Letter 4

(Clan Dragon)


My Brothers, our Champion has returned.

I have been directed by him to tell you of the dark times that have descended on our Empire. You have no doubt heard by now that a new army of Shadowlands creatures walks the land. Commanded by the undead shugenja, Yogo Junzo. What you may not know is that Junzo is connected somehow to another, far darker power - a power which has taken control of the Emperor himself.

The Great Fleet of Hida Kisada struck the Imperial City without warning. The Crab destroyed the Lion army stationed there and occupied the surrounding area, while Kisada and his son Yakamo stormed the palace with the intent of taking the throne. None yet know what occurred there, but scant hours later, the Crab army retreated from the city, scattering to the four winds. Rumor has it that The Great Bear was slain by the Emperor's hand, and that his son has been corrupted to the will of the Shadowlands. Tales of sprung up of the young Hantei wielding magics that the blackest shugenja will not touch, and throwing armies about like a child's toys. Unfortunately we cannot confirm any of these ravings. None who have entered the Imperial Palace have thus far emerged alive.

As if this were not grim news enough, Junzo's horde had unleashed atrocities upon the Empire that would chill the blood of even the bravest samurai. We have not yet ascertained the exact connection between Junzo and Hantei but it is clear that the two are acting together. Even Yokuni, in his beneficent wisdom, could not have anticipated such darkness. With the Imperial City in shambles and an army of Shadowlands monstrosities walking the lands, we must take steps to ensure that this evil does not engulf us. If Hantei were to acquire the knowledge which we possess, he would be unstoppable.

I have ordered most of our forces back to our mountain strongholds in anticipation of an assault from either Junzo or the Imperial City. If they come for us, they will have to take us in a location of our choosing. Mirumoto Daini has been granted permission to remain with the Naga, while Togashi Mitsu and his legion is tattooed men continues to move with Toturi's rag-tag army. With the Crane victory at the Asahina Temples, perhaps these forces can join together in a common effort against Junzo and his allies.

And Hitomi? Hitomi is lost to us. She treads a path that none of us can follow, and we must abandon her to the destiny she has embraced.

The time has come to hold fast our course. Hantei has been lost, and we must prepare to defend ourselves against the darkness which claimed him. If we stand strong, and Toturi is truly the man Yokuni claims he is, we may yet survive this night to see the coming of a new day. Courage, Brother.

Mirumoto Sukune