against gold. That particular symbol resembles the fight against the darkness, the good (depicted in gold) versus evil (depicted in black), which is something the Hojos believe to be their purpose based on their purpose in the Prophesy of Thoth. Interestingly, the black is over the gold, giving off the meaning of it's dominance which would be unintended and improper in traditional vabuian heraldry. However some believe it to have been an artistic choice more for balance of the weight of the design and is a point of contention to this day.
For my people! For the gods! This is my stand!