The warriors of the Crab Clan are slayers of monsters and protectors of the realm. Their sworn duty is to defend Rokugan and maintain the Carpenter Wall, which stands as a bulwark against the endless hordes of horrors that spill forth from the Shadowlands. Those who do not fight with weapons support the Crab’s efforts by securing key supplies for their clan, maintaining alliances to guarantee support of the Wall, or engineering new technologies to turn back the tides of Shadowlands armies. Grim, pragmatic, and often violent, the Crab Clan are often looked down upon as uncultured brutes, but the constant battle against corruption and death that is their daily existence would destroy other samurai. It is only by the valor and sacrifice of the Crab Clan that the Emerald Empire continues.
Since its founding, the Crab Clan has stood between the people of Rokugan and the never-ending nightmare of the Shadowlands. Under the uncompromising eye of their founder, Hida, the Crab built a network of fortifications along the Empire’s southern border. These defenses grew and evolved over the centuries to become the Carpenter Wall.
Demarcating the southern border of Rokugan, the Wall stretches on for hundreds of leagues, its slate-gray blocks fitted together seamlessly into a structure thirty feet thick and a hundred feet tall. Twelve watchtowers are garrisoned by warriors, scouts, siege engineers, quartermasters, healers, and elementalists. From these bastions, courageous patrols venture forth into the Shadowlands to surveil the wastes and warn the Crab of growing threats. Together, the samurai of the Crab protect Rokugan from the relentless armies of undead and corrupted beings—no matter the cost.
Hida Yakamo is the eldest of his siblings and the most like his father, the “Great Bear” Hida Kisada. Just as Kisada was a hot-tempered samurai in his early days, so is his son, and they both wield the clan’s signature weapon, the spiked club known as the tetsubō, to deadly effect. Yakamo proves his bravery as often as he can, leading expeditions into the Shadowlands to ambush raiding parties before they get a chance to strike.
Besides his prowess on the battlefield, Yakamo is an accomplished duelist, never refusing a challenge from an opponent. As a young man, Yakamo was challenged to a duel by a Dragon Clan warrior, Mirumoto Satsu, whom he killed. To Yakamo, the duel was little more than a chance to prove his skill, but the death of Satsu has made Satsu’s sister, Hitomi, grow to hate Yakamo.
Faced with constant horror, the culture of the Crab is defined by martial prowess, creative engineering, and comradery. The clan values stalwart and practical thinking to a degree most other clans do not. Crab Clan samurai cannot afford ostentation or standing on ceremony in the way the other Great Clans can, for a single gap in the Carpenter Wall can spell death to hundreds, and a single missed shipment of goods can doom valiant defenders.
In comparison with the rest of Rokugan, the Crab tend to reward pragmatic solutions and views the idea of chivalry on the battlefield as a potential vulnerability. The clan’s tales tell of some glorious victories, to be sure, but are marked nearly as often by cautionary stories of lapses in vigilance or terrible defeats, with ground irrevocably lost to evil. Despite their grim circumstances, the people of the Crab Clan are not without hope, though Crab Clan humor can come off as notoriously grim to outsiders.
The Hida Family
The Hida family are intractable warriors, garrisoning the Wall and standing firm in the face of attacks by demons, monsters, and undead.
The Hiruma Family
The Hiruma serve as scouts, messengers, and saboteurs, warning the clan of impending incursions and harrying the evil denizens of the Shadowlands.
The Kaiu Family
The engineers and architects of the Kaiu family ceaselessly devise new weapons, traps, and other defenses to preserve the Wall.
The Kuni Family
The witch hunters of the Kuni delve into the darkest subjects imaginable, striving to understand the threats facing the Empire so that the Crab might better combat them.
The Yasuki Family
The Yasuki family serves as diplomats, courtiers, and merchants to procure critical resources including jade, which helps protect against the corrupting Shadowlands Taint.
The Crab Clan makes its domain in the south of Rokugan, stretching from the westerly Twilight Mountains to waters of Earthquake Fish Bay. The further south one travels, the more the grip of the Shadowlands can be felt upon the land. Whether samurai or commoner, almost every denizen has a nightmarish story of a hungry monster in the night, a bloody mist that stole away dozens of villagers, or another horror more unspeakable still. The Crab Clan’s lands end at the Carpenter Wall, from the towering heights of which one can seemingly peer into the abyss itself. The clan’s stronghold is Hida Palace, the most striking feature of which is the skull of the Maw, an ancient demon from Rokugan’s past, that looms over the main gatehouse.