Last fall, an earthquake struck Sebō Mura, an isolated village in the remote northeastern part of Toshibu Province, near the border of Dragon and Phoenix lands. Although tremors are a common occurrence in the region, in this case, the earthquake had a more serious consequence…
Aconyte Books are excited to announce our third novel set in Legend of the Five Rings‘ rich fantasy world: The Night Parade of a Hundred Demons by Marie Brennan, releases worldwide in January 2021. L5R fans will recognize Marie for her work in L5R fiction, with her work included on the LCG cards, and series novellas. Fantasy fans will be well versed in her Memoirs of Lady Trent novels, so yeah, this is going to be AMAZING!
Chaos has broken out in the isolated Dragon Clan settlement of Seibo Mura. On the nights of the full moon, horrifying creatures rampage through the village, unleashing chaos and death. When the Dragon samurai Agasha no Isao Ryōtora is sent to investigate, he faces even more dangers than he expected. In order to save the village, he will have to confront his buried past – not to mention an unexpected visitor from the Phoenix Clan, Asako Sekken, who has his own secrets to hide. The quest to save Seibo Mura will take the two samurai into the depths of forgotten history and the shifting terrain of the Spirit Realms . . . and bring them face-to-face with an ancient, terrifying evil.
You’re a fan of the Legends of the Five Rings RPG and have been playing it for a while now. Can you tell us a bit more about your home campaign and why you play L5R in particular?
My background is in anthropology and folklore, so what really sucked me in at the start was the world. It felt so rich and believable – in part because it draws so heavily on Japanese history and culture – and it was easy to look at it and imagine what kinds of stories I might tell there. A friend had invited me to play in a campaign, so I made an ise zumi character named Kinzen (which is still my handle on L5R forums), and then AEG put out a call for chapters for the sourcebook Imperial Histories 2. I riffed off a sidebar in Imperial Histories that speculated on what the Empire would have been like if a different Kami had won the tournament, and wrote up the Togashi Dynasty . . . so you can probably tell I’m a fan of the Dragon Clan!
The Night Parade of a Hundred Demons is a fascinating part of Japanese folklore. What was it specifically that drew you to write about the Night Parade and its monsters for the book?
Because of my interest in folklore, I automatically gravitate toward the more spiritual and mystical aspects of Rokugan. It boggled me when I realized that apparently L5R had never done anything with this particular idea – I mean, it’s such a fun concept, and all over the place in Japanese picture scrolls! But that meant it was untrammeled ground for me. I even have a reason in-story for why it’s never come up in the setting before (and why my characters don’t immediately realize what they’re dealing with).
You have a lot of experience with the world that L5R creates. What did you find the biggest challenge to be when converting your knowledge from an RPG to a novel?
That richness of setting can be a double-edged sword, especially when most of my writing for the franchise has been in the form of the short stories for the ongoing plotline. With those, I can take for granted that the audience either knows the world of Rokugan already or is willing to roll with unfamiliar concepts and terms. For a novel, though, I need to pull myself back into the mindset I use when writing my own books: this is all unfamiliar and needs to be introduced and explained as I go along. Plus, with a home campaign I can make things up as I please and not worry about them passing muster with the official Story Team – but here I’m adding to canon when I do that, so I have to be careful!
MARIE BRENNAN is a former anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. She most recently misapplied her professors’ hard work to Turning Darkness Into Light, a sequel to the Hugo and World Fantasy Award-nominated Victorian adventure series The Memoirs of Lady Trent. Her other novels include the Doppelganger duology of Warrior and Witch, the urban fantasies Lies and Prophecy and Chains and Memory, the Onyx Court historical fantasy series, and nearly sixty short stories, as well as the New Worlds series of worldbuilding guides. Together with Alyc Helms as M A Carrick, she is the author of the Rook and Rose epic fantasy trilogy, beginning with The Mask of Mirrors.
The Night Parade of a Hundred Demons will be available to pre-order worldwide from all retailers soon