People of the Dragon,
This winter has been perhaps the most difficult in our clan’s history. We have fought against foes that vastly outnumber us, and whose ruthlessness and lust for victory are without limit. We have seen our southernmost provinces taken from us and trod into blood-soaked mud. We have seen the pain in our brothers’ eyes, struggling to overcome hunger while standing watch in the driving snow. Weakness from hunger has allowed disease to claim more than its share of us this winter. We are beset on all sides.
Yet, we have not faltered.
The loss of Rosanjin was a terrible blow. He was a leader, a friend, and a sensei to an entire generation. His death weighs upon us, but he died as he lived, and we celebrate his memory. Know that he stands in Yomi, smiling as he did in life. I have seen your blades held high as you shouted your allegiance to your knew daimyo, Mirumoto Mareshi, and his wife Mirumoto Kei, who shall accept the responsibility of that position after the war’s end. Your shouts have reached the heavens themselves, and my grandfather’s spirit weeps with joy at your selfless devotion and your zeal to serve his clan.
We shall never falter.
Now the snows are melting, and we have survived. The Khan’s gift, bitter though it may be, has given us the means to endure the worst part of the winter. Now we stand ready, prepared to descend from the mountains like the spring flood and wash our enemies away. I have struggled to maintain peace throughout my life, but for the first time I feel true anger. Anger at the dishonor of our enemies, dishonor so vile that it has forced our hand in this war. Anger at their savage revelry in causing the deaths of our brothers when all we seek to do is help them. they have lost themselves, and when we sought to aid them, they answered us with violence.
We shall teach them what it means to arouse the Dragon’s wrath.
There can be only two outcomes of this war. The Crane shall stand tall and accept their dishonor, purging it from their ranks and restoring their good name before the empire, or they will be destroyed. The prospect of further war brings me no joy, but too often have we allowed hidden poison to corrupt the Empire from within until it is too late. No more. The Dragon will not allow another era of darkness to envelop the Empire. We are the light that shines in the darkness, and that leads our brothers back to the light.
We are the Dragon. We do not know defeat. ~Togashi Satsu