The Time Of Blades and Magic
The Mantis Clan was one of the eight Great Clans of Rokugan. Prior to the Second Day of Thunder, they could boast of being the oldest Minor Clan in the Empire, though not officially recognized as such. They occupied a unique position in Rokugani history, as a former Minor Clan which rose up on the Second Day of Thunder to become a Great Clan. Until recently, they were the only Great Clan without a divine representative. This changed, however, when the Thunder Dragon gave up a portion of his divinity to make the great Mantis hero, Yoritomo, their official representative in the court of Tengoku. Specifically, their duties within the Emerald Empire were to guard and patrol all the lands of the Empire which did not belong to any other clan, including the seas of Rokugan, protecting the Empire against threats from the oceans. Its motto was Only a fool stands in the path of a storm.
The Mantis Clan was founded in 80 by Kaimetsu-Uo, the son of Hida Osano-Wo, after Osano-Wo elected to give leadership of the Crab Clan to his illegitimate son, Hida Kenzan. Kaimetsu-Uo’s mother, Matsu Kyoda, was outraged, and though her son bore his brother and father no ill will, Kaimetsu-Uo left the Crab lands, taking his mother and a few loyal Lion and Crab with them. They traveled to a group of islands off the eastern coast of Rokugan, later known as the Islands of Spice and Silk, where they settled and formed the Mantis. The clan colors are sea-green and gold.
Death of Osano-Wo
The first instance of many disputes between the Mantis and the Phoenix occurred shortly after the creation of the Mantis. Following the death of Hida Osano-Wo in 97, the task of catching his killer was passed to the Mantis Clan Champion Kaimetsu-uo. Kaimetsu-uo traced the killer to Shiro Shiba. The Phoenix first refused to open their gates, but when Kaimetsu-Uo cried out to his father for vengeance, lightning struck the gates of the castle, opening them. The Phoenix saw this as a sign to release the traitor to Kaimetsu-Uo.
The Mantis were finally recognized as a minor clan and temporarily gained the family name “Gusai” in 429, the name of that clan’s daimyo at the time. The name was stripped from them only a few generations later in 510 when the Mantis Champion attempted to gain power by kidnapping the imperial heir.
Great Clan Status: The Mantis become a Great Clan
The Mantis became a Great Clan in 1128 when their leader Yoritomo led them alongside the other great clans on the Second Day of Thunder. Yoritomo demanded that the other clans recognize the Mantis as a Great Clan or the Mantis and their other Minor Clan allies would attack the Great Clan armies. Though the Mantis would surely die, the Great Clans would be weakened enough that they would lose the ultimate battle against Fu Leng. Most of the other Clan Champions were not pleased by this turn of events (with the notable exception of Crab Clan Champion Hida Yakamo) but they realized they ultimately had little choice, and assented to Yoritomo’s demand.