Sasori outlooks (Polesia)
Views on the Other Clans
Need to defeat a Kani? Trip him when he charges.
The relationship with the Kani is a complicated one. A Kani is easy to fool, but if he discovers what is done, he will kill without shame or mercy. That is why if a Sasori plays the game with the Kani, it must be played most delicately. They can never know the source of their pain and misery. However, care must be taken when playing, for their guards stand between the Sasori and the lands of the Kiiro no Ō. Use their weaknesses, but respect their duty. In the end, Kani hide their hatred of the Sasori Clan behind a mask of duty. The Sasori do what is required, as do they. In fact, the duties are nearly identical. But, they know where their enemy lies. The Sasori are required to be crafty to seek out their enemies. The Kani resent them because they know the truth: strength is no match for cunning.
Once, long ago, Scorpion was walking on a sandy beach with his brother, Crab. "Ah Scorpion," said Crab, "you have tricked Tiger, and you have tricked Crane, but you shall not best me. For I am safe within my armored house, and not even your poison sting can reach me here." Scorpion eyed Crab's metal plating and nodded wisely. "That is true, my friend. But how sad for you that you are trapped in such an unwieldy prison." "What?" said Crab. "This is not a prison, it is my home." "Of course." smiled Scorpion. "And that is what everyone tells you. But, if it were not a prison, you would be able to take it off. I have heard that you were cursed, condemned to spend the rest of your life, carrying your own prison on your back." Crab said, "I can take it off whenever I want to!" Scorpion nodded sadly and said, "I'll be sure to tell everyone that." Crab stomped in the sand, "I can take off my shell whenever I want!" Scorpion said "Have you ever tried?" Crab stopped and took his house off his back and threw it to the ground. Scorpion smiled as they looked at each other. And Crab had nothing else to say.
Need to defeat a Shiroihato? Convince him a battle will ruffle his feathers.
The Shiroihato clan hide behind a mask of refinement to cover their motley collection of vices. All of those poets and singers praise the high virtue of love, but where is love in a geisha house? Sasori hasn't found it there. Yet, more than any other clan, the samurai of the Shiroihato can be found trying to woo the affections of geisha... and in disguise! If love is such a noble virtue, then why do they hide while pursuing it? The Shiroihato resent the Sasori as the Sasori are what they wish to be. They sing songs of noble virtue only because they need to remind themselves that virtue is noble. Or is it to convince themselves of it?
Once there was a Crane and a Scorpion, sitting by the edge of a river. The Crane said, "Isn't it funny how the Fortunes distribute their blessings among the creatures?" The Scorpion eyed the Crane suspiciously, "What do you mean?" The Crane smiled and said, "Look at me. Look at my beautiful wings and feathers. I can fly and I can swim. Look at my perfect neck and my shining eyes. I am the envy of all the creatures in the world." Then the Crane looked down at the Scorpion and said, "Look at you. All you have is your tail." "Ah," said the Scorpion, "but all that means is that you have nothing to gain, and I have nothing to lose. And when you are old and have lost your feathers, you will no longer be able to fly. And when you are fat and half-blind, you will no longer be able to swim. Then, when you are counting everything that you have lost, I will be counting everything I have gained." And the Crane had nothing more to say.
Need to defeat a Hebi? Make him rely on another's trust.
The Hebi sit in their high mountain keeps. Do you know what they are doing up there? They are hiding. Isolation is their mask, and it hides a dark secret. It hides their fear. Fear of the world. Fear of life. Fear of living. Better to spend a life thinking than living. They wait and watch because they are afraid to take a chance. Afraid to commit to the world. Afraid they may have to make a choice. They are afraid to fall.
One day, Dragon came to Scorpion and said, "I saw how you tricked Ki-Rin." And Scorpion nodded. Dragon continued. "I saw how you tricked Lion." And Scorpion nodded. Dragon continued. "I watched you trick Crane." And Scorpion nodded. Dragon continued. "I was there when you tricked Crab." And Scorpion nodded. Dragon continued. "I knew what you would do to Phoenix." And Scorpion said "And you stood by and did nothing." And Dragon had nothing more to say.
Need to defeat a Tora? Study what his grandfather did.
The Tora clan are nothing. They cannot threaten a Sasori with shame. They cannot threaten with dishonor. The only threat they offer is death, and death only returns a Sasori to their ancestors. The Tora's mask is the flimsiest for it is made of courage and thus of wet paper. Behind that mask he hides two things: doubt and fear. The doubt he hides is doubt in his lord, his family, even his Emperor. The fear he hides is the darkest of all. For every Tora is afraid of the Sasori. He is afraid that the things a Sasori will whisper in his ear about honor and glory are true.
Once there was a Tiger, sleeping in a sunny field. A Scorpion came to him and said, "Tiger, you are so large. I suppose you are the largest creature in all the lands." The Tiger replied, "Yes, I believe that I am." "And," said the Scorpion, "You must be the bravest and strongest creature as well." "That is what they say," said the Tiger. "My only advantage is my poison tail," the Scorpion said. "And I suppose you could smash me underfoot before I could sting you even once." "I could, quite easily," the Tiger said, rising and stretching. "In fact, if I stung you, I doubt you would even notice." The Tiger looked down at the little Scorpion curiously. "Perhaps. But I believe that I will step on you now, tiny one, and you will never have a chance." "Oh, but great Tiger," the Scorpion said, smiling. "I stung you five minutes ago." And the Tiger had nothing further to say.
Need to defeat a Shineinawashi? Make him fight.
In their schools and libraries, the Shineinawashi are as dangerous as the Tora. They read and learn, but they never know. The mask the Shineinawashi wear is enlightenment. It hides the face of ignorance. A Shineinawashi spends his lifetime studying Tao and the elements, but put him in a battle and where is he? Frightened like a child, hoping to go home. Put him in a court and where is he? Stammering and pouting, hoping the party will end soon. The Shineinawashi have no heart, they have no spine, they have no blood. There is no life in them. If a Shineinawashi gives you trouble, put a pretty girl in his way and watch him run out of words to say.
One day, Scorpion came to Phoenix in his high mountains and said "I have a gift for you." Phoenix backed away. "Oh, no. I know of you, brother Scorpion. I know all about you. I don't want your gift." "Oh really," said Scorpion. "I will leave it here," he said as he put it on the ground. "And if you don't want it, someone else certainly will." Then, Scorpion walked away. Phoenix looked at the gift and thought, "If I take the gift, and it is a trap, then I have been tricked. But if I leave it and it is not a trap, then I have been tricked. What shall I do?" All day long, Phoenix sat and looked at the gift, pondering it. "What does he have in mind? He tricked Crab with anger and the Tiger with pride. He tricked the Ki-Rin with her ignorance and the Crane with flattery. How does this mean to trick me?" Soon, Mother Sun had crossed the sky and Father Moon had made his nightly progress, but Phoenix had not moved a single footstep. He was rooted to the spot, pondering Scorpion's gift. When he looked up the next morning, he saw Scorpion watching him and laughing. And Phoenix had nothing more to say. 
Need to defeat a Kirin? Tell him the truth.
The Kirin are not understood, they do not hide their faces, rather they wear them proudly. But there is something, something they are hiding. Something they brought back with them over the mountains. In any case, the Kirin are cousins of the Kani. They do not play the Sasori's game, nor are they asked to. They are less than pawns; they are the pieces that didn't have the muster to make it to the board.
One day, the Ki-Rin was frolicking in a field. Her sister the Phoenix had told her to look out for the Scorpion, but the Ki-Rin was so busy playing and looking at all the new things that she only half-listened to her sister's warning. While she was playing, a creature climbed upon a rock to watch. The Ki-Rin saw the creature and said, "I have seen Flower, and I have seen Tree, and I have seen Horse, but I have not seen you. Who are you?" The creature said, "I am Truth." The Ki-Rin smiled. "I am very pleased to meet you, friend Truth. Have you seen the Scorpion? My sister told me to watch for him, but I do not know what he looks like." "Yes, I know Scorpion," said Truth. "Can you tell me what he looks like?" "Yes," said Truth, "In fact, let us go look for him now. If you put me on your back, we will go much faster than if we both walk." "Good idea!" said Ki-Rin. "Climb on my back, friend, and we will be off." Truth climbed on the Ki-Rin's back and together, they went looking for Scorpion.
"So," asked Ki-Rin. "What does Scorpion look like?" "He has two sharp pincers," said Truth. Ki-Rin looked at Truth's two sharp pincers and said, "Ah, I see." "And he has many legs," Ki-Rin looked at Truth's many legs and said "Ah, I see." "And he has a tail that drips deadly poison." Ki-Rin looked at Truth's tail and said, "Why Truth, he looks just like you!" Truth smiled and said, "Yes. Yes he does." Ki-Rin laughed. "Isn't it fortunate I met you before I met him!" The Scorpion nodded. "Yes, it is." And Ki-Rin had nothing more to say.
They are of no matter, they are even less than the Kirin. If they have something the Scorpion want, the Tiger is convinced to crush them.