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Hantei XVI

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Hantei XVI 
Hantei XVI 
Born: 569 
Died: 610 
Died after return: 1155 
Parents: Hantei XV,
Otomo Kaoichihime 
Siblings: Otomo Toruo,
Otomo Tanaka,
Otomo Tsurichi,
un-named sister,
Otomo Michiko,
Otomo Yurikan 
Spouse: Doji Hime,
Doji Nariko 
Children: Hantei XVII 
Titles: Emperor of Rokugan
People

Hantei XVI, the Steel Chrysanthemum, known as Otomo Okucheo before his ascension, was possibly the most brutal and violent Emperor in the history of Rokugan. Even after his death, the violent emperor returned through Oblivion's Gate, tried to claim the empire as his once more, and started the War of Spirits. He has the dishonor of being the first of only two tyrannicides in the Empire's long history.

Birth Edit

Hantei XVI was born in 569 under portents so ominous that their like had not been seen since Iuchiban. The Shosuro, Ikoma and Asahina, however, chose to ignore them. [1]

Killing his Brother Edit

From his early childhood on, Okucheo began to fear other samurai were out to steal the position of Emperor from him. His oldest brother Otomo Toruo would be much like his father Hantei XV when he reached adulthood, a mediocre Emperor. Okucheo arranged Toruo's death, and the seven years boy fell into one of the ornamental fountains in the palace gardens and drowned. [2]

Imperial Heir Edit

A political prodigy, in 575 he visited for first time the Imperial Court. The boy was able to tell his mother about three separate plots underway at that very moment. Okucheo helped Hantei XV to implement changes and political strategies more sophisticated than any he could have devised on his own. [3]

First Follower Edit

After his gempukku Okucheo was a highly attractive slim and narrow man. He left the Otosan Uchi to tour the Empire, who met and quickly became friend to the Crab heir, Hida Tsuneo. Both samurai traveled to the Lion lands, and there Okucheo saved Tsuneo's life during a bandit attack. The young Crab swore he would serve Okucheo unswervingly. [2]

The Reign of the Steel Chrysanthemum Edit

Hantei XVI 2

Hantei XVI

Believing his honest, clever, and capable son Okucheo would usher in a new age of prosperity for Rokugan, [4] in spring of the year 589 the Emperor, Hantei XV, retired early. Okucheo recalled several of his childhood friends to his side, as advisors: Akodo Tsurikan, Daidoji Tojo, Hida Tsuneo, Miya Karuo, who became his Imperial Advisor, Suzume Kirako, and Shosuro Tsia, [5] who became his secret lover. [6] Plagued by paranoia since birth, his world was overrun by "ghost assassins", seeing traitors in every corner and enemies in every crowd. He began giving orders to crush any opposition, whether real or imagined, causing thousands to die. [1]

The Golden Chrysanthemum Edit

The first five years of Okucheo's reign were a time of nearly unparalleled prosperity, earning him the nickname of the Golden Chrysanthemum, and in 590 the best harvest seen in decades was called the Golden Harvest in his honor. Okucheo in winter this year forced the retirement or ordered the assassination of many of the older and more traditional samurai in the Empire. [7]

Married Edit

In 591 he took the original idea of the Crane Clan Champion and Emerald Champion Doji Rin and created the Golden Legion, placing Miya Karuo in charge of it. Hantei XVI had seen a sinister plot to create an army outside of his control, and aided by Shosuro Tsia carried out a whispering campaign against Rin. He became a broken man who retired after his only daughter Doji Hime was taken by the Emperor as his concubine. The next year Hime became pregnant in autumn, and Okucheo officially married Hime that winter to have a legitimate child. Next year Okucheo personally executed the gardeners and servants in charge of the part of the Imperial Palace where his wife suffered a small accident and miscarried. [8]

The Steel Chrysanthemum Edit

In 594 after two bad growing seasons, when one of his childhood confidants, Daidoji Tojo, implemented policies that went directly against Okucheo's suggestions, he became suspicious, vindictive, and increasingly cruel. Tojo was found guilty of crimes against the Empire and hanged. The Emperor began to refer to himself publicly as the Steel Chrysanthemum. At winter court several prominent Crane became disgraced an committed seppuku. The Crane Champion Doji Hekiro was executed in punishment for the actions of his subordinates. [8]

Right Hand of the Emperor Edit

In 595 [9] when Hida Tsuneo became the Crab Clan Champion after the death of his father, the Emperor appointed him as the Right Hand of the Emperor in place of the Lion Clan. [10]

Madness Spread Edit

This year a Crane provincial daimyo petitioned more time to pay the Imperial Taxes. Okucheo tortured and hanged him, for treason. The Crane province was punished by the Golden Legion, which killed every samurai in the province. In winter the Dragon Clan Champion Togashi Orikan began to recall all of the Dragon Clan samurai to the Dragon lands, leaving only a token group of Mirumoto residing in the Chokai province south of the Dragon Mountains. [11]

Steel Magistrates Edit

In 596 Hantei XVI created the Steel Magistrates under the command of Shosuro Tsia to root out treason among the samurai of the Empire. They immediatey began a secret war against the Scorpion information network. [12]

Killing his Relatives Edit

In 597 Okucheo arranged the deaths of many Otomo with close blood ties to the Imperial line, and even his father supposedly died of an “unknown fever”. The Steel Magistrates found groups of samurai who banded together to discuss how to stop the abuses by the Emperor, and executed them as traitors. [12]

Imperial Heir Edit

In 600 Hime finally bore a son. She had had a miscarriage in 596, and two more in the next years, possibly by deliberate action. The Emperor had placed her under confinement and constant watch to ensure she brought a child to term. Hime remained confined to her chambers thereafter until her death in 602. [12]

Nezumi Edit

The Emperor declared Ratlings a dangerous Shadowlands menace, and ordered the Imperial Legions to destroy them. [13]

Suppressing a Rebellion Edit

In 603 the pacifist Phoenix Clan opposed the Emperor's policies sending covert humanitarian aid to those who suffered his madness. In 604 exiled and disgraced senior lords formed an improvised army in the lightly-settled western Lion lands. The next year Hida Tsuneo led a mixed force of Crab soldiers and Imperial Legions, crushing the rebel forces. [14]

Second Wedding Edit

The Steel Chrysanthemum took a fancy to Doji Nariko, and sent her husband on a suicide mission among the Yobanjin tribes. Nariko was forced to marry him, but she did not overcome her grief and threw herself from the cliffs of the White Stag. A song was written in tribute to her courage, that quietly spread among those who stood against the cruel Emperor and gave fuel to their anger. [15]

Political Resistance Edit

The only political figures willing to resist the crazed rule were his mother, the dowager Empress Otomo Kaoichihime, and his younger brother, Otomo Tanaka. Every attempt to constrain Hantei XVI's power met with defeat, followed by hideous reprisals. Eventually, Tanaka and Kaoichihime concluded their only choice was to try to remove the Emperor by force, and worked to persuade the Imperial Guard that the Emperor had become a threat to the future of Rokugan. [16]

Naming the Lost Gods Edit

In 607 Okucheo ordered to torture and kill in open court a drunken nobleman. Suzume Kirako was tortured to death after she protested this use of torture, and the day after the Emperor proclaimed her Kirako, the Fortune of Torture. He also proclaimed his old friend Tojo to be the Fortune of Dung, as a way to humiliate one of his deceased foes. His mother objected to his actions, and in response the Emperor had her publicly whipped and confined to her chambers. That autumn, the Empire suffered a drought and bad harvest, and many Rokugani suggested it was caused by naming such impious Fortunes. The next year the Emperor named several additional Fortunes such as the Fortune of Beetles. The Empire suffered a second bad harvest, and the Phoenix expanded their covert efforts to help the rest of the Empire. [17]

Losing Self-control Edit

Okucheo's paranoia deepened and no longer held open courts. He suspected his remaining siblings were plotting against him, and lost trust in most of his advisors. His younger sister, Otomo Michiko, was killed by "bandits" in Crane lands. Otomo Tsurichi, one of his younger brothers, was killed in an illegal duel with Akodo Tsurikan. During the Imperial Winter Court Hantei XVI accused Karuo and Tsurikan of treason nad ordered them tortured and executed. The Golden Legion was disbanded and many of its officials executed for complicity. In 609 Tsuneo was dispatched to crush all rebellions which had grown after a new bad harvest had led to famine. His youngest brother Otomo Yurikan died in a fire. At the start of Winter Court Shosuro Tsia was arrested and hanged along with the entirety of the Steel Magistrates. [17]

Punishing the Seppun Edit

The Phoenix efforts to aid those who were suffering in the Empire were exposed in the Chokai province by Imperial forcers. In 610 Seppun forces razed Nikesake, the Phoenix base for their covert operation, and moved to Chokai province, with orders to destroy every samurai within the Mirumoto family province, but two Mirumoto managed to survive. [18] When his forces failed, because two Mirumoto had survived, he had 100 Seppun hung upon stakes along the Imperial Road near Otosan Uchi. [4]

Death Edit

Hantei XVI had murdered all four of his other siblings, and when his mother discovered this she attempted to poison her son. [4] The Hantei discovered his mother's disloyalty [16] and ordered the Crab Clan Champion, Hida Tsuneo, to kill her. The Crab Champion did so with his bare hands moments before the Seppun guards (alongside bushi from at least four other clans) burst in and killed Tsuneo and the few remaining loyal to the Emperor. [4] Hantei XVI was finally deposed when he was killed by his own brother Tanaka. [16] Those that followed him into death were cursed to follow him forever by Kaoichihime. [1] [4] The katana that killed the Hantei was Mukizo, the "Flawless". [19]

The Return of the Steel Chrysanthemum Edit

After returning to Ningen-do through Oblivion's Gate, he found that the Hantei line had died out. Hantei XVI concluded that this made him the rightful Emperor, leading to the War of Spirits. [4] Okucheo traveled through Rokugan, dissecting the Imperial political landscape, and carefully developed his own private spy network. [20]

Yasuki Conflict Edit

A Crane Yasuki returned spirit, Yasuki Masashi, was horrified his family had sworn fealty to the Crab, and in 1138 demanded the Yasuki once again join the Crane. Hida Tsuneo influenced his former clan to ensure the result would be a bloody conflict, prompting a series of small border clashes between Crab troops (mostly mortals) and Crane forces comprised mainly of spirits. [21]

The Phoenix Children Edit

This year Hantei XVI ordered a campaign against the Phoenix Clan. He attempted to force the Phoenix and their Clan Champion Shiba Tsukune to side with his armies by kidnapping all their children. [22] Tsuneo led a spirit force assisted by Agasha Tamori, seizing Kyuden Isawa. The Phoenix children there were taken hostage, including those of the Elemental Masters. [21]

Right to Rule Edit

Kakita Yoshi, Hantei XVI and Tsukune

Kakita Yoshi, Hantei XVI and Tsukune

Hantei Okucheo arrived in Otosan Uchi and demanded Toturi surrender the Throne to him, but Toturi refused. The Hantei was infuriated when Shiba Tsukune refused to turn on Toturi in spite of his holding her clan's children hostage. [23] [21]

War of Spirits Edit

Hantei declared war on Toturi and the War of Spirits began. Insane from centuries of punishment in the Toshigoku, the Realm of Slaughter, Hantei XVI rallied other returned Spirits unsatisfied with the new dynasty of Toturi I and those who had returned that were unwilling to end their own lives for the good of the Empire. His forces also gained strength from modern samurai who desired a return to old traditions. For all his madness Hantei XVI was able to rally a multi faction army against the clans and lead a devastating war for ten years, controlling various territories. [24] He did however have the advantage of many returned generals, samurai, and spies who knew their respective clans secrets, weaknesses, and strengths and were willing to take advantage of their knowledge. [citation needed]

Phoenix Clan Edit

Hantei XVI began attacking the Phoenix. Shiba forces were easily defeated and fled into the Isawa Woodlands. Tamori burned the trees where the scattered Shiba had hidden and one by one slaughtered them. [25]

Seclusion Edit

Hantei Naseru Edit

The peace treaty that had been negotiated to end the War of Spirits meant that Toturi would have to give his youngest son Naseru to been taught by Hantei XVI, and Naseru took the Hantei name. [26] [27]

Hantei XVI was placed under permanent house arrest. He and Naseru lived in a palace in the Kanjo district in Otosan Uchi. [26]

Engineering a new War Edit

Hantei XVI was a brutal teacher and would sometimes beat the young Naseru. Learning of Naseru's affections for the daughter of the Otomo Daimyo, Otomo Hoketuhime, Hantei brokered a marriage with her. He planned to attack Hoketuhime in Naseru's presence, hoping that Naseru would attack him and break his father's treaty. The old Emperor was confident in his ability to kill Toturi's son and then summon his followers to begin the War of Spirits anew. [28]

Second Death Edit

In 1155, he went ahead with his plan, yet he underestimated his fiance Hoketuhime, and she stabbed Hantei XVI in the back even as he battled Naseru. [28] The young Naseru returned to his family, missing an eye. Toturi wanted answers, but Hantei XVI was already dead and Naseru would not say how he had been killed. The event was covered up however, making sure that it was clear Naseru had not killed the former Emperor. [26] [29]

Legion of Blood Edit

In 1166 Hantei XVI joined the Legion of Blood. [28]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


Preceded by:
Hantei XV
Emperor of Rokugan
589 - 610
Succeeded by:
Hantei XVII


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition p. 13
  2. 2.0 2.1 Imperial Histories 2, pp. 106-107
  3. Imperial Histories 2, p. 106
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Rulebook Story (Spirit Wars)
  5. Imperial Histories 2, p. 108
  6. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 108, 119-120
  7. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 107-108
  8. 8.0 8.1 Imperial Histories 2, pp. 108-109
  9. Imperial Histories 2, p. 109
  10. Spearmen (Spirit Wars flavor)
  11. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 109-110
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Imperial Histories 2, p. 110
  13. Way of the Ratling, p. 35
  14. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 110-111
  15. Secrets of the Crane, p. 52
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Masters of Court, p. 10
  17. 17.0 17.1 Imperial Histories 2, p. 111
  18. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 111-112
  19. Blade of Serpents, by Shawn Carman
  20. Imperial Histories, p. 219
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Imperial Histories, p. 220
  22. The Dark Oracle of Fire, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  23. Imperial Histories, pp. 217-218
  24. Imperial Histories, pp. 220-222
  25. The Dark Oracle of Fire, Part II, by Shawn Carman
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The Will of Heaven, by Rob Heinsoo
  27. Birth of the Anvil (Spirit Wars flavor)
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 The Legion of Blood: The Steel Chrysanthemum
  29. Emergence of the Tortoise, Steel Throne Bonus Chapter


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