The End Of An Era
It has been twenty years since the fall of Hantei, and Empress Iweko the First has led Rokugan in a time of rebuilding, and unheard of peace. Now, as the rebuilding from the Great Clan War finally finishes, Iweko the First has passed, leaving her fifteen year old daughter, Iweko the Second, as the Empress. While small struggles between the Great Clans have occurred, as they always will, large scale bloodshed is unheard of in these days. The majority of Samurai born in the last thirty years have never even used their blades in actual battle, except for the occasional bandit raid, which is generally handled by peasant soldiers.
The darkness beyond the Carpenter Wall is quiet, and fewer and fewer skirmishes with the demons in the Shadowlands occur with each passing season. The Crab speak of forces mustering deep in the primeval forests of Fu Leng, but the majority of the citizens see them as paranoid and crass. Only the Lion, always eager for war, prepare for the possibility of invasion.
In this time of peace, a gentle winter has fallen. All around Rokugan, the lords and ladies of the realm gather for Winter Court. They seek to politic, relax, and plan for the coming Spring.
One group of young Samurai, all somewhat fresh from their School graduations, gather at the castle of Lord Asahina Hideaki, as ambassadors or friends. The gentle, snow dappled rolling hills of the Crane lands are a welcoming and calming sight, even to those harshest of Samurai. The lands of Lord Asahina Hideaki are so well-known for their serenity, that the young Imperial Prince Kitsuki Kichiro, has arrived to attend his Winter Court as well, with all of his entourage. It is truly a time blessed by the Fortunes.
And yet, no matter how fast light travels, and to whatever destination, it will always discover that darkness has arrived there first…and is waiting.