Rokugan: Shadow Rising
Battle of Sleeping River
Iuchiban is the most dangerous Master of Maho that Rokugan has ever seen. There are many rumors as to his origin, but the facts make him an immortal user of dark and forbidden magics. As his dark power grew, so did his ambition. He founded the Bloodspeakers, an organization of maho-tsukai, and began making plans to raise an army of the undead to help him conquer Rokugan. With his powers he created four dark artifacts, four Bloodswords. Iuchiban then secretly offered these swords to four Clan Champions. These actions were ultimately Iuchiban’s undoing, as the Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Rikoji started an investigation into the origin of the blades following the deaths of the other three champions. In 510, The Seven Great Clans united to defeat Iuchiban at the Battle of Stolen Graves, defeating the undead army he had raised to attack the capitol. Iuchiban was placed in jade chains and watched by the shugenja of the Great Clans. After three nights of talks, as death would not stop Iuchiban as he had learned the secrets of immortality, the Emperor commanded the Kaiu to build the Tomb of Iuchiban and imprisoned Iuchiban’s spirit within.
In 750, Iuchiban escaped from his tomb. Slowly, he started to regroup the Bloodspeakers again. But he made a mistake, as his disembodied spirit tried to possess the body of an Ise Zumi and failed. The tattooed man was alerted and was now able to sense Iuchiban’s presence.
The Seven Great Clans united again to defeat Iuchiban at the Battle of Sleeping River. The battle lasted seven days. Togashi Yamatsu, the Ise Zumi who had discovered his escape, used the power of his tattooes to hold his spirit until Iuchiban could be imprisoned in the tomb once more; this time powerful magic was used to bind Iuchiban’s soul to the very stones of the tomb.
Reichin, the ronin who called himself “Usagi”, assisted the Emerald Champion to defeat Iuchiban and was rewarded. The Hare clan was formed.
These events also caused the Crab clan to form the Kuni Witch Hunters. The Scorpion Clan took their own precautions, and created a special order, the Kuroiban, to hunt bloodspeakers.