“Mukden” is a historical retelling of the prelude to its namesake military engagement. The Battle of Mukden, which took place in early 1905, was one of the largest land battles in history prior to World War I. It is also the second historical fantasy story I’ve ever written.
The tale is the sequel to “Hill of Souls”, which appeared in Outposts of Beyond in 2015. It continues to follow the arcane journey of Japanese soldier Captain Tanaka Hideki, a member of an occult organization known only to Japan’s senior leadership as Unit 108. His mission is to work with local Chinese bandits to determine the size, location, and disposition of Imperial Russian forces operating along the Manchurian rail line, but along the way, he discovers something far more sinister.
To craft the story and build the world, I spent a great deal of time researching the events, personalities, and weapons of the Russo-Japanese. I also tried to weave a rather Lovecraftian aesthetic throughout the story, invoking it with a sense of dread and hopelessness. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed researching, writing, and crafting it.