The lifeblood of Rokugani commerce, the River of Gold, is named for the golden coins that flow from the trade conducted along its banks. The river courses through the very heart of the Empire’s largest city, Journey’s End or—as it is better known—the City of Lies. Situated in the northern domains of the Scorpion Clan, the infamous city’s sinister intrigues and endless shadowy contests rival those of the Imperial City itself. Merchant ships stand to earn fortunes for their patrons in the Great Clans by shipping goods and commodities from Journey’s End, past the Three-Man Alliance Plain and Kitsune Woods, all the way to the falls where the River of Gold empties into Earthquake Fish Bay. And wherever large purses of coin change hands, greed and violence are sure to follow.
Rokugan’s most prosperous city is known by many names, but the most well-known is “the City of Lies.” It has a well-earned reputation as a den of vice: it is the center of the Empire’s necessary poppy trade, is home to many criminal organizations, has a corrupt city government, and is all but run by gangs of firefighters who battle for territory throughout the city’s six districts. Influence there is divided among wealthy merchants, Scorpion Clan nobles, and the more noteworthy commoners, resulting in an uneasy equality that many samurai regard as chaotic. Yet this chaos is deemed a necessary evil by the city’s Scorpion lords, as Journey’s End City is not only the Empire’s primary source of opium—one of the few effective painkillers available and an important medication when used responsibly—but also an important cover for more clandestine operations. The city’s lack of virtue has become a necessary part of its very existence, so the Scorpion seek not to clean up its streets but merely to contain the vice.
The first part of the recently released Tomb of Iuchiban campaign for Adventures in Rokugan is set in the Scorpion-controlled City of Lies, featuring challenges worthy of characters of 8th level and above. Player characters (whether they be heroes, villains, or something in between) must first untangle the city’s web of treachery and deceit in search of a legendary porcelain mask—a key that will both lead them to Iuchiban’s tomb and open it. The second half of the campaign is the Tomb of Iuchiban itself, which comprises over a dozen unique dungeon rooms, new enemies, and devious puzzles inspired by the classic adventure of the same name originally published by Alderac Entertainment Group in the late 1990s. The 144-page epic adventure is on sale now at your friendly local game store, on DriveThruRPG, and on Roll20!
For players of the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying, the City of Lies and its corrupt governor are also detailed in the setting sourcebook Emerald Empire. The sourcebook also explores Rokugani city life and culture in detail, from government and bureaucracy, to gangs and conspiracies, as well as criminals and the magistrates who pass judgment on them—essential elements for game masters looking to include large cities like Journey’s End in their roleplaying game campaigns. Finally, the city comes to life in “Whispers of Shadow and Steel” by Mari Murdock, available in volume one of The Great Clans of Rokugan novellas collection. In the City of Lies, the “only honest Scorpion” magistrate is caught between family and finding justice in a murder case.
You can find the City of Lies, the River of Gold, and other iconic locations of the Emerald Empire by purchasing the Map of Rokugan Fine Art Print from Dark Horse Direct. This beautiful collector’s piece is 18-inches wide by 24-inches tall with gold foil stamping for the Legend of the Five Rings logo. Limited to just 300 units, this hand-numbered lithograph is embossed with the Dark Horse Direct seal of exclusivity. Display domains of the Great Clans in your home or office and pre-order today!