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Mig el Pig

Fiction for honour and glory

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Somehow I think it Taka will end up talking his way out of any real harm and in the process forge an alliance (aka the Rokugani Mob Import/Export Company) between the Crab and the Mantis..............which Taka will exploit to expand his kolat network,........Meanwhile....... the Great Bear and the Son of Storms begin a bromance that will ultimately unravel over an argument about who has the coolest nickname.

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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1 hour ago, Waywardpaladin said:

I don't need to assume. They clearly put out that the Crane and Lion are tossing away men and material against each other. The Dragon, Scorpion, and so on are sitting back and not staging big expeditions into foreign lands. Every samurai you see fight and die in a story could've been another body hunting down resources or conquering new lands.

Yes, this is true. Of course, you could look at this way--for 1123 years (or thereabouts) the Crab have successfully defended the Empire from the Shadowlands. People can grow complacent. I grew up through the 70s and 80s under the shadow of nuclear Armageddon; I, and virtually everyone else I knew, never really thought about it, worried about it, or put much effort into being concerned about it beyond, eh, the U.S. and NATO will take care of us. Head in the sand? Absolutely. We all (that is, everyone, around the world) probably SHOULD have been WAY more worried about it, and done a lot more to pressure all governments to scale back their arsenals or even disarm. But we didn't...we just carried on with our lives and got way more immersed in issues around jobs, the economy, local politics, etc. So it's quite easy for a population to turn a blind eye to massive threats and mire themselves in all sorts of minor, specific issues of immediate interest.

However, if an in-setting explanation for the apparent Rokugani disinterest in the threat from the Shadowlands doesn't work for you, then there's the pragmatic, dramatic reason--FFG could have simply left the Shadowlands out of the new setting, but that would have been a major loss and change, so they didn't. They chose to include it, which means it's "there", which means it needs to be accommodated dramatically. It could have been left entirely quiescent, just eerily empty and silent, but that would have left the Crab kinda flopping around with not much to do, and would have removed a major dramatic pressure on the story. As soon as it was presented as a major threat, then there are two more choices--rally the Empire into facing it, so it becomes Rokugan vs the Big Bad Evil, and lose a great deal of all that cool samurai conflict...or let the Empire just do its thing, focus on internal politics and the like and be dismissive of the threat. This last approach establishes that the Shadowlands is a big thing, but casts them more as a story problem and allows the clans to carry on with all that scheming and conniving that we all love. Are the Rokugani being short-sighted and kinda dumb for ignoring the Crab warnings and calls for aid? Sure, maybe they are...just like a bunch of Canadian teenagers living under the pervasive threat of nuclear incineration, but being way more concerned about sneaking into bars with fake ID and who's dating/cheating on who. Of course, we got away with it (at least, so far), but who knows if the Rokugani will?

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4 minutes ago, DGLaderoute said:

. Of course, we got away with it (at least, so far), but who knows if the Rokugani will?

I think my perhaps poor understanding of the metaphysics of Jigoku is playing into it. My understanding is that dimension is sapient, and can spread by infecting other worlds. Infection is just about permanent, jade can resist it, and I guess jade tea in young people can break the taint?

Either way, the Shadowlands are always trying to expand, and the Crab have to fight the denizens and expend Jade in warding off the warping effect. Sort of like the Upside Down in Stranger things, it is a biological/spiritual blight that will consume everything.

So it strikes me that "We're running out of jade in the world" should be setting off fire alarms everywhere, because when that runs out all Jigoku needs to do is continue existing and the ambient radiation of evil is going to eventually turn everything cancerous.

It also seems to me the Wall was a losing proposition from the get go because once you run out of an expendable non-renewable resource, jade, you were doomed.

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Quote

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 

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21 minutes ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

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

Well, Yoritomo is a man who loves him his dramatics. Everyone is allowed one vice.

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I wonder what orders Yoshi was given when it came to negotiating with Taka in the first place. Taka's thoughts were rather on point, there at the end.  If Yoshi had just said, "We don't have the resources to help" Or "I have been ordered not to help" then Taka would have continued to hang around hoping for help and not finding it.  I don't doubt that Yoshi has plenty of distaste for the Yasuki....but I wonder what his constraints were in that negotiation and if he had another reason for running it that way.

 

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1 hour ago, Waywardpaladin said:

I think my perhaps poor understanding of the metaphysics of Jigoku is playing into it. My understanding is that dimension is sapient, and can spread by infecting other worlds. Infection is just about permanent, jade can resist it, and I guess jade tea in young people can break the taint?

Either way, the Shadowlands are always trying to expand, and the Crab have to fight the denizens and expend Jade in warding off the warping effect. Sort of like the Upside Down in Stranger things, it is a biological/spiritual blight that will consume everything.

So it strikes me that "We're running out of jade in the world" should be setting off fire alarms everywhere, because when that runs out all Jigoku needs to do is continue existing and the ambient radiation of evil is going to eventually turn everything cancerous.

It also seems to me the Wall was a losing proposition from the get go because once you run out of an expendable non-renewable resource, jade, you were doomed.

That's more or less correct. And I don't disagree at all that a shortage of jade would be a HUGE problem, given the threat from the Shadowlands. This might be why Kachiko continues to muse that "this Hantei, the 38th, might have lost the favor of the Heavens entirely"...

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1 hour ago, BlindSamurai13 said:

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

It’s not like he stuffed him whole. It was just a bag in the head. You know, just for Taka to not see where they were taking him...

Edited by Tabris2k

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22 minutes ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

 As a member of the Phoenix whose lands were invaded by Yoritomo's troops, I find your battlecry offensive. :P

Oh please point out where and when in the new timeline this happened!

Pretty please.:wub:

 

10 minutes ago, Tabris2k said:

It’s not like he stuffed him whole. It was just a bag in the head. You know, just for Taka to not see where they were taking him...

To badly paraphrase Burn Notice, the important detail is weather the bag was washed beforehand.... :lol:

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3 hours ago, Waywardpaladin said:

So it strikes me that "We're running out of jade in the world" should be setting off fire alarms everywhere, because when that runs out all Jigoku needs to do is continue existing and the ambient radiation of evil is going to eventually turn everything cancerous.

And it strikes me that "sea levels are rising and storms are getting more destructive" should be setting off fire alarms everywhere -- but a whole lot of people, including quite a few in charge, go merrily on their way ignoring those problems . . .

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Blackest Storm and Onyx had some crazy art about the Mantis and the sea. Maybe shadowlands threat sidesteps the wall after all crab forces have held them back the last 1k years and invade seaside, the mantis fight against it in secret and that is why they are raiding everyone. Yoritomo finally had enough and captured the Yasuki Daimyo to show him first hand and make a deal?

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11 hours ago, Horizonshard said:

My take from the fiction was that the Crab Clan is sending the majority, if not all, of their resources to Wall.  Yes the Yasuki family is wealthy and have extra gold laying around, but ransoming back Taka to the Yasuki for some gold really wastes the opportunity Yoritomo has here.  It would be a temporary gain of wealth and piss off the Crab.

It would be much better to "kidnap" the Yasuki daimyo so that Yoritomo can have a real talk with him outside of the Imperial Capital.  It is in Yoritomo's (and thus the Mantis Clan's) best interest to ally with the Crab so they can get some support when petitioning to be a Great Clan / Minor Clan in the future.

No one ever accused the Mantis of not being short sighted. If they were concerned about angering people they wouldn't be raiding the coastline.

If he wanted to talk he could have just done it at the Embassy. Kidnapping Taka doesn't do anything other than decrease willingness to work with them. Unless Yoritomo plans to force cooperation at sword point in which case he's just dramatically increased the likelihood of finding a Hiruma dagger sticking out of his back.

Although, now that I think about it, if the Mantis want to bend the knee, swear fealty, and become a Family of the Crab... That idea might have some promise to it.

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1 hour ago, shineyorkboy said:

If he wanted to talk he could have just done it at the Embassy. Kidnapping Taka doesn't do anything other than decrease willingness to work with them. Unless Yoritomo plans to force cooperation at sword point in which case he's just dramatically increased the likelihood of finding a Hiruma dagger sticking out of his back.

It gets him away from all the spies in the city. 

What's the point of forging a secret alliance if everyone knows about it tomorrow?

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21 hours ago, Horizonshard said:

I don't see how a ransom would help the Mantis.  Ransoming someone who has nothing extra isn't usually a good strategy.  I'm betting Yoritomo will make a deal with Taka to have the Mantis support the Crab, but in exchange the Crab will need to support the Mantis in a bid to become a Great Clan.  The Mantis probably have resources that the other Great Clans don't.  Just don't ask us where we got them.

Like heaping piles of jade maybe? :ph34r:

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31 minutes ago, HirumaShigure said:

Like heaping piles of jade maybe? :ph34r:

If the Empire is running out of Jade in their mines and the Mantis regularly go outside the Empire, then they may have heaping piles of Jade available from trading with (i.e. pillaging) foreign lands.  I guess the Mantis will be saving the day for everyone though, I'm sure, at a price.

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40 minutes ago, Horizonshard said:

If the Empire is running out of Jade in their mines and the Mantis regularly go outside the Empire, then they may have heaping piles of Jade available from trading with (i.e. pillaging) foreign lands.  I guess the Mantis will be saving the day for everyone though, I'm sure, at a price.

Or they're stealing all the Jade that the Crane Clan so desperately needs to make pretty decorations for their palaces, laying the groundwork for what will become the Second Yasuki War.

Edited by Mangod

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27 minutes ago, Mangod said:

Or they're stealing all the Jade that the Crane Clan so desperately needs to make pretty decorations for their palaces, laying the groundwork for what will become the Second Yasuki War.

You really think the Crane can afford to be in conflict with both the Lion and Crab at the same time.   

I'm still seeing Mantis offering to supply resources to the crab from "questionable" sources (RPG out right says we are all over the foreign ports that are illegal in the empire) for access to Crab ports and the aid of the Yasuki in distributing said wares outside of the coastal areas that we frequent.  Plus if Kisada decides to go all aggro on the empire our fleet would be handy for moving troops quickly.

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1 hour ago, Schmoozies said:

You really think the Crane can afford to be in conflict with both the Lion and Crab at the same time.   

I'm still seeing Mantis offering to supply resources to the crab from "questionable" sources (RPG out right says we are all over the foreign ports that are illegal in the empire) for access to Crab ports and the aid of the Yasuki in distributing said wares outside of the coastal areas that we frequent.  Plus if Kisada decides to go all aggro on the empire our fleet would be handy for moving troops quickly.

I said "laying the foundation for what will become the Second Yasuki War", not "kickstart the Second Yasuki War". A Crab-Crane war, if it happens, might be long after the Crane and Lion have settled the ownership of Toshi Ranbo.

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 Spoiler alert. Given what has been revealed in the fiction (Unicorn petition to have the emperor intervene in control of Toshi Ranbo) and the announced kotei series prizes (including Toshi Ranbo as a clan exclusive card to the clan with the most glory points) I have a feeling the Lion-Crane conflict isn't going to get the chance to decide who gets the city. 

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