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The Chrysanthemum Road
A Legend of the Five Rings Campaign
Current Situation

 Six months have passed since the ill-fated Scorpion attack on Otosan Uchi. Although the Emperor was killed by the Great Traitor, Shoju, the Hantei dynasty endures. The charismatic young Emperor, Hantei the 39th, has declared the Crab and Scorpion clans enemies of the Empire, and ordered that all Crab and Scorpion samurai surrender their name and swords to the Imperial Legions. The Royal Families of the Great Houses of the traitor Clans are to be executed.
 The Kaiu wall is still manned only be a small force. The Crab legions hold Beiden Pass against the Lion. The Chrysantheum Road, the hidden road through the Mountains, is guarded by the Imperial Legions, but the Master of Earth has been asked to command the mountains to close.
 In the north, the Lion army musters under the command of Akodo Toturi. The Crane are divided – while Hoturi is in command, his brother Kuwanan has departed by sea for an unknown destination. Their father, Satsume, has survived the Scorpion attempt on his life, and remains Emerald Champion.
 The Unicorn clan have not heeded the Imperial call. While a scant handful of Shinjo samurai ride with the Lion, the bulk of the Unicorn army remains uncommitted. The Mantis have declared their neutrality.
 The Phoenix council has been called to Otosan Uchi by the new Emperor. Rumour has it that the position of Jade Champion has been revived in a new capacity – to bring the War Kami down upon the Traitors. The Dragon are mustering their armies, and their diplomats assure the Imperial Court that they are loyal – but the Dragon commanders have not contacted the other Loyalist generals.

 As for the Traitor Clans – Kisada has taken the title of Shogun. His son Yakamo commands the Crab legions at Beiden Pass. The vanishing of Kuni Yori has thrown the Crab into confusion. Shoju’s preparations from the Coup have ensured that the Scorpion are the clan most ready for a long war. The Bayushi legions hold the southern end of the Chrysanthemum Road, while Shosuro and Yogo armies besiege the isolated Daidoji lands.

 The Chrysanthemum Road has divided the heart of the Empire.


“Those who dare challenge the Mandate of Heaven shall be cast down into Hell” – Matsu Tsuko
 The failure of Toturi to protect the Emperor has further weakened the already fragile Akodo house, and the Matsu are now the pre-eminent family within the Lion. Lion troops gather to rid the Empire of the Great Traitor. While Toturi leads the Lion army towards Beiden Pass, Tsuko has been given the Ancestral Sword by the Hantei, and ordered to command the Imperial Legions.
 War is coming to the Empire, a great and terrible civil war. The Lion will not shirk from their duty, no matter what the cost. The Crab may have held the wall for a thousand years, but no Oni is the equal of a charging Lion.

“Your Empire shall endure this, my Lord. We serve as we have always done.” – Doji Hoturi
 The Otomo have been decimated. The Seppun, reduced to a handful. The Miya are gone. The Scorpion, denounced as traitors. The Lion, gone to the war.
 The Crane rule the Imperial Court unchallenged. Where once the Crane were held in check by the jealous Imperial Bureaucracy, the Doji and Kakita now form the entirety of the government. The Crane are truly the left hand of the Emperor in name and form.
 While the courtier families triumph, the Daidoji fight a desperate war. Their holdings are far in the south, behind the front lines. The Shogunate troops besiege the Daidoji castles. They cannot endure for long…

“The heavens cry out for justice. I cannot turn my face from them. We are called to war, brothers.” – Isawa Tsuke
 The Phoenix are rising. Galvanised by Tsuke, and angered by the Scorpion Coup, the Phoenix have committed their armies and skills to the service of the Emperor. The libraries stand empty as the shugenja ready spells of war.
 Ujimitsu rules a quiet court. His samurai are far in the south, sent to support the Lion armies. Tsuke and the elemental council debate the oaths of peace sworn long ago. When the Emperor needs the council’s power for the war, can they honour both their oaths of peace and fealty?

“The Emperor commands us to war against the Crab –truly the fortunes are with us.” – Mirumoto Hitomi.
 The Dragon send their army south, heeding the Emperor’s call. While Mirumoto Daini leads the bulk of the Dragon to guard the Empire’s flank against the possibility of Unicorn attack, his elder sister and the elite Mirumoto House Guard head for Beiden Pass – and Yakamo…


“High rocky cliffs, strong ground, narrow paths – this is a good place.” – Hida Sukune
 The Kaiu Wall is deserted. A handful of aging samurai patrol the border with the Shadowlands. The Crab holdings now stretch from the far south all the way to the Spine of the World. A massive Crab army holds Beiden Pass. Shogun Kisada claims half the Empire as his domain.
 The Crab are strong, stronger than they have been in centuries. The Empire is theirs…

“History will absolve me.” – Bayushi Shoju, the Great Traitor
 So many died at Otosan Uchi. Uncounted legions of samurai fell before the Walls did. The Scorpion have learned to live with loss.
 Now, a new order has come to Rokugan. The Kisada Shogunate claims the loyalty of the Scorpion. First Minister Shoju holds court in a room decorated with the finest tapestries which once hung in the Emperor’s Palace. His wife Kachiko wears a pendant reserved for the Emperor’s Consort.
 The Scorpion have also learned to triumph despite adversity.

“Only a fool does not smell the change in the wind” – Kitsune Diro
 With their lands occupied by Crab armies, the minor Clans of Fox, Sparrow, and Wasp have embraced the Shogunate. Wasp magistrates now administer justice throughout Kisada’s domain, and the Fox ready themselves to battle their cousins…


“The Emperor commands me to send ten thousand men. I send him my own samurai, who are each worth a thousand men” – Shinjo Yokatsu
 The Unicorn stand aloof from the war. While nominally loyal to the Hantei, the purple banner does not march with the gold or blue. While supposedly against the Shogunate, Unicorn rice feeds the Crab army. Yokatsu rides a dangerous path through fate.

“This is not yet our war.” - Yoritomo
  The Islands of Silk are the one place in the Empire untouched by war. From his shining palace, the new daimyo of the Mantis watches the unfolding war on the mainland. The Mantis could be the strength needed to tip the balance between the Shogunate and the Loyalists…
 No-one can yet tell where the storm will strike…