Letter 3

(Clan Crab)

My dear friend,

Another three months brings us even closer to victory. Even now, the ronin Toturi has been turned back from our gates and flees toward the trap that we and our secret ally have planned for him. Our allied spies in the Crane Clan have sent word to him of the assault Matsu Tsuko leads against Doji Palace, and he has called off his attack on the Eastern walls of our lands. He retreated to discover Beiden Pass is no longer a route that is open to him, also due to the careful machinations of our secret ally. Now Toturi is forced to move through Lion territory to reach the crumbling estates of the Crane, and when he does, he will find not one, but two armies waiting for him. Not even Tsuko knows of this second army. Once the ronin is crushed, all resistance to our rightful claim will be crushed. The Lion will have what they have always wanted: to stand on both sides of the Throne, while our secret ally expects to be sitting behind it. She believes that they can control the Great Bear with sweet whispers and promises. The cost of her error will soon be evident.

Do not be concerned with the Phoenix tactics that have so many of the shugenja of Rokugan in a panic. The old wives tale of "black scrolls" and "the age of darkness" are simply a ruse to distract us from our true goal. The Crab have battled the Shadowlands for a thousand years. If there is a threat from the dark lands, we will conquer it as we always have: with strength and courage. Our shugenja, Kuni Yuri, has researched two of the black scrolls himself, and he assures me that the reason the Phoenix do not want them opened is because they want to have complete control over their power. The Phoenix tell us that they are "corrupting" and "evil," and yet, they ask us to send them any that we have uncovered as quickly as possible. Does Shiba Ujimitsu think we are so stupid as to not see the truth of such a ploy? Punish the Phoenix for their insolence, my friend. They deserve nothing less than your full attentions.

That is all the news I have for now. Our spies in the Lion armies assure me Doji Palace will fall in days, and our messengers in the south assure us that our mighty fleet is near completion, thanks to the work of Kaiu Suman and despite the sabotage efforts of the troublesome Mantis Clan. They will be the first to fall when our allies march on the Capital from the West, while the Great Bear sails our armies in from the East. What a sight that will make!

Hida Tsuru