The mysteries of the universe are the domain of the Phoenix Clan. Long ago, before Shinsei arrived in Rokugan, the people worshipped the Seven Fortunes. They were fickle gods who were easily pleased and easily angered, who provided blessings to any who asked properly and curses to those who did not. The secret chants and rituals that were used to communicate with them were kept by an order of holy men called shugenja. These shugenja practiced their arts in a language known only to them, written on scrolls which were passed down from parent to child.
When Shinsei arrived in the Empire, the shugenja embraced his philosophy of the Five Rings and incorporated it into the religion of the Seven Fortunes. This fusion created an entirely new philosophy for shugenja to ponder, and no one ponders the nature of reality quite like the Phoenix Clan.
There are three families in the Phoenix Clan, and only one of them has a school of bushido. The other two are devoted to the training of shugenja, and no other shugenja schools in Rokugan can match them. Of all the other Clans (even Crane), Phoenix is the least militant. They prefer peace over warfare and enter battle only if forced to do so. A Phoenix shugenja will always look for a peaceful solution to a problem, even when his enemy is knocking down his walls with siege engines. A Phoenix samurai, on the other hand, is a bit of a different story. The Shiba family is responsible for guarding the walls of the Phoenix Clan, and while they are also the bushi of the Clan, the real decisions are made by the five Elemental Masters of the Isawa family. Shiba samurai have often had difficulty getting permission for the Council of Masters to use military force; so while the other Clans view the Phoenix as reluctant to fight, their attitude is only half correct. The samurai are willing to fight; it is the shugenja that are difficult to convince.
Shiba Bushi School
Isawa Shugenja School
Isawa - The Elemental Masters School the most prestigious students of the shugenja arts. Benefits +1 Awareness
Shiba - While Shiba Ujimitsu may be the Champion of the Phoenix, there is no doubt it is the shugenja and not the samurai who dictate the destiny of the Phoenix. Benefit +1 Intelligence
Asako - The Asako family are the greatest historians in the Empire (although the Ikoma family of the Lion Clan may debate that fact.) Benefit +1 Perception
The Phoenix' Views of the Other Clans
|"They perform a necessary duty for the Empire, but that does not make them noble. They would take the Empire if they could, which makes them selfish, brutish and shortsighted. Only together can we survive."|
|"They also understand that philosophy cannot be practiced during war. Their efforts to keep Rokugan at peace are admirable, and we should help them when ever we can."|
|"Their way is a different way. They know secrets that would take us a lifetime to learn. We have much to gain from an alliance with them, and yet, they are so reluctant..."|
|"We and the Lion serve the same purpose. If only they could recognize that. They see us as weak, but we are not. We must maintain truce with the Lions lest we fall prey to their anger."|
|"They are Masters in their own right. They have learned the rules of society and have exploited them to their own means. No other Clan is Rokugan understands that subtleties of power as they do, and that is why we are so much alike."|
|"They are young, brash and foolish. The rely upon a single advantage and hope that fortune will carry them the rest of the way. But their strength coupled with our wisdom can prove to be a powerful alliance."|