Multi Elemental Spells

Spells using more than one Element are not properly developed until the mid-twelfth century, after the Agasha family joins the Phoenix. Prior to that time, such magic is unknown to the Empire, although a few eccentric Agasha experimented with theories on how it might be possible. In game terms, only the “Agasha” Multi-Element Spells presented in this section are available prior to the Four Winds era, while the “Phoenix” spells become available at that time and the other clan spells become available within a generation after the ascension of Toturi III.
In general, Multi-Element spells outside the Phoenix Clan are quite rare and the GM should exercise care in allowing them into play. An obscure low-Rank shugenja is unlikely to have access to such unusual and experimental

Any Multi-Element spell will list which Elements it uses (typically two, although a few use three). A shugenja who casts a Multi-Element spell makes a Spell-Casting Roll as normal, but the following constraints apply:

  • The shugenja always uses the lowest Ring Rank of the Elements within the spell.
  • The casting time for the spell is increased by one Complex Action over the normal casting time for a spell of that Mastery Level.
  • The shugenja does not gain any benefit from having an Affinity with any of the Elements in the spell. However, any penalty for Deficiency still applies. The spell expends a Spell Slot in each of its Elements. Thus, a spell which is Air/Fire will expend both an Air slot and a Fire slot each time it is cast.

The Six Universal Multielement Spells

These spells were devised by the Agasha and then shared with all eight of the Great Clans. They can be found in the libraries of all the major shugenja families, although some of the clans do not see them as much more than curiosities (the Crab and Lion have seen little value in pursuing further Multi-Element magic).

Air and Earth

  • Ring/Mastery: Air/Earth 3 [Jade]
  • Range: Self
  • Area of Effect: Cone 50’ long and 30’ wide at base
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Raises: Area of Effect (+5’ to width or length per Raise), Damage (+1k0 per Raise)

This spell causes a ferocious horizontal cyclone to blast outward from the caster, ripping up pieces of earth into a barrage of wind and stone. The caster must be standing on a natural earth surface (e.g. not in a building or on a ship) in order to cast this spell. Anyone other than the caster within the area of effect takes 4k2 Wounds (this damage is considered Jade for the purpose of harming supernatural creatures) and is Dazed; they must also make a Contested Earth roll against the caster or be knocked Prone.

Fire and Air

  • Ring/Mastery: Air/Fire 3 [Travel]
  • Range: Self
  • Area of Effect: 10’ radius
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Raises: Damage (+1k1 per two Raises), Special (+10’ to flight distance per Raise)

This spell capitalizes on the explosive relationship between Fire and Air to combine offensive and defensive effects. The Fire spirits unleash a blast of flame to scorch the caster’s enemies, while the Air spirits call on the invigorating power of this flame to lift the caster through the air to a safer location nearby. Everyone other than the caster within the spell’s area of effect takes XkX in fire damage (where X is the caster’s Fire), while the caster flies up through the air and lands up to his Air x20’ away, the Air spirits cushioning his descent so he is unharmed. Both effects take place in the same Round.

Fire and Water

  • Ring/Mastery: Fire/Water 2 [Battle]
  • Range: 50’
  • Area of Effect: 10’ radius
  • Duration: 2 Rounds
  • Raises: Range (+25’ per Raise), Area of Effect (+5’ radius per Raise, maximum radius equal to caster’s Fire x10’), Duration (+1 Round per Raise)

This spell invokes fire and water spirits at the same time and persuades them to mingle, unleashing a cloud of scalding steam. The area of effect is suddenly filled with super-hot steam which lasts until the spell ends, at which point it disperses. Those caught within the steam suffer 2k2 Wounds each Round they are there (unless they are resistant to heat) and their vision is impaired in the same manner as the Missing Eye Disadvantage until they leave the steam cloud.

Earth and Fire

  • Ring/Mastery: Earth/Fire 4 [Jade]
  • Range: 100’
  • Area of Effect: 5’ radius
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Raises: Range (+25’ per Raise), Area of Effect (double the radius for 2 Raises, can only be done once)

This spell invokes the combined wrath of the Earth and Fire kami, bringing them forth from the ground as a blast of searing magma. Anyone caught in the brief but ferocious blast suffers 5k4 Wounds and is knocked Prone. The damage from this spell bypasses the first 5 points of Reduction on the target, and is considered to be Jade for the purpose of harming supernatural creatures.

Water and Air

  • Ring/Mastery: Water/Air 2 [Divination]
  • Range: 1 mile radius
  • Area of Effect: Self
  • Duration: Concentration
  • Raises: Range (+1/2 mile per two Raises)

This spell combines the communicative powers of the
Air kami with the clarity and divination abilities of the
Water kami to grant a potent form of long-distance divination. The caster must have access to a body of still water
(a large basin or tub, a koi pond, a moat, etc) in order to cast this spell. By gazing into the water, the caster gains access to the vantage of Air spirits within the spell’s range, allowing him to look down on any location within that range as though gazing down from the sky, and to hear anything happening in that location. The perspective may be anywhere from a tree-top’s height all the way up to the height of the clouds. This spell has obvious military applications, and is known to be used by the Iuchi for such purposes.

Water and Earth

  • Ring/Mastery: Water/Earth 2 [Battle]
  • Range: 100’
  • Area of Effect: 20’ radius
  • Duration: 5 Rounds
  • Raises: Range (+25’ per Raise), Area of Effect (+5’ radius per Raise), Duration (+1 Round per Raise)

This spell persuades the Water kami and Earth kami in the area of effect to mingle, instantly reducing the ground to sticky, nigh-impassable mud. The spell can be cast anywhere where the ground is normal earth or even stone, but cannot be cast on a finished surface such as a tiled or wooden floor. For the duration of the spell, anyone attempting to physically move through the area of effect can only move a number of feet equal to their Water Ring with a Simple Action, and cannot move at all with a Free Action. Moreover, all such persons suffer a -1k1 penalty to any Agility-based rolls due to the mud impeding their physical motions.

Advanced Multi-Element Spells

These spells have been developed by specific shugenja families, and in general should only be available to characters from those families/clans, and only as special rewards for notable service. The GM can make exceptions if it fits the story, of course, but in general such spells should never be acquired as normal “ranking up” effects.

Cleansing the Body

  • Ring/Mastery: Earth/Water 2 [Jade]
  • Range: Touch
  • Area of Effect: 1 target person (can be the caster)
  • Duration: Instantaneous/24 hours (see description)
  • Raises: Area of Effect (+1 person per two Raises)

The only known Multi-Element spell created by the Kuni family, this spell calls on both the simple cleansing of Water and the spiritual purity of Earth to help protect against both physical and spiritual pollution. A person targeted with this spell is instantly cleansed of all dirt and filth, and gains a +2k1 bonus to any roll made within the next 24 hours to resist or recover from disease, poison, or infection. Moreover, if the target does not have the Shadowlands Taint, the spell also grants a +2k1 bonus to any rolls made to resist getting the Taint within that same 24 hour period. (This benefit does not work on a target who already has at least one Rank of Taint.) This spell cannot be “stacked” that is, a single person can only benefit from one casting of the spell within a 24-hour period.

The Mountain’s Wrath

  • Ring/Mastery: Earth/Fire 4 [Defense]
  • Range: N/A
  • Area of Effect: Self
  • Duration: 4 Rounds
  • Raises: Duration (+1 Round per Raise)

Created by the Tamori family, this spell invokes both the defensive resilience of Earth and the aggressive ferocity of Fire to protect the caster in combat – a common place for the martial Tamori to find themselves. The caster’s skin is covered by a sheath of stone wreathed in an outward layer of flickering red flames. The caster gains Reduction equal to his Earth x3, and any wooden weapon which strikes the caster is set afire. Anyone who touches the caster (or strikes him with unarmed attacks) suffers Xk1 Wounds (where X is the caster’s Fire Rank), and the caster’s own unarmed strikes have their DR increased by the same amount.

Wrath of the Sun

  • Ring/Mastery: Fire/Air 3 [Thunder]
  • Range: 100’
  • Area of effect: 30’ radius
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • Raises: Range (+25’ per Raise), Area of Effect (+5’

radius per Raise)
This spell is a creation of the Moshi family, and invokes both the fury of Fire and the wrathful aspect of Air to mimic the anger of the Moshi family’s patron Fortune, the Sun itself. When cast, it unleashes a blaze of searing light and a concussive detonation of air directly above the target. All those within the area of effect suffer 5k3 Wounds (3k1 Wounds if they are resistant to heat) and are knocked Prone, Dazed, and considered Blinded; during the Reactions stage of each Round they can attempt to recover from the blindness by rolling Stamina at a TN equal to the caster’s Fire x5 (in addition to the normal roll to recover from Dazed).
This spell is noted for being particularly effective against creatures of the Nothing, which suffer an additional 2k2 damage from its effects.

Whispering Flames

  • Ring/Mastery: Air/Fire 4 [Illusion]
  • Range: 50’
  • Area of Effect: All Rokugani within 50’
  • Duration: Concentration
  • Raises: Range (+25’ per Raise)

Created by the Isawa as a peaceful alternative to lethal battle, this spell creates a transfixing image, forged from the beauty of fire and the whispers of air. Any Rokugani within 50’ who sees the image must roll Willpower each Round against a TN equal to your Spell Casting Roll. If the roll is failed, the target is unable to take any action that Round other than staring at the image. The target may add his Honor Rank to the total of his Willpower roll (as if resisting Temptation), and gains a cumulative +1k0 bonus to the Willpower roll for each additional Round after the first. Also, any target who suffers physical damage is immediately freed from the spell’s effects (in relation to this, it may be noted that the targets are not physically immobilized and thus have their normal Armor TN).

Stifling Wind

  • Ring/Mastery: Air/Earth 3
  • Range: 100’
  • Area of Effect: 20’ radius
  • Duration: 5 Rounds
  • Raises: Range (+25’ per Raise), Area of Effect (+5’ radius per Raise), Duration (+1 Round per Raise)

Devised by the Soshi to support their shinobi allies, this spell is a more sophisticated development of the original Earth and Air spell. It mingles the Earth and Air kami to create a thick, choking cloud that obscures vision and renders breathing difficult. All those within the area of effect are considered Blinded while they remain within the cloud and for one Round after they leave (as they must wipe the dirt out of their eyes before they can see again). Moreover, while they remain within the cloud, at the start of their Turn each Round they must roll Stamina at a TN equal to the caster’s Earth x5 – if the roll is failed, they can only take Free Actions that Round (due to being choked by dust).

Soul Sword

  • Ring/Mastery: Earth/Air/Fire/Water 5 [Craft]
  • Range: Self
  • Area of Effect: Self
  • Duration: 10 Rounds
  • Raises: Duration (+2 Rounds per Raise), Special (pass the blade to another person for two Raises)

One of the more powerful and complex multi-Element
spells known, this Agasha spell is the ultimate expression of the Elemental Weapon spells, combining all four Elements to create a weapon of pure Elemental power. The weapon takes the form of a 5k4 katana and is wielded using the Kenjutsu Skill, but with a +2k2 bonus to attack rolls as the spirits within the blade guide it toward its foes. The Soul Sword is considered to have the properties of both Jade and Crystal for the purpose of who can be harmed by it, and it ignores all effects of enemy armor (both Armor TN and Reduction). If the wielder drops or otherwise loses the sword, the Air spirits within the blade fly it back into his hand as a Free Action.

Drown the Spirit

  • Ring/Mastery: Air/Water/Void 4
  • Range: 30’
  • Area of effect: 1 target creature
  • Duration: 3 Rounds
  • Raises: Range (+10’ per Raise), Duration (+1 Round per Raise)

One of the very few Multi-Element spells known to use Void magic, this spell can only be cast by a Void shugenja. It was devised by the Isawa ishiken as a way of punishing or outright defeating powerful foes, and it works by using the Void to turn the target’s internal Air and Water kami against him. The spell is quite visually spectacular, with the caster gathering a visible ball of dark crackling energy in his hands and then sending it forth to strike and suffuse the target. The target of the spell has his Strength Rank reduced by an amount equal to the combined total of his Air and Water Rings for the duration of the spell. If this reduces his Strength Rank to zero, he is helplessly immobilized and cannot take Actions until the spell expires.