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Spider Clan

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Mon of the Spider Clan

Not much was known about the Spider Clan to Rokugan at large. Formed in 1169 [1] by the Lost and other factions that swore fealty to Daigotsu, it was technically not an actual clan, [2] until Empress Iweko I conferred Great Clan status in 1173. [3]

Creation of the Spider Clan Edit

The Spider were the followers of Fu Leng. Originally denizens of the Shadowlands known as the Lost, the Spider left that dark realm under the direction of their dread lord Daigotsu and infiltrated the Empire. Daigotsu led his people from the Shadowlands and into the Empire, where they masqueraded as the Spider Clan. [4]

Shadowlands Menaced Edit

Daigotsu was informed by gaijin from the Burning Sands, the Jackal, that a menace was growing in power beyond the borders of Rokugan that would consume the Shadowlands and use its forces as pawns in its struggle. The Dark Lord moved his forces out of the targeted area. [5] This threat appeared later as the Destroyers, the avatar of Shiva Kali-Ma, and the Plague War followed with the Destroyer War. [6]

Side Effects Edit

The demons of Jigoku were free to reign over the Shadowlands, and Daigotsu believed his future would be in the Empire with the humans. [7]

Joining the Clan Edit

The ceremony to join the Spider Clan was different than the other Rokugani clans. The particularly pious, devoted individuals shared his blood with Daigotsu over the new member's blade emblazoned with the Spider mon. As the new one should bleed for Daigotsu, so should the Dark Lord bleed for him. And together, they would bleed for Fu Leng. It was expected that ceremony was not necessary with demons of Jigoku or other monstrosities. [5]

Infiltration on Rokugan Edit

The Dark Lord learned repentant Lost were escaping the Shadowlands, escorted to safety within the Empire by traitors within his midst with the help of agents of the Jade Champion Asahina Sekawa. Using this means of entry, the Lost had been infiltrating the Empire establishing hidden strongholds: the Shadowlands Marshes of Shinomen, the abandoned ruins of Otosan Uchi, and the collapsed and abandoned Beiden Pass. These strange samurai, representatives of the Spider Clan, offered their targets their heart's desire, and for so small a price. Gradually the Spider's web entangled the foolish and selfish. [5]

Agenda Edit

One of the few things that was known about the Spider Clan was that it was Daigotsu's hope to weave a web of influence within the courts of the Great Clans. [8] Individuals within the Great Clans who were frustrated, ambitious, and of generally questionable honor, were located. The Spider provided what these people needed or wanted most, which became indebted to the new ally who supplied it. This network of allies provoked an inexorable corruption of the weak and the ambitious within the ranks of the Great Clans. The next step was to forge an alliance with the clan of these individuals, using them as go-betweens with the Spider leaders. The last stage was to violently destabilize all the Great Clans with assassination of several of their leaders, and in the ensuing chaos and in-fighting among the Clans, to be one step closer to claim the Imperial Throne. [9]

Common Folk Edit

Bands of Spider Bushi appeared in villages at the perfect moment to save the villages from destruction by a group of bandits. The Spider arranged for this convenient timing by hiring the bandits to do the attack, then moved in and slaughtered them to gain favor with the heimin of the Empire. [10]

Unicorn Edit

Daigotsu Susumu offered the Spider support to Ide Tang, who sent words of the Spider to his Lord. Aiding the Unicorn the Spider could garner respect for them among the rest of the Empire. [8]

Scorpion Edit

The Scorpion investigated into these suspicious spider. The Steel Strand Dojo sensei, Daigotsu Masahiko was exposed and killed, alongside with Daigotsu Hirata. Bayushi Eisaku burned the tainted corpses. [11] The Kuroiban began to track down any Spider member they could find in their lands. [12]

Mantis Edit

The Mantis received aid from the Spider while hunting a particularly dangerous bandit gang. But after it was destroyed the Mantis turned on the remaining Spider "allies" and killed them. [13] [14] [15]

Dragonfly Edit

The Dragonfly were infiltrated by the Spider, and it would be instrumental to send assassins to Dragon territory. [16]

Sparrow Clan Edit

The Spider had infiltrated the Sparrow Clan as an opportunity to gain entrance to the Crane Clan. [17] Their influence would gradually grow until the Spider virtually controlled the clan. [18]

Race for the Throne Edit

The Spider had been taking a heavy toll on bandits, ronin, pirates, and all other manner of criminals for nearly six months. They had gained considerable momentum among the lower classes, and rumors that there were those among the Great Clans who had made pacts with them began to spread, but no Spider candidate for the Race for the Throne appeared. [6]

Growing up Edit

Support for the Spider grew exponentially among the people of the unaligned lands. The training of ashigaru legions began, to field an army equal to almost any Great Clan. [19]

Ruined City Edit

In 1170 the Spider capital was shifted to the Ruined City, [12] and the Black Silk Castle built to become the Daigotsu's court place. [20]

Night of the Spider Edit

All the Spider within the Scorpion territory disappeared without leaving any track. The Kuroiban guessed it would mark an attack against them or their prominent samurai. Daigotsu had sent one hundred assassin targeting prominent figures of all the Great Clans during the Night of the Spider. The Unicorn Clan would not be targeted, and the Spider attempted to expose the Scorpion Clan as the killers' source. The Dark Lord used the powers of Katsu to communicate with all the assassins simultaneously. [12] One of the Spider units had infiltrated Kyuden Ikoma disguised as ronin. Each of the murdered low ranking samurai would be replaced by one of the legion of lesser men and women that the Spider Clan owned in one way or another. [21]

Celestial Tournament Edit

The Celestial Tournament was a turnoil moment for the Clan. They competed patronaged by the Unicorn Clan, sponsored by Fu Leng, with the acknowledgment of Tengoku's representatives, the Voice of the Jade Sun and Obsidian Moon. [22] The winner, the Empress Iweko I, trascended to divine and gained truth about the Spider. The bases in the Shinomen Mori and the Ruined City were exposed to the Empire and chased by the new Shogun Moto Jin-sahn. On the other hand, she decided to do it secrecily, so the rest of the Empire was unaware of Spider's connection to Jigoku. Even more, Daigotsu Susumu, who did not bear taint but was loyal to Daigotsu, was appointed as Imperial Advisor. [23] Shortly before the tournament the capital in the Ruined City had been abandoned. [24]

Fingers of Bone Edit

The Black Silk Castle was burned to the ground during the burning of the Shinomen Mori in 1170 that covered the escape of the Spider from the Imperial forces. [25] The Spider capital moved to the Fingers of Bone and within the Daigotsu's private tower was kept in secrecy Fu Leng, currently a mortal, with his power broken and waning after he had been replaced by Kali-Ma as Champion of Jigoku. [6]

Imperial Proclamation Edit

In 1171 the Empress proclaimed at court that she was suspending the edict demanding the immediate execution of Daigotsu, and demanded that he be brought before her. The Empire was fighting the Destroyer War and weakened by the plague. [26]

Kali-Ma Edit

Kali-Ma, currently Champion of Jigoku, began to extend the grip of her will to those who bore the taint. It caused the shifting loyalties of several Spider, who questioned Daigotsu and secretly could accept the new avatar of Jigoku on the mortal realm as their new Lady. The Spider children started to drink Tea of Jade Petals to diminish the taint and the new influence. [27]

Daigotsu's Death Edit

In 1173 Daigotsu killed himself. [3] In exchange the Empress Iweko I allowed his son Daigotsu Kanpeki to lead the Spider Clan, once he was severed from Jigoku. All the non tainted Spider members would be granted amnesty and the right to bear the mon of the Spider. Kanpeki would become a noble of Rokugan, trained in the Imperial house. [28] In this way Daigotsu aided to fulfil his son's prophecy. [5]

Great Clan status Edit

Daigotsu Misaki

A Spider Conqueror

In addition to a final bargain the Empress Iweko I confered the Spider the Great Clan status, all members were granted full amnesty, and holdings for the Spider were to be allowed to be constructed in the unaligned lands. Inside Rokugan the Spider were allowed to remain if they did not bear the taint, and those who bore it, were sent to the realm once known as the Ivory Kingdoms to conquer them alongside the Mantis in the name of the Empire. [3]

We are the sons of Daigotsu and Fu Leng, the dark ones who had the power to take that which they deemed theirs from the Celestial Heavens. We are the irresistible force that Rokugan changed to accommodate, for we could not be resisted. We embrace the power that the others fear. We are the evil that they accept, for to deny us is to be crushed before us. We are Spider. [29]

Age of the Conquest Edit

Iweko named the Dragon Clan the overseers of the Spider Clan members in the then ruined Ivory Kingdoms. These Spider were the ones that refused to have themselves examined by the Kuni Witch Hunters, the Asako Inquisitors or the Kuroiban or were deemed tainted. [3] The Empress stated that the Spider would not lay claim to all of this land, but they would be tasked with ensuring its relative safety before others enter. [30]

This decision caused the Unicorn's Khan Moto Chen unease, because he was allied with the Spider and after learning the truth about the Spider wanted to redeem his clan. Chen wanted to make sure, however, that the Spider follow the order of Iweko and reach the Ivory Kingdoms. [31]

The assembled forces of the Spider Clan departed the Empire, and it was remembered in the Festival of Departure. [32]

Council of the Spider Edit

The Council of the Spider was formed to lead the clan and Mirumoto Ichizo took regency until Daigotsu's son came of age. The Susumu family was founded, and the Daigotsu and Chuda families recognized. [30] The Goju and Ninube were not officially recognized or sanctioned families, and the Shadow Dragon pledged the majority of its minions to the new Great Clan. The Spider hid their association with the Shadowlands and Darkness corrupted minions of the Shadow Dragon. [33]

Chuda Defection Edit

The Chuda lost the faith in the Spider's ways, so they left the Spider in 1178 [30] and returned to Summon Onis, so they could achieve their true purpose; the complete and entire annihilation of the people of Rokugan. [34]

Colonies Edit

The Spider had carved out a pacified land from the overgrown nightmares that sprang up in the wake of the Ivory Kingdoms' death. Constantly watched by their allies among the Dragon, the Spider chafed at the yoke the Empress had placed upon them, knowing that the chance to seize the throne could present itself. [35]

Gaijin Raiders Edit

In 1183 the Spider, Mantis and Unicorn Clans were attacked by unknown assailants in the Colonies. The Spider had been accused of staging the attacks, but their forces destroyed the gaijin raiders responsibles of the attacks. After weapons of slain Mantis and Unicorn were returned to their families, the Spider earned a great deal of respect from both clans. [30]

Spider Clan Members and Influential Positions Edit

In 1197 it came as a both a surprise and a triumph to the Spider when the Empress declared that Winter Court was to be hosted by their clan. Negotiations with the Unicorn led to the use of Shiro Ide. [36] Empress Iweko had restricted the Spider, past and present, from gaining positions of importance. Only those who would pass her scrutiny in person were allowed to. This issue arose in 1198 when Ikoma Katsuru, the governor of the colonial Second City, was murdered by Dark Naga and needed to be replaced. [37]

Edict of Exploration Edit

The new Imperial Governor of the Colonies Otomo Suikihime issued the Edict of Exploration, allowing any samurai to explore and claim any treasure they found for their clan, permitting them entry into those regions previously earmarked for the Spider alone. The spider built up their holdings throughout the regions they controlled, and concentrated their efforts on the Cult of Ruhmal. [38] The Spider were having difficulty laying claim to the lands that were theirs by right: territorial claims contested, obfuscated reports, paperwork gone missing, all there were caused by the stinging tricks of the Scorpion Clan. [36]

Crab and Lion Attacks Edit

The Imperial Decree banning warfare between the clans might not apply within the Colonies in matters of honor. The Crab saw the very existence of the Spider Clan as an affront to their honor, so they began to fight the Spider in the Colonies. [39] Once the Lion realized the Spider were hiding a powerful artifact, they also attacked Spider encampments. [40] The Dragon as watchers of the Spider interceded and demanded some manner of explanation that truly showed the Spider's involvement. The Lion took that as an act of defiance and began striking out at the Dragon holdings in the Colonies. [41] Eventually the Kitsuki found a vial of the Blood of the Preserver, concluding the Lion were not baseless in their claims. [42]

Exodus of the Spider Clan Edit

Exodus of the Spider

Exodus of the Spider

Broken Treaty Edit

In the year 1200, shortly after Iweko II ascended, Daigotsu Kanpeki accepted his father's gifts, becoming a Lost. [43] The Spider went into hiding, and the Chuda rejoined them. [44]

Details Edit

Colors Edit

The Spider were mostly identified with black and white colors. [45]

Statistics Edit

Families Edit

The following are the families of the Spider Clan:

The clan also has two known monastic orders of sohei, warrior monks:

Samurai Edit

See Samurai of the Spider 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 were the basic Schools within the Spider Clan:

Paths and Advanced Schools Edit

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


  1. Vacant Throne, p. 68
  2. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 77
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Goddesses, Part 4, by Shawn Carman
  4. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, pp. 7-8
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Dawn of the Spider (Imperial Herald v2#21),
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Harbinger, by Shawn Carman
  7. Dawn of the Spider (The Truest Test flavor)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Access, by Rusty Priske and Shawn Carman
  9. Masters of Court, pp. 124-125
  10. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition Revised, p. 7
  11. Shadows & Lies, by Nancy Sauer
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Heaven's Will, Part I, by Shawn Carman
  13. Vacant Throne, p. 109
  14. Moshi Chuuya (Words and Deeds flavor)
  15. Dissolution (Words and Deeds flavor)
  16. Preparations, Part I, by Rusty Priske and Shawn Carman
  17. Masters of Court, p. 128
  18. Kyuden Suzume (The Dead of Winter Spider Deck flavor)
  19. Poisoned Silk (The Race for the Throne Book), by Shawn Carman
  20. Master of Courts, p. 130
  21. The Heaven's Will, Part II, by Shawn Carman
  22. The Celestial Tournament, by Shawn Carman
  23. The Conclusion, Part 6, by Shawn Carman
  24. Defenders, by Nancy Sauer
  25. A New Empire, Part III, by Rusty Priske, Nancy Sauer, and Lucas Twyman
  26. The Proclamation, by Rusty Priske
  27. Questions of Loyalty, by Nancy Sauer
  28. Goddesses, Part 3, by Shawn Carman
  29. Spider Clan Character Bios (Emperor Edition)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 A Brief History of the Sanctioned Spider Clan, by Seth Mason
  31. Aftermath, Part 3, by Rusty Priske
  32. A Saga of Conquest, by Roger S.G Sorolla
  33. The Organization of the Spider Clan, by Seth Mason
  34. Emperor Edition Themes: Jigoku's Horde
  35. Age of the Conquest: The Clans
  36. 36.0 36.1 Darlings of the Court, by Yoon Ha Lee
  37. The Hand of the Empress, by Shawn Carman
  38. Embers of War, by Shawn Carman
  39. Scenes from the Empire 27, by Robert Denton, Yoon Ha Lee, Seth Mason, & Brian Yoon
  40. Seeds of Decay: The Dragon, by Seth Mason
  41. Gempukku Starter Fictions
  42. Kitsuki Judgment (Torn Asunder Picture and flavor)
  43. Daigotsu Kanpeki, Unleashed (Thunderous Acclaim flavor)
  44. Chuda Teraiko (Thunderous Acclaim flavor)
  45. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 70
  46. 46.0 46.1 Legend of the Five Rings; Fourth Edition, p. 356
  47. Hidden, by Shawn Carman
  48. Scenes from the Empire 17, by Rusty Priske, Brian Yoon, and Shawn Carman
  49. State of the Clans, Part 3, by Shawn Carman

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