The Crab Clan

To the south of Rokugan lie the Shadowlands, a twisted and corrupt place wrought by the fall of a dark god. Between the hordes of monsters spawned there and the Empire of Rokugan stands the Kaiu Wall and the Crab who defend it. A Samurai of the Crab has no time for the niceties that the other Clans enjoy; their life is a constant battle. The Hida family traditionally rules the clan, descended from the great Kami Hida himself. The Kaiu give the clan the engineers and siege-masters who built the Wall and the towers that line it to begin with, the Yasuki see to the supply of the clan's needs through trade, negotiation, and whatever other means are necessary, while the Hiruma haunt the twisted lands they once called home as the silent, unseen advance scouts for their Clan's mighty armies. Even their shugenja are trained for war; the fearsome Kuni family are known as the Witchunters, and are feared for their ability to ferret out corruption.

The Crane Clan

Cultured and wealthy, the Crane seek perfection in all things, whether the poetry of a Doji courtier or the single, flawless strike of a Kakita duelist. They are masters of the courts, and the rest of the empire seeks to emulate the fashions they begin. The Crane are traditionally led by the descendants of Lady Doji, while their style of swordsmanship, developed by Kakita and taught in his family's Dojo to this day, is the pre-eminent dueling style in the Empire. The Asahina family traditionally serves as Shugenja, taking vows of pacifism whose only exception is the foul creatures of the Shadowlands. The Daidoji family serve as Yojimbo, harriers and scouts, protecting the other families of their Clan.

The Dragon Clan

o the other Clans, the Dragon are as incomprehensible as their mountain fastnesses are impervious to assault. The Kami Togashi, unlike his brothers and sisters, did not found a family in his name, but instead an order of Monks who to this day bear the mystical tattoos designed by their founder and seek a state of enlightenment. The Monks accept nearly anyone who is willing to give up their name and honestly join their order, even orphans left on their doorstep, and the Champion is not chosen from a traditional hereditary line of descent, but instead a pool of candidates called Tamashii. The Kitsuki family are as strange in their own way as the Togahi; respected for their ability to train magistrates and investigators, they nevertheless rely on logic and evidence over the sworn testimony of Samurai witnesses, a practice that has not always endeared them to other clans even when their investigations are successful. The Agasha Family of Shugenja practice a strange form of magic that might better be called Alchemy. The Dragon family that is perhaps most traditionally Rokugani is the Mirumoto, Samurai who fight in the two-sword style developed by their founder, and which is the only true rival to Kakita's school.

The Lion Clan

The Right Hand of the Emperor, the Lion are to the battlefield what the Crane are to Court. They maintain the largest standing army in the Empire, organized along the lines set forward by their founder, the Kami Akodo One Eye, whose descendants lead the Clan to this day. It is said that no army led by an Akodo trained general has ever been defeated, and while the saying may not be entirely accurate, it is a truism so far as the Empire is concerned. The Matsu family form the backbone of the Lion armies, and are one of the few matrilineal families in the Empire, in the tradition of their founder, the warrior woman Matsu who, told Akodo: 'Why should I marry you and be Akodo's wife, when any other man would be Matsu's husband?' The Ikoma family act as the historians, bards and courtiers of the Clan, though even their Omoidasu are a fearsome sight to behold on a battlefield, while the Kitsu practice a strange form of magic that involves communing with the Ancestors of the Clan.

The Mantis Clan
Currently Capped

The Mantis were founded by Hida Kaimestu-uo, grandson of the Kami Hida, and were the first Minor Clan to be recognized by the Imperial Family. Their Island lands off the Coast of Rokugan serve as a base for their fleet of merchant ships and, it is said, their activities as pirates. In the past, the Daimyo of the Mantis carried the family name Gusai, but the name was removed centuries ago as a punishment for an attempted coup when a Mantis daimyo kidnapped the Emperor's son. The rest of the Clan chose to betray their lord and execute his family rather than rise against the Empire, and were allowed to keep their status as a Minor Clan but no one has yet earned a new name for the samurai of the Mantis.

The Phoenix Clan

Of all the Clans, The Phoenix are the closest to the Kami, have the strongest connection to the magic of the mortal realm. Led by the Council of Elemental Masters, they produce more Shugenja than any other Clan. Though they were founded by the Kami Shiba, the traditional ruling family of the clan is the Isawa, the foremost Shugenja in the Empire. Shiba and his descendants dedicated themselves to the protection of the Isawa, and the Shiba family make up the Clan's Yojimbo and armies to this day. The third Family of the Phoenix is the Asako, a monastic order that believe man's place in the universe is to attain enlightenment and transcend this existence.

The Scorpion Clan

The Scorpion Clan is the Clan of Secrets. Every member of the Clan, from the time of their Gempukku, wears a mask of some sort, choosing what face they present to the other Clans and the Empire at large. Though their methods are unorthodox, their devotion to the Empire is unquestioned: they are willing to do whatever is necessary to preserve Rokugan, even things the other clans would balk at. Still led by the descendants of the Kami Bayushi, they are the only clan that can rival the Crane's influence in Court. The Bayushi samurai make up the bulk of their armies, while the Soshi and Yogo Shugenja families practice magic of illusion and warding. The Shosuro family serve as bodyguards and scouts and, some whisper, darker things, things of shadow and silence.

The Unicorn Clan

At the dawn of the Empire, the Kami Shinjo founded the Ki-Rin clan and left Rokugan to explore the world beyond the mountains. Crossing the desert, she and her followers wandered many strange places, and were forever changed by their experience. When they finally returned, eight hundred years later, they were practically unrecognizable, mounted atop great battle steeds larger than any Rokugani horse, armed and armored in a strange fashion, and often clothed in leather and fur. While the descendants of Lady Shinjo still lead the renamed Unicorn Clan, they have brought back to Rokugan with them the Moto, a tribe of desert nomads and raiders who now serve the empire as a family. The Iuchi Shugenja are masters of movement and travel, the Ide family produce talented courtiers and traders, and the Utaku Battle Maidens are the most feared Cavalry force in the world.

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