The Four Winds in the Thousand Years of Darkness

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The Four Winds in the Thousand Years of Darkness

In the canonical history of Rokugan, the reign of Emperor Toturi I is followed by a struggle for power between his four children, each of whom was uniquely gifted and skilled. But in the Thousand Years of Darkness, Fu Leng’s ultimate dream of triumph, the children of Akodo Toturi face a very different fate. The dark god rules over all of Rokugan with an iron fist, yet humanity continues to struggle to change destiny. Rebellions continue long after it seems nothing can triumph over the forces of Jigoku; the Rokugani refuse to give up hope despite decades of oppression. And Toturi’s children continue their father’s crusade long after his death.

Akodo Kaneka: The Bastard

The foremost among Toturi’s heirs is Akodo Kaneka, Toturi’s son by his geisha lover Hatsuko. The Water Dragon returned the young baby to Rokugan before Tengoku closed its connections to the mortal realm. Kaneka grew up among bandits, but never truly abandoned his honorable nature. Daidoji Uji found the young man and took him under his wing, teaching him about stealth, ruthlessness, and every sort of fighting technique.

Kaneka’s natural charisma made him the perfect successor to lead the ruined Toturi’s Army. Ten years after the Battle of the City of Lightning, he raised his banner and declared his intentions to unite all rebels against the Dark Emperor. He called himself the Shogun, taking an ancient and theoretical military title never actually used before. His message and Daidoji Uji’s reputation drew many followers and the army grew. Although the Iron Crane eventually left Kaneka’s side, countless others joined of their own volition, including the newly returned Unicorn Clan. By the year 1155, Kaneka leads the largest resistance army in Rokugan, and carries out guerilla raids against the Obsidian Legions’ supply outposts much as his father did decades earlier.

Akodo Tsudao: The Sword

The eldest child of Toturi and Isawa Kaede was nearly killed in the battle that took her father’s life. Tsudao only survived because Uji’s student Hakumei whisked her away from the battlefield. She protected the young girl and took her to the one place no one would search for her: the Hub Villages, adjacent to the Imperial City itself. Hakumei took refuge among the Kolat. She knew Toturi would not approve of such a dubious alliance, but in her view the Kolat were at least human, making them infinitely preferable to the alternative. Akodo Kage, Master Tiger, initially was uninterested but then succumbed to his own sentimentality and took the young pair into the fold.

Hakumei began to travel across the Empire on missions for the Kolat, while Master Tiger took Tsudao under his wing. Kage molded the young girl into a worthy successor to his own title. He taught her the beliefs of the Kolat, and she learned the arts of assassination and blackmail, as well as how to manage and control covert assets across the Empire. She also mastered the use of the artifact known as the Oni’s Eye, though the mysterious nemuranai’s effectiveness had greatly weakened since Jigoku spread its influence in the mortal realm. Nor did Kage neglect her martial training; Tsudao learned the Akodo fighting style and Kage gifted her with his own Akodo Dagger. The lessons were difficult at first; despite her dangerous childhood,
Tsudao was a kind and honorable girl. But after several raids into the Hub Villages by the Legion of Jigoku, she accepted reality and grimly adapted to her new life.

In the year1155 Akodo Tsudao lives in the Kolat’s Hidden Temple within the former Phoenix lands. She bears the title of Master Steel and coordinates the defenses of the Kolat across the land. She is also next in line to replace the ailing Akodo Kage as Master Tiger, which will make her the first Kolat Master to ever wear two titles. Her honorable nature has not fully disappeared, however. She diverts supplies to the Shogun’s army and assists Kaneka with anonymous tips. The other Kolat Masters do not know of her altruistic actions, and she does not know if they would approve. She does not care.

Isawa Sezaru: The Wolf

The eldest son of Toturi and Isawa Kaede traveled with Yoritomo and the Mantis Clan to the Ivory Kingdoms after the Battle of the City of Lightning. During the long voyage to the gaijin nation, he became the Oracle of Thunder and adopted his mother’s family name to honor her sacrifice. Sezaru had always been a strange boy, and his character only grew stranger after his ascension. The Dragon of Thunder was always within his mind and his strength with the Elements grew exponentially with the Dragon’s support. Sezaru helped the Mantis Clan acclimate to their new surroundings and blessed those he believed were becoming true heroes. Though Oracles were traditionally neutral in the affairs of the mortal world, Sezaru chose to directly aid the resistance. After all, the normal rules had been shattered when Jigoku conquered Rokugan.

In 1155, Isawa Sezaru is one of the wisest and most powerful people living in the Ivory Kingdoms. He never joins the Mantis Clan, but is one of Yoritomo Aramasu’s strongest advisors. Sezaru helps the Mantis Clan maintain its ancient association with Thunder despite the absence of the Heavens (and the corresponding absence of Osano-Wo, the clan’s patron Fortune). Many Mantis shugenja find it difficult to speak to the kami so far away from Rokugan, but Sezaru masters not only Fire and Void but also the power of the Thunder Dragon, teaching Thunder spells to all who can learn them. Most importantly, Sezaru’s long battle with mental instability that destroyed him in Rokugan’s normal history never develops in the Thousand Years of Darkness. The constant presence of the Dragon of Thunder soothes his mind’s torment and transforms him into a wise and reliable warrior-priest.

Hantei Naseru: The Captive

The youngest son of Toturi and Kaede had the most difficult childhood. He was captured by the Dark Council of Five at the Battle of the City of Lightning. They carried him back to the Imperial City and presented him to Fu Leng as a gift; the young boy believed he would die, and did his best to face his end bravely. But instead, the cruel god decided to keep him as a trophy of his victory against his most stubborn enemy. Fu Leng “adopted” the boy and gave him the Hantei name.

Naseru woke every day believing he would be executed before sunset. The task of actually raising him fell on the Empress Hantei Kachiko. She saw another rare opportunity to damage her husband’s dark Empire. She taught her ward everything she knew—which was a great deal, since she had been one of the Empire’s greatest political masterminds before the Day of Thunder and necessity had only honed her skills further. Naseru learned how to manipulate the actions of all the Emperor’s servants. He learned to wield his emotions as a weapon against the Emperor; he feigned fright or gratitude or worship whenever required. Kachiko sharpened his mind with shogi and go and prepared him for the day that he might, just possibly, be able to strike a blow against Fu Leng.

Naseru’s greatest trick, however, came as a surprise to his teacher. Three years after he first came as a captive to the Imperial City, Naseru begged audience with his adopted father. He willingly prostrated himself and swore eternal fealty to the Dark Emperor. Fu Leng was at first amused, as well as no little suspicious of the young man’s motives. However, Naseru proved year after year to be a loyal servant. He enjoyed cruel displays of violence and joined in on the Dark Emperor’s excessive celebrations. He executed rebels and treated their corpses with utter disrespect. Finally, a decade after Naseru came to Otosan Uchi, Fu Leng accepted the young boy as truly loyal.

In the year 1155 Hantei Naseru is the governor of Ryoko Owari, the city of sin for those loyal to the Emperor. He manages the taxes and supplies in the region with efficiency unseen in any other province. Fu Leng is very pleased with his adopted son’s performance and ponders whether Naseru should receive the gift of the Shadowlands Taint. But in truth, the young man has mastered the art of deception and secretly helps the resistance to Fu Leng’s reign. Naseru passes along vital information to his halfbrother, making sure the Shogun’s Army will never be caught by the Obsidian Legions. His continued efforts are known only to two: Hantei Kachiko and Akodo Kaneka. To all other Rokugani the name Hantei Naseru is reviled as a villain and traitor. Naseru accepts that one day a zealous rebel may reach him, but this is the price of the duty he has taken on, and he feels no fear. This role is uniquely his and he will never set it aside even if it means his death.


Life is not fair. That doesn't mean you cannot win. 

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Anmeldedatum : 23.10.13
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Ort : Wien, Österreich

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