As the undisputed masters of court and the so-called Left Hand of the Emperor, the Crane Clan elevates politics to an art form. In the Imperial Court, the influence of the Crane is inescapable. Not only do the nobility of the Crane often marry into the Imperial line, but many of their lords are powerful figures in the Emperor’s court. Elsewhere, in the castles of the other Great Clans, Crane emissaries foster peace and arbitrate disputes, spreading the message of harmony that has served as the clan’s touchstone since ancient times. Yet diplomacy is but one of many arts honed by the clan. The clan cultivates painters, dancers, poets, sculptors, and musicians to entertain their fellow samurai and spread the Crane’s influence through subtler means. The elegance and accomplishments of their courtiers and artisans also extends to their duelists, who seek to master the technique of one perfect strike.
Many members of the Crane Clan see it as their duty to preserve and ennoble Rokugan’s culture by maintaining the bureaucracy, to prevent wars by creating good will and interdependency between the other Great Clans, and to enrich the lives of the empire’s people by adding works of great beauty to the world.
Many of the greatest poets, artists, philosophers, duelists, and courtiers of Rokugan have been trained in the academies of the Crane Clan. As a result, refinement, grace, and sensitivity are not only the defining features of the Crane Clan’s political strategy, but chief among its weapons. The Crane Clan’s courtiers have worked for generations to make themselves indispensable to the function of the Emperor’s court and countless other political bodies across Rokugan. Even outside of Crane lands, Crane-trained diplomats and emissaries smooth relations between the Great Clans, helping to preserve peace and foster understanding.
Having trained in the arts of war his entire life, Daidoji Uji is a master tactician. The Crane Clan’s armies are outnumbered by those of their greatest rival, the Lion, so Uji has developed a specialty for guerrilla warfare and infiltration tactics. Part of this secret pragmatism is born from his personal interest in foreign philosophies and technologies.
As the lord of the Daidoji, he takes his family’s duties as the guardians of the clan very seriously. To this end, he has secretly cultivated the Daidoji Harriers into a clandestine force of shinobi willing to sabotage, assassinate, lie, and steal their way to victory. He and his followers will do whatever they must in order to preserve the Crane Clan and fend off its enemies.
The samurai of the Crane consider themselves to be the wardens of Rokugan’s cultural heritage. Many strive to fulfill Lady Doji’s vision of beauty, order, and civility, though there are many different ways of going about this. Some champion the arts, others contribute to educating the citizens of Rokugan, others seek to maintain its traditions, and still others collect folklore and wisdom that has long been overlooked. As a result, most Crane Clan samurai are expected to have at least a basic appreciation for the arts even if they are not artisans themselves.
The clan’s culture varies widely among its four great families. The Way of the Doji is living a noble life. The Way of the Kakita is living life to the fullest. The Way of the Asahina is living in atonement. The Way of the Daidoji is living to protect. Although their different perspectives occasionally divide them, these families are united by bloodlines and ancient oaths of fealty. Their varying colors are ultimately feathers of the same brilliant wing: the Way of the Crane.
The Doji Family
As the leading family of the clan, the Doji family sends its legendary diplomats to foster peace across the realm with gifts, favors, and friendship.
The Kakita Family
The Kakita family sees everything as an art to perfect, whether that be the swordplay of their duelists or the music, poetry, and paintings of their artisans.
The Daidoji Family
The Daidoji family stands ready in times of war, filling the ranks of the Crane’s armies and clandestinely deploying harriers to surveil and sabotage its enemies.
The Asahina Family
The artificers of the Asahina family are the pacifist heart of the Crane, mediators and healers who eschew violence and spurn the battlefield.
Comprising the eastern territories of Rokugan, the lands and castles of the Crane are works of beauty in their own right. Majestic woods along its northwestern border give way to verdant grasslands and billowing rice paddies. Lotus-strewn wetlands mark the clan’s southwestern borders, from which flow cerulean rivers that wend their way east to the Sea of the Sun Goddess. The clan’s provinces are best known for their extensive coastline dotted with secluded coves and forested islands. Overlooking that coast are the Esteemed Palaces of the Crane, considered the pinnacle of culture and refinement in Rokugan and which often play host to the Emperor’s Winter Court.