Legend of the 5 Rings Smoking Waters
The Unicorn were founded by the Kami Shinjo. They control vast, open plains on the western bounds of the Empire, where many still follow the nomadic lifestyle they learned over the centuries. Early in the history of the Empire, Shinjo led the then-Kirin Clan across the Burning Sands to explore the world. They spent eight long centuries wandering the world, assimilating other cultures as they encountered them, before finally returning to the Emerald Empire. The other clans universally disdain their strange, barbaric ways, but the Unicorns’ cheerful nature, combined with their vast military strength, have allowed them to rejoin the Empire relatively peacefully. The Unicorn are marked by an intense curiosity, which sometimes make them seem impatient or distracted when dealing with the ritual and etiquette of Rokugani society. The stereotypical Unicorn is a boorish lout, dressed in barbaric style, scratching and bellowing in an uncouth fashion.
The Unicorn value Compassion above the other virtues of Bushido. Centuries of wandering through harsh lands has forged a bond between samurai and peasant, and the heimin in Unicorn lands are better treated, and their betters more beloved, than in any other Clan’s domain.
The Shinjo family once led the clan in the manner of the founder, with grace and compassion for all. Over time, however, the more brutal Moto came to lead.
The Moto are the descendants of a warlike tribe that joined the Kirin, and are the strong arm of the clan. Their cavalry, mounted upon massive gaijin horses, are among the most powerful military forces in the Emerald Empire.
The Utaku family is a matriarchy, and produces the most skilled riders in a clan famed for its cavalry.
The Ide family serves the Unicorn at court. Ardent pacifists, the Ide have adopted more of the Empire’s customs than the other families, but are still seen as outsiders.
The Iuchi family of shugenja practice strange magic, influenced by the many tribes the Kirin encountered as they wandered. They have a great talent for spells that enhance travel and create bonds with animals.