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Iacton19

What would a Lion Rokugan look like?

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Probably swarmed by the Shadowlands. He never listened to Shinsei, so I guess the Sever Thunders never went to the Shadowlands and actually defeated Fu Leng. 

Edited by Tabris2k
Important typo corrected, thanks to Nitenman.

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40 minutes ago, Tabris2k said:

Probably swarmed by the Shadowlands. He never listened to Hantei, so I guess the Sever Thunders never went to the Shadowlands and actually defeated Fu Leng. 

Probably meant Shinsei and not Hantei. Probably Hantei was the only one Akodo would actually listen to. 

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21 hours ago, Iacton19 said:

So how would a Lion Rokugan differ from canon Rokugan? Where Akodo and not Hantei won the tournament and became first emperor.

 

21 hours ago, suburbaknght said:

There's some speculation about this in Imperial Histories and Imperial Histories II.  Worth checking out.

Emperor Hida: The Kami of the Crab was a man who admired strength above all things. His Empire would have been ferociously militant and extremely pragmatic, with little room for either the subtleties of politics or the moral complexities of Bushido. On the other hand, it would probably have done considerably better during the First War against Fu Leng, and Hida would have dedicated much of the Empire’s strength to defeating the forces of the Shadowlands.

Empress Doji: Considering the heavy influence she exerted on Rokugani culture in the canon history, it can only be imagined how civilized, elegant, and artistically splendid Doji would have made Rokugan had she sat upon the Emerald Throne. On the other hand, she would likely have seen little reason for a large Imperial army, and the followers of Akodo would have been unhappy under her reign.

Emperor Togashi: If Togashi had been destined to defeat Hantei, he would have built an Empire far different from anything imagined by his siblings—a place of mystery and enigma, where religious contemplation and individual enlightenment were the highest goods.

Emperor Akodo: Stories of the final duel between Akodo and Hantei often speak of Akodo’s words: “I shall build an Empire as strong and merciless as the stars in the sky. It will shine as our Mother herself, and be as cold as ice.” Akodo’s Empire would have been a place of strict ascetic warrior training and unrelenting warfare, both against those within Rokugan who earned the Emperor’s displeasure and (more often) those exterior cultures who had not yet bowed to the dictates of the Son of Heaven. On the other hand, compassion and art would likely find little home in the world of the Akodo Dynasty.

Emperor Shiba: Although he was a capable warrior, Shiba is best remembered as the scholar who recorded the Tao of Shinsei and the selfless leader who bowed to the Isawa. An Empire ruled by Shiba would be a place of peace, erudition, and magical power, but would have little room for warriors and battle. On the other hand, the power of maho would probably find more adherents in such a variant Rokugan.

Emperor Bayushi: The founder of the Scorpion was a man of cunning and deception who felt little respect for the idealistic morality of most of his siblings. His Empire would have been strong but also dangerous, a place where politics would be a blood sport and deceit a way of life.

Empress Shinjo: Shinjo was a woman of boundless curiosity and deep compassion. An Empire ruled by her would have been far less hostile to foreigners and would probably have softened the strict rules of the caste system.

- Imperial Histories, page 14.

Edited by Mangod

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3 hours ago, Manchu said:

It's hard to imagine how much more influential Akodo no kami coild possibly be. Perhaps a better question might be, what kind of clan would Hantei have founded.

Probably something between the Crane and the Lion. You've got Otomo courtiers, Miya shugenja and courtiers, and Seppun warriors. And I'd like to think the Emperor/Empress would order Hantei to teach the heavenly sword style he used to open their father's belly.

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On 2/13/2018 at 4:55 PM, Manchu said:

Perhaps a better question might be, what kind of clan would Hantei have founded.

Well, @Kinzen whipped up the Owl Clan in Imperial Histories 2 to more or less answer this very question... although it's worth noting that the Owl are flavored by the heavier mysticism of the Togashi Dynasty.

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I've done a little project called 20 Emperors which were basically 20 different Rokugans. In my version of Akodo's Rokugan, the final duel between Akodo and Hantei had a radically different outcome.

 

Instead of Akodo conceding to Hantei, he only realized too late Hantei was pulling punches and killed him. Only when his dead brother lied dead at his feet did he realized the foolishness of his actions.  He thus founded his Empire with this shame in mind. Rokugan would value military strength, for sure, but above all else the ability to use it with honor and restrain. A fool who draws his sword for pettiness doesn't deserve the title of samurai. 

 

Bushis are expected to resolve conflicts with every possible means except violence if they can help it, but are more than able to resort to violence if forced to.  Of course, the definition of doing everything you can to difuse a conflict changes depending on the clan. Interclan wars still happen, but courtiers are pressured by the Emperor to resolve the conflict swiftly, unless they want to experience the wrath of the Imperial Legion, or worse, the Matsu Executioners. Therefore, the threat of violence is the greatest tool a Samurai has, but drawing your blade is almost always dishonorable, especially if you drew first. Duels are much rarer, but stakes are extremely high when they do happen. 

 

The Imperial Families have the task of making sure violence is used only when needed. The Ikoma are the voice of the Emperor, tasked with threatening and keeping in line the Clans when they think too much about violence. The Matsu are the fists of the Emperor. They are fielded to punish ambitious Lords and Courtiers thinking they can get away with death and violence. The Kitsus are still lionmen; they were never butchered to a handful, thanks to Akodo's restrain. They are the eyes of the Emperor, tasked with the communication with the Kamis and overseeing the other Clans in the process. 

 

The Imperial Legions are huge. Each Clan must lend are good portion of their men to field them. They serve as deterrent for any Clan thinking he can overthrow the Akodo Dynasty (Clans have only a very limited army on their own, and each Legion is composed of several clans, therefore their loyalty is always towards the Emperor), and as deterrent against foreign forces. 

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