Spider Clan

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Dramatis Personae


Spider 2
“For the true Emerald Empire.”

General Overview

The Spider Clan claim Great Clan status even though it has not been granted by any Emperor of Rokugan. They are a large Minor Clan with many small holdings across the Emerald Empire, though no land has been given to them directly from the Emperor. They are well received as protectors of the less fortunate where they take residence have even begun to make their presence in the Courts known.

Out of Character Knowledge

Late in the twelfth century, Daigotsu abandoned his earlier tactic of direct attacks on the Empire in favor of a new policy of infiltration. He organized a portion of the Lost into the so-called “Spider Clan.” The Spider were a deliberate imitation of a Rokugani Great Clan, designed to operate within the Empire, exploiting the Empire’s own rules and social conventions in order to corrupt it slowly and subtly. Although the initial membership of this new clan was almost entirely Lost, Daigotsu made a point of recruiting the ambitious and corrupt – some of them lightly Tainted and some even pure – to swell the clan’s ranks and assist its efforts to infi ltrate and win acceptance within Rokugan. The Spider Clan enabled the Lost to enter the Empire and work in cooperation with non-Shadowlands allies, a unique phenomenon in Rokugan’s history.

The Spider Clan operated from hidden strongholds in the Empire’s remote corners and unclaimed territories – the ruins of Otosan Uchi, the shattered valley of the former Beiden Pass, the remote vastness of the Shinomen, and similar locales. From these locations, soldiers of the clan swept out to fight bandits and criminals, building a false reputation as protectors of the downtrodden. Meanwhile, infiltrators wormed their way into the courts and strongholds of Rokugan’s true clans, forging alliances and winning converts.

To be sure, not all Lost joined the Spider or even the City of the Lost. The random murderous and destructive impulses of the Taint were too strong for some Lost, who could not tolerate the rigidly disciplined lifestyle demanded by the Dark Lord. Even at the peak of Daigotsu’s power, many individual Lost continued to wander the Shadowlands without following any higher loyalty save the evil impulses of their Taint.


Usurpers of a title that is theirs by lineage if not by Imperial law, the Spider Clan claim Great Clan status even though it has not been granted by any Emperor of Rokugan. Just like the other clans, however, they are disciples of a Kami – a fallen Kami, the dark god Fu Leng. The Spider, ever ambitious and secretive, eagerly embrace chaos, cruelty, spiritual corruption, and forms of sorcery that are acknowledged as perversions of the natural order.


The spiritual heirs of the first Chuda family, wiped out centuries previously, the Chuda are a collection of ambitious and power-hungry maho-tsukai who delve into the secrets of blood magic. Their loyalties are always suspect, since they have changed masters on more than one occasion in the past.


The lords of the Spider Clan are far and away the most numerous of the families who comprise the Spider. Great numbers of samurai from all walks of life who have fallen to the Shadowlands Taint or succumbed to the worship of Fu Leng have embraced the philosophy and methodology of the Dark Lord Daigotsu, and eagerly enact his sinister will without consideration for their previous families and allies. Not all Daigotsu are Tainted, but a large majority of them have felt Jigoku’s sinister touch.


In a very real way, those who bear the name Goju are no longer human. Once they served the primordial entity known as the Lying Darkness, and were little more than extensions of its will. Since its destruction, they serve its successor, the Shadow Dragon, and possess somewhat more individuality than before, although as often as not they remain faceless, soulless monstrosities.


The strangest agents of the Spider Clan are the monks of the Order of the Spider. Many among the order have not succumbed to the Shadowlands Taint at all, but instead embrace the philosophies of the Spider because they resonate with their own desires for personal power and achievement through strength.


Carman, S., Hobart, R., Pinto, J & Yoon, B.(2010). Legend of the five rings: 4th edition roleplaying game. Ontario, California:Alderac Entertainment Group.

Spider Clan

Three Feet from Death nuRegret