L5R-Iron Rokugan: The Golden War
Summer of 1169 IC:
The landscape of Rokugan is in a state of constant change. The Imperial City, Toshi Ranbo, is the cultural and spiritual nexus of the empire with artisans creating masterpieces to dazzle and enliven the soul. In the last 350 years however, The empire has added another facet: That of a booming technological growth that has seen the quality of life and the empire as a whole soar to heights unseen.
The original Imperial city Otosan Uchi was made into a gigantic embassy for foreign diplomats, laborers, and merchants to ply their trades and do business with all manner of Rokugani. With this new influx of cultures and ideas, there was a begrudging acceptance of gaijin pepper or polvora*. While at first many seemed opposed to the idea of firearms, once it was made legal the best minds in the empire set forth to create a menagerie of uses for it.
Rokugan's armies transformed drastically during this time as one can imagine. Ashigaru** were now equipped with bayoneted rifles instead of spears. samurai began to wear pistols in addition their daisho as a mark of their station. The Crab Clan specifically began utilizing this knowledge towards their eternal foes of the shadowlands. The war machines of the Crab were great and terrible to the point where even the denizens of the Shadowlands retreated at this unprecedented might. The Crab lands grew as they began mounting reclamation missions. Taking back the blighted lands and restoring peaceful kami# to them. The wall was moved to its final resting place cover a wide swath of the new lands including the reclaimed Hiruma Castle. The Kaiu Family became revered for their genius application of firearms but none more famous than Kaiu Fukuro, a legendary weaponsmith so renowned he was allowed to create a minor clan, the Owl Clan, for the sole purpose of creating and testing weapons deemed too dangerous in the empire proper to know about. Their lands were on the vanguard of crab armies where their efficacy could be tested on a proper foe: the inhuman monsters of the Shadowlands.
Though the militaristic applications of it were overt, there were those whose imagination was aimed more at improving the lives of the empires citizens. The Empress who allowed originally allowed firearms, Hantei Meisho, had a child-like fascination with Locomotives. She was allowed to travel outside of Rokugan's lands as a child when she first saw one and very early in her reign demanded a locomotive be made in Rokugan. Engineers from the empire over to create a Locomotive . The Kaiu family of the Crab were able to complete this task first. The other clans would fall in line and in time, Railways were created throughout the empire.
While this boom has brought about great improvements this was not without some growing pains. in order to have an armed and effective military with more complex weaponry, the Ashigaru would need to become educated enough to read. Their education lead to the peasantry uprising in many of the great clans. Criminal organizations became much more powerful. Money and firearms went much further to sway the hearts of samurai and heimin## alike. A vocal minority believe that the soul of Rokugan is being indelibly tainted and this continued course will only lead to its destruction.
Our Story begins with 6 youngsters:
Kaiu Nisa – a brilliant engineer of the Crab who strives to over come a curse of her birth.
Asahina Yawarakai – a crane shugenja thats burdened with a anothers sin.
Himawari Hitomi: A sunflower maiden of the Bear Clan, an informant, paragon of virtue and personal assistant to her Daimyo-^.
Oboro Setsuna – An artisan of the Owl Clan, with courtly responsibilities and a passion for smithing will attempt to serve two lords.
Usagi Takahiro – An "honored guest" amongst the Crane currently under the purview of Yawarakai.
Yasuki Osuki – Arms Dealer Extraordinaire (and Despoiler of Virtue). The Golden Carp!- A wealthy merchant of the Crab.
Their story begins in The Imperial City.
*-Armed Peasantry in service to a Clan