Intro to Letter 8

My dear old friend,

It has been long since I heard from you, and your words stir emories in my soul that I had thought were long lost. It is good that I remember them. The time of the Clan Wars has passed, and there are those who say that the histories of our time will be written by the victor -- written to cover the past. It is only the memories of people such as you and I who will know the truth. I pray that those times do not die with us -- that our struggle will not have been in vain.

Perhaps the tales which were told of Shoju's reasons were not entirely to be trusted. In the wake of the return of Fu Leng, the prophecy which the Scorpions claim to have been their motivation rings all too true, "And the Last of the Hantei line shall be the Doom of Rokugan."

After the Scorpion assaulted the Palace of Otosan Uchi, the battle appeared hopeless. The Lion were lost, wandering aimlessly without their Champion, the Crane wounded and too prideful to fight by the side of their ancient enemy. The Phoenix had been all but crushed in the initial battles, the Unicorn too far to be of use, and the Dragon were locked in their isolated mountains, alone and unwarned. Of the other clans, only the Crab had the strength to defeat the Usurper Shoju, and no man could know what truths lay in Kisada's heart -- or to whom his true loyalty belonged. This has been recorded.

What has been lost to time is the true nature of the battle -- the struggle of wills that tore the Scorpion from their exalted position and left a broken throne, a broken sword and a broken man. I have collected the correspondances of the clans from the days before the final battle, and kept them sage in a secret place. Now it is time to open them again -- to remind the Great Clans of the truth about the origin of the Clan Wars and the beginning of the Time of the Second Thunders.

You hold in your hands the last letter of your people as was written so many years ago. Use it well. Show those who will understand, and teach those who wish to learn the truth about the past. It is in our hands to make certain the future will never repeat the harsh lessons learned in the Clan wars. It is our souls who will pay the penalty if we fail.

Ikoma Kaoku

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