From Tales of Rokugan
Distant Turtle City
Distant Turtle City, a place little known the the empire at large, but their duty is paramount. Though not a large town by any means, it maintained a large dock, and was known for the trade through its walls. Located at the south end of the Isles of Silk and Spice, the city was used as both a go-between port of call and an inspection site for goods entering the empire.
Those finding themselves stationed here are met with a wild and rambunctious lot, sailors and merchants coming and going constantly. There was always bustle, always more merchandise to move. Pirate and smuggling were major problems in the area. Those seeking a quick profit off others would ply the trade on the open waters aways from the risk of doing so on land. Spice and Silk were very profitable, and one good haul could set up a crew for a very long time.
The current governor, Kasuga Noku, is a stern but fair man. He was known to be heavy handed on the criminals yet soft on those he felt unjustly brought to charges. His word was the law for the most part out here, the only authority on the island was the Council of Twelve, of which the governor was one. This Council consisted of a dozen Kasuga that the family had entrusted with the task of preventing and/or rooting out any corruption or other issues that could befall the Mantis clan. In truth the Council was here as a hand of the Imperials overwatching the trade at sea.
Several groups move in the area, some more dangerous, some more beneficial.
The Council of 12
The 'official' rulers of Distant Turtle City. The big decisions are made by them, and they are the final say in any matter they choose to voice an opinion on. Little is known about the group, save they are all Kasuga and all are more interested in their clan than the city. From past examples they seek to protect the city for it's trade and resource value over it's population.
The governor of Distant Turtle City is more of a figurehead than anything else. Most often a pawn of the Council, they tend to select those who they know will look out for their interests. The governor has authority over the city unless the Council voices their opinion, they overrule him. The governor is not always a Kasuga, and many different samurai from many different walks of life have served in the position.
The Orochi Cartel
The organized crime family in the area. The magistrates have attempted several times to run this group to ground, to no avail. Very powerful, very wealthy, and very connected in the city. They are powerful enough the local city guard will not usually interfere with them for fear of brutal reprisal. These guys have "their fingers in a lot of pies", and taking them on is known to be extremely hazardous to one's health.
The Buku Tribe
A group of people who have shunned society in favor of a life at sea. Typically untrained and unskilled beyond fighting and sailing, many do not ever speak clearly and most are not literate. They sometimes cause trouble for the city as they have been known to attack ships at sea. They are impossible to find, it is unknown if there is a land-based group or if they all live at sea.
to be added.
The news and current state of the Clans. Their friendly and unfriendly relations are noted. The Resource Surplus and Needs are listed under the Clans.
The Crab had a long period of respite after warring for so long against their eternal enemy, but it was never to last. A little over a month ago a powerful oni appeared over the Wall and attacked Kyuden Kuni. In the ensuing fight the life of the Kuni Daimyo was lost. This led to many setbacks, both politically and logistically. The Crab lands themselves have seen fair weather, and otherwise have seen quiet days. Current Clan fad: “One shouldn’t mention the presence of one’s new equipment, or the taskmasters will have you stoned.”
Goal: Establish Embassy and trade relations. Good Relations: Lion, Phoenix, MCA Poor Relations: Crane, Scorpion, Mantis, Tortoise Allies: Enemies: Spider
Surplus: Stone, Iron Needs: Trade Routes, Lumber Koku: 2
Mighty storms rolled across Crane lands last spring, but with them came an unexpected, bounteous harvest. Quick minds ensured the flood waters were turned to good, and the Crane had quite the surplus of agricultural goods this year. The only problems came with an increase of banditry in Crane lands. Seems some believe more there means more to take. -Current Clan fad: “One ought display the size of one’s off-the-peg equipment, or the master’s will have one publicly shamed!”
Goal: Establish Embassy and trade relations. Good Relations: Phoenix, Unicorn Poor Relations: Lion, Mantis, Spider, Tortoise Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Fabrics, Trade Routes, Food Stuff Needs: Tea, Ornamental Metals Koku: 2
The Dragon lands were beset upon by mighty storms for the last almost year. An omen or not, the destruction caused was very real. Many roads and paths were lost, many routes would never be able to be traversed again. Taxes were increased on top of an Imperial coffer boost to combat the cost of what amounted to basically re-roading the Dragon mountains. While some of the smaller villages were cut off plague set in, and many lives were lost through disease, exposure and starvation. -Current Clan fad: “One must mention the shape of one’s off-the-peg weapon or the Masters will have one executed!”
Goal: Safeguard the souls of those who are so far from the empire. Good Relations: MCA Poor Relations: Lion, Scorpion Allies: Dragonfly Enemies: -
Surplus: Ornamental Metal: Gold, Stone Needs: Food Stuff, Lumber Koku: 2
What started as an outstanding year for the Lion came full circle last month. The silk production was far higher than expected, setting the Lion up to have a small surplus of funds. On top of this, a son was born to the Akodo Daimyo, leading to a month long celebration as the stars spoke of a great future for the child. However, recently there was a massive fire that spread across Shiro Matsu. The weather had been the norm for Lion, and the dry air prevented effective firefighting techniques. 2 of the 4 top Matsu Dojo were burned to the ground, a painful loss. -Current Clan fad: “One mustn’t display the color of one’s foreign garment or one could be imprisoned!” (The Lion are not fans of people displaying gaijin goods.)
Goal: Establish trade relations, prevent the Crane from gaining any control of the city and having more to fight with. Good Relations: Scorpion, MCA Poor Relations: Crane, Dragon, Mantis, Unicorn, Spider Allies: - Enemies: Dragonfly
Surplus: Trade Routes, Lumber, Fabrics Needs: Iron, Stone Koku: 2
The Phoenix have enjoyed several years of mild temperatures and pleasant weather. This allowed them to reach some of the more inaccessible parts of the outlaying lands, and a large stone quarry was founded on a rich vein of marble. A dozen carts of marble were used as dowry in the marriage between the Shiba Daimyo's son and the Shinjo Daimyo's daughter. They were married last month, each clan holding a celebration that lasted 5 days. With the advent of the ronin families, an island off the shore of Phoenix lands was promised to the Nekoma family, the phoenix saw this as an insult, but could not argue the edict.
Goal: Establish trade relations, edge in on other clan profits Good Relations: Crane, Dragon, Unicorn Poor Relations: Mantis, TA Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Tea, Ornamental Metal: Silver, Stone Needs: Fabrics, Lumber Koku: 2
The scorpion have had a mixed bag of sorts these last few years. They were able to set up new iron mines in some of the lower mountains in the east of their lands, but these resources were used in rebellion against the clan. Known as "The War of the False Panki", it was not very detrimental to the clan itself, but hurt the reputation of the Scorpion. If not for the rebellion, the Scorpion would be in much better circumstances, weather has been pleasant and production has been up.
Goal: Edge in on all those profitable areas. Divide the clans against each other, ensure no one group gains too much control. Good Relations: Lion, TA Poor Relations: Crane, Mantis, Unicorn, Spider Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Lumber, Iron Needs: Fabrics, Food Stuff Koku: 2
The Unicorn have had a rough year, but none save the most involved know the extent of it. Lumber production is down after great storms rolled in, destroying many facilities and even flattening an entire small forest. Added to this was the birth of the Khan's child to a gaijin woman. While that itself is not overly unexpected, a red star fell at the moment of his birth, an ominous sign. They did meet with success in the marriage of the Shinjo Diamyo's daughter to the Shiba Diamyo's son, both clans satisfied with the events.
Goal: Establish trade relations, see about gaijin trade around the burning sands by water Good Relations: Crane, Phoenix Poor Relations: Lion, Scorpion, MCA, Spider Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Trade Routes, Food Stuff Needs: Lumber, Ornamentals Koku: 2
Mantis, Wasp, Bat, Sparrow
Mantis Alliance took a terrible blow recently with the Great Fire on the Island of Silk. The fire ravaged the island, burning many farms and a lot of product. This has opened the door to smaller dealers while attempts are made to revive the Island. This Mantis, specifically, also took a hit from assisting the Scorpion in their rebellion. While the Scorpion were grateful for the assistance, the cost to a minor clan was extreme compared to the resources of a Great Clan. Unfortunately evidence was found after the rebellion that pointed some in Scorpion to wonder if the Mantis did not help the rebellions in secret, and relations stalled.
During Iweko the 5th's reign, twins were born to the empress. No one knew who was born first, no one knew who was to inherit the mantle of Emperor. In contest the Mantis won imperial favor, and they used this favor to train one of the twins. Over time the Spider and Mantis began to plot to put this child on the throne- one who saw the world as they did, and was not enthralled to the Great Clans. This came to a head with the attempted assassination against the other Heir. Their attempts failed, and both clans were punished. Spider was made into a minor clan, and the Mantis was shattered back into the original minor clans. While some of these reinstated clans were eager to leave, others remained close allies.
Other twin went to phoenix, this is the current sitting emperor Iweko the 6th.
The mantis reeling from being tossed down as a great clan have to face a harsh reality of the fox and centipede leaving. But allies of old and new do step forward and welcome the protection and while lessened greatly, they still have considerable economic might, almost approaching the level of the once great clan.
Goal: Establish good relations, edge in on profits and gain control of what you can where you can. Good Relations: Spider, Tortoise Poor Relations: Crane, Lion, Phoenix, Scorpion, Ox Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Trade routes, Fabrics Needs: Lumber, Iron Koku: 1
The Tortoise Alliance has seen productive and beneficial days. Fair weather and a peaceful empire allowed the to focus their attention elsewhere. Recently it was decided to allow the Clans into the island, knowing full well the profit to be had. The "Pact of Toshi Ranbo", signed almost 10 years ago, saw the tortoise and oriel hoining forces. The tortoise would be allowed to use the resources of Kyuden tsi (like 50 feet from toshi ranbo) and the turtles would allow the tsi access to ancient and holy forges in otosan, along with supplies. A promised marriage has yet to happen.
Good Relations: Mantis, Monkey Poor Relations: Crab, Crane, Spider Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Koku (accounted for below) Needs: Iron, Trade Routes Koku: 3
Badger, Fox, Hare, Monkey, Centipede, Ox
The minor clans have fallen into an interesting position. The great clans have taken losses and this has provided the minor clans a chance to step up and shine. Few times in the empire’s history has there been an opportunity like this. If they can seize the day, they can edge in on the great clans and gain much. Recently there was disheartening news, as word got around about the death of the Ox Diamyo at the hands of bandits. For his many sacrifices to the Empire and his heroic ending, Ujina was named the third Fortune of Vengeance. This led to the formation of a new temple and monk adherants.
Fox and Centipede, tired of dealing with Mantis chauvinism and incompetence, left the disgraced minor clan and joint their other mainland minor brothers in arms.
There is an internal schism with the northern MCA members (ox, badger, centipede) and the Southern MCA members (fox,hare,monkey) on how resources should be spent.
Goal: Establish good rapport and make that money! Make subtle moves to make gains over the great clans. Good Relations: Crab, Dragon, Lion Poor Relations: Unicorn, Spider Allies: - Enemies: -
Surplus: Tea, Food Stuff Needs: Stone, Trade Routes Koku: 1
The spider have always been an enigma for the clans, and the attempted coup only fueled these fears, fanning flames of rumor across the empire. Their reduction to minor clan status was a blessing and a curse. They had lost much of their lands and resources, but were once again afforded breathing room from the other great clans. They are still afforded the protection that comes with minor clan status. The reduction of resources without the same reduction in population has caused many issues they are currently trying to overcome.
Goals: Restore their status in the Empire Good Relations: MA Poor Relations: Crane, Lion, Scorpion, Unicorn, MCA, Tortoise Allies: - Enemies: Crab
Surplus: Lumber, Fabrics Needs: Tea, Trade Routes Koku: 1