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Vulcan646

A Tiger Stalks His Prey Lore Discussion

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1 hour ago, Kinzen said:

Oddly, one of my favorite touches in this story is also one of the most understated: the Emperor is abdicating because he has cataracts.

I love that because stories so often reach for the big, grand moves instead. But no -- his vision is failing him, and he's smart enough to know that compensating for that handicap would require him to trust the people around him. In another society that would work just fine . . . but not here. And Rokugan may have magic, but it can't fix everything, and cataracts are on the list of problems it can't solve. Other health problems, too, but that little touch about his vision just pleases me all out of proportion.

I hadnt ubderstood it that way. My impressionwas the cataracts was a sympton of a bigger issue: he is old and not as "sharp" (is that the right word?). I took the issue with yhe eyes as another point after the physical descriptions of him and how he did the kata. His comment about not seeing well I took as the classic rokugani way of saying one thing but meaning the literal and more of it. He doesnt see well physically, but also isnt as quick of thought as before, etc.

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5 minutes ago, Suzume Chikahisa said:

Now one alternative The Hantei had was, instead of nominating a single regent, nominating a Regency Council, and in that case I would argue that the ideal council would be Shoju, Toturi and, due to the Crane's current weakness, Kisada


The problems with triumvirates is that they usually devolve into endless infightings and sometimes even civil wars. So one regent is generally better. Add to the fact that without representation in the council other clans would be... NOT VERY happy and cooperative. And with 7 people on the council? Nothing will ever get done. And EVEN IF all is good and well and working, it will lead to a strange thought "Hm, we are ruling good enough by ourselves, why do we need powerful Emperor again?"

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8 minutes ago, Araenon said:


The problems with triumvirates is that they usually devolve into endless infightings and sometimes even civil wars. So one regent is generally better. Add to the fact that without representation in the council other clans would be... NOT VERY happy and cooperative. And with 7 people on the council? Nothing will ever get done. And EVEN IF all is good and well and working, it will lead to a strange thought "Hm, we are ruling good enough by ourselves, why do we need powerful Emperor again?"

Sure but even nominal regencies are not, functionally, nominal. Unfortunately, every type of regency ends, way to often in civil war.

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57 minutes ago, Suzume Chikahisa said:

Now one alternative The Hantei had was, instead of nominating a single regent, nominating a Regency Council, and in that case I would argue that the ideal council would be Shoju, Toturi and, due to the Crane's current weakness, Kisada. You have a mix of military and political might, institutional prestige, enfranchise the Crab and avoid showing too much favouritism to a single clan. The Crane would be hosed though and probably would fight like **** to create friction between the regents, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Having said that Hantei XXXVIII probably intends to use his staturs as retired emperor to smooth over the transition, but I would be very surprised if he isn't a dead man walking to trigger the next narrative development.

Of course, while it's a possible idea, any Regency Council would most likely be doomed to fail at the moment, because the Clans are at each others throats. Kisada doesn't like Shoju, and would probably focus way harder on supporting the Wall than actually running the Empire, Toturi seemingly doesn't trust Shoju any further than he can throw him, and needs to balance running the Empire on top of his Emerald Champion- and Lion Clan Champion duties, which sounds like an insane burden, and Shoju... we don't know enough about, outside of being friends with Hantei and feeling that his Clan has grown too powerful to actually perform the duty it was created for.

And then there's the (possible) ghost of the Gozoku hanging over an alliance of Clans running the Empire in the Emperor's stead...

Edited by Mangod

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Pivoting to Toturi, his thought process shows us that war between the Lion & the Unicorn is inevitable. He knows he has to raise the banners. Given that Kachiko is committed to preventing a Crane/Unicorn alliance, I have no doubt she'll intend to leverage control over the Osari Plains to neutralize the Crane. They’ve already planted evidence to incite conflict between Hotaru & Kuwanan. Possession of the nearby jade mines means that the Scorpion can either barter it to the Crab or if they’ve sussed out the Crab/Mantis connection, hold out to encourage more piracy. All of which is exactly what Shoju doesn’t want. But the combination of him & Daisetsu gets my heart aflutter. Especially if, moved by feelings for Shahai, Daisetsu tried to help out the Unicorn. 

Edited by Doji Hyōkin

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3 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

Or not. Surely an Emperor cannot marry so outside of His station, and to a Meishodo practitioner, no less. 

That would be a tragic story, of a love that cannot be... or it can?

Love and marriage, in Rokugan, go together like a horse and (searches for metaphor) a kimono. You can absolutely have one with out the other, sometimes it is an advantage to have both, sometimes it is an advantage to only have one.
If the Emperor wants to have a wife and a concubine, who are we to question the Son of Heaven.

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Toturi performs disappointingly in this story. He is smart enough to come up with a better way of putting the Crown Prince back into line. And he is completely out of touch with the Scorpion situation. He thinks Kachiko set up this regency idea to promote Shoju. Far more likely, the Emperor decided to retire because he does not trust Kachiko and specifically chose Shoju as regent as a check on her schemes.

Under the regency, there is no need for the Imperial Advisor position. She may insist on taking over in Toshi Ranbo. If all of this actually happens.

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2 minutes ago, Manchu said:

Toturi performs disappointingly in this story. He is smart enough to come up with a better way of putting the Crown Prince back into line. And he is completely out of touch with the Scorpion situation. He thinks Kachiko set up this regency idea to promote Shoju. Far more likely, the Emperor decided to retire because he does not trust Kachiko and specifically chose Shoju as regent as a check on her schemes.

Under the regency, there is no need for the Imperial Advisor position. She may insist on taking over in Toshi Ranbo. If all of this actually happens.

So the Emperor gave up his position of power to put the husband of the woman he is suspicious of in charge of everything for his would be heir,  I gotta ask what the F are you smoking and how can I get my hands on some cause man it seems to be some premo stuff there.

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1 minute ago, Manchu said:

Toturi performs disappointingly in this story. He is smart enough to come up with a better way of putting the Crown Prince back into line. And he is completely out of touch with the Scorpion situation. He thinks Kachiko set up this regency idea to promote Shoju. Far more likely, the Emperor decided to retire because he does not trust Kachiko and specifically chose Shoju as regent as a check on her schemes.

Under the regency, there is no need for the Imperial Advisor position. She may insist on taking over in Toshi Ranbo. If all of this actually happens.

I think the problem Toturi faces here is that it completely blind-sided him. He tries to game out so many possible outcomes, the Emperor stepping down and flipping the succession is functionally impossible to predict.

You’re right though, it can all go end over tea set when word gets out. 

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1 minute ago, Schmoozies said:

So the Emperor gave up his position of power to put the husband of the woman he is suspicious of in charge of everything for his would be heir,  I gotta ask what the F are you smoking and how can I get my hands on some cause man it seems to be some premo stuff there.

Eh, it makes sense. Shoju is a good friend of the Emperor’s. Both are close advisors so it wouldn’t be odd for him to feel that Shoju could hold things together. 

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Shoju and the Emperor are very close friends. The Hantei meets with Shoju and Kachiko separately on a very frequent basis. It would not be a stretch to say that he probably knows the two of them better than he knows any of his other subjects and that he knows each of them better than anyone else knows them. He is perceptive enough to understand that they have similar skills but very different temperaments.

There is no way Toturi would be able to suspect the rift between Shoju and Kachiko. The only man in Rokugan in a position to guess that is the Hantei himself. But Toturi has enough information to understand the implication of the Emperor saying he can't trust the people who read documents to him ... considering Kachiko is one of the leading officials who reads documents to him. I guess Toturi thinks because they are husband and wife, Shoju and Kachiko must be on the same page and that regent is a better position than advisor. But even there, Toturi is being unreasonably naive. Being made regent is almost a punishment. As someone who has only recently become both Lion Clan Champion and Emerald Champion, Toturi should very clearly understand this is a "congratulations and I'm very sorry" moment for Shoju.

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7 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

Eh, it makes sense. Shoju is a good friend of the Emperor’s. Both are close advisors so it wouldn’t be odd for him to feel that Shoju could hold things together. 

Shoju is the Emperor's friend but as has been suggested elsewhere the Emperor is also suspicious of Kachiko and her ambitions, so if as Manchu was suggesting the idea that the Emperor's answer to that is to put her husband in charge of everything when he already has the unlimited power to check her at a whim (he literally just has to snap his fingers and Shoju would be duty bound to order Kachiko's death) 

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3 hours ago, Tabris2k said:

Or not. Surely an Emperor cannot marry so outside of His station, and to a Meishodo practitioner, no less. 

That would be a tragic story, of a love that cannot be... or it can?

When it comes to the Emperor, the concept of "cannot" applies only VERY rarely. The Emperor can marry whomever he pleases, and the Empire will accept it as just fine (unless they're prepared to rebel and overthrow him, but that's an EXTREME outside possibility in Rokugan). Now, that doesn't mean it won't end up being tragic or even terrible...but he CAN do essentially whatever he wants.

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Well, an errant keystroke just ate a very lengthy reply I was working on. CURSE YOU, FUMBLEFINGERS.

 

ANYWAY.

 

Putting aside my Madcap Dance of Unbridled Joy at Future Misery in the Narrative, some thoughts-

 

Sotorii's wretched nature may be no secret in Otosan Uchi, but... I wonder just how widely-known the now ex-Heir's shortcomings were outside of that small circle? Because if his failings have been papered over for public consumption, then this is going to be an absolute shock- and will be seen as a Scorpion plot to keep a stranglehold on political power, abetted by the Lion- Sotorii wouldn't need a Regent, after all- not legally.

Daisetsu is clearly a better choice... based on the data we have, which is far from complete. He may also prove a bit of challenge for Scorpion used to a tired old man going blind or a puffed-up jerk who seems easy to lead by the nose.

The clans-

Crab- Look for trouble here. The shakeup may give the Crab hope- but as Kachiko arranged that wonderfully productive meeting between Yoshi and Taka, those hopes are likely illusory. Beware of dashed expectations.

Crane- Nothing better encompasses the Crane's status than the fact that they're a near-total nonissue in this development. Barring some major twist of events, look for them to remain victims of circumstance, with perhaps a little flailing to capitalize. (GOOD. ?)

Dragon- In the absence of data (not even Mitsu or Hitomi seems terribly clear on what the **** they're doing), impossible to say.

Lion- Potential trouble here- but they'll be busy warring with the Unicorn. Still, not sure how the clan as a whole will take their questionably popular Champion's role in setting aside Primogeniture. Toturi may well be accused of playing into the hands of the Scorpion.

Phoenix- The Clan I know the best, and which has a well-fleshed out Champion... and I'm not sure where they're gonna go with this. Internal division practically a guarantee ('cause Phoenix), and not sure if they're gonna be too thrilled about altering the theoretically divinely mandated tradition of succession... that said, Tsukune and Toturi go way back, Kaede married the guy, and the Phoenix Master of Void just vanished, making them quite, quite busy. Excpect turmoil and uselessness, I guess. They've got their hands full.

Scorpion- They have just reached the exact pinnacle of what anyone else is going to accept even a little. Watch them reach for more.

Unicorn- We'll see where this goes. Shahai is in the capital. What happens if Sotorii tries to do something about his little brother and Shahai interferes.... say, with Meishodo? Meanwhile, the clan as a whole is about to be throwing down with the Lion. YAY.

Others-

The Pure Land Sect is.... really not likely to care.

The Mantis will be ALL ABOUT breaking with tradition. "Hey, Emperor Daisetsu, we gotcher back!"

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4 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

It would be the smart play, but sadly Toturi is probably to honorable to do that.

That is exactly why, even despite the innumerable officials, advisors, and retainers the Emperor has at his disposal in Otosan Uchi, that the Hantei put the brush in Toturi's hand.

With this edict, the Emperor has basically publicly declared that the two most virtuous men in Rokugan are Bayushi Shoju and Akodo Toturi.

Sotorii will no doubt spread the rumor that the edict is evidence of a Lion-Scorpion coup. If the Hantei does not address the coming Lion-Unicorn war before abdicating, Unicorn may become sympathetic to such rumors.

What do you do with a retired emperor? Perhaps the Dragon army has assembled to escort the retired emperor to Dragon lands where he can become a monk?

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24 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

(he literally just has to snap his fingers and Shoju would be duty bound to order Kachiko's death) 

Shoju genuinely loves Kachiko, as the Hantei surely knows. Ordering him to kill her would permanently ruin their friendship. An Emperor has thousands of servants but few if any true friends.

Edited by Manchu

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7 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

The Pure Land Sect is.... really not likely to care.

No, PLS will interpret the abidcation of the scion of Heaven and the disruped succession as evidence for Suijindai. This may take them from peasant reviolt to full-blown apocalyptic cult.

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Just now, Manchu said:

No, PLS will interpret the abidcation of the scion of Heaven and the disruped succession as evidence for Suijindai. This may take them from peasant reviolt to full-blown apocalyptic cult.

Eh. They were already making aggressive moves. The difference is merely one of degree.

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Merely degree? The appropriate term would actually be "order of magnitude." The Hantei's edict will be the talk of the Empire, even in the most rural villages. A succession is always a tricky and dangerous time. An abdication will shake the people's confidence in the entire social order, especially if Sotorii makes trouble. The scandal of two claimants to the Chrysanthemum Throne is impossible to exaggerate. All of this would be exactly in line with the suddenly-apocalyptic PLS narrative.

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Just now, Manchu said:

Merely degree?

Yes. Merely degree. Not least because the sect isn't all that large, so far as we've been shown.

The heresy hasn't grown to the point you seem to presume it has yet. It may get there, but right now? The PLS' line isn't changing. They may have new opportunities to capitalize, but what it means to them? Not much at this point.

 

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How about this development:
- Sotorii discovers the intentions of his father, murders him and presents document as a proof of Scorpion-Lion plot. Also he'll try to murder Toturi (as the only one who knows the truth) and his brother (as the rival)

- Toturi gets Daisetsu and - possibly - Shahai and gets out of capital with Shoju's help

- Lion clan is divided between Toturi loyalists and Imperial loyalists.

- Kachiko "convinces" Sotorii that she had nothing to do with this (which is technically true) and takes control of Scorpion clan. Shoju either flees with Toturi and helps him out with Scorpion forces and agents that still loyal to him or is executed/commits seppuku

- Phoenix tilts their heads in confusion at the Toturi accusation and sides with him

- Dragon expedition force is already deployed to reinforce Toturi. Because divination shenanigans

- Crane is baffled at the situation but ultimately sides with Sotorii. Because tradition and also because Hotaru goes "But muh Kachiko!". Kuwanan tells her to put some use to her brain, and when that fails, goes off to help Toturi

- Unicorn is at war with "Imperial" Lion already, so it's a given they'll support Toturi

- Crab says: "We don't care who is on the throne, give us jade!" Sotorii - who is still in control of Empire - says "Fine!". After which Crab join his forces - that leads to shortages on the wall, that leads to "experimental" tactics of Kuni Yori, that leads to full-on Taint-embracing Crab.

- Mantis enjoys the chaos and raids anything and everyone and sells it's services to a highest bidder

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Small question. How does Daisetsu murder his father? First he needs to get near him without all the various guards that follow either of them. That is a challenge. Then he needs to murder him in a way where he isn't immediately implicated. Which is hard since even if the guards aren't in the room, they are outside it. 

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31 minutes ago, Radix2309 said:

Small question. How does Daisetsu murder his father? First he needs to get near him without all the various guards that follow either of them. That is a challenge. Then he needs to murder him in a way where he isn't immediately implicated. Which is hard since even if the guards aren't in the room, they are outside it. 

It's actually Satorii who needs to murder his father, but its easy enough to do if you get the two of them alone (we've already seen examples of the guard being dismissed to offer privacy), and then given his fathers condition it would be easy enough to subdue him and smother him.  Even easier if he has some loyal supporters who have hitched their fortunes to his rise and can be convinced of their own fall from grace that coincides with his.

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4 hours ago, Araenon said:

Am I the only one who thinks this fiction is eerily reminiscent of a talk between Marcus Aurelius and Maximus from "Gladiator"? And Sotorii being exactly the type to pull Commodus on his dad? I have a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD feeling about all this situation.

My immediate thought was, "Toturi is going to get Eddard Stark'd."

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