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Tonbo Karasu

Courtly Nets and Hidden Snares

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Definitely was nice to see Yoshi be competent and makes me feel like we have seen him used to show how good everyone else was before this (a bit of Wharf syndrome). 

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15 minutes ago, Shadrack said:

Definitely was nice to see Yoshi be competent and makes me feel like we have seen him used to show how good everyone else was before this (a bit of Wharf syndrome). 

Worf, unless there's a syndrome named after the place where ships are built.

And yeah, this definitely feels like Yoshi finally proving he's not just some political appointee, although I'm a little disappointed that he couldn't recognize his nemesis (Kachiko) from her doppleganger without literally getting right up in the dopplegangers face.

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Kakita Yoshi's big day! This expands the splash zone considerably.  If Aramoro's outed as Toturi's attacker, that brings down Yogo Asami now, instead of him acting on his own.  So either Kachiko goes down too, in which case the Scorpion Champion admits that he can't control his clan or Shoju takes all of the blame, claims he ordered Aramoro against Toturi, sent Kachiko to Toshi Ranbo to cover it up and used Asami as a decoy, which would leave Kachiko standing just clear of the damage she caused as the acting Champion of a clan that would really hate her.

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2 hours ago, Tonbo Karasu said:

 

Dare I say, Yoshi isn't a fool.

I think its a little early to say that, he was way to busy taking a victory lap after his minor achievement in getting the clans that are already aligned against the Lion or are just pro-peace to fall in line with his "showing" up Shoju (note that they achieved absolutely nothing of real consequence as Shoju didn't change his mind on sanctioning the Lion) and outed a massively in over her head Asami (notice she was already starting to crumble before Yoshi even showed up to talk to her).  At best I can say Yoshi was shown to be almost competent in this story but there is a pretty big train waiting to run him over depending on how the court reacts to word of Hotaru occupying Toshi Ranbo and Kuwanen's failed "rescue" of Sotorii.

Its very possible by the end of this cycle Yoshi may be dealing with the Imperial Legion and the Lion be sicked on the Crane for the massive f-ups that have been occurring under his watch.

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Interesting as well as it seem we can see some faction setting up in background,  confirming what previous fictions hint: a grouping of Uni+Crane, backed by phenix, a Scorpion supported by Dragon and a for the moment independent loose Lion. 

Now, needs to fit Crab in the mix. 

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Posted (edited)

Yoshi's pride seems like it will be his undoing.  He can't help but congratulate himself at every move.  That said it's nice to read a Yoshi fiction without having to jump through hoops to defend his competency.   It was nice to see him have a good day here. 

I like all the beastly descriptions of Ujiaki's courtly demeanor.  Lots of growling and roaring 🙂  I really like Ujiaki as an antagonist.  I would like to check in with him again to get a better sense on what his overall strategy is for the Lion in this conflict.

Edited by phillos

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, phillos said:

Yoshi's pride seems like it will be his undoing.  He can't help but congratulate himself at every move.  That said it's nice to read a Yoshi fiction without having to jump through hoops to defend his competency.   It was nice to see him have a good day here. 

I like all the beastly descriptions of Ujiaki's courtly demeanor.  Lots of growling and roaring 🙂  I really like Ujiaki as an antagonist.  I would like to check in with him again to get a better sense on what his overall strategy is for the Lion in this conflict.

I am dead curious where Ujiaki fits in to all this.  I'm loathe to make this accusation, but if he's behind the Lion aggression, as seems the case, but more importantly, doesn't state a motive beyond generic "but the Unicorn..." well, then it seems like he just wants to cause chaos.  As a Kolat might.

 

I am glad that we got to see Yoshi accomplish something in his schemes.  He's due his 6 political influence being shown up a bit.  I do have to wonder though... he makes a lot of assumptions about his victory over Shoju.  I might argue that one of them is that it ever happened.  Shoju is, after all, Champion of the Emperor's Underhand.  Yoshi might want to bring his nose back down to check his own feet for traps.

 

I am a bit intrigued by Doji Fumiki now.  Her card puts her in the light of a generic arrogant noble, but this story suggests there's rather more to her than that, so I wouldn't mind seeing her again.

 

edit: Also, with Yoshi now believing that he knows the truth about Toturi, I think it reasonable to assume that Kuwanan will be told.  Kuwanan, in turn, I suspect will throw it in Hotaru's face as an accusation, and part of his case against her.  Toturi was supposed to be her friend, after all, as well as a fellow Clan Champion.

Edited by MirumotoKatsuro

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About bloody time he managed to get through an appearance without actively hamstringing his own cause with every breath.

That said... even when he acts with skill, he's doing the wrong damned thing!😂

And he's still dancing to Kachiko's tune in the ways that matter- it's just that the tune is a bit jangled at present.

Kachiko's misstep in trying to remove Toturi plays into his tunnel vision fixation on Scorpion plots, Kachiko's absence because of that misstep leaves Asami vulnerable to discovery, which in turn lets him know that the Scorpion had something to with the attempt on Toturi's life.

Yoshi cannot stand up without constantly leaning on others, whatever bluster he tosses out in his internal monologue- and one cannot help noticing that the way he crows about his little victories  here reflects the limitations in his vision.

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20 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

I think its a little early to say that, he was way to busy taking a victory lap after his minor achievement in getting the clans that are already aligned against the Lion or are just pro-peace to fall in line with his "showing" up Shoju (note that they achieved absolutely nothing of real consequence as Shoju didn't change his mind on sanctioning the Lion) and outed a massively in over her head Asami (notice she was already starting to crumble before Yoshi even showed up to talk to her).  At best I can say Yoshi was shown to be almost competent in this story but there is a pretty big train waiting to run him over depending on how the court reacts to word of Hotaru occupying Toshi Ranbo and Kuwanen's failed "rescue" of Sotorii.

Its very possible by the end of this cycle Yoshi may be dealing with the Imperial Legion and the Lion be sicked on the Crane for the massive f-ups that have been occurring under his watch.

I dont think the aim was to accomplish anything "of real consequence" as you mention, but to undermine the scorpion position. He accomplished much. He showed Shoju, in public, that his decisions weren't taken well, his position as solid, and that he was being questioned by more than one clan. More importantly, that the questioning clans were in agreement with the questioning (they all questioned for the same reason, not each for his own interests), so it has been shown publicly in court that some clans are united in their doubting of the imperial regent. And the ones that voice the doubts arent just any courtier, but a daimyo of a great clan and the imperial chancellor. Regardless of Yoshi's reputation as a fool or not, or the fact that he allowed himself to bask in victory immediately after the battle was won -instead of waiting until he was in private or something- does not deny that what was accomplished was a very good hit against Shoju.

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19 minutes ago, RafaelNN said:

I dont think the aim was to accomplish anything "of real consequence" as you mention, but to undermine the scorpion position. He accomplished much. He showed Shoju, in public, that his decisions weren't taken well, his position as solid, and that he was being questioned by more than one clan. More importantly, that the questioning clans were in agreement with the questioning (they all questioned for the same reason, not each for his own interests), so it has been shown publicly in court that some clans are united in their doubting of the imperial regent. And the ones that voice the doubts arent just any courtier, but a daimyo of a great clan and the imperial chancellor. Regardless of Yoshi's reputation as a fool or not, or the fact that he allowed himself to bask in victory immediately after the battle was won -instead of waiting until he was in private or something- does not deny that what was accomplished was a very good hit against Shoju.

The flaw is that you are assuming Shoju sees them as being on equal footing.

Shoju is the Imperial Regent, appointed by Hantei the 38th and so to question his ruling is to question the wisdom of the Emperor.  In the realm of inter-clan politics sure he scored "points" but the issue is Shoju is now beyond points in relation to the rest of them.

Now if he can rally enough support to get Shoju pulled from his regency sure it would matter, but he isn't anywhere near the support needed for that (because lets face it that would require at least the Crab or Lion military to be on side along with the Unicorn to contest the Imperial Legion that Shoju now controls) so at best his self congratulation is just a sign of how little he really understands the new dynamic that Shoju's regency is placing the Empire under.

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2 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Shoju is the Imperial Regent, appointed by Hantei the 38th and so to question his ruling is to question the wisdom of the Emperor.

Based on edict dictated by a dead man and written by a missing person. Shoju is Regent only so long as the Court believes it is legitimate. Having the Crane, Phoenix and Unicorn push back is the first step to calling bull on the edict itself.
 

The Scorpion are backed by the Dragon, who’s small army is helping them hold the capital, and the Crab, if the jade from Toshi Rambo pays out, but they’re busy at the Wall. If the Unicorn/Crane can beat the Lion, they can seize Otosan Uchi & his regency is over. 

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Posted (edited)

In fact, given that Toturi was the only thing keeping the Lion in check, Shoju’s intransigence over enforcing peace could imply that Toturi’s death was the price the Scorpion paid for a deal with the Lion.  Both princes are missing, but they insist on waging war. That is not the actions of a clan with the best interests of the Hantei at heart.

 

Huh. Kuwanan has vocally declared the Crane for Sotorii against the Dragon, so in a straight up civil war it would be Crane, Phoenix, Unicorn with Sotorii against Crab, Dragon, Lion, Mantis, Scorpion backing Daisetsu.

Or a bunch of internal civil conflicts. Tsuko vs Toturi, Kuwanan vs Toturi, Tsukune vs Tadaka, Yori vs good sense...

Edited by Doji Hyōkin

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On 5/20/2020 at 8:44 PM, MirumotoKatsuro said:

well, then it seems like he just wants to cause chaos.  As a Kolat might.

A Kolat does not want to 'just' cause chaos. Chaos is but a tool. Just as a forest fire clears away dead brush to allow new growth so too does momentary chaos allow steps to be taken toward the grand objective of replacing the rotten husk of society with the true, perfect order.

Also, what less enlightened minds might view as chaos is in reality the result of centuries of planning to ensure that all the little dominoes are placed just right so that when you finally decide to knock them over they each fall precisely where you intend them to.

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Also, the goal doesn't have to be to unseat Shoju, just to have control. Keeping Shoju as regent, but politically powerless or at least weak, is a valid strategy as well. There's little he can do as regent if the other clans not only not support him, but politically block his move. Sure, if Shoju wants he can say "I want everyone to wear red hats" and people will do it, but he will be questioned and, more importantly, other "inconveniences" might happen if he starts wielding power based on his title without the political support of other clans. Bureocracy, misunderstandings of instructions, filibustering, etc.

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As one of the chief bashers of Yoshi- the reaction of the court indicates that the magnitude of his achievement is not purely in his own little noggin.

 

Fans do not rustle over "Jesus, what was the point of that?"

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On 5/21/2020 at 1:44 AM, MirumotoKatsuro said:

I am dead curious where Ujiaki fits in to all this.  I'm loathe to make this accusation, but if he's behind the Lion aggression, as seems the case, but more importantly, doesn't state a motive beyond generic "but the Unicorn..." well, then it seems like he just wants to cause chaos.  As a Kolat might.

 

  • Playing through Winter's Embrace, I'm really, really thinking he's Kolat. Quite aside from issues of the Lion-Unicorn border raids that seem to be largely his work.
  • Ujiaki is responsible for the forged invitation for the Mantis (based on Page 2), supposedly because "the Lion Clan can benefit from inflaming tensions between the Crane and Mantis Clans".
  • That argument doesn't hold up to scrutiny, though. Sending the Mantis a forged invitation (via Ikoma Rumiko) should have resulted in their response being told "...err, no. You weren't invited. Please do not attend". Miya Satoshi going along with it was unlikely (based on page 17) - "A different Imperial Herald may not have been so forgiving as to accommodate the Mantis Clan after receiving an unexpected letter of acceptance. Satoshi would have been within his rights to reply and inform them of their error, but he chose not to, risking the Emperor’s wrath in the process", and if he hadn't there would be no tension between Mantis and Crane - they wouldn't meet - and if anything they'd have been looking for the source of the spurious invitation.
  • Since it arrived on a ship carrying Rumiko and an Ikoma acting troupe, there's a good chance this would be traced back to the Lion and they, not the Crane, would suffer any political blowback.
  • Therefore Ujiaki's move only makes sense if he has confidence Miya Satoshi will support the Mantis' "response".
  • Meaning that for it to be a good idea, Ujiaki has to be able to predict that a highly-placed Kolat agent will act in a way not in his personal best interest and for which there is no benefit for his family.

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2 minutes ago, Shiba Gunichi said:

As one of the chief bashers of Yoshi- the reaction of the court indicates that the magnitude of his achievement is not purely in his own little noggin.

 

Fans do not rustle over "Jesus, what was the point of that?"

Yes and no.  They do when they are looking at it from the perspective of usual clan one ups man-ship.  The issue is Shoju is now effectively "above" that as regent.  Yes you can have the clans on side to question his ruling, but until they are willing to put rubber to the road and actively do something about it, it doesn't mean that much. His decree, or in this case lack of one, is still the law of the land.

Yoshi scored his points and his allies did all the back slapping sure, but the Dragon and Scorpion delegations left immediately to get back to the business of running the Empire.  The Crab aren't even mentioned, but based on the last time we saw the two clans interacting I'd hazard they would be unimpressed at best with Yoshi's display of political power, and we know how Ujiaki and the Lion reacted to it.

Its Yoshi's real dilemma, at the moment as effectively his power base is now pointless in the real context of imperial politics as the only real option he has is forcing Shoju from the throne, and the only way that has a hope of actually happening, is if he gets one of either the Lion or Crab on side along with the Unicorn as they will need that military muscle to take the capital from Shoju since he has control of the Palace and, through the Dragon and Sumiko, the Imperial Legions (in her capacity as acting Emerald Champion).  If Sumiko and the Dragon turn on him, then yes there would be a possibility of that calculation changing, but even then unless she order the Legions to turn on him it  still isn't that big a help.

His best ploy is Asami, but by the time he can likely do anything with that I expect her to be off the board as, barring her pulling a Kachiko, she has to be letting Shoju or Aramoro know that Yoshi has figured out she isn't the real Kachiko.  Once Shoju or Aramoro find that out I don't see much chance of her continuing to remain in court, and if Yojiro informs him that Kachiko's presence in Toshi Ranbo has been discovered by the Crane then for sure he just does away wit the Asami ploy and just says he's moved his wife there (or more likely back to Scorpion lands as Toshi Ranbo is no longer a "safe" holding pen for her) to "mourn" the Emperor she held so dearly.

 

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44 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Its Yoshi's real dilemma, at the moment as effectively his power base is now pointless in the real context of imperial politics as the only real option he has is forcing Shoju from the throne, and the only way that has a hope of actually happening, is if he gets one of either the Lion or Crab on side along with the Unicorn as they will need that military muscle to take the capital from Shoju since he has control of the Palace and, through the Dragon and Sumiko, the Imperial Legions (in her capacity as acting Emerald Champion).  If Sumiko and the Dragon turn on him, then yes there would be a possibility of that calculation changing, but even then unless she order the Legions to turn on him it  still isn't that big a help.

Except if Miya Satoshi decides to let the cat out of the bag.  Kakita Yoshi doesn't know it, but at any point, the Imperial Herald can reveal the Scorpion coverup.  Kitsuki Chiari is already on that trail, and with the Dragon in control of both the capital and the Imperial Legions, they could easily flip if the truth outs.

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2 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

Except if Miya Satoshi decides to let the cat out of the bag.  Kakita Yoshi doesn't know it, but at any point, the Imperial Herald can reveal the Scorpion coverup.  Kitsuki Chiari is already on that trail, and with the Dragon in control of both the capital and the Imperial Legions, they could easily flip if the truth outs.

Well Satoshi knows that Sotorii killed his father, he doesn't "know" about the whole Toturi thing which is the real leverage.  Chiari is Dragon's main spoiler, but I have to assume that it will take something real serious to get them turning on Shoju as the massive destabilization that would follow is pretty much everything they seem to have been sent to stop.

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27 minutes ago, Doji Hyōkin said:

Satoshi knows Sotorii killed his father, Kachiko cleaned it up, then Shoju showed up claiming to be Daisetsu’s regent and sending Sotorii into quiet exile.

That’s a coup. We know it’s legit, but Toturi’s the only witness. 

Well Dragon clan, via Sumiko,  and the Imperial Bureaucracy have also confirmed the Edict is legit.  There is no question for the clans sitting outside the new power structure it may look fishy, and is certainly the avenue I would expect Yoshi to use to push his "resistance" movement until the other clans are willing to put rubber to the ground and actually offer overt support (and that means troops marching on the capital to remove Shoju the victories are hollow at best

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6 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

They do when they are looking at it from the perspective of usual clan one ups man-ship.  The issue is Shoju is now effectively "above" that as regent.

I think you're overestimating how much power Shoju actually has. Imperial authority has always balanced on a knife's edge of letting the Clans do what they want enough that they don't question it but not so much that they start thinking they can ignore it. And now Shoju's effectively shown that his regime's powerless to yank the Lion's leash. Plus you have a coalition of Clans forming in opposition to the throne in exactly the way the Otomo have been trying to prevent since the time of the Gozoku.

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