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Phoenix Clan Letter #11

My cousins,

It is my hope that this message will reach you at Isawa Kyuden. Our runners report that the palace is under siege, and though you bear the brunt of the Mantis attacks, there is more news.

Shiba Tetsu's forces have dispersed into the forests and will ensure that the Mantis occupation will be a costly one. Shiba Gensui is rushing to bring our veteran forces to your side. They both believe that the Alliance's supply lines must run through a single secret port, or the Mantis could not land with such stealth. Only the Scorpion know such hidden paths. Only Bayushi traitors and murderers could have shown Yoritomo's people the way to bleed our lands dry. The souls of our clan lie dead in Scorpion hands, as surely as they stain Mantis blades.

We must cut those lines, or more Phoenix will die.

But with the news of the Scorpion's return comes even more hidden lore: Asako Togama has sent word on his search for the truth behind the "ninja

myths." The Agasha turn their libraries over for our use, opening their hidden vaults toward discerning this threat. Our champion, Tsukune, sends word that she has seen one of these "creatures"; it was no being of flesh and bone, but one of blood and shadow.

Togama-san has spent much time in the Agasha libraries, uniting our wisdom with theirs. He claims the Scorpion Clan may have once had another house, a house that descended into shadow and was lost. These samurai, known as the Goju, erased nearly all records of their existence. Togama believes that the "ninja" are the descendents of these Goju, twisted by the presence of a Living Darkness into insanity.

And worse, Togama belives that the first of them -- the first Goju -- still lives.

The Unicorn have said much the same. Only crystal will harm them; only the light of the Sun herself can drive them away; they are creatures of Onnotangu himself.

Lastly, with my success in the Trials, the Elemental Council now has four masters. Naka Kuro is convinced we must find a Master of Water, and he speaks wearily. I fear the Great One will not live to see the summer return. None of our students shows the gift, but Kuro is certain that one will arise. Some suggest that when the siege lifts, Tsukune-sama should present herself to the council and confirm the Kami's oath. Despite the claims of the Shiba, only when the Council of Masters is restored and leading the clan will the Phoenix reclaim their lost glories.

Isawa Hochiu, Master of Fire




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Togashi will return!