PATH: SHINSEN-GUMI [BUSHI]
After the Triple Alliance took power, Doji Raigu decided to cut the Emperor from His people; eliminating the Emerald Magistrates, the Gozoku replaced the magistrates with a militia whose military capacity was entirely devoted to the new masters of Rokugan: the Shinsen-Gumi.
Technique Rank: 1
Replaces: Any Crane, Scorpion or Phoenix Bushi school rank 1
Requirements: Intimidation 2
Benefit: +1 Willpower
Technique: The Voice of the Gozoku – A Shinsen-Gumi carries the authority of the Alliance and is an enforcer of the Gozoku’s will. You gain the Skills, Honor, and Outfit of a Rank 1 Bushi of your school. Your Willpower is considered one rank higher against opponents of less Status. You might add half your Intimidation skill rank as unkempt dice to attack against opponents with less Willpower.
History: The year 387 saw the Emerald Champion killed in a duel with the legendary bandit Hiro, founder of the Forest Killers. The crisis of the time prevented the Emperor from organizing an immediate Emerald Tournament to appoint a new Champion; leaving the space vacant, the responsibilities taken over my many magistrates and judged residing in the Emerald Palace. By the year 388, Doji Raigu managed to bend Emperor Hantei Fujiwa and took over with the Gozoku. In order to assert their status and to cut links with the past of the empire, he decided to create a militia of justice to replace the Emerald Magistrates, its ranks filled with Gozoku supporters. Doji Raigu was informally the leader of the Shinsen-gumi, while officially a Kakita bushi, forgotten by history, managed the daily activities of the organization…
A few years later, the young Daidoji Tsubaba became the head of the Shinsen-gumi; during his direction the militia became the military body so feared by enemies of the Gozoku. During the years of the Alliance’s reign, Shinshen-gumi never ceased to grow stronger in both power and enemies within the Clans. Undoubtedly, their worst enemy were the ronin rebels Jiinkon Kishi, both organizations clashing in both open battles or in secret wars in the dark hours of the night…
Role and Jurisdiction: To eradicate crime in the Empire and later to monitor and fight the Jinkon Kishi, the Triple Alliance imposed a number of laws against armed men. The “samurai without master" could not operate under the regency of the Gozuko. Ronin had no right to assemble in groups larger than five, except in inns, markets and houses of gambling and pleasure. Violators of the law were disarmed immediately (which often caused duels), confiscation of all their property, and imprisonment by the local militia or the Shinsen-gumi. The only exceptions to this decree were bushi operating under contract, incurred by someone with authority (a member of the Kuge or a merchant operating under a charter), as warehouse keeper or yojimbo. A more rare situation, was exceptional men granted an Imperial Charter by the Emperor or Emerald Champion: in truth, such “happy elected" ronin were monitored and coerced by the Gozoku do do their bidding.
Organization: The Shinsen-gumi is structured in a typical military hierarchy. The militia receives ranks that fit such military model, but are similar in all respects to their judiciary equivalent.
The center of the Shinsen-gumi is located in the city of Bakufu: a huge palace were the high funcionaries of the organization hive around its chief, while rikugunshokan serve as advisors and with legions of shireikan tending to the bureaucratic and administrative tasks (travel orders, etc). Each Province iusually has a Shinsen-gumi headquarter, controlled by a taisa. At the bottom of the hierachical pyramid lie the militiamen found roaming the countryside, the ones usually confontred by the people of Rokugan and bandits. Each unit of Shinsen-gumi consists of a chui supported by two gunsos. The number of nikutai and horei under the chui depends of the unit’s mission. For a rotine patrol, a chui will take the gunso and one of two horei. When erradicating bandits, the chui might add up to thirty horei and nikutai in order to present a proper fighting force.
As a symbol of their membership in the Shinsen-gumi, each miltia member carries a pendant with a simple metal sphere of gray metal – it symbolizes the strenght and purity of the Shinsen-gumi’s ideals.
Recruitment: The Shinsen-gumi usually recruits from the young supportes of the Gozoku, 75% of its members being of the Crane Clan, and the remainer from the Scorpion, Phoenix and Wolf clans. These recruits are either taken from their dojos mid-training and sent do Bakufu or identified as soon as their gempukku and are given the opportunity to join the Shinsen-gumi Academy. These recruits usually start as nikutai, as the rank of horei is reserved to the half-people and budoka. Promotion is merit based, and it isn’t difficult to ascend to chui, but further progression implies the militiaman is a samurai of iron grip and exceptional courage. There is no place for ronins amongst the Shinsen-gumi…