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 Post subject: New timeline past Asakaze
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:03 am 
Month of the Dog

With the threat of war lingering in the air, the clans increase their clandestine operations. Potential informants are sought out even as spies are deployed on both Rokugan and the World of Dreams. With everyone seeking to buy information, the networks are soon filled with half-truths and outright lies. On the World of Dreams the actions of the Spider and Crab diplomats lead to a shadow war where both sides hire mercenaries to kill informants they presume working for the other party. The Scorpion allows this to happen, meddling in the affairs when it benefits their cause. While some crafty ronin make fortunes, many more end dead.
With her fleet supplied and her crew rested, Kagami raises her warbanner once more, setting a course towards the Spider space, her fleet now accompanied by smattering of Crab and Unicorn vessels even while the Crab and the Unicorn champions insist that the commanders are acting on their own initiative. The truth is hard to discern with many of the Kagami’s new followers harboring a grudge against the Spider.

Much to everyone's surprise, Otomo Kaga announces that Kagami indeed enjoys the favor of the Throne and that the Imperial families support her cause to avenge the attempt on her life. However the Imperial Chancellor makes it clear that the Throne does not allow the Emerald Champion to force a landing on any of the Spider settlements. Only time will tell whether the bloodthirsty Kagami will heed to this command. Yet this announcement does little to dispel the threat of a war and there are rumors that the Imperial families are preparing to denounce the Emerald Champion.

Wonders of Asakaze takes place. The Phoenix holds a miai that sees various families united with marriages. With only a few of the visitors ending up eaten by the local wildlife, the occasion is considered largely successful by the Asako leadership, though deem Asakaze not worth further development at the time being, instead pouring money into shipyards, starting construction of no fewer than six modern cruisers meant to safeguard the Phoenix trade routes. The new vessels are projected to be completed in 3127 and to be commissioned in 3128 - a rapid pace for the traditional Asako shipwrights. However this means that the Asako and Shiba navies have to find answers to the current problems with the ships they have.

Following a kidnapping incident on Asakaze, the Phoenix magistrates begin to investigate the activities of a particular Crab guest and his connections with the Asako family. The investigations lead to a dead end when two prominent witnesses are found dead before the official can interrogate them. With their efforts stymied, the Isawa magistrates arrest several heimin, making sure they can squeeze out confession from each and every last of the commoners, allowing them to hold a series of trials leading to half a dozen public executions. With the ‘conspirators’ punished, the case is closed.

The miai held on Asakaze draws the attention of the Aotora Protobiotics who soon invest on the world, setting up a small pharmaceuticals research and testing company on the world using Red Lily, a relatively well known Soshuro operated perfumery and cosmetics company as a front. While Red Lily functions normally, selling goods while paying all the relevant taxes and rents, some of its employees are in fact trained Aotora botanists who gather samples of the local flora, working to synthesize chemicals that could be potentially weaponized.

Month of the Boar

Emerald Fleet clases with the Spider 1st fleet near Blightwell as the Spider forces move to engage Kagami’s supply squadron and inadvertently walk into a trap. A massive fleet encounter not seen since the second war of the worlds ensues with half a dozen capital ships blasted apart during the first few minutes of the engagement. Kagami’s flagship, Emerald Blade decimates an ancient naginata class cruiser ‘Furious’ in two precise volleys. However, fighting for their homeland and the safety of their families, the Spider samurai and ashigaru fight tenaciously, the crews of burning ships manning their guns until the flames engulf them. The engagement is largely inconclusive with the Daigotsu admiral withdrawing his vessels after the Emerald fleet manages to organize its battleline to avoid further losses. With a battle ‘won’ and with her supplies now decorating the void of space, Kagami addresses her crews, notifying them that she considers herself the victor and the debt of honor paid her fleet having reduced no fewer than a dozen Spider vessels into burning wrecks. Meanwhile the Spider admiral, Daigotsu Isoroku, is given a hero’s welcome on Hive - having ostensibly forced the large hostile force to withdraw with ‘acceptable’ losses, the Spider salvaging crews recovering hundreds of well preserved cadavers from the site of the battle, the Akatsuki necromancers raising so that they can continued their service in the undead fleet.

With the Mantis 3rd and 4th fleets busy in the Spider space chasing what remains of the Emerald fleet, the Lion launches a massive offensive in the crossroad systems, the ancestral Lion clan banner flying on the deck of the flagship ‘Victorious’, the Lion ships broadcasting the words ‘glory or death’ on all frequencies as they make their presence known. The Mantis forces are overwhelmed by the massive attack, the Lion admirals able to outflank most of the defensive position thanks to the sheer numbers on their side, badly mauling the Mantis 2nd fleet and leaving many of the Mantis held worlds in the system without fleet protection - allowing the Lion to engage the planetary defenses on equal ground on their own terms. In a span of a week Lion navy besiges and invades three of the system’s four inhabitable worlds, using ashigaru battalions to force landings despite horrendous casualties.

Despite their losses in space, the Mantis manage to mount a spirited counter attack in the Crossroads system, costing the Lion a katana-class vessel and several frigates. More alarmily the Victorious comes under fire, suffering a devastating hit on the bridge that leaves the Lion commander-in-chief Akado Genishiro dead and the ancestral war banner scorches. Enraged, the new commander-in-chief, Akodo Fumie issues an order to have the heads of the Yoritomo admirals delivered to her, handing out two dozen finely crafted kubibukuro to her squadron commanders for this purpose.

Doji Masatsugu is seen in public with a young Crane girl dressed in a contemporary outfit bristling with frills, lace and bows. Taking this as a sign of their champion's favor of such a deviation from the more traditional fashions, the Crane designers rush to produce more ‘modern’ collections to answer the sudden demand. Similarly, rumors that Masatsugu is finally looking to settle down begin to circulate in the Crane courts with many of the influential Crane lords expressing their displeasure for Masatsugu seemingly having chosen a daughter of a ji-samurai. The debacle is brought to an end after a few days with the Crane daimyo identifying his mysterious ‘date’ as his sister’s yojimbo, assuring everyone that he has no intention of marrying any time soon.

Following the tentative Crab-Phoenix agreement, first of the Crab cruisers arrive to Phoenix space even as a contingent of Isawa and Asako engineers travel to Kyuden Hida Prima to instruct the Kaiu and Kuni on modifying the Voidfarer class for military use. The Hida admiral deploys his vessels aggressively, ordering his vessels to disperse and shadow the most vulnerable Phoenix trade routes. This strategy brings immediate results as during the first month of operations one privateer vessel is destroyed and seven others are chased away from the vulnerable cargo ships.

Scorpion publishes their own expansion for Fantasy Fight called ‘Unknown Enemies’ that adds ‘stealth’ and ‘spy’ mechanics to the game. Traditionalists frown upon what they see as another pointless attempt to complicate already ‘perfect game’. Unsurprisingly the expansion gains notable traction among the Scorpion, though some Dragon players adapt it as well, preferring it over the Crane published ‘Lords of Iron’.

A Crab yojimbo serving under a Kuni diplomat on Kachi ends up in a drunken brawl with a Matsu bushi, the mostly friendly bout escalating into a full blown bar fight with a dozen or so samurai whacking each with anything they can get their hands on. Magistrate on duty arriving on the scene would interrupt the brawl, taking each participant to the jail for the night. While the samurai involved would eventually come to an agreement that the fight had been good fun, one of the Crab samurai would fall unconscious and perish in the jail with the Lion yoriki refusing to call for help as they assumed that the poor man had merely passed out. This unfortunate incident increased tensions between the clans as the Matsu refused to issue an apology the Kuni demanded.

Month of the Rat

Even as the news of the invasion reaches Yoritomo Akifumi, he orders the Mantis first fleet to prepare for war, woving to push the Lion back or die trying - however with much of the Mantis supply forces being deployed in the Spider space, the first fleet has to wait an agonizing week before sailing out as the quartermaster confiscate freighters for the purpose. Much to the dismay of the two Asahina captains the desperate Yoritomo admiralty is not too picky on where the requisite vessels are acquired and find their ships confiscated by the Mantis navy, their crews having to figure out how to get back home without a ship.

The charitable movement established by Daigotsu Wakana gains more traction, her kind heart and generosity winning over many of the impoverished Spider ji-samurai. Meanwhile the commoners of Blightwell revere Lady Darksun as if she were a fortune, her pictures decorating the many a family shrine. Needless to say, the Blightwell nobility is less than happy with this development, leaving Wakana ostracised among her peers. However, with her husband standing by her side, the young woman does not relent in her pursuit of showing the Spider a gentler way.

Even as the Mantis mount a counter attack, a Lion supply ship carrying supplies to the 11th legion gets waylaid as soon as it enters the Crossroads system, the Yoritomo privateers crippling the ship and overpowering the crew, slaying each and every Lion samurai present, a graffiti sprayed on the walls of the mangled transport ship identifying the attackers as True Scions of Gusai. While the Lion try to censor the incident, the raider captain arranges a holovid of the attack to end in the hands of Kakita News Network that is all too happy to broadcast the incident, painting a picture of heroic defense by the Mantis against a callous invader.

Meanwhile a small flotilla of Spider privateers pushes into the Unicorn space, preying on merchant vessels leaving from Kuwagata, capturing two vessels in a span of two weeks. Light carrier Izuna moves to intercept, catching two of the raiders. A fierce combat ensues that sees Izuna’s fighters destroy both of the frigates though at the cost of thirteen Baraunghar class corvettes and several veteran pilots leading to the light carrier having to withdraw from the operational area. Again, despite the Spider corsairs’ best efforts to conceal the origin of the attacks, the Unicorn are keenly aware of the true nature of their enemy. However with no desire to start a full fledged war with the Spider, Shinjo Seo-Yon grants a privateering charter to several young and aggressive Moto captains in hopes of paying the perceived debt of honor in blood.

After heated debate and convoluted compromise penned by the Tamori elders, a coveted relic vajra, believed to have belonged to 14th century mystic Togashi Kikyo, is given to a temple-fort managed by a small Togashi sect suspected of having ties with the Ironbound. A more traditional and bellicose sect of Togashi monks operating a nearby monastery sees this as an affront and proceeds to steal the vajra. However, the monks sent to ‘retrieve’ the relic are caught by the incensed and vengeful Ironbound monks who descend on their ‘brothers’. A confusing melee ensues with each and everyone trying to seize the vajra for themselves. The brawl is brought to a sudden end as two dozen monks watch the priceless relic clatter down the side of the mountain, the half a foot long gilded stave falling into a mile deep crevice. With the irreplaceable relic seemingly lost forever, the monks cease fighting, each and everyone contemplating their actions.

Yogo engineers make a breakthrough with the artefacts recovered from the Red Fields, the discovery leading to the development of a new personal cloaking device that employs the Path Not Taken to disperse the photons hitting the material. However, the Shosuro field operatives report amnesia and tremors after wearing the new ‘Veil of Shadows’ for extended periods of time, raising questions about practicality of the device. To make matters worse, a shinobi operating on the World of Dreams goes missing while carrying one of the veils, making the Shosuro and Yogo both fear that the new technology has been compromised.

Month of the Ox

Dragon deep space patrol receives a curious distress signal and when moving to investigate, discover beaten and battered Ide II, its navcom and engines badly damaged. Rushing to rescue, the Mirumoto proceed to escort the badly damaged experimental vessel into the docks near New Forge, providing medical aid for the crew - of whom many have suffered grievous injuries in battle involving two Karushan fleets. The Dragon listen patiently to the tale the crew has to tell their tale, both the Shinjo captain and the Ide navigator expressing their desire to return to the Karushan space to help Taushirr nrr-Udatowyn in their war against the traitorous faction willing to overthrow seemingly righteous Seven Star dynasty. Much to the captain’s surprise, the Dragon seem sympathetic to the cause, expressing interest to mount an expedition to the Kal’sha space. However, much to the Shinjo captain’s dismay, the Dragon confiscate Ide II, claiming it as their own with Tamori engineers swarming the ship in hopes of uncovering its secrets. Meanwhile the crewmembers of Ide II are offered a choice - either to remain among the Dragon or to be ferried to the closest neutral port. Needless to say, only a handful samurai chose to remain, most eager to return home to report their findings.

News of Ide II’s return as well as the tales of righteous galactic war stir the imagination of the Rokugani artists with many poets, playwrights and directors working to depict this exotic and mysterious conflict in their works, strict censorship of the clans ensuring that no heretical material gets published. The Throne takes an official stance that the alien conflict does not concern his Imperial Majesty, implying that the clans should not intervene with the alien conflict. However, no official decree on the matter is ever written and so the Dragon are free to pursue an expedition to the Kal’Sha space, even if building an expedition fleet capable of transgalatic travel will likely take a better part of a decade.

Several large Crane, Phoenix and Crab companies, seemingly unrelated to each other, discover that their revenue flows have been compromised for a better part of a half year, finding malicious software on their accounting and transaction servers. The hostile code-scripts have caused the companies to bleed hundreds of thousands of koku, obfuscating the bank transfers from routine inspections. Several independent investigations connect these cybernetic attacks to a mysterious entity known only as the Voice. This has left several large companies seeking to upgrade their security protocols as quickly and efficiently as possible by any means available to them.

Kitsune Perfumery publishes several new exclusive scents based on fragrances isolated from novel flowers and fungi extracted from a remote Phoenix held world. Two of the new scents, ‘Emerald Dream’ and ‘Midnight Fox’, become immensely popular - making certain Fox trade merchants extraordinarily rich. Scorpion tabloids reveal that Bayushi champion herself has been caught wearing the ‘Midnight Fox’ - leading to increased sales on Scorpion and Lion controlled worlds.

With Spider privateers ravaging the Unicorn trade lanes and with the tensions escalating in the galaxy, Ide diplomats approach the Yoritomo in hopes of establishing at least a non-aggression pact if not a treaty of some sorts, offering some of the technology developed for Ide II in return for pulling their raiding forces from the Unicorn space and retrieving the Ide II from the Dragon. Scrambling to stave off the Lion onslaught in the Crossroads system, the Yoritomo agree to initiate talks with the Unicorn, but the negotiations take weeks with diplomats on both sides lacking the authority to agree on anything without the explicit permission of their superiors. The clans agree that several Ide engineers should be married into the Mantis, though with the Ide wanting to ensure that the Shinjo’s laws are kept, this only bogs down the negotiations further.

A small cadre of Yoritomo officers establishes secretive warrior lodges within the Mantis armed forces that nominally promote fellowship across the clan hierarchies, irrespective of rank or position. These lodges are meant to serve as a kind of internal bond, a framework that operates perpendicular to the clan's official chain of command - and membership in one is considered an honor of sorts. While most of the lodge members are samurai, skilled and tenacious ashigaru are recruited as well. These warrior communities are meant to function as an informal place of lively debate where rank holds no sway and a warrior can speak his or her mind freely without fear of reprisals.

Month of the Tiger

Something happens on HNE-688 during a routine mapping mission and the Otomo declare the frozen, lifeless world Imperial property, enforcing a no-fly zone up to 100 AU around the planet. This incites both the Mantis and the Lion whom both had been hoping to claim a stake on the world thanks to its location near the Crossroads system. While HNE-688 has been deemed largely uninhabitable and near impossible to exploit for minerals thanks to the thick crust of ice covering the planet, both of the bellicose clans had hoped to establish an orbital communications and navigation outpost to facilitate troop movements in and out of the sector. With the world falling into Otomo hands, the Yoritomo and the Ikoma diplomats hound the Imperial Explorers for an explanation, only to find their inquiries stymied by the Miya courtiers.

Frustrated by the seemingly passive stance taken by Bayushi Hazuki and worried her inaction might endanger the Scorpion, the Shosuro hatamoto manage to convince Shosuro Ayami to take action, half a dozen of the most trusted infiltrators and shinobi heading to the World of Dreams masquerading as artists, merchant patrons and tourists, all seeking to gather information regarding the daily routines of their clan champion, officially for counter-espionage purposes. In reality, the select agents are gathering information to facilitate the assassination of Bayushi Hazuki. Taking no risks, the small team sets to work, assuming their positions within the world spanning city on World of Dreams.

Dark Fortunism gains some foothold among the Phoenix with a shrine to Kinuye being erected on Asakaze. Tended by the Brotherhood, the following months see several high ranking monks serving in the Spider space visiting the shrine, holding sermons and giving talks to anyone interested. While the governor Asako Naokuni is less than pleased with this development, there is precious little he can do with the Brotherhood being involved.

Mantis 2nd fleet pushes into the Crossroads system, engaging the scattered Lion forces, destroying a daikyu class carrier and its escorts orbiting the 5th planet in a fierce flet action. Akodo Fumie, the Lion commander-in-chief reorganizes her fleet as she prepares for the ‘decisive battle’, hoping to deploy her battleships against the Mantis in hopes of winning the war by fighting and winning a single, decisive naval action. Much to the Lion admiral’s chagrin, the Mantis refuse to engage and instead attack the Lion supply lines wherever they can, withdrawing whenever they encounter significant Lion fleet elements. This strategy is not without its risks as the fast and maneuverable Lion cruiser squadrons catch several Mantis ships off guard, both sides hemorrhaging ships much to the glee of the Otomo observing the seemingly endless conflict.

Voice of the Planet • All the Tentacles • Experienced 2

"I believe Planet will talk to us if we are willing to listen."
- Asako Mafuyu
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