A little more info for prospective players:
The question obviously begs to be answered: if Disciples of the Forbidden Master are so powerful, why are they living out on the periphery of the Realm, detached from the Blessed Isle and it's politics, rather than marrying into influential Dynastic families? The answer is in the Master's name: their martial arts were forbidden by the Immaculate Order due to some unknown heresies revealed by the Forbidden Master himself in time immemorial; those who mastered his teachings quickly learned either to keep them a secret (as is the case of the many orders of assassins that sprang from the Disciples, like the White Veil Society) or to strike off toward the Threshold where the Immaculate monks were far too busy hunting Anathema to concern themselves with heretics.
This has, unfortunately, resulted in pale echoes of the Master's own greatness. He was also known as the 'Master of the Millennium', and for good reason: no other martial artist since has been able to fully learn his teachings and replicate his feats. Though it's possible that all his teachings live on through one or another of his Disciples, no single one can claim to have mastered the full breadth of his teachings, and thus they have become scattered along with the Disciples themselves. As generations have come and gone, old Disciples have taught their students (their own children, most often, due to the dangers of bringing outsiders into a society that teaches heretical arts) what portion of the Master's teachings they learned, and these children--never having access to the full scope of teachings their parents did--have learned progressively less with each generation.
Now, hundreds of years removed from the Master's last appearance, this has created an interesting situation: each family of Disciples lays claim to a fairly specific fragment of his teachings, and guard it jealousy. These are the family styles, and they are a vital part of the lives of Disciples; every Disciple has a family, and every family has a style. The clans guard their styles jealously, and the individual families within even more so; shadowy wars have been fought to protect the secret sutras of families with particularly potent styles, and for most families the punishment for attempting to run away from the clan is death. To even allow a family member's body to go unaccounted for, and thus possibly come under study of rival clans, is unthinkable. Some families have gone so far as to intentionally incorporate their techniques into their heredity, creating the legendary kekkai genkai--bloodline limited--styles that are internalized to such an extent no one outside their family can even learn them!
Families of the Morijin Clan
The Morijin Clan is made up of more unique families than any other. The Lin Kuei, in particular, were already an exceptionally diverse clan on their own--they absorbed multiple smaller clans over the course of their history, often through conquest--and their combination with the Yachiru has bred more families under a single clan banner than can be found anywhere else in the world.
The families of the Lin Kuei run the gamut, with one exception: Fire Aspects are exceptionally rare in their bloodlines. This is because the Haltans habitually sacrifice Fire Aspects for the amusement of their forest-gods. Though the clan was more than capable of protecting them from this fate, the fact that the Haltans would not accept or work with them made their usefulness limited, and caused most such families to die out or choose exile. The most prominent of such families, the Katen, ultimately defected to the Yachiru. As might be expected, Wood Aspects are common among the Lin Kuei families, and there are in fact very few practitioners of the rarest Wood Aspect styles left outside of the clan.
The Yachiru families are slightly less diverse than the Lin Kuei, with a strong tendency toward Water and Air Aspects. The Yachiru also include the Katen family, one of the few Fire Aspect lines left in the Morijin; they were originally a Lin Kuei family that was marginalized within that clan due to their nature, and fled into exile after a failed coup attempt. They were the most strongly opposed to unification of the clans, and during the early years of the clan fought endless political battles with the Lin Kuei families over leadership of the united Morijin. Ultimately, the other Yachiru families grew tired of their bickering and refused to support their candidates for Emissary, causing them to lose clout within the clan and be marginalized for their perceived lack of loyalty once again.
The majority of the families are left up to player-definition, so that each player can define his or her character's own family. The important things to remember when developing a family are: whether they were Lin Kuei, Yachiru, or joined the Morijin after unification; what their common elemental Aspect is; what Terrestrial and Celestial Martial Arts they practice (keeping in mind that all Morijin have access to the Fivefold Shadow Hand style, and no families teach the Immaculate styles as their own--though they are taught in the community); and whether or not they have a kekkai genkai.
As an example, the Katen family were originally members of the Lin Kuei who defected to the Yachiru. Their common Aspect is Fire, and their family's style is a powerful technique they have turned into a kekkai genkai out of paranoia regarding their associates. They practice Night Breeze Style as their Terrestrial Martial Art. Their kekkai genkai permits the use of the unique Scarlet Spiral Style of Celestial Martial Arts.
The Ninja Life
Greyfalls, and the scant few other communities like it near the other edges of Creation, is a bit unique in that the Disciples live amongst a city of 'extended clansmen' who, for the most part, do not have the talent to practice the teachings of the Forbidden Master. These people live fairly mundane lives as craftsmen, farmers, merchants and the like, but should not be mistaken for completely normal citizenry: they are completely aware of the Morijin way of life, and that their prosperity rides upon the success of the clan in its endeavors. As a result, they are unusually loyal--first to the clan, and then to the Realm. True 'nationalism' isn't part of their cultural lexicon; they think in terms of clan and allegiance to the Scarlet Throne, and barely recognize "Greyfalls" as a political entity unto itself.
The children of prominent Disciple families are generally raised from birth with the expectation that they will become ninja. Because the teachings of the Master can permit even talented mortals to practice Terrestrial Martial Arts, there is little concern for whether or not they will ultimately Exalt; it is best if they do, to be sure, but they can become competent genin regardless. The members of these families enjoy a status of proto-aristocracy within the city, not unlike the treatment of Dynasts elsewhere, with the exact level of respect and deference they are due determined by their family (some, like the Katen, are far less respected than others) and rank within the clan. Further away from the city of Greyfalls itself, much of this prestige begins to disappear; even the child of a prominent family is well-respected in the city with regard to the ninja he or she will one day become, but at the borders of Greyfalls' territory a clansman can expect only as much respect as his own power will afford him.
The rank structure of the clan is simple: the genin are the "lesser ninja", the rank awarded to those who have successfully completed their first contract for the clan. A group of genin are generally assigned under a chunin or jonin to create a squad for a given mission, and they are sometimes deployed en masse under contracts for major wars--they are the only rank of clansmen numerous enough to form entire units. The majority of mortal clansmen never rise above the rank of genin. Most Terrestrials on the other hand will eventually leave this rank behind, and it is considered somewhat embarrassing or even unseemly for an Exalt to remain a genin for more than a few years.
The chunin are the "middle ninja" or squad leaders. The chunin are chosen for their leadership skills and/or experience, and as such a clansman can achieve this rank at a relatively young age (or not at all, depending on his particular talents or lack thereof). A clansman normally earns the rank of chunin after distinguishing himself in action or a number of successful missions, but the clan sometimes holds "examinations" to promote new chunin when the ranks grow too thin, often leading to exceptionally young and inexperienced chunin. Few mortals attain this rank, and those that do are usually heroic mortals. Chunin are normally deployed as squad leader for a group of genin, though they may still be sent as "footsoldiers" under a jonin or other chunin in the case of particularly difficult assignments. Most Terrestrials spend nearly their entire career as chunin.
The jonin are the "higher ninja" or elites. To become a jonin, one must first and foremost be a Terrestrial; there are no mortal jonin, as the next requirement is the ability to use Celestial-level Martial Arts. The majority of jonin are in fact masters of at least one Celestial Style, marking them as extremely capable and dangerous individuals, of whom only a handful exist in the clan at any given time. They have also distinguished themselves in battle and proven well-rounded enough to execute difficult missions entirely on their own if necessary; to become a jonin, one must generally undertake a mission solo. The majority of jonin are specialized spies or assassins, rather than "combat ninja", and command a great deal of respect and fear within the clan. There are rarely more than one or two jonin per family in the clan at any given time, with more than a few of them being semi-"retired" ninja who now teach exclusively. As masters of their family styles, even many younger jonin are chagrined to find they must abstain from field duty to concentrate on passing their teachings on to the next generation.
The Emissary is the highest ranking ninja in the clan, and the sole individual responsible for accepting or denying contracts, assigning teams of ninja to carry them out, and overseeing the training and promotion of young clansmen. Traditionally, the Emissary is assisted by a number of beauracrats and functionaries within various departments who attend to some of the finer details of these tasks. Even so, the Emissary maintains a surprising degree of hands-on control over the assignments taken by the Morijin, always (at the very least) hand-picking the jonin or chunin assigned to a given task, though they sometimes allow them discretion in forming their teams. The Emissary are chosen by their peers due to extreme distinction over long careers, and confirmed by the Imperial Satrap for suitability to the job--this generally means that they are politically pliant and skilled at diplomacy, though the satrap also understands that it is important to choose a ninja of considerable strength and renown so that the name resounds in foreign lands.
The current Emissary--the Third Emissary of the Morijin--is Cao Feng Mori, though he has been the Emissary for so long that no one much thinks to call him by anything other than title, anymore. A venerable member of the Lin Kuei and one of the greatest living masters of Wood Aspect Martial Arts, Cao Feng has nonetheless grown far too old for the frontlines. Though many accuse him of being given to dotage, especially in the relative peace and prosperity in which the clan has found itself since unification, he is widely respected for his considerable wisdom and affable manner. There are few alive who can remember the days when he personally fought, but even to this day he is remembered for an ability rather uncommon among the Morijin: he is an extremely talented sorcerer.
Cao Feng has experienced a great deal of tension with the Nellens satrap, in no small part over his choice to support the Confederation during the war with Thorns. Though the Blessed Isle technically remained aloof from the fighting, they had hoped to see Thorns prevail due to that nation's sympathies with the Scarlet Empire. Cao Feng insisted that assisting them would be disastrous; it's no secret that he feels the Seventh Legion is pivotal to the peaceful stability of the Scavenger Lands, and he worried that their defeat by Thorns would invite another Imperial invasion and prolonged war. There has been talk lately of the garrison of "proper" Imperial troops in Greyfalls as a result, and the satrap has increasingly begin to push for Cao Feng's retirement so that he can install a new Emissary more amenable to his goals. This would be a minor annoyance, if Cao Feng weren't, admittedly, getting too old for the rigors of his job, with no suitable heir who would continue his work in sight...