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Shiba Gunichi

Interesting Times in Rokugan

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2 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Are you unaware of the history of the Mantis? Because the line of Yoritomo can (at least in previous AEG history, and FFG has not said anything to contradict it) be traced directly back to Hida.

Well, yeah.. but they chose to leave the house of Hida and start their own house.

So them claiming the name of Hida now is like a Seppun asserting their claim on the throne because they are descended from Hantei. While it by blood it may be true, the Rokugani tradition trumps genetics. In fact, I believe there are a couple clans that have not a drop of their original Kami's blood. But they have claim on that Kami's heritage because they were granted that right.

The point is that they left that house, abandoned that name and through doing so forsake that heritage.

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11 hours ago, Manchu said:

Until recently, Phoenix was also chummy with Unicorn.

And until recently, the Crane weren't a back-footed tsunami-wrecked shadow of their former glory, forced to pawn artwork to hire mercernaries.

Can you imagine the fallout if they ever discover where that tsunami came from?

Not seeing the Crane lending the Phoenix a hand in their current political endeavors, not least because the Phoenix have nothing the Crane particularly need, and have been steered into a rough alignment with the Lion. They could certainly go after that alliance, but what can they offer? Judging by the tenor of Kaede's wedding, the Phoenix are far more terrified of the Lion attacking them than they are of anything the Crane are likely to do.

 

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15 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

So them claiming the name of Hida now is like a Seppun asserting their claim on the throne because they are descended from Hantei. While it by blood it may be true, the Rokugani tradition trumps genetics.

Source on that Seppun-descended from Hantei thing?

Because AFAIK, they're descended from Lady Seppun and her Tribe, who was the first mortal to swear fealty directly to Hantei Himself. Then the non-inheriting Hantei children would join the Otomo family, and we do actually have in Rokguan's history an Otomo coming forward and taking the throne by indirect descent, because all the main line died.

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1 minute ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Source on that Seppun-descended from Hantei thing?

Because AFAIK, they're descended from Lady Seppun and her Tribe, who was the first mortal to swear fealty directly to Hantei Himself. Then the non-inheriting Hantei children would join the Otomo family, and we do actually have in Rokguan's history an Otomo coming forward and taking the throne by indirect descent, because all the main line died.

Siblings of the Emperor will enter into any of 3 Imperial families depending on their preferences.  Most end up Otomo as they are the most court oriented, while the Seppun are more militant and the Miya as the heralds spend most of their time away from court but they can join any of the three if they wish.

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1 hour ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Source on that Seppun-descended from Hantei thing?

Because AFAIK, they're descended from Lady Seppun and her Tribe, who was the first mortal to swear fealty directly to Hantei Himself. Then the non-inheriting Hantei children would join the Otomo family, and we do actually have in Rokguan's history an Otomo coming forward and taking the throne by indirect descent, because all the main line died.

 

It is a 3-4/2/0.5 split between Otomo, Seppun and Miya. There are plenty of Seppun who are descended from Hantei. I could certainly have used Otomo in my example. But you don't get to reclaim the heritage and name that you chose to leave behind, or that your ancestor chose to leave behind, at least certainly not while someone else is still claiming the name.

The thing about Otomo and Seppun... Both were started by a particular individual.

But the Otomo today seem like the original Otomo.

But Lady Seppun? She was an astrologist shugenja and the Seppun family isn't known for Shugenja at all. If anything, they seem to take after Hantei (brave warrior who studied the way of the warrior and specialized in using a katana before bravely taking on his father) rather than Lady Seppun. One would think the Seppun would be a primarily shugenja family given their founder.

That's why I would associate with them more strongly with Hantei than the Otomo.

So Yoritomo claiming that because he is descended from Hida, he gets to be Hida's great clan would just be silly because Hida's great clan is the Crab Clan and there is a whole Hida family. And it would be exactly directly parallel to someone saying "Well, one of my 128 (minus duplicates) Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfathers was an Emperor" and therefore I am going to start calling myself Hantei and reaping the privileges of that name (well, Yoritomo tracing ancestry back to Hida would be well over 20 generations not just 7-- but the point still stands)

 

Although.... well.. I suppose if for some reason Hantei line was no longer emperor, the Imperials Families could assert their right to official Great Clan status, but that would be a demotion and then they would have to actually have to claim lands which someone else would likely contest and create a standing army and well.. it would be a mess, so obviously it isn't worth it to them.

 

As I said, the first steps the Mantis ought to be taking is to get a proper family name and get other families to join its clan. They may or may not also want some foothold on the mainland instead of being totally isolated on their island. Like-- at least a port city and enough surrounding land to feed the people there.

Edited by TheHobgoblyn

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20 minutes ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

 

So Yoritomo claiming that because he is descended from Hida, he gets to be Hida's great clan would just be silly because Hida's great clan is the Crab Clan and there is a whole Hida family. And it would be exactly directly parallel to someone saying "Well, one of my 128 (minus duplicates) Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfathers was an Emperor" and therefore I am going to start calling myself Hantei and reaping the privileges of that name (well, Yoritomo tracing ancestry back to Hida would be well over 20 generations not just 7-- but the point still stands)

 

Not about claiming to be the Crab, just pointing out that their founder is as legitimate a direct descendant (and technically eldest heir), being the grandson of a Kami and another celestial entity and the son of the first fortune to be elevated by the Emperor in Osano-Wo, as any of the other clan champions so saying he isn't one of the select few from the dawn of the Empire could be argued.   

The claim to elevate the Mantis to Great Clan status will be difficult to press no question and they will need the support of many to advance it, however that does means those with some sort of capital to expend in their favor.  The Crab alliance gets them access to the Yasuki trading network for moving smuggled and stolen goods which will help them raise needed capital as lets face it for all the claims that many make of the power of honor the wheels of bureaucracy are greased by money.  It also gives them a foothold in the courts to begin building political will from. 

The next clan approached should likely be one who can further expand that presence in court, so Crane or Scorpion are the obvious choices.  Given the current pattern of raiding the Mantis have been enacting on the Crane it seems unlikely that they will be inclined to help them, especially given their traditional animosity to the Yasuki, so your best option is some sort of alliance with the Scorpion.  The issue there is that you can not trust them, so any alliance with them will be extremely fragile and the expectation will have to be that they will betray you in some way so there is a lot to risk in going that approach.  That means like the Crab alliance it might be worth considering looking to the other clans for the political pressure they may be able to bring. 

Of the 4 remaining great clans Unicorn have minimal political capital they can bring and the main advantage they would bring is sharing an outsiders view of the Empire and potential military support.  The downside is that their current political situation with the Lion lends itself to them being more likely to side with the Crane (who have been a traditional ally of them) so they may be hesitant to start throwing support to a group in opposition to them. 

Dragon who knows they are too unpredictable to really be able to tell where they will fall on the matter.  Added that they are again one of those groups with a very minimal presence in the courts and they likely don't bring a lot of benefits to the table as a potential ally.

Phoenix being on the more traditional side may look poorly on the Mantis, however the possibility that the Tenkinja may be able to share lore that could be of use in dealing with the elemental imbalance may be a big enough enticement to get them to consider our bid.  While there was a fair bit of back in forth between the clans in O5R that was all well after the Mantis ascended to Great Clan status so should have no bearing on the negotiations here so they are a possibility.

Lion, in my personal opinion, are actually the next best clan to approach as you have a couple of common grounds.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, you can advance with them that like the Crab there is a shared heritage between the two with the Mantis founder being the son of Osano-Wo's Matsu bride.  Add that we can offer an opportunity for them to continue their conflict with the Crane, with us serving as a proxy to continue exerting pressure on a different front, to draw Crane resources away from any potential assistance they may be able to offer Unicorn in that dispute.  I'm sure there are a number of Ikoma who could be swayed to assist in pressing a claim that the Crane as they are unable to protect their coastal holdings may be better served handing those holdings over to a clan that may be better able to administer them like the Crab, especially if said holdings were previously Yasuki holdings that were abandoned when they joined the Crab.  If the Yasuki should than be able to barter the task of administrating those holdings to the Mantis in exchange for the needed resources and supplies for the wall than all parties may be served.

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16 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Judging by the tenor of Kaede's wedding, the Phoenix are far more terrified of the Lion attacking them than they are of anything the Crane are likely to do.

/eye roll/

Phoenix gained much from that match, which let’s not forget was made long before these unsettled times. No Lion hostility toward Phoenix seems implied anywhere - least of all, in that happy union.

I don’t expect my Clan to make friends with Crane now, although it’s always what I’d like to see. Frankly, that move would require insight and flexibility beyond Lion’s usual capacity. The best one can expect is chilly detente with Crane as the Lion establishment prepares to feast on Unicorn. Anything more will need to be achieved either personally between Toturi and Hotaru (unlikely given the latter’s infatuation with Kachiko) or by the effort of an intermediary Great Clan, most likely Phoenix or, perhaps, Shoju-aligned Scorpion schemes.

The coming civil war will of course moot these mundane calculations.

Edited by Manchu

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53 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Kaede is at least the second major Lion-Phoenix wedding - The Daimyo of the Ikoma is married to a Phoenix as well.

I'm curious how that ended up playing out. I got the idea that the marriage had been annulled already. Did they just go back to pretending that didn't happen? Could they keep the marriage, but also complain about the Unicorn going back on a betrothal that would have destroyed that marriage?

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Is... there totally no Crane fan on these boards to stand up for their own clan?

Because, look, I am an ex-Shadowlands fan who switched over completely and became an Imperial fanboy because I have a perspective that the Imperials are allowed to be the most flawed but realistic samurai in all the game.

And I kind of feel like I am the only one trying to stand up for the Crane Clan, saying "everything is fine, this is a blessing in disguise, they aren't going to be exterminated or ended. Everything is going to be fine for everyone in the end."

And yet every avenue I have perused seems to end with "everyone hates the Crane Clan, they can't possibly have any friends, let's exterminate them!!"

If things have really ended up in such a way, I feel like the writers have monumentally failed and we are just a little over a year into the game.

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10 minutes ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Is... there totally no Crane fan on these boards to stand up for their own clan?

Because, look, I am an ex-Shadowlands fan who switched over completely and became an Imperial fanboy because I have a perspective that the Imperials are allowed to be the most flawed but realistic samurai in all the game.

And I kind of feel like I am the only one trying to stand up for the Crane Clan, saying "everything is fine, this is a blessing in disguise, they aren't going to be exterminated or ended. Everything is going to be fine for everyone in the end."

And yet every avenue I have perused seems to end with "everyone hates the Crane Clan, they can't possibly have any friends, let's exterminate them!!"

If things have really ended up in such a way, I feel like the writers have monumentally failed and we are just a little over a year into the game.

In game its the knock on effect of too many years of Crane driving the social order to their own advantage. 

Out of game its a combination of the fact that Crane decks have struggled to perform in the current dishonor heavy environment since their was no reliable honor counter to it.  Coupled with the baggage that many O5R players carried towards the Crane players for perceived highhanded attitude (sure go ahead and offer cash to undo the hard work that Mantis players put into getting our Clan the standing to be recognized as on par with the other Great Clans) seems to have resulted in a lot less vocal Crane supporters having ported over to this version. 

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8 minutes ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Is... there totally no Crane fan on these boards to stand up for their own clan?

Because, look, I am an ex-Shadowlands fan who switched over completely and became an Imperial fanboy because I have a perspective that the Imperials are allowed to be the most flawed but realistic samurai in all the game.

And I kind of feel like I am the only one trying to stand up for the Crane Clan, saying "everything is fine, this is a blessing in disguise, they aren't going to be exterminated or ended. Everything is going to be fine for everyone in the end."

And yet every avenue I have perused seems to end with "everyone hates the Crane Clan, they can't possibly have any friends, let's exterminate them!!"

If things have really ended up in such a way, I feel like the writers have monumentally failed and we are just a little over a year into the game.

I think the problem, in terms of support on the forums, is that the Crane clan has been put in a really bad position in the story thus far.

Thus it is hard to get support for a clan that seems to be constantly failing and not helping themselves. 

Examples of failings:

  1. The champion has divided loyalty to clan and her Scorpion lover.
  2. The clan is divided about how to deal with the death of the emerald champion.
  3. The clan has lost a lot of political power trying to go after things that have not turned out results. ex: Toshi Ranbo - Both the fighting and political attempts to secure it.
  4. The clan has a general amount of infighting right now.

However, note that I said that they seem to not be doing much to help themselves. 

It is important to note that they are trying to align themselves with the unicorn to shore up their military weakness (in terms of numbers).

They also likely know, on at least a general level, about the Mantis clan stealing their supplies from their trading vessels. 

I suspect that things will start to normalize for them now that the Toshi Ranbo issue has been resolved in neither Lion or Cranes favour. 

They will also benefit from the fact that Rokugon looks to be really for an inheritance debacle of which they are not the one of the main players to. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

Is... there totally no Crane fan on these boards to stand up for their own clan?

Because, look, I am an ex-Shadowlands fan who switched over completely and became an Imperial fanboy because I have a perspective that the Imperials are allowed to be the most flawed but realistic samurai in all the game.

And I kind of feel like I am the only one trying to stand up for the Crane Clan, saying "everything is fine, this is a blessing in disguise, they aren't going to be exterminated or ended. Everything is going to be fine for everyone in the end."

And yet every avenue I have perused seems to end with "everyone hates the Crane Clan, they can't possibly have any friends, let's exterminate them!!"

If things have really ended up in such a way, I feel like the writers have monumentally failed and we are just a little over a year into the game.

Well, you're not the only one; I'm pretty sure Manchu is a closet-Crane. But Vulcan646 has a pretty good idea.

1 hour ago, Vulcan646 said:

I think the problem, in terms of support on the forums, is that the Crane clan has been put in a really bad position in the story thus far.

Thus it is hard to get support for a clan that seems to be constantly failing and not helping themselves. 

Examples of failings:

  1. The champion has divided loyalty to clan and her Scorpion lover.
  2. The clan is divided about how to deal with the death of the emerald champion.
  3. The clan has lost a lot of political power trying to go after things that have not turned out results. ex: Toshi Ranbo - Both the fighting and political attempts to secure it.
  4. The clan has a general amount of infighting right now.

To elaborate...

Doji Hotaru is the new Crane Champion. She is also secretly in love with Bayushi Kachiko. She's young, she's untested, and she's facing a lot of pushback from her own Clan because of her decisions regarding her father's death.

Doji Satsume was the previous Crane Clan- and Emerald Champion, making him arguably the most influential man in the Empire, possibly contested only by Bayushi Shoju and Kakita Yoshi. However, he also had a less than stellar relationship with his daughter Hotaru and his brother-in-law, Kakita Toshimoko. Satsume's death weakened the Clan politically, a lot, and Hotaru's decision to trust the Emerald Magistrates' investigation (as opposed to...?) has put her at odds with her brother Kuwanan and those in the Clan who believe Satsume to be the best thing since sashimi, and thus believe she should "do more," though I've yet to see any suggestions that wouldn't serve to set the Emerald Magistrates against the Clan as well.

The combined loss of their position as the premier political player in the Empire to the Scorpion, their loss of their Clan Champion and the seat of the Emerald Champion, the (possibly Phoenix-induced) tsunami wrecking the Crane-controlled breadbasket of the Empire, Kakita Yoshi just coming across as unpleasant to a majority of people, getting their teeth kicked in by the upstart Mantis Clan... in short, the Crane are starting behind the eight-ball. It can be difficult to pull for a faction that seems doomed to fail, especially when it seems to be torn by infighting at the most inopportune time.

Edited by Mangod

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[REDACTED]

I had a rather detailed explanation for why I think things will only get worse for the Crane before they get better (though I do think they'll get better), but didn't want to put out a bunch of spoilers from fiction Hobgoblyn and others haven't caught up on yet. Suffice it to say, Elemental Cycle doesn't paint a very optimistic short-term for Crane. 

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8 hours ago, Manchu said:

 No Lion hostility toward Phoenix seems implied anywhere - least of all, in that happy union.

Incorrect. Fear of Lion aggression is very much a concern in the Phoenix's upper echelons. The marriage was, in part, an effort to secure peace- hence the high rank of the persons involved.

From "Fireflies," the fiction packaged with Meditations on the Ephemeral, wherein Kaede and Ishikawa have a little tete a tete on the subject of the elemental imbalance:

Quote

"Have you said anything? You your husband? To anyone?"

Her gaze rested on her wrists, where the mon of the Akodo stared back. "I cannot," she admitted. "If the Lion sense that the Phoenix cannot defend themselves..." She left the rest unsaid.



As for the wider lack of Crane love...

 

1. They have ALWAYS been roundly hated by large chunks of the fanbase for a variety of reasons (I, for example, hate them for the metafictional reason that they dominated the story in the old canon to the point where I never need to read another Crane story as long as I live, while I've also heard plenty of scorn for their artistic pretensions and their "obnoxious prettiness.").

2.  They're not doing a **** of a lot right now- Hotaru is conflicted (and up against a NASTY baseline situation she did nothing to create and which her harsh, emotionally abusive father convinced her she would always be unworthy of facing), Kuwanan is a hothead, Kakita Yoshi is a supercilious fool, Kakita Toshimoko is notable by his lack of appearances... they simply haven't gotten to look good the way characters in some of the other clans have. Now, obviously, this means there's just about nowhere to go but up, but given the pace of the story, they're probably going to be doormats a while longer.

3. Their decks aren't helping them make up for any of this- their fans cannot help them (lot of that going around, but the other clans that are underperforming in big events have different, more exciting story beats going on). And thus, those fans haven't got much to do.

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3 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

What about a Crane-Scorpion-Phoenix axis?

I'd suggest a serious empire-dominating bloc really needs at least one of either the Lion, Unicorn or Crab as part of it, because (at least the impression I get is) they've got the best claim to strongest military powers.

Which is why a theoretical Lion/Scorpion bloc - especially holding both the Emerald Champion, Imperial Advisor and...reads @Kaito Kikaze's post....."other positions" is so worrying for everyone else. The scorpion are not the crane but they're probably their closest match in the courts and the lion have the strongest field army. Meanwhile, their closest equivalents (crab and crane) are in a nasty state - the Crab's forces are basically pinned to the wall by the increased attacks and the Crane are busy verging on politically imploding after what they've been through recently.

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2 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

I'd suggest a serious empire-dominating bloc really needs at least one of either the Lion, Unicorn or Crab as part of it, because (at least the impression I get is) they've got the best claim to strongest military powers.

Which is why a theoretical Lion/Scorpion bloc - especially holding both the Emerald Champion, Imperial Advisor and...reads @Kaito Kikaze's post....."other positions" is so worrying for everyone else. The scorpion are not the crane but they're probably their closest match in the courts and the lion have the strongest field army. Meanwhile, their closest equivalents (crab and crane) are in a nasty state - the Crab's forces are basically pinned to the wall by the increased attacks and the Crane are busy verging on politically imploding after what they've been through recently.

I'd actually rate Unicorn higher than Crab in terms of military power just due to the nature of the Crab's duty forcing them to tie so many resources to the wall.  They may have a larger standing army but when the majority of it is forced to constantly defend a fixed point the majority of the time it makes it harder to exert influence elsewhere (thus why in O5R the Shadowlands pact that they started the game with was so important to justify them roaming the Empire engaging the other Clans.

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1 hour ago, Schmoozies said:

I'd actually rate Unicorn higher than Crab in terms of military power just due to the nature of the Crab's duty forcing them to tie so many resources to the wall.  They may have a larger standing army but when the majority of it is forced to constantly defend a fixed point the majority of the time it makes it harder to exert influence elsewhere (thus why in O5R the Shadowlands pact that they started the game with was so important to justify them roaming the Empire engaging the other Clans.

Agreed. The crab's problem isn't military power, it's the ability to send that military power anywhere but where it currently is.

(Well, that and they'd cause a great deal of ill-feeling if they started fighting other clans with their full arsenal; the other great clans don't object to ballistae and crossbows being used on shadowland monsters, but a weapon which can be used by a half-trained peasant and kill an armoured bushi from beyond the effective range of a noble-born archer is not far short of gaijin pepper level battlefield-changing)

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6 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Interesting that you went with "axis" there

Seemed fitting. Geographically, of course.

11 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

What about a Crane-Scorpion-Phoenix axis?

Crane-Lion-Phoenix is ideal, for a number of reasons. First, they are culturally-aligned as the orthodox representatives of Rokugan’s artistic, martial, and scholarly traditions. Second, they balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Third, they surround Otosan Uichi.

Edited by Manchu

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47 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Seemed fitting. Geographically, of course.

Crane-Lion-Phoenix is ideal, for a number of reasons. First, they are culturally-aligned as the orthodox representatives of Rokugan’s artistic, martial, and scholarly traditions. Second, they balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Third, they surround Otosan Uichi.

So I guess that makes Unicorn-Crab-Scorpion the allies with Dragon being Switzerland?

 

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