War of Dark Fire 
The War of Dark Fire
Location: Rokugan's Northern Border
Date: 1170 - 1171
Major Forces: Rokugan, Army of Fire
Generals: Akodo Shigetoshi, Hida Benjiro, Hida Tonoji, Mirumoto Kei, Moto Jin-Sahn, Tamori Chosai, Shosuro Jimen, Son of Fire
Battles of Rokugan

The War of Dark Fire was a conflict started in the winter of 1170 by Dark Oracle of Fire Chosai when he sent his army, including the Yobanjin, to invade Rokugan. [1]

First sightings Edit

The Khol Wall Edit

The western border of the Empire had been secured with the Khol Wall, but it suffered repeated attacks in 1167. [2] Chosai had sent his minions to test it. [3]

Northern Dragon Border Edit

During the winter 1169-1170 Chosai had been increasing his attacks against the Dragon Clan's northern border. [4] The Northern Towers of Flame had suffered three assaults in one month from Yobanjin minions of the Dark Oracle, who set his men on fire without killing them, and used them for suicide attacks. They were easily repelled, because they only caused heat in their surroundings, only igniting through direct contact. [5]

Kali-Ma's ally Edit

Kali-Ma, the avatar of Shiva the Destroyer, and leader of the Cult of Ruhmal, sent the Ebon Daughter to meet in the Mountain of Fire with the Dark Oracle of Fire. Chosai had become an ally of her, who used her servants to help him attack Rokugan. In return Chosai would help locate an item which Kali-Ma desired, which was within the Empire. [5]

Daigotsu's ally Edit

In 1170 Chosai used his allegiance with Daigotsu to seek the Dark Covenant of Fire. Megumi came to visit him and was tasked with that quest, but she failed and died. [6]

High House of Light threatened Edit

This year the Northern Towers of Flame had been breached, the Dark Oracle's forces had broken through. The line had been closed behind them, but there were enough trapped within Dragon to threaten the High House of Light. Mirumoto cavalry led by Mirumoto Yoma-shi and the Brothers of Jade aided the castle guard to destroy the yobanjin. [7]

Hitomi's Last Words Edit

After Hitomi fell from Heavens, Tsuruchi Etsui heard her last words: "Tell them (the Dragon) to build a wall, a wall in the north". [8] It later was considered a premonition of Chosai's plans.

Narako's prophecy Edit

Kitsune Narako, the prophet had a vision about the incoming yobanjin assault. [9]

"Fire burned throughout the mountains".
-Kitsune Narako [9]

Chosai's Tactics Edit

Chosai changed his tactics for this war. Rather than igniting his minions and sending them across the border, Chosai enchanted them so that they would instead ignite upon dying. This allowed the Yobanjin to fight for longer periods of time and with clear minds.[10] It may be that their ignition was only triggered by slashing or piercing their flesh, as none of the Yobanjin that Doji Midoru killed with his bare hands exploded.[11] At least some of the invaders had the ability to ignite Rokugani samurai in the same manner in which Chosai had formerly ignited the Yobanjin, such as during their assault on the Exile's Road Watchtower.

In addition to foot soldiers, some of the invaders rode giant birds, perhaps rocs[11], and some rode wyrms. [12]

Chosai's forces also obliterated any Yobanjin tribes bordering Rokugan who would not willingly join Chosai, such as the Mountain Wind Tribe. [11] It is not known if Chosai attacked any tribes that did not stand between him and Rokugan.

Initial Attack Edit

News of a massive yobanjin army wielding some unknown form of fire magic were sent by a Badger ambassador Ichiro Hikenru. [13] Before Shogun's forces had time to be redeployed the Northern Towers of Flame had been overrun and the Dragon territory assaulted. [14] Evidence of the initial attacks were discovered by the Fourth Imperial Legion led by Hida Tonoji, who were sent to investigate the Northern Towers of Flame but found them destroyed. [10]

Betrayal to Daigotsu Edit

Daigotsu Susumu and Daigotsu Usharo believed that Chosai had betrayed Daigotsu for some agenda of his own and sent words to their master. [14]

Attacks on the Dragon Edit

The Oracle's army wreaked havoc, even damaging the High House of Light sufficiently so that it had to be put to the torch by order of the Dragon Champion, Mirumoto Kei, preventing its use as a base for the Yobanjin invaders. [11]

The Army of Fire had used a tactic to hide his true target. They sent a wide range of patrols in order to sow discord and disguise true troop movement. Unicorn scouts shared with the Lion the size and placement of the various Yobanjin patrols they had been tracking. The pattern of the tactic had been widely recorded in the gaijin treatise De Bellis Yoditorum, and the Lion Akodo Tadatoshi realized one area where there should be a larger patrol, but there was not, leading to Shiro Mirumoto. [15]

A large Yobanjin force attacked Shiro Mirumoto, breaching the fortress' wall. Mirumoto Kei and three monks; Togashi Matsuo, Togashi Hogai and Togashi Vedau, were able to push back the attackers and turn the Battle of Shiro Mirumoto in the Dragon's favor. [15]

Failing to take Shiro Mirumoto, the Yobanjin forces then turned their focus to Shiro Tamori. Shiro Tamori was able to evacuate most of it's defenders while Tamori Wotan and Tamori Shimura prepared to destroy the Yobanjin forces. After allowing the invaders to overrun the castle, Wotan and Shimura created a rift in the earth inviting a torrent of molten lava from Tamori's Furnace which then immolated Shiro Tamori and the Yobanjin forces within it. [16]

Heibeisu and his sister city of Yamasura were attacked, but the Lion and Crab forces, aided by Scorpion ambushers defeated them. Yasamura sustained significant losses but did not fall. During the Siege of Shiro Kitsuki Crab forces enhanced the wall defenses. Lost Samurai Village was doomed. [17] Toi Koku was burned down by the Rokugani with the raiders inside the village, making it a death trap. [18]

Attacks on the Phoenix Edit

Phoenix fighting the Army of Fire

Phoenix fighting the Army of Fire

The Phoenix allied gaijin village Yobanjin Mura was destroyed, [19] followed with the destruction of Kitamihari, the Northern Watch, [12] as were at least three villages north of Kyuden Isawa as the Oracle's Yobanjin troops marched southwards. [20]

The Castle of the Faithful Bride and Kyuden Isawa were stormed, but the palace garrison temporarily fought off the Army of Fire with the aid of the Elemental Masters. The Master of Void, Shiba Ningen, departed north to protect as many villages as he could. [20] Isawa Emori, Master of Earth, was forced to collapse Kyuden Isawa upon the invaders as it had eventually sucumbed to the overwhelming numbers of the Army of Fire. [21]

Another Yobanjin force approached the Shrine of the Ki-Rin but was destroyed when Utaku Reyo, a visitor at the shrine sacrificed herself to summon an avalanche, burying the invaders in a narrow defile. [22]

Invaders approached Pale Oak Castle with the intent of defiling the sacred tree there that stood over the grave of Hantei XVII. These interlopers were destroyed by the tainted Onyx Champion of the Spider Clan, Isawa Fosuta, who summoned the dreaded Sentei no Oni to defend his mother's home. [23]

Shinsei and Sumai Mura was razed to the ground. The only objects saved were several sacred scrolls. [23]

The Yobanjin scouts had captured Hiruma Daimyo Hiruma Todori and attempted to torture him into revealing information on the defenses of Michita Yasumi, but the Hiruma Lord remained silent and was later rescued by his own Hiruma scouts. Todori, badly wounded, intended to sacrifice himself to foil the Yobanjin's planned thefts from the famed Kanjiro Library, but was instead knocked out by his vassal Hiruma Tama, who instead sacrificed his own life to burn down the library, mitigating his dishonorable act towards his lord. The Yobanjin's plans were foiled. [23]

The invading army was routed at Shiro Shiba, when Isawa Kyoko managed to remove Chosai's blessings from most of the Yobanjin present. [24] The Phoenix were victorious, but the lands around the castle were badly damaged in the fighting. [25]

A Lion army under the command of Akodo Setai was preparing to defend Kyuden Asako when Isawa Fosuta appeared and killed many of the Yobanjin attackers. Fosuta then asked Setai to join him, when the Lion refused he became enraged, killing many of Setai's troops. [26]

Attacks on the Unicorn Edit

The Yobanjin invaded Unicorn territory after overrunning the Badger Clan. Their Far North Village was destroyed, [11] and the Army continued on attacking the Senseki province, completely destroying the city of Bikami, [16] Exile's Road Watchtower also fell. [19]

Shiro Shinjo was attacked but was able to repel the Yobanjin forces, while the castle itself was untouched the surrounding city suffered considerable damage. Breaking off their attack the Yobanjin forces instead moved their forces deeper into Unicorn territory. [22]

The invaders continued on toward Shiro Utaku Shojo, where Utaku Xieng Chi led her forces out to meet them. [17] Utaku Yu-Pan was left behind to oversee the defense of the fortress, but when she learned Xieng Chi's forces were going to be surrounded in the Battle of Shiro Utaku Shojo, she ordered the remainder of the garrison to abandon the castle and ride to Xieng Chi's aid. [24]

Attacks on the Ox Edit

The Ox Clan, aided by two imperial legions and a part of the Shogun's army, managed to successfully defend their home, Shiro Morito. [12]

Attacks on the Badger Edit

The Badger Clan suffered terribly from the destruction of its fortress and the fall of the ancient Ryoshun's Shrine. [11] [19]

Attacks on the Tonbo Edit

Ikoma Otemi led a combined Lion, Crab, and Dragonfly army in the ancestral lands of the Tonbo. Otemi evacuated the villages to lure the raiders deep into a trap they had planned, to enclose their ranks completely. The Dark Oracle of Void Tonbo Toryu appeared and was allowed by a dying Tonbo to unleash his wrath against the invaders of his former home. [17]

Spider Clan Edit

The Spider Clan, followers of Daigotsu, used the war to increase his ranks with new members from the attacked areas. They were sent to the new Spider hold in the Fingers of Bone. The Spider began to attack the minions of Chosai, as Daigotsu saw this invasion of the empire as an act of betrayal by a former ally. [17]

Countermeasures Edit

The Tamori Shugenja probed a thick and foul-smelling moisture which would grant protection against the fire magic of the yobanjin. The Empress ordered to produce it in large quantities. [17] The Third Storm stroke at key supply points for the Yobanjin tribes and completely destroyed three ports. Numerous landing parties went overland to harass the Army of Fire's rear. [27]

End of the War Edit

Despite suffering heavy causalties, the Army of Fire prepared for a final assault. [18] They threw all of their efforts into a lunge for Toshi Ranbo, intending to kill the Divine Empress herself. While traversing the vast Dragon Heart Plains they were outmaneuvered by the armies of the Lion, Crab, Dragon, and Phoenix, as well as the cavalry forces of the Shogun. During the subsequent battle, the Son of Fire, field commander of Chosai's army, was lured into a clever trap and killed by Hida Benjiro, Akodo Setai, and Shosuro Naname.

The remaining soldiers of the Dark Oracle of Fire, leaderless were then slaughtered before the walls of Toshi Ranbo, ending the war. [28]

The Empress established the Festival of the Hundred Hands to celebrate the victory. [29]

Aftermath Edit

Shortly after were reported plagued villages in the Northern Phoenix provinces. The Crab also told an unusual spectacle: demons, goblins, and ogres were approachng the Kaiu Wall, fleeing from an unknown foe deep in the Shadowlands. [30]

Known Casualties Edit

External Links Edit


  1. War of Dark Fire
  2. Outer Walls (Lotus flavor)
  3. The Yodotai: A Dialogue (Legend of the Burning Sands)
  4. Revelation, by Shawn Carman
  5. 5.0 5.1 Light of the Mountain (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  6. The Battle for Sunset Tower, by Rusty Priske
  7. Incursions, by Rusty Priske
  8. Sun and Moon, Part III, by Nancy Sauer
  9. 9.0 9.1 Shadows in the Forest, by Shawn Carman
  10. 10.0 10.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 The War of Dark Fire, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The War of Dark Fire, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  13. The First Touch of Flame (Imperial Herald v3 #1)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Letters II, by Shawn Carman
  15. 15.0 15.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 7, by Shawn Carman
  16. 16.0 16.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 8, by Shawn Carman
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 The War of Dark Fire, Part 11, by Shawn Carman and Nancy Sauer
  18. 18.0 18.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 15, by Shawn Carman
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 The War of Dark Fire, Part 3 by Shawn Carman
  20. 20.0 20.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 5 by Shawn Carman
  21. The War of Dark Fire, Part 6, by Shawn Carman
  22. 22.0 22.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 9, by Shawn Carman
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 The War of Dark Fire, Part 10, by Shawn Carman
  24. 24.0 24.1 The War of Dark Fire, Part 12, by Shawn Carman
  25. The War of Dark Fire, Part 13, by Shawn Carman
  26. The War of Dark Fire, Part 14, by Shawn Carman
  27. Vacant Throne, p. 156
  28. The War of Dark Fire, Part 16, by Shawn Carman
  29. War of Hearts, by Nancy Sauer
  30. Oceans, by Lucas Twyman

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