News From the Empire (originally published in Imperial Herald #20)
Excerpted from Way of the Samurai, this is designed to keep you up to date on events that have happened in the Empire since the release of Rokugan, especially those centering on the recent expansion, An Oni’s Fury, and appearing in weekly stories on the Alderac Entertainment Group website.
At a final attempt to sow peace between her siblings, Toturi Tsudao arranged a meeting of the Winter Court at Kyuden Miya. It ended in tragedy due to the meddling of a Pekkle no Oni dispatched by Shahai.
Unbeknownst to the Winds, a second Pekkle was also sent, in the guise of a shisha named Miya Gensaiken. The herald has attached himself to Toturi Sezaru as an advisor, and has privately begun to plot the ruin of his new master.
Sezaru was later attacked in the Twilight Mountains by none other than Daigotsu himself, in the body of a powerful demon known as an Onisu. Sezaru’s aide, Asako Ryoma, was slain during the battle. Only the quick action and brave spirit of Sezaru’s yojimbo, Toturi Koshei, kept the Wolf from losing his life as well.
In a duel with the Elemental Masters, Tamori Shaitung surprised both Phoenix and Dragon by defeating all five Masters in a desperate, all-or-nothing attack. The six shugenja were swallowed by the earth, and then seen no more.
Beneath the crust of the earth, the Masters discovered none other than Shaitung’s Tainted father, Agasha Tamori. Now serving Daigotsu as the Dark Oracle of Fire, it was Tamori who apparently caused the volcanic eruptions in Dragon lands and instigated the war between the two clans in order to distract the Phoenix-Lion alliance from their planned assault against the Shadowlands.
Master of Water Isawa Riake was killed in the battle to follow. Only Master of Air Isawa Nakamuro and Tamori Shaitung escaped intact by fleeing into the volcanic tunnels. The remaining masters were sealed in a stone prison deep within the earth and left for dead by the Dark Oracle.
Asahina Sekawa won the Test of the Jade Champion, winning the position as foremost shugenja magistrate of the Empire. During the test, an Onisu known only as Hakai staged a horrific attack upon Kyuden Nio, the site of the tournament. The castle was destroyed and many on the site were killed, including Asahina Tamako and Asahina Kimita, the uncle and sister of the new Jade Champion. Luckily, the intervention of Naka Tokei, Grand Master of the Five Elements, combined with the power of the new Jade Champion, was enough to drive Hakai from the scene.
The Shadowlands Horde staged a surprise attack upon the Kaiu Wall, with a large number of their forces appearing within the boundary of the Wall itself. It is unknown how these troops appeared, but their surprise attack in broad daylight overwhelmed six of the Wall’s twelve major guard towers before help could arrive. Crab Champion Hida Kuroda was apparently slain during the attack, leaving the mantle of leadership on the uncertain shoulders of his twin brother, Kuon.
Hantei Naseru charged the Dragon magistrate Kitsuki Remata with investigating the mysterious lineage of Akodo Kaneka. In doing so, Remata discovered that Kaneka was in fact related to the central family line of the Yasuki family, and bore a closer relation than Yasuki Hachi. When he learned of this, Akodo Kaneka led an army of Lion (with the support of the Scorpion) to seize the Yasuki lands himself “in the name of peace.” The Crab were allowed to draw upon the land’s resources so long as they did not contest Kaneka’s presence. The Crane were ordered to leave the lands immediately.
Yasuki Hachi and Kitsuki Remata both suspect there is more to this than it seems, and continue to investigate the matter.
Phoenix Champion Isawa Tsukune answered the call of Osano-Wo, Fortune of Fire and Thunder, and ascended into the heavens as the new Fortune of Rebirth.
The Tsuno staged a savage attack upon the Kitsu Tombs, looting all of the sacred magical texts therein and kidnapping Matsu Domotai, brother of Lion Champion Matsu Nimuro. Nimuro immediately demanded retaliation against the Shadowlands, recalling the majority of Lion units committed to assist the Phoenix against the Dragon.
Without a Champion or the Elemental Council to guide them, and lacking strong aid from the Lion Clan, the Phoenix began to lose ground in their war against the Dragon. Desperate for any edge against his foes, Shiba Aikune, son of Shiba Tsukune, found and unleashed the power of Isawa’s Last Wish, a lost artifact created by the Phoenix Thunder. Though the power of this relic is unimaginable, Aikune seems fully capable of controlling it.