Asako Bairei 
Asako Bairei 
Born: Unknown 
Died: Unknown 
Titles: Master of Water

Asako Bairei had the position of the master of Reihaido Hitomi in Phoenix Clan lands, and was with Isawa Nakamuro and Tamori Shaitung when they defeated the Dark Oracle of Fire.

His favorite tea blend came from Haimaato province. [1]

Scholar Edit

Asako Bairei 5

Scholar Bairei

Bairei was a scholar interested in hidden lore and forgotten knowledge. He was usually underestimated because he placed his priorities differently than others. Sometimes it allowed Bairei to accomplish things he never would dream possible. Those who saw through his illusion were those he knew could trust to treat him as an equal. [2] For many years Asako Bairei had been custodian of the Asako's great libraries, serving as a scribe and historian. [3]

Old records Edit

During his research he found a secret bargain made in 1122 between the Crane magistrate Doji Oruku, uncle of Doji Jotaro, [4] and Isawa Muchito, brother of Isawa Tsuke, [3] uncle of Isawa Hochiu and a very high-ranking member of the Isawa family at that time. Muchito had been exposed as a Moon cultist and was faced by Oruku, who was cursed in the fight. In return for healing him, the Phoenix demanded his silence. Muchito's name did not appear in the records and instead it was used his cultist nickname, Isawa Orimono, remaining safe the honor of the Isawa. [4]

Fascination with the Moon Edit

After Hitomi's ascension to Tengoku as the new Moon, Bairei theorized that she might succumb to the influence of the Lying Darkness, just as Onnotangu, the previous Moon, did. In an attempt to stop this fate, Bairei performed extensive research regarding Moon Cults. He learned that by praying for Hitomi, the influence of the Lying Darkness would be lessened. The Council of Five gave to Bairei the resources needed to build a shrine in the Asako provinces, close to Dragon lands. [4]

Shrine of the Moon Edit

Bairei subtly used his knowledge of Muchito's identity to convince the Master of Fire Hochiu to allow him to build a shrine to Hitomi at Shinden Asako, [5] the Shrine of the Moon, using rediscovered techniques once used by the Asahina family, which Bairei improved significantly. [6]

Dark Oracle of Fire Edit

Asako Bairei 4

Asako Bairei

Bairei, alongside Hitomi Maya, aided Master of Air Isawa Nakamuro in researching the Dark Covenant of Fire in order to stop the Dark Oracle of Fire Tamori. Maya met the Phoenix while they were being attacked by three Jimen no Oni in a plateau near the Castle of the Faithful Bride and aided them to destroy the onis. During their investigation they discovered that it had been a Phoenix and a Dragon co-operating who had taken the Dark Covenant. [6]

Travelling to Shiro Tamori with Nakamuro and Maya, Bairei participated in a ritual that uncovered the location of the Covenant. Maya found the Covenant and Tamori Chosai struck down Bairei and her, taking the Covenant. Chosai admitted he had been responsible of the awakening of the Oracle and the Dragon-Phoenix War, and claimed he had done it so Shaitung could defeat Tamori and cleanse the Tamori name. Shaitung convinced her uncle to stop his madness and he released the Covenant to the Tamori Daimyo. [7]

When searching for Tamori to confront him they encountered Isawa Taeruko. Nakamuro uncovered the illusion, revealing that the Phoenix traitor had been Isawa Hochiu. Both Bairei and Nakamuro confronted Hochiu, but the fight was interrupted by the arrival of Tamori. Chosai used the Dark Covenant to demand Tamori face Hochiu in a duel. Tamori survived the duel, and incinerated Hochiu. Tamori was distracted long enough by Shaitung to allow Tsuge to kill him. Chosai became the next Dark Oracle of Fire, but Nakamuro used the Covenant to banish him from Rokugan and never return. Nakamuro was severely wounded during these confrontations, and Bairei used his extensive knowledge of healing to save his life. [2]

Asako Kinuye Edit

Bairei had been a student of Asako Kinuye's father, and both shared many conversations at that time. He sent a letter to her talking about sightings of Ki-Rin in Phoenix lands, who he believed an omen of some sort, and Kinuye shared what she knew with him. Bairei was not aware that Kinuye was the leader of a bloodspeaker cell. [8]

Nemuranais Edit

In 1165 Yoritomo Kalilea went to the Shrine of the Moon with a tainted gaijin nemuranai the Mantis Clan had found at Otosan Uchi. He gave the longsword to Bairei to study and cleanse it, because Yoritomo Komori considered the Phoenix an expert in nemuranais. This arrangement might foster a greater friendship and alliance between both clans. They did not know at that time the blade was owned by Garen Hawthorne, a undead Thrane pirate. [9]

Rain of Blood Edit

In 1165 Bairei and the rest of the council were warned of the Rain of Blood and decided to only warn the Emperor and the Crane Clan. The Phoenix Shugenja coordinated a ritual that protected the Phoenix lands of the Rain and the master also aided. [10]

The Doomseeker Edit

In 1166 the doomseeker, Iuchi Katamari reached Bairei. The Unicorn sought Bairei's expertise in matters of obscure arcane lore, as the Khadi. [11]

Scroll Deciphered Edit

This year Bairei was visited by Mirumoto Narumi and Kuni Yaruko. He deciphered a scroll that contained information about a bloodspeaker cell in Phoenix lands. [12]

War of Fire and Thunder Edit

As a scholar and head priest of the shrine to Lady Moon Bairei was not involved in the War of Fire and Thunder. It changed in 1167, when the Master of Air, Isawa Nakamuro, sent him to give counsel to the Phoenix Clan Champion, Shiba Mirabu. Bairei had studied the records regarding the Mantis Invasion of the Phoenix lands made by Yoritomo, to get insight in the Mantis tactics. He reached the Agasha coastline and told Mirabu the place he guessed would be chosen by Yoritomo Kumiko to make her winner-take-all assault. [13] The information led to the end of the conflict in the Battle of Broken Waves in the Isawa coastline. [14]

Master of Water Edit

Asako Bairei 2

Master of Water Bairei

In 1167 Bairei became the Master of Water, replacing the disgraced and excuted Doji Akiko. [15] Although he was arguably not the most powerful water shugenja within the Phoenix he was well known to possess more knowledge than most, and rumours would have it even more than a lot of Scorpion.[citation needed] As new Master of Earth was appointed Isawa Emori, and Nakamuro had ceded leadership of the group to his sister the Master of Fire Isawa Ochiai due to his impending marriage to Shaitung. [16]

Isawa Sezaru Edit

The Council was worried with the behaviour of Isawa Sezaru because he had grown more and more troubled of late. The Council and Mirabu did not wish to involve him in any matter if it could be avoided. [16]

Cleansing the corruption Edit

The Council now recognized a cancerous evil within the Phoenix, one that brought war, suffering and loss of self. [17] In 1168 Mirabu informed the Cult of the Dead Moon devoted to Onnotangu had been destroyed. After decoding the ciphered scrolls retrieved in the cultist lair a Shiba magistrate patrol had been set to investigate another possible cell in the City of Tears. They had not returned and were lost without any possible tracking. The Council guessed that darkness had grown inside their territory. Bairei volunteered to talk with his old friend Asako Kinuye. [16]

Kinuye is exposed Edit

After some investigation, Bairei discovered the cell and confronted it's leader Kinuye at the Kinuye's Garden. She poisoned Bairei, who endured the poison because he had been taking a number of curatives herbs for days during his travels there. In the ensuing battle with Kinuye he barely survived, and returned to the Council to tell the other Masters. He was tended by Ningen, who took care no other side-effects came from the fight with a bloodspeaker. Emori and Shiba Tsukimi led a legion of Shiba to the City of Tears and destroyed the cult. Asako Kinuye barely escaped, and was taken in by Kokujin. [1]

Phoenix Champion Vacant Edit

During the Winter Court at Kyuden Otomo Isawa Angai announced that the Phoenix Champion Shiba Mirabu had died the previous month. Ochiai declared that all representatives of the clan at the Winter Court were in mourning. The Soul of Shiba had not been chosen who was the next Champion andd the position left vacant. [18] Mirabu's brother, Shiba Naoya, became the acting Shiba Daimyo. [19]

Battle of Toshi Ranbo Edit

Ochiai used the Egg of the Void to summon the Dragon of Fire above the Imperial City Toshi Ranbo in 1169 during the Battle of Toshi Ranbo. The Phoenix moved in and stopped the fighting between the Unicorn forces and the defenders of the city, and maintained the peace in the city for months afterwards with the Dragon watching over them. [20]

Khan defeated and shamed Edit

The Khan Moto Chagatai and his ally Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Naizen were brought before the present heads of the Great Clans, though perhaps suprisingly was spared execution on his grounds that he was simply trying to ensure the Empire had a strong leader thanks to Naizen's words. It was decided that the knowledge that Chagatai had been defeated and would now be forced to go home in shame, along with the reputation of being an ambitious failure of a barbarian was punishment enough. The Akodo Daimyo Akodo Shigetoshi was ready to force another resolution but was restrained by the appearance of the Lion Clan Champion Matsu Yoshino. He swore before the court that the Khan would die, however - in a year's time, in honorable combat, when the Lion claimed Shiro Moto for themselves. [20]

Jade Championship Edit

Asako Bairei 3

Asako Bairei

After the Council decided the Fire Dragon had to return to Tengoku, [21] they set up the Phoenix representatives for the Jade Championship. Emori suggested Isawa Eitoku, Ningen appointed Isawa Kimi, and Ochiai selected Agasha Tomioko. [22]

Phoenix Clan Champion revealed Edit

Inside the Imperial Palace Naoya was being submitted to the autorithy of the Council for his actions that eventually allowed the Lion to return to the capital. The commander Shiba Tsukimi stepped in, and she called a stop to the proceedings. Tsukimi revealed herself as the new bearer of the Soul of Shiba. Ningen verified her statement and the Council acknowledged Tsukimi as the new Phoenix Clan Champion. [23]

Hunting the Dark Oracles Edit

The Elemental Council decided to engage the Dark Oracles. They reasoned that, as the Oracles had distanced themselves from Ningen-do, a Dark Oracle who was slain should not be replaced. [24] A group was sent to seek and destroy them. [23]

Toshi Ranbo surrender Edit

The Council decided to surrender control of Toshi Ranbo, being their agenda completed. Ochiai began preparations to withdraw from the city at the conclusion of the winter, and it might take as long as the early summer. [25]

Agasha Kyoso Edit

The Seppun Magistrate Seppun Tashime travelled to Toshi Ranbo to speak with Bairei about a theory involving Kyoso no Oni and descendants of the infamous Agasha Kyoso. Tashime believed that a direct blood link to Agasha Kyoso could allow Kyoso no Oni to influence or even control those of the oni sumonner's line. Bairei said the Phoenix would try to formulate a plan for dealing with Kyoso no Oni, and suggested that Tashime consult a Kitsu sodan-senzo in the mean time, and addressed Kitsu Ineko as the proper one. [26] During that time Bairei prepared a scroll of enormous power, with the power to undo Kyoso no Oni. [27] For Bairei's Sacrificial Magic ritual to be completed successfully, the caster would be forced to sacrifice his life. [28] The means of binding had been rediscovered when the Scorpion Clan surrendered their reasearch into the Black Scrolls some month previously. Tashime did not believe it was a coincidence. [29]

Binding Kyoso Edit

Bairei sent Asako Fosu and Isawa Mariko to the Shadowlands with Tashime, to find Kyoso's lair. They sacrificed themselves to bind Kyoso no Oni in a Black Scroll. [30] The human form of Agasha Kyoso reappeared then, and was taken into custody by Tashime. [31] The scroll used to bind Kyoso, known as the Essence of Destruction, was secured by the Phoenix. [32]

Aided by Meishodo magic Edit

Asako Bairei 6

Asako Bairei

During a ritual in a waterfall performed by Horiuchi Yoko near the Morikage Forest a group of wicked spirits appeared and threatened her life. They did not disappeared when she used the kami nor with the Meishodo trinket she wore. Bairei saw the scene and banished the foul spirits. In return Yoko would help Bairei using his meishodo knowledge. [33] The nature of the mission was unknown.

Theorizing on Bloodswords' thirst Edit

In 1170, ten days before the Celestial Tournament, Bairei met the Head Inquisitor, Asako Juro, in the Asako Libraries. Bairei theorized the Bloodswords' thirst could be quenched, and the targets would be the Dark Oracles. In this way the recemtly recovered Judgement would become passive, without harming any innocent in the process. It was necessary a wielder for the blade, someone incorruptible, a man whose heart was endlessly fair and just. Juro believed Isawa Mizuhiko, currently wielder of Judgement, matched it. [34]

Iweko I Edit

Bairei was a contender of the Celestial Tournament, [34] which was won by Kitsuki Iweko who became the Empress Iweko I.

War of Dark Fire Edit

The Army of Fire, minions of the Dark Oracle of Fire Chosai, stormed the Castle of the Faithful Bride in a rapid attack and moved ahead toward Kyuden Isawa. The army split into multiple forces, the largest of which headed to the palace; a smaller force set out through the Isawa Mori, bound for the Dragon Heart Plain, to unleash something dark and terrible from the emptiness there. A third group rampaged across the northernmost regions and put to the torch three farming villages. The Masters aided the palace garrison to fight off the Yobanjin invaders, and Bairei was entrusted to guard the palace library, or destroy it if the library was in danger to be seized by the barbarians. Ningen departed north to protect as many villages as he could. [35]

Kyuden Isawa stormed Edit

In 1171 the yobanjin stormed the palace, the defenders could not stop the invaders. Bairei was not able to decide which of the unvaluable scrolls he had to save, and which to leave behind for sure destruction in the fight. A defender group met him, Utaku Tairu, Shiba Ikokawa, Yasuki Kowaru, and Shosuro Chieko. He tasked them to take as many satchels and chests they could, and fled to safety. Emori and Mitsuko had been wounded during the fight. Ochiai ordered Bairei to leave toward the Northern lands to aid Ningen, who had survived but needed to be tended to avoid his death. Emori was forced to collapse Kyuden Isawa upon the invaders as it had eventually sucumbed to the overwhelming numbers of the Army of Fire, in the Fall of Kyuden Isawa. [36]

End of the War Edit

The Battle of Dragon Heart Plain ended the War. [37] Shortly after were reported plagued villages in the Northern Phoenix provinces. [38] Bairei agreed with Shiba Yoma to send a small force of shugenja to the Kaiu Wall to assist the Crab in their battle against a relentless oni attack. [39]

Destroyer War Edit

In 1172 Bairei was at Toshi Ranbo. He talked with Isawa Sawao and Isawa Kyoko about Mizuhiko's location, which was not known at that time. Kyoko was disturbed when she was told that the Mitsuko was seeking her a suitor, to arrange a political marriage. She saw an opportunity to pospone a forced betrothal when appeared a strange group, Mirumoto Ichizo, Yoritomo Saburo, Akodo Shunori, Kakita Hideo and a monk, Furumaro. Kyoko was allowed to join the group on a journey to the Scorpion lands patroned by the Empress herself, as an important quest for the fate of the Destroyer War. Bairei whispered to Kyoko to watch Furumaro closely, who seemed familiar to the Master, and to report him any insights into the monk's nature. [40] It was not known if Bairei recalled Furumaro's features as similar to Fu Leng ones.

God Beast Edit

Two grief news overwhelmed Bairei. Ningen had died, and shortly after appeared in the Scorpion lands a gigantic creature from which the scholar Master had no records available. The Ningen's last message was given to Isawa Kimi, his succesor as Master of Void, and their only hope might lay in her hands. [41] Bairei researched and ancient tome and he guessed the creature might be divine in some way, [42] a remnant of some other pantheon that existed elsewhere in the world. This information was passed to the Empress. [43]

Kali-Ma Edit

Kimi took a dangerous path searching in the Void for Kali-Ma. She eventually discovered the Destroyer was seeking something, and Kimi knew it must be found by the Empire first. The Council believed Kali-Ma was seeking the Black Scroll Essence of Destruction, which Bairei had entrusted its research to Isawa Yutako. Yutako unexpectedly entered the meeting and exposed the scroll she had was not the one she was told. It was an old one, and already opened. The Elemental Masters guessed the one in Yutako's hands was one planted by the Scorpion Clan to deceive the theft of the Essence of Destruction. This Black Scroll should be the artifact retrieved by the Scorpion from the Tomb of the Seven Thunders. [32]

Hunting the Ebon Daughter Edit

Bairei was met at Shiro Akibara by the Kuni Daimyo Kuni Kiyoshi. He requested the Phoenix to share his secretive Ritual of Forgetting, to use it against the Ebon Daughter. The ritual would cut her connection to the kami, and if it was modified, her connection to the foul power drawn from Kali-Ma. Baierei saw it was a mutual interest in the Crab proposition, because they could get information about the nature of the Destroyers while performing the ritual. [44] Mitsuko and Bairei modified the ritual to make it work against the foul gaijin magic drew from Kali-Ma the Destroyer. The knowledge of Moshi Kekiesu on the Ivory Kingdoms magic was instrumental for the success of the task. The Daughter was captured, her powers temporarily negated from her source of power, kami or gaijin magic. Iuchi Yue, the former Iuchi Daimyo who had become the abomination known as the Ebon Daughter, was judged in the Imperial Court by the Empress Iweko I and executed by the Crab Clan. [45]

Long-range communication Edit

Reach Across the World

Phoenix shugenja contacting the Mantis

Bairei knew that Agasha Kamarou through a ritual had contacted a Mantis shugenja who was located at the Ivory Kingdoms. Bairei was interested in repeat such magical feat, which could allow the communications between long distances. Kamarou had been struggling to perform the ritual again, and during a talk with Bairei she realized the key was the thunder element, to focus on it. [46] Kamarou had some innate ability inherited from her mother, and she was able to repeat the communication in Bairei's presence. The ritual was so taxing that it had to be short. [47] Kamarou's body was older than her years, the rituals that she enacted having aged her prematurely. Bairei temporarily suspended the rituals until he could determine if the effect on her could be reversed. [48] Other Phoenix shugenja repeated the ritual succesfully, but also experimented the same toll. [49] The ritual knowledge was requested by the Mantis. [50] Eventually it would be discovered that two shugenja employing the same ritual to meet in the middle proved much less taxing. [51]

Battle of Shutai Edit

In 1173 the Emerald Champion Shosuro Jimen and his legions were trapped by the Destroyers at Shutai. The Jade Champion Kuni Daigo informed of it to Bairei, who alongside with Asako Serizawa performed a ritual, the River of Ten Thousand Steps, that brought reinforcements inside the village, with the aid as focus of the local shugenja Yogo Chisume. The Jade Legionnaires and Shiba bushi transported fought in the Battle of Shutai. The toll the spell exacted to Serizawa was great, his body convulsing and collapsed. [52]

End of the Destroyer War Edit

In 1173 Daigotsu, Shahai, Susumu, Fu Leng, and Kali-Ma had died. The drawback was that Daigotsu had returned in a phantom form, as the Master of Jigoku. The Empress proclaimed the end of the Destroyer War with the victory of the Empire. The Phoenix had to purify the lands touched by the Destroyers. The Spider Clan had been conferred the status of Great Clan. Those free of taint could remain in the Empire, and the tainted were put under guard of the Dragon Clan, to extend the Empire in the Ivory Kingdoms as the Iweko's Conquerors alongside with the Mantis Clan. [53] Tsukimi talked the Empress' Imperial edict with the Masters. Mitsuko despised the edict but they agreed to follow it. The apparition of the Dark Fortunes would be investigated. [50]

Temple to Susumu Edit

When the Susumu family requested to build a temple devoted to Susumu, the Dark Fortune of Deception, Bairei was instrumental in the Empress' decision. The Master of Water declared that Susumu was to be venerated as an ancestor of a noble family, but he was not to be prayed to as a Fortune. The Voice of the Obsidian Moon appeared to Bairei in private, commending him for his devotion to truth over his private feelings. [54]

Fate of the Dark Oracles Edit

In 1176 Matsu Turi, the Dark Oracle of Water, became the third Dark Oracle killed by Isawa Mizuhiko and the bloodsword Judgement, who disappeared just after. Due to the happenings and accounts on the event, several theories were made, but Bairei only could ascertain that the Dark Oracles' influence in Ningen-Do had been lessened or severed completely. [55]

Death Edit

The exact fate of Bairei was unknown but he was dead before the end of the 12th century. [56] He was succeded by his student Asako Chukage. [57]

Guidance Edit

In 1198 the spirit of Bairei appeared to Chukage, who had fallen to the influx of the mad dragon P'an Ku. Bairei realized he was about to use his power, without the knowledge he really needed. Bairei gained time for the arrival of Isawa Kimi, who made Chukage to recover his sanity. [57]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Doji Akiko
Master of Water
1167 - ?
Succeeded by:
Asako Chukage


  1. 1.0 1.1 Blood for Blood, by Shawn Carman
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Dark Oracle of Fire, Part III, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  3. 3.0 3.1 Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 38
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Unforgotten, by Shawn Carman
  5. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 36
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Dark Oracle of Fire, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  7. The Dark Oracle of Fire, Part II
  8. Clan Letter to the Phoenix (Imperial Herald v2 #9)
  9. Lost at Sea, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  10. Blood Dawn, Part VII: Soul of the Phoenix, by Rich Wulf
  11. Hour of the Wolf , by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  12. Emerald and Jade, by Shawn Carman
  13. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  14. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  15. Vacant Throne, p. 27
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Rising from the Ashes, by Shawn Carman
  17. Starter Quotes (Rise of the Shogun)
  18. Wishes, by Shawn Carman
  19. At the Heart of the Empire, by Brian Yoon
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Truest Test, Part III, by the Legend of the Five Rings Story Team
  21. Fire & Stone, by Brian Yoon
  22. Wisdom and Power, by Brian Yoon
  23. 23.0 23.1 Revelation, by Shawn Carman
  24. The Haze of Time, by Brian Yoon
  25. The Burden of Power (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  26. Death at Koten, p. 54-71
  27. Death at Koten, p. 106
  28. Vacant Throne, p. 121
  29. Death at Koten, p. 110
  30. Death at Koten, pg. 132-136
  31. Death at Koten, pp. 137-138
  32. 32.0 32.1 Searching, by Rusty Priske
  33. Scenes from the Empire VIII, by Brian Yoon
  34. 34.0 34.1 Fires of the Heart, by Lucas Twyman
  35. War of Dark Fire, Part V, by Shawn Carman
  36. The War of Dark Fire, Part 6, by Shawn Carman and Nancy Sauer
  37. The War of Dark Fire, Part 16, by Shawn Carman
  38. Oceans, by Lucas Twyman
  39. The Path of the Destroyer, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  40. Destiny Has No Secrets, by Lucas Twyman
  41. Unleashed, Part 2, by Rusty Priske
  42. Ancient Tome (Empire at War flavor)
  43. Chosen by Fate, by Shawn Carman
  44. Hunting the Ebon Daughter, Part 1, by Nancy Sauer
  45. Hunting the Ebon Daughter, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  46. The Dead of Winter, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  47. The Dead of Winter, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  48. The Destroyer War, Part 11, by Shawn Carman
  49. Reach Across the World (The Dead of Winter flavor)
  50. 50.0 50.1 Aftermath, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  51. Ivory Edition Rulebook Fictions
  52. The Destroyer War, Part 2, by Shawn Carman and Lucas Twyman
  53. Goddesses, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  54. A Brief History of the Sanctioned Spider Clan, by Seth Mason
  55. Judgment, Part 2, by Lucas Twyman
  56. 2012 Winter Court Season: The Saga of Heroes
  57. 57.0 57.1 The Raised Blade, Part 2 by Seth Mason

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