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 Post subject: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:26 pm 
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Okay, like I said in another thread, we should start the creation of a setting for the alternate universe in which Kanpeki won and rules the Empire for a thousand years. For those with the books, think something like the settings in Imperial Histories I and II.

I'll update the first post with ideas when they achieve something ressembling a consensus, but what I really want to hear right now is everyone's ideas.

Here's the rules:

1. This is a cooperative work. Not every idea will be included, but I hope to make sure as much as possible is integrated into a logical world.
2. There is no bad ideas. We can make something work, I'm sure. Even if your idea doesn't make it into the final project, it might give someone else an even better idea, so fire away.
3. Kanpeki won, and every attempt at rebellion will fail, at least until the third day of thunder in a thousand year. The Great Clans submit and find a new place into Onyx or die.
4. At the moment, let's talk about the first years of the reign. Until this is solidified, there will be no time jump, but we will surely move the timeline forward one day if this gets popular.


Let me give you a few ideas:

The Imperial families are disbanded. The Seppun and the Miya are eliminated, while the Otomos are absorbed into the Great Clans, mainly the Spider and the Susumus. The control of the courts and bureaucracy goes to the Crane, while the Susumus stay behind the scenes.
The new imperial families are the Daigotsu (serving as yojimbos and fielding the Obsidian Legions), the Chudas (advising the throne on magical events, protecting against magical threats and summoning onis to field the legions as well) and the Ninube (spooky heralds and very capable ninjas). The Goju are also officially part of the Imperial families, but their existence, while not really a secret, is a mystery to all the clans, serving as assassins and spies.
The Spider Clan, led by Susumu Shibatsu, are tasked with the stewardship of the other clans, much like the Dragon were once tasked to keep tabs on the Spider. Shibatsu was, at first, against Kanpeki's aggressive coup d'état, but managed to strike a deal with the newly ascended Emperor. The corruption will remain in control, just like the deal he made with his mother, the seals will be reforged in a limited fashion to protect the people and the other Great Clans will be given their former autonomy as long as their swear allegiance to the Onyx Empire.
Kanpeki marries Iweko Miaka, legitimizing is reign even more. This also open the possibility in a future timejump story about the War of the Dark Daughters. The two daughters of Daigotsu, one from each of his marriage, fights for the throne.
For those Clans who find few or no incentives to join the Onyx Empire, there is the possibility of a rebirth story. The Clan gets beaten into submission and accept the reign of Hantei XL because there is no alternative. However, thanks to Shibatsu's deal, they have full reign on their future. They might be a broken clan, but there is still hope. If they can find a place into this distorted world, they can ensure the survival of their clan and maybe, forge a new identity.

EDIT: Oh!, and I almost forgot my shameless self-inclusion.

Otomo Koji, now only known as Koji the monk after the dissolution of the Otomos, thanks to the construction of the new temples of Tenjin, takes control of the Order of Tenjin, a monk/ninja order loyal to the Otomos, and set into motion his plan for a shadow bureaucracy. Using copies of every single official documents produced by the great Clans before and during Kanpeki's ascension (and many other secret ones acquired through less legitimate means), he creates a parrallel organization with a simple goal, keep a neutral record of events and safeguard it for the future generations.

Just so you know, this is not far-fetched. This was an actual plan I managed to pull during Winter Court IV. I think the Story Team didn't bite and it never was made official, but nothing stops me now if you find the idea interesting.

EDIT: 2015/09/24

Okay, I listened to many ideas and came up with a little timeline to justify Kanpeki taking the throne with a lesser focus on supernatural elements. It is obvious Seiken is going mad with paranoia in this timeline, but the influence of Pan-Ku is left for you to decide and is not hardwired into the current write-up. This is only a draft, and I welcome any comments/insults you might have. I
Imperial Navy is created

Seiken demotes Kanpeki, but as a retcon, he just swallows it and leave court, leaving Shibatsu in charge officially of the Spider Clan.

Yoritomo Ichido opens a black scroll to defeat Yoritomo himself, destroying the Isles of Spice and Silk in the process.

Made aware of the resurgence of the Black Scrolls, Kanpeki sends his agents across Rokugan and beyond to recover as much of them as possible.

The Imperial Navy is destroyed by the creature that destroyed the Mantis Archipelago. All seems lost until Kanpeki and the Spider Clan intervenes and banish the creature, saving the coasts of Rokugan from destruction.

Seiken officially disbands the Mantis and the Tsuruchi, Moshi and Kitsune are back as the Wasp, Centipede and Fox.

Kanpeki discovers a few scrolls an dispatch Goju and Ninube infiltrators to find suitable samurais to convince them, under the right circumstances, to use them. Of course, he wants samurais from other Clans to unleash the wrath of Jigoku as to evade any suspicion.

Seiken is declared officially Emperor and disbands the bureaucracy. He also severly punishes the clans who sided with Shibatsu with severe political, military and economical sanctions, preventing the Crane to step up and replace the Otomo. The Shosuro and the Ikoma takes that role instead.

Inspired by the manipulation of aa Goju infiltrator, a Crane courtier opens a black scroll to enact revenge on the Shosuro and the Ikoma. Many among them, as well as many Doji are corrupted in the process. The end result is a devastated court system and a completly chaotic government all around Rokugan. Many blame Seiken (not openly of course) for his lack of foresight and disastrous first decision.

The Phoenix, after studying the consequences of the last black scroll, discovers that the deal between Daigotsu and Iweko is broken. They announce that Seiken's decision to demote Kanpeki is responsible for this.

Seiken marries Yauski Makoto. She puts into motion a plan to discredit Seiken even further, slowly poisoning him.

The Dragon Champion appears before Seiken and asks for forgiveness for the Progressists. Seiken demotes him as champion and puts the Kitsuki Daimyo in his place.

Skirmishes between the Lion and the Scorpion destroy part of the wall, freeing many monstruosities that rampages the land unchecked. Jade magistrates are unable to control it until the Order of the Spider steps in and kills all the onis. It appears only the Spider Clan has the tools to effectively keep Jigoku in check, a fact that will not be forgotten by the common samurai.

Seiken calls the Scorpion and Lion Champions and order them to commit seppuku for the fiasco with the wall. The Lion obeys but the Scorpion refuses and turn Ronin.

A Kitsu, convinced by her Ninube lover in disguise, opens a black scroll and ressurect the Fallen Lion Champion. The now undead Champion rampages through the Lion lands.

Seiken, horrified with the results, brands the Lion as a lost cause and orders the destruction of the Clan by its neighbours.

The now Ronin Scorpion Champion approaches Kanpeki. He believes Seiken's madness is caused by the Kolat and asks for his help to destroy that organization.

The Kolat masterminds meet and discuss Seiken's case. The poison seems to be too much effective, as if he was susceptible to madness. Probably a side effect of his close encounter with P'an Ku. The plan is changed to protect Rokugan and Makoto is tasked to deliver the antidote and stop providing the emperor with poison.

A scorpion, convinced by a goju infiltrator, opens a black scroll to learn more about the Kolat. Combined with the intel provided by Susumu Naishi, a elite force comprised of Scorpion and Spider warriors expose the organisation and kills most of their members. Makoto is arrested and put to trial, the Abbot is tainted horribly but escapes, now completly mad.

Seiken's mind breaks even further when he learns of his wife betrayal. The Phoenix, Crane and Scorpion (newly appointed) Champion confronts Seiken about his last decisions and ask him to reconsider. He orders the Seppun Guards present to execute them on the spot.

Taint is spreading faster than ever and many samurais turn to the Spider Clan for help against a growing number of monsters everywhere. The sympathy towards Fu Leng's clan grows higher. Now would be a good time to kill Machiko, but I'm not sure how.

Dragon closes all access to the mountains and isolate themselves.

The Phoenix starts a ritual designed to protect many of their assets and send them into the Heavens, protected from the taint and Seiken's madness. The ritual backfires horribly and the vast majority of the Phoenix, samurais, heimin and eta included, disappears without a trace.

Seiken recalls all the Imperial Legion to Toshi Ranbo and closes all contact with the outside world. It creates a shortage of rice.

A summit between the scorpion, crane, spider and unicorn clan takes place. The majority wants Shibatsu to replace his brother, by forceif necessary. Kanpeki declares the only one who will sit on the throne is himself and no others. Shibatsu realizes that Kanpeki will not back down and that his military might is necessary to remove Seiken from the throne. For the greater good of Rokugan, he proposes a deal to those present. Kanpeki will take the throne, but he will respect the autonomy of the Great Clans. He will also keep Jigoku in check and prevent further black scrolls to be opened. All clans accept, unwilling to test the alternative, a three-way war against the Spider Clan and Seiken.

The combined forces march on Toshi Ranbo and, thanks to the starving legions, manages to take the city and kills Seiken, but not before he orders his troop to burn the city to the ground in a futile attempt to stop the attackers.

Kanpeki reveals his heritage and takes the name Hantei XL. He reinstates the Lion Clan as a great clan and offers amnistice for anyone tainted but able to control himself. He also disbands the Seppun, we were almost all killed in the conflict and the Otomo, who joins other families, but mostly the Susumu and the bureaucracy is given to the Crane. Over time, the taint is somehow accepted by the populace and Kanpeki rules his empire with an iron grip. Maho is still somehow taboo, but its practitioners are no longer hunted, unless the taint is too stong and they lose control. A major shift in leadership in the majority of the clan also means Shourido is a much more accepted pratice, just as Dark Fortunes worship, although Bushido is still the dominant ideology, except among the Imperials and Spiders.

Imperial families: Daigotsu (magistrates and yojimbos), Chuda (advisors and shugenjas), Miya (Heralds, eventually secretly replaced by the Ninube) and Goju (Not really a secret, but a mystery serving as spies and assassins)

Spider Clan: Stewards of the Clans, comprised of the Susumu, tasked with overseeing the courts of each great Clans, the Guyshi, with the responsabilities of safeguarding the remaining black scrolls and keeping an eye of the other clan's shugenja and the Sahara, a family of bushis and duelist overseeing the different wars opposing the Great Clans.

Phoenix: Now only a minor Clan led by shugejas willing to study any sort of magic to understand what happened to the rest of the Clan and a few ''extremists'' who refused to use any sort of corruption, but also driven to understand the truth behind the dissapearance of ther clansmate.

Crab: Most of them commited Seppuku, attacked the new Emperor's army and failed or left the mainland for the colonies. Those that remains are only a minor clan.

Lion: Many were killed during the conflict, and some followed the Crab, but most of them, especially the Kitsu and the Ikoma are still loyal to the throne above all (Bushido and all), but the clan now serves a purpose closer to the Phoenix of old.

Crane: Perfection, throught taint or otherwise.

Scorpion: Their loyalty stands for the Empire as always. For now, Hantei XL is the best chance the Empire has to survive. They are prepared to act if this change, however.

Unicorn: They survived the conflict relatively unharmed and enjoy a great deal of power under Hantei XL, thanks to their status as the Spider oldest allies. It doesn't mean the Otaku are happy, but they also follow Bushido, which means to serve.

Dragon: At first they stay isolated, but over time, they rejoin the Empire. They believe their old mandate as Stewards of the Spider still applies. No matter how harsh and cruel the new regime, it will benefit from the counsel of the Dragon.

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Last edited by Tetsuhiko on Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:30 pm 
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I'd suggest including the Gyushi, either as a vassal family of the chuda maybe? or as a second shugenja family, focused on smithing weapons for the Daigotsu's armies.

i like a lot of this. i'll have some more complete thoughts later.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:34 pm 
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The Guyshi could be the shugenja family of the Spider Clan, not a member of the Imperial families. Same with the few Daigotsus who joined Shibatsu. We should find a cool new familiy name for them. Sahara? Atsushi?

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Well, kiss the Lion, Phoenix, and Crab as we know them goodbye. Those Clans may exist in name, but only as Quislings.

The Mantis, Scorpion, and Crane all have enough of a tradition of general pragmatism to knuckle under in some recognizable form.
The Unicorn I can see both profiting by being the Spider's first real allies- and I see their role now being not unlike Shinjo's- trying to redeem the Spider.

The Dragon... maybe not so much part of the Empire, but a new retreat into their mountains, biding their time for the next thousand years.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:46 pm 
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I agree about the Crabs. Unless someone can provide a logical explanation, they will fight to the death.

The lions, I'm not so sure. True, the players were against it, but in a strictly logical point of view, Bushido is about serving your master, no matter how cruel, evil or corrupted he is. If you look at the KYD setting, nearly half the Lion Clan joined Fu Leng because he was the Emperor. They needed no further explanation. I don't see why I couldn't be any different this time around.

AS for the phoenix, I really want to find a place for them. I have no clear option right now, but maybe you can help me. Can you define what it means for you to be the Phoenix Clan? It can be as broad or precise as you want. The more we clarify that, the more chance we have of finding a cool story twist for the firechickens.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:47 pm 
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Shiba Gunichi wrote:
Well, kiss the Lion, Phoenix, and Crab as we know them goodbye. Those Clans may exist in name, but only as Quislings.

The Mantis, Scorpion, and Crane all have enough of a tradition of general pragmatism to knuckle under in some recognizable form.
The Unicorn I can see both profiting by being the Spider's first real allies- and I see their role now being not unlike Shinjo's- trying to redeem the Spider.

The Dragon... maybe not so much part of the Empire, but a new retreat into their mountains, biding their time for the next thousand years.


i think thats not necessarily a bad thing. well, in the sense that they i agree, they'd never just join up. but by the same token, the story doesn't work without an enemy. While the spider certainly made a second home in the colonies, they never really gave too many shits about them. Daigotsu's goal was always to put his son on the throne in Rokugan. So what about having the Lion, Phoenix, Crab, and the Exilic elements of the rest of the clans who refused to bow, setting up an exile empire in the colonies. The crab can even build themselves a new wall. Kanpeki, who has just spent a good bit of his strength conquering one empire, has no interesting in conquering a land he had no interest in in the first place, so he leaves them to their games in the jungles. he has the throne he wants. sets up a nice inverted situation. the colonies become a sort of anti-shadowlands.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:58 pm 
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Oh! and in a twist of destiny, they would serve as a buffer between the outside threats and the Onyx Empire. As such, they would be beneficial to Kanpeki and he would have no reasons, at least for now, to destroy them. Let them face the gaijins and other monstruous threats while we thrive...

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:01 pm 
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Tetsuhiko wrote:
The lions, I'm not so sure. True, the players were against it, but in a strictly logical point of view, Bushido is about serving your master, no matter how cruel, evil or corrupted he is. If you look at the KYD setting, nearly half the Lion Clan joined Fu Leng because he was the Emperor. They needed no further explanation. I don't see why I couldn't be any different this time around.


Because Matsu Tsuko and Toturi made it plain that serving an emperor literally infused with the power of the Realm of Evil was not grounds for service, it was grounds for kanshi or insurrection.

Quote:
AS for the phoenix, I really want to find a place for them. I have no clear option right now, but maybe you can help me. Can you define what it means for you to be the Phoenix Clan? It can be as broad or precise as you want. The more we clarify that, the more chance we have of finding a cool story twist for the firechickens.


Ready? 'Cause it's a rough one.

The Phoenix Clan's sticking point is spiritual purity.

Yes, a Phoenix argued (and won) the case for the legality of the Dark Fortunes, but they were never enthusiastic about them. Furthermore, that legality was still based upon the primacy of Tengoku- worship of the Dark Fortunes was legal in the Empire of Iweko only because the Tengoku-blessed Divine Empress had her dealings with Daigotsu.

Every single time the Phoenix have trafficked with Jigoku, it has been a disaster-the Council of the Clan Wars nearly wiped out their own clan.

"Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil," and all of that. The Phoenix are actually only slightly less hardline than the Crab when it comes to actual spiritual corruption- don't let a few arcs of Phoenix Bloodspeakers being good fool you.

These are the guys who did the Jade Champion's job when there was no Jade Champion. They're the guys who dropped the hammer on the Snake Clan.

And they're also the guys who died in heaps without resisting at the Battle of the Broken Daisho to prove a point.

The Phoenix, even at their most arrogant, tend to own the consequences of their actions. They pay the price for their choices. And they're really, really, REALLY bad at being in any way pragmatic.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:34 pm 
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Okay, let me try.

Hantei XL has no use for a completly corrupted Empire. History has shown that the taint can be exploited by his enemy to devastating effect. The taint was also a jealous mistress and most of theose corrupted lost their free will one day of the other, reducing their effectiveness. In addition, people need hope and light to survive. as such, it occurs to Kanpeki very rapidly in his reign he would need a source of uncorrupted samurai under his service. The Spider Clan was a good first choice, but in their duty as steward, they were under a constant theat of corruption and it proved impossible to maintain a pure bloodline.

Then came the Phoenix. Most of their numbers were eradicated, figthing almost to the last against the onslaught of Jigoku. To the survivors, Kanpeki offered a deal. In exchange for their allegiance, they would remain free to live in their lands, to cleanse it from the taint and to explore and research every aspect of magic (including ways to defeat the shadowland taint)they desired under a few conditions:

1. they would have to accept to include in their number any samurai willing to remain pure.
2. they would have to develop a way to remove the shadowland taint from a willing individual, but only doing so if the throne accepted.
3. all their research would be supervised by a Ninube or Gyushi and all a copy of all their discoveries forwarded to the capital. (Kanpeki is not stupid, sending a Chuda into Phoenix territory is the worst insult he could do)
4. should any of these conditions be broken, the Phoenix Clan would be obliterated.

Kanpeki can achieve a few things with this deal. First, he makes sure he has a good number of untainted individual should the need arise. In addition, any samurai wishing to remain pure or get untainted has a reason to remain in the Empire instead of joining the rebels in the colonies. The Pheonix can do the latter while the rebels cannot. Finally, the has access to the knowledge of the masters of magic, inclduing ways to defeat the taint should a new Kali-ma-like threat occurs.

Of course, he also maintains a possible threat to his reign right in the middle of his Empire, but he knows where they live and can act swiftly if they do anything suspicious.

The Phoenix, on the other hand, are allowed a continued, pure, existence and can even explore the different ways to combat the taint.they also save the souls of countless samurais, heimin and etas that would have been fed to Jigoku. not the best deal, but it's not only about the Phoenix anymore, but the souls of so many others. The mental torture of the Phoenix in such a setting would make incredible story about selflessness and sacrificing your own ideals to save others.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:00 pm 
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Given Shiba's outlook on the Phoenix, maybe there's a middle path? The Phoenix hold to their spiritual purity at all costs. By this I mean all the major institutions of the Phoenix refuse to bow to Kanpeki: the Clan Champion, the Council of Elemental Masters, and the Asako Inquisitors all stay loyal to their beliefs and traditions. Rather than fight and die pointlessly, they retreat into the mountains of the Dragon Clan. Maybe they join forces with Koji and his secret initiative to maintain accurate records for the future? Maybe the Phoenix and the Dragon, the two traditionally spiritual clans, spend the next little while learning to live together.

The Phoenix are traditional in terms of religion as well as magic, right? Maybe some of the early years are spent trying to adjust to the Dragon's more individualistic approach. I'd imagine that the Brotherhood might find shelter in their ranks, those who refuse to go along with this new Empire. It could become a situation where the Dragon's military might is joined to the Phoenix's magical might to create a buffer zone in the north. They're not quite big enough or supported enough to try and launch a rebellion, but they are enough of a presence that Kanpeki doesn't want to waste months or years crushing them. Besides, they provide a very useful buffer zone against the Yobanjin and gaijin incursions from beyond the Burning Sands. The canaries in the coalmine as it were. The Dragon and the Phoenix might even serve to protect the descendants of Shinsei in preparation for the Third Day of Thunder.

I'd imagine that a good portion of the Imperial Families would either commit kanshi or flee to the Colonies. Perhaps over time they'd be absorbed into those clans there, or carve out some region for themselves. I'm not sure that wiping out the Miya would be a good idea for Kanpeki from a PR standpoint, especially early on. The Seppun and the Otomo makes sense, but the Miya from what I understand are the ones who tend to be close to the commoners, especially with Miya's Blessing. Maybe part of the Miya flees to the Colonies or to the mountains, and a new Daimyo agrees to carry out the Miya's traditional duties for Hantei XL? Maybe there's a bitter division between the Miya or even a civil war between appeasers and traditionalists?

I'd imagine that the Mantis and the Unicorn, having invested greatly in the Colonies, might not be willing to just abandon all their holdings there. Especially not the Mantis. Maybe a faction of the Clan secretly maintains their holdings there? Maybe a family goes renegade? The Yoritomo seem like they'd be pragmatic enough to hedge their bets in the early years, or at least try to play both sides until it's absolutely clear that Kanpeki and his reign aren't going anywhere. Similarly, the Moshi are pretty traditional in their outlook. Joining forces with a ruler tainted by Jigoku might be enough for the Moshi to pull out of the Mantis Clan entirely and join up with the Phoenix or the Colonial forces. I'd imagine the Tsuruchi would need serious convincing that justice could still be followed in a Kanpeki-ruled Empire. And the Kitsune would want to protect their forest and might serve as the voice of conscience for the clan, especially if the Moshi leave.

As to the Unicorn, I'm not sure that the Utaku would agree to serve a Tainted Emperor no matter what the rest of the clan decides. I got the impression that the shiotome are super honorable. They might defect to the Colonial forces maybe? Or maybe they splinter, with one faction joining the Colonials and the others (having stolen some Utaku warsteeds) serving Kanpeki? The rest of the clan might not have too many problems working with their allies and profiting thereby.


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:14 pm 
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Tetsuhiko wrote:
Okay, let me try.

Hantei XL has no use for a completly corrupted Empire. History has shown that the taint can be exploited by his enemy to devastating effect. The taint was also a jealous mistress and most of theose corrupted lost their free will one day of the other, reducing their effectiveness. In addition, people need hope and light to survive. as such, it occurs to Kanpeki very rapidly in his reign he would need a source of uncorrupted samurai under his service. The Spider Clan was a good first choice, but in their duty as steward, they were under a constant theat of corruption and it proved impossible to maintain a pure bloodline.

Then came the Phoenix. Most of their numbers were eradicated, figthing almost to the last against the onslaught of Jigoku. To the survivors, Kanpeki offered a deal. In exchange for their allegiance, they would remain free to live in their lands, to cleanse it from the taint and to explore and research every aspect of magic (including ways to defeat the shadowland taint)they desired under a few conditions:

1. they would have to accept to include in their number any samurai willing to remain pure.
2. they would have to develop a way to remove the shadowland taint from a willing individual, but only doing so if the throne accepted.
3. all their research would be supervised by a Ninube or Gyushi and all a copy of all their discoveries forwarded to the capital. (Kanpeki is not stupid, sending a Chuda into Phoenix territory is the worst insult he could do)
4. should any of these conditions be broken, the Phoenix Clan would be obliterated.

Kanpeki can achieve a few things with this deal. First, he makes sure he has a good number of untainted individual should the need arise. In addition, any samurai wishing to remain pure or get untainted has a reason to remain in the Empire instead of joining the rebels in the colonies. The Pheonix can do the latter while the rebels cannot. Finally, the has access to the knowledge of the masters of magic, inclduing ways to defeat the taint should a new Kali-ma-like threat occurs.

Of course, he also maintains a possible threat to his reign right in the middle of his Empire, but he knows where they live and can act swiftly if they do anything suspicious.

The Phoenix, on the other hand, are allowed a continued, pure, existence and can even explore the different ways to combat the taint.they also save the souls of countless samurais, heimin and etas that would have been fed to Jigoku. not the best deal, but it's not only about the Phoenix anymore, but the souls of so many others. The mental torture of the Phoenix in such a setting would make incredible story about selflessness and sacrificing your own ideals to save others.


Eh... that sounds to me more like an argument for Phoenix separatism, possibly allying with Scorpion elements to smuggle out loyalists to a safe haven in the Colonies.

Also, the lack of any chance to change the fate of the Empire makes the option presented, ironically, a little too much like what AEG did with the Phoenix for nearly ten years... "They're working on solutions, but no, they aren't going to actually enact any change themselves."

Well, that, and KYD demonstrated that Jigoku can withhold its touch pretty much because its champion/ruler wants it that way. Why would Kanpeki allow people who hate him to regroup and build up their forces when he could achieve a similar result by petitioning his poppa?

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:28 pm 
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If the Mantis and the Unicorn splintered, I could see the ones in the colonies looking for allies to help them fight Kanpeki. Furthermore, I think most of the Scorpion would go underground and fight from the shadows while a fragment of loyalists to the new Emperor and spies would stay behind. I think this could lead to a lot of cool spy stories.

As for the Phoenix, we could always have it so most of them died or fled the Empire. What remains of the Phoenix is essentially a sham created out of a very small remnant of traitors and people chosen by Kanpeki to fill out the ranks. We could have the Gyushi join them as the leading family.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:58 pm 
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Maybe the remnants of the clans that choose to serve Kanpeki could be collected into a new Great Clan, or as vassal families to the new Imperials? A way to keep all the quislings in one place where Kanpeki can keep an eye on them?


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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:37 am 
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Ok, let me clarify something and refer you again to rule number 3.I'm looking for an Empire in which Kanpeki clearly won. It will.not be the same and I realize most players would not be satisfied if this was the official storyline.

If a few elements of the crab and lion clans end up carving à pathetic empire in the colonies, It's fine, but when more than half the clans succesfully rebel, this breaks rule number 3. The Dragon, the phoenix, and all the others should ultimayly bow down before Kanpeki. They will probably not be the same. Most likely a dark réflection of themselves and no longer perfect representation of their original selves.

If you find no way to make a deal, then let's find how twisted the clan has to become to accept kanpeki's offer and still remain unique and interesting in a different way. Remember, this is not the canon future of Rokugan, only à twisted possible future in which the Spider clan and the realm of evil won.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:04 am 
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Maybe we need a different approach
Face it, most of Ivory - the whole Pan'ku vs. Fudo, Heir vs Heir, tradition vs. progress, Dark Naga... just name a few - was a disaster
If its an alternate setting, alternate universe, like KYD and so on, let's make it right this time
Most of the players agree in one thing, the time jump was the key point and AEG failed with it, big time
There was several ideas - and not from the Spiders mind you! - on the main forum, how things could work
(And/Or)
After the Time Jump - Revised we can still keep the most of the setting. The Spiders were betrayed by new Emperor, so Kanpeki grabs the Throne. Not with Jigoku nonsense with the Seals of old (Maybe with Shourido?) , instead with politics, reason and might! The Iweko Dynasty is a faliure, like the Toturi was... so Hantei restoration in Obsidian Chrysanthemum style... or Onyx.
Is there anyone... anyone in the whole L5R community who likes the Iwekos? Even the Dragons hate how the whole Race turned out, and they lost their identiy...
Reset the charters, let everybody do their job! Unicorn/Ki-Rin? Let them Explore the world! To be free! Separate the Fox and the Mantis...(heck, lets keep the whole Mantis is gone or a minor clan again, and one of the Mantis stole their "god"'s power. The world is a better place without a Yoritomo "kami") Lions? The Emperor's right hand... Crane the left, Scorpion the underhand (and they can kill the Kolat...)
Daigotsu never worshipped the Taint, or Jigoku... ha was Fu Leng's high Priest! Now, FuFu is clean, let him go home... Kami in Tengoku, or reincarnate, like Shinjo.... and while D did become the God of Jigoku, this was the Hantei Line big sacrifice to keep the Realm of Evil in check - the Emperors duty to protect their emprie after all - , to buy some time for Rokugan and his son to geather the strength and basically rebuild the whole Empire. Even Big D don't know, how long he can hold the Realm back! - Like the Shadow Dragon and the Darkness... - But when the times come, and Jigoku is back Rokugan WILL BE prepared! This is where the Dragon and Phoenix Clan comes in the picture. To find the "cure" for the Spiders, before the Taint hit the fan. Of curse after the Taint and Jigoku is back, we need more than ever the Crabs to defend the Empire, spiritual guidance and mystics... and the tainted spiders. Fight fire with fire...
Or something on these lines...

BUT

...if we want to stay in the setting, lets not forget, from the Bushido point of view, you HAVE to serve. And this time the Emperor not the Champion of Jigoku incarnated or a sociopath madman, like the Steel Chrysanthemums was, nor the Shadow's pawn, or Kolat in disguise. Tainted (if we must... but to be honest, the whole Kanpeki need the Taint is a strange and out of character concept for him... we could forget it...) yes, but since the New Taint not even contagius, or make you an insane monster it is not a problem. [Kanpeki even could rule from the shadows, while his whife in charge, till his daughter is old enough to take the Throne as a Hantei Empress... (lets marry her to Shibatsu"s Spider son, unite the bloodlines)]
(Imagine the Crab Clan leave the "dark emprie" and become the new "spiders"... outcast in the Shadowland, dark/light mirror of Rokugan in the City of the Lost Crabs... )
So the fans hate the spider clan.. sad, but true :(
But from te view of Rokugan, things can work should work... like Bushido and Shuriod can and should co-exist
And i we toying with settings, lets not forget... we are not alone. There are 8 other Clan out there, and its possible, they want an alternate setting to... without us. :(

To be honest I am afraid, the community will split... Spiders and our friends, supporters... and the other fans ( 8 vs 1... again) and if we want to keep our identity, our Clan... we have to make a rival setting, ours :poof:


Last edited by Goju on Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:37 am 
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I think Goju is onto something about Kanpeki and the Taint - a huuuuge part of the opposition to the idea of any other Clan joining Kanpeki was the fact that he was embracing Jigoku to take over the Empire, and "resist Jigoku" has been an integral part of Rokugan's identity for its entire existence. AEG was locked into that plot regardless of player choices because of printing issues. This alternate setting does not face the same constraint; it can be anything you want. So it's worth considering whether Kanpeki embracing Jigoku and unleashing the armies of hell on Rokugan needs to be part of this alternate setting, or whether he could seize power by more conventional means. If Kanpeki's move against the Iweko is to declare Seiken unfit to rule because <REASONS> and lay claim to the Throne as Hantei XL*, then I at least would find it much more plausible that he'd be able to gather a coalition of disaffected Clans to support his claim, and ultimately get the rest of Rokugan to accept the legitimacy of his victory, however grudgingly. Kanpeki Unleashed is just another Lost invader like the ones Rokugan has been fighting for a thousand years. A Kanpeki who claims the Throne without accepting the Taint does not fit into the same "must kill" box.

*I'd like to note here that Hantei XL may be my favourite Emperor name ever, and so very appropriate for Kanpeki.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:06 am 
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Tetsuhiko wrote:
The Dragon, the phoenix, and all the others should ultimayly bow down before Kanpeki.


But as I stated above, a Phoenix Clan that bows down to a Jigoku-infused tyrant is not really the Phoenix Clan. I have my own head games for a small subset of Phoenix quislings, but... The Shiba family motto really does sum up why I cannot see a Phoenix Clan anyone would recognize willingly serving Kanpeki once he decides to embrace the Evil.

And as such, they're either exiled or wiped out. Maybe a few Henshin (no cumbersome scrolls or daisho to manage) hiding among the peasantry trying to stir up a rebellion/keep the "true" Rokugani theology alive, maybe some Shiba and Isawa make it to the Colonies to back up the Lion and Crab remnants, and otherwise... gone. A puppet Council (Kinuye, a few other Bloodspeakers), and a puppet Champion (Shiba Tainted Bushi, while the Soul of Shiba bides its time somewhere else).

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:17 am 
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Could you see the Phoenix serving an untainted Kanpeki, Gunichi?

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:10 am 
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What about the Oni? I doubt a lot of them are going to be happy about not being able to run free, but at the same time I bet a bunch of them probably got into Rokugan while the seals where fully broken. That could possibly give the Crab something to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:37 am 
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Daidoji Tacticus wrote:
I think Goju is onto something about Kanpeki and the Taint - a huuuuge part of the opposition to the idea of any other Clan joining Kanpeki was the fact that he was embracing Jigoku to take over the Empire, and "resist Jigoku" has been an integral part of Rokugan's identity for its entire existence. AEG was locked into that plot regardless of player choices because of printing issues. This alternate setting does not face the same constraint; it can be anything you want. So it's worth considering whether Kanpeki embracing Jigoku and unleashing the armies of hell on Rokugan needs to be part of this alternate setting, or whether he could seize power by more conventional means. If Kanpeki's move against the Iweko is to declare Seiken unfit to rule because <REASONS> and lay claim to the Throne as Hantei XL*, then I at least would find it much more plausible that he'd be able to gather a coalition of disaffected Clans to support his claim, and ultimately get the rest of Rokugan to accept the legitimacy of his victory, however grudgingly. Kanpeki Unleashed is just another Lost invader like the ones Rokugan has been fighting for a thousand years. A Kanpeki who claims the Throne without accepting the Taint does not fit into the same "must kill" box.

*I'd like to note here that Hantei XL may be my favourite Emperor name ever, and so very appropriate for Kanpeki.


That's certainly worth exploring. In this setting, where is the breaking point compared to the official storyline? Are the seals broken? Is Kanpeki using an army of undead and onis?

While it is true an untainted Kanpeki would make for a more backable Emperor, removing all aspect of Jigoku wouldn't make it Onyx anymore. Maybe he manages to subtly boost the powers of his army through Jigoku (in a ritual ressembling the one used to break the seals, only this time he remained pure), assembles a coalition of Great Clans unwilling to support Seiken and overthrows him. Once the majority of the clans officially supports him, now the corruption starts. Slowly at first, but by that time it is too late.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:57 am 
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Well, it depends what you want out of an Empire under Kanpeki, basically. Is the big draw:

- A mighty and everlasting empire of darkness, ruled over by blood sorcery, zombies and slavering oni?

- An empire of ruthless and uncompromising strength, pitiless of weakness, with no need to lean on a crutch such as the favour of an otherworldly realm?

- The glory days of the Hantei restored, proving that Daigotsu was right all along about being the rightful heir to the throne, for none of these non-Hantei poseurs can keep the Empire in line!

All depends on what draws one to the Spider, really. But I wouldn't feel shackled to the need to have Jigoku play a central role just because "it's Onyx."

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:54 am 
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Daidoji Tacticus wrote:
Well, it depends what you want out of an Empire under Kanpeki, basically. Is the big draw:

- A mighty and everlasting empire of darkness, ruled over by blood sorcery, zombies and slavering oni?

- An empire of ruthless and uncompromising strength, pitiless of weakness, with no need to lean on a crutch such as the favour of an otherworldly realm?

- The glory days of the Hantei restored, proving that Daigotsu was right all along about being the rightful heir to the throne, for none of these non-Hantei poseurs can keep the Empire in line!

All depends on what draws one to the Spider, really. But I wouldn't feel shackled to the need to have Jigoku play a central role just because "it's Onyx."


I have my personal preferences, of course, but this is a perfect example of the need for discussion, I want to hear as many people as possible on this issue.


On a side note, one of the biggest obstacle to KAnpeki's reign is the fact Seiken is the rigtheous emperor. For a majority the Great Clans to side with Kanpeki, it would require him to go insane on a level even beyond the black crysenthemum. Good thing the story team offered us a perfect opportunity.

I always disliked the Pan ku climax. It was badly thought out and the resolution felt more than forced. It felt fake. What if it was fake? What if in this decisive moment, Pan ku managed to break Seiken's soul and plant a seed of madness in his mind. It would explain many of his later stupid decisions. It would justify him going berserk and getting rid of many things the great clans take for granted. He could ask for seppukus for absurd reasons, wage wars against the Great Clans or imaginary ennemies and set the whole empire in chaos. Thoughts

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:56 am 
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I guess the part I am most curious about is why the Otomo were disbanded.

Kanpeki's first wife was an Otomo. The Spider Clan maintained close ties to Otomo Suikihime in the Colonies. Kuroko married an Otomo. Other than Winter Court IV, the Otomo and the Spider have been thick as thieves, and with Seiken disbanded the Imperial Bureaucracy and favoring the Great Clans over the Imperials, I'm curious about why you would have Hantei Kanpeki disband who, theoretically, could be his greatest allies.

Personally, I would treat WC4 as a fluke in the otherwise solid relationship between the Spider Clan and the Imperials.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:11 am 
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Because it would be the prize for the Crane Clan's alliegance. And the points you mentionned is the reason hé didb't kill them but integrate them into the Susumu.

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 Post subject: Re: Onyx Empire - Alternate Setting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:12 am 
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As long as the Taint is part of the equation, nobody will knuckle under.

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