Born: Unknown 
Died: 1133 
Parents: Isawa Nesan

Dairya was born Isawa Dairya, a prodigy of the Phoenix Clan and son of the Master of Fire. He murdered his mother and was cast from the clan as Ronin. For years, he wandered Rokugan as a ronin duelist. He died during the Battle of Oblivion's Gate.

Isawa Dairya Edit

Dairya 3

Ronin Dairya

Isawa Dairya was the son of Isawa Nesan, the Master of Fire. He was his mother's prize pupil, and a certainty to take her place upon her resignation. Unfortunately, when he was twelve years of age, the Scorpion Clan attempted to control the young shugenja, using him as a tool to strike against his mother, and using him to grant them some power over the Council of Five. [1]

The Scorpion began tutoring him, increasing his power, teaching him not only of spellcraft, but also of weaponry and even poison, and granting him knowledge that even the Council did not possess. Unfortunately for the Scorpion, Dairya's abilities flourished to the point where the young man believed he no longer needed their help to take his mother's place on the Council. [1]

Angered by his arrogance and unwilling to let him simply take the secrets they had shown him, the Scorpion began a plot that three months later resulted in the murder of Isawa Nesan at the hands of her son. Dairya never denied that he killed his mother, but insisted it was the result of a Scorpion plot. Either not believing him or not caring about the reasons, the Council of Five subjected Isawa Dairya to The Forgetting then cast him from the Phoenix as a ronin. [1]

Appearance and Demeanor Edit

Dairya, which meant "stands alone", was a tall samurai, poorly dressed and shabby. He smelled as if he had not bathed in months. He carried an arsenal of weapons, including katana, Wakizashi, tetsubo, and tanto. He rode the horse of the a man who challenged him to a duel. [2]

Ronin Duelist Edit

Dairya 6


Dairya began to wander Rokugan learning the ways of the bushi. He became a very adept duelist, studying under any sensei that would train him. [3]

Troubles in the Forbidden City Edit

While the Emperor hosted winter court in Kyuden Seppun during winter 1122-1123, the Miya Daimyo Miya Yoto invited the Three Man Alliance as kanrinin of the Imperial Palace, one of the greatest Imperial Honor a Clan might receive. Yoto's son, Miya Satoshi, despised the ronin and Minor Clan members, and he sought his father's dishonor. Satoshi arranged a number of the barbarian Moto to spend the winter in the Unicorn Guest Home. Yoritomo himself was embroiled, after the Moto requested to share the Kanrinin duties with the Three Man Alliance. The Moto and Minor Clans fought amongst themselves duel after duel in the Ekohikei. From a total of 32 duels recorded, 14 were won by Dairya. When Hantei XXXVIII returned the kanrinin were put to work returning the Forbidden City and Ekohikei back together. [4]

Losing an Eye Edit

His greatest loss was to Kakita Toshimoko, who took Dairya's eye in a duel in 1123. Dairya, enraged at his loss, swore revenge on the Grey Crane. [3] [5] He began by killing Toshimoko's finest student. From that day forth, Dairya wore an eyepatch fashioned from the tsuba of the student's katana. [6]

Some call me a masterless man. They are wrong. I am my own master
- Dairya [7]

Scorpion Coup Edit

At the time of the Scorpion Coup in 1123, Dairya was in the Mantis Isles teaching Yoritomo's men in exchange for koku and horses. [8]

After the Coup Edit

Dairya 1


Dairyo found his quest to perfect the style of the blade harder, because as his fame grew there were fewer who dared to face him. A bounty had been placed upon his head for his duel with the Grey Crane's student, so he remained out of Crane lands. He moved to the Mantis islands, where Yoritomo had hired his service as iaijutsu teacher. [9]

Toturi's Army Edit

Dairya returned to mainland Rokugan seeking more wealth offering his blade in any of the current conflicts, as the Lion-Crane War or the pursuit of the Scorpion remnants. Surprisingly he was hired by a Crane general fighting in the Scorpion lands, but quickly moved to the Lion lands, where he found and joined Toturi the Black, following the path of his friend Morito Tokei. [10]

Twelve Ronin Edit

Dairya had the idea of the Twelve Ronin, a symbol of the brotherhood between Toturi and his first followers. Since he suggested the idea, Dairya denied any association with the Twelve and refused appointment on three occasions, preferring to work alone. [11] While the Great Clans were preparing for the unavoidable battle to control Otosan Uchi, his army fought in the Battle of Doro Crossroads, with the Lion Clan winning the day against a Shadowlands army, a Phoenix army and the army led by Dairya. [12]

The Eye of Night Edit

Eye of Night

The Eye of Night

When Toturi I was kidnapped Dairya disappeared from the eyes of Rokugan. [13] In an attempt to gain information about the disappearance of Toturi I from the exiled Bayushi Kachiko, who Dairya believed was guilty of the kidnapping, [14] Dairya traveled to the Burning Sands with al-Hazaad over a flying carpet, where he quickly became known as the Eye of Night. [15]

Shosuro Tage Edit

Dairya rescued Shosuro Tage from the Senpet slavery, and passed her to the Moto Tar-Khan Moto Kiyoshi. The ronin asked something in return. [16] Tage was one of the Avatar of the Goddess, who would become instrumental in the Awakening of the Kami Shinjo from her slumber. [17]

Rescuing Kachiko Edit

Rescuing Kachiko

Rescuing Kachiko

Dairya managed to enter in the Senpet garrison, where Kachiko was imprisoned. He began to question her, and when he talked in Rokugani removed his wrap to show his face. Dairya released Kachiko from her captivity. [18]

Return to Rokugan Edit

Dairya 2


Asking counsel to Hitomi Edit

In the third of the Twenty-Seven Days of Darkness at the Ki-Rin's Shrine Dairya saw Hitomi and asker her, how could a samurai regain what had been lost? Hitomi took the answer from Bushido and advised him to take a life; his own life or the life who wronged the samurai. With that answer Dairya cemented the idea of killing Toshimoko. [19]

Facing Toshimoko Edit

In 1133 Toshimoko fought in the Battle of Oblivion's Gate, and he was wounded. When the last Crane samurai fell in the Shadow's onslaught, only one ronin fought beside the old Crane. [5] Before he would die Dairya needed one question answered, who was the better duelist over Rokugan. [20] Dairya faced Toshimoko for the final time [21] in the middle of the battle against the Lying Darkness. Dairya attempted to force his nemesis into a duel. Dairya killed Toshimoko, slicing him in half with a single stroke. But the Grey Crane had refused to draw his sword, robbing Dairya of a true victory. [5] [22]

Death of a Ronin Edit

Toshimoko and Dairya

Facing Toshimoko

The Goju waited until the duel ended and killed Dairya. [23] After the battle, Dairya's body was never found. [5]

Entrapped Soul Edit

Dairya had been killed at Oblivion's gate, [24] but his spirit was still chained to the mortal realm somehow. [3] It was rumored that his soul is trapped within the weapon known as Dairya's Cackling Skull. [25]

Vengeful Soul Edit

Dairya's Cackling Skull

Dairya's Cackling Skull

Dairya got his final revenge when he possessed Daidoji Megumi a blind Crane Clan duelist tainted by the Shadowlands. Using her, he travelled to Kyuden Kakita in 1160. Megumi assassinated Toshimoko's frail and sick son, Seppun Toshiken, using Dairya's Cackling Skull. The Skull however was destroyed by Toturi Miyako who used one of Lady Doji's Tears. Dairya's soul was released from his vengeful existance but refused go to Yomi. Grand Master of the Elements Naka Tokei suspected Dairya would remain in the Kakita Dueling Academy looking for a student to aid against the Shadowlands who had manipulated him into his vengeful existance. [3]

Kakita Noritoshi Edit

Since the night of Megumi's attack, the spirit of Dairya had visited Kakita Noritoshi's dreams. Released from his madness by Miyako, the spirit passed his technique on to Noritoshi as reparation for the death and pain he had caused. Noritoshi had been learning Dairya's lost techniques and combining them with the arts of the kenshinzen. [26] Daigotsu, the Dark Lord, was aware of it and many years later would send his minions to take Noritoshi's life. [27]

See also Edit

Dairya 4

Dairya in the Burning Sands

External Links Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Way of the Phoenix, pp. 29-30
  2. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 179
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Blessings and Curses
  4. Otosan Uchi:Book 2, pp. 95-96
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Kosaten Shiro Rise of Honor (Soul of the Empire Storyback)
  6. Unexpected Allies, p. 95
  7. Test of the Topaz Champion
  8. Clan Letter to Toturi's Army (Imperial Herald v.2 #4)
  9. Way of the Wolf, p. 67
  10. Way of the Wolf, pp. 67-68
  11. Way of the Wolf, p. 106 Sidebar
  12. Clan War: Thunder's Challenge, pp. 46-49
  13. Clan Letter to Toturi's Army #9 (Imperial Herald v3 #1)
  14. No-dachi (Jade flavor)
  15. The Eye of Night (Shadow of the Tyrant flavor)
  16. Ulterior Motive (LBS - The Awakening flavor)
  17. Legend of the Burning Sands, p. 132
  18. Unexpected Rescue (LBS - The Awakening Picture, Title, and flavor)
  19. Strike At Midnight: The Twenty-seven Days of Darkness
  20. Fortified Ground (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  21. Half-beat Strike (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  22. The Grey Crane (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  23. Vigilant Keep of the Monkey Death of a Ronin, by Ree Soesbee (Soul of the Empire storyback)
  24. Legend of the Five Rings: Hidden Emperor Who's Who PDF, p. 18
  25. Dairya's Cackling Skull (A Perfect Cut flavor)
  26. Secrets of the Crane, p. 66.
  27. Snared In the Web, by Brian Yoon

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