Blood Flies Swiftly on Hot Wind
Incensed, the Horse clan vowed revenge in court, but it would be more than a year in coming. When, at last, the Horse marched against the Frog, they were greeted only by a few Scorpion courtiers who promptly turned the city over to them. No Frog Clan samurai were found. Alas, the Horse had already sworn oaths in blood to destroy all immoral, mercantile cowards. The Scorpion courtiers admitted to the Horse that their clan indeed had lost its way and spoke of how the whole Empire had walked the low path and become corrupted. Those courtiers were the first to die by the Horse. But then the Horse armies turned to the Empire as a whole.
They were called the Blood Horde or, euphemistically, the Blood Wind. Magic born outside of the Celestial Order gave them strength while the mounted archers of the clan proved unstoppable. The horses of the clan ate the dead. The warrior women drank the blood of the innocent and pure. Once again, the Empire as a whole was at war, but this time all against one clan.
Each clan has many legends of how they stopped the Blood Wind from howling, but the truth is probably that the Horde fought too many battles on too many fronts. Some still say they saw the error of their ways and went home, penitent; others say they simply got tired of killing. However it ended, this was the most successfully prosecuted war in the history of the Empire. Horse warriors made their way, undefeated, until they reached the Phoenix plateau.
It is assumed that the Horse learned blood magic from outside the Empire; some Horse have said, always to great dishonor, they learned it at the Imperial Court.