Letter 10

(Clan Crane)


Children of the Crane!

Hear me now, as I write my last letter to you.

Our Champion has commanded me to hold my ground at Bayushi Palace, but I will not. I have marched the army of Daidoji through Beiden Pass, toward Shiro no Yojin and victory.

Kuwanan-sama chase the Mantis. Though some say they only try to fulfil their charter of peace and marshal the unaligned lands, we of the Crane know that Yoritomo-sama seeks a greater prize - not gold, or silver, or gems, but Jade. And Kuwanan-sama will give his life to see that the Throne is safe from a petty upstart. And he is right to do so. But I cannot. I have spoken with the Mantis Champion, and I know his ways better than any man. He seeks power, yes, but only as much as he can protect - and the Jade Throne is a prize which too many men covet. It would be his, and gone again, before the sun set.

There is another enemy which must be stormed. The Matsu, confident in our weakness, have left their lands lightly protected, sending the mass of their armies to assault the Crab. Again, they attack helpless peasants and defenseless lands, as they did when they seiged lost Doji Palace. This cannot be allowed. We must strike now, before they raise an army of black fiends and Oni, before the sorcerer they serve raises the head of his beast and sends it toward our children. My honor demands that we slay Okura, retake Shiro no Yojin, and return it to the hands of its rightful owners.

My ancestor, Daidoji Yurei-sama, swore to defend that palace, and my honor demands that I fulfil his oath. Further, it is the duty of every Daidoji to protect Crane lands against the black grip of the Lion. Their Jade Champion, Kitsu Okura, is a blasphemy to his rank, and to the Empire. They are a soil upon the brow of our sacred land, one which I cannot allow to live a day longer.

They must be destroyed, as they once tried to destroy us. If my life is forfeit, then I will gladly sacrifice it so that the Crane may rise. Once I have taken the palace and destroyed this Blood Sorcerer, I will send my head to Niwa Shita no Kake Toshi in recompense for my treason.

Daidoji Uji