With regard to the subject of shugenja, the consensus of an entire Empire is that the Phoenix possess both the largest number of shugenja and the most powerful of them. The descendants of the Tribe of Isawa and those who have sworn allegiance to them command mystical power unlike anything seen in the other Clans, and the followers of the Kami Shiba have sworn to protect them for all time, no matter the cost.
The Shiba Family: The Shiba are among the most scholarly and least aggressive of all bushi families. They serve the Clan and the Isawa without complaint or consideration for themselves. Although they prefer peace and compassion, the Shiba will not retreat from a battle once the Phoenix have committed themselves to an engagement.
The Isawa Family: The Isawa truly rule the Phoenix Clan, despite the presence of a Shiba Clan Champion. They are unquestionably the most knowledgeable, most powerful, and most numerous shugenja family in the Empire. Unfortunately, this has made them arrogant as well, and many Isawa constantly struggle against their own shortcomings.
The Asako Family: The quiet, reclusive Asako are a very monastic family, living scholarly and ascetic lives more befitting the Brotherhood of Shinsei than a family of samurai. They comprise the majority of the Phoenix Clan’s courtiers. Asako are contemplative and inquisitive, but generally without ambition other than to serve and learn.
The Yogo Family: The Daimyo of the Yogo family, Yogo Junzo, has recently left the Scorpion Clan and taken up the position of Master of Void with the Phoenix. Yogo Junzo brought with him many members of the Yogo family and other Scorpion samurai. These samurai have sworn fealty to the Phoenix Clan. This family is not currently available to players, but may become so in the future.
The Current Status of the Phoenix Clan
Military: Low, Ranked fifth in the Empire.
While they scored a large military victory against the Lion, the actual strength of the Phoenix army is far weaker than many would suspect. However when bolstered by their powerful shugenja this military force can not only hold its own but destroy armies twice their size, as the Lion found out to their dismay. The addition of the Yogo, and their powerful ward magic, will strengthen the Phoenix defences.
Politically: Medium, Ranked third in the Empire.
The Phoenix have benefitted greatly from ‘surrendering’ to the Lion clan. While The Lion claimed the day, in doing so the Phoenix increased their standing in the courts. Certainly the late Emperor was pleased to see the benevolence of the Phoenix and it will be interesting to see if the Phoenix can increase their standing throughout the Empire after such gains.
Economically: Medium, Ranked fourth in the Empire.
Large deposits of silver are the main export commodity for the Phoenix. It is also important to note that the Phoenix use their shugenja to great effect, granting themselves larger harvests and generating more income than might otherwise be expected. However many in the Phoenix see the large expanse of the Lion to the south and wonder if they could make a better owner of the lands… in the interests of the Empire as a whole.
The Elemental Masters
Master of Air – Isawa Uona
Little is known to the Empire concerning the Master of Air. The day of the attack on the Lion, the former Master of Air Isawa Eju, passed away, some say with a curse upon his lips. The only thing that is known about her is that she has trained with the Kakita as a dancer but to how strong she is with the kami is a complete mystery.
Master of Earth – Isawa Tadaka – currently exiled in Crab lands
A rare sight in his own lands, Isawa Tadaka is more commonly known throughout the lands of the Crab. Much to the delight of the Master of Fire, he is rarely in council meetings, preferring to hunt the minions of the Shadowlands with an extreme vengeance. There are rumours that he wears a face mask at all times to hide the hideous deformities caused to him by his previous master when they fought for the position of Elemental Master, but none are willing to test his wrath to ask.
Master of Fire – Isawa Tsuke
Some call Isawa Tsuke malicious, vicious or vindicitive – but to the Master of Fire he knows that he is one thing, Right. The true leader of the elemental council, it was Isawa Tsuke who issued the statement causing the Lion to attack. It was Isawa Tsuke who ordered his Firestorm Legion to annihilate the Lion as they charged at their lines. It is Isawa Tsuke who even now plots for his next step against the Lion. He is without pity, mercy or regret and his duelling skills are legendary. Having spent time in the Imperial Legions alongside the capable Emerald Champion Satsume, the Master of Fire is well versed in tactics and strategies and looks forward to the times ahead.
Master of Water – Isawa Tomo – currently exiled in Crab lands
Whimsical and completely unreliable, the Master of Water travels the country side with a song on his lips and joviality that many admire. He travels from town to town, using his extraordinary talents to amuse children, tell stories and even help with crops. He is worried about Tsuke’s attitude for violence and war but finds himself believing that there is nothing he can do. So he travels on like a river flowing downhill, enjoying his life while he has it.
(Former) Master of Void – Isawa Ujina – deceased
The oldest of the current Elemental Masters, Ujina is hideously scarred and crippled, relying on his acolyte and daughter Isawa Kaede to assist him through his duties. With Tadaka perpetually in the South, Tomo often on walkabout and the Master of Air having passed away, it is often up to him to try and dissuade the hot tempered Tsuke with words of calm and reason. As he gets older and weaker, those words get harder and harder to find. Even with his daughter assisting him he finds that his beloved Phoenix are on the cusp of war and he worries where it will end. Isawa Ujina was killed while participating in the Jade Championship last autumn – killed by his opponent Isawa Uona, the Mistress of Air.
Current Master of Void – Yogo Junzo
Outspoken and opinionated, the Daimyo of the Yogo has been blessed with a rare talent, an affinity with the void, almost unheard of outside of the Phoenix clan. His power with the Void is such that he would like to challenge for the position of Elemental master of the Void. Yogo Junzo has recently won a great victory in this regard. At the Jade Championship, the Master of Void was killed by a fellow Phoenix while competing. Yogo Junzo was invited by the Phoenix to take up the now vacant position. Yogo Junzo won the Championship, and has left the Scorpion Clan to swear fealty to the Phoenix. Junzo now holds the positions of Jade Champion and Master of Void
Shiba Family Daimyo – Shiba Ujimitsu.
The wandering Daimyo of the Shiba Family, Shiba Ujimitsu comes when and where he is needed. A man of mystery, he appears seemingly out of nowhere aiding his people against bandits one minute and then fighting off a raid by Yobanjin the next, even on the same day. However what has been troubling his fellow Shiba considerably is that he has been absent to advise them on the war against the Lion. The lack of his presence has kept the Shiba from potentially rebelling from Tsuke’s distasteful orders, but that reasoning is being chipped away after their solid ‘surrender’ against the Lion.
Asako Family Daimyo – Currently vacant.
The Asako family suffered a recent tragedy when their daimyo, Asako Koyo, was killed by bandits outside of the Isawa Mori. The incident has been written off as a one off attack but there are seemingly more and more ronin and bandits being spotted in the lands of the Phoenix. No one can say what this foretells.