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Keepers of the Books of Enlightenment

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The Five Keepers

The Keepers of the Books of Enlightenment were those who solved the challenges set down by Rosoku, the descendant of Shinsei, to pass on the legacy of Shinsei in 1165.

The Challenges Edit

Rosoku set forth five challenges, one representing the wisdom of each of the five elements. [1] The books were magically hidden throughout Rokugan, and the challengers were allowed to attempt to solve the challenges in any manner, with the kami as the judges. Everyone would know when a challenge was fulfilled because the new Keeper would be shown the location of the appropriate book by the kami. [2]

The challenges were as follows: [2]

  • The Book of Air was awarded to the scholar who could contain one thousand years of learning on a single parchment.
  • The Book of Earth was awarded to the smith who crafted a helmet strong enough to shatter one thousand blades.
  • The Book of Fire was awarded to the warrior who could defeat a thousand enemies in a single stroke.
  • The Book of Water was awarded to the general who could lead his armies from one end of Rokugan to the other in a single night.
  • The Book of Void was awarded to the sage who could perform a task greater than the other four things combined.
  • The Book of Five Rings was awarded to the truly enlightened soul who could complete all five of these tasks, becoming the Keeper of the Five Rings.

The Books Edit

All books were designed in style that was more like a gaijin's tome, with individual rectangular pages bound and held within covers of wood and heavy cloth. [3]

The Keepers Edit

Those who originally solved these challenges were:

It was not immediately apparent if there would be successors to these positions upon the death or retirement of the current Keeper or not.

Enlightenment Edit

None of the Keepers actively sought their position. Each of them achieved their new perspective by overcoming their preconceived notions. None sought a challenge to overcome. None scoured the Empire in search of an obstacle worthy of their prowess. They found their path through happenstance. Enlightenment could not be sought, only discovered. [8]

Sekawa's Departure Edit

In 1169, following the discovery of Rosoku's infant son, Asahina Sekawa gave up his position as the Keeper of the Five Rings and travelled north of Rokugan with the child, to ensure that the Empire would have the guidance of Shinsei's line again in the future. [9]

Book of Shadows Edit

In 1171 a group of samurai sought the Book of Shadows, the allegedly lost Seventh Book of Enlightenment. [10]

Brotherhood of Shinsei Edit

The Keepers kept their allegiance to their clan, but they also bore the mon of the Brotherhood of Shinsei. [11]

Age of Conquest Edit

At the beginning of the Age of Conquest, only three of the Keepers still maintained their position; Masae, Tsuken and Jun'ai. Daidoji Ebizo had obtained the mantle of Keeper of Earth, while Iuchi Abodan had become the Keeper of Void. In addition, two more keepers had been appointed in Asahina Sakiko and Soshi Nikaro, Keepers of Thunder and Jade respectively. Another keeper, Kakita Hideo, was the Keeper of Obsidian. In addition, a fourth new keeper, the Keeper of Shadow, was created, although only Hideo could contact the keeper. The Keeper of Shadow was not considered a true keeper by all of the other keepers. [12]

References

  1. The Hidden Path, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Legacy of Fire, by Rich Wulf
  3. Book of Air, p. 103
  4. Duty, Like a Mountain by Rich Wulf
  5. 5.0 5.1 Blue Skies by Rich Wulf
  6. The Touch of the Void by Shawn Carman
  7. Fate of the Five Rings (Gencon Results), by Rich Wulf
  8. Rulebook Story, (Test of Enlightenment)
  9. The Truest Test: Aftermath by Shawn Carman and Fred Wan
  10. Vacant Throne, p. 166
  11. The Destroyer War, Part 16, by Shawn Carman
  12. Philosophies, by Shawn Carman



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