Who’s Who in Jigoku

   With one of the Legend of the Five Rings characters currently trapped in Jigoku (and generally assumed to be dead), a little more information about that realm and its major inhabitants has been requested – so here it is: the Hei’an Zhuan or the Epic of Darkness:

   The Primal Demons or Lords of Destruction – are the great powers of Jigoku. They’re also the oldest, least human, and – oddly enough – easiest to get along with. There is no malice, evil, or deception in them. They may kill you, kill your family, and destroy everything in a ten mile radius – but it’s just because you’re THERE. They’re out to destroy the universe, but they don’t really care if anyone in particular is in it at the time. Oddly enough, the Lords are sometimes invoked when something needs to be destroyed to make way for something new. They may be dark aspects of the Elemental Dragons, although their general opposition to existence – at least in principle – argues against it. Similarly, they may be responsible for granting power to the Dark Oracles – or they may not.

  • The Dark Powers of Fire are Rocan the Destroyer, the Black Sun of the Underworld, lord of the night, cold, and death, and Hayashikoka the Destroying Flame, Mistress of Desolation and Destruction.
  • The Dark Powers of Water are Seiraku the Strangler, lord of decay, entropy, and slime, and Mirensei the Poisoner, Mistress of Venom, the Lady of Whispering Madness.
  • The Dark Powers of Earth are Animari the Mouth of the Grave, the Dark Mother, Devourer of Corpses and Jinshin Uwo, the Bringer of Earthquakes
  • The Dark Powers of Air are Shiisosen the Devourer of Ancestors, master of senility and forgetfulness and Arbiransei Mistress of Destructive Storms, Spirit of Nothingness.
  • The Dark Powers of the Shadow are Maryukosou the Mistress of Black Witchery, Drinker of Light, and Anoq the Corruptor, the Master of the Abyss, the Unmaker.

   The Sanjidokei or Lords of Disaster are related to the Primal Demons, but are both far more limited and far more personal. The Primal Demons may kill you, but the Lords of Disaster see the destruction of life as a part of their job, and sometimes take it personally if people try to escape them.

  • Vakanan the Desolator, master of destructive fires and firestorms, whether in cities or forests.
  • Pu Chou the Pestilential Wind, mistress of plagues and parasites, is the patroness of disease, epidemics, and the desperate measures people take to escape them.
  • Kokuyouganryu the Obsidian Wyrm, Master of the Gates of Darkness is the master of dimensional disturbances, violations of the normal barriers between the worlds.
  • Chazanma the Forger is the mistress of volcanic eruptions, pyroclastic clouds, magma, and other manifestations of destructive fire and earth magic.
  • Arashi Ship Bane is the master of destructive storms, terrible waves, lightning, and similar destruction.
  • Pa’Eng is the mistress of blights, famine, and (oddly enough) of wild dancing and parties.
  • Hadimba is the master of destructive floods, tidal waves, and erosion. It is his goal to see the mountains leveled and all the land swallowed up once more by the sea.
  • Uwasekiti is the mistress of upheaval, of explosions, the uplifting of rocks, avalanches, and similar agencies.

   The Shikome are the Demon -Guardians and -Bailiffs of Jigoku. Along with the Judges of the Dead, their job is to expiate the evil found within the souls of corrupted mortals before returning those souls to Ningen-Do to be reborn.

  • The Yanluhangan or Judges of the Dead are the magistrates, inspectors, and judges of Jigoku. They possess great power, considerable authority, and very little patience. They do not brook defiance, but – in their own ruthless fashion – are just enough.
  • Kurezou (Lesser and Greater): These guardians rise spontaneously from the soil of Jigoku to contest the passage of those attempting to reach gates out of that realm, to control the movements of spirits within Jigoku, to guard its various divisions, and to enforce the judgements of the lords of the dead. Unfortunately, with Fu Leng upsetting the order of Jigoku, the Kurezou are seriously confused.
  • Gozu Mezu are animal spirits – temporarily in the service of Jigoku – in Kurezou bodies. As such, they possess considerably greater power than Kurezou, as well as being able to easily handle normally incorporeal spirits. They usually manifest as powerful humanoids with animalistic heads.
  • Goumonko are demons, charged with removing the evil from mortal souls – peeling away tiny fragments of that evil in blood and pain, devouring the evil to contain it within themselves, and allowing the separated essence of the spirit being treated to return to it. Perhaps sadly, such constant ingestion of evil, malice, and the darkest aspects of mortal nature tends to cause them to take far, far, too much pleasure in the agonies their work inflicts on the spirits in their care.
  • Kirni are the hunting horrors of Jigoku, charged with the pursuit of those who somehow evade the Kurezou and the Gozu Mezu. They resemble a combination of a hawk and hunting cat.

   The Kaiju are the Demons of the Gates, creatures that can be unsealed to wreak destruction – or bound to a mortal host to grant said host incredible power. Traditionally there are nine Kaiju, of increasing power – eight associated with the Eight Gates of the Underworld and the Ninth linked with the Gate of Tengoku. There are hints of a tenth Kaiju, but the gate of shadow, which will bring quietus to an exhausted cosmos, shall not be found until the ending of the world – or at least until the Kali Yuga.

   Each Kaiju is associated with an animal (whose form they take, albeit with a variety of demonic alterations), a direction/wind, an Element, a Realm, and a Festival (not listed).

1

Shukaku

Raccoon

South

Air

Sakkaku

2

Nekomata

Cat

Northeast

Fire

Yume-Do

3

Isonade

Fish

East

Water

Meido

4

Sokou

Lizard

Southwest

Air

Gaki-Do

5

Houkou

Dog

West

Earth

Ningen-Do

6

Raijuu

Weasel

North

Fire

Toshigoku

7

Kaku

Badger

Northwest

Earth

Chikushudo

8

Hachimata

Snake

Southeast

Water

Yomi

9

Yoko

Fox

Up/The Heavens

Void

Tengoku

10

Gadori

Bird

Down/Jigoku

Shadow

Unknown

.

   The Greater Oni or Demons of Vice are lesser, and more modern, than the old powers of Jigoku. Their rise in power is the result of the energies of Ningen-Do “leaking” into Jigoku – an unnatural fusion, bonding the energies of growth to the power of destruction to give rise to malice and evil. They are thus a dark mirror of the virtues of the Empire, and are the major supporters of Fu Leng within the demon hierarchies. Most of the “Oni Lords” known to Rokugan fall within this group: The group includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Mugonsendo the Treacherous Lord, is the master of silence, assassination, and betrayal.
  • Baksura the Devourer, Mistress of Cannibalism and Granter of Youth is the mistress of destroying and exploiting others – especially the innocent – for your own gain.
  • Akanhenran, Patron of Rage, is the master of pointless conflicts, inept generals, overkill, and foolish deaths.
  • Shukisatsu the Seducer is mistress of jealousy, crimes of passion, and irrational malice. She has had many lovers among the lesser Oni; none can resist her although all know that such a relationship is a sure sentence of death. Her spawn are numerous, but are no more than instruments of her vendettas.
  • Jatsura is the patron of lust, obsession, and rape. He also has many spawn, although few are more than half-blooded.
  • Rachisura is the mistress of hostage-taking, famine, cannibalism, and the deaths or abuse of children at the hands of their caregivers.
  • Kudan the Bull, the master of malicious truths, expedience, and malice. He will gladly grant those who call upon him gift of temporary power, but will always – truthfully – reveal to them things that they would far rather not know.
  • Namuci, Mistress of Night and Deception, is the patroness of honied words, illusions, and confusion.
  • Ghianreiji is the master of deception and manipulation, of causing others to do your dirty work while holding yourself blameless, and of self-deception.
  • Kiyo, the Dragon Mistress of Excessive Vengeance and Massacres is another patron spirit of excess. She is one of the few who is known to have once been human but has returned almost entirely to Jigoku: her tale is still remembered.
  • Kyoguan induces belief in your own invincibility, in your ability to handle any situation, and even enhances the power of those who call upon it without apparent price – until his power is abruptly withdrawn and disaster follows.
  • Kyoso* is the paranoid mistress of merciless judgement, of refusal to change decisions, and of irrational beliefs.
  • Yakamo* is the master of regret and penance, of attempting to reclaim the past, and of stagnation.
  • Ifushin is the mistress of terror, the sower of fears. She is said to come to every mortal in early childhood, to plant the seeds of fear which she can later use to undermine any who would stand against her.
  • The First Oni: When Fu Leng first fell to Jigoku, he bonded his name with a Demon – and thus granted it surpassing might. Still, while it was a powerful demon to start with, and became vastly more powerful when bonded with Fu Leng, it is still no match for the Lords of Destruction. It is believed to have been the Oni of greed, desire, and excessive ambition.
  • Yuushin the patroness of grief is one of the most powerful Greater Oni, little weaker than the First Oni – and that without the power contributed by the power of a name. She is the destroyer of all things loved, the patroness of failure, and the mother of despair. Some say that she is a Lord of Destruction, and is simply slumming…
  • Akuma* is the patron of fury and hatred, of pain and of torture.
  • Kishimo-Jin is the patroness of secrecy, poor education, and using those you are responsible for as tools for your own purposes.
  • The Maw is the Oni of mass slaughter, of the ingestion and acceptance of that which is impure – whether that means unclean food and drink, of accepting evil council, or of allowing a spirit to possess your body.
  • Rouhiyobunko is the patroness of conspicuous consumption, of excess, and of waste. She is fair to look upon, draped in the finest jewels and silks, but it masks corruption beneath.
  • Tsuburu* is the patron of greed, gluttony, breaches of etiquette, and other minor dishonors.
  • Mounena is the patroness of pointless distractions, of conflicts over obscure points of useless lore, of immoral plays, of antiheroes and glorifications of villains in popular literature, of spreading false tales, and of little “white lies”. While not the most powerful of Oni, her influence is very widespread indeed. In fact, many people foolishly believe that she is a Celestial Kami.
  • Shikibu is the patron of the meek, the quiet, and the unseen, of those who do not speak of their accomplishments, but who succeed in the shadows and beneath the notice of others. His is the most subtle of sins – that of seeing yourself through the eyes of despair, the failure to inspire others, to take pride in yourself, or to bring honor to your family and ancestors.
  • Miru-Jimani is the patroness of false pride. It is her power to know the faults and misdeeds of those she beholds, while leaving them unknown to their bearers. While she often uses what she sees against mortals for her own cruel amusement, she is still a valued aide to the Shikome and the Judges of the Dead.

   The Demons of Vice not only command their own legions of lesser demons, but can be drawn on to empower related devices – such as the four Bloodswords or the Shameswords (not yet created in the Tales of the Sunrise campaign, but this may apply elsewhere). This is not done lightly: such a link is a point of vulnerability as well as a gateway for them to funnel their power into Ningen-Do. On the other hand, it also offers the possibility of making them independent of Fu Leng.

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