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The time before Edit
Until this point, the tribe of Isawa had been a part of the Phoenix only because geographically their land was in the area given to Shiba by Hantei. Isawa refused to acknowledge the rule of the Kami, but he also refused to leave his lands. Shiba protected him from the Emperor's wrath by claiming that the Isawa were part of his clan, even though Isawa would have claimed otherwise.
Isawa had believed that the War would not affect his people because it was contained to southern Rokugan, and if he remained neutral the Dark Kami would leave his people alone. When the forces of the Shadowlands began attacking the Isawa lands in the far north of the empire, Isawa began to realize that he could not remain neutral in the War, and if he tried, his people would be destroyed.
Shiba's arrival Edit
On his final attempt to ask Isawa to go with Shinsei, Shiba and the Little Teacher arrived at Gisei Toshi on the day that a wandering oni had attacked. In the ensuing battle, Isawa Ariminhime, the youngest sister of Isawa, had been killed. Isawa Akiko met the pair at the gates of the city to tell them that Isawa would not see them, but they entered the city regardless.
Pressing into the city, Shiba and Shinsei found Isawa's family in the middle of Ariminhime's funeral. They found the family in the middle of a maho ritual, chanting with their bleeding hands raised to the skies. Shiba was concerned about the possible corruption from such a practice, but Isawa knew only that his magic was not the magic of the Kami whom he despised. Maho itself was unknown even to the forces of Fu Leng at that time, and its power had not been corrupted as it currently is.
Isawa's offer Edit
Before Shiba and Isawa could begin an argument about the use of blood magic, Shinsei began speaking with Isawa about the defense of his people and his plan for the Seven Thunders. Isawa saw the wisdom in the monk's words and agreed conditionally to join him. As always, his primary concern was for his people, and he demanded that Shiba would protect them and their city. He also would not have his people believe they were being sold into slavery to the Kami, so Isawa also demanded a public show of his and his fmaily's independence.
Isawa offered to help Shiba in defeating his corrupted brother, but only if Shiba would kneel before him as he offered his services. Isawa would not have his people believing that he had sold them into bondage to the Kami. Shiba, realizing the opportunity laid before him, did not hesitate to kneel before Isawa and offer to protect his family once he was gone.
With Shiba's promise in hand and his display of humility fresh on his people's minds, Isawa joined Shinsei in his quest to end the war. Additionally, his people began to participate in the war effort directly, with twenty shugenja immediately flying south to Otosan Uchi to add their strength to the Lion and Crane Clan forces defending the city. The magic fires which they brought to bear on the attacking oni turned the tide of battle in the capital and caused the armies of Fu Leng to fall back, away from the city's walls.
As word traveled of Shiba's act, the reaction was mixed. Shiba's only response to the controversy was "The arts of peace and war are like the two wheels of a cart which, lacking one, will be unable to stand." Shiba realized that the future generations would be the keepers of the Empire, with a more honorable duty than that o the Kami, who created it.