Thanks for offering this Questions & Answers, guys!
I'll have some questions (and comments), but allow me a prologue first.
I've been a Shadowlands Horde player since I was told about the Fall of the Kami and decided that Fu Leng's story appealed to me most. Back then Daigotsu had already created and reclaimed the City of the Lost and there was an alliance coming with the Jackals. As I've always been more interested in the human part of the Horde than in the oni and goblins. So when the Spider Clan was created, I naturally embraced it as my faction.
This might be why I don't perceive the split between Hordies and Clanners so drastic as others. But in the CCG I still consider the Shadowlands Taint as our faction's signature keyword, as well as corresponding keywords like Maho, Undead and Oni. As many other Horde players, I enjoy corruption stories that are spread, because there cannot be all evil gathered in just one clan or faction. So when the keywords appear on other clan's, too, I also enjoy that. Or the stories about it, like the Asahina daimyo trying to tame the Anvil of Despair and terribly failing. But the keyword Conqueror, which might be considered a Spider keyword, just doesn't trigger the same emotional response, because it is put on non-Spider Personalities not for a story connection, but for a mechanical effect. The Matsu daimyo surely hasn't trained with the Daigotsu to earn that keyword. But if she had Shadowlands, she would have given in to Jigoku.
That there are scions of Jigoku (or Jigoku's clan) who are not Tainted is quite interesting; and I loved the many wicked deals Daigotsu Susumu made as Imperial Advisor; or that Rezan appeared before the Empress and, as a Lost, was granted the privilege of sepukku to right all his many, many sins. There was a lot of potential there. Still is. But to me what made the Spider always interesting were the infiltrators and the hidden agenda to one day take over the Empire. Even when we won story prizes were things like a poem to honour the Empress and suchlike, there was always a hidden agenda, so we knew that even if we weren't thrilled about the nature of the prize (because it felt too much like a prize for a loyal clan) it is just one piece of a larger mosaik. This united the maho-tsukai and oni summoners with the courtiers. And I think this is something we need again.
We know some great evil is coming and Winter Court IV made it clear that the Spider have some expert knowledge on Jigoku that might needed to help. All Clans uniting versus some BIG BAD EVIL has worked before, so this is where I presume that the Spider Clan can gain the respect of the new Emperor. Because, let's be honest, Daigotsu changing the Taint back to normal and the Second Pit claiming thousands of souls as a result is a scenario I don't see happening.
But, finally, some questions:
• There are some outstanding story prizes
for the Spider that date back to 2011. Among them is that Spider characters will become Imperial Matchmaker and Imperial Scribe. The timing would presume that they will be serving under Emperor Seiken. Will these story prizes be resolved? Do you have a time-frame for them?
• During her tenth anniversary coronation Iweko deified one hero chosen by each Great Clan. The Lion chose Ikoma Otemi, but the other new Minor Fortunes are currently unknown. Would you be so kind as to tell us who the Spider is? He or she would be the very first Spider who now resides in the Heavens. While I'm sure that to learn the names of the new Minor Fortunes will be appreciated by all clans, for us the identity has a huge significance for the Spider.
• Will there be more Dark Fortunes? The Dark Fortunes and their veneration has been only surficially covered, but Daigotsu has deified his wife, one of his loyal subjects and two summoners of oni lords (Isawa Akuma due to a story prize). Will there more Dark Fortunes in the future? It just seems odd to me that Moto Tsume, Daigotsu Hotako, Goju Kyoden or Roshungi aren't in Daigotsu's hellish court yet. Omoni I would list, too, but he seems to still be alive.
• Possible Retcon regarding Susumu Takuan. Takuan was introdcuded to us as the second son of the Otomo daimyo. He married into the Spider for ambition and eventually found love. The card flavour text for Otomo Terumoto says that Takuan is his older brother. This would drastically change his story. Is he the younger brother or the Heir apparent, who for whatever reason became a Spider?
• We all see Fu Leng die and part of his divine power gifted to Daigotsu. Will there be a chance to see a return of Fu Leng (and/or his soul) to the story, possibly even by dedicating story prizes of the current kotei season?