L5r: Legend of the Five Rings


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Please note: This article is about the dragon [spirit]] of the Celestial Heavens. For other uses of the term, please see Ryu (disambiguation).

Tsai-tsu, a ryu

Ryu were Hengoyokai dragon spirits who originated from Tengoku. They were servants of the Elemental Dragons, and like the Fuschicho they were highly perceptive and honorable warriors. They were mighty beings, particularly difficult to control. [1]

Appearance and Demeanor Edit

The ryu's natural form was that of a flying serpent covered with scales that shimmer in every color. These spirits might change their shape with ease, if necessary. [1] In their human form, Ryu appeared as tail and slender Rokugani with noble features and dark eyes. They tended to insinuate themselves into the Crane, Dragon, Lion or Phoenix Clans, those that they found most honorable of the Great Clans. [2] Ryu could fly, undulating through the air without wings, [3] and could even breathe flame through their nostrils. [4] They were calm and patient, content to rest unmoving atop the mountains until it was time to act. [5] Water Ryu were the most likely to shift their form, but they always maintained a shimmering iridescence in their scales. They attended on Hachiman, Fortune of Battle, and they had been observed near battles. [6] Ryu of Void were more likely than others to remain in Ningen-do and observe mortal affairs. [7]

Origin Edit

Ryu were fragments of the divine essence of the Dragons, born from a single scale of one of the greater Dragons. [8] From time to time the dragons separated a piece of their own intellect and sending it into Ningen-do seeking wisdom, usually serving as assistants for the Oracles. These shapeshifters had a great thirst for knowledge. In its natural form a ryu appeared as a wingless serpent the size of a horse, hovering in the air. [9]

Gifts Edit

After the return of divine support to the Imperial Line with Empress Iweko I, the heavens offered other blessings. One such favor was the Armor of the Ryu. [10]

Yobanjin Wyrms Edit

Ryu could be transformed in abominations called Wyrms by yobanjin sorcerers. [11]

Notable Ryu Edit

See also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Creatures of Rokugan, Third Edition p. 9
  2. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 160
  3. Book of Air, p. 119
  4. Book of Fire, p. 122
  5. Book of Earth, p. 133
  6. Book of Water, p. 125
  7. Book of Void, p. 126
  8. Secrets of the Empire, p. 211
  9. Fortunes & Winds, p. 19
  10. Armor of the Ryu (Glory of the Empire flavor)
  11. Wyrm Raiders (Imperial flavor)

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