The Inquisitors

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The Jade Champion
(From Way of the Phoenix)
     Long ago, the Empire was attacked by the great sorcerer, Iuchiban, and his bloodspeaker minions. In response to such flagrant use of maho, the Emperor Hantei commanded that a new position in his court be established: the Jade Champion. The responsibilities would include keeping the Empire safe from such evil magic, as well as maintaining a tight grip on all magic use in the Empire.
     Needless to say, the Elemental Masters of the Phoenix were furious at the Emperor’s decision. Such a post could only interfere with their own supremacy of spellcasting, and any non-Phoenix appointed to the post could rightfully ask to be made privy to the secrets of the Council.
     At once, the Phoenix began to make plans for the removal of the position. Within five generations, the Jade Champion’s post was empty, and the appointment all but forgotten within the Imperial Court. The responsibility had turned into a joke, and the secrets of the Council of Five were again the sole province of the Phoenix.
     In order to ensure that the post of the Jade Champion be forever lost, the Phoenix established a chain of elite shugenja, trained to deal with maho and similar magics. These groups, known as Inquisitors, still exist today, and maintain the control of the Elemental Masters over all spellcraft in the land.
     The Inquisitors focus their investigations on any obvious use of maho or blood magic, destroying it wherever it is found. Uniting their efforts with those of the Kuni Witch Hunters, the Phoenix Inquisitors have proved an effective counter-measure against the incursions of maho which sporadically dot the lands of the Emerald Empire.

The Inquisitors
(From Second Edition Game Master’s Guide)
     The Phoenix Clan has the duty of protecting the knowledge of the Empire, and preventing the corruption of knowledge. To this end, the Elemental Masters have created a special type of Emerald Magistrate known as the Inquisitor. The Inquisitors seek out those that practice maho or bear the Taint of Fu Leng, and see that justice is done. The Inquisitors have great power, but little enforcement capability. They may accuse anyone save the Elemental Masters and the Emperor, but they have no power to deputize or levy troops. Inquisitors must prove their accusations personally or such accusations are likely to go unheard.
     All Inquisitors are required to undergo grueling tests of mind, body, and spirit to ensure that they will not be corrupted. Very few complete the tests; there are only a handful of Inquisitors at any time, and they always travel alone or in the company of Kuni Witch Hunters. Though most are Phoenix, this is not a requirement. Other clans are merely reluctant to allow their shugenja to become tools of the Elemental Masters.

New Advantage: Forbidden Knowledge (Inquisitor)
     This is a variant of the Forbidden Knowledge Advantage in Way of the Phoenix, given only to Inquisitors. As a service to the Inquisitors, the Dragon Clan gives each Inquisitor mystical eye tattoos on the palm of each hand, the “seekers of truth.” Any spell cast for the purpose of revealing the truth, finding a secret, or revealing that which is hidden receives a Free Raise for every level of Forbidden Knowledge. On the downside, any Inquisitor who falls to the temptation of maho gains additional boxes of Taint equal to twice his Forbidden Knowledge each time he casts a maho spell. A character may not have Forbidden Knowledge higher than his School Rank, and may increase the power of his tattoo when he rises in rank by paying 4 Experience Points.
     Inquisitors often have the Driven and/or Bad Reputation Disadvantages.

Inquisitors and Witch Hunters
(From Way of the Shadowlands)
     The Asako Inquisitors were founded in the third century in response to the corruption of Isawa Akuma. For centuries they functioned as nothing more than the Phoenix Clan’s internal police, rooting out those who practiced maho and punishing them. Though the Inquisitors took their duties seriously, the role of the Inquisitors was not seen as particularly important outside the Phoenix.
     After the first appearance of Iuchiban during the Battle of Stolen Graves, the Empire reevaluated the threat posed by maho. As the Inquisitors were already experienced in dealing with maho, the Emperor gave their organization Emerald Magistrate status. After Iuchiban returned, their powers were expanded even more. The Inquisitors are now primarily legislators, experts on all legal matters regarding dark magics. They have also forged a special partnership with the Kuni Witch Hunters.
     Established after the rise of Iuchiban, the Kuni family’s tsukai-sagasu dedicate themselves to tracking and destroying any evil that slips past the Wall. While the Inquisitors primarily deal with maho, it is the Witch Hunter’s duty to keep the Empire pure of all corruption. Witch Hunters have the absolute authority to execute maho-tsukai and monitor asylums of the Tainted. The Witch Hunters are the strong arm that the Inquisition mandates. The alliance between their two groups has endured despite clan and family politics. The Asako and the Kuni view themselves as above petty internal squabbles. Their battle is against evil itself.
     Their efforts have been largely successful, though their often-violent attics have earned them a questionable reputation. Witch Hunters and Inquisitors are feared even by those they protect. Most Witch Hunters and Inquisitors could not care less. If fear keeps people on the path of righteousness, then their reputation serves a purpose. The Kuni and Asako know that whatever else may happen, they can always depend upon one another.
     Inquisitors and Witch Hunters are exactly the sort of enemies Fu Leng despises most – brave, knowledgeable, and incorruptible. The Dark Lord has plotted for many years to find a way to drive a wedge between the two groups.

The Asako Inquisitors
(From Way of the Shugenja)
     The Phoenix order of Inquisitors was founded in response to the corruption of Isawa Akuma, though for many years they were little more than clan magistrates defending the Phoenix Clan from internal corruption. After the rise of Iuchiban, the jurisdiction of the Inquisitors was extended across the Empire, where they became an official sub-group of the Emerald Magistrates.
     Over the years, the Inquisitors have worked alongside the Kuni Witch Hunters and, for the past few decades, the magistrates of the revived office of the Jade Champion. The Asako, left largely to their own devices by the rest of the Phoenix, have assumed the responsibility of overseeing the Inquisitors as they continue their crusade against maho and corruption. The Inquisitors can be readily identified by the strange eye tattoos that they bear on their palms. These tattoos are magical, enhancing the Inquisitor’s already great perceptive talents. In the past, when the Dragon and Phoenix were allies, the Togashi family provided these tattoos. In recent times, the Agasha have taken up the duty of crafting these tattoos. (The Agasha are not able to recreate other Dragon tattoos, they have mastered only the relatively simple Inquisitor tattoo.)

The Asako Inquisitor (New Path)
While the Kuni Witch Hunters specifically seek out beasts and individuals with the Taint, and the Jade Magistrates hunt the Empire’s criminals, the Inquisitors traffic in unexplained magical phenomena, although they specialize in the location and elimination of maho-tsukai.
Technique Rank: 4
Path of Entry: Any Phoenix shugenja school 3
Path of Egress: Reenter the same school at rank 4
Technique: Stealing the Elements
     Shugenja may command the kami, but the Inquisitors can influence them in subtle ways that most shugenja are woefully unprepared to face. By spending a round concentrating (Meditation/Void roll versus a TN of 15), the Inquisitor may cancel one casting action by a shugenja. Multiple Void points may be spent per round in this manner, meaning that an Inquisitor who succeeds at his Meditation roll and spends three Void Points in a single round could cancel a Mastery Level 3 spell that a shugenja had spent the last two rounds preparing. Spells of Mastery Level greater than 3 cannot be canceled by this technique.

New Advanced School: Asako Inquisitors
(From Great Clans)
     The Asako are generally regarded as a peaceful and serene family, the very picture of the pacifistic Phoenix. For the most part this is an accurate picture of the family and their philosophy, but there are those who stand apart from it. The Asako are the primary force behind the Inquisitors, the Phoenix order devoted to eradicating the corrupt and blasphemous from within the ranks of the Empire’s shugenja. It is a mission they embrace completely and enact at any cost. The order has existed since the Empire’s earliest days, long before the creation of the Jade Magistrates, an organization that fulfills much of the same purpose. The Inquisitors sometimes work in cooperation with the Kuni Witch Hunters and have even had a few limited contacts with the Yogo family’s secretive Kuroiban.
     The Asako Inquisitors do not concern themselves exclusively with maho or Shadowlands corruption, although these crimes are among their most frequent targets. They also investigate gaijin magic and any religious groups with heretical beliefs, such as the Bloodspeaker Cult. Members of the Inquisitor order are selected primarily from the ranks of Phoenix shugenja, but many bushi serve with them and a few Henshin and Brotherhood monks have been inducted as well. Those who are inducted into the order and take the necessary vows of duty and secrecy are granted a stylized tattoo of an eye, the symbol of the order, somewhere on their body. The back of the hand is the most common location.

New Advanced School: Asako Inquisitors [Monk]

Requirements:
Rings/Traits: Void 4, any two other Rings at 3
Skills: Lore: Law 4, Lore: Shugenja 3
Other: Must be able to cast spells of Mastery Level 4 in one element OR have the ability to make melee attacks as a Simple Action and possess the Phoenix Sacred Weapon (the Inquisitor’s Strike). May not be Tainted.

Techniques
Rank One: Eyes of the Inquisitor
The Asako Inquisitors are taught to focus their will to disrupt the unnatural magic of blasphemers and criminals. You are considered one Rank higher in your original Shugenja School for the purposes of casting spells. Non-shugenja Inquisitors instead gain one Kiho, for which you must meet all prerequisites.
     During a skirmish, you may use a Complex Action to prepare a disruption of enemy magic. At any point later in the same skirmish when an opponent is casting a spell, you may as a Free Action force him to make two additional Raises on his spell-casting roll. These additional Raises have no effect other than to raise the TN of the roll. Once this is done, you must take another Complex Action if you wish to ready another disruption.

Rank Two: The Trials of Jade
An Inquisitor finds the weakness in his enemies and exploits it, bringing them to the Emperor’s justice. When casting any spell, you may spend a Void Point for the spell to count as jade or crystal for the purposes of reducing or defeating your target’s Reduction or Invulnerability traits. If you cannot cast spells, you may instead make a melee attack as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action when facing an opponent you know has violated the Empire’s laws regarding the legal forms of magic.

Rank Three: Conviction of Purity
Those who commit the unpardonable sin of breaking the Emperor’s laws concerning magic are unable to stand against you. You are considered one Rank higher in your original Shugenja School for the purposes of casting spells. Non-shugenja Inquisitors instead gain one additional Kiho, for which you must meet all prerequisites. You may now create a disruption (as per your Rank One technique) as a Simple Action instead of a Complex Action, and opponents whose spells are disrupted require three additional Raises rather than two.

The Inquisitors

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