The Great Sleep was the hibernation of the Naga race. Naga had been known to hibernate for centuries or more, usually only to wake when disturbed by great evil or heroic deeds. [1] It was state of dormancy that would husband the Naga strength until such a time when it was needed most. [2]

Background Edit

In the First Burning of the Land the Naga fought back the Darkness, conquering the Evil and sending it away. After the war, prophets and astrologers spoke of a time of Great Sleep, a period of Ages in which the Naga would rest, undisturbed, waiting to fight the Dark again, in a far-distant time called only "The Second Burning of the Land." [3] The Naga foresaw a time when their most hated enemy, the Foul, would emerge victorious and reign supreme. Fearing that they might not survive long enough to stop this, the Naga entered a mystical slumber and slept beneath their cities deep in the heart of the Shinomen Mori. [4]

Naga Fading Edit

For the last generations the Naga have been quietly dying, fewer Naga children were born. The Naga, once a proud race that spanned the continent, fell prey to the end of their era. Within generations, they would be entirely gone, no more than dust and bones, and the Akasha would become still and silent forever. The Lying Darkness had learned how to infiltrate the Akasha itself, through the dreams of the Naga and in this way the pool of Naga souls had been poisoned. [5]

Fall of the Kami Edit

When eight stars fell to the North and one star fell deep into the south the Qatol decided his people had to enter in the Great Sleep. [6] Other Naga legend said that the Great Sleep began when the Weaver Star (symbolizing the creation) and the Kappa Star (the destruction) met in the sky. [7]

Enchantment Edit

The Naga Vedics made rituals that purified the communal mind of the race, the Akasha, removing all distractions, all impurities, all stray thoughts and dreams. The spell could take years before their effects were completed, so Naga were selected to remain behind protecting their people and cities until its completion. Once the skein matured, the place selected for the sleep would be sealed away from the world. Those who sought it would become lost, only to find themselves where they started, or perhaps even on other place far from the start. [8]

The Shashakar weaved the spell using the Pearl of Mist and around it, a thousand Cobra shugenja slept, protecting the spell. [5] Those few who remained awake became known as the Guardians of Days Ahead. [9]

Doom of the Naga Edit

The Naga astrologers foresaw another Burning of the Land. [10] When the Black Scrolls were being opened, the Naga were awakened. They thought it was the correct time, to fight the Fallen Kami and the Foul. Instead, they fulfilled the Seventh Doom, the Doom of the Naga. The Great Sleep ended too early and the Naga payed the price. [11]

First Awakenings Edit

Shazaar was the first Naga to be awaken, [12] and was horrified to discover a new civilization had risen up where the naga had once been. [13]

Lack of Children Edit

The pearl's power fed on the souls of the Naga Jakla. One Cobra died each year, sacrificing themselves to the hunger of the Pearl. The Great Sleep accelerated the Naga's decay process a hundredfold. The eggbeds were empty, and Naga children was difficult to be seen, and the Constrictors had seen no eggs at all. [5] In casting a spell to keep them alive for a thousand years, the Cobra destroyed the future of the Naga race. [14]

Second Great Sleep Edit

In 1132 a small force of Ashalan attacked the naga nurseries, attempting to enact a ritual that would destroy their ancient enemies once and for all. The sorcerers were defeated, but their ritual was partially enacted, and began a slow process of deterioration that caused the Great Sleep to begin again. [15] In 1134 the Naga realized the Great Sleep ended too soon. They only awakened because humans inadvertently weakened the enchantments holding them in their slumber. [16] In 1135 [11] the Naga were preparing a second Great Sleep in the Shinomen Forest. The Ningyo opened the great oyster, but it was dead, giving its life for a great golden pearl, the Legacy of the Naga, which was sent as a gift to the Empire. Its presence near the Shinomen could disturb the rituals. [8] The Naga race slept but they would never awake. [citation needed]

Resting in the City Akasha Edit

The Naga Race existed in Yume-do, living in the city Akasha, deep in the Realm of Dreams. [17]

Dark Naga Edit

In the late 12th century the soul of the mad Naga Shahismael reappeared in the creature known as the Dark Naga, exerting a terrible influence to the akasha. In 1199 the Imperial Legions driven the Dark Naga out of Rokugan. In response one thousand of the Naga were awakened, to avoid the Dark Naga ever returned. The Zenathaar bore the soul of the Warrior of the Bright Eye, leading the Naga race, and the Treaty with the Empire was renewed. [18]


  1. The Gaijin's Guide to Rokugan, Part I
  2. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 24
  3. Way of the Naga, p. 19
  4. Siege: Heart of Darkness (Rulebook story)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Way of the Naga, p. 46
  6. Way of the Naga, pp. 46-47
  7. Clan War: Naga Army Expansion, p. 10
  8. 8.0 8.1 Rulebook story (Forgotten Legacy), by Shawn Carman and Rusty Priske
  9. Clan War: Naga Army Expansion, p. 10
  10. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 35
  11. 11.0 11.1 Legacy of the Naga, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4, by Edward Bolme
  12. Imperial Histories, p. 128
  13. Clan Letter to the Naga (Imperial Herald v.2 #4)
  14. Way of the Naga, p. 83
  15. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 20
  16. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 21
  17. Fortunes & Winds, p. 103
  18. Siege: The Heart of Darknes, by Shawn Carman

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