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Embassy of the Alliance of Minor Clans

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The Embassy of the Alliance of Minor Clans is the building that houses the delegations of member clans in the Imperial City. In addition to its function as diplomatic centre, it is also a dojo for those samurai of the Minor Clans tasked with serving their Clans (and the Alliance) in court. [1]

Founding Edit

The Alliance of Minor Clans as it exists today was created mostly thanks to the efforts of Kasuga Taigen of the Tortoise Clan. It was he who managed to secure the support of Kitsuki Mizuochi, and Kakita Munemori, and with the backing of their Clans, gathered the representatives of all the then existing Minor Clans: the Badger, Dragonfly, Fox, Hare, Ox, and Sparrow, thus an Alliance was created. As the time went by new Minor Clans were created, and the Monkey, Bat, and lastly the Oriole were offered to join the Alliance, which they accepted. [2]

The Embassy Building Edit

The Embassy of the Alliance is the physical manifestation of the newly found political power in the hands of Minor Clans. It was built to be functional rather than ostentatious, as most other embassies in Toshi Ranbo are, for experience has taught the Minor Clans not to flaunt their accomplishments openly to the Great Clans. The embassy houses permanent delegations from most Minor Clans (with Samurai representatives rotating according to the needs of their respective Clans), and the rest send their representatives as the need arises. Each Clan, whether it holds a permanent delegation or not, controls a portion of the building. [2]

In addition to the wings controlled by the different delegations, the Embassy contains areas common to all Alliance members. These include a large dojo, a shrine, and a small forge (which is used mainly by Oriole craftsmen). The largest feature of the building, however, is the immense audience chamber, consisting almost a third of the building. The chamber was built for any meetings between Alliance delegations and representatives of the Great Clans and the Imperial Families, but as those generally consider themselves too important to visit the Embassy, and prefer to have Alliance representatives attend them, the chamber is mostly used as an extension of the dojo, and most classes are held in it.[2]

Tradition Edit

The Minor Clans lack, for the most part, a courtier tradition. Even the Dragonfly, who for centuries served as emissaries of the Dragon, have never developed a courtier school of their own. And while the Tortoise have been the representatives of the Empire among the gaijin, their courtier tradition tended to be shadier, and not refined enough, for what was needed to operate in the Imperial Capital. It was soon evident that this lack was a significant impediment in advancing the ultimate purpose of the Alliance: to advance the position of the Minor Clans in the Empire. For this reason an entirely new discipline needed to be developed, one that would accommodate the goal of the Alliance, while stressing its strengths and downplaying its weaknesses. [2]

This was to be achieved in two main ways. The Diplomats trained at the Embassy of the Alliance are taught to utilize the fact that Great Clan samurai look down at them, and possess greater political capital than they, as a tool. They use the fact that they are considered inferior as a shield and weapon against more powerful courtiers, who would not expect attacks from the direction of the Alliance. [3]

In addition, the Alliance has gathered the more politically savvy of its member clans, so that their experiences could be shared and merged. After all, the great advantage of the Minor Clans is the very fact that they are scattered throughout Rokugan, able to have diverse experiences with diverse partners. Thus the Alliance can draw upon the Dragonfly experience as emissaries to the Dragon, the Bat experience as allies (and often, former members) of the Mantis, and the Monkey on their interactions with the Scorpion and the Imperial Families. This way the students at the Embassy are prepared for as wide an array of possible interactions as any in the Empire. [4]

References

  1. Art of the Duel, p. 142
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Art of the Duel, p. 143
  3. Four Winds, p. 21
  4. Art of the Duel, p. 144



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