Last week, I was able to share with you a letter from Mirumoto Shikei. This week, thanks to my Dragon-ish responsibilities as overseer of the Spider (or, possibly, I got it here), I obtained a copy of a letter sent by Daigotsu Kanpeki, leader of the Spider Clan . And I now share it with you:
Servants of the Spider,
If you have received this letter and possess the necessary cipher to read it, then I offer you my gratitude and congratulations, for you are among the chosen few that I regard as my most valued vassals. Destroy this letter after committing its contents to memory. Any found in possession of it after the fact will be punished severely.
You know that I serve the Divine Empress, and through your vassalage to me, you do as well. It is our birthright, purchased for us with the lifeblood of my father. It is necessary for me to do so in order to retain my honor and in order to fulfill the terms of the agreement entered into by my father in his last moments within the mortal realm. Never have I strayed from this path, despite many opportunities and temptations to do so. That time may be growing short, however.
The Divine Empress has given indications that she may soon select an heir. Should this happen, her retirement will not be far behind. Of her two sons, one is well known to you: Iweko Shibatsu has been brought up within our ranks, and is a man of great bearing and sophistication. Should he take the throne, I have no doubt that the station of the Spider Clan will increase significantly throughout the Empire and its Colonies. This will be our moment, our opportunity to irrevocably tie the fortunes of our clan to the Iweko Dynasty and, in doing so, ensure that we will one day inheri the throne for ourselves.
Of more significant concern, however, is the Empress’s elder son, Iweko Seiken. Seiken’s disdain for our clan is well known, as is his militaristic philosophy and his arrogance. Should Seiken take the throne as Emperor of Rokugan, I have no doubt that we will find little place within it for ourselves. INdeed, should he take hte throne, I suspect that the status of the Spider as a Great Clan will be short lived. This will be the most horrific mistake made by any Emperor in this history of Rokugan.
Should Seiken take the throne and be the cruel and petty man we suspect him to be, our wrath shall be without limit. The Empire shall learn that to grasp a serpent to its breast and then betray it is a folly from which there is no recovery. We shall, through our actions, give rise to the legend of the Shadowlands horde of old. There will be no escape from us.
If the Empire is wise, it shall unilaterally support the ascendance of Iweko Shibatsu. If it is foolish, then it shall seal its own fate with the ascendance of Iweko Seiken. There are no other options.
Lord of the Spider Clan