In that era the centre of Japanese civilization was in the Kansai plain, with the capital moving around between modern Nara and Kyoto. Northern Honshu and Hokkaido were for the Japanese a wild, untamed wilderness, populated by a strange hairy people they knew as the Emishi, who are nowadays thought to be related to the Ainu. During the following centuries the Japanese gradually moved into this 'wilderness' and subdued it, slowly but surely fighting their way north until the process was finally completed with the annexation of Hokkaido in the late 19th century. My game is set in a very loose, weird re-imagining of the very earliest points of contact between Japanese and Emishi, in the deeply forested, cold and snowy North of the archipelago.
Here are some pictures.
A bear spirit. The Emishi worship immortal bear demi-gods who live in the forests. Big, dark, embodiments of nature who know only that they are owed respect and fealty.