Okay. So, from what I'm hearing, we're looking to have a major impact on the contest for the throne, and Ejava is our girl. Additionally, while we're going to be operating out of (and from behind the cover of) a brothel, we'd like to be seeking an impact rather more revolutionary than just wresting control of a satrap from another house through economic skullduggery angled through the sex trade.
That suggests two things to me:
1. It should probably be in the South, where she's well-enough and widely-enough liked that the public's committed support will be easy to keep in the event of success.
2. We want to set this in one of the most important places to the Realm that isn't on the Isle in order to make success mean something bigger than a meager bump to the Roseblack's war chest. Someplace Mnemon really wouldn't want anyone putting in Ejava's pocket.
An-Teng actually fits that pretty well, and I liked the idea for it. But let me float another option.
How would you guys feel about trying to claim Paragon for the Roseblack?
It's the second-greatest power in the south, and a satrapy of the Realm... though that alliance was won by a personal visit from the Scarlet Empress herself and was, itself, a compromise from the more thoroughly subordinate role she'd desired for the southern power. Paragon could easily withdraw from the entire conflict -- and potentially from the Realm as a whole, absent the right pressures or incentives -- but if its support could be won for a given candidate for the throne, it would be a tremendous boon.
And, of course, there's no saying one must seek something so similar to the way things have been over the last several centuries. It's no secret that the Perfect of Paragon's power comes from his Scepter, and while the Empress didn't heed those in her court suggesting that it be wrested from him, it isn't as though she's around to complain if someone were to try. Failing such an attempt would have terrible consequences, of course, but the chance for success might seem worth it to some, given that the whole of Paragon could be won with ease if the Scepter were to be liberated from the Perfect... and, besides, any Immaculate monk can tell you how deeply wrong it is for a mere mortal to command the kind of power the Perfect does, especially given that he owes it almost entirely to an artifact of the anathema.
However you'd decide to go about it, though, you can rest assured that Mnemon's aware of the role Paragon could play, and she'll likely have agents of her own at work somewhere.
It's a thought. With that said, if you guys would prefer, I'm perfectly comfortable with An-Teng as the setting and Shuri as your primary target, as that's plenty juicy, too. Likewise, if there are any other ideas you'd like to throw out there for consideration, I'd love to hear them.
Let me know what you all think.
Then, once we've got the setup firmly established, I think we'll be ready to take a more serious look at characters.