L5R: Hammer and Flame

Beginnings
Just a little pre-story - mainly trying to figure out Textile

From the Imperial Histories of Miya Shoin on the rule of Iweko I - “Ultimately, the Army of Fire was routed, its leaders destroyed and the bulk of its legions slaughtered. The survivors were pushed back, ever back, until they were driven from the Empire in their entirity. The Army of Fire was broken. The War of Dark Fire was won.

The Empress declared a week-long festival in celebration of the victory. Her Champions gathered at the Imperial City to receive the blessings of the Heavens. Throughout the Empire, the people of Rokugan rejoiced at the victory of their Divine Empress, confident now that nothing could threaten her reign. The vast fire that had burned in the north was extinguished forever at her command.

But the fire was a lie.

The war had not yet begun.”

The Heavens have shined on Rokugan, its Divine Empress sits and peace has come again after a dark period of war. A period of invasion where filthy gaijin dared touch the soil of Rokugan. But the Scorpion know that peace never lasts. And the whispers they hear in the shadows are far worse.

The great decisions, where the Clan will focus its energies in these times are something above the pay grade of young samurai, born to service of a minor lord. Now is a week to enjoy a celebration that spreads across the Empire at the decree of the most high Empress. It is time to enjoy life, contemplate the future and prepare oneself for great service themselves. The Emerald Champion was once a simple Scorpion Manipulator and the young Imperial Chancellor equally served from low stock. Even the Champion, Bayushi Paneki began his life as a simple soldier. A new age is dawning and surely anything is possible.

Look at your lord regent, the Bayushi Ayako. Born a Dragon, she has taken her devotion of duty and warrior arts to see that her husbands small feifdom has been held secure, even when the Crab recently had torn into Scorpion lands. Even after famine tore through the lands this province is still strong because her devotion is. The future lord, young Akio is nearing his gempukku in the coming years, a proud Scorpion even without having ever known his father. The place of Bayushi Samanosuke is still kept in reverence as it has been since his heroic death in the defense of Otosan Uchi a decade before. His death is remembered by the Scorpion and the Empire as a whole for his valor in holding the palace steps for hours beside the Emerald Champion of the day Yasuki Hachi.

Of course, the noble lady could not do it alone. Her most prized advisor was her husband’s loyal companion. Soshi Yabu, now called the Grim Scholar has aged poorly in the years since his youth. Having undergone taint for the service of his clan, to infiltrate the Shadowed Tower and the Lost, he keeps himself confined to the palace where wards exist to prevent the further spread of the toxic force. Combined with jade petal tea, he copes with the horrid wound to his soul for it is a battle scar worn in the name of loyalty and duty. His knowledge of insurrectionist forces and subterfuge is renowned throughout the Clan and even if he can no longer trust himself to speak to the spirits he is prized as a shugenja still.

A small province, this land is not known for its riches or famed for its armies. But as time moves forward, the handful of brave samurai hailing from it may change the course of the Empire – but will it be enough to save the Scorpion clan?

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