Hello everyone! My name is Robert Denton. As you may know, I am the current author of the upcoming L5R Interactive Novel. I consider this to be my first major writing project. As such, I am extremely excited about what is coming, and I will do my best to be worthy of the honor and vision of Rokugan this novel represents.
As previously announced, this novel will take several cues from the L5R player base to determine its course, and certain specific events will directly impact what happens in the novel. This isn’t just limited to players of the card game, but role-players and general L5R fans will get a chance to impact the novel as well! Even the upcoming Winter Court roleplaying play-by-post forum game will influence the events of the novel… ah, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself, aren’t I?
Let’s take a look at what’s impacted the novel so far. Earlier this year, we had a Facebook vote that determined that a spawn of Akuma no Oni would be featured early in the story. A tournament at Origins determined the identity of our novel’s protagonist, as well as impacting the story’s initial events. A Mantis deck won the event, and so our protagonist will be from the Mantis Clan. I can’t give away too much right now, but Wasp fans might be happy to learn that she is a Tsuruchi. One of the newest generations of Tsuruchi, she differs from her ancestors in that she is a samurai, raised to value Bushido where the original Wasps rejected it. Her struggle to balance the Wasp Code and her obligations as a Samurai will feature prominently in her character. Her story will entwine her with the events of the Empire at large, but at the same time, they will be largely separated from the storyline of the weekly fictions, forming an all-new story that can be enjoyed without extensive knowledge of the events in Ivory.
Oh, yes. I’d almost forgotten. The winning Mantis deck was also corrupted, running the dreaded Ogre Bushi and other Shadowlands cards. I should probably mention that this has factored significantly into our protagonist’s story. In what way, you ask? Patience, dear reader… all in due time.
A few months ago, we announced that during the course of the novel, an important Imperial would be detained in a sort of hostage situation. An Imperial Assembly vote determined who would dare to attempt such a thing! The winning faction was the Kolat. As a result, during the novel, one of the remaining groups of the shattered Kolat conspiracy will take a desperate but necessary gamble and kidnap an important Imperial.
Now I am pleased to announce that one of the GenCon events was planned to impact the novel as well! I’d long decided that the victory condition of the deck that won the Second Chance event would influence how our protagonist would resolve the aforementioned hostage situation. If the winning deck was a Military deck, then she’d achieve victory over the Kolat by force. If the winning deck was an honor deck, she’d negotiate a favorable outcome through diplomacy. And so on.
As it happens, the winning deck was a Scorpion deck, and I am told the primary victory condition was Military. As a result, our hero will attempt to defuse the hostage situation primarily with arrows and punches. This is an especially interesting result to me, because it not only tells me how to advance this portion of the plot, but it also gives me a little more insight into the kind of person our protagonist is going to be. Does she answer most of her challenges in a more direct way? What would such a character do if placed within an important Winter Court? Could such attitudes eventually backfire? What kinds of challenges encourage a character like this to grow and evolve? Plot decisions like these give me little cues that I can use to hook future plot points into the protagonist. I’m interested to see how Ivory Edition shapes her character.
In the future, one might expect more votes, more “impact points” decided by tournaments, and maybe even a few surprises. While sometimes you’ll be forewarned, you won’t always see a novel impact point coming. So play like you mean it!
The Future Is Uncertain
While I have a general idea of where the plot of the novel is going to go, there’s still a lot that has yet to be decided. The Winter Court season will have a significant impact on what happens to our protagonist, as will the Kotei season. And while I already have a solid, cohesive plot mapped out, and I know generally where the novel’s story is going, I have built-in multiple chances for the story to be impacted by the players who participate in Ivory Edition, the Roleplaying Game, and beyond! Even how the novel ultimately ends will be influenced by you!
I hope you are as excited about this project as I am. I know this update is a little vague, but as the novel takes shape and more writing is accomplished, I’ll be able to share a little bit more about the plot of the novel and what it’s about! So keep an eye on this page for updates throughout Ivory Edition!