Second Volume: Night and Day – Introduction

SECOND VOLUME: NIGHT AND DAY

 

INTRODUCTION

Somewhere far away, on another Earth, devoid of humankind…

There was once an island country without a name, alone in the vast ocean, isolated by storms and deadly currents. Its inhabitants knew nothing of any land or people outside of their own, so to them, their island was simply “the world”.

In the place of humankind, the animals grew and changed, becoming like man… and yet not like man. Faint echoes of human cultures and ideas unknowingly bled across reality from our Earth to theirs, shaping the growth of the island’s civilization.

There were eight of them, eight intelligent species that called themselves “sentients”… eight species sharing a world that became too small for their differing ways of life.

It was a world of ancient gods, of long-remembered wars and the heroes that fought them. It was a world of magic and science, logic and emotion, faith and proof clashing against one another.

It was a world where the only way to enforce order and stability was to keep the many different cultures separate… and to exile any people deemed too dangerous to coexist with the rest of sentientkind.

Unknown to the world, the very exiles they shunned and feared had a part in saving civilization itself. They should have quietly faded from history… but their story refused to be forgotten. They live on as legends, whispers in the wind.

These are those legends, the tales of the Outcasts of TASAKERU

 


 

Zero was a ronin… The son of an old samurai family, raised by his father to continue the tradition. Upon coming of age at thirteen years old, Zero was enrolled in the Gakuen, the training school of the Samurai Daigundan. Tragedy struck when Zero and his squad of trainee footsoldiers were ambushed by Demon Fangs, members of a fanatical and murderous Death God cult. Nine of Zero’s squad were butchered, and all the rest were gravely injured… but Zero alone emerged without a scratch. Unable to bear the guilt, he stole the family sword and ran away. Branded a coward, a deserter, and a ronin, Zero was exiled to Tasakeru. Nine years after, his only remaining ties to his family were his sword and his beloved little sister, Naole…

    During Stalker the Soulsnatcher’s attack on Aedis Centralis, the most sacred ground of the mighty Silver Order, Naole was abducted by the mad brute, who intended to use her blood in a perverse ceremony. Zero pursued Stalker back to Tasakeru and fought him in a brutal duel, in which he eventually emerged the victor. However, even fatally wounded, Stalker would not divulge Naole’s location, or if she was even still alive. Disgusted, Zero made to leave him where he lay, condemning Stalker to a slow and agonizing death… but after a moment of consideration, he instead beheaded the wolf with his sword. Victorious but empty, Zero began his search for his sister anew, slowly losing hope of ever seeing her again…

 

    Faun was a thief… A former street urchin who once stole only to survive, and then stole for pleasure once she discovered her natural talent for it. Possessed of great beauty, quick wits, and a silver tongue, Faun presented herself as a wild, fun-loving thrill-seeker… but her flippant and freewheeling nature hid a deeper inner pain…

Faun was willing to betray and steal from Hanami, her closest friend, for a chance at unimaginable riches; the consequences of her greed led to the rise of a mysterious magical stone tower in Tasakeru, its exterior overgrown with black roses. Though she feigned indifference, the experience hurt her more than she could recognize. Mere weeks later, an encounter with the brute who would become Stalker shook Faun to her core and caused her mask to slip further… When the monster returned to Tasakeru and attempted to assault Hanami in her own home, Faun was driven to a berserk rage and went after Stalker by herself. The Soulsnatcher’s attack awakened feelings within her that she could neither explain nor articulate…

 

Rowan was a scholar, with the body of a warrior and the soul of a poet. Born of the only species with an ironclad code that forbid wielding weapons or causing harm to other sentients, Rowan chose to break both laws, and was exiled as a result… but many suspected that he did not walk this path without regrets. Within his mighty breast beat a heart in conflict, for how would he reconcile the ideal of his people’s pacifism with the need to protect them from danger…?

 

Naole was an acolyte… An apprentice Healer for the Silver Order, and Zero’s younger sister. Fierce and proud, Naole was determined to make a life for herself and find independence, despite the difficulties presented by her chronic anemia. Her thin blood was a cause of great concern to Zero, who often ran afoul of the law to look after her, but Naole refused to be pitied…

After being abducted by Stalker and taken to the Black Rose Tower, she awakened in time to see the first phase of his demented plan: using blood samples stolen from every sentient species, Stalker intended to create an army, a new breed of monsters like himself that would avenge the death of his “Mother”. Contrary to his expectations, the ritual produced a single mute hybrid, intelligent and sentient but lacking any predatory instinct or knowledge of the outside world. Together with this hybrid, dubbed “Legion”, she escaped into Tasakeru’s uncharted wilderness. There they would have likely died, had it not been for an encounter with a seer named Aria, who claimed the two would be of great importance to her future…

 

Drake was a recluse… a resident of Tasakeru for longer than anyone could remember. All that he desired was to be left alone with his regrets, but an old shadow rose within him on the night that he met the brute who would become Stalker, the Soulsnatcher. His attempt to make amends for his mistakes led to a fleeting glimpse of a time long past. Some old memories, once unearthed, refuse to stay buried…

 

Hanami was a mage… A quiet, timid soul, her background and even her last name were a mystery when she stumbled upon the Outcasts of Tasakeru after leaving behind everything she had ever known. Hanami carried the Mage Flower, an enchanted blossom able to instantly grow almost any type of plant life. Magic was strictly forbidden by her kind, which was presumably the reason for her exile, but Hanami withdrew from any discussion of her past. In fact, she only revealed her abilities to the other Outcasts in order to save her life and theirs…

Once free to use her powers as she wished, Hanami proved to be an exceptional talent, and an essential means of survival for all who lived in Tasakeru. And yet, the events that culminated in the Soulsnatcher’s attempted assault planted seeds of doubt within her, and made her mistrustful of her powers… and of herself…

 

And none of the Outcasts had any inkling that the great cycle would soon begin, and bring with it still greater changes…

 

Night and Day, the second volume of Tasakeru, now begins.

 

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GO TO BOOK IV: TWILIGHT’S DREAMING ->

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: SOULSNATCHER, CHAPTER 9 | Tasakeru
  2. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 12 – Bonus Content | Tasakeru
  3. Trackback: BHS Blogress Report: 2018, Week 13 – Apple and Discord | Tasakeru
  4. Trackback: TWILIGHT’S DREAMING, CHAPTER 1 | Tasakeru

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