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Kuni Utagu

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Kuni Utagu 
Kuni Utagu 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1158 
Spouse: Kuni Tansho 
Children: Kuni Kiyoshi 
Titles: Kuni Daimyo,
Jade Champion
People

Kuni Utagu was a Kuni Witch Hunter during the 12th century who rose to prominence after becoming not only the Kuni Daimyo but also the Jade Champion. His career was cut tragically short by an overzealous follower of Toturi Sezaru during the latter's bid for the imperial throne.

Training Edit

Kuni Utagu 3

Kuni Utagu

Unlike most who choose to become Kuni Witch Hunters, Kuni Utagu did not have a particularly traumatic childhood. There was no horrific event that drove him to seek revenge on the creatures of the blighted lands, there was simply his own drive and determination. Utagu was introduced firsthand to the Shadowlands by Kuni Atsutane who explained to him that the Witch Hunter's duty was to face alone the horrors within. Although the Kuni cannot afford to waste time training those who may become unwilling to carry out the Witch Hunter's duties, Utagu was allowed to begin training when he told Atsutane, "I cannot leave now. If I leave, the darkness will have won." [1] [2]

Gempukku Edit

On his gempukku as witch hunter, Utagu ventured into the Shadowlands with a unit of young Crab bushi. They returned with the heads of a brood of oni none had seen before. Once Utagu within the Wall, he collapsed, near death from his wounds, but he had showed no sign of pain until he reached the Wall. "I will not let them see me fall. Damn them to Jigoku, I will not let them see me fall." [3]

Joining the Kuni Shugenja School Edit

Utagu was allowed to join the Kuni Shugenja school, which was unusual until this time. Since then, more Witch Hunters entered training as shugenja. [3]

Station Edit

Kuni Utagu 4

Kuni Utagu

Utagu was appointed to the Razor of the Dawn Castle, as shugenja to scouting parties deep within the Shadowlands. Once he chased a Bog Hag who had been impersonating a nun, and had kidnapped several children. Utagu found the children, and placed to an asylum for the Tainted. [4]

Crystal Master Edit

A young Utagu spent several months studying with the Crooked Tail Tribe, a xenophobic group of nezumi, haunted by bitter experience with the power of the Lying Darkness. The tribe lived near a large crystal outcropping, and Utagu was able to learn a few of their secrets. He was able to adapt a few of the nezumi practices to the traditional Rokugani form of magic, creating the Crystal Master school. [5]

Leader of the Witch Hunter Edit

Utagu was chosen as the new leader of the Witch Hunters after his sensei Atsutane was murdered investigating a cell of Bloodspeakers. He quickly found and executed Atsutane's murderer, which lasted seven days. [3]

The Wall Edit

Kuni Utagu 2

Kuni Utagu

During his long career, Utagu became known as The Wall, because the people around him felt as safe as if they were behind the Kaiu Kabe. [6] Utagu made many advances to the practices of the Witch Hunters, including the successful combination of martial arts and Kuni magic. Despite his successes, he never seemed to be driven by a hatred of the Shadowlands, merely a need to destroy everything about those dark lands. [2] He used extreme methods when required. [7]

Second Day of Thunder Edit

Prior to the Second Day of Thunder, it was rumored that Master of Earth Isawa Tadaka offered one of his Secret spells to Utagu, which he returned to the surviving Elemental Masters once Fu Leng was defeated. [8]

Twenty-Seven Days of DaknessEdit

In 1132 in the fourteenth of the Twenty-Seven Days of Darkness Hitomi reached Shiro Kuni. Utagu met her and advised the Crab would be always watching her, and the Moon was also reachable, if it was neccessary to retaliate Hitomi. [9]

March to Volturnum Edit

Utagu had already seen the true face of the Shadow in the Twilight Mountains. In 1133 while the Crab army marched from the Kaiu Wall to fight the Shadow and Shadowlands at volturnum, he saw the face without features of one of who departed, Yoritomo Makashi, and he pondered how many would had turn the Lying Darkness against the Empire. [10]

Jade Champion Edit

In the onset of the War of Spirits, in 1138, Toturi I summoned the Test of the Emerald Champion, which was won by Utagu. After his victory the Emperor created the Jade Magistrates, and appointed them under the command of the new Jade Champion. [11] He oversaw any trace of corruption, including from traditional magic ways as the Iuchi meishodo, the Kitsu Sodan Senzo way to invoke ancestors, or the Asahina fetishes, which earned him powerful enemies among those clans. [12]

Married Edit

During a winter he met Kuni Tansho, an aged Witch Hunter. Utagu and Tansho stumbled onto a cell of Bloodspeakers led by the legendary maho-tsukai Mohai who had killed a Kuni Shugenja and replaced him with one of their own. They destroyed the cell and killed all of the cultists save Mohai himself. A month later, they were married. [13]

Witch Hunter Edit

Utagu was a great Kuni Witch Hunter, and only two Maho-tsukai escaped with his life after faced him, being one of them Mohai. [14] Utagu chased Mohai into the Shadowlands, but during the Battle of Drowned Honor [15] the Black Finger River rose up to meet the Crab, and many Hiruma were drowned and their corpses dragged deep beneath the black waters of the Forbidden Lake. [16] The second was supposed to be Shahai. [17]

Utagu and Toturi Sezaru Edit

Utagu questioning Sezaru

Utagu questioning Sezaru

In addition to the forces of the Shadowlands, one target of Utagu's distrust was Toturi Sezaru. During Sezaru's bid for the imperial throne, Utagu was among his most outspoken opponents. The Witch Hunter was keenly aware of Sezaru's madness and did not believe that Sezaru had the strength to overcome it. Utagu saw a very dangerous situation if a man he knew to be unstable were placed in control of the whole of Rokugan. [2]

Utagu and his Son Edit

Kuni Kiyoshi was a disappointment to his father and could not match the Utagu's protege, Kuni Shigeaki. Kiyoshi tried to prove he was worthy to his father, and after by chance he had stumbled upon a theft of a magical golden box by the bloodspeaker Mohai in Shinden Asahina, Kiyoshi hunted him into the Shadowlands. Kiyoshi saw the City of the Lost, but when back at home Utagu did not believe him because he had no other witnesses. Utagu's son went away and after several weeks never was able to remind him. [14]

The Death of Kuni Utagu Edit

Kuni Utagu's end came tragically as a result of this criticism of Sezaru, not from the evils of the Shadowlands, as most had long suspected would happen. Asako Ryoma, a fervent supporter of Sezaru, feared that Sezaru would not be able to claim the throne so long as the Jade Champion stood loudly opposing him. One night, Ryoma snuck into Utagu's chambers and murdered the Jade Champion as he slept. Sezaru had no prior knowledge of his follower's plan. [2] [18] [19] Kuni Tansho, the wife of Utagu after her husband's untimely demise, assumed his responsibilities as Kuni Daimyo. [20]

Legion of the Dead Edit

In 1166 utagu joined the Legion of the Dead. He had stepped forward to answer Matsu Goemon's call to fight the Legion of Blood. [2] As the two forces initially battled for control over the newly forming realm in 1166, Isawa Tsuke released a massive explosion intending to stop the First Oni, but it also disrupted the realm and knocked everyone in it into private memories of critical choices in their lives. The Realm of Thwarted Destiny was testing each of them, to see if they would embrace their destines or reject them. The realm could become a place where those who failed their destinies could repeat their failures for eternity or a place where those who failed could embrace their fates and find redemption. [21]

In the mists of the new Realm Edit

Utagu was tempted by the Shadow Dragon, who was incarnating his sensei Kuni Atsutane. Utagu was not fouled by the visions, being able to see the truth between the magical mists, and the Dragon fled. [22]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


Preceded by:
Unknown
Kuni Daimyo
? - 1158
Succeeded by:
Kuni Tansho
Preceded by:
Kitsu Okura
Jade Champion
1138 - 1158
Succeeded by:
Asahina Sekawa


References

  1. Way of the Shadowlands, pp. 77-78
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Legion of the Dead: The Wall
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Way of the Shadowlands, p. 77
  4. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 12
  5. Prayers and Treasures, pp. 9-10
  6. Kuni Utagu Exp (Gold flavor)
  7. Through the Flames (Spirit Wars flavor)
  8. Masters of Magic, p. 86
  9. Strike At Midnight: The Twenty-seven Days of Darkness
  10. Clan Letter to the Crab (Imperial Herald v4 #2)
  11. Magic of Rokugan, p. 11
  12. Emerald Empire: Third Edition, pp. 117-118
  13. Secrets of the Crab, p. 51
  14. 14.0 14.1 Prelude to Darkness, Part Two: Omen, by Rich Wulf
  15. Witch Hunt (Spirit Wars flavor)
  16. Fields of Darkness (Spirit Wars flavor)
  17. Kuni Utagu (Broken Blades flavor)
  18. Mantle of the Jade Champion (Gold flavor)
  19. Toturi Sezaru (A Perfect Cut flavor)
  20. From Without and Within, by Rusty Priske
  21. Legions, Part III, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  22. Legions, Part IX


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