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Isawa Ochiai

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Isawa Ochiai 
Isawa Ochiai 
Born: Unknown 
Died: Unknown 
Siblings: Isawa Nakamuro 
Spouse: Mirumoto Tsuge 
Children: None 
Titles: Master of Fire

Isawa Ochiai was the younger sister of Master of Air Isawa Nakamuro. Even though both siblings were gifted with the kami, neither were considered particularily powerful. Whereas Nakamuro managed to become a student under Agasha Gennai, Ochiai had no interests in such things and pursued the path of an artisan, taking delight in painting, dancing and other creative endeavours. Her youth and beauty brought a great deal of attention from suitors. [1]

Discovering Her Powers Edit

Born to a minor Isawa line, Ochiai did not show strong ability with the kami at first. She attended a minor temple of the Isawa Shugenja school, filling her time with dancing, painting, and other arts. [2] After the deaths of their parents, Nakamuro chose to allow Ochiai to choose who she would marry, as he could not bear to see her shackled in a loveless marriage. It was her focus on her arts which led her to discover her gift for incredible precision. She found that while others might be able to turn a tree to ash she could target and incinerate individual leaves without as much as scorching those around it. Even the great sensei Isawa Sachi could not help but be impressed. [1]

Appointed Master of Fire Edit

Isawa Ochiai 1

Ochiai, Master of Fire

When it came time to select a new Master of Fire after the death of Isawa Hochiu in 1159, it was Master of Void Shiba Ningen who suggested Ochiai. There was some deliberation, but even the stubborn Isawa Taeruko could not deny her worth. With Ochiai's skill tempering her gift for fire magic, the Council of Five believed there would be no more shame heaped upon the position. Ochiai accepted the position shortly after Doji Akiko was accepted into the Council. [1]

Rain of Blood Edit

In 1165 Ochiai and the rest of the council were warned of the Rain of Blood and decided to only advise the Emperor and the Crane Clan. The Phoenix Shugenja coordinated a ritual that protected the Phoenix lands of the Rain. The masters also aided in the rituals. [3]

Hidden City Edit

The four Isawa Masters were summoned in the Grove of the Five Masters. What they would discuss was not for Ningen's ears. Shiba Ningen was the only Elemental Master who was not Isawa, and there was only one secret the other Masters kept from him, Gisei Toshi, the Hidden City. Agasha Hamanari, the Phoenix prophet, had had another vision regarding blood, hammer, and the hidden city. The Masters understood that Yajinden, the bloodspeaker smither had contacted with Ambition, the Bloodsword he had crafted centuries ago, which was kept at Gisei Toshi. There were many powerful nemuranai in the city, and even two Black Scrolls. Nakamuro was outvoted, he lobbied for asking aid and sharing the knowledge of the city, while the rest voted to maintain the secrecy and defend the city, or destroy Gisei Toshi if it was not possible. [4]

Kusatte Iru Edit

While Iuchiban began the Siege of Gisei Toshi he unleashed the Kusatte Iru toward Kyuden Isawa as distraction for Isawa Sezaru and the Council while the Bloodspeaker carried out his true plans at Gisei Toshi. The four available members of the Council and Naka Tokei began a ritual in the Grove of the Five Masters, while Togashi Satsu and Sezaru fought the immense oni gaving time for the ritual. Isawa Taeruko completed the spell with her sacrifice, and the monster was sent to its slumber again. [5]

Division of the Council Edit

After the death of Taeruko and the appointment of Sachi as Master of Earth in 1165, the Council seemed to have started going in new directions. Sachi and Akiko formed a close bond, and Nakamuro and Ningen were loathe to oppose the other Masters too much. This situation left Ochiai frequently with the swing vote of the Council, a position she found very enjoyable but uncomfortable at the same time. [1]

Hamanari's Visions Edit

Agasha Hamanari was executed as a Bloodspeaker by one of Isawa Sezaru's agents because of falsified evidence in 1166. [6] [7] The last prophecy of Hamanari was echoed and reached Ochiai [8] "The Master of Earth will endure after all others have fallen." [9]

War of Fire and Thunder Edit

This year the cargo of a Mantis captured vessel was found a Black Scroll, the Wasting Disease. This scroll had been used to destroy a Phoenix village several days ago. [10] Being a devout pacifist, she sided with Nakamuro in attempting to prevent hostilities with the Mantis Clan, but Ningen sided with Sachi and Akiko and the war was the result. The War of Fire and Thunder placed Ochiai in a very difficult position. She would gladly use her magic to protect and defend her people, but she would not harm others. Ochiai had turned to the dragon spirits in the City of Rememberance for aid in trying to end the conflict without more loss of life. [1] Shiba Tsukimi was sent to Toshi Ranbo to deliver the scroll to the Emperor Toturi III, so that he might choose an appropriate guardian. [10] The Council politely refused Kaneka's aid in the Phoenix Clan's war against the Mantis. It was Akiko's belief that the Shogun served the Empire more efficiently in the capital. [11]

City of Remembrance Edit

In 1167 Ochiai was in the City of Remembrance and helped keep the Mantis at bay. [12] She, as other Phoenix, followed her beliefs and did not kill their enemies. [13] At the same time she dealt with the offer of the Kitsu family to foster a student to the Council of Five. Kitsu Katsuko went to the City to make the arrangements with her. They met in the Temple of the Seven Dragons the Grand Master of the Elements Naka Tokei and his son, Asahina Nizomi. [14] The fostered Kitsu was Kitsu Ineko. [15]

Schism in the Council Edit

Ochiai returned at Kyuden Isawa to be present in the Council. Nakamuro sought to end the bloodshed, being the war in a stalemate for months. The Master of Air requested to give him leave to further investigate the allegations the Mantis have levied against them, which suggested a Phoenix used the Black Scroll to incite this war. Sachi and Ochiai refused, being absent the leader of the Council, Akiko, who was witnessing her daughter's wedding. Ningen kept neutral. [12]

Akiko's Death Edit

After the connection of Akiko to the Gozoku was exposed by Ikoma Masote in the Imperial Court, the Master of Water was killed by her husband, Doji Kurohito. The Council lost its leader. [16]

End of the War Edit

The entire Mantis Clan fleet sailed on the Isawa coastland in a winner-take-all assault, [17] in a point surmised by Asako Bairei, and the Shiba Army and the Council were waiting for them. Ochiai remained apart of the battle, following her pacifist way. As the battle progressed the Dark Wave Fleet under the command of Yoritomo Kitao appeared and assaulted both forces. After the defeat of the Dark Wave, Nakamuro negotiated the surrender of the Phoenix. The Mantis got the island they had seized during the war, the new one created in the Battle of Broken Waves, Kaigen's Island, as well as trading rights along its shores. Mirabu refused to withdraw the Phoenix claim that the Mantis were still a Minor Clan. [18] The Council now recognized a cancerous evil within the Phoenix, one that brought war, suffering and loss of self. [19]

Leader of the Council Edit

Nakanuro had ceded leadership of the Council to his sister Ochiai due to his impending marriage to the Tamori Daimyo Tamori Shaitung. Isawa Emori was appointed as the new Master of Earth. [20]

Masakazu Edit

Isawa Ochiai 4

Isawa Ochiai

In 1168 the Phoenix accepted the rulership of the Shogun Kaneka over the capital Toshi Ranbo while the Emperor Toturi III was absent in his quest for enlightenment. In return one of the Shogun's Advisors joined the Phoenix. Masakazu met Shiba Naoya at Nikesake, and the former ronin introduced himself as the terror of Friendly Traveler Village and the ogre of the Twilight Mountains. Isawa Ochiai was fond of the brute and appointed him as her personal yojimbo. Naoya was concerned with Masakazu's behaviour and how the couple would act in the future. [21]

Isawa Sezaru Edit

The Council was worried with the behaviour of Sezaru because he had grown more and more troubled of late. The Council and Mirabu did not wish to involve him in any matter if it could be avoided. [20]

Cultists in Phoenix lands Edit

Mirabu informed the Cult of the Dead Moon devoted to Onnotangu had been destroyed. After decoding the ciphered scrolls retrieved in the cultist lair a Shiba magistrate patrol had been set to investigate another possible cell in the City of Tears. They had not returned and were lost without any possible tracking. The Council guessed that darkness had grown inside their territory. Bairei volunteered to talk with Asako Kinuye. [20] Bairei exposed Kinuye as a leader of a bloodspeaker cell. In the ensuing battle with Kinuye he barely survived, and returned significantly wounded to Kyuden Isawa. Emori and Shiba Tsukimi led a legion of Shiba to the City of Tears and destroyed the cult. Asako Kinuye barely escaped, and was taken in by Kokujin. [22]

Aikune's Death Edit

Hitomi Maya had returned from the Battle of the Tomb to Phoenix lands, at Nikesake. There she was introduced by Masakazu to Naoya, Ningen and Ochiai. Maya told Aikune, her Lord Mirumoto Rosanjin, and the Emperor had died, as many others. She had been entrusted to deliver an artifact retrieved by Aikune from the Tomb of the Seven Thunders to the Phoenix. The Master of Void, Shiba Ningen, recognized it as the Egg of the Void, a way in which humans could become one with the Dragons. [23]

Phoenix Champion Vacant Edit

During the Winter Court at Kyuden Otomo Isawa Angai announced that the Phoenix Champion Shiba Mirabu had died the previous month. Ochiai declared that all representatives of the clan at the Winter Court were in mourning. The Soul of Shiba had not been chosen who was the next Champion andd the position left vacant. [24] Mirabu's brother, Shiba Naoya, became the acting Shiba Daimyo. [25]

Betrothed Edit

Ochiai was so sorrowed by Mirabu's death that the Dragon Mirumoto Tsuge approached her to meet and talk. They finally began to fall in love one with each other. [26]

Egg of the Void Edit

Ochiai communicating with the Fire Dragon

Ochiai communicating with the Fire Dragon

Ningen was able to communicate through the Egg of the Void with the Dragon of Void. The Dragon explained the egg was the mean by which a particularly gifted mortal, pure and wise, could reach the dragons. Ningen was disappointed when he was told he was not worthy. The Dragon entrusted him to find the one the dragons had judged worthy. Nakamuro guessed his sister Ochiai was that one, she would not take a life, even in war, seeking another way, no matter the cost. She was the ideal that the Phoenix Clan were meant to embody. Ningen would talk with her after she returned from Winter Court. [27]

Battle of Toshi Ranbo Edit

Ochiai used the Egg of the Void to summon the Dragon of Fire above the Imperial City Toshi Ranbo in 1169 during the Battle of Toshi Ranbo. The Phoenix moved in and stopped the fighting between the Unicorn forces and the defenders of the city, and maintained the peace in the city for months afterwards with the Dragon watching over them. [28]

Khan defeated and shamed Edit

The Khan Moto Chagatai and his ally Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Naizen were brought before the present heads of the Great Clans, though perhaps suprisingly was spared execution on his grounds that he was simply trying to ensure the Empire had a strong leader thanks to Naizen's words. It was decided that the knowledge that Chagatai had been defeated and would now be forced to go home in shame, along with the reputation of being an ambitious failure of a barbarian was punishment enough. The Akodo Daimyo Akodo Shigetoshi was ready to force another resolution but was restrained by the appearance of the Lion Clan Champion Matsu Yoshino. He swore before the court that the Khan would die, however - in a year's time, in honorable combat, when the Lion claimed Shiro Moto for themselves. [28]

Marriage Edit

In the Embassy of the Phoenix at Toshi Ranbo Ochiai married Mirumoto Tsuge, in the Month of the Rooster, shortly after the banishing of the Lion and Mantis from the Capital. It was rumored that the wedding was an attempt at distracting from the banishings. [29] The marriage softened her demeanor, and Ochiai's happines was obvious to all. [30]

Stewardship of Toshi Ranbo Edit

The Phoenix stewardship of the Imperial City proved difficult. The Lion and the Mantis both petitioned her for control of the city. Akodo Setai claimed the release of it toward the Lion, alongside with his request for support Toturi Shigekawa as new Emperor, and Yoritomo Yashinko desired her magistrates to aid the Phoenix to keep order in the city. Their debate grew heated, and Ochiai dismissed them and denied their petitions. [31]

Jade Championship Edit

Dragon of Fire returns to Heavens

Dragon of Fire returns to the Heavens

After the Council decided the Fire Dragon had to return to Tengoku, [32] they set up the Phoenix representatives for the Jade Championship. Emori suggested Isawa Eitoku, Ningen appointed Isawa Kimi, and Ochiai selected Agasha Tomioko. [33]

Lion returned Edit

Shortly after the Fire Dragon left to Tengoku, the Lion army approached Toshi Ranbo's gates. The Phoenix guards could not stop them from entering the city without engaging in battle, which would ruin all that they had worked for. The Lion were allowed to enter the city. [25]

Phoenix Clan Champion revealed Edit

Inside the Imperial Palace Naoya was being submitted to the autorithy of the Council for his actions that eventually allowed the Lion to return to the capital. The commander Shiba Tsukimi stepped in, and she called a stop to the proceedings. Tsukimi revealed herself as the new bearer of the Soul of Shiba. Ningen verified her statement and the Council acknowledged Tsukimi as the new Phoenix Clan Champion. [30]

Hunting the Dark Oracles Edit

The Elemental Council decided to engage the Dark Oracles. They reasoned that, as the Oracles had distanced themselves from Ningen-do, a Dark Oracle who was slain should not be replaced. [34] A group was sent to seek and destroy them. [30]

Winter Court 1169 - Kyuden Otomo Edit

Ochiai attended the Winter Court in 1169 at Kyuden Otomo, where she was among the select few able to procure the proper fashion (as set by Doji Domotai). [35]

Toshi Ranbo surrender Edit

The Council decided to surrender control of Toshi Ranbo, being their agenda completed. Ochiai began preparations to withdraw from the city at the conclusion of the winter, and it might take as long as the early summer. [36]

Failed Intervention in the Third Yasuki War Edit

In 1170 Ochiai and Masakazu visited the Crab and Crane generals, Hida Sozen and Daidoji Zoushi respectively, to attempt to end the Third Yasuki War peacefully. Both refused the Phoenix intervention. Following the meeting Tsukimi convinced Ochiai that the Phoenix could accomplish something of value in the war through military intervention, [37] and led the Shiba Army into Yasuki territory. The Crab and Crane fronts ceased to crash against one another and now, instead, they unified and turned against the Phoenix. Tsukimi realized it and withdrew their forces out of Yasuki lands, toward Toshi Ranbo. [38]

War of Dark Fire Edit

When news of the War of Dark Fire began to spread the Empire, the Shiba Army marshalled to the north. Few of them remained to aid in the quest for the Dark Oracles, and the newly appointed Master of Air, Isawa Mitsuko, requested troops to the Lion Clan, without realizing that request had to be sanctioned by the Council of Five. Mitsuko sent word to Ochiai apologizing her course of action. [39]

Attacked Edit

In 1171 the Army of Fire stormed the Castle of the Faithful Bride in a rapid attack and moved ahead toward Kyuden Isawa. The army split into multiple forces, the largest of which headed to the palace; a smaller force set out through the Isawa Mori, bound for the Dragon Heart Plain, to unleash something dark and terrible from the emptiness there. A third group rampaged across the northernmost regions and put to the torch three farming villages. The Masters aided the palace garrison to fight off the Yobanjin invaders, and Bairei was entrusted to guard the palace library, or destroy it if the library was in danger to be seized by the barbarians. Ningen departed north to protect as many villages as he could. [40]

Kyuden Isawa stormed Edit

Ochiai ordered the Council to leave, and Bairei departed to tend Ningen, who was barely alive in the Northern Phoenix lands. Ochiai's intention was to sacrifice herself to gain time for the rest. Mitsuko and Emori, who had been wounded when they were defending the palace, disobeyed Ochiai, and asked to vote what to do. Ochiai pondered to use Masakazu's brute force on them, but finally accepted their point. She commanded Emori to drive the raiders out while Mitsuko, who was too weak, fell unconscious. Emori was forced to collapse Kyuden Isawa upon the invaders as it had eventually sucumbed to the overwhelming numbers of the Army of Fire, in the Fall of Kyuden Isawa. They abandoned the palace. [41]

End of the War Edit

The Battle of Dragon Heart Plain ended the War. [42] Shortly after were reported plagued villages in the Northern Phoenix provinces. [43]

Winter Court - 1171 Edit

Ochiai attended the second Winter Court of Iweko I at Kyuden Gotei in 1171. The Empress proclaimed that she was suspending the edict demanding the immediate execution of Daigotsu, and demanded that he be brought before her. [44] Ochiai was present in the Imperial wedding between the Empress and Akodo Setai at the Temple of Jade Sun. [45] She was the winner of the Devil Chase, a shugenja contest held on Mew Year's Day to scare malevolent spirits. [46]

Destroyer War Edit

Kali-Ma Edit

In 1172 the new Master of Void Isawa Kimi took a dangerous path searching in the Void for Kali-Ma. She eventually discovered the Destroyer was seeking something, and Kimi knew it must be found by the Empire first. The Council believed Kali-Ma was seeking the Black Scroll Essence of Destruction, under research of Isawa Yutako. Yutako unexpectedly entered the meeting and exposed the scroll she had was not the one she was told. It was an old one, and already opened. The Elemental Masters guessed the one in Yutako's hands was one planted by the Scorpion Clan to deceive the theft of the Essence of Destruction. This Black Scroll should be the artifact retrieved by the Scorpion from the Tomb of the Seven Thunders. [47]

Southern front Edit

During winter of this year the Dark Oracle of Fire Chosai was wounded beyond his ability to recover and the Army of Fire routed. She and Tsukimi decided to focus in the southern front agains the Destroyers. [48]

End of the Destroyer War Edit

In 1173 Daigotsu, Shahai, Susumu, Fu Leng, and Kali-Ma had died. The drawback was that Daigotsu had returned in a phantom form, as the Master of Jigoku. The Empress proclaimed the end of the Destroyer War with the victory of the Empire. The Phoenix had to purify the lands touched by the Destroyers. The Spider Clan had been conferred the status of Great Clan. Those free of taint could remain in the Empire, and the tainted were put under guard of the Dragon Clan, to extend the Empire in the Ivory Kingdoms as the Iweko's Conquerors alongside with the Mantis Clan. [49] Tsukimi talked the Empress' Imperial edict with the Masters. Mitsuko despised the edict but they agreed to follow it. The apparition of the Dark Fortunes would be investigated. [50]

Retirement Edit

Ochiai retired from active duty, and during the War of the Twins conflict she did not intervene. [51]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Isawa Ochiai 3

Isawa Ochiai

Preceded by:
Isawa Hochiu
Master of Fire
1159 - ?
Succeeded by:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lotus Personalities: Isawa Ochiai
  2. Great Clans, p. 192
  3. Blood Dawn, Part VII: Soul of the Phoenix, by Rich Wulf
  4. Fires of the Hidden City, part One, by Rich Wulf
  5. Fires of the Hidden City, Part Five, by Rich Wulf
  6. Hour of the Wolf, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  7. Clan Letter to the Crane
  8. The Last Prophecy (Web of Lies flavor)
  9. Suitengu's Surge (Web of Lies flavor)
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Gift, by Rich Wulf
  11. Report of Miya Shoin to the Righteous Emperor, Toturi III (Imperial Herald v2 #16)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dawn of the Lotus, The Phoenix, by Shawn Carman
  13. Brothers, by Shawn Carman
  14. Finding the Balance, by Shawn Carman
  15. Kitsu Ineko (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  16. The Topaz Championship, Part Two, by Shawn Carman
  17. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  18. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  19. Starter Quotes (Rise of the Shogun)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Rising from the Ashes, by Shawn Carman
  21. The Gift of the Shogun, by Shawn Carman
  22. Blood for Blood, by Shawn Carman
  23. Distant Thunder, by Shawn Carman
  24. Wishes, by Shawn Carman
  25. 25.0 25.1 At the Heart of the Empire, by Brian Yoon
  26. Winter Nights: Sowing the Wind, by Nancy Sauer
  27. The Word of Heaven (Imperial Herald v2#21), by Shawn Carman and Fred Wan
  28. 28.0 28.1 The Truest Test, Part III, by the Legend of the Five Rings Story Team
  29. Scenes from the Empire II, by Nancy Sauer
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Revelation, by Shawn Carman
  31. Rulebook Story (Stronger than Steel), by Shawn Carman
  32. Fire & Stone, by Brian Yoon
  33. Wisdom and Power, by Brian Yoon
  34. The Haze of Time, by Brian Yoon
  35. The Flowers, The Snow, by Nancy Sauer and Fred Wan
  36. The Burden of Power (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  37. The Fire’s Peace (Imperial Herald v2#25), by Rusty Priske
  38. The Heaven's Will, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  39. Letters II, by Shawn Carman
  40. War of Dark Fire, Part V, by Shawn Carman
  41. The War of Dark Fire, Part 6, by Shawn Carman and Nancy Sauer
  42. The War of Dark Fire, Part 16, by Shawn Carman
  43. Oceans, by Lucas Twyman
  44. The Proclamation, by Rusty Priske
  45. The Imperial Wedding, by Rusty Priske
  46. Winter Court 2012 (Kyuden Gotei): Winter Court Results Part 1
  47. Searching, by Rusty Priske
  48. The Destroyer War, Part 8, by Shawn Carman & Nancy Sauer
  49. Goddesses, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  50. Aftermath, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  51. Isawa Taiken (Honor and Treachery #26 flavor)

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