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The Cornered Lion - New L5R Fiction Story Discussion

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Found a typo.

Quote

And the latest of Kyūden Kakita, how Matsu Tsuko had seized that Lion castle in Toturi’s absence.

Pretty sure it's a Crane castle, unless everyone in the Empire has conceded it to the Lion in the 2 1/2 hours since Tsuko took it.

Edit: Finished reading - wow, Toturi is Sherlocking this whole succession crisis like a champ.

Edited by Mangod

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….."like finding a candle in the dark."

Well written, but more important.................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was the scent of the candle?  I hope it's not one of those cheap ones where the "pine" scent smells like a bear fart.  That would suck to almost be killed and then be stuck in the dark only to find some stank smelling candle. 

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The choice needs to be go find and protect Daisetsu right?  Then we get a gathering of heroes all circling around Daitsetsu.  Also I'd love for some Kaede and Shahai interaction considering a big reason Shahai was in the capital was because of Kaede.

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So my take on where each choice could lead

  1. Toturi seeks the rightful heir, Hantei Daisetsu, pledging to protect him from all threats and return him safely to the capital.
    This strikes me as the most popular choice for many and is likely what leads us to a Ronin Toturi forming his army.
  2. Toturi investigates the attempt on his life and possible connections to the Emperor’s death, dragging the perpetrators into the light to foil their efforts.
    This is the bad end choice I think as there isn't much that Toturi will be able to glean from the palace as most of the relevant witnesses are either dead, or in someway compromised being either Scorpion, Kolat or in love with his wife (I'm looking at you Ishikawa).  I don't see him having many good options with this choice and it seems likely to end poorly for Toturi, which of course means I can see some folks .
  3. Toturi returns to the Lion Clan and confronts Matsu Tsuko, hoping to gain her support and unify the Lion Clan to restore order in the capital.
    This is likely the civil war option so I can see it being the other hate vote choice.  Lions fighting Lions is always popular from the other clans perspective.
  4. Toturi undergoes a pilgrimage to seek the council of his former sensei at the Monastery Among the Winds
    One of the things I've been pointing out a lot today is that Toturi didn't just study with Akodo Kage, he spent years studying under the Brotherhood of Shinsei's Acolyte of Water Suana.  O5R he would have been stationed in a monastary in Lion lands during the Scorpion Clan Coup period so odds are good that he would actually be returning to Suana in this option and not Kage.  Its also worth noting that the Monastary Among the Winds is where Joden had intended to retire with Sotorii and where Shouju was sending Sotorii to when Kuwanen's really really bad day happened so this could be the option that leads to him finding Sotorii wandering around the country side and as one of the few people that is actually likely to recognize him on sight outside of the capital having to take on the task of fulfilling the role that his father had intended of turning him into a responsible man worthy of a place as an adviser to his brother.

Of all the choices I actually like option 4 the most as I can see some real chances to change up the O5R dynamic of Toturi with it where as the other three all have pretty easy ways to just flip him into Toturi the Black if things go poorly.  With Option 4 we can have the possibility of a redemption ark for Sotorii, coupled with a possible descent to darkness for Daisetsu that would really flip the current choice of which would make a the better Emperor and give us some real meat to have to consider versus the current Daisetsu is "perfect" and Sotorii is just a jerk that is getting what he deserves. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:
  1. Toturi investigates the attempt on his life and possible connections to the Emperor’s death, dragging the perpetrators into the light to foil their efforts.
    This is the bad end choice I think as there isn't much that Toturi will be able to glean from the palace as most of the relevant witnesses are either dead, or in someway compromised being either Scorpion, Kolat or in love with his wife (I'm looking at you Ishikawa). 

I doubt FFG would offer this as a choice if it were a dead end. If that's the one that wins out, Toturi will accomplish something useful in the capital -- which could still lead to him dying, but it won't happen until after there's been some interesting story developments.

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Just now, Kinzen said:

I doubt FFG would offer this as a choice if it were a dead end. If that's the one that wins out, Toturi will accomplish something useful in the capital -- which could still lead to him dying, but it won't happen until after there's been some interesting story developments.

Oh I think there will be story gleaned from it, just not a lot that will be relevant to the actual investigation, and the danger level for Toturi is likely the highest in this option which is why I labelled it the bad end option.  Things will happen but Toturi will likely not enjoy the ride and there is a very good chance that it ends with him either assassinated or making the 3 cuts.

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for choice 2 Aramoro and Kachiko aren't even in the capital anymore.  Also I'm pretty sure it was said that most if not all the witnesses he might seek out were taken care of or are Scorpion so...  I guess there's always the question of Miya Satoshi.  He's probably not too happy that Shoju is taking the throne instead of Sotorii considering that's the understanding he had with Kachiko.

I like the idea of option 4 being a Toturi and Satorii meet up potentially.  Not sure where that would go but I had wondered if they would slowly steer us away from Daisetsu being the sympathetic one to Sotorii being more sympathetic.  Gonna be a large mountain to climb now for Sotorii though.

ADD:  Wouldn't it be something if Toturi went to the capital and uncovered the Kolat conspiracy instead of the Scorpion/Sotorii plot.  How confused would he be then.  It would just be a whole fiction of him sitting there with analysis paralysis.

Edited by phillos

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Just now, phillos said:

for choice 2 Aramoro and Kachiko aren't even in the capital anymore.  Also I'm pretty sure it was said that most if not all the witnesses he might seek out were taken care of or are Scorpion so...  I guess there's always the question of Miya Satoshi.  He's probably not too happy that Shoju is taking the throne instead of Sotorii considering that's the understanding he had with Kachiko.

I like the idea of option 4 being a Toturi and Satorii meet up potentially.  Not sure where that would go but it had wondered if they would slowly steer us away from Daisetsu being the sympathetic one to Sotorii being more sympathetic.  Gonna be a large mountain to climb now for Sotorii though.

Actually I think Satoshi is actually ecstatic with Shoju on the Throne as it plays far better into his grand agenda.  We get to see the Empire ruled not by a Hantei which puts proof to the celestial mandate being over, and when the time comes he has the proof that Sotorii killed his father and Kachiko covered it up so if needed he can leverage that against Shoju

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More Spooky work! I have to wonder if this means we don't get a Halloween yarn out of him this year...

 

For a guy who was just mostly-dead, Toturi's actually got  very solid handle on the situation- he has some trouble and a few blind spots, but considering the stresses he's been under, he's demonstrating all the qualities Tsuko lacks...

 

As far as the choices go...

 

1. Finding Daisetsu and protecting him. This one... well. Given Shahai's situation, could actually be more turbulent than it sounds. But it's a solid heroic choice, even if it's predicated upon an organized menace to Daisetsu's well-being that, so far as we know, doesn't actually exist yet. :P

2.  A nice tempting "let's get that scumbag" choice... albeit one that will, if successful, further destabilize matters. Toturi knows Shoju isn't guilty... but Kachiko and her faction are, and Rokugan as a whole is not going to bother with fine distinctions. The Scorpion tried to have the Emerald Champion murdered within less than an hour of the Emperor's death which placed their Champion in the Regency. I think this is the real chaos choice.

3. "Confronts" Tsuko? "Attempting to gain her support?" Lion on Lion strife is fun and all, but I actually think this one is the dullest. Even if "restore order in the capital" sounds a lot like, "throw down with the Army of the Rising Wave" to me.

4. This choice feels a lot like putting him on a bus. Which means it's probably the one with a buried stinger in it.

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I'm curious about the line mentioning why there is no longer a Jade Champion. Was there any particular reason why this happened in O5R? I remember something about Phoenix not being happy about it, as they felt that particular role fell in their purview and, I suppose, politically pressing against it, but no single, particular event being the cause of the office being abandoned, as this line suggest.

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2 minutes ago, Mon no Oni said:

I'm curious about the line mentioning why there is no longer a Jade Champion. Was there any particular reason why this happened in O5R? I remember something about Phoenix not being happy about it, as they felt that particular role fell in their purview and, I suppose, politically pressing against it, but no single, particular event being the cause of the office being abandoned, as this line suggest.

It was basically Phoenix complaining.  O5R the reason for the Jade Champion being retired was the Phoenix discovering a Bloodspeaker cult operating in Scorpion lands right under the nose of the Jade Champion who was a Yogo at the time.

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I’m rooting for option 4. This is the sujindai, and the Monastery is the best place for Toturi to encounter both the political & spiritual crises. Could run into Sotorii, could find out that Jordan had made some important arrangements there, might get some advice on his & Kaede’s fate after her intervention.

Might meet a random ronin in a hood...

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Worth noting Kagi knows where he is - though given the events of In The Palace of the Emerald Champion that doesn't necessarily follow that Agasha Sumiko does; the two don't seem to get on (letting an assassin into the castle, knowingly or not, tends to sour working relationships..)

Also interesting to note that - lion clan stereotypes aside - Akodo Arasou's view on seppuku seems to line up with Hotaru's rather than Kunawan's; kill yourself if you've failed if you can't do something useful to rectify your failure (or at least after you've done that).

Either way it looks like an interesting set of choices. Given the slow-burning effect of Kunawan's release, you can't argue they're not offering 'big' story choices to the players!

 

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The Shogun had an option to throw Kuwanan at Tsuko and now the Shogun will have the option to throw Toturi at Tsuko.  The story team really wants us to have someone have a showdown with Tsuko.

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6 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

Worth noting Kagi knows where he is - though given the events of In The Palace of the Emerald Champion that doesn't necessarily follow that Agasha Sumiko does; the two don't seem to get on (letting an assassin into the castle, knowingly or not, tends to sour working relationships..)

Also interesting to note that - lion clan stereotypes aside - Akodo Arasou's view on seppuku seems to line up with Hotaru's rather than Kunawan's; kill yourself if you've failed if you can't do something useful to rectify your failure (or at least after you've done that).

Either way it looks like an interesting set of choices. Given the slow-burning effect of Kunawan's release, you can't argue they're not offering 'big' story choices to the players!

 

I think that Kagi was fine post Palace adventure given that he was assigned to personally serve Toturi.

As to Lion and Seppuku, the Deathseekers have long been a thing for Lion, redeem your shame in battle and die gloriously for the betterment of the Clan.

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23 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

So my take on where each choice could lead

  1. Toturi seeks the rightful heir, Hantei Daisetsu, pledging to protect him from all threats and return him safely to the capital.
    This strikes me as the most popular choice for many and is likely what leads us to a Ronin Toturi forming his army.
  2. Toturi investigates the attempt on his life and possible connections to the Emperor’s death, dragging the perpetrators into the light to foil their efforts.
    This is the bad end choice I think as there isn't much that Toturi will be able to glean from the palace as most of the relevant witnesses are either dead, or in someway compromised being either Scorpion, Kolat or in love with his wife (I'm looking at you Ishikawa).  I don't see him having many good options with this choice and it seems likely to end poorly for Toturi, which of course means I can see some folks .
  3. Toturi returns to the Lion Clan and confronts Matsu Tsuko, hoping to gain her support and unify the Lion Clan to restore order in the capital.
    This is likely the civil war option so I can see it being the other hate vote choice.  Lions fighting Lions is always popular from the other clans perspective.
  4. Toturi undergoes a pilgrimage to seek the council of his former sensei at the Monastery Among the Winds
    One of the things I've been pointing out a lot today is that Toturi didn't just study with Akodo Kage, he spent years studying under the Brotherhood of Shinsei's Acolyte of Water Suana.  O5R he would have been stationed in a monastary in Lion lands during the Scorpion Clan Coup period so odds are good that he would actually be returning to Suana in this option and not Kage.  Its also worth noting that the Monastary Among the Winds is where Joden had intended to retire with Sotorii and where Shouju was sending Sotorii to when Kuwanen's really really bad day happened so this could be the option that leads to him finding Sotorii wandering around the country side and as one of the few people that is actually likely to recognize him on sight outside of the capital having to take on the task of fulfilling the role that his father had intended of turning him into a responsible man worthy of a place as an adviser to his brother.

 

I enjoy that they had the guts in this story to write Toturi's conclusions as half-right, not full Sherlock figured it out and not dead wrong and running off half-cocked.  As far as my personal opinions on the Shogun choices go:

1.  I'm not really interested in this one.  To me it seems like generically setting up Daisetsu good, Sotorii bad, even though we have reason to believe that Daisetsu is not good at all, which will definitely come back to bite us.

2.  This feels to me like it ends badly for everyone.  Accusations and counter-accusations until Toturi and the Scorpion Clan and Ishikawa and anyone else it touches is disgraced.  Even if he's able to learn the details of his own attempted assassination, I don't think he could realistically get just Kachiko & Aramoro unless Shoju threw them both under the bus.

3.  I don't really see what's gained by this option, and thus I agree that I can see an anti-Lion Shogun picking it.  He can deal with Tsuko later if he needs to.  Order is already more or less restored in the capital.  Honestly, I suspect he would lose this challenge anyway - the Lion leadership have already gone too far, they won't just slink back to his side.

4.  This one perturbs me because it seems very vague.  The reason I quoted the post is because I love the idea of him meeting Sotorii by happenstance and the possibility of a redemption story for him.  Not sure how that would happen, but I like the idea.  The problem is, that's not the choice.  The choice is just that Toturi goes on a pilgrimage.  For all we know, that means Kuwanan will ambush Toturi next by mistake, and both characters will be killed in the battle.  That being said, I actually think this is my number one choice, based on the possibility that he meets Sotorii.  I think my number two is 2, because I don't really care for 1 or 3, and I would certainly root for Toturi to stick it to Kachiko & Aramoro, even thought I don't think he'll actually manage it.

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6 minutes ago, MirumotoKatsuro said:

4.  This one perturbs me because it seems very vague.  The reason I quoted the post is because I love the idea of him meeting Sotorii by happenstance and the possibility of a redemption story for him.  Not sure how that would happen, but I like the idea.  The problem is, that's not the choice.  The choice is just that Toturi goes on a pilgrimage.  For all we know, that means Kuwanan will ambush Toturi next by mistake, and both characters will be killed in the battle.  That being said, I actually think this is my number one choice, based on the possibility that he meets Sotorii.  I think my number two is 2, because I don't really care for 1 or 3, and I would certainly root for Toturi to stick it to Kachiko & Aramoro, even thought I don't think he'll actually manage it.

Only reason why I see this being the linked to Sotorii option is the fact that they specifically call out the Monastery of the Winds as being the location since its where Sotorii was supposed to "retire" to along with Joden.  I just really think we need something for Sotorii to justify any sort of power struggle as currently its just weighed way to much in favor of Daisetsu over him.  If we can get something that actually makes Sotorii a worthwhile human (which I think Toturi/Kaede could actually do) and on the other side have Daisetsu start to follow down a darker path by being exposed to ideas like the Perfect Land Sect and seeing how "perverted" the ideals of Bushido have become and maybe deciding that a new path is needed for the Empire it becomes a much less obvious choice between the two.

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13 hours ago, MirumotoKatsuro said:

I enjoy that they had the guts in this story to write Toturi's conclusions as half-right, not full Sherlock figured it out and not dead wrong and running off half-cocked. 

Agreed. He is smart, but he's not omniscient. They got a good balance. Amusingly part of the reason he got what he got wrong wrong was that he assumes Sotorii is a more capable and decisive individual than he actually is. Which - since he's only met him in full-on snark mode, and neither seen him panicked, nor raging, nor seen him fight, is an understandable mistake....

My thoughts on the choices...are kind of irrelevant. Firstly it would require me to be able to get to Winter Court, and second it would require me to actually win a game of the LCG. Against anyone. Ever.

So...accepting this is just irrelevant spitballing, my thoughts:

 

  1. Toturi seeks the rightful heir, Hantei Daisetsu, pledging to protect him from all threats and return him safely to the capital.
  2. Toturi investigates the attempt on his life and possible connections to the Emperor’s death, dragging the perpetrators into the light to foil their efforts.
  3. Toturi returns to the Lion Clan and confronts Matsu Tsuko, hoping to gain her support and unify the Lion Clan to restore order in the capital.
  4. Toturi undergoes a pilgrimage to seek the council of his former sensei at the Monastery Among the Winds

 

There are two ways to look at the choices. From an abstract view of the principles of Bushido as described for the setting, and from the perspective of Toturi and the story.

First off, to me, (3) is right out. A Samurai's duty is supposed to be to the Empire as a whole before their clan. Especially when you're talking about the Empire in the person of the Emperor and double especially when the samurai in question is the Emerald Champion. Yes, the idea is 'unify the Lion and then use them to restore order' but right now the disorder in the capital isn't dramatically out of control and if an army is needed there's one right there. Even as clan champion, the clan can and should be thrown under a bus if there is a more pressing threat to the Emperor.

(2) is sensible-ish, but seems redundant; again, he's pretty confident Shoju isn't responsible because he - of all people - knows the edict isn't a forgery. So the person who should be in charge (by Hantei Jodan's wishes) is. That doesn't mean someone won't plot to kill Shoju in turn, but Seppun Ishikawa and Kitsuki Kagi are both right there and know what happened to Toturi and Kaede. Plus, Agasha Sumiko - who he may or may not have learned to get along with (have they had any scenes together post him going off to Toshi Ranbo?) is supposed to be 'incorruptible' according to her reputation. That's three people he should be able to trust right there in the capital who should be investigating on his behalf, at least two of whom are as well informed as he is.

 

That leaves (1) and (4). To me, (1) is the 'right' choice. Hantei Daisetsu is the rightful heir and therefore the current Emperor (regency or not) and that means his personal safety is paramount. He's no reason to be aware Togashi Mitsu is on hand, so as far as he knows it's just a pair of teenagers stuck out in the wilds with potential assassins after them. Daisetsu may or may not have been kidnapped, and if he hasn't it's because he and his lady-love were fleeing something. In either case I would argue duty is a pretty unambiguous 'go find him and protect him'. Whether he's to be brought back to the capital or not is a different question, but Toturi should be finding him.

That said, right choice in the abstract or not, (4) feels like an interesting story choice and frankly does feel a personally apt choice for the always-overthinking-things and not self-confident Toturi. His big problem is that he isn't decisive; that's exactly the big complaint Tsuko has with him and frankly it's not entirely unwarranted. Plus, The Monastery Among The Winds hosts his sensei and was going to host a former Emperor so it feels like a narratively significant location to get to see, plus the interest factor that (one assumes) they'd run into Sotorii in the process. It also sounds like the sort of thing Kaede might suggest (because we know the final suggestion comes from her) to a husband trying desperately to recapture a sense of purpose after what's just happened.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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