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The Kolat was an ancient word from the barbarian languages that meaned “to question”, and it was used to name a secret society originally dedicated to the downfall of the Hantei family. The founders believed that mankind should rule itself, and a god declaring himself ruler over them was unacceptable. For over a thousand years, the Kolat plotted the downfall of the Hantei line. [1]

Kolat Objective Edit

The ultimate goal of the Kolat was to have mankind rule itself, free of the rulership of the Kami. It had been their goal since the beginning of their conspiracy. It would first need to control every aspect of Rokugan, the world beyond, and the Celestial Heavens themselves if they could manage it. Second, the Final Emperor, the last true leader must be prepared to emerge as ruler. [2]

Fall of the Hantei Line Edit

Since recent times, however, some Kolat felt that their goal had been achieved : a Hantei no longer sat on the throne, there existed a major clan with no direct link to the Kami (the Mantis Clan), and the Sun and Moon had been replaced by mortals. These Kolat considered that maintaining the Kolat organization's power was the only concern. The masters of the Steel, Coin, Silken, Chrysanthemum sects adhered to this philosophy whereas the masters of the Tiger, Cloud, Lotus and Dream sects had a more "traditional" view.

The masters of the Jade and Roc sects were not interested in the debate and were too concerned with their own responsibilities to be involved.

Kolat Organization Edit

Before the Clan War Edit

Before the Clan War, the Kolat were lead by the council of the Ten Masters, all working in unison, meeting at the Hidden Temple

The ten masters all knew of the others' identity. This was an obvious danger to the conspiracy. After the Kolat purge, the Kolat reorganized to avoid such dangers.

New Structure Edit

The Kolat were organized in ten different sects: Steel, Coin, Silken, Chrysanthemum, Tiger, Cloud, Lotus, Dream, Jade and Roc. All sects were independent and had their own purpose. Each sect was led by a Kolat Master.

Sect Goal Masters Pre-Clan War Equivalent
Chrysanthemum Sect Monitor Imperial City Master Chrysanthemum: Ikoma Tsai Ikoma Soko
Cloud Sect Preserve Kolat Knowledge Master Cloud: Unknown Isawa Korekado
Coin Sect Gather Wealth Master Coin: Yasuki Jinn-Kuen Doji Akae
Dream Sect Use the mind as a weapon Master Dream: Unknown Kuni Shimura
Jade Sect Destroy the Lying Darkness and the Shadowlands Master Jade: Unknown Shosuro Emon
Lotus Sect Assassinate the Kolat enemies Master Lotus: Shosuro Nyoko Chinoko
Roc Sect Protect the Kolat's interests in foreign lands Master Roc: Akodo Kobi al-Hazaad
Silken Sect Gather information Master Silk: Unknown Kaouta
Steel Sect Protect the Hidden Temple Master Steel: Hida Suteru Shinjo Yokatsu
Tiger Sect Maintain the secrecy of the order Master Tiger: Unknown Akodo Kage

The members of the sects were not aware of the identity of other members of their own sect, let alone of other sects. Each Kolat operative worked for an Oyabun which in turn worked for his own oyabun, or for the master of his sect. This was to maintain perfect secrecy and limited to a minimum the danger of a Kolat leading to the others.

Lower Levels Edit

The active agents were master's direct servants conditioned from early age to embrace the kolat philosophy. They were grouped into cliques called Hambatsu, forming an interconnected network. They only knew his own kolat master, and after his master ordered a mission they executed it, and returned to his normal life. [3]

The unknowing accomplices were people that kolats used for their plans, without knowledge to whom or why they were doing the work. Usually believed they were serving his own clan or other noble purpose, through lies or direct order from masters whose loyalty laid elsewhere. They did the most dangerous work and were the most likely to be caught. [4]

A special unknowing accomplice was a Sleeper Agent, brainwashed individuals that should perform specific duties when activated. Sleeper were usually kidnapped during lenghty trips, were their family would not notice his absence. They were manipulated through magic, torture and another ways, and when completed had a deep-set unsconscious instructions, to be activated at master's discretion, normally with a specific word. They returned to normal life with false memories, without any sign of this process. The sleepers were only activated for very important missions. [5]

The Dupes were the lower lever, people who gave information, logistic, or whatsoever in a kolat mission. They normally were used for one-shoot mission. [5]

Kolat History Edit

Dawn of the Empire Edit

When the Kami fell from the heavens not all humans wished to obey their command. Some fled to the Burning Sands, others went into hiding, all of them planning for a time when they might return and unmake the Kami controlled society.

Ten of the more philosophical rebels, former sons and brothers of slain chieftains agreed that these so-called gods had no right to rule them. The Kolat were the descendants of this group. They had a secretive organization with the goal of undermining the samurai caste and the concept of Celestial Order. [1] The first leader was the charismatic genius and philosopher Tora. [6] Kolat believed all men were equal and the idea of samurai being above others was revolting.

Hidden Temple Edit

In the year 20 the original founders of the kolat traded with the tribes which would be known as the Yobanjin in return for the construction of a vast temple deep in the mountains. Originally was a place where the Kolat might meet to discuss their heretical philosophies. Further, this temple allowed the Kolat to keep ties with the other tribes who fled from the Kami's rule without drawing the Emperor's wrath. [1]

Infiltration in the Ujik-hai Edit

In the year 30 the kolat exiles met the Ujik-Hai, a fierce tribe of desert nomads. The Ujik-Hai demanded that the exiles either bow down before their gods of death or perish. They feigned obeisance so the Ujlk-Hai could be infiltrated and brought under control. [1]

The Tao of Shinsei is Written Edit

In the year 42 the Tao of Shinsei was recorded by Shiba. Shinsei's writings suggested that any mortal could be the equal of the gods if he sought the path of enlightenment, and that all things were impermanent, part of an endless kharmic cycle. The kolat felt the Tao endorsed their own philosophies, and that the imperfect Kami would be eventually cast down. The conspiracy began infiltrating mercantile organizations and the Imperial Bureaucracy to be closest to those in power, so they would manipulate the Empire from within. [7]

The Infiltration of the Ki-Rin Edit

In the year 45 the Ki-Rin Clan encountered the Ujik-Hai during the Ki-Rin's Exodus. The nomadic tribe was thoroughly infiltrated and influenced by Kolat agents, who prompted the Ujik-Hai into what they knew would be a hopeless battle. Afterward, Kolat agents assumed the position of the perished chieftain and suggested that the Ujik-Hai might benefit by swearing fealty to Shinjo. They became the Moto family. In this manner, the Kolat's agents were adopted into a Great Clan without suspicion. [8]

It was also the Kolat that made sure the Unicorn learned meishodo, a form of gaijin magic which did not use the kami, but the Elements themselves. [9]

Death of Hida Osano-Wo Edit

In the year 97 a descendant of one of the original Ten Masters attempted to utilize blackmail for personal gain. Osano-Wo was threatened to be shamed by revealing the dishonorable actions of his most favored general. The Crab Clan Champion laughed at the feeble attempt at blackmail and openly attacked the Kolat, who defended himself, using a blade coated with a virulent poison, striking down Osano-Wo. Horrified his fellow Kolat barred him from the Hidden Temple for his foolish behavior. At Shiro Shiba, Kaimetsu-Uo found the assassin and took his vengeance. [8]

Ten Masters Reformed Edit

Following the near-debacle that was the death of Osano-Wo, the Ten Masters re-evaluated the hereditary system. Instead a system of apprenticeship was instituted, whereby each of the Ten Masters selected a promising agent from outside his bloodline and groomed them to be his replacement. [8]

Oni's Eye Edit

In 129 the Oni's Eye was discovered in the Twilight Mountains. It was taken by the kolat conspiracy who, using it, began expanding their influence immediately. [10]

Invention of Koku Edit

In the year 243 the koku was invented by Yasuki Tanaka, a Kolat Master. [8]

The First War Edit

In order to increase their power, the Kolat wanted to increase the power of money and economics in the Empire. In the year 387 this lead to them being instrumental in the Crane-Crab War which eventually led to the Yasuki break and the ongoing underground economic war between the Daidoji and the Yasuki. [8]

This was the first period of history where the Kolat had been noticed, and were nearly destroyed when the Yasuki family discovered their existence. The Kolat would do their best to wipe out all memory of their folly. [11]

Gozoku Edit

The Kolat had absolutely nothing to do with the Gozoku's rise in 391. When the Gozoku attacked the Brotherhood of Shinsei for aiding the Hantei, the Kolat knew their days were numbered. A Kolat agent visited one of the Gozoku's leaders, Bayushi Atsuki, offering to help him secure his rule if he joined their ranks. Atsuki refused, and the Kolat withdrew to watch the Gozoku crumble. [8]

Ban of Maho Edit

The first raise of Iuchiban in 510 was seen as an act of chaos and wanton destruction, so the Masters declared maho forbidden. Any practictioner among their ranks would be executed. [8]

Return of the Ki-Rin Edit

By the time the Unicorn came back to Rokugan in 815, the clan was under complete Kolat control. [12] Even though less than 5% of its member were Kolat operatives, they were key members. [citation needed]

The Moto Ride to the Shadowlands Edit

The Kolat feared the ascendancy of the Moto family under the command of Moto Tsume. Their agents warned him to move against the Shadowlands. [13] Tsume led the Moto into the Shadowlands in 825 in an attempt show their strength and aid the Crab Clan. [14] The Moto were destroyed and corrupted, becoming the Dark Moto. The Kolat-controlled Shinjo remained in power. [13]

Togashi Edit

When Togashi ruled in his many guises, he could infallibly spot kolat infiltration in the Dragon Clan. Any Kolat agents were either slain by him or turned to his own purpose. Eventually the Masters learned to stop trying. [15]

Lost Texts Edit

When the Ki-Rin returned to the Empire they had written their journey and the dangers they faced, as the Shadows. They also described stories of infiltration and the engineering death of the Shinjo family. The scrolls were lost, and in the 12th century were found by an Ide and his son, Ide Hasame. They did not uncover the evindences and became ronin, knowing they would be target of the Kolat, but they were hunted by the kolat to keep the secret. [16]

Dajan's Kolat Edit

The Opium War which devastated the opium trade in the Empire, and which was fough at Ryoko Owari Toshi between the three opium cartels, the Bayushi, Shosuro, and Soshi cartels, was engineered by the Kolat. In this the Unicorn Clan were their pawns. [17] A splinter sect of the Kolat, the Dajan's Kolat, claimed to be the true masterminds of the war. Theu used maho to reach their ends. They also engineered the doom of the Hare Clan. [18] The Kolat in 1125 retaliated the foul sect, killing several of their members. Somehow the Dajan's Kolat had found a mean to avoid the scry of the Oni's Eye, their destruction took time. [19]

Uncovered by the Scorpion Edit

In 1126 Bayushi Tomaru, the hero of the Siege of Shiro Usagi, uncovered the kolat to his Lady Bayushi Kachiko. He had learned of their existence while investigating near Morikage Toshi the disappearance of his beloved Usagi Tomoe. Kachiko contacted them in hopes of forging an alliance, but the Kolat were skeptical to ally with her. [20] Shinjo Bushi with hatred for the kolat swear vengeance against them and as the Vigilants set out to hunt conspiracy agents. [21]

Feign Death of Master Tiger Edit

Bayushi Kachiko had learned the true affiliations of Akodo Kage, Master Tiger. In 1127 Kage was forced to fake his own death [8] having become tired of Kachiko's blackmail over his position within the Kolat. [22]

Kolat Purges Edit

After the Clan War in the year 1129 the former student of Kage, Toturi, was made Emperor. Kage hoped that he might be the perfect leader the Kolat had sought to groom for so long. In 1130 Toturi was kidnapped and thereafter possessed by the Lying Darkness. [8] After Toturi I is back to the Throne he made extensive efforts to purge Rokugan of Kolat influence. [23]

In the War Against Shadow the kolat aided the Empire, being the Lying Darkness a commom threat for both. When the Shadows were uncovered and the Empire was united against them, the kolat emerged from hiding wielding crystal weapons, and gave to the Imperial armies. [24]

In addition, the Kami Shinjo purged the Unicorn Clan of Kolat influence, leaving her family in shambles and placing the Moto family in charge of the Clan. [25]

After Oblivion's Gate Edit

After the crippling attacks of the Lying Darkness and Shinjo's purge the kolat were disorganized, and many critical agents were isolated. Master Coin Doji Akae applicated his fortune to reassign endangered agents to less hostile areas, and accumulated resources which allowed the operatives to continue, albeit on a smaller scale than before. [26]

The Ten Masters did not necessarily know the identity of the other Masters, but proved their identity through the possession of special nemuranai masks, attuned to their owner in the presence of the Oni's Eye. These masks glowed in the presence of the Eye or one of its Tears, and scarred any wearer who was not one of the true Ten Masters. [8]

Their sister group of Kolat within the Burning Sands, known as the Qolat, was largely unaffected by the purges in Rokugan and continue to operate as normal. The Qolat sect which was in contact with their counterparts became known as the Roc Sect. [27]

The organization sought a new focus, torn between their desire to remake the Celestial Order and the more pragmatic desire to ensure the organizations existence. The Tiger, Cloud, Lotus, and Dream Masters were traditional Kolat, with Master Cloud the most vocal member of the group. The Steel, Coin, Silk, and Chrysanthemum Masters all adhered to the modern philosophy. Neither Master Jade nor Master Roc seemed interested in this ongoing debate. [26] The latter philosophy was championed by Morito and it seemed to be winning out. [28]

Second Yasuki War Edit

Yasuki Oguri, Yasuki Daimyo and Master Coin, saw an opportunity to change the entire nature of the Kolat. He drew upon his resources to begin a quiet war within the Kolat. Those who did not agree with his philosophies were denied the Coin Sect's considerable resources. He even went so far as to name his son, Yasuki Kamoru, as the heir to his position. In the dead of winter in 1157, Oguri died of a mysterious illness and the following spring, Kamoru died of the same illness. With no direct heirs, the Yasuki scrambled to determine the closest relation. This led to the Emerald Champion Yasuki Hachi as the new daimyo, the return of the Yasuki to the Crane, and the ensuing Second Yasuki War. The Kolat used the war as an excuse to exterminate Kamoru's remaining sympathizers, and the kolat Yasuki Jinn-Kuen rose to a position of influence among the Yasuki. [29] [8]

Four Winds Edit

The Kolat were believed to have sacrificed themselves in the War Against Shadow, however evidence of their existence persists as recently as 1159, when a Sleeper Agent was exposed before Hantei Naseru and the entire Imperial Court by Yasuki Hachi. [30]

The Shadowed Tower Edit

It was distressing that the existence of the Shadowed Tower had been escaped to the kolat scrutiny during a long period. The Kolat found the Tower's use of maho and the Taint unconscionable. [31] In 1159 the Kolat offered aid to the Scorpion Clan against a common enemy, the Shadowed Tower. [32] At the same time they gained a contact within the organization, using it to broke some kind of alliance. [33]

The Exposure of Master Coin Edit

The same year, after the Junghar Army commander Moto Chen became the victim of a slandering campaign which resulted in the loss of his position, he began a quest to extract vengeance from the people responsible, with the implicit blessings of his lord Unicorn Clan Champion Moto Chagatai. He learned that not only was his brother, Moto Chaozhu, the person who set things in motion, but he was able to do so with the assistance of the Kolat in a failed attempt to usurp his brother's position. Chen then received information about a Kolat cell operating within Mantis lands. He took this information to Mantis Clan Champion-contender Yoritomo Kumiko, who personally assisted him in attacking the cell, which turned out to be Master Coin Moshi Shanegon's secret stronghold and treasury. The two, with the help of Kumiko's forces, fatally wounded Shanegon's operation, and caused him to flee into the Ivory Kingdoms. Through this, Chen was able to redeem himself in the eyes of the public, and Kumiko gained more legitimacy and support in her battle for the Championship. And unbeknown to the two, Yasuki Jinn-Kuen, their secret sponsor and source of information, managed to use the ensuing chaos within the Coin Sect to take over as the new Master Coin. Shanegon was already held in low esteem by his fellow Masters thanks to his decadence and the sloppiness of his way of running things, and this blatant exposure convinced them that it was time for him to be replaced. Jinn-Kuen was more than happy to oblige his fellow Masters. [8]

Black Chrysanthemum Edit

In 1165 the Kolat once again returned to their under-the-radar ways after the fiasco with Moshi Shanegon. However, their next move was, once again, an apparent failure - they never forgot Chen's attack on them, and Chaozhu's failure. The Kolat attempted to finish both off in one fell swoop by setting up an ambush in Toshi Ranbo on the two. However, the brothers figured it was an ambush, and were almost able to escape Ikoma Tsai's assasins, which he personally lead. However, things went awry both for attackers and the Motos when the Rain of Blood fell on all of them - Tsai and his people succumbed to corruption, as well as Chaozhu, and only Chen survived unscathed. All was not lost for Ikoma Tsai, however - Shadowlands Dark Lord Daigotsu negotiated with Master Roc Ruqayah on building an alliance, or at least a truce, between the Shadowlands and the Kolat, as they had greater enemies in the Empire - Iuchiban's Bloodspeakers, and the secret political conspiracy known as the Gozoku. The Kolat agreed to this, and created the position of Master Black Chrysanthemum to serve as liaison between the Shadowlands and the Kolat. [citation needed] They selected Ikoma Tsai for this, after having freed him from the mind-altering effects of both the Taint and the Bloodspeakers. [citation needed]

Secret Gozoku War Edit

The Kolat had become painfully aware of the Gozoku machinations and the way they had undermined Toturi III's rule - this, to the Kolat, was unacceptable, since they considered the continuing rule of the Toturi Dynasty as one of their major successes. Finally, the Kolat took action against their bitter enemies - Master Silk Kakita Kyruko talked with Doji Yasuyo in 1166, and through innuendo and logic, alarmed her about her fiance Kaneka's ambitions, and then gave her information about Kaneka holding a very important Crane hostage. Yasuyo confronted Kaneka and his officers about Doji Takeji, and Kaneka not only admitted his membership in the Gozoku, but also gave Yasuyo all the information he had so far about the conspiracy. They then set in motion a chain of events that would eventually lead to the exposure and eventual death of the Gozoku leaders, Bayushi Atsuki, Doji Akiko, and Seppun Toshiaki. [citation needed]

Togashi Satsu Edit

In 1166 the kolat realized the Dragon Champion was again a nuisance to their goals. When Togashi Satsu became champion he was only a man, without any speacial ability to detect the kolat, and the Dragon Clan was plagued with agents. But the power of Satsu and his foreseeing abilities had been grown with the years, and the kolat infiltration was in risk. An assassination plot gainst Satsu was made but it was fouled by a Jade agent, Kaelung. [15]

Battle at the Tomb Edit

Once again, the Kolat took an active role in assisting the Toturi Dynasty - they deployed both Yasuki Jinn-kuen and Tsuruchi Etsui in the failed rescue mission of Toturi Naseru from the Shadowlands. The two were given full reign to use Kolat resources in facilitating the transportation of the rescuers, which benefited the Crab and Mantis squads to great effect. [34] Jinn-kuen and Etsui also both managed to enter the Tomb with the Emperor himself, and were among the 8 Great Clan Representatives, along with the Nezumi and Daigotsu Rekai, who were commanded by Naseru to bring back a relic from the Tomb back to the Empire immediately, even at the cost of Naseru's life. Jinn-kuen brought with him to the Crab the Tao of Fu Leng, [35] while Etsui brought back not only a candle and a magical sword, but also a powerful secret - how to find the true heir of Toturi Naseru. The former he gave to the Mantis, the latter to the Kolat. [36]

Fall of the Hidden Temple Edit

Shortly before the dawn of the Iweko Dynasty, a traitor to the Kolat named Kaelung revealed the location of the Hidden Temple to the Scorpion Clan. They assaulted the Temple and its Ox Clan defenders, the Oni's Eye was captured, the majority of the Kolat perished, including all but three of the Ten Masters. The conspiracy's influence was also purged from the Ox Clan. [12]

Holdings Edit

Unknown to most of the Empire, the Kolat maintained their ancient stronghold, the Hidden Temple, deep within what used to be Phoenix Clan lands. The area around the temple was originally controlled by the Ox Clan, whose champion, Morito, served as Master Steel. [37]

War Amid Shadows Edit

In 1170, Togashi Kaelung took it upon himself to deliver the information he had gathered on the Jade Sect during his time with the Kolat to Bayushi Paneki. Kaelung had formerly given it to Togashi Satsu, but when Satsu lost his divinity and omniscience Kaelung realized that the Dragon would be vulnerable to Kolat infiltration. Kaelung discovered that Satsu had added notes to Kaelung's own, including information on the location of the Hidden Temple and the Oni's Eye. [38]

Paneki immediately planned an assault on Ox lands. The Scorpion assassins successfully captured the Hidden Temple from the Kolat and killed Kolat Masters Isawa Korekado, Morito, Ujina Heiji and Yasuki Taka. The Scorpion now control the Temple and the Oni's Eye. [38]

Age of Conquest Edit

For more than a generation, the Kolat had been believed dead by the Empire as Master Coin desired. In the late 12th century the Kolat were ready to expand their operations once more. Masters Coin and Master Tiger, tentative allies for decades, had chosen to fill one of the vacant positions, a new Master Roq to assume control of the Kolat's operations within the Colonies, ensuring the balance of power remained. [39]

Members Edit

See Members of The Kolat for a list of those associated with the group.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Way of the Thief, p. 12
  2. Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 26
  3. The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 31
  4. The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, pp. 32-33
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 33
  6. Enemies of the Empire, p. 35
  7. Way of the Thief, pp. 12-13
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Way of the Thief, p. 13
  9. The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 48 sidebar
  10. Bells of the Dead, p. 7
  11. Bells of the Dead, p. 8
  12. 12.0 12.1 Enemies of the Empire, p. 37
  13. 13.0 13.1 Soul of Darkness, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  14. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 16
  15. 15.0 15.1 Broken Tiger, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  16. Unexpected Allies, p. 101
  17. City of Lies: GM's Guide, pp. 80-82
  18. Bells of the Dead, pp. 8-9
  19. Bells of the Dead, p. 14
  20. Time of the Void, p. 9
  21. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 74
  22. Time of the Void, p. 53
  23. A Kolat Revealed (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  24. Increased Production (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  25. Hidden Emperor, pp. 52, 83
  26. 26.0 26.1 Way of the Ninja, p. 42
  27. Burning Sands, Medinaat Al-Salaam, pp. 83-126
  28. Rokugan, p. 202
  29. Secrets of the Crab, p. 92
  30. Prelude to Darkness, Part Five: The Pawn, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  31. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 92
  32. Clan Letter to the Scorpion #21 (Imperial Herald v2 #6)
  33. Secrets of the Mantis, pp. 81-82
  34. The Battle at the Tomb, Part 3 & Part 4, by Shawn Carman & Nancy Sauer
  35. Dark Knowledge, by Brian Yoon
  36. Distant Thunder, by Shawn Carman
  37. Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, Third Edition, p. 295
  38. 38.0 38.1 War Amid the Shadows, by Brian Yoon
  39. 2013 GenCon Update: Invitational and Special Tournament Events (The Kolat Master)
  • Way of the Ninja, pp. 41-49.
  • Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, pp. 84-99.


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