Gisei Toshi

Gisei Toshi

Gisei Toshi -- the City of Sacrifice, or Isawa's City, [1] -- was a the oldest city in Rokugan, a myth to all outside the Phoenix, and most within as well. [2] It was located in the Kougen province. [3]

Secrecy Edit

When the Kami Shiba was gathering human followers, and met the Tribe of Isawa, Isawa was unwilling to allow Shiba and his followers access to the City. [4] Only the Children of the Earth were welcome there. [5] It was there that the Isawa conducted their most dangerous experiments. [6] Gisei Toshi was so secret that its population was reported to neither the Emperor's census takers nor tax collectors. [1] Because of this, among the very few who were even aware of its existence it was sometimes called the Hidden City. [4]

The Elemental Masters wrapped the valley of Gisei Toshi in a very powerful ward: the further one moved from the city, the more disoriented one became, until they not only could not find their way back, but did not even remember the time they spent there. [7]

The bushi and peasants who dwelled in the city had all sworn a vow they would live and die within its walls, never venturing forth, all to protect the secrets that slept there. [8]

Way to the Hidden City Edit

North of Pale Oak Castle, deep in the Isawa Woodlands, there was a small road. It continued through the mountains, ending at a broad tunnel. Beneath the mountain lied another road, which led to Gisei Toshi. [1]

Founding Edit

Souls of Gisei Toshi

Souls of Gisei Toshi

Gisei Toshi was founded in the year 1, and the Isawa Calendar marked its beginning by the founding of the city. [9] The city was built by Isawa's family in response to the Fall of the Kami. Isawa and his family were present at the Tournament of the Kami, though Isawa was one of the only ones who did not bow to the newly proclaimed Emperor afterward. Not seeing any reason to fall into a life of servitude to the Kami, Isawa took his family north and began to build Gisei Toshi. It became a large, sprawling complex of houses and huts, surrounded by a tremendous stone wall carved from the rocks by the power of magic. [10]

The Tribe used spell scrolls bound to the walls the purified bodies and souls of the dead so that they might defend the city forever. [11] Isawa used the original uncorrupted Iron Citadel spell to build and repair the city walls. [12]

Treasures of Gisei Toshi Edit

Gisei Toshi was the final resting place of the Tao of Shinsei, as well as many other artifacts that the Isawa collected over the centuries that they do not want known to the empire as a whole. Gisei Toshi was also the city in which Shiba knelt before Isawa, and after his oath, the Phoenix Kami even lived in the city with his new followers. [1]

Temples of Gisei Toshi

The Seven Fortunes

Gisei Toshi also contained the original Seven Temples to the Seven Fortunes. The Fortunes were worshiped by the Tribe of Isawa even before the Kami fell, and after the family's acceptance into the Phoenix Clan and Rokugan as a whole, their worship spread among the rest of the empire. [13] Each temple had a a large statue, an ancient representation of its Fortune. Since they were placed, each statue has faced to the east, to greet the rising sun. [14]

Unknown to other Phoenix families, each of the seven temples contained some of the most important and the most dangerous artifacts in all of Rokugan. They were as follows: [15]

Some of the other items that had been hidden away in the depths of Gisei Toshi included: [15]

The Asako and the Library of Gisei Toshi Edit

Shortly after the death of Shiba, the Isawa found out that Shiba had shared his secret with Asako, but left their family completely unaware. It is not known how the Isawa found out the of secrets existence, [18] but they did not discover the nature of the teachings of the Asako until centuries later. [19] When the Asako refused to share the information with the Isawa, the Isawa expelled all of the Asako from the City of Sacrifice, never allowing another to set foot on the city's soil. [20]

Unfortunately, the Asako family had been tasked with being the librarians of the city's great library. Unable to retract this mandate, the Isawa instead forced the Asako librarians to lead lives sequestered within the library, never again setting foot outside. These librarians ever more led sheltered lives, completely devoted to the scrolls they kept. [21] [20]

Dojo Edit

Gisei Toshi was the training ground for the Elemental Guard, Isawa Ishiken, Isawa Shugenja, and Isawa Tensai schools. [22]

Tradition Edit

The foremost tradition of Gisei Toshi was secrecy. None outside the Isawa must learn of its existence, not even the other families of the Phoenix Clan. Each student began a series of scrolls, to be filled with accounts of magical phenomena that the shugenja experience. [23]

Training Edit

Students of Gisei Toshi were the finest the Isawa had. In their gempukku they cast a single spell, reciting the spell's history, including the Isawa who developed it and under what circumstances. Access to the libraries of Gisei Toshi allowed the students nearly unlimited resources in creating new spells. Isawa Sayuri was one of its notable students. [23]

Sensei Edit

The head sensei of Gisei Toshi traditionally was an Elemental Master, who selected those who would maintain the school in his absence. Isawa Hochiu was one of its notable sensei. [23]

History Edit

Gisei Toshi 2

Gisei Toshi

War Against Fu Leng Edit

Gisei Toshi was attacked in the War Against Fu Leng, and several members of the Tribe of Isawa died, as Isawa Ariminhime. [24]

Shrouding of Gisei Toshi Edit

Relations between the Isawa and Asako had continued to deterio­rate due to the an Asako's secret not shared with the Isawa. In 234 Isawa Hidetsugu seized Isawa's Last Wish and attempted to use it to unravel the Henshin's secret. When he did so, Gisei Toshi erupted into flame by the Wish's power. The City of Isawa had been believed to be destroyed by the disaster, but in reality, the city was rebuilt and kept secret from all of Rokugan by means of a powerful shrouding spell. [25]

Nemuranai Storage Edit

The Isawa collected the most deadly magical artifacts so that they could be safely contained. The Last Wish was an exception to this. [26]

Akuma no Oni's Attack Edit

A new disaster befell in 283, when Isawa Akuma summoned Akuma no Oni, [27] who ravaged the city, destroying portions of the original manuscripts of the Tao of Shinsei. [28]

The Agasha Defection Edit

After Hitomi took control over the Dragon Clan there were many among the Agasha family who were unwilling to follow her into what appeared to be certain oblivion. In 1131 Agasha Gennai, a student of Agasha Daimyo Agasha Tamori, led those who wished to leave. [29] In Gisei Toshi the Agasha knelt before Shiba Tsukune. [30] Within a week, less than ten Agasha remained with the Dragon. [31]

Iuchiban's attack Edit

In 1165 Shiba Aikune moved the city to a new hidden location with Isawa's Last Wish to escape Iuchiban during the Siege of Gisei Toshi. [32]

Children of the Last Wish Edit

A group of benevolent creatures knew as the Children of the Last Wish had appeared in Gisei Toshi. They seemed to be made entirely out of pure Void. They were the messengers and companions of Isawa's Last Wish, and pressured the Elemental Council to remake the Last Wish. [33]

External Links Edit

Gisei Toshi 3

Gisei Toshi


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Way of the Phoenix, p. 20
  2. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 81
  3. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 138
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fires of the Phoenix, by Shawn Carman
  5. Temples of Gisei Toshi (Dawn of the Empire flavor)
  6. Dawn of Battle (Hidden City Rulebook Story), by Rich Wulf
  7. 7.0 7.1 Masters of Magic, p. 95
  8. Fires of the Hidden City, Part Two, by Rich Wulf
  9. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 88
  10. Way of the Phoenix, p. 18
  11. Day of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  12. Time of the Void, p. 124
  13. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 20-21
  14. Fires of the Hidden City, Part Three, by Rich Wulf
  15. 15.0 15.1 Secrets of the Phoenix, pp. 83-86
  16. Fires of the Hidden City, Part Five, by Rich Wulf
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 139
  18. Way of the Phoenix, p. 45
  19. The Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 19
  20. 20.0 20.1 Way of the Phoenix, p. 46
  21. Way of the Phoenix, p. 30
  22. Way of the Shugenja, p. 55
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Way of the Shugenja, p. 56
  24. A Gathering of Thunder, by Rich Wulf
  25. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 9
  26. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 10
  27. Way of the Phoenix, p. 73
  28. Way of the Phoenix, p. 76
  29. The Dark Oracle of Fire, Part II
  30. The Agasha Join the Phoenix (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  31. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 22
  32. Masters of Earth, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  33. Masters of Magic, p. 96

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