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Battle of the Broken Daisho

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Battle of the Broken Daisho
Location: Road of Fierceness
Date: 827
Major Forces: Crane Clan, Lion Clan, Phoenix Clan
Generals: Kakita Gosano, Matsu Tusun, Shiba Toriiko
Battles of Rokugan

The Battle of the Broken Daisho is named by historians for the unique way in which it ended. When the battle began it appeared to be a meatgrinder that would eventually consume great portions of the evenly-matched Crane and Lion armies. That outcome was averted by the unexpected and timely intervention of the Phoenix Clan and their Champion, Shiba Toriiko.

Storms Brewing Edit

In the seventh year of Hantei XXIII, the armies of Kakita Gosano and Matsu Tusun stood ready for war. Gosano's family had previously been killed in a Matsu assault, and the general stood poised to take his revenge and the life of the Matsu daimyo. Tusun reacted violently to Gosano's provocation and was more than eager to end the life of the Kakita as well. The two armies met finally in a valley near the Road of Fierceness.

As the two foes stood poised to annihilate one another, a bolt of lightning crashed through the clear summer sky and a terrible storm began. The opposing generals watched as a Phoenix Clan army 20,000 samurai strong led by Shiba Toriiko and Isawa Anoso emerged from the rain. The Phoenix positioned themselves directly between the Lion and Crane. Both sides were taken aback, for over fifty years the Phoenix had not lifted a sword against their neighbors.

The Battle is Joined Edit

Believing the Phoenix army to be a surprise addition to the Crane armies, Matsu Tusun decided to act immediately and counteract the deception of his enemies. Matsu arrows rained upon the Phoenix and the Lion bushi clashed with the Phoenix lines. Scores of able samurai died without moving or making a sound. Even the most battle-hardened Matsu fell back upon seeing their opponents fall without even attempting to draw their blades. Tusun began to get reports from his front lines of his commanders committing seppuku, caught between the orders from their commander and an enemy who would die but not yield.

The Phoenix Explained Edit

On the other side of the field, Kakita Gosano rode forth to meet Shiba Toriiko. The Crane asked the young Phoenix Champion to yield and allow him to attack the Lion so that he could end their violence forever. The Phoenix Champion listened to Gosano's arguments, then replied only, "I will not gaze upon a world devoured by pride, Kakita," as she rested her hand on her sword.

They were her last words. Gosano, believing she was preparing for a duel, struck her down. Toriiko died without ever attempting to draw her katana. It was only then that Gosano realized Toriiko was not speaking to him, but past him to the spirit of Kakita that had been watching over him. With despair in his heart, Gosano felt his ancestor's spirit turn away in shame.

The Broken Daisho Edit

At noon that day, Matsu Tusun received the broken swords of Kakita Gosano and a note from the former general:

I will retire to the Asahina Temples and try to build the world Shiba Toriiko will never see. With words, not blood.

Knowing his enemy was samurai no more, Tusun withdrew, knowing that Gosano had somehow been subjected to a much worse vengeance than he could have imposed.

Major References Edit

  • Way of the Phoenix Pages 41-42

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