Legend of the Five Rings: New Journeys
The Crab Clan
No clan in the history of Rokugan can hope to rival the reputation the Crab Clan has for resilience and siege prowess. The Kami Hida, son of the Sun and Moon, brother of the Emperor, volunteered to defend the Empire from the nightmarish demons of the Shadowlands, far south of Rokugan. In the wake of the war with Fu Leng, the Empire had a great deal of fear regarding the Shadowlands, but fear was not something that Hida and his followers understood. They were warriors whose sheer physical power was without compare, and for centuries they stood against an enemy limitless in number and unrivaled in evil. After seven centuries, they constructed the Great Carpenter Wall, at that time the single most amazing edifice in existence, to keep the demon hordes at bay, and their brave warriors stood atop it in the face of absolute, unwavering evil from the demons and monstrosities of the Shadowlands.
Although there have been periodic incursions throughout history, the Crab have only ever truly failed once, during the Destroyer War, and only then because the demon goddess Kali-Ma had an entire nation transformed into her inhuman, tireless soldiers. The Crab lost the Wall and their lands, but they never stopped fighting, never surrendered, never gave up the will to live. Their ranks were thinned horrifically, and their lands subjected to ruin the likes of which only the Scorpion Clan could rival. Despite the losses, despite the horror, the six families of the clan survived to serve in a new era.
- The Hida are the lords of the clan and the among the greatest warriors in the land.
- The Hiruma are the scouts and guardians of the Crab, gathering vital information.
- The Kaiu are the greatest engineers and siege masters, maintaining the Wall.
- The Kuni are the clan’s sinister shugenja, understanding a darkness no one else can.
- The Yasuki are the merchant lords, ensuring that the never-ending war is paid for.
- The Toritaka, once the Falcon Clan, are the hunters of spirits and ghosts.
The years since the Destroyer War have been difficult but productive for the Crab. No clan’s lands suffered the same extensive devastation as the Crab’s, and it required an enormous resource-harvesting endeavor from the Colonies to bring them back to full productivity. The current political situation is one that most Crab find exasperating, to say the least. A foe that cannot simply be crushed on the battlefield is one that the Crab do not wish to deal with. Their closest allies, in defiance of a thousand years of history, remain the Scorpion, with whom they have bonded over their shared duty of protecting the Empire from the threats of portals to the Realm of Evil.
Hida Kisada, the great-grandson of the Clan War hero of the same name, leads the Crab Clan with a steady hand and a discriminating eye. He dispatched his own brother, Kuni Renyu, to oversee affairs in the Colonies, and is greatly disturbed by the news his brother has sent him back. Kisada understands the reasons that the Spider were permitted to take Great Clan status, but has begun to wonder if it is not time that mistake was corrected.
The Daimyo of the Crab in 1199
Hida Kisada, called the Little Bear by his brethren, is the child of Hida Kuon and Hida Reiha. Despite his relatively small size, Kisada is a powerful warrior trained by his returned great- grandfather, the original Kisada and Great Bear. Brought up on dour tales of his ancestors at Koten, the Crab Champion carries with him the weight of history and full awareness that the current lull in Shadowlands activity will not last.
He has continually renewed the secretive Treaty of Odashi with the Scorpion Champion Nitoshi and considers the darkness of the Second Pit to be a Crab responsibility as well. Kisada knows the darkness will return and try to take them in their moment of weakness. He has allowed his followers to engage the Spider in open war in the Colonies as a stopgap effort against the coming tide.
Hiruma Tomoe, daughter of Hiruma Todori, is an uncouth youth, even by Crab standards. She has only ever been outside the Crab lands a handful of times in her life and prefers the company of her clansmen. Tomoe has not let the relative quietude of the Shadowlands dull her or the Hiruma’s vigilance. She leads long-ranging expeditions into Deep Shadowlands territory herself. Her advanced strikes stop impending threats before they ever reach her lands. Tomoe bears the scars of her forays proudly, showing them off in an open display of wicked humor which makes her quite popular with her vassals.
Kaiu Watsuki, daimyo of the Kaiu loves a challenge and loves to be challenged. Watsuki rose through the ranks of his school with cool precision, careful planning, and an unrelenting focus on perfection. He is a master planner and builder with a conventional focus, but is often seen incorporating new and strange designs into older blueprints. Watsuki is an open daimyo and invites his subordinates to respectfully question him. He believes without these challenges, without this temper to sharpen his mind, he will never achieve his own greatness.
Kuni Renyu is the younger brother to the Crab Champion, Hida Kisada. He grew up listening to the same stories which held Kisada’s rapt attention, but where Kisada is quiet and determined, Renyu became outspoken in his hatred of the darkness. As one of the most powerful shugenja of the current era, Renyu was betrothed to the daughter of the Kuni daimyo, Kiyoshi, and later ascended to hold that position as well. Called the Jade Mountain and carrying his father’s blade, Renyu has already made a name for himself in the Colonies serving for some time as the interim Imperial Governor. Renyu’s intense hatred for the Spider and the darkness they represent in his mind continues to lead him towards their destruction. He does not trust these agents of Daigotsu and it is his goal to see them fall.
Toritaka Kaiketsu, son of Tatsune, is the aging daimyo of his family and has already expressed his intent to retire to his Champion. Tatsune was kept by the Moto family of the Unicorn during his formative years in an exchange between those families designed to foster good relations. In later years, as Tatsune grew into his own, he became embroiled in a plot against the Spider which set him walking firmly on a path to despise that clan. In his dotage, Kaiketsu looks to his niece, Toritaka Chokichi, to take his place. He sent Chokichi to Winter Court this previous year in order to test her ability to lead and interact with the kuge of the Empire. Though the young samurai-ko did not disappoint, neither did she impress. She spent the majority of her time in the wilderness, far from the dangers of politics. Kaiketsu has decided to wait one more year in order to guide the future of his clan and better shape the next generation.
Yasuki Tono has been chosen to lead the Yasuki family into the new Iweko’s reign. For a time after the abdication of Yasuki Jinn-Kuen from the daimyo position, a regent named Yasuki Bikan held the position. With no clear heir, Jinn-Kuen left his subordinates to put forth their best candidate to the Crab Champion. After leading the Crab to remarkable successes during the most recent Winter Court, Tono was chosen. Bikan remains as a key adviser and uses his close ties with the Scorpion to his advantage. Though the position takes time away from his true love, the former Shosuro, Kameyoi. Tono brings much to position of Yasuki daimyo, not the least of which is his brilliant mind and skill at turning monetary profit to military gain.