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Tetsuhiko

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  1. Well, to be fair, they are supposed to be a minority among the Asako and pretty much unknown by the majority of Rokugan. Also, the brotherhood of Shinsei is a complex organisation and is only e divided into two groups (Shinseists and Fortunists) for simplicité. There are a lot of subgroups with radically different ideology. For example, you have the Sohei, believing enlightenment can be achieved by honing one's martial ability to perfection (the most well-known but not the only one being the order if the Venom who might not even make an appearance this time). And there is this supposedly heretical sect in Dragon lands which might be Fudoism, basically saying there is no good or wrong way to achieve enlightenment and encourage it's member to explore their own, personnal path. Enlightenment through overdrinking and eating, for example.
  2. Monks are on a weird place in Rokugan's society. Being a monk ils a way of life, first and foremost. They can be samurai or heimin, soldier or scholar, young or old. Such distinctions have no meaning for them. Their only goal is to achieve enlightenment. How they strive for such goal depends on their tradition. The majority follows the teaching of Shinsei. Those with the most frequent interaction with the general populace are the caretakers of the numerous shrines scattered around the land and usually follow the teachings of the Fortunes and the guidance of the ancestors. These two types can be found anywhere. Some heimin or even eta (usually from a very young age), other samurai (having retired into a monastery or being forced to do so because of shameful actions) And then you have the weird ones. Togashi monks worship their founder, Togashi, and use the mystical tatoos to expand their body and mind, hoping to one day reach enlightenment. Asako henchin, on the other hand, follow the path of man, hoping to unlock the Mysteries of the world and the kamis. They converse with the "little gods", trading riddles to better understand their respective place in the world and unlock a hidden potential.
  3. Why stop with his clanmates? Maybe by mixing the blood of the direct descendants of the seven kamis we can create a Tatoo that allows you to stare into the Heavens and get the answer you seek. Better get started with the blooshed right away.
  4. The closest thing we ever had for Fu Leng's true name was the name he had when demoted to a mortal: Furumaro.
  5. I'm pretty sure the Phoenix players will be disappointed if they ended up with a fiction they all enjoy. What are they going to argue about?
  6. Or maybe the perception that corruption is causing the elemental imbalance of the kami is part of the plan. Conspiracy Theory Time A group of people long for the great old days. A time where the samurais were pillars of virtues and honor meant more than your life. Now, Lords and vassals are more interested in their own agenda, at least according to this group, and use honor and tradition as an excuse for disgusting behavior, corrupting its very essence. They cannot go to the courts or the Emperor to change things, as they are part of the problem. Therefore they unleashed dangerous magic, distorting the balance between the elements and the Great Clans, hoping to cause a civil war where all the problematic elements of Rokugan will be purged and they will be able to seize power when the dust settle, rebuilding using stronger foundations. Kolat confirmed.
  7. I've done a little project called 20 Emperors which were basically 20 different Rokugans. In my version of Akodo's Rokugan, the final duel between Akodo and Hantei had a radically different outcome. Instead of Akodo conceding to Hantei, he only realized too late Hantei was pulling punches and killed him. Only when his dead brother lied dead at his feet did he realized the foolishness of his actions. He thus founded his Empire with this shame in mind. Rokugan would value military strength, for sure, but above all else the ability to use it with honor and restrain. A fool who draws his sword for pettiness doesn't deserve the title of samurai. Bushis are expected to resolve conflicts with every possible means except violence if they can help it, but are more than able to resort to violence if forced to. Of course, the definition of doing everything you can to difuse a conflict changes depending on the clan. Interclan wars still happen, but courtiers are pressured by the Emperor to resolve the conflict swiftly, unless they want to experience the wrath of the Imperial Legion, or worse, the Matsu Executioners. Therefore, the threat of violence is the greatest tool a Samurai has, but drawing your blade is almost always dishonorable, especially if you drew first. Duels are much rarer, but stakes are extremely high when they do happen. The Imperial Families have the task of making sure violence is used only when needed. The Ikoma are the voice of the Emperor, tasked with threatening and keeping in line the Clans when they think too much about violence. The Matsu are the fists of the Emperor. They are fielded to punish ambitious Lords and Courtiers thinking they can get away with death and violence. The Kitsus are still lionmen; they were never butchered to a handful, thanks to Akodo's restrain. They are the eyes of the Emperor, tasked with the communication with the Kamis and overseeing the other Clans in the process. The Imperial Legions are huge. Each Clan must lend are good portion of their men to field them. They serve as deterrent for any Clan thinking he can overthrow the Akodo Dynasty (Clans have only a very limited army on their own, and each Legion is composed of several clans, therefore their loyalty is always towards the Emperor), and as deterrent against foreign forces.
  8. The way I see it, if there's going to be a coup, it'll be Kachiko's, not Shoju, which has a very good potential. Here's a few storylines we could see. -Scorpion Civil War. Clan is split between those loyal to Shoju, aiming to get rid of the clan's influence to better protect the empire from the shadows and Kachiko's, wanting power for the clan, but first and foremost for herself. -Heir's feud. Sotorii is not an ideal ruler, but he is the legitimate one. Daisetsu understands politics like no others and will not let this opportunity pass. Lines will be drawn, Clans will make their choices, mistakes will be made (coughmahocough) and civil war will erupt.
  9. I might be apparent by reading my posts, but I actually love to take these inconsistencies and errors and craft a story around i. When there is no story to be told, it's better to just ignore the errors (allowing a future story to explain it if needed) rather than handwave it with a simple ''it's magic''. It kills creativity and suspension of disbelief. Unless it really is magic and there is an in-universe explanation of course.
  10. And as a player/reader I hate that answer. If it comes with enough foreshadowing and/or explanations, it is acceptable, but if it is used as a mean to hide a major plot hole, it's Lazy GMing/writing. If a GM wants to sweep something under the rug, I would forgive a "don't look at this yo closely" apology much more easily than "it's Magic."
  11. When there is no logic, we can use creativity to explain things When the Kami fell a thousand years ago, they completly transformed the land and even some natural laws were completly broken in the process. Some rivers started to flow from the sea to the mountaintops, mountains were shifting locations, animal life and plants started to wither or grow regardless of the envirohmental conditions, fire could erupt and lightning could strike spontanously and time itself could move at different speed depending on where you were. In the early years of the Empire, shugenjas accross Rokugan spent years stablizing the situation, often one elemental kami at a time. The natural laws are now fopr the most part restored, but some remnants of this chaotic age can still be seen. Rivers forking where they shouldn't or sometimes even going uphill. It is said some parts of the world (especially in the South) were volontarly kept that way because it provided some protection against the corrupting forces of the Shadowlands.
  12. Not Montreal. When you scale out, it's the Saint-Lawrence River that actually disappears (Montreal and Laval are really big islands), and it's been that way for a long time before it actually became a city. Maybe the Saint-Lawrence River is a special case (I'm neither a hydrologist or a geologist, so I don't know), but it's a phenomenum that happens at several places along its bank, with islands much bigger than the actual river diverting it along two or three paths for a kilometer or two. (Montreal area, Ile d'Orléans, the Sorel-Tracy area are only examples) Some of them are also uninhabited and in natural preserves, so I assume they are in the most natural environment possible. Like I said, the way rivers are handled on the maps doesn't make sense, but sometimes rivers do fork sustainably for a few kilometers.
  13. Another, more stable version of a forking river is a big island in the middle of a river. Check Montreal's map for an example. https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.5367109,-73.7601299,10.25z?dcr=0 It is still a very limited phenomenum and nowhere near the scope and irrealism of Rokugan's map.
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