L5r: Legend of the Five Rings


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Government in Rokugan is strongly connected to the Emperor. On the surface the Emperor bears the responsibility for the final authority on all laws. The Empire belongs to the Emperor, who rules it with the consent of the Celestial Heavens. The Heavens put their faith in him, and his word therefore reigns with absolute authority and carries the weight of Lord Sun and Lady Moon.

Abuse of Power Edit

This power can easily be abused, as has been seen through history. The reigns of Hantei Fujiwa and Hantei Kusada were under the shadowed influence of the Gozoku, the bloody reign of the Steel Chrysanthemum Hantei XVI, the possession of Hantei XXXIX of Fu Leng and Toturi I being influenced by the Lying Darkness are all good examples of what can go wrong. Outside those events the Emperor has always gone to great lengths to ensure his heir would do the dynasty name honor.

Imperial Families Edit

The Imperial Families act as a balancing influence, steering the Emperor away from his darker desires. When the Emperor is busy or cannot handle everything there are others who continue the work. The Shogun enforces the will of the Emperor with military force.

Emerald Champion Edit

The Emerald Champion acts as the Emperor's highest agent of justice and enforces Imperial Law. The Emerald Champion has also traditionally been Emperor's personal bodyguard, although more in title than body in recent times. The Champion has thousands of Emerald Magistrates to help him fulfill his duties. They are expected to act with justice of the Emperor in mind, and must often put aside matters of their clan or family when they assume their station. The cleverest ones feign honor for their clan without compromising the honor of their station.

Clan Magistrates Edit

Each clan has their own magistrates who are selected by the daimyo of the clan, and they carry out the law of the Emperor within their own borders. They have a slightly lower station than the Emerald Magistrates, but still command a great deal of respect within their own territories. They are considered the hand of their lord, and are acting with the full authority of their daimyo. They are trusted not to abuse this authority, and unlike the Emerald Magistrates they need not worry about putting their clan's interests first.

Jade Champion Edit

The Jade Champion is similar to the Emerald Champion, but his duty is to police all illegal use of magic in the Empire, particularily maho. The Jade Magistrates and Inquisitors perform the same duties for the Jade Champion as the Emerald Magistrates do for the Emerald Champion.

Daimyo Edit

The land of Rokugan is governed by minor daimyo who make sure that the peasants pay their taxes and keep to the laws of the Emperor and their clan. These daimyo report to a more important lord or daimyo of a family. That family daimyo is responsible for all the lords under their command, and in turn reports to the champion of their clan. That champion needs only answer to three people; the Emperor, Jade Champion and Emerald Champion.

Major References Edit

  • Legend of the Five Rings:Third Edition Page 29.

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