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"The harbinger of the deceiver, the mark of
the wicked, the guild symbol of Shiro Tagachi."
In-game screenshot of Shiro's guild emblem
in Zen Daijun
Concept art by Kekai Kotaki.
A wallpaper featuring Shiro.
No one but Shiro Tagachi knows what made this sacred imperial bodyguard—the emperor's most trusted servant—turn on his master on the Day of the Jade Wind. Did Shiro plan to sever the unbroken imperial bloodline and crown himself emperor? Was it revenge he sought, for some perceived wrong the emperor had done to Shiro or the Tagachi family? Could Shiro have been seeking some form of power that historians can no longer comprehend?
Whatever his motive, Shiro's act has been literally carved in stone. On the last day of the Harvest Festival, the emperor's favored bodyguard arrived at the Harvest Temple and was waiting when the emperor reached the pinnacle of the temple's tower. Shiro cut down the emperor of Cantha where he knelt on the holy floor, staining it forever with the monarch's blood. Shiro himself was slain only moments later, but his revenge on those who killed him was the most significant event in Canthan history since Kaineng founded the empire. In Shiro's final moments, he drew on all of his ill-gotten power to drain the emperor's very soul away. Seething with magic but mortally wounded, the treacherous bodyguard screamed, and his voice washed over an area hundreds of miles across. Shiro's death wail became the Jade Wind, a cataclysmic wave of energy that turned trees, animals, people, and open water into stone and crystal.
In the wake of Shiro's fall, the empire carried on. But Shiro's legacy on the continent is undeniable and permanent. Today, many signs point to Shiro's return after two centuries in the border realms of the afterlife. A spectral force driven by rage, a thirst for power, and a special kind of madness, he corrupts everything in his wake. The Canthan people know nothing of this, and suspect that the hideous results of "the Affliction" are some kind of monstrous plague. But even those who know that Shiro stalks the shadows have no idea of the power seething within him— or what he might do with it.
Originally a loyal and ambitious guardsman, a descendant of Kaineng Tah, Shiro Tagachi was noticed by Emperor Angsiyan due to his prowess with weapons and thus invited to join the Imperial Guard as the emperor's favored bodyguard. As a bodyguard, he famously defeated an attack by Am Fah rebels in 1368 CC (858 AE), executing all who surrendered and decapitating their leader. In 1375 CC (865 AE), he rescued Angsiyan's son from Celestial Ministry rebels, mercilessly slaughtering them all in front of the boy and later mounting their heads in front of the Ministry. Though not often admitted by the government, Shiro Tagachi was an integral part of the peace treaties Angsiyan was forming with the Kurzicks and Luxons, and was the one who convinced their champions to work together.
During his service as both a guardsman and later bodyguard, a demon sent by Abaddon had disguised itself as a Fortune Teller and consulted Shiro multiple times, eventually telling him that he would be killed by the emperor during the Harvest Festival. This caused him to turn to forbidden magic, breaking imperial law, and led him down the path of insanity.
Beginning to fear for his life, he became further confused when Emperor Angsiyan began acting oddly during the Harvest Festival, altering protocol for unknown reasons. Using enchanted weapons, Shiro slew his master in the middle of the main ritual of the Harvest Ceremony and absorbed Angsiyan's soul along with the powerful magic granted to the emperor by Dwayna. Momentarily escaping Shiro's slaughter, a Ritualist entourage struck the ceremonial gong of the temple, alerting those outside to something gone wrong. Tagachi killed most of the soldiers that rushed to aid the emperor until only the Luxon champion Archemorus and the Kurzick champion Viktor remained. Before he could slay the two champions, the Assassin Vizu crippled Shiro and allowed the two champions to deliver the killing blow, nearly slicing Shiro in half with his own blades.
Shiro's death triggered the Jade Wind, by releasing the energies of the Harvest Ceremony. After his death, the Oracle of the Mists sought to turn Shiro into an Envoy as punishment, but he refused, and since then the Envoys have been attempting to bring him into their fold to ferry the newly dead through the Mists. For two hundred years after his demise, he had been content to lurk at the fringes of the netherworld. However, Shiro eventually accepted the task of becoming an Envoy and somehow learned to use his new power in the creation of an army, unleashing first the Afflicted and later the Shiro'ken upon Cantha, as the former guardsman sought a way to return to life. After slaying Master Togo, Shiro's plan was successful, and he returned to life, but was eventually defeated again by the player characters. After his second death, the other Envoys took Shiro's soul to the worst prison in the afterlife.
It was discovered that he was taken to the Realm of Torment, which had been overrun by Abaddon and his demonic servants. Shiro became one of Abaddon's generals and was defeated in the Temple of the Six Gods. The fate of his soul is currently unknown.
- Kaineng City
- Raisu Palace and Sunjiang District
- Imperial Sanctum
- Battle Scars (monster skill)
- Echoing Banishment (monster skill)
- Impossible Odds (monster skill)
- Meditation of the Reaper (monster skill)
- Riposting Shadows (monster skill)
- Strong Natural Resistance (monster skill)
- Gate of Madness
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- "I have returned!"
- "You will do nicely!"
- "Is that all you got!"
- "Fear my power"
- "<character name>, banished!" (when using Echoing Banishment)
- "Taste my twin blades of torment!"
- "My blades hunger for your flesh!"
- "I must have Revenge!
- Shiro does not use either Shiro's Sword or Shiro's Blades.
- He has a miniature version and a tonic form.
- He uses Warrior animations.
- His betrayal is the theme of the Guild Wars Factions trailer and he is featured on the cover of the Factions manuscripts.
- If Shiro is killed by a party of eight Assassin players in Imperial Sanctum, he will bow before dying.