Legend of the Five Rings Aftermath
The line of Asahina was not part of the Crane Clan at the dawn of the Empire. The tale of the Asahina family’s birth begins centuries ago with an invasion by Lion into Phoenix lands over some forgotten insult. Isawa Asahina, the Phoenix Master of Air of the time, turned his talents for air, fire, and magical artifice to war against his clan’s enemies with the dedication of a man who knew he was facing a superior foe. In time, the intervention of the Crane Clan ended the attack and fostered a treaty between the Phoenix and Lion. Though many Phoenix thanked their Crane allies for the reprieve, Asahina was furious that thousands of Phoenix deaths would now go without being avenged. In a shocking move, the Master of Air began a rampage through the Crane lands, demanding blood for blood. With their army readied in the south against a possible Crab attack, the Crane had few bushi to stand against the power Master., and their villages began to burn. A single warrior, Doji Kiriko, chose to stand against the Phoenix, demanding he stop his attacks and making no move to draw her blade. As the Master of Air’s magic burned the women again and again, Asahina’s rage finally withered and was replaced by a single, cold feeling – deep remorse for his actions.
So deep was Asahina’s shame that he forsook his Phoenix heritage and declared himself a lowly ronin servant of the Crane. He nursed the Doji samura-ko back to health over many months and spent a great deal of time fashioning a set of fantastic artifacts for each Crane family. The masters of the Crane Clan were so impressed with Asahina’s dedication that they eventually allowed him to swear true fealty to the Crane and marry the woman he nearly murdered. In time, Asahina’s talents made him a clear choice to found the Crane’s first true shugenja school, and before the former Master of Air’s death the Crane Champion named Doji Asahina the master of his family for his efforts and significant contributions to the Crane.
Since that time, the Asahina family has been known for their zeal for peace and the introspective arts of crafting and divination. Even among the peaceful Crane, members of the Asahina are notorious pacifists, at times even refusing to defend themselves against an enemy that is clearly threatening their lives. The one exception the Asahina allow to this oath of peace is the corrupt minions of the Shadowlands – physical manifestations of the sin and corruption, diametrically opposed to the Asahina’s philosophy of peace. The family also honor’s its founder by studying and perfecting his art of tsangusuri, the art of creating nemuranai (magic items) as minor fetishes and charms meant to protect and fortify the bearer.
The Asahina are by far the most reserved Crane family. They typically wear priestly robes, even those who are not shugenja. They often bleach their hair white, and prefer more subdued simpler fashions than their more elaborate kinsmen.