L5R Pre-Coup Overview
The year is 1,118. The Empire has known a rather unusual period of extended peace at this point, and conflicts are few. This will last until the 1,120th year of Isawa's calendar (or so), as the Lion are once again threatening moves against the Crane. See L5R Factions for specifics.
The current Dramatis Persona are as follows:
- Crab: Hida Kisada, the Great Bear, is the Crab Clan Daimyo, and an all-around badass. His favored son, Hida Yakamo, suits him. His daughter, Hida O-Ushi, is stronger than most men.
- Crane: Doji Satsume is the current Emerald Champion and daimyo of the Crane, though he is slowly passing the latter title to Doji Hoturi in his old age. Kakita Toshimoko is the most feared duelist in the Empire.
- Dragon: Togashi Yokuni is the 'current' Daimyo of the Dragon.
- Imperial: Hantei XXXVIII reigns. His only son, Hantei Sotorii, is still quite young.
- Lion: Akodo Arasou is the current Daimyo of the Lion. His next in line for succession, Akodo Toturi, is violently opposed by Matsu Tsuko, the daimyo of the Matsu family.
- Mantis: Yoritomo is an exceptionally capable leader and warrior, with vast amounts of drive. Still, his clan is smaller than even the Phoenix.
- Nezumi: Exist, and parts of Rokugan are aware of them, but for the most part not.
- Phoenix: Shiba Ujimitsu is the current daimyo of the Phoenix, though the position is not the most glorious one. Isawa Tsuke, the Master of Fire, is currently the most feared member of the council, though Isawa Uji, being the master of Void, is a good runner up.
- Scorpion: Bayushi Shoju has recently wed Shosuro Kachiko, now Bayushi Kachiko. They are, accurately, believed to be the most informed people in the Empire.
- Shadowlands: Oni no Akuma, Oni no Tsuburu, Oni no Shikubu, and Kyoso no Oni are the Oni Lords. Moto Tsume and the Dark Daughter of Fu Leng (who, being quite attractive, is not Shahai) are the most well-known Akutensai. These are six of the most dangerous beings in existance.
- The Kolat: What Kolat? Do you mean ninja? Ninja don't exist.
- The Shadow: You mean Shadowlands, right?
- Unicorn: Shinjo Yokatsu is the daimyo of the Unicorn, also referred to as the Master of the Four Winds.
- Crab: The Toritaka are no part of them, and the Yasuki have not yet returned to the Crane.
- Crane: See Crab. The Crane have the largest peasant population of the Empire, and produce most of the Empire's surplus harvest.
- Dragon: Still retain the Agasha family, a potent shugenja school with some strange techniques, and Agasha Tamori is still a respected daimyo of that family. Their affinity is fire, deficiency water. The Dragon and Phoenix have never known conflict between eachother.
- Lion: The Akodo have not yet been forced to disband, and the Lion's armies are huge - nearly breaking their logistical supply, and its peasants are starving.
- Mantis: Are still a minor clan, and have not absorbed the Wasp or the Centipede clans. They have no family name and are only slightly better off than other minor clans in terms of their schools.
- Minor Clans: The Hare, Falcon, Centipede, Badger, and Wasp still exist in their original state. The Bat, Monkey, and Ox do not yet exist (and may never). The Snake and Boar are still dead. The Fox, Sparrow, Dragonfly, and Tortoise clans have long been around. The Moshi of the Centipede are based just south of Phoenix territory on the coast.
- Naga: Have not yet reawoken en masse. Very, very little is known about them, though a few legends of snake-men exist, along with legends of the naga. It is possible that one or two are awake at any given point in time, however.
- Phoenix: Have not absorbed the Agasha, and are not yet considered the 'Voice of the Emperor', though they are quite involved in Imperial matters.
- Scorpion: As mentioned, they have not been disbanded or exiled, and their reputation is still 'untarnished', so to speak.
- Unicorn: The Otaku are not, and never will become, the Utaku. Death will come swiftly to those who suggest otherwise! >_>
- Overall, the Rokugan in 1118 is less aware, especially of gaijin of all sorts, but also of many things that are going bump in the night. The Shadow and the Kolat are completely unknown. Most vastly underestimate the strength of the Shadowlands, and its nature.
- The book doesn't quite stress this - the Empire is polite, civil society, where the needs of the individual are meaningless compared to those of the Empire. It is a prime example of a 'Lawful Neutral' civilization. Hinin are, literally, not people, especially not eta. They are property, cattle wearing human skin. Geisha, while technically hinin, are better off, but eta - the rest of them - are in constant danger of losing their lives. Heimin, half people, are the merchants, peasant soldiers and farmers of the empire, in increasing order of importance. They have some rights, and are sometimes worth notice.
- Although boasting is a popular activity for some, most Rokugani prefer, and appreciate, hidden talent. It is foolish to brandish your full strength in the open.
- The Population of Rokugan is about 50% larger. The empire is a prosperous, fertile land, teaming with strength.
- The Moon is Lord Onnatangu, the Sun is Lady Amaterasu. Neither have died yet. Yakamo isn't going anywhere, folkses.
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