The City of Books - a sacred realm separate of our own, under the divine protection of the Witch Senate. Here, countless books are stored, each one containing an entire world. In some instances, they may only contain knowledge of a specific thing, or group of things if they've been deemed important enough. Upon one of the many bookshelves within a small, semicircular room, rests this archive. The Witch Council has granted you access to peruse the Chronicles of Rokkenjima. To those who seek knowledge, feel free to take your time, and of course, enjoy your stay.
The following archives are narrated by the Witch of the Finite, Virgilia.
Part I - "Imperial Arms Murasame" Edit
"Imperial Arms" or "Teigu" in Japanese, are mysterious and powerful relics that exist within the nation of Rokkenjima. They are rare, and only the strongest of warriors are able to wield them. Their appearances vary. Some appear as weapons, others as equipment, or even living beings. A form of dark magic was used to create them. The following is just one of the total forty-eight Imperial Arms in existence.
"Murasame" AKA the "One-Cut Killer" is an Imperial Arms in the form of a long katana. It is currently held by Akame, a member of Rokkenjima's elite assassination group Night Raid. Murasame is a cursed blade, capable of killing any person with a single cut. Upon piercing the skin, a poisonous curse spreads throughout the victim's body, stopping their heart within seconds. The curse appears as black markings which originate from the wound, and spread across the surface of the victim's skin. They vanish once the victim has died.
While Murasame is very powerful, it has its downsides. For one, cleaning it is a very risky task, and must be done carefully. Additionally, the blade's ability only works on living, organic beings with a heart. This renders it ineffective against armor, biological-type Imperial Arms, and machines. The only way to survive Murasame's curse is by severing the affected body part before the poison has a chance to spread. However, doing so is very difficult, as most do not possess the reflexes to do so quickly enough. It should also be noted that if two souls are present within one body, only one may be killed at a time.
Like all Imperial Arms, Murasame possesses a unique "trump card." In this case, the blade's trump card is a performance enhancer titled "Little War Horn," which strengthens its user with the power of its poisonous curse. Once activated, the user's scleras turn black, with dark markings appearing around their pupils. Their body is also shrouded in a dark aura. Red markings will also appear on the user's skin, and remain as scars even after the affect has ceased. Even if the blade is destroyed, these scars will continue to inflict pain upon the user, unable to be removed.
To be continued...
Part II - "Ragnite" Edit
Ragnite is a type of mineral with many different uses, from anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons/missiles to fuel and medicine. The nation of Rokkenjima is known for its large Ragnite deposits. Ragnite Ore glows blue, while sufficiently refined Ragnite emits a sunlight-like light.
Usage and Extraction: Edit
Ragnite sees a wide variety of commercial and industrial use. It's primary function is as an energy source, capable of powering tanks, aircraft, airships, naval ships, and even cities and towns. It can also be used as medication in the form of Ragnaid. Once opened, a blue light envelopes the body, healing small wounds and bruises on the surface of the body. Ragnite derivatives can be used as propellant and payload explosives in grenades, shells, missiles, and rockets. Additionally, they can be used to make strong armor plating, seen on Rokkenjima's tanks, aircraft, and ships.
Ragnite is used by Rokkenjima as a complete alternative to oil. Much as crude oil can be refined into many different hydrocarbons with different properties, so too, can Ragnite be formed into numerous specific types, such as the Ragnoline used to power and fuel vehicles. Most forms of Ragnite appear to be relatively volatile, though stable forms exist.
Ragnite is mined from deep underground deposits, and is said to be hazardous. The refining of Ragnite is equally as dangerous, and involves large amounts of pungent chemicals that leave workers with a distinctive smell afterwards. For this reason, Rokkenjima tasks Goat Butlers with these jobs, alleviating the possible hazards and side effects that could be experienced by human and non-human workers with a soul.
Weaponized Forms: Edit
Ragnite discharge is the primary method of attack used by Rokkenjima's tanks, aircraft, airships, and naval ships, and requires a fairly large gun or cannon that is capable of doing so. The discharge of Ragnite, in the case of tanks, requires at least a full minute of charging to fire, while the larger amounts fired by aircraft and ships may require several minutes. Once fired, the Ragnite materializes as a destructive beam of light, hurling through the air towards the target at great speeds. This is known to result in a considerable amount of recoil experienced by the object firing it. It's notable that this beam is bright enough to instantly blind anyone who should look at it with the naked eye.
Ragnite beams can be continuously fired for up to ten seconds for tanks, and twenty seconds for aircraft and ships. During the firing process, it is very difficult to alter the trajectory of the beam. If it misses its target, the firing process is usually ceased and restarted. What makes Ragnite beams so lethal is the amount of heat that is given off by them. After coming into contact with the air, the beam will heat up the further it travels, with their maximum temperature somewhere around 500°F. The maximum temperature may, of course, vastly exceed this depending on the amount that is discharged. Depending on the equipment used to discharge Ragnite, it can be capable of creating machine gun-like rapid fire, powerful pulses, or enormous shockwaves of energy, which can be compared to an electromagnetic pulse.
Chemical Weapons: Edit
Ragnite gas is a thick, blue aerosol and powerful nerve agent, apparently mass-produced by Rokkenjima's military in secret. Side effects of the gas include constriction of pupils, profuse salivation, convulsions, and involuntary urination and defecation. These symptoms may appear within seconds of exposure. Death as a result of asphyxiation or cardiac arrest may occur within minutes due to the loss of the body's control over respiratory and other muscles. While only a small fraction of soldiers carry these shells, all soldiers are required to carry the antidote to the gas.
Part III - "The History of Rokkenjima" Edit
"Well, here we are. I believe it is quite time to address the elephant in the room. With the world becoming a crazier place by the day, and with tensions growing, it is important to look to the past, and let it guide us into the future. The modern-day nation of Rokkenjima may seem like an anomaly of a country to some, but even a place as fantastical as Rokkenjima has its origins. Let's take a little journey back in time, shall we? Our story begins with a man by the name of Kinzo Ushiromiya.
Kinzo was born to the Ushiromiya family in the early 1910s. He spent most of his childhood in his hometown of Taishou, Taiwan. At the time, Taiwan was a territory of the Empire of Japan. The Ushiromiya family was well known across the island, and was among one of the richest families in 'Japan'. Soon after Kinzo reached his teens, the Ushiromiya elders began a fierce debate over whom would hold the title as the head of the family. It was eventually decided that Kinzo would play the role, and thus became the elders' puppet and used for their own gains. As a result, Kinzo became a jaded person, describing those times as "extremely long and gray days." Before long, he was forced by the elders into an arranged marriage with the daughter of a high aristocratic family. Before he knew it, she had given birth to their first three children - Krauss, Eva, and Rudolf. Despite this, no love was ever shown towards any of them, as they seemed to have been born on their own.
By the time World War II had broken out, Kinzo was in a state of depression. He enlisted himself in the military, with the hope of dying in battle. He was soon stationed on the island of Rokkenjima, located in the Izu Island chain. Much to his dismay, he never saw actual combat. As the war raged on, US air forces never took notice of Rokkenjima, and so he spent his days on the island training for combat.
One fateful day, Kinzo was approached by the commanding officer of the Rokkenjima garrison, Lieutenant Yamamoto. They had received a distress call by a lost Italian submarine hours earlier that was apparently damaged. Yamamoto answered the call, letting the Italians stay on Rokkenjima. Kinzo was assigned the role of interpreter, as he was the only one on the island capable of speaking English. Upon the arrival of the Italians, he met a woman by the name of Beatrice Castiglioni, quickly becoming close friends. The Italians had brought with them a large amount of gold, which was quickly discovered by the Japanese. It wasn't long before Yamamoto had devised a plan to steal the gold, and kill the Italians in the process. The sneak attack was a failure. However, this was when Kinzo first witnessed a man die before him. Realizing he wanted to live with Beatrice, he located her amid the chaos, and they escaped the island with as many gold ingots as they could carry. He would later use them to revive and restore the Ushiromiya family to its former glory.
Following World War II, he established strong connections with many companies, both domestic and foreign, and grew rich through the investments he made. He also became greatly influenced by Western culture during the process. A few years later, he bought the island of Rokkenjima, moving there with his family (and Beatrice in secret). Kinzo had a secret mansion constructed on the island in addition to the main one where his family resided. The secret mansion served as the place to which he and Beatrice would secretly meet night after night. During this time, he had a child with his actual wife, and Rosa was born. At some point, Kinzo had arranged a marriage between his son Krauss and a woman by the name of Natsuhi. Soon after, Beatrice had died, and the child the two had together began to resemble her late mother. Kinzo believed her to be the reincarnation of her mother.
Around this time, several things began occurring in Kinzo's life. By now, he had worked his way up in the Japanese government, gaining a position of power. However, this was also when he began having sexual relations with his and Beatrice's daughter against her will, and became interested in the occult. It was also around this time that Kinzo's legitimate wife had passed away. To support his interest in the occult, he founded the Ministry of the Occult. Kinzo's ultimate goal was to somehow use black magic to make his memories of Beatrice return. Eventually, he had a child with his daughter, and asked Natsuhi to care for it. Not long after, however, his daughter was involved in an unexpected accident, falling down a rocky cliff to her death. This took a toll on Kinzo's mental state, as he began to focus more and more on his work for the Ministry, with the hope of mastering the ability to revive her and apologize for his wrongdoings. This wasn't an easy task, however, especially with public support for the Ministry of the Occult remaining extremely low.
Years later, unbeknownst to Kinzo, the child he had with his now late daughter became a servant in the Ushiromiya mansion under the name Sayo Yasuda. He would later discover a scar on the servant's foot where her sixth toe would have been. Throughout the years, Sayo became one of Kinzo's most trusted servants. As Kinzo reached his final years, and his suspicions of Sayo being his lost child grew, he created the Witch's Epitaph, hoping that Sayo would reveal himself to him. Sayo, taking on the persona of Beatrice, solved the Epitaph, with Kinzo apologizing to her soon after. During their conversation, he revealed Sayo's real name to be Lion. With his health worsening, it wasn't much longer before Kinzo passed away himself. In an attempt to keep their position of power within the Ministry of the Occult, his family covered up news of Kinzo's death to give the illusion that he was still alive, as he never named a successor.
A year later, in 1986, the public's opinion of the Ministry would change drastically. What happened to spark this change? During the 5th and 6th of October that year, the Rokkenjima Massacre would occur. This caused belief in the occult to spread rapidly across the nation, as it seemed the massacre could not be explained with human means. Now, the Rokkenjima Massacre, although it is one of the major causes for the nation's founding, won't be explained here. That's enough to justify it's own story. In the end, however, one survivor escaped the island. That would be Kinzo's daughter Eva. By now, as word of the Ushiromiya family's death became known to the public, the question of who would replace Kinzo in the Ministry of the Occult arose. Eva, who had also solved the Epitaph, revealed herself to the public as Kinzo's surviving daughter and the successor to the Ushiromiya family. Eva, as a result, was voted into the Ministry of the Occult as Kinzo's successor.
Under her leadership, the Ministry grew in popularity across Japan, gaining an increasing number of seats within the government. Soon after, the era of the occult would begin. Before long, significant progress would be made in the study of the occult, bringing forth magic. The teaching and practice of magic, too, spread quickly, becoming ingrained with everyday life. The year of 1998 was major for one reason. Eva decided to dissolve the Ministry of the Occult, gaining magical abilities of her own the same day. She would use her newfound power to become a witch herself, taking on the name Eva-Beatrice. Her physical age reverted to that of 14. She then declared the existence of the nation of Rokkenjima, becoming the founding member of the Witch Council, ruling over the new nation as its leader. The Council soon saw a growth in its membership as Saeko Ami, Natsume Maemi, Kasaya Mizuki, Dusk Nocturne, Thorne Nocturne, and Kihara Tomoko joined in.
During the following years, the economy skyrocketed. The fusion of magic into the everyday lives of society pushed the nation forward technologically and militarily. Ten years later, in 2008, most of the world's economy entered a huge recession. While Rokkenjima wasn't hit too hard, its surrounding neighbors were. Seizing the opportunity, the Witch Council expanded Rokkenjima's influence to Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea, promising to share the nation's technology as well as protect them from any threats under the condition that they agreed to be annexed by Rokkenjima. Although hesitant, as the lives of their citizens continued to worsen, the governments finally agreed. They signed over power to the Witch Council, and officially joined Rokkenjima in June of 2008.
With that, we've reached the present day. I believe you should be familiar with the events that occurred beyond this point. While Rokkenjima may seem like an anomaly to some, and they may be right, it has its history just as every other nation has theirs. I hope to have answered many questions with my explanation, and perhaps shed a new light on the country we call our home."
Part IV - Hinamizawa Syndrome Edit
Hinamizawa Syndrome is a psychiatric disease found exclusively in citizens, or sometimes visitors, of Hinamizawa, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. The disease was first discovered by a local researcher named Hifumi Takano in the year 1963. Takano would soon write a report regarding the history of Hinamizawa and the supposed disease plaguing its residents, with the goal of making knowledge of the disease public and to secure funds for researching its treatment. Part of Takano's report proposed that a member of the Imperial Japanese Army, one from Hinamizawa, was afflicted with Hinamizawa Syndrome. As a result of the worsening disease, this soldier fired at the Chinese National Revolutionary Army, triggering the second Sino-Japanese war in the year 1937. Several government officials at the time rejected Takano's report, as accepting his proposal would mean having to take responsibility for the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which "Tokyo" had no intention of doing. Shortly after Hifumi Takano's death, his adopted granddaughter, Miyo Takano, took over her father's research of Hinamizawa Syndrome. She managed to secure funding from a "Tokyo" official named Nomura. Using this money, Takano joined with Kyousuke Irie and formed the Irie Institution, to further research the disease from within Hinamizawa itself.
Use As A Biological Weapon Edit
"Tokyo" decided Japan needed a threatening biological weapon to compete with the world's emergent nuclear powers at the time. As a result, "Tokyo" commissioned research for both the cure and infliction of Hinamizawa Syndrome. In 1980, Miyo Takano developed H-173, a drug designed to induce Level 5 symptoms on any infected person. H-173 has since been used several times by "Tokyo" and later the Witch Council of Rokkenjima to assassinate an unknown number of targets. In 2018, an airborne version of H-173 was successfully developed, currently in use as a form of bioterrorism by the Rokkenjima Armed Forces.
Signs and Symptoms Edit
The most common symptoms include anxiety and paranoia, which can force those infected with Hinamizawa Syndrome to commit strange and violent acts. Other symptoms include an extreme irritation of the lymph nodes and formication.
According to Hifumi Takano's research, Hinamizawa Syndrome has five different stages ranging from Level 1 (weakest) to Level 5 (strongest).
Level 1 Edit
Almost everyone in Hinamizawa is afflicted with this level of Hinamizawa Syndrome. At this stage, the syndrome is largely dormant and has no effects on everyday life. However, the syndrome can easily escalate when those infected experience stress or anxiety.
Level 2 Edit
Like the previous level, Level 2 Hinamizawa Syndrome is largely dormant and rarely affects everyday life.
Level 3 Edit
At Level 3, the mental condition of the afflicted begins to deteriorate. Often times, the afflicted becomes both mentally and emotionally unstable.
Level 4 Edit
At Level 4, hallucinations and extreme paranoia begin to occur. This can often lead to the afflicted taking drastic or violent measures to protect themselves from imagined enemies.
Level 5 Edit
At Level 5, the syndrome becomes terminal. Often times, patients will claim hearing an "extra footstep" at this stage. An extreme variant of formication usually occurs, along with extreme irritation of the lymph nodes. This often leads to the afflicted clawing at their own throat until death. As formication can result from excessive use of amphetamines, those who die from Hinamizawa Syndrome are sometimes believed to have died from narcotic use.
Queen Carrier Theory Edit
Hifumi Takano identified an antibody of Hinamizawa Syndrome in the blood of members of the Furude family. He used this to designate the family as the as the "queen carriers" of the parasite, with the status of "queen carrier" falling upon the latest born female. He theorized that 48 hours after the death of the queen carrier, the parasites afflicting the villagers would aggravate the symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome, forcing everyone in Hinamizawa into Level 5 status. To counteract this, Takano created Emergency Manual #34, a contingency plan to wipe out the entire village in the event that a queen carrier should die. Although the discovery of an antibody found in the Furude family's blood was true, the Queen Carrier Theory has since been proven incorrect.
The first treatment for Hinamizawa Syndrome, C-103, was created in 1980 by Kyousuke Irie. Developed from the previously discovered antibody in Rika Furude's blood, the drug was successful in reducing Hinamizawa Syndrome from Level 5 to Level 3. However, in order to keep the syndrome subdued, the drug had to be received three times a day via injection. If the drug wasn't taken three times a day, Hinamizawa Syndrome would relapse to Level 5.
In 1982, Irie developed C-117, a slightly more effective drug for treating Hinamizawa Syndrome. Like its predecessor, C-117 could successfully reduce Level 5 Hinamizawa Syndrome to Level 3, though it only required two injections per day, rather than three.
In 1983, Irie completed C-120. The most successful drug by far, C-120 could reduce Hinamizawa Syndrome from Level 5 to Level 2 with a single injection. However, the drug had extremely negative side effects when used on individuals who were already at low levels of Hinamizawa Syndrome, such as Level 1 or Level 2. When Level 1 or Level 2 individuals were injected with C-120, they would suffer muscle spasms, extreme irritation of the lymph nodes akin to Level 5, as well as a severe loss of stamina. As a result of these side effects, C-120 is sometimes used as a weapon and was given the nickname Crazy Medicine.
In present day, knowledge of Hinamizawa Syndrome remains highly classified by the Witch Council. Research on a complete cure to the disease continues, however thus far, C-120 remains the most successful drug in combating Hinamizawa Syndrome. It is currently unknown whether a complete cure of the disease exists, or is even possible.