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United in the Ranks of the Twelve Ronin

 

In the third year of the rule of Hantei XXXIX, Twelve Ronin Gathered…

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And together, they set out to right the wrongs that have been introduced into an Empire filled with brigands and mercenaries.

Toturi, the Black Lion Toku, the Ronin of Virtue Mikio, the Sword of Toturi
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Otomo Yayu, the Scholar Shugenja Dairya, the Forgotten Toru, the Marked Tiger
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Ryu, the Sword of Retribution Katsuo, the Shihan of Taijutsu Moto Katashi, the Flame Champion
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Otonashi, the Perfect Arrow Ginawa, the Wielder of Revenge Hasame, the Seeker of Sedition
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A Curse is Upon Us!

Otonashi,

Six years ago, we came together at the Topaz Tournament. Six years ago, we met the Fortune Megumi, where he set us on a path to fulfill our destinies. Last year at this time, it seemed as if I understood what our purpose was. The Tiger Clan, and the Renketsu family, were the pride of Toru and Ryu. The fallen remnants of the clan no longer mentioned believe their fallen leader, Bayushi Shoju, had uncovered a glimpse into a future so terrible, that he would dare to betray the Emperor to avoid it. What the rest of the Great Clans saw, was an assassination of the Emperor from his most trusted retainer and daimyo.

The days that followed were long, bloody and filled with chaos as war was waged outside the walls of Otosan Uchi. Skirmishers crossed blades within the city walls, and courtiers played a subtle game within the Usurper’s court. After much time was wasted in squabbles, the Great Clans united under the banner of Akodo Toturi, and the Blue Crane crossed over us once more. It seemed as if everything had realigned. This would change with the return of Satori, the late emperor’s son. Satori, believed dead by all high ranking samurai in Rokugan, returned to the throne room just after Toturi slew Shoju and claimed the title of New Emperor. Outraged by the perception of Toturi’s disappearance during his father’s assassination, and the Lion Champion’s audacity to sit on the throne while he still lived, removed Toturi from his position as the Clan Champion of the Lion. What’s worse, he stripped the Akodo family of their honor, removing their name from history and disbanding the family. The Akodo would be forced to share the same punishment as the Scorpion Clan who were responsible for the assassination of the emperor. Toturi was refused the right of seppuku to save his family the shame of his actions. It was that day that Toturi became ronin.

Renketsu Toru was the first and only witness to speak on behalf of Toturi’s honor before the Emperor. It was this action that ended the existence of the Tiger clan. Toru was denied the right of seppuku in turn.

And yet somehow, in all these things there is something in the back of my mind that leads me to believe that Shoju was not as mad as everyone believed him to be. This year, a shugenja by the name of Junzo who belonged to the removed Yogo family of the clan that is no longer mnetioned, betrayed his former sacred task. I fear the Black Scrolls were opened! These Dark Scrolls once sealed with the blood of Isawa the Thunder, banished Fu Leng from Rokugan forever. They say that Junzo has transformed to be like the dead, only vaguely resembling the man he once was. In defiance, he continues to use the Yogo name, despite the emperor’s decree.

A deadly wasting disease has spread out over the land, killing commoners and samurai alike, claiming life in throngs and spreading quickly. The Lion and Crane clans have ended one thousand years of peace, resorting to all out war. And the broken lands could not be in more disarray. The Crab clan speak of a terrible citadel that erupted from the ground deep within the heart of the Shadowlands that extends as tall as the clouds. Do I still believe in destiny after all this tragedy? I write this letter to you now, to tell you that I do. I have found my place with Toturi the Black, behind the shadows of the Great Climb. We fight for what is simple. We fight for what is right. Personal honor and duty to the Empire of Rokugan. In the wake of all that has occurred, bandits run rampant over an empire caught up in positioning within the Emperors new court. I will leave you with an invitation that distance does not allow me to deliver in person.

A Call to Arms
For warriors whose duty it is to preserve the Empire and restrain lawlessness, What purpose do we serve in fostering chaos? Let all men and women who have the honor to call themselves samurai rally behind the Black Lion, in the shadows of the Great Climb.

-Toku

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