Letter 8

(Clan Crane)


My son -

I write to you from the fields of war, as we march toward the palace of the Emperor.  Our duty is clear, mypath certain.  The Usurper must be destroyed, and his clan must be erased from the face of the Empire.  For years I have chafed at their honorless ways, their masks and their manipulations.  At last, the others see that what I have said so many times is the truth-

The Scorpion must be annihilated.

They have taken the palace, killed the Emperor and endangered his Imperial Line - our cousins, related by blood and by birth.  We are closer to them than any other, and a strike against the line of Hantei is a strike against the line of Doji.  We must destroy them for their arrogance, and make them pay the price of disloyalty.

When the battle is done, I know what I must do.  The Emperor's death hangs on my conscience like the weight which drags the sun into the mountains each night.  I was his Emerald Champion.  I was his protector.  I was his friend.  My death - on the field or with honor once we have defended his son - is inevitable.  You will rise to take my place as leader of our people.  It is your duty to your house.

You must remember this, above all else.  The Crane must be willing to give their lives to defeat the darkness which rises in the hearts of man.  Only honor seperates us form the beasts of the earth - only honor, and loyalty.  You know that I have been a harsh father to you, Hoturi, but when you see the dangers of the world that you must face, you will know why my lessons seemed so cruel.  They were to prepare you for the truth of the world into which you are about to rise.  There is no greater gift from a father to a son.

Doji Satsume