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Mantis Clan Letter #8

Samurai of the Mantis,

The battle goes well. Despite their constant attempts to destroy us, the Phoenix cannot throw us from their shores. Soon we will control their lands, and they will be given the position they deserve: that of a minor house in this noble Empire, deposed for their lack of strength. If they cannot protect their peasants and defend their palaces, they do not deserve a voice in the Emperor's ear. This much our charter tells us.

Even now, a Unicorn named Shinjo Morito carves his own palace from the hills near the shrine of the Ki-Rin,claiming that ancient place as the property of the Unicorn. Let him have it. When we hold Kyuden Isawa, we will not miss the ten li he dares to claim.

Yet we have suffered drawbacks, as well. Even as a band of noble Mantis warriors brought the burned and tattered flag of Kyuden Asako to our lord, a battle was taking place on the Isawa lands. A lone Mantis stepped forward, proud of his heritage, and dared the Isawa to forsake this petty battle. He spoke of the children within the keep, of the innocent that were being threatened by the Phoenix refusal to surrender the palace. They hid behind their weakness and expect us to show the mercy they are too cowardly to give themselves. He was noble, honorable enough to offer his life that they might go free, but the Phoenix spurned him and cursed the name of our lord. It was too much. We all know that these Phoenix will use any magic at their disposal; the bloodied spirits that haunt the walls of their palaces will show you that. They are tainted with maho and lost to Fu Leng. I would swear they are drawing their magic from his bloodied power, for only with his foul strength behind them could they have held us back for this long. He cursed them, holding aloft the flag of the Mantis.

And because there was no other way to defend their honor, they were forced to accept his charge. A single samurai--a Phoenix named Shiba Gensui--strutted from between their gates. He was filled with pomp and fat-bellied arrogance, and his pretty armor with the light of his lies. Even Aramasu agreed: it was proper that this leech die in pain, without the easy death of poison. Our champion stood on the field, his hand on his katana. In single challenge, Phoenix faced Mantis; in single combat, the duel was struck. The fight was long, and the Mantis struggled against the dark magic that surrounded the Phoenix, but in the end he was forced to admit defeat.

Even in glory, the Phoenix could not leave behind the Taint of their dark Master, for only with his evil magic could our champion have been defeated.

They must be destroyed, before their evil is allowed to taint the Empire again. They are a blight on the fields of Rokugan, and we must eradicate them. It is not for our own gain, but for the Empire's sake.

Yoritomo Makashi




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