The Bloodspeakers are a collection of cultists and underground practitioners of Maho created by Iuchiban to ultimately serve the Shadowlands and Fu Leng. The very first Bloodspeakers were disciples to whom Iuchiban personally taught the secrets of maho, as he himself had learned from Fu Leng.
Besides those who have become Bloodspeakers due to their desire for greater power, conquest, and destruction, over the centuries the cult has expanded to include those who desire the power offered by such despicable practices in order to rebel against their station or lot in life and the indignities heaped upon them by the strict laws and caste system of the Empire – thus, the cult has its greatest number of recruits not just among the shugenja, but also among the Hinin class – particularly the eta, who see the power offered by the cult as a way of either elevating themselves into a position of power or to strike back against those of higher social status and the caste system that oppresses them. As a result of this mixing of ideals, not all Bloodspeakers are necessarily Maho-tsukai, but all directly desire the power promised by such dark and corrupting rituals.
The cult typically operates in small cells, more often out in remote villages where it is easier to hide their practices – but a fair share also operate within the great cities throughout Azeshouri. Often the lowest-ranking and newly initiated members are used as disposable resources by higher-ranking members, but the longer one remains within the cult, the greater maho secrets are revealed to them. Most Bloodspeakers are capable of casting some level of spells, even if they are only simple ones. Thus, all are dangerous, and an individual’s social status and education should not be taken as a sign as to the level of power they can wield. Additionally, because many are Tainted, they are infected with a variety of physical and psychological afflictions, making them even more dangerous and unpredictable. Members come from all walks of life – but whether they acknowledge it or not, all of them serve the ends of Iuchiban, and through him, Fu Leng and the Shadowlands.
The cult is known for the practice of maho, summoning oni, blackmail, murder, kidnapping, and ritual sacrifice of victims to further its adherents’ quest for greater power. In the past, the cult has fought on the side of the Shadowlands during the First and Second Shadowland Wars, as well as claiming responsibility for the Battle of Stolen Tombs, when the cult looted graves and reanimated upwards of several hundred corpses as zombies in an attack on the Empire before they were put down. The original Bloodspeakers knowingly served Iuchiban, claiming they received orders and messages directly from him even across vast distances. Since Iuchiban’s destruction it is not known who, if anyone, actually leads the Bloodspeakers. Many deluded fools erroneously believe that the Dark Disciple and Fu Leng no longer wield any power over the cult and its actions. They are, of course, completely wrong – their actions, in one shape or another, serve only to further the advancement of Fu Leng and the Shadowlands.
It is rumored that there exists a small cabal of most powerful maho-tsukai that currently guides the various cells. What their ultimate plots are, no one knows, but one thing is known – the cult’s leadership intends to see the destruction of Azeshouri and the elevation of Fu Leng and the Shadowlands over the remains. While many cultists have proven themselves small-minded in their base pursuits and petty goals, there is no doubt that among the higher echelons its members believe that once all is said and done, they will be richly rewarded by the Dark Kami.