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A Tiger Stalks His Prey Lore Discussion

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1 hour ago, phillos said:

Scorpion have been less than friendly with the Crab and their allies the Crane are also unfriendly with the Crab

What?! Scorpion and Crane are allies?! On what planet? I know Hotaru is head over heels for Kachiko and generally inept, but let's not put all of the Clan in that category please. Scorpion is THE enemy of Crane.

 

15 minutes ago, Manchu said:

How many of you would feel comfortable with your clan backing Sotorii despite knowing (a) he's a jerk and (b) Hantei XXXVIII disinherited him

I am not comfortable, but the probability that Crane clan under Hotaru will back him is depressingly high.

 

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28 minutes ago, Manchu said:

How many of you would feel comfortable with your clan backing Sotorii despite knowing (a) he's a jerk and (b) Hantei XXXVIII disinherited him?

That's the problem from a meta sense as we have all that knowledge, but in game the only one who knows anything about the Emperor's plan at this time is Toturi for sure and likely Shoju and the 2 princes I would assume, since I'm sure the Emperor doesn't plan to blindside them at the announcement.

We've been given no reason not to hate Satorii at this point which makes the obvious pull for Daisetsu the default for players, but from an in game view this will be a monumental shift and if Satorii can pull anything that calls the proclamation into question (and lets face it the Emperor may as well have been waving a massive death flag over his head during this entire story that will open lots of avenues for this) than there is every reason for the clans to support him, especially those who find themselves in opposition to the Scorpion.

The challenge will be to give us a the players a reason to rally around Satorii and break the one dimensional image we have of him as a pretentious snot so that we as players have a reason to eventually support him.  

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48 minutes ago, Araenon said:

 I know Hotaru is head over heels for Kachiko and generally inept

 

I have seen few people support this claim but i am not sure where it is coming from.

She is deliberately ignoring Satsume's death but aside from that i think she's doing a decent job as clan champ, especially considering the absurd abuse it is receiving .

For a clan that suffered a devastating tsunami that hampered their agricolture, thrown into a sudden border skirmish with the strongest military clan in the empire and under the constant menace of vile Mantis sea raids, one can even say that it's a miracle they have managed to hold on for so long (at the very least 9months)!

heck, she is dealing with the economic crisis, offering relief to the troops, partecipating in rokugan's political events and so on... That's an hectic schedule.

 

also in today fiction

Quote

 Thanks to a successful counteroffensive, the balance of power at Toshi-Ranbo was shifting 

Was he talking about the recent lion success or did the Crane general manage to pull off a determined redemptive assault?

Edited by mirrorcat

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1 hour ago, Araenon said:

What?! Scorpion and Crane are allies?! On what planet? I know Hotaru is head over heels for Kachiko and generally inept, but let's not put all of the Clan in that category please. Scorpion is THE enemy of Crane.

I'm not sure the story is telling us that right now.  Maybe Yoshi would consider them political rivals.  Maybe Kuwanan is suspicious that they are behind Satsume's death, but Hotaru is what matters as the clan champion.  So far we've only seen her be friendly with the Scorpion.  Maybe that is out of necessity considering she's preoccupied with the Lion.  So she needs all the friends she can get.  In any event the end result is the same for my purpose.  The Crane and the Crab are not friends.

1 hour ago, Manchu said:

How many of you would feel comfortable with your clan backing Sotorii despite knowing (a) he's a jerk and (b) Hantei XXXVIII disinherited him?

Very comfortable if it means a better situation for the Crab.  Daisetsu as emperor means Shoju as emperor effectively.  That means a continuation of the status quo.  Definitely not something the Crab would want to become a reality.  Daisetsu could be a saint and it wouldn't matter at all to the Crab if they are all dead and corrupted.   Though if Sotorii tries to pull his usually D-baggery then he'll get more than a clever rebuke from Kisada.  That said I was really happy with how Toturi handled that exchange.

Edited by phillos

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3 minutes ago, mirrorcat said:

also in today fiction

Was he talking about the recent lion success or did the Crane general manage to pull off a determined redemptive assault?

Given at the start of the game the Crane were in the drivers seat having held the city and removing the Lion Champion in the process and with the more recent fictions having shown how the Lion are pushing the offensive and are now taking back territory they had earlier lost I would assume this indicates that under Toturi the Lion are coming back into the drivers seat.  But I'm sure Dave could chime in with a more definitive answer here as well.

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25 minutes ago, mirrorcat said:

She is deliberately ignoring Satsume's death

It's kinda enough on it's own, but add to this her utter blindness to Kachiko's character and unwillingness to seriously consider Scorprion threat. I DO acknowledge that she is right in her pragmatism when it comes to military finances and mercenaries, but that's about it. Political moves? None. Military alliances? None. She is in a middle of a ******ed war with major military power and whom does she marry? A freaking MINOR CLAN champ on the other side of the Empire. Not the Phoenix to get their support, not the Unicorn to strengthen ties and get military cooperation, not even a freaking Crab to secure southern borders and smooth their tensions. A ******ED FOX.

 

31 minutes ago, phillos said:

I'm not sure the story is telling us that right now

They did it from the get-go. What is Crane clan is all about? Politics and art. Who is REALLY a political powerhouse right now? Scorpion. Who also have their own cultural clout. Until Crane get total dominance in the court (which they'll never will) Scorpion will be Enemy#1

 

37 minutes ago, phillos said:

The Crane and the Crab are not friends

That's true. But they are not outright enemies yet. Well, until Crab backstabbing is revealed that is

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42 minutes ago, phillos said:

Very comfortable if it means a better situation for the Crab.  Daisetsu as emperor means Shoju as emperor effectively.  That means a continuation of the status quo.  Definitely not something the Crab would want to become a reality.  Daisetsu could be a saint and it wouldn't matter at all to the Crab if they are all dead and corrupted.   Though if Sotorii tries to pull his usually D-baggery then he'll get more than a clever rebuke from Kisada.  That said I was really happy with how Toturi handled that exchange.

Does the Crab even have the weight to throw behind Sotorii? They're barely holding on as is. If the Shadowlands break through because they took troops off the Wall to support a coup by the unchosen prince, how is that better than it breaking through because Shoju still won't offer them the support they need-- if that's even how things play out? Throwing in with the appointed heir might also earn them the goodwill they need.

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Just now, player3015634 said:

Does the Crab even have the weight to throw behind Sotorii? They're barely holding on as is. If the Shadowlands break through because they took troops off the Wall to support a coup by the unchosen prince, how is that better than it breaking through because Shoju still won't offer them the support they need-- if that's even how things play out? Throwing in with the appointed heir might also earn them the goodwill they need.

Here is the deal with the Crab: they will ALWAYS be barely holding on, no matter what they do with their military. Even if they march all across the Empire, the Wall will not fall - unless Shadowlands incursion is demanded by plot. In which case, they'll fail even if they conserve all their strength and stockpile jade up to the roof. So if next plot theme will be Sotorii vs Daisetsu, Crab can throw their lot without worry, they are safe

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1 hour ago, player3015634 said:

Does the Crab even have the weight to throw behind Sotorii? They're barely holding on as is. If the Shadowlands break through because they took troops off the Wall to support a coup by the unchosen prince, how is that better than it breaking through because Shoju still won't offer them the support they need-- if that's even how things play out? Throwing in with the appointed heir might also earn them the goodwill they need.

It might earn them goodwill.  It might not.  Though since the regime is effectively unchanged I would be skeptical if I were Kisada.  With regards to the Crab barely holding on it depends on their situation when approached.  If the Crab are stabilizing because of the Mantis' support then they are more inclined to not make waves.  If the Mantis require them to side one way or another that would definitely influence their decisions (Since we are now greatly dependent on trade with the Mantis). 

If the Mantis support is not fixing the issue for the Crab (or if it was somehow removed) then we have a situation were Crab is slowly losing due to attrition.  At which point the Crab's defeat would be inevitable.  At that point desperate times call for desperate measures.  I can see a situation where the Crab decide to voluntarily surrender ground temporarily to the shadowlands with the intent to retake it once the infighting has expired.  Cut off the arm to save the body so to speak.  They already have Lost in their backfield so it's not like their defense is airtight right now anyway.  They had incursions and disrepaired sections of the wall talked about in their intro fiction so it's been going on for a while.  We were led to believe in that fiction that if nothing changes then given enough time Crab's defeat would be assured.  They'd lose too many troops and too much land to the shadowlands taint to recover.

Edited by phillos

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I don't get the argument that Hotaru is ignoring her father's death. An investigation is/was conducted by the Emerald Magistrates. They found nothing. Sudden natural deaths happen. It's not like the Crane have a family who are all super detectives. What are they going to do that hasn't already been done? 

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6 minutes ago, Araenon said:

Here is the deal with the Crab: they will ALWAYS be barely holding on, no matter what they do with their military. Even if they march all across the Empire, the Wall will not fall - unless Shadowlands incursion is demanded by plot. In which case, they'll fail even if they conserve all their strength and stockpile jade up to the roof. So if next plot theme will be Sotorii vs Daisetsu, Crab can throw their lot without worry, they are safe

That may be true from a meta perspective, but if a samurai voiced such an opinion in-setting, they'd get slapped. Hida Kisada cannot make in-universe decisions based on his knowledge of what the authors writing his story will and won't do, because no such knowledge exists. And for players purporting to act based on the Crab perspective, to act on that same knowledge is dishonest. No true Crab would think of things in such a way, nor could they.

Edited by player3015634

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57 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Given at the start of the game the Crane were in the drivers seat having held the city and removing the Lion Champion in the process and with the more recent fictions having shown how the Lion are pushing the offensive and are now taking back territory they had earlier lost I would assume this indicates that under Toturi the Lion are coming back into the drivers seat.  But I'm sure Dave could chime in with a more definitive answer here as well.

Interestingly enough, there WAS a definitive answer as to who's counteroffensive it was that was swinging the balance of power, and in what direction. But that got removed during editing, leaving the open-ended statement that somebody's counteroffensive was swinging the balance of power in somebody's favor. I'm not sure why, but I'm sure Katrina and the other folks at FFG have their reasons, so the statement stands as is, I guess (meaning that I'm not really entirely sure how the balance of power is/was swinging around Toshi Ranbo).

Quote

They did it from the get-go. What is Crane clan is all about? Politics and art. Who is REALLY a political powerhouse right now? Scorpion. Who also have their own cultural clout. Until Crane get total dominance in the court (which they'll never will) Scorpion will be Enemy#1

I'm going to preface this by saying that, as a freelance writer, I have a broad-strokes knowledge of the "big picture" story going forward, but really nothing about the specifics of what's going with each clan in the upcoming cycle(s). So I'm saying this as a fan/reader, rather than a writer...just want to be clear on that. I think the Scorpion are in an increasingly dangerous situation. Yes, they are THE political powerhouse in Rokugan. They hold the position of Imperial Advisor, they wield enormous influence in the Imperial Court, they've largely sidelined the Otomo, they're going to be getting some form of control over Toshi Ranbo and, now, the Emperor intends to make their Champion the Imperial Regent. This all sounds awesome from a Scorpion perspective...especially if you're someone like Bayushi Kachiko.

BUT...as Shoju muses in "The World, A Stage", this isn't what the Scorpion are supposed to be about. They exist to protect the Empire from hidden and insidious threats, both internal and external, to prevent the clans from uniting against the Throne (a job they came to share with the Otomo, thank you very much Gozoku conspirators) and generally do the things that need to be done to keep the Empire safe and functioning, that nobody else wants to do. However, as more and more of the clan gets enmeshed in the Empire's power structures and the enormous, bloated bureaucracy that has grown around them, there are fewer and fewer resources available to do all of those sneaky, schemy, shadowy things that the Scorpion are SUPPOSED to be doing. I image Shoju lying in bed at night, worrying that something is going to slip through, enormous damage and harm is going to result, and it will be because the Scorpion aren't doing the job they're supposed to be doing. The Scorpion are effectively supplanting the Crane and the Imperial families in Rokugan's political landscape, but they're increasingly risking shirking their "real" job to do it.

It may LOOK like the Scorpion are the big winners in the Empire right now, but in a pretty fundamental way, they're actually facing trials and complications as much as any of the other clans are...they're just less obvious. 

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7 minutes ago, HamHamJ2 said:

I don't get the argument that Hotaru is ignoring her father's death. An investigation is/was conducted by the Emerald Magistrates. They found nothing. Sudden natural deaths happen. It's not like the Crane have a family who are all super detectives. What are they going to do that hasn't already been done? 

Here is the deal:
1) Emerald Magistrates serve the Empire, not the Crane clan. So if they decided that her dad needs to die and kill him, they'll obviously will lie about it. There wouldn't even be an investigation. 

2) Scorpion is at all-time high in political positions. Last bastion of Crane influence at the Imperial court. Is suddenly dead. This is suspicious all by itself, but then let's remember who is last two contenders for Emerald champion position? That's right, Lion and a half-brother of a Scorpion clan champion. And money were not on the young Toturi. SUSPICIOUS AS F

3) Crane does not have super detectives, but it does NOT mean that they don't have detectives period.

4) And the most important piece: even if all aforementioned reasons are just that, suspicions and he DID die by accident - just conducting that investigation by themselves with same results will shut up all discontent people in Crane clan who think it's not an accident, will prove that she is taking her position seriously and she is responsive to the desires and fears of her clan.

And that's the main critique of Hotaru. That because she didn't like her dad she is stalling in making an obvious and necessary step - and all of that despite her training. Such f-ups would be somewhat tolerable from  - say - Tsukune (and from my knowledge, she is doing her job quite well, but i didn't read the novel, so i may be wrong), but from a trained and bred Clan Champion? Utterly unacceptable

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8 minutes ago, HamHamJ2 said:

I don't get the argument that Hotaru is ignoring her father's death. An investigation is/was conducted by the Emerald Magistrates. They found nothing. Sudden natural deaths happen. It's not like the Crane have a family who are all super detectives. What are they going to do that hasn't already been done? 

In the old lore the Crane did define half of what a traditional magistrate (read: not Kitsuki) was supposed to be like, with the other half defined by the Scorpion. As such the position of magistrate was highly valued within the Crane and they had a reasonable number of them. The new Crane province in the Elemental Cycle suggests this could still be true.

It can be assumed that this are the people Kuwanan wants to put on the case. But as you said, why? Their methods are likely to be very similar to those of the imperials. Maybe he suspects the Emerald Magistrates are under the control of the Imperial Advisor.

Alternatively, since he assumes Satsume's death was the Scorpions doing, his plan could be to try and counter their shady ninja stuff with the Crane's own shady ninja stuff by calling the harriers in.

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18 minutes ago, Araenon said:

Here is the deal:
1) Emerald Magistrates serve the Empire, not the Crane clan. So if they decided that her dad needs to die and kill him, they'll obviously will lie about it. There wouldn't even be an investigation. 

2) Scorpion is at all-time high in political positions. Last bastion of Crane influence at the Imperial court. Is suddenly dead. This is suspicious all by itself, but then let's remember who is last two contenders for Emerald champion position? That's right, Lion and a half-brother of a Scorpion clan champion. And money were not on the young Toturi. SUSPICIOUS AS F

3) Crane does not have super detectives, but it does NOT mean that they don't have detectives period.

4) And the most important piece: even if all aforementioned reasons are just that, suspicions and he DID die by accident - just conducting that investigation by themselves with same results will shut up all discontent people in Crane clan who think it's not an accident, will prove that she is taking her position seriously and she is responsive to the desires and fears of her clan.

And that's the main critique of Hotaru. That because she didn't like her dad she is stalling in making an obvious and necessary step - and all of that despite her training. Such f-ups would be somewhat tolerable from  - say - Tsukune (and from my knowledge, she is doing her job quite well, but i didn't read the novel, so i may be wrong), but from a trained and bred Clan Champion? Utterly unacceptable

 

I pulled up the story with Shizue and from Hotaru's lettet:

We cannot afford to act rashly in this matter. And to jump to the implication of murder is truly


rash! We must allow the Emerald Magistrates to conduct their own investigation, and then the Crane shall stand by their verdict. They are the agents of the Emperor, and the arbiters of his laws. Let them do their duty, and we shall see to ours.

It sounds less like people want her to just send some Crane magistrates to shadow the investigation, and more that they want her to straight up claim he was murdered and presumably demand the Scorpion prove they weren't responsible.

Which as she says is a ridiculous idea. Kuwanan's letter similarly doesn't say anything about calling in magistrates from Crane lands, just that those in the capitol should "get to the bottom of this" and "take action". Which sounds a lot like yelling that Hotaru should DO SOMETHING even though all the appropriate things are being done and there is nothing else to do.

No, it's pretty clear that certain people have already made up their mind about who was responsible and are more interested in using this as a pretext than the actual truth of what happened.

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See, that's the problem. She is willing to trust Emerald Magistrates. For those paranoid enough within Crane clan not to trust them this is unacceptable (well, paranoid is rather harsh, prudent would be better). Jumping to the conclusion "Scorpion did it!" is rash - true. But not doing anything and trusting Imperials? Foolish

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1 minute ago, Araenon said:

See, that's the problem. She is willing to trust Emerald Magistrates. For those paranoid enough within Crane clan not to trust them this is unacceptable (well, paranoid is rather harsh, prudent would be better). Jumping to the conclusion "Scorpion did it!" is rash - true. But not doing anything and trusting Imperials? Foolish

Are you suggesting that the chosen magistrates of the Emperor who's duty is to enforce the Emperor's laws can't be trusted to do their job? That sounds like a grave insult to the Emperor. 

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1 minute ago, Araenon said:

See, that's the problem. She is willing to trust Emerald Magistrates. For those paranoid enough within Crane clan not to trust them this is unacceptable (well, paranoid is rather harsh, prudent would be better). Jumping to the conclusion "Scorpion did it!" is rash - true. But not doing anything and trusting Imperials? Foolish

Emerald Magistrates who spent their careers working under the Emerald Champion -- Doji Satsume. To suggest that they can't be trusted to investigate the death of their own beloved superior is to insult that superior's memory and ability to train and command his underlings.

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14 minutes ago, HamHamJ2 said:

Are you suggesting that the chosen magistrates of the Emperor who's duty is to enforce the Emperor's laws can't be trusted to do their job? That sounds like a grave insult to the Emperor.

Precisely. And no, this is not an insult to the Emperor, because theoretically everyone in the Empire serve the Emperor. Does that mean that everyone is above suspicion? Of course not.

 

 

14 minutes ago, player3015634 said:

Emerald Magistrates who spent their careers working under the Emerald Champion -- Doji Satsume. To suggest that they can't be trusted to investigate the death of their own beloved superior is to insult that superior's memory and ability to train and command his underlings

Yeah, and Doji Satsume was so fantastic in instilling loyalty and having a lovable personality that his own wife committed suicide.

Jokes aside, Emerald magistrates are recruited across the Empire and - officially - renounce their previous loyalties, but in reality - not really, magistrates often keep them and use their new positions for advantage of the old Clan. And everyone knows it. The fact that Doji Satsume WAS a political leverage for the Crane speaks for itself.

Edited by Araenon

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1 minute ago, Araenon said:

Yeah, and Doji Satsume was so fantastic in instilling loyalty and having a lovable personality that his own wife committed suicide.

The people withing the Crane who are clamouring for an investigation are the same ones that refuse to acknowledge that. But, indeed, jokes aside.

2 minutes ago, Araenon said:

Jokes aside, Emerald magistrates are recruited across the Empire and - officially - renounce their previous loyalties, but in reality - not really and often keep them and use their new positions for advantage of old Clan. And everyone knows it. The fact that Doji Satsume WAS a political leverage for the Crane speaks for itself.

It may be true, but you can't just say it-- or even suggest it. Face has to be preserved by everyone involved. And horning in on the official investigation is to suggest it loud and clear.

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14 minutes ago, phillos said:

Satsume also trained Sotorii.  Just saying.

Who then proceeded to defeat the Ruby champion in single combat! (And possibly the Emerald one too)

Did you notice Toturi's impertinence toward him? That's the resentment of man who got his *** whopped by the greatest duelist in Rokugan

Edited by mirrorcat

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6 minutes ago, player3015634 said:

It may be true, but you can't just say it-- or even suggest it. Face has to be preserved by everyone involved. And horning in on the official investigation is to suggest it loud and clear.

Oh, don't be coy. Almost anything can be smoothed and layered in "we-are-definitely-not-insinuating-anything" verbal bull with enough practice - and Crane are masters of it. Outright official summons of magistrates might be off-limits, but invitations for some of them to Clan embassy in capital for consulting in absolutely non-related thing? Please.

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I can't help but feel this discussion can be elevated by certain information revealed within the recently publicized RPG adventure which is intended as a followup to the beginner box adventure. However, I would not wish to spoil this information to any who may wish to play through or at least read through the material on their own, so I shall simply leave this link for the enlightenment of the conversation participants...
https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/54/5d/545d40f0-3e88-406a-ab00-fecd7cea0875/l5r01dlc_adventurecompressed.pdf

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41 minutes ago, mirrorcat said:

Who then proceeded to defeat the Ruby champion in single combat! (And possibly the Emerald one too)

Did you notice Toturi's impertinence toward him? That's the resentment of man who got his *** whopped by the greatest duelist in Rokugan

Its amazing how easy it is to be the "greatest" duelist in the empire when stepping out of line with your opponent can easily end with him on a whim just saying kill him.

As proof feel free to read about how the Ronin Rezan became one of the greatest poets in the history of the empire.

http://l5r.wikia.com/wiki/Rezan

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