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Ultimatecalibur

Roar of the Lioness

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I can't help but feel that this will look really bad for Tsuko come the reveal that Toturi has gone missing.

I mean, she declared herself Champion just as the reigning Champion "mysteriously disappears" - even if we know it's true, in-setting, there will be no way to make it look like this is a coincidence.

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3 minutes ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

Well.

That was a thing.

Does that mean that Barahime is Toshimoko's wife?  Ichiro was definitely his son before.

Ichiro is likely still Toshimoko's son as Ichiro is identified as Barahime's nephew, but Barahime seems to be Yoshi's wife now.

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I love that Tsuko has a bit more depth of character this time around, but, still wants to throw down to resolve everything. 

"You don't want to join me?  Challenge!"

"You want to negotiate terms?  Challenge!"

"You want to play the word Shaisetsu for a triple word score in Scrabble?  Challenge"

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21 minutes ago, 987654321 said:

This is a suspiciously short time between fictions considering we're not a cycle.

But considering that the world's favourite pastime has literally collapsed into a black hole, I can't complain.

This is just the fiction that was meant to drop with the Lion pack, so separate from the normal cycle fictions.  Its release tells me that odds were they had intended for the pack to drop either this Friday or possibly last.

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I liked that:

1.) It depicted a Lion clan victory.

2.) It did a better job showing us a less cartoony Tsuko.  She's still hyper aggressive and vindictive, but she doesn't come off as a meat head here which is great.

I'm alittle surprised that so many of the generals were totally for Tsuko proclaiming herself champion.  I guess Toturi really is an unpopular leader.  It feels like the only Lion clan member of note on his side is Kage.

Edited by phillos

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1 minute ago, phillos said:

I liked that:

1.) It depicted a Lion clan victory.

2.) It did a better job showing us a less cartoony Tsuko.  She's still hyper aggressive and vindictive, but she doesn't come off as a meat head here which is great.

 

Agreed.  I liked that it depicted her as recognizing these things about herself, and having to work to control her flaws.  Her violence she directs to a useful end, but withholds from the hostages, who know full well what she might loose upon them and why, to keep the Lion's honor.  "A good plan, executed violently, now, is better than a perfect plan next week."  (Patton)

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Ah, Kitsu Motso. A guy who lasted a long, long time in the old lore... and so eager this time around.

 

I also cannot help feeling that Tsuko will find these thrills she so enjoys turning into ashes in her mouth- and the Lion will find that winning a war is easier for them than dealing with its consequences. But meanwhile, I think they're going to have some cathartic fun.

Toturi's unpopularity with the Lion should be no surprise- they seem to be fully embracing the most aggressive of their stereotypes, most likely out of frustration- the Crane and Lion are long-standing foes, but the Crane are not chastised- despite their weakness. The Unicorn abruptly and without a cause the Lion would ever see as valid abrogate a marriage to the Ikoma daimyo and then contest the Lion's seizure of compensation. The Scorpion swoop in to claim what the Lion feel they have earned by skill of arms. The Dragon blithely march an army through territory the Lion are trying to control.

Only the Crab and the Phoenix haven't actively offered offense recently- it's like nobody recalls what the Lion do. :P

 

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29 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

The Dragon blithely march an army through territory the Lion are trying to control.

Only the Crab and the Phoenix haven't actively offered offense recently- it's like nobody recalls what the Lion do. :P

 

Hey, hey.  We got permission.  When we got caught.  For a good reason.  And we didn't help the Crane.  We said we wouldn't.

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3 hours ago, Mangod said:

I mean, she declared herself Champion just as the reigning Champion "mysteriously disappears" - even if we know it's true, in-setting, there will be no way to make it look like this is a coincidence.

The lantern festival occurs in August Rokugan time and the Emperor died in September Rokugan time. It seems she declared her disgraceful, honourless dog action about a month before Toturi-chan went missing.

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8 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

This is just the fiction that was meant to drop with the Lion pack, so separate from the normal cycle fictions.  Its release tells me that odds were they had intended for the pack to drop either this Friday or possibly last.

Since clan pack fictions tend to be told from the POV of the highest cost unique in the cover, does that mean the general lady in that cover is Champion Tsuko?

 

6 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

Ah, Kitsu Motso. A guy who lasted a long, long time in the old lore... and so eager this time around.

Out of geniune curiosity: what exactly made you like him so much?

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Matsu Tsuko’s actions here are the second blackest stain on the Empire after the abomination committed by Sotorii.

Seppuku is too good for her. Execution is too good for her. Her co-conspirators are craven dogs, shameless beasts disguised a samurai. The Lion Clan is a shambles. One wonders if there is any honor left in the Clan at all.

Truly, this is the suijindai.

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39 minutes ago, 987654321 said:

does that mean the general lady in that cover is Champion Tsuko?

Matsu Tsuko (TEL).jpg

Yeah, that's the nu Tsuko on The Emperor's Legion cover. 

6 hours ago, DarkHorse said:

It seems she declared her disgraceful, honourless dog action about a month before Toturi-chan went missing.

Wait, does that mean Kakita Yoshi advocated for his Clan to engage in civil war while the Lion were in his base, killing his dudes? He really is a dumb*ss. 

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4 hours ago, UnitOmega said:

Matsu Tsuko (TEL).jpg

Yeah, that's the nu Tsuko on The Emperor's Legion cover. 

Wait, does that mean Kakita Yoshi advocated for his Clan to engage in civil war while the Lion were in his base, killing his dudes? He really is a dumb*ss. 

After Kyuden Kakita fell, but before the word had arrived at the capital that it had.

11 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

The Scorpion swoop in to claim what the Lion feel they have earned by skill of arms.

I think that's a big part of it. Tsuko feels she won and therefore Toshi Ranbo should be theirs. Winning the battle and losing the treaty is sadly a Matsu speciality (I'm not saying Lion clan generally, but Matsu specifically).

13 hours ago, MirumotoKatsuro said:

Agreed.  I liked that it depicted her as recognizing these things about herself, and having to work to control her flaws.  Her violence she directs to a useful end, but withholds from the hostages, who know full well what she might loose upon them and why, to keep the Lion's honor.  "A good plan, executed violently, now, is better than a perfect plan next week."  (Patton)

Indeed. Though she is still dealing with some serious self-deception or at least lack of self-awareness. Akodo Toturi didn't hesistate at Toshi Ranbo; he launched the flanking attack at the point it would do the most damage. And Akodo Arasou then took advantage of the disruption not to further bloody the broken garrison but to launch a headlong charge at the gate and get shot for his trouble because, not to put too fine a point on it, he was dumb.

I'm not saying he wasn't a more caring, inspiring leader, but his brother appears to be the better tactician.

And Toturi 'hiding his eyes' - given that it was Ujiaka who advocated him trying to take the championate, and he and Tsuko have been at best creatively misinterpreting his orders and at worst outright ignoring them, that's a rather hypocritical complaint. As is claiming Toturi gave away Toshi Ranbo rather than it being an Imperial edict.

Concerns that Akodo's spirit might have been impacted in his journey on by the time taken to take him for the final rites when she deliberately redirected the cortege to the battlefield to indulge her need for vengeance feels similar. No, Toturi didn't specifically say "take the fastest, most direct route" because he would have assumed Tsuko would. Because, you know, "remains of her beloved betrothed", and all that.

4 hours ago, Manchu said:

Matsu Tsuko’s actions here are the second blackest stain on the Empire after the abomination committed by Sotorii.

I'm still not convinced Doji Kunawan's actions should be considered acceptable; if he considers his sister to have betrayed the clan, going and challenging her about it is certainly justifiable but pre-emptively declaring himself champion in her stead feels (to me) a step too far, even with Kakita Yoshi's backing (under the circumstances, especially so, since Yoshi's about to have a lot more to worry about!). But I can see the logic for essentially bringing some sort of charges, and if he feels he has to claim the mantle of champion in order to pursue them....

I suppose I can understand the logic even if I disagree with it; rokugani social structure doesn't allow for anything resembling 'impeachment' by one's social inferiors, after all; the only social superior he could take said charges to is the Emperor...and in practice that means Kachiko and Shoju so it would feel pointless to him.

 

Matsu Tsuko appears, by comparison, to have gone off on "I want to hurt the Crane and I'm not being allowed to so I'm in charge now".

She has no claim to the Akodo ruler's bloodline (she and Arasou were never even actually married), and - dressed up in formal language though it may be - her justification for taking the championate amounted to "I'm champion now and anyone who say's different gets stabbed right here, right now. Honourably, of course."

she's launched an assault against a family who - whilst Crane - weren't even directly involved in the dispute over Toshi Ranbo. Heck, if she wanted to sieze somewhere, take Shiro Kyotei; it's not covered by the imperial edict, it's in the disputed Kintani valley, the Tsume no Doji are the family who took Toshi Ranbo off the Goseki in the first place, and Kyotei was once a lion castle too (of the Damasu no Akodo).

Siezing that castle would have some argument of being justifiable.

Instead she chose to attack a city of artists and artisans which traditionally doesn't even close its gates.

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3 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Matsu Tsuko appears, by comparison, to have gone off on "I want to hurt the Crane and I'm not being allowed to so I'm in charge now".

She has no claim to the Akodo ruler's bloodline (she and Arasou were never even actually married), and - dressed up in formal language though it may be - her justification for taking the championate amounted to "I'm champion now and anyone who say's different gets stabbed right here, right now. Honourably, of course."

she's launched an assault against a family who - whilst Crane - weren't even directly involved in the dispute over Toshi Ranbo. Heck, if she wanted to sieze somewhere, take Shiro Kyotei; it's not covered by the imperial edict, it's in the disputed Kintani valley, the Tsume no Doji are the family who took Toshi Ranbo off the Goseki in the first place, and Kyotei was once a lion castle too (of the Damasu no Akodo).

Siezing that castle would have some argument of being justifiable.

Instead she chose to attack a city of artists and artisans which traditionally doesn't even close its gates.

As to her Bloodline, she is likely a cousin of some sort as the main Bloodlines for each of the great clans experience a high degree of intermarriage (after all O5R Toturi was the 2nd Thunder because his mother was from the Matsu family and so he had the blood of Matsu in his veins).  I will admit old lore the marriage of Toturi's mother and father was deemed to be an odd case as they had stated that the Lion actively tried to avoid marrying the Matsu and Akodo blood lines specifically to avoid the strife that could be created by a succession crises like we have here.

That said I think the crux of her argument is that currently the Lion are "without a champion" as Toturi (who she personally feels slighted by due to his lack of action on avenging Arasou) has been torn between his duties as Lion Champion and Emerald Champion and seems to be focues more on the latter than the other.  In the absence of other leadership she sees it as her duty to step up and fill the "vacant" role that Totrui has left in the clan.

As to her attack on the Crane, well they "murdered" her betrothed and so she needs to take steps to avenge him.  Shiro Kyotei is likely off bounds for two main reasons, 1 its location is such that to get to it she would need to march through Toshi Ranbo which puts her in danger of violating the Imperial Edict that cedes control of the city and surrounding lands to the Scorpion (in the Emperor's name) and with the results of the Wedding at Kyotei adventure from Gencon being officially that the castle is currently being ruled by the Crane in name, but functionally by the Crane lords Phoenix widow it would be politically and militarily disadvantageous to potentially rile the Phoenix against the Lion in addition to the Crane and Unicorn.

And for the not closing the gates thing, that is only partially true.  Yes the Crane do leave the gates open as much as possible but that is the result of the curse placed on the city that the Crane will be doomed if any child born in the castle while the gates are closed would doom the clan if they ever touched steel, however they are quite willing to close those gates if the need arises (an effect that has come up in the recent past as Kakita Yoshi was born during a seige of the castle and thus carries the curse #kakitayoshiisafool) and from the fact that she talks of needing to replace and reinforce them following the battle we can assume that they did so in this case.

It should also be noted that yes the Kakita are know for their artisan, but among those artisans are the students of the Kakita Dueling Academy which is located at Kyuden Kakita and this is still the primary castle for one of the most prominent families in the clan so its not like this is a holding that would hold a token army only.

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27 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

the students of the Kakita Dueling Academy which is located at Kyuden Kakita

The Duelling Academy is at Tsuma, some distance away, rather than Kyuden Kakita, I thought.

Otherwise either she or Kakita Toshimoko would probably have died in the battle.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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2 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

The Duelling Academy is at Tsuma, some distance away, rather than Kyuden Kakita.

Otherwise either she or Kakita Toshimoko would probably have died in the battle.

Old lore the Academy was in Kyuden Kakita so there may be multiple schools, with the Tsume branch being the "main" academy but additional dojo's scattered around Crane lands.

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This fic is nice because it showers me with Tsuko+Arasou. Other than that I find it ironic that Tsuko is now off the hooks by her own volition rather than getting pushed into it like in the old lore. Especially after the Kuwanan deal. 

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

The Duelling Academy is at Tsuma, some distance away, rather than Kyuden Kakita, I thought.

Otherwise either she or Kakita Toshimoko would probably have died in the battle.

That is true.  The Beginner box game takes place in Tsuma for the Topaz Championship.  So Toshimoko would be there.  I assume if there are different branch schools throughout the Crane lands then then the one in Tsuma would be the most prestigious one.

Edited by phillos

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I haven't kept up with the background lore in the RGP as much with the new l5r, so maybe they made some changes there that support what happened.

Otherwise, this is hot garbage. One of the defining features of the Lion, and the Matsu above all, was honorable to the point of stupidity but here they just abandon their champion because Tsuko thinks he sucks. Including members of the Akodo family. I don't know that I can even wrap my head around how the writers* thought that made sense in the world as presented. Keep in mind that this isn't some GoT thing where the houses on top of the clan are just stronger or whatever- they descended from the Kami directly and have a sort of divine mandate to be the leaders. Even if they had set up the world with a more every house for itself type of feel, which they did not, it makes no sense that the Akodo would just accept the loss of clan leadership. We could say that maybe there aren't any present, except they explicitly mention at least one Akodo leader being there.

If they really wanted to go here I don't see why they couldn't have waited for Toturi to go ronin like in the old lore, which seems to be happening here as well. It would still be a little odd without the whole Akodo family being removed again, but not nearly as bad without a direct rightful champion still being around.

*I'm not intending to attack the writer of the article specifically. I'm assuming that there's a head writer or some kind of group that directs the overall story, which is where my main problem with this story is. There's only so much a person can do with a few pages to arrive at a determined plot point that doesn't make sense in the universe.

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7 minutes ago, Adeptus_Momarus said:

I haven't kept up with the background lore in the RGP as much with the new l5r, so maybe they made some changes there that support what happened.

Otherwise, this is hot garbage. One of the defining features of the Lion, and the Matsu above all, was honorable to the point of stupidity but here they just abandon their champion because Tsuko thinks he sucks. Including members of the Akodo family. I don't know that I can even wrap my head around how the writers* thought that made sense in the world as presented. Keep in mind that this isn't some GoT thing where the houses on top of the clan are just stronger or whatever- they descended from the Kami directly and have a sort of divine mandate to be the leaders. Even if they had set up the world with a more every house for itself type of feel, which they did not, it makes no sense that the Akodo would just accept the loss of clan leadership. We could say that maybe there aren't any present, except they explicitly mention at least one Akodo leader being there.

If they really wanted to go here I don't see why they couldn't have waited for Toturi to go ronin like in the old lore, which seems to be happening here as well. It would still be a little odd without the whole Akodo family being removed again, but not nearly as bad without a direct rightful champion still being around.

*I'm not intending to attack the writer of the article specifically. I'm assuming that there's a head writer or some kind of group that directs the overall story, which is where my main problem with this story is. There's only so much a person can do with a few pages to arrive at a determined plot point that doesn't make sense in the universe.

It seems to me that Tsuko's entire argument is "we abandon no one; Toturi has already abandoned us."  The Lion leadership apparently agree with this, even if you & I don't.  Beyond that, honorable people make less-than-honorable choices sometimes.  Remember, we are in the "dark days" here.  "What is honor?" and "Are we really upholding it?" are questions that I think we're all supposed to be asking.  I suspect these Lion have a big dose of "defeat is shame and victory is honor - Tsuko will lead us to victory where Toturi did not" right now.

 

11 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

So, when Doji Kuwanan shows up to depose Hoturi by exposing her affair, will anyone point out that he’s apparently colluding with Matsu Tsuko against the Crane?

Definitely a good point, but who would reveal or provide evidence for that?  As far as I remember, only Tsuko, Kuwanan, and some dead ronin know about it.

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