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Shiba Aikune

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Shiba Aikune 
Shiba Aikune 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1168 
Parents: Shiba Tsukune,
Shiba Kanjiro 
Titles: Acting Shiba Daimyo
People

Shiba Aikune was the son of the Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Tsukune and Shiba Kanjiro, a student of the Eternal Phoenix Dojo and bearer of Isawa's Last Wish. [1]

Incomplete Soul Edit

The soul of Aikune was incomplete. He was born to bear the Soul of Shiba, but his destiny was thwarted, unable to hear his ancestors. To be so far from Shiba left a wound in his soul. [2]

War of Spirits Edit

Shiba Aikune 2

A Young Aikune

Aikune, alongside his friend Isawa Nakamuro and fiance Isawa Yaruko, was kidnapped by the troops of the Steel Chrysanthemum in 1150 in an attempt to force the Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Tsukune to side with Hantei XVI rather than Toturi I. Aikune and Nakamuro watched on helplessly when the Stone Crab Hida Tsuneo murdered Yaruko. [3] Aikune was bold and brash like his father, and the loss of Yaruko turned his young eyes toward revenge. [4]

Station Edit

Isawa Taeruko Edit

Master of Earth Isawa Taeruko blamed both Aikune and Nakamuro for the death of her daughter Yaruko, and would hold it against them for many years to come. [5] Taeruko's influence over the Elemental Council stymied Aikune's career in the armies of the Phoenix, achieving the rank of a minor officer in the Shiba Army, but progressed no further. [6]

Keitaku Edit

Keitaku, the Celestial Sword of the Phoenix, was passed to Aikune by his mother Tsukune. [7]

Test of the Emerald Champion Edit

Shiba Aikune 4

Shiba Aikune

Aikune as son of the Phoenix Champion demanded the right to represent the Phoenix in the Test of the Emerald Champion [6] of 1158, but was forced to withdraw from the competition due to manipulation from the Scorpion Clan and Hantei Naseru. [8] Aikune was not a pawn of his Clan or any Wind, and he entered out of arrogance and pride. Those were two traits Naseru would not have in an Emerald Champion, and the Anvil decided to eliminate him from the competition. [9]

Aikune faced Bayushi Kwanchai towards the end of the tournament, who illegally wounded Aikune. A Phoenix shugenja rushed in to heal Aikune, but this outside aid caused Aikune to be eliminated alongside Kwanchai. This resulted in Yasuki Hachi winning the championship by default. [8]

Isawa's Last Wish Edit

Aikune's Quest Edit

Shiba Aikune 1

Aikune and the Wish

Frustrated by the inability to hear his ancestors [10] and the inferiority he felt to others, Shiba Aikune set out to find Isawa's Last Wish, after the ascension of his mother and the Council of Five disappeared.[11] Aikune learned about the Wish from researching his family's history, where he discovered that his father once guarded the Wish's shrine. [12] After the Elemental Masters disappeared the Phoenix were broken and demoralized, and the armies of the Dragon marched on Shiro Shiba. Determined to save his clan, [6] Aikune located the Wish and became the first person to successfully bond with the Wish. This was because Aikune had a hole in his soul that was supposed to be filled by the Soul of Shiba, but instead was filled with Isawa's Last Wish. [2]

Aikune's return Edit

Aikune Unleashes the Wish

Aikune and the Last Wish in battle

In 1159 Aikune returned to the Phoenix Clan with Isawa's Last Wish, which had taken the shape of a fiery katana. [13] Aikune briefly and unofficially acted as Champion after his mother's ascension, but he was officially only the Shiba Daimyo, [14] a title he never accepted. [15] Believing the Elemental Masters to be dead, Shiba Aikune has reluctantly assumed leadership of the Phoenix Clan. [16] The Asako and Shiba followed him loyally, while the Isawa obeyed him out of sheer terror.[17] He unleashed the power of Isawa's Last Wish on the Dragon army, who were forced to retreat. [18] The only place safe for the Dragon were the sacred lands of the Ki-Rin, where Aikune choose not to attack. [19]

The Lion Withdraw Edit

Death of Matsu Shinya

Death of Matsu Shinya

Several weeks before Aikune obtained the Wish, their Lion allies withdrew from Dragon-Phoenix War. The Lion had suffered Shadowlands attacks in their homelands, and they were spread too thin to properly answer the menace. Only a small Lion group remained to advise the Phoenix. [20] Aikune demanded that the few Lion who remained pay the price for their perceived betrayal, [21] and began insulting them when they crossed paths. [22] Aikune even instigated a duel with their leader, Matsu Shinya, [23] whom he killed in a rage induced madness caused by Isawa's Last Wish. [24] When the bloody haze cleared, Aikune was horrified at the sight. He vowed never to use the Wish as anything but a defensive weapon. [6]

Fall of Otosan Uchi Edit

In 1159 during the Fall of Otosan Uchi, Asako Kaushen was storming the East Hub Village with Titsu no Oni and a Chi no Oni. Aikune and the Wish appeared and killed them all. [25]

The Onisu Unleashed Edit

After the death of Daigotsu's bodyguard, Goju Kyoden, the Onisu were unleashed over Rokugan. They attempted to infiltrate the homes of the Four Winds and kill as many as they could before they were themselves killed. Yokubo and Hakai attacked Kyuden Seppun, but were killed by the co-ordinated efforts of Shiba Mirabu, Daidoji Megumi, Aikune and Doji Okakura. [14]

Toturi II Reign Edit

Allegiance to the Empress Edit

The same year Aikune came to Kyuden Seppun to bow his head to the Empress Toturi II. The Wish created a flaming tanto with a portion of its power which was offered by Aikune to Toturi II as a gift. In return Toturi Miyako gifted an Eye of the Emperor to Aikune's yojimbo, Shiba Mirabu. [15]

The Wish Remained Unchanged Edit

The Wish could change, making it something else entirely. Aikune had to choose between the Wish granting wisdom or power to the Phoenix. Aiukune decided to continue to wield the Wish as a weapon. [15]

The Broken Council Edit

The Elemental Council was broken, with one Master as Dragon's hostage and the Master of Water vacant, while Aikune and the Wish outpaced them as Phoenix Clan ruler. The Masters were holding a meeting to elect the new Master of Water when Aikune magically enter in the forbidden room, and claimed to be his equal, as his mother did before. [26]

Aikune refuses the Phoenix Championship Edit

Toturi II came to Shiro Shiba in an attempt to cement her ascent as Empress of Rokugan. She made a bold move, naming Aikune as Phoenix Clan Champion. Aikune refused, knowing Toturi II could not offer what was not hers to give. He also could not allow the Phoenix to be torn apart with the expected opposition to his Championship, led by his foe Isawa Taeruko. Tsudao came back to Kyuden Seppun after she ordered Aikune to end the Dragon-Phoenix War. [27]

Dark Oracle Exposed Edit

In an engagement Dragon against the Phoenix that ended with Tamori, Dark Oracle of Fire, showing up in disguise as Shiba Aikune and wrecking havoc on the Dragon army, leaving three men as the only survivors. They were saved by the intervention of Osano-Wo, who explained Tamori's deception. They informed Mirumoto Uso of this. [28]

Aikune's Retreat Edit

In 1160 Aikune rushed again in the Council's chamber, despite the opposition of Shiba Yoma, the Voice of the Masters. He told the Elemental Masters his decision to use the power of the Wish against Fu Leng. He came to the Temple of the Last Wish to honor the Lion advisor Shinya, killed time ago in an outburst, and comanded the Wish to magically march to Tengoku. The Wish rebuffed and became uncontrolled, destroying the Temple, the mountain where it sat, and all the monks who tended the temple. The Wish was afraid of the Kami who killed his father Isawa. Aikune realized that he had been treating the Wish as a tool, when it was an entity to be respected, but with the mind and behaviour of a child. Shamed by his conduct Aikune disappeared with the Wish into exile [29] in the month of the Dragon. [30]

Aikune's Return Edit

Aikune is guided by Tsukune

Aikune is guided by Tsukune

Aikune lived in the secluded mountains of Tani Giza. [31] In 1165 Aikune was praying to his ancestors, a ritual he had conducted and never got anything from it. But for the first time, he heard a voice within his soul, his mother's voice. Aikune knew from her of the incoming Iuchiban's attack to the Hidden City, [32] and the Children of the Last Wish told him about the secretive City of Sacrifice, Gisei Toshi, the place were the Wish had been created, and both returned to defend again the Phoenix lands. [31]

Hidden City Edit

Shiba Aikune 3

Shiba Aikune

Iuchiban attacked Gisei Toshi using an army of bloodspeakers and undead minions. Aikune and the Wish arrived there to help defend the city. They appeared in the cavern beneath the city, beside the small freshwater lake that provided the city's drinking water. There, were fighting the Master of Air, Isawa Nakamuro, and Iuchiban. [31] Aikune fought Iuchiban, but realized he could not defeat him. The Heartless had spent centuries of imprisonment seeking a way that he might turn the Wish to his whim. Like the City, the Wish were founded on blood magic and Aikune was nearly to lose control of the Wish to Iuchiban. The fight gave Nakamuro time to recover and hurl Bishamon's Spear at the Bloodspeaker's chest, breaking his concentration. [33] Nakamuro and Aikune barely escaped from Iuchiban's grasp. The behaviour of Nakamuro made Aikune sorry of his hatred toward his former friend during the last years. At the same time he realized that Iuchiban's attack had lured him there, and the real intention of the bloodspeaker was to master the Wish. [12]

Aikune's life manipulated by Iuchiban Edit

Aikune did not know that Iuchiban had sought the Wish since decades from his imprisonement. He discovered a guardian of the Last Wish, Aikune's father, in the War of Spirits. Iuchiban saw his brash and impetuous son as the prey who would aid in his quest. The bloodspeaker shielded that boy's ears from the guidance of his ancestors, twisted events so that the living despised and ignored him, and that boy might do something desperate, and eventually Aikune had given him the means to control the most powerful magic in existence. [12]

Guardian of Gisei Toshi Edit

Aikune returned to face Iuchiban, exploding in a brilliant white flash of fire. Where Gisei Toshi once stood was now a blasted crater. In the end, Shiba Aikune moved the Hidden City deep within the Mountains of the Phoenix, using the power of the Wish to save the city. [12] The movement was only noted by Isawa Sachi, who sensed the void the Wish provoked in the kami of Earth to conceal the movement. Aikune then became guardian of Gisei Toshi. [34]

Soul of Shiba returns Ningen-do Edit

After Iuchiban's death his followers still sought Aikune to take the Wish. He was talking with Kitsu Ineko in the Lookout Mountain when they were attacked by cultists. They defeated the enemy, but eventually Aikune touched Ineko, the Wish reached out, overcoming Ineko with visions. She saw the Shiba family line, the Ancestral Sword of the Phoenix, Ofushikai, passing from one hand to the next, throughout the centuries. They traveled to Tengoku to retrieve the blade. His mother appeared and gave Ofushikai to Ineko, who passed it to Aikune. He learned that the Last Wish filled the wound in Aikune's soul which was why he could not hear the Soul of Shiba. Aikune used the Wish to sever Shiba's connection to the blade itself, anchoring it in the Shiba family bloodline. Mirabu was filled with the Shiba's soul. Ofushikai also returned, albeit changed by Aikune's actions, the sword was now merely a symbol of Shiba's promise, tucked beneath Mirabu's obi. [2]

Aikune Emerged Edit

Aikune was again away of the Phoenix affairs for a time. He felt that his absence during the War of Fire and Thunder had fostered resentment among his cousins. When in 1168 the Wish told him that the Emperor Toturi III was alone in the Shadowlands seeking enlightenment he knew was time to emerge. Aikune met Mirabu at Shiro Shiba and requested to lead the Phoenix rescue party, as a way to seek forgiveness. He would not call upon the power of the Wish within the Shadowlands, avoiding any risk it would became tainted. [35]

Aikune's Death Edit

During the year 1168, Shiba Aikune died in the Shadowlands alongside Mirumoto Rosanjin and Yoritomo Katoa defending the Rokugani forces retreating from the Battle of the Tomb. Before they were engaged by their oni pursuers he passed the artifact he had recovered from the Tomb of the Seven Thunders, the Egg of the Void, to Hitomi Maya. He had ordered the Wish to flee, and did not unleash his power to do not risk the Wish to be tainted. After Aikune died the Wish provoked a great explosion that destroy all around Aikune's resting place. Their sacrifice allowed the remaining survivors of the battle to reach Kyuden Hida. [36]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


Preceded by:
Vacant
Acting Shiba Daimyo
1159 - 1160
Succeeded by:
Shiba Mirabu


References

  1. Way of the Samurai, p. 56
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Immortal, by Rich Wulf
  3. Dark Oracle of Fire, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  4. Isawa Angai (Spirit Wars flavor)
  5. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 53
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 72
  7. Preparations, Part I, by Rusty Priske and Shawn Carman
  8. 8.0 8.1 Victorious, A Tale of Rokugan, by Rich Wulf
  9. Prelude to Darkness, Part Five: The Pawn, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  10. Ancestral Shrine (An Oni's Fury flavor)
  11. Clan Letter to the Phoenix #16 (Imperial Herald v2 #1)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Fires of the Hidden City, Part Five, by Rich Wulf
  13. Four Winds, p. 38
  14. 14.0 14.1 Nightmares, Part I, by Rich Wulf
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Wisdom, by Shawn Carman
  16. Way of the Ninja, p. 96
  17. One Sword (Dark Allies flavor)
  18. Way of the Samurai, p. 96
  19. Ki-Rin's Blessing (Dark Allies flavor)
  20. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 36
  21. Jagged Earth (Dark Allies flavor)
  22. Defend Yourself! (Dark Allies flavor)
  23. Draw From Within (Dark Allies flavor)
  24. Faith In My Clan (Dark Allies flavor)
  25. Battle for Otosan Uchi, Part 2, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  26. Visions of Flame (Season of the Phoenix)
  27. Empress, by Shawn Carman
  28. The Break of Dawn, by Rich Wulf
  29. Broken Wishes, by Rich Wulf
  30. Imperial Histories 2, p. 207
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Fires of the Hidden City, Part Three, by Rich Wulf
  32. Dawn of Battle (Hidden City Rulebook Story), by Rich Wulf
  33. Fires of the Hidden City, Part Four, by Rich Wulf
  34. Masters of Earth, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  35. To Defend the Emperor, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  36. The Battle at the Tomb, Part 4, by Shawn Carman



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