House Amatsukami

HouseAmatsukami.jpgHouse Amatsukami has one of the oldest and most prestigious lines of nobility. It was at one point the largest land-owner of any house, but much of their territory was lost after the Primacy Wars.

The pious and disciplined family was once the worst-behaved of all houses. Their immoral exploits are legendary, as is the tale of their overnight conversion to the Sectus. House Amatsukami now upholds rigid codes of etiquette, tradition and honour. They now pursue the scriptures as fanatically as they once chased pleasure. Now a deeply pious house, they have a close connection to the Orthodoxy. This sense of traditionalism and orthodoxy may seem stringent to some of its more rebellious members but House Amatsukami feels it has a lot to make up for.

AmatsukamiArmors.jpgWhile other nobles may snicker at the faithful lords, they more often fear the Amatsukami, for this family has proved implacable on both the battlefield and at court. To House Amatsukami, structure is an imperative, humanity has its place before the All-Maker, and serfs have their place before the nobility. So important is this that they prefer to be address by House name first. Their vassals are fiercely loyal, for they know their place in the All-Maker’s plan.

Although by itself House Amatsukami is squarely behind the Dodekatheons and Atzlánti in terms of power, its close connection with the Sectus and its position as a neutral third party in the Dodekatheon-Atzlánti rivalry give it tremendous influence. Originally the house of Nobu, House Amatsukami fell far from the pious zeal of its early days into first a time of schism and confusion and then an equally zealous embrace of dark powers. The reign of darkness ended with a swift conversion into a piety far more regimented and zealous than even that in the days after Nobu.

AmatsukamiMonk.jpgThe Misamoto and Duk families that dominated the house during its demonic reign have been exterminated, and the Han and Wei-To families have undergone strict conversions, but there is still a small minority of atavists who cling to the ancient demonistic ways, and far greater than the number of regressives is the fear of future regressives. For this reason, Amatsukami lords and peasants are kept under very tight traditional strictures that are intended to make it difficult for any atavistic movement to surface and stay hidden. The Amatsukami family has undergone little in the way of internal conflict through the centuries, as the internal conflict it does undergo is extremely bloody and tends to be ended through massacres and the total annihilation of the losing side.

Since the conversion, the Han family maintained undisputed power until Halvor the Theocrat’s demise, at which the Naganaka line took over. The Naganaka withdrew after a series of decisive losses in the Second Primacy Wars, allowing the Kung-Zhau family to claim the Prophet’s Throne. Until recently, the house experienced significant tension between the Naganaka-Hidejiri-Lojan-Nijan-Carnifex anti-Imperial alliance and the pro-Imperial Kung-Zhau, Han, Okemo and Teng lines.

An additional source of tension is between the planetary princes and their vassal lords. The Naganaka line is challenged by the Lojan and Hidejiri alliance, and the Kung-Zhau line is threatened by the Naganaka-Nijan alliance. Currently, the Kung-Zhau line has enough ascendancy with its Han, Jong, and Wei-To allies and the provisional loyalty of the Lojan and Hidejiri lines to maintain order. The crusader families are largely those which were dispossessed from Malignatius (led by the Hidejiri, Jong and Teng lines, but also including the Ali and Fung-Ma lines).

The patron saint of House Amatsukami is St. Nobu, who famously turned away from his house for fear that unscrupulous people in it would defile his name.

AmatsukamiPop.jpgThe strengths of House Amatsukami mostly stem from its highly faithful populace, who are accustomed to living in a rigid caste system, often in conditions of extreme personal poverty, but with a broader and more thorough centralized social security system than most other serfs can rely on. Not only does this allow the Amatsukami fiefs to support a surprisingly large population, but it cuts down on internal strife. Tied to this is the theurgical prowess of so many of its citizens, which is an important military and political factor. The house’s ties to the Sectus give it incredible influence in the Known Worlds at large, while its not-inconsiderable military might means that it is not at the mercy of even the greatest houses. Of course, the downsides to the Amatsukami social structure include a deep emphasis on technology, which is a major drawback in many ways (with the exceptions of a few specific worlds), and an inflexibility that can lead to poor reactions to unstructured and unusual circumstances.

Known Amatsukami Systems

Amatsukami Royal Offices and Orders

The Hidden Martyrs
A highly efficient network of informants and agents originally established by Cardano to ensure the house never fell into sin again, the Hidden Martyrs are quite feared on the House Amatsukami controlled worlds, but have proven somewhat ineffective when ordered, as they have occasionally been, to infiltrate or act against foreign groups. Their counterintelligence abilities, however, are frighteningly strong, rivaling those of the Janosian Agency in some areas.

The Jingcha
Responsible for external intelligence, the Jingcha has been compromised by House Bogovi Janosian Agency plants in the past and purged repeatedly. Currently most of the officers are believed to be loyal to the house, but morale is very low due to the extreme brutality of the purges and the inexperience of the replacements for the Bogovoi double agents.

The Yuan Men
The Amatsukami military intelligence bureau, the Yuan Men is an attempt on the part of the crown to organize military intelligence and so prevent local lords from employing their traditional ninja clans for the role. As such it has so far been largely unsuccessful, as it is a fledgling organization and too thinly stretched to aid most lords.

The Order of the Righteous Anvil
A highly active order of samurai monks, the Order of the Righteous Anvil consists of a number of ascetics who range far and wide serving the Crown and living in poverty. Their belief is that they are the anvil upon which the hammer of the All-Maker will break the sinners and iniquitous folk of the Known Worlds. The Order is recognized by the Orthodoxy, and so all members of it are officially priests as well, though none of them have parishes.

In addition to performing military and paramilitary missions, the Order of the Righteous Anvil is responsible for the physical and occult security of the King and the royal treasures. In combining the functions of Knights of the Midnight Dove with those of the Red Lion Guard, it is closest in function to the Imperial Phoenix Guard.

The Sisterhood of the Patient and the Graceful
The Sisterhood, as it is known, is composed entirely of noble ladies, and acts to ensure that propriety and decorum are maintained throughout the house’s domains. It acts, when it acts, only by dropping hints to the correct people, and it always stays in the shadows.

The Legion of St. Ongor
St. Ongor was the patron saint of the Ka’Hadan, and his legion is the official royal Ka’Hadan guard. It is made up of many incredibly skilled Ka’Hadan in lacquered Ka’Hadan plate who perform ceremonial functions for the royal person and carry out military actions in the name of the crown.

The White Hand of Hombor
This institution actually dates back to the White Hand, which was the appellation given to the King’s personal ninja clan of choice dating back to the days shortly after Nobu. They were utterly dreaded assassins in the dark times of the house, and they were so ensconced in House culture that they survived Cardano’s reforms, becoming the White Hand of Hombor, a society of the humble, who did the will of the King in a holy fashion through the shadows. Composed entirely of non-nobles, the White Hand is full of incredible thieves and spies who specialize in martial arts. A number of them are powerful theurges.

The Custodians of the Sacred Grove
Originally a knightly order established to protect and cultivate the groves of xanthic bamboo and shin sha trees that allow the Amatsukami to maintain a high degree of military parity while still avoiding complete reliance on technology, the Custodians have expanded their own mission greatly over time. Now they see themselves as champions of the triumph of the All-Maker’s Will over technology, and in addition to hoarding lore of theurgy, they also have a tremendous collection of holy relics.

The Hall of the Benevolent Ancestors
A royal office dedicated to honoring Amatsukami deserving of special distinction, the Hall of the Benevolent Ancestors awards truly distinguished Amatsukami with various awards, such as honorary custodianship over the Cloak of Authority, the Roll of the Ancestors, or the Cross of Life.

Selected Amatsukami Families

  • Kung-Zhau: The royal family. “Kung” is appended to them simply because they are currently the royal family. They are less traditionalistic rulers than most previous rulers of other Amatsukami worlds. They are seen as liberal because of their highly refined and courtly ways, which are looked on as mildly impious by the hardliners.
  • Naganaka: Heavy ties to Orthodoxy. Extremely rich. Opposed to Empire.
  • Hidejiri: Militant, prideful, fairly low-technology for their size, though this is changing with their occupation of Rampart. Tentatively allied with the Lojan line.
  • Han: Cardano’s family, overthrown in the aftermath of Halvor the Theocrat. The family is still looked upon as particularly holy, and maintains significant wealth, power and theurgical ability. Rivals with Naganaka.
  • Lojan: Hardline traditionalists, ancestral rulers of Kish. Devout and conservative but not as politically powerful in the Sectus as the Naganaka (who are rivals with them). Major opponents of Empire- their common ground with the Naganaka.
  • Nijan: Traditional rivals of the Kung-Zhau for the crown of a shared world. Now they feel it is due to them. Trying to gain the favor of the Naganaka family to aid them in claiming that world’s throne.
  • Jong: Powerful warriors. The Jong line was displaced from their homeworld but has managed to gain significant lands on two other worlds.
  • Okemo: Highly pro-Imperial.
  • Teng: The traditional rulers of a particular world, now dispossessed. Extremely anti- Bogovoi.
  • Carnifex: Once staunch supporters of Halvor the Theocrat and now tentative supporters of the Emperor.
  • Fung-Ma: A family wed to the Idristites, the Fung-Ma line is low-technology but high-theurgy.
  • Wei-To: Distrusted, highly scholarly- sometimes seen as decadent. High incidence of Theurgy. Taken by Kung-Zhau as advisors- enemies with Naganaka. (big on Icon)
  • Agichi: Related to Naganaka. Not very militarily powerful, but politically influential. Slightly frivolous, wayward, but ambitious.
  • Hengeyokai: Distrusted but extremely honorable Kaihonjin- warriors, regarded as slightly “unmannered.”
  • Ali: A small family descended from a very powerful pre-Conversion family of sorcerers. Given to visions, Theurgical powers.

Amatsukami Castes

  • Kungjin: “Honorable.” Nobles. Kungjin looks are quite Asian and aristocratic. A few Amatsukami nobles are not really Kungjin but actually Kaihonjin, with remnants of the pre-Conversion Amatsukami look. Obsidian-black skin and aristocratic Amatsukami features dominate. They are looked on with distrust, but tend to be rather devout and stern (and slightly more likely to have theurgic talents).
  • Lojin: “Wise. ” Freemen rulers or Sectus freemen are all of this caste. It is almost unheard-of for a non-Lojin or Kungjin to be admitted to the Sectus on Amatsukami domain. Lojin, as a rule, have pallid, greyish skin and tall heads with eyes and foreheads that are almost comically large (exaggerated in all depictions of them). It is considered unclean for them to touch currency.
  • Mungjin: “Diligent.” Guilders and yeomen, one and all, though a few are serfs. Permitted to touch currency, never to rule or to be admitted into the Church. They tend to have yellower, more sallow skin, often to the point of real jaundice, extremely small noses, and wavy hair.
  • Vaijin: “Crass,” “Simple.” Most serfs.
  • Gojin: “Dominated.” Descendants of non-Amatsukami. Almost all serfs. Features vary by location, but are markedly less Asian than other Amatsukami castes.

The Amatsukami Amathyst Cross FleetAmatsukamiFleet.jpg

Light Vessels

Ship Class Awkward Size Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Range in AU Supplies Cargo Manuver
Mishima-class Fighter 1 25% 1 1 0 1-100 50 kgs per wk 500 kgs +2
Slayer-class Explorer 2 50% 5 2 2 400 100 kgs per wk 1 ton +1
Peregrine-class Heavy Fighter 3 50% 10 4 4 800 500 kgs per wk 5 tons +1

Medium Vessels

Ship Class Awkward Size Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Range in AU Supplies Cargo Manuver
Iskati-class Frigate 5 50% 100 15 10 2,000 5 tons per wk 100 tons -1
Ijiri-class Light Carrier 5 50% 100 15 10 2,000 5 tons per wk 100 tons -1
Cardano-class Galliot 6 50% 500 30 15 3,000 10 tons per wk 1000 tons -2
Dragon-class Destroyer 6 50% 500 30 15 3,000 10 tons per wk 1000 tons -2

Capital Ships

Ship Class Awkward Size Vitality Passengers Crew Jumps Range in AU Supplies Cargo Manuver
Maru-class Cruiser 7 75% 1000 60 20 4,000 100 tons per wk 10K tons -3
Naga-class Grand Cruiser 8 75% 10,000 125 20 4,000 1,000 tons per wk 100K tons -4

House Amatsukami

Silver Age Beyond brightwyrm