Empress Kitsuki Iweko I
Kitsuki Iweko was a respected Kitsuki Investigator who later became the Kitsuki Daimyo then became Empress Iweko I, the Light of Heaven, and the new Champion of Ningen-do.
Kitsuki Iweko was a respected Kitsuki Investigator who later became the Kitsuki Daimyo. Following the end of the Toturi Dynasty Iweko competed in the Celestial Tournament and won, becoming Empress Iweko I, the Light of Heaven, and the new Champion of Ningen-do.
Iweko grew up in Shiro Kitsuki, and she was schooled in the Kitsuki Method since childhood.
Iweko was appointed chief magistrate in Fukurokujin Mura. Her task in the Fortune’s village was to restore order and tranquility. Unfortunately, many establishments offered gambling, sake, geisha and were hosts to illegal activities. Some of these establishments were owned by the Rokugo vassal family of the Bayushi. Her investigations forced the Lotus Kolat sect to cease all activities in the region to avoid discovery.
Around 1167 the Kitsuki Daimyo Kitsuki Mizuochi was growing old, and had begun relying on his heir, Kitsuki Iweko, to carry out many of his administrative duties. Iweko eventually succeeded him.
Rain of Blood
Shortly before the Rain of Blood, Iweko was called to investigate the discovery of a cell of Bloodspeakers in the village of Heibeisu governed by Saigorei. The Bloodspeakers apparently drew the attention of the Dragon Clan magistrates intentionally, possibly to cloud the precognition of Togashi Satsu leading up to the Rain of Blood.
War of Silk and Steel
In 1167 Iweko, Hitomi Kagetora and Mirumoto Rosanjin decided to send Mirumoto Mareshi and the Emerald Magistrate Mirumoto Narumi with a party of magistrates to investigate the possession of gaijin pepper at Kosaten Shiro, after a group of Nemuranai Seekers had been decimated in Crane lands by an explosion of a hidden cache of the illegal substance. The bold Dragon movement was an attempt to threaten to expose the Crane in order to force them to withdraw their support of the Lion attack in the War of Silk and Steel, but it eventually would lead in the total involvement of the Crane in the war.
Murder of Imperial Heralds
This year the Imperial Herald Miya Shoin sent three Miya Heralds to different Dragon provinces, where they were attacked and skinned alive. Between them was Shoin’s friend Miya Yoshimaru. Iweko sent word to Shoin about the disturbing event. It was not known at that time the attack was planned and carried out by the madman Prophet of the Dark Lotus, Kokujin, who was starting to organize his peasant rebellion.
In 1168 Hitomi Maya came from Toshi Ranbo to Shiro Kitsuki to send word that the Empress Toturi Kurako, the Emerald Champion Yasuki Hachi, and the Jade Champion Asahina Sekawa had received testimony from the Nezumi ambassador, Zin’tch, indicating the Emperor Toturi III had spent the past few months traveling the Empire as a disguised wanderer in search of enlightenment and lately entered the Shadowlands. Hachi requested the Clans to send warriors to assembly a rescue party at Crab lands. Iweko and the Mirumoto Daimyo Mirumoto Rosanjin commanded Maya to gather Hitomi monks to join the Dragon party at the comand of Rosanjin. Toturi III died in the Battle of the Tomb and left a vacant throne.
This year at Shiro Kitsuki Iweko met Fusami, one of the former Shogun’s Advisors. The Dragon had accepted the Shogun commanded the Empire during Naseru’s absence and they were granted with the ronin duelist.
Toturi III’s death
After the Battle of the Tomb one of the two Dragon survivors, Mirumoto Hirohisa, arrived at Shiro Kitsuki with Shosuro Aroru. They informed to Iweko, Satsu, and Mareshi, that the Emperor Toturi III had died, as well as Mirumoto Rosanjin. The artifact Rosanjin had retrieved from the Tomb of the Seven Thunders, a Jade Mirror, had been carried by Aroru. Satsu explained that the Jade Mirror showed the person looking at it their true essence. He ordered it to be taken to the High House of Light to be studied by the Togashi. Mareshi would be appointed as new Mirumoto Daimyo but he requested to be married with Mirumoto Kei to share the responsabilities.
Shiro Kitsuki Besieged
Iweko was besieged at Shiro Kitsuki by and armies. The had supplied the Dragon with the rice they need to survive the winter, allowing her clan to continue its war.
Monk Schools Imbalance
The Hitomi monks made suicidal charges against the Crane enemy. Nobody knew what was causing the madness, but the Daidoji easily killed the single combatants. When the new Mirumoto Daimyo, Mirumoto Mareshi pressed on the issue, he received an insane letter from Hitomi Kagetora, the Hitomi Daimyo. Mareshi told the other Daimyos at Shiro Mirumoto the insane content of the letter, and Iweko confirmed it was genuine. Satsu informed he had detected an imbalance within both the Hoshi family and the Hitomi. The orders’ connection to their patrons, both Lady Moon and the Celestial Wanderer, was the source of their ailment. A direct connection to the Heavens such as that created by pure divine blood was too much for the mortal soul to bear without being adversely affected.
In 1169 news of the attack on the city of Shiranai Toshi and the Fall of Kyuden Ikoma had reached them. The Dragon were receiving rice from the Unicorn and they would face starvation if opposed the Khan’s Defiance. During the Battle of Toshi Ranbo Satsu and Doji Domotai ended the war between both clans.
Joining the Three Orders
Satsu announced the unification the three families in the Togashi family, and began tattooing the members of the Hoshi and Hitomi with his own blood in an attempt to restore the balance. Hitomi Kagetora did not join the Togashi, serving his days in the Shrine of the Moon.
Contender to the Throne
Some among the Dragon Clan believed in 1169 that Iweko was a strong candidate for the Empty Throne, without denying the claim Togashi Satsu had to the position.
This year Iweko was among those considered by the Scorpion Clan as the Dragon Clan ambassador to Medinat al-Salaam, and chosen by Yogo Honami as someone who could be dangerous and should be sent.
Defenders of the People
In 1170 in the recently reopened Imperial Court, Yoritomo Yoyonagi claimed the right of the Mantis Clan to chase a juzimai, the Tengoku’s Justice, inside the Dragon territory. She exposed the Dragon were not fighting the menace, and refused to let pass Tsuruchi Taiga’s unit after the bandits attacked several Mantis caravans. Iweko retorted they were studying the group to make a decissive strike that would destroy them once for all. Otomo Hoketuhime dismissed her arguments and gave and edict, declaring that the Mantis were to be granted access to the Dragon lands and allowed to seek justice.
Iweko was visited by the Seppun Magistrate Seppun Tashime. He had researched the genealogy of Mirumoto Kaichi and Hida Hachimoto in the Miya libraries and informed her that they were brothers and distant descendants of Agasha Kyoso. He asked whether that link might have allowed Kyoso no Oni to exert control over them (as Tashime believed that Kaichi, under Kyoso’s control, may have been responsible for the murder of Hida Kisada). Iweko suggested that Tashime consult the Phoenix Clan.
Iweko attended the Celestial Tournament held in 1170 to determine who would become the next Emperor. Iweko won the tournament, and became Empress Iweko I on twentieth day of the Month of the Dog. It ended the Age of Man. She was called the Light of Heaven as prophecied by Kitsune Narako.
When Omen and Shosuro Maru granted the blessings of Tengoku to her, the essence of the Heavens mingled with her human soul. She immediately became more than human and gained knowledge of the Heavens. The Iweko family line would be divine.
Champion of Ningen-do
Unknown to the Empire, the proclamation of Iweko as the Heavens’ representative in the mortal realm entitled her as Champion of Ningen-do. When the Celestial Heavens chose their new agent on Ningen-Do, Jigoku also saw fit to choose a new representative. It would lead to Kali-Ma’s appointment as the Champion of Jigoku, and thus was instrumental in the outbreak of the Destroyer War.
Iweko appointed the following people to fill major positions in her new dynasty, who were known as the Empress’ Chosen:
Bayushi Hisoka, Imperial Chancellor
Daigotsu Susumu, Imperial Advisor
Yoritomo Utemaro, Imperial Treasurer
Moto Jin-sahn, Shogun
Togashi Satsu, Voice of the Emperor
Function of the Voice
Because Iweko was now divine, she could not interact with other humans as before. She was not only elevated, but isolated. She must rely on her Voice, Satsu, to relay her intentions to the rest of the Imperial Court. Her isolation came with the gift of wisdom to follow the right course. Only those she specifically summoned might be in her presence, and her Voice was the only one permitted unrestricted access. Satsu was the man who carried the Empress’ words to the Empire, the only connection between the rest of the Court and her.
The First Command
Iweko was aware that Daigotsu and his followers, the Spider Clan, orchestrated many of the threats that they combated in order to gain the favor of the people. That they were involved in the Night of the Assassins, and that they had deliberately fostered moral and political corruption throughout the ranks of virtually every Great Clan. The Shogun Jin-Sahn was informed and ordered that he had to gather a secret army and destroy the Spider bases in the ruins of Otosan Uchi and the Shinomen Mori, and further, that the truth should not be known. To do so would tear the clans apart, and so the truth remained hidden, for the good of the Empire.
A Spider in the Court
Susumu was appointed as Imperial Advisor because he had insight, and made observations unlike any of those who served the Great Clans. For this reason, and because the Empress desired to maintain knowledge of Daigotsu at all times, he remained at the Empress’ side.
The Imperial Throne room arrangement was modified, and screens surrounding the dais were added, so that the Empress could not be seen by her attendants. Standing next to the screen was Satsu, giving Iweko’s word to the Court.
Iweko attended her first Winter Court as Empress at Kyuden Bayushi in 1170. Isawa Sawao asked the Empress’ judgement over an issue they had with the Lion Clan. Phoenix envoys bound for the Unicorn lands were turned away by the Lion after being refused entrance to the roads leading to the Unicorn provinces. She ordered the Phoenix delegation to be granted passage to the Unicorn territory. That these conflicts remained even in the aftermath of the Heavens’ judgment was troubling, and the Empress retired to reflect on this matter.
End of Third Yasuki War
The Crab Clan asked for terms to the Crane to end the Third Yasuki War, and a treaty was signed between both clans. Doji Nagori showed it to Iweko and suggested her to not make it public until she would edict her Imperial Decree of peace. In this moment the treaty would be brought to the Court for her approval, to prove the Crane’s devotion to the will of the Empress. Iweko was pleased and the Crane got the Empress’ favor.
Decree of Peace
Iweko I issued a decree mandating that all conflicts between the Great Clans must stop. The Lion Clan was instructed to ensure peace securing all Clans and preventing any large scale military movements between lands without prior approval from the throne. Likewise, she commanded the Mantis Clan to secure all ports and ensure that no attempts to move force by sea were undertaken without Imperial sanction.
War of Dark Fire
News of a massive yobanjin army wielding some unknown form of fire magic arrived the winter court. Before Shogun’s forces had time to be redeployed the Northern Towers of Flame had been overrun and the Dragon territory assaulted. The Month of the Tiger of 1170 marked the beginning of the War of Dark Fire. After receiving news of the destruction of the High House of Light, Akodo Setai gifted her with the Toturi’s Fan, the Sparrow Sahara presented a jade figurine, and the Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Paneki passed on private letters of Bayushi Sunetra’s daughter, all giifts related with the Dragon history, to mitigate the loss of her former Clan’s home. In 1171 Iweko was gifted by the Phoenix Clan an image of the Utaku Battle Maiden on top of a Ki-rin with such skill that when Empress Iweko I saw the painting, a single tear fell down her cheek. It announced the Ki-Rin’s Shrine had been saved and the Ki-Rin creature had returned to Rokugan.
Siege of Shiro Kitsuki
Shiro Kitsuki, the Empress ancestral home, was laid siege by the yobanjin. It took its toll on her, and she retired to her quarters. In the third day Iweko heard Hiruma Seiko’s song in the gardens of Kyuden Bayushu. Its beauty moved her, and the Empress was compelled to exit her chambers.
End of the War
Iweko returned to the Imperial City. Despite suffering heavy causalties, the Army of Fire prepared for a final assault. They threw all of their efforts into a lunge for Toshi Ranbo, intending to kill the Divine Empress herself. While traversing the vast Dragon Heart Plains they were outmaneuvered by the armies of the Lion, Crab, Dragon, and Phoenix, as well as the cavalry forces of the Shogun in the Battle of Dragon Heart Plain. During the subsequent battle, the Son of Fire, field commander of Chosai’s army, intended to kill Iweko. He was lured into a clever trap and killed by Hida Benjiro, Akodo Setai, and Shosuro Naname.
Iweko made an Imperial Decree declaring a week-long festival throughout the Empire. At the same time appeared the first reports of ogres, goblins, and demons fleeing from the Shadowlands, and plague appeared in Phoenix, Crab and Unicorn lands. The Clan Champions had to arrive to the Imperial City to attend the festival.
The Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Paneki briefed Iweko to share the research conducted some time ago by the priest Yogo Kazunori. The Scorpion had been surveying if prophesies could occur, and the recent attacks on the Kaiu Wall confirmed that the forewarnings had begun to unfold. Kali-Ma was coming.
It was not clear if Paneki also informed that they had seized the Black Scroll the Essence of Destruction from the Phoenix and planted the Essence of Jigoku instead. The Scorpion believed the one used to bind Kyoso no Oni was sought by Kali-Ma. The Phoenix did not notice the deception until several months later.
The Horiuchi Purge
During the events after the War of Dark Fire, a mysterious plague erupted in the Empire. Ide Eien told the Court the gravity of the plague in the Horiuchi lands. The Horiuchi family was the most affected, to the point that the Empress ordered their lands to be put to the torch. Wanting the burden not to fall to one of the Great Clans, Iweko I ordered Susumu to send untainted Spiders, an act with which they could prove their loyalty to their Empress. Eventually the Spider used bakemono to destroy the Horiuchi territory and villagers.
Following the fall of the Kaiu Wall to the forces of the Destroyer in the early days of the Destroyer War, the Crab Clan Champion Hida Kuon was summoned to answer for the Crab Clan’s failure by Iweko I. Kuon offered to seppuku to cleanse the shame from the Crab, and his request was accepted: he was to die a Crab’s death leading a hundred volunteers to attack an occupied section of the Carpenter Wall. Reports returned to the Imperial City of Kuon’s valiant stand and death on the 17th day of the Month of the Rooster.
Iweko gave an audience to Kitsune Narako’s guardians, to ask what was Kitsuki Taiko’s fate. Yoritomo Saburo told of their journey in the Shadowlands, the encounter with Kali-Ma, the deaths of several of his companions, including Taiko, and the second prophecy of Narako. The Empress ordered him to stay in Toshi Ranbo.
Hunting the Daughter
At Kyuden Gotei Iweko met the new Crab Champion, Hida Reiha. She tasked the Crab Clan with hunting the Ebon Daughter, who was believed to be responsible for the plague. The Empress wished her brought to justice, to be executed before the Imperial Court for her criminal acts.
At the beginning of the second Winter Court at Kyuden Gotei in 1171, the Empress proclaimed that she was suspending the edict demanding the immediate execution of Daigotsu and demanded that he be brought before her. The proclamation astonished the attendants and no explanation followed its announcement. She questioned Susumu to better understand who Daigotsu was.
Iweko attended winter court at Kyuden Gotei in 1171, where she was married to her Imperial Consort Akodo Setai at the Temple of the Jade Sun.