Vash, brilliantly colorful and mysterious, is in the Eastern Hemisphere of Thrael. Located in the middle of the Taelean Ocean, it runs lengthwise down the latitudes through the Vashan Sea toward the Sea of Tamin. It assimilates a series of island branching out from central landmasses. If studied carefully, the landmasses and islands form almost a puzzle of sorts, giving birth to the theory that at one time, before plate tectonics broke off masses of the land, Vash may have been a solid continent.
Koje is the only Vashan city open to foreigners at the present time. It is located on Hiroko, the northernmost island of the northernmost province of Vash, Nagosan. The island of Hiroko is surrounded by smaller islands, and west of it is the Bramble sylph nation of Shambhala, another part of the Vashan Empire. Koje lies on Kirechi Bay. At the center of the island, looms the enormous extinct volcano of Mt. Iseya. The Nagawara River has been diverted into canals that fan out from the center of Koje's wharf area and provide waterways for boats carrying products and people to all points of the island.
Nagosan has a feudal system of government with a Shogun as its military head and an Emperor who serves as the spiritual ruler. The capitol of Nagosan and the Vashan Empire is Taekota. Controlled by the Shogun is a system of "Daimyo" (governors/retainers) who administer various fiefdoms for the Imperial Government. In addition to paying tribute to the Empire, these Daimyo are obligated to meet certain requirements in order to maintain their power. Each daimyo must maintain a certain number of "Samurai" based on their fiefdom's size and population. These Samurai defend the fiefdom, maintain law and order, occupy other regions of the empire, etc.
Samurai are directly appointed by a fiefdom's daimyo and serve with fierce loyalty out of necessity. Samurai only maintain their title as long as the daimyo they serves is in power. There are three distinct classes of samurai; (1) Samurai that are direct vassals for the daimyo, administering tracts of land. This is the highest class of samurai under a daimyo and they are charged with enforcing law as well. (2) Samurai who enforce laws but are not vassals of the daimyo. This class of samurai receives a small stipend based on their enforcement of the law. (3) Samurai who make up the brunt of the samurai class. The lowest of the samurai class, they are generally soldiers and guards. Samurai without lords are known as "ronin."
Samurai vassals must pay a percentage of the crops produced on their land to the daimyo as tribute. Those who are retainers for the daimyo are free to let peasants work the land for them (the peasants keep a percentage of the crop), or to sell part or all of their land. Only those of the samurai class or above are allowed to wear or own four particular weapons, the Tachi, Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto. Beyond those four weapons there are certain ornamentations on armors only people of certain ranks/classes may wear. Citizens are allowed to own weapons and armor for hunting and defense against attacks but it is not legal for them to brandish (unsheathe) a weapon in town.
If a citizen has a complaint about a samurai's conduct he may take it to the fiefdom's daimyo, though unless the samurai in question is undermining the daimyo's authority or breaking a law them self the petition will usually fall on deaf ears. Class structure is very much adhered to in Nagosan.