Moto Naleesh 
Moto Naleesh 
Born: 1167 
Parents: Akasha,
Moto Chen 
Titles: Kami,
Unicorn Clan Champion

Naleesh was the first child of Unicorn Khan Moto Chen and his wife Akasha. Her name is a naga word meaning "little precious treasure". She was near one year old when Akasha met for a second time Yoritomo Bunmei in 1168. [1] Naleesh was found as the reincarnation of Shinjo's soul, [2] and was known as the Living Goddess. [3]

Early Years Edit

Shono's Daughter Edit

Akasha saved Shinjo Shono's daughter, Shinjo Min-Hee from being kidnapped by a Ninube. [4] Ninube Chochu was seeking the reincarnation of the Kami Shinjo [to take her life and gain the power of a goddess. [5] It was not clear if Chochu was seeking Min-Hee, or Naleesh, who was the true reincarnation of Lady Shinjo. [6]

Demeanor Edit

Like most Moto, she enjoyed horseback riding and worshipped the Lords of Death. [7] She was an eager student, but also stubborn and willful, getting into arguments with her sensei almost daily. [8] She had a reputation for embarrassing young men unprepared for her innocent boldness. [6]

War of Dark Fire Edit

In 1171 after the Battle of Shiro Utaku Shojo, the last battle in Unicorn lands of the War of Dark Fire, Chen and Naleesh attended the ceremony where Utaku Yu-Pan became the Utaku Daimyo after the death of Utaku Xieng Chi during the fight. [9]

Naleesh betrothal Edit

Naleesh, only months past gempukku moved to Dragon lands alongside with her father. Chen made an arrangement with them and proposed a marriage to honor it. Naleesh was wandering out of the castle where she met Mirumoto Mareshi's son, and future Dragon Clan Champion, [6] Mirumoto Shikei. [10] She did not know that her father had betrothed the boy with her at that time [11] and he had greed that she would marry into the Mirumoto. [12]

Unicorn Champion Edit

Soul of a Kami Edit

Moto Naleesh 2

Moto Naleesh

A Unicorn shugenja discovered Naleesh was the reincarnated soul of their Kami, Shinjo, and she was appointed as the Unicorn Clan Champion. The betrothed met again at winter court at Kyuden Bayushi in 1184. They felt genuine love and affection for each other, [12] but neither were willing to leave their clan for the other's, and the wedding remained at bay. [13] Her childhood friend Shinjo Min-Hee disapproved the arrangement, and did not trust Shikei. [14]

Demeanor Edit

Naleesh's life changed drastically when the Unicorn shugenja discovered she was the reincarnated soul of their Kami, Shinjo. Despite the great expectations on her shoulders, she remained a cheerful and confident woman [15] when she became the Unicorn Clan Champion. [11] Naleesh was open and bright, a beacon for her people, a leader to their recovery, and a symbol of their ancestor’s blessings. [14] She did not bear the Khan title, which passed to Shinjo Shono's daughter, and her childhood friend Shinjo Min-Hee. [16]

Overtures to the Spider Clan Edit

In 1186 the Empress Iweko I confirmed Daigotsu Kanpeki as Spider Clan Champion. His first political movement was to make overtures to the Unicorn, and she opened up friendly relations with the Spider. [17]

Colonies Edit

A regular schedule of caravans departed from the Western Steppes in the Outsider Keep, crossed the Western Wastes, and reached the Second City, the metropolis in the Colonies. It was a dangerous path, were raiders attacked the travelers in the Wastes. She decreed these strange warriors were not to be studied, but rather that they and all their trappings were to be incinerated after defeat. [18] Naleesh envyed the freedom that the caravans had and often longed to endlessly travel the empire with them. [19]

Akasha and Chen disappear Edit

Her parents had retired, and Chen became an old man with a young wife, because Akasha did not aged as humans. [11] In 1198 Akasha and Chen disappeared [20] from the estate where they lived and no trace was found. Shinjo Junpei, the military adjunct to the magistrates for the purpose of this investigation, told more disappearances had happened as Mirumoto Mareshi, father of her betrothed Mirumoto Shikei, or the destruction of the Naga Embassy. [11]

Broken Wedding Edit

Shikei breaks the engagement with Naleesh

Shikei breaks the engagement with Naleesh

Shikei and Naleesh met at Shiro Shinjo, to ponder about their wedding. The event was again delayed because neither of both wished to leave their clan. [2] Her karo and childhood friend Ide Takeru disliked the idea of Naleesh wedding. Naleesh visited Shikei at Shiro Mirumoto [21] who offered an Imperial arbitration about the betrothal. The engagement had carried on for over fifteen years now, and for the same time the negotiations between the clans had stalemated. Shikei had asked the Otomo which champion should leave his or her clan in the marriage. After the Imperials judged that Shikei should fold into the Unicorn Clan, the Dragon Champion refused the ruling, and broke the engagement. [12] During the Festival of the Hundred Hands, which celebrated the Empire's victory in the War of Dark Fire, Min-Hee suffered a direct hit from Shikei's shinai during a kenjutsu practice, leaving her arm broken. Naleesh blamed that Shikei had dragged his grudge with the Unicorn to the festival and then passed it off as an accident. [22] Rumors of Shikei and Naleesh leaving the Empire to live as a couple in the Colonies were whispered, [23] but the travelers were actual doppelgangers, born from the Egg of P'an Ku. Kitsuki Yoritoko had used it upon Naleesh, and Moto Taigo upon Shikei, in vengeance for the broken betrothal. [24]

Scouring the Yodotai Edit

In 1199 the Lion Clan Champion led an army into the Unicorn territory. Naleesh held an audience with Akodo Dairuko, who requested her permission to patrol the Ki-Rin's Path. In turn Naleesh offered her Clan's aid to scour the Yodotai, who was accepted by the Lion Champion. [25] A combined Lion-Unicorn army destroyed the Yodotai remnants. [26]

Spiritual Threat to the Empire Edit

The Jade Champion Isawa Kaname passed to the Iuchi Daimyo Iuchi Ietsuna an astrological report produced by Isawa Nairuko, a priestess who found a spiritual threat to the Empire. She believed the Moto family had a curse in their bloodline, and anyone of Moto blood drew ill fortune, which they passed to the descendant they bore with the members of other families. Ietsuna politely dismissed her, and the Moto rebuffed every of her attempts to approach them. Once the notice was spread the Unicorn considered it a Phoenix insult. [27] Naleesh ordered her armies to take retribution, and openly endorsed Iweko Shibatsu as Imperial Heir, to counter the support given to the Phoenix towards Iweko Seiken, the eldest son of the Empress. [28] Eventually, Naleesh was approached by the Phoenix Clan Champion, Shiba Tsukimi, who told she was sorry for what had happened, and she was sorrier still for what had yet to happen. [29]

Unicorn Invasion Edit

The Crane withdrew their support to their Phoenix allies during the conflict with the Unicorn, removing their troops from Tanima Sano Futatsu Taisho and closing travel through their lands to Phoenix and Unicorn alike. This was a consequence of the poor performance of the Phoenix delegation during past Imperial Winter Court. The Crab supported the Phoenix after they decided against their promise to remain neutral in this war. The Unicorn army in the Siege at Kyuden Agasha had been repelled, and the remains of the attackers were pinned in the Mountains of Regret, cut off from the main forces, trapped in Treacherous Pass, without permission to encroach on the lands of the Moshi. A Phoenix counterattack would end the Unicorn invasion in a disaster. [30]

Reign of Iweko II Edit

War on the Empire Edit

During the festivals predating Iweko Seiken's coronation, the Imperial Heir had publicly humiliated Daigotsu Kanpeki by announcing that he would remove him as Spider Clan Champion. Seiken's brother, Iweko Shibatsu would join the Susumu family as their daimyo and become Lord Spider. Kanpeki considered this as betrayal of the deal between his father and Iweko I and declared war on the Empire. [31]

Contested Leadership Edit

In 1200 at Shiro Utaku Shojo, Utaku Zo Sia and Moto Naleesh were reported by Utaku Sakiko that the purity of the blood within the Utaku Steeds had thinned. Shortly after Ide Okinomi announced that Naleesh had imparted the touch of the Kami upon the entire herd, making their bloodline as strong as it was at the Dawn of the Empire. These event did not deterred those who were uncertain as to the portents surrounding her birth. Some whispered that Shinjo Min-Hee who was the true Kami Reborn. [32]

Tattooed Edit

This year one of the greatest tattooing artists, Togashi Kasuru, left his clan and taken asylum in Unicorn lands. Moto Naleesh was one of the first Unicorn members who was tattooed by him. [33]

Unicorn Civil War Edit

Origins Edit

The Unicorn army invaded the Phoenix lands and laid siege at Kyuden Agasha until they were repelled. The remains of the attackers were pinned in the Mountains of Regret, cut off from the main forces, trapped in Treacherous Pass. [34] Naleesh and Utaku Eun-ju moved to the Palace of the Breaking Dawn, as guests to Utagawa, leader of the Legion of Two Thousand. After the Phoenix victory in the Battle of Treacherous Pass the terms for peace were set by the Master of Fire Isawa Koiso: no Moto might marry out of their Clan without approval from the Phoenix, so only the Phoenix might officiate Unicorn marriages henceforth, and they accepted a massive scroll with a way to defeat the Moto Curse, a way of living that might free the Moto of their karma. Naleesh, who had seen the battle from the Palace, appeared on the battlefield to accept. Shinjo Min-Hee considered completely unacceptable these terms, so she decided the Shinjo would contest the Moto's leadership and begin a Unicorn Civil War. [35]

Shikei joins the Unicorn Edit

The Dragon Clan foresaw the rise of Jigoku and that the Empire would be ruled by the Spider Clan. This year all Dragon were moved north of Last Step Castle and the Dragon Wall was magically built with no gate, no door, to avoid anyone to cross it. Any Dragon who remained in the Empire became an outcast. Shikei was one of those who did not join his clan, because he rode alone to the Unicorn lands, to meet his beloved Naleesh. [36]

External Links Edit

Moto Naleesh 3

Moto Naleesh, the Living Goddess

Preceded by:
Moto Chen
Unicorn Clan Champion
(c. 1184) - Present
Succeeded by:


  1. Souls of Steel, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  2. 2.0 2.1 Emperor Edition Starter Fiction: Unicorn Clan
  3. Moto Naleesh, the Living Goddess (Ivory Title)
  4. The Ruins of Otosan Uchi, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  5. The Ruins of Otosan Uchi, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Scenes from the Empire 19, by Robert Denton, Yoon Ha Lee, with Special Guest Author Robert Hobart
  7. Small Gains, by Nancy Sauer
  8. Letters, Volume 4
  9. The Burden of Becoming, by Nancy Sauer
  10. Rulebok story (Second City)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Rulebook story (Forgotten Legacy), by Shawn Carman and Rusty Priske
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Consequences, by Robert Denton
  13. The Balance of Power (Imperial Herald v3 #9), by Shawn Carman
  14. 14.0 14.1 State of the Clans, Part 4, by Robert Denton
  15. Moto Naleesh Character Bios
  16. GenCon Special Scrolls Unicorn, by the L5R Story Team
  17. Among Sparrows, by Seth Mason
  18. To the Second City (Imperial Herald V3 #8), by Shawn Carman
  19. Roaming Caravan (Ivory Flavor)
  20. Second City - The People, p. 76
  21. Scenes from the Empire, Part 24, by Yoon Ha Lee, Robert Denton, and Shawn Carman
  22. War of Hearts, by Nancy Sauer
  23. Face the Madness, Part 3, by Shawn Carman & Seth Mason
  24. GenCon 2013: Face the Madness, by Shawn Carman & Seth Mason
  25. Gates of Chaos, Part 1, by Seth Mason
  26. Aftermath, Part 3, by Robert Denton and Seth Mason
  27. Blood of Heaven, Blood of Earth, by Robert Denton
  28. Letters to the Clans – November 2014
  29. Scenes From the Empire 41, by Shawn Carman
  30. Spring 2015 Kotei Fiction – Act 2: Troubled Waters (Part 1), by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton
  31. Thunderous Acclaim, Part 1, by Shawn Carman & Christopher Hand
  32. Act 3: Complications – Part 1, by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton
  33. Act 3: Complications – Part 2, by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton
  34. Spring 2015 Kotei Fiction – Act 2: Troubled Waters (Part 1), by Chris Hand, Maxime Lemaire, Mari Murdock, Fred Wan, and Robert Denton
  35. Odd Fortunes: The Battle of Treacherous Pass, by Robert Denton III
  36. Dragon Returns to the Sky, by Robert Denton III

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