1130, month of the Hare,


I bear grave news.

As a gesture of unity, Emperor Toturi held Winter Court at Otosan Uchi so that all clans may meet as equals. At the end of the court, he intended to hold a second coronation, now that all of the clans have recovered somewhat from the horrors of the Clan War, so that all servants of the Empire can reaffirm their loyalty ro the throne. The night before this intended coronation, Emperor Toturi vanishes from his chambers! Two of his guards, including his personal yojimbo Mikio, are found dead at the scene.

Emerald Champion Kakita Toshimoko investigates the scene, and comes to a disturbing conclusion. A large number of unidentified Scorpion samurai were seen entering the palace shortly before rhe kidnapping, but vanished without a trace. A red silken scarf, of the sort frequently worn as a Scorpion mask, is found at the scene of rhe crime. The Imperial Court is outraged.

Kakita Toshimoko spoke thus: “Your sentence is not in my hands, but in the hands of the Fortunes themselves. lf you will not return the Emperor, then you will be lost to the Empire as well. Until Toturi the First is returned to his throne, unharmed, the Scorpion are forever banished from the Empire. Let all those who have allegiance to the Bayushi and their house journey to the north, through Exile's Pass, to the wastelands beyond. The Empire has no place for traitors.”

“And if Toturi is brought back to us, Lady Kachiko,” he continued, “then you, as well, are welcome to return. We could not be so cruel as to subject your children to such a harsh journey. The Crane will gladly take them into our care - and educate them in your absence.”

Shortly after the Scorpion are exiled, Kakira Toshimoko abandons the Emerald Armor on the cliffs near Kyuden Doji, along with a final haiku. He must have taken his own life for his failure to protect the emperor.

Even though this news is grave indeed, there are still duties to perform. News reaches us that the Toritaka holdings see an unprecedented increase in Yorei hauntings. As I understad you have taken control of Kyuden Toketsu which has been transferred into the Toritaka care. As such I can find no better suited candidates to investigate.

Kuni Utagu.  



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