Known for centuries as the Left Hand of the Emperor, the Crane Clan is responsible for maintaining the balance and integrity of the Empire’s courts and of Rokugani society in general. As such, the Crane excel at diplomacy and politics, and are widely regarded as the unquestioned masters of the courts, with all the resentment from others that title entails.
The Doji Family: Lords of the Crane Clan, the Doji are the unquestioned masters of culture and politics in the Empire. It is a testament to the Doji’s cunning and influence that the Clan has endured for a thousand years despite being beset by larger, more militant Clans who find the Crane’s dominance of the courts endlessly antagonistic.
The Kakita Family: Literal cousins of the Doji, the Kakita family was created by the children of Lady Doji and her husband Kakita during the dawn of the Empire. The Kakita believe in excelling at one’s chosen task, whether that task is making war or creating the most glorious pieces of art. Like other Crane families, the Kakita are also well known for their physical beauty.
The Daidoji Family: The so-called Iron Crane are the strong arm of the Crane Clan and the enforcers of the Doji and Kakita’s will. They do not employ grace and style as their kinsmen do, but instead focus on sheer strength of arms and employ tactics that some might consider ruthless or even dishonourable. Daidoji means “defenders of Doji”, and it is a name the family has earned.
The Asahina Family: Quiet and serene, the Asahina are among the most monastic of all samurai families. They are also perhaps the most pacifistic, even more so than the Phoenix Clan, and abhor violence, seeking other means of resolving disputes at all costs. The Asahina are also known for their devotion to philosophy and the arts.
The Current Status of the Crane Clan
Military: Low, Ranked fifth in the Empire.
The Crane clan relies heavily on their dominance of the courts and the many favours collected throughout the people of Rokugan as a deterrent against war. That being said the crane have many specialist units, making them strong when war is upon them.
Politically: High, Ranked two in the Empire.
Without a doubt the strength of the Crane lies in their control over the courts. However with the ascension of Bayushi Kachiko to Imperial Adviser, the poltical fortunes of the Crane have soured slightly. The Crane eye this development with the Scorpion with a deadly eye and outsiders wonder when the response of the Crane will come.
Economically: High, Ranked first in the Empire.
The loss of the Yasuki has done little to hamper the economic power of the Crane Clan. The naval fleets of traders bring the high quality goods of the Crane from the cliffs of the Phoenix down to the shores of the Crab and Crane merchant caravans are a common sight throughout Rokugan.
Emerald Champion – Doji Satsume – now deceased
Doji Satsume, the Emerald Champion, has overseen his clan for over half a century. While past the age of retirement for samurai, Satsume seems anything but a man of his advanced years. Scarred along the left side of his face giving him a cruel and ever present smile, his steely gaze and quick strike has protected the former Emperor from the attack of black clad assassins. In order to silence his critics, he has renounced his Daimyoship to his eldest son Doji Hoturi, a fact that worries him given Hoturi’s choice of both lifestyle and tastes. With the death of his former master, he looks now to the new Emperor as his champion and wonders about the Crane’s future and the future of the lands he has sworn to protect. Recently however, he has been pronounced dead, treacherously murdered in the lands of the Lion Clan by unknown forces (believed to be bandits).
Crane Clan Champion and Doji Family Daimyo – Doji Hoturi
The ultimate playboy, Doji Hoturi is one of the most well loved and envied samurai in the empire. The most sort after bachelor in the Empire, his beautiful features and well spoken manner belie the skilled duellist that he is. His notorious romances and conquests are legendary throughout the Empire, this young man wants to enjoy his life to the fullest before being burdened with too much responsibility. However his father having relinquished the title of Champion of the Crane and Daimyo of the Doji family have burdend him slightly. Still, he tries to enjoy himself wherever he can and to the ladies of Rokugan he is still the most elegible bachelor with the Empire.
Asahina Family Daimyo – Asahina Tamako – now deceased
Asahina Tamako was like all Asahina, kind and benevolent but also extremely retiring – some would even say xenophobic. Tamako rarely left the halls of Shiden Asahina. Thus it was a great surprise to all when Tamako took several dozen of the eldest and most accomplished Asahina samurai from their castle and marched to a small battlefield in Phoenix lands. Tamako and his people stood in quiet protest at the war raging between Lion and Phoenix forces. And each one of the Asahina died on that battlefield beneath the blades of both Phoenix and Lion, without any effort to defend themselves.
Daidoji Family Daimyo – Daidoji Yamato
Hatred. If any word describes Daidoji Yamato it is hatred. The aged Daimyo of the Daidoji has rigorously defended his lands from incursions with the Lion, assassins of Scorpion origin and the wiles of the Yasuki each time leaving corpses in his wake. His failure to protect his wife from an unknown death, has resulted in such hatred turned upon the foes of the Crane that many are surprised that the Crane are not yet at war with another clan. What is known is that anyone who declares war on the Crane will face the unparalleled wrath of a man without conscience.
Kakita Family Daimyo – Kakita Yoshi
The most powerful man in the courts of Rokugan is Kakita Yoshi. Cursed never to hold a blade, he is content to leave the military organisation of his family up to the Sensei of the Kakita Duelling Academy, his brother Kakita Toshimoko. Yoshi’s calm and friendly exterior gives way to a sly and devious man, equal of any Scorpion courtier. In fact his verbal sparring with Bayushi Kachiko is captivating to watch with neither giving an inch in a duel as dangerous as those fought with steel.
Master Sensei of the Kakita Duelling Academy – Kakita Toshimoko
“Live as if each day is your last, and you will never live to regret.” If there is anything that describes the sensei of the Kakita Duelling Academy it is this. Given the responsibility of both the Duelling Academy and the Kakita military, Kakita Toshimoko handles them as he handles his katana – with perfection. Given the moniquer of Little Toshimo-ko as a youth due to his bearing the same name as his father, his nickname of the Grey Crane is due to his steel like hair that matches the colour of his Katana. Sensei to both the Emperor and his father before him, it is on the lips of all attending if he will also be teaching the young prince Satorii as well.
Doji Kuwanan (younger brother to Doji Hoturi, second son of Doji Satsume)
Square jawed and much stockier than his beautiful brother, Doji Kuwanan is his father’s child. A fine warrior and duellist, an incident involving the Lion has left him with a distaste for that clan. His betrothed, the Ikoma daimyo’s daughter, was found dead by her own hand on the night of her wedding day, an incident that has never been explained to Kuwanan’s satisfaction – much to his chargrin. He knows that a protoge of Akodo Kage’s was likely responsible and views the man with suspicion. That his brother seems to be such great friends with the second protege of the aged Akodo sensei is of concern to him as well.