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 Unicorn Clan

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Number of posts : 604
Age : 36
Localisation : Japan
Registration date : 2006-12-04

PostSubject: Unicorn Clan   2007-03-28, 7:43 am


The Unicorn are a Clan of outsiders. Directly following the first War Against Fu Leng, Shinjo and her followers, the Ki-Rin Clan, chose to explore the lands outside of the Empire. They did not return for eight hundred years. They returned with a new name - the Unicorn Clan - and a great deal of gaijin technology, magic, and customs. What resulted was a strange amalgam of Rokugani tradition and gaijin ingenuity. The Unicorn have taken the best of both worlds to create a strange hybrid culture unlike any other. The wise have learned not to misjudge the unpredictable People of the Wind.

Though many consider the Unicorn a rustic clan, it is in fact an extremely wealthy clan due to its healthy (and unsanctioned) trade in materials from outside Rokugan. They do not make a great personal show of their wealth with fine clothes as a Crane or Phoenix might, but Unicorn palaces are works of extraordinary exotic beauty that must be seen to be believed.

Unicorn tend to be blunt, straightforward, and extremely curious. While other samurai learn to be content with what they have, Unicorn tend to be restless and ambitious. A Unicorn always wants to know what lies over the next rise, what he might discover past the next patch of forest. They are natural explorers, with a strong nomadic tradition. The few permanent cities and castles within Unicorn lands seem to be constructed more out of a courtesy to visitors rather than any desire on the Unicorn's part to settle in one place. Due to their strong nomadic traditions, the Unicorn rely heavily upon horses to get from place to place. A Unicorn stranded in the wilderness with no steed may well die, and for this reason, the Unicorn treat horses with respect and reverence.

Like the Crab (with whom they are often compared), the Unicorn place great value on honesty and trust. Unicorn keep few secrets from their true friends, and hold a bitter enmity for those who betray their trust. The Unicorn extend this trust even to their own peasants, whom they treat with greater respect than does any other Great Clan.

Unicorn tend to be more open to new ideas than most other clans. They are not quite as condemning of outsiders (as they were once outsiders themselves). Some think the Unicorn crass, provincial, or outright stupid due to their inability to adapt to Rokugani culture after over three hundred years in the Empire. In truth, this is not due to any failing on the part of the Unicorn. Many Unicorn do not want to adapt. What their ancestors discovered in their travels outside the Empire serves them well to this day, and they see no reason to discard their culture.



The Shinjo had ruled the Unicorn Clan ever since it was the Ki-Rin Clan, but a generation ago the kami Shinjo returned and removed them from that position and designated the Moto as the new leaders of the Clan. The exposure of daimyo Shinjo Yokatsu as a Kolat Master shattered the clan's faith in the Shinjo, and as a result they must struggle for respect and acceptance even among their own people. The Shinjo are viewed as a "soiled" family and other Unicorn often avoid them. Many have abandoned their family's quest for redemption and instead embrace their role as explorers, finding peace in the wilderness that will forever be denied them among other samurai. The Shinjo are also expert animal trainers; their war dogs and trained falcons are legendary.


The Utaku are bold, brash, and headstrong even by Unicorn standards. The founder of their family swore no oath of fealty to Shinjo - none was necessary. They strongly believe that the sincerity of their actions speaks for them, and that so long as they maintain the purity of their honor they cannot fail.

This matriarchal family is ruled by an organization of samurai-ko known as the Utaku Battle Maidens: the single greatest cavalry force in Rokugan. Male samurai may not join the Battle Maidens. In fact, male Utaku are forbidden to ride the fine steeds of the Utaku. Most choose not to ride at all. The Utaku are extraordinarily loyal to one another, and tend to be condescending even toward other Unicorn families. Some might call them elitist and arrogant. The Utaku would argue that any contamination of their purity would sap their strength.

Until about a generation ago, this family bore the name "Otaku", but it changed after the kami Shinjo purged the Kolat influence. Their new name symbolizes the oath they swore anew to Shinjo, an oath that requires no words, only action.


The Iuchi are the keepers of the Unicorn religious traditions, a strange mix of gaijin philosophy and kami magic. Iuchi magic is unlike the magic of other Rokugani shugenja, focusing instead on the powers of nature and on personal identity. The Iuchi are extremely secretive, especially for Unicorn. Past experiences with the Scorpion have led the Iuchi to be extremely reticent about sharing their mystic arts, and it is rare for outsiders to be admitted to their school.


The Ide family follows a philosophy it calls wabukan, "the house of peaceful warriors." Though they understand and respect the martial traditions of their cousins in the Utaku and Moto, the Ide follow a path of strict pacifism. Those accustomed to the brutish, merciless reputation of the Unicorn are often startled by the cunning minds and peaceful dispositions of this family. Though Ide practice the "barbaric" traditions of the Unicorn, they understand the customs of the Empire and are expert courtiers, shifting effortlessly from their own practices to Rokugani social conventions. The Ide forge alliances with other clans and monitor the courts for information that may be of interest. In many ways they are the eyes and ears of the Unicorn, and though the Moto despise their pacifism, they cannot deny their effectiveness.


The founders of the Moto were not Rokugani at all, but the Ujik-hai, a race of savage wanderers whom the Unicorn encountered in the desert beyond Rokugan. The Ujik-hai swore fealty to Shinjo after their defeat at her hands, and have been loyal followers of the Unicorn ever since. The Moto are a grim, pragmatic family with undeniable skill in combat. Some would go so far as to call them "savage", but never within earshot. The Moto White Guard are among the most terrifying berserker warriors in Rokugan. It is a Moto custom (and an unusual one, for samurai) to allow an enemy the opportunity to surrender. Should the enemy deny this single opportunity, the Moto show no mercy.

For many years, they were hounded by a Tainted offshoot of their family that referred to themselves as the Black Guard. The Moto dedicated themselves to the extinction of this group, and many believed their merciless savagery was a result of their quest for purity. However, now that the family is clean of the Taint they are no less violent. Since the Battle of Oblivion's Gate, the Moto have ruled the Unicorn Clan.

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