Hantei is used to refer to many things in the Empire. The first Hantei, the Hantei family, the dynasty of Emperors and also the individual Emperor’s themselves.
The First Hantei
Hantei was one of the Kami, indeed he was first amongst equals. When Lord Moon grew jealous of his children, Lady Sun hid one of them from him. Hantei was that child. Lady Sun trained and raised Hantei to fight his father to rescue the other Kami. Hantei confronted his father and defeated him, cutting open his belly and freeing the other Kami. In a rage, Lord Moon threw his children from the heavens to the mortal realm. All of them fell together, except Fu Leng, who was grabbed by Lord Moon as he fell and held. Fu Leng fell long and far from his siblings.
When the Kami fell, they found the tribes of men. With their powers and abilities, the Kami soon established themselves as leaders of the tribes, gathering to them like-minded followers and forming the Great Clans. To decide who would rule though, the Kami held a tournament. Each of them competed except Togashi who sat to the side and simply watched. Each of the Kami fell in turn until Akodo and Hantei stood facing each other. Akodo’s rage and anger were turned against him by the more centred and balanced Hantei who won the day. Akodo was the first of the Kami to kneel before his brother and swear fealty on his blade. With that, Hantei became the first Emperor of Rokugan and Togashi uttered his fateful prophecy that ‘When the last Akodo falls, so too will the last Hantei’. Hantei’s rule was long and fruitful, but eventually even the Kami passed from the mortal realm and returned to tengoku. The Throne passed to his son, Hantei Genji, the Shining Prince and established the Hantei Dynasty.
The Hantei Family
The Hantei Family was always the smallest family of samurai in Rokugan as only the Emperor, Empress and their children were allowed to bear the name. Upon the coronation of a new Emperor it was customary for his siblings to swear fealty to another family, usually the Seppun or Otomo and change their name so as not to confuse the line of sucession.
The Hantei Dynasty
The longest serving dynasty in history, the Hantei held the Throne for over one thousand two hundred years. In all that time the Emperor was of the Hantei bloodline. The Dynasty is sometimes confused with the family and the two terms are interchangeable to most Rokugani. The Dynasty was for the most part known as fair and capable rulers, inspiring loyalty and obedience. Some dark chapters marred this history however, the most infamous being Hantei XVI, the so called Steel Chrysanthemum.
The Hantei Emperors
During the first centuries of the Empire an Emperor would be known by their given name and what place they fell in the order of their ascension to the Throne. For example, Hantei Genji became the second Emperor upon his father’s death and was known as Hantei Genji, the Second Emperor of Rokugan, the Shining Prince, the Son of Heaven and several other titles. When Hantei XIII took the Throne, he gave up his name and declared that henceforth he would simply be known as ‘the Hantei’. To stop confusion in regards to calendar and record keeping, the Clans and Imperial Families recorded the title of all Emperors from then on as ‘Hantei’ with the order in which they ruled, so Hantei XIII was followed by Hantei XIV and Hantei XV and so on. The last of the Hantei Emperors was Hantei XXXIX, formerly Hantei Sotorii.