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ElSuave

Fore Honor & Glory Fiction

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Kakita Yoshi says Mantis is a deadly threat. You have no evidence that he is lying or incorrect. So your complaint turns out to be, the Imperial Chancellor should not own up to actual threats. OK then to be consistent the Imperial Chancellor also should not concede that the Shadowlands are a threat. And therefore the Crab should get no Imperial help. Would you have been more satisfied with a conversation along those lines?

You need to consider, why would the Imperial Chancellor be a moron? Why wouldn't anyone else in the fiction have noted that? Kakita Yoshi is mentioned in other stories but no one in the setting appears to think he's stupid. By the way, that appears to include Yasuki Taka.

Now what could Yasuki Taka have said? I have no idea - Crab has cried wolf for centuries. At this point they have thoroughly screwed themselves over with respect to their credibility in the wider Empire. But again, the interesting thing is that Taka did not try at all. He said: we want men and weapons and jade, and failing that we want weapons and jade, and failing that we want jade. OK everyone knows you want that. Everyone knows you always want that. So what?

And Yasuki Taka has no answer. It's almost as if he just needed to be seen to make these flat requests. Just going through the motions for the sake of appearances, perhaps?

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2 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Kakita Yoshi says Mantis is a deadly threat. You have no evidence that he is lying or incorrect. So your complaint turns out to be, the Imperial Chancellor should not own up to actual threats. OK then to be consistent the Imperial Chancellor also should not concede that the Shadowlands are a threat. And therefore the Crab should get no Imperial help. Would you have been more satisfied with a conversation along those lines?

If the Chancellor wanted to use the Mantis as an excuse WITHOUT making the Empire seem too weak to defend its own maritime interests (and convoys are a heck of a lot easier to defend than ships sailing alone), he could have said, "our ships are busy hunting the accursed Mantis."

He did not do that. He said, in effect, that a united Imperial convoy would be powerless to protect itself from a gaggle of friggin' pirates.

2 minutes ago, Manchu said:

You need to consider, why would the Imperial Chancellor be a moron? Why wouldn't anyone else in the fiction have noted that? Kakita Yoshi is mentioned in other stories but no one in the setting appears to think he's stupid. By the way, that appears to include Yasuki Taka.

Anyone else in the fiction? You mean like Yasuki Taka, who makes it abundantly plain that he respects the position of Imperial Chancellor and the game being played? Nothing about him indicates any regard whatsoever for Yoshi, and no one else is present. Kachiko, in her off-hand mention, regards Yoshi as a useful tool, but she regards just about everybody that way, so the only other opinion we've got on the guy is somewhat.. questionable.

2 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Now what could Yasuki Taka have said? I have no idea - Crab has cried wolf for centuries. At this point they have thoroughly screwed themselves over with respect to their credibility in the wider Empire. But again, the interesting thing is that Taka did not try at all. He said: we want men and weapons and jade, and failing that we want weapons and jade, and failing that we want jade. OK everyone knows you want that. Everyone knows you always want that. So what?

And Yasuki Taka has no answer. It's almost as if he just needed to be seen to make these flat requests. Just going through the motions for the sake of appearances, perhaps?

So it sounds like you have no answer to my question. In which case, I have to question your assessment of the conversation: what could Yoshi have possibly been pushing for? You claim that he was probing Taka for some response was your justification for his lame excuses, but the response could only be what it was. So. If you accept malice as Yoshi's motive, then his actions, foolish as they are, make sense of a sort.

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Why are you downplaying the Mantis threat? I guess I should be more clear. I know you are doing it to prop up your position that the Imperial Chancellor is stupid. What I mean is, based on what evidence are you downplaying the Mantis threat?

- - - - -

Yasuki Taka is a master merchant. I'm not. I don't know how he could sell the Crab's need. I think Kakita Yoshi was curious about how Yasuki Taka would try. But he didn't try. Kakita Yoshi probes for that very thing, as when he mentions the Lion offer. Taka's internal analysis was, Kakita Yoshi had no intention of making a deal. But we didn't see Taka try to make one, either.

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47 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Why are you downplaying the Mantis threat? I guess I should be more clear. I know you are doing it to prop up your position that the Imperial Chancellor is stupid a fool- there's a difference. What I mean is, based on what evidence are you downplaying the Mantis threat?

Three things, actually-

1. The fact that Taka even suggests shipment by sea. The Yasuki run the Crab's merchant marine. Their daimyo can be assumed to have a rough handle on the general vagaries of losses to piracy. Yoshi is the one who says that the Empire couldn't safeguard the convoy. Not "will not." Not "would not like to meet the cost"- he mentions that as a separate concern. He says they can't do it.

2. Up until this point, we've heard of the Mantis (without the name) as "pirates led by Yoritomo" raiding Crane holdings. Not an "armada." Not a "fleet." And not a force that goes after defended targets- they're picked on the tsunami-ravaged Crane coastline.

3. The fact that the Mantis have not had time in this continuity to absorb the Moshi or Tsuruchi. While this third point is more speculative (the other two are based upon what we've gotten), the union with these forces still left the O5R Mantis samller than any other Great Clan, and most of the macro-setting changes to backstory thus far have been relatively minor, taking the form of individual fates, rather than rewriting the numbers of entire factions.

47 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Yasuki Taka is a master merchant. I'm not. I don't know how he could sell the Crab's need. I think Kakita Yoshi was curious about how Yasuki Taka would try. But he didn't try. Kakita Yoshi probes for that very thing, as when he mentions the Lion offer. Taka's internal analysis was, Kakita Yoshi had no intention of making a deal. But we didn't see Taka try to make one, either.

Yasuki Taka, the master merchant, says "And though one cannot buy anything while the store is closed, I owed it to my clan to try all the same."

He does it after almost literally calling Yoshi on his... let us say, ox feces.

Given Yoshi's stated disdain for matters commercial, once again, what on earth could he have been probing for? Perhaps something else to be supercilious about? Malice would explain that. Little else would.

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4 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Once again, for at least the third time, he says, outright, that being spotted by a single Mantis vessel spells the doom of any Imperial shipping endeavor above a certain size. What part of that don't you get? That is a pathetic degree of weakness on the part of the Empire, and for him to imply it in a private conversation between daimyo is an incredibly dumb thing to be saying.

I do understand the point that maybe it shouldn't be said, but I don't get where does the surprise that imperial navy (and Great Clans' navy at that time) is really weak come from. It was the same in the old storyline, where nobody had any real kind of naval power except for the Mantis. Crane made some progress on that front only after the Mantis became a Great Clan and the Crab had their turtle ships but those are not seaworthy. I'd remind that in old Rokugan, for a long time, there was a law that forbid anybody to make improvements on ships (law that I doubt Mantis "pirates" would choose to respect).

So, stating that the Empire can't do much against Mantis fleet is the simple truth. The only question would be "Is it wise to say the naked truth?" In a supposedly private meeting between daimyo who perfectly know that situation and with Taka's testimony worth less than Yoshi's (due to their respective status), I'm not sure it really matters.

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Just now, KerenRhys said:

I do understand the point that maybe it shouldn't be said, but I don't get where does the surprise that imperial navy (and Great Clans' navy at that time) is really weak come from. It was the same in the old storyline, where nobody had any real kind of naval power except for the Mantis. Crane made some progress on that front only after the Mantis became a Great Clan and the Crab had their turtle ships but those are not seaworthy. I'd remind that in old Rokugan, for a long time, there was a law that forbid anybody to make improvements on ships (law that I doubt Mantis "pirates" would choose to respect).

Here's the thing: Numbers. Imperial kobune (and the Mantis, in the old lore, also used the Kobune exclusively- one of their clan goals at WC 4 was to get permission to make better ships). They were every bit the renegade scum in the old setting- so ship types are probably comparable. The Mantis are definitely better sailors- it's kind of their thing- but to say that the Empire physically cannot shelter a convoy of troop transports (at this stage, Taka's not asking for material, he's asking for armed manpower) is telling. A large convoy, hugging the coast, full of armed samurai and ashigaru? Please. As I said, saying that no ships were available because they were trying to hunt the Mantis down would have preserved the illusion of Imperial primacy (because the fact of the Throne's weakness is something we readers are all privy to already).

Just now, KerenRhys said:

So, stating that the Empire can't do much against Mantis fleet is the simple truth. The only question would be "Is it wise to say the naked truth?" In a supposedly private meeting between daimyo who perfectly know that situation and with Taka's testimony worth less than Yoshi's (due to their respective status), I'm not sure it really matters.

Taka's question about shipping makes one wonder if it is something they "perfectly know."

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Just throwing it out there, if the Mantis are strong enough to openly challenge an Imperial force that would make them WAY more powerful then they were in the old lore. Remember, this is before the shattering of Otosan Uchi in the clan wars, the Imperial Legions are at the moment the strongest force in rokugan.

 

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10 hours ago, Manchu said:

Why are you downplaying the Mantis threat?

 

Here's the thing.  I don't think Gunichi is trying to downplay the Mantis at all.  Based on the conversation in the fiction, the Mantis are either abnormally strong for a Minor Clan or freakishly "Get-those-guys-a-LCG-stronghold-STAT" strong.  We would have Skill over the Imperials or any of the starting Seven.  But in the old lore, we never had numbers.  Even with four Families. 

The land lubbers should be able to put up enough boats and guards so they have numbers.  But.....

 

My take is that this is supposed to be another sign by the author or editor that the Empire is losing the Blessings of Heaven.  They just haven't fully explained how the Strongest Twenty fit in to that.

 

 

8 hours ago, KerenRhys said:

 (law that I doubt Mantis "pirates" would choose to respect).

Oh dear Kami, I hope not.  That rule in the old setting was even dumber that the prohibition on Black Powder.

 

Quote

You know many basic facts of life about foreign lands accessible by sea, such as the Isles of Silk and Spice, the Ivory Kingdoms, and the Mweneta Empire, and have likely journeyed to one or more of these places personally.

The RPG Beta would suggest that the Mantis know how the get places.

 

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