A Study in Emerald
Loyalty and the Scorpion
The Scorpion are known as the Underhand.
They exist apart from the system and perform deeds that the Empire’s rigid honor system does not account for in order to protect the Empire from threats that come from that angle. To put it simply, the Emperor trusts that they will watch his back, and not strike him from behind. It takes an incredible amount of trust for that arrangement to work, and the Scorpion are worthy of that trust because of their Loyalty to the Emperor (or at least the Empire.)
Of course, loyalty isn’t easy, as Bayushi Shoju discovered when he was forced to make a call of protecting the Emperor or the Empire when he decided to stage the Scorpion Clan Coup. This is perhaps one of the most important paradoxes of the Clan, as Loyalties can (and most often) will conflict with each other.
In some ways this is what makes the Scorpion among the most decisive of the samurai. Their training in deceit, betrayal and underhanded methods isn’t for show, but rather to prepare them for the moment when they must break all bonds of honor and propriety to do the right thing when it matters most.
Ultimately that’s the most noble thing about the Scorpion. For all the pomp and theatrics that they bring with them, the Scorpion know that they’re the fall guys and they embrace that role willingly, no matter what the cost.
The willingness to sacrifice your life, your reputation, your honor and your friends for the purpose of protecting the Empire is the truest manifestation of Loyalty.