[l5r 4e] Legend of the Five Rings 4E - The Book of Earth - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. A book exploring the element of earth within the world of L5r. Index of /zetsu/l5r Core rirateccontbern.gq, Jun , M. [ ], Emerald rirateccontbern.gq The Book of rirateccontbern.gq, Jun , M. [ ], The Great Clans. Dec 25, Index of /public/Books/rirateccontbern.gq of the Five Rings/ - L5R D20/ May - MAPS/ Dec - MISC/ . 86M Legend of the Five Rings - The Book of rirateccontbern.gq Jan
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Index of /public/Books/rirateccontbern.gq of the Five Rings/4th Edition/ Bookmark The Book of rirateccontbern.gq M. Bookmark The Book of . Rokugan is as foreign from 20th century Earth as you can get. This book is presented in the same order as the core L5R Rulebook so you can cross- reference. L5R D20, , MB Legend of the Five Rings - (2nd Edition) - Game Master's rirateccontbern.gq, , MB. Legend of.
Things those who only peer at the surface will never know. Those who do not understand how to listen when stone talks think it has nothing to say. They are fools. His smile broadened. But you will not be. This series of books explores the Emerald Empire of Rokugan through the perspective of the five Elements which the Rokugani believe make up all of reality: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void.
Each book will add new depth to the world of Rokugan and new mechanical options for your L5R 4th Edition campaign. This includes some lesserknown monastic orders not previously depicted in the L5R 4th Edition RPG, and concludes with a discussion of the common usages of the major Earth Kiho.
This book, like its predecessor the Book of Air, views the Empire through the prism of a specific Element in this case, the Element of Earth, examining how it influences everything from fighting styles to social interaction to magic and mysticism. The chapters in this sourcebook comprise the following: This chapter deals with a host of different aspects of Earth in the lives of the Rokugani, both mundane and supernatural.
Topics include the major mountain ranges of Rokugan, natural disasters associated with Earth, Earthoriented arts and crafts such as farming and sculpture, and natural and otherworldly beings connected to this Element. Although the Lair is built around a specific Minor Clan and location in Rokugan, it is a semi-generic setting and can easily be relocated to another part of the Empire or another era in Rokugans history, allowing the GM to adapt it for use in any L5R campaign.
This includes a discussion of Heavy Weapons and the various martial traditions associated with them, an extensive examination of armor and the traditions and crafts associated with it, and the nature and history of castles and sieges in Rokugani warfare.
There is also an examination of sumai wrestling, the martial art most closely associated with Earth. This chapter discusses those groups of shugenja in Rokugan who pay special attention to the Element of Earth, and also includes an extensive review of the use and value of the major Earth spells.
There is also a detailed discussion of the Earth kami themselves, their nature and behavior, and their interactions with the other Elements. Finally, the chapter contains an extensive discussion of the struggle against the Shadowlands, an effort in which the power and purity of Earth figures heavily. This chapter discusses the Earth-based courtly methods of the Crab, the Mantis, and the Otomo, among others. It also offers detailed descriptions of three prominent castles in the Empire whose courts are Earth-dominated.
Skills of Earth Few Skills are reliant on Stamina and Willpower, as neither of these Traits represent aptitude or skill very well. However, the Earth Traits can be useful when applying Skills in a manner where talent is not as important as pure stubbornness or staying power. In certain situations, some skills may be better paired with one of these two Traits, as suggested below. Animal Handling Willpower : The typical way to train animals is a mixture of empathy and discipline.
The trainer learns how to handle particularly difficult subjects by understanding their behavior and shifting their training appropriately, but he must also stick to a regimen that will instill certain behaviors in the animal. In some cases, however, empathy is less important than sheer iron will, especially when dealing with animals that are notorious for sensing fear and reacting to it.
At the GMs discretion, certain animals such as bears, or pack animals like dogs and wolves, can be trained at a lower TN if the trainer wishes to use the Willpower Trait instead of the Awareness Trait.
This method of training puts much less emphasis on establishing a friendly and loyal bond between the animal and trainer and instead instills a sense of dominance over the beast. The trained animal will not be much for playtime or displays of affection, but will be unquestioningly loyal to its master, much like a dutiful samurai should be. This method does not work on all such animals, and those who have strong affection for animals such as members of the Kitsune or Shinjo families see it as bordering on cruelty.
Athletics Stamina : While many actions governed by Athletics are tests of coordination or raw might, sometimes it is important to simply endure in the task at hand.
Climbing, running, and swimming use Strength to show how well the character can ascend a wall, how fast they can run, or how quickly they can swim but not how long they can do it. If the GM wishes to show whether a character can persist in such activities over a long period of time or against severe obstacles, he can have the character substitute Stamina for Strength.
Or, a swimmer might be attempting to tread water, or a runner might slow his pace in order to run longer. While a characters raw Stamina may indicate how long he can effectively perform these activities without a roll , there are some situations where the primary concern is always sheer endurance and not form. Craft Stamina or Artisan Stamina : Crafters and artists of all walks of life tend to have one thing in common: they are often devoted to their art in a way that mirrors obsession.
Even farmers and fishermen can become lost in their work, toiling away an entire day without stopping, knowing that days crop or catch is unusually good and as much time as possible must be spent on it. Those who craft material goods or create artwork are if anything even more likely to fall into this pattern of behavior, sometimes forgetting to sleep or eat in order to finish their work.
Fatigued shipbuilders can lose their focus and create unsafe boat frames, smiths can let their hand slip and damage the metal they work with, an artist can make a bad brush-stroke and ruin a painting, and so on. The GM should keep the TN of the roll a secret, possibly allowing the character to believe nothing went wrong, though in truth he simply failed to notice the mistake.
Large failures, of course, should be noticed immediately but may not be repairable. Etiquette Willpower : In the regimented hierarchy of Rokugans social system, dealing with protocol and endless minor social rituals can become an exhausting and frustrating task. Canny courtiers attempting to embarrass their rivals do not wait for their foe to make a mistake they attempt to foster a situation for that mistake to happen.
One of the most common ways to do this does not involve outsmarting someone but instead wearing on their patience and resolve, eventually driving them to an outburst or some other angry misstep in their behavior. This represents the character exerting self-control, not necessarily conducting himself with extraordinary grace but instead merely not rising to someone elses taunts or jibes. This tactic is usually best reserved for characters with low Awareness but passable Etiquette Skill ranks.
While such characters might find it hard to conduct themselves correctly in all social settings, they at least have the mental resolve not to be baited into intemperate behavior.
Intimidation Willpower : In the Empire, even the brutish art of intimidation is somewhat artful and subtle, as indicated by the predominant use of the Awareness Trait. It is one thing to out-and-out state that youre going to destroy someones reputation, but engendering real fear about when and how it might happen is something else. Rokugan is a place where even such low behavior is not done in blatant and coarse ways.
A Scorpion merely stating, I am going to make you suffer, is not as threatening as if he suggests he knows exactly how to cause the most suffering While only the Mantis have truly mastered this art, the GM may allow characters to use their Willpower Trait when making Intimidation checks in any situation where it seems like a better fit than Awareness.
Some enemies cannot be subtly cowed, either because they are uncaring about veiled threats or are merely too stupid to understand them. In these cases, a character can attempt to be domineering and authoritative in an attempt to assert control of the situation.
Perform Stamina : Much like craftsmen and artisans, performers can become engrossed in their art or engaged in such a way that physical endurance becomes a serious factor. Unlike them, however, performers can intentionally take on performances that directly tax them physically as part of their art.
In some of the more dazzling Scorpion kabuki plays, an actor can find himself wearing enough layers of makeup and costume that a certain amount of stamina is needed to simply get through the show. Dancing can involve holding difficult, draining poses, and certain songs played on a string instrument might call for sustained playing that is impossible to those with limited endurance or bad constitution.
More simply, Stamina simply plays a part in how long a performer can maintain the performance. Depending on the task at hand, failure could indicate any number of things. An orator who has been talking too long simply finds himself unable to keep using his strained voice, a dancers weary limbs may falter, or a drummer may finally find the strength of his arms failing. It is best to keep in mind that Rokugani society is accepting of those who know their limits and quit while they are ahead, but very unforgiving of those who attempt the difficult and fail, regardless of how high the goal was.
Stealth Stamina : As any Hiruma or Daidoji scout will attest and any Shosuro ninja will silently agree , stalking and remaining unseen is not simply a matter of light feet and quick reflexes. Stealth is a game of patience more often than not, learning to pick the right moments to move and learning how to remain perfectly still until that time.
A trained scout may spend hours in their same position, observing an enemy or holding still until the time is right to continue on. Clever sensei train their silent students not just how to move, but how to follow the deceptively difficult art of stillness.
The Book of Earth With minimal movement, joints begin to ache, annoying itches start to become maddening, and muscles try to cramp and lock in place.
While there are arts to alleviate the impact of these factors, eventually it comes down to plain physical endurance.
When a character is attempting to stay perfectly still for an hour or more, or is attempting to resist the effects of fatigue on his stealthy arts, the GM can have the character use Stamina for the Stealth roll instead of another Trait.
Failure can indicate the character has finally allowed sleep deprivation to get the better of him, or the aches in his body were simply too great to ignore and he has moved in a way that could get him noticed. The Element of Earth is no exception to this, though the boons and curses associated with it usually manifest themselves physically. Earth not only governs someones endurance and will, but also the wholeness of their body. Certain Advantages and Disadvantages reflect unusual levels of Earth good or bad in a character.
Advantages Bland: While notoriety and fame can be advantageous in a society concerned with status, sometimes being able to remain unnoticed can be useful.
Many features of the natural world are difficult to tell apart from others. After all, only the most gifted scholars in the subject can tell one field, forest, or hill from another. This Advantage indicates the characters Earth has formed in a similar fashion. You have few if any truly defining physical characteristics. An average-sized nose, unremarkable hair, shoulders that are neither broad nor narrow, and so on.
Indeed, your looks are so average others will compare themselves to you as the baseline of what a normal person looks like. Crab Hands: All weapons contain a high amount of Earth, though this is often tempered by other Elements depending on the weapon. Characters with this Advantage have their Earth attuned in a way that resonates well with the same Element in weapons. Because of this connection, the Earth spirits in even normal, un-awakened weapons work to assist you on some small level.
Characters with this Advantage are more likely to treat weapons as if they were sentient creatures, naming them, speaking to them, or simply feeling as if they were not alone while armed. Due to the nature of this bond, weapons and items with awakened Earth spirits will be extremely fond of the character. If the item is intelligent or animated in some way, it will function better in the characters hands.
The GM may choose whether or not this grants any further mechanical bonuses, regardless, the characters affinity with the weapon will be immediately obvious to anyone with insight or training in the Elements. Hands of Stone: Either through training or birth, the characters Earth has manifested in such a way that his hands are tougher and more dense than the average.
Not only that, but this also makes it easier for him to disrupt the Earth in other things Earth, after all, is the Element that gives living creatures their stability and form. While this is not exactly a magical effect, the character might unconsciously be able to perceive the weaknesses in the Earth spirits holding something or someone together and strike there.
It is also possible his Earth simply overpowers the Earth in his target. Those who have this Advantage tend to eschew armed combat, and not merely due to their improved aptitude for hand-to-hand fighting.
When holding a weapon the character feels somehow blunted and out of touch with his own Earth, which can be unnerving. Large: The most obvious display of a heightened Earth in someone is the Large Advantage.
The character simply has more Earth than most, and not in a way that necessarily makes him awkward or slow. Large characters are often compared to animals or natural phenomena like bears, mountains, towering trees, and other things that show strength in the Earth element. Its important to note that this Advantage indicates you simply have more Earth than most, not stronger ties to that element. Its worth noting that Large characters tend to favor large weapons, not only to take advantage of their stature but also for reasons similar to characters with Crab Hands their greater Earth creates a minor bond to weapons with similarly large amounts of the Element.
This harmony may also translate into being more comfortable in environments like mountains, caves, and stone structures. Silent: This Advantage is similar to having a lack of Earth, but is not really the same.
Rather, the characters Earth is simply lighter in both the physical and spiritual sense. Consequently, the character is no less robust than anyone else, but is lighter on his feet and seems to have less of a presence in the room unless they call attention to themselves. Because of the nature this Advantage, the GM may rule the character interacts with certain magical effects in a slightly different way. Spells and effects that key off of the characters Earth either by using it or attacking it might be slightly lessened though if this produces a mechanical benefit the GM should probably increase the point cost of the Advantage.
Regardless, a shugenja casting a spell like Earths Touch on the character will notice that his Earth is unusual. The characters ability to keep performing even when wounded badly is partially through force of will and partly due to the characters superior Earth simply overpowering the bodys usual response to pain.
Its important to note that this Advantage is different than being able to take more damage. The character just has a significantly higher tolerance for pain, and likely wont even notice small injuries like scrapes or pinpricks. Arrogant samurai with this Advantage sometimes show off their gifts with tricks like putting out torches with their bare hands.
Disadvantages Bad Health: Something about this characters Earth is malformed so badly that they are more physically fragile than most.
Others may believe the character has been cursed by the wrath of Jurojin, the Fortune of Longevity. Whatever the case, injuries seem to affect the character more and sickness has an easier time taking hold in his body. His Elemental Earth is simply weaker than in others, and it shows often. This Disadvantage should not be confused for the effects of Low Pain Threshold. The character is not unusually sensitive to damage, and may actually be more stubborn about showing pain due to his fragile health.
He simply has less physical tolerance for the damage itself a wound might bleed more profusely, joints are more easily injured, bruises form readily and heal slowly, and so on. Characters with Bad Health may find themselves shunned for their weakness, or alternatively they may win respect for overcoming their deficiency. Disturbing Countenance: Unlike many other physical Disadvantages, this one causes no direct handicap for the character.
His body functions exactly as it should. Instead, the characters Earth has simply formed in a way that is seen as The specific manner in which the character is disturbing can vary widely unnaturally small or large facial features, a smile that is like a dead mans rictus grin, eyes that seem to hold no life or emotion, or something else that is off.
It may be noted that these things are usually small and subtle, not wildly offensive or disgusting. It is also possible that there is nothing obviously wrong with the character; some people are just unnerving or disturbing in a way that cant be described in words.
In such cases the subtle misalignment of the characters Earth is perceived on a unconscious level. While this Disadvantage certainly does not mean the character is evil or morally corrupt, many who suffer negative social reactions for so long become withdrawn, antisocial Low Pain Threshold: One aspect of a mortals Earth is his ability not just to withstand damage but to cope with the results of it.
Earth is the Element of endurance and absorption, and some men and women simply dont have the strength of Earth to handle pain and punishment on any level. Something about their Earth is lacking, making the lightest blows feel amplified and even tortuous. Armored sleeves that protect the arms. The collective components of armor that protect the extremities. Armor protecting the thigh. Thigh armor. The most common type of facial armor is the mempo.
Mempo are often painted and shaped into intimidating or unsettling grimaces to aid a samurai in battle. Often overlooked. The head of a samurai is very vulnerable to attack.
Often painted or sculpted to resemble a demonic face. A half-mask of porcelain or shaped metal that covers the lower half of the face. Often painted or decorated. Often the kote includes the iconic sode. Thus it is important for a samurai to protect his head.
Padded shin coverings. Usually this consists of thin plates of copper or bronze. The helmet is held in place with a thick chin-cord that includes places to hook the facial mask-armor. The first is the kote. Chest armor. Different kinds of greaves. Usually there are three. Sometimes physically attached to the kote. The helmet is. The kabuto. There are many kinds of kote. Armored foot coverings. On most suits. They usually extend from the ankle up to the knee.
Made from tightlyriveted plates of wrought iron or bronze. Armored bracer-gauntlets. The next three components are collectively referred to as the sangu. Made of thick cloth. Worn over the Kiahan. Types of Armor in Use Rokugan is a land of countless warrior traditions. It still offers decent protection from arrows if they strike the armored sections.
The result was the o-yoroi. In early days of the Empire. The basics of the art can be applied in many ways. Because the armor is intended for use on horseback. It completely covers the samurai front and back. There are almost as many types of armor in Rokugan as there are armorcrafting traditions. Most samurai eschew such armor due to its association with the heimin caste. Although the weight of the armor is equally distributed so as not to hinder movement to the point of impracticality.
As a result. It is actually an adaptation of riding armor for samurai fighting on foot. O-yoroi is considered to be a complete suit of armor. Riding armor is often worn without a helmet due to the need for unhindered sight while mounted.
The distinction between yoroi and o-yoroi is largely a convention of modern times. Ashigaru armor is valued chiefly for being very simple and cheap to manufacture. Extended shoulder pads offer protection from arrows. In time. It is made from lamellar plates of metal. As the craft progresses. It normally consists of the chest armor. As such. At its core it is simply an altered form of o-yoroi. It is not quite as effective against bashing weapons like tetsubo. Bogu is effective for practice and avoiding dojo mishaps.
It is also ideal for court guards. Even though students are not trusted with live weaponry while sparring. It consists of a bamboo chest protector. Each suit takes a full year to complete. For a non-Crab to own a set of tetsu-dou is a great honor. Although it is foldable and portable. Most apprentice armorsmiths start out by making suits of bogu.
A necessary trade-off. Instead of the lamellar plates that comprise most Rokugani armor. Thus it is often necessary for students to wear practice armor while sparring. Over these armor pieces the student wears a thick padded kimono for additional protection. Such armor is often worn in layers. Due to the great expense required to make this armor. This armor is designed to protect the wearer from the slashing claws and piercing teeth of monstrous oni.
Inspired by the woven tatami mats that cover the floors of most Rokugani homes. Rokugan is a vast Empire and there are nearly as many different designs and types of armor as there are armorsmiths.
Even two suits made by the same craftsman in the same province could appear vastly different and serve different purposes. Square armor plates are sewn into the armor. While tatami-yoroi does not offer much more protection than typical ashigaru armor. Besides being primarily made of bamboo which has little stopping power against most weaponry. Would you prefer to survive being hit. Unicorn riding armor is considered heavy armor for the purposes of mechanical effects that specify armor type.
Beautiful lacquered woods. Even so. Unlike most Rokugani. It is usually also made from materials prized for their beauty but impractical for combat. Ceremonial armor is made to the same design as other types. The average Rokugani riding pony. The armor drapes over the flanks of the horse like a tent. The result is protection equivalent to normal riding armor. It is extremely prestigious for an armorsmith to have his personal stamp embedded in a suit of ceremonial armor.
This armor. Iron armor is considered heavy armor for the purposes of mechanical effects that specify armor type. A Rokugani pony who wears this armor is considered to have a Water Ring one Rank lower for purposes of movement. The armor also incorporates four large domed metallic disks one for each of the four winds protecting the chest. It is quite uncommon for a samurai to wear the armor of his father. The slow and deliberate pace ensures nothing is donned incorrectly or uncomfortably.
A samurai must fight to achieve victory. During this cleansing process. Donning such armor would allow the wearer to be influenced by these thoughts.
Seemingly in support of this belief. Another factor is the spiritual significance attributed to suits of armor. There are exceptions to these rules. Most notably. Such weapons are said to contain the essence of every samurai who wielded them. Deviation risks the physical integrity of the armor. It is very difficult. Some Rokugani believe that if a samurai dies wearing his armor. But these are exceptional cases for exceptional armors. Honorable samurai would rather go to battle without armor than risk the disgrace of donning it incorrectly.
Even those who place little stock in superstition understand the wisdom of following the ceremony exactly. Great significance is laid on this ceremony. Deviating from the process. The samurai cleanses his mind and body with a ritualistic bath.
In addition to this. A student who cannot remember the proper order in which to don his armor is not permitted to pass his gempukku. Every step in the process is deliberate and somber. Some samurai choose to have their armor pieces individually anointed by priests or shugenja.
To do otherwise is to shame your lord and draw the attention of unfriendly spirits. One is because in order for armor to be truly effective it must be custom-suited to its wearer. While many samurai might welcome this inherent guidance from their ancestors. The act of donning armor is a very ceremonial undertaking. While he does this the servants prepare the armor for donning. Better to leave the armor on display in a place of honor. Although the Rokugani are a traditional people. The precise order in which pieces are donned must always be followed exactly.
This is usually done in a small circular tent made specifically for this purpose. It is common for servants to light candles or even incense for the ritual.
So what about ancestral suits of armor? Just like other such belongings. Of equal concern. Enough such repairs and alterations. There are many reasons for this divergence between armor and weapons. Before a samurai can even begin to put on his armor. The samurai is normally assisted by a number of servants. Omitting certain components e. Following this. By this time the armor is fully prepared and the servants are standing by it. Eight minutes into the ceremony. The silk cords are then re-tied by servants while the samurai himself ties on the outermost obi.
The servants help the samurai to don his torso armor. After these parts are adjusted. The purpose of these garments is to protect the samurai from the chafing of the armor itself. If the samurai is a high-ranked individual such as a daimyo. He begins by putting on the kiahan left first. After this. The cords are unstrung and the armor is put on over the head.
Next the samurai puts on his tabi socks. This garment is similar to a kimono but is much shorter. He then dons his kote. The hakama are usually left to bunch at the knee. The first thing the samurai puts on is the shitagi. This obi is shorter and thicker than that worn normally. The biggest piece comes next.
It is donned with deliberate movements. If the samurai is a woman. The samurai then enters the dressing tent where the servants. The samurai always dons the hakama with the left foot first.
Then comes the haidate. People usually treat an armor-clad samurai much differently. Military forces with permission to travel through the lands of an ally may also be afforded this courtesy. The GM may elect to assign points or even entire Ranks of Infamy to characters who routinely travel in armor or who are always seen wearing their armor in public.
Samurai clad in armor during peacetime are often regarded as cowards.. For instance.. This is a stigma the Crab have mostly learned to live with. Even in these cases.
Social Implications of Armor From a social standpoint. Because of this. The purpose of this is both to protect the head from the hard edges of the helmet and to hold it in place. Barring exceptional circumstances where it cannot be helped.
At the worst. Samurai armor is a very iconic and visually striking. In game terms. The samurai is ready for battle. It is designed not only to provide protection but also to give a samurai an imposing figure. In most cases. Clan magistrates and border wardens likewise always investigate travelers wearing armor and treat them as hostile until otherwise demonstrated. The transformation is now complete. If required. There are several negative connotations associated with this act: At the very least he will draw raised eyebrows.
Exceptions to these rules do exist. This is fitted with straps near the waist and shoulders. Such samurai are likely to be shown silent contempt if not outright barred from the proceedings. Traveling while wearing armor is often just as offensive.
The samurai then equips his mengu. The ceremony has lasted twenty minutes at this point. Most armor is built on a layered cloth base of burlap or hemp. The balance of craftsmanship. Because of the nature of the armor. These plates are made of hammered bronze or iron. Each of the Great Clans have their own armorsmithing traditions and techniques. Beneath this are a few layers of canvas. A merely adequate o-yoroi can cost more than forty Koku. Also used are small metal scales. The Craft of Armorsmithing The crafting of armor is a time-honored tradition.
Armor-crafters will commonly alternate between iron and copper plates to save cost and reduce weight. It has its roots in tradition and owes its progress to war. The materials and expertise it takes to make just one suit is extensive. It is possible for a samurai to own multiple suits of armor including those inherited from his or her ancestors. It is considered an artisan craft in the eyes of the samurai caste. The innermost cloth layer is an especially soft burlap.
Most armor is commissioned by the advisors to daimyo and created by samurai from vassal families. Much of the cost is the materials for the armor itself.
The common perception is that the armor plates of o-yoroi are thick and the entire suit would thus weigh the samurai down. Even an incomplete suit of light armor for the use of scouts can take much time and attention to complete. A full suit of o-yoroi can require as many as one thousand individual armor plates or three thousand individual armor scales. It is quite common for armor to be severely damaged in battle. Just as a samurai must be always training to meet this expectation.
The cords which bind a suit of armor together are especially are at risk for rotting. Crab berserkers often eschew armor because it impedes their wild aggressive attacks. While armor affords much protection. It should come as no surprise that the Crab are a clan that places a great importance on armor — in fact.
Samurai-grade armors almost never use wooden pieces. High-ranking or wealthy samurai will keep retainers just to repair and care for their armor. A poor samurai. Just as the creation of armor is tedious and time-consuming.
Most samurai of the Hida. In those all-too-frequent times. As one can imagine. These are cut thicker than metal plates. Thus thick and heavy plates are not needed. The Crab are well-known to favor heavier suits of armor. Each of the clans use a different lacquer for their metal plates. In cases of armor suitable for ashigaru. In times of war. Having said this. To speed up the time. When armor is not in use. A fully-armored samurai can still run.
The Hiruma scouts. The entire process can take up to a year to complete. The laminate applied to the metallic plates helps prevent rusting. The lacquer used to create the laminate is made from the mixed sap of various trees. Metallurgists within the clan are always seeking new ores that may be useful for weapons and armor. For every suit of outlandish armor custom-built to foil the Shadowlands.
Hida bushi have been known to wear their armor for literally days at a time. The unique tetsu-dou armor was invented by a Kaiu vassal family. To do otherwise is to invite the disastrous anger of the Fortunes and ancestors. Tasked with engineering armor that can withstand the strength of an oni. Many Crab simply do not take it off until their time of active duty is finished. A Crab treats his armor with the same reverence and respect as his weapons. Many Kaiu suits of armor are created specifically for their effectiveness against oni and other Shadowlands denizens.
All this being said. Crab are trained to conduct minor maintenance on their own equipment. Heavy armor.
Yet without them. Tsi armor is also known for its great practicality in design. Those who truly understand the craft of armorsmithing look upon their works as objects of great beauty. To the Shiba. While the Tsi must ask the Emperor himself for permission before forging a katana a tradition they have held for centuries. Of course the Shiba do not say whether such distractions are a practical reason behind their elaborate armor designs.
Where the armors of other clans are sometimes ostentatious and showy. Thus the armor of the Oriole is known for its rarity as well as its quality. Every aspect of every suit is given complete consideration. The Mantis.
These elaborations on the normal ceremony are unique to the Phoenix. The typical ceremony for donning a suit of yoroi or other light armor can take between fifteen and twenty minutes. For all these reasons. In this way the samurai does not simply sheath himself in his armor and fight from inside it. In modern times the Dragon often commission armor from the Tsi for their samurai out of respect for their alliance with the Minor Clans.
Light armor is the most common among the Shiba. Its purpose is protection. Perhaps due to the spiritual attachments the Shiba have towards their armor. Although Koganshi-crafted armor is not as strong as the armor of the Kaiu and not as resilient as the armor of the Tsi smiths. A Shiba is likely to have the same amount of protection as a Doji or Mirumoto.
To those who are familiar with the conventions of Phoenix armor-forgers. All of this being said. The samurai receiving such armor will often decorate it as he sees fit. Through variations of adornments. This keeps the demand for Tsi armor quite high. When a Shiba dons his armor.
Hand-woven silks. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of these armors is their surprising durability. Some speculate there is another purpose to these elaborate decorations: They never create these items in bulk. Notwithstanding the apparent plainness of Tsi armor designs. If an Oriole samurai is spotted wearing armor. In this way. The Oriole Clan trains in Kenjutsu to better understand the crafting and function of swords. Armor is redundant to their approach.
Whenever a new suit of armor or a weapon is forged by these families. It can thus be a surprise to discover that the Tsi samurai themselves typically do not wear armor. Their armor is noted for its slender form-fitting shape and freedom of movement.
A suit of o-yoroi forged by a Kenru takes twice as long to make. After the battle of White Stag. If it is named. Herewith is a list of the Juhin-Kenzoku in each of the Great Clans that are known primarily for forging armor: A Tsi smith usually creates several prototype armors which he will test and experiment with before attempting a final piece.
Whenever the item changes hands. All of them take their duties very seriously. He will not presume to wear the final completed armor. The Quartermaster Families It is in the interest of every clan.
The exquisite quality. Among their accomplishments. Since the entire purpose of these vassal families is to equip their clans. Kaiu Ishi. Regardless of era. According to legend their founder. Among the Great Clans. Originally vassals of the Agasha. It is said the mantras they whisper during forging awakens spirits that strengthen their armor.
Koganshi armor is fully functional.
The intricate embellishments. She was taken into the Ide and granted vassal family status so the techniques she developed for the Horiuchi would not be lost. The new Clan Champion. A woman named Horiuchi Shiko. They are famed amongst the Unicorn for their expert leather-working skills. The techniques she taught the Scorpion armorsmiths earned her a vassal family under the Bayushi.
When the Chuda depart. She believed there would be no purpose for her in the Scorpion… until she found their forges lacking. This leads to a number of subsequent events. Daigotsu Kanpeki. Since their founding the Zeshi family have supplied the Unicorn with the bulk of its modern riding armor..
In this way the Spider come to possess a JuhinKenzoku in the manner of the other Great Clans they seek to imitate. Once a site has been chosen.
After the addition of the Mantis Clan in the twelfth century. Castles on hills are called hirayamajiro. Samurai are paranoid lot.
Chapter One Constructing and maintaining a kyuden requires a massive expenditure of resources on the part of the host clan. The title shiro can refer to any castle or military strongholds. Castles are also among the few structures in Rokugan that make extensive use of stone in their construction.
Most of the castles of the Dragon Clan. They are usually placed atop hills or on other high ground to make things more difficult for attackers and to maximize the range and power of defending archers. Dark Lord of the Shadowlands Castles are among the most distinctive architectural creations in the Empire.
The Crab are of course particularly well-known for their massive stone fortifications. Castles built in the mountains are called yamajiro. More commonly. No other structure draws so heavily on the style and theme of Earth in its design or construction. No clan boasts as many kyuden as the Crane. The approval process represents an opportunity for the architect and his family to gain much glory and prestige.
It is also. Castles in open lands are called hirajiro. In a land where the majority of structures tend to be lightweight if not downright flimsy. The actual manner in which the plans are presented differs between clans.
Older structures. Among the Minor Clans of Rokugan. This number. The Mantis and the Crab are known for putting their more skilled heimin those with specialized stoneworking skills. The first task of the assembled work force is to clear the surrounding area.
The Scorpion maintain a curious habit of using criminals in the construction of their fortresses. Clan magistrates are often assigned the task of finding suitable workers. Though many of the functions of these upper floors change between clans. Above these floors. Gift-giving is an important facet of the presentation process.
The process of constructing a castle takes a great many clan resources and many months of work. Any forests are clear-cut. The second floor. The first floor. An architect who cannot even give a gift properly can hardly be expected to oversee a project as complex as building a castle! Once an architect and plan have been chosen. The dedication and care with which an architect selects and presents gifts is seen as an indication of ability and competence.
Once that is done. Rokugani keeps usually have between three and six floors. This ramp is always covered by arrow slits and often winds through a maze of outer walls and gatehouses see Outer Walls. Never trust wood. Woodbased construction philosophy emphasizes creation.
Some walls. Lower floors contain guard chambers. Buildings made of stone are much slower and more difficult to construct.
A keep is always entered on the second floor. The purpose of these walls is to keep invading armies out. Most barracks are separate from the main keep. These philosophies have driven the construction of everything from mighty castles to simple homes. In brief. Fortresses whose construction relies primarily on wood are designed to be as frustrating and difficult to besiege as possible.
The flip side of this is that if a stone fortress falls. Wood is easily worked and wooden structures can be built — and rebuilt — quickly.
Construction of outer walls varies by region — in the more peaceful lands they tend to be fairly narrow and highly decorative. These layouts of walls and gates can be hugely elaborate.
Stone castles are intended to weather any assault and never be captured. Barracks are typically utilitarian. Rokugani castles generally do not employ boiling or flaming oil against attackers. Among the more martial clans. Wood speaks to common. With the exception of the Crab and occasionally the Unicorn. On the other hand. One was born in the Crane Clan. It is also notable that walls in martial clans are made entirely of stone. Some castles also equip their outer walls and gateways with emplacements for unleashing rolling logs.
Only unmarried samurai live in barracks. Few castles outside of the Crab lands are without some kind of artistic decoration.
The flip side of this. This is a multistoried structure. Stone is about eternity. In the Lion lands. In time of war. The larger towers. The Rokugani usually do not use drawbridges. There are some exceptions. These clans believe bushi should know more than just the way of the sword. The main gate into a castle complex will almost always be flanked on either side by such towers.
More often. Their height also allows archers to dominate large areas around them. Castle towns usually provide the home for most of the merchants. The Crab share this mindset. In the Crab lands. Moats are most often used in the castles of the Crane.
These standing spaces are movable and can be installed or relocated as needed. Also unlike the walls of western castles. Towers also serve as secondary storehouses for weapons and food.
The Mantis as a whole seldom bother with moats — they have the entire Sea of Amaterasu as a moat. Heimin and eta are inevitably drawn to castles. In some cases the moats do not actually contain water. The Crab use them when possible. This is rare outside of the Crab lands.
Dragon barracks provide small chambers for prayer and meditation. Some castles also add a third moat around the tenshukaku itself. Towers serve as. The village around Kyuden Suzume is almost the ultimate example of such an arrangement.
They are seldom seen in the Unicorn. While the slope does in theory make them slightly easier to scale. Some also serve as homes for farmers. Lion barracks are notoriously spartan. The Unicorn and the Dragon seldom bother with moats — the Unicorn tend to refrain from building heavily-fortified castles.
The first of these is that the walls of Rokugani castles are generally sloped rather than completely vertical. The sloped design is intended to help the castles withstand earthquakes a problem in many regions of Rokugan. The style of a barracks varies depending on the clan that built it. This sections lists a few of the more prominent such castles. The Kaiu added a whole new set of defenses and traps. These appear to be traditional polished wooden floors.
It is generally believed the castle was designed by Kaiu himself. Its outer walls stand over 35 ken-an feet high. Kyuden Hida itself held out for many months. Those infected by the plague became zombies themselves. The smaller buildings within the walls of a castle. The main gate is built of solid steel.
These were intended to catch and deflect any projectiles launched over the walls. Otosan Uchi. The forces of darkness will break against it like water.
The siege lasted 26 days. This makes these interior buildings stronger and also virtually fireproof. The remaining Crab in the garrison fought to the last. After the Goddess Kali-Ma was slain and her forces defeated.
On the final day the Destroyers finally breached the walls. The attacking forces used a monstrous catapult. A notable feature of many Rokugani keeps. Although the castle does not look particularly formidable from the outside. Some claim there are tunnels connecting Kyuden Hida to the Kaiu Wall and even to the other major Crab strongholds.
The castle is always manned by at least three thousand veteran bushi of the Hida family. Primarily a wood structure albeit set on a high stone foundation. Kosaten Shiro is not nearly as formidable as the average Crab fortress.
The castle has fallen more than once. The tunnels beneath Kyuden Hida allowed the Crab to stage devastating flank and rear attacks against the Destroyers in the latter parts of the Destroyer War.
Once per year. The Kaiu. Due to the layout of the roads in this part of the Empire. The most brilliant traps and most powerful siege weapons are installed in Kyuden Hida.
The dojo was built inside the castle after Tsuruchi seized it from Scorpion control. It is not uncommon for each new leader of the Tsuruchi to make massive changes in the layout of the fortress based on the evolving needs of the Tsuruchi and the Mantis Clan. The name of its original architect has been lost to history.
For much of its history it was considered an Imperial holding. Walls and towers were rebuilt and even the keep itself was modified to provide optimal sight-lines and ambush zones for archery. The real truth may well remain unknown forever. Daidoji Botan. Though Kyuden Ashinagabachi was originally a Scorpion palace. When the Lion and Crane wage war. The most notable thing about Kyuden Ashinagabachi is the clear-cutting around the castle. Under the rule of these ronin the castle has maintained itself independently of any support from the clans of Rokugan.
During the Clan War the castle was abandoned and effectively left unclaimed. It is said the archery killing fields around the Castle of the Wasp are as much as five times more effective than those of other castles in the Empire. A Dragon attack set off hidden stores of gaijin pepper gunpowder which the Daidoji had hidden there.
Tens of thousands of arrows are stocked in the basement of Wasp Castle. Despite the extensive damage. This caused some Crane to remark that Kosaten Shiro had been rebuilt by the Kaiu. It sits nestled in the cleft of a small mountain pass. The primary dojo of the Tsuruchi school is nestled within the walls of Kyuden Ashinagabachi.
Kosaten Shiro was destroyed at the beginning of the so-called War of Silk and Steel. The Daidoji preference for preparation in all things is evident not only in the design of the castle but also in the lands around it. The narrow mountain pathways that lead to the castle have been completely cleared of any kind of natural cover. Kosaten Shiro in Modern Times In the year The so-called Palace is located on unaligned lands deep within the Mountains of Regret. The building is studded with arrow slits on all sides.
This structure. In such situations the attackers must start by breaking through the outer walls. A combined force of Lion. Shiro Akatsuki has its own traditions that rule its inhabitants as firmly as in any Great Clan stronghold. Karatsu employed powerful Earth and Fire magic in his attack. Karatsu gathered an army of bandits and recruited reinforcements from a gaijin invasion called the Army of Dark Fire. On the final day of the siege. It can also happen if the defender recognizes himself to be so badly outmatched as to make a field battle suicidal — although some samurai will welcome such a hopeless battle as a chance to express their courage and loyalty.
A siege takes place any time the defender retreats into his castle rather than continuing to fight in the open field. These proved to be sohei from the infamous Order of the Spider. Karatsu himself had entered the walls of the Palace to personally battle his son. To assault a castle built in the tortoise style such as a Crab or Lion castle.
At the time the Palace was the home base of the Legion of Two Thousand. These hastily-constructed buildings are known as shirochi. These stones are used by the masons and carpenters who maintain the castle. The usual tactics to break the spirits of opposing forces find little use in a siege. Small wonder that many attackers simply give up and burn the keep rather than go through the bloody slog of capturing it intact. In the cases of an especially protracted siege. The layered walls and interior gates of the castle.
Better to undertake a siege and hope for the rest of the clan to send reinforcements to turn the tide of the war. This is never an easy prospect. Thus it is highly unlikely that an attacker can take a defended castle in a quick assault.
This may take place because the defender has already been defeated in battle. Shiro Akatsuki and the Attack of Karatsu The greatest test of the Palace of the Breaking Dawn was an event in the late twelfth century known as the Siege of the Wolves. In an exceptionally strong castle. Most castles command the strongest terrain in their territory.
If starving the enemy into submission is judged to be too time-consuming. Every wave-man. Many ronin inscribe their names onto the stones they bring. Small Rokugani castles can often be seized with a single violent assault albeit at heavy cost to the attacker.