Letter #2: Matsu Hirotu


Brother-in-arms, There is much to speak of, and not enough time. I shall be succinct.

The ronin Toturi has evaded our wrath for two years, but no longer. You know that he has come out of hiding from the Dragon Keeps and now leads their army against the Crab. He defeated them at Beiden Pass and now hopes to starve them out of Yasuki Palace on the fringes of their provinces. But what is waiting for Toturi in the lands of the Crab is a trap. He thinks that he must only face Yakamo, but he is wrong. Hida Kisada, the Great Bear himself, is also waiting for him, along with armies of dark legions from the west. While we do not publicly approve of such actions, we know that the Shadowlands army will cause Toturi to retreat to Beiden Pass, and when he does, he will find the Unicorn army he left there to guard it not as friendly as when he left it. We have made a pact with the Unicorn: If they assist us in destroying Toturi, we shall give them half the Crane lands we shall capture. Also, a hidden Scorpion army led by Toturi's childhood friend, the Crane Champion Doji Hoturi, is waiting in the north for his retreat. Toturi is trapped on all sides.

In the meantime, our Champion is laying waste to the Crane armies. With the help of the Crab, we managed to destroy Kakita Castle, and now she lays siege to Doji Castle. Only the pathetic armies of the Crane are there to protect their lands. An upstart army of Phoenix is also there, led by the samurai-maiden Shiba Tsukune. Of course, I need not tell you of her crimes against our Clan. Soon, both she and the Crane will be finished and we shall divide their lands with the Unicorn for their trust and alliance. As for the rumors that it was the Lady Scorpion who "created a false Hoturi" we can only say that the Crane have been driven to great lengths if they expect the Empire to believe such a lie. Lady Kachiko has spoken with our Champion, and assured her that the Crane have lost favor with the Emperor and that we are his most favored. It was also Lady Kachiko who suggested the alliance with the Unicorn, and she has urged Lady Matsu to take quick action against the Crane before they are able to re-establish communication with the rest of the Clans; we have done so. The war is nearly finished. The Crab and Dragon will destroy each other and the naive Unicorn will be at our beck and call as the Phoenix drive themselves to darkness with their "Black Scrolls." The Throne is safe and we shall be sitting on both sides of the Emerald Throne, as it should have been since the beginning.

Matsu Hiruto

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