Letter 7

(Clan Mantis/Yoritomo's Alliance)

 

Victory!

Victory, at last, has come to us, and all that we struggled to acheive is ours!

We have stood before the Seven Great Clans, and we have shown them that they are not the onlyvoices in Rokugan. The voice of the Mantis, the voice of the lesser clans - our voice - has been heard. We have shouted from the battlefield, we have raised our standard on the hills and plains of this nation, and we have forced them to listen. From the fields around the Emperorís palace, our armies stood, risking death side by side with the regiments of the noble houses.

When I stood before their Champions and announced my place among them, they knew it was time to recognize the Mantis. All our clans, the united Alliance which has fought beneath our banner, we have won what should have been ours from the start. Our battle was on the field of the Emperorís palace - against filthy beasts and undead. We swarmed upon the field and gave them no quarter, no rest and no escape. The army of the Dark One was crushed beneath our heels.

Shugenja hurled spells from the rear, and samurai rushed the field to battle the enemy, eager for the fight. Glory was ours - all those who served the Alliance fought bravely, for though we were few, we were the ones who made the difference.

The armies of the Great Clans had been decimated by thier own bickering, and even at the end, just before the gates opened, Lion fought Lion in an insane battle. I led my own men before the great gates of Otosan Uchi, cutting zombies and other fiends down before our blades, and we were the first inside its massive walls. I will never forget the sight of the palace - once magnificent and stately, but now foul and corrupt.

Things which defy description poured down on us from the ramparts, splitting the heads of my comrades with thier rusted pikes. Brute strength and reckless force were thier weapons, and we were reduced to cutting at them as a fisherman cuts apart a shark.

I thought the butchery would never end; the horde was massive and eager, rushing toward us with death in thier eyes. Those beside me who fell soon rose again, the hissing sound of the Dark Lordís gift filling thier lungs as thier eyes lit with hatred.

To the left, oni of tremendous size and awesome strength; to the right, skeletons and the horde of undead; and beside me, my own dead soldiers tried to tear my weapons from my hands,

Standing among the ghoulish legion, my weapons whirling madly, I heard from the field a single wild howl, surpassing all other noises. It rose from the plain from a single voice, but was soon joined by others in a tremendous outcry. It was the sound of life, a spirit that had been threatened by extinction but was once again free.

I looked around me at the dead, and found that no more rose to test my blades.

The Dark Oneís power had been broken.

It was over - our victory was complete.

After the battle, with the fields of Otosan Uchi burning on the horizon, Toturi spoke to the gathered throng. With the blessing of Shinsei, he proclaimed a new Imperial reign over Rokugan, a reign which would signal a new era. He spoke of unity, and of peace, and he called me into the presence of the Champions, to stand beside them as was my due.

He kept his promise to our Clan, and our Alliance.

At last, I stood among the Leaders of the Great Houses of Rokugan, and I was thier equal.

Our future is assured - our place in the Empire is certain. Our storms have changed the world.

Yoritomo