I am actually leaning towards the Tessen, forest killers come off as a bit too evil for my taste.
The concept is simple, Surotobi (my character) is gonna be an adrenaline junky. He wants to steal from the most well guarded castles, he wishes to cross blades with the best swordsman, he wishes to outfox the greatest ninja... not for some lord, but for his own pride alone. He gives his stolen plunder to the needy for three reasons, when you have helped feed a starving village that village is likely to help you hide from Imperial Law, Surotobi doesn't want the treasure he is stealing he just doesn't want the Clans to have them, and lastly he genuinely cares about the villagers he takes into his protection.
His motivation is revenge, and to make his mother proud. She was a Ronin who fought for the Tortoise, and his father was a Tortoise himself. When he found out his mother was with child he refused to pay her for her service to his clan and cast her out. This was after she was wounded in that service. Her wounds never healed correctly and she could not fight for money any longer. Homeless and alone she raised her child, who often had to care for her due to her wounded and sickly state, along with kind hearted villagers who would leave them food. She died when Sarutobi was 14, passing her blades to her son was her last act. Sarutobi made a vow that he would get every koku owed to her, with interest. Sarutobi wont stop until he's robbed even the Emperor blind.
Direct influences: Mugen (Samurai Champloo), Goemon (Historical/Japanese legend), Robin Hood (Historical/English legend),