In this section, there are various stories from Way of the Crab, the First Edition of the Role Playing Game, originally published by AEG, 1998. It was written by Rob Vaux, with additional material by John Wick, Ree Soesbee, Cris Dornaus, Christian Vikander, and Zen Faulkes.
I am providing this to help new Crab Players become acquainted with the clan and its history and stories, not for profit or benefit.
Something bearing my father’s face and weeping my mother’s tears comes clawing up from the depths, screaming for me to join them. I feel its talons against my armor, snapping leather and metal as if they were origami. I reach for my tetsubo as I hear its hideous laugh, and I know that one blow is all it will allow before it tears the entrails from my bones.
And you sit in your palace and lecture me on courage.
The wall stretches a thousand leagues long, filled with samurai preparing for siege. A sea of goblins stands before me, howling unnameable curses into the air. As they begin to cross the river, I hear that the Crane have launched another foray against our borders to the north. Yet I can do nothing but stay where I am and ensure that no goblin escapes to terrorize the same Cranes who steal our land.
And you lie in your garden and tell me about duty.
The dismal stink of the Shadowlands surrounds us. A towering Oni grabs a pair of bushi and shakes them like children’s dolls, snapping their bones into powder. I hear their please for help and ignore them, knowing that I am condemning them to a fate worse than death. My daimyo is depending on me to escape this horror, or hundreds more will die as my companions have.
And you stand in your silk robes and explain to me about what honor is.
You are children playing games to fill your empty lives. You are infants squalling for your toys, pretending that nothing else holds meaning in this world. You are old women hunched around the fire, telling yourselves that the shadows beyond cannot hurt you.
I am the Crab. I have witnessed horrors that you can scarcely conceive of and watched the death of samurai to fill a hundred battlefields. I have seen what lies beyond the soft confines of this make-believe kingdom, and I am charged with ensuring that your dream does not dissolve into nightmare. I am the sole protector of your pathetic existence.
So laugh at me if you will. Mock my uncouth behavior, start at my crude language. But do not speak to me of courage, little man. Do not speak to me of duty or honor. You haven’t the slightest idea what they mean.