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Mantis Clan

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Mantis

Mon of the Mantis Clan

The Mantis Clan is one of the Great Clans of Rokugan. Prior to the Second Day of Thunder, they could boast of being the oldest Minor Clan in the Empire, though they were not officially recognized as such. They occupied a unique position in Rokugani history, as a former Minor Clan that rose up on the Second Day of Thunder to become a Great Clan. Until recently, they were the only Great Clan without a divine representative. This changed, however, when the great Mantis hero Yoritomo ascended to Tengoku. Later, the Thunder Dragon gave up a portion of his divinity to allow Yoritomo to remain as the Mantis' official representative in the court of Tengoku. Specifically, their duties within the Emerald Empire are to guard and patrol all the lands of the Empire which do not belong to any other clan, including the seas of Rokugan. They protect the Empire against threats from the oceans, particulalrly any potential gaijin invaders. The clan's motto is "Only a fool stands in the path of a storm."

Mantis Clan Edit

Mantis Lands Edit

The Mantis Clan lived in a fertile archipelago to the east of the Crane shoreline, within view of Kyuden Doji. Many volcanoes formed the heart of the islands, not all of these are inactive, and numerous earthquakes rock the shores of the Islands of Silk and Spice each year. [1]

Mantis Fleet Edit

The Mantis had no standing army, but instead organized their forces into three fleets known as the First, Second and Third Storms. When the clan is wronged, the Storm comes for their enemies. [2]

Mon and Colors Edit

The mon was a mantis colored teal-green and gold. [3] The clan's colors were sea green and black. [4]

How the Mantis are Viewed Edit

Most of the other Clans consider the Mantis pirates and opportunists (the exceptions generally being the Crab Clan and the Unicorn Clan). Their naval strength and reach is unmatched, affording them contacts with nations beyond Rokugan, something which has been forbidden for most of recorded history. The Mantis struggle to cast off their reputation as thugs and pirates, yet many of them are aware that such practices still exist in the clan. [5]

Views on the Other Clans Edit

Crab Clan Edit

The Mantis were once of the Crab Clan and they honor the Clan of Hida as their cousins. It is a telling part of the Mantis ethos that when Kaimetsu-Uo was passed over for leadership of the Crab he did not whine or swear vengeance upon his brother like some petty Kakita, instead holding no grudge and leaving to forge his own path. The Mantis respected the Crab's military might and understood better than most their own sacred duty to protect the Emerald Empire from the Shadowlands. Furthermore, the Crab seemed to be the only other Great Clan (with the possible exception of the Crane) that actually understood the importance of sea power, maintaining (after the Mantis) the Empire's second-largest navy which includes the infamous Turtle Ships. Lastly, the Mantis personally get along quite well with the Crab, who tend to speak their mind just as the Mantis do. Traditionally whenever the Crab has needed military aid the Mantis have been among the first to offer it; such as at the Battle of the Cresting Wave. It was indicative of their relationship that when Yoritomo made his declaration in front of the Great Clans on the Second Day of Thunder, the only person who seemed genuinely pleased (and more than a little amused) by his power play was Hida Yakamo, Crab Clan Champion.[citation needed]

Crane Clan Edit

The Mantis hold mixed views on the Crane Clan. On the one hand, the Crane seem to be the only other Great Clan that truly understand the importance of commerce in Rokugan (with the possible exception of the Unicorn), an issue near and dear to the hearts of most Mantis. On the other hand, this means the Crane are the Mantis' biggest obstacle on the road to economic domination. Furthermore, the Mantis perceive the Crane as militarily weak and personally cowardly for often hiding behind what they saw as the false veil of honor and for the complex webs of intrigue they weave at court. The Crane has alternated between the Mantis' greatest ally and greatest opponent in their quest for greater recognition through the work of the Yoritomo Courtiers. The Mantis remember Doji Kuwanan's betrayal of Yoritomo when they went to claim the Scorpion lands, but they also remember the many times the Crane hired them as mercenaries during their time as a Minor Clan, actions which increased their coffers and helped to give them the leverage they would ultimately need to become a Great Clan. The Tsuruchi, however, greatly respect and honor the Crane, as they owe their existence as a Minor Clan to Doji Satsume, the Emerald Magistrate who had a hand in their creation.[citation needed]

Dragon Clan Edit

Like most of the other Great Clans, the Mantis simply do not understand the Dragon Clan. While they respect the Dragon's military might, the Mantis are a Clan of actions, not riddles and philosophy. The two Clans have never actively warred (given the geographical distances between the two Clans, not to mention their drastically disparate spheres of influence it seems unlikely they ever will), so the Mantis have never particularly cared one way or the other for the Dragon. The Mantis do feel a recent fondness for the Dragon, stemming from the new Empress Iweko I awarding the newly-created position of Imperial Treasurer to a Mantis, Yoritomo Utemaro.[citation needed]

Lion Clan Edit

Perhaps surprisingly, the Mantis and the Lion Clan have never engaged in any outright hostilities. Nevertheless while the two Clans are not openly hostile towards one another the Mantis have varied viewpoints on the Clan of Akodo, most of which are not particularly positive. These viewpoints tend to split along family lines. The Yoritomo tended to respect the Lion the most, readily acknowledging their military might, although they thought the Lion's myopic views on bushido and Rokugan as a whole would ultimately do more harm to the Empire than good. The Moshi, however, have not forgotten the Lion's attempt to conquer them in centuries past when they were still a Minor Clan. Neither has the Kitsune forgotten that it was the Lion who forced them from their lands before their establishment as an official Minor Clan – although, to be fair, most Kitsune saw this as having been a blessing in disguise for without it they would not have been led to the relationship with the Kitsune spirits after which they were named. The Tsuruchi had the most angst with the Lion, as their foundation as a Minor Clan had much to do with the Lion's betrayal of Tsuruchi himself. Though the younger generation was less vehement on this point, the elders among the Tsuruchi have not forgotten that the Lion's treachery proved that their view of bushido was little more than a sham.[citation needed]

Phoenix Clan Edit

The one Great Clan the Mantis loathe with a passion is the Phoenix Clan. The Mantis and Phoenix have never really seen eye to eye (see below) and indeed their recent history has been one of repeated war and hostility. The Mantis saw the pacifistic Phoenix as weak, and too stuck in their obsessive quest for mystical knowledge to ever actually accomplish anything concrete. The Mantis' proximity to the Phoenix coastline ensures that the two Clans usually have something to fight over and with the Mantis' clear superiority at sea, the Clan of Yoritomo usually wins any conflict against the Phoenix unless they try something phenomenally stupid. The Mantis are quite proud of the fact that they are currently the only Clan ever to have defeated the Phoenix in a war ( the War of Fire and Snow ended in a stalemate). This tense relationship does not seem particularly likely to improve any time soon; it may be a long time before the Mantis forgive the Clan of Shiba for petitioning to have their Great Clan status revoked. Alone among the families of the Mantis, the Moshi have a deep fondness for the Phoenix who originally created their progenitors, the Centipede Clan.[citation needed]

Scorpion Clan Edit

If there was another Clan alongside the Phoenix that the Mantis greatly dislike, it is the Scorpion Clan. This anger stems entirely from the death of former Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Aramasu at the hands of a Scorpion assassin. Aramasu, a former Scorpion given to the Mantis as part of a deal brokered by Yoritomo, refused to betray secrets of the Mantis to his former Scorpion masters, and for this perceived betrayal, they had him killed. After Naizen's attempt to extend the hand of friendship to the Clan of Bayushi (culminating in the Mantis' being handed Bayushi Kamnan, murderer of Aramasu), relations between the two Clans have thawed. Philosophically the Mantis do not generally approve of Scorpion methods (and would rather swallow their own kama than place their full trust in a Scorpion.) However, they understand the Scorpion philosophy of doing what needs to be done quite well.[citation needed]

Unicorn Clan Edit

The Mantis get along better with the Unicorn Clan than any other great clan, even the Crab. There are myriad reasons for this affection. The Mantis and Unicorn are the only two Great Clans that shared a respect for, and an understanding of, cultures outside of Rokugan; in the Mantis' case, those of the Ivory Kingdoms, Merenae, and Thrane, and in the Unicorn's, the many cultures of the Burning Sands and the Senpet. The clans are located on diametrically opposed ends of the Empire, meaning that a war between the two is almost comically unlikely. Their spheres of action do not generally overlap; while both are interested in furthering their economic interests, the Mantis' economic power is derived from the sea and the Unicorn's from the desert, so neither group have overlapping interests. Additionally the Unicorn remember well the aid their Mantis allies (and in particular Yoritomo Naizen) gave the Khan Moto Chagatai in his failed assault on the Imperial Capital Toshi Ranbo not to mention Naizen essentially talking the other Clan Champions out of executing Chagatai. Lastly, the Mantis and Unicorn personally get along for the same reasons as do the Mantis and Crab in that, in action and manner, they tend to be direct and to the point. Though the Mantis are the people of the waves, and the Unicorn the people of the horse, both Clans seek to understand one another. That, perhaps more than anything else, is why the Mantis and Unicorn are on friendly terms.[citation needed]

Minor Clans Edit

The Mantis respect the Minor Clans more than any other Great Clan, and afford them a far greater amount of influence in their courts as a result. This is not particularly surprising when one considers that the Mantis were once a Minor Clan themselves. They tend to view the other Minor Clans as their wayward brothers, and often attempt to convince them to join the Mantis as new families. They have been successful in three of these instances, absorbing the former Wasp, Centipede, and Fox Minor Clans. Though the Mantis are the newest Great Clan they have already spawned one Minor Clan: the Bat, led by former Yoritomo Shugenja Yoritomo Komori.[citation needed]

History Edit

Founding Edit

The Mantis Clan was founded in 80 by Kaimetsu-Uo, the son of Hida Osano-Wo, after Osano-Wo elected to give leadership of the Crab Clan to his illegitimate son, Hida Kenzan. Kaimetsu-Uo's mother, Matsu Kyoda, was outraged, and though her son bore his brother and father no ill will, Kaimetsu-Uo left the Crab lands, taking his mother and a few loyal Lion and Crab with them. They traveled to a group of islands off the eastern coast of Rokugan, later known as the Islands of Spice and Silk, where they settled and formed the Mantis. The clan colors are sea-green and gold. [6]

Death of Osano-Wo Edit

The first instance of many disputes between the Mantis and the Phoenix occurred shortly after the creation of the Mantis. Following the death of Hida Osano-Wo in 97, the task of catching his killer was passed to the Mantis Clan Champion Kaimetsu-uo. Kaimetsu-uo traced the killer to Shiro Shiba. The Phoenix first refused to open their gates, but when Kaimetsu-Uo cried out to his father for vengeance, lightning struck the gates of the castle, opening them. The Phoenix saw this as a sign to release the traitor to Kaimetsu-Uo. [7]

Gusai family Edit

The Mantis were finally recognized as a minor clan and temporarily gained the family name "Gusai" in 429, the name of that clan's daimyo at the time. The name was stripped from them only a few generations later in 510 when the Mantis Champion attempted to gain power by kidnapping the imperial heir. [8] [9]

Great Clan Status Edit

Ascension of the Mantis

The Mantis become a Great Clan

The Mantis became a Great Clan in the ninth day of the Month of the Ox of 1128 [10] when their leader Yoritomo led them alongside the other great clans on the Second Day of Thunder. Yoritomo demanded that the other clans recognize the Mantis as a Great Clan or the Mantis and their other Minor Clan allies would attack the Great Clan armies. Though the Mantis would surely die, the Great Clans would be weakened enough that they would lose the ultimate battle against Fu Leng. Most of the other Clan Champions were not pleased by this turn of events (with the notable exception of Crab Clan Champion Hida Yakamo) but they realized they ultimately had little choice, and assented to Yoritomo's demand. [11] [12] The Wasp Clan joined the Mantis becoming the Tsuruchi family. [13]

Yoritomo Invaded the Phoenix Edit

In 1132 in an effort to expand his power, Yoritomo, cited the Mantis Clan Charter when he seized control of the lands of the Phoenix Clan. He claimed the clan was too weak to properly protect the territory themselves, following their depletion on the Second Day of Thunder. Yoritomo hoped to take the lands quickly but the Phoenix Clan Champion, Shiba Tsukune, saw this invasion as an act of war and responded in kind. The Phoenix were not ready for an assault, so Yoritomo's forces slowly made their way deeper into Phoenix lands. In 1133, after having held the Phoenix lands for a year, the Mantis' hold on these lands were finally broken by the guerrilla tactics of a small band of Phoenix bushi and the magic of the Elemental Guards. It was later concluded that Yoritomo's actions were based on advice given by shape-shifting minions of the Lying Darkness. [14]

The Alliance Falls Edit

Humiliated by the defeats the Minor Clans disappoinment on Mantis leadership grew considerably. When Yoritomo proposed marriage to Kitsune Daimyo, Kitsune Ryosei, she not only refused him but abandoned the Alliance with her Clan's lot. [15] With the return of the Scorpion to their lands, the Mantis retreated to their islands and abandoned any territorial claim on mainland Rokugan. [16]

Ivory Kingdoms Edit

Parallel to the War of Spirits, Mantis Clan Champion Yoritomo Aramasu led a campaign against the Ivory Kingdoms. Little news of his effort to end an external threat to Rokugan reached those who were already embroiled in a civil war, but Aramasu's efforts were noticed by the Emperor and appreciated. [17]

Growing Ranks Edit

The Mantis enforced a policy of birth-rate encouragement. Mantis samurai were encouraged to find mates, outside the clan if necessary, and produce as many children as possible. Those who bore at least three children were automatically promoted to a higher position within the clan. Most Mantis generals could brag of at least seven children. Mantis who reached the age of 22 without marrying must consult a matchmaker. [18]

War of Fire and Thunder Edit

In 1166 War of Fire and Thunder erupted between the Phoenix and Mantis Clans after the Phoenix alledged that the Mantis had used a Black Scroll upon a Phoenix village. Although the act had in fact been perpetrated by the bloodspeaker Asako Kinuye, this was unknown to everyone, and the Phoenix petitioned the Imperial Courts that the Mantis Great Clan status should be revoked. The war lasted a year, culminating in a great battle on the Phoenix coast in 1167. The Phoenix surrendered in the end, but the losses were heavy on both sides. Both Yoritomo Kumiko and Yoritomo Kaigen were killed in the final battle. [19] [20]

End of the Orochi Alliance Edit

Several months after the end of the war it was found that the first among the orochi to join the Mantis, Tsurayuki, upon fulfilling its debt had destroyed the Mantis vessels it had accompanied. The Orochi Riders were decommissioned and the orochi were allowed to have freedom to roam the seas. [21]

Yoritomo ascends to Tengoku Edit

In 1169 Yoritomo was visited by Moshi Daimyo Moshi Amika and Horiuchi Rikako using the Heavenly Kobune of Suitengu to enlist his aid in finding Otaku Kamoko among the stars. As a reward for bringing Kamoko to the court of Tengoku, Yoritomo was granted admittance so the Mantis would have a voice in the heavenly court. [22]

Absorption of the Fox Clan Edit

In 1169 a prophet emerged among the Fox Clan who prophesied the downfall of the Fox. The Fox Clan Champion Kitsune Ryukan sent for aid from their former allies the Tsuruchi family of the Mantis Clan. [23] Following the aid of the Mantis Clan, the Fox were absorbed by the Mantis, becoming the fourth family. [24]

Heavenly Representative Edit

Following years of turmoil in Ningen-do and its adverse affect on Tengoku, the heavens rose up and usurped the former mortals Yakamo and Hitomi from their positions as Lord Sun and Lady Moon respectively. A cleansing of the heavens began, wherein the Elemental Dragons removed any who did not rightfully belong in Tengoku. The Thunder Dragon disagreed with the accusation that Yoritomo had not earned his place there and gave up a portion of his divinity to make the great Mantis hero, Yoritomo, the official representative of the Mantis Clan in the court of Tengoku. As a result the Thunder Dragon was cast out of the heavens, in return for his patronage Yoritomo Naizen and a large portion of the Mantis fleet along with their Ningyo allies began standing watch over the location of the immortal creature. [25]

Thunder element Edit

The Dragon of Thunder passed knowledge of an ancient ritual to the shugenja of the Clan, one that allowed them to share the Dragon’s strength. [26] She extended her blessings over the Mantis Clan, and the Thunder element was stronger on them, a touch of her power was in their hearts, [27] particularly on the Moshi Shugenja. The Mantis Champion decided to not become reliant upon it, because it could be revoked. [28]

Ruined Kingdoms Edit

In 1172 the Mantis established a foothold in the Ivory Kingdoms during the Destroyer War. They had been ordered by the Empress Iweko I to find answers about the origin of the Destroyers who were ravaging the Empire. They discovered the Fourth Storm, an Aramasu's legacy, [29] and they built Aramasu's Vigilance as a permanent base for expansion in these lands. [30]

Colonies Edit

The wood in the jungle was well suited for building and the food was plentiful and required no tending. The Mantis claimed the area as theirs and began its colonization. [31] In the years since the death of the Ivory Kingdoms, the Mantis played a pivotal role in the creation of the Colonies. They controlled the sea routes to that land, and had extensively settled along its southern coastline. The major ports and harbors of the Colonies belonged to the Mantis, and they had made a great many inroads into the ruined lands as well. [32] They worked with the Spider conquerors for mutual benefit. [33]

War with the Crane in the Colonies Edit

Tension increased between the Crane and Mantis regarding commerce interests in the Colonies. [34] The Mantis were accused of widespread corruption and forgery of documents by Daidoji. After a duel that settled the Crane's accusations, the Mantis engaged in retaliation over this slight of honor. Incursions on Crane holdings along the rivers between the coast and the Second City began. The majority of the Mantis' seaborne forces began to mass on the southern coast of the Colonies, and began a movement inland up both rivers, towards Twin Forks City. The Crane were requested to surrender their ports or see them destroyed for their insult. The Emerald Champion Utaku Ji-Yun upheld the complaint of the Mantis and granted permission for war between these clans in the Colonies. [35]

Details Edit

Statistics Edit

  • Capital: Kyuden Gotei
  • Population: 1,110,000 (approx)
  • Military: 66,000 samurai
  • Imports: Raw Materials
  • Exports: Silk, Spices, Exotic Goods

Families Edit

The following are the families of the Mantis Clan:

Major HoldingsEdit

The bulk of the Mantis holdings are located on Shima no Koshinryo or Shima no Kinu. Others are in the much smaller Kitsune, Moshi and Tsuruchi territories on the mainland.

Samurai Edit

See Samurai of the Mantis Clan for a listing of notable members of the clan, both current and historic. For the leaders of the clan, see also:

Schools & Paths Edit

Schools Edit

The following are the full Schools within the Mantis Clan:

Paths and Advanced Schools Edit

The following were the Paths and Advanced Schools within the Mantis Clan:

References

  1. Code of Bushido, p. 47
  2. Yoritomo Kurei (Celestial flavor)
  3. Way of the Minor Clans, p. 3
  4. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 70
  5. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 7
  6. Great Clans, p. 152
  7. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 10
  8. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 12-13
  9. A Hero's Death, Chapter 2, by Rich Wulf
  10. Time of the Void, p. 101
  11. The Son of Storms (Yoritomo's Alliance)
  12. The Yoritomo Alliance (Time of the Void, story back)
  13. Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 217
  14. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 22-23
  15. Hidden Emperor, pp. 78-79
  16. Hidden Emperor, p. 79
  17. Strangers, by Rich Wulf
  18. Secrets of the Mantis, pp. 4-5
  19. The Gift, by Rich Wulf
  20. The War of Fire & Thunder, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  21. Masters of Magic, p. 61
  22. Sailing the Heavens, by Shawn Carman
  23. Prophecy, by Shawn Carman
  24. Shadows, by Shawn Carman
  25. Preparations, Part I, by Rusty Priske and Shawn Carman
  26. Vacant Throne, p. 156
  27. Oceans, by Lucas Twyman
  28. A Dragon’s Favor (Before the Dawn flavor)
  29. The Ruined Kingdom, Part 1, by Shawn Carman
  30. Aramasu's Vigilance (The Dead of Winter flavor)
  31. The Haunted Lands, by Rusty Priske
  32. Age of the Conquest: The Clans
  33. Views of the Clans, by Seth Mason
  34. The Shadow’s Embrace, Part 2: The Crane, by Nancy Sauer
  35. Petitions, by Seth Mason

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