Shima is the large island nation off the West coast of mainland Svet. It is home to a people whose traditions and culture has not been effected by mainland traditions, making them very different in their beliefs and way of waging war. The nation was united in the year 137, under the rule of Sengoku, when the Shogun of the Sengoku clan conquered the other two clans. His clan, of the same name, ruled for 570 years, before the Hideyoshi clan took the crown by force. In the year 1,086, the Daigo clain revolted, and the crown changed hands once more. As of now, the political atmosphere of the country seems stable.
Capital City: Yamashima
Ruling Title: Emperor
Current Ruler: Emperor Mitimori Daigo
Country Age: 1,063
National Animal: Dragon
Character Styles: Japanese, Chinese
In Shima, the system of command is based upon both honor, wisdom, and strength. However, those in power often act as both military and civil leaders, with those in lording positions acting as generals and mayors. This system of dual command means that one must be both powerful, and wise, in order to hold a position of power. Lords are generally replaced by their eldest sons, who are in turn replaced by their's. Hereditary rule keeps power in the family. Lords do not, however, stoop to the level of commoners to prove their worth in duels. Instead, this duty falls to their loyal elite, the Samurai, noble warriors who wield the Katana with deadly prowess.
Direct Ascension Edit
The most powerful individual in Shima, the Emperor holds ultimate power over both civil and military matters. His influence is matched by none. The Emperor chooses a single woman to rule by his side for the duration of his life. If his wife, the Empress, dies of any means, he will not marry again, nor will he touch another woman in the same way. It is true that he could technically break these rules, simply due to the power that he wields, but at the same time, it would tarnish his reputation, something that can be devastating to one's existence in Shima.
Lords of great prowess who report directly to the Emperor. The Daimyos act as generals when war breaks out, as well as lords over the great clans of Shima. Daimyos are known to take a single wife, or many, though they must keep in mind that the families of any wives that they take will be granted a large sum of wealth, and greater status.
The primary military leaders in Shima, the Shogun are also rulers over the smaller clans, which are in turn ruled over by the three great clans. They are marked by their great combat abilities. Before the uniting of the clans, the Shogun were the primary leaders of the country, each leading his or her own clan as they saw fit. Marriage is a formal affair for the Shogun, with them making an offer to the woman's parents, or, if she lacks parents, to her herself. This is mostly a formality, however, as the Shogun's power generally makes the offer a very desirable thing for the woman's family.
Noble warriors in the service of the Shoguns, while also acting as the personal bodyguards of even the Emperor himself, Samurai are elite soldiers, each either owning his own plot of land, or being a roaming Ronin, pledging allegiance to none. When marrying, a Samurai makes an offer to the family of the individual who they wish to marry, and that family is boosted to the same social ranking as the Samurai themselves. This is the highest rank that a single woman is generally allowed to achieve in Shima's society.
Other EditGreat Suan Ming - The most powerful of the Emperor's advisers is the Great Stargazer, a priest who reads the stars and communes with the Gods in order to gain wisdom into things of the future, as well as the past. The Suan Ming is never allowed to marry, nor is he allowed to touch a woman, as it is believed that this will distract him from his duties, and the path that he is to follow.
Nabu Orhito Sengoku, Shogun of the Sengoku clan, is said to have been a powerful warrior, able to cut down scores of enemy soldiers with his mighty blade, Geiruhauringu, Howling Gale in the common tongue.
Sengoku, through equal parts political and military prowess, united the three primary clans, as well as the majority of the smaller, less imposing ones. He brought about the age of the Samurai, being the first to truly revolutionize land based warfare, both managing to introduce the mighty warriors and their armor, as well as devise a way to destroy it. He lived until the age of 47, when he mysteriously died in his home. His son, Hanzo Sengoku, took his place as Emperor of Shima.
Emperor Mitimori Daigo Edit
The current Emperor of Shima, and a member of the third and final clan to seize power. Mitimori, claimed to be nothing more than a boastful aristocratic royal by his rivals, is, in fact, possibly one of the greatest rulers of Shima.
Mitimori is famed as the White Dragon of the East, a warrior of great power, said to be blessed by the might dragons. Some tales even claim that he is a dragon himself, in the body of a man, or that he is the descendant of a mighty dragon. Whatever the case, it cannot be denied that he is a powerful warrior, versed in both archery and swordplay. When violence breaks out, Mitimori does not leave it to his underlings to fight, instead taking to the battlefield himself, leading his warriors into combat, mighty blade in hand, Kiritsu, Punishment.
At the age of 36, Mitimori is both a careful tactician, as well as a kind lord. While he is stern, he is also known to show mercy, if the situation is deemed appropriate. He actively seeks to improve the lives of his people, ordering the construction of irrigation pipes and roads. He gives to the people, and expects loyalty in return. When he executes a foe, he does it in a manner that can be witnessed, but does not flaunt his power, nor does he overly insult or torment his foe. He simply ends their life, as a show that, while he is merciful, he will not hesitate to do what must be done.
Empress Hina Yorimoto Koga Edit
Mitimori could have taken any woman to be his own. Any number of wealthy women from prominent clans were practically throwing themselves at his feet. But this was not what he wanted. So, he turned his gaze on those women that didn't. He wished for a woman who was capable of acting on her own, for the sake of Shima, in the event that something happened to him. He wanted a strong woman, one who the people could both fear and respect as much as they did him. As such, a woman from the Koga Shinobi clan caught his eye. Hina, daughter of the Shogun of the Koga.
There have been multiple attempts on Hina's life, by skilled Ninja and Samurai of lowly clans. In each event, when Mitimori was made aware of the intrusion, he rushed to his wife's aid, only to find her calmly sipping tea, with the corpses of her would-be assassins on the floor beside her. She is a calculating and dangerous woman, though she has a powerful sense of honor, never even considering harming innocents in her pursuits, while being ready to punish those that she sees as potential threats without mercy.
There are multiple clans in Shima, with the three primary ones holding power over the others. The three great clans have split Shima between them, and each grants parts of their territory to the smaller clans under their rule.
Sengoku Clan Edit
The first of the three great clans, Sengoku was the first clan to take over Shima, lead by Shima's first Emperor. Sengoku holds sway over the Northern part of Shima, as well as most of its mountains. Sengoku is the most widespread of the clans, having the most land, highest population, and three smaller clans under its rule.
Rajama Suza Sengoku Edit
Current Daimyo of the Sengoku clan is Suza Sengoku. The young lord has just recently taken over control of the clan, after the passing of his father, Saizo Sengoku.
Suza is the latest in the bloodline of the first Emperor, Orhito Sengoku. A quiet young man, Suza is often ridiculed for his youth. Despite his young age, the man has a level head on his shoulders, and had to grow up quickly with the death of his mother. His father, while caring, had little time for weakness and failure, forcing Suza to mature quickly, or risk the wrath of Saizo.
When Suza was named Daimyo, he cancelled the traditional order to have a statue made in his honor, next to those of his predecessors. He has declared that no such statue shall be built, until such a time that he himself deems that he has done something deserving of it.
Iga Clan Edit
The first of the smaller clans under the rule of Sengoku is Iga, famous for the Ninja that are trained and deployed from its towns. These Ninja act as equal parts mercenaries and agents of Sengoku. Iga is nestled within the mountains, an area impassable to large conventional armies, yet which makes an excellent home for the mobile Ninja.
Aiyana Om Iga Edit
The Shogun of the Iga clan is a woman by the name of Aiyana Om Iga. One may note that her personal name does not sound like it is of Shima. This is, in fact, true. Om changed her personal name from what it once was, in honor of her friend, Aiyana, a traveler from Ikhaya who befriended Om. Unfortunately, Aiyana was slain attempting to protect Om.
One will most likely find Om to be a cold, unapproachable individual. She is quiet, and fixes all that meet her with a predatory gaze. It has been described like that of an animal sizing up its next kill. In truth, she only takes this stance with outsiders. To her people, while she is still quiet, she is kind, and does what she can to provide for them as best she can. At the same time, she sees the value in hiring her people as mercenaries, and is known to be strict with those who call themselves Ninja.
Hata Clan Edit
On the Northern coast of Shima, is the Hata clan. This clan, under the rule of the Sengoku clan, is home to a seafaring people, regaled as the finest shipbuilders and sailors in all of Shima.
Takao Saburo Hata Edit
The third son of his late father, Seiji Hata, it was only through unfortunate circumstances that Takao succeeded him as Shogun of Hata.
"The Sea, a cruel mistress is she"
This phrase is one that is well known, and has been proven time and time again to Takao. He lost both of his elder brothers to the sea, first two a sudden surge of waves, which tore into the bay where his first brother was sailing, tearing his boat apart. The second was lost to a Sea Dragon, the creature, angered by the local village, was on a rampage. His brother's sacrifice was, luckily, enough to appease the beast. Afterwards, his father fell ill, and, in his despair, had not the strength to recover.
Takao, despite his hardships, is a surprisingly joyful man, full of life and energy. He doesn't take things too seriously, while at the same time being more than able to rise to the challenge of leadership.
Famuhito Clan Edit
The third clan under the rule of Sengoku, Famuhito also holds the most land of the three subclans of the great clan. A major player in agriculture and trade, Famuhito is known for the wealth of its people, as well as its large cavalry force.
Masao Mori Famuhito Edit
Shogun of the Famuhito clan, Masao is a veteran of war. He is strict in his overseeing of his people, and loyal to a fault to his Daimyo. His people follow him with equal parts fear and respect. Nonetheless, under his rule, they have flourished, with his unwavering attention ensuring the building of irrigation channels, construction of schools, and widespread trade with other countries.
Masao served as the right hand man to Saizo, Suza's father, and late Daimyo of Sengoku. He holds a slight bitterness towards the current Daimyo, due to Suza turning him down when Masao volunteered for the same position once more. This does not, however, cause his loyalty to sway in the least, as his sense of honor is stronger than steel.
Before he became Shogun, Masao served as an officer in his own father's army, serving to hunt down the occasional rogue raiding party from Nashazemlya, and to crush those who would stand against the Daimyo.
The second of the great clans, Hideyoshi holds control over the South-West part of Shima. Hideyoshi once held the crown of Shima as its own, however, the crown was lost to Daigo.
Han Xiang Hideyoshi Edit
Current Daimyo of Hideyoshi, Han Ziang Hideyoshi, is a passionate man, always striving to meet his goals. In the scheme of things, he is seen as a most likely contender for the crown of Shima, should such hostilities start again.
Born of a long royal bloodline, Xiang was raised to be a lord, and is versed in both combat and civil tactics. He is the descendant of an unnamed ancestor, famous for writing The Art of War, a book which has made its way even into Aeterna and Ikhaya. However, there are rumors that a second book was written, one which has never left the great library of Hideyoshi's palace. Hideyoshi denies all claims of its existence.
Xiang is known to be proficient in the use of magic, and is able to use it to achieve a great many things.
Roma Clan Edit
Roma, set in Hideyoshi's Northernmost territory, was actually once a part of Sengoku. When Sengoku fell from power, and Hideyoshi took the crown, this clan and its territory was claimed by Hideyoshi, and has remained under the great clan's control ever since. Roma is also the foremost expert on magic in Shima, making it a very powerful asset to Hideyoshi. Possibly Roma's greatest achievement, is the creation of the Oni Warriors, powerful warriors whose mighty is unmatched by normal men.
Chung Fu Roma Edit
The current Shogun of Roma, Chung ascended to the position after his father, Zhinto, was killed by his own brother, who was the first Oni Warrior. After he slew his uncle, Chung vowed that no more Oni experiments would be conducted. However, the damage was done. The art of Oni quickly got the attention of the Daimyo, and spread. Though the art is thankfully rare, it is nonetheless in use.
Chung cares little for politics, and for that matter, pretty much anything beyond his own Clan. What he does care about, is the further study of magic, and the development of new ways of life. His own wealth and great intellect have provided very helpful in these pursuits. It is known that he often entertains foreign guests, before sending them on their way. Occasionally, there are rumors that the ships that he sends them on have a curious habit of disappearing, but this could simply be down to the stormy seas of the region.
Takahashi Clan Edit
When it comes to the bounty of the earth, it can be claimed that the Takahashi clan digs the deepest, and claims the most. A clan of immense wealth, brought on by the rich earth that it owns, this clan is known for its great quarries and mines, where gems and metals of the rarest and best quality are excavated. Located relatively near the capital means that this clan has possibly the richest trade of any clan.
Yuan Minsheng Takahashi Edit
The Shogun of Takahashi is possibly one of the greatest success stories of Shima. Of lowly birth, Yuan rose to power after the previous royal family was slain in an uprising of the people. Led by his father, Yuan was taught the ways of leadership and royalty.
Having lived on the streets in his early years, Yuan knows of the strife and hardships of the people. As such, he has vowed to be as right and just as possible, devoting himself to the people under his rule. This has earned him criticism from many of the other leaders, but also admiration from a few. He is kind, and has been known to offer his own blood to atone for the mistakes of those under his rule. Due to his devotion to his people, they are also devoted to him. Where most rulers must be wary that they will have their power taken from them, this is one thing that Yuan does not have to fear.
Daigo Clan Edit
The last of the great clans, and currently, the most powerful of all. Daigo is the ruling clan of Shima, and holds control over all other clans. The current Emperor hails from this clan, though, his position also sets him apart. The Emperor rules over all of the clans, and as such, there is a Daimyo who rules over the clan that he is from.
Matoi Ani Daigo Edit
Brother to the Emperor, and Daimyo of the Daigo clan, is Matoi Ani Daigo. A man of great power, but also great pride, Matoi is the second wealthiest man in Shima, after the Emperor himself. It seems that this power has, however, gone to his head. He is boastful, and has no qualms about shows of power. It is a poor choice to cross this man, as his boasts and power are not just for show.
Matoi is Mitimori's younger brother. He has always been in the Emperor's shadow, and remains as such today. He seems to have rather mixed feelings about this, as he spends his time equal parts lounging in his older brother's shadow, happily taking the wealth and power that come with his position. However, he has also shown that he too wishes to be recognized for his accomplishments, and has made multiple attempts at overseas enterprises, with mixed results. He has managed to make a few, arguably useful, discoveries of ancient ruins, and helped to bolster the wealth of his people. However, in doing so, he almost brought about a war with Aeterna.
Koga Clan Edit
Positioned right next to Iga, under the rule of Daigo, is the Koga clan. The Koga are natural rivals to the Iga, and are famous for the Shinobi that originate from their clan. The Koga assisted Daigo in its takeover of the throne, forever earning them a place of honor at the right hand of the Emperor (for as long as Daigo remains in control).
Yasushi Tokiashi Koga Edit
Father of the Empress, and one of the most dangerous men in Shima. Yasushi is also in charge of Mitimori's personal special forces, the Shinobi Erito, an extremely dangerous and extremely secretive group. Very little is known about it besides its name.
Yasushi is the father of three daughters, each trained to be as deadly as possible. His daughters were his closest and most loyal agents, before the Emperor requested the hand of one of them in marriage. Yasushi agreed, on the condition that the other two daughters accompany the new Empress as her personal handmaidens. This agreement has proven fruitful for both Yasushi and the Emperor, as the new handmaidens, whose names have been kept a secret, have uncovered several plots to overthrow the Emperor, to kill the Empress, and other such rebellions.
Yasushi himself has been famed to be a master of both blade and combat magic, though none who have witnessed his abilities remains to tell of it.
Baku Clan Edit
Under the rule of Daigo, the Baku clan has made great strides in science, namely the discovery of gunpowder, and the resulting guns and cannons that have come from this. In addition, great mechanical constructions, such as cranes, prototype ships, and other inventions, have originated here. Possibly the greatest, and most famous inventions, have been explosives, bombs, and the such.
Haruko Hotaru Baku
The current Shogun of Baku, and one of the two women Shogun in Shima, Haruko is a rarity in Shima's society, where women almost never hold power on their own. Regardless, Haruko herself has done so splendidly, managing to impress the Emperor to a great degree. Since she has taken power, her exploits have earned her great respect and favor the Empress herself has vouched on her behalf, granting her great resources for her studies.
Perhaps one of Haruko's greatest discoveries, is a way to infuse fertilizer with magic, providing a bounty of produce in record times. With this, it is almost possible to have two harvests within a single season! However, such a thing is still just out of reach, and more research is required.
As a person, Haruko is excitable and always full of energy. She is known to get completely lost in her research, to the point that she outstrips her assistants, who at times have been known to go home for the day, without her even realizing, only for them to return the next day, and still find her working. It is speculated that if she keeps herself working at such a pace, she will one day work herself to death.
Naming System Edit
In Shima, there is a standard structure under which names fall, which includes the individual's personal name, formal name, and the name of their clan.
Example - Mishi (personal) Nima (formal) Iga (clan)
When one introduces themselves in a public or non-formal manner, they generally refer to themselves by their personal and clan names, in this case, Mishi Iga. However, when speaking to one of higher rank, or in a formal setting,they refer to themselves by their full name, in this case, Mishi Nima Iga. Almost every individual belongs to a clan. The rare cases in which they do not, generally occur in the case that they have abandoned their clan, or were banished. In this case, their clan name is Ryokosha, or traveler.
There are certain conditions under which one can have a different clan name than they were born with, or even have two clan names. The first generally happens through marriage, in which the individual of lower rank takes on the clan name of the higher ranking spouse. It can also occur when one has been cast out, or abandoned their original clan, and been formally taken in by another. It is possible for an individual to have two clan names, in the case that an individual from one clan is made an honorary member of another, granting them all of the rights of both. In this way, one's name could be; Mishi Nima Iga-Koga, with the two clan names connected by a -.
Overall, with Shima being a country so focused on tradition, the structure of names is taken quite seriously, and those of Shima take great pride in their names.
Population: 1.6 Million
Climate: Sunny, Sunshower
The Capital City of Shima, Yamashima has stood as a great seat of power since even before the country was united. Now, it serves as the home of both the Emperor and Empress, and has done so ever since Shima was united.
The city itself boasts great economic stability, and has the lowest impoverished population in the world. The city has a port, accessed by a large artificial channel, dug all the way from the Sea. Ships of all sorts, from Ikhaya, Aeterna, and Nashazemlya, can all be seen in the port, delivering or loading goods.
The city itself is not as large as the capital cities of Aeterna and Nashazemlya, but is very efficient at allocating the population that it has, while still keeping its living conditions above the norm. Yamashima is home to the Royal College, the foremost place of learning of most things. While not as advanced in the teachings of magic as the Grand College, the Royal College also has teachings in the Words of Power. There is much debate as to how Shima first gained the knowledge of the Words of Power, though most agree that it must have come from Aeterna. Aeterna denies ever willingly having given Shima access to this knowledge.
Settlements of Interest Edit
The standard foot soldiers of Shima's military, these units are made up of conscripted and volunteer commoners alike. They are given basic training, and may wield a variety of weapons, ranging from spears to katana, to the bladed naginata polearm. They are not very effective when acting without guidance, but their sheer will and loyalty to their commander make them formidable fighters, willing to throw their lives away for the sake of honor.
Elite ground units of Shima's military, the Samurai act as heavily armored shock troops, as well as military officers. Having received years of training, the Samurai are proficient fighters, who take great pride in their armor. While not being as common as the lesser Ashigaru, the Samurai make up for this with much greater combat skills.
Shima's military forces are split into two separate sects, the Samurai and the Ashigaru. Nonetheless, the weapons that each wield are actually pretty much the same.
Katana - the standard sword of Shima, the Katana is a weapon most often found in the hands of Samurai, but which may be equipped to the lesser forces, as the blade is dangerous in any hands.
Yari - the name for spears manufactured in Shima, the Yari are the most common weapon one will find used by the Ashigaru, as the use of spears is easily taught.
Yumi - unique, asymmetrical bows crafted in Shima. They were actually first used by the Samurai, before being put into wide use with Ashigaru units.
Naginata - a bladed polearm which, in the right hands, is a formidable weapon capable of surpassing both the Katana and the Yari.
Arquebus - firearms originating in Shima, the Arquebus is quite similar to its Western counterparts, being quite close in both performance and power. The primary difference, is that instead of sparking the powder with a piece of flint, a match is lit by the action, which in turn lights the powder.
The cavalry of Shima follows a similar structure to that of the infantry, with standard cavalry being Ashigaru riders, wielding Yagi or Yumi, with the elite units being mounted Samurai, who wield any of the previously mentioned weaponry, depending upon their purpose.
One of the first rocket launcher systems ever employed in Svet, the Hwacha is a relatively small, wooden construct, designed to fire numerous small rockets. These rockets are not actually effective against fortified positions, but can be devastating against grouped enemies, able to tear them apart with countless small explosions. These weapons are inaccurate, and lack the range of other siege weapons, but fire numerous tiems at once.
Like Aeterna, Shima utilizes advanced siege weapons, such as their own locally designed trebuchets. These weapons allow for chunks of rock to be hurled with great force, over great distances. These weapons are most often employed to cause great damage to enemy fortifications, including heavy built castle walls. If one of these chunks of rock lands amongst soldiers, the damage can be devastating.
Shima utilizes catapults, much like any other nation. These weapons have a shorter range than Trebuchet, and deliver their payloads with less force. However, they are quicker to load and unload. The military of Shima, however, have found a way to deliver an extra punch. Instead of boulders, they use catapults to launch large explosives, able to deliver unrivaled power.
Shima employs a rather unique sort of ship. These ships, known as Atakebune, are massive. The primary hull of the ship itself can rival those of even Aeterna's mighty flagships. In addition, a massive superstructure is built on top, with a wooden command tower built upon that as well. These ships are known to carry hundreds of armed soldiers, and engage in fierce ship to ship combat, consisting of mounted broadside cannons, clouds of flaming arrows, and deadly Arquebus fire.
If the Atakebune are considered to be warships, then the Tekkosen are floating fortresses. These massive constructs are generally about the same size as the Atakebune, but they are clad in iron armor, making them highly resistant to all conventional weaponry. This does come at a cost however. These ships are so slow and heavy, that they cannot be utilized outside of the shallow coastal waters of Shima itself. Unless one of these ships were to be built on the mainland, one does not need to fear their mighty power on the mainland coast.
Special Units Edit
The special forces and covert operatives of Shima, the Ninja and Shinobi are similar forces, both used for espionage, sabotage, and assassination. The main difference, is that Ninja are more adept at stealthy operations, whereas Shinobi are quite capable of taking the fight to the enemy.
The wildlife of Shima can be characterized as being more graceful, elegant, and downright magical than that of other nations. The people of Shima have had an intimate connection to the creatures that they share the land with, shaping their history to be much different than that of any other.
Read more about the wildlife of Shima here.