Letter #1 : Matsu Tsuko


My friend, victory is ours!

The Crab Clan has been forced from its invasion of the Crane Provinces and is even now retreating to the North. They have taken a defensive position just south of the lands of the Unicorn Clan and have remained there as if daring us to drive them away.

We have made a brief alliance with the Crane Clan, my friend, and it is all to our benefit. In doing so, we have placed them in a situation where they are dependent upon our protection, thus allowing us use of their vast wealth to feed and furnish our armies. As you know, the lands delegated to us by the divine wisdom of the Emperor have never provided to us the wealth the Crane Clan enjoys. However, now that we have built an alliance between our two Clans, the wealth we have long desired is available to us.

The victories that we gained in the battle have put us in a unique position. We now have the resources to move against the Crab Clan, thus ending the threat to the Throne and restoring the Emperor to his rightful strength. We know that the Kuni family has used some dark magic to sap our Emperor's strength, but with courage and swiftness, we can put an end to the villainous Hida Kisada's plans and bring glory back to the Hantei Family's name. And when the Emperor sees that it was the Lion and not the Crane that has done this, we shall stand alone at the Emperor's side.

You should know that the Kakita family already suspects our motivations for assisting them in the battle. Kakita Toshimoko came to us, looking for audience, telling us that the Emperor's new bride is responsible for the evil that is sweeping through our land. But we know otherwise. Our spies tell us that it is Doji Hoturi who is allying himself with Bayushi Kachiko, and since Toshimoko was Lord Doji's sensei, we can only cast suspicion upon him as well. In short, trust not the Crane Clan. They have led the Empire into this darkness, and we shall be the ones who lead the Empire into a new dawn.

Also, during the battle, a young samurai-maiden from the Phoenix Clan struck down one of our shugenja. A strike against a Lion is a strike against the Emperor. Her name is Shiba Tsukune. Remember that name, my friend. Remember it well.

The times seem dark, but things are not as bleak as they seem. Stay true to our destiny - the protection of the Emperor - and the dawn will arise soon enough.

Matsu Tsuko


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