The Era of the Heavenly Empress
The Council of Thunders
The idea of the Council of Thunders was originally envisioned by Bayushi Tosen in the year 1171, during the rule of Hantei XL, to protect the Empress at all costs. To do this, the Council would have a member of each of the clans that were descended from a Kami, the ‘True Children of the Kami’. The only clan this would exclude would be the Mantis, who were deemed by Tosen to be pretenders, incorporated as they. In order to ensure their ability to protect the Empress, the members of the group would aid one another in gaining status, influence, and strength, in order to ensure that no Clan could have the power to challenge for the throne as the Unicorn once had.
However, in 1173, information came to light that suggested that the Empress may have been influenced, or worse, even placed upon the throne by a group of gajin. Using Maho to halt the sun in its path for an entire day, they impressed upon all the assembled samurai her right to rule, and her divine heritage. If this was the case, then what did it mean for Tosen’s plan?
It was decided that they would speak for the truth of the Throne, defending it and the divine heritage of those that sat upon it past, present, and future. As such, it was their duty to determine the truth of the Empress’ descent from the Heavens. Since the Mantis had become a primary target of the outside forces seeking to undermine the Empire, it was decided they too would have a member in the Council.
In the Summer of 1173, the founding four was as follows: Bayushi Tosen for the Scorpion, Kakita Tiru for the Crane, Akodo Sozen for the Lion. Kitso Kosho was the fourth, with the decision that he would represent the Mantis after his marriage into the Clan. During the months to follow, others were added to the Council, one from each clan: Hida Maki for the Crab, Isawa Banasu for the Phoenix, Moto Michimo for the Unicorn, and (placeholder) for the Dragon.
Even after the end of Winter Court 1173, that saw the dissolution of the Mantis Clan, and Akodo Sozen becoming the of Rikugunshokan The Kingdom of Yoritomo, it was decided the membership of the Council would remain the same.