A vassal to the Mori. Their leader is the Master Helmsman Spires and also includes the Master of Etherics and Master of the Vox effectively making it a clan of bridge officers, auspex operators, and in charge of the air-waves.
The Kobayakawa began their life as a splinter-clan to the Mori, and were created to ease the burden of responsibility on the ageing Mori Clan's Master at that time. As he had not yet named a successor to his position, it was assumed that one of his two twin sons would be selected to replace him. Unfortunately the Mori Master died on the operating table during rejuvenation surgery, and left no clear indication which son was the rightful inheritor of his position. It was wisely suggested at the time by the Rogue Trader himself, that in order to prevent a civil war within the Mori, he would grant full clan status to the splinter group, and each son could become master of their respective houses. It was thus that the Kobayakawa clan was born, and named after the son who inherited it. Due to the formal and controlled nature of the split, both brother's remained close, and the clans became intertwined as time went on. It was always the Rogue Trader's intention to reform the two clans into one, but the two son's had children (and thus inheritors) of their own, and the opportunity to unite both clans under one rule never presented itself within the remainder of the Rogue Trader's career.
Due to it's relatively small size the Kobayakawa were originally one of the healthiest and wealthiest clans, enjoying great favour with the higher ranking members of the crew, due to their almost exclusive presence on the bridge. This relationship has been forged and nurtured over the relatively short life of the clan, as it is only now nearing its 2400th year.
Unfortunately recent events in the past 200 years have left the clan with a horrid burden which they bear with as much dignity as possible, but see it as a betrayal by the Hojo clan. The event occurred during a naval battle, which left much of the auspex equipment on the bridge heavily damaged due to a massive feedback surge, as the foe scored a direct hit on the sensory arrays outside. The Rogue Trader of the time tasked with Hojo clan with the repair of the systems, who seized the opportunity to work on such important machinery. The secondary auspex systems were brought out of storage, and hundreds of components salvaged from the considerably older machinery in order to complete the repairs as quickly as possible. The auspex centre was moved to an adjoining chamber to the bridge, so as to allow the bridge to function while the work was carried out. With the auspex systems back online the Kobayakawa were briefly grateful to the Hojo for their fine work. It wasn't until the systems were turned on for the first time, and the auspex operators staggered from the room vomiting and convulsing, that the true extent of the Hojo's deception was made clear. The older components gave off vast amounts of radiation, and as they were now no longer contained within their original properly shielded shells, the radiation was free to bombard the Kobayakawa operators. The Kobayakawa were furious, as the machinery was now almost inoperable. The Hojo of course had specialists who could work in such environments, and were all too keen to offer to take over the position of Master of Etherics. Seeing through this deception, the Kobayakawa were now in a bind, they could not work the way they used to, but simultaneously could not relinquish to the Hojo's requests. It was finally decided that they would cope as best as possible without any outside help, and this in turn has played a large part in the way the clan looks today.
The Kobayakawa are primarily based on the bridge, however there are minor command outposts and Vox/Pod Repeater stations throughout the Yamato. These stations are vital for the delivery of written orders in pods via the mind-boggling array of pipes that allow the ship to function on a daily basis. In times of emergency the Vox system will be used by Master Spires, but due to the clan's religeous beliefs this would be frowned upon if used for casual information. All the essential parts of the ship that must be kept running at all times will have a representative of the Kobayakawa present, known as a Taishi (meaning Ambassador). This is in order to provide feedback to the bridge of events, and any message pods received by the bridge in this way can therefore be vetted or ignored altogether if the clan sees fit. The Taishi also have the honour of sounding the massive hydraulic gongs that mark the end of a shift. Staff must stop all their work and relinquish their position to the next shift before the reverberations of the mighty gong's have finished, ensuring a quick and efficient change of staff. It is not the position of the Kobayakawa to administer punishment or rebuke any slovenly work or disturbances, although they do keep notes and pass them on to the appropriate departments, sometimes the Rogue Trader himself if heretical activity or foul play is suspected. However, other clans can simply perform under-handed deeds out of sight of the Kobayakawa representatives, meaning that the Taishi are not particularly privvy to any secret information, but are simply an ever-present set of eyes and ears in the major areas of the ship.
As a relatively small clan, the Kobayakawa are perceived as little threat to the might of the Great Clans. This image is maintained by the Kobayakawa who keep themselves to themselves, and do not wish to pursue ship politics with too much intensity, as they are quite content with the niche they have established for themselves. As a vassal clan, the Kobayakawa are capable of requesting aid from the Mori clan, effectively combining their powers in rare times of need. As a clan with many eyes and ears about the ship, the Kobayakawa clan do not consider themselves spies, or privy to any secret information, but they do process a great deal of information and as such have a fuller picture of the ship than some other clans. Clans such as the Hattori are always appreciative of any valuable information, and the Kobayakawa are usually happy to provide this data, as it means the other clans will continue to fight amongst themselves. Recently however, as the Hattori have forged alliances with the Hojo, and the Kobayakawa are becoming more and more reluctant to share their information for fear that it will somehow also benefit their enemy. As mentioned above, the Kobayakawa have a strong dislike for the Hojo due to their attempts to steal away the position of Master of Etherics from the clan.
Lieutenant Migite (meaning Right-Hand) is the leader of the Sakebi and Master Spire's most trusted servant. He is a grim, well built but nimble man, with the pale and gaunt face of a Kobayakawa who has served his time in the Auspex Control. He has been on dozens of missions, normally of the covert nature; his squad is utalised to secure valuable objects or provide discreet protection for individuals, including the Rogue Trader himself. It is upon the shoulders of Migite that the security of the clan rests, and he oversees the installation of traps throughout Kobayakawa territory. He can normally be found on the bridge itself, quietly standing guard over the officers from the shadows, with two or three personally selected Sakebi. This provides safety and security for those on board the bridge. It should be noted that these men are well versed in warp-lore, and under strict instructions to execute any psykers on the bridge that begin to show excessively bizarre or potentially demonic behaviour. This includes the Navigator and Astropath themselves, upon whom Lieutenant Migite keeps an ever watchful eye, and it is only the Rogue Trader and Master Spires himself who have the authority to command them to step-down if they are performing this duty. These individuals are also privvy to an additional master over-ride code that Master Spires has requested be installed, that will allow them to lock down the bridge in the absence of any other superior officers during an emergency situation. This ensures that the bridge will remain secure in the event of a mutiny or infestation, as the martial law of the Sakebi will prevent any endangerment to the minor officers on board.
Wing Commander Hidarite (meaning Left-Hand) is in charge of the Kiahoo (meaning Deliverance), an unofficial fighter formation of the best pilots from each squadron who have formed under Master Spires, and receive their funding as if part of a Kobayakawa project. Following a training accident Hidarite's face was badly burnt, and horrible scars cover most of the right side of his body. He also has heightened reflexes and advanced interface abilites with his ship due to the large portion of his brain that has been replaced with bonics as a result of the same accident. The bionics have robbed him of most of his emotions, and as a result he is extremely cold and calculating in his actions. In the event that Master Spires cannot personally attend on a mission, the responsibility lies with Hidarite to ensure that it is successful.
Chief Operator Shikai (meaning Field Of Vision) is the longest serving member of Auspex Command, having endured a formidable number of hours within the horribly radiated room. He is extremely pale, entirely hairless, and he has the appearance of a 90 year old man with very flaky and dry skin. He also has no teeth of nails on his fingers or toes, and would be entirely blind were it not for the expensive bionics that have replaced his eyes. Despite all this, Shikai is very proud of his position, having worked his way up through the ranks of Auspex, and he thinks of his disabilities as a testament to his service rather than a punishment.
Director Kozeni (meaning Small Change) oversees the financial transactions of the clan, and generally occupies himself by arranging further ventures and business arrangements with the Ito clan. As Master Spires is not always available (and ultimately not personally interested, being of a 'coarser' background), it is Kozeni who manages affairs with all other clans, and effectively acts as the public face of the Kobayakawa. He is a cheerful and wise individual who is an excellent judge of character, and is one of the few members of the clan who is confident enough to speak to an outsider, in the interest of furthering the clans interests.
The Vox/Pod repeater stations are all quite secure and act as outposts in the territory of other clans, and have at least one member of the Sakebi present for protection. It is here that the Kobayakawa ply their trade as merchants and bankers, allowing them to put to use the vast budget they are allocated as a full clan with such few actual numbers. The cold expressionless stare of protective goggles and face-masks, coupled with their reluctance to speak makes the Kobayakawa superbly difficult to bargain with, ensuring all sales are quick impersonal transactions without favour. These roles frequently see the clan working on the behalf of the Ito, who are viewed as aloof and feel they are above the bickering and bartering of selling to the other clans. In reality the Ito and their wares are shunned when they sell directly, as the other clans believe them to be mistrustful and shifty conmen whose greed has got the better of them. The rough arrangement with the Kobayakawa therefore works in the favour of both clans, the Ito are able to sell their wares and remain the true financial powerhouse of the ship, and the Kobayakawa are able to give the illusion of wealth and power, which deters others from attacking them.
As a sickly clan with no real enemies that are in outright war with them, the Kobayakawa have spent their time and resources training a highly skilled few, who make up an elite strike force (shown below) known as the Sakebi (meaning Shout). These individuals are usually spared the weakening experience of working in auspex control, but are fiercely loyal and insist on doing at least a few shifts in order to spare their comrades from the hardships, no matter how briefly. As a result of this minimal military presence, the corridors would appear bare and undefended, with a few frail individuals wandering the great halls. If watched closely however, it can be seen that these Kobayakawa do not walk on certain parts of the floor, take long and illogical routes from one place to another, or only open one half of a bulkhead door. This is due to the high number of sophisticated traps and other deterrents which were brought into use by Master Spires from his Deathworld background. This approach has greatly increased security, and on more than several occasions a Bengosha spy has been found electrocuted or crushed during routine annual inspections of corridors that the Kobayakawa do not normally use.
Also, as a pilot Drace frequently finds himself engaged in conversation with other fighter pilots in the mess hall (where he still insists on eating) or in passing in the corridors. He knows nearly all of them by name, and is held in high respect by them for leading fighter or bomber raids into combat, despite his officer status. As a result he has an unofficial authority within the pilot crew, and most new pilots are encouraged to join the Kobayakawa clan in order to work below Master Spires, who ensures that they receive more rations and a higher salary under his command.
As a strong follower of the Imperial Creed, the clan has a very straight-forward and structured approach to their beliefs. Mutation is not tolerated, and any suspected psykers or deviants are simply given longer shifts on auspex duty to significantly shorted their life-spans. The only variation to the Creed is the belief that the spoken word is particularly sacred, and is the song of the soul. As a result, a man should not wish to bare his soul to others as other malicious forces may be listening, and so the Kobayakawa usually communicate in elegantly written notes, and short clipped ghostly sentences in times of emergency. To outsiders this gives the clan a cold and distant appearance, but ensures that nothing is ever said in haste and all communication is regulated/controlled quite thoroughly as the notes are kept. This means the notes can be checked and collected by a superior if need be. It is therefore a sign of status on how many notes one carries, as a lowly servant will have less to say than a Class One Auspex Operator. In short, a devout member of the Kobayakawa clan will carry with him everything he has said that day, and if need be everything his underlings have said also. It is in fact only Master Spires himself who will openly engage other clans in verbal communication, as this is considered essential for his position and a sign of strong character that he can so openly and confidently allow his soul to sing in the presence of outsiders.
Over the recent years, the clan's religion has become intertwined with the problems encountered with the repaired auspex equipment. The use of rudimentary radiation suits and other safety measures has meant that the clan now rarely show any skin. As the radiation is so fierce, the use of lead-lined goggles and protective masks is absolutely essential, and their continual use has lead to the clan adopting the belief that they should never reveal their eyes or face to any outsiders. It is considered a sign of great respect by the clan to remove these items of clothing in the presence of a stranger. An example of a typical Kobayakawa Auspex Operator is shown below :