Story Tournaments and Vote Outcomes

One of the very best features of Legend of the Five Rings is that, sometimes, the players can influence the storyline. This page is devoted to identifying and recording times when the actions of players turned the Celestial Pattern. Please contact Kitsu Sei if you have additional information on story tournaments or Imperial Assembly votes.

Story Tournaments

Story tournaments are L5R tournaments whose outcome influences the story line. There have been many of these throughout the history of the game. Here are some of them, and their effects on the storyline. Kitsu Sei's thanks go to Mirumoto Shokan for much of the seed information for the early tournaments, and to Doji Shizue for providing me with the official word on more recent tournaments.

Outcome of Tournament
The Battle at Doji PalaceHero-Con (Charlotte, NC; circa IH #3)
Results described in the Imperial Herald as follows:
News travels as quickly as the winds of war in Rokugan, but because of the ravages of war, communication has reduced itself to rumors and accusations. To the north and east, the armies of the Lion continued their assault of Doji Castle. Standing alone against the fiercest samurai in the Empire were the tiny army of the Crane, led by Daidoji Uji, and an army of Phoenix shugenja led by the samurai-maiden Shiba Tsukune. Time after time, Matsu Tsuko found herself put to the task as the Crane samurai used the familiarity of the terrain to their advantage while the unorthodox strategies and sorceries of the Phoenix thwarted Tsuke's [sic] tactics. It seemed as if the Lion would be forced to retreat for reinforcements when another army -- a Shadowlands army -- advanced from the direction of the Emperor's Palace. Scouts report that it seemed the three armies would band together to fight the threat, but at the last moment, the Lion army retreated, leaving the Crane and Phoenix to stand alone against the threat. It was only a matter of hours before the armies of the Empire were forced to retreat, buying just enough time for the inhabitants of Doji castle to abandon the ancient stronghold of the Crane. Doji Castle is now in the hands of the Shadowlands army led by the mad mockery of the Clan's Champion. Meanwhile, Doji Hoturi has massed a large force of Cranes in the south of their lands, complemented with a small contingent of Naga led by the warlord Shadaret...

Andy Morris's Scorpion Shadowlands Army deck defeated a Crane honor deck played by Doji Shizue (yes, that Doji Shizue). Andy's deck relied upon the tricks later integrated into the Shadowlands Horde deck: free gold, big fast Shadowlands critters, and total ruthlessness.

Daidoji Uji's experienced version came out of this tournament; Shizue kept using Uji to turn back the Shadowlands legions, and John Wick and John Zinser took note of this, integrating it into his experienced version.

The Battle of Beiden Pass??? (???; IQ Games; circa IH #2)
Description forthcoming.

For its victory, the Dragon Clan was honored by being one of the decks in the "Battle of Beiden Pass" boxed L5R set, and was furthermore the "official" winner of the Battle of Beiden Pass -- although historically they immediately handed it over to the Unicorn. The second-place finisher, a Crab deck, was similarly honored, except that they (obviously) lost at Beiden Pass.

The Test of the Emerald ChampionOrCon (???; circa IH #2)
From the Imperial Herald
Meanwhile, Bayushi Kachiko recently held the Test of the Emerald Champion. A duelling contest was held to determine who would wear the armor of the Emerald Champion. Many samurai arrived for the opportunity to become the Emperor's Champion, but when kakita Toshimoko arrived, all who were in attendance said a heavy cloak of silence fell over the crowd. Even though he was recently wounded by a nearly fatal ninja attack, the Iaijutsu Master faced sixteen other samurai, and each of them fell before his blade. yes, Kakita Toshimoko is now the Emperor's Emerald Champion.

A Crane player appears to have won. The Imperial Herald reports that there were 111 players at the tournament.

Return of the Fallen LordBenCon '96 (May 23-26, 1996; Denver, CO)
This tournament decided which clan would recover the "Return of the Fallen Lord" Black Scroll. It was a Sealed Deck Tournement. The final four finishers 1st - Lion 2nd - Lion, 3rd - Crab, 4th - Phoenix.

Kitsu Sei would have only the most hostile intentions towards one using this spell on Matsu Tsuko, and would never point out this plot possibility in the upcoming storyline. Thanks to Kitsu Washi, Lion Clan Scout, for this information, and congratulations on his status as the Retriever of the Return of the Fallen Lord Black Scroll.

Dairya's Origins???
In this tournament, Dairya's clan of origin was decided. It was won by a Phoenix.
Ancestral Sword of the HanteiGenCon 1996
This tournament decided who would bear the Ancestral Sword of the Hantei. It was won by a Crab, and Hida Yakamo acquired the Ancestral Sword of the Hantei in the storyline and the ability to attach the card for no gold cost in the card game.
The Secret of the SwordDragon*Con (June 26-29, 1997)
One of the Ancestral Swords of the Clans has unknown powers. The Clan represented by the winner of this event will see their Sword enhanced in a future expansion with new and mysterious powers.

The final round of this tournament was to be a four-player match, but there was a small problem -- five players remained. In an amazing exercise of diplomacy, Andy Morris (a Scorpion player) managed to convince the other four players to cede to him the story prize in return for bowing out of the final round. The final four were two Crane (one was Doji Shizue), a Lion, and a Unicorn. The Unicorn player went on to win, but it will be the Scorpion Ancestral Sword that gains new power.

The Ancestral Sword of the Scorpion Clan that appeared in the Scorpion Clan Coup expansion was the result of this tournament. The prize was the discovery that the Scorpion Sword had not actually been broken after all.

The Dark Lord's FavorOrigins (July 17-20, 1997)
Yogo Junzo's forces rampage across Rokugan, under the banner of the last Hantei Emperor. For this unique event the Imperial Favor will be replaced by the Dark Lord's favor -- special rules will be in effect for this event only. A special prize, The Dark Lord's Favor will be bestowed upon the winner!

The Dark Lord's Favor replaced the Imperial Favor with something that functioned like the TotV card of the same name. Although previously believed to be a story tournament, this was in reality more of an alternately formatted tournament. Its winner remains unknown.

Winning Kachiko's FavorOrigins (July 17-20, 1997)
The mistress of darkness, the Scorpion Clan Seductress weaves a web of politics and intrigue across the Emerald Empire. The Clan represented by the winner of this event will gain Lady Bayushi's favor -- a dangerous but potentially rewarding situation for any samurai!

According to Nik Olah, the tournament was a 3-round round-robin format, where any clan going 3-0 got something special from Kachiko, anyone that went 0-3 got her disfavor. There was 2 or 3 different people (each w/ different clans) that went 3-0 and 2 or 3 different people that went 0-3. Scorpion was among the lot that went 0-3. Nik Olah recounts the following story:

The only other thing of note: At Kachiko's Favor I managed to bring Bayushi Shoju into play. I convinced my opponent to rehonor him in the dead pile and rise of the phoenix brought him back. Monica (my opponent) was playing Phoenix and had a heavy anti-shadowlands deck (all the experience masters, wasting disease and the black scroll to turn people shadowlands). I was playing a junzo-in-the-box to get the force necissary to survive until I could get all the shugenja in play for the ritual. Later on, I did use rise of the fallen lord to bring Exp. Junzo back :)
Doji Shizue says:
Winning Kachiko's Favor was also an unusual format tourney, and because there were *many* different favored and disfavored people (determined not by the overall winner as much as the win-loss ratio), it affected how Kachiko will/did treat the people from the various clans, and how they were/will be treated by the Scorpion in the future.
The Day of ThunderGenCon '97
The Seven Thunders, led by the decendant of Shinsei have assembled to face the Dark One, Fu Leng as their ancestors did so long ago. Between them and their destiny stand the stalwart legions of Lion who find their oath to serve the Emperor more powerful than their own sense of preservation. Also opposing them is a vast Shadowlands army led by Yogo Junzo and the oni carrying the name of Hida Yakamo. The Clan represented by the player who wins this event, the ultimate Clan War tournament, will determine which of the Seven Thunders destroys the Dark One forever. However, should the forces of the Shadowlands be triumphant, Fu Leng will cast down the Clans and the world will experience an eternity of darkness! Lion player Chris Bergstrom's final-game deal with the Crane player Rob Kramer ensured that Doji Hoturi and Toturi slew Fu Leng. When Chris won the match, Toturi became the next Emperor.

Even before the tournament began, the Scorpion Clan was up to its old tricks. According to Bayushi Murai:

nd we Scorpions there attempted to bribe them to make all the Lion players face each other in the first round, and were told that it would cost 1200 koku (or something similar). We scavenged it up, and they said they couldn't do it and they were just kidding... Unfortunately, I can't say that it was my idea, although I love the fact that they tried...

A rumor exists that, had it not been for the Lion/Crane deal, a Lion victory at the Day of Thunder would have placed another on the Emerald Throne. Unfortunately, I'm missing the collaborating e-mail at the moment.

This was also the tournament of the Naga vs. Naga force-building match, wherein two Naga players declared that Naga do not fight amongst themselves -- "Conflict is a human trait." The judges intervened, and instead of a duel they played six rounds, and the victor was the player with the most force on the board at the end. The winning participant in this legendary Naga duel was Nik Olah, defeating Steve Rutledge.

Another story tells of the 5 surviving Phoenix players on the last day, each of whom chose to be one of the Elemental Masters. The Master of Fire advanced the farthest, to the Round of Four. His dark secret was that, beneath his Phoenix Clan shirt, he wore a Junzo shirt, and was primed to reveal it after his victory in the tournament! And some people ask why the Phoenix fell?

Of course, there was lots of encouragment given to the dark side. According to Bayushi Murai:

Chaosium ... attempted to bribe the people at the day of thunder to reveal in the final round that they were secretly Scorpions that had infiltrated the other clans, and offered a rediculously large prize if the winner of the Day of Thunder actually did it... (I think it was either a complete set of Call of Cthulu or $500 in CoC stuff or something along those lines...) It was just a rumor, but it was interesting to hear...

On a related note, apparently Chris Bergstrom was also offered bribes to wear a Junzo shirt. According to the Duke of Swords,

I was at the Days of Thunder and I was involved in the deal to get Chris to put on a Junzo shirt under his Lion shirt. Chris was offered several incentives including cards (Swords included), Koku, and cash, but decided to go with Rob's deal since it involved who would get the Swords and Armor.

Thank you, Chris, for making the good decision.

Day of Thunder II -- "To Live and Die in Rokugan"Gateway '97
This tournament is said to have determined who would be the new Emperor's guard after the Day of Thunder. Crab and Phoenix apparently met in the final round, with Crab triumphing. The effects this will have on the Lion Clan are unknown.

An interesting story suggests that the participation and success of various clans determined whether or not their personalities' fates would be placed in Uikku's hands. Apparently, four personalities from each clan were designated, and if a clan member was still in the tournament at each of four points, one personality was spared. Unfortunately, no monks entered the tournament....

The following information about this story tournament comes from Shiba Toma, Lord of the Agate Palace and Phoenix Clan Strategist:

I was at the Day of Thunder II tournament (aka To Live and Die in Rokugan). The format placed three characters at risk for each clan. Monk did indeed fail to show up. Phoenix, Lion, and Dragon all reached the semi-final round and saved all their personalities from the touch of Uikku. Sorry I don't have a list of those who will be subject to death or worse. (my clan survived and I wasn't watching the others that closely :) )
My gratitude to Shiba Toma for this invaluable information.
OrcCon 98OrcCon 98 (February 12-15, 1998)
There were two storyline tournaments at this convention:
"To Gain a Tattoo," won by a Crane player -- Doju Reju has prepared himself for his journey to the Dragon lands.
"The Wedding of Hida O-Ushi," a multiplayer tournament won by a Unicorn player -- Hida O-Ushi will be married to the valorous Shinjo Yasamura during The Hidden Emperor storyline. Finalists were Unicorn, Toturi, Akodo Lion, Dragon, and Dragon (Afshin Coleman), and the Unicorn and Toturi's Army decks cleaned up after winning a major mid-game battle.

The following information about this set of story tournaments comes from Shiba Toma, Lord of the Agate Palace and Phoenix Clan Strategist:

There were two (possibly three) stroy influncing tournaments at Orc Con 98 a few weeks ago. I have no idea what the tournaments were titled but the results are well known. Doji Reju has earned himself a tattoo for his experienced version (crane victory, duh), and Hida Yakamo's sister(!!) O-Ushi is to wed. Yakamo is too busy to get married and carry on the line so he has ordered O-Ushi to marry. The Unicorns won that tournament, and Yasmura is the leading canidate.

There was a live action game that appears to have meaningfull effect as well. Matsu Turi may gain a tattoo and the cavalry trait from it. Harder to say on that one.

My gratitude to Shiba Toma for this invaluable information.
Games UniversityGames University (March, 1998)
According to Nick Cascone, Games University hosted a story tournament determining which Clan would provide the Emerald Champion, replacing the vanished Kakita Toshimoko. The tournament was won by Scott Orlando's Crane deck.

The official word from Doji Shizue confirms the Crane victory in the Emerald Champion tournament, and adds a second tournament:

[There was also] a multiplayer Clan Wars style tournament. The multiplayer story prize was to establish the creation of a new Minor Clan, an offshoot of whichever clan won the tournament. The winner of the tournament was a Toturi! Army player, which bodes for some veeery interesting times ahead...
Honor to the Wolf for such an appropriate victory! This tournament ultimately resulted in the formation of the Monkey Clan, led by the legendary daimyo Toku.
StrategiconStrategicon '98 (May 22-25, 1998)
Strategicon '98 hosted two storyline tournaments: one multiplayer tournament, and one single-player tournament.

Of these tournaments, Doji Shizue writes:

Duel format:
While peasants whisper of KOLAT and nobles tell fables of ninja, no Rokugani will dispute that there is no such thing as spies - spies, infiltrators and traitors have been used by the Great Clans since the first kami created the houses. Spies are not creatures of myth, but members of our own houses, close to our hearts with knives and whispers to tell our secrets to our enemies... One of the Clans has the foremost Kenshu Supai (Spymaster) in the Empire, and his greatest achievement is to have placed a spy in another of the Great Clans....

Tournament format: Winner of duel tournament has the Spymaster, and has a well-placed spy in the clan of the opponent beaten in the final round.

Final round between Scott Orlando, playing Crane, and Marc Devico, playing Lion. Lion was victorious, Marc was granted the official title "Rokugan's Kenshu Supai", and soon we shall find that not all hearts of the Cranes are true to their Champion and their family oaths...

Multiplayer format:
In the dark lands of Rokugan, the Clans search desperately for some sign of their missing Emperor. In forests untouched for a hundred years, over moutains deemed unpasable, the servants of the Clans move, eager to find any clue to the mystery of Toturi's vanishing. While on search, a tower is found - a tower unknown to this day, and lying hidden in a small valley of brambles and thorns. The door has been kicked open, the tower is in shambles, and on the floor lies, bleeding, one of Rokugan's enigmatic Oracles. The Oracle raises their hand, reaching out..and touches their rescuer's hand.

A flash of light.
A burst of thunder, roaring through the sky.
A whispered death.

And a new Oracle is born.

The victor of this tournament is Ben Peck (yes, the artist!), playing Crab.

All of the results of these tournaments will be seen in upcoming Hidden Emperor expansions, promo cards, and storyline.

It has since been revealed that Daidoji Osen, an apparent member of the Crane Clan, is really Kitsu Osen. According to Shizue-san, his reasons for being placed in the Crane Clan will be revealed in the Honor Bound expansion.

Additionally, it has been revealed that Hiruma Osuno has returned to the Crab Clan as the Oracle of Earth as the result of Ben Peck's victory.

BenCon '98BenCon '98 (May 22-25, 1998)
Doji Shizue writes:
It is a time of strife in Rokugan. With the rise of the Mantis and the crippling of the Phoenix, the line between the Minor clans and the Great Clans grows faint. One of the Great Clans, in need from the bloodshed of the Clan Wars, will merge with the armies and lands of a nearby Minor Clan, absorbing its power into the Greater Clan. One Minor Clan will be no more, and one of the Seven Houses will have gained a new source of strength...
This tournament alternated multi and one-on-one rounds, with players switching strongholds throughout. In the final multiplayer round, the victor was Peale Chuang and the (Imperial-style) Crab Clan. As a result of Peale's victory, the Crab Clan has absorbed the Falcon Clan, converting Genzo into DJH's Toritaka Genzo.
Claiming the Bayushi ProvincesOrigins '98 (July 3, 1998)
The titanic, historic battle to determine who controls the empty Bayushi lands now that the Scorpion have been exiled. Will Yoritomo make good on his threat to claim the Scorpion lands as 'unaligned lands,' as his charter states he has the right to do? Or will another clan wrest the prize from his fingertips?

From their camps in the Three Man Alliance's territory, the Mantis headed towards the Scorpion lands, and were blocked by the Crane, who refused them passage. Yoritomo, not to be balked so easily, offered them a fortune in payment for passage, including the Ancestral Sword of the Lion Clan in the treasure-trove. It, along with the rest of the treasures, will be transported to Kakita Palace in the care of a Daidoji ambassador and his personal guard.

Yoritomo and his army were then escorted to the edge of Crane lands, where Doji Kuwanan informed him that the Crane's obligation to the Mantis was fulfilled. Yoritomo agreed that the Crane had performed their duty to the Mantis Clan admirably, and the Crane and Mantis Clans parted ways. As the Mantis moved to invade the Bayushi Provinces, Kuwanan ordered the Daidoji forward to attack the Mantis rear guard to stop the Mantis invasion.

Doji Shizue writes:

What startled Yoritomo was not simply the attack, but the skill with which it was executed. As the battle raged, a force of Unicorn from Ryoko Owari arrived, attempting to enforce the Emperor's mandate against open warfare. Their Champion, Yokatsu, fought in a duel against Doji Kuwanan, and had his horse cut from beneath him by the Crane. The Crane Champion allowed the Unicorn to live, but only after they had removed their troops from the field of combat. While the Unicorn may or may not hold hard feelings, it is certain that Yokatsu will remember his first meeting in battle against the Young Crane.

The Mantis army, battered but not broken, were forced north, towards Beiden Pass, the crossroads of the empire. The Crane have captured Bayushi Palace, and have offered to hold it in trust for the Scorpion children until they reach their majority. At that point, the Crane hinted, the Scorpion may be named a separate minor house within the greater Crane Clan.

This tournament was run in 40/40 Jade Edition Format, seating 64 players in Swis s competition.

See the Claiming the Bayushi Provinces prize sheet for a list of bounties offered on the Net to the victor of this tournament.

Attendance was primarily Crane, given the boost the clan received in Hidden Empe ror #1. There were also many Naga, a number of Dragons, Unicorns, and Crab, and a mix of other clans. The Scorpion, underrepresented in Jade Edition, fought a v aliant battle based on bribing their opponents, and it appears that at le ast one Naga, one Dragon, and one Crane (filled with Kolat and Lion) sold out to the Scorpion. See the Origins Clan Breakdown for more information.

The round of sixteen contained 9 Crane, plus some Unicorn, Lion, Naga, and Dragon n. The final round saw two Crane face each other, and included a Doji Reju vs. Doji Reju naturally-tied duel. According to Hitomi Ryunogi:

In the end, a Crane player won. Joel Mazorra, I believe. In addition to the prizes offered, the players offered the winner, should he be a Crane, a well-used occupied terrain. During the course of their duel, the occupied terrain was stepped on, sat on, bent, dipped in Coke, and signed.

This, one of two major storyline tournaments of 1998 that ended in a Crane versus Crane duel, set the Doji vs. Daidoji civil war into motion in the storyline.

The Crane Clan sell-out to the Scorpion was played by Kitsu Skya, wearing a Lion t-shirt and playing with Akodo Kage, Kolat Masters, Ambushes, and Breaches with the explicit goal of messing with Crane in the storyline. After winning the game, she accepted an Ancestral Lion Clan Sword to concede to the Scorpion. The sword appears to have ended up in Crane hands as a result. Currently, the sword seems to have gone from the Lion to the Scorpion (in the Clan War) to the Mantis (through an unknown route) to the Crane.

Of the two Monk decks entered, one, played by Shosho the Mujina Wrangler, pulled out an Enlightenment victory!

Oni-body Home?Origins '98 (July 3-5, 1998)
An open and unannounced story tournament at Origins, 40/40 and Swiss format. Won by Kitsu Skya's Lion honor/force tactitian deck, in a final round against a Unicorn price of war gold denial deck. The story prize determined which clan had an oni of some sort caught in one of its castles. According to Kitsu Skya, the oni is trapped because the castle was built upon sanctified ground. What a great prize, eh? ;)

The actual result of this tournament will be revealed in the Pearl Edition flavor text.

The Jade ChampionGenCon '98 (August 7-9, 1998)
Hidden far beneath Otosan-Uchi, ancient texts lie in a secret library. Uncovered by the Chancellor's Guard, a document gives precedence to an Imperial Appointment -- the Jade Champion! Takuan, seizing the opportunity to renew the magic lost during the Clan Wars, holds the first Jade Champion tournament in three hundred years -- and a new Shugenja Champion of the Empire rises to claim the title!

This tournament runs as a 40/40 Expanded Jade format, 128 players, 1-on-1, Swiss.

See the Jade Champion prize sheet for a list of bounties offered on the Net to the victor of this tournament.

Kitsu Okura defeated Iuchi Karasu in the final round of the Jade Championship. Rumors of maho use by both parties were, of course, totally false. Agasha Tamori and Asahina Tamoko were the other serious contenders.

It's a bad sign when the last two players in a tournament are both wearing Yogo Junzo caps. In the final round, David La's corrupt Lion, under a brutal assault by Chris Jilot's corrupt Unicorn, gambled and destroyed his next-to-last province to bring out Oni no Akuma. When the Unicorn attacked, a Deadly Ground destroyed the Unicorn army and caused the Unicorn's surrender. Third place went to Chris Bergstrom's honorable Dragon deck, and fourth place to Nikolas Vincent's Crane Shrine deck.

Of the final 48, there were: 10 Crane, 8 Unicorn, 4 Dragon, 2 Lion, 2 Crab, 1 Toturi's Army, 1 Scorpion, 1 Naga, 1 Phoenix, 1 Shadowlands Horde, and 1 Mantis. Zen Faulkes' notes have more details on the final rounds.

Return of the KOLAT MasterGenCon UK (September 3-6, 1998)
Akodo Kage, the KOLAT master of Rokugan, has hidden himself deep inside Rokugan, maintaining his power over the economy and the secrets of Rokugan. His power has doubled since the exile of the Scorpion. But now, Kage has discovered something even darker - a black secret that even the Scorpion were afraid to reveal. Kage sends warning of this evil - this 'living darkness' - to one clan. The Clan which hid him, which kept his identity safe from the rest of Rokugan, who believed he was dead...
It's time for the return of the KOLAT Master...

This tournament was held on Saturday 5 September starting at around 10 am. The format will be 40/40 minimum deck size, extended jade. There will be a minimum of 5 rounds of Swiss followed by a knockout round (the size of which will depend upon numbers entered).

Tom Mulheim's Iron Crane deck won this tournament, defeating Mark Wootton's Crane Shrine deck in a final "round" where each player drew five cards and added their focus values. A corrupt Lion may have conceded to a Crane in the Round of Four, or may have just indicated their enthusiasm at the thought of Kage's return. Final Eight included 3 Crane, 2 corrupt Lion, 2 Dragon, and 1 Unicorn.

Like "Claiming the Bayushi Provinces," the final Crane-vs.-Crane duel in this tournament set into motion the Doji-Daidoji internal dispute in the storyline. This tournament provided the Crane Clan with Asahina Dorai, the Crane Clan scholar revealed in DJH.

If the Lion Clan ends up getting Kage back, it'll save me the trouble of having to track him down to stick this knife in his eye.

The Dragon's GiftDragon*Con 1998 (Atlanta, GA: September 3-6, 1998)
Long ago, the ancient Dragons of the Celestial Heavens looked down upon the Empire which had flourished upon the world, and they were pleased. Mankind had grown wise beneath the rule of the Children of the Sky, and the kami had taught the Children of Earth well. The Dragons began to walk among the people, that they might learn more of their civilization, their ways and their hearts. When the Age of Man came, the Celestial Heavens began to draw away from the mortal world. The Dragons withdrew, mourning the loss of their brother, Togashi, and cursing the cruelty of the world which had brought him to his death. However, one Dragon alone still believed in the strength of a mortal to change the face of the world. In a deep chasm, near the borders of the Shadowlands,the Dragon of Void leaves behind its final, most precious gift."Take this," the Dragon said, offering a piece of its own soul - "Take this, and remember me, in the dark times to come."
The Dragon Pearl. Its form is been ever-changing, and its mystic powers hold secrets which mortals were never meant to know. A forbidden gift - a powerful artifact... Its strength could be turned to benevolent ends, reforging the Empire's unity, or to war, and its power could tear apart the already fragile peace.
Fight well, and win the prize for your clan, for in this time of darkness and loss, the most precious thing of all ..
Is hope.

The Void Dragon's gift was claimed by the Crane Clan.

The final round saw an honorable Dragon face a Crane, but the Dragon's courage was not enough to defeat Eric Wiener's Iron Crane. The top eight were a Mountain Dragon, a Toturi's Army, an honorable Lion (yay!), two Crane, and 3 Unicorn; one Unicorn and the Toturi's Army deck made it to the round of four. Tournament format appears to have been 40/40 Strict Jade with the first three months of HE.

I have a partial bounty list for this tournament, but as I started tracking this list late in the process, it may be incomplete.

Return of a Lost HeroCanGames 1998 (Ottawa, Ontario: September 25-27, 1998)
The Clan Wars are over, and the smoke has settled from the burning land. Pastures salted by blood have begun to grow again, and the wounds suffered by all the clans have slowly begun to heal. Yet, even as thousands died on the fields of Otosan Uchi .- not all were left for the crows to feed on. One soul, thought dead and mourned by their clan, has not fallen. On a quest beyond honor, they hide their name and face, and continue to serve beneath a shroud of anonymity. Yet in the villages of the Unicorn, a shattered mind seeks the truth behind the veil of lies -. and unveils their presence to all the Empire. One thought lost has been found -- a lone survivor of the thousands of dead and wounded from the final siege of Otosan Uchi.

On the battlefield of the Day of Thunder, the eta removing the dead found a Crab's armor and a porcelain mask.

But of the body, there was no trace.

This tournament is 40/40 open double elimination, and started at 11 am, on Saturday, September 26, 1998.

A corrupt Crab oni deck defeated an Otaku Unicorn deck to win this tournament. The Crab player is believed to have lobbied for the return of Hida Amoro. The actual result will be revealed in the Honor Bound expansion.

There is a small bounty list. For more extensive results, see Zen Faulkes' comments.

Death of the Ki-RinAndCon 1998 (Columbus, OH: October 3, 1998)
Deep in the shadowed Southlands, the murdered cry of the Kirin echoes, and is silenced. Once a creature of legend, the symbol of honor is found by Crab scouts searching for their men at lost Hiruma Castle. Torn apart by vicious claws and left for the vultures, the ancient Ki-Rin's heart beats no more. Honor is dead, and with it, one of the hopes for the Empire has been tarnished. But hope is difficult to conquer, and the Ki-Rin's death stands in the passage of a new life - the lone foal of the Ki-Rin. The last of its kind, its despairing cries echo in a high mountain pass...Someone must care for it, tend its wounds and return one of Rokugan's greatest mythical creatures to the skies of the Empire . before the Oni can find the child, and end the race of Ki-Rin forever...

Format is 40/40 Extended Jade in four (or more, if necessary) rounds of Swiss, starting at noon on October 3rd. For more information on this tournament, contact Rich Riley or Nik Olah.

A Mountain Dragon won this tournament, defeating a Crane. Third and fourth were a Unicorn and a Phoenix(yay!). Overall the top eight consisted of two Crane, two Dragon, a Phoenix, a Scorpion, and two Unicorn.

The winning deck was played by Brad Kippel.

Kumo, the Sea SpiderComicFreak (Toronto, ONT: November 21-22, 1998)
Long ago, the first Kumo was created by the struggles of two bushi, fighting for their family's honor. Their battle was long, and they slaughtered hundreds of samurai on either side to fuel their rage and desire for revenge. Eventually, from the bloodstained fields, a sentient presence began to form - a creature formed of their hatred and desire for death. The Kumo. Since that time, the Kumo has spread its progeny, living at the bottom of the largest whirlpool known to exist - and superstition says that even to this day, the spirit of the First Kumo drags its prey to the bottom of the sea.

Essentially: The clan who wins will determine the family whose ancestor created the first Kumo, as both the winner and the second-place finalist will have been the families involved. The winner gains an additional boon: the knowledge of how to control the Sea Spirit, and how to summon its powers for their clan in time of great need. But be warned: the sea is legendary for keeping secrets, and more than one brave men have gone to their death in its endless depths.

The prize for the winner is a full set of Imperial Swords. Tournament format is open format, double-elimination duels. For more information, contact Jeff Kyer.

A corrupt Crane (Oni no Pekkle) defeated a Crane to win. Looks like the Crane had a bit of a feud in the past -- perhaps we'll see more Doji/Daidoji infighting in the future.

Third place was another Crane, with an Otaku Unicorn in fourth.

Like many other tournaments during 1998, this ended in a Crane-vs.-Crane duel, putting into motion the Daidoji/Doji internal struggle in the Crane Clan.

The Storming of MorikageL5R Strongholds (January 15, 1999)
This "story tournament" will be held concurrently at all L5R Stronghold stores, to determine a major event in the course of the Hidden Emperor saga.

Details forthcoming, as soon as FRPG collates its results.

Unicorn appears to have been the winner, based on an early hint from Mindy.

Naka Kuro's StoryOrc-Con 1999 (February 13-15, 1999)
This open storyline tournament's details were announced on the day of the tournament. The winning deck would influence the events of Naka Kuro's life, including the clan he originally came from.

Victory went to a Jade-legal Dark Journey Home Phoenix deck. Kharma counts.

Name That BladeOrc-Con 1999 (February 13-15, 1999)
On the spur of the moment, Doji Shizue decided to offer the winner of an open multiplayer tournament a weapon bearing their name in the upcoming expansion Ambition's Debt. This weapon, ala Hojatsu's Blade, would bear the victor's name either within the item's name or flavor text.

The tournament did not work out quite like Shizue-san expected. In the final round the last two players, a Dragon and a Scorpion, ran out of time. Shizue-san writes:

The fight had been bitter, and the opponents were both determined to do anything necessary to win - until time had to be called. From a group of finve, these last two men looked up at me and said 'Ree, can we call it a tie?'

A tie? A tie. Hmm...

During the game, the Scorpion had Kolat Mastered the Dragon's signed hitomi - a precious card to him. I noticed that, by her side, a signed Bayushi Shoju now stood. "All right," I said to them. "If you two are willing, here's what we do. Your Hitomi permanently stays with the Scorpion, and your Shoju goes to serve the Dragon. If you do this, and exchange cards, I'll call it an allied victory.

For as long as those two Champions stay in those two decks, Dragon and Scorpion will have an 'unofficial' alliance. But if I ever see one of those decks without their Champion, the alliance ends."

The players did it. Despite the fact that the two cards cannot join the respective deck, they will be built forever after to contain one personality that can only be turned up, and discarded - all in the name of an honorable alliance. Now *that's* a story.

Gift of the Emperor
Gift of the Emperor is another FRPG-run nationwide story tournament. The following clan-specific prizes have been offered.

The Imperial Ambassador's footsteps have been heard in all the courts of the Empire. His message, carried from the Throne of Otosan Uchi, was simple,and to the point: The Emperor has offered his life-gift to the one who best proves their loyalty and courage in a test of arms. Tell me, daimyo, Champion of your people, what would you request of His Imperial Majesty, Toturi the First, should the honor fall to you?...

Crab: O-Ushi's eyes were cold and hard, her hand on the hilt of Chakara, the ancestral sword. "My brother may be dead, but my clan still struggles to defend your Empire. We ask nothing more from the Emperor. What we desire, you cannot give us: peace of mind and a good night's sleep." Behind O-Ushi, her husband nodded in agreement, and the men of the Hiruma cheered.

Crane: In the war-torn courts of the Crane, the Kakita Ambassador, Ichiro, carried forward a scroll. "My Lord instructs me to remind his Highness," Ichiro smiled, "That the noble Emperor is yet unwed, and his line is unsafe from the knives of fortune. It would be the honor of the Crane to provide a woman worthy of his line, to bear children for the future of Rokugan." The Kakita's eyes shone with cunning and victorious glee. "A new Bride for the Emperor, a new Favor for the land."

Dragon: To the north, the blackened rocks of Sleeping Mountain shone dully in the warm sun, ice glittering from their peaks. One tattooed man stood at the path to the Dragon Homelands, meeting the Emperor's court with a sorrowful smile. As he bowed, he held out a katana-stand, empty and forlorn. "Our ancient swords are gone, broken and defiled in the Emperor's service. We would ask a new daisho be commissioned, to represent our new beginning..."

Lion: "Before these dark times, the Lion served the Emperor with our lives," Motso said, rising from the Kitsu dais, a haunted shadow in his eyes. "The decimation of the Clan Wars has robbed us of our place at his right hand. We, the houses of the Lion, would raise our banner once more, levying samurai and heimin from every corner of the land to serve with us." An iron fist raised before a golden banner, the Lion General snarled, "Tell your Emperor that if he gives us the men, we shall retake our ancestral place at the right hand of the Jade Throne!"

Phoenix: Shiba Tsukune, Champion of the Phoenix, looked out over the mountains of her homeland, the letter from the Emperor crushed in her hand. "Toturi-sama would know what we require?" The Isawa nodded, and the Imperial Ambassador smiled. "Then tell him it is time for the Phoenix to learn the ways of war and weapon, the strength of samurai as well as the power of spell..."

Scorpion: Kachiko stood alone in the darkness, the passing thunder rippling through her unbound hair. "So, they think to play a game of chance for the Emperor's prize?" Aramoro knelt, a stolen missive on the ground between them.
Silk rustled as she turned, her rich lips coiled in a soft smile and bitter poison in her voice. "One victory, Aramoro, and it will all be ours again... our lands, our title, and our position in the court. One battle, and we will be redeemed...."

Unicorn: In the lands of the Unicorn, horses run free and the battles of the Empire are far away. However, no distance can separate the shame of a fallen house. "If you wish to aid our people, my Emperor," the daimyo's reply read, "Then help us to save our people, lost to the Darkness of the Shadowlands. Send us armor to protect us from our shame, that we can strike a blow against the Dark Moto Lord."

Naga: "Your kind is strange, but we begin to understand your nature of this offering. If your Emperor accepts our Dashmar into his court, we will also provide him with a gift of our own." The Qamar's pearl staff glittered in the light of the sun. "An Honor Guard, to defend him from the Darkness that threatens to engulf the land."

Brotherhood: In the temples of the Brotherhood of Shinsei, Takao and the monks watched as the Ambassador left, his horse dancing down the road away from the shrine. "Do you believe he will honor your request, Takao-sama?" One of the brothers asked. "I can but hope." Takao whispered. "Only the Emperor knows the truth of his conversation with the Son of Shinsei. Only he can rewrite the Tao..."

Mantis: On the Phoenix battlefields, Yoritomo's eyes glowed with honor. "The Mantis Clan will send our Champions to the field, but the prize we demand is the right to choose the Emperor's heir, should Toturi die without a son to carry on his name. Strength wil unify the Empire; strength alone can keep it safe from civil war." In the eyes of the Wasp, cold hatred burned, and the Ambassador hurried away.

Toturi's Army: "My Lord," Toshiken knelt at the feet of the golden dais, "No force in the Empire can take us from you, save Death, and Death you cannot conquer with steel. By spell alone can we rebuild your city and repair your Empire. We ask that a new school be built, that the power of noble shugenja can be at your command, as well as the steel of bushido."

Shadowlands: Maddened laughter and quiet sanity rend the mind of the sorcerers of the land. "Know this, my children," Yori murmured, and wetness oozed from his torn lips. "If the Emperor seeks to turn his mind to children's games and petty gifts, then now is the time to strike. His favor shall be destroyed, and what we have lost, we shall regain!"

Ninja: "One darkness, one face, one man." Whispers the shadow behind the Throne in the cold and moonless night. "A soul, for the soulless, a bargain will be made... and a mind lost, ruined and forsaken, to be forgotten. A plaything, a creature to serve the Word and the Shadow, forevermore. One we could not have had without your command..."

Being a historian, I tend to think about clan successes in terms of major victories in story tournaments. Based on my information, the major story tournaments have gone to the following clans:

*: prize relinquished to the Scorpion Clan.
%: multiplayer tournament (at least in the final round).
#n: Jade format -- n is number of legal month of Hidden Emperor.
!#n: Extended Jade format -- n is number of legal month of Hidden Emperor.

In other words, Bayushi#1 means the Bayushi tournament was Jade format, with the first month of Hidden Emperor, and Jade Champion!#2 means the Jade Champion tournament was Extended Jade format including the first two months of Hidden Emperor.

The "Eat a Minor Clan" winner was an Imperial Crab deck (as opposed to Kaiu). I have no information on which flavor of decks were involved in the Oracle Crab win or the Spymaster Lion win.

Imperial Assembly Votes

Sometimes, the Imperial Assembly polls all members to decide upon an element of the story. In the past, there have been several of these polls:

A Champion Must Fall: "One of them must fall so that we may rise again." -- Bayushi Kachiko

In the first months of the War of Rokugan, one of the Champions will turn against their own Clan, betraying them to the dark forces of the Shadowlands. Who will it be?
In the first Imperial Herald, Imperial Assembly members voted to "doom" one Clan Champion. It is a measure of how unpopular the Crane were that, of about two thousand votes, Doji Hoturi was nominated on fourteen hundred, nearly five times as many as the runner-up (Hida Kisada; around three hundred votes).

Kolat, Kolat, Whose Got the Kolat: As subtle as a Scorpion and as daring as a Lion, the Kolat have manipulated the Clans of the Empire by their own diabolical means. For centuries, theirs has been an unknown power in Rokugan. All of that is about to change. Now, the Kolat are revealing their most dreaded weapon: one of the Clans listed below has a Kolat Master in their midst. Which Clan will feel the cold bite of Kolat treachery?
By this vote, the tables had turned, and Akodo Kage of the Lion Clan was elected as the Kolat Master. Interestingly enough, not every clan had a member in the running for this "prize." The candidates, and my guesses at the likely Kolat Master, were: Clan Crab (Yasuki Taka), Clan Scorpion (Bayushi Goshiu?), Clan Lion (duh.), Clan Phoenix (Asako Yasu?), and Clan Unicorn (Shinjo Yasamura). Apparently, Clan Crane had fallen far enough already, and Clan Dragon was too mysterious for even the Kolat to menace.

Follower No Longer: "Heroes do not make themselves great. Greatness is thrust upon them." -- The Tao of Shinsei
In the third Imperial Herald, Imperial Assembly members voted on which of five Follower cards would be turned into an Assembly-only personality. The nominees were Shadow Samurai, Foxwife, Scout, Apprentice, and Personal Champion. The winner was apparently the Shadow Samurai, and Exp Hida Sukune was reborn. However, in Time of the Void, the foxwife Lady Kitsune made an appearance of her own. Bayushi Murai adds that the votes for the Foxwife and the Shadow Samurai were so close that AEG decided to make both Personalities. My kudos to AEG for that decision!

To 40/40 or Not to 40/40, That is the Question:
The Imperial Assembly was consulted on the move from 30/30 recommended tournament deck size to 40/40. The vote was heavily in favor of moving to the 40/40 format.

Last updated by Neil Laughlin on June 4, 1999.