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Why, I come to render assistance, naturally. I heard the sounds of battle from my ship and have come to aid two of my fellow nobles in defending themselves from this mysterious and untraceable ninja attack. Sadly, it is well-known among the general public that I am not much of a swordsman, so no one will be surprised that my efforts were in vain. Naturally, I intend to sustain a serious (but not life-threatening) injury in my heroic—if ultimately futile—effort to defend you. Make sure it's not on my face incidentally. My samurai will "drive away" the ninja, but not before the Kato bloodline is excised.
~ Kubota explaining his plan to have the Katos killed.

Daimyo Kubota is a major antagonist in the webcomic The Order of the Stick, serving as a supporting antagonist in War and XPs and one of the two main antagonists (alongside Bozzok) of Don't Split The Party. He is an Azurite aristocrat who takes advantage of Xykon's invasion to try and stage a coup.


War and XPs

After Azurite leader Lord Shojo is assassinated by Miko Miyazaki and his nephew Hinjo ascends the throne, Kubota and his fellow nobles are ordered to attend his strategy meeting to plan their response to Xykon's impending invasion. Kubota, more worried about his noble position than Azure City, asks why they don't just give him what he wants. Hinjo's bodyguard Roy Greenhilt berates Kubota and tells him that Xykon cannot be reasoned with, at which point Kubota announces that his troops will not participate in the battle and that he intends to evacuate as soon as possible, persuading the other nobles to do the same.

Kubota plans to dispose of Hinjo so that Azure City is conquered and he can re-capture it and take over. To this end, he pays off a prisoner released to fight in the battle to shoot Hinjo, and deploys two ninjas to kill him if that fails. However, the prisoner is killed by Belkar Bitterleaf and the ninjas are prevented from killing Hinjo when a duplicate of Xykon attacks them. Kubota can only watch from his ship as Hinjo escapes and leads the evacuation after Azure City falls, concluding that Roy and the Order of the Stick must have protected him. His minions Therkla and Qarr watch with him and promise that they will kill Hinjo and the accompanying Order members (Durkon, Vaarsuvius and Elan).

Don't Split The Party

Three months after the fall of Azure City, Kubota is still travelling with the fleet as Hinjo was unable to find enough evidence to charge him with treason. Kubota continues his attempts on Hinjo's life and entrusts the planning to Therkla, whose every plan consists of getting Qarr to charm monsters to attack the fleet so she can kill Hinjo while everyone is distracted. All of these plans fail because Therkla falls in love with Elan, now acting as Hinjo's bodyguard after Roy's death.

Kubota first appears in person in the arc arguing with Hinjo after he promotes two infantry soldiers, Daigo and Kazumi Kato, to the nobility. Kubota rants about how they lack the "refined behaviour" required in a noble, leading to an argument with Elan about the attempts on Hinjo's life during the battle. Kubota insists that the assassins were hired by someone else to frame him, before retreating back to his ship. Qarr then initiates yet another attack, this time by sea trolls, but Therkla once again fails to kill Hinjo and the attack is eventually repelled.

Therkla informs Kubota of her latest failure, claiming that she keeps failing because Elan is such a good warrior. Qarr, aware that Therkla is untrustworthy, suggests they kill Elan first, but Therkla lies that he's too good a warrior for that to work and distracting him would be easier. Kubota believes her and orders her and Qarr to come up with a plan to separate Hinjo and Elan. This plan takes the form of getting Elan, Durkon, Daigo and the paladin Lien captured on Orc Island. This too fails, as Qarr decides to manipulate the orcs into sacrificing Elan to get rid of him. Therkla objects and impersonates the orc's god, ordering them to release Elan and the other captives, and helps them to flee the orcs.

Back on Kubota's boat, Qarr informs Kubota of Therkla's sabotage. Therkla escapes punishment by deflecting blame onto Qarr, pointing out that the mission he approved was to capture Elan and so Qarr technically disobeyed him. Kubota congratulates Therkla on this, since she "weaselled her way out of responsibility like a seasoned veteran". However he also makes it clear that next time, he wants Elan dead.

Kubota eventually initiates his final plan: have Therkla lure Elan away and kill him, then assassinate Hinjo and kill Daigo and Kazumi in order to make it easier for him to win the council vote. This turns out to be a trap, as Lien worked out that Therkla was working for Kubota and followed Elan so she could arrest her. However, Qarr realizes that Hinjo is part of the force about to apprehend Therkla and summons a pit fiend to kill him and the secondary targets (the Order of the Stick). Meanwhile, Kubota dispatches his ninja assassins after Daigo and Kazumi.

Kubota himself arrives at the Kato's cabin and knocks out Daigo, before explaining to Kazumi that he intends to sustain a non-fatal wound from one of the ninjas and pretend that he attempted to defend her and Daigo but failed since he's not a good swordsman. This explanation distracts Kazumi long enough for the ninjas to subdue her. Daigo gets back up and prepares to attack Kubota, but is accidentally knocked out again by Elan and Therkla, who have arrived to stop the assassination. Therkla tells Kubota that she hasn't come to take him down, but to persuade him to abandon his plan and hold onto his position. Elan objects to Therkla's plan, and Kubota mocks Therkla about her "new boyfriend", only for Elan to reply that he already has a girlfriend (Haley Starshine). This makes Kubota even angrier, since Therkla couldn't even betray him for a man who pretended to love her.

Kubota asks Elan what would traditionally happen next in this situation, causing Elan to explain about the "hero's choice" - the villain would take the hero's companion captive and force them to choose between saving them or stopping the villain. Kubota concurs and orders his ninjas to seize Elan. However, Therkla refuses to engage with the choice and instead tells Kubota that he is to call off his plan and leave the fleet with all his men, and in return Elan will convince Hinjo not to pursue him. Both Kubota and Elan refuse this solution, at which point Therkla decides that she'd rather have both of them survive and one go to jail than have Elan die and kills both Kubota's ninjas, freeing Elan. Kubota proceeds to cut her with a blade on his ring and explains that it's coated in poison, before telling Elan that it's now his turn to make the hero's choice and fleeing in a rowing boat.

Despite Elan's efforts, Therkla dies from the poison after telling him that she'll resist any attempt at resurrection since she can't be with him. Elan proceeds to take a running jump onto Kubota's boat, causing it to begin sinking. Elan then tells him that he'll survive since he isn't wearing any armor, but Kubota, who is, will drown. Kubota then sees that Qarr's pit fiend has been turned to stone and surrenders, forcing Elan to save him and take him back to Hinjo's ship. Once there, Kubota tauntingly tells Elan that he plans to pin everything on Therkla and avoid exposure using his aristocrat-friendly prestige class that allows him to avoid magical lie detection. According to Kubota, his trial will only serve to humiliate Hinjo and turn the people against him. Elan tries to point out that he and the Katos all saw Kubota talking about his plan and killing Therkla; however, Vaarsuvius overhears them talking about the trial and uses a disintegration spell to kill Kubota in order to avoid "20 or 30 strips of humorless drudgery".