Noble Houses: Oniga

The sandy golden continent of Gold, home of Oniga and the Onigan Empire, and the seedy town of Law's End.
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Noble Houses: Oniga

Postby Neus » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:20 am

YUT

Sigil: A golden dragon head.
The sigil is both an homage to Ryart, the Gold Dragon, who was of clan Yut originally. It is also a metaphor for the family's stronghold, Old Grey, which sits as the northmost hold on Gold; somewhat similar to the head being the northmost appendage on a dragon.

Colors: Gold, sandy brown, green.
Yut uses simple earthen colors that show the memorable qualities of their homeland. Green is somewhat less used in recent years, but was a common cloak color before the curse.

Heirloom: Braver
Ryart was originally a member of the Yut clan and when he no longer had need of his sword, the family took it into safe-keeping. Now, it is their most treasured heirloom and a symbol to all others in Oniga of what the family stands for.

Size: Large
The Yut clan family tree is large and wild, often said that 'there's a Yut in the world for every grain of sand on Gold'. Since marriage is often not used as a political tool in Oniga, and the Yut are a clan of few secrets and high wealth and respect, they are often quick to marry and breed. However, with such size comes a lack of focus; if you aren't a close relative of the current head, chances are you aren't important enough for them to take notice.

As such, many far away from the inner family will form new, smaller clans that serve as vassal to the Yut clan, still using the golden dragon and swearing their loyalty to their old clan, but without sacrificing the well-being of their family.


Stronghold: The Old Grey
Located to the north east of Oniga's capital about a mile into the desert. Was located there before Gold's Curse. The land it sits on is high enough to not be completely swallowed by the sand. Once covered in colorful banners, the sandstorms have torn them down, leaving only a smooth-stoned gate wall. However the storms have also finely polished the golden sigils in the walls below the battlements, making the royal family's fort a brightly shining beacon in the desert.

Despite the curse making the land the stronghold is in very unwelcoming, the Yut clan refuses to budge.


Values:
Known first and foremost for their honor, it is no understatement that the image of respect and swordsmanship that Oniga has in the eyes of foreigners was predominantly maintained by the Yut clan. They value many of the good tenets, such as honor, mercy, and fairplay in all things, giving them a very positive image with the common people. However this has also lead to inflexibility in times of crisis, as well as caused them to have a deep-seated grudge towards the Waragiri, and to be distrustful of House Cyre.

They are true to themselves and others, earning them a strong, positive reputation as sellswords, which is a hard thing to accomplish, and not always a good one. Many look to sellswords as discrete thugs, and members of the Yut clan are often unwilling to compromise their personal beliefs for the sake of employment.

They have a small vassal house tied to them, the Kusanagi, who are famous for being bodyguards to powerful men. This is a reputation shared with the Black Knights of Chaturanga, but they have recently lost credibility after the assassination of Tennou Myoga, whom they were charged with protecting. They have many similarities between the two of them, however, and were originally lead by an illegitimate child of the Yut family's head. A common saying for the gold dragon sigil wearers is 'Gold for dragons, green for grass', referring to common hair colors for the two. (Kusanagi is the name of the sword held by the Kusanagi vassals, which means 'grasscutter'.)


History:
The Yut clan was one of the three great clans from the earliest days of Gold, alongside the Miashima and Azanbe. Their reliability was what brought the two other clans, the aloof and mysterious Miashima, and the wise but distant Azanbe into a sense of trust. Together they formed the alliance that drove back foreign invaders and united Gold.

And since then, not much has changed. The Yut remain in tune with their ancestor's values. They served as the loyal and dependable sword and shield of Oniga, making up the majority of the nation's land forces.

During the invasion of Sigrogana, the Yut clan lost about a third of its numbers, but it was still the most numerous clan among all others in Gold. After Gold's Curse began, many were forced out to different lands among the Great Six, serving as sellswords, earning the clan much in the way of Murai. Seeing a Yut out and about in the world is not uncommon.

During the beginning of Tennou Myoga's reign, a conspiracy by the Waragiri clan was uncovered by clan Yut; the head of the Waragiri at the time, Kelagu, thought that Myoga was too soft-hearted and weak, and was going to use it as an opportunity to assassinate Myoga and his children, and then intimidate the other houses into electing Kelagu's son, Benari, as the new Tennou.

When this conspiracy was brought to light, Tennou Myoga gave the slighest hint to the fire that was in his heart and had Kelagu taken aboard a fishing ship, sent out to sea with his arms and legs bound, and threw him overboard, resulting in his almost assured death. The rest of the Waragiri clan was spared, but they were disgraced, often mockingly called 'Uragiri' (Onigan for betrayer). The Yut clan has never forgiven this transgression and are still openly distrusting of Waragiri clan members, and often treat them aggressively.


Important Members:
Magashi Yut - Head
Makodo Yut - Heir

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Re: Noble Houses: Oniga

Postby Neus » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:30 am

MIASHIMA

Sigil: A bird with rainbow feathers perched beneath the roof of a Torii.
The sigil of the Miashima clan is often called the Bird of Paradise, a bird of legend which has rainbow colored feathers. Traditionally, it sits beneath the roof of a Torii, large wooden gates that lead to Onigan shrines and sacred places, referencing the Miashima history as priests and spirit communers.

Colors: White with thick, different-colored trace lines serving as patterns, usually on cloaks.
The Miashima do not have a specific set of colors associated with them so much as the recognizable pattern they decorate themselves with. The colors come from the sigil, while the thick trace lines symbolize the similar looking tattoos that almost all Miashima have on their hands.

Heirloom: Mystic Surrender
A declaration of surrender, written in an arcane language on a thick obsidian tablet. This artifact comes from the early days of Heaven's Contention, when magical beings serving gods, such as the youkai, terrorized Gold. The Miashima clan fought back against them, and with their background as spiritualists, crushed them on many fronts.

As the Gods that summoned the youkai were felled or fled, they banded together and peacefully surrendered to the Miashima in exchange for their lives. Such is where the Mystic Surrender was created, binding those youkai to exile back in the mysterious realms they originated, only returning if they are in servitude to a native of reality.

While some in the arcane world speculate that this is why youkai are only found inside of summoning houses, many detractors of that theory site inconsistencies that contradict the idea, including the Miashima clan.


Size: Small
The Miashima clan is relatively small, in part due to Gold's Curse causing many of their members to instead take up service in the Geistritter of Karaten, but also due to the elitism within. Children of members will often be given up for adoption if they possess low aptitude towards spirits and summoning. But on the flip side, orphaned children, or children of other houses, who show great promise in the field are often adopted or traded for. As such, the Miashima are more often than not bound by ability, not blood.

Stronghold: Shadowless Spire
While the Miashima clan originally preferred the tranquility of a shrine in the high hills outside of Oniga, Gold's Curse forced them to relocate to a large western tower built by House Cyre. The origin of the name is due to its position; in the morning, the shadow of the tower is consumed by the shadow of the Royal Palace, while at sunset, a large hill's shadow covers it. The tower of the shadow itself is rarely seen in natural conditions.

While the tower is tall enough to house the members, it also has a large underground area, complete with tunnels that connect to various other points of interest in Oniga, namely underneath of certain statues in the main city. This is for ease of access to the city's oddly located summoning house. However, many outside of the Miashima family are unaware that these tunnels exist.

The tower itself also holds the greatest library on Gold, with many books about many subjects, including the arcane. Although its practice may be forbidden in Oniga, reading and learning about it is not in any way. Many mages visit the Miashima to study niche topics, and in return the Miashima make a fair bit of coin.


Values:
The Miashima clan values two things above all else; ability and contracts. When they deal with other clans and houses, from near or far, they often put their business into writing, to be signed in mutual agreement. And for the clan, what is in the contract should never be broken by either side, with least of all incompetence sited as the reason.

This makes people uneasy to deal with them, because the Miashima often respond to breaks of contract very negatively if they are dissatisfied with the other party's response. Whether this means a violent reprisal, or a careful, drawn out plot to make the offender miserable, they always extract the resolution promised in the contract, one way or another.

Conversely, they hold themselves and their members to even higher standards, often going above and beyond to make amends in the case that they are the ones who break the contract for some reason (although their wisdom often prevents this outcome from occuring). For the Miashima, ability is everything, and most important is the ability to follow through with your agreements.

The combination of these attributes have made them a well respected, and feared, Onigan house. Even though they are fewer in number, the output of those few often stands exponentially higher when compared to other houses and clans, even if the effects average out eventually.


History:
Originally a clan of priests, they served many different Gods during the time before Heaven's Contention, preaching their greatness. After Heaven's Contention began, many of those Gods lost faith in the eyes of the Miashima for their inability or unwillingness to protect Gold from the other Gods, as well as their servants. Scorned, they used their knowledge of higher powers to systematically hunt down magical followers that the common people had no idea how to deal with.

They eventually entered into an alliance with the Yut and Azanbe clans, with the Miashima liberating Gold on the magical front, eventually forcing the youkai into a state of submission and surrender, and became one of the three great clans of Oniga. The clan's numbers, over time, began to dwindle, as they became pickier and more focused on controlling youkai, which has lead them to who they are today.

The Miashima clan do not see youkai as allies in the same sense as another summoner might. They respect their intelligence and will, acknowledging them as living beings, but it is clear that the Miashima summoner is the one in command and they rarely show a strong rapport with the youkai contracted with them.

The red tattoos on the hands of the Miashima are similar to arcane tattoos that are found on certain Karaten mages and share a similar function, boosting the feared evocation abilities that the Miashima utilize, wielding a youkai's power as if it were their own, and often to greater effect. As such, most Miashima look at youkai as tools, first and foremost.

In light of Tennou Myoga's assassination, suspected to be at the hands of the arcane, the Miashima try their best to keep the clan's purpose and origin to themselves. While a wise decision, many of the Onigan citizenry who are aware of who they are and what they do think of them more as priests and shrine keepers than as the oh-so-reviled magicians.


Important Members:
Alianada Miashima - Head
Neron Miashima - Heir

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Re: Noble Houses: Oniga

Postby Neus » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:39 am

CYRE

Sigil: A golden dorado.
The dorado is a large fish with a nasty bite native to the coasts of Gold, and its scales are often a brilliant, metallic-looking gold. Since the Cyre house handles the matter of ships and trade for Gold, it is only fitting that their sigil is a golden seadweller.

Colors: Gold, white, sea blue.
The colors of house Cyre are the colors of their sigil as well as the colors of the sea, blue for the sea and white for sails. They will often decorate their cloaks with fish-scale patterns, as well.

Heirloom: The Lucky Break
The Lucky Break is the name of a large ship that fought in every major naval engagement that Oniga was ever in. True to its name, it survived all of those battles, and has been maintained until this day. As such, it has a long and important history not only on Gold, but to all who sail the seas.

Size: Medium
House Cyre is of a respectable population, compromised of many foreigners, including Zerans and Kaelensia, but not exclusively of. The majority of the members are sailors, merchants, and traders.

Stronghold: Port Delta
Located to the far west, on the coast, is Port Delta, called 'the oasis in the desert'. Carved into the seaside mountains, the interior of it is luxurious and completely isolated from the harsh outside conditions of the desert. It is here that House Cyre holds a large dock, with which it stores its own ships, as well as boards trade ships for processing.

The Lucky Break is said to be docked at an underground port within Port Delta.


Values:
House Cyre are opportunists, always looking for a beneficial agreement. They know the importance of making a good first impression and being a trustworthy ally, as that is how you make business happen. Ambition is the key to success, and House Cyre, like most, are always looking for new avenues to improve their position. They also understand better than anyone that background isn't everything, and even a commoner from another land can have a great idea every now and then.

However, being compromised of foreigners, the natives of Gold are somewhat suspicious of House Cyre. The strategy used to deal with that is philanthropy, using a small portion of their profits to better the lives of the people. House Cyre is also very unforgiving towards thieves, pirates, and bandits, both in use and as an enemy. Obviously, scoundrels will ruin your business by stealing the goods, but if you associate with them, it can be even worse; people won't want to do business with you out of fear that you'll pull a fast one on them and rob them in the middle of the sea, or worse, kill them.

Such a stance has lead them to pay mercenaries to pick off lowlives in any land where they operate, and the outlaws in Law's End live in constant fear that one day, a small army of House Cyre troops will ride over the hills and wipe them out, once and for all. This is why most people in Law's End know better than to attract the attention of House Cyre, staying well away from any of their business endeavors.


History:
House Cyre was founded by immigrants from other lands who found integrating with the natives of Gold somewhat difficult. Out of necessity, they banded together, and used their connection and knowledge of outside lands to establish strong trade routes with the rest of the world, eventually earning them recognize and admiration by both the Onigan clans and the people. Despite this, the traditionalists, clan Yut, do not trust them very much... behind closed doors, at least.

They built the Shadowless Spire in order to house the Miashima clan once Gold's Curse was certain to be spreading, as a favor. As such, the Miashima clan and House Cyre are as close as allies can get when dealing with an aloof clan like the Miashima. They often send business from the mages they deal with to House Cyre with high praise.

After Gold's Curse, House Cyre's importance increased greatly due to Oniga's reliance on foreign resources for things such as food, water, lumber, etc., which the desert terrain made extremely difficult to acquire.


Important Members:
Rirel Cyre - Head
Gerald Cyre - Heir

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Re: Noble Houses: Oniga

Postby Neus » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:42 am

WARAGIRI

Sigil: A wrap of straw being cut in half by a red line.
Waragiri essentially means 'straw cutting' in Onigan, and this is what the sigil literally displays. The idea behind 'straw cutting' could be seen as any number of interpretations, but the most common one is that a Waragiri cutting a straw is them 'ending a life', due to their reputation as conspiring usurpers. In earlier times, the idea of 'straw cutting' was more along the lines of 'cutting through the straw mats of the floor', suggesting that a Waragiri was under every room in Gold, eavesdropping on the conversations that took place there.

Colors: Red, gold, brown.
Since the Waragiri are the 'ones who do the cutting', they take the colors of the cut from their sigil as the primary. They also use gold and brown as complimentary colors, like most Gold clans and houses do.

Heirloom: Negotiator
Passed down through the heads of the Waragiri clan is a special decorative knife with an odd shape. Meant to function as both a knife, as well as a pen when dipped in ink, most of its value is in the materials used to make it, as well as the historical and symbolic significance rather than it being a powerful weapon.

As to why it has this dual function, it basically embodies a saying of the Waragiri; 'Diplomacy can be written in both ink and blood'.


Size: Small(?)
The majority of the Waragiri clan are spymasters who communicate with eyes and ears they have all over the world, and as such, the recognized members are rather few in number. It is unclear, however, just how large those loyal the house is, because many of them are spies (and assassins, in rumor), and being able to identify them would work rather opposite to that goal.

Stronghold: Thinwall
After Gold's Curse began to take effect, the Waragiri moved into the capital, taking over an abandoned building near the royal palace. Since the 'active' members of the Waragiri are few in number, the smaller size of the stronghold compared to other clans make practical sense, and in practice it's used more for living space than as a base of operations.

Spies can often be identified if they're seen entering a spymaster's house, for example, and so the common rumor is that the Waragiri meet with their spies in public places if necessary, but much more prefer indirect communication such as coded paper messages.


Values:
The Waragiri have always been a secretive clan, believing that information is the key to the world, as it can buy more than Murai, can save more lives than a sword, and is a much deadlier weapon than one, as well. They teach the value of discretion and secrets, and about guarding your letters more carefully than your coinpurse.

They are also ambitious and use the information they gain to better their clan rather than purely for the good of Oniga, a fact that caused the greatest stain on their name in the not-so-distant past. Still, the most important aspect of being a Waragiri is your intelligence, wisdom, discretion, and ability to deflect those that would wish to track you, for those the most important facets of being a good spy, as well as spymaster.

The Waragiri clan is not malevolent, but they're not honorable, nor are they above doing dirty work if it profits them greatly.


History:
After the establishment of the ruling system of Oniga, the Waragiri came into existence, serving the Tennou's needs in both information and, as popular rumor says, political assassinations. They have always existed as a specialist group in this respect, with the spymasters, spies, and shinobi playing their roles when necessary. Most of these roles dictate the utmost secrecy, so there are not many well-known instances where the Waragiri clan contributed (but many speculations).

There is one exception, a rather infamous one at that, that resulted in the Waragiri clan being disgraced. During the start of Tennou Myoga's reign, the head of the clan, Kelagu Waragiri, believed that Myoga was a soft ruler that would be easy to sweep out of the way. His plot was to assassinate Tennou Myoga and the few members of his family, and then use the information he had accumulated over the years to intimidate the other clans into placing his son, Benari Waragiri, into the position of Tennou.

However, this plot came to light, discovered by members of the Yut clan, through some means. Kelagu's treason ended with him bound, brought out to sea, and thrown into the waves. The rest of the Waragiri clan was spared and retained their position, as their information networks and skills were too valuable to throw away. Kelagu's fate would serve as a warning to the Waragiri, that Tennou Myoga and the rest of the Azanbe may be quiet, but also fierce.


Important Members:
Benari Waragiri - Head
Senren Waragiri - Heir

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Re: Noble Houses: Oniga

Postby Neus » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:48 am

AZANBE

Sigil: Two golden-horned, black serpent heads facing each other.
The sigil of the royal family holds deep meaning behind it. The two serpent head represent the twins that are born to the Azanbe, while the golden, antler-like horns of gold are like a crown, signifying their status at the Tennou's family. The serpents depicted on the sigil are often seen as dragons, noting their similarity to the way Bai Kai is historically described as having great horns. However, they are horned serpents, not dragons, but it's easy to understand why anyone would make this mistake given the history of Gold and its infamous dragon hero.

Colors: Black, gold, grey.
The royal family often decorate themselves in the visually appealing combination of black and gold, once again owing the complimentary color to their homeland. The black seems to be from the sigil, first and foremost, or at least what is depicted on it. It is often said that black represents the mystery of the royal family, or the courage to 'not fear the night' as in old times, while some believe it is to represent that the royal family has 'conquered the night'.

Heirloom: Dragonshroud
A magnificent, stunningly beautiful adornment that is worn around the neck. Made of two of the Gold Dragon's unbroken scales, it covers the wearer's back and front until just above the waist (for average adult male height). This part cloak, part armor is the symbol of the Tennou, serving as his 'crown' as well as his protection. Being made of a dragon god's scales, it is impervious to all weapons without question.

However, it does not by any means make the wearer immortal, considering the dragon's scales only cover a percentage of the body, and it leaves them vulnerable to other methods of attack, such as magic or environmental hazards.


Size: Small
The Azanbe family works in a peculiar way, specifically its offspring. The male parent will only be able to father children once, and when he does, the mother will always give birth to twins; one male, one female. This male will become the next Tennou. The daughter stays with the royal family until they come of age. At that point, it is believed they are married off to other nations as a political marriage, to keep relations with Oniga positive, or that they step away from the public eye, performing roles in the royal palace to support the family. Regardless of which it is, they are never seen again.

Stronghold: Kinkousai
The royal family's palace and the castle of the Tennou. The Kinkousai is in the heart of Oniga atop a great, steep hill. The common folk are not allowed near the palace and the treacherous climb often means that when the Tennou is seen, it is outside of this palace. These qualities also give the castle a strong natural defense; even during Oniga's Revolution, it's said that not one man dared make the effort.

Values:
The Azanbe have always been admired for their wisdom and their rule has, with one major exception, bettered Gold as a whole, even if it hasn't always been kind or gentle. They teach to 'not fear the night', but to instead understand what lies within it. As the royal family they follow the guidance of steady and empathic rule, but intelligence over appearances. To outsiders, this can seem dissonant from decision to decision.

In any case, those loyal to the Dragonshroud know better, as it was the wisdom of the royal family that lead them to bend the knee... some with a bit more help than others.


History:
Originally the Azanbe clan served as advisers to Ryart, the first Tennou. However, instead of leaving the rule of Gold to his own clan, Yut, he chose the Azanbe, knowing they had better leadership qualities than his own clan members, and that the Yut clan was honorable enough to respect his decision without question.

As the royal family, they have kept Gold, a land originally brought together by conquest, into a stable and connected nation, to the point where many forget that origin altogether. They make up for the weakness of being such a small bloodline with the loyalty of the clans they rule, namely Yut, and have prevented any attempts to usurp that power through insight.


Important Members:
Ang Azanbe - Head & Tennou
Yuuza Azanbe - Sibling to Head
Tir Azanbe - Heir
Makako Azanbe - Sibling to Heir


Special Note:
Because of the unique way the Azanbe clan's children are born, you cannot play a member of this family that is blood related to the important members, even distantly.


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