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The Book of Fire is the third in a series of elemental sourcebooks for the Legend of the Five Rings Role-playing Game, books that explore the themes of the five. The Book of Fire contained part of the ancient wisdom of Shinsei. It was an a thick volume, a symbol of burning fire emblazoned upon its cover. It was a lengthy. The Book of Fire covers a variety of aspects of the L5R setting with a thematic bent towards the element of fire. This includes thing that are.

Table of Contents Introduction. Air-Themed Gaming: Reactive and Adaptive Plotting. Embracing Player Input. Chapter One:

Tsuken entrusted with safeguarding the Book of Fire to his sister Kakita Funaki. Funaki revered him and the other Keepers, and considered the book a sacred artifact that she must defend with her life.

Although she believed that she was not yet worthy of such knowledge, Tsuken had encouraged her to read the passages found within, and she was beginning to understand the way he saw the world now.

It was Tsuken's writings on swordsmanship and other facets of war. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Rosoku First used by: Kakita Tsuken Currently in the possession of: Matsu was furious and swore vengeance, beginning the great feud of Lion and Crane that lasted a thousand years. Although this duel is best remembered for the blood feud that it spawned, it is also famous for first showing the effectiveness of Kakitas single-strike style. Kakita, installed as the Emperors champion, soon married Lady Doji and his fighting technique spread all across the Empire.

Although the followers of niten still consider their method of fighting to be the best overall, they grudgingly acknowledge the superiority of the Kakita style in iaijutsu dueling.

For two generations the Gozoku conspiracy had reduced the Hantei Emperors to figureheads, controlling the Empire from behind the scenes while two successive puppet Emperors did their bidding. When Hantei VI died in the year , the Gozoku prepared to install his eldest son Soujiro as successor.

However, when Soujiro arrived at the capital of Otosan Uchi to assume the throne, he found himself confronted by his sister Yugozuhime. Princess Yugozuhime had been raised among the Lion, who taught her the ways of honor and the true role of the Hantei as unquestioned Emperors of Rokugan.

With the support of the Lion and the Dragon, Yugozuhime challenged her brother, naming him a traitor to his family, and demanded he face her blade in hand. Since Soujiro had not yet been crowned, he lacked the rank to simply dismiss Yugozuhimes challenge, and with the entire Imperial Court in attendance he could not refuse it without catastrophic loss of face.

Yugozuhime and Soujiro faced each other in the main court chamber of Otosan Uchi with all of the Empires senior officials watching. Yugozuhimes blade struck swift and true, and her brother fell dead at her feet. She immediately claimed the throne as Hantei VII, and with the strength of the Lion behind her the Gozoku Alliance was overthrown within a matter of weeks. TWO DUELS This famous pair of first-century duels cemented iaijutsus place as the preeminent martial form, but also demonstrated that the niten two-sword style created by the Dragon samurai Mirumoto was a potent rival to Kakitas one-sword style.

In the early years of the Empire the discussion of which style of sword-fighting was more effectiveMirumotos niten style or Kakitas one-sword stylewas an intense topic both in the courts and in the dojo. Warriors often came to blows over whose sensei taught the superior fighting art.

Near the end of Kakitas tenure as Emerald Champion, the Emperor asked him to duel the acknowledged master of the niten style, Mirumotos son Hojatsu, to determine once and for all which style was superior. The two swordmasters faced each other on the field of honor, neither moving. It is unclear how long they faced each othersome legends say they stood for mere moments, others claim hours or even a full day.

All accounts agree, however, that at the end both men bowed to the other and walked away, neither able to dare a strike against the other. A few years later Kakita and Mirumoto Hojatsu faced each other for a final time during a minor skirmish between the Crane and the Lion. Hojatsu knew this might be his last chance to face the aging Kakita, and joined the Lion as an advisor to meet his old rival on the field of battle.

While the combat raged around them, the two men faced each other and at some unspoken signal struck, all but simultaneously. Hojatsu was slain instantly, but Kakita was mortally wounded. He called for his son to bring him Hojatsus sword, said, Finish the job your master began, and fell upon the blade. Although the second duel proved the one-sword style was marginally superior to niten, the death of both masters proved the difference was slight indeedand the honor which the two men showed each other in both matches ensured their followers did not allow the rivalry to grow.

So impressive were his skills that his lord gave him open permission to travel the Empire and challenge any duelist to a lethal contest, bringing fame to the Crab and intimidating those who might oppose the plans of the Clan of Hida. In the dark reign of Hantei XVI such an act drew little censure, so Raiden roamed all across Rokugan, fighting numerous duels and winning all of them.

In time, many duelists came to fear him and avoided his attention, knowing that to accept one of his challenges was to seal their own doom.

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That finally changed when Raiden arrived in the city of Ryoko Owari Toshi to challenge Togashi Nyoko, a woman known for simultaneously pursuing the ways of the Togashi order, the art of swordsmithing, and the path of the duelist. Raiden mocked her lifestyle, claiming it was impossible to do all three. Nyoko responded that she would prove all her paths could work in harmony, and met Raiden on one of the citys bridges at sunrise.

The duel began and ended in an instant, Raiden falling with a deep slash in his belly. Impossible, he gasped, no one alive is so fast! Nyoko replied: I am alive and dead; dead to the past and dead to the future, because I live at the moments edge. Seeing comprehension in Raidens eyes, she cut off his head and ended his life before his pain could drive him to dishonor himself.

In memory of this legendary clash, the bridge was renamed as the Bridge of the Moments Edge, a name it still carries in modern times, and the tale of Hida Raidens fight with Nyoko is still remembered in Ryoko Owari Toshi. Yakamo approached the dueling circle, all could see he had brought his tetsubo, the spiked club favored by the Crab.

When the duel began, Yakamo simply smashed Satsu down with the tetsubo, finishing the match by crushing the Dragons skull. It was an unprecedented action, disregarding every tradition and disgracing the Crab warrior.

Since Yakamo was the son of the Crab Clan Champion, he suffered little direct repercussion for his disregard for honorable behavior. However, his actions brought about a blood feud with Mirumoto Satsus younger sister, Hitomi, which would last for decades after. That feud would eventually be responsible for the deaths of thousands and the ascension of mortals to the positions of Sun and Moon. Some sages claim Satsu lost the duel on purpose, that a skilled swordsman and duelist could never have lost legitimately to a brute like Yakamo in a formal duel.

The Crab Clan, naturally, denies this claim completely. Whatever the reason for Satsus loss, this incident remains one of the most egregious examples of disregarding the etiquette and traditions of dueling in Rokugan. In the early twelfth century Hida Yakamo, son of the Crab Clan Champion, was accused of improper remarks by the wife of Mirumoto Satsu, son of the Mirumoto family daimyo and one of the finest duelists of his generation.

As is customary in such situations, Satsu offered Yakamo the chance to apologize for his actions, but the Crab warrior refused, insisting that Satsus wife was a liar. Accordingly, Satsu challenged Yakamo to a duel to the death to prove his wifes honor. Yakamo had no choice but to accept, and the next morning the two faced each other on the field of honor, with hundreds of witnesses present.

But as. A few have been the simplest some would say the purest of duels: The Empire was in the midst of a crisis known as the Four Winds Era, as Kaneka contested with his three legitimate half-siblings for control of the Throne. Evidence had emerged which seemed to give Kaneka a closer familial connection to the previous Yasuki daimyo through his mothers side than Yasuki Hachi, whose own posting as daimyo was a source of considerable controversy already. Kaneka had built up an army and gained support from some of the clans, but unfortunately, his mother was known to be a simple geisha, and much of the Empire laughed at his claims.

When Kaneka arrived in Yasuki territory to take control of the lands he believed were rightfully his, Yasuki Hachi and the entirety of the Fifth Imperial Legion rode out to meet him.

Kaneka and Hachi exchanged first pleasantries and then insults, each trying to goad the other into a duel. Finally Kaneka voiced an insult that caused Hachi to touch his sword-. In point of fact, Hachi did not want a duel, but he could not retract the challenge without losing face and dishonoring his office, himself, and his clan. He knew that if he won the duel he would be killing one of the sons of the Emperor, which would cause severe political damage to the Crane Clan and likely drive the Lion and Crane into war.

But if he lost, it would mean the death of the Emerald Champion during a time of great political strife, again causing immense political damage to the Crane Clan. Hachi resolved the problem by doing what the Crane Clan does best: Kaneka expected the two warriors would draw and one of them would die. Kaneka was himself one of the most feared duelists in the Empire at the time and had defeated dozens of foes, including the previous Kakita daimyo.

Hachi was an extremely skilled duelist in his own right, having bested all he faced in the Emerald Championship. Rather than draw, Hachi asked Kaneka to show him his stance. Kaneka was confused, but Hachi reminded him not all duels must be to the death.

L5R : The Book of Fire

Kaneka took his stance and drew with a fluidity that Hachi knew he could not quite match. Hachi then took his own stance, but drew with the clumsy ineptitude of a first year samurai, imitating the most basic of Akodo kata.

Having subtly insulted Kaneka with his draw, Hachi bowed before the son of Toturi and withdrew from the field. Hachis willingness to duel Kaneka without bloodshed allowed both men to faithfully serve the Empire for years to come. No one knows what would have happened had the duel gone differently, but it is likely that the loss of one or both men would have had dire consequences for the Empire.

The sensei nodded slightly, as though to himself. Perhaps he uttered a small sigh, although the students could not be sure. Iaijutsu is about more than swords, my student. It is about mastery of the body, mind, and soul. Without that mastery, you will never be able to understand iaijutsu, never be more than a crude brawler no matter how many hours you practice with your blade.

This year you begin to learn to master yourself. Next year most students will be allowed to touch bokken, and in the third year you may Of course, for some students it takes longer for them to master themselves, and they do not get to use bokken until their third year and swords in their fourth.

The student gulped, and the sensei permitted himself a faint smile. Now, shall we focus on our breathing? Or do you wish to wait four years before you touch a katana? All Rokugani clans teach their students the basics of iaijutsu during their initial training.

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However, because iaijutsu plays such an important role in Rokugani society, there are several schools and dojo that teach the art exclusively. Although these are most prominent in the lands of the Crane and the Dragon, small dojo teaching iaijutsu dueling can be found in almost every clan.

Of course, these dojo vary widely in size, curriculum, and prestige. Some are simply places where samurai train intensely in the basic skills of iaijutsu so they will not be completely incapable of dueling if they are required to do so. Others are specialized schools which cater to specific groups of samurai and teach enough about iaijutsu that their students will have a superior chance in a duel.

And of course there is the Kakita Dueling Academy, an entire school in which students live the art of iaijutsu every day. The following section describes the most prestigious dojo which teach iaijutsu dueling. Of course, prestigious may mean something different for a clan like the Crab, where dueling is regarded as at best a necessary evil, than among the Crane or Dragon where it is seen as the summit of the warriors art. Iaijutsu Training Two dozen children waited in orderly rows on the polished wooden floor of the dojo.

A middleaged man in a simple blue kimono stood in front of them. Today we learn to master our breath, he told the assembled children.

Prepare yourselves, my students. From somewhere near the back of the room, stifled laughter emerged from a pair of boys. The senseis face did not change, but he strode quickly to the back of the room, his eyes bearing down on the students like a hunter seeking prey. Someone is amused. Please, share this entertainment with the rest of the class.

After a moment one of the boys spoke. He was immaculately groomed, dressed in clothing which, despite the plainness of training garb, was unmistakably of very high quality. His voice held exactly the correct amount of respect, no more, no less, Sensei, we are here to learn how to duel.

All youve taught us for the last week is how to breathe. When do we get to use swords? The young mans eyes brightened eagerly as he said the final word. Disputes between Crab are often settled with a simple fist fight or a drinking contest. Serious conflicts or questions of honor may be settled with a wrestling match or a semi-formalized fight in full armor, using whatever weapon each combatant prefers. However, even within the Crab there are those who understand that the Empire is more than just the Wall and that when they are in the lands of other clans they must conform to the traditions of the rest of the Empire.

These samurai founded the Unbreakable Blade Dojo. The Unbreakable Blade is the one place that Crab can go to learn the art of iaijutsu. There are very few students at the dojo at any one time, and most of them are samurai slated to serve as yojimbo for Crab diplomats. It may be noted, however, that even among the Crab there are those.

Notwithstanding the Crab Clans overall reputation for spurning iaijutsu, the instructors at the Unbreakable Blade are surprisingly skilled and have produced more than one notable duelistmost famously Hida Raiden, whose final duel in Ryoko Owari is still remembered in the twelfth century. However, the Unbreakable Blade sensei do understand that the true strength of the Crab is not in their speed but in their endurance.

As a result, they teach their students that while striking first in a duel is best, there are times when it is better for a duelist to strike second. The instructors make sure their students can stay alive through the first strike to deliver the final one. This is a tremendous asset to the Crane, since admission to the Academy is a mighty prize. But with so many visitors, it is often difficult for the Academy to safeguard all of its secret techniques, and over the centuries many aspects of those techniques have shown up in the training of other schools.

Since gaining admittance to the Kakita Dueling Academy is one of the highest honors a samurai child can receive, competition to win a place within the school is intense. Any who succeed are said to be destined for great things in life.

And the greatest of all honors is to win readmittance to the Academy later in life to train among the elite Kenshinzen, a prize that marks a samurai as one of the best duelists in the Empire.

Book of Fire

The list of famous graduates from the Kakita Dueling Academy is long indeed, and includes almost every Hantei Emperor and many of the Empires greatest heroes, such as Doji Hoturi and Kakita Toshimoko. A skilled teacher can defeat thousands. Kakita himself founded the Academy and most Rokugani believe that anyone who truly wishes to master iaijutsu must train there.

However, the reverence with which most of Rokugan holds the Dueling Academy has both good and bad aspects. Every year, thousands visit the Academy, hoping to get a glimpse at the inner workings of the greatest iaijutsu school in the Empire, a veritable temple dedicated to the art. The Academy also receives thousands more requests to train every year,. Each replied, I see myself, sensei. The sensei said, Do you not also see the rest of the world? Are you so vain as think that you are apart from the rest of creation?

This lesson is the foundation for the teachings of the Dojo of the Mirror.

In the centuries since the duel between Kakita and Mirumoto Hojatsu, those who have studied niten use the two-sword technique when dueling, rather than the Crane one-sword strike.

In their own way the Dragon still study iaijutsu as fervently as any other samurai, but their training methods are radically different from those of other clans. However, traditional one-sword iaijutsu dueling is also taught in the clan, chiefly among the Kitsuki. They believe it is important to know all that one can about those outside of the lands of the Dragon, to see all of the Empire rather than merely themselves.

These students train in the Dojo of the Mirror. In the Dojo of the Mirror the instructors teach their students the art of iaijutsu, and their most famous graduates are the Kitsuki Justicars who use duels to support their quest for truth and justice. The sensei teach them to recognize other duelists stances and the patterns of their strikes, teach them to recognize what schools they may have attended and what weaknesses each school creates in its students.

Its graduates include the noted duelist and magistrate Kitsuki Kaagi and the famed duelist Togashi Nyoko who defeated Hida Raiden in the duel of the Moments Edge. It may be noted that the Dojo of the Mirror is not solely devoted to iaijutsuin keeping with its philosophies, it also teaches other unconventional weapons and fighting techniques, such as heavy weapons and sumai wrestling.

HEARt Of tHE KAtANA Almost all Lion bushi learn at least the rudiments of iaijutsu so they can defend their honor when necessary, but only a few pursue the art with true dedication, for the career of a soldier seldom allows for such personal commitment.

Those who do manage to embrace the ways of iaijutsu usually train at the Akodo familys Heart of the Katana dojo, which is also where the Akodo train their famous Kensai swordmasters. While the Heart of the Katana is not solely an iaijutsu school, all of the instructors and students take the dueling art very seriously.

The students training in iaijutsu is of course not nearly as comprehensive as that which they might have at the Kakita Dueling Academy, but nonetheless many skilled duelists have emerged from the Heart of the Katana. Matsu Ketsui, the twelfth century Matsu family daimyo who fought many victorious duels, was a graduate of the Heart of the Katana. Isawa lead, the duelists among them seldom achieve great fameand when they do become famous, it is usually not for winning duels.

Shiba Toriiko, the Clan Champion who shamed Lion and Crane into peace at the Battle of the Broken Daisho, was a quite skillful duelist, but she is remembered for refusing to draw her sword when she faced Kakita Gosano on that field.

After the Crane, the Scorpion are the most conventional clan when it comes to dueling traditions, for the strength of a duel can overturn any number of political attacks. If a Scorpion scheme is uncovered or a Scorpion courtier is humiliated, a Scorpion duelist is always ready to step forward and turn back the threat with the edge of his blade.

All Scorpion bushi are taught the basics of iaijutsu, and anyone with real talent will receive advanced training as well. They must also learn the traditions that other clans follow when dueling so they will never be caught unprepared in a situation where a duel may result.

Some of the more gifted students are also taught how to make it seem they are a more or less talented duelist than they are, so as to intimidate their foes or lull them into a false sense of confidence.

The specialized duelists known in modern times as Saigos Blades are masters of using intimidation and deceit to gain an edge in their duels, and it is these skillful warriors who usually stand for the clan when victory is absolutely required.

However, the Scorpion also conduct a unique variation on iaijutsu training: While the Scorpion Clan likes to win when it can, it also recognizes that there can be much advantage gained from letting their enemies believe them weak or defeated.

No other clan considers defeat an acceptable outcome to a duel, but among the Scorpion, all that matters is what ultimately benefits the clan.

The Yoritomo lived for centuries as sailors and pirates, fighting with peasant weapons and seldom touching a katana at all. The Tsuruchi rejected the sword for the bow, and while some in their ranks accepted the sword in later generations it remains a poor second to archery in their ranks.

The Kitsune were swordsmen at need, but lived so isolated from the rest of Rokugan than they seldom if ever faced a duel.

It was the Moshi family, the most traditional in their social attitudes if not in their other customs, to realize that a Great Clan with no skilled duelists was at a severe disadvantage in Rokugani politics. Thus was the Green Blade Dojo founded, a process assisted by cashing in some favors with the Crane Clan.

The Green Blade lacks the long history of other iaijutsu dojo, for it was not created until after the Mantis Clan became a Great Clan in the early twelfth century. Its curriculum is simple and straightforward, and there are seldom more than two dozen students training in the school at any given time.

Thus far no graduates of the Green Blade have earned lasting fame in Rokugan, though doubtless that will change with time. The custom of iaijutsu dueling had only just started to emerge when Shinjo left Rokugan, and the universal acceptance of the duel as the proper way to settle disputes did not come into being until long after. During the Unicorn Clans long journeys through the Burning Sands and other gaijin lands, the forms and skill of iaijutsu were completely forgotten, and when the clan finally returned the ways of dueling had to be learned all over again.

Fortunately, the Unicorn gained the early friendship of the Crane Clan, who contributed sensei to teach the ways of dueling to their new allies. Within a few decades the Ide, recognizing the importance of iaijutsu in matters of.

Rather, it is a secondary but important aspect of their more general training to serve as protectors and personal yojimbo to the shugenja of the Isawa. Thus there are only a few sensei in the Shiba Bushi School who teach iaijutsu, but they are all acknowledged masters in the art, and those who train under them can expect to become skilled and capable duelists. Because the Shiba are so self-effacing in their duties, always letting the. Dueling in the Shadowlands Through most of history, the Shadowlands has ignored the art of the duel.

The beasts of Jigoku and the murderous Lost have no respect for Rokugani social traditions, dueling among them. That changed somewhat after Daigotsu founded the City of the Lost and began to organize the Lost into a pseudo-samurai society, a dark mirror of Rokugan. This led to the creation of the Cursed Blade Dojo, an evil mockery of a true Rokugani dojo in which the Lost learned the ways of Rokugani swordsmanship, including the art of iaijutsu.

The Cursed Blade dojo was burned to the ground when Daigotsu abandoned the City of the Lost and took most of his followers into the Empire to form the Spider Clan. Spider bushi generally relied on individual instructors to teach them iaijutsu, often learning from non-Tainted bushi who joined the clan in the misguided belief they were serving a noble cause.

In the twelfth century the Dragon sponsor a permanent ronin settlement in the town called Nanashi Mura. The ronin brotherhood known as the Eyes of Nanashi, tasked with protecting the village, formed their own dojo to assist their training: Its task is to ensure the ronin of Nanashi Mura will always be able to defend their cityand this means iaijutsu training as well as more conventional martial studies.

However, the Dojo of the Eye has never produced a famous duelist from among its ranks. Most of the truly famed ronin duelists, men such as Dairya from the Clan War era, are individuals of unique talent, relying on their natural gifts rather than secret Techniques to prevail over their foes.

To do so they must be trained in all ways of combat, including the art of iaijutsu. Iaijutsu is an important part of the Sapphire Blade Dojos curriculum, for every Seppun warrior is taught that he might at any time need to defend the honor of the Emperor in a duel. Where a Lion, Crab, or Unicorn might learn iaijutsu on the off chance of someday facing a challenge, the Seppun know their duties will require them to use the skill, and treat their training as seriously as life and death.

For all their dedication, however, the number of genuinely famous Seppun duelists in the Empires history is rather shorttheir duties to the Emperor leave them little time to seek glory elsewhere. Indeed, the Seppun themselves believe their duties should always take precedence over personal fame. Probably the most notable exception in the familys history was Seppun Toshiken, a formidable duelist who became Emerald Champion during the reign of Emperor Toturi I.

In modern times any Unicorn who wishes to learn more than just the rudiments of iaijutsutypically those who must serve as yojimbotravels to the lands of the Ide to train at the Single Strike Dojo.

The Single Strike has a truly eclectic collection of sensei, accepting any who the staff deems worthy to teach iaijutsu. On one occasion the dojo even had a ronin as head sensei for a few years. Although the dojos teachings are effective, it has thus far not produced any duelists of great note; the path of the duelist does not seem to appeal to Unicorn samurai in the same way as to others. The Art of the Duel The secret of swordplay is not the swift defeat, not the prolonged strike and block.

A pure stroke will defeat any technique. For the most part, ronin dueling techniques such as the Gaze of Sun Tao are passed down personally from one warrior to the next, although the more skilled wave-men will sometimes open private dojo to teach their skills in return for a fee.

The following section offers detailed explanations for when and where duels are warranted and how they are to be conducted and completed. For the sake of example, we will accompany these discussions with the tale of a clash between two honorable men, Matsu Yoshi and Kakita Hiro. Only a fool initiates a duel he cannot win. Each offense is judged individually, and often each clan, family, or local daimyo will have a different idea of what kinds of insults require redress with a duel.

A duel is most commonly demanded when one samurai is insulted by another. It should go without saying that only samurai can challenge or be challengedcommoners are never permitted to engage in duels. A samurai can challenge another samurai when he has been personally insulted, or in response to an insult against his family, lord, or clan. He can also issue a challenge on behalf of family members who do not have the ability to challenge for themselves such as a spouse or child.

Conversely, a samurai cannot challenge another over a personal insult to another samurai. The insulted samurai must defend him- or herself. However, a samurai can serve as champion for a fellow samurai who has issued a challenge but does not carry a sword of his own e. Continuing the above example, let us suppose Ide Taro is a courtier who does not carry a sword. If Hiro loses the duel, Taro will have to commit seppuku, sharing his champions death.

It should be noted that a challenged samurai can usually get out of a duel by sincerely apologizing for the insult or misdeed that caused the challenge in the first place.

Of course, making such an apology entails a loss of face and with it, a loss of Glory , so many samurai prefer to fight a duel rather than admit a mistake.

There are a few situations where challenges can be dismissed or ignored. If the challenger is of significantly lower social station two or more Ranks of Status , he is acting beyond his rank, and the challenged can opt to simply shrug him off and dismiss his accusations. In some cases, however, a higher-Status samurai may choose to accept the duel anyway in order to defeat and humiliate the one who dared to challenge him.

For the same reason, a challenge from a ronin can be easily ignored if a. It may be noted that redressing insults is not the only occasion on which a duel might be called for.

Any magistrate is allowed to authorize a duel if an accused samurai wishes to prove by trial of combat that he or she is innocent of a crime; as one might expect, these duels are always to the death.

Duels may also sometimes be used informally to settle minor disputes between samurai of equal social position. For example, suppose a Lion and Unicorn magistrate both track a criminal into unclaimed territory and corner him in an inn. Both magistrates have an equal claim to the criminal, and neither wishes to give him up to the other. In these circumstances the two magistrates might duel to first blood to decide which of them will take the criminal into custody.

Duels may also take place on the battlefield. Often these are nothing more than simple one-on-one fights between samurai who single each other out, but on some occasions two samurai may actually go into iaijutsu stance and face each other formally amidst the chaos of battle.

When this happens, other combatants will go out of their way not to interfere with the duel, and when the combatants are of great fame or stature the battle may actually come to a halt at least in the near vicinity as the other soldiers watch the outcome.

The outcome of such a duel may have a significant impact on morale and the course of the battle, especially if high-ranking officers or prominent heroes are involved; the Crane Clan makes a practice of using such duels to cripple enemy leadership, turning the tide of otherwise unwinnable battles. It should go without saying that duels on the battlefield do not require authorizationit is implied when the battle begins.

Most duels to first blood take place the same day of the challenge, and even lethal duels can take place very quickly if high authorities are available to authorize them promptly such as at Winter Court. The choice of place is often calculated to make the challenger as uncomfortable as possible, such as in the challenged samurais home castle where he can rely on a large and sympathetic audience to gain a psychological advantage.

Truly skilled duelists, however, do not require such tricks and will choose a location that reflects the beauty of the art of iaijutsu, such as a beautiful forest glade or an elegant garden. Cowardly duelists may try to demand dangerous or unreasonable locations such as the top of the Kaiu Wall , but if they take such choices too far they will shame themselves with their arrogance and frivolity, allowing their foe to claim victory. Once both duelists arrive at the assigned time and place, various preparatory rituals will take place, varying according to the clans involved.

Each clan has its own set of traditions to be followed when a duel is to take place. For example, when Lion duel they will generally spend time sometimes as much as a half hour reciting their heritage and the deeds of their ancestors. The Crab often duel in full heavy armor with abundant ceremony and symbolism.

The Phoenix have shugenja bless the dueling circle and lead the assembled audience in prayer. The Crane proclaim their school and sensei, a custom popular enough that many other samurai emulate it. The Mantis require that truly important duels take place on the deck of a ship at sea, and so forth.

Every formal duel has three participants: It is this judges responsibility to make certain all proper dueling protocol is carried out and that the duel is honorable and fair. Judges are sometimes experienced duelists themselves, but are just as likely to be the lord of the castle or court where the duel is taking place. In cases where legal proceedings are involved, the presiding mag-.

Will it be to first blood, an acceptable response to a minor insult, or to the death, as required for a grievous offense? It is also possible for both parties to agree to a duel waged in some manner other than iaijutsu, although this is unusual. Iaijutsu is the traditional form of dueling, accepted all across the Empire, so other forms of dueling are only used when both parties agreeotherwise it will be an iaijutsu duel by default.

For example, if Matsu Yoshi and Kakita Hiro are to duel each other, Yoshi might wish to make it a duel of simple kenjutsu rather than iaijutsu, but unless Hiro agrees unlikely the duel will have to be iaijutsu. After the duels form is decided, if it is to be fought to the death official protocol calls for both parties to petition their direct superiors for permissionafter all, a samurai cannot throw his life away without his lords orders.

In most cases, authorization is routine, but on rare occasions a lord will refuse permissionusually in order to shame an underling who is dueling over trivial or childish causes.

[L5R 4e] - Book of Air

Once a challenge has been accepted and if necessary authorized, the challenged party may choose the time and location of the duel. In theory, any time within a year and any place within the Empire is acceptable. In practice,. Enduring the Shame A samurai is always entitled to issue a challenge for an insult from someone of equal or lower social standing. However, if a samurai is insulted by his superiorshis lord or military commander, his Clan Champion, the Emperor, etc. Indeed, the more honorable the samurai, the more stoically and serenely he will endure humiliation and abuse at the hands of his lord.

Such samurai are remembered for their honorable behavior long after their abusive and disgraceful superiors have been forgotten. Sometimes, the abuse of a superior becomes so severe that even the most honorable samurai can no longer endure it. When this happens, a proper samurai will respond by committing kanshiprotesting seppukuto shame the superior with this honorable act.

On a few rare occasions, samurai have even gone so far as to challenge their own lords, although such acts typically result in the immediate execution of the samurai issuing the challenge. Champions In almost every case, a samurai who carries a katana is expected to defend himself in a duel.

However, some samuraiincluding the vast majority of courtiers and shugenjado not carry katana. When these samurai issue a challenge or receive one, they may request a champion to fight for them. If they have an assigned yojimbo, he will be the champion by default, but in other circumstances the champion may be assigned by their lord or may simply be another samurai who has a personal or family connection to them and is willing to defend them in a duel.

Champions may potentially come from another clan, especially an allied clan; they can even be ronin, although this is unusual. If a samurais champion is defeated in a duel to the death, the samurai must share his fate by committing seppuku. In some rare cases, a samurai who does carry a katana may still be allowed to appoint a champion. The obvious example is the Emperor, who is always defended by the Emerald Champion whether or not he chooses to carry a katana for himself.

Other instances may include aged or semi-retired samurai who carry the katana as a mark of their station, or samurai who have been physically injured in some way that precludes their dueling for themselves even if they still carry a sword. Such examples are rare, however, and in the vast majority of cases a samurai who carries a sword has no choice but to fight for himself.

Regardless, the judge is responsible for inspecting the area where the duel will take place, making certain it is suitable, as well as observing the match itself to make sure it is fought properly and without interference. There is no official size for a proper dueling circle, but the area must be large enough so the duelists have room to move and those watching will not be in danger.

In a formal duel with proper preparation, the dueling circle will always be cleared of any obstructions and is usually blessed by a shugenja or monk although this ritual is far more extensive among the Phoenix.

Every duel begins with the judge announcing the names and titles of the challenger and challenged, after which he lists the offense over which they are dueling. The challenged is then given one final chance to apologize or retract his offense on some occasions this does happen, but it is rare.

The judge then announces to those assembled most formal duels have observers that the results of the duel are binding and the matter will be settled once it is complete. The challenger is allowed to choose his or her position in the dueling circle, and the challenged takes a position opposite. Often, at this point the judge will ask if either duelist has anything to say before the duel commences.

In some parts of the Empire such as among those Unicorn who worship the Lords of Death , duelists will recite a death poem as if they are about to commit seppuku or enter a hopeless battle, since this will be their last chance to do so. The Book of Fire explores the many aspects of samurai culture that centre upon the tempestuous Fire Ring and its aspects. From the silent intensity of the poet to the blazing chaos of the field of battle, every aspect of the fearsome essence of Fire will be examined.

In this book you will find: And much more! Your Price: Please login or register to write a review for this product. Try Searching For It Use keywords to find the product you are looking for. This Weeks Releases! Stranger Things Back to the 80s: Speed Duel:

OLENE from New Mexico
Please check my other posts. I'm keen on coastal and ocean rowing. I enjoy jovially.