May the Winds Bring Good Fortune to You,
Events are proceeding rapidly and we must be prepared to take advantage of any further changes that fortune seems fit to make. Shinjo Yasamura has turned Toturi away from Beiden Pass and into the Lion lands. There, he faces the animosity of his former clansmen and the added threat of another army – the exact nature of which we cannot ascertain. But Lady Kachiko assures us that this enigmatic force serves the Emperor, and that the two armies will crush the ronin and his rag-tag band beneath them. We have done well to leave Toturi to his fate, for no honor could be gained in sharing such an ignominious defeat.
Further south, a perplexing and uneasy situation has developed in the campaign against the Crane. Doji castle has finally fallen to the Shadowlands army led by their former Champion. The corrupt Lord Doji now marches towards the temples of the Asahina family, where the remnants of the Crane have gathered with the Phoenix Shiba Tsukune to make a final stand. Despite Matsu Tsuko’s claim that the Crane will be treated mercifully, it now seems clear she has nothing less than their utter destruction as her goal. More disturbing is the fact that she and her army stood by and watched while the Shadowlands army crushed the last defenses of Doji castle. Have the Lion become so obsessed with vengeance that they have forgotten their vow to defend the Empire? Would they step aside and permit the destruction of Rokugan lands – lands promised to us by treaty – merely to end some petty feud? And why in the name of the Seven Thunders have they done nothing to stop the unholy monstrosities that now stalk the shattered remnants of Doji Castle? Lady Matsu is no longer trustworthy, and I fear that her treachery may have dire implications for our clan.
But we are not without resources. We did not join the Lion to inherit a scorched Crane wasteland, nor do we intend to be thrown to the wolves as Toturi was. Lord Doji has quite clearly made a pact with the forces of darkness, and once the Asahina temples fall, our lands will be next. Otaku Kamoko has led our finest horsemen to our southern borders, in preparation for an inevitable attack. The weak and corrupted Crane have fallen like wheat before the Shadowlands army. But we are not the Crane, and our enemies seem to have forgotten that.
We are alone now, my friend, without a friend or ally in all of Rokugan. But we have swiftness in our blades and purity in our hearts, and we are ready to face the dark days that are approaching. Keep your wits about you and remember that you are Unicorn. We will speak again soon.