The Journey Begins…

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 eons 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 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…




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.

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Writing notes: Interesting concepts to toy with

Coin of the reaper: The reapers have no need or desire for gold. Living only for duty, their order handles all the bureaucratic functions among its members, each driven by the strongest sense of altruism and obligation. But they do have a currency nonetheless, the two-faced coin. This coin is essential to buy favors from the reapers, such as an exemption from judgement. A speaker of the language of creation who has been given this coin is safe. It’s also essential to cross the ocean, as the ferryman keeps watch. There are only a handful of men and women who possess this coin, and it is passed down through generations, protecting entire bloodlines.

Nembra’s origin story.

The ferryman.

Backstory: Little girl plays with fires

She was playing with a little fire. They twinkled around her head, like flies, those living flames. She danced with them, giggling and hopping to a melody she had conjured in her mind. Her evening music lesson had left her restless with inspiration, and she was dancing this away. Her beige dress had little flower patterns sown in it. It was night and the door to the balcony was closed. She expected no visitors, other than those who were invited. Her teacher had gone home, her parents were asleep, there was to be no-one, yet there one was, in the corner, sitting in the chair where maids read her bedtime stories.

“Who are you?” the little girl asked from the cloaked man whose hood obscured his face.

“I ask that from myself more often than I care to admit”, the man replied, his voice weary and sad.

“You’re here to kill me”, the girl said suddenly with a softly restrained tone.

“What makes you say that?” the man asked, the hint of sadness even deeper now.

There was a tense silence between them. The girl stood still, staring at him with an unblinking gaze. The man waited some time before resuming to speak:

“You’re not wrong, nor are you right. It’s something else I’ve decided to do, after careful deliberation. But in some sense, yes, it is a form of death.”

“What you want?” the girl asked, the tiny hovering fires around her head flickering.

“Now, that… is a difficult question. There’s what I wish, and what I can realistically have. It’s a complicated world”, the cloaked man said, he didn’t sound as sad anymore.

“Tell me how I die”, the girl commanded.

“You’re too precious to perish at this age. You’ve committed no crime that warrants a sentence. Unlike the people I regularly deal with. But that is the difficulty, issue is your ability to sing into existence things that shouldn’t be.”

The girl listened, looked at her sides and rushed to huff at the hovering flames, extinguishing them with a mere puff.

“They’re gone. Now go away”, she said firmly.

“If only it was so simple. Once… something is out of the bottle, it can hardly be put back in. In order to protect your city, and not just your city, but all cities, what your blood enables you to do… it’s a flame that would engulf them all, if left to roam. But worry not, I have come to another decision.”

The cloaked man stood. Only now did the little girl notice the curved blade towering behind of him, strapped in his back. It had somehow been absorbed entirely in the wall a moment before, hence she never noticed, it’s like it had no weight. As he stood, his back all straight, it’s as if his shadow reached every corner of the girl’s bedroom.

“You will join us. And you will be like me. A protector.”

Concept Art: Magnus

The leader of the Order of the Reapers. He is a compassionate and rigid man who carries a heavy burden on his shoulders. He believes his work ensures peace and continuity of the remaining civilizations that struggle to contain magic. As even one rogue mage can cause extreme devastation, the Order treats all users of magic as threats. Magnus is young, unready to bear the weight of his position, he has never been the right person, but he must endure, as his predecessor perished under strange circumstances. There is simply no-one better to do what he does, so he endures and keeps the bureaucracy of murder running.

What makes Magnus horrifying is that he is not an emotionless killer. On the contrary, he believes completely in what he does, executing the mission of the Order with passion and vigor and a strong sense of duty. His actions are well justified, well thought through, he displays few personality flaws. He is an indomitable force in battle, a resourceful leader, a believer in justice and law. But ultimately, he is guided by a doctrine that may not be as founded in truth as he believes.

Chapter 13 – Too Many Empty Graves

“People think of dying as something to fear. Death is a boring, bureaucratic matter. Just heaps of damned paperwork.” – Journal of Maron

Boros let out a bellowing yawn, stretching his trunk-like limbs in every direction, like a big, fat, ugly baby. The cloudless ceiling was light blue, while the desert looked like a field of sunflowers when he squinted his eyes. He took a deep, deep breath, filling his entire chest with fresh, hot morning desert air. Lazily, he grabbed a glance of the campsite, which was on another dune than where he’d slept. Boros liked sleeping alone, it was peaceful, and he liked sleeping late and waking up on his own time. This would’ve been utterly impossible with soldiers around who woke up early out of habit and routine. He reached for his enormous bag, his breakfast was in there somewhere. While stuffing his bearded face with juicy bread and a leather pouch of water, his curiosity was piqued. Smoke was rising from the camp, the puffs too large to come from a casual campfire. While feasting on his food and drink, his back resting on a thick blanket, contemplating what might’ve been going on, the area where the smoke rose from expanded. An entire patch of the desert was being burned black.

Do not read. this is ultra super early draft. everything subject to change.

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Chapter 12 – The Unnamed Order

“Every nation has magic. Words are this magic. And for some words to have the grip to hold civilization together, other words cannot be. The greatest spells are the unspoken ones.” – Journal of Maron

As Karma gazed up at the pillar protruding from the void canvas, the thunderstorm still creeping at the campsite from far, far away, he had to rub his eyes. He must have been seeing double, because there was no longer just one hooded reaper. There were two.

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Poem: Nameless Night

I wandered in the dark, until darkness knew me.

My name and my soul. Then it walked beside me.

It asked no questions and answered none.

Nameless was the night between us.

Until a dreadful dawn.

When prayers turned to short screams.

Walls painted red. Names hacked in stone.

I wandered in the light the rest of my days.