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|The Scorpion Clan|
|Released:||Imperial Herald #2|
The Scorpion Clan
It happened on a night filled with rain and thunder. No one expected an army of Scorpion samurai to moving through the thick mud of the forests just to the south of the Imperial Palace. The guards at the gate stared in awe as the sorcerous fire fell through the pelt of cold winter rain, falling against the walls, ripping them from their foundations. The battle was over before it had even begun, and when the Lord of the Scorpion Clan, Bayushi Shoju found that the Emperor Hantei was dead, the trappings for the ritual of seppuku about his motionless form.
It was a daring move, unprecedented in the Empire, but Lord Shoju only held the Throne for seven days. The combined forces of the other Clans were too much for the Scorpion, and when Hida Kisada failed to provide the support Shoju had counted on, all was lost. The morning of the eighth day, Shoju stood before the Emperor's son, Doji Hoturi and Matsu Tsuke. Behind him, the Emerald Champion stood with his katana ready for the Emperor's command The young man who was now Emperor over all of Rokugan nodded and in a flash of a moment, Bayushi Shoju was no more.
Two years have passed since the Scorpion coup, and the face of the Empire has been altered beyond recognition. A great plague has swept across the Empire, decimating everything in its path. Even the young Emperor was not beyond its reach. Now he lies in his deathbed as the Clans that once supported him fight against each other for a chance to gain his Emerald Throne. The Clans that destroyed the Scorpion are now destroying themselves. A dark irony, perhaps. Or perhaps the cold hand of the fallen Scorpion Lord could reach out beyond the veil of death and strike at the throats of his enemies. Any man in his right mind would say only a fool would believe such gibberish, of course.
And that is why Bayushi Kachiko's plan has accomplished so much.
The night after her husband's execution, she was forced to marry the young Emperor, thus forever ending the Bayushi line and exacting the young Hantei's revenge for his father's death. But that very night, Kachiko began to formulate a plan that would bring the Empire to its knees. She poisoned the Emperor in his own bedchamber, caused the downfall of Doji Hoturi with the legendary Egg of Pan Ku, convinced Hida Kisada to invade Crane territory (thus causing the fall of Kakita Castle), caused the destruction of the Ancestral Sword of the Dragon, and has turned the Unicorn Clan against the ronin Hoturi and his renegade army of Dragons. The Scorpion have accomplished much in the first few months of the war.
Now they are ready to move in full force. They have mobilized small armies and have made an alliance with Hida Kisada The "Great Bear" of the Crab Clan was desperate for allies and Lady Kachiko was eager to provide him with support. Their greatest weapon now is what has always been their greatest weapon: their secrecy. Kachiko is not concerned with who is sitting on the Emerald Throne, for she knows all too well that the real power lies behind it.
- Bayushi Shoju did not survive the coup, nor did the Emerald Champion.
- The name Matsu Tsuke is most likely a typo, and intended to be Matsu Tsuko.
- Bayushi Kachiko did not instigate Hida Kisada's attack on the Crane, Kuni Yori did.
- Nor did Kachiko cause the destruction of the Dragon sword.
- The Unicorn Clan were allied with the ronin and Dragon Clan forces, led by Hoturi (most likely a typo of Toturi), against the Crab Clan.
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