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Clan War

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Clan War
Location: Rokugan
Date: 1126-1128
Major Forces: Great Clans
Generals: Toturi, Hantei XXXIX, Hida Kisada
Battles of Rokugan


With the Wasting Disease raging across Rokugan and the ailing, heirless Hantei XXXIX sitting on a throne, the Great Clans were unsurprised by the inevitable conflict that arose. The Lion and Crane Clans had been massing for war with each other for years, and Hida Kisada, Crab Clan Champion, had been a very vocal opponent of the new Emperor. The Crab began the war by marching on Beiden Pass with an army supplemented by the forces of the Shadowlands. By the end of the war, the demons of Jigoku fought even for the Emperor himself.

The war finally ended in 1128 with the Second Day of Thunder.

Mastermind Edit

In 1123 Bayushi Kachiko was the embittered wife of the Emperor Hantei XXXIX after the Scorpion Coup. Her late husband Bayushi Shoju and son Bayushi Dairu murdered, and her clan disbanded. Kachiko did her best to meddle with other leaders of the clans as revenge for Shoju's demise. [1]

Manipulating the Unicorn Edit

In 1125 Kachiko influenced Iuchi Takaai, the Unicorn diplomat at court, passing him a plan which supposedly would render Takaai as a peacekeeper hero. Takaai reported his Lord Shinjo Yokatsu that the Otomo were determined to maintain the Winter Court in Otosan Uchi at all costs. Takaai suggested to detain the ambassadors from the other Great Clans as a mean to press for holding winter court at Shiro Shinjo. After the clan representatives became captives, the Unicorn diplomats were retaliated similarly and signs of war where everywhere. The seeds of the Clan War had been planted. [2]

Manipulating the Crab Edit

The Crab Clan Champion Hida Kisada came to the Imperial Court, but could not meet with the Emperor due to his illness. Meeting with Kachiko instead, she mentioned to him how disappointed she was that Crab had neglected their duty to guard the Kaiu Wall, because Kakita family lands were vulnerable to shadowlands invasion. She pointed out that if an army held Beiden Pass, the southern and northern Clans would be isolated from each other. Kisada would attempt to use this to his advantage, as Kachiko had planned. [3]

Crab marchs North Edit

In 1126 the Crab marched north to the Scorpion lands, a token guard remaining in the Kaiu Wall. The army was strengthened and reinforced by their new Shadowlands “allies”. [4] [5] The Crab forces would be confronted by the Lion, led by Matsu Tsuko. [6]

Beginnings Edit

Though the events leading to the Clan War were building for some time, the officially recognized start of the War was the seizing of Beiden Pass by the combined forces of the Crab Clan and the Shadowlands. The battle at Beiden Pass itself is immortalized in many sources by the historians and playwrights of Rokugan, but the discovery of the corrupted Crab armies is recorded primarily only in Dark Tidings, a work by Doji Shizue, the famous Crane Clan storyteller and author. [7]

A Fateful Day Edit

Shizue was present in the court of Emperor Hantei XXXIX on the day when the regular petty bickering of the courtiers of the Empire – in this case, arguments from the Crane and Lion Clans over control of the Osari Plains – was interrupted by a Seppun messenger. [7]

Before his entrance, the court was in a peculiarly somber mood. The delegation from the Unicorn Clan watched the proceedings with reservation in their eyes. The Phoenix Clan stood alone, speaking to no one but themselves. Even the ambassadors of the Dragon Clan stood silently to the side of the court, offering none of their usual riddles that always seemed to lighten the mood of the proceedings. Even Seppun Ishikawa, Captain of the Imperial Guard, paced through the court, tension obvious in every step. [7]

Into this mood, a Seppun samurai entered suddenly. The Seppun quickly told the Emperor and his court that the Crab was marching northward, away from the Kaiu Wall. Though his message was important, Ishikawa nevertheless hastened toward the man, ready to protect the Emperor from him, as the samurai kneeling in the doorway showed obvious signs of carrying the Shadowlands Taint. He was bleeding green blood from a wound on his arm and his skin was seeping grey smoke. Ishikawa was stopped by Shiba Ujimitsu, who also stepped between the messenger and the Emperor. [7]

The Seppun explained that the Taint had come with the Crab. He told that their armies were not merely of samurai, but of great machines, maho-tsukai, and oni. He told of the great claw that now allowed Hida Yakamo to lead the armies of the Crab once more. He told of the great oni that fought beside the Crab's second-highest general. He told of the Hida guard surrounding Yakamo and the assembled armies of all the families of the Crab. At first, the assembled courtiers hoped that the army might be the work of a maddened renegade, but it quickly became apparent that the Crab intended war, and the Seppun made their objective clear as well: to seize Beiden Pass. [7]

During the ensuing commotion, Seppun Baka quickly insisted that the messenger be killed. His message delivered, the Seppun requested that he be allowed seppuku while he could still manage the act. The Emperor agreed, but it was too late, for the man fell to the floor and died. Seppun Ishikawa quickly drew his sword and took the man's head, not allowing him to reanimate within the Emperor's court. [7]

Beiden Pass in 1127 Edit

The Crab moved swiftly north, sacking Crane and Scorpion cities on their way, taking Beiden Pass, crippling Rokugan's trade routes. At the pass the Crab and Shadowlands find themselves opposed by a coalition army of Ronin, Dragon, Unicorn and Naga scouts led by Toturi. The Battle of Beiden Pass was a brutal battle where Toturi's superior tactics prevailed over those of Hida Sukune and the Crab were beaten back south. [8]

Day of Thunder in 1128 Edit

After two years of fighting the Clans finally united against a common enemy, Fu Leng, on the Second Day of Thunder. The forces of the Great Clans, aided by Yoritomo's Alliance, The Brotherhood of Shinsei and Naga engage a huge Shadowlands army at Otosan Uchi. In the massive battle many heroes are lost, but many threats destroyed. Inside the walls of the city the Hooded Ronin leads the Seven Thunders and Togashi Yokuni to their destiny. The Emperor, possessed by Fu Leng, duels Yokuni, actually the Kami Togashi and wins, but Hitomi retrieves the last Black Scroll from inside Togashi and reads it making Fu Leng mortal. Fu Leng mortally wounds Doji Hoturi and Isawa Tadaka, but is blinded by Bayushi Kachiko. In that moment both Hoturi and Toturi strike at Fu Leng, Hoturi stabs him through the chest and Toturi takes his head. The Dark God is finally defeated and there is peace in Rokugan once more. [8]

References

  1. Kachiko's Tale 2 (Shadolands)
  2. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, pp. 56-57
  3. Clan Letter to the Scorpion #1 (Imperial Herald v1#1)
  4. Imperial Histories, p. 153
  5. Game Master's Guide; 2nd Ed, pp. 61-63
  6. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, pp. 234-238
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Three Days, by Ree Soesbee
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Legend of teh Five Rings; Third Edition p. 19

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