After the surprising success of Lady Norie at pacifying the lands around Haru-jo, the Shogun felt threatened of her quick progress and raising influence at the court. He decided to intervene before she could finish fortifying her castle. He ordered the leader of the Hidea Clan to move to another territory farther away from the capital and gave the control of Haru-jo to Noriehime’s rival clan, Saigen.
Lady Norie and her clan abided to the Shogun’s orders and sad, but determined, moved to their new home, a small shukuba, or trading station, located next to a crossroads in a land claimed by goblins and wolves and shrouded by ancient legends. Upon placing her banner, Noriehime of the Hidea clan swore to herself and her clansmen that no longer would they be forced to leave their home.
They started by exploring the surroundings for food and wood and then focused on restoring the old shukuba and roads. The goblins raiders started to close on the fledging settlement but the warriors of the clan defeated their advances and followed their tracks back to their camps attacking them. A strategy that also had proved of great value in their former home.
Inmigrants and merchants heard news of the clan victories and began to gather around the haven of safety they promised. With the increase in population Lady Norie had to expand the shukuba and a village formed around the crossroads. Houses, workshops and shops were built and to protect them a wall was raised around them.
The growing wealth also attracted the attention of more dangerous enemies. A horde of wolf mounted goblins moved against them. But fortune was on the side of the Hidea Clan. Following a weird dream, a villager entered the woods East of the wall. There he found a place of spiritual power where an unknown spirit warned him of the impending threat.
Lady Norie decided to act quickly and sent hunters to locate the wolves’ camps. Then launched an attack on their pens scattering the animals before the goblins could prepare them for combat. Next they proceeded against the goblins finding the Horde Chieftain and killing him. The goblins fled the land in fear never to return.
To celebrate this victory Lady Norie built Shrines in the holy place. The peace that followed allowed an unprecedented growth of the town, now known as Harutoshi. A permanent monument was raised over the old banner at the crossroads. Hidea meant to stay this time.
One day, monks from the West arrived to the town and asked Lady Norie to be allowed to establish themselves in it. She agreed and built a temple for the monks that turned the city into a beacon of culture and of their faith.
The town was thus divided in four quarters.
The Merchant Quarter:
Centered around the central plaza, the shukuba and the East road. Here can be found all the shops and workshops of Harutoshi:
The Shukuba (Trading station):
Central Plaza and Crossroads Banner
Central Plaza, another view
Built to warn the villagers of attacks it is found at the end of the East street.
The Farmer’s Quarter
It is located to the North west of the town. Includes the houses of the farmers, shepherd, farms and pastures.
The Samurai Quarter:
To the South west of the town. It is where the Bushi (warrior) class lives. They are very nice houses. Lady Norie lived here until he moved to her permanent state in the castle.
Interior of a samurai house:
Buitl for the monks it hold the Butshuden or Great Hall, a five-storied Pagoda, Reading Hall, garden and monks’ dormitories
First Torii, Temple entrance
Behind it are the monks’ dormitories
Butshuden and central plaza
It is a reliquary where sacred items are kept.
The South Gate
One of the four gates that grant access to the town:
Allow the defenders of the town to keep a close watch of the walls and nearby lands.
The lake house:
When the land became safe the people of Harutoshi could at last spend their leasure time outside the walls. The lake house was built to hold private ceremonies in a beautiful, quite enviroment. It also became a focal point for the fishing community…
. . . Dedicated to @Pattinger whose scaffolding house inspired it.
The Shrines of the Traditional Faiths:
After the defeat of the goblin horde Noriehime ordered the construction of this Shrines. Here the spirits and the ancient ones are worshiped and gifts of gratitude are presented to the unknown protector of the town.
The path to the Shrines:
General view of Harutoshi:
The road West was a difficult one. A big mountain range blocked any travel in that direction. But the monks knew a path across those mountains that led to their monastery and offered to guide and protect merchants and travellers in that long journey.
Again, the great success of Lady Hidea Norie attracted the suspicions of the Shogun, This time, though, Lady Norie had used the wealth from the Western trade to send exotic gifts to the Emperor who disapproved any action agaist the Hidea clan. The Shogun, hands tied, had no other option but to turn to the Saigen. Hidea’s rival was envious of The Lady’s wealth and willingly accepted the Shogun’s proposal.
It was time for the Hidea to use all their resources and prepare for the arrival of the Saigen. Time to Fortify.