For ten thousand years, the World Empire has ruled with the mandate of heaven from one end of the world to the other. All other nations have paid it homage, and in return received the gifts of knowledge, education and imperial craft.
A century ago, everything changed. From beyond the sky came Five Kingdoms came on angel winged ships. At first they said they wished only trade, but their true intentions quickly became clear. One by one the states of the World's periphery submitted to the invader. The Empire, racked by internal strife, did not act.
Now, the Five Kingdoms feel they have a dominant position. They have sent embassies to the World Empire's central court, and refused even to bow. Here they have demanded that the World Empire's ports be opened, remove laws which prevent their importation of narcotics and strange devices, and the protection of any citizen of theirs travelling through the World Empire's territories from Imperial Law.
On the rejection of these demands, the Five have deployed all their military resources to finally subjugate the World Empire and make their conquest complete. Faced with the superior technology and war experiences of the Invaders, Imperial forces have been driven back or destroyed at every turn.
With the main imperial fleets (Water, Earth, Wood, Air and Fire) all but annihilated in a series of surprise actions by faster and more advanced ships of the invaders, only the outer Meridian Fleets remain as effective fighting units.
This is the story of the Eighth of those fleets.
Technology and Magic
Both the World Empire and the Five Kingdoms use spun sakuradite crystals, carefully shaped to power their machines. Sakuradite energy can also be used in enchantments and alchemy, and has allowed for the development of vast airships capable of sailing even in the void between worlds, and small, fast ornithopters which have come to carry the bulk of a fleet's striking power.
It is Sakuradite, more even than tea, gold or China that the Five Kingdoms desire.
While Sakuradite is an excellent fuel, it has yet to be weaponized. Both sides use alchemical weapons as their primary means of fighting, be they bombs, waterborne torpedoes, guns or rockets. Rocket bombing aircraft and dive bombers are the primary anti-shipping tools of a modern navy. Most warheads are simple enchanted fire dust high explosive, however the Five Nations also deploy massive bombs which spray a flammable gas over the target, mixed with elemental air, then ignite it with a small charge of elemental fire, causing an incredible explosion, equal to tons of fire dust being detonated.
Ship armour made of enchanted steel and wood is still the primary means of passive protection for both sides, with rapid fire guns being used for active ship defence against ornithopters. Modern Five Kingdom vessels also employ various anti-aircraft rockets.
Most imperial units are now airships, though water vessels are still used for civilian trade and for patrols in some areas. The Five Kingdoms also make extensive use of submarines, including vessels capable of launching great waves of rockets from underwater, but the Empire has few of these.
Communication is usually done by lights or messenger spirits, or by telegraph or telephone, but rumours of a wireless communicator and detector employed by one of the Five Kingdoms is now circulating, perhaps spelling even greater advantage for the invader.
The World Empire
The Five Kingdoms
Each player controls one of the ships in the Eighth Meridian Fleet, which begins the game based in the island imperial province of NotJapan. Each player should make up a name and personality for their Captain and any important figures aboard, and pick a ship type. There are a limited number of each type of ships in the Eight Meridian Fleet, indicated in their descriptions.
Assuming there's too many calls on a given type, the GM will assign who gets what. One player will also be designated the fleet commander by popular acclaim.