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.
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.
Proud player of Otomo Koji, one-armed meddling bureaucrat
Last edited by Tetsuhiko on Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.