Please note: This article is about the Oni Lord. For other uses of the term, please see The Maw (disambiguation).
The Maw 
The Maw.jpg 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 716 
Died after return: 1168

The Maw, whose true name was Nikoma no Oni, was a demonic Oni who first came into existence in the Mortal Realm during the 2nd century IC. The Maw's existence probably represented the first case of Oni summoning by a Rokugani.

Appearance and Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Maw was a massive creature, fifteen feet tall and with a muscular body and thick scaled skin. Spikes sprouted from its spine, limbs and tails. Its reptilian head had huge fanged jaws and a heavy bone ridge that protected its small eyes. The Maw was a consummate general, a tactical and strategic thinker, with the ability to rally and lead huge armies of lesser Shadowlands creatures. [1]

Summoning[edit | edit source]

In the 2nd century the oni was summmoned and given a name by the shugenja Kuni Nikoma , thus becoming Nikoma no Oni, but almost immmediately it betrayed Nikoma by slaughtering him, only to find itself imprisoned within the wards Nikoma had set up as a precautionary measure. [2] In 710, [3] Nikoma no Oni was given a soul a second time by Isawa Shokan, who freed Nikoma no Oni in exchange for becoming half demon. The oni took care to never let its name (or names) known, and would eventually be known as The Maw by the people of Rokugan. [2] The Oni Lord began to assemble a vast Shadowlands army. [3]

The Oni Lord[edit | edit source]

Dark Earth Magic[edit | edit source]

In 714 the Maw encountered a mysterious being who called himself the Dark Oracle of Earth. The Maw spent two years under his tutelage, [3] gaining the secrets of dark earth magic. The oni would use it to circumvent the walls of Hiruma Castle. [4]

Invading Rokugan[edit | edit source]

The Maw raised an army in 716 the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Fu Leng, and marched upon the Crab. [5] The oni defeated the Hiruma forces in the Last Stand Plain, [6] and later seized Kyuden Hiruma, laying waste the Kuni lands. [7] The Maw burnt the Kuni family’s primary temple to the ground. [8]

Destruction[edit | edit source]

The Maw was killed by a single unit formed by tainted Crab, known as the Damned [9] during the Battle of the Cresting Wave and its skull, purified by Kuni Shugenja, was hung above the gate of Kyuden Hida as a trophy and a warning to the Shadowlands. [7] The Kuni Lands became a blasted waste of rock and sand, everything scorched and flattened. [10]

Battle of Nanashi Mura[edit | edit source]

During the Clan War, in winter of 1128, [11] Yogo Junzo deemed the village a menace, and had dispatched The Maw with an army of oni to slaughter Nanashi's inhabitants. Morito Tokei was stationed on the village and he defeated the invading oni army with his powerful magic power. The energies Tokei released apparently consumed him and The Maw, and they disappeared without a trace. [12] [13] In truth, both The Maw and Tokei were thrown into Jigoku by the spell's energy. [12] [14]

Torturing Tokei[edit | edit source]

The Maw imprisoned Tokei in the depths of Jigoku and began to torture him, expecting to twist his soul and corrupt him. A wandering gaki appeared and rescued Tokei, who fled free. The gaki was the soul of Matsu Hiroru, the White Ninja, who in his attempt to rescue the soul of Doji Shizue entered the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Gaki-do, and died, becoming a hungry ghost. [15] [16]

Invasion of the Celestial Heavens[edit | edit source]

In 1159 Fu Leng brought the Maw with him when he waged war on Tengoku in the Invasion of the Celestial Heavens. [17] Shinjo surrenderred to him, to be allowed to argue with her brother Fu Leng, but the Dark Lord killed her after a brief dialog. [18] Later the Maw fought Hoshi in his serpentine shape. [19]

Forgotten Tomb of Fu Leng[edit | edit source]

With the Maw's skull purified and intact, it was unable to fully spawn into Rokugan and its spirit was confined to Jigoku. In 1165 the Maw's spirit sensed Isawa Shokan, now called Shokansuru, entering in the Forgotten Tomb of Fu Leng. The connection there was strong to the Realm of Evil and the summoner could hear the Maw's voice. The Oni Lord told Shokansuru by drawing upon the power of Jigoku directly, he would completely incarnate powerful oni. There, he could touch the realm of Jigoku and craft oni more powerful than any that had existed. They would exist only in the physical realm, their ties to Jigoku severed. When they were destroyed, all that they were would cease to be. Shokansuru created oni more powerful than had existed before, using his former friends' souls to bind them: Munemitsu no Oni, Yojireru no Oni, Hasaiki no Oni, and Sentei no Oni. Shokansuru dreamed with a world were the oni ruled over humans. [2]

Time of Demons[edit | edit source]

The Return[edit | edit source]

In 1167 Shokansuru traveled to the gates of Kyuden Hida, his presence masked with his powerful dark knowledge. He sacrificed his spirit to cause a small fracture in the stone where the skull of The Maw hung. It signaled dark times ahead with the imminent return of the Great Oni Lord. The Time of Demons serving mortals was at an end. With his sacrifice, the Maw would return to the Shadowlands to spearhead the growing movement of dissatisfied Oni. [20] The creature began to plan the destruction of the City of the Lost, [21] enlisting other denizens of the Shadowlands such as the Onisu. Fushin was the first known of these creatures which turned on Daigotsu and aligned with the Maw; Kanashimi, Muchitsujo, Nikushimi, Settozai, and Yokubo followed suit. [22]

Kagami no Oni[edit | edit source]

The Maw created the Kagami no Oni to bolster the numbers of the Lost during the civil war in the Shadowlands during the Twelfth century. [23]

Wall of Bones[edit | edit source]

The Maw's armies pressed deep into Daigotsu's territory, but were finally held at the Wall of Bones. [24]

Tomb of the Seven Thunders[edit | edit source]

In 1168 the Emperor Toturi III had reached alone the Tomb of the Seven Thunders. Kyoso no Oni knew of it [25] and an army of oni raced across the plain toward it. The rescue party of the Rokugani was already with the Emperor, but their numbers were too small and prepared to make their last stand. A Lost army appeared led by Daigotsu Rekai and Moto Tsume, charging the Oni. The Clans joined them, but Naseru knew they would not escape with life. [26]

Back to Jigoku[edit | edit source]

During the Battle of the Tomb the Maw entered the battlefield prepared to destroy the opposing armies, but another Oni Lord arrived from the same direction than the Lost. Akuma no Oni attacked the Maw and a legendary fight between them began. [27] The Maw was killed by Akuma no Oni. [28] The place it died was named the Maw's Grave. [29]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

  • The Maw (Thousand Years of Darkness)

Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
Secrets of the Shadowlands page 84 claims that Kuni Osuki was the shugenja who summoned the Maw. Oni no Pikachu 21:56, May 7, 2013 (UTC)
Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
The Great Clans page 12 claims Hida Banuken killed the Maw with his own hands. Oni no Pikachu (talk) 11:44, April 18, 2014 (UTC)


  1. Imperial Histories 2, p. 149
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 A Demon's Coin, by Shawn Carman
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Imperial Histories 2, p. 131
  4. Way of the Shadowlands, pp. 30-31
  5. Way of the Crab, p. 31
  6. Game Master's Guide; 2nd Ed, p. 55
  7. 7.0 7.1 Way of the Crab, pp. 31-34
  8. Imperial Histories 2, p. 132
  9. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 36
  10. The Book of the Shadowlands: The Writings of Kuni Mokuna, p. 18
  11. Time of the Void, p. 101
  12. 12.0 12.1 Return of the Grand Master - Introduction, by Rich Wulf
  13. Four Winds, p. 94
  14. Fortunes & Winds, p. 30
  15. The Legion of the Dead: The White Ninja
  16. Fortunes & Winds, pp. 30-31
  17. Prelude to Darkness, Part 6: The Dark Lord, by Rich Wulf
  18. A Fallen Kami, by Rich Wulf
  19. Fight For Tomorrow, Part I
  20. Dawn of the Lotus (The Shadowlands), by Shawn Carman
  21. The Maw (Lotus flavor)
  22. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 220, 222-225
  23. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 121
  24. Daigotsu Kaikou (Drums of War flavor)
  25. Rulebook Story, (Test of Enlightenment)
  26. The Battle at the Tomb, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  27. The Battle at the Tomb, Part 4, by Shawn Carman and Nancy Sauer
  28. A Container of Sand, by Rusty Priske
  29. The Maw's Grave (Samurai Title)

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