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Brotherhood of Shinsei

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Mon of the Brotherhood

The Brotherhood of Shinsei was a religious organization that governed and oversaw the thousands of temples, shrines and monasteries of Rokugan. It was named after Shinsei, the monk who led the Seven Thunders to victory over Fu Leng at the dawn of the Empire. Devoted to the study of the Tao of Shinsei, the worship of the kami no michi and the pursuit of enlightenment, the Brotherhood was the pre-eminent spiritual body in the Empire.

History Edit

Monk

Brotherhood Sensei

Origin Edit

Those who had personally met Shinsei were moved by his words and continued his work. Shrines, libraries, and temples that had already been independently erected in honour of Shinsei, were put to use by Shinsei's successors in hopes of helping each person to achieve enlightenment. Over time, these successors became known as his brothers and sisters and the appellation "Brotherhood of Shinsei" was adopted and widely accepted. [1]

Organization Edit

By the end of Hantei Genji's reign, the Brotherhood of Shinsei had attainted its basic organizational form, a network of temples, shrines, and monasteries scattered across the Empire, all staffed by monks pursuing lives of ascetic self-denial, intense spiritual focus, and scholarly study. [2] The Brotherhood of Shinsei remained vigilant against any False Paths, and when a sect fell, was held a Great Convocation declaring the doctrine heretical and expelling those who would not give it up. [3]

Fudoism Edit

The Brotherhood chased the followers of the heretical prophet Fudo whose teachings were recorded in the Writings of Fudo. [4] In the 4th century the Fudoists secretely found refuge under the wing of the pacifist Asahina family. [5]

Gozoku Edit

In 428 during the first Gozoku the Emperor Hantei Kusada requested the Brotherhood of Shinsei to became the Agents of the Hantei, [6] spying on the Gozoku consortium. The leader of the Anshin sect, Bunrakuken, agreed to assist the Hantei, putting aside their beliefs. Seven months later, four Anshin monks were apprehended while spying on the Crane Clan Champion and executed. Bunrakuken felt betrayed when the Emperor did nothing to save them, and his entire sect fell into heresy. [7] The martyrdom pious monks and the subsequent burning of three monasteries caused the common people to turn against the conspiracy, helping to the fall of the Gozoku time later. The Brotherhood saw this era as a dark spot in its history due to its involvement in the sordid world of politics. [2]

Heresy of the Five Rings Edit

In the 6th century the religious beliefs of the famous monk Gorinno were the foundations of a religious movement which would be known as the Heresy of the Five Rings. Ultimately, only by a narrow margin was the Empire able to avert a plunge into full-fledged civil war. [8]

Great Famine Edit

In the 7th century, during the Great Famine, a retired Lion Clan Champion, actually the monk Rojin, led a large peasant uprising. When the People's Legion was defeated, the vindictive Emperor Hantei XX imposed harsh new restrictions on the peasants of the Empire, extending some of these to the Brotherhood. These laws were later rescinded by Hantei XXII, who was nursed by a monk who saved his life. [9]

Clan War Edit

Brotherhood's Abbey

The Brotherhood's Abbey

For one thousand years, the Brotherhood began preparing for the next Day of Thunder. During the Clan War Yogo Junzo sought to slay Shinsei's descendant and numerous Shinseist temples were razed to the ground. In time, the Hooded Ronin revealed himself and defeated Fu Leng in the Second Day of Thunder alongside the Seven Thunders. [1]

War Against the Shadow Edit

During the War Against Shadow the Brotherhood lent its wisdom and power to the might of the Great Clans. Takao, Head of the Brotherhood of Shinsei defeated Lord Moon's avatar becoming the Master of Five. [1]

Purge of Fudoism Edit

In the 12th century the Fudoism emerged in the Colonies, to fight those touched with the madness spread by the mad dragon P'an Ku. The Fudoists destroyed entire villages in order to make sure the area was cleansed from madness. [10] Once the Fudoists were revealed to the Empire, monasteries and hidden strongholds of the Fudo cult were sought out and put to the torch by the Rokugani. [11]

Influenced by the Kolat Conspiracy Edit

The former Yasuki Daimyo Yasuki Jinn-Kuen was appointed as the Head of the Brotherhood of Shinsei. He was also Master Coin, and placed the Brotherhood under the direct influence of the Kolat conspiracy. [12] The Head Abbot used the Brotherhood to follow his secret agenda, such as to seed discord among the Great Clans. [13]

Philosophy Edit

The monks of the Brotherhood sought understanding and harmony, and through that path, some among their number discovered enlightenment. [14]

Vows Edit

Shinseism was a religion with no dogma and relatively few inherent strictures for its practitioners. The Book of Duties listed the responsibilities of Shinseist monks, but each sect interpreted the Tao's instructions differently, with the vows of one sect differing wildly from the next. All sects adhered to the Four Vows, which were considered central to a monk's duties: to save all living beings, to eliminate defilements, to learn Shinsei's teachings, and to seek enlightenment. [15]

Sects Edit

The Brotherhood was not a single cohesive whole, but instead consisted of numerous sects and orders. Traditionally, the Four Temples of Kyuden Seppun acted as the "voice" of the Brotherhood of Shinsei when it acted as one or was represented in the courts. [16] The Brotherhood's primary goals were to foster spiritual enlightenment and cultural improvements, and the monks eschewed materialism or politics. [17]

Largest Sects Edit

The largest sects of the Brotherhood were the Lotus, Questioners, Shintao, Sohei, Yamabushi and Shinmaki. [18]

Fudoism Edit

A monk severed from the Brotherhood for his heretic thoughts, Fudo, [19] created his own sect, the Fudoism, which became popular in the Colonies during the Age of Conquest. [20] It led to heated discussions among certain sects as to what the Brotherhood's response should be. [21]

Details Edit

Monk Schools Edit

Monk schools were very different from traditional samurai schools. The schools were usually a network of temples or a specific temple where the monk received induction into the monastic life. [16]

Other Notable Orders Edit

Members of the Brotherhood Edit

See Members of the Brotherhood of Shinsei for a listing of notable monks.

See Leaders of the Brotherhood of Shinsei for a listing of the notable leaders throughout time.

External Links Edit

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Way of the Open Hand, p. 23
  2. 2.0 2.1 Secrets of the Empire, p. 156
  3. Secrets of the Empire, p. 178
  4. Flyer: Seeds of Decay
  5. Shadow of Disgrace, by Shawn Carman
  6. Imperial Histories, pp. 47-48
  7. Way of the Shadowlands, pp. 43-44
  8. Imperial Histories 2, p. 84
  9. Secrets of the Empire, pp. 157-158
  10. Coils of Madness: Design, by Bryan Reese
  11. Purge of Fudoism (Aftermath flavor)
  12. Dread Tidings, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  13. Letters to the Clans – November 2014
  14. Rulebook Story, (Test of Enlightenment)
  15. Way of the Open Hand, pp. 13-14
  16. 16.0 16.1 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 251
  17. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 8
  18. Masters of Magic, pp. 126-130
  19. Limbs of Fudo (Promotional flavor)
  20. Gen Con 2012 Announcement
  21. Brotherhood Schism (Seeds of Decay flavor)
  22. Scenes from the Empire IV
  23. 23.0 23.1 Times of Treachery, by Shawn Carman
  24. Way of the Shugenja, p. 76



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