A world at the edge of the universe. The near-lightless sky has but a few stars at night. Every few thousand cycles, they become fewer in number. As if something is devouring them.

This world has no sun, it is its own light source. Eternal summer. No storms, no earthquakes, no natural disasters. Paradise. Or so it should be…

A strange affliction plagues the nations of this world. Robbing its victims not of sanity or their health, but their mortality. These deathless men bring untold havoc to the world, ending entire civilizations.

There is a legend. That in birthing the world, the two gods awakened something in the dark. Something with a mind but no form. A venomous whisper worshipped through the aeons by maddened cults. Two lidless eyes that stalk the sleepers. Choosing its champions to carry out its ravenous carnage. The gift of undeath. A prayer, to extinguish the last lights of the universe, so it may sleep again.

Bloodlines dating back to the beginning of creation have been muddied. But they are not lost. A secret organization with remembrance permeating the ages seeks to maintain a dying world order, by any means necessary, hunting the deathless, isolating old bloodlines.

This silent war is in vain, and they know it. The last hope for the world is to die slowly. Resolved to lord over a slow decay, they fight in the shadows, as whisps with scythes.

Hunger is growing. A great famine threatens populations, as the nights grow longer and longer, as if whatever has been feasting on the stars is walking among the living.

A consensus is emerging among the leaders of nations that survived the genocides of past centuries. The study of ancient legends and languages cannot be allowed, lest the people would understand. Why their families are dying. Why the nights are long and where the stars are going.

The historical society, politically neutral academics collaborating across the borders of nations, is persecuted, forced underground. Their study of the oldest known language becomes forbidden.

But not all is lost. The keys to salvation may yet lie in ancient texts, but the truth is elusive. Old records are altered, to fit whatever petty political reasoning justified the retouching at the time. The image they paint of times past may all be lies.

Two brothers from a desert city are hunting for these stories. If only there was more time…



News and Updates – 4.6.2023

I’m extremely happy with the progress I’ve made with other parts of the business. The sites are finally functioning normally, and we’re mostly fixing minor cosmetic issues with them. I’m still hesitant to write the climax of this first saga, because there’s just so many cool ways this could go. But we have to end it. The necromancer can’t be roaming the desert forever, right? 😀

Chapter 9 is finally ready.

Chapter 1 – Necromancer in The Desert

“You come from Sharam… a city besieged by sand, and more recently, the living dead. Your past, my dear boy. I see death in there. Unshed tears, frozen in your heart, growing darker by the cycles that consume your youth. You carry a heavy burden from which you have no salvation. I’m afraid you won’t easily shed this weight…”

The short hooded figure barely nodded, but the elderly woman noticed regardless. The difference in age between them was easily decades, but it wasn’t so obvious. Whatever other arts she was dabbling in seemed to be preserving her appearance. Her deep voice betrayed her though. She drew another card from her black deck.

Continue reading “Chapter 1 – Necromancer in The Desert”

The Devourer of Dreams

The mind desires sleep. To not see life with pristine clarity, for the shades of grey and black are blinding. No shelter, no shade, no comforting void. Nowhere to run from complete clarity of thought. It only wants to sleep again.

It was the dead of night. While staring into the darkening abyss that was the nightsky, I became acutely aware that another star had gone dark. Like a hole in a fabric plugged by a patch. I saw it, blinked, and it was gone.
In the corner of my room, a new pair of stars had been lit. So I thought, until I closed the lids and they stayed inside.
Stories of this phenomenon came to mind. I was a scholar of times past, a member of the Historical Society. There were records of this written in languages we had only translated partially. I tried to contain my terror with the application of academic methods. By virtue of years of practice, my mind had been trained to be structured and to contain emotion, to solve problems with deductive reasoning. Disputes, I solved with language aimed at accuracy, never any violence.
Our minds touched that night. It hid nothing. I saw glimpses of its machinations, flashes of how the future would unfold from this point forward, with me at the center of its plans. It was no demon looking to manipulate a petty soul via trickery into sin. Its intelligence was like a tidal wave that sweeps, and it spoke not with words, but with mental images that felt as homely as my own memories. Despite the clarity of these visions, I felt that I was seeing mere glimpses.
I saw the end of my nation. Every person I associated with, how they would end. All this, the entire path, it had planned in its mind, yet the sense I got was that this was a mere side project to it. Nothing that required too much focus.
My hand was not forced. I was merely denied the right to die and the ability to sleep. Those two basic things. I could not end until my task was complete.

Backstory: War of Mountains and the Sandstorm

Civilizations advance each at their own pace. The ones without rivals do not advance. They remain on tribal, primitive level, regardless of the passage of time. But when neighboring a powerful nation, there is rivalry that forces development. The weaker nation is easily conquered and turned into a colony for the stronger nation, the slaves gaining some resources and learning from the conqueror. As time passes, and nutrition and conditions in the colony improve from having a social order imposed by the conqueror, the subdued colony will eventually produce thinkers. It only takes a few exceptional minds, who will observe the stage of development their nation is at, who begin to question why they should be slaves. Such is the relationship between the desert and the mountain.

The mountain men have been slaves of one master and another master. Despite a capacity for the immense building of muscle, they never could contest their magic-wielding lords. And as these nations so tragically always find the means to cause their own self-destruction, the revisors have never enjoyed true freedom, always forced to switch masters as nations have perished.

Then everything changed. A man was born named Mondan. He led the revisors on a quest to freedom in the harsh wilderness, where no mage dared venture. The ferocious beasts of the forest were a better deterrent to pursuit than any wall or army. Against them, the supreme upper body strength of the slave laborers was optimal. And in the heart of the forest, they found the mountains.

The mountain city provides an endless supply of a mystical ore to the war-loving revisors. Possessing no ability or affinity to explore the language of creation, the empire stands on its own by employing armors and weaponry resistant to magic. The heaviness of these armors disables all other races from wielding them. The bone-crushing weight is counteracted with rigorous physical training. This requirement, to match up against expansionist rival nations asymmetrically, has led the mountain people to the formulation of a military culture obsessed with martial prowess.

Power over history is power over the future. The revisors have no respect for the past, as their history is so rife with humiliation and abuse. Their story, if not altered beyond recognition, could shed light to the events of the world.

Backstory: Betrayal of the Alchemists

It was when the alchemists’ guild allied themselves with the royal family of Sharam, that war became mere sport to the aristocracy. The alchemists, once reviled for their sorcery, gained a privileged role in the kingdom. The creation of gold no longer banned by law, Sharam gained an endless supply of the scarce precious metal to pursue political aims. Expansion of borders became as easy as swiping a pen on paper.

Alchemists became not just part of the aristocracy. Their schemes eventually eliminated other prominent families, leaving none to contest their direct access to the royalty. The guild became generals, court advisors, ministers.

Gold empowered the royal family like no magic ever could. With the best financed army of the three kingdoms, there was no need to cower no more to the Revisor empire and their iron. The entire desert, and the lush forests that bordered it, were liberated in one mighty war. That is how the desert city became the third kingdom.

With power over gold, the royals were able to buy the allegiance of the astronomers, who abetted the falsifying of the star maps. How the night sky had looked in aeons past was buried.

Instead of letting the populations know what was coming, the royals kept many things secret, leveraging their knowledge in crafting plans that ensured their dominance for generations. But not all books could be burned or rewritten.

Possible dialog at the climax of first saga


“This is the orbituary of the universe. Ours is ancient, we are living through the end of its lifespan. This world is black and white. Into blackness, it shall return.”

“The great cycle is coming to an end. The aristocracy is weak, corrupt and obsolete. They cannot alleviate the coming famines and wars, just as they’ll never strain their necks to gaze at the dimming nightsky.”

Continue reading “Possible dialog at the climax of first saga”

Order of the Reapers: Mission Statement

We are not gods. We are mortals. Our lot in this short life is to perish peacefully.

Since the birth of the first people, divine intervention has afflicted the bloodlines. Some more gifted than others, destined to rule and conquer, they usher in violent ages of savagery and massacre. Unification of nations by the sword, of scattered tribes and unruled provinces. Expansion-seeking consciousnesses are mere blips in the vast continuum of time beyond ages where the written word has wrecked havoc. We protect the silence. Because it is language that brings about war. Inspiration leads to murder, writers upend social order. Blood spills where no restraints are put to the gushing flow of thought.

The Order of the Reapers is the necessary balancing power. For the stability of society to prevail, expansive minds must be ended. And before you even think it, rebellious reader, I snuff your thought from its root. We are not arms of the state enforcing established rule. The order exists because it must exist. Because without cloak and scythe, there is only chaos and bloodshed.

We are beholden only to a mission that has spanned generations since the first-born. We are keepers of their secrets, their scrolls and their scribblings. There will never again be a society where the Language of Creation is allowed to flood our nations.


More brainstorm on the historical society

The society of historians is an anomaly as organizations go. Its members have no ambitions to leverage their deep knowledge of the language of creation. Instead, their goal is to perfect what they call “the alchemy of truth”.

The associates of the organization believe in extreme self-restraint in the usage of magic. Even when persecuted, members do not retaliate using their arts. They believe in a prophecy, that they will play a key role in restoring balance to the world, but only if they hold true to their vows until that day comes.

Chapter 9 – Poem to Lady Death

Battles between mages had a formula that had formed during the violent centuries. As much as the kingdoms attempted to quell the rise of unsanctioned speakers of the language of creation, new prodigies appeared constantly. But these men were often jealous, prone for one-upmanship. An unofficial dueling etiquette formed around their destructive engagements. As every spell had its direct counterspell, the element of surprise was often the tie-breaker between equally matched speakers. Secretly developed techniques that no other speakers knew of ensured the dominance of a magi. Without trump cards, everything in a duel came down to chance.

Skilled speakers feared each other, as talent posed too much incentive to kill a rival mage and steal their research. Alas, the most important part of the etiquette was to avoid direct confrontation, until one had successfully forced an opponent to reveal the extents of their study. Nothing was more dangerous than a magi who concealed what they knew until the last moment.

Continue reading “Chapter 9 – Poem to Lady Death”

Chapter 8 – A Comedy of Bones

The putrid smell of burning flesh was everywhere, there was no escape from it. The carpet of carcasses stretched towards the far end of the sand valley to the other end, growing thinner from the sides, like its threads were unravelling. The killing fields were being devoured by the fire, purged from horror, only the pace was dreadfully slow. It was an absurd nightmare, more absurd than any maddened mind could conjure. To see so many battle-mutilated carcasses at once, the visage grossly clashing with what a mortal mind considered normal, your reaction would not have been to scream. Any man or woman to see such a thing, would have been gripped by awkward laughter instead. Charred ribs and skulls trodded randomly in the most awkward of angles, many stuck in the sloppy mass of other corpses, like skeletons having rough, bloody intercourse. The brush strokes were countless, the golden canvas of the killing fields was the stage for a comedy of bones.

The corpses posed not just a sanity test, but a physical challenge for those wishing to traverse across this red line. The desert had effectively been cut in half for a second time in its history. The indomitable colossus stood still on his post, unfazed by the carnage.

Continue reading “Chapter 8 – A Comedy of Bones”

Chapter 7 – Battle of The Burning Dead

Tarot stood his ground, whereas the army that had marched to face the rogue magi was a mess of vomiting men. Whereas their thoughts were endlessly raped by the gargantuan abomination standing guard at the digsite, Tarot seemed unaffected. The most physically fit, combat-hardened men in the entire kingdom of Sharam were vomiting their guts out as they dreamed their own bloody deaths repeatedly, but not Tarot. He had already died a thousand deaths and would die a thousand more.

Unshaken, step after step, he approached the giant that had crawled from unnamed depths. It did not breathe, nor pay heed to his presence. Curiosity, it showed none. Fear, it showed none. Its size and physique, the four tower-like arms protruding from its torso, possessed unquantifiable crushing power. None could say if a beast not of this world of such awesome stature could rip apart the very planet. But where it had punched the ground, deep cracks certainly showed. Tarot jumped over them, no heed to the potential fall.

A rumbling and cackling from the digsite poured into open air, like a sudden thunderstorm. Racing in the burning shadow of the colossus, the rotting army was caught on fire.

Continue reading “Chapter 7 – Battle of The Burning Dead”

A World of Two Gods: Beliefs of The Sharamites

The world is the handiwork of two Gods, a man and a woman. The man made the mountains, the oceans, the sky. The woman created life. Together they made a paradise manifest.

The language of creation was given to the most gifted of their children. Only they could interpret the words of the Gods and make miracles with them. While others could speak and sing the words, only few could alter reality with them. To shape rock, to heal life.

But blasphemous are the intents of men with ambition. Another practice developed from study of the language, the art of necromancy. The ability to manipulate the animate and the inanimate simultaneously enabled the raising of the dead to do one’s bidding. Limitations on what can be studied are thus many, for so perverse are the possibilities.

A great temple was raised in the honor of the Gods into the city of Sharam, built around the long river that runs across the entire desert. This lifeline enabled the warring tribes of the desert to grow into a civilization. Carved by the sword of a stranger, so the stories tell. A man who came from nowhere, wielding inhuman power over speech and the sword, cut the sand sea in half.

The people of this city, most of them, believe in the twin two gods. They believe that their city, made under the brightest star in the sky, is the birthplace of all creation. As the world does not rotate or require a sun to have light, the star has thus never moved and never will.