Asako Kinuye 
Asako Kinuye 
Born: Unknown 
Died: -

Asako Kinuye was a small and beautiful henshin woman with a serene and charming demeanor that led others to underestimate her ruthlessness. [1]

Dreams of a dark world Edit

As a young henshin, Kinuye chose to leave Phoenix lands to learn more of the world. At the Monastery of Quiet Earth she studied under Isawa Kakusu, one of the five members of the ruling council of Bloodspeakers, the Council of Five. While she became a powerful maho-tsukai, her prolonged use of magic rendered her able to dream of an alternate reality where Fu Leng sat on the throne of Rokugan. Her madness leaves her unable to wholly distinguish her visions from reality, yet she still managed to assemble a large cult of loyal followers. [2] Kinuye's madness had an unusual effect, to make her more loyal to the Phoenix. [3]

After joining Daigotsu, she began seeking 'revenge' against the Dark Oracles, whom she thought of as the Council of Dark Masters her visions had shown her. In addition to these delusions, her prolonged exposure to the taint had given her a fear of silence, and she compulsively needed to speak first and last in any conversation. [2]

Bloodspeaker Edit

Kinuye's Garden Edit

Kinuye's Garden

Kinuye's Garden

Kinuye relished everything about her beloved gardens, located in the Asako provinces. The plants were like her children. She tended to their every need, raising them from the tiniest seedlings to the most beautiful, mature plants they could be. Their scent, their texture, their warmth, they were her greatest joys in life. The plants were watered with human blood. [4]

Eternal Youth Edit

Her dark bargains allowed her to look decades younger than her real age. Kinuye explained it to outsiders as being a side-effect of an encounter with a particularly powerful kami of the Wind. [5]

City of Tears Edit

Kinuye made the firsthand account that entered into the Isawa records regarding the City of Tears history. The others who participated in the initial surveys were either killed by her or became her willing students. She made the City her main stronghold and hid it from the Phoenix survey. [5]

The Wasting Disease Edit

Kinuye was informed that a Black Scroll, the Wasting Disease, was kept in Shiro Iuchi. In 1160 he sent Shiba Michirou to steal it. Iuchi Yue, the Iuchi Daimyo, began a quest to retrieve the Scroll his family had been guarding since the Second Day of Thunder. Yue was able to track down and kill Michirou in the Isawa lands. [4] [6]

Asako Bairei Edit

Asako Bairei had been a student of Kinuye's father, and both shared many conversations at that time. He sent a letter to her talking about sightings of Ki-Rin in Phoenix lands and Kinuye shared what she knew with him. Bairei was not aware of her secret activities. [7]

Iuchiban Edit

Asako Kinuye 3

Asako Kinuye

The Third Rise of Iuchiban happened in 1165, during which the bloodspeaker took under his control all the cultists practicing maho in his name. Kinuye wanted to retain her cult's independence, but was obliged to help the Heartless in his goals. She killed an entire village, enabling Iuchiban to enact a ritual that summoned the Kusatte Iru to attack Kyuden Isawa. Kinuye fled from the village as soon as she knew of what was happening. [8]

Seeking Kitao Edit

Former Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Kitao, and Moshi Mogai, the Master of Pain, fell to the taint in the Rain of Blood, but they were able to be free of the control Iuchiban exerted. Kinuye commanded her servant Asako Hirotsugu to capture Kitao, and learn how she defied Iuchiban's control. [1] [9]

Yajinden frees Kinuye Edit

Yajinden meets Kinuye

Yajinden meets Kinuye

Though unable to free himself of Iuchiban's domination, Yajinden did succeed in breaking the bonds that tied Kinuye to the Bloodspeaker. He would eventually be asking her for a favor in return. [10] [11]

Fall of Iuchiban Edit

After Iuchiban's defeat, Kinuye manipulated a nezumi, Chee'trr to lead the Imperial Legions against her enemies amongst the bloodspeakers, while her own cell near Nikesake remained safe. [12]

Autonomy Edit

She was able to avoid Daigotsu's subsequent culling of Bloodspeaker survivors. Her cell continued to be beholden to none save her, and both its members and herself consider themselves to be loyal to the Phoenix. [13]

Engineering the War of Fire and Thunder Edit

Asako Kinuye 2

Asako Kinuye

Aware of the increased influence the Gozoku had within her Clan - and the Mantis as well - Kinuye engineered the War of Fire and Thunder among the Mantis and the Phoenix. [14] In 1166 she used The Black Scroll, the Wasting Disease, to spread a deadly plague among a Phoenix village, then she commanded Hirotsugu to plant the Scroll in the cargo of Yoritomo Sen's Mantis ship, which had been captured by the Phoenix, where it was soon "found" by the authorities. [1] Shortly after Yajinden met her and made it clear he would eventually be asking for a favor in return for his aid, the plan of Kinuye was successful, [15] and the Council of Five declared war on the Mantis Clan and delivered the Black Scroll to the Emperor Toturi III. [1]

Ironically, her cult's "loyalty" to its Clan might have led to its eventual downfall. During the climatic battle of the conflict in 1167, taking place on Phoenix shores, a group of Phoenix samurai joined the battle in a suicide run against Mantis forces and were seen using maho, leading to suspicions where previously there were none. [13]

City of Tears exposed Edit

In 1168, after the destruction of the Cult of the Dead Moon, the Phoenix decoded scrolls that drew their attention toward the City of Tears. The scrolls had been planted in the cultist lair by Bayushi Muhito at command of his charge, Shosuro Maru. She had gained insight after becoming the Oracle of Obsidian and knew of Kinuye's hidden activities. Asako Makito, one of Kinuye's followers at the City, was obliged to destroy a patrol of Shiba magistrates sent to the city to investigate. The Council of Five was informed by the Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Mirabu, and they decided to send the new Master of Water Asako Bairei to talk with Kinuye. [16]

Destruction of the Bloodspeakers Edit

Asako Kinuye 1

Asako Kinuye

After some investigation Bairei discovered the cell and confronted Kinuye. She poisoned him, but he endured the posion because he had been taking a number of curative herbs for days beforehand. Even so, Bairei barely survived to return to the Council of Five and inform the other Masters of Kinuye's treachery. Master of Earth Isawa Emori and Shiba Tsukimi led a legion of Shiba samurai to the City of Tears and destroyed the cult, fighting Kinuye's followers and a horde of resurrected Goju. Kinuye barely escaped, and was taken in by Kokujin. [17] The Prophet of the Dark Lotus gave her the opportunity to follow his mad way to Enlightenment. [18]

Allied to the Spider Edit

In 1171 Yajinden recommended her services to Daigotsu. [19]

Destroyer War Edit

In 1173 during the Destroyer War Kinuye was at the village Hanayashiki, which had been attacked by the Destroyers for weeks. She had used that time sprinkling the village with her blood, nearly bledding herself to death. She enacted a maho ritual which made the villages plants grow strong. They killed Destroyers and Rokugani alike and destroyed the whole village. [20]

Colonies Edit

During the Age of Conquest Kinuye moved to the Colonies, aided by Yajinden to remain hidden to the Empire. The region where she and her acolytes lived was known as Kinuye's Garden, among the deadliest places in all of the Colonies. She continued to exchange favors with Daigotsu's son, Daigotsu Kanpeki. After the defection of the Chuda, Kinuye assisted the Spider Clan when they were in a need of shugenja. [21]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Asako Kinuye 4

Asako Kinuye


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Gift, by Rich Wulf
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bloodspeakers (2002), by Wolfgang Baur, Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf, p. 61
  3. Unexpected Allies 2, p. 48
  4. 4.0 4.1 Visions of the Future, Part II, by Shawn Carman
  5. 5.0 5.1 Blood for Blood, by Shawn Carman
  6. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 43
  7. Clan Letter to the Phoenix (Imperial Herald v2 #9)
  8. Fires of the Hidden City, Part Three, by Rich Wulf
  9. Asako Hirotsugu (Web of Lies flavor)
  10. Vacant Throne, p. 16
  11. Blood and Steel (Path of Hope flavor)
  12. Blood Hunt (Region 23 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
  13. 13.0 13.1 The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  14. Four Winds, p. 119
  15. Vacant Throne, p. 16
  16. Rising from the Ashes, by Shawn Carman
  17. Blood for Blood, by Shawn Carman
  18. Obsidian Figurine (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  19. The Widening Circle, by Nancy Sauer
  20. The Destroyer War, Part 12, by Shawn Carman
  21. Dark Worship, by Shawn Carman

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