The Crab, Resolute
The Crab Clan has effectively spent its entire existence at war, a condition no other clan in the Empire has shared—not even the Lion, for all their martial traditions.
It is sometimes said that at least one samurai of the Crab Clan has died defending the Empire every single day since the clan was founded. This state of constant conflict and constant loss is wholly alien to the other clans in the Empire, most of whom do not even comprehend it. They believe if there is no war within the Empire, Rokugan is completely at peace—hence the term “A Thousand Years of Peace,” commonly used to refer to the reign of the Hantei Dynasty. To the Crab, of course, such attitudes are naïve at best, and they sneer at the other clans for their failure of understanding. Given that the Crab are also notorious for their crude manners and general lack of refinement, these disagreements often harden into contempt or outright enmity.
Once when the world was young, a little crab named Hida was swimming in the river, lookin for a wedding gift. “I have to find a gift for the Emperor and his bride,” he said as he scuttled from riverbed to riverbed. But he could not.
Finally, he found a stone with all the colors of Lady Sun’s robe, hidden deep beneath the mud of the riverbed. Content that he had found the best gift that he could, Hida went to Otosan Uchi.
By the time he got there, it was dark. The wedding had been over for many hours. Hida went looking for the Emperor and his bride, to give them their gift.
He looked all through the palace, but he could not find them. Finally, he thought he heard a noise behind a door, and he peeked in. He saw the Emperor lying back on his bed, covered in sweaty fear. Peering deeper into the darkness, Hida saw why.
Sitting on the Emperor’s chest was a scorpion, its tail ready to sting. Hida gasped. The Emperor had married a scorpion in disguise!
The crab threw himself at the scorpion, just as her stinger struck at the Emperor’s chest. But the force of Hida’s blow threw her off balance, and she fell. Hida felt her stinger pierce his flesh. Suddenly, his limbs grew cold as the poison worked its way toward his heart. He saw the scorpion on the windowsill, but could do nothing.
The Emperor rose quickly. He grabbed his sword and pulled the steel free into the cool air. The scorpion sniggered. “You have a choice, my lord,” she said. “You can chase me, or you can save the little crab who save your life.”
The Emperor knew there was no choice. He sheathed the sword and took the tiny crab into his hands as the scorpion scuttled away. He thanked the crab for his courage, and said a quick prayer as Hida’s soul slowly slipped away from his flesh.
But then, a flash of sunlight came from the crab’s gift in the doorway. The Emperor saw the stone and took it into his hands. “You are in luck, my friend,” he told Hida. "For this is one of my mother’s tears. I shall use it to heal your wound.
By morning, Hida was well and the Emperor thanked him for saving his life. Then, he gave the crab a gift: the small rock that was the tear of Lady Sun.
“Take this with you wherever you go, my friend,” said the Emperor. “Let it be your new home.”
And that is how a crab saved the Emperor’s life, and why all crabs now carry their home on their backs – to protect them from scorpion stings.