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Tensions are rising in Tacea after the destruction of their Territory Court at the hands of its Queen. Unable to continue their traditional cycle of succession because of accusations of treason, Tacea must find a Queen capable of uniting the land while building bridges to the world outside its borders.
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Author Topic: Current Tacea Territory Petition  (Read 4003 times)

Description: For reference purposes (by Reid)

Offline phinneas

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Current Tacea Territory Petition
« on: Apr 14, 18, 09:35:16 PM »
This should be used for reference purposes while new Territory articles are being written and posted.

Character's Name: Seung Corro
Character's Caste: Warlord Prince
Character's Jewels: Summer Sky to Green

Territory Plot:
Tacea has opened its borders to the world, but its greatest threats come from within.

Through centuries of strife, through civil war, there has been one constant, one thing which prevented Tacea from splintering completely: Tradition. It is tradition that has kept the Territory together since the end of the War of the Dragons, and it is tradition that is its greatest threat. Though the civil war ended almost thirty years ago, its effects are still long-reaching. In the post-war baby boom, Tacea became a young Territory; there are more young adults reaching their thirties now than there are any older generations combined. Their influence was limited by the tradition-minded Blood in their prime, men and women who had once been liberal and later grew out of it. The rule of Ishiyo no Izayoi set back the advances in male rights that Yuki no Natsuhana had begun. While Yuki had encouraged male literacy in her Court, selected a male Steward against tradition, and outwardly been a patron of men’s work in social spheres, Ishiyo reversed all of that. Change was her enemy. If it came, it would have to sneak. Faced with a quickly widening world, Ishiyo chose to bunker down.

Then Ishiyo no Izayoi went mad. She slaughtered the men of her Triangle, her Seven Daggers, and much of her First Circle before continuing her crusade at the seat of the Izayoi. Betrayed by one of her own males, entrapped by a Black Widow and forced to see enemies in every man around her, the Queen destroyed an entire male generation of her Clan. Her daughter, the Black Widow Queen Atsuko, lays this travesty at the feet of the Shingetsu. She accused them of suborning the Consort of the Mother, using one of their Black Widows to turn a proven Queen into a killer, in order to hasten their turn on the throne of the Dragon Mother. The Shingetsu, greatly affronted, disclaimed this, and prepared for war. The Izayoi could not field another Dragon Mother, not without leaving their own Clan in inexperienced hands. The Ariake claimed that they should be permitted to recall Yuki no Natsuhana, to replace her on the throne; this angered the Kagen, whose best candidate, Toyani no Kagen, had gone to the mainland, but was still--in their opinion--the clear successor to Hinata's legacy. And even as their long-ordered system threatened collapse, their borders hung open to the rest of the world, and ash blackened their skies.

To prevent another War of the Dragons, Seung Corro stepped into the Territory seat. Long-lived, a veteran of the Great War--where he had led men and women in resistance to the Eyriens, playing a large part in securing continued Tacean freedom for over four hundred years--and of the civil war, there were few names that eclipsed his own. One of his dearest supporters is Hinata no Kagen. Hinata had reunited the islands of Tacea and brought peace to the clans in her youth, and now in her old age she chose to do it again. He vowed to hold Tacea together in the face of their open borders and the enemies they might find. Despite his mythic status, resistance to a man on the throne of Tacea is strong, especially among the Shingetsu, whose candidate for Queen ought to have his place on the throne. The older generations are his support, those who remember the devastation of the civil war; the younger generations seek to win his favor or else force him out, in support of whichever Queen they feel best suited to rule.

In attempting to prevent a war, Seung Corro may have just caused one.

Succession Plan:
After the eruption of Mounts Mago and Itoko, Yuki Natsuhana discovered scrolls that referred to ancient spells that promised to quiet the volcanoes and prevent further disaster. She chose to step down from her role as Dragon Mother in order to pursue those spells in a faraway Territory called Shalador. Before she left, she consulted with the living Tacean legend Seung Corro. He had served as her Steward, but even before that he had lived hundreds of years in the mainland of Terreille. If anyone knew enough of the strange lands beyond Tacea’s veil to keep Yuki and her party safe, it would be him.

However, Yuki over-estimated Seung’s willingness to leave the Territory. Though Tacea had, by now, far outstripped the tragedies he had encountered in the wider Realm, it was still his home. As many of his daughters were taken from him, he wanted to remain near those who yet lived. Ji Yoon and Haneul had survived; he hoped against hope that there might be others. He helped plan the expedition. He provided memories to his son, who had agreed to serve as Yuki’s First Escort on her trip. He ensured the safety of those men and women who were leaving, and he returned to Ito, to serve in Ishiyo no Izayoi’s First Circle.

From Ito, he watched things become steadily worse. Ishiyo was trying, but her conservative values were stifling the very people who would be the salvation of Tacea. The great Clans were squabbling over Province and District lines, and tensions were growing between the populace of each as they swelled with refugees. With the arable land of the outlying islands gone, the stress on the agricultural sector was quickly becoming untenable. Seung found himself faced with a choice: to trust in Mother Night and let Ishiyo fail, or step back into a role he’d never wanted to occupy again. Once, he had been a leader of men. Now it seemed he had no choice but to become a leader again. He requested a meeting with Ishiyo. That meeting led to another, and another, and a meeting with the elders of Shingetsu, and another one with the elders of Ariake, and another with the elders of the Kagen. Endless circles of meetings, letters, arguments, and then--when things looked no closer to a resolution than ever--Ishiyo no Izayoi went mad.

Or that’s what it looked like from the outside. The Red-Jeweled Queen destroyed the Territory Court, slaying her Triangle and her Seven Daggers when the men tried to pull her back from the killing edge. Her First Circle was devastated, her killing Craft catching women as well as men when the distaff gender leapt to the protection of what was hers. She turned to the Izayoi next, killing and breaking her daughter’s Court. It was only through the intervention of the Izayoi Black Widows and Healers that the maddened Queen was finally put down, forced into a healing coma from which she would not awaken until the source of her madness was discovered.

The result was chaos, of course. In destroying her Triangle and her Daggers, she had killed the best and brightest of a generation. The geisha had struggled enough to provide her Daggers, having given seven of their best to Yuki no Natsuhana in the years before; providing another seven to the third Dragon Mother in five years would prove even more strenuous. The greatest Izayoi were dead, and the Clan dishonored by Ishiyo’s actions. Izayoi’s Queen, the Black Widow Queen Atsuko, suspected Shingetsu interference; the whole situation had risen from the cowardly actions of one of their males, and the Ariake seemed to agree that Shingetsu had acted dishonorably. That situation was worsened by the knowledge that the Dragon Throne now ought to belong to a Queen from the Shingetsu, in the rightful order of things; in light of this seeming power grab, Izayoi and Shingetsu were preparing for war. When Takara no Shingetsu, who had ruled that Clan for twenty years, was assassinated and the evidence seemed to point to Izayoi hands, open conflict seemed inevitable. It was delayed only by their need for a new Queen to speak for them in Court.

Seung Corro, unwilling to allow his home to degrade any further, having seen the result of a war between dragons already, stepped into the void Ishiyo left behind. The seat at the head of the Territory Court would not pass to a Shingetsu Queen. It would not pass back to an Izayoi Queen, for the Izayoi had none to spare and had given the throne to an unworthy candidate besides. Nor would it go back to the Ariake, though Yuki no Natsuhana had sacrificed her rightful place to save the Territory, or forward to the Kagen. Supported by Hinata no Kagen, once Queen of the Territory, and defying centuries of tradition, Seung Corro--a man respected by most of Tacea for serving as a staunch protector for hundreds of years--now sits on the Dragon Throne, holding it in regency for a Queen who can unite the Dragons before the island Territory descends again into civil war.

Impact on the levels of District/Province/Territory/Realm::

Tacea will finally begin to send out official ambassadors, desiring strictly to open lines of communication for the ascension of the eventual new Queen, to best support her new agenda. The return of a long-absent Territory, with its resources and large number of Blood, will create an exodus across the Realm: Tacean businesses expanding, males seeking better lives. They have long had a representative in Shalador, seeking a solution for the rumbling volcanoes, but now they will be attempting to train and send out a diplomatic corps where one has been unnecessary for almost two hundred years.

Having a male ruling in Tacea, a historically female-dominated Territory, is really weird, and nobody is very happy with it, especially as there are Queens suited for the throne. Since the alternative seems to be civil war at one of the most vulnerable times in Tacea's recent history, plenty of people will find themselves strange bedfellows. This conflict will be a major plot point in play: Yuki no Natsuhana is a viable candidate for Territory Queen, having already sat the throne, and each clan save the Izayoi has their own possible successor well lined up. Clan and District Queens are ardently opposed to Seung's position as the head of the interregnum. Hinata no Kagen's presence as his ally and support is what legitimizes his rule over Tacea; even his decision to avoid creating a Court around him will not reassure the younger generations of his sincere hope to step down in less than two years. The sole purpose of Seung's rule is to locate a Queen whom every Clan can support, and he does not want to rule further than that. For this purpose, his tenure as 'Dragon Father' is allowed, but no further.

Seung is a polarizing ruler for the Queens and for the people whom the system has always worked, but his presence on the throne will also galvanize the cultural shift which began under Yuki no Natsuhana’s rule, causing the clash between old and new to become much more visible and possibly even violent. With a literate man ruling Tacea, men will feel empowered to begin pursuing careers in the public sphere, where they have previously been relegated to service roles. This will create a rift between the older generations and the younger. The interregnum, when literally any Queen has a strong chance to take the Dragon Throne, is a time when the males of a Clan should be gathering around the clan's chosen Queen candidate, not pursuing their own dreams. Yet, with a literate male on the throne successfully keeping the peace, the males are beginning to believe that the tradition that claims men are too volatile without a woman to contain them are untrue.

To keep the peace and provide direction to the young males of Tacea, Seung will be instituting a Territory Guard, separate from the traditional Court ties. These men and women will be drawn from traditional combat schools of each Clan as well as the Priestess's temples which have served as orphanages previously. They will be tasked with bringing the criminal underworld under control, a prospect which will provide a route to a higher social class for some, as well as financial independence for its male members. In addition to being tasked with preventing crime, this Territory Guard will also be responsible for maintaining peace between the different Clans by mediating between them and investigating those crimes which do occur. The male and female commanders of this guard will be filling the role of the Territory Master of the Guard during the interregnum.

This new Guard also draws power away from the Clan Courts and the Queens who are struggling to consolidate power behind themselves, causing further unrest. Males who otherwise would be expected to serve Queens or become geisha are finding honorable employment with the Guard, which also offers lessons in literacy and removes another barrier between males and being able to navigate the world successfully. Yet it also protects farmlands and people, and as a new institution it is relatively free of corruption.

There is conflict within the Kagen clan at Seung's ascension and Hinata's support of him. They feel strongly that Hinata ought to rule outright until a candidate Queen of their own can be recalled to succeed her, but at Hinata's choice to support his interregnum they find themselves stymied. Between their Clan's secret control of a significant part of the criminal underworld and the conflicts between its two possible inheritors, and the fact that a man who is well-known to hate them now sits on Tacea's throne, the Kagen are face to face with a crossroads.

That isn't all that they're dealing with, either. As the Province closest to the destroyed Tang and Hanwa islands, they are currently host to thousands of refugees from the eruptions of Mago and Itoko. Thousands of people died, and when they went hundreds of acres of farmland went with them, as well as much viable fishing. The Clan, out of a desire to help their new citizens acclimate--and bolster their forces for possible war--will try to assimilate the Tang and the Hanwa into their Clan. This includes requiring Tang and Hanwa to take Tacean names, forbidding the practice of Tang and Hanwa-specific rituals, and attempting to absorb minority tribespeople into their Courts and families. This, understandably, is met with considerable resistance, which only creates more troubles as the Clan's agricultural resources are stretched thinner and thinner.

The Izayoi are the smallest of the Clans, but have a strong martial tradition and were one of the Clans least damaged by the eruptions. With the devastation wrecked upon their Clan by Ishiyo no Izayoi, many of their strongest have died, leaving them to rule with men and women pulled from retirement or youths forced into their Offerings too early. Knowing that Ishiyo's madness was forced upon her by webs, and suspecting that the Shingetsu were behind it all, they have redoubled their efforts to destroy their enemy Clan by exposing its criminal connections. With the volcanoes crippling agriculture in the fertile lands of the Ariake and Kagen Clans, they are forced to keep Queens active long after they ought to have retired, and put them into Courts as wards and Circle members long before they ought to be removed from their parents' homes.

The Izayoi are also afflicted by a great loss of face in Ishiyo's madness. Those outside their clan who served in the Court or were even just visiting were destroyed in her rampage as well; many people believe that the widow's web is simply their poor attempt to reclaim the high ground over their ancestral enemies, the Shingetsu. Thus, the investigation into what really happened to Ishiyo must be carried out by the Clan alone.

The Ariake have the strongest claim to the Territory throne, as their previous candidate is still perfectly suited to rule but for having abdicated. As Yuki presents the least stress on the geisha (who would be required to produce seven Daggers, personal guards, for the new Queen) they are strong advocates for simply turning the clock back one space and placing Yuki back on the throne. However, it was Yuki's abdication to chase a dream (which has given no results after two years, as far as anyone can tell) which put the Territory in this position in the first place, and so support for Yuki is much less than it might be.

They are also overtaxed by the presence of Hanwa and Tang refugees, burdened by the loss of their strongest and most experienced Queen, and suffering from the aftermath of the volcanic eruption. Their reaction to their refugee population is benign neglect, which is not necessarily kinder than the Kagen's attempts to assimilate their refugees into their Clan.

After Ishiyo no Izayoi's rampage, the Shingetsu are next in line to produce a Dragon Mother, and within their number there was a small cabal with a candidate already prepared. They hadn't foreseen the survival of Ishiyo or the discovery of the webs which drove her mad, having felt that her daughter Atsuko would desire an end to the shame more than the survival of her mother. Having so miscalculated, by the time the news that the Izayoi knew what they had done, the Shingetsu had already prepared their own candidate for the throne. Had their duplicity gone unchallenged, their candidate would've ascended untroubled. However, an investigation by the ruling Queen, Takara no Shingetsu, revealed the truth.

Before Takara could turn the conspirators over for judgement, she was killed by the cabal that had planned the assassination, her own people. Now Sakura no Shingetsu, Takara's heiress, has taken the throne of the Shingetsu Clan, with no idea of what the men and women she now rules have done. Below her, the Clan's Dragon Mother candidate plots to take the Territory Throne by any means possible, while Sakura--all unknowing--works at cross purposes. Add in the Shingetsu's long-standing connections to Tacea's organized crime, and the conflict in the Kagen criminal contingent, and nothing in their Province is going the way it's meant to.

District Level
There are far more Districts, cities, and towns to rule than there are Queens in Tacea. As the competition for who will become the Queen of Tacea ramps up and lines are drawn, each of these rulers will be called to throw  their lot in behind one Queen or another. Favors can be traded for support: favorable redistricting when the new Province lines are finally drawn, reworked trade agreements between Districts, tit-for-tat trades of resources in the face of volcano-sourced scarcity. No one can ignore the interregnum, and the District Rulers and businesses represent the will of their constituents where it comes to the decision as to which Queen can hold their Territory together.

Effects from the volcanic eruptions are still felt across the Territory, but most strongly in the island districts that make up the eastern sides of the Ariake and Kagen provinces. Healers and Queens work together to eradicate pollution from the land and soil, trying desperately to produce enough food for their needy people. Even as they need more hands to work the fields and prepare them to grow what they can, there is an exodus of the strong and able bodied to the mainland to seek their fortunes, leaving the land in even greater difficulty than otherwise. What is the point of growing rice and leaving it to rot in the paddies?

In the capital city of Tacea, Ito, there is a geisha district--a flower district, one of the few places in the Territory where men rule. There are many flower districts in Tacea, but this one in particular has been plagued with a rash of attacks on several prominent clients. In Tacea, such attacks are cause for the Queen of the locale in which the district is located to come in and shut the whole system down. However, the Queen in Ito is restraining herself at the request of her geisha Consort, and giving the okiya the opportunity to sort this out among themselves. Despite attempts by the okiya of the district to find the perpetrators, the attacks continue to escalate. It is only a matter of time before the Queen’s hand is forced and the entire geisha district is shut down, disenfranchising its residents and ending a major source of income to the city.  •  Discord: phinn#0798  •  Writer Tracker