Once again, sorry for the wall of text. I listened to everyone's opinion and decided it was time for another timeline draft. I removed the concept of the Jigoku seals, which I agree were a bad ass -pull, decided to keep Kanpeki untainted and used many of the most recent ideas. Please note that I also tried to incorporate as many unresolved styre prize as I can remember. Feel free to add any as desired.
There is one thing I'm sad about. In its current form, Kanpeki's wife is still alive. However, marrying Iweko Miaka would give him a much better chance at being accepted as the rightful ruler of Rokugan (even if he is a very evil man). It also opens up the possibility of a war of the Dark Daughters after a time jump. I'm open to any ideas to kill Kanpeki's love. Right now, I'm thinking Seiken should be the one executing her for a clearly wrong reason, giving somehow the rest of Rokugan sympathy for Kanpeki. Of course, if the majority prefers to see her unarmed, I will comply, but it seems to me her death gives so much more story opportunity. I also left out Koji for now. It would still be time to add him later on if needed.
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.
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.
Thoughts, ideas, insults?
Proud player of Otomo Koji, one-armed meddling bureaucrat