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Scorpion Coup 
Scorpion Coup.jpg
Location: Otosan Uchi
Date: 13th to 19th day of the Rooster of 1123
Major Forces: Scorpion Clan,
The Remaining Great Clans
Generals: Bayushi Shoju,
Akodo Toturi,
Doji Satsume,
Hida Kisada
Battles of Rokugan

The Scorpion Coup of 1123, was quite possibly the most important turning point in the history of Rokugan. During this utterly chaotic time an Emperor was assassinated by his own spymaster, a Great Clan and the family of a Kami were cast out of Rokugan, and not one, but two men not born to the Hantei family laid claim to the Imperial Throne. The reverberations of this event echoed across the Empire for generations.[citation needed]

The Ancient Prophecy[]

The Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Shoju discovered an ancient prophecy indicating that the last Hantei would bring about the return of Fu Leng. Eager to save the Empire and under the thrall of the Bloodsword Ambition, he plotted to kill the Emperor to prevent the fruition of the prophecy. [1]

Meeting with Togashi[]

As all the other Scorpion Clan Champions Shoju knew the true nature of the Dragon Clan Champion, Tamashii of the Kami Togashi. [2] Shoju requested the current vessel of Togashi, Togashi Yokuni, to visit him in an attempt to gain insight in the path he must take. After Togashi left, Shoju immediately retired to his chambers. [3]

“If you do this, a bloodline will end. If you succeed, the Empire will be saved.”
-Togashi Yokuni [1]


As Bayushi Shoju knew that his actions would find opposition from the other clans he carefully planned his coup. First, he asked Bayushi Sozui to instigate the Lion-Crane War and secondly he asked his wife Bayushi Kachiko to remove the great Lion general Akodo Toturi from his path (see below).


The 38th Hantei Falls[]

The Scorpion take the Districts

The most legendary acting troup, the Jade Tear, played music and performed a tale of honor and duty. Hantei Sotorii retired to his chambers and his retainer Isawa Kaede walked with him. Shoju spoke briefly with the Emperor, about a tale of prophecy and dark futures, and Hantei XXXVIII gave Shoju permission to do anything to stop it, so Shoju removed the Emperor's Head. The Scorpion attack began, with the Soshi Shugenja sealing the city gates, the Bayushi and Yogo took control of Otosan Uchi Districts, while Shoju's bushi drew hidden weapons from beneath their hakama pants. Those who resisted were killed. [4]

First Day[]

On the evening of the 14th day of Month of the Rooster in the year 1123, Otosan Uchi was seized by the Scorpion Clan following Bayushi Shoju's assassination of Emperor Hantei XXXVIII. This unprecedented act was the first major battle to take place in or near the city since the Battle of White Stag over seven hundred years earlier. [5]

The Imperial heir had been spirited away by Kaede. The magic of the Phoenix changed Sotorii's childhood playmate to resemble him, and he sacrificed himself to draw attention away from the escaping heir. [6] A dead body supposedly of the Imperial Heir was shown to Shoju, who declared himself the new Emperor, [7] Shoju the First, but he was not recognized by any of the other Great Clans. [8]

The armies of the Phoenix under Shiba Tsukune arrived that night, few units of the famed Tsunami Legion, with the Unicorn Clan forces led by Shinjo Yokatsu arriving the following morning. [9] During this time, open fighting between the Scorpion and the Imperial garrison was raging in many of the city districts, with the Seppun Miharu conducting guerrilla warfare raids against the much larger Scorpion units. [10]

Second day[]

Despite the arrival of the enemy forces, most notably the Unicorn Clan, which had arrived faster than Shoju had anticipated, the Scorpion Clan maintained a strong hold on the capital. The first Unicorn attack of the Otaku Battle Maidens was turned aside by Soshi Bantaro, who used the magic inherent the wall of Otosan Uchi itself. [11]

The second night of the 15th, the forces of the Lion and Crane, led by Matsu Tsuko and Doji Satsume respectively, arrived at the capital. After joining with the Unicorn and Phoenix, the Clans began the assault in earnest. [12]

Third day[]

The Lion Clan Champion Akodo Toturi had vanished in the Outer City, and he had been plaguing the Scorpion defenders with a small band of skilled bushi ever since. [13] On the 16th, two days after the coup, the Scorpion attempted to flush him out of hiding burning large sections of the Toyotomi district. Toturi, who had been in the Kosuga district, escaped and moved through the besieged city. [14]

The Lion army assaulted the Outer Southern Wall, at the Emperor's Gate, away from the combined Phoenix-Unicorn forces. Another Crane army assaulted the city from the west. Soshi Shugenja twisted their magic to defend the city, forcing Lion and Crane to retreat. Doji Satsume, the Crane Clan Champion and Emerald Champion was severely wounded, being ferried out of the city by his son Doji Hoturi. [14] The defeat of the Emerald Champion dealt a serious blow to the morale of the coalition armies. [13]

Fourth day[]

The Crab Arrive

On the day of the 17th, the first unrelated event occured that doomed the Scorpion armies and the new Emperor, Shoju I. Hida Kisada and the Crab army arrived and joined the coalition. With the might of the Crab and the skill of Toturi, the clans seized and held the outer city by nightfall. [15] A single elite force bearing the Mirumoto mon was part of the combined forces, [16] led by Mirumoto Sukune. These Dragons were specifically trained in city siege tactics, and they would become one of the great assets of the besiegers. [17]

Fifth day[]

The second unrelated event was that Toturi, who had been trapped in the outer city after being poisoned by the geisha Hatsuko, managed to escape and join the united Clan armies. [18] Disguised as a bushi Scorpion, Toturi appeared in the encampments of the six Clans. The Dragon were prepared for Toturi's return, and gifted him an armor crafted by Togashi Yokuni himself. [19] With Kisada's help the combined forces of the clans took the rest of the Outer City. Shoju sent negotiators to the clans, to cease the attacks and negotitate in good faith of the Emerald Throne. He also instructed to incite tensions between the clans. Yoritomo meanwhile gave safe passage out of the Imperial City to several Scorpion courtiers, guided by a pearl diver through the subterranean river system, swimming to safety. [20] Several junks were stationed beyond the breakers of the Golden Sun Bay, where the Scorpion escapees could sail to the Mantis Isles. Bayushi Dairu, the Scorpion heir, was killed by the new Crane Clan Champion Doji Hoturi. His body was returned to the Imperial Palace, to deliver it to Bayushi Shoju with honor. [21] As a side-event, Mirumoto Hitomi cut off the hand of Kisada's son, Hida Yakamo. [22]

Sixth day[]

On day six of the coup the clans gathered to attack Miwaku Kabe and capture the Forbidden City. Crane and Dragon from the south, Crab and Lion from the North, Unicorn charged against the oni-infested wall from the west, all under the command of Toturi. [23]

The Elemental Masters of the Phoenix managed to temporarily suppress the Enchanted Wall, allowing the Great Clans to fight their way into the inner city, where the southern gate of the Forbidden Palace was then breached by the Masters. [6]

Using the Crab to create a diversion by storming the front gates, Toturi, Doji Hoturi (the son of Satsume), and a small force entered the Imperial City by stealth, taking it's Scorpion defenders by surprise. Toturi and Shoju then faced each one another in a duel, with Shoju showing himself to be the superior swordsman. Instead of killing Toturi though, Shoju, finally realizing that his actions had been in error, cleft the Emerald Throne in two with Ambition, breaking that bloodsword. Toturi took this opportunity to kill Shoju, effectively ending the Coup. [24]

While dying on the blade of Toturi's sword Shoju whispered a forewarning: [25]

The Empire will fall by the hand of the Last Hantei, and one day soon you will see what I have seen - a future where the Empire is ruled by blood and the Taint of the Shadowlands.
-Shoju's Last Words [25]

The Return of the Heir[]

With the Heir to the Hantei Dynasty believed dead, Toturi quickly decided to declare himself Emperor [6] as murderer of the usurper, so he removed the Bloodsword from the Emerald Throne and sat on it without opposition to prevent the petty squabbles of the other clans from escalating into outright civil war. Unknown to him, the son of the Emperor had not been killed, but instead had been spirited away by his fiancee Kaede [26] and the Captain of the Imperial Guard, Seppun Ishikawa [27] to the Phoenix holdings. Sotorii had been given there his gempukku and crowned as Hantei XXXIX. [26] Upon the heir's return Toturi immediately voided his claim to the throne, but this action did not appease the new Emperor. [28] He ordered Toturi stripped of his name and denied seppuku, and forced to wander Rokugan as a ronin. [6]

The new Emperor took Kachiko, the late Shoju's wife as his new Empress while the rest of her family fled, hid, or were put to the sword. She remained with her family name, Bayushi, as a concubine was not deemed worthy of the Hantei name. [29] The Akodo family was also disbanded as was the entirety of the Scorpion Clan. [6] The only person to escape this fate was the revered sensei, Akodo Kage. [30] [31]

All who bear the mon of the Scorpion or the names of those who serve the Bayushi line have two choices:
Live as ronin or die as traitors.
The Bayushi line ends here.
-Hantei XXXIX's Imperial Edict [32]

External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Imperial Histories, p. 131
  2. Way of the Scorpion, pp. 26-27
  3. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 84
  4. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 15
  5. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 18
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 29
  7. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, pp. 18-19
  8. Siege: Clan War (Rulebook story)
  9. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, pp. 21-22
  10. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 20
  11. The Unicorn's Charge
  12. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 23
  13. 13.0 13.1 Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 24
  14. 14.0 14.1 Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 44
  15. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 26
  16. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 46
  17. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 55
  18. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 47
  19. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 64
  20. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 28
  21. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 48
  22. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 65
  23. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 49
  24. The Scorpion (Legend of the Five Rings: Clan War, First Scroll), by Stephen D. Sullivan
  25. 25.0 25.1 Player's Guide; 2nd Ed, p. 68
  26. 26.0 26.1 Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 67
  27. In the Emperor's Name
  28. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 69
  29. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 68
  30. Scorpion Clan Coup, Scrolls 1-3
  31. Way of the Wolf, p. 111
  32. Way of the Wolf, p. 108

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