The Drowning Empire, Episode 57: Letters from Second City

The Drowning Empire is a weekly serial based on the events which occured during the Writer Nerd Game Night monthly Legend of the Five Rings game. It is a tale of samurai adventure set in the magical world of Rokugan.

If you would like to read all of these in one convenient place, along with a bunch of additional game related stuff, behind the scenes info, and detailed session recaps, I’ve been posting everything to one thread on the L5R forum,

This week’s episode was written by Pat Tracy. Continued from: 


To Subotai’s mother:
This will be the last letter I will send to you. Today, I am free. No longer do the Lion hold me as a hostage. That being said, I am a prisoner of something much worse, within a cell whose walls you had a hand in building. It is often not a samurai’s fate to choose his course. We are creatures of duty, and we perform the tasks which we must.
Would that I could do as I wished, riding hard back to Journey’s End Keep to marry my beloved, Shinjo Namori. That cannot be now. Perhaps never. It is likely that I will leave her broken hearted. I hope that I do not leave her dishonored, for that is a sin which I have always fought hard against.
The burden of truth that we carry can only grow heavier and more onerous as time goes on. When the time comes, I will do the honorable thing. I urge you to do the same.
I am no longer furious with you, as I was. We do what seems appropriate and must suffer the consequences. We have both, I think, had good lives and done much. The only thing we must consider is the honor that we must preserve: that of our loved ones, our clans, and houses. The truth cannot be escaped. It is as the wind, and will always find a crack in even the most obdurate of structures.
I am committed to continue on with the journey I have started. Freedom is not something for me to taste. This journey will likely consume me. Perhaps it will allow me to, in some small part, erase the shadows of the past. Perhaps it will allow me to die in a way befitting a samurai. Only the fortunes know.

To Subotai’s Father:
It is a good day. I am free from the bondage of the Lion. The Unicorn and Lion have at last made peace. Akodo Toranaka is betrothed to Utaku Yanai, and I am free to marry my beloved.
That being said, I have committed to continuing in the struggle against the Dark Oracle of Water. I would be foolish to think that this mission will end soon. As Bushido states, the true warrior must enter battle already resigned to his death. This, I do. If the Fortunes wish to preserve me through these trying times and terrible battles, that will be something I rejoice. Today, though, and for some unknown span to come, I am a dead man walking the earth.
It is for this reason, and with a heavy heart, that I must advise you to promote another to take your place at Journey’s End Keep. That is not a position that I will be able to fill, perhaps not for many years.
In any case, I am not suited for such things. I fear that I did not inherit the mental faculties for such a complex job. I am a fair warrior and a minimally skilled poet, but I am not made of the stuff that a true leader must have. Trust me, I have compared myself day in and day out to a few who do have those attributes. I find myself lacking in every area.
I know that these words will be bitter to read, but I feel that it is better to say them directly. You have done so much for our clan. I hope that your successor can carry these advances forward, and do much honor for the Unicorn. I pray that we will have the opportunity to meet again, though I am bound for the jungle so dark and forbidding that even the demons of Jigoku fear it.
I wish you good health and continued fortune, Father.
With respect and humility,

To Shinjo Namori, his betrothed:
Like a stand of trees before the woodcutter’s axe, the impediments to our union have fallen. I am free of my hostage status to the Lion, and the barriers of hurt feelings between us have been overcome. Nothing would please me more than to be able to ride to you and take you in my arms. I ache for your touch, and nothing can sooth the loneliness without you by my side.
There are promises to keep, however. I have sworn to fight the Dark Oracle of Water, and to defend the Empire from all the threats to our way of life. The threats are manifold at this time, far more than I could mention in a letter.
Know that I love you dearly, and that you have been the best and most formative thing in my life. In my attempt to become worthy of your admiration, I have begun to grasp what it is to be a samurai, and a man.
The way forward is not an easy one. There are many dangers and enemies that I will face in the upcoming days. Please say a prayer to the Fortunes on my behalf, that I may return to you one day. If I cannot, please promise me that you will move forward with your life and fulfill the great promise that is in you.
Farewell for now, my dear. You will be in my heart with every step.
Yours eternally,

Last Will and Testament:
Upon my death, these are my wishes:
My Daisho and Dai-Kyu should return to my family.
My horse, Tento, and my groom should go to my betrothed, Shinjo Namori.
My Yumi should go to Yoritomo Oki, the greatest archer I know. In the event of his passing, it should be returned to my family.
A trust should be set up from my available currency to give one koku per year to the kind family who were our hosts in the Lion lands.
The remainder of my possessions should be passed to Akodo Toranaka, who is as my brother. In the event of his passing, they should go to any surviving White Tiger.

To be continued next week:

Book Bomb! Kurt Schlichter's Conservative Insurgency
Next Book Bomb is Monday the 30th, CONSERVATIVE INSURGENCY

One thought on “The Drowning Empire, Episode 57: Letters from Second City”

  1. Very nice!

    Also next week, let’s check back in on the Pouty-Face Campaign and see how many schoolgirls they have successfully freed.

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