Isonokami Shrine

Seat of Unknown Power

An ancient shrine nestled in the forested hills some miles south of Wakigami in Yamato Province. Isonokami Shrine is notable for being the self-imposed prison of the Matsumoto Clan where Matsumoto Jigenzaemon sealed himself and his few remaining peers away after the plummeting decline of his power. Today it is largely abandoned, tended only by the occasional monk on pilgrimage or Matsumoto Ooawagaeri, scion of the ancient clan. As the temple is not dedicated to any particular god, there is little other reason to visit it, save for fondness or historical interest.   It's known that far in Japan's past, back when it was still called Wa, ancient kings favored the locale. In the present day, rumors state that it was built on some far-gone castle or vault, and great treasures, possibly even the legendary Seven-Branched Sword await anyone who can solve the mystery of the shrine. Some have tried, although the temple's forbidding position on a tall, forested hill with no maintained paths dissuades most casual tomb raiders. Those who do steal within its ancient walls either come back empty-handed or not at all. If Isonokami Shrine had a dismal reputation thanks to its associations with the Matsumoto, these events certainly did nothing to improve it.   Mostly, Isonokami is shunned or forgotten except in the case of the few who still retain some connection to the place. Recently, this includes the likes of Hashinara Yoshitakatomo, who owes two resurrections to the shrine. Perhaps as a remnant of Jigenzaemon's power, or perhaps from some greater, more ancient source, the shrine still hides some great and dark energy that only the few remaining Matsumoto understand how to wield.


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