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|The Battle at Beiden Pass - Letters to the Generals|
The Battle at Beiden Pass - Letters to the Generals
A Letter from Hida Kisada, Crab Clan Champion
I shall keep this communication short. We both understand the need for action rather than talk. We have taken a solid position at Beiden Pass, the most important crossroads in the Empire. The clan that controls the Pass controls the movements of half the Empire. Once we hold it, we will be in a strong position to pursue our claim to the Emerald Throne.
I have sent my son, Hida Sukune, to hold our early gains. He waits for you at the Pass. Other warriors will make themselves available to your command in time. Use your resources wisely; at the start of the campaign, you will have available only the gold produced by our Stronghold and one of your mines. You must increase this production, especially early in the struggle. War is costly.
Certain creatures will offer to rally to your banner. Use them. They will serve you well; while they do not understand honor, they understand fear. Make the Shadowlands fear you, and soon your enemies shall fear you as well. We will use the creatures of the Shadowlands to gain the Throne, and then dispose of them. Do not be concerned at the loss of esteem you suffer in the eyes of the Emperor: he is the last of the old dynasty. We will begin the new dynasty.
Be wary of the Dragon's trickery in battle. Their warriors and Shugenja have long associated with one another: their samurai often seem sorcerous, and their Shugenja are often skilled in battle. Furthermore, they will have more horsemen than you will. You may find yourself outmaneuvered. Finally, watch for their spearmen, archers, and sorcerous bolts which can strike your troops from afar. Despite these irritants, in the end you will have far more force to bring to bear. Sacrifice the smaller part of your army to distract his ranged attacks, and crush him with the greater part. Victory will be yours.
A Letter From Togashi Yokuni, Dragon Clan Champion
I know that you had not expected to fight under the ronin Toturi, but trust me that everything is as it must be. While he is masterless now, Toturi was the greatest general in the Empire when he led the Lion armies. You will need all of his wisdom and the strength of the Dragon to drive the Crab Armies from Beiden Pass. Since the Crab already have samurai in the Pass, you will want to purchase more Holdings in order to pay the heavy price of war.
I am told that Shinjo Yokatsu has sent Unicorn samurai to aid us in his conflict. If you have the opportunity, ally with the Unicorn Clan. The speed of the Unicorn's cavalry and our own mounted men will be your biggest advantage when attacking the enemy - his forces are mighty and outnumber your own, but if you attack him where he is weak, even the Crab army can be defeated. The Tao of Shinsei says: "When your numbers are superior you must attack without pause, but when you are outnumbered, you must choose your opportunities carefully to find advantage."
Eventually the Crab will attack you as they always do - they know that the Emperor favors our side in this conflict and they cannot afford to let his countenance tilt the battle to our favor. Know that they are coming and prepare your surprises - our ranged attacks can kill many before the battle begins, and the skill of our samurai in Iaijutsu Duel are unmatched in Rokugan. Our Shugenja wizards will also give us much needed support with their powerful elemental magics. Using the Five Elements to your advantage will bring you to victory on this day. The Crab know strength, but not what to do with it. In the storm of events that engulfs out Empire, it is the willow flowing with the wind that will survive, and the mighty oak that fights against the wind that must fall.
If you can hold your position in the Pass, soon the Emperor's favor will give you the advantage. If you maintain this position and act with the Honor of a Dragon, then the Emperor will see the truth of our claim to the Pass. Our honor can be a force more powerful than Crab steel!
"For the coward, there is no life. For the hero, there is no death."
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