Here we go to my continuing look at the clans in Emperor Edition. Please feel free to discuss or comment on anything I say.
Crane – Emperor Edition is a time of great possibility but also greater risk for the Crane clan. Their status in the courts of the land is the clearest sign of this. The Scorpion took a strong hit due to the Destroyers so the Crane are in great shape to fully reestablish their traditional dominion over the courts. In the past this would have been enough for the Crane but Emperor Edition changes things. Now they have new competition for the dominion over the courts. The Mantis and Crab are using their economic might to their advantages in the courts and the traditionally isolationist Dragon are also beginning to exert more influence with their Kitsuki magistrates. In the courts, in economics, and in the blade the Crane continue to be a dominant force but how will they deal with new rivals? Will they seek alliances or war?
What I would like to see: Rokugan is open to more new influences in the last 50 years than it had in most of its history combined. We have had two new major clans form and the opening of vast new territories to the Empire all of which will bring their own influences to commerce, art, and the meaning of a samurai. As the leaders in culture the Crane have a tough decision as to which of these influences to accept and which to declare unacceptable. For example, lets say a Crane samurai-ko suddenly decides to adopt a gaijin name for her gempukku. In the past versions of the RPG that has always been viewed as a disadvantage, something that is looked down upon by the Empire. Would the Crane now accept that name due to the new gaijin holdings or would they still reject it?
Lion – The Lion clan’s status as right hand of the Emperor and greatest military clan in the Empire has never been more at risk as it is during Emperor Edition. They were hit hard by the plague, the war, and its aftermath. Many of their best samurai were lost and although they died with honor it will take time for them to fully recover. Meanwhile their northern rivals the Unicorn left the War against the Destroyers in much better shape and is now even developing its own tacticians to counter the Lion. As the Lions get closer to their ancestors and use their guidance more to determine the clan’s success will they begin having a greater influence over them? The Lion’s theme of Ancestors is the one that I believe has the most potential for interesting story lines. For example, all those Lions that choose seppuku over the Empress’ decision to allow the Spider in as a clan are now Ancestors. What if they are spreading discord in the Heavens among the other Lion Ancestors? How would the Kitsu deal with a grown Lion rejection of what Iweko did in the Heavens?
What I would like to see: I believe that another “Spirit Wars” might become possible with the Lions channeling their ancestors but this time in the Heavens. Say, for example, Unicron ancestors in the Heavens tire of the Lion Ancestors continuing to influence the Lion against the Unicorn so they declare an attack against them in the Heavens.
Phoenix - Phoenix has always been the clan of knowledge and is in a great position especially as it is one of the three northern clans who fared well in the War of the Destroyers. This search of knowledge is tied to a deep curiosity that clan has, however, that same curiosity of the Phoenix is traditionally what has always gotten them in trouble. They see a scroll and they immediately want to open it. After many, many years they finally have seem to learned that maho = bad but now they will have a fresh temptation for them. Gaijin lands bring knowledge of gaijin magic that the Phoenix could never openly study before. This should lead to a new round of tough decisions for them with fresh new consequences should they pick the bad ones.
What I would like to see: The Phoenix Henshin theme could cause interesting situations with the Realm of the Dead. After all, I am sure that neither of the Lords of that Domain would be particularly thrilled if the Phoenix start abusing that ability. I think it would be interesting to see a Realm and a Clan have issues, perhaps involving the Unicorn.
Hope everyone enjoyed this one. The next article in the series will be The Horsey and the Crabby.