I have been in the lands of the Phoenix for some time now, and my greatest fears are confirmed. I do not know if there is anyone left alive who is suited to bear the mantle of the Grand Masters. Several of the children here are talented, yes, and will be fine shugenja – but none yet bear the mark of destiny. If the Isawa Masters cannot be reborn, how can the Phoenix live again?
Yet I see such hope in the faces around me — in the new birth of our clan, from the darkness which conquered the old ways. Do not give up that hope, for it is our strongest weapon against these dark times. Recruit from the ronin of the land, and find the strongest of the unaligned shugenja. As Toturi has taught us, even wave-men can have honor.
One last thing — our self-imposed exile from the courts of rokugan has led us to an unnerving discovery. Although there are those in the land who would dispute that there is a power beneath the surface of Rokugani society, I have seen its movements, and I have felt its darkness. I do not know if it is the return of the Dark One, or a new power, eager to rise up in the absence of its Master. All I know is that the elements themselves shudder at its touch, and that its faint presence seems to be moving through Rokugan with an evil intent. It has no name, no voice, and leaves no hint of its intention. And without our Masters…I fear it will destroy Rokugan.
Only a day ago, I spoke to my servant, an elderly shugenja whose loyalty I have never questioned, and asked him if he had heard of this shadow upon the elements. He gave no answer, and when I turned to ask him again… He had no face. Then he vanished, into smoke and shadow, and I was alone.