Legend of the Five Rings is unique in that players directly tell the story through the choices they make at tournaments. Most of the times these choices bring their Clan glory, but other times the results can be less than positive depending on the choices the player made in which cards to use in his or her deck. Best of all, their effects are often later shown right on the cards you play with. To illustrate this, we present The Cautionary Tale of Bayushi Shinzo.
Bayushi Shinzo is a ninja in the service to the Scorpion Clan. Since the whole Empire knows that ninja do not exist, their service is a secret to all. However, their network extends throughout the Empire.
Shosuro Yudoka is another of the Scorpion’s ninja. He is a hero among them, having served faithfully and effectively for many years. His loyalty to the Scorpion and the Empire has never been questioned.
Kokujin is the self proclaimed “Prophet of the Dark Lotus.” This tainted monk spreads his madness where ever he travels, converting the weak to his banner, often spreading to them the same madness that courses through his mind. He is mad, but powerful, both in the story and in the game. When the 2006 Kotei tournaments came, Walbert Ibarra chose to use Kokujin’s power in his Scorpion ninja deck. Between Shinzo and Kokujin he decimated his opponents. His prize for victory was to choose a character to become enlightened.
He chose Bayushi Shinzo. Of course, given the presence of Kokujin… what sort of enlightenment would that be?
In the meantime, Kokujin had been spreading his lies to the peasants of Rokugan, inspiring them to riot, destroy crops, and any other activities that bring chaos to the Clans. But the peasants are often below the view of the Clans, and it fell to the Scorpion, who always fight the enemies that go unseen, to find the cause of the riots.
Shosuro Yudoka made it his personal mission to stop the Dark Prophet and bring an end to the chaos he spread to the Empire. Little did he know of the agent Kokujin had among Yudoka’s own people.
In the end, the temptation of power not only cost the Scorpion Bayushi Shinzo, it cost them the life of Shosuro Yudoka as well. Worst of all, the Scorpion may very well be unaware of the betrayal, and Kokujin’s convert still walks among them awaiting the next moment to strike.
If you take anything from this sad tale, take this: Use caution when building your decks and making your choices in Legend of the Five Rings tournaments as they can have profound effects both beneficial and tragic.