Fang & Blade: Seeing Through the Mist of Spirit Wolf Mt.
The year is Keicho 13 of the Edo period, 1608 by western knowing, and it has been five years since Tokugawa Ieyasu solidified his rule over all of Japan and moved the capital to the city of Edo. Now with those three years of war long behind prosperity has started to return to all of the lands. Ieyasu has moved to strengthen his rule over the ‘bushi’ and establishing laws that solidify the cast system establishing the four classes of samurai, peasant, craftsman, and merchant with the ‘eta’ or hinin “non-human”class existing outside of the other four. These new laws have also revived many of the urban areas throughout the lands and have brought economic prosperity with it which has increased trade, the arts, and education.
Ishikeiro is the trade route city that is the seat of government for the Spirit Wolf Mt. area where the Governor of the City being appointed by the local Daimyo to oversee the city and protects the trade route. The Governor, currently Toturi Sumitomo, is charged with not only oversees the city but also the three well established towns, and numbers of farming and secluded villages. The Spirit Wolf Mt. area is the site of the northern cut trade route which is protected by the Governor and his vassals, the route is a shortcut trading road used by merchants and the like, but the road is only passable during the a time from late spring, through summer and ending in early fall do to poor road condition because of rain and snow. Ishikeiro itself is surrounded on all sides by small villages, farmsteads and fields, the only exception is a small river and the thick forest that goes all the way up to the east side of the city, called by the locals as Wolves’ Path.
The three towns that are located in the Spirit Wolf Mt. are the road side town of Owari, the fortified town of Takaikabe and the lakeside town of Sabishii. These towns are over seen by three different samurai families who are subject to the Governor Sumitomo’s rule. In addition to these towns there seems to be two large size villages that is home to two more samurai families of the region. The village of Okami is located in the high reaches of the mountain and surrounded by deep forest making it difficulty to travel to and from. The village of Kuyden is the largest farming village on the lowlands of the mountain and even has a road that connects it to the northern cut trade route but do to its distance from the city of Ishikeiro not many merchants see fit to visit.
Unique Characteristics of Spirit Wolf Mt
Religion: in the Spirit Wolf Mt. religion is much like the rest of the lands but Shinto is the most prominent here with Buddhism and Confucianism being practiced mainly in the city of Ishikeiro and less significant in the towns. Christianity has only just recently been introduced to the area and has not taken any large hold over the population.
The local peasants and Shinto worshipers seem to honor Holo the Wise Wolf the most of all the local ‘kami’. Holo is believed to be the guardian spirit the mountain and is connected to tales of large wolf sightings in the wilderness surrounding the farms and villages. Holo is also honored as a harvest spirit and farmers leave rice and grain in bowls as offerings at her shines near fields that boarder the forest and during the harvest season many verity of rites and festivals are held in her honor. Holo the Wise Wolf dose seem to have an old following inside the city of Ishikeiro and the surrounding towns as many small statues of wolves with bowls at their feet can be found throughout these areas although it seems customary to leave not rice or grain in the bowls but apples and other such fruits.
The Fifth Class: in the region of the Spirit Wolf Mt. there seems to live a fifth class that exists in only a small number. They are neither samurai nor peasant but somewhere in-between and are the vassals of the current city or town they live in taking orders from the local lord or samurai. This class called the ‘uratha’ is permitted to wear a katana and care other such weapons, but not give the rights to own or wear a wakizashi, the symbol of samurai authority.