A small planet at the heart of the former Rising Sun Cluster, Amaterasu is one of the nine planets that the remains of the Kusanagi expeditionary fleet would find themselves stranded on - and funnily enough, the third of those nine to name themselves as such. And much like the other two planets that share its' title, not exactly deserving of the title. Despite being named after a sun goddess, Amaterasu, or at least the supercontinent that most life on the planet lives on, is constantly raked by storms, gale winds, and the occasional hurricane. When the few survivors of the expeditionary fleet pulled themselves from the wreckage, fewer still would survive the planet proper.
After a long period of succession wars among the remnants of the fleet, Amaterasu would be claimed by a single House, that of the House Orihara. The planet's capital sits at the heart of the fog-shrouded Soko-no-Kuni Mountain Range, in the province of Yomotsu Hirasaka - the three kilometer tall mountains shielding those nestled inside from the atmospheric currents. After the Reclaimer War, while most of the estates that would characterize Yomotsu Hirasaka would be burnt to ashes, and the planet ravaged through the vicious war of attrition that the House Orihara would lose against the Travesti invaders, not much of this would change, and today, it sits as the seat of power of the Kitsune League, and home to the Court of Nine Tails - and while most of what could be claimed Kitsune League territory haphazardly defined and spread between hundreds of islands of human civilization among planets still largely dominated by recolonizing Travesti, it's Amaterasu alone that could claim to be wholly Kitsune territory.
Geography and ClimateEdit
Dominated by tens of thousands of storm wracked islands, it's difficult to understand how such a planet could ever be named after a sun-god. Harsh gale-winds are replaced by hailstorms in the winter and in the spring, a dozen hurricanes will spring forth and devastate lives wherever they may form. Soil has been blasted and turned over and destroyed by constant winds and run-off. Despite this, many poets have observed the planet's dangerous beauty - exemplified by the planet's most successful form of life, a species of tall reeds that rely on the harsh winds and constant rainfall to spread their seeds and grow, a species which dominates the landscapes of nearly every area of civilized territory on the planet.
While officially a garden world, there are few planets quite as hostile as Amaterasu. Nestled between a blanket of forested islands (known as the Nakatsukini, or 'reed beds') is the only major continent the planet has to its' name, Ashihara no Nakatsukini. Owing some protection against the harsh winds to the Nakatsukini Islands, it's naturally where human life has most thrived. Still, even on the main continent, the weather is not at all forgiving. The near constant rain has largely homogenized agriculture, with vast swaths of land dominated by flooded rice paddies.
In the heart of Ashihara no Nakatsukini is the vast Soko-no-Kuni Mountains, a massive range that serves as the only true refuge from the atmospheric currents responsible for so much of the harsh weather around the rest of the planet; which the province of Yomotsu Hirasaka has seated itself in. Remarkable not only for its' size, but also the vast well of fog that rests behind them, where the House Orihara had once eked out a lifestyle; and even taken advantage of.
While many lamented the hostile climate of Amaterasu, the House Orihara would grow to take pride in it. Only the strongest of the clans could endure such oppressive conditions, and only the strongest able to withstand the winds and the cold. Only the greatest could tame a civilization like this, and as such, only they were worthy of civilization. It bred a culture of social darwinism, particularly in Yomotsu Hirasaka - largely dominated by massive estates owned by the most powerful and influential of the Orihara, where. In keeping with the general stereotype of the Kitsune League, the . Half simply a result of an endless game of power plays in an effort to gain more influence than the other, and half merely because a failure to do so would be immediately construed as cowardice. One would risk their standing, honour, influence, and especially their lives by recusing themselves from the shadow war. A common saying among nobles on Amaterasu is 'trust no one, especially the man who trusts everyone'.
Of course, much of that is in the past - Amaterasu has become a melting pot of culture from all nine Houses and more, a beacon of refuge since the end of the Reclaimer War and the annihliation of most of the Kitsune League. Millions of refugees - nobles and peasants alike - making their way on any variety of space vessels making their way to the planet in an effort to find a new life for themselves. Naturally, this has resulted in a great deal of friction among its' people. Embittered nobles now finding themselves paupers, peasants who'd lost everything, and the remains of the House Orihara grappling with the melting pot of culture drowning out their traditions. A microcosm of this cultural conflict clearly visible in the fortress city of Chibiki-no-Iwa, a walled city that guards the only land passage into Yomotsu Hirasaka, and among the largest refugee population centers.
Despite that, Amaterasu is stable; despite its' struggle for cultural identity (or rather, a fight for cultural dominance); owed in part to the means that the Court of Nine Tails has afforded its' refugees in expressing their concerns, not in a grand shadow war, but amongst peers in a public hall.
- Main article: Kitsune League
There are a few layers to Amaterasu - it's represented by the Kitsune League, governed by the Court of Nine Tails, which is controlled by its' Lady of the Court - as of now, Kanade Orihara. To put it in simpler terms, the Lord and Lady of the Court is the sole true authority in the government (and thus, the planet). It's they who arbitrates the Court itself, manages foreign affairs, organizes the military, and controls economic policy; advised by a team of advisors they have picked themselves.
Still, as straightforward as this may sound, some division of control at the lower level, is, of course, necessary. The planet is divided into nine provinces, named after a specific kami. These provinces, and the villages that populate them are managed by Magistrates and Executors, respectively. These Executors are tasked with managing 'mundane affairs' inside their village - settling minor crimes, property conflicts, managing agricultural quotas and other domestic concerns. More importantly, they're responsible for regularly sending reports and census data to the next level of administrator, the province's Magistrate.
The Magistrate is arguably the least powerful of these three tiers (despite managing a wider area than an Executor), in so far as dictating policy or directly managing in the people. Still, their job is no less important. Their mission is to take the reports that Executors send them, compile them, flag curious information, and search for inconsistencies or irregularities in their reports and contact the Executor responsible regarding them. What to do from there is always handed back to the Lady of the Court.
Stable, but not affluent; Amaterasu invests most of its' money into licking the wounds that the Reclaimer War inflicted on the planet. Despite serious recovery since the fall of the Grand Houses, and steady influence in the galactic market, the strength of Amaterasu's economy has not seen a significant net growth in years. Which is, admittedly, better than some less scarred planets could lay claim to. Interestingly enough, one of the Kitsune League's biggest imports are mercenaries. As skilled as the Ushinawa are, their numbers simply aren't enough to keep up with the planet's increasing demand for soldiers - as such, new mercenaries, bounty hunters, and private soldiers are shipped to the planet. Aside from that, they're among the galaxy's foremost buyers of HMVs, titanium, silicon, and energy reactors. Most of its' exports are agrarian goods, namely rice, though it's also well known for their contribution in the 'grey market' - alien technology - through their acquisition, salvage, and disassembly of Travesti weapon platforms from the retaking of the planet.
Its' economy has also seen positive growth since the repealing of the League's long-standing isolationist policies regarding trade - it's allowed corporations, malls, factories, private military corporations, and research labs to lease out land or buy space in villages and cities for their own use, and regularly (some might even say preferentially) trades with elements from NEDA (though has never once considered joining the pact) and other smaller governments in raw material or expertise.