The Will of the Heavens.

For over one thousand years the descendants of the Kami have ruled over Rokugan, guiding its people based on principles handed down from the Celestial Heavens. The children of Lady Sun and Lord Moon left a legacy of strength, grace, honor, and sacrifice that has stood every test placed before it. At least until their descendants turned on one another at the worst possible time, tearing the empire apart in the great Clan War.

At the end of the war the last Hantei lay dead, slain by Fu Leng, the dark God of the Shadowlands. On the Second Day of Thunder, Fu Leng was defeated, but a line of emperors over one thousand years long was ended. Toturi the Black, Thunder of the Lion Clan and leader of the Ronin Army sat upon the Emerald Throne and became the emperor, backed by the unanimous decision of the champions of all seven great clans. For the first time in the history of the empire a Hantei did not sit on the throne.

Fifteen years later, in the year 1143 IC, Toturi I rules with his wife, Toturi Kaede. Immediately after the Second Day of Thunder Toturi began a massive rebuilding effort to restore the empire to its former glory. The Scorpion Clan was reinstated in their ancestral homelands, the Crab clan returned to the wall to resume their ancient duty with even more fervor, and the Crane began the painful healing process, trying to earn back the trust of their decimated heimin. The wars, however, did much damage and the Emerald Empire is still not fully healed. The Dragon Clan came down from the mountains during the great war, but a mysterious unrest within their own home has forced many of them to return. The Unicorn, left relatively unscathed by the war, have taken a more prominent role in the empire, helping to police and rebuild where they can, their gaijin ways allowing them to do manual work where other samurai could not. The Phoenix, however, have been left in the worst position of all. Four of the five elemental masters have disappeared and left the clan with no leadership, save its champion Shiba Tsukune. The fifth master sits as the Empress Toturi Kaede, who is also the Oracle of the Void. Finally, the Lion are lead by the Matsu, the Akodo name still banished, as the Emperor wishes to avoid claims of favortism. The headstrong Matsu see the weakness in each of the other clans and test their boundaries, against the express commands of the Emperor.

The wars have left a far worse legacy, however: banditry. The devastation of the land and its people has left many without food or shelter for years. With so many turning to robbery and murder as a way of life, the empire, even 15 years later, experiences a level banditry it has not seen since the fourth century during the era of the Gozoku. As this threat grows the Emerald Champion, Kakita Toshimoko, has cracked down on all forms of crime. He has ordered his Emerald Magistrates to treat more crimes as “Treason;” this is considered the worst offense one can commit, and a painful execution is the only method of punishment. As treason is also the purview of the Emerald Magistrate alone, they have taken a heavier hand in the policing of the Empire than many of the clans are comfortable with.

Finally, the most insidious threat to Rokugan still remains within its borders. The armies of the Shadowlands disbanded and fled following Fu Leng’s defeat on the Second Day of Thunder, but they did not flee all the way back to the Shadowlands. Most of the remaining creatures have formed small bands and hide where they can within the empire’s borders. With the overly strident crackdowns by the Emerald Champion, the Emperor could not name a Jade Champion without angering the population even more. As such the Emerald Magistrates are called on, again, to deal with the pockets of Shadowlands Taint wherever they are found.

The Emerald Empire is rebuilding while it stands crumbling…

Will of the Heavens

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