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A Gentle Reminder

by Ree Soesbee

In the lands of the Lion, barren fields mark the passage of the Lion armies, moving inexorably to the south, toward Crab lands. Upon the throne of the Lion, a Kitsu Shugenja rests, the new mantle of the Jade Champion resting heavily upon his shoulders. At his side, a thing of darkness, bound with chains of Jade. "I am your Master!" the sorcerer contends. The Oni only smiles.

Fields of flame and salt seed the bitter trail of the Mantis, crossed with the tread of thousands of booted feet. Pursued by the Crane, Yoritomo's men strike upward, through Beiden pass, leading the armies of Doji Kuwanan into the empty lands of the Lion.

Toward Shiro Matsu. Toward Otosan Uchi. Toward the empty Throne of Jade. The smoke and flame which rises from the south howls in revenge as the dwindling inhabitants of Hiruma palace slowly die of starvation and war. O-Ushi, leading her Crab bretheren, thunders a warning toward those who would dare strike against the Crab in its weakness. Together with the speed of her husband's Unicorn legions, Kisada's daughter prepares to defend the Kaiu wall - from armies which seek to strike on both sides. In the lands of the Ki-rin, the Unicorn struggle to maintain the peace of a crumbling Empire. The leader of the battle-maidens, Otaku Kamoko, has vanished, leaving her charges behind in order to seek her mother's murderer. In her rage and eagerness for revenge, however, she may fail to see the enemy who stands behind her ...

And in the lands of the Dragon, a silent guide leads her companions through twisted trails and shattered cliffs, toward the furious battles of Naga and Ise Zumi. With each footstep, a final battle draws nearer - a battle which may decide the fate of the Dragon Clan, and the bonds between brother and sister. Thousands die at the hands of the Naga invaders, and there is no mercy for those they call 'corrupted by darkness.' Their Akasha draws them ever on, toward the secret heart of the Empire, where the servants of the Dark Lady stand ready to defend her soul ... with their lives.

... and in the darkness. Norikazu screams ...



 

 

 

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Togashi will return!