L5R - Great Stone Bridge
1) The year is 1175
2) The current Empress is Kituski Iweko, or Iweko I, formerly Clan Champion of the Dragon clan. This is the very first in a new dynasty, after the original Hantei dynasty that had ruled for the first 1100 years of the empire, and then the Toturi Dynasty which ruled for just the previous ~2 generations. She has only been Empress for 5 years.
3) 40 years ago the Scorpion clan returned from a 2-year banishment to the burning sands, only a few years after being disbanded for 5 years. They had been instrumental in overthrowing the Hantei dynasty due to shadowlands corruption in the last Hantei emperor.
4) 25 years ago Beiden Pass (the main N/S pass through the central E/W mountain range that forms the southern border of the Lion and Crane clans was collapsed during a major war. Further to the west a smaller pass (Seikitsu Pass) takes its place, although it is not as good.
5) 5 years ago Akodo Shigetoshi becomes the Lion Clan Champion. Note: only 40 years ago the Akodo family had been reformed after being disbanded for a decade.
6) 8 years ago Doji Domotai becomes the Crane Clan Champion
7) Within the last 20 years there have been mid-sized wars between the Dragon and Phoenix, a civil war among the Mantis and between the Crane and Crab in the vicinity of the Yasuki lands along the coast.
8) While no open conflicts are currently in progress that you’re aware of, there are still occasional small-scale skirmishes between any given pair of clans. Basically, anything less than a few hundred people in combat is going to (generally) be considered par for the course, though of course individual actions may still be approved/disproved by clan leadership and/or Imperial involvement.