The following is a letter sent to the Emperor of Rokugan by Ichiro Kihongo, the daimyo of the Badger Clan, during the Winter Court of 1170.
It is my deepest regret that I have not yet had the opportunity to offer you my oath of fealty in person, my lord. Regrettably the duties assigned to us by your predecessors require my full attention, and remaining absent from the Badger lands during the long winter months would have been inadvisable. I hope that you will forgive me for not bringing you this message in person under the circumstances.
My lord, I have been made aware of a threat most dire, not only to my clan, but to other clans in your service and perhaps to your entire Empire as well. As you are doubtless aware, the Badger maintain a series of fortresses high in the mountains that overlook all possible routes into the Empire from the northwestern section of the Northern Wall Mountains, those parts that are not already monitored by your servants among the Dragon and Phoenix. As part of our duties, we frequently send scouts into the lands north of our holdings, to ensure that there is no unusual activity among the Yobanjin tribes that dwell there. I do not have to remind you, my lord, of the terrible damage they wreaked upon the Empire during their invasion some decades ago during the reign of Toturi I. Unfortunately, my Emperor, I have discovered that invasion will have been nothing compared to the battle we may soon face.
I must assume that the tale is true. I must assume that we are in terrible danger. My scouts report that there is an army massing north of the Empire, an army that numbers countless legions of Yobanjin. From their accounts, every tribe that our clan’s records can identify, plus dozens or even hundreds of others, must have been marshaled together in order to accomplish such staggering numbers. The size of the army described far outstrips the force that can be mustered by any individual clan in your service, even the Lion Clan and their vaunted four armies. I know this must seem an overestimation, my lord, and I believed that as well, but I have dispatched three separate subsequent scouting expeditions to assess their numbers, all without informing them of the previous estimates. Two returned with the same tale. The third never returned at all. I must assume that the tale is true. I must assume that we are in terrible danger.
The Badger will never shirk from their duty, my lord. We will stand and protect the Empire from their entire attempt to enter it, but it would be a failure of my duties to lie. This threat far outstrips our ability to defend Rokugan. We will be overrun. My only regret is that, should we fall in the course of performing our duty that no one would be prepared to carry on in our place when our enemy reached the Empire.
Ready your legions, my lord. Your Empire is threatened.