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Swordbreaker

The Possible Conclusion to the Inheritence Cycle

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Outcome A: Satorii wins the throne. Satorii, inexperienced but wanting to prove himself, doubles down on traditionalist values, essentially working to keep the status quo in check. However, he also ignores some of the issues plaguing the Empire as a whole, while also punishing the factions that supported his brother (Toturi and Shoju, potentially the Unicorn if they develop Shahai and Daisetsu's relationship any more). So while everything seems to be back to normal, the fractures affecting the land continue to be stressed.

Outcome B: Daisetsu wins the throne and Shoju becomes regent. He aims to address some of the major issues the Empire is facing; however, he also starts alienating some of the traditionalist factions within the Empire by continually disregarding the traditions and rituals in place. Of course, having a Scorpion as regent doesn't exactly engender unity among the Great Clans. So while the major issues are addressed, the Great Clans are further divided against each other.

Outcome \C: The 'loser' prince becomes possessed by Fu Leng, all the factions unite to destroy him and his demon armies. The 'winning' prince dies heroically in some manner, thus ending the Hantei dynasty. A new Emperor is decided based on reasons, the clans pat each other on the back and act properly chastised for letting their petty differences divide them for a few days. Queue next crisis.

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A. It gives a more nuanced version of the coup. Where all is very far from black and white. Sotorii already possessed by Fu Leng finds his control slipping as he is slowly poisoned by revenge seeking Kachiko. 

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Sotorii does not look like a traditionalist - he defies the will of the Heavens, and that goes a lot further than Hantei "Virtual Paragon of Bushido" Daisetsu's moral wild goose chase. He also seems to be aware of his own shortcomings and deeply regretful about them. He is not petty or cruel, he is just ronery. He is also completely unable to achieve anything, messing up and failing to get his way even when it appears he will succeed. 

In this way, I don't think that a "Sotorii Victory" is a plausible scenario in the strictest sense. He might become a puppet in a grander scheme and get the throne by others fighting and winning his battles. It is also worth noting that Sotorii is well aware of the growing chaos in the Empire and thinks it should be fixed. I don't think that Daisetsu would protest much against not getting the throne, and Sotorii cultivates no specific hatred towards his brother, so Shoju is the only one who is in danger here (Toturi is too much of a push-around to matter). 

A possible ending thus is a certain someone (her name starts with Ka- and ends with -chiko) rising up and placing Sotorii on the throne. It would be a kind of a coup, complete with Toturi having his Geisha Adventures. Then Shoju would pull a counter-coup and most likely fail. Sotorii would flail around a little, then as some of the Black Scrolls open, he would gain Fu Leng's spirit as his Only Friend. Cue in the Second Day of Thunder. 

But I think Daisetsu has this one in the bag. Sotorii gets dumped for a redemption arc of sorts while Daisetsu goes hardline "we gotta go back to the basics" traditionalist once he realizes that he was right all along. I don't think that we will get the Second Day of Thunder here in the classical sense, but there will be something similar just flopped around, like the Siege of the Shadowlands or the Invasion of the Burning Sands. 

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5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

 

A possible ending thus is a certain someone (her name starts with Ka- and ends with -chiko) rising up and placing Sotorii on the throne. It would be a kind of a coup, complete with Toturi having his Geisha Adventures. Then Shoju would pull a counter-coup and most likely fail. Sotorii would flail around a little, then as some of the Black Scrolls open, he would gain Fu Leng's spirit as his Only Friend. Cue in the Second Day of Thunder

All Sotorii needs to win out is the drive to win. Which we can see he has. And powerful allies who will gain by him claiming the throne. Crane. Lion. Both would do well from the fall of the scorpion. Both have traditional enough values to side with Sotorii if he made the edict appear false. Even questionably so. The Phoenix likewise would probably join, Just to spite Daisetsu and his unicorn allies. As long as the emperor doesn’t get to actually make his decree, Sotorii is likely to win. 

 

The Fu Leng thing. I think has already happened. At the minute it’s just impulses. A dead Kami whispering away. But with each opened scroll he will get stronger. 

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Daisetsu isnt allied with the unicorn. Hes just in love woth a woman he acknowledges would like vut probably wont marry (and doesnt move to take action to change it). And shahai is cut off from the rest of her clan, she even wonders if her letters are being sent. Thinking the unicorn are allied with him just because they love each other isnt much. I do believe the phoenix would side with sotorii though. For one, theyre very traditional, and also I think they would see the edict as further cause of imbalance in tje spirit world

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1 hour ago, JolOfNar said:

All Sotorii needs to win out is the drive to win.

It didn't work with the duel. The narrative is set against Sotorii, because even if he can get some allies, he will just spill his spaghettio and alienate them the same way he alienated his very own father. 

Also, the Lion will definitely side with the Virtual Paragon of Bushido and I highly doubt the Phoenix will suffer Sotorii just to piss off the Unicorn. at this point I can see three factions siding with Sotorii: the Dragon (because Togashi), the Kachiko half of the Scorpion, and the Crane (because Hotaru and marrying Shahai will piss them off too). 

7 minutes ago, RafaelNN said:

Daisetsu isnt allied with the unicorn. Hes just in love woth a woman he acknowledges would like vut probably wont marry (and doesnt move to take action to change it). 

I can totally see Daisetsu marry Shahai to have Altansarnai pay the toughest dowry in Rokugani history. That is, she will have to make amends for the Lion and throw herself under the bus in the process. 

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I think the point might be that he will alienate his allies.  It lets the empire slowly slip into chaos. I’d totally disagree that daisetsu is a paragon of bushido. He has a whole bunch of new ideas, and the lion are pretty traditional generally, so I’d not be so sure they’d side with him. 

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5 minutes ago, JolOfNar said:

I’d totally disagree that daisetsu is a paragon of bushido.

He is literally called that in the last fiction. This is what I called his moral wild goose chase: by breaking conventions he is unwittingly follows the spirit of the virtues. What Daisetsu is thinking is very much in line with Bushido, just not the version the Rokugani made up over a thousand years but the original one as envisioned by the Kami Akodo. The boy is kinda up for a rough surprise. 

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10 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

He is literally called that in the last fiction. This is what I called his moral wild goose chase: by breaking conventions he is unwittingly follows the spirit of the virtues. What Daisetsu is thinking is very much in line with Bushido, just not the version the Rokugani made up over a thousand years but the original one as envisioned by the Kami Akodo. The boy is kinda up for a rough surprise. 

"However, as I said, Sotorii failed to adhere to Bushidō at all. By comparison, his brother was a virtual paragon of the tenets."
- Hantei XXXVIII.

I feel like it's important to note that Daisetsu's only deemed a Paragon of Bushido in comparison to Sotorii. It's not an absolute statement.

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58 minutes ago, Mangod said:

"However, as I said, Sotorii failed to adhere to Bushidō at all. By comparison, his brother was a virtual paragon of the tenets."
- Hantei XXXVIII.

I feel like it's important to note that Daisetsu's only deemed a Paragon of Bushido in comparison to Sotorii. It's not an absolute statement.

That’s The key phrase. His paragon status is in comparison to a character that has suffered serious consequences for his breach of etiquette (being disinherited). It’s more akin to saying at least he’s not a total disgrace. 

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Main problem I can see is Sotorii's allies will use him as a puppet.

 

Though I can see Crab allying with him if he can offer them resources for the Wall, for one. If that happens, Mantis might show up as well.

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3 hours ago, Mangod said:

"However, as I said, Sotorii failed to adhere to Bushidō at all. By comparison, his brother was a virtual paragon of the tenets."
- Hantei XXXVIII.

I feel like it's important to note that Daisetsu's only deemed a Paragon of Bushido in comparison to Sotorii. It's not an absolute statement.

I'm fairly sure that the emphasis is on the difference there and not on a standard set by Sotorii. E.g. "Sotorii was a Failure of Bushido, but alas Daisetsu was a Paragon of Bushido" and not "When compared to Sotorii failing so hard, Daisetsu was a paragon" since the latter has a kind of sarcastic meaning I can't see to fit in the context. 

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We have a statement. Then a comparison directly to that statement. 

That seems pretty direct. 

You can (I would) add interpretation that there was slight sarcasm from the emperor. 

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Yes, it was a comparison of statement, not a comparison of the people involved. 

And as a sarcastic remark it wouldn't fit the context because the Emperor's evaluation was spot-on regardless of the actors: attacking your opponent after your duel is concluded is gross failure of Bushido while jumping into harm's way to protect your retainer is indeed something only a paragon of Bushido would do. If the Emperor was really taking this lightly then he would poke fun of Bushido itself... and yeah, I can't see that angle happening! 

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The Emperor had a really low opinion on the duel in the fic:

Quote

“Perhaps,” Jodan said, looking back at the azaleas, “I should not have allowed the duel to proceed. This so-called grievance, as it was reported to me, was really such a minor thing.”

This actually ties back to Daisetsu's thoughts on the duel, complete with both pondering on this "minor" thing causing a calamity: Daisetsu has his wild horse while the Emperor uses the pebble-causing-avalanche allegory. It is very interesting that the two viewed the incident so much alike.

Also, apparently the original quote goes like this:

Quote

“I had hoped allowing them to duel would serve to teach each of them something of Bushidō, and the sacred act of the duel. To teach them a useful lesson, as it were.” He minutely adjusted a stone on the Go board. “However, as I said, Sotorii failed to adhere to Bushidō at all. By comparison, his brother was a virtual paragon of the tenets.”

So I guess the comparison was made in regard of the lesson the Emperor tried to teach and not how Sotorii eventually conducted himself. 

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On 2/24/2019 at 8:15 AM, AtoMaki said:

He is literally called that in the last fiction. This is what I called his moral wild goose chase: by breaking conventions he is unwittingly follows the spirit of the virtues. What Daisetsu is thinking is very much in line with Bushido, just not the version the Rokugani made up over a thousand years but the original one as envisioned by the Kami Akodo. The boy is kinda up for a rough surprise. 

You do realize that the fiction, like nearly all fictions so far, are being told not from an omnipresent, omniscient narrator who is the ultimate objective word on the actions, but instead told through the flawed and unreliable narrators of individual characters who have a narrow perspective on the situation and their own internal biases.

And regardless of how Daisetsu acted in that particular moment, the whole dispute was caused by Daisetsu caring very little about the general values or customs of his culture, or even being able to show people proper decorum or respect. He wildly misreads situations, makes unfounded assumptions about the motives of those around him and does perhaps the worst possible things to fuel the fires of people's worst behaviors. And this isn't the first story in which that has been shown.

That being said-- Toturi is still Lion Clan champion and he "owns" this whole "let's make Daisetsu the next Emperor" decree more than anyone but the Emperor himself does. As such, I don't think it is very likely that he is going to go against it, and if the Clan Champion doesn't go against it-- then his clan certainly isn't likely to go against it....

Or, at least, that would be the obvious thought process if it weren't for the fact that we just got a new Toturi card printed that was a neutral personality instead of a Lion Clan personality. Given that his clan wasn't showing the most confidence in his actions prior to his appointment of Emerald Champion, whomever he passes his post onto might actually want to take some big stand in opposition to him in order to demonstrate their own independence from him.

But outside of that, I don't think it is likely that the Lion are going to side against the Emperor's decree.

And even though the cycle is being called the "Inheritance Cycle", there is currently no in-game story reason that would make it compelling for any clan to decide to try to act against the Imperial Decree and try to force Sotorii on the throne in opposition to the still living Emperor's wishes. It has already been indicated that the Emperor's decision here might be unusual, but it is far from unprecedented. 

Given that it comes across that everyone who has met Sotorii has disliked him and virtually everyone who has met Daisetsu has a positive opinion of him, this doesn't seem primed for any sort of civil war at all. Before there can be any reason for that to happen, we would need to have a compelling reason to want Sotorii to succeed and to believe Daisetsu is a danger-- ideally one that could be disputed and isn't 100% solid. But at least one that people could have reason to side with like was done with the 4 Winds story in the previous L5R incarnation.

 

What they have here is a set up for a good story, but a terrible set up for the story that the  marketing team seems to wish to push as the story they intend to tell. The good story this is a set up for is one in which we have the status of an exiled prince everyone dislikes who grows, learns and changes and a supposed prodigy who gets thrust into a situation he can't handle and with everyone's hopes riding on him, starts making terrible mistakes and really has to struggle to find his footing with these responsibilities he had always assumed he would never have.

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11 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

You do realize that the fiction, like nearly all fictions so far, are being told not from an omnipresent, omniscient narrator who is the ultimate objective word on the actions, but instead told through the flawed and unreliable narrators of individual characters who have a narrow perspective on the situation and their own internal biases.

Yes, that's why I'm saying that the biggest surprise is coming for Daisetsu. 

11 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

He wildly misreads situations, makes unfounded assumptions about the motives of those around him and does perhaps the worst possible things to fuel the fires of people's worst behaviors. 

In my opinion, this should be typical behavior for all high-honor characters. Courtesy can only mean so much, after all, and truly following Bushido will turn you into a huge @sshole to those who can't live up to your standards. 

11 hours ago, TheHobgoblyn said:

And even though the cycle is being called the "Inheritance Cycle", there is currently no in-game story reason that would make it compelling for any clan to decide to try to act against the Imperial Decree and try to force Sotorii on the throne in opposition to the still living Emperor's wishes. It has already been indicated that the Emperor's decision here might be unusual, but it is far from unprecedented. 

I think this won't be as much about Clans opposing the decree but certain groups of people who would then pull a Clan or two to Sotorii's side. Kachiko is certainly up to something, and if she decides to become the Empress then she will have the Crane backing her via Hotaru. Togashi and his Dragon Clan are also a wild card here. As I said before, I have a feeling Altansarnai's days are numbered too. 

I can totally see this happening as a kind of Paragons Faction vs Renegades Faction setup rather than the typical Clan Group 1 vs Clan Group 2. 

Edited by AtoMaki

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Unless I'm mistaken Daisetsu hasn't passed his genpuku, which is the reason Shoju has to become regent. That means there will probably be at least some years before the official coronation during Sotorii's character could change as a result of no longer being the crown prince and/or tensions might arise due to the Scorpion regency.

It is possible that the situation blows up when the edict is revealed, but is not the only way it could go. Things could initially seem fine yet gradually deteriorate.

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Ooo! Ooo! A Wild Speculation Thread has appeared! Let me get my Story-dex!

All nerdiness aside, my thoughts on the current state of the storyline are fairly straight forward. We need to remove all the stabilizing factors, and let the Empire descend into absolute chaos. How can this be done?

  1. Shoju must die. He is honestly TOO GOOD at his job, and he is a stabilizing factor in the Empire. He is also holding the Scorpion back from being the full-blown villains they need to be.
  2. Toturi must fall. He is also too good at the job of Emerald Champion, and he is holding the Lion Clan in check. Also, his love story with Kaede is honestly too touching to allowed to not suffer.
  3. Hantei the 38th must die under highly questionable circumstances. Stepping down is not enough. There must be no takesie-backsies. The option must not even be on the table.
  4. Daisetsu must be corrupted somehow, whether it be spiritually, morally, or ethically. He needs to become as unfit for the Emerald Throne as Hantei Joffrey II (and yes, I read the fictions that are supposed to make me more sympathetic for Sotorii... I am sorry, but "spoiled lonely rich kid of privilege" is the least sympathetic thing for me, even if his only friend is the voice in his head)

What I expect is going to happen? The Inheritance Cycle is going to be a lot of fiction building up to a pivotal moment, which will take place at Winter Court 2019: the death of Hantei the 38th at the hands of an unknown assailant, and then the next cycle is dealing with the sudden chaos that ensues.

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I dunno but I would rather prefer a long buildup to give weight to the inevitable showdown. For example, I hope the two sides will get along for some time and even fight together against a common foe (the Siege of the Shadowlands / Invasion of the Burning Sands scenario I mentioned above) so we can get a solid footing on character relationships. It would make the final conflict more believable rather than have yet again "they turn on each other because that's the plot" situation. 

For a change of pace, I would like to see an "orderly conflict" with a tense buildup and a crushing sense of inevitability. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for white-on-white conflicts :D!

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46 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

What I expect is going to happen? The Inheritance Cycle is going to be a lot of fiction building up to a pivotal moment, which will take place at Winter Court 2019: the death of Hantei the 38th at the hands of an unknown assailant, and then the next cycle is dealing with the sudden chaos that ensues.

The most important thing is the death must come before the Decree is proclaimed, which means we should see it at the start of the Inheritance cycle otherwise our timeline is frozen at the end of Tiger Stalks and Children of the Empire since the decree was supposed to be made shortly after those stories.  

I'm still predicting the Emperor will call his children in to advise them of his plans and Sotorii will not take it well.  He is going to go full Aggro on his dad who has obviously lost his mind if he can't see that Sotorii is the best choice to lead the Empire (at least in Sotorii's mind) and either intentionally or by accident will either kill or severely injure his father such that he can no longer function as emperor (I'm seeing a jostling shoving match and the Emperor who we know is frail falls over and hits his head, so much blood and a panicked Sotorii using it as an opportunity to claim what he believes is rightfully his).  In the aftermath when the final decree of the the 38th is discovered he will claim it is his brother and his Scorpion allies trying to steal the throne from him.  From there we get our Scorpion clan coup analogue.  I expect Shoju will be "executed" for his role in the "coup" (gotta watch out for those Scorpion actors) and the prominence of the Scorpion will fade as they are on the outs with the new Emperor.  Toturi will also likely need to be a casualty of the coup, so Toturi the Black will likely be something we see soon, probably abated by the faction of the Lion that seems to be working to undermine his role and maintain the status quo of Lion policy that he seemed to be working to change.  They will also likely be given permission to go full aggro on the Unicorn as part of their support for the "true" heir.  Crane will also likely use Sotorii, and his distrust of the Scorpion, as a route to return to their role as the masters of the court.  Lastly would be the Phoenix who may see Sotorii as a tool to re-examine the role of Meishodo in the elemental imbalance and make a play for a second attempt to see it banned (especially if Shahai plays some role in making sure that Daitsetsu escapes to fulfill the role of hero in exile that he seems to be being set up for).

The real question will be what happens to Daisetsu as he will need to rally a power base once he is on the outs.  I'm still predicting that he will be supported by the Dragon (who Yokuni has sent to evacuate the true heir and protect him until the prophecy of the second day of Thunder can be fulfilled), Unicorn and the remnants of the Scorpion who will rally around him to avenge their fallen champion.  Toturi will end up with him as well and this story gives us a great tool for the formation of a new Toturi's Army type group that will be working to protect the true heir and restore him to the throne.  The real fun will come if there is some question as to the fitness of Daisetsu to rule based on events that lead to his escape from the capital.  I can easily see a situation where he is gravely injured in the escape and Shahai distraught over the fear of losing him uses a forbidden Meishodo ritual to restore him.  If there is some sort of lingering effect from that ritual that can be used by Sotorii to rally the Empire against his brother even the better.  It can easily lead to the neither brother is truly fit for the throne anymore situation, one due to his own failings and mounting paranoia and insanity making him the next Steel Chrysanthemum, while the other lives under the cloud of the "taint" that was used to restore him and is no longer seen as connected to the  Celestial Heavens.

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Schmoozie, I think you are putting WAY too much stock into everything being 100% exactly like the old story without any meaningful alterations and you haven't even accounted for the most basic things that are already quite different.

Kachiko seems to be considerably older than Sotorii, even if she is ridiculously young to hold the station she is holding, and she isn't some sexpot whose title is "seductress" and whose every artwork shows her clothes falling off. Moreover, they have really underlined Sotorii's general youth and immaturity. By not being THE sex symbol of the whole setting, the entire impact of Sotorii demanding her is completely lost. The dynamic wouldn't make the least bit of sense now. Just because there was an Empress Kachiko in the old version in no way guarantees or even demands that the  new version be exactly the same.

Toturi becoming "the Black Lion"? I really don't know that is remotely necessary. He is currently the legitimate Emerald Champion. And his personality seems to better reflect what we can glean as the character of Hantei Kami rather than Akodo Kami. It isn't difficult to imagine him being a rallying point for the Imperials should the succession go wrong-- whether that be because the Scorpions took over or because a prince went off the rails, killed the former Emperor and tried to claim the throne. And given that their members are scattered across the empire, I would expect any independent Imperial Family force to be heavily reliant on ronin and mercenary forces if the other clans aren't just going to lend them their forces. So that angle is already well set up without it being exactly necessary for things to be exactly as they were before.

And certainly things that were ultimately detrimental to the game and had to be sloppily undone later, such as exiling the entire Scorpion Clan, that isn't likely to happen. While undoubtedly certain things in the setting are moving in a similar direction as the old story, I really suspect that the writers will intentionally avoid doing anything that is nearly as identical to the previous version as the things you suggested there. If just on the basic principle of the thing, that it would be silly to have a whole new story if we are all just going to tour through every one of the same ill-considered plot beats that happened the first time around.

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I’d think you’re likely pretty much on the money there Schmoozies. It seems most likely that having set the story to this particular point that the overall story will follow the same grand notes. The flavour and nuance will change and become enriched. But if the main beats aren’t the same, why reset? If they had of wanted to tell a totally new story, they would have. 

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It the new lore is still adhering to the "When the last Akodo falls, so shall the last Hantei" prophecy, then I think we have to have Toturi and Daisetsu lose together.

Schmoozies seems closest to keeping with the old lore, but, FFG still making it their own.  Instead of an all out Scorpion Coup, it's Sotorii leveraging a perceived coup and getting the rest of the "bad guys" to go along with it.  It's known that there are Lion higher ups that do not like Toturi in charge and there are Crane that are about done with Scorpion being the political power in Rokugan, and it wouldn't be a stretch to see them ally with Sotorii to return things back to the status quo.

I think the wild card is Kachiko.  She has ambition for something more, and if Hotaru ends up aligning the Crane directly against Kachiko's plans, she might go jilted lover crazy as well.

Honestly, I'm just wanting the stories to start coming and moving the fiction forward.  I'm confident that whatever the story team has cooked up will be entertaining.

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