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Bayushi Atsuki

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Bayushi Atsuki 
Bayushi Atsuki 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 435 
Died after return: 1166 
Children: Bayushi Minoko 
Titles: Emperor's Spymaster, Leader of the Gozoku, Scorpion Clan Champion
Bayushi Atsuki was a mastermind who became the Emperor's Spymaster and Scorpion Clan Champion. Together with Doji Raigu and Shiba Gaijushiko he led the Gozoku and kidnapped Hantei Fujiwa's son Hantei Kusada in 391. [1]

Family Edit

Atsuki's mother was a Shosuro. [2]

View on the Emperor Edit

Atsuki felt the Emperor Hantei Fujiwa was his inferior, a man without the ruthlessness and intelligence to rule. Atsuki believed he was the true power in Rokugan, the Master of Secrets. [3]

Gozoku Edit

Rise of the Gozoku Edit

In 375 the Emperor Hantei Fujiwa had condemned the Crane and Lion Clan for failing to support the Crab Clan against the common foe of the Shadowlands. Atsuki claimed to be concerned the Emperor's displeasure could reach the Scorpion, as first step to develop the Gozoku conspiracy. During winter court this year he recruited the idealist Shiba Gaijushiko, the Imperial Scribe. In 376 he recruited Doji Raigu, the Crane's heir, into the conspiracy. The group spent nine years to grew their power in the shadows. [4] The initial idea of Atsuki was to kill the Hantei line, but he changed his mind after a meeting with the Dragon Clan Champion Togashi Hikaru, who Atsuki knew was actually the Kami Togashi. [5]

Gozoku Coup Edit

In 391 the political position of the Emperor was so weak that Atsuki forced the Gozoku to act. The Imperial Heir Hantei Kusada was invited to Bayushi lands and kidnapped. [6] The Emperor died shortly after. The Gozoku, eager to keep their control of the young emperor, placed his great-uncle Otomo Tohojatsu in control of the Imperial Court as Regent in Kusada's stead until he came of age. [7]

Consolidation of Gozoku Edit

Infrastructures in the Empire improved, at the cost of rampant corruption. The Gozoku was joined by many minor courtiers and bureaucrats who worked in the day to day tasks, and the Imperial family Nasu was created filling its ranks with Gozoku adepts. [8]

Gozoku Domination Edit

Atsuki attempted to control the rise in criminal activity by coopting it. He began recruiting criminal elements into the Gozoku despite their allies complained his bold movement. The three sons of the Emperor were fostered to each of the Gozoku's clans, actually making them hostages of the conspiracy. [9]

Division in the Alliance Edit

When in 415 a minor courtier publicy discussed the Gozoku's activities, Atsuki blamed Raigu, claiming he had orchestrated the incident, because the Crane still believed in the Emperor's ultimate supremacy. A split formed within the conspiracy, leading to occasional assassinations and other dirty tactics. [9]

Passing the mantle Edit

In 426 Atsuki retired and passed the power to his daughter Bayushi Minoko. However, he continued as one of the Gozoku leaders. [9]

Spies of the Brotherhood Edit

In 428 Kusada had enlisted monks as spies, which was discovered by the Gozoku. Three monasteries were burned down by Gozoku agents. The next year, on the 16th day of the first month of 429 the Gozoku decided to make an example of the monks and executed them as traitors. While this weakened what little power Kusada had remaining, seeing the Gozoku publicly executing a group of monks struck a serious blow to the triad's reputation within the Rokugani. [10] The Kolat conspiracy guessed the days of the Gozoku were numbered, and diapatched a single agent to visit Atsuki. They offered to help him secure his rule if he joined their ranks, but Atsuki refused. [11]

Fall of the Gozoku Edit

In 435, Emperor Kusada died of old age. His eldest son, Hantei Soujiro, who had been fostered to the Phoenix Clan, was brought to the courts to be coronated. Unfortunately for the Gozoku, Kusada's daughter, Hantei Yugozohime, who had been fostered to the Lion Clan and trained in the ways of the Bushido and Hantei supremacy, came to Otosan Uchi and challenged her brother to a duel for the throne. She easily defeated him, and with the support of the Lion and Dragon armies, she swiftly shattered the strength of the Gozoku. [12]

Death Edit

Imperial orders were issued calling for the arrest of Atsuki, but Minoko refused. She wished to place Kusada's third son, Otomo Kentaro, on the throne. A civil war between the Scorpion happened and Bayushi Junzen, an old family rival of Atsuki, managed to assassinate Minoko, claiming the rule of the Clan. Atsuki was executed in presence of the Empress. [12]

Toshigoku Edit

Atsuki's final thought of vengeance had doomed his spirit to Toshigoku, the Realm of Slaughter. For centuries he waited and planned. [13] Insted to be consumed by Satsugai, the madness of that hellish realm, he focused upon how he had failed, scheming how to succeed if he were given a second chance. [14]

Return from Death Edit

Shosuro Furuyari

Bayushi Atsuki masquerading as Furuyari

When Oblivion's Gate opened and many returned as spirits, Atsuki leapt at the chance to once again return to Rokugan. Disguised as Shosuro Furuyari, he offered his services as an adviser to the Scorpion Clan Champion, Bayushi Yojiro. His advice enabled the Scorpion to double-cross the Steel Chrysanthemum at a crucial moment, crippling their forces once and for all. [13]

During the War of Spirits Atsuki met Bayushi Ogura. His father Bayushi Kaukatsu, had little respect for his son, considering his calling as a shugenja strange and aberrant. Ogura's ambition drove him to Atsuki. [14]

After the War of Spirits the Emperor commanded that all spirits should return to their rightful place, but any spirit loyal to him would be allowed to stay. [15] Atsuki underwent the ritual to sever his connection with the Spirit Realms, and he was rendered fully mortal via Phoenix magic. [2]

Engineering the Conquest of Rokugan Edit

Atsuki's true goal was to command the Empire. He sought to increase his power, and turned his eyes to a power in the Empire that lied broken, defeated, and unused, the Nothing. The Shadow Dragon had proven that the Taint could be used to control the remnants of this power. Atsuki began to plan how to master maho without suffering its drawbacks. [16]

Harnessing the Taint Edit

Bayushi Ogura happened upon a cell of Bloodspeaker, and his agents infiltrated the cult. Ogura wiped out the cell and stole their research, how to use maho without accumulating the Shadowlands Taint if a willing subject accepted the corruption. After a few months of study, Ogura perfected the technique and presented to Atsuki. They used this knowledge to quickly spread the influence of their organization, the Shadowed Tower. [17]

Ashalan Edit

The Ashalan had a long feud with the Naga race, but an ancient curse placed over both races by the Bright Eye prevented any Ashalan to remain in Rokugan for prolonged periods of time. [18] Atsuki made a bargain with the Ashalan Rashol: if Atsuki could gain control of Rokugan, he would use the power of the Shadows to break the curse and allow the Ashalan entry into Rokugan to destroy the Naga. The Ashalan shared his magic knowledge with Atsuki and allied with him. [16] He also was ally of another Ashalan, Kesh'mar. [19]

Shadowed Tower Edit

Atsuki then formed the Shadowed Tower, a conspiracy within the Scorpion Clan that was displeased with how openly the Scorpion wielded their power in the Empire and wished to "return to the shadows". The Shadowed Tower used both maho and blackmail to move forward their agenda. [13]

Miya Hatori Edit

In 1159 Atsuki was living at Painted City as Furuyari, and he was met by the aged Imperial and historian Miya Hatori. Atsuki erred, foolishly speaking of his stolen past with a historian, so Hatori learned whoever he was, was not Shosuro Furuyari. Atsuki sent an agent to Hatori's estates to kill a member of his family as a suitable distraction. [20]

Masquerade Uncovered Edit

After a failed attack on a Shadowed Tower's holding, the conclusion was the Shadowed Tower's reach extended even in his midst. Yojiro discovered at its heart the traitor was his close friend and ally Shosuro Furuyari. He talked with Furuyari and the masquerade was uncovered. Yojiro secretly passed on leadership to Bayushi Sunetra, and with Yogo Koji's magic disguised Sunetra as Yojiro, which allowed Yojiro to disappear and act freely against the Tower. [2]

Fall of the Shadowed Tower Edit

Atsuki's faked death

Atsuki's faked death

While they initially had some successes in undermining Yojiro's control over the clan, they were unable to predict Bayushi Sunetra's (Yojiro's sucessor) tactics and were violently purged. Furuyari himself was ambushed in his stronghold in Pokau, and appeared to die at the hand of his own yojimbo, Bayushi Kamnan. [21]

The Second Gozoku Edit

In reality, Atsuki had used the magic of his secret Ashalan allies to fake his death, and he used the resources and information the Shadowed Tower had amassed as a power base for his new Gozoku. [21] He was hidden in one of a handful of Ashalan-built towers deep within the Plains Above Evil. He had a few Ashalan sorcerers in his employ. [22]

Using Maho to control the Shadows Edit

Alhundro Cornejo was a Merenae saboteur who worked at Mantis command. He was supposedly died in the Second Day of Thunder, but he became a minion of the shadows instead. The Ashalan made thrall of his half-brother Rodrigo Cornejo, a ronin leader of thieves who had worked for Iuchi Shahai in the past. [23] The presence of Rodrigo alongside with the Atsuki's maho power partially broke the control of the shadows over Alhundro. Atsuki convinced him to follow his goals and the Gozoku philosophy. [18]

Fire at Toshi Ranbo Edit

In 1165 Alhundro set the Fires of Toshi Ranbo, but the arson was partially fouled by his familiar Esteban Cornejo. [16] Atsuki sent Kamnan back to Rokugan to met Kakita Munemori to exchange news. Munemori and Kamnan believed the fire at Toshi Ranbo could be the start of the Emperor Toturi III weakness, and an opportunity for those who sought the best for the Empire. If Toturi III could not rule the Empire, the Gozoku would rule instead. [24]

Spreading the Conspiration Edit

Together with his allies Kakita Munemori, Doji Akiko, Isawa Sachi, Seppun Toshiaki, Yoritomo Kumiko, Kaneka, and others, he began to undermine the Emperor. [citation needed]

Betrayal Edit

Munemori discovered the relations between the Gozoku and the Shadowed Tower. [25] He believed the Gozoku should not be in the hands of the same leaders of the Shadowed Tower, who had been playing with maho to achieve their goals, and began to work against them from inside. He subtly passed the information to Kumiko and later to Kaneka, expecting they could cleanse the Tower remnants from the conspiracy. [16]

Kesh'mar demise Edit

Atsuki decided to betray the Ashalan Kesh'mar, and exposed him to the Goju and Ninube, who took revenge on him. Kesh'mar was destroyed. [26]

Investigation of the Fires Edit

One year after the Fires of Toshi Ranbo, the Empire was still seeking the arsonist. Many heroes were under the tracks of Alhundro, and discovered Atsuki's relations with the Ashalan. The Empire tracked Atsuki through the enemies of the Ashalan, the Naga. Eventually his plan to destroy the Emperor would become his downfall. [16]

Second Faked Death Edit

His lair was discovered to Naseru by Bayushi Baku impersonating his lieutenant Bayushi Kamnan. The Emperor sent his personal assassin, the Underhand of the Emperor, Sunetra. [22] The Shogun with Naga guidance also located Atsuki's hideout. The Imperial Legions took care of the defenders and Atsuki was apparently killed by Kaneka in the final duel. [18]

Death Edit

This was however yet another trick used by Atsuki before, and he again tried to escape by horse to the east. This time, Bayushi Sunetra was waiting for him. She had put a poisoned sac of contact, which made Atsuki's horse to collapse. Atsuki himself was poisoned with another sac, weakening him. Sunetra suffussed him and ensured Atsuki's misery by binding him to a tree stump and killing him using a dagger taken from Traitor's Grove. Before Atsuki died, he told Sunetra that he did not send the assassins who attacked her when she still was the Scorpion Clan Champion. Another unseen enemy was under the track of Sunetra of the former Master of Secrets. [18]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Scorpion Clan Champion
? - 426
Succeeded by:
Bayushi Minoko


  1. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 11
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Master of Secrets, by Rich Wulf
  3. Imperial Histories, p. 66
  4. Imperial Histories, p. 43
  5. Secrets of the Dragon, p. 8
  6. Imperial Histories, p. 44
  7. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 11
  8. Imperial Histories, p. 45
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Imperial Histories, p. 46
  10. Imperial Histories, pp. 47-48
  11. Way of the Thief, p. 13
  12. 12.0 12.1 Imperial Histories, p. 48
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Four Winds, p. 62
  14. 14.0 14.1 Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 91
  15. Unfinished Business, Part II
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part Three, by Rich Wulf
  17. Secrets of the Scorpion, pp. 91-92
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part Four, by Rich Wulf
  19. Clan Letter to the Scorpion (Imperial Herald v2 #9)
  20. Secrets of the Scorpion, pp. 31-32
  21. 21.0 21.1 Towers, by Shawn Carman
  22. 22.0 22.1 Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part One, by Rich Wulf
  23. Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part Two, by Rich Wulf
  24. Return of the Master (Diamond Rulebook Story), by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  25. Conspiracy, by Shawn Carman
  26. Legend of the Burning Sands Roleplaying Game, p. 133

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