The Phoenix are the masters of magic in the Empire, the keepers of the Teachings of Shinsei and caretakers of the Empire’s soul. Mountains collapse at their whispered requests, dry rivers are convinced to flow again, plagues are banished, restless ghosts are returned to slumber, and fiery infernos consume the walking dead. Nevertheless, the Phoenix understand that even the purest wish can have unintended and destructive consequences if the elements are brought out of balance or if the harmony between mortals and gods is broken. The wisdom the Phoenix have gleaned from the spirits and the Teachings of Shinsei has led them to foster peace and understanding among the other clans, even if it means sacrificing themselves in the process.
and be reborn.”
The Phoenix Clan is tasked with maintaining harmony between the Mortal and Spiritual Realms, as well as harmony within themselves. The Phoenix steward the Elemental Academies, the foremost centers of learning for elementalists, including those rare few capable of manipulating the mysterious element of Void. The five Elemental Masters are the most sage and powerful adepts in the Empire, serving as the authority on the lore of their chosen element.
The clan also sees the protection of Rokugan from spiritual threats as part of its remit, and trains its samurai to investigate elemental imbalances, root out heretical cults, and banish evil spirits. To some members of the clan, this means learning as much as they can about unknown traditions and sharing this knowledge for the betterment of the Empire. To others, this means sequestering dangerous arcane secrets at any cost and maintaining control over what magics can be practiced within Rokugan.
Isawa Tadaka served as the Elemental Master of Earth, the most powerful earth elementalist among the Phoenix Clan and perhaps in the entire realm. To Tadaka, the Shadowlands were always the greatest threat to Rokugan, and it was his duty to combat them at every turn.
Tormented by the legacy of his disgraced ancestor, Isawa Akuma, Tadaka delved into forbidden lore in search of a way to free Akuma from the clutches of the oni lord he created.
To that end, he became the apprentice of another mighty earth elementalist, Kuni Yori of the Crab Clan, even if it meant leaving the service of his daimyō and the woman he loved, Shiba Tsukune.
for the Phoenix."
Most members of the Phoenix are pacifists who eschew violence when they can, but they are also skilled combatants who march into battle when they must. Many members of the Phoenix Clan are also deeply dedicated to the religious Teachings of Shinsei, who taught that when samurai do not govern their lands justly, the Heavens themselves may voice their displeasure. It is the duty of every Phoenix to take a stand to do the right thing, even when one must set aside pursuing one’s own ego to do it.
The Phoenix Clan’s cultural traditions come from a wide variety of sources: the Isawa traditions are closely related to the animist practices of the Dawn Peaks, where ritualists invoke ancient heroes and celestial beings for power in a similar way. However, the clan’s founder, Shiba, and the prophet known as the Little Teacher also put their mark on the clan’s traditions, emphasizing a belief in the importance of pacifism and selflessness within the clan. Meanwhile, the Kaito family customs come from local religious rites that also predate the Empire, emphasizing a strong bond with the land and service to its resident spirits.
The Isawa Family
The elementalists of the Isawa family can hear and speak to the spirits of air, earth, fire, and water, as well as tap into the mysterious fifth element of void.
The Shiba Family
The Shiba are the Phoenix’s lone warrior family and foremost of the Empire’s yōjimbō, or bodyguards.
The Asako Family
Besides serving as scholars and diplomats, the Asako family’s small monastic order preserves the Teachings of Shinsei for future generations.
The Kaito Family
The Kaito family’s priests and mystic archers protect the many shrines scattered across the Phoenix holdings from angry and evil spirits.
Composed of the northern coastline, forests, and mountain ranges, the Phoenix Clan’s lands are marked by stark natural beauty. Amid the ancient groves, hidden valleys, and high peaks, the Phoenix Clan’s members pursue arcane secrets and spiritual awakening, communing with the spirits of their lands in a variety of ways for incredible power. The Isawa family’s ancestral seat of power, Isawa Palace, is a locus of spiritual practice and research and home to the five Elemental Academies. Isawa Palace is also the home of the Great Library, the largest in the Empire, as well as the main council chamber for the Elemental Masters and the contemplative Grove of the Masters.