A Dark Moto

The Dark Moto were a group of the Moto family who were corrupted in a foolish attempt to ride against the Shadowlands and defeat it. [1] They were also known as the Black Guard. [2] They rode over undead horses, the Dark Moto steed. [3]

Ride into Darkness[edit | edit source]

A Dark Moto

After the Return of the Unicorn in 815, the Moto saw what the threat of the Shadowlands were for the first time, and decided to show their strength by defeating it. In 825, led by their Daimyo Moto Tsume, they rode into the Shadowlands, hoping to aid the Crab in their fight. None returned. [1]

The Kolat[edit | edit source]

The kolat were instrumental in this event. They feared the ascendancy of the Moto family. Their agents advised Moto Tsume to move against the Shadowlands. When the Moto were destroyed and corrupted, the Kolat-controlled Shinjo remained in power. [4]

The Burning Words[edit | edit source]

The Moto had been manipulated by the Lords of the Death, the Shi-Tien Yen-Wang. They came to an agreement with Fu Leng, the dark Gods would drive the Moto into the Shadowlands on the condition that once Fu Leng was finished tainting their bodies, the Lords would gain control of their souls. This contract was called the Burning Words. [5]

Terrible Nobility[edit | edit source]

Although corrupted, they conducted themselves as samurai in some ways: rigid discipline, absolute obedience to their superiors, and finely honed attack kata. The elite of the Dark Moto became part of the Black Guard, the fist of Moto Tsume. [6]

Increasing the Ranks[edit | edit source]

Moto Tsume chose the Fallen Chrysanthemum Lake as he new home, and the Thundering Tide Keep became their headquarters. [7] Dark Moto used to whisper in the night to their pure Moto brethren, promising great power to those who joined their fallen brothers. [8]

Prophecy[edit | edit source]

There was a prophecy that foresaw the Moto would be united once more, when the Clan of the Unicorn would stand together and the Moto would find peace. [9]

"A general will come, bloodied and torn, bearing an empty mon. With this coming, the Shadowlands shall rise once more, and even the Land of the Dead will fear our passing."
- Prophecy of the Moto [9]

Dark Moto Mon[edit | edit source]

Dak Moto Mon

The mon of the Dark Moto was a caricature of the mon utilized by the Unicorn Moto, The colors of the mon had been inverted and the kabuki-mask's trademark frown had been replaced with a sinister grin. The two mons were developed independently, at the same time. The Tainted Moto believe that this signified the brotherhood that they shared with their "confused brethren". [10]

The Dark Moto Rode Again[edit | edit source]

Deep in the Shadowlands, the faint stirrings of a corrupt power turned the bodies of the dead into armies, and a Dark Moto led them. While the clans fought battles among themselves, the Shadowlands watched and waited. [11] To the south of the Unicorn provinces stand the great forests of Shinomen. As the patrols of the Iuchi passed them, they were shocked to be greeted by a sound from within, a hunting horn unsounded for a thousand years. [12] In Spring of 1128 the leader of the Dark Moto, Moto Tsume rode again in the Unicorn lands, ravaging several villages. Moto Terumori, the current Moto Daimyo, was killed in the fight. [13] The Dark Moto encountered a Battle Maiden force returning home near Kyuden Tonbo. The Unicorn led by Otaku Kamoko and aided by Iuchi Karasu quickly defeated the Dark Moto, who retreated. [14] [15] Tsume died again in the fights of the Second Day of Thunder, in 1128. [16]

Tsume Reborn[edit | edit source]

In 1131 at the Festering Pit of Fu Leng the former Kuni Daimyo Kuni Yori with the Fu Leng's Skull enacted a ritual and restored Tsume to unlife. He immediately swore fealty to Yori. [17]

Allied with the Shadows[edit | edit source]

The Dark Moto began to be gathered deep in the Shadowlands, [18] near the city of Volturnum. Yori had reached an alliance with Goju Adorai and the Lost would defend the Oblivion's Gate against the armies of the Empire. [19]

The Prophecy Begins[edit | edit source]

Kamoko leading the Dark Moto

In 1132 Otaku Kamoko fearing the Shadows could destroy the soul of his mother [20] rode to Volturnum beside the bloodspeaker Shahai. The Dark Moto let her to pass until the Oblivion's Gate, where the soul of Kamoko's mother was present. She willingly took the Burning Words to avoid the destruction of her mother's soul and Kamoko became the Dark Moto leader. [21] It was considered the fulfillment of the prophecy, and the Moto would be united under the leadership of the Lost Thunder. [9]

Destruction of the Dark Moto[edit | edit source]

Moto Ride to the Shadowlands

The Dark Moto were led by Kamoko for a short time, until she could send the Dark Moto to their destruction. Kamoko informed her clan where the Dark Moto would be and their numbers. [22] In 1133 the Moto Khan Moto Gaheris destroyed the Dark Moto in the Battle of Twilight Mountains [23] [24] by using fierce tactics from the Burning Sands, unifying their line once and for all. [25]

Rebuked by Fu Leng[edit | edit source]

The Dark Moto survivors retreated to their camp, the Fallen Chrysanthemum Lake, where they found that the Taint that had sustained them was leaving their bodies and souls. Fu Leng no longer gave his blessings to those who had failed. Their bodies began to decay, subject to the ravages of age. Their free will returned, many committed seppuku, for their crimes while corrupted. The rest were slaughtered by a force of ogres and trolls sent by Jigoku. The two races, who commonly suffered when the Moto sought "sport" during quiet times, were eager for vengeance. They killed them all, including those who refuged in Moto Tsume's former headquarters, the Keep of Final Regrets. [26]

Notable Dark Moto[edit | edit source]

  • Moto Notu Bushi. General. Shugenja. Tactician. 12th century
  • Moto Sada Bushi. Karo of Moto Tsume. Akutenshi. 9th - 12th centuries.
  • Moto Saibusa Bushi. 9th - 12th centuries.
  • Moto Tsume Bushi. Moto Daimyo. Akutenshi. Obsidian Champion. 9th - 12th centuries.
  • Otaku Kamoko Bushi. Otaku Daimyo. Thunder. 12th century.

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Dark Moto


  1. 1.0 1.1 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 16
  2. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 88
  3. Moto Chargers (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  4. Soul of Darkness, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  5. Secrets of the Unicorn, pp. 84-86
  6. Way of the Shadowlands, pp. 45-46
  7. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 209
  8. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 46
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Clan Letter to the Shadowlands #5 (Imperial Herald v3 #3)
  10. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 24
  11. Skeletal Archers (Honor Bound Foil Chase Cards flavour)
  12. Horsebowmen (Honor Bound Foil Chase Cards flavour)
  13. Time of the Void, p. 73
  14. Time of the Void, p. 77
  15. Clan Letter to the Unicorn #4b (Imperial Herald v1 #4)
  16. Hidden Emperor, p. 13
  17. Hidden Emperor, p. 14
  18. Clan Letter to the Crab #11 (Imperial Herald v3 #3)
  19. Hidden Emperor, p. 55
  20. Bloodspeaker's Deal (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  21. Clan Letter to the Unicorn #11 (Imperial Herald v3 #3)
  22. Clan Letter to the Unicorn #12 (Imperial Herald v3 #4)
  23. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 10
  24. Clan letter to the Unicorn #15 (Welcome Home letters)
  25. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 24
  26. Secrets of the Shadowlands, p. 74

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
Way of the Shadowlands page 88 incorrectly states that the Dark Moto when the Unicorn made their way through the Shadowlands to return to Rokugan in 815. Third Edition correctly places these events ten years later in 825

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