The Okubo Empire (Polesia)
The Okubo Empire is a feudal government inhabiting the southern portion of Asashiro. A highly prodigious society, the Okubo way of life was imparted upon the local human culture by a group of mysterious transcendental beings known as the Great Kami (also called O-Kami). This strict set of customs was bestowed upon the locals specifically for the purpose of safeguarding and repelling the taint of the enigmatic Plateau of Leng, an invasive and malevolent extraplanar phenomenon nested in the mountains in the South-central region of the continent.
Gifts of the Great Kami
Due to the invasive nature of the Plateau, the people, who from that point on became known as the Okubo, were gifted by the Great Kami in the following ways:
The Okubo were instructed in anachronistically advanced methods of metalworking, chemistry, farming, and craft knowledge. (In this way, the Okubo were able to craft weapons such as the Katana, a very advanced and intuitively shaped long curved sword, for which the empire is famous.) These advancements have enabled the Okubo to simultaneously defend themselves from the horrors seeping out of Leng, and provide the staying power necessary to maintain a diligent watch over the Plateau without compromising for the needs of society.
The Okubo were trained by the Great Kami in a philosophy which would become known as Bushido: the way of the warrior. This set of principles glorifies shrewdness, vigilance, cleanliness, propriety, honesty, and relentless discipline, duty, and self-restraint. These teachings have been instrumental in quelling the spread of the taint of the Plateau of Leng. Only strength and precision of mind can appropriately defend against both the horrors and charms of the cursed land in the mountains. Diligence, however, is a necessary part of societal Bushido, and often less disciplined (and occasionally well-disciplined) subjects of the Okubo are seduced or driven mad by the power of Leng.
Magic of the Stars
The Great Kami found that the strengthening and cultivating of the flow of the natural world was effective in stemming the tide of Leng's corruption of the land. The original inhabitants of Asashiro were already practicing these superstitions to some effect, however the Great Kami in their magnificent wisdom were able to take the art to new levels. These art forms are practiced by numerous subjects of the Okubo all over the continent, purifying and strengthening the land's resistance to the taint.
The mingling of the sacred blood of the Kami with their wives means that all people in the Okubo empire have the potential to become psionically awakened. While this is met with some superstitious fears and at times the murder of those gifted with these abilities, many cautiously respect these heirs to the true power of the Great Kami, and some become revered folk heroes, battling the taint of Leng with astonishing abilities that baffle even the more powerful priests and monks.
As part of the founding of the Empire, the Great Kami instituted a noble warrior class, and a farming class. This classical feudal structure proved to be the most effective method of maintaining order within the empire. As with any feudal system, land-owners (along with lesser nobles) trained in battle and equipped with the most effective battle technology preside in outpost-fashion over medium-sized tracts of farming land, enabling nigh-immediate response to thieves, brigands, invaders, and of course, creatures who have escaped from the Plateau of Leng. These noble families were organized into great clans, each with a different specialized service to the empire. The organization of clans was instituted as a method of checks and balances, ensuring that no individual group of people became so powerful that corruption could go unnoticed for extended periods of time. It also formed a nuanced imperial court system that allowed a moderate amount of give and take between powerful forces while providing a table upon which to treaty before a Grand Emperor, to whom all allegiance is ultimately given. Lastly, an imperial family to bring together the powerful clans was instated. This imperial family would live in the utmost purity, far from any threat of taint. Rigorous traditions, rites, meditations, and contemplations would define the life of the Emperor in order to maintain a heart of purity at the center of the Empire. The great clans are as follows: The Kani, to be the first line of defense against the Plateau of Leng. The Shiroihato, to maintain the culture and doctrine of the Empire. The Hebi, to shepherd the secrets and facilitate a mind of enlightenment. The Tora, to lead by example the ways of the noble warrior, and to remember the past. The Shineinawashi, to hold the high priesthood and perpetuate the natural order of the land and the spirits. The Sasori, to plumb the depths of corruption, and do what others cannot. The Kirin, to guard the land from outsiders. Other clans and powerful families have arisen since those days, enabling the empire to adapt and meet new needs in a changing world.
Clans of the Okubo Empire
The Okubo consists of massive tracts of land ruled by a select few clans of noble warriors.
See full article: Clans of the Okubo
Caste system of the Okubo Empire
The empire regiments a strict and rigorous caste system.
See full article: Caste System of the Okubo Empire
Character Types in an Asashiro Campaign
See full article: Asashiro Character Types