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shosuko

What is the deal with Crab's and troops?

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During the Scorpion release fiction and during the recent Taka v Yoshi fiction we have been shown that the Crab have been offered troops but refused them because they somehow weren't going to be under Crab command.

I'm curious - what would the clan get from not following Crab orders while serving on the wall?  What is the advantage of Shoju or Toturi (maybe Tsuko or maybe it was in Arasou's day) would get out of sending troops to the wall only to NOT actually help / serve the crab?

Also - what is so important to the Crab about controlling troops that they couldn't show these Lion or Scorpion troops a section of the wall to defend "under their own command" with scouts relaying information between troops?  Its not like these soldiers are supposed to become Crab clan members just for serving on the wall...

Edited by shosuko

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If a section of the wall, that is being guarded by non crab led units, falls then crab still get the blame for failing their duty.  If the other clans really cared about keeping Rokugan untainted they would send their forces to the crab and let them do what they must.

You don't show up to a Wu Tang concert and ask them to play Garth Brooks greatest hits.

If you're going to help them simply fill the order.  When you start demanding control over stuff you know nothing about, you put all of Rokugan in jeopardy.....or you're likely a spy for the Shadowlands........at least that's how my inner crab feels about it

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It's a matter of values. To Crab, the Carpenter Wall is the most important thing in the world. How can Crab entrust any part of its defense to a stranger? Martial honor is the most important thing in the world to Lion. How can Lion entrust his honor to a stranger?

Of course, there could be a way. The answer doesn't involve rubbing filthy coins together, so don't expect Yasuki Taka to be able to imagine it. No, it's a matter of the deepest mutual respect based on the ideals of duty and sacrifice - something a Crane courtier can understand, and therefore a possibility to be feared. If Crab and Lion could trust one other with what each clan values most, such an alliance would imbalance the Empire.

Edited by Manchu

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You're seeing a clash between Crab pragmatism and the idealism of the other clans. To the Crab, the idea of taking troops who have never been exposed to fighting the Shadowlands and simply sticking them on The Wall is, frankly, insane. Troops who aren't prepared to face the abject horror and epic violence that is fighting on The Wall need to be thoroughly drilled and trained by those who do understand it (all too well, at that) to ensure they're ready. Remember that this is a combat environment in which your fallen troops can literally come back to "life" as your enemies; in such a situation, unprepared troops could be worse than no troops at all. On the other hand, to other Rokugani, any suggestion that their soldiers aren't immediately fit for battle without being prepared and trained by the Crab is disrespectful, bordering on insulting. Thanks to generations of successful Crab defence, the other clans have grown complacent about the Shadowlands, seeing it as an ominous, sure, but distant threat. It certainly isn't anything that their troops can't face, just like any other enemy.

Pragmatism versus idealism. It's a toxic combination, ending up with everyone walking away unhappy. It's just another way in which the clans are disunited and the Empire is, frankly, in peril.

 

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DM: "The special ops regiment sent by the Empire surveyed their surroundings. It had been a very hot day walking in the open corrupted plains and they will have to find shelter soon. There was only some low shrubs in sight and a single bamboo stalk idly swaying in the wind. The sun was slowly setting in the horizon and as the dust settles, a silhouette army of Undead Samurai was seen approaching"  Crab general what will you do?

Crab Bushi General player: I will tell my comrades to find a place to hide while I alone face the Undead Horde. *no dice roll needed*

Lion Samurai player: I will hide in the bushes. *rolls his dice successfully*

DM: "The young Lion bushi did as was commanded and immediately crouched low with sword ready in hand."

Phoenix Shugenja player: I will cast a water mirror spell to hide myself. *dice roll with her Int value success*

DM: "The Shugenja weaved some signs in the air and whispered to the water Kami to grant her protection. The moisture in the air condensed to surround her granting a mirror like armor making her invisible to the naked eye"

Unicorn cavalry player: I will hide in the bamboo stalk. *rolls the perfect dice roll*

DM shaking his head: "You have successfully hidden in the lone bamboo stalk...with your horse!"

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If Lion truly understood the sacrifice Crab constantly makes, Lion would be so moved as to trust Crab commanding Lion's troops. And if Crab truly understood Lion's indefatiguable sense of duty, Crab would be so moved as to man the Wall with Lion's troops. If both were so moved, they would become fast friends. And then the peril to the Empire would be a powerful clan alliance rather than the Shadowlands,

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By requesting that troops sent to the wall keep their chain of command, they agree to send troop, but in a way that is unacceptable by the Crab. It's like agreeing to send food but only if it is rotten and unusable.

Because sending samourai on the wall without experience of fighting shadowlands creatures is like sending rabbits to a wolves' al-you-can-eat buffet.

My guess is the Lion don't want to send their troops to reinforce the Crab because they want to use their soldiers to win their wars against the Crane and the Unicorn. But by making the Crab an unacceptable offer, they look like they want to help. 

 

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Crab diplo corp should probably invite the other clans' leadership to the wall for some fancy event or something. Show them what its like.

Maybe if they get to host a winter court?

Edited by codegnave

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5 hours ago, Ser Nakata said:

My guess is the Lion don't want to send their troops to reinforce the Crab because they want to use their soldiers to win their wars against the Crane and the Unicorn. But by making the Crab an unacceptable offer, they look like they want to help.

It's also in keeping with some prior history that new readers wouldn't know about- that Lion general (Champion?) who swore up and and down he could do a better job fighting the Shadowlands, got in over his head, and ended up about as well as could be expected by merely getting himself and the Crab Champ who tried to rescue him killed, rather than coming back as undead.

 

I think the Lion respect the Crab, up to a point, but they're also quite proud of their fighting skill and tactical acumen, and, as Dave notes above, the Crab have done their job well enough until now that nobody else in modern Rokugan really gets just HOW friggin' weird and awful the Shadowlands are to fight- the Maw was, what, three hundred years earlier (if it even happened in this timeline)?

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17 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

It's also in keeping with some prior history that new readers wouldn't know about- that Lion general (Champion?) who swore up and and down he could do a better job fighting the Shadowlands, got in over his head, and ended up about as well as could be expected by merely getting himself and the Crab Champ who tried to rescue him killed, rather than coming back as undead.

 

I think the Lion respect the Crab, up to a point, but they're also quite proud of their fighting skill and tactical acumen, and, as Dave notes above, the Crab have done their job well enough until now that nobody else in modern Rokugan really gets just HOW friggin' weird and awful the Shadowlands are to fight- the Maw was, what, three hundred years earlier (if it even happened in this timeline)?

And then there's the tragic tale of Darth Plagueis the Wise Moto Tsume.

The non-Crab clans have a history of underestimating the Shadowlands, and the Crab refusing to have a repeat of those events occur on the Wall during an attack is perfectly valid grounds for not letting the Lion retain independence while on the Wall, at least until they've acclimatized to the difference between fighting Crane samurai and fighting combined Oni/Ogre/Undead/Goblin forces.

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1 hour ago, Mangod said:

The non-Crab clans have a history of underestimating the Shadowlands, and the Crab refusing to have a repeat of those events occur on the Wall during an attack is perfectly valid grounds for not letting the Lion retain independence while on the Wall, at least until they've acclimatized to the difference between fighting Crane samurai and fighting combined Oni/Ogre/Undead/Goblin forces.

One of my players in the RPG, a Kakita, tried to challenge a goblin chieftain to a duel while he was in the Shadowlands... No, really, that happened. 

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14 minutes ago, Tabris2k said:

One of my players in the RPG, a Kakita, tried to challenge a goblin chieftain to a duel while he was in the Shadowlands... No, really, that happened. 

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Please tell me one of the bakemono brained him from behind with a rock for that. I mean, seriously, there are limits. :lol::lol::lol:

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13 minutes ago, Mangod said:

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Please tell me one of the bakemono brained him from behind with a rock for that. I mean, seriously, there are limits. :lol::lol::lol:

Oh, it was epic. There was the crane, standing atop of a rock, kimono and white hair waving to the wind, hand in the hilt of his sword... so the goblin chieftain ordered all his goblins to shoot at such an easy target with their bows. Luckily for him, I’m a benevolent DM, so I gave him the choice to forfeit some glory and flee. Which he took. Of course the party crushed the goblins pretty easy, but that Kakita never fully gained back the respect of his partners. 

Edited by Tabris2k

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2 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

One of my players in the RPG, a Kakita, tried to challenge a goblin chieftain to a duel while he was in the Shadowlands... No, really, that happened. 

My personal favorite was in one the original introductory scenario for the 1st Edition RPG my PC's were escorting an important NPC on a mission in the Shadowlands when they got ambushed by a group of Goblins.  They were all disdainful of the 0K1 club that one of the Goblins was threatening the NPC with while they dealt with the tribe leader.  After I rolled 40+ damage on the attack they were not so disdainful anymore. 

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9 hours ago, codegnave said:

Crab diplo corp should probably invite the other clans' leadership to the wall for some fancy event or something. Show them what its like.

Maybe if they get to host a winter court?

There's a story that the Crab tell, amongst themselves.  Undoubtedly it's recorded in the Imperial Histories, but it doesn't get repeated often anywhere else.

Some time ago, not too long, but not too recent, the Emperor did indeed host Winter Court at Kyuden Hida.  All of his advisors advised against it, but hie's the Emperor, so what do you do?  Go to the Crab lands, that's what.

Anyway, while they were there, the Champions of the various Clans (mostly described as the Crane, Lion, Scorpion and Phoenix) started boasting about the prowess of their yojimbo, and why each was the best.  They got into somewhat of a competitive mood.  This meant that, when they took a trip along the Kaiu Kabe, each of the Champions wanted their yojimbo to be on watch overnight.  It was eventually agreed that all the Clan Champions and the Emperor would sleep in one of the watchtowers, and the various yojimbo were ordered to take on guarding the wall.

In the depths of the night, the 5 Champions were awoken by a blood-curdling scream.  The Champions, great as they were, leapt awake, grabbed their weapons and fought off a force of Oni, who had been sent to kill the Emperor.  Alas, all of the trusted yojimbo were dead, surrounded by the corpses of Oni, and the Champions once again took to arguing about whose had been the most loyal, who had killed the most and who had borne their death with the most stoicism and courage.  At this point it was noted that the Crab yojimbo hadn't killed a single enemy, having barely got his weapon in his hands before being eviscerated.  The other Champions mentioned who power the Crab bushi must have been where he could not even do his job.  Finally the Crab Champion spoke, "His job was to scream."

Since then, the Winter Court has never been in Kyuden Hida again, and the Crab do not trust other Clans to be able to man the wall, except under their command.

The above story is not mine, it is paraphrased from an old book (Way of the Shadowlands, I think).

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17 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

There's a story that the Crab tell, amongst themselves.  Undoubtedly it's recorded in the Imperial Histories, but it doesn't get repeated often anywhere else.

Some time ago, not too long, but not too recent, the Emperor did indeed host Winter Court at Kyuden Hida.  All of his advisors advised against it, but hie's the Emperor, so what do you do?  Go to the Crab lands, that's what.

Anyway, while they were there, the Champions of the various Clans (mostly described as the Crane, Lion, Scorpion and Phoenix) started boasting about the prowess of their yojimbo, and why each was the best.  They got into somewhat of a competitive mood.  This meant that, when they took a trip along the Kaiu Kabe, each of the Champions wanted their yojimbo to be on watch overnight.  It was eventually agreed that all the Clan Champions and the Emperor would sleep in one of the watchtowers, and the various yojimbo were ordered to take on guarding the wall.

In the depths of the night, the 5 Champions were awoken by a blood-curdling scream.  The Champions, great as they were, leapt awake, grabbed their weapons and fought off a force of Oni, who had been sent to kill the Emperor.  Alas, all of the trusted yojimbo were dead, surrounded by the corpses of Oni, and the Champions once again took to arguing about whose had been the most loyal, who had killed the most and who had borne their death with the most stoicism and courage.  At this point it was noted that the Crab yojimbo hadn't killed a single enemy, having barely got his weapon in his hands before being eviscerated.  The other Champions mentioned who power the Crab bushi must have been where he could not even do his job.  Finally the Crab Champion spoke, "His job was to scream."

Since then, the Winter Court has never been in Kyuden Hida again, and the Crab do not trust other Clans to be able to man the wall, except under their command.

The above story is not mine, it is paraphrased from an old book (Way of the Shadowlands, I think).

Thanks for sharing - I hadn't read that before, and it definitely fills out the Crab side of this for me.  Its true that in the big picture lighting a signal flare and dying without drawing your weapon may be worth more than killing 100 Oni only to die to the 101's with 100 more behind it...  The Crab would certainly understand, and value the sacrifice of this pivotal watch crew while one with less experience might only see the enemies to fight.

Now I just need to hear what Shoju and Toturi (or Arasou or Tsuko) might be thinking that would make them still want full control over their troops on the wall...

I'ma go hunt down that Winter Court at Kyuden Hida story, sounds great!

Edited by shosuko

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39 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

It's either Way of the Shadowlands or Bearers of Jade.  Thinking about it, there are more of these short vignette style fictions in Bearers of Jade.  It might be hard to get hold of...

I actually own both of those, I own all of the 1st ed books.  I haven't read through them in forever.  I don't run much Shadowlands in my games, preferring to focus on intrigue and human villains breaking Rokugan from within.

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17 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

It's also in keeping with some prior history that new readers wouldn't know about- that Lion general (Champion?) who swore up and and down he could do a better job fighting the Shadowlands, got in over his head, and ended up about as well as could be expected by merely getting himself and the Crab Champ who tried to rescue him killed, rather than coming back as undead.

Do you happen to know where that story was from?  It sounds like it would be a good one to read.

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15 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

It's either Way of the Shadowlands or Bearers of Jade.  Thinking about it, there are more of these short vignette style fictions in Bearers of Jade.  It might be hard to get hold of...

It's from Bearers of Jade.

 

For something in that vein I reccomend searching for the Mirror, Mirror adventure. It was supposed to be the companion adventure to BoJ but AEG decided not to publish it. The writers decided to release it online, and, last I checked it is hosted at Kazenoshiro.

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