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Horiuchi Daimyo

Please may I have an Idiots' Guide to l5r lore

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1 hour ago, Manchu said:

I (somewhat surprisingly) agree with Schmoozies and Shiba Gunichi. The Always Angry Matsu is a caricature rather than a character. And Akodo Arasou died a brave warrior on the battlefield, with no dishonor to either him or Hotaru.

Okay now I'm sacred, this may be a sign of the end times people.

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On 12/7/2018 at 2:18 PM, Manchu said:

At the end of Curved Blades, Altansarnai commands Kamoko to ride straight to Otosan Uichi to inform the Imperial Court. She says: “Only if the Emperor himself demands it will I change my mind. Let him command me—or let me remain as I am, in his service alone.” Obviously, the news reaches the capital far less dramatically. In Flying Chariot, Standing, Kamoko accompanies Ide Tadaji (the Ide daimyo and the Unicorn’s chief emissary to the Imperial Court) to the Miya Palace to take the temperature, as it were, of the potential Imperial response. The Imperial Herald implies that the the Emperor would be content to allow the two Great Clans to wear each other down so neither will become too powerful, which is code for the Miya doing what they always do, facilitating trouble between the Great Clans. In Family Duty, Shinjo Haruko is worried she will not be accepted into the Imperial Guard if the Emperor formally censures the Unicorn and her mother, Altansarnai, implies that the Miya will obstruct any censure.

I’m afraid Altansarnai’s brash words have been mischaracterized in this thread as if they were spoken in humility rather than defiance.

Thanks

I just reevaluate a bit Altansarnai, but she still not the champion that I want. I would prefer her son (Shono) or someone from Ide family (as an Ide myself [RPG], it's hard to say that I am not the right candidate for this role :D)

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2 hours ago, Manchu said:

I (somewhat surprisingly) agree with Schmoozies and Shiba Gunichi. The Always Angry Matsu is a caricature rather than a character. And Akodo Arasou died a brave warrior on the battlefield, with no dishonor to either him or Hotaru. 

I would agree as well.

Note that the choices for Matsu Tsuko weren't 'kill him or let him go' , they were 'send him back to the Crane Defenders in the Osari Plains' (which she was about to attack) and - presumably - kill him on the battlefield, or 'send him to play detective and investigate his father's death' (in the hopes of finding out who's manipulating everyone). Just stabbing the guy when he's an unarmed prisoner was never on the menu.

The Boar Ronin commander, yes, but he'd basically just openly admitted to her to massacring and looting the peasants of what Tsuko sees as a Lion clan village.

Doji Kunawan's 'crime' is being related to someone who's a good shot with a bow. Leaving political questions about who was in the wrong for the battle happening, it was a battle, not a duel. Using a bow is not dishonourable (in the way using a Tetsubo or Crossbow on human opponents is), and no-one is seriously suggesting you're not allowed to shoot at the enemy commander - especially when he is front-and-centre of the charge! There is a reason the fiction is called The Price of War.

6 minutes ago, Victarion13 said:

Thanks

I just reevaluate a bit Altansarnai, but she still not the champion that I want. I would prefer her son (Shono) or someone from Ide family (as an Ide myself [RPG], it's hard to say that I am not the right candidate for this role :D)

Is the Unicorn one of the clans whose Championate is 'locked' to the Kami-bloodline family, though?

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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5 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Is the Unicorn one of the clans whose Championate is 'locked' to the Kami-bloodline family, though?

If I remember well, it is not locked. But if I am making a mistake, I would be happy to be corrected.

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1 hour ago, Victarion13 said:

If I remember well, it is not locked. But if I am making a mistake, I would be happy to be corrected.

It was locked to the Shinjo bloodline in the old lore until Shinjo herself returned from the Burning Sands and wiped out a decent chunk of her own family for being Kolat, at which point it got handed over to the Moto.

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Anyway.... just so people have got everything relevant in one place: a quick summary post

(Note, this is emphatically from a Unicorn perspective, but where something is contested I've endeavoured to provide notes to that effect)

  • Foundation of the Empire. Shinjo falls to earth alongside his siblings. She is slightly annoyed to be left out of the story as told in Rokugan (read the inside cover of the RPG rulebook....despite stating Lord Moon and Lady Sun as having nine children, only eight are named, missing Shinjo - she is mentioned later, though), but joins in founding the Empire.

 

  • About half a century later, Shinjo and the Ki-Rin go out to look for foreign threats to the empire.
    • A contingent of Ki-Rin stay behind, as castellaines for Shinjo's lands, to protect the borders, tend the shrines, and to keep a history of everything that happened in the Empire whilst Shinjo was gone so her descendents could find out once they got back.

 

  • About forty years into the exodus, the remaining Ki-Rin are having serious trouble with Gaijin coming over the border and plundering the northern plains; they don't have the numbers to police such a huge domain effectively (ironically, 'modern' Unicorn probably could have done so with similar numbers but at this point in history, Rokugani cavalry wasn't worth spit). They appeal to the Emperor for help.
    • Exactly what happens is at this point unclear. The two major groups of historians in the Clans are the Ikoma of the Lion Clan and the Kitsune of the Fox Clan; both of whom were involved in this conflict and hence neither's histories can be considered 'unbiased'.
      • The Ki-Rin/Fox version is that the Lion 'helped' by invading, expelling the Ki-Rin as well as the raiders and claiming the land for themselves.
      • The Lion version is that the Ki-Rin had already fled to their land, abandoning their holdings in the face of overwhelming Gaijjin invaders, and on kicking the latter out they were under no obligation to give it back.
      • What is more or less beyond contention (since it comes from Imperial histories discussing Imperial Edicts and the actions of Hantei rather than the actions of the Clans) is that the Emperor decided to create the concept of 'minor clans' as a result of this incident.
        • The remaining/surviving (pick your term) Ki-Rin became the 'Fox Clan' and were relocated to a holding between the Crab and Crane lands, now Kyūden Kitsune.
        • An edict was passed forbidding major clans to make war on minor clans
        • A second minor clan (The Badger) was created shortly after with the specific responsibility of guarding the northern passes
      • The Matsu were eventually left holding most of the southern unicorn lands. The time spent holding these lands and muddiness around where the original border actually was is presumably the basis for the 'Historical Claim' mentioned in Curved Blades.

 

  • About three hundred years after the fall of the Ki-Rin, the Crane-Crab war occurred. The Yasuki changed their allegiance from being a Crane family to being a Crab family, provoking an all-out war between the two clans.
    • This isn't strictly relevant to the Unicorn, save that the fighting resulted in an imperial edict banning open warfare. This matters, because it listed by name the clans to which it applies, and since the Ki-Rin/Unicorn weren't in Rokugan at the time, they weren't amongst the clans listed. This means that unlike the scrapping over Toshi Ranbo, it's arguable that the Lion and the Unicorn don't actually need Imperial permission to go to war with one another.

 

  • Forty years or so later, the Battle of White Stage occurs ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS
    • If the Battle of White Stag had occurred - which of course it didn't - it would have been between gaijin and imperial troops fighting over trading rights, and appears to have been a messy disaster for both sides - "We've got Shujenga and magic!" "Bloody Heck! Oh, wait, we've got gunpowder and cannons!" "Bloody Heck!"
    • The key outcome of the Battle of White Stag not occurring was an Imperial Edict from a new Emperor (the previous Hantei having died peacefully after a long life which didn't involve cannon-fire in any way) broadly banning gaijin presence in the empire and which led to a general hardening of Rokugani xenophobia.
      • This would obviously be an issue for the Unicorn, who by this time had picked up a significant number of gaijin weapons, customs and members.
      • This is also the edict responsible for banning any gaijin traders from entering the Empire
        • Except for the Tortoise clan
      • This is also the edict responsible for banning 'gaijin pepper' (gunpowder) and making it equivalent to Maho, so no clan would ever use it
        • Except every shinobi school ever. But hey, shinobi themselves are banned. Might as well be hung for sheep.

 

  • It's about another three and a half centuries before the Unicorn come back.
    • We know they've retained some holdings outside the empire (that's where Shinjo Shiro's gone), so it's not necessarily the 'entire' Unicorn clan
    • Their return is a sequence of miscommunications and battles. They approached Rokugan from the South-West, and encountered the western end of the Kaiu wall. Understandably their view is "what the heck is that?", whilst the Crab, seeing an army they don't recognise approaching form a broadly southerly direction, respond in a predictable way and open fire with volleys of invocations, crossbows, ballistae, rocks, burning sake barrels, harsh language and rabid hedgehogs.
    • The Unicorn - understandably irked by this - travel along the wall to its westernmost extent. Here they meet a crab clan field army assembled to face what they see as either an army sent by Fu Leng, a bunch of Gaijin invaders, or both.
    • Almost every clan, in sequence, ended up fighting the Unicorn, assuming they were invading barbarians. These battles generally went something like this:
      • "We'll crush them! They're just barbarians!"
      • "They say they're heading to claim the old Ki-Rin lands." 
      • "They can't be the Ki-Rin clan! We'll destroy them!"
      • "They say "We have 'every calorie', so no you won't."
      • "Really? They don't look fat. Are you sure 'every calorie' is what they said?"
      • "Sorry. Their Rokugani accent is really awful. I think so....no...wait....oh. I think 'heavy cavalry' is what they're saying."
      • "Well, those words at least make more sense on a battlefield. Why should I care about some scouts on ponies, though?"
      • [Deafening thunder of hoof-beats as the first massed cataphract cavalry charge the clan has ever seen smashes through their infantry line without detectably slowing down]
      • ".....Oh."
    • This continues for some time before the Phoenix and Unicorn finally manage to talk without shooting at one another. The Crab, Phoenix and Crane accepted their claim to being the descendants of Shinjo and a Rokugani great clan. The Lion didn't (at least in part because doing so would involve giving back those lands the Matsu held) and neither did the Scorpion. Eventually, though, Hantei came down on the side of "yes, they're the heirs of the Ki-Rin, stop attacking them" which legally speaking settled the matter.

 

  • It's about another two hundred years to 'now'
    • There are three main 'themes' to what's happening with the Unicorn.
      • The Lion And The Unicorn Were Fighting For The Crown The Left Bank Of Three Stone River
        • The treaty, it's repudiation by Altansarnai after Akari's arrival at Shiro Shinjo, the Imperial's "Totally Deniable Blessing", the Lion attack on and Unicorn  counterattack on Hisu Moride Mori, the appointment of a Moto to supervise rebuilding of the village
      • Meishodo and Daishahaisetsu
        • The Elemental master of void's vision of meishodo being dangerous, selection of Iuchi Shahai as combination meishodo tutor/hostage, her and Daisetsu falling "in twue wuv", and the increasing tension with the phoenix after the Elemental  (dramatically misinterpret) Kaito Kosori's letter describing events at Hōseki Pond Shrine
      • Unicorn holdings outside the Empire
        • We know they have them and Shinjo Shono has been sent to try and talk the Gaijin rulers into not exploiting the Unicorn's distraction with the Lion by attacking them. Details to follow in the Unicorn novella
    •  

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@Magnus Grendel

just a minor nitpick: it wasn’t the Elemental Master of Void visions about Meishodo. 

It was first Isawa Atsuko who sensed something was wrong, who then warned Kaede, which was the one who had the vision about a demon formed of smokeless fire. 

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20 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

It was locked to the Shinjo bloodline in the old lore until Shinjo herself returned from the Burning Sands and wiped out a decent chunk of her own family for being Kolat, at which point it got handed over to the Moto.

I remembered for the old lore, but I am not sure about the current

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