Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Coyote Walks

Children of Bushidō

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Manchu said:

More personally, Shizue also reflects on how, where others might stigmatize her handicap, her father did not see it as a source of shame or weakness but as a potential source of strength.

 

That's the first thing you've cited that persuades me Shizue's feelings toward him are warmer than "he's okay I guess." I still wouldn't say it merits chucking the RPG materials out as being totally contradictory, but it does argue in favor of Shizue actually thinking positively of Satsume, rather than neutrally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the whole passage and thinking about the purpose it serves in the story, rather than debating each sentence independently and out of context*, I think it’s pretty clear that Shizue has a positive opinion of Satsume. Now, keep in mind that I’m not arguing Satsume is some kind of beloved public figure. This tangent began because I described him as a guy who is tough to get along with. Then the RPG adventure quotes were trotted out to argue that this complicated, multi-dimensional character is actually just a one-note jerk that everyone totally hates. I mean, that is clearly what the adventure material presents and for someone like me who has read these stories again and again, backwards and forwards, that feels like an alternate timeline.

*which I am obviously up to do, if we must

Edited by Manchu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Manchu said:

Then the RPG adventure quotes were trotted out to argue that this complicated, multi-dimensional character is actually just a one-note jerk that everyone totally hates.

If that's the impression I gave that I was arguing - I apologies, that was not what was intended. "Not many people really liked him" is not the same as "that everyone totally hates" - as both you and I have said, you can dislike someone and still respect them; Kakita Yoshi's internal angst of "I know I shouldn't blame him for Teiko's death but I still kinda do anyway" is a good case in point.

Aside from Sumiko, I don't feel like it's too much of a conflict - Satsume was very tough to get along with and the average subordinate he interacted with probably respected but didn't particurly like him. That doesn't necessarily make him either a moustache-twirling villain or an out-and-out jerk.

 

 

 

Back on the subject of the princes - via Doji Satsume - I think that the whole "weak and spoiled" opinion is unlikely to come from this event alone but it's a good example; Doji Satsume - in so far as it's any of his business - will have heard the testimonies of the two princes, which we know contradicted one another, but that's all he knows.

I imagine (especially since he wasn't asked prior to the duel and asking him after the duel and the events following it would put him in a really invidious position) that no-one asked Bayushi Dairu what happened (except of course, Shoju, privately).

That leaves Satsume simply looking at the two conflicting version of events and thinking "Well, frankly both of you look bad. You [Sotorii] lost your composure in public during the duel, but the duel only happened in the first place because you [Daisetsu] lost your composure in the library and then would have refused to answer a fair challenge. The only one of you who comes out of this looking good is Dairu (who was [a] polite, [b ] respectful even when criticising a superior, [c] stuck as best he could to the rules of Bushido and [d] actually won the duel fair and square when he stepped up to fight it. Oh....and technically [e], was winning your bloody silly game when it all fell apart, too)."

As to the internal angsts of the two princes..... I wonder if perhaps Doji Satsume was not that great at reading people. Smart, yes, honourable, yes, strict, yes.

But whilst his default behaviour was 'incredibly demanding taskmaster' that wasn't his only setting - he could be indulgent to the point of spoiling a student, as you can see given Sumiko's assessment of Sotorii and Doji Satsume's instruction of him, and to a lesser degree as Hotaru implies of Kunawan (although there is obviously a fair bias there as she got the full benefit of Doji "You're-Never-Good-Enough" Satsume).

Equally, he is capable of being creative within the bounds of bushido - given his researching legal precedents which (one assumes) results ultimately in the Regency Edict, the statement that he was good at rendering judgements which annoyed everyone but which didn't give anyone justification for actually being angry, and because the Emperor himself considered him a good advisor for un-knotting awkward problems without stepping over the various bounds of bushido.

I don't think anyone - even the people like Toshimoko and Hotaru who blame him for Teinko's death - think he acted the way he did to her deliberately (as in "and now I will drive my wife to suicide, muahaha" as opposed to just his default demanding nature), which means either he didn't register what he was doing to her or he didn't care. I think - lacking any specific evidence to the contrary, and given that he explains why he is acting in a similar fashion when being demanding to Hotaru, that it is more charitable and fair to assume the former.

Which in turn means he didn't pick up on a growing depression and suicidal state - which in turn may mean he's not going to pick up on (strictly speaking when talking about a social superior "is not going to intrude into") the princes' personal feelings.

Even if - in the case of Sotorii - it's implied the prince would quite like someone to do so....

Edited by Magnus Grendel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Satsume intended to keep Hantei Sotorii weak, knowing he could have whipped him into shape, while he thought he was making Hotaru strong. He didn't want his heir to love him, he wanted her to be able to weather the Empire that was to come. 

Also, wasn't much of the RPG material presented as NPC opinion?  If so, this certainly brings to question its accuracy (truth for the teller) "He was a horrible boss, I can't imagine any body else liking him". Add to this, it could be intended that the PCS are trying to be persuaded to a degree by the material to proclaim Satsume as a Kolat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"He had been a gruff and distant father figure, as so many parents were"

Going over the parent/children relationships presented thus far, I don't see many that would be at odds with this statement. In preparation for adulthood and the responsibilities of serving the clan most children are sent away to be trained in a dojo while others are even sent away to be "honored house guests" (hostages). I don't really see Satsume's relationship being more dysfunctional than any other relationship in Rokugan.  (Through my modern real world point of view, sure. But most parents want their children to "be better than themselves").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With how much everyone keeps saying Sumiko's descriptions are at odds I would like to point out a few things. She felt he was loyal to the throne/empire. This doesn't mean she trusted his judgement in all things or didn't think he would do things she felt weren't in the empire's best interests. You can get along with people and work well with them and not truly like them as well. Rather than being contradictory, these help paint a fuller image of the man. A more complex and real one at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the one hand, they respect each other and always work well together.

On the other hand, she “absolutely doesn’t trust him.”

It’s possible to square this if one is limber enough to bend over backwards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Manchu said:

On the one hand, they respect each other and always work well together.

On the other hand, she “absolutely doesn’t trust him.”

It’s possible to square this if one is limber enough to bend over backwards.

I have been in that exact situation in work so it isn't really hard to "justify". And I don't deal with nearly the same level of intrigue and politiking that we see in the fictions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, I'm with Manchu where Sumiko is concerned. It isn't just the trust part; the full quote is "Sumiko would often grumble about Satsume’s secrets, frustrated with how he felt no obligation to keep her informed of his efforts and whereabouts. She absolutely did not trust him." If she's not just distrustful but also grumbling and frustrated that he's not keeping her informed of stuff she thinks she needs to know, that isn't "they always worked well together." Reconciling those two things requires not merely looking at them from the right angle, but taking both of them with enough grains of salt to find a middle ground where Sumiko trusted and worked well with Satsume some of the time but also had serious problems with him some of the time.

Given the Kolat stuff, my take would be that a previously good relationship had begun to sour in more recent days, because Satsume was definitely keeping the secret of his new friend and his plans for the Hantei line from her, and also probably his declining health.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kinzen That’s not a bad spin but the problem is Sumiko is reflecting upon their good relationship after Satsume’s death. It would be incredible that she would not meditate on absolutely mistrusting him in the same moment that she wonders whether Satsume trained but failed to teach Sotorii.

I’m willing to take this as, well the RPG stuff is written according separate needs from those of the actual storyline. I’ll stick with the storyline where there is a conflict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Manchu said:

@Kinzen That’s not a bad spin but the problem is Sumiko is reflecting upon their good relationship after Satsume’s death.

I know. I'm saying, that is how I would reconcile the two statements, if I were dealing with that end of the story and had to find a way to harmonize them somehow. I would prefer that to throwing one of them out entirely, especially since the whole "he was keeping secrets from her" thing from the RPG is presumably going to remain true in the storyline in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/2/2019 at 9:28 PM, JolOfNar said:

I see some other stuff thrown in there. Different routes with Daisetsu, Yoritomo etc.  Story is being told much better this time round there is character and nuance, and these writers are pretty brilliant. But I’m pretty confident that’s where it’s going. 

I hope so... As I have said many times, FFG has a privileged that AEG didn't: hindsight. Different writers under AEG "inherited" whatever plotholes or even outright inconsistencies their predecessors left; retcons added upon quick fixes, upon errors of judgement. In all, the story had its ups and downs, but it came out good enough, considering... after all, it's the story many of us fell in love with (me included). Still, FFG knows where they want to go with the story, instead of improvising on the go, which makes for a more solid story. I still flinch when I something that is different to the old Rokugan, but I also rejoice when I recognize long-term plot threads seeded now for future developement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mon no Oni said:

 I still flinch when I something that is different to the old Rokugan, but I also rejoice when I recognize long-term plot threads seeded now for future developement.

See... as a Phoenix fan, I'm living for all of the differences, 'cause oldschool Clan War Phoenix were... a bad place to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remain unconvinced about RPG canon being true in the LCG. Not only there seem to be some contradictions regarding Satsume, as pointed out in this thread, but the timeline doesn’t seems questionable too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to go back through and read the full thread but the 'Friend and Peer' among the Kolat for Doji Satsume is most likely Akodo Kage.

Doji Satsume sent his son, Doji Kuwanan, to study with the Lion.  Akodo Kage is the pre-eminent sensei among the Lion.  Satsume would not have done that if there was not a positive relationship with at least some part of the Lion at that time.


Akodo Kage is also considered above/outside the leadership hierarchy so he's not directly involved with the political decisions related to the Lion Clan. However, he does have a position of great privilege and honor in the Imperial capital, if his position there mirrors what it was at the beginning of the Old5R game, and we have nothing to indicate it shouldn't.

Satsume was an older man, like Kage. He is not going to see a young whipper-snapper as a peer.

And, of course, there's the obvious trail...Kage was Kolat Master Tiger in Old5R Lore.

Kakita Yoshi might have been the Kolat, but there's some really big reasons we can't believe that.  The biggest being that we've been 'inside' Yoshi's head and he hasn't had any hints of being Kolat there at all.  His most major personality trait from his very first fiction when the character was introduced in L5R was his devotion to the Emperor, publicly admitting that he was spying on the Crane on behalf of the Emperor (which Satsume knew). 

 

I don't think they need to alter his personality to make a kolat when they have a perfectly good one right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, KakitaKaori said:

I have to go back through and read the full thread but the 'Friend and Peer' among the Kolat for Doji Satsume is most likely Akodo Kage.

Doji Satsume sent his son, Doji Kuwanan, to study with the Lion.  Akodo Kage is the pre-eminent sensei among the Lion.  Satsume would not have done that if there was not a positive relationship with at least some part of the Lion at that time.


Akodo Kage is also considered above/outside the leadership hierarchy so he's not directly involved with the political decisions related to the Lion Clan. However, he does have a position of great privilege and honor in the Imperial capital, if his position there mirrors what it was at the beginning of the Old5R game, and we have nothing to indicate it shouldn't.

Satsume was an older man, like Kage. He is not going to see a young whipper-snapper as a peer.

And, of course, there's the obvious trail...Kage was Kolat Master Tiger in Old5R Lore.

Kakita Yoshi might have been the Kolat, but there's some really big reasons we can't believe that.  The biggest being that we've been 'inside' Yoshi's head and he hasn't had any hints of being Kolat there at all.  His most major personality trait from his very first fiction when the character was introduced in L5R was his devotion to the Emperor, publicly admitting that he was spying on the Crane on behalf of the Emperor (which Satsume knew). 

 

I don't think they need to alter his personality to make a kolat when they have a perfectly good one right there.

I do think Satsume's peer could be someone who is not in a position of prestige as he is, but someone he considers his equal in skill, intellect or some other quality.

However, even though we haven’t had a fiction with Kage as a first person narrator, we do have his card and he lacks any trait that suggests he could be a kolat. I know that is not very strong evidence, but it doesn’t seem like cards hide that sort of information (for example Togashi Tadakatsu's card has the ‘Heretic’ trait). Yasuki Taka was also a kolat member in the previous lore, but his inner thoughts don’t suggest he is this time around, and his card also lacks kolat related traits.

Regarding Kakita Yoshi his inner thoughts during a flashback in ‘Court Games’ have him mention that Satsume is probably in Yomi while his sister is in Meido. Someone who rejects the Celestial Order is unlikely to think on those terms so unless he was double-thinking he probably isn’t kolat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's my hope that the Kolat are an antagonist they keep restricted to the RPG. It's a great RPG villain, something that the PCs can really get into and root out, but there are many more interesting and entertaining ones for the LCG storyline.

Also, the first versions of Akodo Kage in the CCG did not have the Kolat trait either, even though he was clearly kolat at the time.  FFG could be following suit.

 

Edited by KakitaKaori

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, KakitaKaori said:

It's my hope that the Kolat are an antagonist they keep restricted to the RPG. It's a great RPG villain, something that the PCs can really get into and root out, but there are many more interesting and entertaining ones for the LCG storyline.

Also, the first versions of Akodo Kage in the CCG did not have the Kolat trait either, even though he was clearly kolat at the time.  FFG could be following suit.

 

Actually he wasn't a Kolat until the results of a story tournament several months after the card was released.  Kolat Kage was entirely driven by tournament results.  That said I hope he isn't a Kolat this time around because its just such an obvious direction that the swerve away from it would be far more interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

Actually he wasn't a Kolat until the results of a story tournament several months after the card was released.  Kolat Kage was entirely driven by tournament results.  That said I hope he isn't a Kolat this time around because its just such an obvious direction that the swerve away from it would be far more interesting.

I hope so. Or if they do the Kolat Kage root they spend a lot longer building it up, and working in his machinations over time. Maybe tying him into the deaths of champions and Toturis ascension. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree that, if they have kolat in the storyline, they should introduce it with a slow buildup. I'm generally happy for things to go along 'vaguely' the same lines, because the bones of the early L5R story were obviously strong enough to suck all these people in and make the game last as long as it did, so they are good bones.  However, changing and addressing motivations, really getting into why things happen, and altering the details, even radically to make a much more coherent whole, is all to the good.

Like a Scorpion Clan Coup that is really the old emperor selecting the Scorpion as a regent until his younger son comes of age, but having some terrible breakdowns happen that make that come out seeming like a coup to the other clans, for example (I won't even speculate on what breakdowns those could be) seems like a reasonable way of retelling an old story with a lot more power and sensibility in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...