After recovering from the shock of seeing the complete unexpected murder of Toritaka Koiso, the Magistrates fumble for their weapons, only to realise they are not permitted to carry any! Toritaka house guards rush to defend their Daimyo and some of them have the smart idea to give their guests spare weapons (after being bullied into it by Hida Buruke).
The two shugenja have more luck as they cast their spells and thereby hinder the Maho Tsukai greatly.
Meanwhile the Maho Tsukai complete the ritual that will summon a powerful Kansen... however, they appear to have been mislead by an infiltrator as the summoned creature is no Kansen at all but a Shuten Doji!
A chaotic and desperate struggle ensues as the Maho Tsukai try to make the best of it while The Shuten Doji posesses one victim after another. Taint, Maho and gallons of blood from all involved parties fly across the stage.
Toritaka Ichu is seen melting trough a wall with an evil grin on her face, seems she was lost to the Shadow even before our heroes managed to free her.
When the violence finally ceases, 3/4th of the Toritaka Clan is dead. The Magistrates discover that a shadow agent has planted the scroll to summon the Shuten Doji with the Bloodspeakers.
Toritaka Tokimasa survives the fight and speaks to his brother Hideaki about joining the Crab Clan. Hideaki is reluctant to do so but at the moment has no resources to aid his fallen clan...
The Toritaka and the Crab magistrates have been dealt a crippling blow. They decide to head towards the Phoenix Clan, in the hopes of finding answers to their questions.


Kuni Yori enacts a perverse magical ritual. The undead general Moto Tsume, slain during the fighting on the 2nd Day of Thunder, is restored to unlife via the power of Fu Leng's skull.
Afrer months of silence, Yakamo suspects that Yori will soon assault Hiruma Castle again. He sends scouts to Kyuden Hida to summon reinforcements and supplies. None of the scouts reach their destination alive.
Moto Tsume and Kumi Yori lead a brutal assault against Shiro Hiruma. Legions of undead, ogres, and bakemono Surround the fortress. The Crab are nor prepared for this assault, yet somehow, through a combination of resourcefulness, determination, luck, and the aid of the Third Whisker Nezumi, they survive che onslaught.

The Naga armies invade Dragon Clan lands. The Naga fight back only when engaged, but are brutal and merhodical in their passage through the mountains. The Dragon likewise tenaciously defend their homes, initiating a prolonged campaign of brutal mountain warfare.

The Mantis begin to occupy the abandoned Scorpion lands, but face fierce resistance from the Crane. Daidoji Uji does not fully trust Yoritoos motives, and suspects thar once the Scorpion lands are secure he might turn on the Crane. Yoritomo knows that the Crane forces arc not large enough to sustain a prolonged attack or hold the Scorpion provinces wirhout weakening the defense of their own borders, so he withdraws into Beiden Pass to fight a defensive battle and wait. After many long weeks, Uji bitterly withdraws his forces.

The Mantis withdraw from Beiden Pass and continue their inexorable march north. Doji Kuwanan continues his pursuit of the Mantis north across the Empire. The Lion are outraged at such effrontery from both of the other Clans, but their voice in courr goes unheard. The Lion army is likewise unable to oppose such an offense, as they are split between battling the Unicorn and aiding upon the Kaiu Wall.
Though Yoritomo has had ample time ro recover from Kuwanan's surprise attack, his proximity to Crane lands only serves to further push the Mantis into a disadvantage, and Yoritomo finds his path home cutoff. Seeking the only logical course, the Son of Storms opts to skirt the Crane lands and retreats to the edge of Phoenix territory. Yoritomo hopes the Crane will not be so willing to send an uninvited army into the lands of their longtime allies without proper protocol, and the Mantis are given time to regroup.