The Era of the Heavenly Empress
The Great Warrior Pilgrimage 1173
This event was spearheaded by Akodo Sozen, and The Serpent of the East, then revealed as Yoritomo Hanako in the spring of 1173. The Great Warrior Pilgrimage was an excursion of nearly three hundred and fifty Rokugani ships carrying Samurai of all clans beyond the borders of the Empire, in order to combat four heavily armed and armored gajin ships from the lands of Merenae. While the Orochi ‘clan’ had been skirmishing with them for several years, they had been unable to land more than fifty samurai on one of the four vessels, an attack that cost them fifteen ships.
In order to go beyond the borders, every single samurai that went on the pilgrimage declared themselves as ronin for the duration of the journey, retaking their names when they returned to Rokugan.
When the fleet returned after more than a month, they brought back only three ships, the rest having been destroyed and their crews having been killed at the hands of gajin pepper. For the rest of history, those that were on the fleet and lived would have their names immortalized, and those that had died had a massive shrine constructed on the very tip of the Rokugan border to remember their sacrifice.