The families of the Seppun, Otomo and Miya are collectively known as the Imperial Families as, unlike the other families within the kuge they are sworn directly to the Emperor’s service. The original families formed of the followers of Hantei, who didn’t follow one of the other Kami and so didn’t form into a Clan. The Seppun act as guards to the Imperial Court and generals and officers of the Imperial Legions. The daimyo of the family traditionally acts as the chief military advisor to the Emperor and governor of Otosan Uchi. The Otomo are mainly achivists and historians, guardians of the Empire’s history and lineages. A small, select group of the family are shugenja known as the Hidden Guard, tasked with the Emperor’s magical and spiritual safety. The Miya act as Imperial Hearlds, charged with bringing the word of the Emperor to the Empire. The Miya also have responsibility for the Imperial Cartographers, keeping all of the maps of the Empire up to date.
In terms of power and their place within the Empire’s structure, the Imperial Families are regarded as above those of the Great Clans. The daimyo of the three families are also considered out of respect to rank above all other daimyo with the exception of the Great Clan Champions.
Ever since Kisada I’s coronation the Imperial Families have maintained those duties, though it has been encreasingly hard to do so. As duty to the Emperor has been their sole reason for existence, no Imperial samurai has defected to the shogunate cause.