The Lost Clan
Twelfth Century (1100-1146 IC)
The Battle of Fate’s Gorge: year 1100
Following a slight to the Matsu family’s generals, Isawa and Matsu forces meet on the field of battle to prove once and for all whether the Imperial shugenja are truly needed by the Emperor. In an attempt to interrupt the Lion’s leadership, Master of Water Isawa Kaioko teleports eight Shiba bushi into the war tent of the Lion to kill general Matsu Uniri and his wife Yunaki. The Phoenix fail to account for the couple’s daughter, however, and ten-year-old Matsu Tsuko saves her mother’s life by crushing the throat of the final Phoenix assassin with a boken. With Matsu Yunaki leading the Lion troops, the Phoenix are defeated on the field of battle the following day.
Hantei XXXVIII takes the throne: year 1103
At the age of 26, the rightful heir to the throne, Hantei Jodan, is crowned the 38th Emperor of Rokugan. A daring and spirited young man, Hantei XXXVIII finds his life force slowly crushed over the years by the relentless conflicts between the Great Clans.
Hantei Sotorii is born: 1107
After the death of his 3rd wife, Hantei XXVIII took up the company of a Crane concubine. As soon as the boy is born and survives (infant mortality is always a factor in Rokugan), the Emperor marries his mother, making her the Empress and Sotorii the heir to the throne. Unfortunately, his mother dies victim of a mysterious fever a short 3 years after his birth.
Wasp Clan is founded: year 1109
Born of a Scorpion father and a Lion mother, the young man named Tsuruchi survives both clans’ treachery, losing both his parents and the castle that is his birthright. With cunning and stealth, he reclaims his home and kills the Lion that usurped it, his uncle. Tsuruchi presents his dilemma to the Emerald Champion, a Crane who shares his distaste for the Lion and Scorpion, and is given leave to create his own clan. The Wasp Clan is born, sworn into the service of the Emerald Champion.
The Yotsu family name granted: year 1111
A mountain-dwelling ronin, the warrior Yotsu discovers that the caravan of Empress Hochiahime (Hantei XXXVIII’s second wife) has been attacked by a large Bloodspeaker cult. The cultists kill the Empress’ infant children, and all the Seppun guardsman attached to the caravan. The Empress Hochiahime and the young heir Sotorii are taken captive, intended for a sacrifice in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Yotsu creeps into the camp with the blade of a fallen guardsman. Though he knows he cannot possibly defeat the Bloodspeakers alone, he asks the Empress for permission to die in the Empress’ name. The Empress forbids it, instead insisting the ronin rescue the heir Sotorii, passing Yotsu a message for the Hantei to mourn her and her unborn child.
With no other options, Yotsu exchanges his youngest son in Sotorii’s place and leaves. Weeks later, the young heir is reunited with his true father, the Emperor Hantei XXXVIII. In recognition of Yotsu’s sacrifice, he is given the name Yotsu Yatoshin, the name of the Emperor’s father, and a small fiefdom in the Mountains of Regret as well as rule over a distract in Otosan Uchi. Later explorations by the Imperial Legions find the Bloodspeaker Cult gone, and it is presumed that Empress Hochiahime was sacrificed to their blasphemous rituals.
Sword of Yotsu Otokodate formed: year 1116
Yotsu Yatoshin begins swearing ronin outside his family to the Yotsu name and training them in the techniques he devised while living deep in the mountains.
Yoritomo becomes the Daimyo of the Mantis Clan: 1117
Well known for his anger over the Mantis’ station as a Minor Clan, many in the Mantis feel that Yoritomo will lead them to greatness, perhaps paving the way for them to play a more significant role in Rokugan.
Badger Clan daimyo is killed while visiting the Crane lands: 1118
Although the Badger are a very minor influence in Rokugan, the dishonor of the daimyo’s assassination while in their lands is a great embarrassment to the Crane. There are whispers in court that the assassination was a result of the increasing tension between the Lion and the Crane, but the killer is never caught.
Lion Champion Akodo Arasou is killed: year 1120
In an attempt to retake Toshi Ranbo wo Shien Shite Reigisaho, aka Violence behind Courtliness City and the Castle of the Lion, a large force of Lion samurai attack the well-entrenched Daidoji troops. Despite the valor of Akodo Arasou and his intended bride, Matsu family daimyo Matsu Tsuko, the Lion are unable to retake the city from the Crane Clan. Furthermore, the Champion of the Lion is killed in the fighting. His younger brother, Akodo Toturi, is recalled from the monastery where he was sent years ago to become the new Lion Champion. Despite his impressive tactical skills, Toturi is despised by Matsu Tsuko, who compares him to her lost betrothed.
Three Man Alliance is formed: year 1121
Following a series of minor squabbles over borders in court, the Scorpion Clan dispatches tactician Bayushi Tomaru to deal with the neighboring Sparrow Clan. Supremely confident that his forces can defeat whatever resistance the tiny Minor Clan can offer, Tomaru is completely off-guard when the Sparrow are aided in battle by the archers of the Wasp Clan and the shugenja of the Fox Clan, both of which have holdings near the Sparrow. Tomaru has no choice but to retreat. He is publicly rebuked by Bayushi Shoju for his failure against such minor opponents. The daimyo of the three Minor Clans meet following their unexpected victory and agree to form a permanent alliance against the aggression of the Scorpion Clan.
Opium War rages in Ryoko Owari Toshi: year 1121
Manipulated by outside forces, the three criminal opium cartels of the City of Lies turn against one another. For weeks, entire rows of warehouses are burned and many deaths occur under mysterious circumstances. The violence continues until the Emerald Magistrates of the city hunt down the responsible parties and bring the opium war to an abrupt halt.
Darkfever plague strikes the Phoenix lands: year 1122
A solar eclipse releases Oni no Kuzushi from its prison in a spirit realm after two centuries of confinement. While bound to a forgotten estate deep within the Isawa woodlands, the oni uses its foul powers to unleash a lethal plague spread with magic. In the lands of the Phoenix, this proves a deadly curse and many lives are lost before clever magistrates locate and destroy the oni.
Pirates plague the Crane-Mantis trade routes: year 1123
Many important shipments between these two clans are lost at sea to pirates, causing each to qustion the other’s honesty and intentions. Although the losses are light at first, they continue to escalate for two years until magistrates of the Emperor determine that a treacherous Lion, Matsu Shindoku, is the culprit. Shindoku had been attempting to threaten affairs between the Crane and the Mantis. This revelation further damages the relationship between the Crane and Lion clans.
Oracle of Fire prepares to depart the mortal realm: year 1123
After several centuries as Oracle, the man who is known as the Oracle of Fire prepares himself for ascension into the Celestial Heavens. His choice of a successor, however, is discovered by a shocked and outraged Scorpion Clan: the Oracle has chosen an eta girl to replace him. The Scorpion attempt to manipulate the Oracle into declaring one of their own the new Oracle of Fire, but the plan fails and the enraged Oracle destroys a large piece of the Scorpion Clan’s countryside. He is eventually appeased by a group of industrious samurai, however, and balance is restored.
Hare Clan is destroyed: year 1123
After the Soshi Yukio attacks and is killed by Usagi Ozaki, a Scorpion army under the command of Bayushi Tomaru arrives at Shiro Usagi. The castle is destroyed and the daimyo, Usagi Oda, is killed. Tomaru takes Oda’s daughter Usagi Tomoe captive while Oda’s son Ozaki disappears with the Hare ancestral blade. After the castle’s destruction, the Emperor disbands the clan upon hearing sworn testimony from four sources of Hare practicing maho.
Naga awaken: year 1124
Although scouts have been awakening and active for nearly two centuries, it is not until now that the Naga begin to awake in significant numbers. It is still a slow process, and one that will require months or years to complete, but at last the serpent folk begin to stir from their sleep of ages and circulate in the world again.
Lion-Crane conflict erupts into war: year 1124
The persistent conflicts between the Lion and Crane along their shared border explode after a pair of massive battles. The ancient rivalry between the clans is manipulated by Bayushi Sozui and the traitor Kitsu Goden, who instigate the Battle of the Plains of Gaiju Shindai and the Battle of the Forgotten Tide. Both battles are worsened by Goden unleashing the vengeful spirits of Toshigoku to possess the bodies of mortal warriors. Fortunately, a small bandof samurai discover, expose, and defeat them before their foul plan corrupts all of Rokugan. The Lion and the Crane stand down from their battles for a few short months before eventually escalating once again.
Preparation for the Clan War begins: year 1125
With an ailing Emperor upon the throne, the Great Clans of the Empire begin preparation for the inevitable conflict. The Lion mass for war against their ancient enemies, the Crane. Late in the winter, the Crab army begins its march north.
Falcon Clan absorbed by the Crab: year 1125
After an unknown maho-tsuki ritual opens a rift to the spirit world, many members of the Falcon Clan are possessed by shuten doji. Although the ritual is reversed, many Falcon and peasants are killed, leaving the clan’s lands in disarray. Acting on authorization from an Imperial shikken (one of the Emperor’s peacekeepers), the Crab Clan formally absorb the minor clan with the blessing of the Falcon daimyo. In time, the Falcon become the Toritaka family of the Crab.
Badger Clan falls: year 1126
When Emerald Magistrate Kaiu Osuki travels to the northern reaches of Rokugan to deliver an Imperial edit, he discovers that the strongholds of the Badger Clan have been destroyed. A monstrous oni, summoned by unknown parties, has destroyed virtually every living being within the northern mountains. The great beast is eventually destroyed, but at great cost: the Badger Clan is all but extinct. Due to the Emperor’s failing health, the name and Minor Clan status of the Badger are never formally removed.
Battle of Beiden Pass: year 1126
As an enormous force of the Crab Clan move north through the Empire, they sack several cities in the Crane and Scorpion lands. Tntent on seizing Beiden Pass and securing the Empire’s trade routes (to keep resources coming for the Shadowland battles), the Crab are surprised to discover a massive army awaiting them. Led by the Akodo Toturi, the army is comprised of Dragon Clan troops, large numbers of ronin, Unicorn cavalry, and a small force of recently awakened Naga scouts. The battle is brutal and continues for weeks, but in the end Toturi’s superior tactics win the day against Hida Sukune and Hida Yakamo. The Crab are driven south. Toturi pulls his forces away and departs north, leaving the Unicorn to control the Pass. This battle is widely regarded as the true beginning of the Clan War throughout Rokugan.
Hida O-Ushi’s marriage to Shinjo Yasamura: year 1129
In what was considered a political move, a contest was held by Hida Kisada where the winner would marry his daughter. The tetsubo-only contest resulted in a draw between Hida O-Ushi (attempting to win her own hand) and Daidoji Uji knocking each other out. The next contestant, Shinjo Yasamura, was declared the victor and the two were married before she regained consciousness. Shinjo Yasamura took the Hida name and united the Unicorn and Crab for the Clan War.
Lion march to the Wall: year 1129
Without preamble or explanation, the Lion Champion gathers a legion of her most loyal soldiers and sets off to the southwest of Lion lands, presumably directly into the heart of Crab territory. The move is unexpected by those the Champion leaves behind because they thought their fight was with the Crane. The Unicorn, in an attempt to prevent what appears to be an attack on the pincered Crab, demand an explanation that the remaining Lion cannot give. Shinjo Shirasu attempts to investigate deep into Lion lands to discover the source of the strange turn of events, only to be intercepted and forcibly escorted back to the Lion border.
Mantis siege of Phoenix lands: year 1130
To expand his power, Yoritomo seizes the lands of the Phoenix claiming they are too weak to maintain their provinces on their own. The Mantis hope to quickly take the Phoenix under the umbrella of their mercy, but Shiba Tsukune views Yoritomo’s movement as an act of war and not mercy. However, the Phoenix are nowhere near as combat-ready as the Mantis, and Yoritomo’s forces slowly make their way into deeper Phoenix territory.
Mantis repelled from Phoenix lands: year 1131
The Mantis, after holding the Phoenix provinces for half a year, are finally broken by the guerrilla attacks of small Phoenix bushi and the magic of their Elemental Guards.
Clan Wars End: year 1131
Emperor Hantei XXXIX takes the throne: year 1132
At the age of 25, the rightful heir to the throne, Hantei Sotorii, is crowned the 39th Emperor of Rokugan, after his father dies of a fever.
Opening of the Phoenix Gates: year 1133
After suffering the highest loss of life during the Clan War, the Phoenix clan (led by Shiba Tsukune) struggled throughout the first year of rebuilding due to lack of manpower. The Grand Master of the Elements, Naka Kuro, pledges his aid in helping the clan rebuild, swearing fealty to Lady Tsukune. With Kuro’s help, and Tsukune’s offer of fealty to any shugenja that proves themselves worthy, the Phoenix slowly begin to reclaim their rightful place in the Empire.
Rebuilding the Empire: year 1134
After suffering an extended period of war starting in , the Empire once again turns to rebuilding with Hantei XXXIX.
Creation of the Monkey Clan and founding of the Fuzake: year 1138
When Hantei XXXIX offers the position of Captain of the Imperial Guard to his loyal follower Toku, Toku respectfully declines and confesses that he is not a true samurai. He is, in fact, a peasant wielding a katana taken from a dead bandit years ago. The bravery and honor Toku displayed during the Clan War leads the Emperor not only to pardon Toku for his crimes and offer the position of Captain of the Imperial Guard a second time, but to bestow Minor Clan status upon the young samurai and his followers.
Shortly thereafter, a remarkable Yasuki named Garou (who had become a loyal follower of Toku during the Clan War) is also granted the Fuzake family name. This is mostly due to the sponsorship of the Doji, who found his tireless efforts to tend the wounded and bring humor to the Empire during the war inspiring. Fuzake Garou swears fealty to Toku and joins the fledgling clan.
Averted Blood Feud: year 1146
A member of the Scorpion clan claims the work of Maho lingers in the village owned by Hida Nori. The claims are discovered to be false by Emerald Magistrates. There is a meeting between Hida Nori, the Crab Champion, and the Scorpion Champion to prevent a Clan War.
During Winter Court, Hida Kisada stepped down and had his son Hida Yakamo take over the position. After which, during a duel, Hida Yakamo killed Hitomi, the Dragon Clan Champion in one blow.
War of the City of the Rich Frog: year 1148
War begins between the Lion and Unicorn land over ownership of the City of the Rich Frog. The Lion promise the Ronin family running the city they will become a Vassal family if they help them win the city.
Hida Tama ascended to the heavens as a fortune and the emperor was cleansed.