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A Bloodspeaker

The Bloodspeakers were an order of maho-tsukai created by Iuchiban in the 5th century. In the following centuries, the Bloodspeakers formed a secret society that infected all social layers of the Empire. By the 12th century, there were members of the Bloodspeaker cult in every Great Clan, as well as many among the minor clans and lower caste villages.

Goal and practices[]

Bloodspeaker ritual

The followers of Iuchiban were dedicated to put their masters in the Imperial Throne. In secret they were practitioners of maho and human sacrifice was part of their rituals. As tools they raised zombies commanded through their porcelain masks. [1] They were organized in self-sufficient cells with a leader, keeping secrecy through isolation. [2] Initiates entered by recommendation, having a cultist relative who already had taught him, or after careful scrutiny. [3]


The lower classes provided the majority of the Bloodspeaker followers, with eta being the most common. Those of the samurai caste who joined the cult were typically of lower rank or second or third born, forced to seek alternate routes to power. [4]


The use of maho bore the corruption to the caster, but in a different way than the taint gained by visiting the Shadowlands. No abnormal transformations happened in externally in their bodies, instead they tended to have insanity and mental instability, and they could suffer internal modifications. If a cultist entered the Shadowlands they quickly suffered physical and mental transformation that led to death or madness. [5]

Iuchiban's Hold[]

Iuchiban's followers invoked the Oracle of Blood to draw upon Iuchiban's command of maho, using him as an intermedlary between the power of Jigoku and their personal command of maho. Invoking Iuchiban's name dramatically increased the hold Iuchiban had over his vassals, resulting in a permanent bond being forged between any two souls that interacted in this manner. [6]

Circle of Five[]

Iuchiban, Asahina Yajinden, Shinko Kamiko, the Oracle of Blood and an Isawa eta formed the original Circle of Five. Fushiki replaced Iuchiban after his entombment. Isawa Kakusu was a famous member until Iuchiban's second escape. In 1120 Yajinden was entombed, Kamiko and Fushiki were dead. Iuchi Shahai took the place of Fushiki and became the new leader. In 1128 after the Second Day of Thunder Doji Adoka, the Guardian of the Temple of Blood, joined the Circle. In 1142 after the destruction of the Temple of Blood, Adoka was dismissed from the Circle, and his post was filled in 1145 by Yogo Hisashi. Later the new Jama Suru joined it, and in 1159 Chuda Mishime, Daigotsu's hatamoto took the place of Shahai. [7] In 1160 Kitsu Norinaga was recruited by Mishime for the Circle. [8]

Temple of Blood[]

The formal stronghold of the bloodspeakers was the Temple of Blood, built in 989 hidden in the northern Crane provinces. It was in risk to be found in 1023 by Emerald Magistrates hunting the cause of continual disappearances. After its destruction in 1154 [9] a new Temple was built within the City of Tears, in the Yobanjin region north of the Dragon territories. [10] It was destroyed by Daigotsu after his rise as Lord of the Shadowlands. [11]



The Bloodspeakers were founded after the first death of Iuchiban in the year 510. While his spirit wandered the Empire in secret, the sorcerer needed assistance to help him prepare for his return. Whispering the dark secrets of maho into the ears of angry and disaffected members of society, Iuchiban bound these individuals to him with promises of far greater power when he sat upon the throne of the Empire. They began to seek the Four Masks of Iuchiban which could free their master. [12]

Crimson Kingdom[]

In 528 Bloodspeakers took control of one Dragon province, which was renamed the Crimson Kingdom, with their leader Chikako as her queen. The next year they were slaughtered by an entire Dragon army, assisted by Phoenix and Imperial forces. [13]

Yajinden's rule[]

After Yajinden's escape, he worked to restore the Bloodspeaker Cult and free his master. Over the course of centuries, in the bodies of dozens of hosts, he guided the Bloodspeakers. [12] In 750 Iuchiban escaped from his tomb. [14]

Second Rising of Iuchiban[]

An undead army was created and took the field at Ryoko Owari, which was seized. After this initial success the Empire joined against him and defeated the Bloodspeakers in the Battle of the Bloody Retreat and the Battle of Sleeping River this year. [15]

Prophecy of the Last Hantei[]

A cell of Bloodspeakers living near Otosan Uchi discovered the ancient prophecy hidden by the Scorpion Clan, stated that Fu Leng would arise when the Hantei was the last of his line in the Empire. The Bloodspeakers sought to quicken this apocalypse by kidnapping the Emperor's wife and children. [16] In 1111 the bloodspeakers attacked a caravan transporting the Empress Hantei Hochiahime and the five-year-old imperial heir Hantei Sotorii. They were held in a camp in Kiken no Roka, Treacherous Pass. The heir was saved by the mountain-dwelling ronin Yotsu, who traded his son Kyoden with the heir. The Empress, pregnant with the second son of the Emperor, stayed behind so that Yotsu could escape. [17] The Empire assumed she was sacrificed by the Bloodspeakers, but after the Bloodspeakers had discovered she was with child they kept her alive long enough to give birth in the Unicorn lands. [18] Her son was raised among the Bloodspeakers and later became Daigotsu. The son of Yotsu used to fool the Bloodspeakers was also alive, now Goju Kyoden, the yojimbo of Daigotsu, and had suffered the same ritual and exile as Daigotsu. [19]

War Against Shadow[]

In the War Against Shadow they requested the aid of the Nothing to seek a way to free Iuchiban's soul. [20]

Bloodspeaker cells[]

Three cells were active after the War. Chuda Mishime and Iuchi Shahai led two of them in the Shadowlands, directly linked to Daigotsu. The third was under the control of Jama Suru at the City of Tears, supported by the Oracle of Blood itself. [10]

Third Rise of Iuchiban[]

A Iuchiban's follower

The Bloodspeakers were usually concealed cultists, working in hidden places. They rely in the secrecy to not be exterminated. It changed in 1166, when an empowered Iuchiban ordered all cells and Bloodspeakers to expose as cultists killing any Rokugani at hand. [21]

Blood Hunt[]

During the Blood Hunt, many Bloodspeaker cells were destroyed by a coordinated action of the Imperial Legion under the leadership of Kaneka, Isawa Sezaru, and the Jade Magistrates. [22]

Bloodspeakers after Iuchiban's Death[]

After Iuchiban was killed by Isawa Sezaru in 1166 [23] the Bloodspeakers considerably lessened in numbers and lacked any clear-cut leadership. They were pursued by Sezaru in the Blood Hunt, which ended when the Wolf died in 1169. Some sought refuge in the Spider Clan, while others went completely underground. The survivors, less than two hundred, were hardened fanatics, determined to hide and endure as long as they had to in order to reclaim their power and find some way of bringing back their leader. [24] Less than two hundred members formed the cult in the late 12th century. [25]

Bloodspeaker Leadership[]

Iuchiban ? - 510
Asahina Yajinden 510 - 750
Iuchiban 750 - 750
Asahina Yajinden 750 - 1124
Iuchi Shahai 1124 - 1154
Circle of Five 1154 - 1165
Iuchiban 1165 - 1166
Vacant 1166 - Present

Other Bloodspeakers[]

Historical Bloodspeakers[]

Known Bloodspeaker Cells[]

See also[]


  1. Bloodspeakers, p. 4
  2. Bloodspeakers, p. 7
  3. Bloodspeakers, p. 8
  4. Bloodspeakers, pp. 4-5
  5. Bloodspeakers, p. 6
  6. Four Winds, p. 135
  7. Bloodspeakers, pp. 8-9
  8. Bloodspeakers, p. 72
  9. Bloodspeakers, p. 53-54
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bloodspeakers, pp. 56-57
  11. Purity of the Seven Thunders (Gold flavor)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bloodspeakers, p. 52
  13. Imperial Histories 2, p. 89
  14. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 15
  15. Bloodspeakers, p. 53
  16. Way of the Wolf, p. 37
  17. Guardians
  18. Bloodspeakers, p. 55
  19. One Question (Fall of Otosan Uchi Rulebook Story), by Rich Wulf
  20. Doji Adoka (Honor Bound flavor)
  21. Enemy of my Enemy, Part Two, by Rich Wulf
  22. Kotei 2005: Blood Hunt (Storyline tournaments)
  23. Enemy of my Enemy, Part Four, by Rich Wulf
  24. Enemies of the Empire, p. 23
  25. Enemies of the Empire, p. 23

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