you these words now to assure you that all is not as it may seem in the Empire.
Yes, we have taken significant losses at Kakita Castle and at Beiden Pass, but
do not misunderstand our tactics. Our losses have been minimal compared to the
other Clans. One only needs to look at the burning husk that was once Kakita
Castle to know that the entire western region of the Crane Clan has no western
fortifications, leaving them vulnerable to an attack from the Shadowlands, or
from an army advancing from our Provinces. You have probably heard of the Test
of the Emerald Champion that was held in the Imperial Palace, and you have also
probably heard of the Iaijutsu Master, Kakita Toshimoko, winning the tournament.
This has little meaning to our plans. The man is old and vulnerable to a chilly
wind or perhaps even a poisoned sip of sake. It is of no significance, my
allies in the Imperial Palace shall take care of the Gray Crane. And lastly, let
us speak words of the ronin Toturi. He and his army of Dragons have proven to be
quite troublesome. Again, this is no worry to us. As we speak, his army is
poised just north of our lands, preparing to starve us out of Yasuki Castle.
Little does he know of our army that is moving up from the south or our allies
who move in from the north under the cover of night. Imagine his surprise when
he faces his childhood friend, Doji Hoturi, leading an army of Shadowlands
madmen. I only wish I could see the surprise on his face. The Great Bear awaits
to the south to catch the Fallen Lion between the two armies, and then, when he
tries to retreat back to Beiden Pass, our lovely ally in the Imperial Palace has
made certain that he will find his allies the Unicorn less than willing to give
him passage. He will be forced to move north into Lion territory, and there, he
will find his Clansmen waiting for him.
ready. We have dealt with the samurai who provided us with defeats at Kakita
Castle and Beiden Pass. Our alliances have provided us with the force we will
need to gain the Emerald Throne within the year. My cousin, prepare for victory!