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Volume 1: The Masacado Scrolls

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301 pages3 hours

Summary

~ Japanese Adventure stories ~

A thousand years have passed since the warrior-king fell beneath the arrows of the Toh. A millennium has fled since they hacked off his head, ported it to Kio, and displayed it at Gok Mon to prove the rebel got his due. But even ten centuries cannot assuage the spirit of Taira no Masacado, son of kings and anointed of Amaterasu. Just when the years nearly erase him from people's memories, Masacado strikes again.

Legend says Masacado's eyes never closed. His gore-splattered head stared at gawkers from atop Gok Mon gate as if daring them to scoff. Then on the third day, it disappeared in a flash of light. It flew east on a bolt of lightning, searching for his body, and came to rest in the marsh rushes across the Bay of Whales from Kisarazu. Peasants washed the gory head near an ancient mound of clamshells, and put it to rest there.

But the story of Masacade started years before his death. His father, Masaharu, was lord of the fiefdom of Awa. In the months before Masacado’s birth, the Toh, who utilized the dark magic of Lord Yami, king of the underworld, attacked the Taira castle at Nokogiriyama. They used hordes of ravens and Yami-induced earthquakes and Kage mercenaries to defeat Masaharu. He committed hara-kiri. His wife and concubines put their own children to death and then took their own lives. But Masacado, son of kings and anointed of Amaterasu, is born. Despite the evil haigorei and the miasma of darkness surrounding the daub-and-wattle hut of his birth, Masacado draws the breath of life.

The particulars of Masacado’s birth and life are recorded on the Masacado Scrolls. Within this scroll, you will find the stories of Ryo the Seeker, elder sister of Masacado who saved his live at birth. Also the story of Kaku, a Kage warrior from Oku Hida, who is called by ancient bonds to be the Shielder to Ryo the Seeker. Also the story of Koziro, as Masacado is known in his youth, who is called to make a journey of discovery to Kio, the city of the Emperor. And also the story of Noritsugu, a Yotsu horsesoldier who is called by Amaterasu to be the Bearer, to carry a princess to Awa Omote to become the bride of Masacado.

Read ye then, these stories, which make up the first volume of the Masacado Scrolls. Know ye, that these are but a beginning, and that the scrolls will continue to unfold.

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