Darkfever plague

The Darkfever Plague was a magical disease that was unleashed upon the lands of the Phoenix Clan in 1123 after a Solar Eclipse freed Kuzushi no Oni from its prison. The plague was lethal, spread with magic from the oni's prison in a forgotten estate deep within the Isawa Woodlands. It poisoned the elements in parts of the Phoenix lands, and caused those who drew on the power of the elements there to become corrupted. The disease killed many people until the oni was destroyed. [1] [2]

Contagion Edit

The plague began at Shiro Shiba and passed on by a Shugenja, who could not contract the plague. Instead, they were carriers of the disease. Every time they used their magical powers people around them were infected. The first to notice its effects were the birds, which died for thousands. [3]

Symptoms Edit

The plage was felt as stiffness in the joints, fever, followed by dehydration and mild delirium, haunted by nightmares. Weakness, cough, and red markings in the skin was the next stage, until painful cramps, vomiting and diarrhea appeared, oftenly ensued by death during the sleep. Those who survived seemed they had passed the worst and felt recovered, only to fall again, the skin thinned, and the body lose its natural fats and oily secretions. Fever returned with constantly chill and the people used to die. If they still were alive, the infected individuals maddened and became berserker in agony. [4]

Nightmares Edit

One of the symptoms was horrible, vivid nightmares that grew more intense and realistic as the illness spread, eventually killing the plague-ridden individual in his sleep. The mortality rate was close to one hundred percent, and those who did survive were usually crippled. Until the illness withdrew the roads were blocked and even Kyuden Isawa barricaded against travelers, as an attempt to reduce the quickness of the contagion. [5]

Creation Edit

In 1123 the tortured soul of Isawa Kuzushi in Jigoku had changed the effects of a maho spell. Instead the original spell's purpouse, it opened a gateway to the underwold and forged a link between the Kuzushi and the caster. The link was used to 'infect' the shugenja, and each shugenja who came into contact with the carrier became infected with the Darkfever, a link in a growing spider’s web. everytime these shugenja cast a spell, they spread the infection to everyone around them. So the plague had no ability to spread itself, the illness was merely the visible effects of a spell that was draining the life from every person who had come in contact with any of the carrier shugenja. [6]

Plague purpose Edit

Isawa Kuzushi had summoned an oni, giving his name, and when he tried to banish it bacj to Jigoku, he instead set free the oni. Kuzushi no Oni killed the Phoenix and enslaved his soul for eternity in Jigoku. Eventually the oni and the shugenja had made a bargain, Kuzushi's freedom in exchange of two thousand souls that had to be gathered, so Kuzushi forged the Darkfever to harvest the souls. [7]

First carrier Edit

Isawa Aruka, A descendant of Kuzushi, was lured and tempted to use the modified spell. Aruka eager to enslave an Oni performed the ritual and became the first carrier of the illness. When he returned to Shiro Shiba the palace was the first point where appeared the plague. [7]

Cleansing Edit

The plague effects ended when a group of clever Magistrates located and destroyed Kuzushi no Oni. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Legend of the Five Rings: Third Edition, p. 17
  2. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 32
  3. Midnight's Blood, pp. 11, 14
  4. Midnight's Blood, pp. 15-16
  5. Midnight's Blood, p. 6
  6. Midnight's Blood, pp. 21-22
  7. 7.0 7.1 Midnight's Blood, p. 21

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