Kaigen's Island

Kaigen's Island was raised from the seafloor in 1167 during the climactic battle between the Phoenix and Mantis in the War of Fire and Thunder. [1]

Creation[edit | edit source]

The Master of Earth Isawa Sachi raised the island to deal with the emergence of the Dark Wave, which Yoritomo Kaigen crushed against the new land. The two shugenja were killed in the process, and the Phoenix surrendered following a war which had clearly been a sinister manipulation by external forces. The Mantis claimed the new island and nearby sea-routes as compensation and named in honor of Kaigen. [1] [2] [3] Some among the Phoenix referred to it as Sachi’s Anvil. [4]

Mantis Settlement[edit | edit source]

Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Naizen immediately ordered the construction of a castle upon the island, which was named Kyuden Kumiko in honour of his predecessor. [1] [2] A city began to emerge around the castle, which became known as the City of the Broken Wave. [5] [3] The port facilities were the first priority, and the construction began on the harbour which was named the Bay of Thunder. [4]

Temple to the Sun[edit | edit source]

The islands Temple of the Sun was built where the first rays of the sun would hit it. [6]

The Island’s Geology[edit | edit source]

Due to the magical nature in which the island had been raised from the seafloor, the island was nothing but a barren expanse of volcanic rock and coral, layered with mud. No trees on the island meant no lumber for construction, which resulted in the Mantis being forced to import the required materials from the mainland. In addition, thunderous storms crashed against the island, delaying construction efforts and resulting in dangerous mudslides. The island itself was unstable at times, resulting in earthquakes as the rock adjusted to its unnatural existence above water. One such particularly violent tremor resulted in volcanic activity on the island’s western end, an area since known as the Fire Fountains. Luckily the volcanic field was far enough from Kyuden Kumiko to present any danger to its existence. A side effect of the volcanic activity was that the Island was actually expanding, magma spilling into the sea and hardening into new rock. Scholars estimated the island could increase to twice its size in as little as twenty years. [1] The island had treacherous slopes to all sides. [7]

An earthquake in the Month of the Dragon in 1168 caused a tsunami to hit the Phoenix coastline. [4]

Coral Barrens[edit | edit source]

The area known as the Coral Barrens came about as a result of the island being raised from the seafloor. The coral and sealife which was raised with it quick died off, leaving an almost impenetrable landscape of dessicated remains. A few attempts were made to penetrate the inhospitable coral, but a wonderful biproduct was one of the islands very few exports. Coral was highly prized by artisans for use in inlays and sculptures. [8]

The Orochi's Spine[edit | edit source]

The centre of Kaigen's Island rises into a steep ridge of volcanic rock known as Orochi's Spine. The peak of the ridge soars almost six hundred feet above the water, and construction of a watchtower was begun here. The construction was halted when it became clear that smaller towers furthre down on the island would be sufficient, so the tower was instead taken over by the Order of Osano-Wo and made into a Temple to Osano-Wo. [8]

Adapting to the Island[edit | edit source]

The lack of even the most basic natural resources on the island was non-existent, and importing everything its inhabitants would require would be too costly. Several measures were put into place to ensure as few goods would be shipped in as possible. Cisterns were constructed to catch fresh rain water for drinking and bathing, while dried seaweed could be used for fuel. Seaweed could also be a valuable nutritional supplement in addition to the abundance of fish caught in surrounding waters. In addition to this, the Mantis could call upon the Moshi shugenja to purify seawater for drinking, and fire when needed. The Kitsune family would later dedicate some of their earth shugenja to reduce the severity of the tremors, mudslides and rock falls on the island. [5]

Some signs of rice paddies taking hold, as well as grass and flowers growing could be found around the island. Some expected the island could become free of overseas dependencies within a generation or two. [5]

Ningyo Tunnels[edit | edit source]

The Tunnels of the Ningyo were a cluster of strange caves and circular tunnels beneath the island. Mostly they proved dangerous for explorers on the island, due to pitfalls, collapsing roofs and toxic air. Most troublesome was some evidence of the taint, believed to be remnants of the Dark Wave. [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Strongholds of the Empire, p. 10
  2. 2.0 2.1 The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  3. 3.0 3.1 Masters of War Masters of War Web Supplement, p. 13
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Strongholds of the Empire, p. 12
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Strongholds of the Empire, p. 11
  6. Strongholds of the Empire, p. 16
  7. Steep Slopes (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Strongholds of the Empire, p. 19

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