Traitor's Grove

Traitor's Grove

Hayashi no Uragirimono, most commonly known as Traitor's Grove, was a grove of trees to the south of Kyuden Bayushi, [1] and the most vicious place of punishment in Rokugan. The unusual method of punishment employed in the grove was devised by the Scorpion Clan in the sixth century as a response to an unprecedented betrayal. To the Scorpion, loyalty was valued above all other virtues, and thus betrayal was the most heinous of all crimes, necessitating the most painful penalty they could devise. The most vile criminals in the clan - almost exclusively traitors to the Scorpion - were executed there with special knives, and their souls were permanently bound to the trees to suffer for eternity.

The Execution Ritual Edit

Death of Ogura

Death of Bayushi Ogura

When a traitor was discovered and caught, he was taken to a small copse of trees just south of Kyuden Bayushi. There, he was bound to a tree. After a long, intense, and painful ritual, the traitor in question had a knife put to his or her chest. Their crimes against the Scorpion were read aloud. With each crime read, the knife was thrust in a little deeper. Only the magic of the shugenja performing the ritual kept the accused awake and alive for the ceremony. Once the recitation of crimes was finished, the knife was fully plunged into both traitor and tree. This killed the betrayer, and bound his soul within the tree to begin an eternity of torment. The body was buried at the foot of the tree while the personal effects and treasures were hung off the boughs of the condemned soul's new prison, so that each tree could easily be identified. [1] A bound soul might not return from the dead by any means unless the tree that imprisoned his spirit was killed. This process also made the tree extremely long-lived and no tree within Traitor's Grove had still died of natural causes. [2]

The Scorpion did not hide Traitor's Grove, being quite accessible by many of the Emperor's roads. They did not encourage visitors, but the curious who did wander into the haunted wood got to see the price of betraying the Scorpion first hand. [1] The ghosts of Traitor's Grove enacted a terrible curse upon any who stole from it, imposing a painful, lingering death. [3]

While it was impossible to be absolutely sure that this punishment was eternal, the Scorpion did not seem to believe that such a fate was anything but eternal agony. Trees in the grove gave off a continual, unearthly creaking and moaning sound, forever protesting the pain. Even following the Scorpion Coup, no one outside of the Scorpion Clan had ever entered Traitor's Grove. [citation needed]

History Edit

First Use Edit

Traitor's Grove 2

Traitor's Grove

Traitor's Grove was first created to the actions of Bayushi Tesaguri, son of the Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Junzen. By the year 545, Junzen's faith in the Yogo family had waned considerably. Believing them untrustworthy, he took the forth, fifth, and sixth Black Scrolls from them, and trusted them with his son, Tesaguri. Tesaguri was both an able general and capable shugenja, who had proven his value to the clan time and time again. [4]

Unfortunately, Tesaguri was not nearly as trustable as his father believed him to be. Seeing an opportunity for quick profit, he sold the original scrolls to the Phoenix Clan, created forgeries to put in their place, and went about his business suspecting that no one would be any the wiser for it. [5]

Yogo Ichinore, daimyo of the Yogo, was not so easily fooled. He quickly deduced that the scrolls were fakes and brought the matter to the attention of Junzen. When Junzen called his son forth to explain himself, the Champion's son wasted no time in fleeing. He didn't get very far. [5]

He was hastily bound to a tree, and an impromptu ritual was enacted. In time, and with some modification, it would become the standard procedure for the punishment of those who betray the Scorpion Clan. [5]

As the first to enter into the tortured place that was Traitor's Grove, Tesaguri had the dubious honor of being considered its founder. As such, on the day of his birth -- the third day of the Monkey -- any Scorpion within a reasonable distance came to Traitor's Grove to throw stones at the trees of those who dared to put even the slightest stain upon the loyalty and brotherhood of the Scorpion Clan. [1]

Ghost of Traitor’s Grove Edit

The Scorpion tended the Grove with a guardian, keeping the trees healthy and strong to make sure the tormented souls bound within them never escape. He was called the Ghost of Traitor's Grove. [6]

After the Coup Edit

After the Scorpion Coup Soshi Bantaro's experiments to return Bayushi Shoju to life made the Shadowlands Taint grew very powerful. Gaki were noticed prowling the area and weapons and armor had gone missing from Traitor's Grove. [7] Shoju's Armor was returned to the grove time later. [8]

Incursion Edit

In 1200 a Mantis incursion stole the sacred daggers to the Grove's guardian, [9] who was taken in custody by the infiltrators. [10]

Set to Fire Edit

In 1200 the Lion Clan attacked Kyuden Bayushi. The Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Nitoshi set the palace to fire, and the Grove was burned to ash. [11]

Known Executed Edit

Traitor's Grove 3

Traitor's Grove

Known "Ghosts"Edit

External Links Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Way of the Scorpion, p. 103
  2. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 16
  3. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 7
  4. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 55, 103
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Way of the Scorpion, p. 55
  6. Unfinished Business, Part II, by Rich Wulf
  7. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 128
  8. Ancestral Armor of the Scorpion Clan (Ivory flavor)
  9. Spring Kotei 2015 Fiction Act 1: Opening Moves, Day 2, by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton
  10. Spring Kotei 2015 Fiction Act 1: Opening Moves, Day 3, by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton
  11. Blood Moons, by Mari Anne Murdock
  12. Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part 4, by Rich Wulf
  13. Brink of Madness, by Rich Wulf
  14. Towers, by Shawn Carman
  15. The Mad Dragon, by Shawn Carman
  16. Way of the Scorpion, p. 55
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 Scenes From the Empire 42, by Mari Murdock, Maxime Lemaire, & Shawn Carman
  18. Soshi Jujun (Honor Bound flavor) and Forgotten Lands (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  19. All Glory to the Righteous Emperor, by Rich Wulf
  20. Death at Koten, p. 5
  21. Death at Koten, p. 147
  22. Legion of Blood

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