In DR 1372 a proud Githyanki lord named Xanthrim helped halt an attempted assassination on Fzoul Chembryl, Chosen of Bane and leader of the Zhentarim. It was shortly after this that Xhantrim’s mercenary army was integrated into the Zhentarim as enforcers, assassins, and mages. In DR 1374 the Zhentarim offered Xanthrim a promising ruin to build a city for his people who call themselves Kolosari.
In the ten years that followed the ruin was transformed into a well defended city of over 5,000 inhabitants and has flourished despite the fall of its main employer, Zhentil Keep in what has now become known as the Shade War. In that time they have had two skirmishes with the Red Plumes of Hillfar, opened trade and diplomatic relations with the Coronal Protector Ilsevele Miritar reclaimed Court of Myth Drannor, and have taken control of a gold mine once held by the Zhentarim.
In addition to its formidable standing army Shiminoseki is also home to its many daring inhabitants are an ever increasing number of adventuring companies which require by law to purchase sanctions and yearly adventuring contracts signed and sealed by Lord Kyoji.
The keep and the city that has grown up around it sit atop a treacherous cliff that overlooks the freezing waters of the Moonsea. At the base of the cliff is a series of docks that are accessible through a network of seaside tunnels or using a series of cranes and elevators capable of raising or lowering persons and cargo. The city itself is about a mile and a half across at its widest point and is home to 4800 persons of widely varied races and walks of life. The Kolosari who live here add another 350 to that number.
Besides the imposing keep of the city the most prominent building is the Coliseum. Games are held here weekly and the blood sports are well attended. Criminals who are found guilty find themselves sentenced to fight for their lives in a series of games. They face off against other prisoners, self supporting gladiators, and captured beasts who almost always manage to draw the biggest crowds. Kiromo, Sakura, and Yuriko are also crowd pleasers—Kolosari warriors who have fallen out of favor with their Lord and fight for their lives as criminals and to regain their lost honor.
The Red Wizards of Thay have set up an enclave here doing tremendous business offering the community magical weapons, armor, and items at a 10% discount. Though the Red Wizards in the past have been considered deplorable and immoral wizards they now work hard to show the world their new face. The Enclave in Shiminoseki is lead by Akarax Nostorobix.
There is no doubt that Shiminoseki is a law abiding city. The common sense laws are expected to be obeyed without exception. Those listed here are not as common on Toril but are never the less the law.
- Slavery is tolerated but not commonly practiced. Criminals are occasionally sold to make restitution to those they have wronged, but there is rarely other application.
- Romantic relationships for Kolosari with non-Kolosari are strictly forbidden.
- All adventurers must be apart of a sanctioned adventuring company.
- Adventuring companies must pay annual dues of 1,000 gold to the Lord of Shimenoseki for papers sanctioning and legitimizing their claim to treasures unearthed that year.
- Possession of a Kolosari Black Steel blade by non-Kolosari is strictly forbidden.
- Those that come across the blades of a fallen Kolosari must gather them and relinquish them to the first Kolosari they find. A small reward will be granted for this show of reverence.
- In times that imperil the city all citizens are required to report to their assigned stations to aid in the defense of the city.
Aside from these laws which Lord Kyoji has set in place he largely lets the town govern itself. A city council meets with Lord Kyoji once a month to discuss the major concerns within the city and they deal with the minor concerns themselves. A council appointed constable named Rouq Nightfist maintains the peace with the help of a three hundred civil deputies.
Little is known of their origins around Moonsea. They appeared with Lord Xanthrim, ten years ago with a strong desire to prove themselves to their neighbors and make a home for themselves. Many have said they are from Kara-Tur and the Distant East. Indeed they have many similarities in looks, weaponry, and even codes, but no Kolosari has ever admitted to being from there.
Their battle regalia can be compared to that of another world’s samurai warriors, dressed in black armor detailed to make its wearer appear to be some sort of fiend. The average warrior carries two swords: a katana and a wakizashi and perhaps a composite longbow. The blades are folded black steel which is unknown in Toril otherwise and the Kolosari are viciously protective of their swords and often send war bands called Gitou Ryoushi (ceremonial sword hunter) to reclaim the blades of their fallen. These recovered swords of are highly revered, and it is a great honor to the Kolosari to wield one.
Their swordsmanship and superior weaponry alone makes them extremely formidable in battle, but they are also capable of inspiring magical fear in their enemies as well as charge their weapons with electricity, both of which they use to create tactical advantage and do so to great effect. They do not speak of their powers and flatly refuse to become the master of anyone seeking to learn their style. The greatest among their swordsmen are called Kun and as often as not fight with both blades to devastating effect. The Kolosari warrior caste also includes masters of shadow and stealth called ninja, and mages.
Despite Lord Kyoji’s xenophobic ruling style, his command staff is nearly as varied in race as the city that has sprung up around his keep. His military consultant is known as Miyoshi, the only known Kolosari on his command staff. Kyoji’s resident magician is a human wizard who is simply called Reis. Despite his lack of embellishing title he is rumored to be quite powerful. Next in line are a set of twin Tieflings who are rumored to be clerics of Set. Their names are forgotten and are simply called The Twins.
Incindia breaks the mold of Kuojo’s assistants. She is cleric of Kossuth once proud and pious and a holy terror in combat. Her eyes were damaged during an adventure with her lord. As a result she has turned largely from her role as a holy combatant and has become an overwhelming force of benevolence within the community. Due in large part to her kindness the city of Shiminoseki has erected a small temple to Kossuth in her honor whose doors are always open to those who would be refined and renewed by the flames of her god.
The last well known denizen of Lord Kuoji’s command staff is his Master of Scouts affectionately or at the very least accurately called Prak’Tic. As his name suggests he is a 7’ tall four armed praying mantis like creature that has otherwise never been seen on Toril. Despite his size he is frighteningly fast and almost impossible to find if he does not wish to be found, and there are wild rumors that he can even read minds.
Major Adventuring Companies
Unvanquished Company- Led by the indomitable and stalwart Dwarf Anvis Truehammer. A cleric of Moradin He runs a tight company and plays according to the rules and has a nose for good sites for adventure, danger and treasure.
Redwyrm Company- Led by the imposing Thurug]], a half-orc barbarian chieftain who transposed his entire tribe from the Vassa to Shiminoseki and transformed it from a tribe to an adventuring company.
Airheart Company- an all Halfling company lead by Lena Lightfoot a Halfling lass with a mind for getting the right information into the right hands for the right price. Her company’s information is often expensive but reliable.
Black Fist Company- a company who has had an uncanny string of very good luck in the city supported expeditions to the ruins of Zhentil Keep. Their hauls have been the biggest every year for the past four years. Rouq Nightfist co-leads the group with Halla Scourgetongue.