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sndwurks

The Last Stone Played - HERE BE SPOILERS!

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"Because shock value!" is an abysmally bad reason to write anything into a story. This isn't about it being a trope -- pretty much anything can be seen that way, as TV Tropes has proved, and I'm a card-carrying folklorist; I'm well aware of the value of a Motif Index -- but rather a trope which, at its core, is about devaluing and throwing away a powerful female character purely for shock and to motivate some man in her life. Deploying it here would be bad storytelling: it doesn't tell us anything about Aramoro we don't already know (we're already well aware that he's a murderous jerk), it doesn't meaningfully change Toturi's trajectory (he's already very thoroughly motivated, and will have plenty of reason to go after Aramoro), and it completely scraps Kaede's characterization, abilities, and agency, not to build anything narratively important in the longer term, but simply to surprise the players. Ned Stark's death worked because it added depth to the story, showing you that the bad guys were more vicious and petty than you'd realized, making it clear that ASOIAF was the kind of story in which honor pretty much just buys you an early grave, providing sufficient casus belli for the North to revolt, and decentralizing the plot so that his children could fully develop into protagonists in their own right, rather than him being the "main character" while others played supporting roles. All without in any way violating what we'd known about Ned up until that point -- in fact, it was more like a Greek tragedy, watching his greatest flaw (which was also his greatest strength) bring him down. He played as much of a role in creating his own demise as anybody else did, rather than being collateral damage in somebody else's plot.

None of that would be true here.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/6/2019 at 11:28 PM, AtoMaki said:

I dunno if Kaede's death would affect any of these in any substantial way.

Uh-huh. Guess again. The authors have used Kaede as our primary shugenja window into the spiritual imbalance- she is the only POV character to have actually addressed the matter, and the only one willing (and able) to extend trust beyond the strict boundaries of the Phoenix Clan.

She's not just Toturi's wife and the mother of his incipient child. She's a character tied up in plotlines that some of us are evidently following a little more closely than others,

Quote

But yeah, killing off Kaede is the "tired worn-out lazy and wasteful option".

Fixed that for you.

Edited by Shiba Gunichi

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I find it puzzling that there are peple considering that Aramoro trying to murder Toturi wouldn't be enough of a motivator for Toturi. And of Kaede, Toturi and Aramoro, Aramoro is by far the most expendable.

 

Also, kudos to John Wick (the movie) for using a puppy to establish the motive for the roaring rampage of revenge, because if find this thirst to kill off a pregnant woman "for the drama" distastefully disturbing to say the least.

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I am still in favor of Toturi kicking Aramoro's ***. Maybe he will go ino hiding....and Yojiro oculd be his inside agent.

 

Or he could stand up, and perhaps tries to instigate himself to Sotorii? Honestly, Sotorii and Toturi are quite similar in circumstances, so I want to see them interact.

 

And man....I find Sotorii so tragic. Going to a temple with my dad? Yay, adventure! I finally get to spend time with my dad! Wait, he's been telling me I'm crown prince and now I'm not?!

 

Like...he has severe issues in terms of self-control, but I still think that's cause of lazy parenting and tutoring.

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21 hours ago, Kinzen said:

If you want a ballsy option that isn't falling face-first into utter stereotype, have Aramoro butcher Toturi with an ambush attack while Kaede watches helplessly through a Void vision. Turn him into the "sacrificial lamb" to propel her into motion. Players would lose their minds even more.

If the end result is Kaede using mayo to bring Toturi back and we get an Oni no Toturi out of it, I'm all for this.

Shadowlands army with Toturi tactics.......get forked Rokugan.

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21 hours ago, Mangod said:

Because trying to assassinate him, framing him for trying to usurp the Imperial Succession, covering up the Emperor's violent murder and abetting the patricidal, regicidal usurper Prince that did it isn't enough to make it personal, apparently.

Well, you know, forgive and forget....

Plus you forgot trying to cheat during their honour duel for the Emerald Championship. 

21 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

The justification for killing Kaede is its sheer shock value. It would change the entire narrative in a fundamental way. If Kaede can die in a brutal and unexpected way then so can anyone, ever, in any future story. That's kinda big. 

The same argument would apply (even more so) to Akodo Toturi dying. He is, after all, an LCG core box clan champion. 

21 hours ago, Kaito Kikaze said:

The thing about having Aramoro randomly kill off Kaede is, it basically assumes her to be weak and helpless. Since we're to assume lore prior to 1123 is still canon until proven otherwise, Kaede completed her gempukku when she was ambushed by a bear in the woods and literally killed it with her mind. She's arguably a greater danger to Aramoro than Toturi because there's a chance she could kill him with the Void accidentally out of sheer reflex/instinctual self-preservation.

This. She's not a damsel in distress. Equally - since he's been sent to kill Akodo Toturi, 'accidentally' killing Kaede instead feels wierd.

I'd have no problem with Kaede becoming the avenging character, for that matter.

17 hours ago, KakitaKaori said:

If they /really/ want to make it personal/tragic for Toturi, if it isn't already, then they only need to have Kaede lose a pregancy, either through the attack or through her use of void magic because of it.

That's not a bad idea, to be honest, if they really must stick her with a personal loss. 

12 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Uh-huh. Guess again. The authors have used Kaede as our primary shugenja window into the spiritual imbalance- she is the only POV character to have actually addressed the matter, and the only one willing (and able) to extend trust beyond the strict boundaries of the Phoenix Clan.

Whilst I don't want to see her killed, I'd also point at Kaito Kosori. Of course, her attempt to do so in Outsiders arguably made things worse, politically speaking, because the bulk of the Phoenix hierarchy is listening to its prejudices not what's actually said.

7 hours ago, Manchu said:

Maybe Toturi will think he killed Aramoro, who in fact survives to his own total shame and either exiles himself or is exiled by Shoju. Then he takes soe steps down the darkest path.

It wouldn't surprise me to see a 'death' - either way around - that we later find out was survived, either to have consumed-by-the-darkness Aramoro or something not a million miles away from old5R Ronin Toturi. Regardless, the character would have to be out of the storyline for a while for it to have a meaningful impact.

2 hours ago, Horvagab said:

Honestly, Sotorii and Toturi are quite similar in circumstances, so I want to see them interact.

Given Sotorii's personality, though, the "offering apologies on behalf of the heavens" comments probably got Toturi filed in his mental list of 'people who hate me' even before he decided Toturi and Daisetsu were responsible for convincing the Emperor to disinherit him.

2 hours ago, Horvagab said:

Like...he has severe issues in terms of self-control, but I still think that's cause of lazy parenting and tutoring.

Agreed. Ironically, the 'adventure with dad' or something similar would have been exactly the right thing to do....like.....three or four years ago. 

As the crown prince's primary sensei, a lot of this splashes back (in addition to Hantei Jodan) onto Doji Satsume.

The man was not an idiot, and we know from his own children how tough a taskmaster he could be when he felt someone wasn't up to the standard they should be.

We know he had similar views of the boys to their father and Shoju, so he has to catch some blame for either not doing something about it on his own initiative or at least discussing with the Emperor and - if he felt he had to - formally asking for permission to do something. 

 

 

 

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You know if the mandate of heaven really does have any kind of magical properties in Rokugan putting a patricide on the throne seems like a really good way to lose it.

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49 minutes ago, HamHamJ2 said:

You know if the mandate of heaven really does have any kind of magical properties in Rokugan putting a patricide on the throne seems like a really good way to lose it.

Eh? Hantei XVI had his own mother tortured to death in the throne room, and the Hantei family still kept its divine mandate.

Turns out the Heavens do not actually care that much how awful of a human being a person is if they are Emperor.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Kinzen said:

a trope which, at its core, is about devaluing and throwing away a powerful female character purely for shock and to motivate some man in her life.

Again, we already had this with poor Matsu Mitsuko who was essentially offed to make Shono feel SAD. The only exception is that her death was not shocking or brutal, it was just Shono putting her on the sword (a curved one, no less!) over a dead horse like she wanted from the very beginning of the story. 

14 hours ago, Manchu said:

Atomaki is surely just making a joke, let’s not embarrass him by taking it too seriously.

I actually do find the outrage over Kaede's death funny and I'm defending the twist only semi-seriously because it is, obviously, kinda dumb :D.

Also, I want Tsudao so Kaede must live. 

6 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

Eh? Hantei XVI had his own mother tortured to death in the throne room, and the Hantei family still kept its divine mandate.

Turns out the Heavens do not actually care that much how awful of a human being a person is if they are Emperor.

This was retcon'd for the new canon. He did lose the mandate now, being the only Emperor so far to do so. 

Edited by AtoMaki

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11 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

This was retcon'd for the new canon. He did lose the mandate now, being the only Emperor so far to do so. 

Was this? I know that they talked about Hantei XVI getting killed by his own Seppun guards because he was that crazy-evil, but I was unaware that they had stated he lost the Divine Mandate.

Was this mentioned in Emerald Empire? I am going to have to go digging for this one. Might be relevant to a game I run at some point.

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Posted (edited)

We all know what's really going to happen: 

Aromoro is going to drug Toturi, hide him in a cabin in the woods, and make him late for the coronation. Toturi will show and be like, "Hey, this isn't what was supposed to happen!" He'll be labeled a traitor, and get made Ronin. Then nine months later, Aromoro will show up with little Kaneka on his hip looking for that koku. 

"How could you?!" ::slap:: loses Kaede too. 

Edited by HirumaShigure

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34 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

Was this mentioned in Emerald Empire? I am going to have to go digging for this one. Might be relevant to a game I run at some point.

I think it was mentioned in one of the fics. 

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57 minutes ago, sndwurks said:

Was this? I know that they talked about Hantei XVI getting killed by his own Seppun guards because he was that crazy-evil, but I was unaware that they had stated he lost the Divine Mandate.

Was this mentioned in Emerald Empire? I am going to have to go digging for this one. Might be relevant to a game I run at some point.

 

22 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

I think it was mentioned in one of the fics. 

It's been speculated, most noticeably by Kachiko in one of the insert-fictions, but nobody has confirmed that the Mandate of Heaven has been lost.

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7 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

Again, we already had this with poor Matsu Mitsuko who was essentially offed to make Shono feel SAD. The only exception is that her death was not shocking or brutal, it was just Shono putting her on the sword (a curved one, no less!) over a dead horse like she wanted from the very beginning of the story. 

That's different. She was created to die and that was her only appearance. She was no more a powerful or well developed character than Hida Tomato.

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6 hours ago, Mangod said:

 

It's been speculated, most noticeably by Kachiko in one of the insert-fictions, but nobody has confirmed that the Mandate of Heaven has been lost.

Don’t forget, it’s also a major point of philosophical speculation in this continuity.

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7 hours ago, sndwurks said:

Was this? I know that they talked about Hantei XVI getting killed by his own Seppun guards because he was that crazy-evil, but I was unaware that they had stated he lost the Divine Mandate.

Was this mentioned in Emerald Empire? I am going to have to go digging for this one. Might be relevant to a game I run at some point.

Historically speaking the Mandate of Heaven was a justification to why it was ok to depose a ruler, much like, say, Ottoman scholars interpreted ibn Khaldun's theory of cyclical history as applied to politics. There is a reason why the Japanese never adopted it.

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Posted (edited)

Japanese emperors conisder(ed?) themselves literal descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu, and derive their “heavenly” title foremost through this basis and only secondarily through the Confucian theory whereby the Son of Heaven (the emperor of China) enjoys a mandate to rule so long as he embodies moral virtue.  It also bear keeping in mind that the Mandate of Heaven was enjoyed by dynasties rather than individuals, although it was lost (in the sense of personal negligence and malfeasance) by individuals. The mytho-ethno-genological Japanese theory, unlike the Confucian, brooks no possibility of either (a) a non-Japanese emperor of Japan or (b) a legitimate Japanese emperor who could lose his right to reign. Rokugan elides these traditions, creating the hypothetical possibility of immorality undermining the legitimacy of the throne ... but, even in the case of the Steel Chrysanthemum, it is a very tenuous theory that is probably best to not think about and certainly not something to talk about. The Confucian idea is at its heart a practical truism: when the ruler governs poorly, society suffers and unravels, and the ruler is eventually overthrown by the ensuing chaos. The Japanese notion of divine descent, by contrast, has nothing much to do with practicality, at least not directly. That is more the spirit of Rokugan.

Edited by Manchu

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To be fair, that's not massively different from the principle of the Divine Right of Kings espoused in Europe.

Of course, Charles I of England taking that too literally was one of several factors leading directly to the English Civil War, so go figure.

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

To be fair, that's not massively different from the principle of the Divine Right of Kings espoused in Europe.

Of course, Charles I of England taking that too literally was one of several factors leading directly to the English Civil War, so go figure.

Those of us who are British but not English like to call them the British Civil Wars or Wars of the Three Kingdoms these days, since it was not restricted to just England.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Those of us who are British but not English like to call them the British Civil Wars or Wars of the Three Kingdoms these days, since it was not restricted to just England.

Fair enough, but I was talking about the English Civil War specifically.

The English Civil War was part of The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but not the whole thing. The Bishops War can be laid at the fact in part that Charles was a politically unaware cretin, and the invasion of Ireland wouldn't have happened if the Crown rather than Parliament had won the main event, but the Divine Right argument was primarily one between Charles and the English parliament.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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16 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

That's different. She was created to die and that was her only appearance. She was no more a powerful or well developed character than Hida Tomato.

I dunno if it actually makes it worse in this case. Just because Kaede has a few stories over Mitsuko it doesn't necessarily mean that Mitsuko shouldn't have had her own stories to give more weight to her death and haver her something more than just meat for the grinder. 

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