The Lean Time was the season of winter in which the nezumi had to survive until the Walking Time and the Growing Time. [1] During this season the elders who had passed his Mit'foo died, and after it the tribe held the Mrtm'atch-tek, the Ceremony of Names that have Gone into the Next Night. [2]

Long Lean Time Edit

The Long Lean Time was the period which began after the Terrible Day, in the fledging era known as the Race Against Tomorrow, where the nezumi race learned to flee as a way to survive. [3]

Surviving in the Shadowlands Edit

The nezumi race traveled north to escape the Shadowlands, but found a new the humans inhabiting the land north of the Twilight Mountains, the Emerald Empire. Early misunderstandings between the two races convinced the Nezumi to remain south of the great mountains that once defined the northern border of their fallen empire. [4] The mental capacity of individual nezumi began to decline, primarily damaging their memory. Within three generations of The Terrible Day, only one nezumi in ten was capable of any significant feats of recall. The Lean Times ended in the year 50. [5]

After the Lean Times Edit

Age of the Nezumi Tribes Edit

Shortage of food and too harsh environment forced several of the Chieftains to sneak into Rokugan in smaller groups. And so the age of the Nezumi tribes was born. Some bands headed north into the lands of the humans. Many stayed within the lands they once called their own. One even marched south toward Heaven's Gate, vowing to reclaim their home. [6]

Crab Alliance Edit

In 314 many of the Nezumi tribes united to help a lone Hiruma Scout, Hiruma Kazuma, [7] foil the treacherous plans of a corrupted Kuni Shugenja, thwarting an attack which could have overwhelmed and destroyed the Hiruma Castle. Since that day the Hiruma honored the nezumi as allies. [8]

Schism Edit

Several generations after the alliance was formed, the Forever-Racing-Tomorrow Tribe, the largest existing at the time, split due to a major disagreement as to how to best serve the interests of the Nezumi race. Those who followed a half-demented, self-proclaimed "prophet", remained in the Shadowlands to live as they always had, becoming the Third Whisker Tribe, a nihilistic group of doom-sayers who eventually occupied the tunnels beneath the Kaiu Wall. The tribe's chieftain wished to forge closer ties with the humans, so he took a large portion of the tribe and traveled north past the Kaiu Wall becoming the Tattered Ear Tribe. The Shaman, who felt that the humans would bring them all to ruin and advocated severing all ties, took a much smaller portion of the tribe and traveled farther west into the Shadowlands, becoming the Crooked Tail Tribe. [9]


  1. Way of the Ratling, p. 31
  2. Way of the Ratling, p. 33
  3. Enemies of the Empire, p. 98
  4. Way of the Ratling, p. 16
  5. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 47
  6. Way of the Ratling, pp. 16-17
  7. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 11
  8. Way of the Ratling, p. 17
  9. Way of the Ratling, pp. 17-18

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