Dear wife,

The rumors you have heard are indeed true – our illustrious lord and Emperor, has moved on to join his ancestors and take his rightful seat amongst them and the Emperor of Heaven. May his name be remembered for ten thousand years!

I am afraid, my wife, for the future of our great nation and form myself. With our lord’s passing, division has surfaced and the court has become a very dangerous place. Division, intrigue and violence are everywhere, hidden beneath a thin veil of silk and incense.

The court officials in Beijing have supported an upstart noble – Li Chen, in his bid for the throne. They have even gone as far as opening the treasury to him. Now, he slays those who he cannot buy. His spies and assassins are everywhere, silencing opposition, bribing those who still haven’t taken a side.

In Nippon, another has risen to lay his claim to the throne. Taisho Hideki Hojo has gathered support among the military and has denounced Li Chen as a scheming traitor. We have fought for so long, so many wars, my wife, and Hojo claims he can end the wars and chastise the barbarians. I fear for what comes after. I fear of what he will do when we achieve peace.

Korea and Seoul have also declared an emperor of their own. It is him I fear most – Yi Kim and the rest of the religious and scientific leaders. He denounced his two rivals, claimed that they have turned their backs on tradition and reverence for Heaven. He is a fanatic that preaches with script and sword!

You must leave the capitol, my wife. Take the children and our parents and leave the city as I fear that violence will only grow. You must seek safety in Hainan with our relatives. I will join you when the situation permits. I am afraid for my life. My patron – the lady Empress Dowager has been poisoned. The Empress! Who would do such a sacrilege?! She is not the only one. Officials and vocal supporters of all three candidates have been found slayed in brutal ways, seemingly at random and now I feel the eyes of whoever is doing this falling on me. Be in good health, my wife. I yearn for the day I see you and the children.

Your husband, Zhuge Choson Personal Physician of the Empress

Zhuge Choson was discovered with a severed throat in his estate in the capitol. Perpetrators are yet to be found. Servants claim a young noblewoman visited him for medicine last time he was seen. Investigation is still pending.

The Candidate Emperors

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