fun with wuxia

I’m in the brainstorming stage of ideas for my L5R chapter, and so I put it to you, o internets:

What are your favorite wuxia plot tropes?

I’m thinking specifically of the more mystical end of things — more The Bride with White Hair than Hero, but really, anything in that general direction. I need to invent some history for this chapter, and I need some fuel to get my brain rolling in the right genre. (Feel free to recommend movies I might enjoy, while you’re at it.)

0 Responses to “fun with wuxia”

  1. princessmei

    Mr. Vampire

    So I remember watching this years ago and finding it hysterically funny, but also good about the mystical.


  2. thekinginyellow

    Man oh man oh man — I had no idea you were into L5R, let alone that you had a badass plot-creator license for the setting. Many kudos. And, yes, Togashi-ruled Rokugan sounds like a place where I want to hang out all the time forever.

    For wuxia-esque tropes, the coolest idea I’m capable of generating on short notice is something like Water Margin. In a land where the high Imperial apparatus is too damn mystical and passive for anyone to understand what it’s doing, a bunch of ronin gather together in “destined brotherhood” to exert their will on a small territory and conduct Robin-Hood-esque shenanigans. Some think they’re saviors from corrupt clan samurai, some think they’re self-aggrandizing terrorists. They swear they’re extremely loyal to the Emperor. Maybe, if the Emperor is a Togashi, this is how you become a Minor (or Great?) Clan.

    I have to say, though…what I really want to see from the Togashi Dynasty is its interaction with gaijin, particularly gaijin philosophers. I would pay good money to see a rationalistic Platonist type hammering away at an enlightened Shinseist Emperor.

    • thekinginyellow

      Aaaaand I just completely ignored your stated preference for mysticalness. Rats.

      I suppose the obvious is, well, Journey to the West — Togashi Emperor captures great nezumi warrior (or similar incorrigible nonhuman) and sends him with seriousface tattooed monk to go get some important bit of enlightenment from Medinaat al-Salaam or the Ivory Kingdoms or somewhere. Adventures and mystical companions ensue.

    • Marie Brennan

      I wouldn’t say I have a plot-creator license, but I do get to invent historical incidents for a Togashi dynasty timeline. 🙂

      Alas, I only have fourteen thousand words to work with, and a chunk of that has to be devoted to other things, so I won’t be able to make up too much. So while I could mention a visit from a Platonic philosopher, I couldn’t actually get into the details of their conversation. (Which is probably for the best. I don’t really trust my knowledge of either Platonic or Buddhist philosophy enough to write a good debate of that sort.)

      Your comment about the ronin group makes me think of Toturi’s Army, prior to the Second Day of Thunder. Isn’t that where the Monkey Clan came from?

      • thekinginyellow

        It is. But that worked because Toku (peasant-born samurai and eventual Monkey Clan Champion) was a super straight-arrow Boy Scout in every possible way. When you have a Dragon Empire, you can imagine a rebellious warrior fraternity getting the Imperium’s blessing because something something destiny and truth.

        • Marie Brennan

          True. Or not even destiny — they probably are Doing Right by doing everything wrong. You know, like the sake-guzzling, geisha-loving monk who is enlightened enough to be worldly, instead of finding enlightenment the usual way, through asceticism. (Er, not that my PC is totally That Character or anything. I managed to re-invent Mitsu as a woman, before I ever read the book that talks about him.)

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