|Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa|
|First printing||September 2004|
Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa is the first novel in the Kamigawa Cycle, which is continued in Heretic: Betrayers of Kamigawa and Guardian: Saviors of Kamigawa. It is written by Scott McGough and published in September 2004.
The war with the spirit realm has begun.
Michiko, daughter of the warlord Konda, must brave the dangers outside her father's fortress to consult holy monks and the orochi, snake folk with a strong connection to the spirit world. Yet when Michiko meets Umezawa, a thief and black magic user, she realizes that to stop the war that is about to sweep the land, she may have to make alliances with her enemies.
And the most dangerous foes may be her friends.
The story starts the night of Michiko's birth. Lady Pearl-Ear informs Lord Konda of the news, but he seems very distant and uninterested.
Many years later, Michiko is planning to stop the kami war with the help of her friends, Choryu and Riko, first by going to Minamo School, but to do so she must escape Eiganjo Castle. She ultimately does so, but on her way she is tricked into Lady Pearl-Ear's native kitsune village by her brother Sharp-Ear.
There the forest spirits claim the answer she seeks lies with the orochi, so the group travels in search of them.
Toshi Umezawa is following a gang of nezumis in the Numai swamps, and overhears them speak of their deal with the soratamis, thus the soratamis start chasing him to silence him. He manages to stop their attacks in the area, and in his house. Some portents he sees encourage him to ask council of Hidetsugu.
The two groups coincidentally meet in Jukai forest, but are attacked by the orochis at the same time and captured. Toshi recovers first, and manages to escape, finding Kobo dead. He rescues Michiko who is going to be sacrificed by the Myojin of Life's Web to stop the war. He hides in a cave where he is greeted by Mochi, the Smiling Kami of the Crescent Moon, and the Myojin of Night's Reach, who offers Toshi access to her powers if he becomes her acolyte, but he refuses.
The rest of the group recover and track Toshi to a hideout (as do the orochi and the Myojin,) and are forced into battle outside of it. Toshi eventually comes out, and finishes off the orochis. With the Myojin of the Night's Reach blessing, he unsummons the Myojin of the Life's Web.
Michiko's companions capture him, but she reveals they had made a deal, and he has promised to work for her. Toshi reveals that Choryu killed Kobo, casts a spell on him that takes him away, and manages to escape.
In Shinka, Hidetsugu receives Choryu, understanding that he is there to answer for Kobo's murder, and starts to torture him by placing him in his mouth, crunching him with his teeth a few times. He then takes the wizard into his hut, and screams emanate from within as it begins to rain.