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Phoenix Clan Letter #12

Samurai of the Phoenix!

Strong words and heavy prices, and there is much to tell of our lands to the north.

On the fields before our besieged palace, a lone Mantis stepped foreward. He was bold and brash, and his words were an affront to the honor of our noble clan. Isawa himself frowned from the high Halls of Heaven and demanded that this filthy bushi be contained, taught a lesson. The Mantis spoke of "cowardice" and of dark magics, and threatened the slaughter of innocent souls. His was a face of unreasoning hatred - a wound opened , never to heal. He claimed that we hid behind peasants who sought shelter within the walls of Kyuden Isawa. They swore that we would not fight them as true samurai, blade to blade.

One Phoenix stepped out in front of the palace and challenged the Mantis in return. His price was this: Should the Mantis win, the Phoenix Shugenja would leave the palace to be attended only by bushi, and a bloody war would certianly begin. If the Phoenix won, however, then all of the women and children of the Phoenix would be allowed to leave, unharmed by Mantis arrows or cowardly hostage attempts.

The deal was struck , and Yoritomo's people withdrew to allow the dual. In single challenge, Phoenix faced Mantis; in single combat, the duel was struck. The fight was long, and the Mantis struggled to show his worth, but in the end he was forced to admid defeat- and the glory of the Phoenix Clan! Our children and our families are safe, defended by one man and one strong blade. Surely Shiba himself smiled upon that day.

But remember, brethren, the name of the Mantis who lost the duel. He was called Yoritomo Denyaku, and his sword bears the tsuba of a bear tearing its claws against an iron tree. The scorn of his companions was so great that the Alliance threatened to take up arms against him themselves, but he left the battlefield cursing and swearing revenge. He will return to seek his lost honor, and this time, we must be ready to take his life

Shiba Tetsu


 

 

 

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