Shadows of Fate
Sekai is what your people call the world you live on, and also the land you occupy. There are other lands across the sea – to the west, strange pale colored people, and to the east a great empire. For ages though, this land has been closed to trade and travel from those places. Some say it was the fear of the Emperor that our lands would be conquered, others say the gaijin were afraid of us. The truth is irrelevant – only the end result matters, and that this that land is shut off from the rest of the world.
The land – roughly 150 thousand square miles – is divided into about 50 provinces. These provinces are each controlled by a Daimyo, and tensions between neighboring Daimyo often can escalate into conflicts. Each Daimyo is the head of his clan – a grouping of families that support him. Some clans even have multiple Daimyo within them – each the head of his own province – but the title of Clan Daimyo only goes to one. These Daimyo are all subservient to a man known as the Shogun. This “Shogun” was appointed directly by the Emperor before the Kage no Kōgō. The shogun was the commander of all Daimyo in matters military. When one clan engaged in conflict with another clan, the Shogun would enforce the Emperor’s will in the conflict to see it resolved.
The Emperor (or Empress) was the ruler of all – Ordained by the king of the celestial dragons, Watatsumi. Twenty-five years ago, however, a champion of the terrestrial dragon king, Mizuchi, slew the Emperor and seized control of Sekai. The Shogun was slain and the position has not been filled – the Kage no Kogo – or Empress of Shadow – commands her armies directly.
The Empress cares little for the plights of common folk. Though a semblance of society has been upheld, the countryside and mountains have become a greater and greater threat. Rivals between clans – even open conflicts – are allowed to continue so long as the Empress herself has no stake in the outcome. Few would speak out against her – should word reach her Magistrates punishment for dissent is swift and severe.