Please note: This article is about the magical creature. For the Great Clan of the same name, please see Ki-Rin Clan.


The Ki-rin, or the Unicorn, was a mystical creature, incomprehensible to the mortal mind. Its rare appearances in the Empire had always foreshadowed monumental events, such as the Return of the Unicorn and the Rain of Blood. It was also the namesake of the Ki-Rin Clan, and the true form of its founder Shinjo. [1] It was said that the Ki-rin and the Phoenix, the two fabled creatures, were brothers. [2] It also had been linked to the Elemental Dragons. [3]

Appearance Edit

Ki-rin 2

A Ki-rin

They had a silken fur, with a single horn of pearl white extended from its forehead. Its staring eyes shone a brilliant jade, [4] and its gaze crippled the corrupt and stroke awe in the honorable. [5] It was a symbol of swiftness and good fortune. [6]

Shrine Edit

The Reihaido sano Ki-Rin was a shrine dedicated to the Ki-rin, located in Phoenix Clan lands, [7] where Shinjo saw the Ki-Rin for the first time, [8]

Legends Edit

Inhabitants of the Dragonlands Edit

It was said the Ki-rin were also spirits from the Dragonlands. They cast out or choosing to live among mortal kind. [9]

The tale of Ki-Rin and the Scorpion Edit

A tale told a Ki-rin had been warned by her sister the Phoenix against the treacherous scorpion, but the mytical unicorn did not know the scorpion's appearance. The Ki-rin was amazed by all the things over the world, things called "Flower", "Tree", "Horse", when she saw another creature. It was a scorpion, which told he was called "Truth", and invited the Ki-rin to put him on the unicorn's back to find "Scorpion". The scorpion began to explain the Ki-rin how identify a scorpion, and the Ki-rin quickly realized the creature on his back resembled as a "Scorpion". The Ki-rin joyed she had find "Truth" before she would have found "Scorpion". And the Ki-rin had nothing further to say, [10] tricked because of her ignorance, [11] dying upon the poisoning sting.

History Edit

Ki-Rin Clan Edit

In 153 the Kami Shinjo was lured to the Oasis of Spirits [12] from where she returned pregnant. She spoke little of it, but she had five shapeshifting children, who used to feel most comfortable in the figure of their father, a shimmering white steed with fiery halo, a Ki-rin. [13]

Corrupted Masters Edit

In the first month of 1128 a Ki-rin was sighted above Kyuden Isawa, but that when the already tainted Elemental Masters came forth to greet her, she turned her face away. [14]

Death of the Ki-rin Edit

Death of the Ki-Rin

Death of the Ki-rin

The tainted Crab hunted the Ki-rin after the Second Day of Thunder, encouraged by Jama Suru. [5] Years later a dead Ki-rin was found by Crab scouts searching for their men at lost Hiruma Castle. The lone foal of the Ki-Rin had survived, but oni was seeking it to destroy the last of its kind. [15]

Baby Ki-rin Edit

Baby Ki-Rin

A Ki-rin colt

In 1132 Hitomi released a Ki-rin colt at the Ki-Rin's Shrine, in the third of the Twenty-Seven Days of Darkness. The baby Ki-rin looked for more of its kin in the Celestial Heavens, to bring them home. [16] [17] One by one, each star in the Celestial Heavens awakened, following the light of the golden colt. [18]

Fall of the Age of Man Edit

Hitomi sent the child of the Ki-Rin to seek the Dragons and bring their power back to the Empire. As they returned, the Age of Man began to fall, restoring to the Age of Myth. [19] In 1133 the seven dragons involved themselves in the War Against Shadow carrying the last of Rokugan's greatest heroes toward Volturnum's gates. [20]

Last of the Ki-rin Edit

Ki-rin 3

A Ki-rin

It was not widely known that the last of the Ki-rin, that dwelled in the northern mountains, was captured by the bloodspeakers Yajinden and Mohai to be sacrificed in a ritual by Iuchiban creating the Rain of Blood. [5] It was reborn thanks to the efforts of Daidoji Kumi to safeguard its body against Shadowlands beasts. Afterward it blessed Kumi by attaching a lock of its own mane to Kumi's sword. [4]

The Ki-rin appears in Rokugan again Edit

In 1171 a Ki-rin appeared to Utaku Reyo. She sacrificed herself to defend the Ki-Rin's Shrine from a yobanjin patrol of the Army of Fire during the War of Dark Fire. Isawa Nomi also saw a Ki-rin, and she depicted the shrine with a Ki-rin wich had the superimposed image of Reyo. [21]

See Also Edit

Ki-rin 5

Glimpse of the Ki-rin

External Links Edit

Ki-rin 4

A flying Ki-rin


  1. Way of the Unicorn, pp. 33, 37
  2. Way of the Scorpion, p. 26
  3. Game Master's Guide; 2nd Ed, p. 38
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ki-Rin's Redemption, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sacrifice, by Rich Wulf
  6. Way of the Dragon, p. 48
  7. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 296
  8. Ki-Rin (Obsidian flavor)
  9. Way of the Phoenix, p. 106
  10. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 26-27 Sidebar
  11. Way of the Scorpion, p. 56
  12. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 8
  13. Way of the Unicorn, pp. 33-34
  14. Time of the Void, p. 55
  15. Death of the Ki-Rin (Storyline tournament)
  16. Strike At Midnight: The Twenty-seven Days of Darkness
  17. Baby Ki-Rin (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  18. Return of Myth (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  19. Restoring the Age of Myth (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  20. Temples of the Crow Seven Dragons (Soul of the Empire storyback)
  21. The War of Dark Fire, Part 9, by Shawn Carman

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