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Wind Through Falling Leaves - New L5R Fiction Story Discussion

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16 minutes ago, DarkHorse said:

Shoju declared the Crab to be granted the jade mines in Toshi Ranbo. The Crab now owe Shoju and will be paying him back first and foremost by taking up a presence in Toshi Ranbo, a stronghold of support for his dutiful wife...

Depends, Crab are to pragmatic and have there hands full of crap to owe anythning to anyone. The need to defend the wall period. If they think they gonna protect the wall more effectivly by working with the Mantis or the Lion. Be it ! No time to play your court games. 

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16 hours ago, Yogo Rye X said:

Oh yah, forgot he just got married in the novella. Oh well there is always Yasamura who we don't know what he is doing at the moment...

O-Ushi has dibs on that good little wife...

1 hour ago, Manchu said:

He’s not even a villain

Eh, to an extent villainy is a matter of perspective. You're almost always going to demonize your opposition to some degree. It's just that Yoshi has kind of set himself up in opposition to everyone who isn't himself.

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1 hour ago, ChuiSaoul said:

Depends, Crab are to pragmatic and have there hands full of crap to owe anythning to anyone. The need to defend the wall period. If they think they gonna protect the wall more effectivly by working with the Mantis or the Lion. Be it ! No time to play your court games. 

That is why they Crab do not work with the Lion, they know that only they can defend The Wall properly and they sure don't want to have to babysit some Lion pups while they do it.

As for the pragmatism of the Crab, that too is why they understand who they owe. Shoju is giving them the jade mines out of the goodness of his heart meanwhile the Mantis are dealing in stolen goods to curry favour with the Crab. Do the Crab support the Pincer Alliance that is giving them much needed supplies, no questions asked or scummy pirates who want to extort the Crab for a place at the Emperor's table?

If the Crab never owed anyone anything then the Yasuki family would have nothing to do all day. Instead the Crab have a whole family that instead of providing much needed warm bodies for the Wall instead have the more important task to them of gathering supplies for the war effort, supplies that cost in koku and favours.

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15 hours ago, Manchu said:

I agree with the argument that he does not have a clear sense of Shoju’s character. But then again, Yoshi had a clearer insight into Kachiko’s character than Shoju. Plus he criticizes himself in this story for not paying enough attention to Shoju — although he just assumes Shoju is cut from the same cloth as Kachiko. Then again, this is not unreasonable. Shoju assumed Kachiko was cut from the same cloth as him.

I think that's also quite ironic; a part of the problem is that every clan seems to see the others as unified and monolithic; "the lion clan did this!" or "the scorpion clan want this!" whilst simultaneously trying to deal with massive amounts of internal dissent. That's something Yoshi is far from the only person guilty of.

 

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On 10/17/2019 at 4:44 PM, Manchu said:

Still not seeing what Yoshi “fumbled,” keeping in mind what he knows or thinks he knows.

I agree with the argument that he does not have a clear sense of Shoju’s character. But then again, Yoshi had a clearer insight into Kachiko’s character than Shoju. Plus he criticizes himself in this story for not paying enough attention to Shoju — although he just assumes Shoju is cut from the same cloth as Kachiko. Then again, this is not unreasonable. Shoju assumed Kachiko was cut from the same cloth as him.

It’s strange to judge Yoshi so harshly on what it likely the worst day of his life, so far. Almost as if it’s just a forced meme that’s not even potentially funny anymore. Well, not almost.

To his credit, he understands that the only potential hope for the Crane is a military alliance with the Unicorn and brokers it quickly and painlessly.

I do not think that his portrayal up to this point has been that of foolishness.  However, he did two things in this story for which I would brand him a fool.

  1. While it is reasonable to suspect the Scorpion, and the setup appears really dubious from the outside, Yoshi has no proof that the proclamation is a forgery.  The sensible thing to do would be to investigate, or try to get access to it, perhaps start to spread a rumour, carefully.  What does he do?  Tells someone from another Clan that it is a forgery, out loud, as a fact.
  2. Surely someone with enough control of their tongue wouldn't accidentally say brother instead of sister, even though he meant brother when the expected thing would be sister?

So, with this two mistakes, in this story Yoshi is a fool.  However, it does not require a meme.

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Yoshi believes the edict is a forgery as a moral certainty rather than as an empirical fact in the IRL modern sense. Compare this to his appraisal of the purported love letter from Hotaru to Kachiko. Let’s not assume non-modern people have the same forensic understanding as us. A big part of the analysis is whether the document makes sense given one’s appraisal of the character of the people it implicates. Whether the Hotaru letter is technically a forgery, Yoshi is correct that it is not “a forgery” in the sense of conveying lies. A biased judgment can be correct because it is biased. And, as in the case of Yoshi’s conclusion about the edict, it can also be incorrect. Then again, the edict would make very little sense to him because he did not understand the nature of the friendship between Jodan and Shoju, and the character of Shoju more generally. But I have already covered that above.

Now, is it a mistake to say the edict is a forgery to Tadaji? This is pretty debatable. On the one hand, is it wise for a diplomat to say in private what would be unaccpetable to say in public? On the other hand, doing so does create the context for indicating trust, which is the soil in which alliances grow. Yoshi did succeed in securing the alliance, after all.

I won’t argue that the slip about writing to Kuwanan wasn’t a mistake. But making a mistake, especially when it is notable because it is against one’s character, merely makes one a human, rather than a fool.

Edited by Manchu

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3 hours ago, Manchu said:

Yoshi believes the edict is a forgery as a moral certainty rather than as an empirical fact in the IRL modern sense. Compare this to his appraisal of the purported love letter from Hotaru to Kachiko. Let’s not assume non-modern people have the same forensic understanding as us. A big part of the analysis is whether the document makes sense given one’s appraisal of the character of the people it implicates. Whether the Hotaru letter is technically a forgery, Yoshi is correct that it is not “a forgery” in the sense of conveying lies. A biased judgment can be correct because it is biased. And, as in the case of Yoshi’s conclusion about the edict, it can also be incorrect. Then again, the edict would make very little sense to him because he did not understand the nature of the friendship between Jodan and Shoju, and the character of Shoju more generally. But I have already covered that above.

Now, is it a mistake to say the edict is a forgery to Tadaji? This is pretty debatable. On the one hand, is it wise for a diplomat to say in private what would be unaccpetable to say in public? On the other hand, doing so does create the context for indicating trust, which is the soil in which alliances grow. Yoshi did succeed in securing the alliance, after all.

I would like to add to this that Yoshi doesn't actually have to prove it is a forgery - the fact that one of the highest status people in the room says it's a forgery is all that matters. Only the Dragon (or maybe even only the Kitsuki) really care about 'proof'.

To prhase that another way -  Kakita Yoshi, the Imperial Chancellor, saying that the edict is a forgery is proof enough by the standards of the society he lives in.

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4 hours ago, Manchu said:

he did not understand the nature of the friendship between Jodan and Shoju, and the character of Shoju more generally

 

Which, to me, is a major black mark against his competence. He's not some random Crane who only knows those two by reputation; he's the Imperial Chancellor. He must have been in countless situations with both Jodan and Shoju separately, and Jodan and Shoju together. And he's a politician, somebody whose work depends heavily on understanding the social dynamics between individuals. Yet he seems to have completely failed to grok which way the currents of the imperial court were flowing.

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But, to reiterate, if this is the standard to which you hold Yoshi in incorrectly assessing Shoju then you must also judge Shoju that much more severely than Yoshi given the Scorpion Champion’s misunderstanding of his own wife and closest ally Kachiko (and also to some extent vice versa), whom Yoshi did correctly assess.

Also keep in mind that Shoju did not expect Jodan to name him regent. Toturi was also surprised.

Edited by Manchu

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12 minutes ago, Manchu said:

But, to reiterate, if this is the standard to which you hold Yoshi in incorrectly assessing Shoju then you must also judge Shoju that much more severely than Yoshi given the Scorpion Champion’s misunderstanding of his own wife and closest ally Kachiko (and also to some extent vice versa), whom Yoshi did correctly assess.

Also keep in mind that Shoju did not expect Jodan to name him regent. Toturi was also surprised.

Kachiko was absolutely a huge blind spot for Shoju. I likewise don’t think he knows just how much his brother wants to kill him, nor that Hametsu wants to destroy the affair with Hotaru.  That the Master of Whispers is both the consummate Scorpion samurai, and also oblivious to the ressentiment in his own family is his particular tragedy. 

I get exactly why Kakita Yoshi reacts the way he does here. His view of the world dictates that if there was to be a Regent, of course he would have been consulted. That he is hearing about this just now, and knows nothing about the actual events of the Emperor’s death, means that it’s a small jump to a Scorpion coup when Shoju declares that he’s disinheriting the Heir and seizing the throne.  Either he acknowledges that he had no knowledge of or influence over the most monumental decision of his tenure and concedes defeat to his mortal enemies, or he goes all-in on backing Sotorii and calls Shoju out as the lying Scorpion villain he absolutely must be for his life to make any sense. 

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4 hours ago, Hydraxus said:

I would like to add to this that Yoshi doesn't actually have to prove it is a forgery - the fact that one of the highest status people in the room says it's a forgery is all that matters. Only the Dragon (or maybe even only the Kitsuki) really care about 'proof'.

To prhase that another way -  Kakita Yoshi, the Imperial Chancellor, saying that the edict is a forgery is proof enough by the standards of the society he lives in.

Actually Yoshi isn't the highest status person in the room.  Sumiko as acting Emerald Champion out ranks him, especially in matters of Imperial Law.  Also the Emperor's personal seal on the edict makes it a lot harder for Yoshi to claim it is a forgery.

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I get the impression Yoshi wants it to be a forgery and by Rokugani law, if enough people say it is true then it is true - and they both know that. The way he presents his opinion to Tadaji, he wants him to agree with his opinion making it closer to being "true". Basically he tells Tadaji it is a forgery, Tadaji has to choose which side he is on and now he has thrown his lot in with Yoshi without Yoshi having to do a whole heck of a lot.

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I think in the end the scorpion will stand alone (possibly with the Dragon. Maybe) the other clans will declare it a coup and put Sotori on the throne. Shoju will be relying on the crab propping up his powerbase, and like last time they will side against him. The whole Toturi assassination attempt will be the thing that undermines it. With him out of the way, Tsuko will go against the edict he signed, believing him to be dishonourable. She will end up backing Kuwannen to depose Hotaru for revenge. Which plays in with Yoshi. Phoenix I think will likely follow suit, especially as Use of Meshido is mired up in it all. 

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8 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

Actually Yoshi isn't the highest status person in the room.  Sumiko as acting Emerald Champion out ranks him, especially in matters of Imperial Law.  Also the Emperor's personal seal on the edict makes it a lot harder for Yoshi to claim it is a forgery.

Isn't that what makes this so interesting? Sumiko may 'outrank' him to us, but both the Champion and the Chancellor are of sufficiently high status that strictly speaking only the Emperor (Yoshi 'technically' outranks his Clan champion) stands above them - technically as well it is Toturi that may 'outrank' Yoshi; others may decide that it is Yoshi that holds the political clout (remember that Sumiko is explicitly described as still wearing her Ruby Champion gear). And Toturi's disappearance is unfortunately timed.

And the seal is immaterial, or rather what matters is when the seal was affixed. Was it before or after Jodan was killed/died? Is Shoju/Kachiko the kind of person who could commit that level of Heresy? (We know, and Yoshi knows that Kachiko would do that if she could get away with it).

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10 hours ago, Hydraxus said:

Isn't that what makes this so interesting? Sumiko may 'outrank' him to us, but both the Champion and the Chancellor are of sufficiently high status that strictly speaking only the Emperor (Yoshi 'technically' outranks his Clan champion) stands above them - technically as well it is Toturi that may 'outrank' Yoshi; others may decide that it is Yoshi that holds the political clout (remember that Sumiko is explicitly described as still wearing her Ruby Champion gear). And Toturi's disappearance is unfortunately timed.

And the seal is immaterial, or rather what matters is when the seal was affixed. Was it before or after Jodan was killed/died? Is Shoju/Kachiko the kind of person who could commit that level of Heresy? (We know, and Yoshi knows that Kachiko would do that if she could get away with it).

Well since Sumiko is Ruby Champion that is actually a very significant rank, and as the second to the Emerlad Champion on matters of Imperial Law (which the edict would be) she actually does out rank Yoshi.  The issue Yoshi has if he publicly proclaims the edict is false counter to the claim by Shouju and Sumiko he would actually require more than just his testimony as to defy a lawful edict is to defy the throne itself and thus costs him his rank.  The Imperial Seal on the edict is not just something he can dismiss, especially given that we were told in the last fiction:

"The acting Emerald Champion still wore her Ruby Champion’s ceremonial armor, though some Otomo had tied a green stone chrysanthemum amulet of rank about her neck to signify her hasty promotion. A nervous twinge rested in her bottom lip, yet her eyes were sharp with the clarity of her duty despite its literal weight around her neck. She bowed deeply, and he returned her greeting.

Sumiko held out a scroll toward him with a firm hand. The edict. “The Imperial scribes have confirmed that this was written in Toturi’s calligraphy,” she reported, “and it had indeed been officially sealed by the Emperor himself. Thus, I can legally deliver it at court as the late Emperor’s last wishes.”

Sumiko has been placed in the position of Emerald Champion, due to the disappearance of Toturi, and has been recognized by the court.  Its a position she was already filling until recently following the death of Satsume and thus yes she is the Emperor's arm of justice at the moment and so she does in fact in this matter out rank him.  So now he needs to speak against the Imperial Court, with no actual back up.  Assuming he were to make his challenge he would then face the likely requirement to defend his statements in a duel and since he just sent his own Yojimbo off to do something else he's now stuck facing Sumiko (who we know is a Niten Master) with no back up.  Nope Yohsi has no play and is just making things worse for himself every time he's opened his mouth.

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39 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Sumiko has been placed in the position of Emerald Champion, due to the disappearance of Toturi, and has been recognized by the court.  Its a position she was already filling until recently following the death of Satsume and thus yes she is the Emperor's arm of justice at the moment and so she does in fact in this matter out rank him.  So now he needs to speak against the Imperial Court, with no actual back up.  Assuming he were to make his challenge he would then face the likely requirement to defend his statements in a duel and since he just sent his own Yojimbo off to do something else he's now stuck facing Sumiko (who we know is a Niten Master) with no back up.  Nope Yohsi has no play and is just making things worse for himself every time he's opened his mouth.

You're missing the point. Kakita Yoshi saying that the edict is false is enough for people to take interest - the actual, verifiable truth no longer matters. Who will Kachiko support, for example? We know who she should support, as we know that Matsu Tsuko's actions are inherently dishonourable, as we know that Doji Kuwanan's actions are inherently dishonourable, as we know that the Crab's decision to tacitly support the Mantis' piracy against the Crane is dishonourable.

The 'truth' will end up being whatever the victor decides it to be. If the edict is 'false', (and that Kakita Yoshi is able to believably say that he had not discussed it with the Emperor, as will Bayushi Kachiko (should she decide to)) then what must be true? That the Emperor intended for Sotorii to be Emperor?

For that matter, has the court actually sat (as in, how much time has passed)? As far as I'm aware, it is Shoju who sent for Sumiko who again, suddenly has an army at her disposal. Shoju's position as regent (and legitimacy) is based on the Edict being unchallenged. How might the disappearance of the Edict's 'supposed' author look to those willing to make an issue of it?

We already know how skilled the Scoprion can be at forgery (and part of the plot of the RPG adventure Winter's Embrace involves another forgery in the Emperor's name), and Yoshi has demonstrated how uncertainty can be twisted into certainty (He is uncertain about the letter's veracity, but claims the opposite to Kuwanan).

53 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

The Imperial Seal on the edict is not just something he can dismiss, especially given that we were told in the last fiction:

Again, who placed the seal on the edict? Was it the Emperor (as we know it was) or will others argue that Bayushi Shoju took advantage of their 'friendship' death to gain access to it?

Kakita Yoshi saying the edict is interesting, as a curiousity. The Imperial Chancellor saying it (and who actually outranks who here? Shouldn't the Imperial Chancellor know about the Emperor's wishes on succession? Shouldn't it be the Chancellor who is pre-eminent on matters of governance? Is the edict simply a matter of law, as you suggest?) is interesting, as a political moment. To quote from the story;

"... Like the courtiers who had merely fluttered their fans that morning and waited to see how the wind would blow next. Shoju had sent for Yoshi because he knew the court waited to see what the chancellor would do." Suggests that Shoju's position is not as strong as it theoretically should be. It's reminiscent of the fact that theoretically the Emerald magistrates have vast amounts if power (they are appointed by the Emperor, or on Their behalf), yet practically they must move very carefully. (This must, of course, be taken with a pinch of salt - It is Kakita Yoshi who is the viewpoint character after all. Maybe he simply believes it to be true?)

In the end, with the waters muddied enough by opportunists and circumstance, how many will believe Bayushi Shoju, Master of Secrets?

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I would not be surprised if while Yoshi is sitting there imagining how everyone in the court is waiting on him to make a move, the court has not even noticed his absence. 

Also the whole forgery claim falls apart if Toturi reappears to confirm it. Which is maybe something he should be concerned with?

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1 hour ago, HamHamJ2 said:

I would not be surprised if while Yoshi is sitting there imagining how everyone in the court is waiting on him to make a move, the court has not even noticed his absence. 

Also the whole forgery claim falls apart if Toturi reappears to confirm it. Which is maybe something he should be concerned with?

Toturi is in on it, obviously - the Lion and the Scorpion are conspiring together to rob Kakita Yoshi of what should have been his regency.

I'm mostly wondering what'll happen if Shaisetsu (what do we call them now that Mitsu's part of the group? Shaiseitsu?) tells anyone about Sotorii admitting that he murdered his own father. Since the edict makes Daisetsu the next Emperor, his word probably carries a LOT of weight - assuming that people believe the claim, what'll their reaction be?

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21 minutes ago, Mangod said:

I'm mostly wondering what'll happen if Shaisetsu (what do we call them now that Mitsu's part of the group? Shaiseitsu?) tells anyone about Sotorii admitting that he murdered his own father. Since the edict makes Daisetsu the next Emperor, his word probably carries a LOT of weight - assuming that people believe the claim, what'll their reaction be?

I'm wondering how they take the news :P

"We had to run away, it was our only-"

"Edict says you're Emperor."

"... Wat."

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Oddly enough, I see the accusation of forgery actually playing into Shoju's hands. He wants to see the Scorpion go back to the shadows where as it is Kachiko that wants to see the Scorpion take over. Kachiko has a vested interest in there being no accusation of a power play where as Shoju might have to take one for the team to get what he wants.

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1 hour ago, DarkHorse said:

Oddly enough, I see the accusation of forgery actually playing into Shoju's hands. He wants to see the Scorpion go back to the shadows where as it is Kachiko that wants to see the Scorpion take over. Kachiko has a vested interest in there being no accusation of a power play where as Shoju might have to take one for the team to get what he wants.

I believe Shoju fully expects the other clans yo move against the scorpion and to see his clan "fall", but until that happens try to control the chaos.

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15 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

I'm wondering how they take the news :P

"We had to run away, it was our only-"

"Edict says you're Emperor."

"... Wat."

It's likely to be an interesting conversation.

An important point though is that he's emperor but has a regent. And his twue wuv is still being arrested and executed, and I'm not certain he has the ability to stop them without Shoju choosing to play nice.

12 hours ago, RafaelNN said:

I believe Shoju fully expects the other clans yo move against the scorpion and to see his clan "fall", but until that happens try to control the chaos.

Indeed. Voluntarilty dumpstering the clan 'for the good of the empire' is an iconically scorpion move.

It also means that the restored (Hopefully!) Hantei line can retroactively blame him for any problems over the next few months without tarnishing the name of the Imperial line.

 

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2 minutes ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It's likely to be an interesting conversation.

An important point though is that he's emperor but has a regent. And his twue wuv is still being arrested and executed, and I'm not certain he has the ability to stop them without Shoju choosing to play nice.

Indeed. Voluntarilty dumpstering the clan 'for the good of the empire' is an iconically scorpion move.

It also means that the restored (Hopefully!) Hantei line can retroactively blame him for any problems over the next few months without tarnishing the name of the Imperial line.

 

I mean if Daisetsu says she's innocent, even though Shoju is the Regent, its still the Emperor saying it, so that statement will carry significant weight.  At the least enough that most others will take a pause on doing anything until they can get instructions from Shouju. 

And as the Regent Shouju has to consider that at some point Daisetsu will undergo his Gempukku at which point he's out on his butt and Dai is in charge, and do you want to be the guy who ordered the execution of the Emperor's Bae. 

Nope, odds are as long as Daisetsu vouches for her Shahai will be fine, which of course leads to the next problem that we need to have some reason why Daisetsu will either be unwilling or unable to vouch for her when the time comes so that the impending disaster can continue, as other wise as soon as Shaisetsu and Mitsu (cause dammit he's just their friend and adviser and doesn't get to be in on the fun times) hears about the Edict, which the Miya Heralds should be spreading far and wide at this point, they no longer have a need to run and Mitsu should be working to get them back to the Palace ASAP at that point.

Which of course leads us back to one of my earlier predictions that something really bad needs to happen to Daisetsu and the only way to save him will be Shahai doing something very bad that will call his suitability to rule into question.

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7 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

I mean if Daisetsu says she's innocent, even though Shoju is the Regent, its still the Emperor saying it, so that statement will carry significant weight.  At the least enough that most others will take a pause on doing anything until they can get instructions from Shouju. 

Agreed. But at a fundamental level - she's not, and everyone involved knows that.

If Daisetsu has the presence of mind not to confirm what happened without thinking and start issuing orders, it might hold up, but Yoshi and Tadaji's conversation implies that the current orders are kill-on-sight. He may not get a chance to actually say anything; it's quite possible the seppun would be too busy body-checking and burying him in armoured bodies whilst they dispatch the dangerous assailant to actually listen to him speak....

7 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

And as the Regent Shouju has to consider that at some point Daisetsu will undergo his Gempukku at which point he's out on his butt and Dai is in charge, and do you want to be the guy who ordered the execution of the Emperor's Bae. 

Agreed - but as noted, if Shoju's brain really has gone into Bayushi do-what-must-be-done mode, then whether he survives the process is no longer part of the calculations, only whether or not he lives long enough to get Daisetsu's backside parked on a stable throne.

If he decides Shahai is an obstacle to that, then he'd order her throat slit without hesitating.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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3 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

...as soon as Shaisetsu and Mitsu (cause dammit he's just their friend and adviser and doesn't get to be in on the fun times) hears about the Edict, which the Miya Heralds should be spreading far and wide at this point, they no longer have a need to run and Mitsu should be working to get them back to the Palace ASAP at that point.

Which of course leads us back to one of my earlier predictions that something really bad needs to happen to Daisetsu and the only way to save him will be Shahai doing something very bad that will call his suitability to rule into question.

Or--and, putting my usual writerly disclaimer hat on, I'm NOT saying this is the case, because I genuinely don't know and am speculating as much as you guys--Daisetsu persists with his contempt for the Throne, the Court, Otosan Uchi and things generally Imperial, and simply decides he doesn't WANT the Throne, and ignores the edict. Reinforcing this decision is the very same fact regarding Shahai--that she'd be facing the repercussions of her actions the night they fled, and he doesn't want to subject her to that. And Mitsu, being a good Togashi, could easily support this because, after all, everyone must choose their own path through life and who is he to gainsay that? At the very least, this could leave Mitsu feeling really conflicted.

In other words, getting word of the edict might actually push Daisetsu and company FURTHER into the wind, rather than bringing them back to the Capital.

Once more, this is my musing only, though. I have absolutely no idea what's coming for these characters, any more than you folks do.

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