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The Shadowed Tower was a separatist organization formed by Bayushi Atsuki while in the guise of Shosuro Furuyari whose goal was to return the Scorpion Clan to their roots in espionage and treachery and away from the "honesty" of then-Champion Bayushi Yojiro. The group was used to gather information and resources for the Gozoku. The Shadowed Tower used drugs and Maho-tsukai to manipulate people and gather information.
Though the Shadowed Tower was referred to as if it were a physical place, there was no physical Shadowed Tower. The name was intended as a distraction, to cause enemies of the organization to hunt for a headquarters that did not exist. . The large base of operations was the Shadowed Tower of the Shosuro, in Ryoko Owari Toshi. 
There is no definite information on when and how the Shadowed Tower was established - the only sure thing was that Atsuki formed it after returning back to Rokugan as Furuyari during the Battle of Oblivion's Gate. 
Bayushi Atsuki was the Scorpion Clan Champion during the era of the original Gozoku, of which he was one of the founders. He was unable to survive the purge of the Gozoku by Hantei Yugozohime, and for his crimes during his life was sent to Toshigoku, the Realm of Slaughter, where he spent the next few centuries contemplating where he had been error - and how he would make the Empire his again. The opening of Oblivion's Gate was a welcome, yet unexpected, opportunity that he took. Upon returning to Rokugan, he took on the identity of Shosuro Furuyari, a pseudonym of lesser Scorpion playwrights, to better meet his nefarious goals. 
Atsuki was able to capitalize on the good will and connections he had made as Furuyari during the ensuing Spirit Wars, having ingratiated himself with both the Toturi Dynasty as well as the leaders of the Scorpion, particularly then-Champion Yojiro. Furuyari's service to the Clan and to the Toturi Dynasty during the War of Spirits was invaluable, having served as Scorpion liaison to mad Hantei XVI's forces and enabled him to be back stabbed by the Scorpion during the final engagement of the War of Spirits. This gave him a good power base from which he started to build his new Gozoku - but before that, he needed more resources. Thus he built the Shadowed Tower, capitalizing on complacency and disaffection among the younger Scorpions, who not only suffered through the War of Spirits like the rest of their generation, but a lot of whom had to suffer the additional indignity of having to be fostered to the Crane during their parents' exile to the Burning Sands.
In a lot of ways, the Shadowed Tower resembled a Bloodspeaker cult - the secrecy, the cell-based structure, and not least of all the usage of Maho - and this is perhaps no accident. The leaders of the Shadowed Tower themselves admitted that they copied, if not outright stole, a lot of things from the Bloodspeakers or the nefarous kolat. 
However, the purpose of the two groups are vastly different - while the Bloodspeakers aimed to either free their trapped master, Iuchiban, or to destroy the empire from within, the Shadowed Tower plotted to subvert the Scorpion Clan's authority, supposedly to bring the Clan "back to its roots", abandoning the political power and influence that the previous generation of Scorpions had built up, blaming the Clan's direction on Yojiro's "junshin ways". 
The Shadowed Tower was initially successful, with its shugenja utilizing its techniques to cast powerful Maho spells without apparently suffering the consequences. Using a method developed by a Bloodspeaker cult, the Shadowed Tower channeled the Taint that the Maho spells generated towards hapless, drugged out peasants who "willingly" accepted it on behalf of the shugenja. To assist in the acceptance, the peasants were often initially (and without their knowledge) exposed to the Taint through corrupted rice, then corrupted opium, until their wills, and later their souls, were forfeit. Should a shugenja himself begin to succumb to the Taint, his Witness, a specially trained yojimbo who should be able to notice even subtle hints of corruption, would stand by to immediately cut him down.  The Tower used Shadowed Powder to slowly sap the will of those to whom the taint would be transferred by their maho-tsukai. 
The Shadowed Tower's shugenja, led by Bayushi Ogura,  cast primarily divination and surveillance spells that allowed them to ferret out secrets, which Atsuki and his courtiers, spies and assasins then capitalized on, blackmailing people and eliminating their opponents (victims of the former included Doji Takeji; the latter, Bayushi Shixiang).
First Evidences of its Activity Edit
Bayushi Norachai's investigation into an opium smuggling operation in Scorpion lands revealed two dead Scorpion samurai among the opium smugglers and a shrine with signs of maho use. This information caused Bayushi Yojiro to learn that a secret organization known as the Shadowed Tower was seeking to usurp his power.
Kidnapping an Imperial Edit
In 1159 the Tower kidnapped Miya Kamiko, wife to the prominent courtier Miya Hatori.  Agents of the Tower approached the historian and requested him to spy upon the Crane Clan,  but the plot was foiled when the Emerald Champion Yasuki Hachi released her and sent to safety. 
The Kolat in the Mantis Islands captured one of the Tower's members, Bayushi Tameyoshi, and tortured him. Eventually he was released and used as the contact point with the Shadowed Tower. It was unknown the extent of their alliance. 
The Shadowed Tower became too arrogant, openly humiliating Yojiro in front of his Dragon Clan allies by tricking Mirumoto Rosanjin into assisting him in investigating the conspiracy. This convinced Yojiro that not only was there a traitor within his inner circle, he was the wrong person to lead the fight against the Shadowed Tower. He dismissed his council of Scorpion daimyo and people of influence, and was able to deduce that Furuyari was the traitor. He then resigned the Championship secretly and picked his successor to take over immediately, informing only two other people about this - Shosuro Yudoka and Yogo Koji, daimyo of their respective families. Their cooperation allowed Yojiro's successor, Bayushi Sunetra, to take over, and fool everyone into thinking that she was Yojiro, and that he still ruled the clan.
Sunetra, Yojiro, Yudoka and Koji then began cultivating double-agents and traitors within the organization. Yudoka had, almost at the beginning, deployed his trusted student Bayushi Tai to infiltrate the organization.  Sunetra and Yojiro had planted the assasin, Bayushi Kamnan, close to Atsuki. And Koji was approached by Yogo Tjeki, who had gotten disillusioned by the Shadowed Tower's methods. 
Once they had gotten the names of every member, every location, and every secret, Sunetra brought down the full force of the Clan upon them, launching simultaneous strikes on each cell and defeating them thoroughly. Atsuki himself was apparently cut down in front of them by his own yojimbo, Kamnan. Those who initially escaped, such as Ogura, were eventually located, captured, and punished. 
Most of them were sent away to Traitor's Grove with very few exceptions for people like Soshi Eiji, who had collaborated with Sunetra's people right before the fall of the Tower, and were instead allowed to commit honorable seppuku.
However, unbeknown to Sunetra and company, Kamnan was secretly working for Atsuki all along, and the two had used ashalan magics to fake Atsuki's death. They then proceeded to use the information and contacts the Shadowed Tower had accumulated as a foundation for their new Gozoku. 
The Shadowed Tower was the direct predecessor of the new Gozoku that would be lead by Bayushi Atsuki, Doji Akiko, and Seppun Toshiaki. This new conspiracy severely undermined the rule of Toturi III, and was even supported by Scorpions who had remained loyal to Yojiro and Sunetra in the fight against the Tower. However, most of these Scorpions joined in without any knowledge of the Gozoku's roots in the Shadowed Tower, and upon finding out of this they quickly joined the fight against it - a good example would be Shosuro Tsuyoshi. The Shadowed Tower's role in the genesis of the new Gozoku was found out almost simultaneously by both Sunetra's people as well as the Kolat, and caused much anger in both groups.
Atsuki's True Purpose Edit
Atsuki wished the power of Nothing shackled to their will. The Shadow Dragon had proven that the Taint could be used to control the remnants of this power. Atsuki began to plan hiw to master maho without suffered its drawbacks.  The Tower was only a means to an end. When Atsuki had the information he needed, the Tower was discarded and he faked his death. 
Remnants exposed Edit
In 1172 during the Destroyer War former agents of the Tower planted the insidious idea that the Togashi were working together with the yobanjin Army of Fire. Kitsuki Investigators and the Scorpion exposed them and were destroyed. 
Known Members Edit
- Shosuro Furuyari - founder/leader.  Later uncovered to be Bayushi Atsuki.
- Bayushi Ogura - lead Maho user. 
- Bayushi Kamnan - Atsuki's yojimbo, Bayushi Sunetra's double-agent and Atsuki's triple-agent.
- Bayushi Noki - Master of the Shadowed Tower of the Shosuro.
- Bayushi Tai - Witness, Shosuro Yudoka's double-agent.
- Yogo Tjeki - Maho user, Yogo Koji's double-agent.
- Soshi Aki - Courtier. Discovered Yojiro passed the championship.
- Soshi Eiji - Agent. became Yudoka's informant. 
- Bayushi Katai - Ogura's yojimbo and Witness.
- Bayushi Seiryo - assassin.
- Bayushi Tameyoshi
- Soshi Aki - Furuyari's lackey. Exact involement unknown. 
- Soshi Natsuo - Maho user. 
- Bayushi Kageki's unnamed father and brothers. 
- Osuko - Okasan. 
See also Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 92
- ↑ Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 82
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Four Winds, p. 62
- ↑ Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 72
- ↑ Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 81
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Visions of Flame: Broad Daylight (Season of the Scorpion), by Rich Wulf
- ↑ Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 93
- ↑ Clan Letter to the Scorpion #19 (Imperial Herald v2 #4)
- ↑ Secrets of the Crab, p. 80
- ↑ Secrets of the Crane, p. 4
- ↑ Secrets of the Crane, pp. 73-74
- ↑ Secrets of the Mantis, pp. 81-82
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Unfinished Business, Part II
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Towers, by Shawn Carman
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Promises, by Rich Wulf
- ↑ Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part Three, by Rich Wulf
- ↑ State of the Empire, Week 11
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 The Essence of Loyalty
- ↑ Brink of Madness, by Rich Wulf
- ↑ Battle for Otosan Uchi, Part 1, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
See Also Edit
- The Steel Throne
- L5R RPG Manual, 3rd Edition
- L5R The 4 Winds book
- Scorpion Clan Letter # 20
- King of the Trolls, part 2 by Rich Wulf
- Battle of Otosan Uchi, part 2, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
- No Price Too High, by Shawn Carman
- Master of Secrets, by Rich Wulf
- Scorpion Clan Letter # 21
- Undone, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
- Shinsei's Last Hope, part I by Rich Wulf
- Rebuilding the Court, by Shawn Carman
- Blood Dawn, part 8, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
- All Glory to the Righteous Emperor, by Rich Wulf
- The Underhand, by Rich Wulf
- Fires of Toshi Ranbo, part 1, by Rich Wulf
- Doom of the Empire, by Rich Wulf
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