The Council of Iron

Having restored a sense of purpose and honour to his people, it is the infamous General of Monsoon’s quest for the past that threatens to undo it all.

by Ali May Sang (the Librarian)
featuring passages from the High Plains Samurai Core Rulebook

When it comes to the warlord of the Five Cities, the general population who have either been unable to survive the acidic mist concealing the City of Rust from the rest of the world or knew better than to try consider a mysterious figure known as the Minister as its leader. Technically, they would be correct. And also incredibly wrong. When it comes to the true power in this underground engineering marvel, the Council of Iron stands at the top of the heap.

That is not to say the Minister does not hold a position of power in Rust, but all evidence dictates he commands the religious influence of its people. With uncounted effigies displayed on every street and in every home in Rust, it can be easy to believe the Minister controls the day-to-day functions of the City or leads the sermons that the people follow blindly or by force. This is not the case. The Council of Iron, those personally selected by the Minister for their specialties and devotion to the cause, rule over the people, protecting them from the blasphemy of the outside world. Proving their devotion requires physical sacrifices; each Councillor has augmented their bodies with artificial limbs, appendages, senses, and more.

Total subjugation is the price for living in a city of metal and advancement, with the Council of Iron acting as the Minister’s voice. While they may seem to have it all compared to the remaining Cities, everything a family owns can be stripped at a moment’s notice at the Council’s whims. Those who have managed to flee with their lives intact speak of the Council’s madness and the rampant disease from a life surrounded in rusted metals and an unkempt populace. Public hangings, beheadings, floggings, and more are common occurrences. Armed sentries known as dominions patrol the streets and back alleys in search of offenders, particularly those with qi powers who sully the City with their abomination.

There are nine members of the Council, all but one charged with a district to tax and enforce their laws using sermons and dominions. Their servitude to the Council is for life, though their role within the Council and the district they govern rises and falls based on their machinations. Above them all stands Prefect Hassaf Youz, the Minister’s Voice. The makeup of the Council and its functions in the City come direct from the Prefect as only she has looked upon the Minister’s true face and proved her worth to lead the Council and the people of Rust. It is she who dictates the rule of law and the sermons given to the people every day, and those who question her choices are no longer around to question her again.