In the Empire of Rokugan, there are two groups of samurai who are exalted above all others. The first is the collection of individuals known as the Emperor’s Chosen, men and women chosen directly by the Emperor or Empress to serve the throne directly, including the Imperial Advisor, the Imperial Chancellor, the Shogun, the Voice of the Emperor, and the Imperial Treasurer. The other such group is the Jeweled Champions, a group of samurai who ascend to the highest levels of society through achievement, typically by succeeding at a great tournament held among the most gifted individuals in the whole of Rokugan. These individuals include the Emerald Champion, the Jade Champion, the Amethyst Champion, the Ruby Champion, and the Topaz Champion. The Jeweled Champions, while generally less influential than the Emperor’s Chosen, are somewhat more glamorous to the average samurai, for the potential to achieve such a position is something that any individual can dream of for himself.
Among the Jeweled Champions, the Emerald and Jade Champions are lifetime appointments determined by the results of massive tournaments. The Amethyst Championship is likewise a lifetime appointment, although that position is filled at the discretion of the Imperial families, who select the most prominent courtier of a generation. The Ruby Champion is selected by the Emerald Champion from a number of applicants, and serves at the Emerald Champion’s discretion. The Topaz Champion is the most gifted young samurai of a generation, selected at a grueling gempukku tournament and serving for a period of one year.
Or at least, this is how it has been until now.
The Divine Empress, in her infinite wisdom, recognizes the difficulty that samurai possess in refraining from war with their enemies. Is it not the duty and nature of a samurai to seek war? In light of this, the Child of Heaven has ordered the Emerald, Jade, Amethyst, and Ruby Champions to hold their respective tournaments on an annual basis, not to replace the Champions, but to give the samurai of the Empire an outlet for their competitive natures, and to provide opportunities for advancement. Each year, each of the Champions (save the Topaz) will hold a tournament of the sort normally used to fill the position, and the winner of these tournaments will become favored vassals of the Champions. The Jade Champion, for example, will oversee the Jade Championship each year, and from that tournament the winner shall join the Jade Champion as one of his advisors and agents in use throughout the Empire. In this manner, the Empress fosters positive outlets for inter-clan rivalries and encourages cooperation between the clans.
In addition to these positions, based upon her desire to continue sponsoring the sophistication and refinement so often neglected among the samurai caste, the Empress has created a new position, the Turquoise Champion, to be determined on an annual basis in a competition to identify the greatest artisan in the Empire. The Turquoise Champion, once identified, will have one year to sponsor art and beauty throughout the land in whatever manner suited to the artisan in question, then surrender his title to his successor the following year, although an individual Champion is free to defend his position in the competition as he sees fit.
As is so often the case, the Lost mirror their pure counterparts in the Empire with tournaments of their own. The insidious Obsidian Champion, greatest warrior and champion of Shourido, and the malevolent Onyx Champion, the most powerful of all the Lost’s blood sorcerers, likewise have been commanded by their dark lord Daigotsu to hold an annual tournament. Unlike the Empire, however, the Obsidian Champion and Onyx Champion hold their tournaments to see if it is possible to defend their title and retain their position. All among the Lost who hunger for power and influence are free to try and take the positions by force, if they so desire.
The Jeweled Championships have been a part of L5R since the first Emerald Championship in 1996. This year we are expanding the Jeweled Championships into an 8 Premier Event series. These events will be run all over the Globe, giving fans all over the world a chance to have a huge impact over the L5R storyline. Today we are excited to announce the locations for the 2010 Jeweled Events. As more specific information becomes available we will keep you updated.
The Amethyst Championships
Location: Loutraki, Greece
TO: Manolis Trahiotis <email@example.com>
Date: July 10th and 11th, 2010
The Turquoise Championships
Location: Eton Cyberpod Mall, Manila, The Philippines
TO: Des Tan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: August 28th, 2010
The Ruby Championships
TO: Tom Mulheims <email@example.com>
Date: September 18th and 19th, 2010
The Emerald Championships
Location: Sacramento, California
TO: Bryan Reese <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: October 2nd, 2010
The Obsidian Championships
Location: Feeding Hills, Massachusetts
TO: Eric Devlin <email@example.com>
Date: October 16th, 2010
The Onyx Championships
Location: Santiago, Chile
TO: Mario Luncumilla <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: November, 6th 2010
The Jade Championships
TO: Pablo Rojo <email@example.com>
Date: December 2010
The Topaz Championship
Location: Chicago Illinois
TO: Mike Colson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 1st, 2011