Quelques éclats de jade
For generations, Toshi Ranbo has been constantly fought over by the Lion and the Crane, with the common folk doing what they could to survive in this city frequently consumed by war. As a result, the city is riddled with hidden rooms and escape tunnels, where refugees from the previous regime could hide until friendly forces ruled again.
Former Crane and Lion Clan samurai eventually formed into an otokodate, the Tessen, attempting to police Toshi Ranbo wo Shien Shite Reigisaho despite the chaos brought by all the fighting. The Tessen still operate in the city, serving as bodyguards and escorts to heimin.
The continuing conflicts between the Lion and Crane ended with an unlikely alliance between their two Clan Champions, both proposing Toshi Ranbo as the new capital. The Imperial Court relocated in Toshi Ranbo following the end of the Four Winds’ struggle for the throne and the coronation of Toturi III.
Since it became the capital, Toshi Ranbo has grown faster than any other city in Rokugan. If, at first, only the Imperial Families established estates there, the Great and minor clans soon followed. In a few years, the new capital might grow to rival Otosan Uchi in size and importance.
The city was recently divided into five administrative districts to better handle its day to day management:
- Chuushin District: Located in what remains of the original city of Toshi Ranbo, the Chuushin district holds the true halls of Rokugani political power. This district includes not only the Imperial Palace itself, but also all of the major bureaucracies that enable the Empire to function.
- Ichidou District: Often simply called the “Temple District”, the Ichidou District is located to the northwest of the palace. This region almost seems to be more of a large park than a district in a major metropolitan city. It contains the major shrines and temples of the city.
- Kurai District: The largest of the districts. The Kurai District is one of the busiest regions in the city, with the possible exception of the Shijou District’s bustling port authority. The majority of city issues are dealt in the Kurai District Court, a vast complex, by the District Governor and attendant staff.
- Senzai District: Most of the samurai who establish residences within the capital live in this district. The area is dominated by large sprawling estates, interspersed with clusters of smaller houses. Clan loyalties are expressed in very subtle neighborhood divisions within the district, and within these subdivisions, Clans attempt to maintain similar architecture and decoration, befitting their loyalties and affiliations.
- Shijou District The Shijou District is home to many prominent marketplaces and contains the city’s port authority, located along the branch of the Drowned Merchant River that passes through central Toshi Ranbo. Thus, the district is key to many of the most important trade negotiations that occur each year in the Empire.
- Shutsuensha District: The district is a buzzing hive of entertainment establishments. Samurai can easily lose themselves in the various delights and distractions offered by the businesses and performers. Polite and persistent hawkers invite lone samurai to partake of each house’s particular brand of enjoyment. Tucked in behind these gaudy businesses, of course, are the non-descript tenements for the geisha and performers who work there.