Black Scrolls of Fu Leng
The Black Scrolls of Fu Leng are deadly artifacts meant to bring about ruin and despair to the Empire of Azeshouri. Six in number, each scroll possesses a terrible curse. Should a shugenja of the proper strength manage to break the protections laid upon each scroll to open and read it, they will enact the curse bound into that scroll while simultaneously granting power to the greatest Maho-tsukai the Empire has ever known.
The Black Scrolls originally began as twelve scrolls crafted by Isawa of the Phoenix clan, reputed to possess a portion of the mystical knowledge and great power granted by the Kami Shiba before his ascension to the Celestial Heavens. The Scrolls were to be studied by the clan shugenja in an effort to unlock their secrets of enlightenment.
However, before the outbreak of the Second Shadowlands War, a young scholar by the name of Otomo Jama, youngest son of the Emperor, came to study among the Phoenix. What none knew at the time was that Jama had already pledged himself in service to the Dark Kami, Fu Leng, in exchange for dark power. Thus, unsuspecting, the Phoenix opened their libraries to the young man. Jama, with the aid of the power granted to him by Fu Leng, managed to steal six of Isawa’s scrolls before fleeing with the priceless artifacts. Eventually they made their way to the Festering Pit in the Shadowlands, whereupon the holy scrolls were corrupted by the touch of Jigoku and the Taint, as Fu Leng planned to use the power contained within the corrupted scrolls to bring about the destruction of Azeshouri.
Towards the end of the Second Shadowlands War, Fu Leng crafted several terrible curses to be unleashed upon the Empire. Jama, now known as Iuchiban, recorded the curses onto the tainted scrolls of Isawa, transforming them into the Black Scrolls of Fu Leng. What Fu Leng did not realize was that his pupil, still craving power, reworked the spells siphoning and binding part of the essence of Fu Leng into the scrolls in the process, redirected the power to be transferred to himself. Thus, when all the curses had been enacted, each would fall upon Azeshouri while Iuchiban would be given the power to rival a Fortune (in essence, a demigod).
Fortunately for the Empire, Iuchiban was caught before he could enact all the curses. Though try as they might, the shugenja masters discovered that they could not kill Iuchiban, only contain him. In time, he would likely break free. Realizing the threat that the scrolls and Iuchiban posed, the shugenja of the Yogo, Kuni, and Isawa families enacted a different plan. Using Pure Blood Magic to counteract the powerful Taint bound within each scroll, Iuchiban’s soul was instead stripped from his body, whereupon it was split and bound to each of the six scrolls and sealed within. The shugenja who enacted the ritual, Yogo, along with all his descendants, was cursed in the process by Iuchiban to betray those he loved most. But the ritual was successful. His soul bound within the scrolls, Iuchiban would no longer be a threat.
To further ensure that the Black Scrolls would never again threaten the Empire, they were entrusted to Yogo to protect. Yogo left to join the Snake clan and took the six scrolls with him. From there, the fates of each scroll is unknown. It is believed that only the Snake clan knows the whereabouts of each scroll – but if this is true, then the Snake have not spoken of it.
It was has since been revealed that the location of two Black Scrolls have been determined. The first was found in the hidden tomb of Kakita Yajinden, one of Iuchiban’s first followers, but the scroll had been taken by Bloodspeakers and, it is feared, opened. The second was recently discovered to have been hidden in the possession of the High Priest of the Heavenly Temple in Kyuden Gotai, where it was stolen during an assault by the Red Cougars, led by their leader, the Steel Panther. It has not yet been discovered what the curse contained in each scroll is.
The whereabouts of the other four scrolls is currently unknown, but it is believed that they are currently being sought by Bloodspeakers in an effort to unleash Fu Leng’s curses and to release the soul of their founder in preparation for a possible Third Shadowlands War. Should they succeed, the Empire will be plunged into terrible despair…