Rokugan Local Governance:
Variations: The Unicorn Clan
Unicorn Clan Governance
- Families: Many Unicorn families, especially among the Moto, still retain a nomadic lifestyle. Their villages are far-flung and cover a large area of land, A whole family, or group of related families, can travel from one location to another throughout a given territory, settling and camping in any hamlet or other location that needs extra attention, and then moving on. For the Unicorn, life is the journey, and every moment of that journey is a time for learning, family, growing, and working together.
- Families: Unicorn families are more likely to have a more relaxed familial structure, whether they are nomadic or stationary. Long term relationships outside the fixed bonds of marriage, as well as step-children and the children of such unions, are freely accepted into the larger family structure without complaint. While the Unicorn may not advertise their loose family structure out of clan, it is accepted internally.
- Families: For nomadic families, all family members, including younger siblings and their families, remain in the same nomadic family group, so a single Unicorn family can have many men and women of age. These families patrol and manage a large area.
- Families: When traveling across their territory, nomadic Unicorn samurai live in yurts, large tents able to sleep a couple and their immediate children in comfort. The leaders of these extended families may reside in a chomchog, which is large enough to fete the entire family group with ease.
- Families: Unicorn bushi are ready to be called up year round, and are more ready for winter warfare than those of any other clan except the Crab. They are commonly called to serve fighting Ujik-Hai raiders and other forces from the Burning Sands on their borders. However, intra-clan cavalry warfare between feuding Unicorn lords can track across hundreds of miles. If any Unicorn lives are taken due to intra-clan feuds, the feuding lords can expect strong retribution, so such warfare is done more with bluster and counting coup than actual lethal intent.
- Families: Unicorn often grow and train with their own families and in their own family groups, with their own parents caring for them and taking them even on important (if non-perilous) duties. Once their gempukku nears, all the Unicorn young men and women gather on the fields near Shiro Shinjo to swear their oaths in a great ceremony, as one.
- Families: Gaijin are sometimes allowed to be made samurai of the Unicorn by swearing fealty and binding themselves to the clan through a secret blood ritual that mingles their blood with the blood of the KiRin.
- Families: Unicorns are never allowed to marry others of the same bloodline, for at least five generations and sometimes more. This causes some to seek brides among the Ujik-Hai natives of the Burning Sands, quietly bringing new members into the Empire.
- Families: When Unicorn retire, they tend to use the opportunity to become traveling monks, able to explore the Empire freely.
- Villages: Unicorn villages tend to be more transient than the villages of other clans, depending more on hunting or trade rather than stable crops. Rather than building a walled compound for defense, Unicorn villagers tend to pack and move swiftly away from danger. More stable villages of size form around stables and breeding grounds, as well as in the more fertile river valleys.
- Villages: Unicorn villages rarely have a sonchou who resides within the boundaries of the village. The day to day operations of the village are managed by the shōya, village headman. The samurai family in charge of the territory oversees many villages, and travel as a group from one village to the next to manage their lands. They stay at each until affairs are settled there properly, then move on.
- Villages: Unicorn samurai respect the boundaries between buke and heimin, but the relationship is relaxed. Heimin are treated with compassion and given a large measure of independence. This freedom can cause trouble when they encounter samurai of other clans, who believe the heimin are acting with disrespect.
- Towns: The towns of the Unicorn tend to be sprawling and walled, but the walls are low. They are easier to capture than other clans', but also easy to reclaim by a returning strike of fearless Unicorn cavalry.