Hantei XXXIX

“When your enemy is certain you cannot act, victory is within your reach.” – Shinsei

The Emerald Throne is a cold and hard one, as Hantei Sotorii learned. When he was younger, like his father, he was filled with a youthful enthusiasm. He would rule justly and wisely, and peace would reign throughout his empire. Instead, he rules over a fractured empire, a growing puppet to the shogunate. As time has passed, he has grown bitter and apathetic. He has never forgiven his father for creating the Shogunate, even though he knows its true purpose. The Shogunate could have been a pure tool, but its great fault lay in the fact that it was created by a Scorpion. For the Shogunate to work, it would need the trust and support of the majority of Rokugan. No Scorpion, no matter how brilliant, could ever gain that trust. Had his father instead made Akodo Toturi Shogun or perhaps Shiba Ujimitsu, the shogunate could have accomplished Shoju’s goal.

Still, he is not all bitterness. Sotorii learned from many great men, and he is determined to set the empire back upon the path of righteousness. He may no longer have a great deal of direct power, but he has influence. It was Sotorii who raised Yoritomo to his position to threaten Shoju. It was Sotorii who sent a subtle provocation ahead of Shoju Aramoro to Hida Kisada which resulted in Kisada brutally killing Aramoro. Sotorii will destroy Shoju and find someone to serve as shogun.

As for his children, Sotorii regards them with a mixture of love and contempt. Asakura is Shoju’s creature. Irobe would have been better off a foot-soldier. Tomoe seeks perfection, but is deeply flawed. Harada would be a better abbot than an emperor. Gozen is far too rash to rule anything larger than a farm. It pains Sotorii to think that one of them will succeed him, for he knows that they will never be able to stop Shoju or Shoju Dairu. Thus, it falls to him to end Shoju.

Hantei XXXIX

L5R - The Great Dusk Shameful_Thomas