1168: The Cult of Ruhmal, partially recovered from its crushing defeat by the Mantis in the Mantis-Ivory Kingdoms War, begins to surface in the Ivory Kingdoms again.
1170: Kitsuki Iweko wins the Celestial Tournament and is acclaimed by the representatives of Tengoku and Ningen-do as Empress Iweko I.
In the moment of her ascension, the new Empress is granted insight into many things, including stirring threats to the Empire. As her first edict, she declares the Spider Clan traitors and enemies of the Empire and orders its members put to death, beginning with Daigotsu Susumu. As her second edict, she quietly orders members of the Mantis and Tortoise Clans to journey to the Ivory Kingdoms and nip the Ruhmalite threat in the bud before it can grow to threaten Rokugan once more.
1171: An expedition under the command of Kasuga Tatsumo reaches the Ivory Kingdoms, and begins to reach out to those already working against the Cult of Ruhmal. They find the Cult well advanced in preparing some fell ritual of terrible purpose, but guided by the Empress’ revelations, they and their local allies soon begin to make headway against them.
1172: With the secrecy of the Cult’s plans pierced, the Rokugani expedition and its Ivindi allies break the back of the Ruhmalites and thwart their plans once again. In gratitude for the Empire’s assistance, the Maharaja of the Ivory Kingdoms grants the Empire title to an island to the south, said to hold a great wealth of jade. The Rokugani are dubious, but sail south to investigate.
At the Empress’ Winter Court, Akodo Shigetoshi publicly demands that Yoritomo Naizen face him and answer for his actions during the Winter of Red Snows. Naizen refuses, and an incensed Shigetoshi requests the Empress’ permission to seek satisfaction on the battlefield. After much deliberation and debate in court, the Empress grants his request, beginning the conflict that the Ikoma historians will dub the War of the Ant and the Lion.
1173: With the coming of spring, prepared Lion armies invade the Tsuruchi lands, defeating Mantis forces in several bloody engagements and occupying or besieging holdings throughout the northern Tsuruchi provinces. As the campaign drags on, the Tsuruchi and Yoritomo prove able to bloody but not dislodge their attackers, and the Tsuruchi grow increasingly desperate in their insistence that Naizen find a way to remove the Lion from their lands.
As winter closes in, Kasuga Tatsumo and the survivors of his expedition return to Rokugan and make their report: the Ruhmalite threat is ended, and Rokugan is now the notional master of an island that could refill the Empire’s near-empty jade stocks… if its reach can stretch far enough to claim it. The Empress’ advisors debate the matter extensively, and ultimately resolve that to preserve the Empire’s soul against the darkness in the south, the jade must be claimed.
Togashi Satsu announces the Empress’ decision to the court, and issues copies to the Clans of Tatsumo’s charts, showing the route to the island and its surrounding currents, reefs and possible harbours.
A vigorous debate soon establishes that accepted Rokugani techniques of shipbuilding will be inadequate for a voyage of the scale and distance needed to claim the island for Rokugan. The Empress announces that while the kobune is a flawless example of the shipwright’s craft and perfect for the role it is designed for, as decreed by Emperor Hantei Muhaki, the Empire faces new challenges for which it was not designed. Accordingly, the Empress decrees that innovation in shipbuilding for the purpose of long-distance travel shall henceforth be permitted under Imperial supervision, and directs the Mantis, Crane, Phoenix and Crab to develop the naval capacity needed to support the colonisation of the island under Imperial supervision.
1174: Yoritomo Naizen, left with no other choice, faces the Lion in open battle and dies on the field. With his death, the Lion declare their honour satisfied and cease offensive operations, withdrawing their forces from Mantis lands after extracting limited territorial and diplomatic concessions from the Mantis that winter.
1178: The First Grand Fleet sets sail for the island, comprised primarily of Mantis and Kasuga vessels. Aboard is a force drawn from all the Great Clans and the Kasuga, though with a heavy weighting towards members of the Mantis and Unicorn. Their mission is to secure a harbour and a suitable location for the colony, and make it ready to receive the Second Grant Fleet in two years’ time.
After a voyage of some two months, they reach the island and make landfall at the harbour identified as most promising from Tatsumo’s charts, beginning work on Rokugan’s first acknowledged overseas colony. Their efforts are bedevilled by unexpected local conditions and a punishing and unfamiliar climate, and they lag behind even their most conservative plans; they do, however, succeed in establishing a small harbour and settlement.
1180: The Second Grand Fleet sets sail, bearing a large force of colonists and samurai, along with the newly-appointed Imperial Governor.
setting/timeline.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/23 20:22 by Meatloaf