Legend of the Five Rings: New Journeys
The youngest of the Great Clans, the Spider Clan is despised by virtually everyone, with only the most corrupt and manipulative of the samurai caste finding any real value in their ranks. Perhaps this is understandable, given the questionable nature of the Spider’s ascension to the ranks of the Great Clans. For more than a thousand years, those corrupted by the touch of Jigoku, the spiritual Realm of Evil, have been the enemies of the Emerald Empire. It was not until the leadership of a man called Daigotsu that the corrupt were shaped into the self-styled Spider Clan, and during the Destroyer War, the Spider fought alongside the other clans in an attempt to save the Empire from absolute destruction at the hands of the Destroyer goddess, Kali-Ma. While the other clans sought to protect their homes, however, Daigotsu and his legions fought to preserve the Empire so that they could in time claim it for their own.
At the concl usion of the Destroyer War, Daigotsu ascended to assume control over the Realm of Evil, and as a divine being, he sued for peace with the Empress of Rokugan. In exchange for halting the spread of the Shadowlands Taint, the touch of evil in the mortal world, the Empress would grant Daigotsu’s vassals the title of Spider Clan, an official Great Clan under the rule of his son, Kanpeki. So it was that two decades ago, the Spider became a Great Clan, and now four groups serve the clan.
- The scions of Daigotsu are the lords and masters of the Spider Clan.
- The monks of the Order of the Spider represent the clan’s interests in Rokugan.
- The Goju and Ninube families, servants of Daigotsu’s ally the Shadow Dragon, remain a secret even from the other clans, and serve the Spider in the darkness.
For nearly three decades, the Spider have been reviled by the other Great Clans as few groups in history have ever experienced. Only now, in the Colonies, do they begin to enjoy the benefits of allies, and even then only hesitantly. The most important thing to Spider Clan in the modern era is that the Empress has not yet declared her successor, and the possibility that Iweko Shibatsu, who was reared by the Spider, might take the throne is too great an opportunity for the Spider to pass up. The possibility of an Emperor sympathetic to the Spider is an outcome that Kanpeki and his vassals will do anything to achieve.
There is no mortal being more hated and feared than the Spider Clan Champion, Daigotsu Kanpeki. In addition to being perhaps the most physically powerful warrior in all of Rokugan and its Colonies, Kanpeki has at his command a legion of absolutely loyal warriors, many of whom possess dark supernatural powers that cannot easily be combated by the average samurai. Despite that many wish to see him dead or at the very least humbled, Kanpeki’s apparent loyalty to the Divine Empress has stayed the hand of even his most ardent enemies. How long can loyalty endure in the face of such naked hatred?
The Daimyo of the Spider in 1199
Daigotsu Kanpeki, son of Daigotsu himself, is known as the Shadow Emperor, the dark counterpart of the Iweko Dynasty. Although not Tainted, Kanpeki’s training with the Seppun and the Order of the Spider has made him into a terrific warrior, who fought along his Clan to secure the Colonies for Rokugan. His wife, Machiko, originally hailed from the Otomo before she joined the Spider. She is currently expecting, which will secure the future of the Daigotsu line.
Susumu Kuroko, first daimyo of the Susumu, has slowly consolidated power and ingratiated herself to the other courtier Families of the Empire. As her entire Family remains free of the Taint, Kuroko and her vassals remain the liaison between Rokugan and the rest of the Spider in the Colonies. Her husband, who was a highly ranked Otomo before he joined the Spider, has contributed a lot to Kuroko’s influence in the Empire.
The Order of the Spider
Tetsuo, the aging master of the Order of the Spider, shows no signs of fatigue and continues to lead the Spider monks with an iron fist. As head of the largest group affiliated with the Spider in the Empire, Tetsuo demands nothing short of perfection from his disciples. He punishes signs of weakness swiftly and harshly. He still roams the Empire by himself on occasion, seeking monsters or criminals to face in personal combat.
Goju Yurishi, the child of the Shadow Dragon and an unknown mortal, is an enigma to all including himself. Possessed of tremendous control over other Goju while simultaneously retaining a strong sense of individuality, Yurishi has taken control of his Family in the absence of the Shadow Dragon. He has pledged his loyalty and
the services of his Family to Daigotsu Kanpeki, who he sees as a kindred soul.
Gyushi, once known as Chuda Gyushi, and then Daigotsu Gyushi, the man who now simply goes by Gyushi was granted the right to found his own Family after he had forged the Ancestral Armor of the Spider Clan. A shugenja who favors the Fire element, Gyushi is forging his family just like he forges his blades, by carefully selecting its individual members and slowly increasing pressure on them until they become as strong as steel. The Gyushi continue to forge blades and armors for the Daigotsu, while simultaneously performing the role of a shugenja Family for the Spider Clan.
The Order of Kokujin
Kokujin Dairu, Student of the Dark Lotus, now leads his wayward family. Once believed to be destroyed, the Order of Kokujin has recently reappeared in the Empire. He has pledged his loyalty to Daigotsu Kanpeki, and has shown ability to create more of his kind by tattooing them with his own corrupted blood, just like Kokujin before him. Dairu is obsessed with prophecies of all kinds, and has uncovered many of Kokujin’s darkest secrets.