Letter 7



It is done. The war is over.

All has come to pass as my ancestor foretold. The darkness of the Shadowlands has been defeated on the plains of Otosan Uchi, and its leader has been crushed by a new generation of thunders. It is time to rebuild.

Remember the Tao, my friends, for its prophecies are not finished. For all things, there is a time and a place -- each season, each life, and each death. Our preparations were not in vain, and we must help the new world to begin. The Clans of the Empire are broken, wounded and weary. Our place now is to help them rise again -- to build a better future from the ruins of the past.

Within the dark walls of Otosan Uchi, the Thunders gathered. Unsure of their future, their lives in conflict, they had the courage to bond together in this hour of greatest need. It was as we had always known -- facing the true enemy gave them the strength they lacked. I stood and watched as they fought the evil, knowing that this battle would decide the future. The men outside the palace, fighting the undead hordes -- their lives hinged on what happened within that throne room. Their lives and the future of all Rokugan. We were successful, but even in our success, I can see another destiny starting to unfold. Evil is not bound to one Lord, but within many mortal men, and in their eyes -- if you look closely -- you can see the echo of darkness.

Those of you who did not witness the final battle must be told of the valor of your brothers. They stood on the plains of the Emperor's palace while I led the Thunders to their destiny, and many of them spent their lives to usher in this new beginning. Their names must be remembered with honor, and their lives must not have been sacrificed in vain.

Among the flames of Otosan Uchi lies the body of Tetsuya, whose quiet wisdom guided our order for many years. He strode onto the field alone, a single monk among so many factions. Undisturbed by the evil which surrounded him, he raised his hand against the undead with compassion and remorse. Even in this, he was a gentle man. Though they fell, Tetsuya walked on through the darkness, keeping the oni at bay while the Dragon troops marched forward. In the midst of the plain, he came upon a twisted creature, guardian of Junzo, whose body was half creature and half man. It pointed its blade at the Mirumoto troops, and bellowed a challenge, but Tetsuya raised his hand. The Dragons fell back, allowing Tetsuya to accept the beast's contest. All was quiet for a moment, and then, with the monster's scream of fury, the two struck as one.

His voice will be missed among the halls of our brothers.

When the time came to choose a new Emperor, the Champions of the Clans looked to me to tell them the way. But I did not make the choice. It was in their eyes, in the way they looked at Toturi, the way the men chanted his name when they saw him emerge from the palace. At the top of the wall, he looked down at Rokugan, and did not see them as seven clans. Instead, he saw them as a single nation. Toturi has forsaken his past and his old alliances, and taken up the cause of the people. He will rule them well.

My time among you is finished. The darkness has withdrawn, and the Dark Lord is beaten. For now. Let the word be spread among our order -- all has gone according to the design of my forefather. Rokugan is again safe from the evil of the Shadowlands. Our vigil is ended. I return now to the anonymity from which I came, so that my sons and their sons will be hidden from the darkness. For, like the night that follows long after the new dawn, darkness will come again.

May the peace of the Tao be with you.

Shinsei


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