Kyuden Caerdydd - Champions of the Sapphire Throne
Before the Campaign
1403 – The last ruler of the City of the Lost perishes in an assault on the Hiruma lands. Thereafter, the Shadowlands and the Lost collapse into disunited squabbling and cease to offer a major threat to the Empire.
1422 – The gaijin known as the Thrane return from over the seas, offering apologies and recompense for the deeds of their honourless ancestor Garen Hawkthorne. After much debate, the Emperor agrees to allow the Thrane to resume limited trade with Rokugan, restricting them to a single port in the ruins of Otosan Uchi and placing them under the supervision of the Tortoise and Tiger Clans. An ambassador from the pale-faced gaijin joins the representatives of the Senpet and the Ivory Kingdoms in the Imperial Court.
1445 – Toturi XI ascends to the throne.
1455 – The War of Bleeding Flowers, the most recent major war in the Empire. The Lion Clan attacks Shiro Kyotei in long-delayed vengeance for the deeds of Tsume Retsu in the tenth century. The castle is razed to the ground, the Tsume family put to the sword, and the Lion annex the Kintani Valley. The Dragon Clan, outraged by the Lions’ ferocity, intervenes in the war, but does poorly: much of its border territory is overrun by the Lion, and the Dragonfly Clan is savaged and loses over half its lands. The war is finally ended by the threat of intervention by both the Unicorn and the Phoenix Clans. After the war, the Lion declare the Tsume family disbanded. The handfuls of survivors, now ronin, continue to claim the Tsume name.
1456 – The Dragonfly Clan is unable to recover from the devastation of the War of Bleeding Flowers. It is absorbed into the Dragon Clan as the Tonbo family.
1465 – Togashi Imasu is named as the new Champion of the Dragon Clan. He proves to be unusually distant and contemplative, even by the standards of the Dragon, and his Clan is left largely rudderless. Within a few months, the Togashi “family” of tattooed monks fissures, and the Hoshi and Hitomi re-emerge as independent family names.
1468 – A plague scourges the northern Empire, taking the lives of many, including the Crane Clan Champion. His widow, Doji Koneko, rules the Clan as regent for many years before their infant son, Doji Sarutomo, finally comes of age.
1471 – The Hare Clan’s main castle is attacked by a pack of maho-tsukai, apparently a splinter remnant of the Bloodspeaker Cult intent on destroying the Clan which specializes in the hunting of maho. The attack is defeated, but the Hare Clan suffers serious damage as a result.
1476 – Miya Shikan is appointed Miya Family daimyo and Imperial Herald. A man obsessed with the need for peace and harmony in the Empire, he embarks on a relentless campaign of peace-making and diplomacy. No wars between the Clans are fought after this time.
1477 – The Phoenix Clan agrees to help rebuild the Hare, donating money and brides to the cause. Relations between the two Clans improve greatly as a result.
1478 – In a move which shocks the courts, Crown Prince Toturi Kenji marries Shosuro Amika, niece to the Shosuro family daimyo. The Scorpion Clan swiftly moves to capitalize on this victory in the courts, beginning a rapid climb to the top of Rokugan’s political hill.
1480 – The lady Amika gives birth to twin boys, the first of nine living children she will bear to Toturi Kenji.
1481 – Toturi XI retires and departs on a quest to seek the Shrine of Shinsei. Toturi Kenji ascends to the throne as Toturi XII. With his Scorpion bride now Empress, the Scorpion Clan’s fortunes rise even faster.
1487 – Kakita Saburashi, daimyo of the Kakita family and master sensei of the Duelling Academy, faces and defeats Mirumoto Jinzaki, the Mirumoto family daimyo, in a formal challenge. The duel is widely regarded as the most magnificent fight in generations.
1490 – Kakita Saburashi wins the Tournament of the Emerald Champion but refuses to accept the appointment, saying that he does not consider his performance worthy of the office. He offers his seppuku (which the Emperor refuses) and then returns to the Kakita Duelling Academy to continue training. After considering for a few months, the Emperor decides to ignore the tournament results and appoints Matsu Hoketsaku, leader of the Lion Clan, as Emerald Champion.
1493 – The Empress dies in childbirth, bearing the last of Toturi XII’s children, Chisa. In honour of his late wife, the Emperor orders that the Imperial throne be inlaid with nine hundred sapphires (one hundred for each child she gave him), earning him the title “the Sapphire Prince.”
1494 – Toturi Hisako, third daughter of Toturi XII, announces her intention of training with the Scorpion to honour her late mother. This violates a previous agreement for her to be fostered to the Mantis Clan, and the Mantis threaten war against the Scorpion. Miya Shikan succeeds in negotiating a peace settlement, arranging an extensive exchange of hostages and child-fosterings between the two Clans, and arranging for Hisako’s younger brother Toturi Hizatoru to train with the Mantis Clan.