PROTOCOLS OF THE GENYOSHA
The Empire is entering into a state of turmoil. Ryoko Owari will be a military
target for rapacious and greedy men. Indeed, in recent years, the Unicorn
have made an attempt to surround the city.
Governess Hyobu cares for her city, but she is too involved with the day-to-day
minutiae of government to see what needs to be done for the good of the
city and its people. Further, her loyalty to her family may bias her unfairly.
The assassin gang, the firemen, and the criminal gangs cause great hardship
for the honest merchants and traders of the city. Action must be taken.
The magistrates are too often political appointees or dilettantes. A concerted
effort should be made to control crime.
The trade in illegal opium has sullied the reputation of the city. The
Empire sees the City of Green Walls as a den of scum and villainy. All
of us are tarnished by this reputation, which must be mended.
During the recent wars, the City Guard proved unable to defend the city
in a satisfactory manner. A private army, or mutual pact of defence is
required to guard Ryoko Owari.
The present system of trade and taxing is badly organised. Ryoko Owari
is a trade hub. Through our gates pass the goods of the Scorpion, Unicorn,
Crab, Crane, Lion & Mantis. The establishment of a Mercantile Bureau
in the city would increase profit for all. Ryoko Owari could be as important
to the flow of trade as Beiden Pass, if only we would seize the opportunity.
We therefore propose the establishment of a secret council, with the aim
of improving both the city and the station of its citizens. We shall be
secret, for if we acted openly, the jealous would act against us and the
greedy seek to join us. Our goal is improvement, our means our wits, influence,
wealth and honour.
We call ourselves Genyosha (Black Ocean Society), after the dark waters
of the Bay of Drowned Honour which is at the heart of Ryoko Owari Toshi.
Commentary of the GM: Ok, what are you supposed to do with
this? Basically, it's an example of how what are supposed to be Bad Guys
(or at least fairly untrustworthy people) can be presented in a nice fashion.
The above text was printed out in a nice font, put into sealed envelopes,
and given to the players in-character. Everything in the letter is true
- there are no lies or misleading statements in the text. It appeals to
both a person's better nature (improving the city) and self-interest (more
money). The whole secrecy aspect is presented as a good thing - but once
the PCs are in, they can't get out easily...
When offering choices of honour to players, never present
them as cut-and-dried, good/bad choices. Ambiguity is always more interesting.
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