Cycle Scry

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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.


Initial Divination

  • 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.

Followup Questions

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.