At least part of their decline stems from trouble at the top; their leader, David Gao, was fairly ineffectual until recently, when he took the Yellow Lotus up on its offer of an alliance of sorts between the two Triads against their yak and Mafia rivals.
Part of Gao’s trouble is Chen Kwan-Ti, the Octagon’s Incense Master. A wizard from mainland China, Chen came to Seattle in 2055 and quickly became David Gao’s indispensable advisor. He cultivates a powerful air of mystery; no one knows why he came to Seattle or why he is working with the Octagon. Rumor has it that Chen was a student of the great dragon Lung, and that he may be the dragon’s emissary in Seattle.
>>>>>[ Chen Kwan-Ti is the real power in the Octagon these days. I’ve met David Gao, and he can barely decide to go to the can without the wizard’s say-so. What Chen wants in Seattle, I don’t know, but if he works for Lung, it has to be some secret magical thing.]<<<<<
>>>>>[ Chen Kwan-Ti’s presence might have something to do with the elaborate chess game Lung and Ryumyo seem to be playing along the Pacific Rim. Shotozumi’s secession may have set back Ryumyo’s plans for Seattle, giving Lung a chance to move in.]<<<<<