Daigotsu Yuzu wrote:
To believe that Daigotsu could not change the very nature of something that comes from Jigoku isn't that far fetched. He couldn't, for example, change the opinions of any Oni that refused his rule and they are just as much of a part of Jigoku as the Taint is. In my mind, it is easier to stop something from spreading than it is to change the symptoms but my opinion doesn't matter, facts do.
i think the oni example is not a great one. its a bit like saying because you can't change the thoughts of your citizens you can't change the laws. Goddesses part 4 says the oni can rebel because they have free will, as well as saying that as the Dark Lord of Jigoku he can control the Taint. its not clear on the degree of that control, and Susumu is the one speaking, so theres an unreliable narrator thing there, but i think based on the fallout we can generally trust, at least, that the oni's free will is why they cannot be controlled, and its not an apples to apples thing with the taint.
Daigotsu Yuzu wrote:
I'll admit, that it had been a while since I had read Embrace the Darkness and I did indeed remember it very very wrong. I went back to read it again just to reacquaint myself with the story.
It is certainly implied that Daigotsu was refusing to give Kanpeki the taint, but it is not proof that he can change it's fundamentals, only that Daigotsu can refuse it's transmission. It does not prove that the Taint has changed beyond its transmission. I would say that it proves my point that it is just as Monstrous and detrimental as it has ever been and that Kanpeki was not immune.
It specifically stated from this point that the taint completely changed him. As it said, he only has Hatred and Rage, that any sort of love that he had is gone. And once he rose up he had become the monster we see in the last stories published.
I'll reiterate, the only change to the taint with any proof to back it up is Daigotsu changing how someone obtains it and that he refused to give it to Kanpeki to begin with. Anything else beyond that is purely speculation because there is zero proof to back it up beyond 'well they don't say that it has not changed'.
we'll have to agree to disagree on the interpretation of that story. i did not read that as saying his mind was immediately obliterated with rage, nor do i believe the fact that he would proceed to conquer rokugan supports that theory. if brute tainted force were sufficient to conquer rokugan, fu leng would have done in a couple times over. arguably Kanpeki's advantage is his fusion of rokugani upbringing and the taint, something his father didn't even have. Daigotsu might have aped Rokugani traditions, and sought to forge a dark mirror of Rokugan (successfully, i think) but he was raised in Jigoku. Kanpeki is Rokugani. i think thats an edge, but only if he's not a mindless beast.
Daigotsu Yuzu wrote:
I like that explanation as to what Daigotsu can do as Jigoku's master Zarasu. I firmly believe that to change the nature of what the taint does to a person, Daigotsu would have to change the very nature of Jigoku itself, and I don't think even a god could have that power or else Fu Leng would never have succumb to the taint himself.
Another thing to ask. If hypothetically the taint was changed to have reduced consequences or did not make the bearer into a slave to Jigoku (Even if that only applied to Daigotsu Kanpeki), then doesn't that knock all wind out of Tetsuo's rebellion?
The idea that the Taint has no consequences just rankles in the gut. It would stand to reason that if the consequences were reduced or removed, then the benefits that it provides should be greatly reduced as well because if they are not, then it just becomes a unfair, cheap way for the bad guys to get extra power, sorta like a Jigoku Super Power Vending machine.
The Taint could make someone extremely powerful, but if they only have to pay lip service to Jigoku then they aren't playing enough of a cost.
i should be clear that i'm absolutely not advocating that Daigotsu has completely changed the taint to be all positive no negative. we know, in fact, that its not. we've got a couple of pieces of fiction that demonstrate it iirc. i'm saying simply that of the various possibly corruptive effects that the taint can have on a person, mindless bestial rage is not the one that would afflict Kanpeki, if for no other reason than because his father controls the taint and can simply say so by fiat. its well established canon that theres are many ways for the taint to manifest. not all who accept the taint become mindless monsters, and virtually none of them do so immediately. take, for example, Kanpeki's parents, who were tainted basically their entire lives and who never demonstrated that kind of corruptive effect.
my argument has simply been that Daigotsu would not permit the taint to destroy his son's mind, assuming thats the kind of corruption that Kanpeki would get anyway. that part of the fiction rubbed me the wrong way because i didn't believe he'd end up that way naturally, even if Daigotsu hadn't been who and what he was.