Legends of Rokugan
Lore: Impossible to Learn without Hosoku’s Secret Scrolls (PC’s become knowledgeable)
Kenshin’s Helm is an ancient item created by a craftsman who served Miya during the first Emperor’s Blessing in the wake of the War Against Fu Leng. The helm was treasured by Miya, and came to be recongized as a symbol of the legendary shisha.
What history overlooked is the fact that Miya Kenshin was a priest of one of the many religions that dominated Rokugan before the arrival of the Kami. Kenshin secretly despised the interference of the Kami in the lives of mortals; the War of Fu Leng only proved that meddling gods bring nothing but trouble. While he openly pretended to support Miya’s works, Kenshin despised his lord as a lap-dog of the Kami. Kenshin’s Helm was intended as an experiment, a template for a more powerful version to be given to Hantei Genji, the Splendid Emperor. Unfortunately, Kenshin died before he could create his second artifact. His plot was never discovered.
Upon the death of Miya Kenshin, Miya set the helm in a place of honor in Kyuden Miya. Ironically, it was his love for his false friend that saved Miya from the helm’s curse.
Kenshin’s Helm surfaced again during the Crab-Crane War in the year 387. Miya Kazu, daimyo of the Miya, was dispathed to investigate the growing dispute. He wore Kenshin’s Helm on his mission hoping that the kabuto of his ancestor would bring him luck. Instead, the helm’s curse took root and caused Kazu to fail miserably. The Yasuki broke from the Crane, war began in earnest, and many Miya died before all was said and done.
The helm was returned to Kyuden Miya and none suspected its involvement in the tragedy that occurred. It remained untouched for nearly four decades.
In the early fifth century, the helm was given to the Kitsu family as a gift from the Miya in thanks for their assistance in defusing a volatile situation between the Akodo and the Matsu. It was passed into the hands of the succeeding daimyo of the Kitsu, a young shugenja named Uragiri. Uragiri treasured the helm and wore it often never realizing the effect it had upon his sanity.
Over time Uragiri turned his studies to the power of maho. He became a deadly maho-tsukai and his Taint was carefully hidden by subtle magic. In time, he became advisor to the great general, Akodo Godaigo. Advised by the kansen stealing his sanity, Uragiri gave Godaigo the helm and used its curse to hasten his downfall. The famous tale of Akodo Godaigo’s failure and his betrayal of Matsu Hitomi is told elsewhere.
After Matsu Hitomi’s defeat in the year 441, Godaigo was disgraced. Before he vanished from the public eye he returned Kenshin’s Helm to th Miya for he no longer felt worth to carry it. Still unaware of the curse, the Miya accepted.
This time the helm remained untouched only a year.
In the year 442, a gaijin fleet arrived in Otosan Uchi. The Miya shisha dispatched to meet the gaijin wore Kenshin’s helm.
Later, that Miya washed up on the shores of Golden Sun Bay. A massive battle had erupted between the gaijin and the Rokugani. Many Miya were taken hostage and never seen again.
The helm and its wearer were discovered by a young Scorpion named Bayushi Tesarugi, son of the Scorpion Clan Champion. On impulse, Tesarugi took the helm with him.
Bayushi Tesarugi wore Kenshin’s Helm for three years, though he lacquered it dark red so that it would not be recognized. In the year 445 he was entrusted with three of the Black Scrolls and quickly sold them to the Phoenix Clan. When Yogo Ichinore discovered the truth, Tesarugi’s spirit became the first resident of Traitor’s Grove.
Ichinore and the others who came for Tesarugi were the first to recognize the subtle touch of maho upon the helm. The kabuto was deemed too dangerous to be left in Traitor’s Grove, so Ichinore assumed the responsibility of protecting the helm from being used again. He hid the cursed thing along with the 11th Black Scroll (Doom of Fu Leng) in Phoenix territory, deep in a cave near Road’s End Village.
Over time the proximity of the 11th Black Scroll stirred something within Kenshin’s Helm and it became transformed. Fu Leng has turned it into a potent weapon to be activated in the eventuality that he fails against the Seven Thunders on the Second Day of Thunder. The Helm has become a repository for his power and any mortal foolish enough to wear it could become maddened by corruption, effectively becoming the new Dark Lord.
No one alive currently knows that the helm can do this, not even Fu Leng’s servants. Only the PC’s, Hosoku, and Fu Leng are aware. If others became aware then they might seek to destroy or hide the helm.
Upon being worn, Kenshin’s Helm immediately disguises any signs of the Shadowlands Taint the wearer possesses and will gain in the future.
In addition, the wearer gains 6 Minor and 3 Major Shadowlands Powers and access to the Maho-Bujin school.
The wearer is also a vessel for the soul of He Who Shall Not Be Named, the Dark Lord and God of Jigoku, Fu Leng.