Doku Sutorīmu - The Poisoned Stream
WTF is the Tao of Shinsei?
Right, so, at the beginning of the Empire, the gods were devoured by their father, the Moon, and fell to earth.
Kickstart the empire, Fu Leng is on the outs in Jigoku (hell), but working on making a big comeback. This old man comes down off of a mountain, calls himself Shinsei (Teacher, with a capital T) and has a long conversation with the God-Emperor himself, Hantei the First.
He had this crazy philosophy that said everyone was reincarnated over and over again, and through diligence and wisdom through the ages, any soul could become pure enough to become gods themselves.
So, what about it?
Shinsei's writings suggested that any mortal could be the equal of the gods if he sought the path of enlightenment, and that all things were impermanent, part of an endless kharmic cycle. The kolat felt the Tao endorsed their own philosophies, and that the imperfect Kami would be eventually cast down. They became conspirators, and began infiltrating mercantile organizations and the Imperial Bureaucracy to be closest to those in power, so they would manipulate the Empire from within.
Akodo's Reaction – Lion
The Kami Akodo decreed that the Lion Clan should never open their copy of the Tao, but that they should dedicate themselves to Bushido instead. Indeed, each Lion dojo, had a copy of the Tao that had remained sealed. Enlightenment was rare among the Lion, as they favored to study bushido over the Tao.
Isawa's Reaction – Phoenix
As Isawa's family began researching the Tao after their namesake's departure, they were appalled at the teachings and declared that the text was blasphemously opposed to kami no michi. Obsessed with finding some flaw in the text, the scholars of the Isawa family began poring over it in order to find irregularities. These scholars spent years dissecting every lesson, mystery and riddle, but ultimately found no errors. Instead, they began to realize that the teachings of Shinsei were in fact compatible with kami no michi. Within a few generations, the Tao took the place of honor in the Isawa family's great library.
So, what's in the damn thing?
The Tao consisted of many dozens of scrolls, divided into three books.
The Book of Discussion detailed the conversations Shinsei held with the Kami, as well as various tales of Shinsei's travels.
The second book was the Book of Duties, essentially an instruction manual for monks, detailing 225 laws governing monk behavior.
The third book, the Book of the Soul, was not Shinsei's, but was added later by the Phoenix founders of the Brotherhood of Shinsei as an attempt to resolve discrepancies between the Tao and kami worship. It contained discourses on mysticism, dissertations on shugenja doctrine and behavior, and a highly developed treatise on psychology.
Okay, okay, FINE, but what was IN the books?
Well, here, have a selection of notable quotes from The Tao of Shinsei!
They are often used in conversations and debate to highlight points or to dismiss arguments.