The World of the Legend of the Five Rings is a vast and diverse setting. Although most of the official (and unofficial) material focuses on the empire of Rokugan and the human samurai living there, there are many other places, nations, peoples, and beings that inhabit the world.
Nations and Other Regions Edit
The Empire of Rokugan Edit
Burning Sands Edit
The Burning Sands lie to the north and west of Rokugan. These lands consist mostly of vast stretches of desert where nomads roam the land and bitter wars are fought over the smallest reservoirs of water.
Ivory Kingdoms Edit
The Ivory Kingdoms lie far to the south of Rokugan, past the Shadowlands. Little is known of these islands and their inhabitants to the general populace of Rokugan, although secretly (and illegally) the Mantis Clan has been carrying on trade with this nation for some time.
Merenae, and its neighbor Thrane, lie across the sea from Rokugan. Merenae has emerged as the dominant nation on its continent after the decimation by plague and the invasion by the Yodotai that its neighbors have suffered. Merenae is most famous for the Cornejo family, the inventors and manufacturers of flintlock firearms. Their sole expedition to Rokugan culminated in the Battle of White Stag.
The Senpet Empire is an ancient civilization northwest of Rokugan, across the Burning Sands. Gripped in the ravages of famine, their society is on the verge of collapse within the next three generations. They believe themselves to be the first humans to have ever built buildings. They are lead by a pharoah and worship a pantheon of 10,000 gods.
The Shadowlands border Rokugan to the south and south-west. While not a nation, per se, this is a vile land where the very air can be poison and foul, unholy creatures are summoned forth by dark powers to wage a never-ending battle against all life in Rokugan.
Home of Garen Hawthorne. Decimated by a plague contracted by dealings with the Empire of Senpet.
In the world of Rokugan, there are many different and extraordinary creatures roaming the lands, and humans are not the only beings to have developed a civilization.
The Ashalan are a mysterious and ancient race of immortal human-like beings. They are a slaving race, masters of shadow and crystal, who live in the Burning Sands regions beyond Rokugan. Contacted by the Scorpion Clan during their exile, they believe themselves responsible for the present condition of the world.
The great majority of the populations of Rokugan and other lands are human. Humans almost exclusively make up the population of the clans, great and minor, as well as the other groups within Rokugan. The number of non-human members of Rokugan's clans throughout history can probably be counted on one's fingers.
The Kenku are an ancient race resembling very large humanoid crows. Kenku are legendary swordsmen and are, at least in legend, responsible for training some of the most famous Rokugani swordsmen in history. Seeing a kenku is rare, and getting one to take on a student is nearly impossible. These creatures have removed themselves from Rokugan almost entirely.
An ancient race resembling bipedal lions, the Kitsu were virtually wiped out by the kami Akodo's purges near the founding of the Empire of Rokugan. Near the end of the purges, Akodo realized that the Kitsu were a sentient, peaceful race, and so to atone for his virtual genocide, he married members of his family into their bloodlines, forming the Kitsu family.
The Kumo are a race of shapeshifting spider people. Though in their natural form they appear as giant hairy spiders, they often adopt the forms of those they kill. Many Kumo travel Rokugan in identities stolen from their prey, even occasionally taking human wives and having (presumably) human children.
The naga are an ancient race of creatures who appear half-human, half-serpent. Long before the rise of Rokugan, the naga had a vast and vibrant civilization. At some point in pre-history, however, the entire race of naga entered a deep sleep, where they remained for nearly 100,000 years. They awakened briefly during the Second Day of Thunder, but after a few short years of involvement in Rokugani affairs, they once again returned to their slumber. The Unicorn Clan has the duty of watching over the sleeping naga.
The nezumi, or "ratlings", are a race of large, intelligent rats. They currently live in squalor, barely better than animals, although they claim to have once had an extensive, advanced society. Unfortunately, this civilization was entirely within what has become the Shadowlands, and was presumably destroyed when the dark Kami Fu Leng fell to the earth.
The ningyo are an immortal race of merpeople. Pearl divers for the naga, the two races are allies. Once, the Ningyo were hunted for their flesh, the eating of which grants immortality to the person who eats it. After aiding the orochi, the race of great sea serpents, the king of the orochi placed a magical protection upon them that curses any who eat them. The curses are elemental in nature and consist of transformations or magical compulsions.
The zokujin, or "copper goblins", are small creatures with wiry hair and heads vaguely resembling those of frogs. They have extraordinary natural tunneling abilities -- being that they eat rock for nourishment, this is little surprise. Because of this, they are often used -- involuntarily more often than not -- by the clans of Rokugan in their various mines. Zokujin live to be centuries old, and an experienced zokujin shaman will have power in the area of Earth magic that is impossible for human shugenja.