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Tonbo Karasu

Violence Behind Courtliness - New Fiction

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57 minutes ago, KakitaKaori said:

If the elemental imbalance only impacted the Phoenix, I could totally understand.  Pride is certainly a thing, and revealing a weakness you are experiencing internally can make you a target of other clans.  But this problem doesn't.  The Crane, at the very least, have a right to know what is happening. 

Sure. But as I said before, the Isawa shutting off is their new gig I feel. I'm not denying that this is a bad thing, but I don't think that they do it out of pride or hubris. 

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5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

The Crab does not ask for Lion troops

'Cept... they did. Well. not Lion, in particular, but... the Yasuki Daimyo would have been thrilled to get some troops in his delightful and fulfilling meeting with Kakita Yoshi. Anyone's troops.

5 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

the Crane does not ask for Scorpion clout

Since they're at diplomatic odds, they... really can't. But they have asked for help where they need it and where others are in a position to provide it- case in point, this very fiction, where the Phoenix show up with Hotaru's forces- less for their actual material strength than as a show of support when confronting the Scorpion-held city.

But sure, to your basic point, let's pick some  better examples-

  • The Lion seem to think they can tackle fighting the Crane, the Unicorn, and possibly each other without any outside help. And that's hubris.
  • Kakita Yoshi tries to act like he's in control of his situation, as opposed to being a routinely-outmaneuvered git whose intelligent choices within the storyline... elude me. Hubris! But at the same time, he's not calling all of the shots for the Crane's leadership- only some of the most disastrous ones (including giving the go-ahead to the guy trying to start a civil war while the Crane have their hands full).
  • Kachiko and her supporters thought her schemes were all that and a bag of chips when it came to serving Scorpion ends. Hubris! Which she is only now starting to grapple with, and which her admirers may never really grasp.
  • Kuni Yori's noodlings with maho are very much in line with the way the Isawa are conducting themselves in one crucial respect- he appears to honestly think he can handle it. Of course, in his particular case, telling anyone what the Kuni are dabbling in would usher in not simply inconvenient political or military opportunism, but the weight of Imperial censure upon his family and clan as a matter of existing law. Still hubris. No wonder he and Tadaka appear to be getting along.

I have nothing for the Dragon, since, well, we haven't gotten enough about what they're actually doing to say, and their leader's "here's a piece of paper from a fortune cookie, interpret it" style of command is going to lend itself to idiosyncracy. Likewise, the Unicorn are guilty of thinking that meishodo is all fine and safe, when we, the readers, know that at least some of the specific talismans could be trouble, but they have no evidence to go on- their big hassles are a kind of flubbing of the timeline making the Ide look breathtakingly incompetent.

The Phoenix being arrogant doesn't mean no one else is arrogant- but nor does the arrogance of others excuse the Council's mindset of of its hubris.

At this stage in the story, just about everyone needs to be screwing up in one way or another so we can get the big Clan War kaboom we're all firing up our popcorn machines for.

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51 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

At this stage in the story, just about everyone needs to be screwing up in one way or another so we can get the big Clan War kaboom we're all firing up our popcorn machines for.

Which at this point, I'm probably in the minority here, but I do hope however the Clan War finishes, it won't finish with a Second Day of Thunder.

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28 minutes ago, Diogo Salazar said:

Which at this point, I'm probably in the minority here, but I do hope however the Clan War finishes, it won't finish with a Second Day of Thunder.

Its so baked into the setting that the eventual story has to lead there at some point.  It doesn't necessarily need to be the absolute final destination of the Clan War, but the Clan War should be a major set up for it.  

You can always have the aftermath of the Clan War leaving a weakened Empire flush for invasion by the Shadowlands and now there is a "rally" the clans to prepare for the Second Day of Thunder.  But at that point you are stopping one war just to start a new one, better to have the first naturally flow into the latter, where the ongoing fighting has weakened the Empire so much that the Invasion occurs and now you have a conflict on two "fronts" for most of the clans.

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12 minutes ago, Diogo Salazar said:

Which at this point, I'm probably in the minority here, but I do hope however the Clan War finishes, it won't finish with a Second Day of Thunder.

We've already gotten a different 'Scorpion Clan Coup'.  I'm hoping for the Clan War to peak with a Battle of Beiden Pass holding back an endless tide of Shadowlands creatures from overrunning all the way to Otosan Uchi after having stomped all over the southern empire.

Second Day of Thunder happens, Fu Leng is defeated, but Beiden Pass collapses cutting the Empire functionally in two, leaving a North recovering from poor harvests trying to rally and a South scarred by the forces of Jigoku and a stirring in Shinomen.

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My point is that we should avoid having big cataclysmic events every 10-20 years where theoretically, lots of people died and plenty of lands got devastated just so we can have a new big conflict involving some of the former leadership and introducing the new generation so eventually they can take over to keep selling cards.

This, for me, was the most annoying part of the old timeline. Fu Leng returns and it almost brought the Empire down. 5 years later now it’s the Lying Darkness and it is worse than Fu Leng. Now we have overpopulation because dead people came back and it’s a multi- generational fight like you’ve never seen between revived spirits and the ones living presently, and then 30 years later we technically have a Third Day of Thunder with the new Champion of Jigoku, Kali-ma.

All these events happening in a 40 years interval. I mean, can we bring down to the “Thousand Years of Peace” where the clans only engaged in *cough* border skirmishes? We can have enough engaging stories without the need of having the Empire almost destroyed every decade.

You can create engaging stories AND keep selling cards (and books) without all this “bigger badder eviller villain” than before happening over and over.

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I don't think FFG is all that interested in having a revolving door of BBE's (Big Bad Evil). I don't know this for SURE, but I've seen nothing at all to suggest they intend to do that--and that's good, because that was one way in which the AEG setting didn't work all that well for me, either. I think we were going to try to wind that down and concentrate more on human drama--that was my preference, as Brand Lead--but then AEG sold the game, so whatever might have come with L5R in the old setting will just remain "the path not taken".

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44 minutes ago, DGLaderoute said:

I don't think FFG is all that interested in having a revolving door of BBE's (Big Bad Evil). I don't know this for SURE, but I've seen nothing at all to suggest they intend to do that--and that's good, because that was one way in which the AEG setting didn't work all that well for me, either. I think we were going to try to wind that down and concentrate more on human drama--that was my preference, as Brand Lead--but then AEG sold the game, so whatever might have come with L5R in the old setting will just remain "the path not taken".

THANK YOU!

Yes, that's what I'm talking about, you can have enough conflict and drama and strife without BBE of the Year (or Pack Edition). Glad to hear there are people involved that feel the same way.
To be sure, I don't mind if another Oni like the Maw comes from the Pit and unites the Shadowlands and invade the Empire at its weakest point. It just doesn't need to be Fu Leng (and then the Lying Darkness, and then Iuchiban and then...)

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4 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

I have nothing for the Dragon, since, well, we haven't gotten enough about what they're actually doing to say

 

Right now I'd say the Dragon's bigger problem is fear, not hubris. Apropos of not telling people about stuff: they're trying very hard to keep anybody from figuring out just how bad their population decline is and what they've done to try and prop up the samurai class, because when all is said and done, neighboring clans are less "fellow loyal subjects of the Emperor" and more "foreign nations who will totally turn on you if they smell weakness." They're trying to seek assistance from the Phoenix on figuring the problem out . . . but they're doing it with one hand sort of tied behind their backs, because they can't be fully honest.

Their other big problem, the PLS, might stem from them not being willing enough to declare that they know what's going on. They looked at the Phoenix calling it a heresy and went "ehhhh, maybe? Needs more data." Which I'm sure will bite them on the posterior sooner or later.

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It's fine if the big bad /is/ Fu Leng.   It's not Fu Leng that is objectionable...in fact, Fu Leng being as big as he is means you can have all kinds of events leading to his coming.  It's the 'defeat the big' followed by more defeat the big.

But a post-Fu Leng world, assuming the story lasts that long, is one without a Hantei.  At that point, the real politics and clan wars can start. Then you don't need any kami at all to make a wild story. As long as the LCG doesn't incorporate a Shadowlands faction, there's no obligation to give the Shadowlands faction something to do.

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Yes, my objection wasn't to fighting a BBE. Fu Leng was a terrific villain for the culmination of the game's original story arc, in the Second Day of Thunder. The bigger issue was that it was Fu Leng, then the Lying Darkness, then Daigotsu, then Iuchiban, then Daigotsu again, then Kali-ma, then Fu Leng AND Kali-ma, and then Daigotsu again...

I loved the old AEG setting and story, but it really DID lean a little too heavily on formidable supernatural foes threatening the Empire.

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3 hours ago, DGLaderoute said:

Yes, my objection wasn't to fighting a BBE. Fu Leng was a terrific villain for the culmination of the game's original story arc, in the Second Day of Thunder. The bigger issue was that it was Fu Leng, then the Lying Darkness, then Daigotsu, then Iuchiban, then Daigotsu again, then Kali-ma, then Fu Leng AND Kali-ma, and then Daigotsu again...

I loved the old AEG setting and story, but it really DID lean a little too heavily on formidable supernatural foes threatening the Empire.

During my time as a fan, my favorite "arc threat" in the old lore? Chagatai.

No pipeline to the Realm of Evil, no "oh wait, this evil is actually WORSE than Jigoku," just a committed Unicorn Khan doing things he's not supposed to.

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6 hours ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

During my time as a fan, my favorite "arc threat" in the old lore? Chagatai.

No pipeline to the Realm of Evil, no "oh wait, this evil is actually WORSE than Jigoku," just a committed Unicorn Khan doing things he's not supposed to.

This would also be why I hope they make better use of the Kolat this time, a reasonable villain that can be used as a recurring theme since its not 1 person but an organization.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Diogo Salazar said:

My point is that we should avoid having big cataclysmic events every 10-20 years where theoretically, lots of people died and plenty of lands got devastated just so we can have a new big conflict involving some of the former leadership and introducing the new generation so eventually they can take over to keep selling cards.

This, for me, was the most annoying part of the old timeline. Fu Leng returns and it almost brought the Empire down. 5 years later now it’s the Lying Darkness and it is worse than Fu Leng. Now we have overpopulation because dead people came back and it’s a multi- generational fight like you’ve never seen between revived spirits and the ones living presently, and then 30 years later we technically have a Third Day of Thunder with the new Champion of Jigoku, Kali-ma.

All these events happening in a 40 years interval. I mean, can we bring down to the “Thousand Years of Peace” where the clans only engaged in *cough* border skirmishes? We can have enough engaging stories without the need of having the Empire almost destroyed every decade.

 

14 hours ago, DGLaderoute said:

Yes, my objection wasn't to fighting a BBE. Fu Leng was a terrific villain for the culmination of the game's original story arc, in the Second Day of Thunder. The bigger issue was that it was Fu Leng, then the Lying Darkness, then Daigotsu, then Iuchiban, then Daigotsu again, then Kali-ma, then Fu Leng AND Kali-ma, and then Daigotsu again...

I loved the old AEG setting and story, but it really DID lean a little too heavily on formidable supernatural foes threatening the Empire.

No kidding, the amount of armed conflict the setting saw during the AEG days should have been enough for the Empire to disintegrate several times over.

I made a post about this previously, to wit:

Quote

"[Starting] from the Lion-Crane War in 1123 to the Spider Clan conquering the Empire in circa 1200 (a period of 77 years), we had:

The Clan War.
The Second Day of Thunder.
The War Against Shadow.
The War of Spirits.
The Dragon-Phoenix War.
The Second Yasuki War.
The War of the Rich Frog.
The War of Fire and Thunder.
The Winter of Red Snows.
The Third Yasuki War.
The War of Dark Fire.
The Destroyer War.
The War of the Twins.
The Mantis-Crane War.
The Heretic War.
The Serpent War.


And I'm still missing quite a few smaller conflicts. That many armed conflicts, in such a short frame of time..."

Even if we limit it to just the bolded parts, where the Empire is being assaulted by hostile outside forces, it's still unbelievable that the Empire didn't collapse halfway down the list. Hopefully, FFG will either stretch these conflicts out over a much larger span of time, or just do the Second Day of Thunder and then the next several in-game decades worth of story will be inter-clan conflict or dealing with decidedly mortal enemies; I think AEG were planning to have the Unicorn try to conquer the Yobanjin before they sold the IP.

5 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

This would also be why I hope they make better use of the Kolat this time, a reasonable villain that can be used as a recurring theme since its not 1 person but an organization.

The biggest problem with the Kolat was always that they had their fingers in too many pies at once - they're an anti-Kami sect, AND a massive criminal Enterprise, AND they're fighting against the Lying Darkness? Just one of those would have been enough.

Edited by Mangod

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27 minutes ago, Mangod said:

The biggest problem with the Kolat was always that they had their fingers in too many pies at once - they're an anti-Kami sect, AND a massive criminal Enterprise, AND they're fighting against the Lying Darkness? Just one of those would have been enough.

I think most of that can go somewhat hand in hand fine.  Criminal Enterprise is the cover that they use for their true operations of opposing the Kami.   Lying Darkness is also something that can easily fall under that auspice as an external force that would be in opposition to their position as the "inheritors" of power.  But it can also be ignored if we don't even see the Lying Darkness as a story villain at all.

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On a different topic...
Katrina posted this today in Discord.

Quote
lindevi (Katrina Ostrander)Today at 3:03 PM

Kakita came to Lady Doji's attention after the first Emerald Championship, and arguably the Topaz Championship is modeled after that original tournament. Tournaments have a strong tradition in the Crane Clan. The daimyoship of the families are hereditary, and while it is traditionally the case that the Doji family daimyo is also the champion, that is not always the case. There is a ceremonial tournament to invest the Crane Champion that other Crane kuge may enter if they truly believe they should lead.

It is important to note that Shukujo resonates with a person of Doji's bloodline, which includes all members of the Kakita family as well.

...

From the first edition Way of the Crane, the Crane Clan is governed by a council of the four family daimyo plus the champion. If the champion is also a Doji, a different doji represents that family in the council so the champion can advocate for all four family's interests.

We haven't seen that council much on screen, possibly because the council's decision-making has waxed and waned over the centuries.

 


 

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