Ink, Fire, Beauty
“The moment he took power, Emperor Xórong declared himself a collector of beauty. He began to gather and hoard, binding his treasures for display like bundles of flowers in gold-dusted vases. His rule stretched across decades, rich and unchallenged, until the day one of his flowers left her vase, befriended a devil, and set fire to the Empire’s edge.”
Túlià, a young painter in Emperor Xórong’s court, hopes to fulfill her mother’s dying wish and visit the mountains where her grandparents fell in love. When she finally receives permission to make the trip, the Emperor assigns one of his demon warriors, a masked Zānshì, to accompany her for protection. Frightened by tales of the Zānshì since she was a child, Túlià spends most of the journey avoiding him. But, when a deadly accident removes her Zānshì’s mask and the Emperor threatens her ancestral home, Túlià learns what a true demon really is, and she sets out to destroy the most powerful Empire in the world with nothing but a paintbrush and a single, unexpected ally.
Inspired by centuries of Chinese history and culture, this fantasy world of Ink, Fire, and Beauty uses the fierce tension of impending war and the eloquence of ancient artistry to show what really lies beneath the masks of our worst enemies.