Between Crimson Skies
Imperial Commission to Serve in the Lion Lands
From the Hand of his most Revered and Humble
Majesty Miya Yoto-
Herald to the Honored Son of Heaven
Emperor Hantei XXXVIII
I’m pleased that your Lords have seen fit to accept my request to appoint you to as my newest group of Shikken. I trust you enjoyed the ceremony and the hospitality of the Miya family and now that the pageantry is done with, I wish to speak of your next assignment. You are to travel West to the lands of the Lion- there you will spend the Autumn months in the venerable halls of Sacred Watch Palace, ancestral home of the Ikoma family. With the death of the most honorable Champion of the Lion Clan, Matsu Arasou and the subsequent accession of his brother, Akodo Tutori to that most ancient post, relations between the Akodo and the Matsu have become…strained largely due to the honorable champion of the Matsu, proud Matsu Tsuko’s strong distaste for the policies of her new champion. There are some in the courts who whisper that war between the two families is sure to occur if peace is not quickly broached. This issue, though clouded in the politics of the region is not simply a local matter. The fact is that the Empire relies upon both the supply of grain which feed his majesties legions, as well as the vast supply of copper for both weaponry and currency.
Your task is to access the diplomatic situation between the families and prevent war by any honorable means you see fit. If war is inevitable, then you must see to it that trade is not interrupted. Should the flow of resources from the Lion become at all stemmed, the Imperial Legions shall go hungry which, in these times, could spell disaster for all hopes of peace in the empire. Included in this package you will find invitations to the court of the Ikoma, as well as missives written by other members of our family detailing the historic facts of the valley, the castle, as well as information on some of the more prominent figures in the area.
This, gentlemen, shall be a time to prove yourselves in your new post. I need hardly remind you, that just as his Imperial Majesty has placed his trust in me to find the most politically talented and worthy samurai of the empire to represent his Shikken, I have placed trust in you gentlemen- that you shall do your duty to serve me and your post above all things. Do not be tempted from the path of duty by the scheming tongues of the court. Perform honorably, and bring glory to your families.