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"Niponeria is essentially a home-made country for practical use in Mystara. It fills the gap of 1)No Oriental Culture and 2)Where do the Mystics/Ninjas/Wu-Jen come from?. It's placement, after careful thought, is in the continent of Brun, west of the Midlands, but East of the Yalu river.
Niponeria is a long forgotten country, due partly to the fact that they withdrew from the active portion of the Known World before Thyatis was even on the map."
Keep in mind Niponeria has similar outlooks as both China (during the reign of Emperors) and Japan (around the time of Shoguns). They have done precisely what China did ... stagnate.
The culture and country is not readily accessible. They have sealed themselves up behind their version of the Great Wall and enspelled it to ensure that they will not be disturbed.
After a few generations of impenetrable walls, the local humanoids just flat out gave up on it, thinking it a bastion of the Immortals. And, perhaps, it was. In its own way, it has become a pocket of the Hollow World on the surface. The people act the same way as their ancestors did before the crowing of the first emperor. They are honour driven, and practice arts not known to other cultures.
Rulers of Niponeria
Niponeria is technically under the rule of an Emperor. They have always been and Empire, whether it was their own, or the people of Davania they descended from. The current emperor has, however, been reduced to a shadow of a ruler, for Niponeria has an other leader.
The wielder of power of the Country is the Shogun (much like the Master, he is known by title only). He is cruel, but not necessarily evil, for he is just maddened by power. He uses the poor farmers and labourers to supply him with riches and comfort, and he has turned the noble Samurai into an Oriental version of the Gustapo.
Samurai were once noble people, but under the leadership of the Shogun, they have slowly decayed into a band of greedy mercenaries. They keep the land in order, and impose fear into the populace.
What helps the Shogun to remain strong is he has replaced all the previous Daymos with people supporting himself. This has given him a system of loyal, corrupt rulers swearing fealty to him and giving him use of the land's resources and Samurai.
Perhaps the best chance for a player to adventure in these lands would be to challenge the Daymo ... perhaps replacing him and coming in direct conflict with a Shogun wishing to control him.
Let us not forget the Emperor. Thought historically seen as the leader, he has been battered into a scared, weak shell of his former self. He may be the ruler, but his cowardice would leave him unable to.
Mystics, sometimes called fighting monks or just monks, are perhaps the greatest force of good in the country. They secretly oppose the Shogun and have been trying to forge together a strong enough army to oppose the Samurai. PCs who discover them could find their aid useful.
Outlawed in Niponeria, the ninja survive through clandestine acts. Though they do not openly oppose the Shogun, they have found more and more need to play assassin against him.
What is unknown to anyone is that the Shogun has his "pet" ninja clan who follow him and add to his strength.
Honestly, I can't claim this is all Niponeria requires...it's just something to get your juices flowing.
Please, if you have found something completely wrong about my interpretation of an Oriental Country, or if you want to get something about Niponeria to me you made up, you can reach me in two ways: