Gilon 3010

Shadowrun game in an alternate, homebrew universe.


    The Desu Islands

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    The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Wed May 02, 2018 1:31 am

    The Desu Island Chain consists of nine islands, each of which constitutes a province. Each of these provinces is an entity unto itself, but they all owe fealty to the central province of Sheng. Here, in the center of the chain atop Mount Ichihama, the emperor resides. The emperor’s palace is a fantastic masterpiece crafted of stone, marble and jade. The imperial family has lived here for as long as the Desu Islands have existed as a unified nation.

    For centuries, the Desian Empire was restricted to just these islands. It was forbidden to venture beyond them for fear that one would fall off the edge of Gilon. When the great explorer Marcus Sentir landed on Xiao in the year 1190, the emperor was persuaded to allow a few ships beyond the Desu Islands. Exploration was slow coming for the Desians as many still feared the dangers of straying too far from known waters. It was not until the advent of reliable air travel that Desians truly started becoming part of the international community. Still, even then, most locals live their whole lives on the island they were born on with no interest in travelling anywhere else.

    Magic is very prevalent among Desians. Shinto shrines throughout the islands provide magical training to those who worship their kami. Powerful masters of the mystical arts throughout the Desu Islands have formed magical dojos. There, prospective students can apply to learn under the masters, for a fee of course. These dojos tend to specialize in a particular types of magic, and each dojo believes itself to be the superior one. This leads to many duels between the schools, all of which are officially sanctioned and allowable as far as the government is concerned so long as both parties sign a death waiver and duel in an area where risk to the city is minimal.

    The Desu Islands have a long history of organized crime. While there are of course many ninja clans who take care of any number of assassinations, the biggest crime organization is the Yakuza. The Yakuza essentially control all crime in the Desu Islands, though they are not a single unified entity. Various branches of Yakuza often end up butting heads with one another, and this can sometimes become violent. Luckily the Yakuza have a very strict honor system that they live by so those not involved are never the casualties of these battles. With strict weapons restrictions in place throughout the country, they rarely resort to using firearms in these battles (this would call down the attention of the police), so that strongly prevents unintended casualties. Despite being a criminal organization, the Yakuza actually have a very good relationship with the police. The police acknowledge that the Yakuza keep crime from getting too out of hand and only tend to go after them when there is media pressure, or there is excessive use of firearms. Even then, the police are always sure to announce to the Yakuza boss involved that they will be coming and why. The boss then in turn prepares someone to be arrested in from of the media to save face for the police. They even provide boxes of evidence "proving" that man's guilt. Usually the person getting arrested is some low-level nobody who is being paid to get arrested, as opposed to anyone important.

    While there certainly are people who have firearms, they are a rarity in the country, and extremely hard to get a hold of. Thus most criminals resort to blades or other simple weapons. Training in martial arts is extremely common, though respectable dojos refuse to teach to those they suspect will use their skills for criminal activities. Luckily for the criminals, there are plenty of dojos that aren't respectable.

    Tattoos and body modifications are strongly associated with the Yakuza, so law-abiding citizens who get them usually take great pains to ensure they are not obvious. Many businesses simply refuse to serve people with openly visible tattoos or cyberware. While any business may have this kind of prejudice, it is most common at dojos and places where one might show more skin than usual, such as public baths, gyms and occasionally hospitals.

    Racial prejudice is also quite strong in the country. 90% of the population is human and those humans see the other races as inferior. They are often denied government benefits and basic rights as the government believes that protections of the Desian constitution only apply to pure Desians. Foreigners and those of other races have no right to claim protection under the constitution. Even those with SINs are often treated as SINless, and are denied access to housing and other businesses.

    Despite the apparent limitations of Desian society, there is a strong market for Shadowrunners. Non-humans actually end up making up a majority of Shadowrunners, simply because they have a lack of other jobs available to them. This in turn perpetuates the stereotype that other races are all criminals, and further cements the racism against them. Most eventually decide to leave the country, but for those who choose to stay, there are plenty of large companies about that are willing to steal from each other, but not willing to use their own people to do it. Many Yakuza groups are also a little less picky about those they take into their fold than the rest of polite society.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Wed May 02, 2018 9:16 am

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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Wed May 02, 2018 9:36 am

    Desian Provinces

    The Desu Islands consist of 9 islands called provinces. Each province functions as an autonomous country except they all swear fealty to the Emperor. Their only obligations to the Emperor are taxes and soldiers, should they be needed in a time of war. Outside of that, they are pretty much left to function on their own. If one were to tour the provinces, the only true similarity one would find between them is the Desian people. The laws, economy, culture and general feel of each one is completely different.

    In alphabetical order, the provinces are:
    Ayame
    Daija
    Hachi
    Jia
    Kairi
    Lien
    Makoto
    Sheng
    Xiao
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Wed May 02, 2018 10:19 am

    Ayame

    Population: 510,000 (Human 70%, Kami 30%)
    Magic: High
    Government: Feudal
    Exports: Produce

    The easternmost province of the Desu Chain is Ayame. Here, the five cities of Fujita, Kiyoko, Uyeda, Yukio and Yoshifumi can be found. The terrain of Ayame is very lightly forested, with many marshy lands in which rice is grown. Fishing is also a very common profession.

    The people of Ayame tend to be more nature loving than most. As such, the island is quite green; an outlier in modern society. Urban sprawl is kept to a minimum through a government enforced policy that limits the number of children a family may have. Since Desians place a lot of importance in their eldest sons, girls are often aborted during pregnancy. This has lead to a population that is 90% male and 10% female. The lack of viable females has kept the province's population far lower than the policy intended, but the locals enjoy a lifestyle of clean water, fresh food and little to no pollution. This is further encouraged through strict regulations against environmental pollution. Purposeful littering is considered a capital offense, and those convicted of it are bound and left to be slaughtered by angered Kami.

    Kami are exceptionally common in Ayame, likely due to how pristine nature is preserved. Unlike other provinces, the kami in Ayame actually function as members of society. They spend much of their lives on the physical plane, run businesses, and are even involved in government. In fact, the current shogun of Ayame is a spirit of man known as Daitorio. Daitorio has been in charge for the better part of a century, after a bloody coup that eliminated the traditionally human shogunate line.

    The largest city in Ayame, and the only one with a real port, is Kiyoko. Commerce is fierce in Kiyoko, unlike the other cities of Ayame, which are far more rural. It is perhaps unsurprising that the only real corporate presence on the island can be found here. Tomiyama's headquarters is based here and they control much of the island's farmlands through their contracts with local farmers.

    Several small Yakuza clans operate throughout the province, though Kiyoko is the most hotly contested territory. Given the lopsided male/female ratio of the island, their primary source of income is prostitution. Foreign visitors to the island are often kidnapped and forced into the sex trade, many of whom were tricked into visiting the island with promises of employment, fortune and an escape from the dense, poverty stricken sprawls.


    Last edited by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 12:35 am

    Daija

    Population: 2,730,000 (Human 65%, Korobokuru 30%, other 5%)
    Magic: Moderate
    Government: Corporate
    Exports: Vehicles, drones, cybernetics, magical equipment

    Daiaku Motors pretty much runs the entirety of this province, headed by a korobukuru (a type of Desian dwarf) by the name of Kobito Nagahige. While racism is quite strong against non-humans in most of the Desu Islands, the massive population of korobukuru in Daija forces the humans to accept them in society. Particularly once the primarily korobokuru corporation quietly took over a significant portion of the economy on the island. Korobukuru form the primary research and management staff within the company while humans are relegated to the lower level positions that leave them in near permanent debt to the company.

    Huge Daiaku factories are scattered across the landscape, their exhaust filling the sky. But despite the province apparently being completely devoted to vehicle factories, there is actually quite a thriving enchanting community. Those with magical talent are able to avoid a bleak life of toiling in a factory by a slightly less bleak life of manufacturing magical goods. Many modern technological conveniences actually have perfectly functional magical equivalents that have been around for centuries. Magic-based appliances of all kinds are manufactured here, though the time and cost required for their construction mean that the average consumer cannot afford these niceties. It is hard to justify purchasing a magical cooling box that costs 10,000 gold, even though it will essentially function forever without need for repair, when one can purchase a refrigerator for 500 gold that will do just about the same thing. Thus these magical appliances, while both effective and extremely reliable, are mostly just luxury items for the super rich.

    Several Yakuza clans operate on the province. The Yamaguchi clan is the most powerful and primarily operates loan sharking and protection rackets with the magical community. Those in the deepest debt are often forced to work for the Yamaguchi clan, manufacturing various foci for their awakened members. The Sumiyoshi clan instead focus primarily on gambling (particularly mah-jong and pachinko). Those in debt to the Sumiyoshi clan usually end up being forced to help in the theft of equipment from Daiaku, which the clan uses to strengthen their members. The Inagawa clan instead focuses on drug trafficking and prostitution. Though they are smaller than the other two, their businesses rarely clash, so conflicts are uncommon. The Aizukotetsu clan, while not based in Daija, has a significant supply of foreign weaponry that they have smuggled into the province and have made moves to invade on the turf of the other clans. Their conflicts have been bloody and they are known for making extensive use of Shadowrunners who are willing to do some quick wetwork.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 1:15 am

    Hachi

    Population: 2,910,000 (Human 93%, yokai 5%, other 2%)
    Magic: Low
    Government: Anarchy
    Exports: Electronics, security systems, online gambling

    While Hachi was once a feudal state, the last shogun was overthrown about 500 years ago. Since then, the people have worked under partial anarchy. There is no formal leader and whenever one attempts to rise up, they are very quickly assassinated by some opposing faction. This has allowed many corporations, both local and international, to operate with relative impunity throughout the country. There are no government services, only privatized ones, and there are offices for every single one of the big 12 corporations, as well as countless others. With no laws to hold them back, it essentially corporate paradise. Denso Electronics in particular is headquartered here.

    The people are extremely obsessed with chance and randomness, and at least 70% of the population have at least a mild addiction to gambling. This has led to a huge mah-jong and pachinko industry, run by several Yakuza clans. In fact, the gambling business is so successful for the Yakuza clans, they do not really bother to expand into other areas of organized crime. Though it is kind of a stretch to call it organized crime as gambling is not a crime, since there are essentially no codified laws in the province. The Yakuza here are the closest thing to a government the area has; their strict codes of conduct and very organized nature have essentially turned them into the province's effective police force. Private police forces from Cowboy Systems and Linnorm Power do exist, but are strictly used by the wealthy who can afford to hire them. With no government to pay for policing, the poor are left only with the Yakuza clans.

    Hachi is a dreamland for shadowrunners as the lack of laws means the only trouble they typically have to worry about is whatever security the target they are hitting happens to have. They do not have to worry about police chasing them through the city, and compared to other Desian provinces, weapons are relatively easy to come across. With little to lose by hiring them, many large corporations throw out huge chunks of money to attract the best into their employ.

    One benefit of Hachi for shadowrunners is the large population of yokai on the island. These little monsters are often blamed for everything that goes wrong, so many smart teams find ways to make their infiltration to look like the work of one of these creatures. Some even employ specialists who are skilled at capturing them so as to leave one at the scene when they are done. Though yokai are sapient, no one has been able to figure out how to communicate with them. That sits fine for shadowrunners since the best scapegoats are ones who cannot defend themselves.


    Last edited by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 5:56 pm

    Jia

    Population: 1,930,000 (Human 99%, Other 1%)
    Magic: High
    Government: Corporate Democracy
    Exports: Textiles, alcohol, rice

    The southwest province of Jia was once lush with plains and light forests, but what was once natural land has been covered with farming arcologies which protect their crops and livestock from the island's devastating weather. About 20 years ago, a group of shadowrunners broke into an experimental magic facility (the owners of which have yet to be revealed). While security was responding to the threat, some mishap happened, destroying the facility and everyone in it. It is unknown what was being developed or how the facility was destroyed as the entire area has been enveloped in a magical storm, preventing any investigation of the incident, ever since. For a time, it was expected that the storm would envelop the province. Luckily, it stayed put. Less fortunately, it never stopped and has caused all sorts of strange and unpredictable weather patterns on the islands. The effects do all sorts of crazy things from biblical stuff like rains of blood and frogs, to the absolutely absurd like memory winds, time loops, and spirit storms.

    Uyeda is the largest city and the only one with a formal port. Like much of the Desu Islands, the cities of Jia depend heavily on rice and fish for food. The cities of Jia (especially Hide) are known for their quality rice wine known as sake. While most of the Desu Islands produce their own brands of sake, it is widely acknowledged that the sake from Jia is the best as they just about always win the various sake competitions that are held on a fairly regular basis. Textiles are also widely produced among the cities of Jia. Silk, hemp and wool clothes are all manufactured here. The various textiles produced in the small province of Jia account for roughly 50% of all cloth manufactured in the Desu Islands. Spinners, weavers, sheep farmers and silk-worm farmers are fairly common. However, all of these farmers work from corporate owned arcologies.

    The government is primarily under corporate rule, though there is something of a semblance of democracy in it in that the people are technically allowed to vote on which corporation is in power. This is a technicality because almost everyone votes for whatever corporation they work for. That means the largest corporation always wins, and in Jia, that is Tomiyama Agricultural. Since life is particularly difficult to get by outside of the archologies due to the weird storms, the corporations have a fair lock on the people, keeping crime to a minimum. For the moment, there are no Yakuza clans who have managed to make headway on the island. Some tiny, street level gangs form from time to time, but they never really last for long.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 9:22 pm

    Kairi

    Population: 980,000 (Human 95%, other 5%)
    Magic: Low
    Government: Feudal
    Exports: Fish

    Located on the south eastern corner of the Desu Islands, Kairi is a province dominated by the ocean. Botan, Etsu, Fudo and Shinoi can all be found on this island and their people are mostly fishermen, whalers and other sailors. Very little farming is done on Kairi, at least in comparison to the other provinces. Most crops are typically imported from other provinces, though diet is focused more on seafood with favorites including fish cakes, sushi, and okonomiyaki (a sort of cross between a pizza and a pancake, usually topped with octopus, squid or shrimp). People of Kairi are a superstitious lot, at least regarding the sea. They all know every little superstition about sea travel and many make up their own. The dream is to own their own ship one day, if they do not already, and they will often go into detail about their dream ship and what it would include.

    For as long as anyone can remember, one constant threat of the ocean is the kraken. This mysterious gargantuan squid lives somewhere in the oceans southeast of Kairi. Many fishermen offer part of their catch to appease the creature for fear of it attacking and bringing their ships into the watery abyss. In truth, it rarely does attack, but when it does it is such a spectacular event that it keeps the people of Kairi in fear. The emperor has sent many brave men to find and kill the kraken. So far they have all failed. Since the attempts usually result in a violent backlash on the part of the creature no one has pressed the issue. It is largely believed that the kraken does not simply eat the people he catches because he does not attack often enough to feed himself. Most believe that his lair is an air-filled breeding ground where it raises people the same way a farmer raises chickens or cattle for food. None have ever seen this lair first hand to confirm this belief, but then again, none really want to.

    Organized crime around Kairi mostly takes the form of various pirates who call themselves Kaizoku. Far from the bloodthirsty pirates of legend, kaizoku rarely kill anyone unless they fight back. They simply patrol the seas in high-speed cutters, raiding ships and taking a portion of their cargo before moving on. Though just because they rarely kill, doesn't mean they aren't armed and dangerous. The local sailors have just learned that a portion of their cargo is cheaper than their lives. Shadowrunners can actually make a fair living hunting down kaizoku, if they have the firepower. There is never a shortage of kaizoku to be found, nor corporations willing to pay for their heads.

    The current ruler of Kairi is the shogun Akiko Nakamura. She is known for her beauty and kindness, as well as her relative incompetence as a ruler. She is more of a figurehead than anything, allowed to keep her position only because she does nothing to interrupt business on the island. She more or less allows corporations to do as they like with the understanding that if she were ever to disrupt their interests in any meaningful way, she would be removed. Forcibly.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Fri May 04, 2018 11:22 pm

    Lien

    Population: 780,000 (Oni 95%, other 5%)
    Magic: High
    Government: Feudal
    Exports: Reagents, magical minerals

    Lien is unique among provinces in that humans do not form a majority of the population. In fact there are almost no humans left at all. There once was a huge population of humans; in fact they made up the majority of the island's population, much like any other Desian province. However, that was until the Great Oni Uprising. Prior to the uprising, Oni were plentiful, but scattered. They did not understand the benefits of modern society, so they did not particularly care for city life. They also had no formal organization, generally preferring to be alone or among a small family units or tribes. Even while in relatively small numbers, they did much to terrorize the human population at that time.

    Then 150 years ago, the Great Oni King Doumeki united the oni people under a single banner. A single oni could easily take on a several humans alone with their powerful magical abilities and ferocious strength. The human population didn't stand a chance against his armies and were practically wiped out over night. By the time the emperor could respond to the threat, the island had already been conquered. Though the emperor could have sent troops to retake the island, the Desian army was already occupied with another war at the time and the forces needed to wipe out the oni threat were more than could be spared at the time. It was then decided that it was too much trouble to retake Lien and the few remaining humans on the province were left to fend for themselves. A peace treaty was eventually negotiated, as much out of fear that the oni forces would spread as anything. The oni were granted ownership of the province as well as Desian citizenship and the oni were content with that. Many human Desians feel that this was a horrible disgrace for the country and there have been many attempts to get the emperor to retake Lien. So far, none have attempted it.

    Meanwhile, the oni took over the cities the humans had lost, becoming less barbaric in their ways. Today, the cities in Lien function essentially the same as any other Desian city, just with an abundance of oni instead of humans. The few who are not oni are either descendants of the original survivors of the Great Oni Uprising, or representatives of corporations looking to establish ties on the island as it is a source of many magical minerals and reagents. It is ruled over by the current Oni King, Doumeki VII. His rule has been pretty open to trade and making diplomatic ties with other provinces and countries.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Sat May 05, 2018 11:11 pm

    Makoto

    Population: 540,000 (Human 88%,  Korobokuru 5%, Spirits 5%, Other 2%)
    Magic: High
    Government: Theocracy
    Exports: None

    Situated in the northwest corner of the Desu Islands, Makoto is a land of religious extremists.The province itself is fairly small and contains 4 relatively small towns: Iku, Haruko, Rai and Yayoi.

    The people of Makoto live a fairly regimented life. They leave nothing to chance and always perform as tradition dictates, especially in regards to respect for one’s ancestors. This is probably due to the abundance of spirits that roam the land. As long as these spirits are appeased, they are relatively benign and some are actually fairly helpful, though it may not always be readily apparent. Those who have the skills to deal with them have studied these spirits extensively and each makes use of them in their own way. Even those who are not awakened have a fairly extensive knowledge of customs and charms needed to ward off malevolent spirits while attracting beneficial ones. Whether they are actually effective or merely superstitious folklore is debatable.

    Compared to other islands, very little traffic makes its way out to Makoto. This is for several reasons. For one, the people produce about enough for their own needs and have very little that is worth trading with other provinces. For two, none of the cities have ports that would be necessary for larger ships as well as no airports. They each sit upon the ocean and have a small dock for little fishing boats, but larger ships have to lay anchor off shore and send smaller ships to the docks. This is the way things have been for millennia, as dictated by the leader of the province, shinto high priest Omoikane Hideyoshi.

    Hideyoshi is a powerful shinto priest, both politically and magically. It is said that he is guarded at all times by several powerful free spirits who willingly serve him out of respect. No one knows if this is true, and if it is, why several free spirits would respect a single person so much as to devote their lives to protecting his. Some say he comes from a family whose ancient ancestor aided the spirits in some important way and they have been protecting the family ever since. Others say he is secretly a dragon who has been living among mortals in living form. Regardless, of what story is true, if any, what is clear is that Hideyoshi's word is absolute law in the province.

    Due to edicts from the high priest, the province has remained quite undeveloped, lacking much of the technology and advancements found in the rest of the world. Technology is strictly forbidden on the island, so many of the conveniences of modern living are either done without, or substituted with magical equivalents. While there is no larger a population of magic users here than anywhere else, there is a much higher proliferation of magical items, some made locally, others imported from Daija and abroad. Foreigners are also forbidden entry to the province. Smaller Desian ships are allowed to trade, but they are not allowed to leave their ships for fear of how they may influence life on the island. Though the occasional shadowrunner team has been known to sneak their way onto the island, there are no corporations on the island, and not much of value for them to be coming for. Even the Yakuza tend to give the place a large berth. The people are simply too indoctrinated for any of the normal organized crime businesses to do very well.

    To some, Makoto seems like a natural paradise in an overdeveloped world, and in some ways it is. The air is clean and fresh, rain is actually made from pure water, and everyone eats real food. But the strict edicts of the high priest do leave the people in some old, outdated ways. The biggest example is in how women are treated in society. Women are expected to be subservient to men in every way. It is said that the women of Makoto are supposed to walk far enough behind their husbands that they do not touch his shadow. They should be silent, speaking only when spoken to. They should maintain a clean home and properly serve any guests to the home. Human rights groups have often decried the province as barbaric, but with little outside communication, the people of Makoto do not know of any other way they should live.

    There is rumored to be an underground counter culture group that seeks to change things on the island. Supposedly it was founded by several women who saw what life was like for women in other places and wished to change things on Makoto. If such a group exists, it is unknown what their numbers are like, but they supposedly are secretly spreading the word and "corrupting" the good women of Makoto. It could just as easily be that there is no group and that any defiant act by women is merely blamed on foreign corruption as a scapegoat. Evil foreign invaders are easier to accept than the fact that women might want more than a life of servitude.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Sun May 06, 2018 12:27 am

    Sheng

    Population: 925,000,000 (Human 98%,  Other 2%)
    Magic: Moderate
    Government: Feudal
    Exports: vehicles, machinery and manufactured goods

    Central in both location and importance is the province of Sheng. It is the largest province and also the province in which the emperor resides. The emperor’s palace sits atop Mount Nehongoa, surrounded by the city of Mingmei. All told the Sheng province contains 15 cities: Chizu, Izanami, Kagami, Mamoru, Mariko, Mingmei, Nori, Ratana, Ryoko, Sachiko, Tama, Umeko, Usagi, Yasuo and Yuri.

    The population density of this province among the highest in the world, with as much as 100,000 people per square mile in some areas. The wealthy obviously do not live in anything near such population density and the so-called middle class strive for a modest home large enough to house a family of four. Most of the poor live in capsule apartments not much larger than a stall in a typical public bathroom. These people are the lowly paid wage slaves of various corporations and their homes are often built on reclaimed land formed by draining chunks of the ocean and filling them with compacted garbage. The awakened hate these areas because they have mild background counts. Meanwhile the utterly destitute (which accounts for close to half the population), live literally underground in tunnels that were once dug out during some old forgotten war. Most of these people never survive past childhood, and those who do find themselves aching for release from reality. Several yakuza clans have cashed in on this, making quite a profit on drugs, alcohol, BTLs and other experiences. The Yamaguchi clan is particularly powerful here, followed closely by Sumiyoshi. Clashes between the two are common.

    Mingmei is central to the Sheng province for obvious reasons. About half of the military is trained in Mingmei while the other half is trained in Yuri. In many ways, Yuri is a sister city to Mingmei and should Mingmei fall for whatever reason, Yuri has been set up to take its place. A secondary palace is there to house the imperial family. There are also specialized teleportation rooms in both palaces that allow those of the imperial family line to quickly transport between them in cases of emergency. These teleportation rooms only function for those of the imperial family blood line so there is no danger of enemies following should the palace fall.

    Two major rivers twist through the Sheng province: Yangsu and Nagamura. Yangsu flows down from Mount Doki and is used to transport goods up and down the mountain. Boats then travel to Kagami and end at Chizu, where the port there is used to ship goods both to and from the other provinces. Nagamura is a larger river and flows down Mount Nehongoa starting near Mingmei. A few cities sit along this river’s edge, using it as a highway up to the port town of Izanami. Despite the demands of a sprawling population on the province, the rivers are kept relatively clean and provide drinking water to the cities that lie near them (though it is probably a good idea to boil the water before drinking it). Massive desalination plants on the coasts provide water for the other cities.

    Just about every corporation in the world has an office somewhere on the province. With such a high population, it is easy to make a profit on just about any business. This also means plenty of business for shadowrunners. Best of all, with all those people it is pretty hard for law enforcement to come after you once you are off corporate territory. Finding a human in that sea of humanity is like finding a needle in a stack of needles.
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    Re: The Desu Islands

    Post by GameMaster on Sun May 06, 2018 10:33 am

    Xiao

    Population: 500,500,000 (Human 98%,  Other 2%)
    Magic: Moderate
    Government: Theocracy
    Exports: vehicles, machinery and manufactured goods

    On the southern edge of the Desu Islands sits Xiao. Due to a peculiar phenomenon involving the thermal energy in and under the province, much of the island is constantly covered in fog. The province is home to nine cities: Chika, Cho, Haru, Ishi, Nami, Naoko, Rafu, Reiko, and Rumiko. Though it is not as large as Sheng, it is close and the population is huge.

    One of the reasons for Sheng's huge population is that the people of Xiao tend to live longer than most, which they attribute this to their careful worship of the kami. There may be some truth to this as a good 50% of the population is of the elderly persuasion, and of that population at least 90% of them are healthy enough to work. Most choose to work as a means of keeping in good health through active lifestyle at least as much as their need for money, though they do not work as hard as they may have in their younger years.

    The large number of elderly has created a culture that venerates the past. Ancestors are of course properly respected, but there is a distinct emphasis on the caretaking and respect of elderly, recording accurate history and carefully maintaining the graves of their ancestors. To the people of Xiao, longevity is nice, but it is through history that people become immortal. It is said that the libraries of Xiao contain the most accurate history of anywhere in the world. Of course this history is almost completely exclusive to the Desu Islands, but there are supposedly works that date back to times before the world existed. Such works are considered to be something of a legend and no one really knows what they would contain, but it is a legend many believe in.

    Xiao is home to the Chronomancy school of mystical arts. Members of this school study time itself and how to manipulate it. Young practitioners are said to be able to view the past and slow down or speed up time while the most powerful among them are supposedly able to travel through time and change history, or the future. While this might be possible in theory, practitioners are are very insular lot who are very secretive about their studies, secluding themselves away in massive structures they refer to as "Time Capsules". To the general public, Chronomancers are either seen as an overblown group of awakened historians who pretend to have more power than they actually have; a kooky cult of history buffs who peddle snake oil; or, if their claims can be believed, one of the most dangerous groups of magic users the world has ever known.

    Like Makoto, Sheng is ruled by Shinto priests. However, unlike the extremely conservative, xenophobic and backwards-thinking practices of Makoto, Sheng is quite modern and progressive. The religion is used in conjunction with modern life as opposed to instead of it. High Priest Abe Satou is seen by many as a kind, respectful and fair leader. His policies do much to uplift the people of the province. It is one of the few provinces to have a non-privatized police force, ensuring that everyone gets a similar level of security (at least in theory). Public schooling is properly funded, allowing the province's children to be educated for the modern world. The priests themselves also provide government-funded, magical health care for all. However, despite his leadership, there are still many of the problems of modern society. People are still poor (primarily due to corporate exploitation), Yakuza clans still have power over the streets, and overpopulation means that there is a fair amount of pollution and adequate housing is hard to come by.

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    Re: The Desu Islands

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      Current date/time is Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:42 am