(Clan Crab)


My kindred, my clan, I bear news.

I saw them leave today, from the top of the Kaiu Wall.

Our banners, so proud and defiant, charged into the heart of that dark land as if defying the dark lord to rise again from his pit. For the first time since the Day of Thunder, I knew fear.

We were correct-there is something greater out there, something more. Something that calls to the undead and the oni that are our enemies and gathers them once more for assault. But it is not a challenge against our wall this time. It is a battle for the heart of our past. The Shadow’s face-I have seen it in the mountains of twilight. I stood with Makashi, the traitor, and thought that O-Ushi had done wrong to cast him out.

But on that day, when he turned faceless eyes upon me, I knew that bearing his shame was nothing compared to what had already been taken from him. They are among us, even now, at the wall. Already, we have been betrayed. The hinges are weakened, the stone has been coated with acid, and what missives we receive from the Empire are scattered at best, lost to the Shadow we cannot see.

The enemy is within us.

Our foe is not outside our stone and metal fences but standing at the side of each samurai that holds the wall, Lion and Crab. Looking at the faces around me, I do not know who among them have already made a dark bargain and sold their names to pay immortality’s price. Tsuru . . . have you turned against us? Will your face run and tear apart, and will the wall fall from the inside? Will the same happen to your daughter?

I look at my those who march into the Shadowlands, and I believe that they are truly the lucky ones.

Kuni Utagu