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  1. Yes -- but Kachiko's thoughts in the story with Sotorii show that she was delighted to find that her personal ambition lined up with what should be done: "It was rare that one's duty and one's aspirations overlapped so perfectly." She didn't make a decision to privilege the latter over the former (though Shoju may well think she did). Sure, she should act more carefully, which in most situations would mean taking some time to think and probably consult with her Clan Champion . . . but she was in a situation that called for swift action. I don't see anything in there where she decided "screw my clan, ima do what's good for me." And my personal feeling -- which is not necessarily that of Shoju or the Scorpion Clan in general! -- is that only that kind of decision should merit the Traitors' Grove.
  2. This is key. All the cover-up stuff? That was Kachiko working for the good of the Empire. Yes, it also benefited the Scorpion, and yes, she was glad of that -- but she wasn't saying "mwah hah hah, finally my chance has come, and screw everybody else!" I 100% think she made good decisions in that moment, because she thought she was making those decisions to protect the new Emperor, his dynasty, and his realm. Some people have framed it in terms of her trying to manipulate Sotorii, but in a scenario where he's going to be Emperor, having leverage over him so he doesn't a) kill himself, b) kill you, or c) wail his guilt for all of Rokugan to hear is a very good idea. . . . but then, of course, she found out she'd done all of that to protect a regicide who was not going to be the new Emperor. Keeping the murder under wraps was still a good idea at that point, but the part where she failed to pivot from Old Plan to New Improved Regency Plan and instead tried to have Toturi whacked, that was not so great. In the heat of an unprecedented moment, she made a distinctly bad call. And tried to play it off with Shoju, but failed -- at which point, no, she didn't tell him about the other part, because all that would do is gain her an eternity of horrifying torment. Which might still be in her future, but at least if she stalls she might get the chance to commit suicide before he can nail her to a tree? (I've also said before that I think Shoju is wrong to threaten Kachiko with that, because I believe something like the Traitors' Grove should be reserved for those who willfully betray the Scorpion, not those who screw up. And at no point did Kachiko believe what she was doing was against the best interests of her clan -- not up until that confrontation with Shoju, at which point it was too late to take it back.) Anyway, it's not surprising to me that after having some time to back off and consider the situation, she recognizes her errors. It's much easier to see things when you're not in the middle of them, having to make snap decisions.
  3. I just wanted to pull this out and give it a +1 because there's a widespread tendency to say "you're letting your feelings control you!" when those feelings are soft/positive/feminine-associated ones, but to somehow classify hard/negative/masculine-associated things like anger as "not feelings," and therefore actions taken on that basis are totally rational and well-considered. Not a universal tendency, certainly, but enough of a pattern that it's good to call out the fact that Kuwanan is being emotional in his own way.
  4. Whereas I totally buy into the idea that the Seppun get their hands dirty on the local level. If you want to be a good bodyguard, waiting for some third party to warn you about stuff in your own backyard seems like laziness.
  5. Right now I'd say the Dragon's bigger problem is fear, not hubris. Apropos of not telling people about stuff: they're trying very hard to keep anybody from figuring out just how bad their population decline is and what they've done to try and prop up the samurai class, because when all is said and done, neighboring clans are less "fellow loyal subjects of the Emperor" and more "foreign nations who will totally turn on you if they smell weakness." They're trying to seek assistance from the Phoenix on figuring the problem out . . . but they're doing it with one hand sort of tied behind their backs, because they can't be fully honest. Their other big problem, the PLS, might stem from them not being willing enough to declare that they know what's going on. They looked at the Phoenix calling it a heresy and went "ehhhh, maybe? Needs more data." Which I'm sure will bite them on the posterior sooner or later.
  6. That's not the reasoning you cited before, though, which is what I was responding to initially -- your first suggestion was essentially "there is nothing to talk about until we have a solution, because an unsolved problem is not worth talking about." As for this suggestion, what grounds do they have for thinking that telling people about this specific problem will make it worse? I think that's valid logic in some situations, but I don't see a lot of support for it here.
  7. This is not exactly good reasoning. "We know there's a problem, and we can't figure it out, but there's no point in telling anybody else about it until we've figured it out" = either "we are afraid to show weakness" or "if we haven't solved it, then clearly nobody else will be able to." Probably both at once. And the latter is, uh, textbook arrogance.
  8. I have zero recollection of the timeline for when the Toturi decision was made vs. when the story of Kuwanan's ambush went live, but remember that the workflow for the fictions runs *many* months in advance. Often six or more. So while in this instance it might be possible (like I said, I don't remember the timeline), I've more than once seen people speculating about the overall story on the assumption that the Story Team + freelancers are pulling off very rapid turnarounds, which is rarely the case.
  9. The ronin only captured 50% of Kurohito.
  10. Given the structure of the narrative (delivered in roughly 3000-word, non-contiguous chunks), I have to agree that demonstrating questions of honor through actions is going to be a lot more effective than just having a conversation about it. I'd happily write the latter into a novel, as a quiet moment between louder bits of plot -- but in the short fictions, it would do nothing to move the story forward, and that kind of progress is vital. Especially if, as people are speculating, what's being furthered here is not merely the Lion-Unicorn war, but groundwork setting up an eventual reveal that some of the people in the Lion leadership are consciously and with malice aforethought not working in the best interests of their clan.
  11. The Shinomen Mori was my favorite plot device in my Togashi Dynasty campaign. Need to find a lost, cursed nemuranai? Find it in the Shinomen Mori. Need the PCs to wander into a vanishing cannibal inn? Village on the edge of the Shinomen Mori. Need to force a one-year time-skip into the story? PCs go into the Shinomen Mori, come out a year later to find everybody thinks they're dead.
  12. I'm pretty sure Obon takes place on two different dates in different parts of Japan, so local variation is totally a thing that happens.
  13. The ink had barely dried on the declaration of his ronin-hood anyway.
  14. I don't think it would feel very satisfying to have clans represented by people who aren't members of those clans. L5R pushes the approach where marrying out of your clan means you now belong to your new family (rather than, say, married women keeping their original family names, which has also existed historically), so an Imperial whose mother was a Crane or a Crane who was born a Shiba isn't really going to feel like those individuals are carrying the banner of their ancestral origins.
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