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Swordbreaker

Repentance Does Not Come First

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8 hours ago, Yogo Rye X said:

So is this novella like a book we need to buy or is it the insert in the clan pack or part of the elemental cycle inserts?

"Novella" basically means "short novel," so really not the kind of thing that could ever be an insert in a pack. :-)

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9 hours ago, Yogo Rye X said:

So is this novella like a book we need to buy or is it the insert in the clan pack or part of the elemental cycle inserts?

It is a separate book. Comes with inserts about the Phoenix Clan as well as 2 special edition cards, Kaito Kosori who is in the clan pack and Ofushikai which will be in the new cycle.

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4 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Of course I'm most happy with the mention of Akuma.

Of course you are :)

It's actually intriguing that such things as Akuma's pre-fall theories that are surprisingly effective.  I don't think what Tadaka did is technically maho, but it's certainly dubious.  To use a Mage analogy: Tadaka scoured his own pattern for power, whereas maho is abyssal magic.

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32 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Of course you are :)

It's actually intriguing that such things as Akuma's pre-fall theories that are surprisingly effective.  I don't think what Tadaka did is technically maho, but it's certainly dubious.  To use a Mage analogy: Tadaka scoured his own pattern for power, whereas maho is abyssal magic.

I thought a similar thought. It's a very interesting concept that can bode for very unique storylines moving forwards, not even touching the Corruption of the Phoenix either, which makes for a fun and new Rokugan

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15 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Of course you are :)

It's actually intriguing that such things as Akuma's pre-fall theories that are surprisingly effective.  I don't think what Tadaka did is technically maho, but it's certainly dubious.  To use a Mage analogy: Tadaka scoured his own pattern for power, whereas maho is abyssal magic.

It seems like the the first step towards maho. Kind of like a gateway drug.  Giving up his earth is like smoking a little weed.......maho is straight up crack.

Akuma tried the soft stuff and it probably worked out ok for him too.....then he ended up going further and further down the rabbit hole.  I'll gladly welcome Tadaka into the fold once he realizes, too late, that he went too far.  

The more of his earth he gives up the more room there is that needs to be filled with something else......and that's when Fu Leng shows up to offer something that will seems to be a great deal.  Tadaka may end up succeding were others have failed, good for him if he does.  They will be others, there are always others.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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Man, reading the discussion here leaves me feeling like I'm missing a ton of context by not being familiar with the L5R lore prior to the LCG. I wonder what all I've missed from all the other stories... 

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I really only played the old L5R near the end so allot of the lore that we are treading is only vaguely familiar, with allot of stuff that  is new to me. I mostly only focused on learning about the rise of the Mantis Clan in the old L5R and what was happening when Ivory Edition started. Seeing how the entire Empire was doing things, and seeing the clans anew is something that this new L5R has been able to give me. This story in particular resonates with me, and reminds me in a few ways what I loved about the L5R story. Making those hard decisions, do you go with something new and potentially dangerous or do you follow tradition. As a Mantis Clan Samurai who whole-heartely loved Shourido I am all for looking into those dark depths, but never surrendering to them. It reminds me of Tetsuo, a member of the Spider Clan who followed Shourido but despised the Shadowlands. You can learn from darkness, but to surrender yourself to it is to leave yourself blind, just as those who only look to the light are to also left blind.

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I think he used maho, and that's why the witnesses were so apalled. However maho doesn't necesarily cause taint, only it's very risky since Fu Leng's curse during the First Wall. If I'm not mistaken, Tadaka "gave is own earth" three times during the story: 1) to the coal's kami to preserve the scroll, 2) to the stone's kami to bind it,: and 3) to the bound kami to win the duel. At any of these occasions, one of these kami could have been a kansen instead. If that's so, the Taint already has a toehold on Tadaka's soul. In any case, the risk of this happening would be less on the relatively protected Phoenix lands, than on Crab lands, and that's were Tadaka is going next, and we now know him to be quite reckless and driven...

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Also, for those that were asking. The story insert on the Disciples pack is actually a 24 page booket including the first chapter of the novella. Probably this will be the case with the remaining Clan Packs, as the story is closely related and meant to tie-in. Probably the regular cycle packs will continue to feature original fiction.

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22 minutes ago, Mon no Oni said:

I think he used maho, and that's why the witnesses were so apalled. However maho doesn't necesarily cause taint, only it's very risky since Fu Leng's curse during the First Wall.

Maho is banned in all Rokugan, more in Phoenix lands. If he used maho (even not getting tainted by it) and the witnesses noticed, he’d be in jail/dead by now. 

22 minutes ago, Mon no Oni said:

At any of these occasions, one of these kami could have been a kansen instead. If that's so, the Taint already has a toehold on Tadaka's soul.

Kansen only admit blood. Physical blood. You have to spill it in order for them to “work” for you. Also, any Shugenja would know the difference between a Kansen and a Kami, and Kansen’s power comes from corruption/Fu Leng directly. 

So, in short, no, I don’t think what Tadaka did was Maho nor anything near to it. It was some kind of “normal” magic, just with a higher price. And it’s not like it’s the first time dealing with the Kami reflects on somebody physically. Kuni Osaku’s spell to create a wall of water for 73 days to give time to the Crab to build the Kaiu Wall sapped her life force, making her age 1 year per day. You can say she offered all her elements to the Kami. Shiba Ningen transformed an army of barbarians into a field of white flowers using the power of the Void, and that weakened him so much, he ended up dying as a consequence of the spell. Maybe a part of his Void was taken for that spell...

I think all Shugenja have the ability to offer a part of them, if the situation is desperate enough, a life or death situation. It’ll be the shugenja equivalent of the bushi that sacrifices himself in the name of Duty or Honor. What shocked all the people here, I think, is the fact that Tadaka was willing to make this kind of sacrifice just to win a duel, as important as it may seem to Tadaka himself. 

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5 hours ago, dbmeboy said:

Man, reading the discussion here leaves me feeling like I'm missing a ton of context by not being familiar with the L5R lore prior to the LCG. I wonder what all I've missed from all the other stories... 

Dunno, I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, I got to enjoy all the lore and fictions from OL5R, and that sure gives me a background knowledge of Rokugan that allows me to enjoy the new Rokugan in a richer way.

But in the other hand, I kind of envy people totally new to L5R, because they can approach the new fiction without any bias derived from the old lore, and that gives them the ability to get surprised with every new fiction. Like, “And who the Jigoku is this Yoritomo guy?!. Meh, I bet he’s just a minor character, a pirate ally to get the Crab’s story going” and then months later “Whoa! They’re making Mantis cards! They sure are up to something!”

Edited by Tabris2k

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1 hour ago, Tabris2k said:

Maho is banned in all Rokugan, more in Phoenix lands. If he used maho (even not getting tainted by it) and the witnesses noticed, he’d be in jail/dead by now. 

Maybe, maybe not. This iteration of Rokugan is more nuanced (which is a privilege of FFG having an already developed setting, and knowing were their stories are leading to, instead of improvising on the go). There are lots of hints at "giving one's earth" being an euphemism for using blood, therefore maho. At every instance of this in the story, there is bloodletting involved. I doubt that is coincidental.

I don't doubt top Phoenix shugenja like the Masters and theirs Scions actually are able to know "pure" maho without falling to the lies of kansen. They won't openly break the taboo because they know it is good that the imperial law it is in place for lesser shugenja (and non-shugenja), but they consider that they know better, and that's why Tadaka gets away with it, other that the outrage of the witnesses. Phoenix hubris is a common theme.

In any case, we do know how Tadaka story ended the last time around, and he's down a similar road this time.  He is overconfident and driven. Maybe in Kuni lands, outside of his home turf, and on extenuating circunstances it won't be to easy to tell a kami from a "kami" who asks for "one's own earth" on a second's notice. Or it's just that acting brashly he will be outmaneouvered and put into a position where he'll need to willingly "sacrifice his purity" (which he accused his sensei of not be willing to do) or die, and so he will do it for the greater good.

 

 

Edited by Mon no Oni

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1 minute ago, Mon no Oni said:

I don't doubt top Phoenix shugenja like the Masters and theirs Scions actually are able to know "pure" maho without falling to the lies of kansen. They won't openly break the taboo because they know it is good that the imperial law it is in place for lesser shugenja (and non-shugenja), but they consider that they know better, and that's why Tadaka gets away with it, other that the outrage of the witnesses. Phoenix hubris is a common theme.

Also, to support this, I guess it is also against imperial law to cause de death of thousands of subjects and lose the Emperor the Crane's harvest. Maybe not in so many words, but the previous Master of Water was just let go, nobody the wiser.

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7 hours ago, dbmeboy said:

Man, reading the discussion here leaves me feeling like I'm missing a ton of context by not being familiar with the L5R lore prior to the LCG. I wonder what all I've missed from all the other stories... 

No need to miss anything. Everything's conveniently archived over at kazenoshiro.com.

2 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

What shocked all the people here, I think, is the fact that Tadaka was willing to make this kind of sacrifice just to win a duel, as important as it may seem to Tadaka himself. 

I think it's more likely that they were shocked by a portion of his face disintegrating in front of them.

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37 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

I think it's more likely that they were shocked by a portion of his face disintegrating in front of them.

Yes, of course. But I mean that a lot of them understand what does that mean. If I have to do an analogy, it would be like somebody seeing a bushi dying in battle. There’s no shock there. But, if that same person saw that same bushi dying in a duel to first strike, it would be a shock for sure. Not only because the bushi was not supposed to die, but because they’d understand that the opponent really messed up.

So here it’s not only the physical scar, but understanding the cause behind that scar what shocks people, as it shocks Tadaka’s master. 

Of course, I’m assuming Phoenix people witnessing a Shugenja duel knows their fair share of Kami magic. 

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6 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

Dunno, I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, I got to enjoy all the lore and fictions from OL5R, and that sure gives me a background knowledge of Rokugan that allows me to enjoy the new Rokugan in a richer way.

But in the other hand, I kind of envy people totally new to L5R, because they can approach the new fiction without any bias derived from the old lore, and that gives them the ability to get surprised with every new fiction. Like, “And who the Jigoku is this Yoritomo guy?!. Meh, I bet he’s just a minor character, a pirate ally to get the Crab’s story going” and then months later “Whoa! They’re making Mantis cards! They sure are up to something!”

Yeah, it’s the background knowledge I’m missing. Like all the discussion about maho. I don’t really have any idea what it is or what “kansen” are or any things like that. On one hand, I could go look things up in a wiki... but I don’t want to get confused with elements FFG changes (or have plot points they don’t change spoiled for me). 

 

I’ve seen a couple of references to the RPG. Does the ffg beta copy have significant background lore information that I should go read? Or are people referring to one of the older editions?

Edited by dbmeboy

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53 minutes ago, dbmeboy said:

Yeah, it’s the background knowledge I’m missing. Like all the discussion about maho. I don’t really have any idea what it is or what “kansen” are or any things like that. On one hand, I could go look things up in a wiki... but I don’t want to get confused with elements FFG changes (or have plot points they don’t change spoiled for me). 

 

I’ve seen a couple of references to the RPG. Does the ffg beta copy have significant background lore information that I should go read? Or are people referring to one of the older editions?

There is some background information in the Beta, yes, including a bit on Maho. To wit:

"Kansen are evil spirits, twisted kami that spill forth from Jigoku or were once kami dwelling within Rokugan before becoming corrupted. While kami can be mercurial and dangerous to mortals, especially if provoked, they are fundamentally creative forces within the world. When they bring destruction, it is often a prelude to greater creation, much as a wildfire rejuvenates a forest. Kansen, by contrast, bloom in the wake of devastation, choking out all life or twisting it with their touch. They are drawn to despair, terror, and most of all, fresh blood, and where they take root, nothing else can grow.

Those mortals who dare to wield this evil sorcery are called mahō-tsukai. Reviled by society and hunted by several sworn orders within the bounds of the Emerald Empire, mahō-tsukai often act subtly, disguising their corruption beneath a pleasant façade and stirring words. Unlike the invocations of shugenja, which are frequently direct in their application, mahō techniques are often staggered. The mahō-tsukai first invokes a subtle curse upon their target, drawing kansen to that ill-fated individual. Once the curse takes hold, the mahō-tsukai can call the kansen to act upon the target in a variety of unpleasant ways, from mental and social manipulation to inflicting agony, illness, and death. While this can all be done quickly during battle when needed, a far more common strategy for mahō-tsukai is to slowly insinuate themselves into the presence of their target, wearing them down over a long period of time before destroying them utterly. If the mahō-tsukai is subtle enough, none ever realize that their target was afflicted with a curse.

Unlike other kami, kansen respond to the call of any with the knowledge needed to invoke their power so long as their price is paid. However, the knowledge to call them is in itself corruptive."

"Kansen are far more mercenary than kami by their nature, for loyalty is a anathema to their very being. As such, a mahō-tsukai must always provide a sacrifice to fuel mahō techniques. This is usually blood (their own or someone else’s), but particularly evil acts can in and of themselves function as sacrifices [...]. Small amounts of blood can satisfy the kansen, but exceptional sacrifices (killing a human victim or crossing a vital personal line) draw forth their greatest Powers."

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10 hours ago, Mon no Oni said:

Also, for those that were asking. The story insert on the Disciples pack is actually a 24 page booket including the first chapter of the novella. Probably this will be the case with the remaining Clan Packs, as the story is closely related and meant to tie-in. Probably the regular cycle packs will continue to feature original fiction.

I'm thinking the same, which is great for a collector like me! I won't deny that I was slightly disappointed in not getting a stand alone fiction, but after reading the first chapter, I'm even more anxious for it to release. I love Spooky's storytelling and this first chapter sets up a great premise in my eyes.

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15 hours ago, Mon no Oni said:

I think he used maho, and that's why the witnesses were so apalled.

Nah. He made a conscious offering of his Earth to the kami, rather than of his blood to a kansen. It makes sense- it's something Isawa Akuma might have discovered early in his career- and once you get into the habit of making the offering you need for the effect you want... maho's not that much farther to go, really.

The whole point of having these duels observed is so that nobody cheats- and maho would definitely be cheating.

15 hours ago, Mon no Oni said:

However maho doesn't necesarily cause taint

Yes it does. Maybe not much, not all at once, but calling upon the kansen is to invite Jigoku in.

 

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