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  • The Kingdom of Yamatai [Dark Era]

    Beyond the strife of the Three Kingdoms, three thousand li away, a Sun Queen reigns. Raised up by her people to end a warring era of their own. this Queen is no mere mortal. She commands magic as great as her influence, and the kingdom she rules over has grown to be a powerful and mysterious force in the eyes of its neighbors.

    That kingdom's name is Yamatai.

    The people of Wa (or Yashima, in their native tongue) are spread out among more than one hundred communities. And as far back as the overthrow of Chaoxian by Emperor Wu, nearly thirty of them have held intercourse with the Han court by envoys or scribes. Each community has its king, who is part of a hereditary line of succession. But it is in Yamatai that the Queen, a young woman named Himiko, resides. Chosen by the people after decades of war, Himiko is thought to be a powerful sorceress. Tales that drift all the way to China speak of how she could speak with the spirits, and even control the sun and the rain.

    Such powers earn her both fear and respect not only from her subjects, but also from the peoples of the Three Kingdoms. Yet the beautiful yet enigmatic Queen maintains her rule through cunning and ruthlessness matched by few other leaders. And through the might of her own Stormguard and the magic taught to her most favored attendants, she is virtually unassailable to her opponents.

    Few outsiders ever set foot on Yamatai and its neighbors. But those who do find themselves in a land filled with intrigue and wonder, a land unlike anything they have ever seen before. But Yashima also holds many dangers. Wolves roam freely the wilds, holding distant kinship to the Aynu people of the north. Men and women are lured away from their homes, taken by ancient and proud yōsei. Most are never seen again. Some, though, manage to return, changed by their captivity and often finding an imposter living their lives. Natives of Yashima even have their own Wuchang Gui, though these mediums and exorcists are feared for their ties to Izanami, mistress of Yomi.

    And there are perhaps even stranger things who make their home in the Great Country of Many Islands.

    Tread lightly, traveler. The lands of the Sun Queen may abound with wonders. But they may perhaps be the last things you see before dying a painful, and untimely death.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 06-07-2016, 10:11 PM.


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    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    Another homebrew Dark Era I will be working on in my spare time, though my intended name for the thread was "Kingdom of Storms".

    Anyway, as the introduction revealed, this setting deals with the semi-mythical Kingdom of Yamatai, a contemporary of China's Three Kingdoms and the domain of Himiko, a mysterious Queen described as a practitioner of magic. While modern historians debate on her identity, as well as the location of her kingdom in Japan, "Kingdom of Storms" unfolds a different side to her legend as part of the Chronicles of Darkness.

    -=-

    Chronicles of Darkness:
    The Legend of the Sun Queen
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 06-05-2016, 09:50 AM.


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    • #3
      Placing action on Yamatai was best that came from 2013 Tomb Raider. Really wanted to use this Kingdom as backstory in some Japan's Mysteries, if I were to run Tokio Mage setting. So I'm more interested in the topic...

      And now to the questions:
      1. Do you make Himiko as Awakened? If yes, what Path? I suspect Obrimos, because of Sun and Storms, but would be interested in you interpretation.
      2. Yamatai is dated at most to about 300 BCE - about time of Alexander. Does this mean that Diamond or Darshanas will be in the Kingdom of Storms?
      3. Have some explanation why place is lost now? Or is it Mystery?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
        Placing action on Yamatai was best that came from 2013 Tomb Raider. Really wanted to use this Kingdom as backstory in some Japan's Mysteries, if I were to run Tokio Mage setting. So I'm more interested in the topic...

        And now to the questions:
        1. Do you make Himiko as Awakened? If yes, what Path? I suspect Obrimos, because of Sun and Storms, but would be interested in you interpretation.
        2. Yamatai is dated at most to about 300 BCE - about time of Alexander. Does this mean that Diamond or Darshanas will be in the Kingdom of Storms?
        3. Have some explanation why place is lost now? Or is it Mystery?
        Interestingly, I have been thinking of making Himiko a Mage. As for her Path, making her an Obrimos does make sense. Though perhaps Thyrsus is a good alternative, if she somehow had a great deal of influence over Hellions and storm spirits. Ooh. And to make this a potential crossover with werewolf, perhaps the Shaman Queen may have even been Wolf-Blooded herself?

        The Darshanas might have trickled into Yayoi Jidai Japan via trade with China and India, but I have a feeling the islands might also play host to their own traditions, which might form the basis of Nameless Orders in modern nights. Word might come, though, of Alexander's conquest. But as his expansion never went beyond the western reaches of India, the Hellenistic empire he created might be a distant novelty to Himiko and her subjects.

        Details on Yamatai's disappearance are still lacking, at the moment. But if it's a Mystery you're looking for, then perhaps we could tie one of the most prominent Mysteries in present day Japan to this era. Perhaps Himiko - or another supernatural being that lived during the Yayoi Jidai - may have had something to do with the creation of the Ansho that will be strewn throughout the land by the events of the Edo Jidai, and well into modern nights.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post

          Interestingly, I have been thinking of making Himiko a Mage. As for her Path, making her an Obrimos does make sense. Though perhaps Thyrsus is a good alternative, if she somehow had a great deal of influence over Hellions and storm spirits. Ooh. And to make this a potential crossover with werewolf, perhaps the Shaman Queen may have even been Wolf-Blooded herself?

          (...)

          Details on Yamatai's disappearance are still lacking, at the moment. But if it's a Mystery you're looking for, then perhaps we could tie one of the most prominent Mysteries in present day Japan to this era. Perhaps Himiko - or another supernatural being that lived during the Yayoi Jidai - may have had something to do with the creation of the Ansho that will be strewn throughout the land by the events of the Edo Jidai, and well into modern nights.
          Both things seem more implying her as Obrimos mage with Wolf-Blooded heritage. In Tomb Raider she is known mostly from calling Storms and Sun, being 'shaman' taking secondary place ( or Sleepers mixing Path titles ). I would make her Obrimos with knack for spirits running from her vains.

          And to Ansho Mystery - maybe some kind on Prime cures? Ancient spirit bargin gone wrong? Interesting could be rumor that Tokyo's Nakatomi was so descendent or disciple of Himiko's empire.

          Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
          The Darshanas might have trickled into Yayoi Jidai Japan via trade with China and India, but I have a feeling the islands might also play host to their own traditions, which might form the basis of Nameless Orders in modern nights. Word might come, though, of Alexander's conquest. But as his expansion never went beyond the western reaches of India, the Hellenistic empire he created might be a distant novelty to Himiko and her subjects.
          Darshanas do not travel - Darshanas are 'emergencies', showing themselves up. They are pattern of Awakened cults around globe. In (very) simplistic view, Darshanas are like archetypes of 'warrior mage', 'priest mage', 'assasin mage' and scholar mage'.

          Diamond Orders needed to spread as they are proper incarnations of those ideas, saying they all 'hail from Atlantis that could never be'.

          You pretty much can have Darhshanas cults in Nameless societies if they fit archetypes.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
            Both things seem more implying her as Obrimos mage with Wolf-Blooded heritage. In Tomb Raider she is known mostly from calling Storms and Sun, being 'shaman' taking secondary place ( or Sleepers mixing Path titles ). I would make her Obrimos with knack for spirits running from her vains.

            And to Ansho Mystery - maybe some kind on Prime cures? Ancient spirit bargin gone wrong? Interesting could be rumor that Tokyo's Nakatomi was so descendent or disciple of Himiko's empire.
            Well, as this is Dark Eras, Path terminology probably doesn't exist as it will be in modern nights. And yeah, making her an Obrimos Mage with an additional focus in Spirit (perhaps even have it as the primary Arcanum of a Legacy practiced by her and her attendants, w/ either of her Path's Ruling Arcana used for the optional Attainments) and who happens to be Wolf-Blooded makes sense for her. I imagine she'd have one of the more spiritually inclined Tells like Horse and/or Tongues.

            For the Ansho, both possibilities are plausible. But this might need more time to work out. It'd be interesting, though, to mention that idea of Nakatomi being a descendant or disciple of Himiko in a sidebar section once I got more written down.

            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
            Darshanas do not travel - Darshanas are 'emergencies', showing themselves up. They are pattern of Awakened cults around globe. In (very) simplistic view, Darshanas are like archetypes of 'warrior mage', 'priest mage', 'assasin mage' and scholar mage'.

            Diamond Orders needed to spread as they are proper incarnations of those ideas, saying they all 'hail from Atlantis that could never be'.

            You pretty much can have Darhshanas cults in Nameless societies if they fit archetypes.
            Ah, right. I forgot about how the darshanas emerge as consistent occult patterns in every country where the Awakened appear. But yeah, this does make me wonder about how Japanese Awakened organize themselves in this era.


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            • #7
              I actually just finished Tomb Raider and loved it. But I don't know if playing in Yamatai at it's height would be all that interesting, since it's ruled over by an amazingly powerful Godlike entity. Half the fun of being on Yamatai is an almost sexual fetishism for getting beat to shit and walking it off. The other half is being a princess rescuing badass. I really need to play the new one, and also read the comics. I'm sad because I know that despite my yuri goggles, they aren't going to be lesbians.

              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
              Have some explanation why place is lost now? Or is it Mystery?
              Personally, I wouldn't make Himiko an Awakened. Something else seems more fitting. Perhaps a powerful Claimed with a ritual to transfer her power. I mean, she's still alive in 2013, albeit in a half-life. She'd definitely have to be a powerful Lich for that. It works for Mage, but at the same time it's kind of boring, isn't it? I mean, with all that she's able to do (summon storms, talk to spirits, transfer her life) she's stretching between three Arcanum here, with Forces, Spirit, and Death. I will say that considering the personality (if you read all the documents like I did because nerd), she definitely seems most like an Obrimos. Definitely not sure why she'd be a Wolfblooded, though.
              Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
              Details on Yamatai's disappearance are still lacking, at the moment. But if it's a Mystery you're looking for, then perhaps we could tie one of the most prominent Mysteries in present day Japan to this era. Perhaps Himiko - or another supernatural being that lived during the Yayoi Jidai - may have had something to do with the creation of the Ansho that will be strewn throughout the land by the events of the Edo Jidai, and well into modern nights.
              The last Sun Queen's vessel killed herself, keeping the Sun Queen from being able to transfer her power, and leaving her dying in her own body for thousands of years, until Mathias came to the island in the 80s and created the Solarii. The impression I get is that Himiko, being unable to transfer herself into a new body (which works well if she's a Spirit or Ghost or something), wracked her island with storms and took away the good graces that she had for her people. No longer immune to her wrath, the people of Yamatai died off because they were unable to sustain themselves throughout the neverending storms.

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              • #8
                Reading the description of Himiko, allowing very few people to see her and isolating herself in a fortress sound rather mage-like. Obviously there are alternative possibilities but it did make me think of a mage's sanctum.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post

                  Well, as this is Dark Eras, Path terminology probably doesn't exist as it will be in modern nights. And yeah, making her an Obrimos Mage with an additional focus in Spirit (perhaps even have it as the primary Arcanum of a Legacy practiced by her and her attendants, w/ either of her Path's Ruling Arcana used for the optional Attainments) and who happens to be Wolf-Blooded makes sense for her. I imagine she'd have one of the more spiritually inclined Tells like Horse and/or Tongues.
                  Obrimos Lich Legacy about claiming next hosts? Mark me as more than interested...

                  Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                  For the Ansho, both possibilities are plausible. But this might need more time to work out. It'd be interesting, though, to mention that idea of Nakatomi being a descendant or disciple of Himiko in a sidebar section once I got more written down.
                  Especially as Nakatomi was probably Thrusus mage. She could even took Himiko Legacy... ( Plot is creating in my mind )

                  Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                  Ah, right. I forgot about how the darshanas emerge as consistent occult patterns in every country where the Awakened appear. But yeah, this does make me wonder about how Japanese Awakened organize themselves in this era.
                  Do we have anyone on forum versed in Japan's occultism? Easiest way would to say that Yamatai was Himiko Nameless Order, with Queen-Shaman as head of it.

                  But I think it's too plain - Maybe incorporating variants of Darshanas as parts of Yamatai society? Occult warriors, priest advisors to Sun Queen, all this kind stuff? With Darshanas cults we have large leeway, but still have most fundamental idea of 'warrior', 'priest', etc.

                  Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                  I actually just finished Tomb Raider and loved it. But I don't know if playing in Yamatai at it's height would be all that interesting, since it's ruled over by an amazingly powerful Godlike entity.
                  Half of mage kingdoms of that era are like this.

                  Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                  Personally, I wouldn't make Himiko an Awakened. Something else seems more fitting. Perhaps a powerful Claimed with a ritual to transfer her power.
                  We could have multiple explanations for the Hamiko - best fanbooks I read ( like Silent Hill one ) have 2-3 solution to main Mystery. We could go with that on this - it's just need 'Claimed-version' writer on this.

                  Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                  I mean, she's still alive in 2013, albeit in a half-life. She'd definitely have to be a powerful Lich for that. It works for Mage, but at the same time it's kind of boring, isn't it?
                  Point of order - being Lich is not boring. At least for me.

                  Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                  I mean, with all that she's able to do (summon storms, talk to spirits, transfer her life) she's stretching between three Arcanum here, with Forces, Spirit, and Death. I will say that considering the personality (if you read all the documents like I did because nerd), she definitely seems most like an Obrimos. Definitely not sure why she'd be a Wolfblooded, though.
                  We can ax Death from this if we have proper Spirit Lich Legacy. It would work like infinitne Claiming then with spirit-mage identity... ( Muahahahahaha!!! )

                  Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                  The last Sun Queen's vessel killed herself, keeping the Sun Queen from being able to transfer her power, and leaving her dying in her own body for thousands of years, until Mathias came to the island in the 80s and created the Solarii. The impression I get is that Himiko, being unable to transfer herself into a new body (which works well if she's a Spirit or Ghost or something), wracked her island with storms and took away the good graces that she had for her people. No longer immune to her wrath, the people of Yamatai died off because they were unable to sustain themselves throughout the neverending storms.
                  I see here great plotline to explore in game...


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                    I actually just finished Tomb Raider and loved it. But I don't know if playing in Yamatai at it's height would be all that interesting, since it's ruled over by an amazingly powerful Godlike entity.
                    I'm inclined to disagree. I can imagine the feel of that setting being akin to that of the Cannibal Hymn (from Sothis Turns) and the Sundered World (from Dark Eras), in the sense that you live in a land where forces far greater than the average mortal exist openly, for the most part. An amazingly powerful god-like entity like Himiko might not involve herself directly in the lives of her subjects. But if she does see someone growing enough influence to be a threat... Well, that's a different story altogether.

                    Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                    Personally, I wouldn't make Himiko an Awakened. Something else seems more fitting. Perhaps a powerful Claimed with a ritual to transfer her power. I mean, she's still alive in 2013, albeit in a half-life. She'd definitely have to be a powerful Lich for that. It works for Mage, but at the same time it's kind of boring, isn't it? I mean, with all that she's able to do (summon storms, talk to spirits, transfer her life) she's stretching between three Arcanum here, with Forces, Spirit, and Death. I will say that considering the personality (if you read all the documents like I did because nerd), she definitely seems most like an Obrimos. Definitely not sure why she'd be a Wolfblooded, though.
                    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                    We could have multiple explanations for the Hamiko - best fanbooks I read ( like Silent Hill one ) have 2-3 solution to main Mystery. We could go with that on this - it's just need 'Claimed-version' writer on this.

                    Point of order - being Lich is not boring. At least for me.

                    We can ax Death from this if we have proper Spirit Lich Legacy. It would work like infinitne Claiming then with spirit-mage identity... ( Muahahahahaha!!! )
                    Hmm. You have a point there. Making her Wolfblooded doesn't really make sense. And she is powerful enough as a Mage who is a Master in at least Prime, Forces, and Spirit. Plus, wyrdhamster's right in axing Death from the list, seeing as becoming a ghost isn't the only way for a Mage to live on.

                    Originally posted by Mage Second Edition
                    Others want to avoid death by eschewing the physical world, usually by taking on a Legacy that transforms body, mind, and soul into a new form — a ghost mage, a spirit mage, or a Morphean, a Lich that stalks the Temenos. The only thing that a Lich will not do is give in to death. For all his posturing, the real drive that forces a Lich to stave off the end is simple fear. Humans can learn to accept death, but a Lich lives in constant fear of his magic failing and the reaper catching up.

                    Liches do not lose their magical powers as part of cheating death; a spirit-Lich looks for the answers to the Mysteries of the Shadow, a Morphean stalks the inner worlds of humanity’s soul looking for new challenges, and a body thief can continue his magical work uninterrupted for centuries. As such, a transformed Lich becomes an expert in his new state of being
                    That said, Himiko likely would have used her skill in the Spirit Arcanum to become a spirit mage for the same reasons as liches of previous and succeeding generations. And when she does make the change, she'll still retain her Gnosis and Arcana and be treated for the most part like a Supernal Entity.

                    The Claimed angle could probably also work as a point-of-view for those local werewolves who fear and despise the Sun Queen for her association with various spirits, especially those whom they would consider enemies.

                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    Reading the description of Himiko, allowing very few people to see her and isolating herself in a fortress sound rather mage-like. Obviously there are alternative possibilities but it did make me think of a mage's sanctum.
                    Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                    The last Sun Queen's vessel killed herself, keeping the Sun Queen from being able to transfer her power, and leaving her dying in her own body for thousands of years, until Mathias came to the island in the 80s and created the Solarii. The impression I get is that Himiko, being unable to transfer herself into a new body (which works well if she's a Spirit or Ghost or something), wracked her island with storms and took away the good graces that she had for her people. No longer immune to her wrath, the people of Yamatai died off because they were unable to sustain themselves throughout the neverending storms.
                    As wyrd said, it's a nice plotline to adapt into a Dark Eras game. And I imagine the spell or Legacy Attainment she uses to facilitate the Claiming process would indeed require for her 'successor' to survive the whole experience.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                      That said, Himiko likely would have used her skill in the Spirit Arcanum to become a spirit mage for the same reasons as liches of previous and succeeding generations. And when she does make the change, she'll still retain her Gnosis and Arcana and be treated for the most part like a Supernal Entity.

                      The Claimed angle could probably also work as a point-of-view for those local werewolves who fear and despise the Sun Queen for her association with various spirits, especially those whom they would consider enemies.
                      For inspiration, we have canon 1E spirit Lich group called Scions of God in Legacies: the Sublime.


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                      • #12
                        I know the game (which I have not played) follows the idea that the Sun Queen has performed her transfer form of immortality several times before it failed, but discounting that my first thought was a failed bid for Ascension. The island is almost her Golden Road, its legend the part that slipped through the cracks, and people becoming trapped within because sometimes the Iris leading within opens. Her spirit, though having failed, wasn't destroyed outright but is instead trapped and looking towards lichdom as a way out.

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                        • #13
                          Awakening Storms

                          Sorcerers of Yashima are among the Sun Queen's most favored subjects, but they are also the ones most closely watched. Himiko knows that any of the Awakened in her land could potentially match her in influence, as well in strength and skill with wielding the Art. She therefore uses magic alongside her mortal and spirit servants to observe these potential rivals. Those found to be plotting against her are often dealt with quickly but quietly. But most sorcerers are left alone unless they demonstrate enough talent to warrant her interest.

                          Yet even without drawing Himiko's wrath upon himself, a sorcerer's life is full of dangers. Most youkai of Yashima are hostile to humankind, and even more so towards the Wise. The Hakken, in particular, are especially belligerent as a result of their quarrel with the Sun Queen. And few of their packs will have dealings with a sorcerer unless he is Wolf-Blooded or has otherwise done them a great service.

                          The dangers do not cease among fellow Awakened. With the Sun Queen nigh impossible to oppose, many sorcerers on the Many Islands turn their efforts against one another. Open conflict is discouraged, of course, as it is a good way of marking oneself for death in Himiko's eyes. Instead, they take more subtle approaches.

                          One of the Wise aims to corner her rivals in the politics of the court, bringing to bear every boon and favor she cultivated among the lords. Another weaves curses on the followers of his opponent, to subvert their will and drive them to become the killers of their own master. A third seeks out a powerful spirit, and asks it to send its brood against his enemy in exchange for performing a service on its behalf.

                          All this makes life for the average Awakened in Yashima be filled with great risks. But those who survive (and even thrive) find great rewards as well.
                          Last edited by Deionscribe; 06-07-2016, 09:54 PM.


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                          • #14
                            Handmaidens of the Sun

                            Save for her brother, Himiko's foremost retainers are women. These Priestesses of the Sun are second only to her in status, and are groomed by her to be her aides in the governance of her kingdom, as well as her potential successors. To that end, they are taught in a variety of skills, from diplomacy, history, and the languages of Yashima's distant neighbors to the arts of war.

                            They are also taught the secrets of sorcery.

                            The priestesses are Sleepwalkers. Or rather, most of them are. Each one of them bears supernatural gifts, or is at least set apart from the rest of Yamatai by being free of the Lie's influence. These gifts are what led to them being chosen by Himiko, and they make up one of the largest Mystery Cults on the islands in their service to the Sun Queen. Some priestesses, though, are elevated above the rest of their sisters. They are the ones who Awakened during their time in the palace, and subsquently found themselves under Himiko's tutelage as her disciples in the Art. These sorceresses are consequentially the ones most likely to inherit her title as the next Sun Queen.

                            Awakened Daughters of the Sun are not exempt from the political rivalries that define the Wise of Yashima. If anything, they are the most cunning and ruthless of them as apprentices of the Sun Queen. They have to be, in order to survive the attacks of hostile youkai and their lesser peers in the court. Many of these sorceresses choose to align their goals with Himiko's, and act as her allies in her campaign to put down any would-be usurpers to her rule. Others play a more dangerous game by plotting their own rise to power. They are the least numerous of Himiko's enemies, but also the most dangerous and skilled. Being been able to mask their intentions from their mentor, or at least downplay how much of a threat they are to her, is no small feat to achieve.
                            Last edited by Deionscribe; 06-07-2016, 09:57 PM.


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                            • #15
                              Hmm. Random thought regarding the Ansho - what if it is Time magic? As in, pulling "magic"/Mana from the future for use in ancient Yamatai. The number of Ansho grows as the practice catches on (which means it will eventually end once Yamatai does and its Wise stop stealing from the future).


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