The Emerald Empire of Rokugan. It is a land upheld by honor, guided by fate, ruled by destiny. The Great Clans each support the Emperor, but inter-clan conflict is inevitable—both in the Emperor’s courts and on the battlefield. In the midst of danger and turmoil, honor must be your sword and your armor.
From the Shadowlands in the south to the Burning Sands in the north, from the Twilight Mountains in the west to the Islands of Spice and Silk in the east, Rokugan, the Emerald Empire, has stood for over one thousand years thanks to the seven Great Clans who serve the Emperor. As guardians and politicians, each clan fulfills their role in society and are as varied as they are powerful. But all are bound by the same code of honor, the way of the warrior, the code of Bushido. Honor is valued above all else, and a misspoken remark can be just as fatal as an enemy’s blade.
Just another farming and fishing village in the southern Crane lands, Kōnotori Mura, is a pleasant, if not simple, place to be. The village is pleasantly arranged, each house placed just so by a Crane civil planner, as if it was a a piece of ikebana, the Rokugani art of flower arranging. Peasants work the rice fields that spread out around the village for many li. They work with vigor and songs on their lips that help them to keep time as they plant and harvest throughout their lives. The village has a small wharf area with a few floating docks, fishing boats, and a thriving beach side community of fisher folks.
White Stork Village takes its name from the many white storks that migrate through each summer from their breeding grounds in the nearby Uebi Marshes to the west on their way to the south east Isles of Spice and Silk. There among the so called Mantis Clan the storks winter. A large garden, placed just so among the arrangement, is set to invite the storks with dogwoods and lilies. They say it is good fortune if a stork takes notice of you along its flight. The height of Crane fashion will often bear a feather from White Stork Village.
Three roads come into White Stork Village, each one leaving by a cardinal direction North, South or West. Travelers pass through the village daily on their way to other places. Only a rare few come here for the village itself. Some come to visit the garden when the storks are present, others to visit the small Shrine of the Sebun Ronin. All visitors end up at the Cresting Wave Sake House, the only such establishment in town where travelers can get a meal and room.
It is the Month of the Rooster, as the peasants view the calendar. Summer is fading, autumn is coming, the rains will start soon. The storks are nearing the end of their migration, yet many are still found in the garden and waters off the coast of Kōnotori Mura and so too are travelers. Tax season has begun as the rice harvest is starting. Many reasons have brought many souls to this small village, some may call it fate, or fortune, or kharma, whatever the purpose, small ripples have begun to spread across the surface of the water.