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Horvagab

Setting idea: Expansionist Rokugan

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so, been having an idea for a setting twist, kind of. It'd be running from roughly the current time in FFG setting: Daisetsu becomes the heir/emperor child, Shoju as his regent. Sotorii stays as crown prince, practically.

 

Everyone at the higher level is worried about the potential civil war... until someone, somehow gets the idea into their mind, to provide a huge distraction: A war of expansion into the Yobanjin lands. Sotorii manages to get approval to take part in the campaign, the main force will be made up of the Imperial Legions, and Toturi joins him.

 

Besides the Imperial legions, the Dragon, Badger and Lion step up to provide the main force, with the Shiba and Kosori from the Phoenix also helping out.

 

Toturi needs to leave someone as his voice as champion, most probably. 

 

It's not a perfect idea so far, as the Unicorn-Lion war would need to stop... or maybe get to an uncomfortable ceasefire. Some kind of Yobanjin raid to start it off might also be needed for narrative sense.

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13 hours ago, Horvagab said:

Everyone at the higher level is worried about the potential civil war... until someone, somehow gets the idea into their mind, to provide a huge distraction: A war of expansion into the Yobanjin lands. 

"What this country needs is a short, victorious war to stem the tide of revolution."

V.K. Plehve, Russian Minister of the Interior to General A.N. Kuropatkin, Minister of War, 200 Ante-Diaspora (1903 C.E.), on the eve of the Russo-Japanese War

Because that always ends well. 😐

 

 

13 hours ago, Horvagab said:

Sotorii manages to get approval to take part in the campaign, the main force will be made up of the Imperial Legions, and Toturi joins him.

Hmm... interesting choice. A big thing you need to figure out is his role; you can't have the crown prince there as crown prince and not give him an important position, but if you're trying to avoid a civil war, handing the sitting Emperor's main rival a big chunk of the Imperial Legions to command and then turning your back seems like a bad decision at a fundamental level.

Akodo Toturi being present might help since he's the formal commander of the Imperial Legions. His absence is an issue but frankly he already has an official deputy; Agasha Sumiko, the Ruby Champion. She's been 'acting Emerald Champion' before between Doji Satsume's assassination death from totally natural causes and Akodo Toturi's appointment, so she's competent to do the job, and whilst technically her post only covers the legal side not the military side, if a major bulk of the legions are with Toturi and the major internal military conflicts have calmed down, there shouldn't be that much she needs the Legions for

If it's an expansion North-East via Badger lands, I can't see the Unicorn not wanting to be involved - Plus, any major Yobanjin incursion would probably be hitting them, so they'd have an honour obligation to be part of some theoretical punitive expedition. 

Certainly, moving sizeable amounts of Lion troops through their lands is going to need some serious garuantees from the Lion and probably directly from the throne, no matter what 'cease-fire' is supposed to be in place, given what happened the last time the Unicorn's ancestors asked for and recieved Lion clan 'help' against a barbarian incursion.

 

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Was thinking Toturi also needs a "backup" Lion Champion in his stead. Not necessarily the Jeweled part, as above, the Ruby Champion can take that up.

 

What I'd like to do here is moving troops thorugh PHoenix and Dragon borders, with a side order of Badger. This means that most cavalry will be useless. Plus, I'm waiting for the Pony novella, cause it could be interesting if the Ponies push for expanding the eastern borders as well to their usual holdings.

 

As for Sotorii...I think he should pass his gempukku, and be there to lead and learn from Toturi, perhaps? Commander, but subject to the Emerald Champion.

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1 hour ago, Horvagab said:

Was thinking Toturi also needs a "backup" Lion Champion in his stead

Ah. 

Well, given that Ikoma Ujiaka basically pushed him into competing for the Emerald Championship in the hopes of sidelining him from the clan (and failed, since he's not delegated the role as Doji Satsume did), I would suspect he would probably keep the title, simply because the internal tensions in the clan (especially between him and Matsu Tsuko) means he has no-one he trusts to delegate it to that the rest of the Lion Clan would accept. 

1 hour ago, Horvagab said:

Commander, but subject to the Emerald Champion.

He definitely can't be 'subject to' because he's a Hantei prince, whilst Akodo Toturi is 'just' a champion. Normally, their respective appointments would be carefully worded, using words like 'advisor' and 'overseeing the general strategy' to make sure the prince is clearly not receiving orders (which would be socially unacceptable) but nevertheless, the competent general makes the day-to-day decisions that matter.

The problem is that that sort of creative legal fiction requires a degree of subtlety which quite frankly Sotorii doesn't have. Based off his appearance in the L5R fiction to date, he has an ego, a short temper, and a readiness to be dismissive of the opinions of anyone he considers his social subordinate. 

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Ujiaka could work...I don't see Tsuno being promoted there....though I wonder whether Toturi might just appoint the Kitsu daimyo to throw things into a mess :D

 

Another thing...if Sotorii does not have gempukku, that means he is still a child. In that case, I think it would be easier for Toturi to be in the lead, with the intention of "teaching" Sotorii. As for subtlety for Sotori....tough call. I think being dethroned might be the worst thing happen to him... or the best. One of his problems is that no one actually taught him the nuances of Rokugani life, like they did in Daisetsu. I think this is because of his personality, but at the same time I feel he knows his own short comings, but is unable to address them, and frankly none of the adults who could tell him to shut up, sit in the corner, and listen to the grown ups actually did that. Now, if DAisetus becomes heir, Sotorii remains Crown Prince still, but the loss of face might actually mean that people are wiling to tell him to shut his gob, and especially I think Shoju might be able to sit him down and learn something.

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On 3/25/2019 at 10:51 AM, Horvagab said:

frankly none of the adults who could tell him to shut up, sit in the corner, and listen to the grown ups actually did that.

This. I know we're supposed to be sympathetic to the Emperor, but you get the impression he's not been much of a father.

The fact we've yet to see the Empress 'on camera' at all in the fictions is even more noticable. 

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On 3/25/2019 at 11:51 AM, Horvagab said:

As for subtlety for Sotori....tough call. I think being dethroned might be the worst thing happen to him... or the best. One of his problems is that no one actually taught him the nuances of Rokugani life, like they did in Daisetsu. 

Daisetsu kinda taught himself. Poor Shizue didn't see that one coming!

On the other hand, there is a certain Lion maiden who, upon feeling great anger much like Sotorii, decided to forge it into a mighty sword rather than treat it as a poisonous snake. Maybe we can have Sotorii spend some time with this particular woman so they can bond over their anger issues and how they were destined to be more but it all crumbled into dust around them. Then Sotorii can realize how being angry is cool if you can chop down anyone who tells you otherwise, learn how to channel his anger into an unstoppable force of destruction, and embrace the Renegade Lyfe. Then marry Tsuko the Lion maiden and have lots of angry babies together!

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To be honest....I am looking forward to some Toturi  - Sotorii interactions. I mean, Toturi was in the exact same position, and only the death of his brother changed that. Which might be a bad example, but I wonder whether Sotorii might actually listen to Toturi. I think the two would make an interesting pair.

 

And then we could have the clans scrambling to see who can marry someone off to either Sotorii or Daiesetsu.

 

Now, back to the topic at hand.... I think it would be interesting to have the Dragon/Mirumoto be one tip of the spear. It would be an unusual position of honor for them, alongside the Lion.

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Delving outside of Rokugan would be interesting on several levels.  Would shugenja find themselves less able to rely on the Kami there, as the Unicorn did in the burning sands? Also, the fallen Kami gave the Hantei line dominion over Rokugan only.  Even the traveling Unicorn only traveled, not conquer and claim lands for the empire.  It could be argued that daring to expand goes against the will of the Kami. 

 

interestingly enough, I bet the Kholat would be FOR the war, though.  more exposure to outside cultures, examples to the peasantry of non Samurai, lacking the blood of the Kami, still holding their own and proving Divine Right to Rule a lie?  oh yes, such a war would benefit the Kholat greatly. 

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I mean, as far as I understand Yobanjin, they are the people who did not bow to the kami, and refused to take part in the Empire. From that PoV, expanding into Yobanjin lands would be more like fulfilling the original vision of the kami, it could be argued.

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On 7/9/2019 at 1:18 PM, Scrivener Spills said:

Horvagab, they left Rokugan though.  They basically went, okay, we're taking our ball and finding a new home.  Forcing them to bow to the kami and recognize them, I could see, but taking the lands? No. 

Did they?  I know that the Phoenix novella "The Swords and the Spirits" try to make the claim that they and the people of Rokugan are two different peoples and that they still held their ancestral territories.  That despite Isawa's tribe nominally being ethnically the same as those norther peoples.  Not disagreeing with your scenario, since the Empire is known to "re-write" history into a more "politically correct" one.

I totally agree with the Empire looking north for expansion to distract from the restlessness within.  Smart rules do know when their people are well fed, they tend to worry less about survival and spend more energy improving their position, often threatening the status quo.

As to the crown prince, I can totally see the Scorpion Regent getting the crown prince assigned as war leader of the invasion force in the hopes of seeing his killed off (Uriah Gambit).  As to conflict with Toturi, well, if the Empire's Legions are split into two or more fronts (Phoenix via Kaito lands and Unicorn Front via Badger lands) you could easily put the Crown Prince in charge of one force while Toturi is in charge of the other.  A similar example would be the division of the Pacific Theater in WW2 between Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur.

My recommendation would be that Toturi lead the Lion and Phoenix forces(since his wife is the daughter of an Elemental Master) in the East while Sotorii leads the Unicorn forces backed by Crane and Scorpion infantry in the West.  Best to leave the Crab where they are on the wall for obvious reasons.  The Dragon forces could act as flankers supporting either front as needed.

Please do update us further on your scenario.

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I do not think that we would see Toturi sent with the Legions. Instead, I would, in this situation,  if I were Shojo reinstate the position of Shogun. Seeking advice from Toturi, I would expect Matsu Tsuko to be an ideal choice. It would stabilize the lion situation, show that the new Emperor and the Regent respect the capabilities of the Lion as leaders in war, and, oh, yeah, perhaps, maybe do a bit of potential match making with Sotorii and Tsuko, removing thorns from multiple sides. (Do you think Tsuko would allow Sotorii to propose a stupid plan and not speak her mind? Of course not! Since she would take the blame for any loss, it would be her Honor on the line! And, she is a Matsu. Not the most known family for such things as "social niceties." They often make a Hida on the Wall look down right tactful!)

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