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  1. Kinzen

    Wasp and Fox confirmed

    Not just that, but trying to go through the entirety of pre-Clan War old canon with a fine-toothed comb and list off what's being kept and what's being dropped would be a nightmare. I think it's easier to conceive of it all as Schroedinger's Canon: it is simultaneously true and not true, until somebody opens the box to look at it. 😛 When in doubt, probably assume true, because it's easier for us to leverage stuff the old players already know than to make up replacements -- but if it seems like it might not fit with the world as it's being presented in new canon, either because it would contradict some fact we've stated or because it strikes a noticeably different tone, then tip it toward the "probably not true" end of the spectrum.
  2. Kinzen

    SPOILER ZONE - Phoenix Novella Discussion

    It will definitely happen that the art and text won't match, for all kinds of reasons. Heck, some of it is just that the card art has to be legible at pretty small size; there's a limited amount of detail you can cram in there without it looking clunky in the end.
  3. I noticed when glancing at this that Satto (ronin) is listed as male. She's actually a female character.
  4. Not An FFG Official Opinion (tm): this is why I was so excited to see the Perfect Land Sect introduced to the story in the reboot, and why I'm loving the chance to work on that part of things. It's not MWAHAHAHA I AM A FORCE OF EVIL OUT TO TAKE OVER EVERYTHING YOU MUST UNITE AGAINST ME -- it's a lot subtler and more complicated than that, but still with a lot of potential to cause Empire-wide strife, depending on how FFG chooses to have it play out. I find that way more interesting to write than some god coming in and stomping all over everything.
  5. Pretty much. In Buddhism, there's a difference between achieving enlightenment through self-power (i.e. through meditation and cultivation of spiritual merit and so forth), and through other-power (i.e. through the intercession of a Buddha). One of the core ideas of Pure Land Buddhism is that although it's possible to achieve this through self-power, in this degenerate age it's become extremely difficult to do, so Amida Buddha, in his boundless compassion, has offered another way. The self-power/other-power distinction is one that hasn't really existed in Shinseism in prior canon, nor are there multiple Buddha-equivalents in it, and also the PLS isn't reacting to a massive tradition of elitism the way Pure Land Buddhism was (early Buddhism in Japan was a religion of elites, by elites, and for elites), but the core idea is still there, that Shinsei has offered an easier path to enlightenment, out of compassion for all the peasants who cannot afford to spend their days meditating and copying sutras and otherwise living the lives of Brotherhood monks. You can see why most of the Brotherhood would look askance at this. :-P And as for samurai, well, calling this the Age of Declining Virtue doesn't exactly reflect well on them . . .
  6. It is. We've made alterations, because Shinseism is different in some key historical, social, and theological respects from Buddhism, but the core principle is based on Pure Land teachings.
  7. Kinzen

    Fiction Library

    "Kami" in the 上 sense is an honorific along the lines of "sama" or "dono" -- in fact, we've been using the honorific "ue" in some of the fictions, which is just a different pronunciation of 上. So there's no reason it couldn't be used for Isawa or any of the other Thunders. Furthermore, FFG is taking a much broader (and accurate-to-Japan) approach to the term "kami" in the 神 sense, so that it means not just the little atomic elemental kami + the children of the Sun and the Moon, but basically any honored spiritual power -- which can include ancestors. (There are numerous examples in Shinto of dead people being enshrined as 神 kami.) But in the end, the actual point I was making was just a linguistic joke about Isawa arrogance. :-) "Blasphemy? How dare you accuse me of that? Clearly I was saying Isawa no 上, not Isawa no 神 -- of course I know he wasn't the equal of the divine Shiba. Even though Shiba knelt to him errrr, nothing, don't mind me."
  8. Kinzen

    Fiction Library

    People are perfectly capable of both having a strict calendar and talking about seasons in ways that fit their local climate. Otherwise I wouldn't know a song about how summers in Texas (where I grew up) are "seven months in length."
  9. Kinzen

    Fiction Library

    Er, no -- I did not say that. I said it's possible the editors have fiddled with the precise ordering on some occasion, but I have no idea whether they did so in this instance or any other. Really, if I had to guess (and this *is* a guess), I'd say they probably decide release order for all the fictions in a given batch based on criteria like "make sure we don't focus too much on one corner of the world or one type of conflict at a time" or "does this have some connection to the cards in pack?," and only worry about their temporal relationship to one another when it's directly relevant (i.e. no stories post-Arasou's death before the story where Arasou dies). Honestly, it would suck to try and nail everything down to exact chronological sequence. I have to deal with timing questions like that in my novels, and it's always a giant pain in the neck; I can only imagine how much more obnoxious it would be for something like this. Especially since it's all being assembled out of smaller pieces and the editors don't get to go back and revise: to pick an example from my current book draft, if I realize it would be good to establish that a certain character has been asked to do something nefarious before that nefarious thing gets revealed, I can add that scene in before the book gets printed. But if FFG decides they want to show something with Hotaru that would have happened before "The Bright Flame of the World's Glory," the only thing they can do is release a story that takes place outside chronological order, signpost to you roughly when it happened, and move on.
  10. Kinzen

    Fiction Library

    It has probably gotten a little fuzzy along the way. We're given general guidelines for when stories should take place, but there are lots of factors which make that less than precise: maybe one person thinks of spring beginning on the equinox and says "mid-spring" for a story in late April, while somebody else thinks of the season as beginning with April and says "early spring" for a story at the same time. Or the Story Team winds up rearranging the release order for one reason or another. In general, I'd say what matters is the relative ordering of connected events, more than the precise date stamp for each one.
  11. Kinzen

    Repentance Does Not Come First

    Things like maho are vastly more interesting when they're presented as a slippery slope from "totally fine" to "a bit extreme, but okay" to "you really shouldn't be doing that" to "Jigoku's puppet," rather than there being a bright line between the right way of doing things and the wrong way.
  12. The Perfect Land Sect is definitely not Fudoism. Their philosophy is not "anything goes;" it's a very well-defined path to enlightenment, by calling on Shinsei to bring you to a special part of Tengoku after death, where you can pursue enlightenment without suffering through life. They just flourish in Dragon lands because the Dragon are more reluctant to declare something the wrong way to pursue enlightenment than the Phoenix are -- but that's about the clans' philosophies, not the sect's. Whether or not this winds up having anything to do with the Kolat will depend on what, if anything, the Story Team winds up doing with the Kolat in the reboot. But it's a more democratic theology than most Shinseist sects, because it doesn't require you to study fancy sutras or spend all your time in meditation or master arcane spiritual techniques -- which means that a peasant in the fields, or even an eta, stands as good a chance of achieving enlightenment as anybody else.
  13. Kinzen

    Repentance Does Not Come First

    "Novella" basically means "short novel," so really not the kind of thing that could ever be an insert in a pack. :-)
  14. . . . aaaaaaand this is why I should not answer questions on my way to bed, because I managed to forget the Henshin. <beats head against nearest flat surface> (I did have a niggling feeling that I was overlooking something . . . )
  15. I can kinda sorta answer this one. :-) First of all, there are two or three types of monks: two if you divide them into clan monks (who are samurai) and Brotherhood monks (who may be ex-samurai, but may also be ex-peasants), three if you subdivide Brotherhood monks into Fortunist monks (whose worship focuses on one or more Fortunes) and Shintao monks (whose worship focuses on the Tao of Shinsei). Both Dragon and Phoenix lands contain lots of different types of Brotherhood monks, so while any given sect may have a greater or lesser presence in one clan's lands, there's no overarching difference between the clans in that respect. Then you have your clan monks, which include the tattooed Dragon monks (ise zumi, kikage zumi, tsurai zumi), the Asako Inquisitors (tagged as monks in the RPG, at least), and the Kuni Witch-Hunters (ditto). Of these, I think only the Dragon really got presented as being particularly monk-like in the lore -- the "monk" tag in the RPG seems to have been more a matter of mechanical convenience than a reflection of a particularly monastic tradition in-story. Clan monks can learn kiho, the spiritual powers of Brotherhood monks, but the ise zumi and their related orders also draw special abilities from their tattoos, which in turn (at least in the old lore) drew their power from the blood of Togashi, Hitomi, or Hoshi -- not to be confused with maho! :-P These tattoos are why Dragon monks run around half-naked; the images have to be uncovered in order to work. Mind you, that's mostly a mechanical answer. Theologically . . . well, to be frank, the old lore didn't do a lot to develop the ideology of the ise zumi as distinct from the Brotherhood (or for that matter, much to develop the ideology of the Brotherhood, either, except to gesture vaguely in the direction of Buddhism and Shinto and then call it a day). Dragon monks basically sat up on their mountain developing their ability to breathe fire and walk on walls and then never using those abilities in the wider world, except for the occasional character with a role to play in the story. So in the end, I think the real answer to your question is "the Dragon have half-naked monks with magic tattoos and the Phoenix don't." :-P