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Adultery

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I'm a noob when it comes to "samurai lore".

I have a question for my campaign design;

Many years ago, A Seppun Woman married into the TSI family (she married to Tsi Wenfu) when they became a minor clan, the Oriole Clan (this is how the emperor at this time made it official, by "giving them" an imperial bride - in my story).
As a gift for his bride, and to welcome her in the family, Tsi Wenfu (a blacksmith from Yobanjin descent who greatly impressed the emperor with his craft) crafted an exquisite Naginata in the ring-sword style (with rings on its blade).

Now... many years later... a descendent of that woman who was given that naginata (family heirloom) had an "illegal affair" with a samurai (a Kakita family daimyo, and she was not married at this time).
she became pregnant, and hid her pregnancy as best as she could. Eventually, toward the end of her pregnancy, she fled her Tsi family and took refuge in a Fukurokujin Monastery where she eventually gave birth.
after having her son, she contacted the great clan samurai (the Kakita dad) and told him about the kid. And then she decided to exile herself out of the Rokugani borders, back into the Yobanjin territory (where the Tsi ancestors are from)... the story doesn't tell what happened to her...
but, before leaving, she left the Naginata at the temple of Fukurokujin, with the kid.

though, the dad was too compassionate... he went and talked to the monks, told them the story, and took the kid back to raise him. Obviously, he never told anyone that it was his real kid. He instead created a story that a Kenku delivered the kid to him, to be trained in the Kakita way, adding a touch of "mystery" so that nobody would question his decision to raise the kid.

when the kid got older, after his gempukku, the Kakita Dad gave the kid the naginata, saying the Kenku also gave that weapon with the kid and that the tengu mentioned this weapon was the weapon of his mother.

obviously, eventually in the story, the PC (the now grown up kakita kid) will end up finding where this Naginata come from... and he might actually learn who was his mother, and that his dad who adopted him is in fact his real dad, and that his mom is imperial blood mixed with yobanjin blood (oriole clan) etc etc.

now. does that make sense ? mostly ? is it feasible ?

 

 

Edited by Avatar111

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I think so.

It has a lot of the classic elements we expect from a L5R game: (a) Personal desire vs duty. Mom took a secret lover and then delivered the child in secret. (b) Old secrets covered up. "uh...Tengu!" ... ::waves arms like a jedi:: (c) potential for discoveries and trouble for the Hero down the road. "My mom was from the Shi family...do I have duty towards them?" "My weapon is the ancestral weapon of the Shi family ... well this is awkward." and (d) possible misunderstandings. "Dude who is trying to kill me and/or steal my weapon!  ... "I'm like, totally innocent in this and so is "Dad" ... "take your beef up with the Tengu!" 

One thing I will note is that distant Imperial blood probably doesn't count for much. She married out of the Imperial families many generations back as I see this. And no living relatives would remember his Mom much less him. Unless somehow being a descendant of a specific imperial is important. Or the Suppun who married into the Oriole Clan had Hantei blood...

Good Luck!

 

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20 minutes ago, Void Crane said:

I think so.

It has a lot of the classic elements we expect from a L5R game: (a) Personal desire vs duty. Mom took a secret lover and then delivered the child in secret. (b) Old secrets covered up. "uh...Tengu!" ... ::waves arms like a jedi:: (c) potential for discoveries and trouble for the Hero down the road. "My mom was from the Shi family...do I have duty towards them?" "My weapon is the ancestral weapon of the Shi family ... well this is awkward." and (d) possible misunderstandings. "Dude who is trying to kill me and/or steal my weapon!  ... "I'm like, totally innocent in this and so is "Dad" ... "take your beef up with the Tengu!" 

One thing I will note is that distant Imperial blood probably doesn't count for much. She married out of the Imperial families many generations back as I see this. And no living relatives would remember his Mom much less him. Unless somehow being a descendant of a specific imperial is important. Or the Suppun who married into the Oriole Clan had Hantei blood...

Good Luck!

 

Thank you!

For the Imperial Heritage ancestor that gives +10 status, how close should it be? Like, grandfather?

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12 hours ago, Avatar111 said:

Now... many years later... a descendent of that woman who was given that naginata (family heirloom) had an "illegal affair" with a samurai (a Kakita family daimyo, and she was not married at this time).

If this is the case then it wasn't really adultery, and unless the Kakita was married, it wasn't "illegal" (depending on the exact circumstances, it might have been legal even if the Kakita was married). Premarital affairs are treated more lightly as far as I'm aware. 

The story is actually feasible by Rokugani standards, because the woman had a classic dramatic overreaction, but then you should keep in mind that unless the Kakita had a very tight political marriage, he should have married the Tsi girl or at least acknowledge the affair and take the girl and the kit to his household. What he did was actually a kind of a-hole move and does not speak a whole lot of good about him. 

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2 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

If this is the case then it wasn't really adultery, and unless the Kakita was married, it wasn't "illegal" (depending on the exact circumstances, it might have been legal even if the Kakita was married). Premarital affairs are treated more lightly as far as I'm aware. 

The story is actually feasible by Rokugani standards, because the woman had a classic dramatic overreaction, but then you should keep in mind that unless the Kakita had a very tight political marriage, he should have married the Tsi girl or at least acknowledge the affair and take the girl and the kit to his household. What he did was actually a kind of a-hole move and does not speak a whole lot of good about him. 

and if the Kakita dad was already married ? that is why it is an adultery after all. does it work better? you seem to imply that even if the Kakita was married it would have been legal, can you elaborate on that ?


 

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29 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

and if the Kakita dad was already married ? that is why it is an adultery after all. does it work better? you seem to imply that even if the Kakita was married it would have been legal, can you elaborate on that ?

If the Kakita's wife is someone fairly unimportant and/or if the marriage is "strictly business" then the involved parties can all agree to keep the affair under tabs, and the Kakita takes the Tsi girl as a concubine or mistress or something. This will be fairly embarrassing for the wife, but if she is otherwise okay with it or the Kakita can make her be okay with it, then it is all right. 

Essentially, if the Kakita's wife doesn't charge him with adultery, then it wasn't that. However, bringing it to the public can mess this up because the Tsi can say that it was, the Crane Clan Champion can say that it was, the wife's family can say that it was, etc. So your scenario can still work if the wife was not okay with it at all, and she was either important enough to make it matter or had others (her family and/or the Tsi) back her up. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 3:44 AM, Avatar111 said:

For the Imperial Heritage ancestor that gives +10 status, how close should it be? Like, grandfather?

There is definitely some wiggle room here. I think a grandfather would work. Part of the advantage goes beyond just having a famous ancestor. It's also being connected to powerful people who are still alive. I think that's part of why NPCs who have a status over 50 won't kill you out of hand, even if you are a political obstacle they'd otherwise assassinate... there are Imperial relatives that will take note and extract a price at a future date.

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The main thing to understand about Rokugani love/marriage/romance/adultery is that it's all very arcane and complex.  In setting, Rokugani don't actually understand Rokugani romance. This can be very liberating for a storyteller as it means that really any romance story could work in Rokugan.

as for imperial ancestry.. this also isn't really so cut and dry..  you could be the emperor's son and only get +10 status if the emperor refuses to acknowledge you and you go around acting like a little fiend all the time.. you could have imperial blood from 15 generations ago and still get +10 status if people generally feel that your ancestral line is still in good standing.

essentially, don't worry so much about whether your story "fits in Rokugan".  Rokugan is a land that's more concerned about a good story than it is about objective truth, so chances are the story you're thinking of shouldn't be considered to be completely factual anyway.

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I think there is a little problem with the "imperial heritage" in this kind of setting...

 

the heritage mostly work based on knowledge from the other side... that is to say people act with more regard toward you because they KNOW that you are somewhat linked to the imperial family (or as soeone pointed out there are actual some of your relative that do have some political power within the imperial circle)... but in the story you have presented neither the MC nor those he came to interact (except his dad) knows that he is an imperial descendant... so what reason should they have to act more respectfuly toward him? whay should they reconsider their means of taking him out of the picture if they simply see him as you normal kakita samurai?

 

As I see it this kind of advantage shold be actual only avaible for use when the PC unvail his past (and possibly in a way that makes it known to the public or at least the higher up... ) or have with him some "proof" (a seal or other cerminial item) that identify his ancestry...

 

If you want to keep the part of him having to uncover the past during the story (and I do think is a really good idea) you may give him something that point out his ancestry without giving out details... the naginata for example may be adorned with something that directly point out a connection with imperial family... that way you could pull out the "I don't know who he is exactly but that thing scream imperial houshold... we should act with that in mind!!!"

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On 6/21/2019 at 1:21 AM, In the middle of the night said:

I think there is a little problem with the "imperial heritage" in this kind of setting...

 

the heritage mostly work based on knowledge from the other side... that is to say people act with more regard toward you because they KNOW that you are somewhat linked to the imperial family (or as soeone pointed out there are actual some of your relative that do have some political power within the imperial circle)... but in the story you have presented neither the MC nor those he came to interact (except his dad) knows that he is an imperial descendant... so what reason should they have to act more respectfuly toward him? whay should they reconsider their means of taking him out of the picture if they simply see him as you normal kakita samurai?

 

As I see it this kind of advantage shold be actual only avaible for use when the PC unvail his past (and possibly in a way that makes it known to the public or at least the higher up... ) or have with him some "proof" (a seal or other cerminial item) that identify his ancestry...

 

If you want to keep the part of him having to uncover the past during the story (and I do think is a really good idea) you may give him something that point out his ancestry without giving out details... the naginata for example may be adorned with something that directly point out a connection with imperial family... that way you could pull out the "I don't know who he is exactly but that thing scream imperial houshold... we should act with that in mind!!!"

Exactly what I did. My Kaito player with "imperial heritage" had lineage papers linking her to an imperial Miya bride that married into the Kaito family when they were made part of the empire. The Miya bride married into the yobanjin clan that was then made part of Rokugan and became the Kaito, the imperial bride being some kind of imperial blessing with the decision of including the Kaito into the Phoenix. The papers were found and made official by Tsukune when they found the library down the well while hunting the spirit (see the phoenix novella).
Later on, the player also aquired a bow that had been crafted for her ancestors as the welcome gift into their Family. A bow that I removed the warfare tag from and put the ceremonial tag.

(there are more details than this, but I'm keeping simple here)

From this point on, with the paper and the bow, she had enough "proofs" to boast her status. And she is considering trying to rejoin the Miya family now. Which is a bit funky and we will see how that plays out.


edit: for the Kakita with the Naginata from his heritage "glorious sacrifice", I went a bit more crazy. It is actually a dormant cursed item that was at some point in time used by an evil yobanjin character and it is holding the ghosts of its slain opponents. The Kakita yobanjin ancestor finally killed the evil madman of their own clan, but now, they need to carry this item and make sure it never awakens again, a bit of a burden passed down from generations (and went into the Kakita family because... adultery...his damned Kakita papa couldn't hold himself and slept with a Yobanjin woman who was carrying this Naginata)
Since you cannot really destroy a cursed item as it would release all kinds of spirits (good or bad in that case) upon the land, the meta quest of the Kakita is to hold to the hope that he can one day clean the weapon or pass it down to his children (or whomever else, I guess... the story will tell). The Weapon is Sacred but also Forbidden (yobanjin design), and since they learned that it is a dormant cursed item, there is more pressure on the Kakita not to be "swayed" into using it in a "bad" way.

As you can see, there are some Yobanjin ties (Kaito, and the Kakita thru adultery) with both these characters, so it helps creating the campaign, or at least bring in interesting npc.

Edited by Avatar111

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