The Ningyo, or merpeople, were one of the Five Races that ruled the world that would become Rokugan after the Great Sleep of the Naga. They were connected with the Water Element. [1]

Appearance Edit

Ningyo 2


They were elegant creatures with smooth silver skin covered with shimmering scales. From the waist up they were vaguely humanoid, though their fangs and long webbed fingers betrayed a distinctly nonhuman origin. From the waist down, their bodies tapered into serpentine shapes up to twelve feet long, marked with several broad fins. [2] They were able to speak a variety of languages, including Rokugani. [3] Sea Trolls were considered the traditional enemies of the Ningyo. [4]

History Edit

Sakkaku Edit

The Ningyo believed they were originally inhabitants of more distant realms, possibly Sakkaku. [5]

Origin Edit

Ningen-do did not exist as mankind knew it. Everything was a tumultuous maelstrom of elemental energy, seething between the boundaries of the Spirit Realms. The Five Races, Kenku, Zokujin, Troll, Kitsu and Ningyo, came into being within the turmoil. Each of these races was marked by the power of a particular element, and all of them possessed powerful magic which they used to survive in their harsh primordial world. [5] The kami, which were maddened, destructive spirits, had been tamed and peace was brought to the Mortal Realm. [1]

Naga Empire Edit

During the time the Naga ruled the world, the Ashalan levied a curse upon them. Those Naga who used their ability to reshape themselves, were affected by that curse in a different way. The Naga who ventured into the sea forgot themselves and became ningyo. [6]

Alliance Edit

When the races found one another joined the strengths the others lacked, their powers complemented one another, founding the Alliance of the Five Races. The Five Races determined to combine their will to make a world that would last forever. In the center of 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. [5]The Ningyo lived in cities governed by a King. [7]

Arrival of the Ogres Edit

Following the arrival of the Ogre race to Rokugan, his leader Muhonarak was confronted by the Five Races. The Ogre claimed he came to defeat the Champion of Evil. The five Races did not know of any such thing, so they challenged the ogres to two challenges. After Muhonarak successfully completed the challenges, the ogres were accepted and given rule over the nezumi lands. [8]

Becoming Water Creatures Edit

Eventually the hordes of Jigoku reached the lands of the Alliance, and they could not overcome the demons. [2] The Ningyo chose to find refuge under the sea. Since then Ningyo lived in lakes and seas. [1] They had mastered the art of using pearls to focus magic, projecting a pure radiance that Jigoku's monstrosities could not endure. [2]

Devolvement to a Feral State Edit

Tsuno Kishenku, leader of the Tsuno Soultwisters, attacked the City of Night to get control of a powerful nemuranai, a crystal focus. It did it against his own race leaders, who believed the crystal too dangerous, even to use against Jigoku's forces. [9] Kishenku first turned it against the Ningyo traitors and they were driven insane. The Soultwister's curse devolved the majority of them to a near-feral state. The Ningyo could no longer survive outside of the water, and the once great civilization of the Ningyo was forever lost. Further, they ceased to age, and suffered their madness forever. [2]

Fall of the Alliance Edit

Kishenku proved right, and using the crystal incinerated most of the twisted invaders, but he lost control of the crystal and a wave of energy ripped through the City of Night, killing 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. [9]

Hunted Edit

Any creature who consumed the flesh of a Ningyo could potentially inherit their immortality, and they were hunted when this secret was discovered, especially the surviving trolls. [2]

Orochi Alliance Edit

After making an alliance with the Orochi, the Orochi king, Ryujin placed the Curse of the Ningyo upon the race, deterring any who would seek immortality by consuming ningyo flesh. [10] Though crazed and savage, the Ningyo still recognized the good deed Ryujin had done for them. In return, they offered the Orochi safe haven within their cities. The Orochi had a calming effect on the Ningyo and those who spent a great deal of time in their presence became less savage and bestial than their cousins. In time some of them were intelligent again and frequently practiced pearl magic. [11]

Contact with the Naga Edit

The Naga Bloodline of the Chameleons were often able to breath underwater. They built several cities under the ocean and soon came into contact with the Ningyo and Orochi. The Ningyo recognized in the Naga another foe of Jigoku, and offered to share the secrets of their pearl magic. The Cobra Bloodline possessed real talent and eventually their mastery of pearl magic exceeded even the Ningyo themselves. [11]

Dragon Allies Edit

Tower of the Ningyo

Tower of the Ningyo

In 1160 Kitsuki Tadashi discovered the golden Tower of the Ningyo and saved its inhabitants from pirates. The Ningyo were pleased and declared themselves allies of the Dragon Clan. [12] They made trade agreements and the Ningyo allowed Dragon Clan to learn more about their mystical practices. [7]

Guarding the Thunder Dragon Edit

In 1170, while Yoritomo Naizen and the Mantis fleet stood watch protecting the recently made mortal Thunder Dragon, he was contacted by a group of ningyo led by Sakarah. They asked to help guard the one [13] they referred to as the avatar of the Spawn Father. [14]

Dark Naga Edit

The arrival of the Thunder Dragon was answered by a Black Pearl which cracked open. [6] From it appeared the Dark Naga. [citation needed] The Ningyo near it were enslaved to its will. [6] In 1199 with the Dark Naga's forces banished from the Empire and embroiled in a battle for control of the Second City, the creature's malevolent influence waned, and those who were enslaved to its will found themselves free once more. A dangerous Ningyo warlord rose among the ranks of his people to punish the humans for his master's defeat at their hands. [15]

Ningyo holdings Edit

Kyuden Morehei Edit

The largest pack of Ningyo could be seen in the area near the Crane lands where Morehei Island was once located. They guarded and considered the treasures of the lost city Kyuden Morehei as theirs after Suitengu, Fortune of Seas, punished its daimyo. They were allies with the Naga, acting as pearl divers. [16]

Candas Edit

Ningyo protected Candas, the sleeping underwater city of the Naga Chameleon Bloodline. [17]

White Shore Lake Edit

The Ningyo had a sunken city in the bottom of the White Shore Lake. During the Clan Wars, when the Naga awakened from their slumber, many Chameleon scouts undertook a pilgrimage to Mizu Mura, the village neighboring the lake. When they arrived, the ningyo flocked to the shores of the White Shore Lake, eager to meet their long-dormant cousins. Naga taught several of the village elders the ningyo language. The inhabitants of Mizu Mura were very protective of their Ningyo friends, and an orochi dwelled within the Ningyo city as well. [10]

Known Ningyo Edit

See also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fortunes & Winds, p. 92
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Enemies of the Empire, p. 181
  3. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 141
  4. Complete Exotic Arms Guide, p. 90
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Enemies of the Empire, p. 175
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Rulebook story (Forgotten Legacy), by Shawn Carman and Rusty Priske
  7. 7.0 7.1 Blood Dawn, Part IV: Twisted Visions, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  8. The Dawn of the Ogres, by Lucas Twyman
  9. 9.0 9.1 Enemies of the Empire, p. 176
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Legend of White Shore Lake, Imperial Histories (Imperial Herald v2 #15), by Rich Wulf
  11. 11.0 11.1 Enemies of the Empire, p. 182
  12. The Golden Tower, by Shawn Carman
  13. A New Empire, by Shawn Carman
  14. Sakarah (Glory of the Empire flavor)
  15. Wrath of the Ningyo (Storyline Tournament)
  16. Secrets of the Crane, p. 44
  17. Creatures of Rokugan, p. 50

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