Current Strategic Positions

   First up for today, it’s a quick summary of the likely positions in the spring campaigns. Note that – as usual – these are subject to change if the player characters either pull off some really impressive stunt or (almost as likely) manage to grossly offend someone.

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On the Imperial Side:

  • The Dragon. Unfortunately severely weakened both by the Demon Winter and the need to maintain patrols against the Yodatai. Fortunately, thanks to Kochige’s labyrinthine manipulations in the mountains, the Dragon can now spare a modest force, rather than a token one.
  • The Mantis. While frustrated in their attempt to get permission to import Gaijin weapons and mercenaries from Merenea, they did manage to secure permission to let the Gaijin deal with the shadowlands shipping – and there, outside of Rokugan proper, the Gaijin can use all the firepower they like. Sadly, the Mantis are a relatively small and weak clan.
  • The Crane are still firmly on the Imperial side, and at last seem to be convinced that they will not be able to control the clan wars with duels and calling in favors. Their forces are still fairly formidable, although a sizable contingent of their best fighters are down reinforcing the Crab at the moment.
  • The Lion are – thanks to their ongoing commitment to living up to every deal and promise they’ve ever made – still split. Fortunately, thanks to the Crane calling in a thousand years worth of favors, and to Shigure’s negotiations with the Matsu, they are now at least two-thirds on the Imperial side. The Matsu are still planning to invest the Capital, whether to defend or to attack depends on how things go with Fu Leng and the Emperor. Of course, Shigure just skipped out on their attempt to arrange a marriage for him, which they may or may not see as a serious offense.
  • The Phoenix are still split with internal quarrels, but will be supplying at least a few Shugenja and aides to the Imperial side. The extent probably depends on how critical things get.
  • The Yogo Family of the Scorpion are on the Imperial Side, following the lead of the Scorpion Clan Ambassador.
  • The Fox, and almost all the Minor Clans, are firmly on the Imperial side.
  • The various Imperial Families, the Seppun, and so on, are firmly on the Imperial side.
  • The Demon Ninja Cats. While not especially dangerous physically, the Demon Cats possess formidable magic.

Debatable Forces:

  • The Matsu, of the Lion, as noted above.
  • The Shosuru of the Scorpion. They are currently unable to agree on who it is honorable to obey.
  • The Crab are – at least for the moment – guarding the wall, keeping a paranoid eye on their reinforcements from the Crane, The Centipede are assisting them.
  • The Ox seem to be being obstructionist. They may be being influenced by the Yobanjin
  • The Wasp and Hare Clans, who are more or less drafted into the Scorpion side due to being too near, but are being offered escape hatches.
  • The Kenku. They don’t seem to approve of people too much, but approve of Fu Leng even less.
  • The Naga. More or less with the Crab against Fu Leng, but not for any other purpose.
  • The Nezumi. With the Crab against Fu Leng, although they’re very paranoid about the Naga and the various subtribes all have their own ideas.
  • The Conjunction of the Planes.

On the Scorpion Side

  • The Bayushi and Soshi families of the Scorpion. Unfortunately, the Scorpion Clan Champions still commands most of the Scorpion Clan Forces.
  • Sadly, apparently the entire Unicorn Clan. and possibly their nomad allies from among the Gaijin. No one has yet been able to figure out how to get them out of their second-class box without dismantling the entire empire.
  • Assorted Oni, Undead, and Monsters. The Scorpion have managed to bring in a fair amount of this sort of thing. This is not necessarily a good thing for them, as such alies repl other allies and may well be working more for themselves and Fu Leng rather than really being allied with the Scorpion.
  • Various Maho Weilders and the Tainted.

Against the Empire, (possibly) with the Scorpion

  • Fu Leng and the massed forces of the Shadowlands and Jigoku, including the Nightmares, Goblins, Undead, Corrupted Samurai, Oni, etc, etc, etc, as well as whatever dimensional allies Fu Leng can scrape up.
  • Bloodspeakers, Evil Artifacts, Tainted Creatures, and a virtually endless Horde of Monsters.

Wild Cards

  • The Spirits of Slaughter: Several thousand possessed peasants, now imbued with tremendous strength, great durability, a wide variety of Schools, and a tremendous lust for blood, sex, and other luxuries.
  • The Yobanjin / Kolat, who are apparently attempting to topple the Empire on the theory that – from their point of view – Chaos is good, Fu Leng is probably manageable by their Spirit Binders, and simply weakening the Empire could be useful. How can they lose by underhandedly promoting a little chaos?
  • The Yodatai, who apparently are scouting the borders for a possible invasion.
  • The Dinosaurs and Dimensional Visitors
  • Assorted independent monsters.
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