Takanata gets a small set of figurines of the cycle. He sits down in his tent and places them in a group on the table, then divides them into the Yin/Yang/Chi in the conflict over whether the Empire should be the Dragon Empire or the Spider Empire.
As you place the pieces down, you feel them stretch out on a vast tapestry you can only see a small portion of here before you. You have to force yourself to place them together in groups, clearly not their natural state. However, you feel your hands guided by the I Ching and manage to come up with the following, arranging them as Yang for Spider Empire and Yin for Dragon Empire.
- Spider is Yang.
- Magpie is Yang for Yang reasons.
- Tortoise is Yang-ish for Yin reasons.
- Monkey is both Yang and Yin and not at all Chi.
- Crane is Chi because Crane is nearly always Chi.
- Fox is Chi for Yang reasons.
- Serpent is Chi with Yin secrets.
- Tiger is Chi for Chi reasons, with sympathy for Yang on general principles.
- Phoenix is Yin but acts as Chi for Yin reasons.
- Monkey is both Yin and Yang and not at all Chi.
- Bear is Yin but a Yin Bear could be mistaken for hibernation.
- Dog is Yin for Yin reasons.
- Butterfly is Yin because She is anti-Yang.
- We'll give you this one as fallout of many of the questions: Nobody (except Spider) is motivated by "a desire for a Spider Empire" per se. Nobody (except Dragon and a little bit Phoenix) is motivated by "a desire for a Dragon Empire" per se.
1) In "Tortoise is Yang-ish for Yin reasons," does "for Yin reasons" refer to an obligation to Dragon, or a motivation that is Dragon-Empire-like rather than Spider-Empire-Like?
- There is no explicit obligation to Dragon; the motivation is Tortoise-y and he is pursuing something he thinks is "good for us" rather than *just* "good for me" (though of course his judgement on what is "good for us" is very Tortoise-flavored).
2) Which, if any, of the Yang-allied spirits (other than Spider) were working with Spider on this plot before Dragon went down?
- You aren't seeing exact timing of history, but the ones in the Yang category are the ones who have directly assisted Spider.
3) Is Magpie Yang based on a deal with Spider, or on a way in which a Spider Empire appeals to Magpie's nature more?
- Magpie has a deal with Spider, and Spider has appealed to Magpie's Magpie nature ("good for me").
1) Does Dog have active plans in motion to thwart Spider?
- No, though he is watchful for possibilities.
2) How is a hibernating-ish Yin Bear different from a Chi Bear?
- A Chi bear chooses not to act. A Yin Bear waits.
3) Is Monkey supporting both a Spider Empire and a Dragon Empire, or trying to thwart both, or something else entirely?
- Monkey has supported / is supporting both Spider and Dragon.
1) Is the secret we found out in Serpent's Egg one of the Yin secrets Serpent is hiding, and are there more? (more = different kinds of secrets, not just "more eggs")
- Yes, and there are more.
2) Are Fox's reasons for being Chi a deal with Spider, or a natural inclination based on Spider-Empire-like reasons?
- Fox's reasons are personal gain-related.
3) Is Tiger Chi because he's unwilling to help anyone to a position above him ?
- You could, with stretching, describe his reasons that way, but it would be a bit of a stretch. It's more that he thinks that being above him should be earned.
4) Is Crane perfectly happy to help either side as a deal, or resistant to getting involved and likely to charge a high price for assistance?
- Crane is resistant to getting involved.