War of Fire and Thunder 
War of Fire and Thunder
Location: North-East Rokugan, Phoenix Lands
Date: 1167 - 1167
Major Forces: Phoenix Clan, Mantis Clan, Dark Wave Fleet
Generals: Shiba Mirabu, Isawa Nakamuro, Isawa Sachi, Yoritomo Kumiko, Yoritomo Naizen, Yoritomo Kaigen, Yoritomo Kitao
Battles of Rokugan

The War of Fire and Thunder erupted between the Phoenix and Mantis Clans after the Phoenix accused the Mantis of using a Black Scroll on a Phoenix village, being the scroll itself found in the cargo of a captured Mantis kobune. Although the heinous act had, in fact, been perpetrated by the bloodspeaker Asako Kinuye, this was unknown to everyone.

Engineering the War Edit

Asako Kinuye, a bloodspeaker who considered himself a Phoenix loyalist, was aware of the increased influence the Gozoku had within her Clan and the Mantis as well. As a loyal Phoenix she had to drive a wedge between both clans. [1] She used a Black Scroll, the Wasting Disease on a Phoenix village, and gave the scroll to his servant Asako Hirotsugu to be planted in a Mantis vessel. [2]

Declaration of War Edit

The scroll was found in the hull of a captured Mantis vessel which had been commanded by Yoritomo Sen. Only days ago a Phoenix village had been touched by its power. The Elemental Council delivered the Black Scroll to the Emperor Toturi III, so that he might choose an appropriate guardian, [2] and the Phoenix clan declared war upon the Mantis for their actions in the Month of the Monkey of 1167. [3] Kaneka offered his aid, but the council refused, and Isawa Sezaru vowed he would only join the war if the Mantis armies were within reach of Kyuden Isawa. [4] The Phoenix petitioned the Imperial Courts for the Mantis Great Clan status to be revoked. [5]

Doji Akiko as a Crane Edit

Doji Akiko as Master of Water had lobbied for and approved the declaration of war, but as a Crane she ordered the Crane forces to not to interfere in the war despite the Crane-Phoenix Treaty in order to maintain the Crane's peace with both the Phoenix and Mantis. [6]

Bold Mantis Movement Edit

Mantis landing in Phoenix lands

Mantis landing in Phoenix lands

The Mantis decided to quickly end the war with a bold movement. Two big armies landed north of Rokugan, crossed the Yobanjin area, and would strike the heart of the Phoenix, Kyuden Isawa. The first army was led by Yoritomo Yorikane, a veteran Imperial Legionnaire. The armies in their way had to cross Fujita Mura, a slightly defended village. The army had initally ambushed and killed the lord of the village, Agasha Oshu, but were halted by a single Crane warrior, Kakita Tsuken. Tsuken had been protecting Doji Jurian, also killed by the ambush, and had vowed to save the village. Tsuken provoked Yorikane into a duel, calling upon his honor to leave the village be if Tsuken won. Yorikane was killed, and Tsuken made his men hold to the bargain. The second army led by the Rikugunshokan Yoritomo Naizen marched only two days behind the first, and no vows had been made to spare the city. Kaiten's commander, Doji Jun'ai, had gathered forces from several clans and fortified the city. Naizen's army, while bigger, was discouraged by the opposition guarding what had been an easy target, and retreated. [6]

Mantis suspicions on Bloodspeaker plot Edit

The Mantis found a maho scroll among a killed bloodspeaker within Phoenix coast. They guessed the low activity of the bloodspeaker in Phoenix lands after Iuchiban's dead was only proving a cultist cell was hidden there. They suspected this cell to be involved with the happening that began the War. Yoritomo Yoyonagi gave the scroll to a neutral party to investigate its origins. [7]

Stalemate Edit

In 1167 neither side made decisive advances in the war. The Mantis had taken a number of small islands, but did not get a foothold in the Phoenix coast to be exploited as a logistic center for further attacks. Isawa lands were thoroughly defended, Shiro Shiba and Kyuden Agasha had to be taken only after a lengthiest siege, and Morikage Toshi was a cursed wasteland. Yoritomo Kumiko forbid to attack the ideal target, the City of Remembrance because the city was well known for its connection with the Celestial Dragons and the Mantis did not want to summon their wrath. She ordered Naizen to take Nikesake, the center of the Crane-Phoenix Treaty, with the risk of Crane retaliation, which Kumiko did not expect. [8] Despite the maintenance of the wards protecting Isawa lands was a terrible one, and the Phoenix shugenja weaken by the day, the Council decided to keep the defensive war and not to seek an end of the conflict. [9] The Mantis use of the Orochi gave them decissive advantage at the seas. [10]

Osaku Route Edit

Several vessels were lost in the Osaku Route in the Sea of Shadows. Mantis and Crab blamed each other and sent fleets to hunt the other. It led to the destruction of more vessels and lifes. The Dark Wave Fleet had been which had sunk the vessels of both Clans, but the Mantis and Crab were not aware of it. [11]

Situation after Akiko's Death Edit

The war was going badly for the Phoenix. There were many between the Phoenix, even the Master of Fire Isawa Ochiai, who would not kill their enemies. The Isawa family was small in number when compared to the vicious armies of the Mantis. The Isawa's insistence on securing their coastline had created tremendous resentment among the other families. The death of Doji Akiko had crippled the Isawa who served as the Acolytes and Initiates of Water. Several had taken their lives in disgrace over Akiko's actions, and in doing so had significantly reduced the offensive capabilities of the Phoenix stationed at the coast. [4]

Climax Edit

The War climaxed in a clash along the Isawa coast, in the Battle of Broken Waves. [12] While the two sides were battling each other, the Mantis Clan fleet against the Shiba Army, the Dark Wave Fleet entered the fray by attacking both sides. Finding a common enemy, the Phoenix and Mantis turned on the corrupted Mantis as one. Yoritomo Kumiko boarded the evil fleet's flagship and engaged Yoritomo Kitao, ending in both being slain in the destruction of that ship. Master of Earth Isawa Sachi and Orochi sensei Yoritomo Kaigen combined their magics to destroy the vast majority of the Dark Wave's vessels, but they were both killed in the process. [13]

Aftermath Edit

Although the threat of the Dark Wave had been dealt with, there was still tension between the two clans. Yoritomo Naizen, who had taken command after the death of Kumiko, wished to continue the fight. So did Shiba Mirabu, but the intervention of Isawa Nakamuro caused an end to the conflict. Yoritomo Naizen assumed the position of Mantis Clan Champion. The Phoenix surrendered ending the Battle of Broken Waves and the War, and offered to withdraw the accusations regarding the Black Scroll and the appeal to revoke the Great Clan status of the Mantis. Naizen however spurned the offer, and claimed the Mantis retain the islands gained during war, the new island created by Sachi, Kaigen's Island, in the name of the Mantis Clan as well as the sea trade routes previously owned by the Phoenix. Mirabu balked at this demand, but could not disregard the wishes of the Elemental Council, so he granted the trading rights, but refused to withdraw the Phoenix claim that the Mantis were still a minor clan. The Phoenix assented, and Naizen ordered the construction of Kyuden Kumiko in the created island. [13] Further investigations on the War's origins led to the destruction of Asako Kinuye's cell. [14]

Known Deaths Edit


Sources Conflict
The sources relating to this article are in conflict with each other.
The Four Wind p.119 place the beginning of the Mantis-Phoenix War in the Month of the Rooster of the year 1166. The later, The Vacant Throne p.16, place the beginning of the War of Fire an Thunder in the Month of the Monkey of the year 1167. Beware, The Vacant Throne often contradict other books, and even itself, when it comes to dating.

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