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Nheko

Empress Guard

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4 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

<snip>

Of course, within the current story there is no Empress and it appears as though we aren't likely to have an Empress any time soon, so the existence or nonexistence of such an organization is a bit of a moot point.

I'm sorry to have to correct you: there is an Empress, and she's been mentioned:

Quote

 

His answer was a smirk and a short laugh. "I am surprised you didn't ask what my mother thinks! Or do you simply assume that she favors her former clan?"

"Empress Hochiahime is a wise and gracious woman," Shizue said primly. And yet, her failing health was no secret, and it was rumored that she would be absent from the ceremonies and festivities of the Kiku Matsuri in order to convalesce. "She would never discuss Imperial policy in front of the Emperor's children."

From The Stories we Tell.  (Is there a way to get into the tags on this forum editor?  I wanted to put the story title in the quote header.)

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4 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

I'm sorry to have to correct you: there is an Empress, and she's been mentioned:

From The Stories we Tell.  (Is there a way to get into the tags on this forum editor?  I wanted to put the story title in the quote header.)

It appears you are correct. I must have forgotten that because the empress has not been properly introduced into the story and her sons act as if they haven't had enough proper parental guidance. I recall in the old L5R that the empress was dead, so I guess I had thought she must have died in this timeline too and that would explain so much about the behavior of the Emperor and his sons.

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45 minutes ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

It appears you are correct. I must have forgotten that because the empress has not been properly introduced into the story and her sons act as if they haven't had enough proper parental guidance. I recall in the old L5R that the empress was dead, so I guess I had thought she must have died in this timeline too and that would explain so much about the behavior of the Emperor and his sons.

In fairness her death was why we had Daigotsu and not Daisetsu.  Also the boys previously supposed to have different  mothers as Satorii mother was an unnamed concubine and cousin of Doji Satsumi whom he married after she gave birth to his son.  After her death from a fever when Satorii was 3 year old or so and he married Daisetsu's mother Hochiahime (his fifth wife incidentally) shortly after that when she became pregnant with his next child.

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6 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

In fairness her death was why we had Daigotsu and not Daisetsu.  Also the boys previously supposed to have different  mothers as Satorii mother was an unnamed concubine and cousin of Doji Satsumi whom he married after she gave birth to his son.  After her death from a fever when Satorii was 3 year old or so and he married Daisetsu's mother Hochiahime (his fifth wife incidentally) shortly after that when she became pregnant with his next child.

Well, if we're talking the old timeline, Hochiahime was killed during the bloodspeaker ambush that led to her young son being abducted and raised in the Shadowlands.

I get the impression that she may have been one of those frail beauties that sometimes turn up in the Crane clan.

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15 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Well, if we're talking the old timeline, Hochiahime was killed during the bloodspeaker ambush that led to her young son being abducted and raised in the Shadowlands.

I get the impression that she may have been one of those frail beauties that sometimes turn up in the Crane clan.

She actually survived the ambush as she was still pregnant at the time.  Satorii who was traveling with her was later rescued by the ronin Yotsu, but she was held by the Bloodspeakers until she gave birth and then was later presumably sacrificed

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On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 6:49 AM, TheHobgoblyn said:

If the Empress has no actual power, the only actual value she holds is the emotional ties that the Emperor and his children may have for her-- and she basically never leaves the Imperial Palace, and certainly not the Forbidden City, which is all protected by proper Seppun guards... then I think allowing various Clans win what amounts to the purely ceremonial position of "Empress Guard" wouldn't be an issue.

On the other hand, if actual policy discussions are to be made by or be discussed around the Empress, and those talks could possibly get out to the clans that those guards have sworn loyalty to... then it would certainly be an issue.

Of course, even if the Empress had no real political power, I would imagine she would at least be able to choose individuals to assign to her personal retinue. If the Empress wants one of her nephews or nieces to be assigned as her personal guard or adviser or scribe or lady in waiting or such, I imagine no one could really oppose her on this. But then "Empress Guard" would be a rather informal thing based entirely on her personal favor and preference than a proper ceremonial position that would be assigned to those who won the position through merit.

This. I can't see an "Empress' Guard" being needed in a specific guard battalion, but I can easily see it as a title for a slack handful of Samurai or Samurai-Ko as picked "part-bodyguard-part-courtier/lady-in-waiting/private couriers". As noted, it doesn't even matter that much if they're competent as guards provided the Seppun are happy they're not a threat themselves.

Simply being "person who has unchallenged and uninvited access to the imperial residence" is a pretty potent stick in the game of influence around the throne; a clan member being able to advise the Empress that the Otomo are blocking a petition from being heard in person by the Emperor despite the fact that it's actually really important to the empire, not just the clan who sent it (whether it is or not.....) is a hugely important lever you can pull if you need to.

 

 

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Given that Lady Seppun was a shugenja (if I recall correctly), the number of Official Seppun Guards was probably fairly small around the Dawn of the Empire. So when the Hantei chose a Crane as his wife, and her brother followed to be her personal bodyguard, it just grew out of that. The few Seppun Miharu could continue to focus their efforts on protecting the Emperor first, while the Crane took the responsibility of protecting the Empress.

Given Lady Doji's immense influence on her brother and the development of most of the non-Bushido traditions, it isn't too hard for me to buy that they went "ope, well, the First Hantei did it this way; must be right!" and kept at it.

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