Letter 6


We arrived with the Unicorns at Otosan Uchi. As far as the eye can see, the armies of the Clans stretch out across the hills and fields, filling them with the colors of the Empire. It looks like autumn, rather than sultry summer, here at the capital. The Unicorn's army of farmers who brought with it an arsenal of tools. Suana and Takao have taught them how to turn those simple tools into weapons. After all, what can cut down wheat and rice can cut down a man.

The Seven Thunders are here, but they are restless. Uncertainty hangs in the air like stench hangs over an unclean corpse. They are samurai, and so they maintain their courageous faces, but deep in their herats, they know the cold embrace of fear.

I am assured in destiny. All will come to pass as it was meant to come to pass. If we fall here, we will know an eterity of darkness. If we succeed, the age of man will have passed its test, and our kind will live to see another thousand years.

As you know, nearly all of our temples have fallen to the fiend Junzo. Only a few remain, but now they stand unguarded as we join the Clans for our final stand against the dark one. Have no fear, we will build again.

As I watch the events unfold, I cannot help but think of an old story that was once told to me by my grandfather. Perhaps it is the oldest story in the world. I will tell it now, as it was told to me.

One thousand years ago, Shinsei came to the Emperor in his time of darkest need. The dark brother's army seemed endless and Hantei's own army was exhausted and virtually beaten. Shinsei said to him, "Give me seven men of conviction, and I will give you victory."

Hantei smirked at the wise one and said, "Go away, farmer. I have no time for foolishness now."

Shinsei only bowed and said, "Very well. I have no interest in helping a man dig his grave," and walked away.

The Emperor called the little man back and said, "Prove to me I should give you what you want."

Shinsei smiled. "A man who has nothing to lose should not fear giving away all he has."

This story comes back to me time and time again as I look at the armies of the Clans. They are desperate men. They have nothing to lose. They are unafrait to give all they have.

It is a desperate time.

They say it is a curse to live in desperate times. I tell you that I would not want to live in any other time.


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