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Manchu

Behind The Empty Throne

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Yoshi’s behavior toward Taka is evidence for:

- typical arrogance of Crane

- Yoshi’s arrogance in particular

- typical anti-Crab prejudice of Crane

- Yoshi’s dislike and suspicion of Taka in particular

Yoshi’s support of Kuwanan speaks to:

- Yoshi’s admiration of Satsume

- Yoshi’s distrust of Hotaru

 

We don’t need a Kolat accusation to explain any of this.

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3 hours ago, Manchu said:

Exactly, she is indeed the only character who we directly KNOW has such abominable thoughts, as opposed to assuming a character has this opinion because they are already kolat.

What?

If Rokugan was the Emerald Empire, then the emerald was flawed—small cracks threatening to lengthen, to widen, to cause the whole of it to crumble to fragments and dust.-Her father's daughter, D.G.Laderoute

Because it was painful, and humiliating, and so…unnecessary. It was an abject failure for my oldest son, Sotorii.
Worse, does that not mean it was also an abject failure for his father…for me?-Children of the Empire Part I, D.G.Laderoute

Insanity. Because of the foolishness that is honor and Bushidō, we have embraced insanity.-Children of the Empire Part I, D.G.Laderoute

You see, father, you are part of the problem. While you live, I am not taken seriously…and the 
Empire topples ever further into chaos. But when you are gone, and I am Emperor…then, I will 
never be ignored or rejected again.-Children of the Empire Part III, D.G.Laderoute

Wait a minute...

I found the Kolat!

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@Schmoozies

Tadaji and Ujiaki certainly worked together on the betrothal of Altansarnai. My suspicion is, the Ide or a faction in that family want to depose her. We don’t need the Kolat to explain this but it would make sense as an anti-Lion power play, same thing with how the meishodo was an anti-Phoenix power play. On two fronts, the Unicorn outsiders were attacking Great Clans associated with the Imperial status quo. Ujiaki may very well be in on it as a Kolat agent. But I think he could as easily been persuaded by Tadaji without being a Kolat. You’re note about Tadaji and Satoshi communicating via theit game is very perceptive.

Edited by Manchu

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28 minutes ago, 987654321 said:

I found the Kolat!

Keep in mind, this is the suijindai. Fu Leng will return. It is one thing to say, the Celestial Order must be reasserted — and quite another to suggest it be deposed!

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3 hours ago, Manchu said:

Unfortunately, I no longer have access to the story Blind Ambition.

>>> quick aside: can you PLEASE lobby your FFG contacts to post the dynasty pack fiction after a certain amount of time has passed since the product came out?

Anyhow, Kachiko has some pretty dire internal monologue in that story and then seems to imply heavily that Shoju could maybe, possibly be Emperor. Unless you are saying, Kachiko is just having doubts about Hantei supremacy ... ? (Although as a Lion, for me Hantei supremacy and Celestial Order must go together.)

In "The World, A Stage" she muses in a way that seems to be heading towards, "This Hantei has lost the favor of Heaven", but Shoju stops her. She does, however, manage to imply that he could take the Throne--something else he finds objectionable. However, to what extent that might make her Kolat-fodder is up for debate, I guess.

In "Blind Ambition", she does have a bunch of dire internal monologue. Again, though, nothing that really makes her specifically Kolat-worthy. She once more seems to have misgivings about THIS Hantei, but not necessarily about the Hantei or the Heavens generally.

I hasten to add that I'm not trying to say anything about whether she would or would not make a good potential recruit for the Kolat. Honestly, I don't know where she's headed as a character, but like everyone else I'm keen to find out!

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2 hours ago, DGLaderoute said:

to have misgivings about THIS Hantei, but not necessarily about the Hantei or the Heavens generally

For many (I daresay, overwhelmingly MOST) in Rokugan, that is a distinction without a difference.

This is why a situation like that of the Steel Chrysanthemum is so difficult and painful, despite the solution being obvious and entirely justified to us in real life.

It’s comparable to saying, I’m committed to the ideal of marital fidelity but it’s okay if I cheat on MY spouse.

Kachiko is also working against the Celestial Order in a more subtle way, by attempting to steer the Scorpion against the grain of Bayushi no kami’s vision for the clan. As Shoju now realizes, all that she has done hasn’t really been about the greater glory of the Scorpion but for her own individual ambition.

Also, let’s please consider that Hantei XXXVIII was a honorable and dutiful man who had the flaws of (a) nearsightedness and (b) occasionally disagreeing with Kachiko. Jodan was hardly any Steel Chrysanthemum but Kachiko is just as ready to doubt and betray this kind, upright emperor. Again, contrast Shoju’s relationship with Jodan to hers.

Kachiko may not realize about herself what Shoju has. And she is not outright thinking, man not the kami should be the ruler of man. But her outrageous disregard for the Celestial Order is extremely fertile soil for the Kolat.

I doubt she would join for ideological reasons. She would probably be deluded and think she could use them. But once among them, she would be right at home.

Shoju will live to rue the day he let her live. But in the game of ruthlessness, how can someone with limits triumph against someone with no limits?

Edited by Manchu

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3 hours ago, Manchu said:

For many (I daresay, overwhelmingly MOST) in Rokugan, that is a distinction without a difference.

Absolutely, but for Kachiko in particular I can completely buy that she just accepts the Mandate of Heaven as a concept, and also believes that she has a personal mandate to exploit whatever opportunities ‘divine providence’ presents her. 

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12 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

Ide Tadaji (which explains how the Unicorn/Lion marriage was so messed up, also gives new meaning to the Shogi game he played with Satoshi in his first meeting as that would be a perfect way to pass messages without attracting prying eyes)

That's an interesting thought. Without restarting a much-trod path of arguments, @Manchu maintains that it's not credible that the Ikoma wedding traditions weren't known to Shinjo Altansarnai (which, Manchu says, suggests the Ide were trying to replace her).

I mean, she clearly knew at the point of Curved Blades, but given Utaku Kamoko's reaction, it clearly came as a shock to Shiro Shinjo at some point in time.

Given that Satoshi seems to be trying to cause as much trouble as possible, the possibility that the Ide's lead negotiator was actually trying to screw relations between the two clans up would put an interesting spin on it.

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I have no trouble believing Altansarnai is personally ignorant of any number of customs and traditions of Rokugan.

What no reasonable person can believe is that the Ide diplomats were ignorant of the marriage customs of the family with whom they were negotiating a marriage.

Unless one argues the Ide are just utterly inept. But I personally don’t think so poorly of the Unicorn Clan.

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25 minutes ago, Manchu said:

I have no trouble believing Altansarnai is personally ignorant of any number of customs and traditions of Rokugan.

What no reasonable person can believe is that the Ide diplomats were ignorant of the marriage customs of the family with whom they were negotiating a marriage.

Unless one argues the Ide are just utterly inept. But I personally don’t think so poorly of the Unicorn Clan.

Unless, of course, the Lion chose to never explain those customs to the Ide, because "They have been back in Rokugan 200 years. They should already know this. If they don't? Well, they should have done the effort before beginning the negotiation. We will tell these Gaijin pretending to be Samurai nothing that will not give *US* an advantage. This is as much war as a battlefield..and the LION are the SOLE masters of ALL forms of war in Rokugan!"

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6 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

a distinction which Satsume recognised

I’m not so sure. Satsume may have been corresponding “under cover” to investigate a suspected conspiracy, after all. But even if we take the words in his correspondence with his “friend and peer” (Satoshi?) at their face value, his doubts were about the present suitability of the potential heirs, not about the suitability of the reigning Emperor. Part of his duties as Emerald Champion was training the Crown Prince; a task that would require scrutinizing Sotorii’s worthiness on a constant basis. Immediately upon succeeding Satsume, Toturi had the same reservations about Sotorii. (And of course, no one was more ultimately critical of Sotorii than Jodan himself.) This seems well within the realm of acceptable concern, whatever the adventure cack handedly asserts for the sake of creating a conflict for the PCs. The real issue, of course, is what the plan Satsume mentioned entailed ...

6 hours ago, sakieh said:

Unless, of course, the Lion chose to never explain those customs to the Ide

Do they also need to explain that the sun comes up in the morning and down in the evening?

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13 hours ago, Manchu said:

What no reasonable person can believe is that the Ide diplomats were ignorant of the marriage customs of the family with whom they were negotiating a marriage.

I don't think it's unreasonable for the Ide to expect the Lion to abide by the wording of the treaty they agreed to instead of exploiting a loophole like a bunch of Scorpions. After all the Lion are very vocal about how honorable they are. But, of course, if you want people to believe a lie then you repeat it loudly and often.

I'm also still not convinced the alleged Ikoma marriage tradition actually ever existed. I'm very willing to believe the Lion just made it up to further their warmongering ambitions.

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I don’t disagree that the pre-Toturi faction is hungry for war. And the Ikoma may have arranged the marriage with the assumption that Altansarnai (given her personality) would eventually break her word and therefore give the Lion a reason to be offended and perhaps go to war. And if Altansarnai did end up going along with it, that would be fine, too, especially considering Shono’s parallel betrothal.

But the Lion could not have gotten away with this unless the Ide went along with it. And there is no chance that they didn’t know how the Lion expected it to go down unless the Ikoma totally fabricated the custom after the treaty was signed — which, again, I wouldn’t put past them in a less important matter. But in this matter, where a Clan champion is involved, that kind of maneuver would never have a chance of holding up in court.

Also keep in mind that if the whole treaty had worked out, there would be a very powerful coalition of infantry and cavalry that could probably not be challenged by any other combination of clans. So there were good reasons for the Ide to try and pull one over on Altansarnai.

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7 hours ago, shineyorkboy said:

I'm also still not convinced the alleged Ikoma marriage tradition actually ever existed. I'm very willing to believe the Lion just made it up to further their warmongering ambitions.

I doubt it exists in the first place. We only have a random (allegedly) Phoenix lady's word for it who was (allegedly) the Ikoma guy's wife. 

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4 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

I doubt it exists in the first place. We only have a random (allegedly) Phoenix lady's word for it who was (allegedly) the Ikoma guy's wife. 

The unicorn - including Altansarnai - knew the tradition existed long before they found out about Asako Akari's existence and she had (unwillingly!) accepted it; that's why Altansarnai is confused about the claim she is taking something from Akari until the latter explains.

It wasn't the Ikoma wedding tradition which caused the breaking of the betrothal (though it didn't help); the straw breaking the camel's back was finding out he was already married (with a daughter, apparently).

Since that is - in the eyes of the law - nothing to complain about, but in the eyes of the compassion-centric Unicorn a massive deal, I'd be more suspicious about that being something slipped past the negotiator(s) if the Lion were trying to create a binding treaty they wanted to fail, since it creates a win-win for them without ever doing anything "wrong".

Not thinking to ask "what are the terms of the betrothal?" when negotiating said terms would be an act of catastrophic ineptitude that I agree seems wrong for the ide (and also not true because Altansarnai knew them, even if she didn't like them). Besides which, after 200 years, not having the basic legal customs of one of the couple-of-dozen Great Clan Families easily accessible even without a specific negotiator telling you would be like a head of state today not being able to get a one-page primer on a major country's legal system without talking to the ambassador to that country.

 

By comparison, an ide negotiator not thinking to ask "you know the proposed betrothal - he's not already happily married, is he?" is by comparison a mistake you might make if you assume the Lion are negotiating in good faith and they werent, or if a single ide or small faction within the ide negotiators are trying to blindside their champion with something.

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11 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Can I ask you what the marital status of Angela Merkel is?

 

Married.

 

I also know the marriage status of Luxembourg's PM and some other EU heads of government.

 

More importantly I can assure you every single Diplomatic Corps has people to find that out and it's the Head/Chief of Protocol's job to make sure everyone knows that when relevant.

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6 hours ago, Suzume Chikahisa said:

More importantly I can assure you every single Diplomatic Corps has people to find that out and it's the Head/Chief of Protocol's job to make sure everyone knows that when relevant.

This right here.

Never mind negotiating a marriage contract between the most important person in your clan and a high-ranking member of someone else's- what do you do if he pays you a visit for some diplomatic reason?

How many rooms do you assign his party?

Who do you make sure to mention in the bland courtesies you bandy back and forth when you ask after his family?

Part of my long-standing beef with Curved Blades is that it doesn't exactly debut the Unicorn in the most competent light- they not only get blindsided by a pretty friggin' hefty custom that should have colored their negotiations, they also don't know the guy was already married... whereas a single line about, "look, the Ikoma have a point, their guy has already had to give up another marriage they negotiated in good faith to find someone of sufficient status to not insult the Unicorn," and then having the reveal be that Asako Asami is going to kill herself over being set aside would have put the focus more on the Unicorn's compassion than on their "did ANYONE do a shred of homework on this deal?"

Edited by Shiba Gunichi

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8 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

that is - in the eyes of the law - nothing to complain about, but in the eyes of the compassion-centric Unicorn a massive deal

Uh, I guess? When it suits them? I just don’t buy it.

Altansarnai may very well feel a twinge of sympathy for the jilted party but her actual motivation seems to be preserving her personal happiness. Compassion of convenience, I’d say.

8 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

an ide negotiator not thinking to ask "you know the proposed betrothal - he's not already happily married, is he?" is by comparison a mistake you might make if you assume the Lion are negotiating in good faith and they werent

All diplomats negotiate to their own best interests, always. Let’s not agree the Ide aren’t stupid just to call them ignorant instead.

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Hey, random question. But, his the war between the Lion and the Unicorn still going in the background of all this stuff ? Because, i didn't read all the lore material, because if it's still going it's kind a weird. 

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