Shigure in Hell

   When Shigure got himself thrust through the Festering Pit of Fu Leng, and wound up stranded in Jigoku, it was generally thought that that was the end of him. Instead, however, Shigure is attempting to overthrow Fu Leng, in favor of restoring the classical order of Hell. Hence the Who’s Who in Jigoku listing – at least in the Tales of the Sunrise campaign – that was posted some time ago. Today it’s Shigure’s reaction to that post – and his evaluation of his chances of actually causing some real trouble. Anyone who has other suggestions for him to try is welcome to comment…

   Looking at the various power groups, we seem to have a unique problem. That is, the people/beings/whatevers with all the power don’t seem that interested in actually pursuing it or doing anything with it, or even maintaining it.

   Which is basically to say that Primal Demons are not particularly involved one way or another. If they dislike that Jigoku’s direction has changed, they don’t seem to show it or do anything about it, probably because they aren’t affected: the universe will go down in its own due time. For them, Fu Leng’s invasion is hardly more than an annoyance.

   However, their backing is likely necessary in order to pull the energies of Jigoku back. The Primal Demons are privy to the oldest secrets; they may well have had a hand in shaping the realm and its rules. As such, we probably need their passive assistance. The active help of even one would probably guarantee victory, as only Fu Leng himself and his most powerful servants could actually challenge them. We have at least a decent argument for their help. The more power Fu Leng has, the less likely they are to get what they want, while he clamps down on the possibility of them messing with his world.

   The Sanjidokei seem unhelpful. They are a lot like obnoxious Fortunes. Hell, I think they are obnoxious Fortunes. And given their obsessive interest in screwing things up, they seem unlikely to help unless it suits their personal interests. I won’t say no, certainly, but I can’t spend too much time on them. My primary tactic should be to convince them through building up other support, and that their importance will be restored vis-B-vis Fu Leng’s supporters.

   Now, the Shikome are a group with immense opportunity here. The Yanhulangan seem certain to join us, and most of the Shikome should follow. Only the animalistic Kirni and the cruel Goumonko would stay neutral. Well, the Gozu Mezu might not see it as their responsibility. In any case, this caste of demons will probably form the core of the rebellion. I need them badly, since they can bind spirits and powers which are leaking into Ningen-do.

   The Kaiju are almost totally unknown. Although they are supposed to be bindable to human spirits, I’m not aware this has ever happened. In fact, I’m not aware of them ever doing anything, or what their associations mean. I can’t count on them one way or another. This requires more investigation. What kind of linking is this? What do they prefer? is their association with a particular realm important? How the heck are they part of the realm of Jigoku anyway?

   The Greater Oni are troublesome. Most of them are intimately tied to Fu Leng by interests, and rely on his support. This makes it hard for me to sway them. On the other hand, most of them remain untrustworthy scum and might switch sides. Mugonsendo the Treacherous Lord, for example, would stab even Fu Leng in the back given a good chance. He almost has to. Many of the Greater Oni may not do well if Fu Leng wins his war, because he will no longer need them. I have no problem with them plying their trades of sin and vice. Fu Leng will, if he takes over.

   Some of them, such as Kyuso or The Maw, may have “ideological” reasons to join. Kyuso can hardly pretend I don’t have irrational beliefs (Fu Leng personally sent me to Hell, and I’m still trying to screw with him.) and The Maw can’t argue when I say I’m accepting evil counsel (What else do I have now?). Unfortunately, while I’m in little position to bargain, these folks are horribly untrustworthy.

Individual rundown of Greater Oni –

  • Mugonsendo the Treacherous Lord: Totally untrustworthy, will play both sides against the middle. This Oni probably expects there to be enough backstabbing under Fu Leng that it’s a wash either way.
  • Baksura the Devourer: Another wash. plenty of that in Rokugan already, but likely to be even worse under Fu Leng.
  • Akanhenran, Patron of Rage: Actually, a good bet. Fu Leng’s empire is likely to clamp down on these things hardshly, since energies not spent toward his glory are wasted in his eyes.
  • Shukisatsu the Seducer: Another wash.
  • Jatsura: Likely to go with Fu Leng.
  • Rachisura: Could go either way.
  • Kudan the Bull: This guy has promise. We could definitely use such assistance and he could stand to lose heavily if Fu Leng takes over. The Dark God might not appreciate such trouble-making, and it might not be nearly as fun. It’s hard to reveal terrible truths when all truths suck.
  • Namuci, Mistress of Night and Deception: Would be definitely untrustworthy even by Oni standards, but is again someone who could lose out in Fu Leng’s possible totalitarian world.
  • Kiyo, the Dragon Mistress of Excessive Vengeance and Massacres: Again, could go either way. Maybe would be even happier under Fu Leng.
  • Kyoguan: Now this guy would just plain like me. He’d admire my crazy-stupid level of ambitious achievements based half on skill and half on blind bluffing. He also probably has no interest in Fu leng’s world, where ambition is basically a thing of the past.
  • Kyoso: I’m highly doubt the Oni of refusing to change decisions will switch her allegiance easily.
  • Yakamo: Reclaiming the past, eh? I think we could use him, and he us…
  • The First Oni: Yeah, let’s just move on…
  • Yuushin the Patroness of Grief: Well, she has no reason to love or support F Leng, but then, she has no reason to help us either. Kind of the point with her.
  • Akuma: Ummm…. this guy is totally on Fu Leng’s side. Not even a contest.
  • Kishimo-Jin: I think we have a love-hate relationship. I believe in secrecy, or at least open non-secrets which actually hide things, I have a poor education, but disagree on the use and abuse of underlings, heh heh heh.
  • The Maw: I could see him jumping ship for personal reasons, but probably would prefer the mass of even more brutal violence Fu Leng would instigate.
  • Rouhiyobunko: Pretty much a wash.
  • Tsuburu: On the balance, Fu Leng’s victory favors him and probably he’s too mercenary to move with us.
  • Mounena: This girl might go with us. of course, it’s only because she likes screwing with people.
  • Shikibu: Almost totally opposite me in purpose and use, but possibly willing work with us.
  • Miru-Jimani: I think we can do business.

Bargaining and Promises –

   Shigure can’t simply sweep aside the opposition (When could he ever?), so he has to bargain within the bounds of what he can, and chooses to, promise. This has certain limits. He plans to institute some form of representative thugocracy. The strongest rules in Hell, but every class of demon will have some say in its major affairs.

  • Shigure is totally planning to suck the Taint back to Jigoku. Sending off all that yummy evil power! What is Fu Leng thinking?
  • Shigure will not go out and kill somebody’s personal foes. In Jigoku, this is incredibly pointless; they will just come back. And now they’d be ticked at Shigure. Personal squabbles are a waste of time. That said, if one of them was hindering Shigure’s plans anyway
  • Shigure is willing to erect some temples and so forth. Ambition, vengeance, murder, bloodlust, greed, and a certain amount of cruelty are pretty normal within Rokugan (and everywhere else). Shigure doesn’t like them as traits, necessarily, but he also doesn’t deny that they are aspects of the world and won’t try to stop people. He’s not exactly an innocent little dove himself.
  • Now if some wanted to enjoy themselves by swatting Yodotai, fine by me. I don’t’ want to utterly guarantee the Yodotai are coming, but I do have it on the most reliable sources available: the future. Of course, the demons may have some information on this themselves.
  • Materially speaking, with temples usually go sacrifices and offerings. Depends on what they want, of course.
  • Artifacts of Jigoku certainly belong (usually, anyway) in Jigoku. I’d be willing to distribute certain things amongst those who support me if I can get my hands on them.
  • I’m pretty sure that favors are a bad idea. I wouldn’t be totally opposed if I must. it’s just that blind anything-goes favors are extremely dangerous.

One Response

  1. Hmmm. For some quick observations:

    As for the Primal Demons, all Shigure actually currently knows about them is their general nature, their names, and their portfolios. It might be best to find out what they’re up to, whether or not they have alliances or restrictions, what they’ve noticed, and whether or not they respond to the usual approaches – small gifts, respect (one area that Fu Leng – almost by definition – cannot compete in), and a chance to show their power by doing small favors for supplicants. In fact, even in Jigoku, it is difficult to overstate the power of proper behavior, respect, and good manners.

    The Lords of Disaster probably do class as negative-aspect Fortunes – to be propriated rather than invoked, prayed to to stay away or direct their attentions towards your enemies, and given offerings in hopes of bribing them to leave you alone. Of course, the arrival of the Founding Kami has left the religious structure of the Empire focused on the spirits of nature/lesser Kami and the Celestial Kami for a thousand years. After all, in actual practice, it was easy enough to approach Vakanan.

    The Shikome would, indeed, probably back any attempt to return Jigoku to it’s proper order.

    The Kaiju ensure that the Gates of Jigoku are not fully unsealed before their proper time. When – perhaps thousands, millions, or billions of years from now – it is time to bring the cosmos of Rokugan to an end, the gates of Jigoku and shall be opened, through it the final powers of the Shadow shall go forth, incarnate in the Primal Demons, and return the cosmos to the nothingness from which it came.
    Uncontrolled, the Kaiju are destructive monsters – perhaps the familiars of the Primal Demons, animalistic incarnations of some fraction of their power. Bonded to a mortal, their power – drawn from the various planes their gates touch upon – grants extraordinary powers and can be turned against anything which is out of place.
    A kaiju can be bound to a mortal through the will of a Primal Demon, through a willing (if unlikely) agreement, through a ceremony at the gate it guards, or through defeating it in battle and binding it.
    Still, they are probably unhappy with having gaping fissures between the planes open.

    The Demons of Vice are, indeed, tightly linked to Fu Leng – but they are also very much individuals, with their own personal agendas, alliances, enmities, vendettas, and personalities. Since all of them are bonded with the energies of Ningen-Do – tainted in their own way as badly as any denizen of the Shadowlands – they also know ambition, spawn lesser demons, and have strong personalities. In fact, many of them are throughly bonded with a human soul. Treating them like any mighty, and obnoxious , lord or lady is probably in order.

    As for other things Shigure has to offer – There is always, as already noted, proper respect and small offerings. He has a ready source of small gifts, suitable for winning the favor of those unaccustomed to such courtesies. They can be offered weapons and items of quality – and many of them are so contaminated by Ningen-Do as to strongly value such trifles.

    For many of the elder inhabitants, there is the basic service of getting rid of all that pesky growth-life energy from Ningen-do. (It’s just so nasty and polluting! How can one be purely evil when there are (the very idea is perverse) demon spawn to look after!)

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