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My Rokugan – The History of the Jade Legion

13 October, 2010

As related by Seppun Keikyoku to the Imperial Court:

The Jade Legion was founded in the early days of Empire, when jade, a blessing from the heavens was plentiful and common. Beginning simply as brave samurai armed with weapons of jade and protected by armor reinforced with jade.  The need of the Legion and the Empire for such lead to a flourishing of technique for jade working, many of which we still used today.

However it was only after the noble Kakita Juro lost a hand to an oni’s bite that the first jade hand was made for him by his wife, Kakita Tama, a worker of jade with heaven itself guiding her keen eyes and hands. It was a perfect replica of the lost hand and when attached to Juro, the hand awoke and bounded to him as though his own flesh. From then on, only death would stop a member of the Legion, hands, legs, eyes, even ribs and organs were made from jade and bonded with the brave members of the Legion.

The Jade Legion won many victories and was deeply hated and feared by the Dark and its servants.  But their last and most glorious battle saw them serve as the final line of defense of the Empire, standing against the army of the Oni Warlord of Seven Nights who, in a daring raid, had punched through the defenses of the Crab and drove like an arrow towards the Capital. The Crab managed to close the line behind the foul army but the forces of evil still blackened the land, burning and destroying everything in their path, leaving nothing living or even standing in their wake.

The Crane and Lion harried but could not stop the advance of the armies of the Dark. Only the Jade Legion could turn them from their course and without a pause, without a doubt, they marched to met the seemingly endless armies of the Oni Warlord and his personal guards, the dreaded Hakkakukei. The Dark armies swarmed forward into the Wall above the Ocean mountains. The Lions lured them in, spending men to draw the foul creatures to where the Jade Legion waited in silent ranks. As the oni moved in, the Crane archers rained jade tipped arrows thinning the enemy ranks before withdrawing. In perfect unison, the Jade Legion moved to strike at the heart of the seething horde of the Warlord’s creatures.

The outer, weaker creatures were cut away, like chaff, not even slowing the skilled warriors of the Jade Legion. As the stronger oni clashed with the Legion, some of the brave samurai engaged them to let their comrades continue to drive through to the heart of the enemy army. The Crab, Crane and Lion moved to encircle the enemy, blocking the passes to prevent any of the creatures from escaping to pollute the Empire.

When the elite of the Jade Legion met the Hakkakukei and the handpicked Oni yojimbo of the Warlord of Seven Nights it was a clash that saw jade and obsidian-tinted fire stab against each other, swords and claws crashed and cut, metal and bone broke. The fine samurai of the Jade Legion were cut down quickly, but their enemies fell faster until it was the last of the Legion pitted against the Warlord of Seven Nights. The Oni Warlord was not just a skilled general but a brutal fighter, the Jade Legion would not surrender nor would their foe. The arrival of the Imperial Guard tipped the scales and the Warlord of Seven Night fell to the swords of the Jade Legion but he did not die alone, the last of the Legion fell with him.

The Imperial Guard gathered the fallen heroes of the Jade Legion, and insured that none of the creatures of the Dark survived.   The heroes of the Empire were interred in a temple built to honor them. The temple was warded against the forces of the Dark and given to a minor order of the Brotherhood to maintain.

However, over the years the order dwindled and even the location of the temple was lost. The records of the Jade Legion faded into history and then into legend and then . . . it was gone. Their sacrifice, their honor, all have been forgotten, their nobility, their example of purity and service scattered to the winds, not even a memory. How such a crime was committed against the Empire, one cannot know. Perhaps there are those who fear the promotion of such a selfless ideal. Perhaps agents of the Dark sought a subtle revenge against one of their noblest and greatest enemies. One cannot know, but it is a wrong that we can correct. The Jade Legion will be remembered.  Its legacy will again be a shining example for the samurai of the Empire.

Like a jade lantern, the story of the Jade Legion will lead the Empire forward into a new age of purity and truth. For ages, we have feared the Dark, now let it fear us, let them fear the true light of the Empire.

Notes: Background to the most recent sequence of events in the JYTB Campaign.

Slightly edited and improved.

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