Rokugan: Return of the Jade Raven
The zokujin were one of the Five Races that ruled the world that would become Rokugan after the Great Sleep of the Naga. When humans arrives, the pacifistic zokujin were swiftly driven from their homes and enslaved by several of the Major Clans – the Lion, most of all. With a past marked by near extermination, slave results, and secretive communes, it is no wonder that the zokujin have a strong distrust of mankind.
Zokujin have an odd, and almost alien look about them. They are hunched, green-skinned reptilians with luminous yellow eyes, sharp claws, and bony spikes protruding from their elbows and shoulders. Zokujin have a vague resemblance to large metallic-colored bakemono, which had earned them the human nickname, “copper goblins.” Some zokujin have patches of shiny fur, which looks like polished stone.
Despite their tragic history, zokujin see little reason to be belligerent, and believe most things will work themselves out in the end. They have a deep understanding of the magic of Earth, and are caused pain by anything that would harm earth. Enslaved zokujin often merely accept their fate, with revolts or aggression being against their nature. Free zokujin tend to have a zest for life, traveling the Empire in search of places of magic and new experiences. They tend to avoid human civilizations, and grow nervous in cities. Zokujin also eschew violence, and are rarely seen in militarist professions or physical combat.
Zokujin live in large family groups and their leaders are often blessed with divine magic. Although they could live on a diet of plant matter, they prefer to eat raw rock. They are the living embodiment of patience and live for a long, long time. Zokujin Shamans and Druids are rumored to be truly immortal. The Zokujin are currently guided by the Five Shamans, among the most powerful spellcasters of their race.
The three largest Zokujin clans are the Rejn, Magn F’Chka and Zesh Tribes .
Ningen-do, the mortal realm, did not exist as mankind knew it. Everything was a tumultuous maelstrom of elemental energy, seething between the boundaries of the Spirit Realms. The Five Races, Torikan, Zokujin, Troll, Kitsu and Ningyo, came into being within the turmoil. Each of these races was marked by the power of a particular element, and all of them possessed powerful magic which they used to survive in their harsh primordial world. The kami, which were maddened, destructive spirits, had been tamed and peace was brought to the Mortal Realm.
When the races found one another joined the strengths the others lacked, their powers complemented one another, founding the Alliance of the Five Races. The Five Races determined to combine their will to make a world that would last forever. In the center of chaos they created a vast city, the City of Night, and in the heart of this city they combined their most powerful magic in the form of a great crystal focus, balancing the five elements in harmony.
When the City of Night and its mighty crystal focus was built, none save the Zokujin fully understood its workings. This understanding led them to create a second such crystal focus, and called it the Bloodwhite Stone. The heart of Ningen-do, the source of all magic, it was considered the most sacred artifact of the Zokujin race.
Following the arrival of the Ogre race to Rokugan, his leader Muhonarak was confronted by the Five Races. The Ogre claimed he came to defeat the Champion of Evil. The five Races did not know of any such thing, so they challenged the ogres to two challenges. After Muhonarak successfully completed the challenges, the ogres were accepted and given rule over the nezumi lands.
Eventually the hordes of Jigoku reached the lands of the Alliance, and they could not overcome the demons. Tsuno Kishenku, leader of the Tsuno Soultwisters, attacked the City of Night to get control of a powerful nemuranai, a crystal focus. It did it against his own race leaders, who believed the crystal too dangerous, even to use against Jigoku’s forces. Kishenku proved right, and using the crystal incinerated most of the twisted invaders, but he lost control of the crystal and a wave of energy ripped through the City of Night, killing its inhabitants and turning the city itself into a strange purple crystal. The shockwaves rippled across the world, bringing death and ruin to all the cities of the Five Races. The zokujin retreated into the depths of the earth.
Centuries later, the Zokujin came under attack by creatures from Jigoku, and thousands of Zokujin were killed. Their once unified civilization was reduced to scattered, wandering tribes, the Bloodwhite Stone was lost, and their race fell into a primitive state. This day was known as Shokajin Rekna or the Day of Broken Thunder. Their religion revolved about the worship of the Bloodwhite Stone, and the Zokujin shamans spoke this day this powerful item was stolen. Some Zokujin believed that if they could recover the artifact their race would be great once more.
In the 1st century the Lookout Mountain appeared in a former plain. Vast deposits of copper were discovered in the area surrounding it. Shortly after the mountain appeared, zokujin were drawn to the area in large numbers. Remorseful after the deaths of the Kitsu race, Akodo refused to allow his samurai to attack the creatures. Instead, the Ikoma put them to work in the Copper Mines.
Many of the Zokujin left work as miners for the Lion, as they were the cheapest form of labor available. The zokujin were their slaves, and they were even easier to feed than heimin, as they ate minerals instead of meat or vegetables. Zokujin were also known as “copper goblins”, though they had no connection to the bakemono goblins of the Shadowlands, nor did they even carry the Taint.
Zokujin legends said they were tricked by an ancient Ikoma into trading their freedom away, but the Lion maintained that they saved the Zokujin from certain death, and offered them work in exchange for food and shelter.
The Zokujin shamans encouraged a philosophy of patience and non-aggression. Their slavery offered them an excellent opportunity to learn about the humans, the race that had inherited the world they helped create.
Zokujin share a number of traits in common, despite minor clan differences.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Zokujin mature within a decade, but can live well over two hundred years. Several of the clan elders claim to be upwards of a thousand years old.
Honor. Zokujin have an Honor Score of 0. With no grasp of the human code of Bushido, they have little aspiration to change this. They are peaceful and gentle by nature.
Size. Zokujin are slightly shorter and thinner than humans, with a hunched stance. Your size is Medium.
Earthen Resilience. You are resistant to acid damage. You are also resistant to the physical damage of weapons that are made of metal.
Superior Darkvision. Thanks to your subterranean heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Primordial and Rokugani.