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Coyote Walks

A Crane Takes Flight

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And we have a name for Hotaru's husband finally.  Even more interestingly Kuzunobu is Fox clan.  Interesting that the Champion of the Crane would have married a member of a minor clan.

Edited by Schmoozies
Fixed typo in Kuzunobu's name

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Kuzunobu

 

And as a Kitsune CCG player, I object to this pairing.  The Fox are too good for the Crane.

Though I do see way this would be good for the Mantis (whom the Fox should stand with).  When the Scorpion attack the Minor Clans (Fox/Wasp/Sparrow) and Hotaru sides with her lover instead of her husband, Kuzunobu will be free to go home.  Then Yoritomo can do right by the Fox the way the Crane never could.

Think Kudaka wants a husband?

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3 minutes ago, Coyote Walks said:

Kuzunobu

 

And as a Kitsune CCG player, I object to this pairing.  The Fox are too good for the Crane.

Though I do see way this would be good for the Mantis (whom the Fox should stand with).  When the Scorpion attack the Minor Clans (Fox/Wasp/Sparrow) and Hotaru sides with her lover instead of her husband, Kuzunobu will be free to go home.  Then Yoritomo can do right by the Fox the way the Crane never could.

Think Kudaka wants a husband?

If not her, Yoritomo seems to have 2 suitable sidekicks that follow him around.

Although technically the Three Man Alliance should have happened already by old timeline.

Edited by Schmoozies

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5 minutes ago, Coyote Walks said:

Kuzunobu

 

And as a Kitsune CCG player, I object to this pairing.  The Fox are too good for the Crane.

Though I do see way this would be good for the Mantis (whom the Fox should stand with).  When the Scorpion attack the Minor Clans (Fox/Wasp/Sparrow) and Hotaru sides with her lover instead of her husband, Kuzunobu will be free to go home.  Then Yoritomo can do right by the Fox the way the Crane never could.

Think Kudaka wants a husband?

Although it does raise a question in that he was sent to investigate the Mantis raids.  Now I'm wondering if maybe Yoritomo isn't up to some additional negotiations.  Imagine the poor husband cast to the waves with nary a concern for his well being, waylaid by pirates and captured he is put to work on the ship and each evening he is sent to his bunk after being told good work today Kuzu, we'll likely kill you tomorrow.  Eventually he can earn the trust of the captain and be let in on the secret that Yoritomo is not really Yoritomo, he's a Centipede farmer who was captured and served the dread pirate Yoritomo, and the Yoritomo who gave the position to him wasn't the real Yoritomo either.  He was a Tortoise sailor who inherited the position from the original Yoritomo, who has settled down a wealthy man in the Ivory Kingdoms.

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1 minute ago, Waywardpaladin said:

So her brother wanted the general killed for losing a battle, but thinks he should be fine disobeying an order from his Clan Champion...

I was about to say this.

So Kuwanan rolls in, insults his champion and daimyo a bunch, and then is like I do what I want...

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Kuzunobu being of the Fox Clan is actually an excellent call back to the classic storyline.

Doji Hoturi was married Doji Ameiko, formerly Ameiko of the Fox Clan. She was a foundling at a temple in the Fox Clan, raised as part of the ruling family of the Fox Clan, and married Doji Hoturi. She was herself a kitsune, one of the spirits of the forest, and she died during the Clan War.

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Just now, HamHamJ2 said:

I was about to say this.

So Kuwanan rolls in, insults his champion and daimyo a bunch, and then is like I do what I want...

Well in fairness he still sees the sister that his father was always reminding him was not as good enough, and never seemed to be disciplined himself.  Its the classic reinforced false superiority complex. 

Also of note he doesn't mention that Tsuko let him go but claims he escaped on his own.  All suggests he had no intention of doing anything his sister said and was always going to role with his own investigation.  This may have been a plot to put her on guard and see how she reacts, maybe sending a message to her (suspected) Scorpion allies that he can trace.

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23 minutes ago, Swordbreaker said:

Both of these people are unpleasant.

Y'know, I've read the Tainted Lands insert, and slight spoilers...

 

How is it that Kuwanan manages to be less likable than Kuni Yori?

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This is not a flattering portrayal of Hotaru. She is plagued by doubt and lacks confidence. Kuwanan barely lets her finish a single sentence and she can't find the backbone to put him back into line. But as to him disobeying his Champion, please keep in mind that from her POV "[h]e might balk at her commands, but in the end, Doji Kuwanan was driven by duty, just as she was." I think this line indicates just how ineffectual Hotaru feels. But it isn't just a matter of him not obeying her, it's a matter of her repressing her own guilty conscience. Kuwanan accuses her of washing her hands of investigating their father's death because the Emerald Magistrates will do it. He's right. And now she is using his commitment to follow up as another means of excusing herself.

Kuwanan is probably also correct, from a strict in-setting perspective, to balk at Hoatru rejecting Daidoji Netsu's "resignation." We shouldn't be confused, applying our own non-Rokugani perspective, into thinking this shows Hotaru being rational. I think the key insight here is that by not doing what is right in the usual circumstances, Hotaru is confused as a leader and feeling desperate. But just as she has trouble looking at the map, she refuses to take a critical look at her father's death and Kachiko's motives related thereto.

 

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7 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Kuwanan is probably also correct, from a strict in-setting perspective, to balk at Hoatru rejecting Daidoji Netsu's "resignation." We shouldn't be confused, applying our own non-Rokugani perspective, into thinking this shows Hotaru being rational. I think the key insight here is that by not doing what is right in the usual circumstances, Hotaru is confused as a leader and feeling desperate. But just as she has trouble looking at the map, she refuses to take a critical look at her father's death and Kachiko's motives related thereto.

 

Of course, he was captured by ronin of all things! He should have been kneeling right next to the general.

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8 minutes ago, Saibot said:

Of course, he was captured by ronin of all things! He should have been kneeling right next to the general.

Being captured by superior numbers is not inherently dishonorable and a person of his rank would actually surrender in those circumstances with the knowledge that he would be ransomed for a suitable price.  You have to remember he is not just her younger brother he is also her heir, and the only other direct child of the last champion (Shizue is the adopted daughter of his Satsumes sister) so his death would be a double blow to the clan depriving it of both one of its leading military figures and the current heir to the clan during a wartime setting.

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11 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Ah but he managed to escape.

So he did, didn't he...

9 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Being captured by superior numbers is not inherently dishonorable and a person of his rank would actually surrender in those circumstances with the knowledge that he would be ransomed for a suitable price.  You have to remember he is not just her younger brother he is also her heir, and the only other direct child of the last champion (Shizue is the adopted daughter of his Satsumes sister) so his death would be a double blow to the clan depriving it of both one of its leading military figures and the current heir to the clan during a wartime setting.

And how replaceable is that general, a leading military figurel? Certainly not even in the most excellent Crane clan superior officers sprout from the ground? Failure is failure, is it not? Surely, honor is paramount or would the Crane let themselves down to the boorish pragmatism of the Crab?

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Great story but boy does Kuwanan come off as a jerk. "I was taken captive by a band of rōnin. Fortunately, I was able to escape them." He escaped because Matsu Tusko let him escape instead of killing him either in battle or right there on the spot. How about a little credit here Crane!

Edited by Eisenmerc

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29 minutes ago, Saibot said:

And how replaceable is that general, a leading military figurel? Certainly not even in the most excellent Crane clan superior officers sprout from the ground? Failure is failure, is it not? Surely, honor is paramount or would the Crane let themselves down to the boorish pragmatism of the Crab?

Being one of the more senior military figures, having trained in the Daidoji, Akodo and Hida styles and again I will repeat the HEIR to the clan so yes he is far more irreplaceable.  When he was captured it was at the start of the LCG story, the Lion had just begun their offensive against the Crane and he was assigned, for what ever reason, to a small village garrison with a token force.  It was not meant to be a front of the war as the Crane through Kakita Asami were trying to negotiate a truce so they were not expecting a full offensive at the time.

3 minutes ago, Eisenmerc said:

Great story but boy does Kuwanan come off as a jerk. "I was taken captive by a band of rōnin. Fortunately, I was able to escape them." He escaped because Matsu Tusko let him escape instead of killing him either in battle or right there on the spot. How about a little credit here Crane!

Its not just this story.  The only thing I can guess is that he suspects his sister, given her antipathy to their father, may have been in some way involved in his demise and he's trying to play off his reasons for being released to avoid suspicion that he may have been compromised by the Lion (after all he is a high value hostage that could be used to wring massive concessions from the Crane and Tsuko just let him go) and to see if his presence may result in her slipping up and tipping her hand as to any untoward motivations.

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Kuwanan made the right choice to not let Hotaru in on Matsu Tsuko's uncharacteristic wisdom. If there was previously any question as to whether Hotaru's leadership is seriously compromised then there can be no further question now.

Crane and Lion should form an alliance, mediated by Phoenix, with all three clans sharing administrative responsibilities with respect to the Osari Plains. Kachiko will do anything to prevent this. But there are less hardliners in senior authority than previously. Toturi and Hotaru are friends. Toturi is married to a Phoenix. Kuwanan and Tsuko are already acting in a sort of covert alliance. Hotaru is the weak link.

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I liked this story. Kuwanan is full of himself and Hotaru keeps mentioning how he has never been trully "tested", but to my eyes Kuwanan seems to have true Lion spirit. Even if you are starving, losing, dying, you do not abandon your honour and you do whatever it demands. Hotaru on the other hand seems unsure, tries to find ways to escape from her past (her father and his legacy) and she uses her clan's plight as an excuse. She keeps saying how her brother is stubborn, but I think she is more so. 

Hiring ronin who will ultimately betray her on the orders of the scorpion... Very fitting ;)

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A friggin' Crane story.

Feh. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I basically read it 'cause Dave's good people.

Highly amusing that Kuwanan doesn't mention the fact that the Matsu Daimyo is the real reason he's free to return to stir up strife in his Clan's ranks. As I said back when it was up for a vote, letting Kuwanan go home is the most damage Matsu Tsuko could do to the Crane cause.

I continue to live in dread of the Crane's "heroic" rise from underdog status.

Kyuden Doji Delenda Est.

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I feel like people are being a bit harsh to Hotaru. She inherited a very poor position (famine, war, coastal raiders) and the fact that she hasn't ended these problems after less than a year in power isn't really reflective of her leadership abilities. Keeping this fabric from fraying anymore would be a herculean task for anyone.

There's also the old concept that daimyo can't really afford the luxury of adhering to Bushido in ever particular because the demands of their station force them to be practical. After all, do people really expect Hotaru to abandon leadership of her Clan to go investigate a murder that may not have happened that's already being looked into by the Emerald Magistrates (don't want to risk offending servants of the Throne).

As for Netsu I see a bit of dying is easy living is harder there. I would be very amused if he ended up becoming the Hamilton to Hotaru's Washington. Especially since they have the purple French coming to help them out.

I do have to question the avocation of aggressive warfare given that the Crane are fighting a defensive war. The Cranes' best strategy is to 'not lose' long enough for their influence at court and the Unicorn's second front to force a negotiated peace onto the Lion.

I also cannot shake the feeling that the weakness in the Lion's center was deliberate to bait the Crane into over committing and I wish someone had brought up that possibility in the fic itself.

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