The Crane Clan
Go back to “The Clans” here
Daimyo: Asahina Tamako
Motto: “Knowledge must be earned, not simply learned.”
The Asahina family are the shugenja family of the Crane Clan. They were also noted pacifists, and their beliefs often lead them to be less involved in matters of clan and imperial politics than the other families of the Crane. The family originated from a Lion-Phoenix-Crane dispute. Isawa Asahina, the Phoenix Master of Air, was violently obsessed with the Phoenix’s war with the Lion when the Crane, wanting to end the conflict, brokered a peace treaty. In a response to the accord, Asahina turned his wrath upon the Crane for having the audacity to meddle, and his rampage ended in the village of Kimura when Doji Kiriko, the Crane Clan Champion’s daughter, threw herself repeatedly in front of Asahina’s attacks. Her selfless act saved the lives of hundreds of villagers, and so moved by her bravery Isawa Asahina realized the grievous mistakes his rage had driven him into. He left the Phoenix and nursed Kiriko back to health, renouncing violence forever. When she was fully healed, he married her and was granted his own family within the Crane. The two of them founded Shinden Asahina and started the pacifistic Asahina family. Isawa Asahina forsook the use of Fire when he forswore violence and joined the Crane, turning his talents to Air instead, and now it is common for many of the Asahina shugenja to use this element.
Daimyo: Daidoji Morito
Motto: “The spear waits not for its master, but rushes forth to guard the way.”
The Daidoji family is the support troops of the Crane. They train the yojimbo used by Crane dignitaries, and the Crane elite forces, as well as contributing the most men to the rank and file of the Crane armies, known as the Daidoji Iron Warriors. The Daidoji are renowned throughout Rokugan for their unusual tactics and stubborn defense of the Crane Clan lands, resolutely facing the argueably superior force of the Akodo armies on numerous occassions, yet claming victory. The family are founded after the youngest son of Doji and Kakita, Doji Hayaku, who entered the Shadowlands after the Day of Thunder in search of his sister Doji Konishiko. Three years later he returned, his hair completely white and his speech lost due to a scar across his throat. In his hand was the blade Shukujo, which his sister had carried into the Shadowlands, and Hayaku was given leave to found the Daidoji family, the “Defender of the Doji”, and his children follow the duty to protect their kinsmen to this day. In remembrance for this, many Crane dye their hair white as a tribute to Hayaku and a mark of loyalty to their clan. The highest and most glorious honour a Daidoji can receive is an appointment into the Elite Guard, whose responsibility it is to serve as the personal guard of the Crane Clan Champion.
Daimyo: Doji Satsume
Motto: “Be more concerned with good actions than with great ones.”
The Doji family are the descendants of the children of Doji and Kakita who took their mother’s name, and are known throughout Rokugan as the greatest courtiers in the Empire. The Doji are the Champions of the Crane, and are frequently (though not exclusively) the Emerald Champions as well. The Doji host the Crane’s courtier and magistrate schools, although many of their number trained in the Kakita schools also, as their strive for perfection takes many Doji to whichever school pulls towards them best. The contributions from the Doji family throughout history shaped the civilization in Rokugan, as they built the essential ceremonies and protocols that allowed the delicate political system to succeed and thrive. The Doji rely more on the power of the mind than the body, and in the earliest days of the Empires history were named as The Emperor’s Left Hand, from the first Hantei to Kakita Yoshi and Hantei XXXVIII. To the Doji life itself was art, to be lived with finesse and without regrets, and their work in the Imperial Courts helped the people of Rokugan remember the purpose of living, to savor the finest of each moment. Many have no fear of death, because when you lived life to the fullest death could take nothing from you. The second son of Doji, Doji Nio, took his mothers name and followed in her footsteps where he served the Emperor as his mother had, and often traveled to the lands of the daimyo of other clans to facilitate communication and free trade between them.
Daimyo: Kakita Yoshi
Motto: “For the coward there is no life. For the hero there is no death.”
The Kakita family are descended from the children of Doji and Kakita who decided to take their father’s name. They comprise a great portion of the Crane Clan’s armies and are arguably the finest artisans and duelists in the Empire, although much like their sister family the Doji, many Kakita will often train in the Doji schools as well. The Iaijutsu style of Kakita became the famed Kakita Iaijutsu school, and he passed on his knowledge to any who had the ability and discipline to learn. He created their first dojo, and taught his students the way of honorable combat, the basis of which became instrumental in the legal system of Rokugan. All of his five children excelled at dueling, and his son Kakita Shimizu became the first Iaijutsu Master of the Kakita Dueling Academy. Training in the school is hard, and graduates of the school have become some of the finest duelists in Rokugan’s history. So important is dueling now considered to the Empire that since it’s founding each Emperor has also sent their sons to study both the physical and intellectual teachings of the school.
New Schools & Paths of the Crane
Alternative Path: Asahina Sohei
Forged in the ashes of discontent smoldering in the Asahina family, students of the Asahina Battle Academy are those who find their connection to the fire of their ancestor too much to bear. Whilst they respect the pacifistic teachings of their brothers as a lofty ideal, unable to contemplate a pacifist lifestyle preached by their brethren and instead use the power of Air against their enemies, carefully studing the weaknesses of their adversaries.
• Technique Rank: 3
• Replaces: Asahina Shugenja 2
• Requirements: Jiujutsu 3
Technique: Vengeful Wind
A handful of students find the merging of shugenja and monastic traditions taught by the Asahina unpalatable, and instead embrace the militant mindset of the warrior monk. You may spend expend spell slots gain a +1k0 bonus when making a Jiujutsu attack roll for each spell slot spent. Additionally, you may make unarmed attacks as a simple action.
Alternative Path: Doji Arbitrator
Life at court has taught the Doji the various ways by which one may acquire both friends and influence, and one of those ways is to cultivate a reputation of impartiality. One may thus serve as an honest broker in disputes between samurai and thereafter command the esteem of both, no matter who wins and who loses, based solely on their respect.
• Technique Rank: 4
• Replaces: Doji Courtier 4
• Requirements: Honour Rank 6 or higher
Technique: True Discernment
The art of arbitration requires that you resist all manner of trickery, whether rhetorical or material, aimed at persuading you to do or say something against your better judgment. Whenever someone uses the Courtier, Etiquette or Sincerity Skill to try to manipulate your opinions or actions, they suffer a penalty equal to your Honour Rank. In addition, for any duel in which you act as the judge between two Samurai of Clans other than your own, you gain Honour and Glory as if you won the duel in addition to the actual winner.
Alternative Path: Doji’s Fan
When the Unicorn first returned to the Empire, it was the Crane who validated their claim as the descendants and heirs of the Ki-Rin Clan. The Crane were able to do this because the Unicorn possessed Doji’s Fan, an artifact given to Lady Shinjo by her sister Lady Doji as she and her followers departed the Empire. Knowing that the Ki-Rin would never have allowed the fan to fall into the hands of others, the Crane confirmed that the Unicorn were who they claimed to be, and the Empire rejoiced (more or less) at the return of their lost cousins. In return for their aid, the Unicorn presented the Crane with a number of their horses, and training on how to best make use of them. Other than their gift to the Emperor, this is the only time that the Unicorn have ever presented what could be described as breeding stock to anyone outside the clan. It took only a generation or so before the Crane were able to field an effective cavalry force using the information given them by the Unicorn.
• Technique Rank: 2
• Replaces: Daidoji Scout 2 or Daidoji Iron Warrior 2
• Requirements: Horsemanship 2
Technique: Lady Shinjo’s Gift
The greatest strength of the Doji’s Fan is their versatility. You gain a +1k0 to all Defense and Weapon rolls made while mounted on horseback.
Advanced School: Doji Gamesmaster
As frequent members of the court room, many Doji find themselves drawn into the numerous games played in such social situations, as many influential conversations have taken place at the Go board – indeed, some of the most prominent masters of the game come from the Crane Clan. Combined with the natural Crane instinct to find perfection in anything they partake in, and it is easy to see why some Crane become masters of their chosen game, displaying skill and ability rivaling even that of the Lion. Over the years, the Crane have learnt to refine the skills taught at the game table and apply them to numerous other avenues of the court, resulting in some of the most analytical samurai in the entire Empire.
• Rings/Traits: Awareness 4, Intelligence 4, Perception 3
• Skills: Etiquette (Conversation) 3, One chosen Games Skill 4, Investigation 2
• Special: This course of training tends to draw candidates from the Doji Courtier School, although Crane bushi looking for retirement from the life of a swordsman have been known to take up this pursuit as well.
Rank One: Know the Opening
The Doii sensei help develop advanced exercises in tactical analysis, deepening and strengthening your appreciation of the game, as well as coaching you in the fine points of reading your opponent. A number of times per session equal to you School Rank, you may speak with someone for a few minute and then make a Contested Roll of your Investigation (Notice)/Perception against their Etiquette (Courtesy)/Willpower. If you succeed, you immediately learn the value of his Awareness, Perception and Intelligence Traits. You also receive a +1k1 bonus to all Games Skill Rolls.
Rank Two: The Master’s Wisdom
The Gamesmasters experience in the forms, rules and rituals of games grants greater understanding of form, rules and ritual in the world at large. You gain a bonus equal to your highest Games Skill to any Courtier, Etiquette or Investigation Roll.
Rank Three: Know the End-Game
The final lessons teach there is no final lesson, realising that life is to constantly refine strategy, tactics and pure gamesmanship. Any time you compete against someone in your chosen Game, you may make a Contested Roll of your Etiquette (Conversation)/Awareness against their Etiquette (Courtesy)/Willpower. If you succeed, you may immediately either gain that person as an ally with 1 point devotion, or take a 2 point Blackmail Advantage against them for no cost in experience points. You also receive a +2k2 bonus to all Games Skill Rolls (this replaces your Rank One bonus).