The letter reads:
To Daidoji Nozomi-sama, Shireikan of the Iron Warriors
Court draws to a close and our final petition draws near. We shall try to secure for you the very last intelligences that can be procured, and set in place the very last items that can be set in place, before this court comes to an end. But it is necessary before we finish our final moves, write our last haiku, that we completely understand your assessment of the military situation which we face. We are sorry we have not been able to secure you more intelligence, but what we have, we present to you.
The current status of our affairs in our understanding is this:
- During this period of peace, the enemy has been rebuilding. Increasing his fortifications, developing his troops. He has waited to see if we will fall into degradation and ruin. But in any event, the peace has not been caused by internal weakness.
- Internal factions damage the Onyx. They are fighting internally over power. Kanpeki is strongly in power, and binds them hard, but may be pushing too hard. The gift of the Onyx in itself is a signal that this has occurred, but we have more proof in the letter found by Doji Arami.
- The Scorpion, we believe, stand ready to betray, and they have the tools to do so. But they have not done so yet.
- The Lion have Akodo Kano stand as Shogun with the support of many clans.
- The Crab retreat south to retake the wall.
- The Mantis divisions have ceased, with the Mantis to be fortified shortly by those of Zogeku who wish to return to Father Emerald. The rest of Zogeku who wish to stay the child of Daughter Ivory do stand ready to ally with us. Zogeku will attempt freeing the Fox Lands.
- The Phoenix have dismissed the Ryu, but their Shugenja and Bushi stand ready to join the other units and fight at the direction of the Lion.
- The Unicorn are prepared to strike out and begin the reclamation of their lands, as discussed previously.
- The Last Legion has been approved as an Imperial Legion, and while its general remains in chains, it in itself is a mighty fighting unit that will report to the Shogun.
I will attempt to secure more specific intelligence shortly. But with this information, we need to know if the situation for the Empire seems promising with this wide range of forces in play, or if, in your opinion, more is required.
For a less than victory from this range of forces, all the strength left in the Empire, will mean the defeat of all the clans. And we have one last contribution to offer, though we understand the cost.
Nozomi-sama, we believe the time has come for the strike. One strike. But we know the cost. We know that there may well be betrayal down the line and it will cost us all. But when the duelist enters the ring, they must give of their whole selves, fully commit to the blow, no matter the cost.
Only you can decide if this is the time. If it is, we must commit to the strike now.
I will take the steps to save what remains.
Yours ever in gratitude and service,
Chop of Kakita Kashiwa, a chop of some significance for those with an interest in such things.