Hundreds of years ago in the distant land of Minkai, a powerful cabal of evil spirits known as oni emerged from the mysterious Forest of Spirits. Intent on seizing control of a land they felt they deserved to rule, these oni, known as the Five Storms, began a covert war against the five royal families of Minkai, for by obscure but nonetheless binding divine laws, only once all five families had been wiped out or controlled could the Five Storms take control. By 4652 ar, the Five Storms had come close to their goal. Yet when the oni turned their attention to this last family of nobles, the Amatatsus, they discovered that the family had f led Minkai over the Crown of the World, the inhospitable northern continent at Golarion’s north pole.
When the exiled Amatatsus emerged from the Crown of the World and staggered into the Linnorm Kingdom city of Kalsgard, their numbers had been reduced to a small fraction of a once-grand dynasty. Led by the youngest and only surviving son, Amatatsu Tsutoku, the exiles sold their legendary family sword Suishen to finance a stealthy integration into an alien society. In order to finalize their hidden exile and throw off further pursuit from the Five Storms, the Amatatsus changed their family name to Kaijitsu, and the exiled royals chose new names and switched their order to match Avistan’s naming conventions. Thus did Amatatsu Tsutoku became Rokuro Kaijitsu. Using some of the money they’d received from the sale of Suishen, the Kaijitsus secured a home in the small town of Brinewall and paid to have the only remaining proof of their royal lineage, a minor artifact called the Amatatsu Seal, held in a magical warding box that blocked divination magic in a secure vault under Brinewall Keep. The Kaijitsus became merchants and glassblowers, hoping that the very idea of a royal family changing its name and working as common merchants would be all but unthinkable to the Five Storms. For several years, it looked as if these drastic steps would work.
Eventually, the Kaijitsus’ artistry and skill at glassblowing attracted the attention of several merchant nobles in Magnimar, who offered the family a small villa if they would relocate to the larger city and join Magnimar’s growing aristocracy. Rokuro Kaijitsu accepted the offer, reasoning that belonging to Varisian nobility could only further hide the truth of his family’s legacy from the Five Storms. Rokuro left most of the family servants and business concerns (including the Amatatsu Seal) safe and secure in Brinewall, but moved himself and his wife to Magnimar. Over the next several years, the Kaijitsus had a son named Lonjiku, helped found the town of Sandpoint, and saw their fortunes as minor nobles in a frontier town rise.
It wasn’t until Rokuro turned 60 in 4687 that he finally allowed himself to believe that the Five Storms had given up on chasing him. With most of his business concerns now focused in Magnimar and the recently founded town of Sandpoint, he decided to return to Brinewall and recover the Amatatsu Seal. He also brought his son Lonjiku with him, finally ready to reveal to him the family legacy. As father and son arrived in Brinewall, a series of powerful storm hit the Varisian coast. Rokuro loaded his extended family, servants, and all his belongings onto three ships, but the storms prevented their immediate return to Magnimar. Stranded in Brinewall for days, Rokuro agonized on how best to reveal the family legacy to his son, and this hesitation soon stretched Lonjiku’s patience beyond its limits.
Long frustrated at his father’s silence regarding his ancestry, Lonjiku took matters into his own hands and opened the warding box containing the Amatatsu Seal— and in so doing, exposed the seal to magical observation. Horrified that this act might have alerted the Five Storms and that oni agents would soon come to Brinewall to finish things off, Rokuro ordered his bodyguard Tsutamu to organize the return to Magnimar with his family and belongings, then to prepare for a new relocation farther south. Once he could be sure that the Five Storms had not noticed the opening of the seal’s case, Rokuro would follow later. As the three ships sailed south into the storms, Rokuro returned the Amatatsu Seal to its warding box in the secure and hidden vaults below Brinewall and alerted Brinewall’s commander, a man named Andril Kortun, that dangerous foes might soon strike. But Rokuro never learned of the loss of his ships in the storms off Varisia’s Lost Coast, or of his despondent wife’s suicide not long after, for the Five Storms struck far more quickly than even he had anticipated.
The Five Storms had lost track of the Amatatsus in Kalsgard many years before, but they left a small group of oni and ninja there to keep an eye out for any sign of the missing family. When Five Storm seers back in Minkai noticed the Amatatsu Seal’s brief f lash of power, they sent orders to the Kalsgard group, now known as the Frozen Shadows, to mobilize and investigate. The Frozen Shadows swept into Brinewall, using the storms still pounding the town to great advantage. They devastated the town, setting its buildings on fire, and by the time the castle’s troops were organized to launch a counterattack, the Frozen Shadows were already inside the castle walls. They murdered the entire population of Brinewall in less than an hour, so quickly that they didn’t discover the hidden vault that held the Amatatsu Seal. Rokuro was killed in the battle, but learning that he had sent his family and belongings into the storms to Magnimar, the Frozen Shadows moved farther south in pursuit, leaving Brinewall empty.
But while the Frozen Shadows were numerous enough to overrun Brinewall, they could not do the same to the much larger city of Magnimar. Instead, they infiltrated Magnimar in disguise and learned that Rokuro’s wife had committed suicide upon learning of the loss of her husband’s three ships at sea. Assuming that the Amatatsu Seal was on board when the ships sank, the Frozen Shadows returned to Kalsgard with news that the family had finally been wiped out. The Five Storms could finally begin the last stages of their plot to seize control of Minkai. But here, through the whims of fate, the Five Storms made a critical error. For not all of the Kaijitsus perished in the storms—Lonjiku Kaijitsu survived after spending several weeks adrift in the Varisian Gulf, and eventually returned to Sandpoint to rebuild his family.
These events transpired almost 25 years ago, and the Five Storms have finally reached their plot’s end game. Following the secret assassination of the Minkai emperor just a few years ago, one of the Five Storms now rules Minkai in all but name as the empire’s Jade Regent. When the proper time of mourning has passed, and no true contenders step forth to claim the throne, rule of Minkai will pass to the oni of the Five Storms. But Lonjiku Kaijitsu’s legitimate heir, Ameiko, still lives in Sandpoint, and though she remains unaware of her family’s true heritage, she is the only person who can challenge the Jade Regent.