Rokugan: Shadow Creeping
The Hare Clan
THE USAGI FAMILY
The Usagi family came into being several hundred years ago during the
Battle of Sleeping River. In order to force Iuchiban to inhabit the body of the
Togashi tattooed man that would contain him, someone with a pure soul
would have to be sacrificed. The first man to volunteer was Ikoma Usagi, a
humble poet and storyteller who had taken up arms to destroy an evil that
threatened all of Rokugan. All who knew Usagi (whose name means
“Rabbit”) knew he hated this war and certainly wasn’t made for battle. But
his heart was pure and untainted, so he was accepted. The Kitsu, Soshi and
Isawa alike worked their magic upon his katana for the deed, and Usagi
prepared himself for his death.
The next day the battle raged heavily. A contingent of Lion Clan
Deathseekers guided Ikoma Usagi and the ise zumi through the undead
armies straight toward Iuchiban himself. The Matsu blades had no effect on
the Bloodspeaker, for his maho protected him. But Usagi’s empowered sword
broke through the maho-tsukai’s wards and struck him down. Forced to find
a new body quickly, he possessed the nearest living person, Ikoma Usagi.
Prepared for this, as Iuchiban overwhelmed his soul, Usagi stood back to
back with the ise zumi. He then thrust his blade through his own body and
the monk’s, the sword’s magic forcing Iuchiban’s spirit into the monk, who
could contain the dread soul safely.
After the battle Ikoma Usagi’s body was honored and given a proper
burial by the shores of Cherry Blossom Snow Lake, a place he came often for
inspiration for his now classic poetry (immortalized in his posthumously
published book, Musings of a Rabbit). His son, Tsumukigo, was given the
enchanted katana and granted his own family status for his father’s great
deeds. Usagi Tsumukigo formed the Hare Clan in honor of his father and
devoted the clan to the arts. While the Hare have formed a small bushi
school (perfected by the Hare Clan hero, Usagi Reichin), they are taught to
only use their skills in defense of all that it righteous and beautiful, and to
stand against the hidden evils of Rokugan, like the Bloodspeakers.