L5R Eighth Century

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704: The Dragonfly Clan is founded

Despite her betrothal to a samurai from the Lion Clan, Phoenix shugenja Isawa Maroko marries her true love, Mirumoto Asijin of the Dragon. Their parent clans, notorious for their tolerant and enigmatic ways, permit the couple to settle in the plains south of the Dragon Clan. Maroko's jilted suitor, Akodo Yukutsu, leads an army of 5,000 Lions against the couple's holdings, only to be stopped by two armies, one Dragon and one Phoenix, preventing his attack. Furthermore, a huge force of Shugenja prevents his retreat until Yokutsu swears never again to harass Maroko and Asijin. Pleased with the outcome of the Battle of Kyuden Tonbo, the pro-Crane Emperor awards the couple a family name, Tonbo, and Minor Clan status.

711: The Battle of the Great Climb

Insulted by an Agasha ambassador in court, the vengeful Lion general Akodo Yokutsu leads an army of Lion against the Dragon Clan, careful to avoid the lands of Mirumoto Asijin and Isawa Maroko lest he violate the oath he swore sever years previous. Laying siege to the Dragon, Yokutsu demands a duel with Asijin to redeem his honor. The Dragon daimyo Togashi Ayoko arranges the duel, in which Asijin is killed. This is part of an agreement between Ayoko and Asijin, one which extends the Dragon Clan's protection to the Dragonfly in exchange for Asijin's sacrifice. The arrogant Yokutsu declares himself the daimyo of the Dragonfly and states his intention to wed Isawa Maroko, but is challenged and killed in a duel by Asijin and Maroko's son, Tonbo Kuyuden. With the threat of violence from the Lion temporarily appeased, the Dragonfly Clan become the Dragon's official emissaries.

715: The Battle of the Tidal Land bridge

While a sizable force of Shadowlands creatures attack the Crab forces elsewhere, a lone and sparsely defended watchtower near Earthquake Fish Bay is attacked by a cunning Oni no Kinjiro and its minions. Severely outnumbered, the Crab seem doomed despite their commanders battle prowess. Just when all seems lost, a hunting horn sounds across the bay. Daimyo Daidoji Masashigi and his guardsmen charge across the Tidal Land Bridge and attack the foul creatures. The weary and battered Crab are quickly left behind as Masashigi forces the creatures onto the Landbridge. There, they fight the Oni no Kinjiro as the waves rise up around them, swallowing everything. The Crab wait, but no survivors emerge. Only a battered helmet, once worn by Masashigi, is found. The Crab build a shrine to the valiant hero, and henceforth have close relations with the so-called "Iron Cranes" of the Daidoji family.

716: Hiruma Castle falls to the Shadowlands

Caught off-guard by a massive Shadowlands army, the samurai of Hiruma Castle are quickly overrun and completely routed. The dark army is greater than any witnessed since the days of the war with Fu Leng. The Hiruma are pushed back all the way to the Hida provinces, where the army is finally stopped by powerful magic from the Kuni family.

716: The Battle of the Cresting Wave

After the fall of Hiruma Castle, the Crab Clan rallies around the provinces of the Hida. The great army of the Oni Lord Maw is delayed by a powerful young shugenja named Kuni Osaku, who creates a gigantic wave of water from the Saigo River to keep them at bay while the Crab scramble to create the Great Carpenter Wall. After 73 days, the wall is completed. Osaku collapses dead from the strain of her magic and the armies of the Maw attack the wall. Despite their numbers, the Shadowlands creatures cannot overwhelm the entrenched Crab, bolstered as they are by hired ronin and samurai of the other Great Clans. The Maw's forces are eventually beaten back into the Shadowlands, where hidden forces of bloodthirsty Hiruma exact a terrible vengeance for the loss of their homeland. The Maw is slain in the battle -- his army shattered, but the Hiruma provinces remain under the control of the Shadowlands for centuries to come.

750: The Battle of Sleeping River

Two hundred years after his first defeat, the dreaded sorcerer Iuchiban again rises to threaten the Empire. Armed with the secret of moving his spirit from body to body, Iuchiban spends the two centuries following his defeat creating a massive cult throughout Rokugan. The Bloodspeakers, his loyal followers, amass a great army of corpses on the plain near Sleeping River. An ise zumi discovers Iuchiban's spirit and alerts the clans to his treachery. After driving Iuchiban's forces from Ryoko Owari, the united clans converge upon the plains of Sleeping RIver and destroy the sorcerer's undead army. The ise zumi who first discovered Iuchiban manages to capture and hold his spirit until a suitable tomb can be erected, allowing the Bloodspeaker to finally be imprisoned for good.

750: Hare Clan founded

For his brave effort against the armies of Iuchiban, the ronin Reichin is granted the family name Usagi, and Minor Clan status. The Hare Clan is born.

755: The death of Hiruma Sokokai

The last surviving student of the Hiruma Bushi School, Hiruma Sokokai's death results in the loss of the advanced techniques of the Hiruma family. With no school or formalized dojo, the Hiruma begin training informally among themselves.

755: Kitsu Taiko becomes the Master of Fire

In an unprecedented move, the Isawa invite the recently retired Kitsu Taiko, widely acknowledged as one of the most powerful shugenja in the Empire, to join their council as the new Master of Fire. Taiko accepts the position and serves loyally for many years. Many suspect the Isawa bestowed this honor upon Taiko purely to maintain their reputation as the most powerful shugenja in the Empire, but the Isawa refuse to acknowledge such base accusations. It is the first time a non-Phoenix is ever given a position on the Council.

761: Kitsu Taiko becomes the Master of Fire

Born of peasant stock, Kitsu Taiko has an instinctive command of the kami. He is discovered by the Kitsu at a young age after a spirit leads them to him, and is quickly inducted into their ranks. Taiko is a dominant force among the Lion throughout his life, influencing many great battles and making numerous innovations in areas relating to fire magic. The Phoenix offer him the position of Elemental Master of Fire, when he reaches retirement age, and he accepts. He is the only non-Phoenix to ever hold such a position.

774: The Oracle of Fire falls to Fu Leng

A mere decade after having been selected as the new Oracle of Fire, a minor Isawa shugenja reappears in the land of the Phoenix. Apparently insane, the Oracle goes on a rampage, destroying several small villages and an entire legion of Shiba samurai before disappearing in a massive explosion that completely incinerates an entire shrine. At the same time, the Crab serving upon the Great Carpenter Wall witness an enormous explosion of fire from deep within the Shadowlands. The Phoenix theorize that the Oracle somehow became exposed to the Taint of the dark lord and was called to the Shadowlands to serve him. It is a grim reminder that no one is immune to corruption.

782: The fall of Morikage Toshi

Forsaken by her unloving and callous husband Shiba Kojiro, a young bride formerly of the Dragon Clan takes her life to escape the pain of the dishonor. Mad with grief, the bride's mother lays a powerful curse upon the husband's castle. Soon the vines and trees reach out and reclaim the castle, wrapping it in thick vegetation that renders it useless. All attempts to magically dispel the curse end in failure, and in the end the Phoenix abandon the castle rather than arouse the ire of the vengeful spirits there. The castle lies vacant for centuries, home only to the restless ghosts that wander the halls.
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