The Clans Of Men

Using the Clans of Men

There are potentially dozens of Clans of Men for the GM utilize should they choose. The political state of each of these clans depends entirely on the GM's take on the setting and the story they wish to tell; therefor ask your GM before choosing one of these clans to play, as they might not exist or they might be bound to another clan. The political alliances of each clan have mechanical effects.

Independent: If a clan is independent, treat it as its own clan as normal. This should be the default state for most Clans of Men, with alliances being exceptional.
Weak Alliance: The clan has associated themselves with another clan, and for the time being they act as one. When creating a character of a clan in a weak alliance, you are excluded from choosing any school not of your clan or an allied clan.
Strong Alliance: The clan has cast in their lot with another clan for the time being. Clans in a strong alliance act as though they are all one clan, and may choose to study in any school within the alliance without penalty or cost. If a Lesser Clan ever enters a Strong Alliance with one of the seven Greater Clans, they might be absorbed into the greater clan entirely and lose their ability to leave such an alliance.

As mentioned previously, the political landscape is for your GM to decide. Perhaps there are Clans of Men they wish to add to the greater clans, perhaps there is an alliance of Clans of Men they wish to make as powerful as any of the greater clans. The possibilities are endless.

The Clans

The Clan of Carnage

Savage and nearly lawless, the Clan of Carnage are little better than bandits with expensive and refined tastes, who despite their depredations on those beneath them, rarely experience the punishment their actions should warrant. The source of their good fortune in this regard is a mystery, but few believe that it truly is mere luck.

The Clan of Conflict

Closely tied to the monks of the Brotherhood of the Way, the samurai of the Clan of Conflict serve the interests of others as mercenaries, using their pay in turn to advance the causes of the Brotherhood. So close are their ties, that some among them become monks before even retiring, joining an especially martial sect that reveres struggle as a sacred pursuit, and which does not separate itself from the Clan as a whole to any real extent.

The Clan of Flight

Followers of the legendary archer Issekigan, the Clan of Flight is single-minded in its dedication to the art of Kyujutsu. Granted a parcel of land by the Clan of Maps after proving himself the greatest archer in the Empire, Issekigan was displeased to find that the land he had been given was just barely suitable for living in. As a result members of the Clan of Flight regularly work as mercenaries, teachers, or bounty hunters, supporting the clan with their earnings.

The Clan of Gales

Descendants of Natsurai passed over within the Akaishi, the founders of the Clan of Gales departed for new lands and independence. Establishing themselves on the coast and a few of the nearby islands, they have learned the ways of the ocean from their contact with the native islanders. Servants of Storm and Sea, they seek to carve out a place for themselves in the Empire. Note: By default, this clan should start in a Strong Alliance with The Clan of Spice.

The Clan of Glades

Guarding their sacred territory of the Kakureta Mori, this clan of spirit worshippers pays tribute to the powerful animal spirits that emerge from the World Beyond the World. This clan's sacred tradition is that of onmyōji divining additional insight from communing with these spirit beasts, and even entering the World Beyond the World in their company.

The Clan of Guides

Inextricably linked to The Clan of Paths, this clan's most famous tradition is that of onmyōji that also serve as Miyabito. Peaceful by nature, the Clan of Guides are well-known as astute diviners and advisers. Note: By default, this clan should start in a Weak Alliance with The Clan of Paths.

The Clan of Heroes

Less a clan and more of a series of loosely organized cells, the self-styled Clan of Heroes dedicated themselves to aiding the common folk of the Empire. Though there are those who do not think of the Clan of Heroes as being a real clan, or even real samurai, few can argue their effectiveness in giving the peasantry hope for a brighter future, or in chilling the blood of corrupt officials.

The Clan of Martyrs

A ronin brotherhood that was granted lands by Imperial edict, the Clan of Martyrs holds that there is a finite amount of suffering in the world and that their sacred duty is to shoulder as much of that burden as possible. Though they venerate Bushido as all samurai do, the Clan of Martyrs places special emphasis on Chuugi and Yuu, as without those tenets they are nothing.

The Clan of Messages

Founded by the descendant of a strange spirit from the Sojourning Realm, the Clan of Messages concerns itself with the words of the dead, and with the missives of the living. Their onmyōji are renowned for their ability to speak with the departed, and to convince them to carry messages through the Sojourning Realm, permitting information to cross the Empire in mere moments. Though lesser-known, their bushi also converse with the spirits of the departed, gleaning from them insight into the arts of battle.

The Clan of Mountains

Deep in a desolate mountain range, this clan of warriors makes their home. This clan's territory is nearly uninhabitable, and farming is basically impossible. Therefor, this clan relies on raiding other clans to feed their numbers, or performing services in exchange for coin (an ignoble fate for a samurai to be sure). The Clan of Mountains values individual ability above all else, believing that while tools of war are useful, the only thing a samurai can rely on is their own bodies, and have developed quite the tradition of unarmed combat for their bushi. Miyabito and onmyōji are rare among this clan, but not unheard of.

The Clan of Spice

This clan is aptly named, as their island territory is rich with luxury goods such as spice, silk, and paper-producing mulberry trees. Due to their stature as a lesser clan and their disproportionate wealth, they constantly find themselves the target of naval operations - covertly backed by whichever greater clan thinks they can get away with such piracy. Therefor, this clan has a rich history of naval combat, a strong (if not specialized) Bushi tradition, and a natural dislike of the greater clans. Followers of the Foam-Wreathed Lady of the Sea, their ways are strange, reflective of their strange patron and slightly foreign origin. Note: By default, this clan should start in a Strong Alliance with The Clan of Gales.

The Clan of Spirits

From their isolated mountain forest the Clan of Spirits works tirelessly to safeguard the Mortal World from otherworldly incursions. Though not a large clan, they are nonetheless dedicated, dangerous, and frequently successful, foes to all creatures who would dare trespass in this world. The Clan of Spirits is often hired by other Clans to deal with invasive spirits that they cannot or do not understand how to handle, shoring up the finances provided by their meager territory. Even when not hired to deal with a roaming spirit, they will often simply handle the situation as they come across it and send an invoice to whoever is responsible for the territory.

The Clan of Sunlight

Devoted to the Radiant Lady of the Sun, this clan maintains a strong tradition of incredible piety, and the women of the ruling line are renowned as some of the foremost practitioners of fire magic in the Empire. Though few, the bushi of the clan are dedicated to the defense of the clan's sacred sites.

The Clan of Venom

This clan was founded to punish those within the Empire that would embrace the dark power of the Leech's Kiss. Their methods have become almost as dangerous to themselves as to their foes, poisoning their own chi so that those who would feed upon them or their allies might suffer for their hunger.

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