time for rejoicing is near, my comrade.
ancient enemy, the Crane,are finished. They have retreated from Doji Castle and
are fleeing south for the temples of the Asahina family. Their shugenja will
give them no more protection than their samurai have. The battle was a complete
rout, thanks to our beloved Matsu Tsuko's courage and strategy. We have occupied
Doji Castle, but have found the tell-tale signs of corruption there and have
abandoned it. Obviously, the Crane have thrown in with the undead legions of the
Shadowlands. They have followed their Champion's example out of desperation.
They have no honor left. Even the Emperor's bride has turned her back on them,
calling them eta, outcasts. The Emperor's Champion, however, refuses to believe
our claims. Toshimoko claims that a scout from the Phoenix armies that helped
protect Doji Castle tells him that a Shadowlands army assisted our beloved
Champion in destroying Doji Palace. But our own Akodo Kage was there and assures
me that such is not the case. Indeed, news of the attack comes from one of the
Isawa family, who we all know have been falling under the influence of the
Shadowlands. As for the impetuous Phoenix samurai-maiden who slew our shugenja
and routed our army many months ago, word has it that she escaped the doom that
our beloved Champion prepared for her. Obviously, she must have used black magic
to do so. Another sign that neither the Phoenix or the Crane can be trusted.
Shadowlands have become a significant force in the Empire, and we must turn our
blame to the Crab. It was their duty to guard the Empire against the dark power
of that land, and they have failed in that duty. Where is Hida Kisada? Why does
he not rise up to destroy the ghouls that wander our countryside? I shall tell
you where he is. He has fled to the south with a significant army. Even now he
waits on the southern beaches, but what is he waiting for? We cannot say. Yet.
However, the Emperor's spies have reported to us that he has sent many members
of the Kaiu family to the southern islands of the Mantis Clan. We have not
gathered information on what Kaiu Suman and his family are doing there, but I
assure you, as soon as we discover the truth, you shall be the first to know.