To my comrades-in-arms among the fortresses of the Lion,
know me. You heard my voice in council, and you know my heart. Those of you who
have served in my legion know that I sought only to lead my people as I felt my
oath demanded. I stood at the gates of Otosan-Uchi, attacked on all sides by my
people, torn between loyalty and reason. I would have died there, beside my
kinsmen. At the hands of my kinsmen. I would have died fighting for what I
thought was our duty.
Toturi, the ronin, came before us and showed us the way that we had lost, we
rallied and turned up on the palace with all the fury of a hundred storms. The
gates opened, and the filth within the walls spewed forth across the plains in a
battle like none I have ever seen. But with a wildness in their eyes and a
strength in their hearts that was unmatched, ten thousand Lions took the field
that day for Rokugan -- and beside the forces of Crane, Crab and Unicorn we
charged, praying it would be enough. Praying all would go well within its walls.
I charged into the fray with Motso beside me, and a legion of undead parted
before our blades. I tore away their porcelain masks and tried to ignore the
faces beneath. Once they were familiar faces.
they were men -- just soldiers, like you or I -- but now they had become
abominations. Food for a Lion's blade.
when the zombies disarmed me and thought to place upon my own face the mask of
their Master, I fought with nothing but my hands and my courage. I thank the
Seven Fortunes that it was enough, and I ran their once-Crab leader through with
his own rusted blade.
men died on the field that day, but those who survived -- Gohei, Agetoki, and
the rest -- showed the Shadowlands the strength of a Lion's heart.
them, my brothers, when you speak of this day to your children.
not only the seven who entered the gates of the Palace, but the thousands who
died on its fields. Their sacrifices were just as great.
the bodies of the dead were burning on the plains, I went before Toturi and
offered him my life. He looked into my eyes and said, "To tread on the
sword that defends you is an offense to the soul of bushido. Rise, daimyo of the
Lion, and take your place at the council of your peers." I stood beside the
daimyos of the great clans of Rokugan, and I felt like a falcon among eagles.
am a soldier. I was not raised to be a politician, nor a leader of men. I swore
my blade to the Lion, and to the Emperor. Now that Emperor commands me to lead
you into the future that is before us. If you choose, you can follow me there,
and we will fight as soldiers. Side by side.