House Urashima, some would say is the newest house of Shogunate politics. For at least 1000 years, they were the archaeologists in charge of the excavations of NiwoZokio, an ancient city even during the Primordial War. However following their close alliance with House Tepet, they have been integral in all Shogunate politics.
In 772, Kazuo Urashima demonstrated a property of manses and artifacts that would allow for unlimited amounts of information to be sent between artifacts. His family originally had him build these nodes or UBN cores to facilitate communication, however over 20 years time the network has become a wide communication network spanning Creation. The Urashimas have capitalized on this monopoly that Kazuo has provided to them and created a banking and commercial empire that crushed the guild in less than a decade.
Kazuo Urashima is the head of this house, and had appointed his mother to take care of Political matters, and his Aunt (reluctantly) for Banking matters
- Inoue Urashima (Dragon-Blood Earth, Kazuo’s Older Sister, Chief Weapon Designer to the Shogun, EXILED FROM CREATION)
- Katiana Urashima (Dragon-Blood Fire, Kazuo’s Twin Sister, Pirate Queen of the Sea Ghost Fleet)
- Kazuo Urashima (Dragon-Blood Air, Headmaster of University of Creation)
- Kiyoshi Urashima (Dragon-Blood Air, Kazuo’s Father, Former High Provost, Killed in Demonic Incursions)
- Megumi Urashima (Dragon-Blood Earth, Kazuo’s Mother, First Minister of the Second Shogunate)
- Misato Urashima (The adopted daughter of Kazuo, parents: Inoue Urashima and a V’Neef Captain)
- Nabiki Urashima (Dragon-Blood Earth, Kazuo’s Aunt, High Provost of the the Urashima Bank)
- Rei Urashima (Kazuo’s Daughter)
- Tallan Urashima (Sidereal Saturn, Kazuo’s Younger Brother)
- Toshiko Miromoto Urashima (Dragon-Blood Lookshy, Kazuo’s Wife)
Prehistory to the Time of the First Shogunate
Although records are scant the members of the Urashima Family and the Okari Family claim that they have been excavating this island since the beginning of Time. However records are scant beyond 1000 years
The Great Contagion
The Urashimas and the Okaris survived mostly intact from the Great Contagion by hiding in the great abandoned tower manse of the sunken city. They turned away all visitors, and survived the Contagion mostly intact. During the Scarlet Empress’ first tour of her new realm, she graciously allowed both the family Urashima and Okari to “continue to decipher the secrets and mysteries of this sunken city”
The Scarlet Empire
The family Okari specialized in the reverse engineering of artifacts unearthed, and sending those finding to the Empress, who occasionally forwarded them to the Heptagram. This family also specialized in dealing with politics in the Imperial City
The family Urashima specialized in archaeology and excavation. For centuries the two families competed with one another but could not do without the other. A game which the Empress enjoyed watching from afar. Then in the 747th year of the Scarlet Empire, the impossible happened. An Urashima male, known as Kiyoshi, accidentally stumbled into the baths of an Okari female, known as Megumi. The courtship that ensued is worthy of a comedy anime.
In 750 Megumi and Kiyoshi were wed. While on their honeymoon in Bright Obelisk, the Empress issued orders to her assassins to kill all Urashimas and Okaris over Kiyoshi and Megumi’s age. Why the Empress did this is not known, perhaps in her warped mind she thought it a honeymoon present or her own entertainment watching two people deal with such a tragedy. Kiyoshi and Megumi were thrust into the leadership role of their new family. Family Urashima.
During the late 750s and 760s Kiyoshi dutifully maintained the excavations, while his wife departed for the Imperial City to play the game of Courtly politics. Megumi gained notoriety as a gateway player. One of the best in fact. In 761, she played against Cathak Cainan and won, afterwards Cainan asked her what her ambitions were, and she responded politics. Cainan let out a hearty laugh, “Ha! Politics! Such a waste, you could be a great strategist, but have instead opted for politics over war, I wonder which is more dangerous”. In 761 she was invited to play the Empress in a three-player version of Gateway, with Poramo Nellens a child prodigy of the game.
In 763 the Empress vanished, and gradually the role of courtly politics changed from the Imperial Court to the Chambers of the deliberative, she quickly sought to replace the seat of the aging Deliberative member of the fishing village of Phoenix Gate. This action earned her the scorn of Memnon. Memnon’s revenge was (in addition to a block of funding going elsewhere) denying Megumi’s son admittance to the Heptagram.
Young Kazuo cost the family a good deal of influence when on Graduation day from the Cloister of Celestial Wisdom, he along with his circle demonstrated an advanced charm: Tiger and Dear Unity. This earned Kazuo and his circle mates, exile from the Blessed Isle to the training under the sifu Egamo of Nexus
The Second Shogunate
The Urashimas and religion
In the Third Age the Urashimas have a very strange relationship to the gods, they don’t worship them persay but they do meet with the gods of trade and commerce frequently. This was mostly caused by the fact that their current head of house is the Celestial god of Knowledge Forgotten Rediscovered, and if there any conflicts with the gods it is relatively simple to get to Yu-Shan to resolve it in person, instead of doing some prayers and rituals in a temple. Many of the gods of Trade, Commerce and Communication consider the UBN a great boon and has engendered a good relationship with the Urashimas
- Regain majority control of the Deliberative
- Sky Legion Approrpriations conflict. Ensure failure of the Cyan Nellens’ Warstrider program
- Pass the Common Economic Protocols. In effect making the UBN a protected monopoly in every nation that accepts it (The Parliament of Beings needs to sign, then ratify).
- Increase holdings on Blessed Isle from 35% to 45%. Eventual Goal 66%
- Begin a Large Economic Expansion through the South from Chiaroscuro to Rathess
- Find a new resource to exploit
- Integrate a line of Chiaroscuran dragon-blood merchants into House Urashima
- Keep Phoenix Prefecture a bastion of wonder. A utopia of the new Shogunate and Urashima prosperity
- Get an ambassador in the Parliament of Beings (usually a place for nations, not individual groups)
Enemies of the Urashimas (besides the obvious ones)
- Ouroboros Bloc (Cyan Nellens)
- The Kingdom of Halta (For siding with Linowan)
- The Delzahn Horde (For kicking us out of Chiaroscuro. Kazuo himself was declared a “blood-enemy”)
- Nexus (For… complicated. Urashimas gave the killing blow to the Guild, negotiator blitz of 774 and 775 took lots of business away. The UBN is stifling independent banks. Oh and the Urashimas caused a decade long recession for Nexus. Nabiki is now considering showing them the price of their stubborness, and shutting down the UBN node in Nexus and moving it to the small fishing village across the river.)
- Banking Consortium of Denandsor (A Solar Corporation of Bankers)
- Four Cities Industrial Combine (An Autochthonian competitor. Leader in most Four City Markets, but are not expanding outward, besides Mining interests)
- The only Terrestrial non-government run Factory Cathedral is run by them.
- During Kiyoshi’s tenure, it was estimated that one way or another the Urashimas owned or controlled approximately 35% of the Shogunate’s civilian industry, manufacturing and agriculture.
- House V’Neef merged with the Urashimas. A game of chance decided which name would be used for the united house, Urashima won. V’Neef herself lives in her home city managing the Merchant Fleet while the Urashimas do the banking.
- Many house members are in fact former members of Memnon, Ragara and v’Neef, making the Urashimas the most diverse of the few houses left on the isle.
- Ragara himself was paid as a “Financial Consultant” and has been most cooperative. He considers his descendants failure, embarassing. He passed away in 783.
- Nabiki is much more cuthroat and opportunistic than Kiyoshi, during her tenure, the 35% figure has jumped to 41%, along with an agressive overseas expansion.
- In a matter of a decade the Urashimas changed the city of Phoenix Gate from a small fishing village to a metropolis that unseated Nexus as the center of International Finance. The God of Phoenix Gate appears as a little 10 year old boy in peasant clothes with a fishing pole, but in recent years has become quite the opportunistic child. Many visitors don’t realize that the ten year old boy wandering the streets selling fish is the city god. Worship of the god is now buying a fish from him. The Urashimas buy 10 talents worth of fish a day from the boy.
- The Urashimas are now hated in Nexus, as the creation of the UBN and the rise of Phoenix Gate, meant a decade long recession. All Urashimas have been barred from the Council, even though the Council gave the Urashimas the key to the city for defeating “The Guild”. Nabiki is planning a petty revenge, and closing down the UBN branch in Nexus.
- The proper name form for Urashimas members are. GIVEN NAME: FORMER HOUSE NAME: HOUSE NAME. So should he ever feel inclined to do so, Ryuunosuke’s name would be Ryuunosuke Memnon Urashima. However many found eggs simply decide to keep their old house names, with the exception of Memnon. Any Urashima Memnon is so embarassed by their remnants actions that they actually drop the Memnon entirely.
- The Island of NeoTokyo is abandoned, the tower collapsed upon the sunken city. Inexplicable the Demense on the island is gone as well. The island is used occasionally as a meeting place, but no one lives there.
- Kazuo constructed (Level 4 Artifact) elevated single track to facilitate the movement of peoples in the city, eliminating rickshaw traffic, he was inspired by the transit systems of the Four Cities. (Kazuo built a Monorail Mass Transit System, which is powered by 25 Earth Essence Collector Stakes planted into the ground around the city)
- The Urashima’s primary competitors are the Four Cities Industrial Combine, and the Banking Consortium of Denansdor. However neither one is attempting to build another Network, and are mainly competitors in Industry, Manufacturing, and Overseas and OverAir Trading (The Urashimas have no OverAir Shipping). In the field of Banking the Urashimas have no competitors, Kiyoshi never had to deal with it, and Nabiki simply uses the threat of withdrawl from a city to remove any possible competing network from ever gaining ground.
- The Urashima’s charge a fee per message and per transaction of a few obols. Since they are a protected monopoly and the Network requires little maintenance, they reap huge profit margins. Nabiki nearly okayed an advertising campaign in the few non-UBN areas “Urashima Banking Network, not even Malfaens can crack it.”
- Without Kazuo’s knowledge Nabiki allowed the Shogunate to use his image for recruitment posters. Kazuo is now the “Paragon of the Second Shogunate” and his accomplishments are exaggerated greatly for propaganda purposes. Apparently Kazuo during the war was a secret undercover agent of the Roseblack and sabotaged Memnon and the Ascended Cult allowing the Army led by the brillant Roseblack to VICTORY. Kazuo does not know about this.
- 800 Urashima Credits = 1 jade talent = 5 silver talents
- Despite being a large house, there are only approximately 75 actual Urashimas. The rest are V’Neef, RAgara, Memnon and other found eggs.
- The Urashimas ties the Shogunate in terms of employ for terrestrial sorcerers. Once Sorcerers were alienated now they are highly sought after for contracts and other financial sorcery.
- Urashima Economics, the field of economics that the Urashimas pioneered was developed by Kazuo. He worked out a better model of economics by combining Creation’s Economic Theories with the Economic Theories of Terra.