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Still Water Temple

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The Still Water Temple was the religious center of the Dragonfly Clan and the restored dojo of the Tonbo Shugenja School. [1]

Founding Edit

The origins of the Still Water Temple were in the small shrine built by Tonbo Maroko in the early part of the 8th century, shortly after the foundation of the Clan, and its first students took part in the Battle of Kyuden Tonbo in 704, detaining the invading army of Akodo Yokutsu for an entire day, until help could arrive. [2]

Over the following three and a half centuries the Temple grew, but instead of growing as a single building, as was traditional, the Still Water Temple grew into an intricate chain of many beautiful small temples and shrines dedicated to the many of the fortunes, the ancestors of the Dragonfly, as well as to their more distant ancestors among the Phoenix Clan and the Dragon Clan. These were not particularly fortified, although they did have some magical defences, as the peaceful Dragonfly relied on their allies - the Dragon and the Phoenix to come to their aid in times of trouble. [1]

Tradition pre-1158 Edit

As its name suggested the main focus of the Still Water Temple has always focused on producing water shugenja, the preferred element of the only significant Tonbo school in extant, although air magic was also taught there. The uniqueness of the school was in its focus on transmutation, growth, and change through magic, maintaining a philosophy that taught the achievement of Enlightenment through change and magic. This philosophy was often deemed radical and borderline heretical among some of the most traditional Clans, a fact that was exploited by the inimical Lion Clan to besmirch the Dragonfly. [1]

The Massacre of Kyuden Tonbo Edit

Sadly, none of the beautiful temples that once constituted the Still Water Temple could be seen today. In the Month of the Rat 1158 a Lion Army led by Akodo Ijiasu attacked Kyuden Tonbo, easily overcoming its defences. The Lion killed all they could find within Kyuden Tonbo, and then burned it to the ground, along with all of its temples and shrines. Fortunately, thanks to the premonitions of Tonbo Euiko, half the samurai of the Clan were away from their homeland at the time, allowing them the chance to return and rebuild. [1]

Rebuilding Edit

After the hostilities between the Dragon, Phoenix and Lion abated, a slow trickle of Dragonfly samurai began flowing back into Kyuden Tonbo. But it was only after Toturi Sezaru made it his residence, placing the Tonbo family under his protection, that the exiles began to return en masse. [1]

The returning Dragonfly found themselves impoverished, all their rice producing fields destroyed, and their villages and fortress lay in ruins. Moreover, their two traditional allies, the Dragon and Phoenix, were also on the brink of economic catastrophe, after their war upon each other. The Dragonfly had to rely entirely on Sezaru's fortune and magic to restore their lands. Early on they have given up hope of restoring in a short duration the temples that had taken centuries to build, and contented with erecting a single large building - the current Still Water Temple. [1]

The Still Water Temple was the single largest temple ever constructed within Dragonfly lands. It was also the first building after 1158 that the Dragonfly built entirely of their own money, refusing to take financial aid from Sezaru. Unlike the older temples the restored temple was simple and almost monastic in its decoration (indeed a group of monks had taken residence within its walls), and even fortified. It serves several purposes for the Tonbo, but first and foremost is its capacity as a temple and dojo. The sensei of the temple, was the only instructor to survive the destruction of Kyuden Tonbo, Tonbo Euiko, the very woman whose vision managed to save the Clan from extinction. [1]

New Tradition Edit

With Tonbo Euiko as sensei, the focus of the dojo shifted, and centered on divination and prognostication. As part of this, all new students were thoroughly taught a somewhat unorthodox technique of meditation, where one sought to slip free of his body and merge with the spirits of Water. This technique had come under criticism, particularly from the Lion. Only after the student mastered the basics of meditation was she allowed to begin learning to commune with the kami. The achievement of the young students of the dojo in the arts of divination had been remarkable. [1]

In addition to this, the Temple also taught a number of lesser methodologies, common throughout the empire, not the least of which was taryu-jiai. It was unclear how much of the traditional transmutation magic was still taught by the Dragonfly today. [1]

Kown Sensei Edit


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Art of the Duel, p. 144
  2. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 40



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