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Joe From Cincinnati

The Rising Wave (Dragon Fiction)

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I agree as to me this is the best to the point.

No teenagers, no unnecesary action. The style gave me chills at the begining (hazard-hazard, scenes being poorly connected), but it gets better as it goes on. 

Also, POV in this one is better...

from my POV.

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Looks like it might be a new interpretation of the Clan Champion for Dragon. Getting divine visions doesn't seem like something a Kami would need, whether it's an incarnate dragon or a body-stealer. 

I thought the writing of this fiction was noticeably better than the previous ones.

I don't think the tsunami is a shadowlands attack. I think it is some kind of crisis that will cause a civil war, involving corruption/evil in the imperial family. I am curious, though, what the evil is that the civil war will root out.

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Wow I liked this fiction a lot. Some great evil looming over Empire, makes me want to play Dragon and take fate into my own hands :P

I like the usage of Pure Land sect as plot device, they weren't portrayed 100% accurately but it was good enough and it's Rokugan so I dont have any problem with that 

Also glad that Hotaru didn't suddenly spring out of nearby bushes and shot Togashi Yokuni in the forehead

Edited by BordOne

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I will be making notes along reading it:

 

- First, a negative! I would love some breaks in the text. The Big Old Wall Of Text is not something I'm a fan of.

- Second, a negative! The "scroll" format of the text drives me nuts, because it's like overpacked sandwich - too much within space way too small.  A single sentence being 3 lines long here is a standard here, and that's not because the sentence itself is too long or something, but because everything is just too cramped. * this gets better latter, I guess first pages were weird about spacing and space-management overall, probably due to the images.

- I like the style and the way reader is introduced to new concepts. Natural and doesn't break the flow. 

- Action and exposition are interwoven. There is always happening, and it doesn't feel like filler. Each scene progresses the central conflict, and does so by introducing smaller conflicts that are resolved within that single scene while still moving the overall story. Great design. Even better, these conflicts not only push the plot forward, but also let you get to know the characters involved better. 

- Lots of showing, not telling. We really get to feel that Dragon need to care about each horse and each resource, without being flat out told "see, they are poorer than rest of the Clans". 

- Love the way the honor is portrayed here. It's non intrusive, but you can feel it's presence naturally in each thought and action, naturally and just feeling right. 

- The exchange between the child and Masahige is chilling. It's pretty innocent at the first glance, but you can easily see that the child hearing "You are unhurt?" could think that the samurai in question is angry about that and is going to fix it. VERY uncomfortable, because you know, THIS HAPPENS IN ROKUGAN PROBABLY A LOT.  Thankfully, Masahige values his compassion and doesn't even think about punishing the poor girl.

- Hitomi. Hm. I don't dislike this Hitomi.  I might even like this Hitomi.

- I just love how infused with spirituality and mysticism this whole thing is. Very fitting for the Dragon Clan, but also something that I found lacking in the L5R overall until now.

- Spiritual Mystery that has some actual spiritual and mystical themed sleuthing in it. I love it; it's something I love in our RPG games. 

- Japanese women and children singing creepy songs and mantras in small secluded villages was always creepy, and never stopped being creepy, and probably will always be creepy and unsettling.

- I like the characterization of Hitomi. I like how her asking quite important questions about things that are amiss paints her as a perceptive warrior who would make a fine yojimbo - a good yojimbo notices what is there (example, ninja on the roof), a great yojimbo sees what's not there (XYZ is missing from the dinner, and it was the favorite and defining touch of the cook. What happened to the cook? IS THIS POISON?). This is great, because we get proof of her perceptiveness *before* the fiction calls her aware and perceptive. It's not informing you that she is such, it's just giving a name to something you experienced beforehand, so you nod and agree that yeah, true. 

- I like the dynamic between Masashige and Hitomi. I think they complement each other very well. She is hard where he is too soft, and he is soft where she is too hard. 

- Tsuko has a thing or two to learn from Hitomi. One of them is "not trying to punch your superior even if you disagree with him", AKA discipline.

- The Sect has more interesting philosophy that I expected it to have. It's...uncomfortable to think about why peasants are drawn to it, without being too blunt about it.

- Presentation of the House of Light is nice. I like how the long climb to the Yokuni is reflected in fiction, where action retards in order to describe the whole place, with the camera starting at bottom and ending at the top - just like the person climbing the stairs.

- "Just like a Scorpion," I thought, exactly before proceeding to read about Masashige not wanting to compare Yokuni to a Scorpion :D. Awesome timing and great idea of directing thoughts of the reader towards the Scorpion by focusing on the mempo, so the thoughts of the reader and character align. 

- Someone actually thinking "Welp, we have a Spiritual Mystery at hands, let's maybe ask Phoenix!", while also being pretty realistic about Phoenix not being a Charity.

- Love the scene where Masashige is trying to communicate with Yokuni. The one sided dialogue, Yokuni's stillness, and Masashige's thoughts about just not understanding him immensely help paint the image of Yokuni as mysterious, unknown and non understable. The reader waits, just like Masashige, for any hint of Yokuni's thoughts, any reaction, ANYTHING. And then, finally...a mysterious, cryptic response. Which would probably be eye-rolling without the proper build up, but the build up was there, so it had the proper impact. Great job. 

- WHOA MASASHIGE ARE YOU ACTUALLY TRYING TO PROPOSE MINDRAPING THE SECT LEADERS INTO OBEDIENCE THAT'S ****** UP DUDE...but, on the other hand, it begs a question - is mind-controlling a person so they surrender really that much worse than beating them into a bloody pulp and forcing them to surrender? Hard choices.

- I love how we are shown multiple angles of the conflicts presented at hand. What is more important? Life of the children, ending the conflict bloodlessly, human dignity or health of a soul? Each side has it's own arguments, and they make sense, and come from people that make sens to think so. 

- What the hell is happening to Yokuni this is uncomfortable and weird and oh god so great.

- Well, that's one interesting prophecy. But more importantly, IT'S TIME TO MOVE OUT!

 

Overall, a fantastic fiction. Good job!

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Eugene Earnshaw said:

Looks like it might be a new interpretation of the Clan Champion for Dragon. Getting divine visions doesn't seem like something a Kami would need, whether it's an incarnate dragon or a body-stealer. 

I thought the writing of this fiction was noticeably better than the previous ones.

I don't think the tsunami is a shadowlands attack. I think it is some kind of crisis that will cause a civil war, involving corruption/evil in the imperial family. I am curious, though, what the evil is that the civil war will root out.

So..a Clan War redo then?  I truly hope not:)

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2 minutes ago, BordOne said:

I like the usage of Pure Land sect as plot device, they weren't portrayed 100% accurately but it was good enough and it's Rokugan so I dont have any problem with that 

They were polite enough to name the sect Perfect Land instead.

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2 minutes ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

They were polite enough to name the sect Perfect Land instead.

Yup. Also in some places they get it kind of right for example when Hitomi says "They say they will find enlightenment after death, in the paradise they say Shinsei has created for them."

Edited by BordOne

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1 minute ago, BordOne said:

Yup. Also in some places they get it kind of right for example when Hitomi says "They say they will find enlightenment after death, in the paradise they say Shinsei has created for them."

Right, that was the point at which I really thought the inspiration from Pure Land Buddhism seemed very clear.

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By the way, RPG people should be very happy about the fact that this author is "in" - it's the person who wrote the Togashi Dynasty for Imperial Histories, and wrote some of the best parts of the final RPG books in general. 

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9 minutes ago, Suzume Tomonori said:

Right, that was the point at which I really thought the inspiration from Pure Land Buddhism seemed very clear.

Yeah. I don't think there was open hostility in chan/zen against Pure Land buddhism though, aside from usual snarky philosophical treaties(I don't know so much about the history of the schools in Japan tho), I guess that's one of the reasons why Yokuni just left them alone in the fiction.

Edited by BordOne

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First, did anyone else read the first line in the voice of the superfriends narrator.... "Meanwhile at the legion of doom  up in the mountains"

17 minutes ago, Eugene Earnshaw said:

Looks like it might be a new interpretation of the Clan Champion for Dragon. Getting divine visions doesn't seem like something a Kami would need, whether it's an incarnate dragon or a body-stealer. 

Personally I would be happy for this change.  The gods and heavens providing a push here and there works for me.  When the gods walk the earth, I tend to lose interest in the story.

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9 minutes ago, WHW said:

By the way, RPG people should be very happy about the fact that this author is "in" - it's the person who wrote the Togashi Dynasty for Imperial Histories, and wrote some of the best parts of the final RPG books in general. 

I STILL love Togashi Dynasty.  She really should come take a victory lap.

and repost the link for her 'update/revision of TD as well:lol:

Edited by Kuni Katsuyoshi

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11 minutes ago, WHW said:

By the way, RPG people should be very happy about the fact that this author is "in" - it's the person who wrote the Togashi Dynasty for Imperial Histories, and wrote some of the best parts of the final RPG books in general. 

Kinzen, no?

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It would appear that a lot of the speculation about the "heresy" threatening the Dragon lands was off base. It is not Fudo, or Kokujin, or Shourido. Nor even my Apocalyptic Doomsaying.

I like the idea that it is a form of faith wherein praying to Shinsei will get you freed from the cycle of rebirth and sent to Paradise in the afterlife. I also can completely see how such a belief would be considered VERY heretical and dangerous to a strict caste-based society, especially when the element of "We are in the Age of Declining Virtue, and it's the Samurai who brought us here!". That is straight up, anti-samurai revolution.

A key cornerstone to the syncretic Shinseism of Rokugan's religion is the belief that all go through the kharmic cycle, and are born to their position based on virtue. Peasants CANNOT get into Yomi. They have to get reborn as samurai, and be virtuous samurai to get into Yomi. Like all things in Rokugan, the afterlife is only good if you are born samurai. Peasants believing that they too can get into a paradise after death simply by having faith and being virtuous undermines the entire spiritual power of the samurai caste and Celestial Order? And what is more virtuous than destroying those leading others into vice and shame?

In other words...

I smell Kolat.

Edited by sndwurks

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I love six of the great clans. The dragon i just never got interested in. Not for any particular failing on their part, just the least interesting to me personally. I like the story, and the characters are well done. I am intrigued on Togashi Yokuni and if he is who he used to be. Hitomi seems well done and Mitsu seems amazing even though he didnt do anything but stand there and then bow.

As far as the prophecy, I immediately assumed it was a wave of conflict where evil is found to be in Otosan Uchi and the Scorpion clan go in to save the empire. 

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54 minutes ago, Shadrack said:

I will be interested to see if the Dragon Championship works the same as it used to or if they have changed it, i.e. actually Togashi anymore.

Read up on this a while back and it seemed ok. I don't know I would prefer it gone, but it if it stays hopefully they do it better.

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2 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

It would appear that a lot of the speculation about the "heresy" threatening the Dragon lands was off base. It is not Fudo, or Kokujin, or Shourido. Nor even my Apocalyptic Doomsaying.

I like the idea that it is a form of faith wherein praying to Shinsei will get you freed from the cycle of rebirth and sent to Paradise in the afterlife. I also can completely see how such a belief would be considered VERY heretical and dangerous to a strict caste-based society, especially when the element of "We are in the Age of Declining Virtue, and it's the Samurai who brought us here!". That is straight up, anti-samurai revolution.

A key cornerstone to the syncretic Shinseism of Rokugan's religion is the belief that all go through the kharmic cycle, and are born to their position based on virtue. Peasants CANNOT get into Yomi. They have to get reborn as samurai, and be virtuous samurai to get into Yomi. Like all things in Rokugan, the afterlife is only good if you are born samurai. Peasants believing that they too can get into a paradise after death simply by having faith and being virtuous undermines the entire spiritual power of the samurai caste and Celestial Order? And what is more virtuous than destroying those leading others into vice and shame?

In other words...

I smell Kolat.

Also, it is awesome to see @Kinzen getting some amazing writing in.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but the goal of the Rokugan's cycle of reicnarnation is not to "stop existing" or even "escape the cycle". Even after ascending, you keep working and serving your duty, as an Ancestor and guard of Heavens...

Yeah, I can see why Phoenix get mad about it.

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2 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

It would appear that a lot of the speculation about the "heresy" threatening the Dragon lands was off base. It is not Fudo, or Kokujin, or Shourido. Nor even my Apocalyptic Doomsaying.

I like the idea that it is a form of faith wherein praying to Shinsei will get you freed from the cycle of rebirth and sent to Paradise in the afterlife. I also can completely see how such a belief would be considered VERY heretical and dangerous to a strict caste-based society, especially when the element of "We are in the Age of Declining Virtue, and it's the Samurai who brought us here!". That is straight up, anti-samurai revolution.

A key cornerstone to the syncretic Shinseism of Rokugan's religion is the belief that all go through the kharmic cycle, and are born to their position based on virtue. Peasants CANNOT get into Yomi. They have to get reborn as samurai, and be virtuous samurai to get into Yomi. Like all things in Rokugan, the afterlife is only good if you are born samurai. Peasants believing that they too can get into a paradise after death simply by having faith and being virtuous undermines the entire spiritual power of the samurai caste and Celestial Order? And what is more virtuous than destroying those leading others into vice and shame?

In other words...

I smell Kolat.

I hear they make a special soap for that now:P

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