The Oni Shogunate is the ruling body of the Oni and its five major clans (and minor supporting clans.) It is a military dictatorship, ruled over by one Oni who has claimed the title of Shogun by honorable combat or otherwise.
Structure, Laws, and Customs Edit
The government of the Oni is built similar to a tent. You have the Oni Shogunate at the top, the five major clans beneath it, the minor supporting clans beneath them, and the Clanless Oni beneath at the bottom. Typically, the Shogun comes from one of the five major clans. These five major clans are named Tsukiyama, Yamahoshi, Moriyama, Imada, and Eguchi. The current Shogun hails from the Yamahoshi clan, having ascended to the throne after killing the previous (elderly) Shogun.
The shogun's word is law, as dictated by tradition. He has the power to make, break, and changes laws as he sees fit, though there hasn't been a Shogun to do such a thing since the time of Izanagi. The five major clans also bear their own laws, which dictate the lives of their members and supporting clans. Clan laws do not overrule Shogunate laws. If one breaks a law, they are punished according to the severity of the law. Steal from a clan? Pay for what you stole or lose a finger. Murder someone? Death. You may choose exile as an alternative to death, which is what some Oni do. Someone else may also take your punishment, sacrificing themselves or volunteering to go into exile for you.
Clanless Oni may join a clan if they prove their worth to said clan. Otherwise, they roam around doing other things. Some have become criminals and marauders, while others have left the order of the Shogunate entirely to join other groups. Some clan members themselves have done the same, such as Kazuki Yukimura who joined the Lightkeepers.
Exiled Oni (Oni that have been kicked out of their clans and the order of the Shogunate due to a serious criminal act) are considered dishonorable and are called 'Ronin' by the Shogunate. Most of these Oni remain as murders or criminals outside of the Shogunate, but there are a few that attempt to seek redemption through other means. The primary means of seeking a pardon, by Shogunate custom, is to challenge the Shogun to a honorable duel with katanas. If the Oni proves his worth in battle against the Shogun, the Shogun may pardon him. If he defeats the Shogun in honorable combat, then he himself will become Shogun as by custom (since an Oni that slays the Shogun becomes the Shogun.) Only two times has a duel successfully happened in Oni history. The first ended in a double fatality, both the Ronin and Shogun succumbing to their injuries. The second ended with the Shogun pardoning the Ronin.
Typically, the Oni keep to themselves. They do trade with outsiders, since living in total seclusion wouldn't be beneficial to the Shogunate and the Oni as a whole. The Oni in recent times have opened up more to the outside world, taking in ideas like plate armors and firearms as well as various other agricultural and economical activities. The basic ideals of the Oni have not changed, though, as they still strongly believe in the concept of honor. An Oni without honor isn't an Oni at all, as some would say. Its why Ronin are frowned upon in general, since they have lost their honor according to the Shogunate.
Each of the major Oni clans tends to focus on a specific thing. The Yamahoshi clan is made up of hardline warriors and blacksmiths, whom forge some of the strongest exotic weaponry in Anvaris (second only to the Dwarves.) The Tsukiyama clan are brewmasters, making various beverages for consumption among Oni or for export to other parts of Anvaris. They're primarily known for their special beverage named 'Kiss of the Moon' by outsiders (as the kamon for the Tsukiyama clan is stamped on the bottles), and it is considered one of the strongest alcoholic drinks on the continent. The Moriyama clan, living in large woodland areas, are master craftsmen. They make furniture and construct beautiful houses and decor. The Imada clan are farmers, owning decently sized fields of crops and herds of cattle. Finally, the Eguchi clan are known for their fishing skills, bringing in large quantities of fresh saltwater and freshwater food. They're also quite talented sailors.
An Oni warrior may use a variety of weaponry, but all carry a katana. This sword is considered a part of the Oni, and is rarely used beyond personal defense and honorable duels. It is a symbol of their honor and pride, and is one of their most valuable possessions. They vary in size and look, but most share the common slightly-curved shape. If one were to break his katana, he would have a new one made and blessed at a shrine of Izanagi. The katana that belonged to Izanagi, the Oni that ascended, rests inside the palace of the Shogunate. It sits on a pedestal in the middle of the throne room, enshrined there for all to see in honor of Izanagi.
The early history of the Oni was filled with tribal warfare, each clan trying to conquer the others while also brawling with the local population of Anvaris. Alien to the land, they wandered like marauders till about 12th cycle, in which an Oni warrior named Izanagi decided that the Oni should unite in this strange world and put their differences aside. He proposed a form of government centered around a central figure who would serve as the Oni's leader. The tribes (which ultimately became the five major clans of the Oni) agreed after years of bickering amongst one another, and they chose Izanagi himself as their leader.
Izanagi created the structure of the Oni Shogunate, writing up its laws and general customs. He wanted the Shogunate to be powerful enough to control each of the large tribes, but also just in its workings and how it treated Oni and outsiders. Izanagi would go on to become the most famous of the shoguns, as well as a hand of Dekanas after his death on the battlefield. After his death, a new shogun was chosen from one of the clans. His personal katana was taken and enshrined in the throne room of the shogun's palace, whilst his naginata remained where he fell. A shrine was built around the naginata, to serve as a place of worship and tribute for the Oni after Izanagi's ascension.
Later on in the history of the Shogunate, they would learn of mysterious weapons that the Dwarves were using known as 'firearms'. Oni travelling from the Dwarven lands would tell tales of these weapons, creating thunderous explosions that threw objects great distances in order to kill foes from afar. The shogun at the time learned of these weapons, and decided to try and recreate the weapons for use amongst his guards. He tasked weaponsmiths the Oni had at the time to try and build these weapons, ultimately crafting the Jūki. By the standards of the rest of Anvaris, the Oni's Jūki would perform poorly compared to other firearms, as it was virtually a stick with a small cannon on the end of it. They weren't very effective unless at rather close range. Eventually, with a few suggestions from a few friendly Hobgoblins, the Oni would begin to base their designs more off the rifles of Dwarves and Men instead of constructing their own designs from scratch. This ultimately would make the Oni's Jūki much more reliable and accurate, but still relatively cheap to produce.
After the changes in their manufacturing and designs, the Oni would also craft a much larger weapon that would be considered a siege weapon due to its massive size. It fired clusters of iron balls, as well as shards of iron/glass and rock. They could also be loaded with explosives or incendiary devices, if a target needed to be blown to pieces or burned down. Quite often, the firing of the weapon would crack or break the weapons, leading to them being used for one-use 'shock & awe' purposes. The weapon would be fired at the enemy, tossed aside, and the Oni would rush in and beat his/her now stunned/wounded foes to death with whatever melee weapons they had available...or their fists. The shogun requested that the Shogunate's royal guard be given these weapons, though a few of them were used in action during the Lightwar later on. Currently, Jūki are used by the Oni Royal Guard and by some of the Oni military forces. There are a few Jūki in Oni clan villages as well, though those are used mainly to defend villages from threats.
During the Lightwar, the Shogunate allowed Oni of the various clans to assist the armies of Light in their battle against Kodan the Dark's forces. There were also numerous clanless Oni that joined in the fight as well (on both sides.) The Oni would prove to be strong allies, providing overwhelming muscle to back up the forces they were supporting. After the war, most of the clan aligned Oni returned home. Meanwhile, the clanless Oni either returned to roaming or joined up with the military forces of other kingdoms and empires. Those that served the dark were often either killed or corrupted by the darkness that they served, leading to various forms of Dark Oni that would wander the land and attack travellers.
Currently, the Shogunate is at peace, life going as usual for the Oni.