The Five Races were the rulers of the world that would become Rokugan, before humanity became the dominant race of the Mortal Realm. Each of them were based in one of the five elements, these races were the Zokujin (Earth), Kenku (Air), Troll (Fire), Ningyo (Water) and Kitsu (Void). Today they are only shadows of what they used to be, while these races continue to survive very few members of each of their species remain. [1]

Origins Edit

The Mortal Realm of Ningen-do, the world of Rokugan, did not exist as Mankind later knew it at the dawn of Creation. Everything in the mortal realm was a tumultuous maelstrom of elemental energy, a seething chaos that existed between the boundaries of the Spirit Realms. The Five Races came into being within this elemental turmoil and were marked by it. Each of these races possessed an affinity to the power of a particular element, and all of them possessed powerful magic which they used to survive in the harsh primordial world. [2]

Alliance Edit

When the races found one another they added their strengths in the elements that the others lacked, their powers complemented one another. The Five Races were determined to combine their wills to make a world that would last forever. In the center of the chaos they created a vast city, the City of Night, and in the heart of this city they combined their most powerful magic in the form of a great crystal focus, balancing the five elements in harmony. [2]

Capital Edit

Together they created a great capital that would be named the City of Night by the Unicorn explorers who found it in the Seikitsu Pass. [3] [4] It was a magnificent city adapted for the five races. [2] Their common tongue was the Kitsu Language. [5]

Jigoku's hunger Edit

Jigoku looked upon the stability of Ningen-do with a terrible hunger. It wished to destroy this newborn world. It extended its dark tendrils into the mortal world and began to corrupt what it found there. It sent forth its servants, the ruthless oni, and began to wage war upon Ningen-do. [6]

Sacred Seals Edit

The Five Races created the three Sacred Seals, to push the world away from Jigoku, and to limit its influence. But in so doing, they created an imbalance between the realms that results in spiritual struggles. This was why the influence of the Spirit Realms waxed and waned. [7]

The Ogre Race Edit

Following the birth of the Ogre race in Northern Rokugan, its lord, the Original Ogre Muhonarak, was confronted by the Five Races. The Ogre claimed he was the Champion of Ningen-do and had come to defeat the Champion of Evil. The five Races did not know of any such thing, so they challenged the ogre to two challenges. Muhonarak first fought a battle of strength against the mightiest warrior of the Five Races: The King of Trolls. After a hard battle, the First Ogre used his agility to defeat the Troll. Then Muhonarak faced a contest of riddles against the wisest Kitsu. After answering the first question of the Kitsu, the Ogre asked one of his own; but before the Kitsu was able to answer, Muhonarak choked him to death. Since the Kitsu was now unable to answer, Muhonarak was declared the winner. After Muhonarak successfully completed the two challenges, the ogres were accepted and given rule over the Nezumi lands. [8]

Fall of the Alliance Edit

Eventually the hordes of Jigoku reached the lands of the Alliance, whom could not withstand the might of the invading demons. Tsuno Kishenku, leader of the Tsuno Soultwisters, attacked the City of Night to get control of the powerful nemuranai crystal focus at its center. He did this against the wishes of his own race's leaders, who believed that the crystal was too dangerous to use, even to fight against Jigoku's forces. Kishenku beleived it was worth the risk, and using the crystal incinerated most of the twisted invaders, however he lost control of the crystal and a wave of energy ripped through the City of Night, killing all its inhabitants and turning the city itself into a strange purple crystal. The shockwaves rippled across the world, bringing death and ruin to all the cities of the Five Races. [6] The Zokujin called this day Shokajin Rekna, [9] the Day of Broken Thunder. [10]

Legacy Edit

The Five Races knew of the Day of Thunder, and that every one Thousand years, there would be a confrontation between the forces of Jigoku and the Celestial Heavens for control of Ningen-do, the mortal realm. Jigoku always would champion near-divine beings, while Tengoku always would gather simple mortals, guided by honor and courage. This knowledge was nearly lost, until Shinsei stumbled upon an ancient Kenku temple in the lands which would be known as the Plains Above Evil. There, the Little Teacher learned about the threat that had arisen upon the fledging Empire of the Kami. [11]

Element Connection Edit

Each of the races symbolized one of the five elements: [2]


  1. Fortunes and Winds, p. 108
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Enemies of the Empire, p. 175
  3. City of Night (An Oni's Fury)
  4. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 36
  5. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 79
  6. 6.0 6.1 Enemies of the Empire, p. 176
  7. Echoes of Thunder, by Robert Denton III, Shawn Carman and Fred Wan
  8. The Dawn of the Ogres, by Lucas Twyman
  9. Creatures of Rokugan, p. 85
  10. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 280
  11. Way of the Open Hand, p. 16

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