Asahina Keitaro 
Asahina Keitaro 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1170 
Titles: Asahina Daimyo

Asahina Keitaro was a Jade Magistrate shugenja and courtier of the Crane Clan who became tainted.

Training Edit

Keitaro was a student of the Temple of the Morning Sun, was known in his youth for his plumpness and humor. [1] He became the first Jade Magistrate. [2]

Change of Demeanor Edit

Asahina Kimita Edit

Keitaro had secretly admired the lovely, talented Asahina Daimyo, Asahina Kimita. In 1158 she was killed during the Test of the Jade Champion, when the Onisu Hakai attacked Kyuden Nio. On the day she died, a darkness entered Keitaro's spirit. Sekawa recruited him as Jade Magistrate, and alongside Daidoji Tae destroyed a Bloodspeaker cell in Otosan Uchi, a group that had aided Hakai. Sekawa was left with a scar on his cheek, reminder of the battle. [3]

Asahina Sekawa and Nizomi Edit

Keitaro became a Jade Magistrate, the shugenja bodyguard of the new Daimyo and Jade Champion, Asahina Sekawa. He scorted Sekawa alongside Daidoji Tae when Naka Tokei put under the protection of the Jade Champion a three year's old child, Nizomi, [4] in 1159. [5] His humor changed after Sekawa charged him with the protection of the boy. [6] Keitaro became increasingly worried about the strange boy following and the the first ever depiction of death to appear in the Temple of the Morning Sun. [1]

Sekawa's Aide Edit

Asahina Keitaro 2

Asahina Keitaro

Cultist at Phoenix lands Edit

In 1165 Keitaro and his Jade Magistrates hunted a cultist cell in Phoenix lands. They routed the bloodspeakers that were hidden in the mountains. The cultists committed suicide to avoid questioning on them, but one who featured a strange mask, the Mask of the Maw, could not kill himself. Keitaro believed the Mask controlled his bearer's will and avoid the suicide. They removed the Mask from the Maho-tsukai, named Chunigo, who was sent to a concealed Crane prison outside of Toshi Ranbo. [7]

Fires of Toshi Ranbo Edit

Keitaro did not get information from Chunigo, when he was visited by the Daidoji Daimyo, Daidoji Kikaze. Kikaze and his rank Doji Midoru were seeking the arsonist that began the Fires of Toshi Ranbo, and they suspected the implication of the bloodspeakers. Kikaze himself tortured Chunigo, and discarded the cultists respect the origins of the fires. But Kikaze got another information much more important: Iuchiban would enact a powerful ritual to cover the Empire in a Rain of Blood. [7]

Facing Hakai Edit

After the death of Iuchiban still there were cultist cells to be routed. Nizomi and Keitaro were in Ox lands chasing bloodspeakers. They followed their tracks until a cave where they found the cultists already dead. The Onisu of Death, Hakai, killed the bushi that were with the Crane, and Keitaro barely escaped with the body of Nizomi. Hakai kept Nizomi's soul with it inside a white sphere. Naka tokei came to Shiro Morito to see the body of his son, and to meet his brother, Morito. Keitaro realized he was alive because Hakai wished that Tokei came to face it. Tokei aided by his brother was able to recover his son's soul and banished Hakai from the Ningen-do. [8]

Refugees Edit

In 1166 Despite Katsu's firm loyalty to Daigotsu, he managed to contact Doji Gudeta again in 1160, sending messages through the Crane's dreams, and selecting as a meeting place a location Katsu had taken from the Crane's memories of their first encounter, Oni Mura. Gudeta finally met Katsu, and the shugenja told the bushi to ask the Crane Clan to receive refugees of the Shadowlands that, just like him, wouldn't be willing to submit their minds to the Taint. The first of this refugees was the monk Komaro. [9] The quarters were guarded by Jade Magistrates and Daidoji warriors were arranged for the Tainted men near Shinden Asahina. Asahina Keitaro took charge of the operation and he continued to interrogate the prisoners and ensure the security of the operation. [2]

Anvil of Dispair Edit

This year the Anvil of Despair, a wicked nemuranai, was retrieved to Shinden Asahina after it was put under the protection of Sekawa. [10] Sekawa put it under Keitaros' watch. [2] When in 1167 tensions began to mount between the Lion and Crane, Daidoji Shihei, a harrier, made a fateful decision. With the aid of the disgraced ronin Tsi Xiao, Shihei used the Anvil of Despair to create weapons using the blood of criminals, including his own sword Satsugaisha. [11] His activities were discovered by Asahina Keitaro, who overlooked his actions. [12]

Daigotsu Rekai Edit

In 1166 the Lost Daigotsu Rekai was taken prisoner by Sekawa. The former Daidoji Daimyo was kept prisoner at Toshi Ranbo. [13] Sekawa ordered Keitaro to keep the secrecy of the prisoner. [12] [2]

Gaijin Pepper Edit

In 1167 Keitaro was met by Doji Ran and Shihei in the Imperial City. Shihei had been unconscious for weeks, recovering at Kosaten Shiro from wounds caused by an explosion of a hidden cache of gaijin powder. The bandaged samurai told Keitaro that his men were patrolling the Lion border under his command when they came upon a group of three Dragon and a Zokujin that had discovered a hidden weapons locker. There was an explosion during the fight and he thought everyone else had died, but the scouts who found him only located two Dragon corpses, so one had escaped. The Dragon were Nemuranai Seekers under the track of the Anvil of Despair. Keitaro ordered Ran to move Rekai to Kosaten Shiro to keep the secrecy of the prisoner. [12]

Dragon at Kosaten Shiro Edit

Mirumoto Mareshi and the Emerald Magistrate Mirumoto Narumi came to Kosaten Shiro and presented a scroll contained the testimony of Mirumoto Kawanari, a gunso who had died from the wounds suffered from Harriers after he discovered a gaijin pepper stockpile. Narumi requested to search the store rooms for any evidence of gumpowder or other wrong-doings. Keitaro could not allow them to find Daigotsu Rekai and ordered to be detained under false accusations. The Dragon broke a small glass bottle which formed a thick smoke and disappeared. The castle was attacked by a small group of Dragon forces. [12]

War of Silk and Steel Edit

The Dragon struck and fled, freeing the Mareshi and Narumi. Rekai exploited the Dragon attack to escape and set fire to a significant quantity of gaijin pepper within the castle. The resulting explosions inflicted a severe damage in the castle structure. [14] Ran was responsible for the defence of the castle. When the castle fell, the blame for this failure and for the escape of Daigotsu Rekai was placed upon her shoulders by Keitaro and she was forced to commit seppuku to atone for her mistakes. [15] [16] It was the beginning of the War of Silk and Steel for the Crane Clan. [14]

Asahina Daimyo Edit

Keitaro became the Asahina Daimyo after Asahina Sekawa vacated the position in 1169. [17]

Winter Court - 1169 Edit

Keitaro attended winter court at Shinden Asahina in winter 1169-1170. There he met Kitsuki Orika. [18] Orika had been investigating suspicious activities at the Asahina estates during the court. [citation needed] She was called away suddenly, but apparently not before impressing Asahina Keitaro and he had her betrothed to Kakita Matabei, with the patronage of the new Emerald Champion Shosuro Jimen. It was said he called in many favors to arrange the wedding. [18]

Murder at Kyuden Doji Edit

In the Month of the Tiger [19] Keitaro came to Kyuden Doji to be present at the wedding he had arranged. The night before the wedding Orika was found murdered in a shrine beside the palace gardens. [18] He had arranged for her marriage to Matabei hoping to use her brilliance to further his own research in the Anvil, but somehow the darkness had recognized the threat she represented and had struck her down. [20]

Tainted Edit

Keitaro had become tainted by using the Anvil of Despair - but rather than using it to make weapons, Keitaro was attempting to weaken it by making beautiful, non-violent trinkets. He met with Asahina Beniha, who had been sent by the Crane Clan Champion Doji Domotai. Beniha had seen nothing more than a man under very great stress. She was warried about Keitaro's skin, it had a slight waxy sheen that was most prominent over his forehead and cheekbones, and it accented the bloodshot tinge in the whites of his eyes. [20]

Death Edit

The Anvil slowly corrupted Keitaro, but he was killed by Daigotsu Yajinden before Keitaro was convinced by the Anvil to create weapons. [21]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Asahina Sekawa
Asahina Daimyo
1169 - 1170
Succeeded by:
Asahina Beniha


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