Adelaide Jade Regent
Way of the Ninja
“Every city has thieves. Even within the most honorable society, there will always be those who seek to better themselves through illegitimate means. And where you have enough members of any profession you will eventually have guilds, bound by shared profit.
In Minkai, however, there is a second type of thief: those who share a greater purpose, and kill and steal for the collective. These are the same cutthroats and second-story men, yet bound by a code of honor that makes them both a threat to society and an integral part of it. Some refer to themselves as sects, others as families, but regardless, the ninja clans are unlike any criminals you have faced before.”
Ninja Clans of Minkai
The Emerald Branch
“For the People”
Symbol: A cluster of bright green bamboo stalks
Current Leader: Asahina Zetsu-kai (CG female human aristocrat 3/ninja 5/samurai 3)
Notable Members: Luthien Andosana (CG Female elf ninja 12 / shadow-dancer 4)
Favoured Weapons: Kama, bo staff.
Origin: Generally regarded as being composed of heroes of the common folk, the clan of the Emerald Branch is thought to have originally been founded by ronin. The first members of the Emerald Branch are said to have been honorable samurai who were duped by a manipulative and evil lord into performing atrocities against innocents. When the samurai discovered what horrors their master had made them do, they slew their lord in stealth and rededicated their lives to serving the common folk, renouncing their titles as samurai as penance for their crimes. Using the skills of deception and stealth they had gained while working for the evil lord, the ex-samurai formed the clan of the Emerald Branch, swearing to recruit any who prove themselves able and who are dedicated to the pursuit of good at all costs. Now, despite being labeled as instigators and rabble-rousers by their detractors, ninja of the Emerald Branch are often welcome in areas both rural and urban, and always sow their seeds of justice among the poor and fragile before lending any aid to the rich and powerful.
Outlook: Most members of the Emerald Branch are chaotic good, seeing the majority of laws—no matter how well intentioned—as a stepping stone upon which greater tyranny builds. Leaders among the Emerald Branch are often high-ranking members of other philanthropic organizations, using their inf luence to direct attention away from the clan’s more questionable dealings. Their opponents often consider the clan’s actions to be reckless and without forethought, ideals which members of the clan claim are at the heart of true freedom.
Members: More than perhaps any other clan, the Emerald Branch seeks to recruit members from the common folk. While the Oni’s Mask clan trains ninja to pass as artisans or laborers before dealing a deadly strike, most members of the Emerald Branch actually are workers of this sort. In the towns and villages where they operate, even the strongest ninja of the Emerald Branch often practice a trade during the day, using their earnings and materials to fund the clan while maintaining a positive presence within the public eye. While it may seem a life of tranquility, ninja of the Emerald Branch are as prone to violent action as any other, knowing the end of a blade is sometimes the swiftest way to a desired result. Ref lecting the story of its founders, the clan of the Emerald Branch also counts many ronin among its numbers, embracing those who seek to pledge allegiance to a valiant cause.
The clan’s current head, Asahina Zetsu-kai, is a matronly but strong leader who runs a network of garment houses dealing in exotic silks. This cover allows Asahina to dispatch her most trusted operatives to even the most unlikely regions under the cover of textile merchants.
Tactics and Training: While opponents of the Emerald Branch do their utmost to spread rumors that the clan is no more than a band of amateurs, training within the Emerald Branch is as intense as any other ninja clan. In addition to the physical requirements placed upon a potential ninja, an initiate must prove apt at gathering the support of the people and making snap moral decisions under stressful circumstances. The use of symbols and signs is an important skill among members of the Emerald Branch, as communication between members is often discrete and swift. Emerald Branch ninja practice with a wide variety of weapons, making many members experts in using seemingly mundane equipment for deadly purposes.
Rivalries: The Emerald Branch usually seeks to combat the wrongdoings of tyrannical warlords and evil political figures rather than stimulate rivalries with other clans. The malevolent Oni’s Mask clan often proves a thorn in the side of the Emerald Branch, and the two groups often find themselves on opposite sides of the same issues. Whenever the Emerald Branch and Oni’s Mask clans cross paths, conf lict is brutal and swift.