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Shugenja
Shugenja by Lee Moyer
MajushiAdded by Majushi

Shugenja were the priests and scribes of Rokugan, [1] as well as the envoys of the fortunes and kami and the keepers of their clans' secrets. [2]

They were able to create powerful spells by offering prayers which were written upon scrolls called ofuda.[citation needed]

The magic of the shugenja was drawn from one of the five elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth, and Void. Notable exceptions were the Agasha family who were known to have developed a method of using more than one element in a single spell, and some among the Mantis Clan were able to harness the power of thunder. All of the Great Clans had at least one family that trained shugenja. [citation needed]

Duty as priests Edit

The shugenja were diviners who could communicate with the gods, in the Rokugani pantheon of the Kami no michi. They knew the rites of purification (performed at birth and at death) and the secrets of dispelling evil spirits. [3]

History Edit

Origins Edit

The Phoenix Clan made the claim that all other shugenja in Rokugan owed their origin to the Isawa family, because magic itself was discovered by them alone. Recent discoveries by the Dragon Clan in the Yobanjin City of Gold contradicted this, but that the Isawa were the source of magic within Rokugan was still plausible because of the Tribe of Isawa's original connection to yobanjin.[citation needed]

The Asahina family and Yogo family were started by an Isawa and an Isawa-trained Asako. [4] Iuchi's notes mentioned that he was taught "a few basic spells from Isawa." [5]

During the War Against Fu Leng, Isawa sent one of his five brothers and sisters to each of the other clans (with the exception of the Scorpion Clan) to teach their families the ways of his magic. In the case of the Doji and Matsu, the lessons did not take, but during this time the Kuni and Agasha certainly learned much of the basics of magic from the Isawa.[citation needed]

A notable exception to the general idea that all magic came from Isawa were the Kitsu family of the Lion Clan, who originated from the kitsu race. [6]

Power of the Shugenja Edit

"One does not choose to become a shugenja, nor does a shugenja wield magic. The shugenja is merely the tool; it is the kami who choose when and where to use him."
-Shiba Ningen, Master of the Void

Shugenja were not merely simple priests, but those who could draw power from the elements that surround them, causing the kami to manifest themselves in a very real and physical way. To be a shugenja required more than merely manipulating this power, but communing with it -- attaining unity with the universe and the willing assistance of the kami.

Kami interacted with the shugenja through magic. Some heard the kami more than others; some were even driven mad by the voices. However, the bond with the kami was what allowed the shugenja to develop. Powerful magic-wielders could even have several kami to help and serve them.[citation needed]

After a shugenja dies, the kami would try to find a new person, someone who closely resembled their former companion, often their son or daughter or a close family member. This in turn explained why the gift of a shugenja often appeared more frequent in certain lineages. [8]

Lifestyle Edit

A shugenja's life was usually quite solitary, as great meditation and study was always required, and most shugenja would spend their lives in temples and shrines. Those who wandered Rokugan were usually doing so to fulfill a specific command of their daimyo. Like all samurai, it was extremely rare for a shugenja to live among the lower castes.

Because of their special place in society, shugenja were often given special recognition or respect above equal-ranked bushi, but it would be most inappropriate for a shugenja to ever attempt to use his training to demand such treatment.[citation needed]

Shugenja were generally treated with respect throughout Rokugan, although it was sometimes born out of fear. Rokugani knew that shugenja were uniquely attuned to the fortunes and elements, and some even believed that the fortunes themselves would watch over their chosen few. Because of these beliefs, shugenja were commonly given very good treatment by most. Peasants even more so, as they did not wish to incur the wraths of fortunes.[citation needed]

If a shugenja settled in a town or village that did not already have a resident shugenja, he would quickly become the de facto headman, with the population coming to him to resolve disputes, lead religious ceremonies, and teach the locals of the Tao and the fortunes.[citation needed]

Training Edit

Almost all shugenja came from the samurai caste, and only when their talent was discovered did they receive proper training. Those who were born to lower castes would have a harder time seeking guidance, and many were simply sent to the Brotherhood of Shinsei. Shugenja were actually quite rare; one samurai in roughly a thousand was born with the gift, though aptitude could often be followed through family bloodlines. Some families produced more shugenja than others. The Hida family, for example, might only produce one or two shugenja in a generation, whereas the Isawa family would often produce a new group of students each year.[citation needed]

Shugenja and the Sword Edit

Let the man who wears the sword use the sword.
-Old proverb

This statement most accurately summed up the relationship of the shugenja and the ways of warfare. If a shugenja was to wear the katana, he would have to be prepared to use it, whether that be in a duel, on a battlefield, or in any other manner demanded of him. Instead, a shugenja might choose to wear only the wakizashi as a symbol of his status as a member of the samurai caste, or the shugenja could even choose to wear neither blade, simply letting his scroll satchel reflect his favor with the kami. [9]

A shugenja was not typically taught the ways of kenjutsu or iaijutsu, so a shugenja that did not wear the katana could have a champion take his place in a duel and could refuse to fight in a battle. Many shugenja, especially those from the Isawa family, view the calling of the shugenja as of more importance than rank or awarded honor, and strive to use their powers only for peace, entering battle only when convinced that more lives will be lost if they do not act.

Shugenja Duels Edit

Duels between shugenja were a way for two shugenja resolve an issue between them. The rules for such a duel were set down by Isawa Ujikki and Kakita in the work known as Shugenja Taryu-Jiai. [10]

Shungenja in Rokugan Edit

All the Great Clans had at least one major family of shugenja, and some minor clan were also known to have a magical lineage such as the Dragonfly Clan.[citation needed]

Clan School Speciality Elemental Affinity
Crab Clan Crystal Master Advanced path As original school. [11]
Kuni Command Staff Advanced path As original school. [12]
Kuni Duelist Advanced path As original school. [13]
Kuni Shugenja Earth [14]
Oni Slayer Advanced path As original school. [15]
Onisu Hunter Advanced path As original school. [16]
Tokaji's Might Advanced path As original school. [17]
Tokaji's Power Advanced path As original school. [18]
Toritaka Exorcist Advanced path As original school. [19]
Crane Clan Asahina Duelist Advanced path As original school. [20]
Asahina Feng Shui Master Advanced path As original school. [21]
Asahina Fetishist Advanced path As original school. [22]
Asahina Shugenja Air [23]
Asahina Sohei Advanced path As original school. [24]
Dragon Clan Agasha Shugenja Until 1151
Dragon Spirit-Binder Advanced school
Student of the Tao Advanced school
Tamori Alchemist Advanced path As original school. [25]
Tamori Follower of the Method Advanced path As original school. [26]
Tamori Shugenja After 1151 Earth [27]
Tamori Warrior Priest (Yamabushi) Advanced path As original school. [28]
Lion Clan Bishamon's Chosen Advanced path As original school. [29]
Kitsu Shugenja Water [30]
Kitsu Sodan Senzo Ancestor magic
Kitsu Spirit Legion Advanced path As original school. [31]
Kitsu Votary Advanced path As original school. [32]
Stone Fangs Advanced school None. <refVacant Throne, p. 73</ref>
Mantis Clan Acolytes of Thunder Advanced path As original school. [33]
Champions of Thunder Advanced school
Children of Thunder
Ivory Sahir Advanced path As original school. [34]
Kitsune Shugenja Formerly the Fox Clan Earth [35]
Kitsune Spirit Guide Advanced path As original school. [34]
Mantis Navigator Advanced path As original school. [36] [37]
Moshi Shugenja Formerly Fire, [38] currently Air [39]
Orochi Riders Advanced school As original school. [40]
Sons of Kaimetsu-uo Advanced school
Storm Acolytes Advanced path As original school. [41]
Storm Riders Advanced school Water [42]
Tsuruchi Shugenja
Yoritomo Shugenja Water [43]
Phoenix Clan Agasha Alchemist Advanced path As original school. [44]
Agasha Shugenja Multi-Elemental Spells Fire

[45]

Asako Inquisitor Advanced path As original school. [46]
Dragon Channeler Advanced school None. [47]
Elemental Guard Advanced school Each assigned Element. [48]
Isawa Duelist Advanced path Void [49]
Isawa Ishiken Advanced path Void [50]
Isawa Shugenja Any [51]
Isawa Tensai Specialized Focus on one Element Any but Void. [52]
Nameless One Advanced path As original school. [53]
Shiba Illusionist Illusion Magic Air [54]
Scorpion Clan Kuroiban Advanced path As original school. [55]
Soshi Deceiver Advanced School
Soshi Duelist Advanced path As original school. [56]
Soshi Illusionist Advanced path As original school. [57]
Soshi Shugenja Tejina magic Air [58]
Yogo Duelist Advanced school
Yogo Shugenja Glyphs and Wards None. [59]
Yogo Ward Master Advanced path As original school. [60]
Spider Clan Ninube Shugenja Air. [61]
Unicorn Clan Baraunghar Ghost Guard Advanced path As original school. [62]
Baraunghar Shugenja Earth. [63]
Horiuchi Shugenja Earth. [64]
Iuchi Shugenja Meishodo magic Water [65]
Iuchi Traveler Advanced path As original school. [66] [67]
Master of the Swift Waves Advanced path As original school. [68]
Moto Death Judge Advanced school As original school. [69]
Moto Death Priest Advanced school None. [70]
Imperial Families Jade Magistrate Advanced path As original school. [71]
Seppun Duelist (Shugenja) Advanced path As original school. [72]
Seppun Shugenja Air and Water [54]
Bat Clan Komori Shugenja Air [73]
Komori Summoner Advanced path As original school. [74]
Dragonfly Clan Tonbo Shugenja Water [75]
Tonbo Mountaineer Advanced path As original school. [76]
Tonbo Diviner Advanced path As original school. [76]
Monkey Clan Fuzake Shugenja
Any minor clan Minor Clan Defender Advanced school As original school. [77]
Taryu-Jiai Duelist Advanced path As original school. [78]
Ronin Forgotten Sons Advanced path None. [79]
Fortune's Grace Advanced path As original school. [80]
Grand Master of the Elements Advanced school All. [81]
Kanosei Furudera Order Air [82]
Militant Ronin Shugenja Earth [82]
Order of Isashi Advanced path As original school. [80]
Traditional Ronin Priest Any but Void [82]
Self-Taught Shugenja Any but Void [83]
Dutiful Disciple Shugenja Any but Void [83]
Ronin Order Shugenja Air [83]
Bloodspeakers Chosen Phoenix Secret Cult As original school. [46]
Maho-tsukai Maho. [84]
Shadowlands Chuda Necromancer Advanced path As original school. [85]
Chuda Shugenja Maho. [86]
Chuda Subversive Advanced path As original school. [87]
Ogre Mage None [88]
Tsuno Soultwister Spirit Realms None. [89]
Naga Naga Jakla

References

  1. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 22
  2. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 24
  3. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 136
  4. Way of the Crane, p. 33 & Imperial Histories, p. 15
  5. Way of the Unicorn, p. 41
  6. Way of the Lion, p. 43
  7. Way of the Shugenja, p. 6
  8. Way of the Shugenja, p. 6
  9. Way of the Phoenix, p. 23
  10. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 53-54
  11. Prayers and Treasures, p. 10
  12. Masters of War, p. 61
  13. Art of the Duel, p. 31
  14. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 120
  15. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 251
  16. Masters of Magic Web Supplement, p. 1
  17. Secrets of the Crab, pp. 57-60
  18. Secrets of the Crab, p. 60
  19. Great Clans, p. 42
  20. Art of the Duel, pp. 38-39
  21. Masters of Magic Web Supplement, p. 3
  22. Prayers and Treasures, p. 14
  23. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 122-123
  24. Four Winds, p. 15
  25. Prayers and Treasures, p. 18
  26. Master of Magic, p. 40
  27. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 126
  28. Four Winds, p. 16
  29. Prayers and Treasures, p. 23
  30. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition p. 130
  31. Masters of War, pp. 116-117
  32. Masters of Magic Web Supplement, pp. 4-5
  33. Imperial Histories, p. 306
  34. 34.0 34.1 Masters of Magic, p. 77
  35. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 147-148
  36. Masters of Magic, p. 78
  37. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 253
  38. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 133
  39. Way of the Shugenja, p. 50
  40. Four Winds, p. 9
  41. Prayers and Treasures, p. 26
  42. Masters of Magic, p. 76
  43. Four Winds, pp. 164-165
  44. School & Ancestor Update, p. 21
  45. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 28
  46. 46.0 46.1 Four Winds, p. 18
  47. Four Winds, p. 10
  48. Game Master's Guide; 2nd Ed, p. 100
  49. PArt of the Duel, p. 94
  50. Prayers and Treasures, p. 30
  51. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 136
  52. Four Winds, p. 171
  53. Imperial Histories, p. 214
  54. 54.0 54.1 Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 65
  55. Prayers and Treasures, p. 34
  56. LArt of the Duel, p. 108
  57. Masters of Magic Web Supplement, p. 6
  58. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 140
  59. Four Winds, p. 176
  60. Secrets of the Scorpion, pp. 78-79
  61. School & Ancestor Update, p. 41
  62. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 49
  63. Prayers and Treasures, pp. 38-39
  64. Prayers and Treasures, pp. 38-39
  65. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 142-143
  66. Prayers and Treasures, p. 39
  67. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 255
  68. Art of the Duel, pp. 121-122
  69. Masters of Magic Web Supplement, p. 10
  70. Four Winds, p. 19
  71. Prayers and Treasures, p. 45
  72. Art of the Duel, p. 150
  73. Four Winds, p. 187
  74. Fealty and Freedom, p. 31
  75. Four Winds, p. 188
  76. 76.0 76.1 Fealty and Freedom, p. 41
  77. Four Winds, p. 13
  78. Art of the Duel, p. 153
  79. Prayers and Treasures, p. 52
  80. 80.0 80.1 Prayers and Treasures, p. 10
  81. Four Winds, p. 14
  82. 82.0 82.1 82.2 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 145
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 Enemies of the Empire, p. 205
  84. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 268
  85. Masters of Magic Web Supplement, p. 8
  86. Prayers and Treasures, p. 10
  87. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named 4E255
  88. Enemies of the Empire, p. 237
  89. Four Winds, p. 77

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