Between Winter Court: Kyuden Mirumoto and the Empire Reborn arc These events are considered to have happened by the authors of the Empire Reborn arc from immediately after Winter Court: Kyuden Mirumoto to the start of Chasing the Wind.
Haihime, daughter of Kanpeki, departs to study with the Taoist Swordsmen, the first of a journey that will take her to the lands of each of the Great Clans, learning the strengths, and weaknesses, of what the Empire has to offer. At her side is a mysterious ronin called Kumo.
Witnesses catch glimpses of the retired Empress, Iweko, dressed in the robes and with the shaved head of a monk, entering Iweko II's palanquin as he departs Dragon Lands to journey to Otosan Uchi.
The new Shogun, Akodo Kano, assumes leadership of the Empire's forces and begin planning the new offensives. A new Champion is chosen for the Lion.
The Last Legion is placed under the command of the temporary Emerald Champion, Kakita Karasu.
The Unicorn began to bring the sacred Herd to shelter in Phoenix lands while they begin their renewed offensive against Kanpeki.
As soon as they receive the Imperial Edict, the Isawa rebel against the throne, preparing their defenses against Iweko II's armies. But The Obsidian Hand begins to systematically and covertly destroy the Isawa who had leashed the dragons, killing them in vivid and gruesome ways as an an example for all those who would sin against the Empire. The leadership of the Phoenix is striped completely.
Kanpeki, furious at the clans' defiance at Winter Court, but even more furious at the Scorpion's transparent betrayal of him before all the clans, turns his vengeance inward, directing his resources to attack and destroy the Onyx Scorpion within his own borders. Bayushi Nitoshi, no longer able to play all sides, is finally forced to act to save his clan. He knew, however, that Kanpeki's death would only serve to unbind and strengthen the oni, Yuhmi, who Kanpeki had given the Hantei name. Nitoshi sacrifices himself to deliver a deadly poison to Kanpeki. The poison attacks Kanpeki's mind far more than than his body, and the Onyx Emperor descends into madness, but lives.
The clans, using Doji Arami's agricultural techniques, and supported by Kanpeki's madness, managed to bring in two harvests, a start towards breaking famine's grip.
The Dragon Armies join with the newly re-created Imperial Legions, the Crane artillery, the Crab, the Lion, and the Unicorn to secure a few key staging grounds, regathering their forces.
The Test of the Emerald Championship is held, and is won by Kakita Karasu, who had been temporarily holding the position since it was announced in Winter Court.
With Kanpeki's madness, the Onyx armies become erratic, fighting among themselves or moving in strange directions for no reason. Still, they were incredibly strong, and the Empire might have been wiped out if Kanpeki's focus was not on slaughtering the Onyx Scorpion.
The forces of the Emerald Empire strike, seizing the location of the Second Seal in Crane Lands. This battle was the first to extensively use the firearms of the Daidoji, slaying the huge Suiteru no Oni that had been made guardian over it. Following the previous year of preparation and the ritual provided by the Fire Dragon, the Seal is closed. Kanpeki's power is somewhat reduced.
The Onyx city of Zakyo Toshi is destroyed under mysterious circumstances.
Their leadership decimated, the Phoenix create a temporary council of Sensei to rule the clan until the Champion is found so that the Soul of Shiba returns to direct the clan. The Phoenix Civil War ends.
Hikahime dies in battle with the new Emerald Legion defending Otosan Uchi from attack from the sea, slaying the Shadowlands general Daigotsu Jemaru in his attempt to slay Emperor Iweko II.
Survivors of the Scorpion from the Burning Sands infiltrate the rest of the Empire, assuming positions among the troops of many clans.
The Phoenix and Mantis Shugenja raise the location of the Third Seal from the ocean floor. The Kitsu Shugenja Zetsubou seals the Third Seal. This allows the purification and reconstruction of the Mantis Islands to begin in earnest.
Haihime, daughter of Kanpeki, returns from her studies among the clans and is presented to the Emperor again. She is offered a Doji Husband, and, to the amazement of many, she accepts.
Replanting begins in Kitsune Mori, but it finds itself often delayed as war tramples across the lands.
The Champion of the Mantis, Moshi Janisha, steps down, opening a tournament among her clanspeople for the position of Clan Champion. She disappears shortly after the new Champion is chosen.
Haihime, with a small group of followers, disappears into the jungles of Zogeku.
The Warlord of Zogeku, Arashi, also known as Yoritomo, dies. He leaves the position of Warlord of Zogeku to his half-Ivindi son.
Mysterious deaths, attributed to the Obsidian Hand, begin to be found in other clans.
Extensive fighting across the southern Empire, the Golden Sun Plains, and the Northern Crab Lands finally frees the Southern Outskirts of the Shinomen Forest from the Onyx grip.
The Emperor has a son, Iweko Kiseki, born to a first concubine.
The Empress Iweko I is declared to have been elevated to the position of Fortune, though none have seen her passing and there are only rumors of her presence after the ascension of her son to the Throne.
A string of murders strike the city of Otosan Uchi, taking the life of many prominent residents. Each body is marked with the Black Hand.
The Crab armies, fortified by the other clans, begin an extended and powerful attack upon the Shinomen Forest. The full forces of the Walking Horror of Fu Leng, Kitsune Gohei, and the Shadowlands general Tsukuro, are arrayed against them, but the attack is a diversion. A small strikeforce of Hiruma, Kuni, and Burning Sands Scorpion, slip into the Shinomen and reach the location of the First Seal. However, when they reach the location, they discover an ancient table, circular and carved in stone. The table shows the symbol of the Seal that lay cracked nearby, and also the symbols on the two previous seals that had been closed. However, there were two more symbols on the table in the fourth and fifth position. A quick-witted Hiruma copied the symbols and patterns on the table while the shugenja closed the seal. For, it seemed, the three seals they had been concerned about had not been all.
The Shadowlands began showing more unity and focus, perhaps due to a gradual recovery on the part of Kanpeki. Although his power was weaker with the closing of three opened seals, the leader of the Shadowlands decided to renew his attacks on the Empire by using his strength to create a fresh wave of Jigoku-caused famine on the land. Targetted attacks struck hard at the carefully cultivated jade fields tht had been maintained, wells and rivers were poisoned, and death struck the Empire anew.
With the death of the Imperial Treasurer, Doji Arami becomes the Imperial Treasurer of Rokugan.
Research into determining the location of the fourth seal begins, though with the Phoenix knowledge greatly diminished with the losses of their civil war, it is not easy.
Famine wracks the land, and the clans are very hard pressed to survive. The ocean stocks are unaffected but only imports from Zogeku and the Burning Sands allow the Empire to survive. The Warlord of Zogeku taxes his people hard to provide enough supplies to sustain Rokugan, something the Zogeki are beginning to resent.
Dragon researchers aided by a few remaining Scorpion determine that the fourth seal was located where the Goddess Kali-Ma fell, in the Second Festering Pit. It was her death that ruptured the seal and Kanpeki's study of the Second Festering Pit that gave him the knowledge of the other seals he could use to increase his strength as he had.
Stressed by desperation from the famine, a hasty effort was made to drive into the heart of Onyx lands once held by the Scorpion, led by Akodo Kano. At the forefront stood the remaining Shiba Bushi and the Lion bushi . Kano requested the full deployment of the Imperial Legions, but found his will thwarted by the Chosen in the name of the Emperor himself, who insisted they instead be sent to the Shinomen Forest for reasons they would not reveal.
During the battle for the forth Seal, Daigostu Kanpeki himself took the field. He had become a being of huge almost un-imaginable power. Kano brought as many forces as he possibly could bring to bear, in the end striking out against Kanpeki at great loss of life. But Kanpeki's second in command, Yuhmi, struct between the forces with his own troops, driving the two forces apart. In the wake of the battle, the body of Kanpeki was found, dead, but on his death all of the forces of the Onyx accepted Yuhmi, openly declaring the true name he had been given: Oni no Hantei. The Shadowlands forces rallied behind Yuhmi immediately, far faster than Kano ever expected. Kano had thrown everything he had into defeating Kanpeki, but he had never imagined that killing Kanpeki would not end the battle immediately. The forces of the Lion, Dragon, and Phoenix were decimated.
With Kanpeki's death, the famine's worst effects stopped being renewed, but the next harvest still failed to come in, and the famine continued for another year.
With unnaturally renewed energy, the Onyx forces behind Yuhmi struck back, driving the Empire out of many of the areas that the armies of the Empire had painstakingly taken from the Onyx over the previous ten years. Kano, stung by his defeat against Yuhmi, was driven into further defeat after defeat.
Unbeknownst to many, Shadowlands forces attempt to reopen the first seal, but these forces are thwarted by Crane, Crab, and Scorpion harrier units backed with the Imperial Army as a major distraction.
Akodo Kano, feeling many of his strategies are being thwarted by the Chosen and the Emperor's advisors, fears renewed influence from Pan Ku or that the Emperor is being manipulated into causing his defeats. He determines to capture the Emperor in Otosan Uch, eliminate the Chosen, and set himself as the arbitrator of the Emperor's will, for the sake of the Empire. He, however, finds himself thwarted by the disappearance of the entire Imperial Court, eventually forcing him to return to the front, with only a few aware of what he was attempting.
Akodo Kano is caught and executed by the Obsidian Hand, but a Shosuro actor loyal to the Emperor takes his role up temporarily, following his battle plan and leading the Imperial Troops into another strike against the Onyx. "Akodo Kano" seems to die a valiant and glorious death in battle against the Onyx. A new Shogun, Utaku Chikara, is selected.
The harvests finally come in and the time of hunger passes.
Armies of the Empire try to rally under the new Shogun. This is a long, grueling year with mixed wins and losses, but some of the ground that was lost the previous year is reclaimed.
The new Shogun is more willing to deploy the Daidoji weaponry than the previous Shogun. Daigotsu Bofana is defeated with gaijin pepper weaponry.
A second attempt is made upon the Festering Pit in Scorpion Lands. There are major losses for all clans, but the seal that was broken by the fall of Kali Ma is found and re-sealed successfully. There is no indication of where the fifth seal might be.
The Togashi that remain begin to spread across the Empire in a special mission. Most believe it has to do with finding the Fifth Seal. However, it seems that they are giving special veneration to each and every shrine they come across, no matter how small or obscure.
The Emperor's first concubine has a second son, Iweko Hideyoshi.
Research and searching goes on across the Empire as the samurai of Rokugan search for the seal.
The armies of the Shogun and the Imperial Legions manage to push the forces of Yuhmi further and further back. With the reduced number of seals, even Yuhmi finds he cannot draw the numbers of undead and oni he was able to before from the pit. The amount of blood necessary to secure even one such servant was becoming greater and greater, and there were fewer and fewer victims left to provide it.
The Onyx forces, under the direction of Kokujin Dairu, begin to spawn small, disperse sects across Rokugan, trying to blend into the public. The sects find little foothold in Rokugan, where the threats of the Obsidian Hand remain strong, but they start taking root in other places.
A ronin vagabond, Miataru, arrived, banging on the gates of Kuyden Mirumoto. He was delirious and raving, but the Dragon took him in and tended him. His mind was mostly gone, for it seemed he he had been trapped in Sakkaku, the Realm of Mischief, for some time. But he described an encounter with the beings known as Kenku, who led him to a place in Unicorn lands, where they told him the last seal remained. He knew nothing about what the seals were or what they spoke of, but they would not let him leave until he swore to lead the followers of the Emperor to the spot. Plans began to form.
Following the directions of the ronin Miataru, the armies of the Empire, led by the Unicorn, closed in on an abandoned temple deep in Moto Lands, where the fifth seal had been hidden until it was broken after the Unicorn had been driven out of their lands. The armies of Moto Daigoru, the Onyx General, were lost defending it, and the seal was closed eventually, releasing the Unicorn Lands from the Onyx grip.
Yoritomo is named a Major Fortune by the Emperor.
With the power of Jigoku now severely weakened with all the seals closed, the armies of the Empire began to drive the Onyx back to their strongholds: Ryoko Owari, Kuyden Bayushi, Toshi Ranbo, and deep in the Shinomen Forests.