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Mastery Level: 1 Duration: 10 minutes Area of Effect: Special Range: Ten feet

This spell is cast on a single object, no larger than three feet in diameter. It prevents the object from creating any sound, including sound caused by it moving against other surfaces. If this spell' were cast on an arrow before it was fired, it would speed silently through the air, and make absolutely no noise if it struck a stone wall and snapped. If the spell is cast on a person's footgear or equivalent, the target rolls (but does not keep) one extra die on Stealth rolls.

"What da you knowbftju Kolat,sensei!"' young Ryoko demanded.

Kitsuki Kamoio sighed, glancing up from his. calligraphy with an annoyed fmvn."Can this not wait until the miming, Ryoko-chanF the old man asked. "This has been a most tiring day."

"I apologue if I seem eager, sensei," the young woman replied, kneeling nearher teacher's desk and bowing her head respectfully. "It is just that our own records on them seem so meager, and yet it is repeatedly stressed how dangerous they once wet*."

"The key word is once." Kamoto smiled, setting his brush aside. "The Kolat were destroyed decades ago, wiped out by the Lying Darkness and by Shinjo herself. They are no longer a threat."

"But can we be so surer Ryoko asked, raising an eyebrow. "They were a centuries-old conspiracy, extending to the hearts of the Great Clans. The Unicom Champion himself is said to have been one of the Ten Masters, as was the revered sensei ofthcAkodo"

Kamoto sighed, favoring his atrious young student with hfsbest long-suffering smile. "What are you getting at, Ryoko?" he asked. "Are you suggesting that the very real dangers we face from the Yobanjin, the bandit-lord Hayato, and the armies of the Phoenix Clan are not enough? That we must dredge up shadows from the past to threaten us as well?'

. "Not at all, sensei," Ryoko said, frowning slightly. "However, I believe that it pays to be cautious. Shinjo shattered the Kolat, but none of the Masters were ever captured. Is it not possible they could have escaped and rebuilt,their organization anew? They escaped the Empire's attention for centuries before. Why could they not do , so again?" j I:

Makoto sighed again. "I admit, it is possible. The Kolat may come to be a threat to (he Empire again one day. However, without any evidence of their existence, it is impossible to find any potential agents, and thus a waste of our time and resources to investigate thitt!-" i '"V^Ui^ii gagg*.

"The records of the Shinjo list many suspected agents who were never found and arrested," Ryoko replied. "After three decades the trail may be cold, but perhaps—"

"Ryoko!" Makoto said sternly. "Our family, our clan, has more I pressing problems than the Kolat. I would appreciate it if you did not mention them again."

Ryoko looked crestfallen. "Yes, sensei," she said, bowing her head. "Is that all?" Makoto asked.

"Yes, sensei," she repeated, risingand bowing a final time. "I am sorry to have interrupted you" She turned and exited the chamber.

Makoto quietly watched her leave, his face inscrutable. When the door closed behind her, he set his calligraphy aside and drew a fresh sheet of paper. His brush strokes were quick, precise. The kanji they left behind did not match any characters used in the courts of Roitugan. {-M^WMBp^P

"That one may become a problem soon," the old sensei mumbled to himself, "or perhaps an asset..

The history and organization of the Kolat aré des Rokugan and The Merchant's Guide to Rokugan. The information presented in this section is more recent and goes into somewhat deeper detail; therefore the information here supersedes that presented in those books.

HISTOîty

Founded by survivors of the human tribes who resented the domination and rule of the Kami, the Kolat's ultimate goal is one of power. They have labored for centuries iio ¿ftaneu-

ver their agents into positions of influence within the structure of Rokugani society. Their ultimate goal is to cast aside the political structure left behind by the Kami, replacing it with a society where the reins of power are placed in the hands of those with the skill and power to grasp them.

While from a certain point of view the Kolat's ends may seem noble, their methods are ruthless in the extreme. The Kolat believe in power at any cost, and do not hesitate to extort, assassinate, or brainwash to attain their goals.

After the crippling attacks by the Lying Darkness and Shinjo thirty years ago, many critical agents were left isolated, in danger of exposure. The Kolat were disorganized, in desperate need of resources. Kolat Master Doji Akae swiftly solved the problem through skillful application of his personal fortune. A few bribes allowed endangered agents to be reassigned to less hostile areas without jeopardizing their cover; resources were discreetly accumulated that would allow the Hidden Temple's operations to continue, albeit on a smaller scale than before.

Though the Kolat have always been organized, they have now recognized a need for clearer delineation in the duties of the Masters. The Kolat are now divided into ten separate and independent sects, each of which is led by a Master referred to only by the name of his sect. ("Master Tiger," for example, leads the Tiger Sect.) While each of these sects are still allied with the Kolat as a whole, the members of each usually operate without knowledge of the others. In time of need, an entire sect could potentially break off and vanish with no connection to the whole, giving the Kolat a chance to regroup and rebuild. So long as a single sect survives, the Kolat can one day return.

In recent times a rift has arisen, dividing the Ten Masters (also referred to as The Ten) into factions of "traditional" and "modern" Kolat. The traditional Kolat believe that the organization has lost sight of its original purpose and become complacent, parasites rather than conquerors. These Kolat believe that a demonstration must be made against their enemies, a decisive gesture that will prove the weakness of the samurai caste system. The specific details of this operation are still a well-kept secret of the traditional Masters, who are waiting to reveal their plan until they command a majority among The Ten.

The modern Kolat feel that the organization's original purpose no longer applies. The Kami are no more; their traditions have already begun to degrade. A Hantei no longer sits upon the throne. A Great Clan with only an indirect relation to the Kami — the Mantis — now exists. Even the Sun and Moon have been replaced by mortals. The agents of the Kolat now sit unnoticed in positions of power among the samurai of Roku-gan. Why continue to struggle to attain the Kolat's goals? These modern Kolat believe they have already attained their goals, and only the maintenance of their power is a concern. They have even begun to view the use of sleepers with some distaste. How can the Kolat claim to be freeing Rokugan from the Kami's chains when they only replace them with chains of their own?

The Tiger, Cloud, Lotus, and Dream Masters are traditional Kolat, with Master Cloud the most vocal member of the group. The Steel, Coin, Silk, and Chrysanthemum Masters all adhere to the modern philosophy. Master Steel seems to be the primary advocate, and is the only Master with the power and influence to oppose Cloud. The traditional Kolat have a tremendous amount of support within the order, but the modern sects provide security and wealth for the entire order,

so as of yet neither has an advantage in the dispute. Neither Master Jade nor Master Roc seem interested in this ongoing debate. Both are far too concerned with their own responsibilities to become involved.

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