Steampunk Amahara

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Steampunk Amahara is a period/fantasy/steampunk RPG run by Mal. It is about travelling a steampunk fantasy world, working for clan, country, science, or profit. Join those westerners in the game of imperialism, looking for ancient loot, awakening and enshrining gods, defeating evil, possibly being evil, and such and such so on!

Support Pages

Background

Why Amahara is Not Japan
Basic Guide to Honorifics
A Brief History of Amahara
Races in the World of Amahara
Magic in the World of Amahara

Rules

Steampunk Amahara Rules
Steampunk Amahara Characters
Steampunk Amahara Character Creation

Related Games

Sengoku Amahara is a related game set in (mostly) the same world roughly 400 years in the past.

Introduction

The year is 1878 and the balance of power in the world has been upset. Propelled by the Steam Revolution, the nation states of Rose Europe have spread the arm of imperialism across the globe. Empires have crumbled; peoples conquered, indigenous tribes absorbed or wiped out. Their influence has even sunk into the mighty Middle Kingdom like a thousand knife cuts.

Seeing the threat of the foreign devils for what it is, the people of Amahara briefly set aside their ancient class boundaries and overthrew the ruling Yanari Shogunate. After a thousand years of rule by the samurai class, political power was returned to the court of the Apostle. The Serene Restoration also ushered in an era of modernity and industrial development. And now, a whole generation has passed. The restored Dominion of Amahara has surged from the mire of backwardness to a prominent position in Lotus Asia. Joining new technologies and armaments with age old traditions, the rising power is ready to confront the foreigners as equals.

No matter the beauty and tranquility of the garden, it is in the world that one must live.

Overview of the Dominion of Amahara

Geography

Amahara is split into two major portions - the Home Islands and Ryunan.

Home Islands

The Home Islands are a large, volcanic archipelago about the size and climate of real life Japan - in short, it is mystic Japan. Here, the Serene Restoration was quick and mostly peaceful with only a few rebellions and insurgencies that provided work for the new Dominion Army the Apostle's Musha Miko. The Home Islands have been undergoing rapid industrial revolution for the past quarter century. There are now railways, factories and modern weapons. Amahara has two capitals. The civil capital Kaikyo is the place from which actual administration is done and is what most foreigners think of as the "capital of Amahara". The true capital has always been Aki and it is where the Apostle resides. Since power has been restored to the apostolic court, some very high level decisions have again come to be made here. A high pressure train line connects these two and a few other major cities with more ordinary trains now snaking out all over the country. Enormous tunnel or bridge projects are planned or under construction to link the many islands.

Ryunan

Ryunan is a mainland peninsula to the south - a sort of super mainland Ryukyu. Originally an honest colonial conquest of the Toyotomi Shogunate, connection to the land fell during the Yanari shogunate to which it never paid more than lip service of subservience. Amahara is busy trying to reassert its claim in the face of foreign powers but the civil war there was protracted and continues at a low level to this day. Ryunan is also more wild and the Amaharan ways not as entrenched. The spirits are more volatile and aware and may still remember the bloody, shamanistic ways of the natives before the Toyotomi invasion. The people here are independent minded and don't necessarily view the Home Islands as all that much more attractive than working with foreigners.

On paper, this entire area is a concession to which foreigners have a great deal of freedom and trade, further weakening state power. However, the balance of actual power has shifted in Amahara's favor since the unequal treaties of the 1840's.

Religion

The religion of Amahara is Amahara Shinto, an aggressively proselytising form of Shinto believing in a vast pantheon of gods who govern every aspect of the world from weather and earthquakes to steam engines and the fine moving parts of clockwork. The new Dominion of Amahara sees itself as having a responsibility to spread this faith, most commonly by establishing and protecting countless small shrines all over the world and encouraging people to recognize the role of the kami in day to day life. It is inclusive rather than exclusive, which is part of its attraction, readily absorbing local gods, spirits, and folk heroes into the pantheon. It promises spiritual progression through reincarnation (especially after dying well) and does not treat many of the things other religions frown on (like alcohol or casual sex) as misdemeanors. Its main conflict with the Abrahamic faiths is in the doctrine of monotheism, resulting in Christian, Jewish and Muslim clerics dragged through the streets and lynched or beheaded.

Amahara Shinto has multiple ranks of clergy based on their role in the service of the gods and attendant level of devotion. The most revered and respected lead highly regimented lives full of taboos, restrictions, vows of devotion, and ritual duties. In theory, their word is law as they speak for the gods themselves. The highest of these is the Dominion's head of state, the Apostle of Amahara, a girl periodically selected in the traditional manner, through the consultation of complex astrological tables and the analysis of shifting geomantic and meteorological patterns.

Your Mission

The party occupies a strange intersection of the Dominion of Amahara's foreign policy. You do not officially represent the government overseas of course, but are still seen as a face of the country. Your actions are considered to reflect on the social standing of Amahara amongst great powers that still see it as a kid to be bullied. Ideally you should respect the laws of foreigners where they hold sway (in order not to piss them off) but also assert and uphold the honor of the Apostle and the new government and show them a thing or two about not messing with us.

At the same time, knowing that foreign lands have numerous useful knowledges, you should bring those back. If you are a miko, then the mission also takes a religious tone. Even if they spend most of the time asleep, kami are everywhere and ought to be enshrined and the knowledge of their existence and their ways should be spread to people. Even if catholicism has a huge head start (more insurmountable than the technological and industrial gap, scholars observe), spreading Shinto is a responsibility of the Amaharan state. For contributing to these two major efforts, even though you do not represent the state or the apostolic court, the two will sponsor your travels to some degree.

  • Learn about foreign ways if they are useful.
  • Awaken and enshrine spirits and kami in foreign lands.
  • Recover artifacts, technology and knowledge for the good of the state and academic progress.
  • Do not piss off the foreigners.

Others

Homegrown Factions

Apostolic Court

The religious leadership of Amahara with the Apostle of Amahara as the holy figurehead. Due to a general abolition of class boundaries since the revolution, the miko of the apostolic court are only one faction in the government. Nevertheless, compared to the shogunate era, the power of the Apostle has increased immensely. They are the most interested in the religious aspect of Amahara's place in the world.
Although the Apostle's position cannot be challenged, the most powerful member of this faction in practice is the Grand Chamberlain who is herself a "retired" Apostle. While the Grand Chamberlain is the most powerful person in Amahara, the temporal miko of the apostolic court who participate in the governance of the dominion are overall outnumbered by the samurai class (who are both progressive and conservative) and a newly risen class of powerful merchant-industrialists.

Industrialists

Progressive, rich and powerful, but they scoff at the old ways and religions or at least do not count them as important as bringing in technology and industrial progress.

Old Guard

Most of these are members of the samurai class who negotiated the peaceful transfer of power during the Serene Revolution but still resent their lowered status to varying extents. Nevertheless their power is entrenched and they form the conservative voice in the government who oppose both the modernist side as well as their conservative counterparts in the apostolic court.

Ryunan Resistance Groups

Many groups of basically Amaharan origin and structure who oppose the rule of the central government from the Home Islands. Their agendas vary but many trace their grievances right back to the shogunate era.

White Lotus Cult

A sinister and powerful cult that has spread throughout Lotus Asia. They are one of the participants of the Middle Kingdom's civil war.

Other Cults

Various Shinto or Buddhist offshoot sects considered too strange to be acceptable or simply pissed off the wrong miko. They have their own clerics. Due to being illegal and persecuted, they are mostly in Ryunan.

Communists

A global affliction that has spread from the former home islands of Britannia.

Miao

The collective designation for the bloodthirsty tribes who originally inhabited much of Ryunan and who have been driven into the cloud forests and jungles. They cause trouble for everybody else whenever the opportunity arrises.

Lotus Asia

Yan Dynasty

The Middle Kingdom is the largest and most populous land empire in the world as well as the source of most overseas influence on Amahara in the classical and shogunate eras. Unlike Amahara, it never gained a lasting warrior tradition nor a particular penchant for religion (though its indigenous beliefs are broadly compatible with shinto principles). It has always been a state centered around civil and financial administration with both faith and military prestige as tertiary priorities. In contrast to shogunate Amahara, its dynastic transitions have tended to be swift, decisive affairs involving only a few sides and given the sheer might of the empire in the past, it hardly ever had outside rivals. After decades of foreign pressure, the mighty empire has collapsed into the mother of all civil wars which could well dictate the fate of the region if not the world depending on who wins and who is left alive at the end.

Rose Europe

Francia

The Francian Revolution began in 1793 with riots and civil disruption rocking the country against the excesses of the monarchy and its privileged class. The revolution gave birth briefly to the Francian Republic which was in turn toppled by 1800 by the rise of Napoleon who crowned himself emperor and then proceeded to make war on the rest of Rose Europe. He eventually destroyed, the original Britannian Empire in 1818. Francia then took over the lead in the industrial revolution and became the world's premier state power. It is currently ruled by Napoleon IV and its capital is Parys which might well be regarded as the center of the civilised and industrial world.

Karlsland

A relatively large though only modestly populated country in the north of Rose Europe, the Republic of Karlsland has recently risen to become one of the leading challengers of Francian hegemony. It is a technologically advanced country and build some of the world's largest and swiftest airships. Its capital is Nidaros.

Danuby

A country in the east of Rose Europe which has seen significant success in wars against its neighbours in recent years. It is seen by some as another challenger of Francia's dominance but others consider it a Francian ally.

Ezpana

Uragos

Uragos was another of the first global empires that emerged from the early period of Rose Europe's ascendancy. They were among the first foreigners to arrive in Amahara, contributing to both the rise and fall of Toyotomi and affecting the fortunes of many clans in the Sengoku Era. In modern times however, they are but a shadow of their former glory.

Rossiya

A former state that took up a large part of eastern Rose Europe and had been starting to expand beyond it. Defeat by everyone else has utterly shattered the empire into component pieces.

Catholic Church

The Vatican City is located centrally in Rose Europe, ensconced among a varied collection of very small states. The region has many major churches, reliquaries and large foreign communities that serve pilgrims. While tiny on the map, the Vatican has massive, global reach through its knighthoods and missionary orders. The beliefs of the Catholic Church in a single supreme God is inherently inimical to Shinto. Recently, the Pope excommunicated both the Yan Supreme Emperor and the Apostle of Amahara.

Jasmine Middle East

Caliphate

The Caliphate is a large but loose alliance (more like a vague union of understanding really) of countries following the Islamic faith, which also refuse to honour the Eight Million Kami and are thus just as bad as the Catholics. However, the two also seem to fight each other a great deal.

New Crusader States

Iris America

New Britannia

Was poised as the premier world power from the late 18th century until its home islands were conquered by the newly emerged Francian Empire. The New Britannian Empire is greatly weakened and has suffered losses the world over though it still controls many places and its language is in use in more. Its core areas are now located in Iris America, bordering the newly independent Alba Confederation and several colonies of other states.

Alba Confederation

A former Britannian colony which broke off following its defeat in 1818.

Pirates

Black Cloud Pirates

A modest sized but high tech group of pirates operating from one or more airships capable of launching ornithopters. Recently sighted in the eastern skies off Lotus Asia. Its jolly roger is a white skull on a black cloud.

Known Artifacts

Mysterious Box

A mysterious wooden box containing something stolen from Amahara.