Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

Post by 1970 »

Since I've been doing some reading of my old L5R books, the creative bug has hit me. I'd like to run a game (probably solo) using the AEG Third Edition Rules around the time of what the CCG called Gold Edition and what the RPG would call the Four Winds Saga, taking place a couple years before the death of Toturi the First, which would give me some time to acclimate to the setting and rules (Third Edition was quite the departure from Second in terms of power levels and such). These posts are for me to gather my thoughts together in case this turns into an actual campaign.

I'm no good at logistics or maps and am much more interested in the Clans and characters and how they relate to each other, so I'll be focusing on that.

Lonely Shore City (C13 on the map) is located on the Crane Clan's Southern Coastline, serving as something of a nexus between the Crab, Crane, Mantis, and Scorpion Clans. Other Clans are present, but in significantly smaller numbers. Still, it's one of the closest ports to the Islands of Silk, making it a popular location to trade for the exotic goods of the Mantis.

The Governor, Daidoji Hatamachi, is something of a joke. A mediocre politician and courtier at best, no one really knows how he gained such a prestigious position. Some credit his advisor, Asahina Goro, a canny Shugenja who's at the Governor's side nearly all the time. The older Crane is certainly a positive influence on the lazy Courtier because despite Hatamichi's perceived incompetence the city runs smoothly and without any undue interruptions.

The issue of the law is handled by one Toku Shujiko, a young Imperial Magistrate. She and her partner, Bayushi Kenzo make certain that everything is kept neat and (mostly) by the book. As willow bends in the breeze and does not break, so too are the Magistrates sometimes loose in their enforcement of the Emperor's Law. It would be naive to think that every shipment coming into and out of the city was completely legal, so as long as trade moves swiftly and smoothly (and an appropriate bribe... er... gift is presented) almost everything is okay. Shujiko is less happy about this arrangement, but Kenzo is both pragmatic and charismatic enough to convince her that going with the flow is for the best.

More to come...
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

Post by Big Mac »

Interesting.
1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:18 am
These posts are for me to gather my thoughts together in case this turns into an actual campaign.
So how much of this is going to be canon details, that you are writing out in your own terms...

...and how much of this is going to be fanon expansion that you are creating to build on the canon?

Are there any CCG cards relating to Lonely Shore City that you can reboot into 3e Lot5R stats?
1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:18 am
I'm no good at logistics or maps and am much more interested in the Clans and characters and how they relate to each other, so I'll be focusing on that.
Maybe someone else out there has made a map of Lonely Shore City that you can use.

Even a relatively primative map, that shows the city districts, might be useful for figuring out the routes that spies, bandits or invading armies might take to launch an attack on the city.

If you knew, for example that there were farmlands and a secondary city gate where farmers brought in food that might mean that a bunch of hostile NPCs attack a farm (and hold the family hostage) so that they can use the farm as a stepping stone for an attempt to sneak into the city from that direction.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

Post by 1970 »

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:04 pm
Interesting.
1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:18 am
These posts are for me to gather my thoughts together in case this turns into an actual campaign.
So how much of this is going to be canon details, that you are writing out in your own terms...

...and how much of this is going to be fanon expansion that you are creating to build on the canon?

Are there any CCG cards relating to Lonely Shore City that you can reboot into 3e Lot5R stats?
Historically, everything up to, say, two years before Toturi the First's death is canon. Geographically, everything is canon. Everything else is my own. It almost has to be that way considering the only thing I really have to work with is the map and a short descriptive paragraph. I've already delved into fanon (never heard that term before) by placing my own NPCs in the city.

EDIT: I found another paragraph in Secrets of the Crane. Lonely Shore City isn't as important as I thought, as it has no military significance. Oh well. It's still a major port for the Crab and Mantis, plus it's downriver from Samui Kaze Toshi (Cold Wind City [CN 9 on the map]), meaning it gets plenty of trade from the North. Also, if you want to go to the North from port, you can commission a boat and arrive in Cold Wind City with a week or travel up a mountain range. The choice is mostly obvious.


I don't know of any CCG cards I can use, especially since I traded off all of mine to a friend about a decade ago or so. I have a book somewhere that details some of the Gold Edition cards, but really the only thing I have to go with are my faded memories and my RPG books. I could go looking on the interwebs, but that's probably more effort than just coming up with something on my own.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:04 pm
Maybe someone else out there has made a map of Lonely Shore City that you can use.

Even a relatively primative map, that shows the city districts, might be useful for figuring out the routes that spies, bandits or invading armies might take to launch an attack on the city.

If you knew, for example that there were farmlands and a secondary city gate where farmers brought in food that might mean that a bunch of hostile NPCs attack a farm (and hold the family hostage) so that they can use the farm as a stepping stone for an attempt to sneak into the city from that direction.
That would be helpful I admit, I'm just not very good at it. Maybe once I've fleshed out the Clans some I'll give it more thought. Honestly, I'm kind of hoping that one will lead to another. In any event, I could always drag out my City of Lies box set and use it as an example. It gets pretty detailed without overwhelming me with too much minutia.
Last edited by 1970 on Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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The Crab of Lonely Shore City are an odd bunch. No one is completely comfortable there, as the Daidoji still take the Yasuki's abandonment of the Crane over 700 years ago very seriously. This generally translates into frequent attention by the city magistrates and harsh penalties for infractions. Still, an army must be fed, so the Crab grit their teeth and watch their tongues. Mostly.

The ranking Crab is Hida Tetsu, colloquially known as the Iron Scorpion. Born in a border town with the Scorpion, Tetsu was a hostage for his formative life and until his Gempukku. To his parents' and Clan's chagrin, Tetsu was trained by the Bayushi as a courtier. He'd never be fit to man the Wall or be anything a Hida should be. So they sent him away from one court to the next.

While the Clan had seemingly abandoned him, Tetsu never abandoned it. Years navigating a treacherous childhood and the lessons learned plus his Hida tenacity made him a formidable addition to the many minor courts he was assigned to. Eventually, he came to Lonely Shore to mediate a difficult diplomatic situation between the Crab and Mantis. Using his physical enormity, honeyed words, and veiled threats he got the better of the Yoritomo with ease. Such a coup could not be forgotten, and he was given a permanent position at Hatamachi's Court, replacing the less than successful Yasuki Maeko.

Maeko herself is extremely unhappy to play second to a mistrained Hida, but can't do anything about it. She's lucky to even still be in the city, since it was her that caused the crisis between the Crab and Mantis in the first place. Regardless of her self-perceived talents, she's simply not a people person. She thinks she's charming, but truly her acidic and petty nature shines through any conversation she has. What she has going for her is a head for numbers and opportunity. Her problem with the Mantis wasn't an economic one, they took offense at her personally.

Now that she's a failed diplomat, hated by the Crane and Mantis, embarrassed by a Scorpion-fed Hida, and looking at a career going nowhere she's turned to a secret source that will give her the revenge she so rightly deserves. Maho. Everyone else may underrate her, but the kanssen tell her differently. She can be powerful. She can be successful. All she has to do is this little thing. Or that little thing. She would have never contemplated anything like this before Tetsu came on the scene, but now she's headed down the path to damnation.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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Lonely Shore City is dominated by the politics of the Daidoji. And above them, to their resentment, is Daidoji Hatamachi. Still, while competence is admired, Lonesome Shore is not a major concern among the Daidoji leadership. It has no appreciable military application, so as long as it runs smoothly they're happy, and, to one degree or another, Hatamachi does that.

Due to his silver tongue, Hatamachi's parents decided to enroll him in a courtier school, certain that his future would be bright. Unfortunately, they were mistaken. While he was immanently likable, he didn't have a head for politics. Or money. Or really much of anything besides chasing samurai-ko and drinking too much. Not knowing what to do, they sent him to Shinden Asahina to find balance. There he caught the attention of Asahina Goro, an older man who was willing to listen to his troubles, make keen observations to his benefit, and generally soothe his ego. When it was time to leave the city, Goro accompanied him.

No one really knows how Hatamachi became Governor of Lonely Shore City, but most credit Goro's influence over him. What only a few know is that Hatamachi is more of a figurehead Governor than anything else. Lonely Shore City belongs to Asahina Goro. Like a spider sitting in the center of his web, Goro hears rumors, determines truths, and sets events in motion that benefit the Crane, by way of himself of course. Never one to fully accept his family's pacifistic teachings, Goro craved political clout, power, and prestige.

Now that he has those things, he realizes that even in victory his dreams have been stymied by Hatamachi's incompetence. Lonely Shore is important, but not prestigious, and Hatamachi has gone pretty much as far as he can go politically. Still, he likes the Governor, as many who meet him do, but he's casting about for someone else to attach himself to. Until then he's milking the city for all it's worth.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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Kakita Akane has one of the hardest jobs in Lonely Shore City: keeping Daidoji Hatamachi safe. It isn't so much as keeping himself safe from others, though that is sometimes an issue, but keeping himself safe from himself. As his yojimbo she accompanies him pretty much everywhere, and everywhere he goes is fraught with danger. Gambling halls. Opium dens. Geisha houses. Really, just about anywhere an honorable samurai shouldn't be, there he is. Even that would be somewhat tolerable if it weren't for those times he turns his attention on her. She shudders just thinking about it. How she got this assignment is beyond her, and how a man such as Asahina Goro tolerates him is beyond the Fortune's reckoning.

In fact, she got this assignment due to Hatamachi's influence. Goro thought Hatamachi didn't have enough things to distract him from the things Goro was doing, so he found an attractive samurai-ko of steadfast honor and subtly suggested that she would make a perfect addition to his personal guard. Hatamachi agreed. Hatamachi even goes to Goro for advise on how to woo her, to which the older man laughs and gives vague suggestions that always turn out to be wrong. So far Goro's side project has worked, and he continues running the city without the Governor's knowledge.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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It's no secret that Daidoji Hatamachi is no administrator; if he were he wouldn't have so much time for his social activities. The real workhorse of Lonely Shore City is his cousin, Daidoji Yodo, a junior member of the Daidoji Trading Council. He also covets Hatamachi's position, seeing how he shoulders all the responsibility but gains little of the benefits. Then again, he wouldn't even be here if not for Hatamachi pulling a few strings. Still, the ambitious Daidoji can't stand that his cousin gets all the glory. Sometimes that sort of attitude draws attention.

Casting about for another protegee, Asahina Goro has been thinking of him lately. The old shugenja knows that the young administrator has the knowledge and ambition to make something of himself without the constant attention Hatamachi requires. Goro realizes that Yodo would be no mere puppet, and that holds him back somewhat. He likes being in control and sharing that power would be a challenge for him. Still, if he debates himself too long Yodo may be recognized by another ambitious mentor, and he'd lose his chance to rise above Lonely Shore City and into something truly great.

For his part, Yodo knows that Goro has more pull in the city than he lets on. No one would act as a simple advisor for a buffoon like Hatamachi without some payoff. What he doesn't realize is how deep Goro's claws are into the Governor.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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Asahina Goro is probably too visible to be Kolat, but a Kolat agent manipulating him could be interesting.

Bearers of Jade mentions an ogre in a green hakama with a bokken who visits the city every spring, Namahage. He's terrified of oni, so the villagers have an annual festival of wearing oni masks and beating drums to scare him away.

There are likely to be Fox in the city as well, since Kitsune Mori Mura isn't too far away. The Woodland Trackers probably aren't likely to travel down to Mura Sabishii Toshi, but Kitsune Shugenja or Spirit Guides might.

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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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The Dark wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:51 am
Bearers of Jade mentions an ogre in a green hakama with a bokken who visits the city every spring, Namahage. He's terrified of oni, so the villagers have an annual festival of wearing oni masks and beating drums to scare him away.
I admit I never thought of looking too deeply into the First Edition books for inspiration, considering that I'm setting my game so far in the future from the pre-Clan War. I'll have to take a look at that when I get the chance.
The Dark wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:51 am
There are likely to be Fox in the city as well, since Kitsune Mori Mura isn't too far away. The Woodland Trackers probably aren't likely to travel down to Mura Sabishii Toshi, but Kitsune Shugenja or Spirit Guides might.
I was definitely planning on putting some Fox in the city, possibly working with the Unicorn, since those Clans were so close long ago. They may have some trouble with the Mantis, since Ryosei rebuffed Yoritomo's offer of marriage and entrance into the Mantis Clan itself. Aramasu hasn't been assassinated yet, so those wounds may still be fresh.
The Dark wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:51 am
Asahina Goro is probably too visible to be Kolat, but a Kolat agent manipulating him could be interesting.
Shhh... that's a secret ;)
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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Below Toku Shujiko and Bayushi Kenzo is Daidoji Wanatabe. As acting Clan Magistrate for the Crane, he's often the go between from the Imperial Magistrates to the Daidoji City Watch. He also leads patrols outside the City looking for bandits, rumors of peasant uprisings, and other business that's below the attention of Imperial Interest. He's not happy about either outsider being above him in station, but bares the insult with quiet seething, and if certain information doesn't get to their ears, well, that's their responsibility, right? He can only be in so many places at so many times. This infuriates Shujiko, but Kenzo approaches it with professional cool and tallies up instances of Wanatabe's incompetence, making certain that the Crane will keep his position for a long, uncomfortable time.

Below Wanatabe is Daidoji Ujiko, a violent woman who leads the City Watch, known as the Iron Brigade. She keeps her subordinates razor sharp in case of trouble. When not terrorizing her men she spends time in the local dojo working off her anger. She knows she acts more like a Crab than a Crane, which is why she's strangely drawn to Hida Tetsu. His balance attracts her, and she spends as much time with the Crab Courtier as possible.
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Re: Mura Sabishii Toshi (Lonely Shore City)

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It's a given that the cities of the Crane reflect their refined nature. The fantastic gardens of Lonely Shore City are tended by Asahina Tobonaku. He also tends the city's major shrines, and sees to the spiritual well being of its inhabitants. In fact, he keeps himself so busy because he wants to put as much distance between himself and Asahina Goro as possible. Tobonaku is embarrassed for the power hungry shugenja, but this is tinged with no small amount of fear. He's so used to his Family being pacifists that he doesn't understand the older man, and that makes him unpredictable and potentiality dangerous. Best for him to stay away.

Doji Akamei loves stories and history, so it was no surprise when she attended the Kaktia Artisan School. She spends her days in Tobonaku's gardens either reading a book or rehearsing tales of the ancestors. She performs at court, usually when she's trying to make some point or another. Her tales are timely and always embody some lesson. Needless to say, she's had some interesting conversations with the local monks. Still, she's something of a city mascot and treasure, seemingly without enemies or ambitions other than to perfect her craft.
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