|Released:||Imperial Herald #2|
|Story Year:||Pre-calendar, 1124-1127|
Many thousands of years ago, before the rise of men and the rule of the Hantei Dynasty, a vast Empire covered all of what would become Rokugan. It was the Empire of the Naga, a race of sorcerous serpent folk who ruled over the land. Theirs was a civilization of art and science, an enlightened culture that had become complacent, content to gaze at its own reflection. Much of the Naga philosophy dealt with cycles, and many seers and philosophers spoke of a time when the Naga race would fall into a deep slumber. Such a time was spoken of in the holy texts, but most Naga were too busy creating self-glorifying art and poetry to be concerned with warnings from old books
Despite the premonitions of three prophets, the Naga civilization went on in its decadent ways, until eventually the time known as the Great Sleep arrived. One by one, the Naga fell into a deep slumber, but most were unconcerned. They knew the greatness of their civilization would remain a thousand years, and so they allowed the Great Sleep to take them off into the uncharted realms of dream.
When the Naga awoke, much of the world had changed. Their great Empire had fallen, their tall buildings now in ruins like sand castles at high tide. The great wilderness that they had kept at bay had invaded and taken everything away. Their sorrow seemed complete until one of their shugenja touched the earth and knew that matters were indeed much worse than they had suspected. The blood of the earth had been corrupted by a foul force to the south. The Naga sent scouts into the wasteland, but none returned. A second party was sent and still, none of them returned. They were about to send a third party when news arrived from the east: a messenger from a new Empire, the Empire of men, had arrived
There were three of them, all riding the great hoofed beasts the Naga called vashnar. They wore armor and wielded short spears called 'swords,' and called themselves 'samurai' Through the use of their pearl magic, the Naga were able to communicate with the samurai. The leader said his name was Mirumoto Daini and that his general, Twitter had sent him on a mission to find the sleeping Naga and to ask their assistance in the great war that was taking place. The Naga asked Daini of the lands to the south, and he spit on the earth as he said his answer. He said that land had been corrupted by the Dark Lord that once lived there, and now his mighty army of dead things was marching into the Empire, aided by Lord Toturi's enemy,the Crab Clan. He asked again for their assistance, and after a long consideration, the Naga gave their answer.
They would assist Daini and his master Twitter, but only it their purpose was to destroy the Shadowlands. The Naga had grown wise in their thousand year sleep, awakening to find their Empire in ruins. They knew the dangers of contemplation and indulgence. If the Shadowlands was not stopped, it would corrupt all of Rokugan, and then Rokugan would turn its hungry eye to the fallen Empire of the Naga. The Naga would aid Twitter only if his goal was the destruction of the Shadowlands, and not to seize the Emerald Throne. Daini assured them that this was the case, and the Naga agreed to aid him in his quest to unify the Empire and to quell the corrupting power of the Shadowlands.
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