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» L5R: Setting Info
Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jan 16 2011, 06:14 PM
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Legend of the Five Rings is a CCG and RPG setting loosely based on feudal Japan and other Asian countries. It is also inspired greatly by the Book of Five Rings, written by Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary duelist who is said to have won over 200 duels, sometimes with nothing more than a frying pan. Although the landmass, peoples, and locations in the L5R empire, called Rokugan, are ficticious the language is derived from Japanese and many of the terms and honourifics are used very similarily to their uses in reality.

The setting consists of a large landmass, with one border being the sea to the east with a few islands. The lands in the south are called the Shadowlands, which directly tie in to the Rokugani mythology. Otherwise the rest of the map is the empire of Rokugan. North and west from the map borders is acknowledged to be a place called The Burning Sands, a desert that plays into some of the history of the empire. There are other areas off the map that are mentioned, such as the Ivory Kingdoms, but these are not of much consequence in the normal game.

The history of the empire is long and detailed, very detailed. The setting itself is constantly evolving because it is used primarily to support a Storyline CCG, that is a card game in which real players have control over the storyline through tournaments and special offers. The RPG has a small portion of say in the progression of the storyline as well, through special convention events like Winter Court held at Gencon. All said this means that since L5R has been around since just after Magic: The Gathering launched, there is a lot of player contributed history and awesomeness. To keep players interested in the game and the progression of the story the company actually has a story team that regularly puts out short pieces of fiction detailing important and mysterious events in the empire. Find them and read them, they are pretty good and will get you totally into the setting.

If you don't want to get into a ton of reading I'll go over the basics.

The empire was founded by the 8 kami when they fell from heaven, each gathered followers and created their own clan with the exception of Hantei, who took the throne as the first Emperor. The first 7 Clans were: Crab, founded by Hida, Crane, founded by Doji, Dragon, founded by Togashi, Lion, founded by Akodo, Phoenix, founded by Shiba, Scorpion, founded by Bayushi, and Unicorn, founded by Shinjo. The 9th kami, Fu Leng, fell to the south, unknown to the others, and was trapped in the realm of Jigoku, or hell. He became evil and when he arrived on the mortal plane brought many terrible demons with him, creating the Shadowlands against whom the empire constantly wars.

Then a bunch of cool stuff happened over the next couple thousand years. Some minor clans were created, some were destroyed, one became a Great Clan (Mantis). The Unicorn Clan wandered through the desert for a few centuries before coming back. There were a few major fights against Fu Leng, heroes died and evil was delayed. Some Naga woke up. A bunch of idiot shugenja looking for power summoned Oni that killed them and then rampaged. The Great clans fought each other, especially the Crane vs. Crab, Lion vs. Unicorn, Phoenix vs. Dragon, and Lion vs. Crane. There was a coup by the Scorpion Clan. The Hantei dynasty ended and the Toturi began. Some bad guys called bloodspeakers showed up and killed a Ki-rin causing a Rain of Blood. The Nezumi gathered into one massive tribe to face Tomorrow. And the Sun and Moon held a tournament to appoint a new Emperor after Toturi III died.

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Greg
 Posted: Jan 19 2011, 02:00 PM
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What year and season is it in game?
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Jan 20 2011, 02:20 AM
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I think it was 1136, but that's not entirely certain. It's the year that Iweko became Empress... nevermind, the year is 1170, and it is fall I believe, a rainy fall.

I hope my massive wall of text isn't too intimidating.
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