Mon of the Unicorn Clan

Once known as the Ki-Rin Clan, the Unicorn Clan departed Rokugan shortly after the first Day of Thunder. The Kami Shinjo, founder of the clan, hoped to avert other threats to Rokugan by discovering them first. They roamed the world for eight centuries before returning to Rokugan.

Unicorn Clan[edit | edit source]

Place and Purpose[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn are the finest cavalry in all of Rokugan. The Unicorn were considered barbarians by most of the other Rokugani clans. They spent eight hundred years outside the Empire, exploring the Burning Sands and other lands, and Rokugan's cultured society believed that in spite of the two centuries since their return they still have not relearned the civilized ways of their motherland. The clans could not be more wrong. The Unicorn know the ways of their cousins, but chose to follow their own path, influenced by their contact with gaijin cultures. Because of this, they were held in low regard by many, but nonetheless were feared for their military might. [1] Their battlecry was "We are the people of the Wind". [2]

Colors[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn was mostly identified with purple, white, and gold colors. [3]

Gaijin Customs[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn had different customs than the other rokugani clans as a result of the time they passed outside the bounds of the Empire. They used gaijin weapons like scimitars, wore fur clothes, [citation needed] had mobile tents called yurts, and even shook hands as a greeting instead of the traditional Rokugani bowing salute. [4]

History[edit | edit source]

For further information on this section, please see Timeline of the Ki-Rin's Exodus

The Ki-Rin Leave[edit | edit source]

Ki-Rin's Exodus

Three years after the defeat of her brother Fu Leng in the year 42, Shinjo led her people into the Burning Sands in the year 45 to search for threats to Rokugan from beyond its borders. [5]

Ujik-hai and the Qolat[edit | edit source]

After months of murderous travel through the Burning Sands, they had their first encounter with foreigners-- the nomadic tribe of the Ujik-hai, [6] who launched a failed ambush against the Rokugani. After the defeat part of the tribe joined the Ki-Rin, including members of the Qolat conspiracy. Their counterparts in Rokugan, the Kolat, had devised the encounter and later absorption of the Ujik-hai, as a way to infiltrate the Ki-Rin. [7]

Shinjo at the Oasis of Spirits[edit | edit source]

After leaving the City of Sorcerers in the year 153, Shinjo discovered the Oasis of Spirits in the desert. Shinjo entered in the oasis and disappeared. Shinjo returned pregnant after a week, and months later, she gave birth to five shapeshifting children, who favored the form of the unicorn. [6]

Separated from the Moto Clan[edit | edit source]

In 223 the Ki-Rin Clan fought the Battle with the Rocs. [8] Those Ujik-hai whohad followed them, after the battle were separated, and formed the Moto Clan. Those Ujik-hai who had not followed the Ki-Rin would be known as the Ra'Shari. [9]

Unicorn Clan[edit | edit source]

In 442, after Shinjo was lost to the Lying Darkness, Shinjo Yonaru became the new Daimyo of the Clan. Yonaru decided to drop the Ki-Rin banner because they were no longer Rokugani, but children of a creature that carried both the blood of the Rokugani and the blood of all they had encountered. From that day forward, they would carry the banner of the Unicorn. [10]

Contact with Merenae[edit | edit source]

In the 5th century during the Unicorn Clan's wanderings, the Moto family somehow found their way to a distant nation named Merenae, making the first contact between Rokugani and the gaijin. [11]

The Return of the Ki-Rin[edit | edit source]

The Return of the Ki-Rin was in the years 815 when the descendants of the Ki-Rin Clan returned through the Shadowlands to Rokugan. The group now called themselves the Unicorn Clan and bore little resemblance to the honorable Ki-Rin that had left the Empire so many centuries ago. [12] The Lion and Scorpion Clans were fierce opponents, and it was not until winter court of 816 than the Emperor Hantei XXII recognized the Unicorn as a Great Clan equal to the other six. [13]

The Lion's Corruption[edit | edit source]

After the Second Day of Thunder Toturi I granted a large number of Unicorn magistrates Emerald Magistrate status to restore peace throughout the Empire. [14] In 1132, Unicorn magistrates were tasked by Toturi with forcing the Lion Clan to answer for their crimes committed during his absence. The Lion had been practicing maho, and even the Jade Champion Kitsu Okura had taken part in the corruption of the Lion. [15]

The Gift of the Naga[edit | edit source]

In 1135, as the Naga prepared to re-enter their sleep, they gave to the Unicorn Clan a great golden Magic Pearl, known as the Legacy of the Naga. In return the Unicorn swore to defend Shinomen Mori during the Naga's sleep. Later, the pearl 'hatched,' birthing the woman known as Akasha. [16]

War with the Lion[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn Khan Moto Chagatai successfully led campaigns against the Lion Clan during the War of the Rich Frog, proving to many the potent military might of the Unicorn Clan. Chagatai slew the Lion Clan Champion Matsu Nimuro during one of these battles, although unknown to almost everyone it was actually a False Nimuro created by the Egg of P'an Ku. [citation needed]

Seizing the Capital[edit | edit source]

In 1169, following the death of Emperor Toturi III and the vacancy of the Imperial Throne when it was held in name only by Toturi III's wife Toturi Kurako, Moto Chagatai launched a daring winter campaign against the Lion Clan with the ultimate goal of capturing the Imperial capital Toshi Ranbo and becoming Emperor. Chagatai was very successful until the Phoenix Clan arrived at the capital and magically subdued both the Unicorn and Lion under the watchful gaze of the Dragon of Fire. Chagatai was allowed to live but was sent back to Unicorn lands in disgrace. Nimuro's son, Lion Clan Champion Matsu Yoshino, vowed vengeance upon Chagatai.[citation needed]

The Lion's Revenge[edit | edit source]

In the bloody war that followed the Phoenix intervention, Matsu Yoshino's army invaded the Unicorn lands. Despite their pursuing a blood feud, the Lion respected the lives of Unicorn civilians and did not scorch the land. In the end they reached the Unicorn capital, and Yoshino and the Khan fought a duel. Moto Chagatai effortlessly cut the Lion down but realized he had been sealed inside a burning castle. Chagatai commited seppuku as the castle burned, understanding that only his death could stop more unnecessary bloodshed and save his Unicorn Clan. Moto Chen became the new Unicorn Khan and Akodo Shigetoshi took leadership of the Lion after Yoshino's sacrifice. The new Champions of both clans decided to make peace and the Lion army withdrew from Unicorn lands.[citation needed]

Age of the Conquest[edit | edit source]

With the formation of the Colonies, the Unicorn were charged with the safe-keeping of the Ki-Rin's Path, the land route connecting the Empire to the Colonies. Only the Unicorn had the degree of familiarity necessary to ensure safety in such strange and foreboding lands, particularly among a people who had never truly known unfamiliar regions. [17] For first time since the arrival of the Moto, the post of the Khan and the Champion was split in two different samurai. [18]

Yodotai Attacks[edit | edit source]

In 1198 the Unicorn suffered a major setback when a large caravan was attacked and destroyed on its way along the Ki-Rin's Path. [19] Yodotai strategies were recognized in these attacks. The Lion pressed the Unicorn to grant them leave to patrol the route to the Colonies, but the recent Blood Feud between the Khan Shinjo Min-Hee and the late Lion Clan Champion Akodo Shinjiro blocked any attempt at cooperation. [20] Their Spider allies assisted the Unicorn in their hunt for the attackers. They would take every opportunity to embarrass and outdo the Lion. [19]

Views on the Other Clans[edit | edit source]

Crab Clan[edit | edit source]

Since their return, the Unicorn has considered the Crab Clan their allies and friends, admiring their sense of duty and caring nothing about the Crab's habitual rudeness. [21] During the Clan War the Unicorn allied with Toturi and the Dragon Clan against the Crab, who had made dark pacts with the Shadowlands. Relations were restored over the years that followed, and by the middle of the 12th century the Crab and Unicorn constructed an extension of the Kaiu Kabe, known as the Khol Wall, to be garrisoned by the Unicorn in aid of the Crab Clan. [22]

Crane Clan[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn appreciated the Crane Clan's apparent friendship, although they suspected the Crane actually mistrusted them. If the Crane's distrust was ever to be verified, the Unicorn were willing to make them answer for it. [21]

Dragon Clan[edit | edit source]

Despite sharing a border with the Dragon Clan, the Unicorn found them to be annoyingly silent. While it was good that the Dragon did not meddle in Unicorn affairs, they were of no use to the Unicorn either. [21] The Unicorn allied with Toturi and the Dragon Clan during the Clan War, and were generally on good terms with them. The Dragon were ordered by Emperor Toturi III to interfere between the Lion Clan and the Unicorn during the War of the Rich Frog, which caused some tensions between these clans.[citation needed]

Lion Clan[edit | edit source]

Since the return of the Unicorn there have been heated feelings between the Unicorn and the Lion Clan. The Lion were uneasy with a Clan that were indifferent to their most sacred traditions, but the sheer tactical prowess of the Lion was never discounted by the Unicorn. [23] During the 12th century the tensions between the two clans increased several times, most notably during the War of the Rich Frog, the Khan Moto Chagatai's campaign against the Imperial capital in 1169 and Matsu Yoshino's campaign into Unicorn lands the following year. A tentative truce was formed between the two clans in 1170 following the deaths of Yoshino and Chagatai.[citation needed]

Phoenix Clan[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn considered the Phoenix Clan a study in paradox, admiring their knowledge and friendliness but disliking their idealism and patronizing nature. The Unicorn were willing to cooperate with the Phoenix, if only the Phoenix were willing to take a moment to listen. [23] The Unicorn and Phoenix have rarely had reasons to come to blows with both the Lion and Dragon lands situated between them. The Phoenix Clan's intervention at the Imperial capital Toshi Ranbo in 1169 may have caused some bad feelings towards the Phoenix.[citation needed]

Scorpion Clan[edit | edit source]

The Unicorn generally distrusted the Scorpion Clan, finding their false honesty and sinister reputation fully justified. The Scorpion ability to thrive despite everyone distrusting them was a noteworthy point for the Unicorn, who thought it important to keep their enemies close. [23] The Unicorn and Scorpion have not had many altercations on the battlefield as the Scorpion traditionally focus on clandestine battles. The relationship between the two clans soured somewhat following the exposal of Ide Daimyo Ide Tang as a Scorpion spy in 1170.[citation needed]

Details[edit | edit source]

Statistics[edit | edit source]

  • Capital: Shiro Moto
  • Population: 3,650,000 (approx)
  • Military: 203,000 samurai
  • Imports: Finished Goods
  • Exports: Exotic Goods, Horses

Territory[edit | edit source]

The landscape of the Unicorn lands consisted of vast expanses of rolling plains, grasslands and low hills, located between a trio of great lakes: in the North lied the Dragon Lake, in the South the Chrysanthemum Petal Lake, and the White Shore Lake at the eastern edge. The plains were cut off from the rest of the Empire by a pair of swift rivers, the Firefly River on the Eastern edge, [24] and the River of the Lost Valley in the Northern edge. [25] Before the return of the Ki-Rin, many of the official maps of the Empire used Lion place names for geographical features and villages. This changed in the 10th century, when a concerted effort by the Miya brought the Unicorn names in the Imperial maps for things within their land. [26] The family that ruled the Unicorn Clan also ruled the so-called “clan heartland” – the provinces of Ikoku, Kawabe, and Zenzan, some of the most fertile and productive lands the Unicorn controled. [27]

Families[edit | edit source]

The following are the families that comprise the Unicorn Clan:

Samurai[edit | edit source]

See Samurai of the Unicorn Clan for a listing of notable members of the clan, both current and historic. For the leaders of the clan, see also:

Armies[edit | edit source]

Under Moto Gaheris's championship the Unicorn army was divided into thirds: [28]

Schools & Paths[edit | edit source]

Schools[edit | edit source]

The following are the basic Schools within the Unicorn Clan:

Paths and Advanced Schools[edit | edit source]

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


  1. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 7
  2. Way of the Unicorn, p. 63
  3. Player's Guide: 2nd Ed, p. 15
  4. Penance, Part Two, by Shawn Carman and Rich Wulf
  5. L5R Live-Action Roleplaying, p. 12
  6. 6.0 6.1 Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 8
  7. Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, pp. 15-16
  8. Way of the Unicorn, p. 34
  9. School & Ancestor Update, pp. 28-29
  10. Way of the Unicorn, p. 37
  11. Fires of Toshi Ranbo, Part One, by Rich Wulf
  12. Way of the Unicorn, p. 38
  13. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 156-157
  14. Hidden Emperor, p. 10
  15. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 22
  16. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 24
  17. Age of the Conquest: The Clans
  18. GenCon Special Scrolls Unicorn, by the L5R Story Team
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Brief History of the Sanctioned Spider Clan, by Seth Mason
  20. Embers of War, by Shawn Carman
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Way of the Unicorn, p. 14 sidebar
  22. Report of Miya Shoin to the Righteous Emperor, Toturi III
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Way of the Unicorn, p. 16 sidebar
  24. Way of the Unicorn, pp. 114-115
  25. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 323
  26. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 170
  27. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 177
  28. Masters of War, p. 126
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