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Coyote Walks

Children of Tradition

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35 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

So... Sotorii's big deal is that he is doing a better Matsu Tsuko impersonation than Matsu Tsuko herself but he is also the Emperor's son. 

But hey, you know what guys? I ship it! Tsutorii is the future, mark my words!

...she's like at least a decade older than him.

 

In other news really good fic. I was just thinking how we hadn't seen inside Sotorii's head yet and this surpassed my wildest expectations. Really easy to empathize with him.

3 hours ago, sndwurks said:

Remind you of anyone?

What!? No! Quit looking at me!

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Sotorii is still not likable to me. Yes, his character and fiction are written very well here and definitely humanizes him, but he is still a punk. 

 

21 minutes ago, shineyorkboy said:

...she's like at least a decade older than him.

 

Is that weird in the stories time period? I thought we saw a similar age difference in another fiction. If anything, If the presumed son of heaven demands it, it will happen.

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8 minutes ago, Spawnod said:

Sotorii is still not likable to me. Yes, his character and fiction are written very well here and definitely humanizes him, but he is still a punk. 

 

Is that weird in the stories time period? I thought we saw a similar age difference in another fiction. If anything, If the presumed son of heaven demands it, it will happen.

Well she is the mother of his brothers best friend.  I think I may have seen too many videos that misspell the Emperor's name that have that as a main part of their plot.

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Once again, this story made me think carefully about what it would be like for someone in a society like Rokugan, especially at the heart of its complex political dimension, which is a matter of the slightest subtleties and finest distinctions, if that person for whatever reason (such as a disability) was not able to parse social clues very well, or perhaps at all.

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5 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Genuinely sorry that I couldn't.

The one constant in his situation is himself. Reminds me of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Good analogy.

 

It's sad to see a 15-16 year old so thoroughly broken, but, even if we accept that there is something going on at a spiritual level (and while I don't discount it, I don't think it is clear-cut), it's clear most of his problems are rooted on his narcisism and obvious lack of self-esteem.

Also, I want a unyelding Seppun card now. 

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I appreciate the effort to humanize Sotorri but I'm having a hard time swallowing it. Are we supposed to like and or sympathize with him now? In every story he appears in thus far he has been a total and complete jerk to everyone he encounters. We get a glimpse into his mindset here; he just wants a friend. Perhaps he would make more friends if he wasn't straight out trying to murder Bayushi Dairu and his own brother.

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5 minutes ago, Eisenmerc said:

I appreciate the effort to humanize Sotorri but I'm having a hard time swallowing it. Are we supposed to like and or sympathize with him now? In every story he appears in thus far he has been a total and complete jerk to everyone he encounters. We get a glimpse into his mindset here; he just wants a friend. Perhaps he would make more friends if he wasn't straight out trying to murder Bayushi Dairu and his own brother.

There might also be foreshadowing being done with the italic text. On first read through of Sotorii's perspective nothing really seems odd, but when you reread it a pay attention to the italics you can start to notice that they interrupt the text.

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I think this is only the beginning of a look into the interior of Sotorii.

An interesting note:

In this story, the Emperor asks Shoju, “So, no one is able to see the world the way it truly is?”

In Tiger Stalks His Prey, the Emperor says: “And an Emperor so trusting as to have others perceive the world for him—even if out of necessity—is an Emperor open to manipulation.”

Also, in Tiger, right after Totrui upbraids Sotorii: “Toturi held his bow until Sotorii had vanished among a stand of sakura trees shading one of the several paths path leading away from the koi pond.”

Did Totrui make Sotorii cry, too?

Edited by Manchu

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Sad and also empathize for Sotorii.

Still, he is not the one I would like to see as an Emperor. The reasons why he has no friends (or someone who respects him not only because he is an Hantei) are all his fault. He has only himself to blame, or as we say in Italian "Chi e' causa del suo mal, pianga se stesso".

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Well ****. I mean... Sotorii is still a bully, but I have a feeling no one actually...taught him anything? Or dunno.... not on a very basic level? It's like they expect him to pick up cues by himself, and he didn't manage. Not ot mention I have a feeling that in some ways the Emperor (and the Crown Prince) is almost exempt from the regular nuances of Rokugani society.

 

I mean, he is still a bully, but it seems he doesn't have the tools to engage in a non-bully way?

 

At the same time he is astutely ware that Daisetus is better than him in most ways, my gut feeling, so he knows he's not measuring up, but doesn't know how to be an emperor, and people just expect him to know.

 

Also, it's kind of strange. Daisetus has Dairu, Jodan has Shoju, but Sotorii has no one. I wonder if that means he scared anyone away who could be a friend of his, or he never really got anyone "assigned" to him as a friend.

 

I don't know what I want more: the stories where he showed up to be seen from his PoV, or from the PoV of his honor guard, the people who spend most of their time with him.

 

Also, while we see the Emperor lower his guard with Shoju...I have a feeling he doesn't do the same with his sons. Both seem to think of him as a distant figure, which is really not helping matters for either one.

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I'm certainly getting Joffrey vibes. It was also mentioned how he had always showed such traits which probably explains why he has no friends now and considering his position people would have tried to get their children to be friends with him which must make his brother's success and his own lack of even more galling. 

The combination of being regarded as the heir, standard bully traits that are almost practically impossible for others to eradicate in him due to him being the heir  and difficult for his parents due to (probably) to the time they have to put into their own roles alongside and the expectations of him and from him make a rather vicious mix.

I was impressed that the Emperor took this decision though and took it with sadness. Not many leaders would have the guts/intelligence/reasoning to do that. Even Marcus Aurelius, one of the wisest Roman Emperors, did nothing took stop his utter thug of a son from following him to the throne.

 

Saying that it's all going to go badly wrong. Loving the story so far and cheers DGL!

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9 hours ago, Manchu said:

Once again, this story made me think carefully about what it would be like for someone in a society like Rokugan, especially at the heart of its complex political dimension, which is a matter of the slightest subtleties and finest distinctions, if that person for whatever reason (such as a disability) was not able to parse social clues very well, or perhaps at all.

Agreed. Obviously it's iconic in any political setting that people rarely say exactly what they mean but it's taken to extremes here.

In some ways, being at the top of the heap makes it worse, too. The correct, courteous approach for Sotorii was to ask to be part of the game (just like the correct, courteous response by Daisetsu was to say "yes, Brother, no Brother, three bags full, Brother"*) - but being Heir Primary, he's probably been pretty much trained out of ever asking for anything.

In the RPG, one of the two most unpleasant disadvantages you can take for a player character who's going to have to deal with a court Intrigue scene, ever, are Painfully Honest and Bluntness. Frankly, Battle Trauma or a Missing Arm are easier to work around than being someone who says what they think and assumes everyone else means what they say.....

59 minutes ago, Horvagab said:

Also, it's kind of strange. Daisetus has Dairu, Jodan has Shoju, but Sotorii has no one. I wonder if that means he scared anyone away who could be a friend of his, or he never really got anyone "assigned" to him as a friend.

It's an interesting question. As noted by @Victarion13, logically a lack of friends must be at least in part his fault, but we don't really know the princes' history - this flashback scene is one of very few things set before Doji Satsume's assassination. He might have scared them off, might have never made them in the first place - it's socially easier to approach "Not The Heir" - might even have had one and lost it tragically for all we know.

Regardless, his behaviour remains awful. I feel some sympathy knowing how he feels, and it's nice for him not to be a cardboard cutout badguy, but whilst we have a reason for him to act this way, a reason is not the same as an excuse; and what he is doing remains not okay. The problem is, there's no-one with the social authority to tell him this who appears to be doing so.

The duel itself is a case in point here. Regardless of his rage-outburst (since obviously no-one ever saw that as you just don't), the duel was over. Having gone to the trouble of as formal  a duel as the brothers were allowed to have, with an adjudicator and witnesses, some sort of resolution involving someone saying something to him would have been good, even if it was just to have him formally apologise (he can do that, he's not emperor yet) and his brother formally accept it.

 

 

* And if he really wanted to get his own back set a question or problem that would embarrass Sotorii, or if he wanted to get rid of him, set a question which would....I dunno...involve his Brother buggering off for an hour or so to go read something in the Crane Guest House's archives, or something.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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11 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

...she's like at least a decade older than him.

In the old canon, Sotorii took Kachiko as his wife, and I'm fairly sure that Tsuko is younger than her. He has thing for older women. Give him a break :D

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Thinking on it...there were at least a few people with the social authority to actually teach him better. His father, for once. Some of the Jeweled champions, the advisor, perhaps even some of the Imperial daimyos. I just have a feeling no one bothered. He was handed off to competent teachers whose authority rested on Sotorii's patience and meekness, and there was none of that.

 

Sotorii's behavior is awful, but it's still sad to see him basically trapped by it. And in certain ways, I have a feeling that Daisetsu grew up to be cosnciously unlike his brother in a lot of ways, so in some certain respects, Sotorii showed him what not to do, and that led to Daisetsu being regarded as a better heir.

 

And the even sadder thing? I think he himself recognizes that Daisetsu would be the better Emperor, but he has nothing else going for him, so will probably stick to it because there is nothing else he can do. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what kind of hanger ons attach to him to stoke his flames.

 

Also... was Toturi the elder brother who was passed over, or the younger brother who inherited? I think he might have a special understanding of the siblings that others might not, depending on that status.

 

Edit: Oh, there is no excuse for the duel, best I can think is that Sotorii was never really taught that social consquences are for him too. While I think his behavior is...inborn, so to say, he also never had competent teachers or authority figures to help him.

 

Still want to see more stories from his PoV though, sad as it is.

Edited by Horvagab

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10 minutes ago, Horvagab said:

Also... was Toturi the elder brother who was passed over, or the younger brother who inherited? I think he might have a special understanding of the siblings that others might not, depending on that status.

 

Toturi was the elder brother who was passed over and then called back.

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8 hours ago, Manchu said:

An interesting note:

In this story, the Emperor asks Shoju, “So, no one is able to see the world the way it truly is?”

In Tiger Stalks His Prey, the Emperor says: “And an Emperor so trusting as to have others perceive the world for him—even if out of necessity—is an Emperor open to manipulation.”

Every time we see Shoju in the new fictions I get excited.  He's fantastic.

8 hours ago, Manchu said:

Also, in Tiger, right after Totrui upbraids Sotorii: “Toturi held his bow until Sotorii had vanished among a stand of sakura trees shading one of the several paths path leading away from the koi pond.”

Did Totrui make Sotorii cry, too?

I believe so.  I love when a reveal lets you reread older stories and get something new out of it.  Sotorii does seem to need someone to confide in and work through these issues.  It seems we are deliberately shown that Daisetsu and the Emperor both have close friends with which they can speak frankly.  Sotorii doesn't have this and his behavior just continues to ensure he'll probably never get that even though he clearly craves it.  He's stuck in a real knot.

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1 hour ago, Horvagab said:

Sotorii's behavior is awful, but it's still sad to see him basically trapped by it. And in certain ways, I have a feeling that Daisetsu grew up to be consciously unlike his brother in a lot of ways, so in some certain respects, Sotorii showed him what not to do, and that led to Daisetsu being regarded as a better heir.

The last part of this fiction is pretty much about this.

By the way, after re-reading the duel scene, I'm not sure why Satsume decided to call not!Daigotsu weak. I mean, weak people do not tend to jump into the way of armed opponents, risking their lives, to save their friends. Unless Satsume was referring to actual, physical weakness as Sotorii shook his brother off quite easily :lol:. Is this another case of Satsume having ridiculous standards? 

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I agree that Daisetsu showed weakness here. He seized the initiative in creating the problem but never managed to regain it afterwards.

This is why DGL introduces the story with the concepts of sente and gote in Go.

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3 hours ago, phillos said:

 Sotorii does seem to need someone to confide in and work through these issues.  It seems we are deliberately shown that Daisetsu and the Emperor both have close friends with which they can speak frankly.

Queue up the Toy Story music

Enter Fu Leng

You've got a friend in me kid.................now let's go wreck some stuff.  Have you ever considered how much easier it would be to wield Kunshun if you had 4 arms and glowing eyes?

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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1 hour ago, AtoMaki said:

The last part of this fiction is pretty much about this.

By the way, after re-reading the duel scene, I'm not sure why Satsume decided to call not!Daigotsu weak. I mean, weak people do not tend to jump into the way of armed opponents, risking their lives, to save their friends. Unless Satsume was referring to actual, physical weakness as Sotorii shook his brother off quite easily :lol:. Is this another case of Satsume having ridiculous standards? 

No, I think the weakness that Doji Satsume calls out comes from Daisetsu's failure to manage the situation.  He thinks him weak because first, if he was going to provoke Sotorii, it should have been planned & deliberate, and once it happened he failed to stand on his own, dragging in the Scorpion heir. Then, when it all boils out, he's not strong enough to stoically endure watching the inevitable results of his actions.  Satsume's a stern pragmatist who judges based on the exacting standards of an unforgiving culture, and Daisetsu struggles with performative honor to the point of starting to think of Bushido as a suicide pact.

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As I was reading the part from Sotorii's point of view, I got the feeling like he was being manipulated by a Scorpion while stuck in a Spider's web. 

"You CAN be emperor, even though you're the younger son..."

Step 1: Get everyone to like you

Step 2: Make your brother look like a complete incompetent, isolating and alienating him

Step 3: Make him commit an unthinkable breach of etiquette

We all fell for NotDaigotsu's plot!

Ps- Sotorii also reminded me of Konahamaru from Naruto. Nobody ever had the guts to put him in his place just because he was the honorable grandson of the village leader. 

Edited by HirumaShigure
ps

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47 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

He thinks him weak because first, if he was going to provoke Sotorii, it should have been planned & deliberate, and once it happened he failed to stand on his own, dragging in the Scorpion heir. Then, when it all boils out, he's not strong enough to stoically endure watching the inevitable results of his actions.  

Both of these points are untrue as it was Dairu who dragged himself into the conflict, not!Daigotsu wanted to end it the tough way, and, of course, not!Daigotsu intervening was a very nice show of Courage (Rise up above the masses of people who are afraid to act) and even Compassion (They (honorable samurai) help their fellows at every opportunity). If not for knowing that not!Daigotsu arranged these course of events unwittingly, it might look like this was exactly the most honorably way to deal with the situation: Dairu could prove his loyalty, Sotorii could have his duel, and not!Daigotsu would take a hit for both provoking his brother and having Dairu involved while also putting Sotorii to his place as he originally planned. This looks like an ongoing irony with not!Daigotsu: he dislikes Bushido so much he can't fail to uphold its spirit even when he tries. 

In fact, I find strange that someone like Satsume did not think about the scene being set up by not!Daigotsu, especially considering how Dairu put up a real fight. That should have been suspicious. For an onlooker, it can easily come off as Sotorii walked into a huge trap and the whole incident was deliberate from not!Daigotsu's part. Here note that Satsume can't look into not!Daigotsu's head and learn his exact thoughts: all he knows and sees is that not!Daigotsu pissed off Sotorii, had a Scorpion of all things play buffer for him, then said Scorpion caused Sotorii to have a meltdown and thus ashame himself in front of his father while those two walk away unscathed.

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fiction was good. It usually doesn't go well when a son of Hantei feels unconsidered and his deprived of warmth and kindness. Let's remember the forgotten (and erased) tale of Otomo Jama. 

 

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