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ElSuave

Fore Honor & Glory Fiction

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2 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

And stuffing the Yasuki daimyo into a bag like the piratical scum they are!

Well, yes.  The Yasuki are pretty scummy.  But Yoritomo can get them sorted out, never fear.

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Very disappointed by this story. The premises were interesting but the execution...

Yoshi passes for a fool, while he should be characterized as one of the keenest political mind in the Empire. 

And Yoritomo comes out suddenly, classy like written for mantis fanboys. 

Seems too easy to abduct a great family daymio hosted at the imperial court also.  

Edited by Nitenman

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Vile pirates that name themselves the Mantis Clan. 

Wait, so are the Mantis an official Minor Clan sanction and recognized by the Emperor or just a band of pirates called the Mantis Clan? 

In other words, is the Mantis Clan considered Enemies of the Empire? 

Edit. Yoritomo stuffing Taka in bag came off a little cartoon-ish. I was like, what? lol 

 

Edited by BlindSamurai13

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I am not surprised by Kakita Yoshi's behavior in this story. First, he feels superior to Yasuki Taka. Second, he is superior to Yasuki Taka - not just as Imperial Chancellor but, more importantly, because he holds all the cards. Yasuki Taka's specialty is negotiation but he doesn't bring anything to the table that Kakita Yoshi might want. Making a trade means both parties have something to offer.

This is the typical problem with the Crab. From their perspective they are constantly giving - and therefore they are justified in getting support. But the Crab are brusque (which is its own form of condescension), they have trouble asking (as opposed to demanding) support, and they belittle the concerns of other Clans as selfish and trifling meaning that they tend to willful ignorance.

Kakita Yoshi comes off negatively in this story because it is told from Yasuki Taka's POV. But isn't Yasuki Taka really the more foolish? Exactly what did he expect to accomplish, walking into a negotiation with nothing to offer?

@BlindSamurai13 notice that Kakita Yoshi emphasizes that the Mantis call themselves a clan

Edited by Manchu

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It is unclear whether the Mantis have any official recognition as a Minor Clan or not.  As @Manchu mentions Kakita Yoshi says that the Mantis call themselves a clan.  This could mean that the Mantis have no official standing with the Empire.  Or it could mean that Yoshi himself disagrees with the official standing that the Mantis have.  I'm sure we'll have more information in future fictions.

L5R fictions are always interesting to parse through because a lot of information can be read differently considering which perspective it is presented from and the ideologies behind who says what.

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I like the idea of unreliable narrator POVs in these fictions. This story is told from Taka's perspective so of course Yoshi comes off as an arrogant preen, maybe more so than he actually is.

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And on that theme of perspective, the view of the wall itself ... The Crab view everything looking down from their wall: if the Kaiu Kabe fails then all your other concerns no longer matter THEREFORE defending the Wall is the most important thing.

But imagine it from everyone else's POV: if all of our other concerns weren't important then we wouldn't bother having a wall to begin with. The Carpenter Wall is important because it makes life-as-we-know-it in Rokugan possible THEREFORE the most important thing is living life-as-we-know-it in Rokugan.

Like all Great Clans, the Crab seek to promote their interests as preeminent. Whenever the Crab want anything, they unfailingly explain they must have it for the sake of the entire Empire. It's a bit like the boy who cried wolf. It's always Shadowlands this, Shadowlands that ... it's always a crisis and yet the wall still holds.

Kakita Yoshi makes a very good point in this respect: you Crab say you desperately need manpower but when the Lion offer aid it turns out you are more concerned about politics than troops. If everyone for generations was familiar with the Crab shouting "this is a crisis" whenever they want anything, don't you think you would get pretty cynical about that?

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1 hour ago, Manchu said:

 

@BlindSamurai13 notice that Kakita Yoshi emphasizes that the Mantis call themselves a clan

First

5 hours ago, Coyote Walks said:

Either we are a recognized Minor Clan and the prohibition against warring on Minor Clans is working in our favor(Bwahaha)

Or we aren't currently recognized and the Crane and Imperial Bureaucracy are so weak that they can't deal with a rogue Clan (What's that?  Lost the Blessings of the Heavens?).

Kinda makes me wonder if we got 'disbanded' after the Gusai Incident.

 

Second

45 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Kakita Yoshi makes a very good point in this respect: you Crab say you desperately need manpower but when the Lion offer aid it turns out you are more concerned about politics than troops. If everyone for generations was familiar with the Crab shouting "this is a crisis" whenever they want anything, don't you think you would get pretty cynical about that?

I really don't like taking the Crab side, but they are absolutely right.

 

Lion don't normally fight on the Wall.  Their Bushi aren't schooled in facing Shadowlands creatures.  Their Commanders have no experience in dealing with the tactics of the Tainted.

 

In any military conflict, orders being followed are essential.  Especially in a large scale engagement.  When they aren't, things can go badly.  And this is where the Crab's concern comes into play.

Lion who follow orders would have a higher chance of survival, living through each engagement to contribute to the next.  Lion doing what they think is right, instead of listening to the Crab, are more likely to die and more likely to cause others to die with them.

 

In short: Soldiers who don't follow orders can be worse for a Unit than that Unit being under staffed. 

 

 

Third, a better link.

5 hours ago, Coyote Walks said:

 

Edited by Coyote Walks
spelling

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Kakita Yoshi also answers your point: "And you imply they could not be bothered to learn?"

From the Crab POV, it is so simple: everyone else must give supply us what we want need and everyone else must obey follow our commands wisdom.

OK so we all know that whenever a Crab wants something from you he will talk about either (a) how the Wall is so great or (b) how the Wall is about to fail. Contradictory, sure. (That doesn't seem to occur to them.) So you can either ignore this boastful/melodramatic talk altogether because, hey this is just what they always say, or you can be cautious and try to figure out if something is really up down south. Kakita Yoshi brings up the Lion offer of aid to make a point: let's talk about just how desperate the situation actually is - not so desperate that the Crab don't insist on certain terms. See, we're talking about the terms, not about the aid itself. this is what Kakita Yoshi calls "pickiness." In a real crisis, one cannot afford to be picky.

Let's also consider how Yasuki Taka characterizes the Lion position - it's "impossible" ... meaning what? There was no way to negotiate something that was possible? Yasuki Taka seems to imply that the Lion are responsible for making their own offer of aid meaningless. That doesn't ring true to me. Rather, I suspect that this is a matter of Crab stubbornness rather than Lion arrogance. The Crab pride themselves on being pragmatic but the truth is, there's much more pride than pragmatism. They're samurai after all, even if they have bad manners.

Edited by Manchu

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2 hours ago, Manchu said:

Kakita Yoshi also answers your point: "And you imply they could not be bothered to learn?"

No, he doesn't.

 

And....

For them to learn would require the Lion to be under the Command of the Crab.  At least for the duration of the training.  Which they won't do.

I'm not implying it.

I am saying the Lion could not be bothered to learn.  Too busy planning sedition against their Champion, I suppose.

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First, you're assuming Yasuki Taka is accurately stating the Lion position. That is a bad assumption considering his statement in this story is motivated by defensiveness in a negotiation where he brings nothing to the bargaining table. It's also a bad assumption overall because we haven't seen the Lion's part in that exchange, from the Lion's perspective. But if you want to uncritically buy into anti-Lion rhetoric for the sake of defending the Crab then at least we know where you stand.

Second, "my way or the highway" is not the negotiating stance of someone who desperately needs help. That's Kakita Yoshi's main point. Here he has Yasuki Taka asking for something but apparently with nothing to give. This also seems to be the case with the Lion offer of aid: the Crab want something but won't give anything. From a courtier's POV, Kakita Yoshi is pointing out that if the Crab really wanted aid then they could find some compromise to get it. The fact that they won't compromise suggests that it's not aid that they are after so much as position.

Again you have to realize that this discussion takes place in the context of the Great Clans constantly jockeying for position. And the way the Crab do it is by appeal to the Wall. I don't doubt that the Crab are sincere about the importance of te Wall - how could they not think it's the most important thing? But perhaps less conciously there remains the basic premise of politics in Rokugan: competition between the Clans. Just like the Crab have the Wall occupying the center of their world, the Lion are preoccupied with their military forces.

It would take political and diplomatic imagination - or a real crisis - to get to some kind of compromise about the command structure of a Lion reinforcement of the Kaiu Wall. Kakita Yoshi is brilliantly pointing out that, in the apparent absence of the former, the latter must be true. But since the Crab were unwilling to compromise, Kakita Yoshi (and I'm sure the rest of Rokugan) suspects there is no real crisis. Just like the last time a Crab demanded aid on certain terms to prevent a crisis.

Edited by Manchu

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1 hour ago, Manchu said:

Second, "my way or the highway" is not the negotiating stance of someone who desperately needs help. That's Kakita Yoshi's main point.

A point he signally fails to take into account for his own position- his every response to Taka is downright rude in its, "you get nothing, you lose, good day sir" tone.

 

Methinks when Mantis pirates raiding Crane coastal holdings can find deniable safe havens in Yasuki ports, he may re-evaluate his opinion of where the power balance in his relationship actually lies.

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Still curious what exactly the Mantis want to deal with Taka over. Maybe they're offering to bring in arms and jade from foreign sources, maybe smuggling in those materials because open trade is illegal with wherever they came from? I don't see Taka and the Crab being too picky WHERE they get supplies from (gotta be better than teaming up with the Shadowlands, right?) but could lead to interesting new tensions with the other clans. I imagine Scorpion at the least might want a share of the pie if there's smuggling/illegal goods involved. 

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15 minutes ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

Still curious what exactly the Mantis want to deal with Taka over.

Ports and money, two things the Yasuki family has in decent supply?

In the old canon, the Mantis did mercenary work for the Crane, and it was Crane gold that propelled them into their "rolling in dough" status. The Crane are kinda broke in this timeline, but the Yasuki? Tasked with getting supplies, they'll spend what they must.

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1 hour ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

A point he signally fails to take into account for his own position- his every response to Taka is downright rude in its, "you get nothing, you lose, good day sir" tone.

Kakita Yoshi does not desperately need help - so how does he fail to take his own point into account? Whether the Crab desperately need help is questionable. Yasuki Taka failed to convince him of that, which one would think was his goal. If anything, Yasuki Taka does is not shown here as a clever diplomat. Is he even trying? It's almost as if he just has to be able to say he asked ...

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I suspect Taka knew that being deferred was already a sign of no help from the Imperials, and for the most part was going through the motions. Any attempt to press an issue would make him look desperate or weak, without changing the answer. It was mostly a contest of "Can I keep a straight face while Kakita Yoshi is insultingly unhelpful?"

I do agree that Taka seems to have given up before he really started, though. Then again, it helps if you're the one holding the cards, and since he didn't know he wasn't going to speak to the Emperor (or even which clan he *would* be speaking with) he wasn't prepared to outmaneuver whoever he ended up talking to. Had he had some preparation, we might have seen some clever arguments. Instead, this is more an illustration of how Kachiko's maneuverings turned out.

Kakita Yoshi's excuses were pretty pathetic, though. "What if these things you need get attacked? That would be bad, so I guess we shouldn't try." "Soldiers marching through territory might scare PEASANTS, this is too difficult so we give up."

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8 minutes ago, AradonTemplar said:

Kakita Yoshi's excuses were pretty pathetic, though. "What if these things you need get attacked? That would be bad, so I guess we shouldn't try." "Soldiers marching through territory might scare PEASANTS, this is too difficult so we give up."

Gotta give Taka credit on his reply though, "They could walk more casually, if you like." Dry humor at its best. 

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1 hour ago, Manchu said:

Kakita Yoshi does not desperately need help - so how does he fail to take his own point into account? Whether the Crab desperately need help is questionable. Yasuki Taka failed to convince him of that, which one would think was his goal. If anything, Yasuki Taka does is not shown here as a clever diplomat. Is he even trying? It's almost as if he just has to be able to say he asked ...

Well he doesn't have the Courtier trait so...

As for turning down Lion aid, the last thing the Crab need is for the Lion to get warmongery because a bunch of their troop got killed and/or corrupted  while helping the Crab.

After all the last time the Lion thought they could do the Crab's job better than them the Crab Champion had to venture into the Shadowlands to rescue the Lion Champion just to prevent a war. And they both still ended up dying from their wounds.

Personally I would have like the response to "...they can't be bothered to learn." to be something like, "They won't have time to learn. The Shadowlands are unlike any mortal enemy and a single mistake can to death or worse for an entire army. The Crab will not allow the lives and souls of the Emperor's samurai to be put at risk by the inexperience of their commanders."

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2 hours ago, Manchu said:

Kakita Yoshi does not desperately need help - so how does he fail to take his own point into account?

"If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared."

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On 11/16/2017 at 10:13 AM, Shiba Gunichi said:

And stuffing the Yasuki daimyo into a bag like the piratical scum they are!

I don't know why, he's not even worth one koku anymore...

Edit: Additionally, bear in mind that if the reboot is similar to how things were prior to the coup in the original storyline, the Shadowlands has been quiet for some time. The other clans' dismissal of Crab claims of danger from the Shadowlands was pretty much the norm -- excepting the Maw's rise and the corruption of the Moto, most of the other clans' interactions with the Shadowlands was through internal betrayal by maho-tsukai, not overt military action from south of the Wall. Given the other clans' inexperience dealing with the Shadowlands on top of the Shadowlands going quiet, the rest of Rokugan very likely thinks the Crab are just blustering right now.

I mean, if that's all true, sure, everyone else is about to pay for thinking Kisada of all people is just talk...

 

Edited by SirEuain

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