Twenty-five years ago, after more than one thousand years of willful isolation from the rest of the known world, the samurai of Rokugan pushed back their borders and took a step forward into a greater world. Their distant neighbors to the southwest, the Ivory Kingdoms, had fallen to a terrible threat, a threat that went on to besiege Rokugan only to be destroyed utterly. In the realization that the world could again pose a great threat to the Emerald Empire, the Divine Empress bid her vassals to move forward into the ruined Ivory Kingdoms and conquer them in the name of Rokugan.
The Colonies have proven a difficult land. The involvement of the samurai stationed there, in many cases deployed from Rokugan due to their status as relatively undesirable in the Empire proper, aroused the attention of an insane yet divine entity, the so-called mad dragon, P’an Ku. This gave rise to a great deal of chaos and discord within the Colonies, but in time the involvement of the dragon was discovered and it was dispatched from the mortal realm by the involvement of the Empress’s oldest son, Iweko Seiken.
With order restored, the balance of power has remained tenuous at best despite the attempts of others to prevent any lapse into discord. The younger son of the Empress, Iweko Shibatsu, was fostered to the Spider Clan during his childhood as per the arrangement of the throne with the founder of that clan. The Spider, reviled by most other clans, have based their power within the Colonies and as such Shibatsu spends the majority of his time there. Despite his affiliation with the Spider, many have come to find the cunning and practical methods of the younger son quite appealing, particularly in the Colonies, where tradition sometimes must be forsaken in the name of progress.
However, rumors have begun to circulate that the Empress is dispatching her Shogun, a man known for his unpredictability and loyalty to both the Imperial Legions and the elder heir of the Empress, to the Colonies. Even the rumors have caused disarray in the Colonies, because the mercurial Imperial Governor of the Colonies, Otomo Suikihime, is unlikely to share power with anyone, even if they are of equal status in the Imperial bureaucracy. Furthermore, there are whispers that the elder son, Iweko Seiken, is considering returning to the Colonies for unknown reasons. Because he has so often expressed his distaste for the region, many fear that his return could bring ill portents for those who call the region home, and already those who owe loyalty to his younger brother Shibatsu are preparing for a potential conflict between the two over matters of succession.
There are others who are more optimistic, of course. Despite their radically different upbringings, the two sons of the Divine Empress have always expressed proper brotherly affection for one another and havenever shown signs that a struggle between the two is a likely outcome. Regardless of whether the brothers end up in such a situation, however, it cannot be denied that their various supporters have a great deal of ill will toward one another, and those who are watching the situation carefully have expressed grave concerns that a conflict of some sort may be inevitable, with or without the express consent of the Imperial heirs.
With the rights of exploration available now to all by Imperial edict, the Great Clans now rush to claim the forgotten treasures of the Colonies, placing themselves at great risk by moving into unexplored territories full of unidentified threats. Back in Rokugan, the threat posed by the Dark Naga continues to distract the people of Rokugan, and the developments in the Colonies go unnoticed for the time being.
With increasingly radical discoveries being made more and more frequently, however, including an inexplicable link between the former Ivory Kingdoms and the heretical philosophies of an ancient monk called Fudo, the distance between two lands grows with each passing day, and it is only a matter of time before the Empire of Rokugan looks to its Colonies and questions their strange ways…
Welcome to Ivory Edition!