War of Silk and Steel 
War of Silk and Steel
Location: Northern Crane lands, Kitsuki Provinces
Date: 1167 - 1169
Major Forces:
Lion Clan,
Crane Clan,
Dragon Clan
Akodo Shigetoshi,
Doji Domotai,
Togashi Satsu
Battles of Rokugan

The War of Silk and Steel was a conflict between the Lion, Crane and the Dragon Clan.

The Lion vs. the Dragon Edit

On the Month of the Rooster of 1167, the Lion marched against the Dragon in retribution for a slight to their honor incurred during the War of the Rich Frog. The conflict did not have major engagements and was little more than a series of skirmishes. Attacking the mountains with a large force proved difficult, because the location of the Dragonfly, the lands of which could not be attacked without without incurring the wrath of Isawa Sezaru. [1] [2] The conflict was engineered by the Lion Clan Champion, Ikoma Otemi, who would prove the Empire to respect the Lion once more, after the Lion defeat in the War of the Rich Frog. [3] The Kitsu Daimyo Kitsu Katsuko made a ritual to commune with the Lion ancestors, who endorsed the war, their honor demanded vengeance. [4]

The Crane are Involved Edit

A group of Dragon Nemuranai Hunters, operating in Crane provinces without authorization while seeking a sinister artifact, inadvertently discovered a secret cache of weapons and gaijin pepper hidden by Daidoji Harriers in case of conflict with the Lion. A group of harriers who were in the area attacked the Dragon to conceal their secret. During the fighting, the gaijin pepper detonated, leaving only a single combatant on each side alive but seriously wounded. [1] [5] The Dragon sent Mirumoto Mareshi and the Emerald Magistrate Mirumoto Narumi with a party of magistrates to investigate the posesion of this ilegal substance at Kosaten Shiro. The bold Dragon movement was an attempt to threaten to expose the Crane in order to force them to withdraw their support of the Lion attack, but it eventually would lead in the total involvement of the Crane in the war. They were detained by the acting lord of the castle, Asahina Keitaro. He did it to keep the secrecy that the Crane had captive the former Daidoji Daimyo and currently Lost, Daigotsu Rekai, who had been held captive in the dungeons [6] following her capture by Asahina Sekawa. [7]

Kosaten Shiro is destroyed Edit

The castle was sacked by a small force of Dragon samurai who released the Dragon captives. The small group, combined with the Dragon not being at war with the Crane, took the defenses by surprise. The Dragon struck and fled, and the ensuing fire caused smoke that could be seen from miles away. Rekai exploited the Dragon attack to escape and set fire to a significant quantity of gaijin pepper that the Daidoji Harriers had concealed within the castle for storage. The resulting explosions inflicted a severe damage in the castle structure. [8] Mirumoto Mareshi sent Mirumoto Kei back to report that Kosaten Shiro had fallen, [9] then pulled his forces back to the southern Dragon Heart Plain to await further orders. [1]

Imperial Edict broken Edit

The Dragon Clan Champion Togashi Satsu decided to make war to the Crane until they fulfilled the Imperial Law that forbidden the use of gaijin pepper. He did not expose the Crane in the court, but unleashed his forces. The Empire did not understand exactly why the Dragon began the attacks on the Crane. [10] The Dragon refused to speak on their war with the Crane and did offer no reasoning or remorse of any kind. [11]

Lion and Crane against the Dragon Edit

The Lion forces faced continual boarder skirmishes with the Unicorn but he bulk of the Lion marched north, with their Crane allies, to make war with the Dragon. [12] Kakita Nakazo was appointed as taisa of the Crane army, and the southern Dragon lands saw heavy fighting as the Crane and Dragon had begun fighting in earnest, with the Lion participating intermittently. [13]

Trade Agreements Edit

The Dragon Clan sought to sponsorship Minor Clans in the Imperial Court in exchange of rice trade agreements. The war was taxing their resources to their very limit. The Ox Clan accepted the offer, but the Monkey Clan had reached an agreement with the Scorpion Clan, who were facing a starvation after the Fortune Bishamon removed his blessings on their crops. [14]

Unicorn distracts the Lion Edit

Dragonfly River

Dragon army crossing the Dragonfly River

Another Unicorn incursion into the Northern Lion lands, prompting the Akodo forces to be relocated. It eliminated a blockade that separated Nanashi Mura from the Dragon homeland. The Dragon forces there moved to Kitsuki provinces. [15] The Dragon armies pushed the Crane back across Dragonfly River, but could not maintain the lands south of Shiro Kitsuki [16] when Akodo Shigetoshi arrived to reinforce the Crane. [17] Tamori Wotan held alone the Daidoji troops from the western pass to Shiro Kitsuki, during the Battle at Kitsuki Pass. [18] [19] The Dragon were unable to withstand the two-pronged attack and fell back to Shiro Kitsuki. [20] [21]

Shiro Kitsuki Besieged Edit

Shiro Kitsuki was besieged by crane and lion armies led by Doji Masaru. The unicorn had supplied the Dragon with the rice they need to survive the winter, allowing the clan to continue its war. [22] The winter obliged all parties to halt their operations. [23]

Lion withdrawal Edit

Masaru and Shigetoshi argue tactics

Masaru and Shigetoshi argue tactics

In 1169, following the march by the Unicorn upon the capital, Shigetoshi withdrew the Akodo army from the Dragon conflict and brought it to Toshi Ranbo. [24] Their Crane allies understood his new reassignment. [25]

Conclusion Edit

The conflict ended quite quickly when the Khan Moto Chagatai invaded Toshi Ranbo. During the assault on the city, the Dragon Clan Champion, Togashi Satsu met with Crane Clan Champion Doji Domotai and the two settled their differences quickly and quietly over a cup of tea. Doji Domotai apologized for her clan's use of gaijin pepper and Togashi Satsu warned Domotai that a more insidious threat than the Daidoji Harriers existed in her clan. [26]

Gift Edit

The Crane ceded Taikitsu Mura to the Dragon, a small but highly productive agricultural holding, near Toshi Ranbo. [27]

Known Casualties Edit

External Links Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Timeline (Lotus)
  2. Path of Hope, page [citation needed]
  3. Dawn of Lotus, The Lion Clan, by Shawn Carman
  4. Call Upon the Dead (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  5. Training Grounds 2, p. [citation needed]
  6. Rulebook Story (Training Grounds II)
  7. Vacant Throne, p. 17
  8. Masters of War Web Supplement, p. 3
  9. Tourney fiction (European Championships)
  10. Vacant Throne, p. 27
  11. Imminent Threat (The True Test Rulebook story), by Rusty Priske
  12. Box texts (Drums of War)
  13. To Defend the Emperor, Part 2, by Shawn Carman
  14. Worldly Matters, by Shawn Carman
  15. Vacant Throne, p. 42
  16. River Crossing (Rise of the Shogun flavor)
  17. The Father's Legacy, by Brian Yoon
  18. Tamori Wotan (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  19. The Tournament Matches, by the L5R Story Team
  20. Vacant Throne, p. 44
  21. Landscapes, by Nancy Sauer
  22. Khan's Defiance Storyline Preview (Imperial Herald v2#20), by Shawn Carman and Rusty Priske
  23. Will of Iron (Imperial Herald v2#21), by Shawn Carman and Fred Wan
  24. The Truest Test, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  25. Two-Front War (Khan's Defiance flavor)
  26. The True Test, Part III, by the Legend of the Five Rings Story Team
  27. Tales of the Emerald Championship (Imperial Herald v2#23), by Shawn Carman

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