Perhaps the most different of the Crane’s four families, the Asahina are perhaps one of the most insular in all of Rokugan. They are staunch pacifists, and dedicate their lives to meditation, peace and often even asceticism.
The Asahina’s devotion to pacifism is legendary, and the Shugenja of this family focus their efforts in battle towards healing their allies and troops as opposed to dealing damage to the enemy. This does not mean that they are lacking in courage however, as they take to the field as willingly as their peers in the other families, resolute in making sure that every one with them should be able to come home with as little harm as possible.
Their other claim to fame is their ability to create tsangusuri fetishes, one-use talismans that can bestow minor boons to those the own them. These are highly prized and are considered by the Asahina to be a means to bring grace and goodness to the world. Needless to say, these aren’t exactly mass produced.
In a game of swords, sorcery and samurai, where does the Asahina fit in? They represent another function of the Higher Man in terms of the Crane themes. Man ultimately seeks Peace and Serenity in his life, and the Asahina are a part of that. They’re probably the opposite of the Daidoji in the sense that they exhibit the kind of passive strength in terms of peace via protection as opposed to peace via military / strategic dominance.
They’re an interesting compliment to the clan, and certainly one that is ripe with interesting hooks for stories. Asahina characters must constantly find themselves making a conscious decision to pursue their vow of Pacifism. This restriction allows them to think of alternative solutions that don’t involve someone hurt or dying.
It’s a very tall order, and it’s easy to underestimate the Asahina. Still, I take my hat off to anyone who plays them and tries to stick to Pacificm as strongly as possible as it is a part of the Asahina’s identity as a whole.
I have no qualms about incorporating the Asahina into Hearts and Souls since the conflicts I have in mind are an excellent test of Integrity to the Asahina player. Will they uphold their vaunted values or will they fail and submit to violence?
And if they do, will they find the strength to pick themselves up, or will they stay broken?