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Jade Champion

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Jade Champion

Jade Champion

The Jade Champion was created by the Emperor in response to the flagrant use of maho that Iuchiban and the Bloodspeakers released upon Rokugan. The Champion was to be in charge of the use of magic within the empire, and especially responsible for the prevention of maho.

First Champion Edit

Mantle of the Jade Champion

Mantle of the Jade Champion

The first Jade Champion was Kuni Tokaji. Tokaji was a powerful shugenja but a braggart, and he made it his mission to travel the Empire and defeat shugenja from all of the other clans in taryu-jiai. Only the Dragon and Phoenix Clans would not agree to feed the arrogant shugenja's egotistical pursuit. Sometime later Tokaji attended a Winter Court, and presented his achievements to the Emperor, claiming the Dragon and Phoenix were afraid of his skill. The Emperor was sufficiently impressed, and created the position of the Jade Champion. [1]

Phoenix Interference Edit

The Council of Five, however, resented this affront to their superiority and control over magic, and rightfully saw the post as a threat to their ability to practice and learn the arcane arts without obstruction or interruption, as anyone in such a post could rightfully demand to be made privy to their secrets. The Masters began to plan to remove the position from the Emperor's courts, and within five generations the post was empty, the responsibility turned into a joke. [2]

Destruction of the office Edit

In 664 the Phoenix discovered a Bloodspeaker cell within the Scorpion lands. They destroyed it and the reputation of the Jade Champion at the time, Yogo Yoshi, who retired to a monastery. The office was vacant for over four hundred years. [3] The daisho and armor of the vacant Jade Champion was placed in the Imperial Family Alcove, and the Jade Champion's Room in the Imperial Palace was sealed. [4]

Return of the Position Edit

The Council had for centuries used the Asako Inquisitors, who worked closely with the Kuni Witch Hunters to find and stamp out maho, and to make sure no one would think the post of Jade Champion necessary to revive. [5] In 1124 a strange reddish haze hung over Rokugan's moon for seven days, which led to increasing numbers of reports on maho, as an omen of the return of Iuchiban. In 1125 there had been murmurs of resurrecting the long-forgotten position of Jade Champion, which did not happen. [6] This worked until 1131, when, during the disappearance of Toturi I, the Seppun and Otomo called the first Test of the Jade Champion in centuries, in an effort to keep peace within Rokugan. [5]

Okura Edit

Kitsu Okura became the first champion for centuries, and he was the first to hold the Mantle of the Jade Champion. [7] But his victory at the championship was marred by rumors of dark deals being the source of his power. [8] Okura only served for a year, until 1132, when his use of maho came to the fore at the battle known as Storms Over Matsu Castle. [9]

Utagu Edit

The position remained vacant for years following the failure of Okura, until it was revived by Kuni Utagu. [10] Utagu was well known for his hard line when it came to corruption, earning the nickname The Wall, and improving the techniques used by the Kuni Witch Hunters. Utagu held the Championship during the War of Spirits until he was murdered in his sleep by Asako Ryoma in 1158. Ryoma believed that Utagu was the main obastacle to his master Toturi Sezaru earning the throne. [11]

Sekawa Edit

Following the death of Utagu a new Championship was held. The Four Winds agreed to summon the Test even without a Emperor who sanctioned it. [12] The tournament was marred by an attack from the onisu Hakai, leaving many dead. The winner was Asahina Sekawa, but it was a bittersweet victory as his sister Kimita and uncle Tamako were among the killed. [13] Sekawa became a bitter man, frequently putting him at odds with other powerful people in the Empire. [14] Some time after the death of Rosoku, the descendant of Shinsei, in 1166, Sekawa and the other Keepers of Enlightenment began searching for a child of Rosoku. Sekawa found the boy in 1169 and relinquished his positions in the Empire. He left Rokugan, traveling north, hoping to protect the child and thus the line of Shinsei. [15]

Daigo Edit

Kuni Daigo becomes Jade Champion

Daigo becomes Champion

Following the death of Emperor Toturi III in 1168, the line of succession was thrown into turmoil as the Emperor had no living heir. His wife Empress Toturi Kurako became regent, but she was killed during the Khan Moto Chagatai's assault upon the Imperial City in 1169. The Imperial Families decided that, with the departure of Sekawa a new Jade Champion would have to be chosen. A tournament was held, resulting in Kuni Daigo becoming the next champion. [16] Daigo's tenure as champion was similar to that of Utagu, driving a hard campaign against the taint. He procured "spare" jade from the Crane Clan [17], and even launched an attack on the Tower of Fear, purifying it. [18]

Minor Jade Championships Edit

The Divine Empress Iweko I ordered the Jade Champion to hold his tournament on an annual basis, not to replace the Champion, but to give the samurai of the Empire an outlet for their competitive natures, and to provide opportunities for advancement. Each year would hold a tournament of the sort normally used to fill the position, and the winner of these tournaments would become favored vassal of the Jade Champion, as one of his advisors and agents in use throughout the Empire. [19]

Estate Edit

The Jade Champion was given his own room within the Imperial Palace at Otosan Uchi. [4] After the Fall of Otosan Uchi another room was given in the Castle of Law at Toshi Ranbo, the new Imperial City. [20]

Jade Champions of Rokugan Edit

Kuni Tokaji  ? - ?
Seppun Matashi (c. 514)
Yogo Yoshi 658 - 664
Vacant 664 - 1131
Kitsu Okura 1131 - 1132
Kuni Utagu 1138 - 1158
Asahina Sekawa 1158 - 1169
Kuni Daigo 1169 - ?
Asahina Nanae (c. 1188) - 1199
Isawa Kaname 1199 - Present

Known Technique Edit

Jade Temple

The Jade Temple

External Links Edit

References

  1. Secrets of the Crab, p. 57
  2. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 18-19
  3. Imperial Histories, p. 111
  4. 4.0 4.1 Otosan Uchi:Book 2, p. 93
  5. 5.0 5.1 Feature History
  6. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 75
  7. To Honor the Ancestors, by Brian Yoon
  8. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 22
  9. Hidden Emperor, p. 43
  10. Prayers and Treasures, p. 168
  11. Kotei 2003 - Kuni Utagu
  12. Test of the Jade Champion, Prologue
  13. Way of the Samurai, p. 96
  14. Emerald and Jade, by Shawn Carman
  15. The Truest Test - Aftermath, by Shawn Carman
  16. European Championships: The Jade Championship tourney results
  17. Sacrifices, by Rusty Priske
  18. Preparations, Part II, by Lucas Twyman, Nancy Sauer, Brian Yoon, and Fred Wan
  19. The Jeweled Champions (Tourneys)
  20. Strongholds of the Empire, p. 118



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