The Throne Stands Empty

The Throne Stands Empty

The Race for the Throne was the period in Rokugani history when the Imperial Throne was vacant after the fall of the Toturi Dynasty and several candidates appeared ready to assume the throne. It ended after the Celestial Tournament, when Iweko I was proclaimed the new Empress of Rokugan.

The Vacant Throne Edit

Toturi III's death Edit

In 1168 the Emperor Toturi III died in the Shadowlands in the Battle of the Tomb, while he was seeking enlightenment. [1]

Kurako's regency Edit

His wife Toturi Kurako ruled the Empire as regent, but she did not gather enough support between the Great Clans, which eventaully led in the Khan's Defiance, the ride of the Khan Moto Chagatai against the Imperial City Toshi Ranbo. During the Battle of Toshi Ranbo in 1169 the Empress and the two brothers of Naseru, the Shogun Kaneka and the Ishiken Isawa Sezaru, were killed. Chagatai was defeated by the arrival of the Phoenix, who had the support of the Celestial Heavens through the presence of the Dragon of Fire. With no natural candidates for the Throne, the Clans began to seek the best option for their interests. [2]

Candidates Edit

Claiming the Throne

Claiming the Throne

The clans put forth candidates, but without Heaven's approval, a lingering doubt over the legitimacy of any reigns crept in. [3]

Toturi Shigekawa Edit

Toturi Shigekawa, cousin of the late Empress and general of the Imperial Legions, was nominated for Emperor by the Lion Clan, which had been his clan of birth. [4] [5] Others saw Ikoma Otemi as another possible option. [6] The Lion would gain the support of the ronin Legion of Two Thousand. [7]

Otomo Hoketuhime Edit

The Otomo Daimyo Otomo Hoketuhime was the candidate of the Imperials and the Crane Clan. [8] She had the bloodlines of three Emperors if her ancestry was traced back far enough. [9] There were who believed she was too old to take the throne. [10]

The Dragon Edit

The Dragon Clan Champion Togashi Satsu did not seek the Throne, but many supporters inside his own Clan saw his celestial blood as enough argument to claim the Throne due to being the grandson of Togashi-Kami. Some among the Dragon believed that Kitsuki Iweko was a strong candidate for the Empty Throne, without denying the claim Togashi Satsu had to the position. Better arguments to maintain Iweko's claim were not heard. [11] Mirumoto Masae, the Keeper of Air, publicly announced that she believed Togashi Satsu was the most suitable candidate to take the throne. [12]

Yoritomo Naizen Edit

Tne Mantis Clan supported their Champion Yoritomo Naizen, suggesting that the Dragon of Thunder's favor on Naizen might be a strong boon for his nomination. [13]

Hida Sozen Edit

Many Crab believed Kisada as a Fortune would be the best option as new Emperor, and Hida Sozen was the champion of this cause. Since the Great Bear seemed uninterested in the notion of the Race for the Throne there were those who were beginning to believe Sozen might be a suitable man to take it. [6] Hida Kuon during winter court at Kyuden Hida appointed Sozen as the Crab candidate for Emperor. His connections with the Dragon could bring support from other quarters and there were many that claimed he had gained enlightenment. Kuon also maintained support for Kisada's option to the Throne. [14]

Doji Yasuyo Edit

The Crane officially supported Hoketuhime, but there was a contingent among them who believed the Shogun's widow Doji Yasuyo should take the throne. Yasuyo was hidden since her husband's death and any attempt to locate her failed. [6] She appealed to those who wanted the Toturi dynasty to continue. The Crane had two strong candidates for the Throne, and no in-fighting between them. Domotai could order Yasuyo as her Lady to declare support for the Otomo, or if Yasuyo's options increased, she would try Hoketuhime made the same for Yasuyo, reaping the benefits. [15]

Elemental Council Edit

The Phoenix were in position to take the throne easily if they wished, as guardians of the Imperial City. Some in the city began to say that the Elemental Council was indeed the most suited group to oversee the Empire. [6]

Scorpion Clan Edit

The Scorpion Clan disliked all of the previous candidates, but did not appoint any of their own. They even told the Phoenix their support would be for the Crane's candidate, Otomo Hoketuhime, which was unlikely to be true. [8] Some saw the new Emerald Champion Shosuro Jimen a man who could easily see attempting to make the transition from one position to the next. [6] Eventually Bayushi Norachai was selected by Bayushi Paneki as the Scorpion candidate. The Scorpion would begin to miscredit the current most supported candidates, Hoketuhime and Satsu. [16]

Spider Clan Edit

The Spider Clan had been taking a heavy toll on bandits, ronin, pirates, and all other manner of criminals for nearly six months. They had gained considerable momentum among the lower classes, and it was rumored that there were those among the Great Clans who had made pacts with them, but no candidate from this unoficial Clan appeared. [6]

Tsuruchi Etsui Edit

Surprissingly Naizen endorsed Tsuruchi Etsui as another Mantis candidate for Emperor. He had discarded Tanari, formerly known as Tsuruchi, for the young hero who stood at the side of Toturi III as his final defender before he breathed his last. He bore his final words back to the empire, so that we would know that he fell a hero. He also could have used those words to aggrandize himself, but he did not, thinking only of the Empire. The Mantis saw Etsui as an Emperor they could control. [17] His possibilities would be thwarted with the destruction of the kolat headquarter, the Hidden Temple, and the dead of several Kolat Masters, including Kakita Kyruko, killed by Etsui himself. [18]

Kolat Edit

The Kolat did not pass the opportunity to be closer to their main goal, the fate of the humanity to be decided by the mortals. If Etsui could take the Throne they would use his pawn as they wished. They began to convince the people of Rokugan that any daimyo would not be able to sever ties with their original clan and that the conflict of interest would be too deep. [17]

Rokugan will be punished by the Heavens Edit

Unicorn advice Edit

Horiuchi Rikako and Moto Tsusung used the Heavenly Kobune of Suitengu to seek the Heavens's aid against the Lion. In the middle of a fierce storm Suitengu appeared and ordered to return them back to Ningen-do. The Celestial Heavens were displeased with the Empire and Rokugan would be punished, [19] as spoke by the prophet Kitsune Narako during the Jade Championship. [20] It was the first direct confirmation that the Heavens would intervene in Rokugan for what they saw as the Rokugani's failure.

Lion advice Edit

The spirit of Matsu, the Lion Thunder, appeared at the Hall of Ancestors. She warned of the coming upheaval in the heavens and the soon to be dooms of Lord Sun, Yakamo, and Lady Moon, Hitomi. The Heavens were planning to cast out the influence of mortals and would render their judgment upon those who had violated the Celestial Order. [21]

Phoenix Knowledge Edit

The Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Tsukimi through the Soul of Shiba knew of the Celestial unrest, and what would come. [22] They also knew the Dark Oracles were aware of the incoming judgement. [23]

Phoenix release Toshi Ranbo Edit

The Elemental Council did not see their presence necessary anymore in Toshi Ranbo and Isawa Mizuhiko ceded the control of the Imperial City to Otomo Hoketuhime, representative of the Imperials. The Imperial Court would reopen their business next day under Otomo stewardship. [24]

Hoketuhime's Death Edit

Otomo Hoketuhime was assassinated [10] in 1170. A spoon stood alongside her, [25] the one last seen in the hands of Togashi Kanaye last winter court, which he claimed had been stolen. [26] Some said that the new Emerald Champion Shosuro Jimen had been involved in the murder, their suspicions based on another of Narako's prophecies which claimed the Emerald Champion would put the Scorpion interests over the long lasting Dragon-Scorpion Alliance. [20]

Upheaval of the Heavens Edit

Yakamo falls Edit

Yakamo was defeated by the Dragon of Jade and cast down. His dying words were heard by Moshi Amika. [27]

"A third will fall, and in its place a darkness will grow. The fire is a lie."
-Yakamo's last words [27]

Omen, the Oracle of Jade, took a new identity, [28] the Voice of the Jade Dragon. [29]

Togashi ascends Edit

The Kami Togashi was a lawbreaker of the Celestial Order, a mortal whose soul remained in Ningen-do avoiding death. It drew the attention of the Seven Fortunes who judged his interaction illegal. Togashi accepted their judgment and ascended to Tengoku, leaving Satsu without his foresight, and the dragon-form abilities. [22]

Hitomi falls Edit

Hitomi, Lady Moon, was defeated by the Dragon of Obsidian and cast down. His dying words were heard by Tsuruchi Etsui. Partly were and advice that the Dragon Clan were no-longer beholden to anyone and must stop their inaction. She also said that the Dragon must build a wall to the north. [18]

Celestial Tournament Edit

The Heavens' Command Edit

Shortly after the ascension of the Jade Dragon as the new Jade Sun and the Obsidian Dragon as the new Obsidian Moon, the Voice of the Jade Sun and the Voice of the Obsidian Moon appeared at the Imperial Court to announce a tournament to be held at Seppun Hill, to decide the who would become the new Emperor of Rokugan. The individual who best exemplified the essential elements of the samurai, as embodied in the code of Bushido, would prevail in the sight of Heaven. [30]

The Divine Empress Edit

Agreeing with the Champion, the Voices called forth Kitsuki Iweko, daimyo of the Kitsuki family, who was found the most worthy. Accepting the blessings of the Sun and Moon, the former daimyo was filled with a divine light, marking the beginning of her dynasty, and became Empress Iweko I. [31]

External Links Edit


  1. The Battle at the Tomb, Part 4, by Shawn Carman and Nancy Sauer
  2. The Truest Test, Part 3, by the Legend of the Five Rings Story Team
  3. Claimants to the Throne (Promotional flavor)
  4. Rulebook Story (Stronger than Steel), by Shawn Carman
  5. Growth (The Race for the Throne Book), by Brian Yoon
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Harbinger, by Shawn Carman
  7. Visitors, by Shawn Carman
  8. 8.0 8.1 Honor’s Veil, Part I, by Nancy Sauer
  9. Rulebook Story (Honor’s Veil), by Shawn Carman
  10. 10.0 10.1 Story Rulebook (Words And Deeds), by Shawn Carman
  11. Scenes From the Empire II, by Nancy Sauer
  12. Light of the Mountain (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  13. Stronger Than Steel, by Nancy Sauer
  14. To Defend the Empire (The Race for the Throne Book), by Rusty Priske
  15. Plans Within Plans (The Race for the Throne Book), by Nancy Sauer
  16. Keeping Secrets (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  17. 17.0 17.1 On Land and On Sea (The Race for the Throne Book), by Rusty Priske
  18. 18.0 18.1 Sun and Moon, Part III, by Nancy Sauer
  19. In the Khan’s Name (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  20. 20.0 20.1 The First Prophecy, by Shawn Carman
  21. Worthy Souls, by Brian Yoon
  22. 22.0 22.1 Heaven’s Net, by Nancy Sauer
  23. All Things Have a Price, by Lucas Twyman
  24. Words & Deeds, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  25. Vacant Throne, p. 108
  26. Winter Court: The Month of the Boar, by Nancy Sauer and Fred Wan
  27. 27.0 27.1 The Sun & Moon, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  28. Vacant Throne, p. 110
  29. The Sun & Moon, Part II, by Shawn Carman
  30. The Heavens' Command, by Brian Yoon
  31. The Conclusion, Part 6, by Shawn Carman

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