L5r: Legend of the Five Rings


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Born: Pre-calendar 
Died: 83 
Parents: Onnotangu, Amaterasu 
Siblings: Akodo, Doji, Fu Leng, Hantei, Hida, Ryoshun, Shiba, Shinjo, Togashi 
Children: Bayushi Ubane 
Titles: Scorpion Clan Kami, Scorpion Clan Champion

Bayushi was one of the ten Kami who fell to the Mortal Realm from the Celestial Heavens and founded the Empire of Rokugan, the twin brother of the Kami Shiba, and the founder of the oft-maligned Scorpion Clan. When Bayushi thought that he had lost his lover Shosuro forever, he bound his spirit into the Sleeping Lake beneath the Bayushi family palace, there to wait until he might be with her once more.

Portrayal Edit

"Historians will some day write great tales of Akodo’s bravery and Doji’s charm, while we, who lurk in shadows, will be the villains in their stories. Tricksters and liars: those will be our roles"

Deeply misunderstood, Bayushi was often portrayed as a liar and a deceiver. Where his brothers and sisters saw potential and possibility in mortals, Bayushi was more aware of the darker realities of the world, and knew he had to protect his family from what they could not or would not see. He founded the Scorpion Clan, Rokugan's masters of stealth and secrecy, to achieve this end. Bayushi drew his followers from the shadows of the newborn Emerald Empire, those like him who recognized what needed to be done to safeguard Rokugan and had no compunction in carrying it out for the good of all. Bayushi would sacrifice his honor, and the honor of his family, to protect the Empire. As the Emperor's Underhand, he was despised by many in the Empire for he and the Scorpion's supposed lack of honor. Yet, Bayushi was a man of deep feelings, and he greatly loved the maiden Shosuro. He disappeared not long after he believed he had lost her forever.

Eaten by his father Edit

When their father Onnotangu, the Lord Moon, began behaving strangely while they still resided within the Celestial Heavens as the divine children of the Sun and Moon, Shiba and Bayushi approached their siblings Hantei and Fu Leng and suggested something should be done. Hantei forbade the twins from continuing with their planning, but Fu Leng betrayed them to Onnotangu anyway. When he learned that his children were plotting against him just as he had long feared, Onnotangu ate all his children, including Fu Leng. [2] Ryoshun was the first to be eaten and Bayushi was the next. He in his conceit challenged Lord Moon, and he was snatched up for his troubles and swallowed. [3]

Fall of the Kami Edit

To stop her husband from killing all of their children, Amaterasu fed Onnotangu poisoned sake with every child, and when it came to Hantei, Onnotangu was so drunken and disoriented that he mistakenly ate a stone instead of his last son. Kept from his father and trained to combat him to rescue his brothers and sisters, Hantei later challenged his father to a duel, cutting open the Lord Moon's belly to free his siblings from their prison of flesh. Onnotangu in turn cut open a hole in the sky in his thrashing, and the Kami fell to Ningen-do, the Mortal Realm, where their divinity ebbed away, leaving them extremely powerful and knowledgeable men and women, but mortals all the same. [2]

Founding Rokugan Edit

As soon as the Children of the Sun and the Moon touched the soil of the Mortal Realm, they ceased being divine. While they were still not truly mortal men, they were also no longer gods. [4] They soon set off from Seppun Hill in order to explore and understand this mortal world they had fallen into, to return five years later. [5]

Tournament of the Kami Edit

I can swim

Bayushi learns his greatest lesson from Shinsei

The Kami realized that the mortals of the world to which they fell needed guidance and organization that only they could provide. Hantei looked out and saw the people of Rokugan as children who should be taught the wisdom required to flourish. The Kami realized they were just the ones for the task. The siblings organized a tournament, and the victor would become the ruler of the new-formed Emerald Empire of Rokugan and of his or her other siblings and their mortal followers. [2] In the Tournament of the Kami Bayushi first faced his little sister Shinjo, and used her chaotic fighting style against her. But when the time came to face his twin brother Shiba, [6] the wise man Shinsei took Bayushi aside and told him the tale of the Scorpion and the Frog. Bayushi was perhaps the first Kami to learn and apply wisdom from the little monk, because after the story Bayushi took a scrap of silk and masked his face. He then intentionally lost to his twin brother Shiba, letting every member of his family underestimate him. [7] The common adage was "A Scorpion wears a mask to let you know he cannot be trusted." But in Bayushi's case he wore it to prevent his smile from being seen as he carried out his plan. [citation needed]  Since this time the number three was considered unlucky by his followers, as Bayushi was the third to fall in the tournament. [8]

Bayushi's Promise Edit

Hantei eventually won the tournament and became the first Emperor of Rokugan, and Bayushi pledged to serve him as did all of his brothers and sisters and the Great Clans they would found. Hantei asked Bayushi to assume the role of his underhand, as well as that of the villain, and to establish all his descendants to serve the Hantei line in that manner. Hantei enumerated all the other Kami, giving different reasons for why they couldn't be given that task, and Bayushi finally accepted. But as he accepted, Bayushi reminded Hantei that should he ever betray Bayushi or his children, he should remember that they never faced each other at the contest. [9]

Followers Edit

Bayushi knew he needed a special type of person to adequately carry out his clan's goals. He found the greatest followers in Shosuro, who would become the Scorpion Thunder, later known as Soshi, and Yogo, one of Shiba's shugenja and Asako's husband, who had been cursed to betray the one he loved. [10]

Bayushi and Shosuro Edit

Bayushi and Shosuro

Bayushi and Shosuro

In the year 17 [11] Bayushi first met Shosuro he thought she was a stable boy, but he found out she could change her appearance when she held a knife to his throat at a geisha house that same night. Bayushi would meet with Shiba and discuss Shosuro, even while she was in the same room. Shiba had his concerns about her, but trusted his brother. Even Togashi appeared and counseled Bayushi, but Bayushi would not accept the destiny Togashi foresaw for the two. [1] [12]

War Against Fu Leng Edit

"I forbid any more of my vassals to die in this war. Punish me how you will, brother, but no more Scorpion blood shall flow in the Shadowlands."

Yogo Edit

In the year 36 [14] when Yogo was about to commit seppuku after being cursed, Bayushi appeared and requested him to join the Scorpion in order to bring revenge over those who have cursed his line. When Yogo reminded Bayushi of the traitorous nature of his curse, Bayushi countered his argument with a smile and the phrase: "But Yogo, you do not love me." Yogo left the Phoenix and joined the Scorpion Clan at the urgings of Bayushi, where he founded that Clan's Yogo family. [15]

Gathering Thunder Edit

At the height of Rokugan's First War, the terrible War Against Fu Leng, the armies of Fu Leng were pushing the defending forces of the Crab Clan back slowly. None of the Kami were willing to confront their mad brother, who had been corrupted by the darkness of Jigoku, the Realm of Evil, and was intent on seizing his brother and sisters' new Empire for his own. Defeat seemed inevitable when the wise man Shinsei appeared to the Kami Hantei. He revealed that a small group of individuals could infiltrate the Shadowlands and defeat Fu Leng, but they would have to be mortals. Hantei, grievously wounded from a recent battle, declared that one individual from each Rokugani clan be sent to join in this endeavour. Bayushi refused to allow any more Scorpion to die in this war, and forbade his followers to die in this quest. Shosuro however joined the group as they reached the Shadowlands, pointing out that Bayushi had merely forbidden any Scorpion from dying, not participating. Shinsei and the assembled heroes, forever remembered afterwards as the Seven Thunders, entered the Shadowlands in their quest to defeat the Ninth Kami. [13] [16] On the day Bayushi watched Shosuro march into the Shadowlands he wept for first and last time in his life. [17]

Day of Thunder Edit

The Seven Thunders and Shinsei made their way deep into the Shadowlands, where they found Fu Leng and defeated him on what became known as the Day of Thunder. The cost was heavy, as only Shinsei and the Scorpion Shosuro survived the fight. They fled north, with the First Oni and many other foul creatures pursuing. The timely intervention of Shiba allowed Shinsei and Shosuro to reach Rokugan, but at the cost of Shiba's life. Fu Leng had been defeated, but at a terrible price for the people of Rokugan and for Bayushi personally with the loss of his twin. Yet Shosuro kept her promise not to die, and returned to Bayushi. [18] [19]

"My brother saved Shosuro when my pride forbade me to aid her, even at the cost of his own life."

After the Day of Thunder Edit

Leadership Edit

In the year 55 Akodo presented the teatrise to the Emperor Hantei Genji and the Lion Clan. Bayushi noted that a canny general would either never reveal such hard-won wisdom, or share only lesser insights with outsiders, but Akodo did not reply. [21]

Black Scrolls and Shosuro Edit

Bayushi's refusal to send a Scorpion Thunder to battle Fu Leng increased the rift between him and the surviving Kami. Shosuro had participated in the Day of Thunder against his wishes, and when she returned as the only survivor and carrying the twelve Black Scrolls that contained the essence of Fu Leng, Bayushi petitioned Hantei to allow the Scorpion Clan to become the scrolls' guardians. The first Emperor agreed to grant the Scorpion that duty, and the clan's Yogo family were specifically charged with protecting them. [22] Shosuro struggled with her new existance, having bargained with the Lying Darkness for her life during the Day of Thunder so that she might return to Bayushi, Shosuro faked her death [23] [18] and took upon herself the guise of Soshi. [24] Even this was hard for her, and in the end she fled from her clan -- and Bayushi. [citation needed]

"The right to guard the scrolls is mine. Who among you would deny me?"

Soshi Edit

Soshi and Bayushi

Soshi and Bayushi

The mask and clothes of Shosuro were cremated, and a young shugenja stood beside Bayushi and lit the pyre. Bayushi and the shugenja, who said his name was Soshi, walked together and built a secret fortress guarded by sorcery and shadow. The shugenja took Shosuro's place at Bayushi's side, becoming Bayushi's advisor and closest confidant. [24]

Emperor's Spy Network Edit

After Fu Leng's defeat Hantei turned on Bayushi and requested him to create a system of gathering information from the other clans to ensure his dynasty's tenure on the Throne. Hantei told he wished to organize an order of spies, but if his trust was betrayed Bayushi's line would be erased. Bayushi accepted and the Emperor's spy network was born, they were known as the ninja. [26] Soshi aided Bayushi developing a new style of magic called Shinobi. [24]

Bayushi Departs Edit

In the year 82, Shosuro fled to the Dragon Clan's Kami, Togashi, knowing she was slipping under the control of the Lying Darkness. She asked the Dragon Kami for help, and he placed her into a Chamber of Crystal. A year later in 83, Bayushi was unable to deal with the loss of his love and he disappeared. He left only his mask and his sword behind with a note stating "I've lost her forever." [27] He bound his soul to the Sleeping Lake beneath Kyuden Bayushi, where he remained awaiting a time when he might be with his love once again. [28]

Watchful Edit

Sleeping Lake was a passage to Meido, the Realm of of the Dead. Bayushi never truly died, but retreated to this gloomy realm to watch over his clan and wait for the day that Shosuro would return to him. Bayushi dwelled simultaneously in both realms, though his physical presence remained in Meido. He some­times manifested above the lake to see how his descendants were faring, appearing as a terrifying spectral visage. [29]

War against the Shadow Edit

Visited by Goju Adorai Edit

In 1132 Shosuro had escaped from her crystal prison, and Goju Adorai realized his own influence over the Lying Darkness was waning. Shosuro sought to suplant Adorai as the Shadow's Avatar, and the Darkness would then resume its original goal of unmaking all of Creation, rather than remaking it as Adorai willed. Goju Adorai passed through Oblivion's Gate seeking Bayushi, the only being who might successfully stop Shosuro from merging with the Lying Darkness. Adorai told Bayushi that Shosuro had returned and escaped. Bayushi's soul then returned to the Mortal Realm from the Sleeping Lake. [30]

Kachiko's Dream Edit

Bayushi Kachiko was warned by Bayushi of an impending attack from Shosuro who had just escaped her crystal prison beneath Kyuden Hitomi. [30]

Sleeping Lake Edit

In 1133 Shosuro found Bayushi Kachiko beside the lake and attacked, but the spirit of Bayushi contained within the lake confused Shosuro long enough for Kachiko to help contain the Shadow-tainted essence of Shosuro by drowning herself. Their bodies would die but their spirits would be far from the Lying Darkness' reach. [28] [31]

Son and Heir Edit

Bayushi had at least one son, Bayushi Ubane, [17] who became the new Scorpion Clan Champion. [32]

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Scorpion Clan Champion
c.5 - 83
Succeeded by:
bayushi Ubane


  1. 1.0 1.1 Daughter, by Seth Mason
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dawn of the Empire, by Rich Wulf
  3. Way of the Unicorn, p. 21
  4. The Gaijin's Guide to Rokugan, Part I
  5. Imperial Histories, p. 11
  6. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 19
  7. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 18-19
  8. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 6
  9. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 17-18
  10. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 22-24
  11. Imperial Histories, p. 14
  12. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 22-23
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Gathering of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  14. Imperial Histories, p. 16
  15. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 23-24
  16. Way of the Scorpion, p. 24
  17. 17.0 17.1 Way of the Scorpion, p. 54
  18. 18.0 18.1 Day of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  19. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 24-25
  20. Into the Darkness (Dawn of the Empire flavor)
  21. Imperial Histories 2, p. 33
  22. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 24-26
  23. The First Oni
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Way of the Scorpion, p. 25
  25. Onnotangu's Hand (Dawn of the Empire flavor)
  26. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 185
  27. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 10
  28. 28.0 28.1 No Regrets, by John Wick
  29. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 15
  30. 30.0 30.1 Hidden Emperor, p. 65
  31. Hidden Emperor, p. 81
  32. Imperial Histories 2, p. 44

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
Way of the Scorpion page 54 and Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita page 86 places Bayushi's disappearance approximately in 76. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition correctly places this event in 83.

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