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…



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.”

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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. Thus 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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

Chapter 6 – Trial of The Severed Heads

The translation work was nearing completion. The diggers were clawing, shoveling, reaping the sand off hungrily and relentlessly. The stone stood in a deep hole, and he sat on its edge. With a mere paper and pen in hand, he wrote words that had not been read for countless generations. It was the ending of the great story, the climax of the journey of life in the universe. The fate of every star, every soul, every war and struggle, was written on the monumental slab towering before him. As he scribbled, his mind and body hovering in a strange middle-ground of this life and the next, he felt at peace. The threats to his mortality no longer concerned him, and the sheer act of writing gave him profound joy.

Behind him, at the edge of the digsite, the nameless gargantuan monstrosity awaited still, its lumpy, veiny back like a wall of rocks. He couldn’t see anything past it. Like a loyal guard, protecting the excavation process, it paid no heed to what he was doing. Its unholy presence was almost comforting.

In his life, he had been a soldier, rising the ranks with hard work and determination. In battles, he had blocked blades aimed at his neck, cut down men, for gold and to afford food, in defense of the provinces of Sharam. But deep down, attending wars and lesser skirmishes had never been about gold or status. He had lived according to his nature as a man. That weighed most. And having accomplished that, there was nothing he felt robbed of. So he wrote, and he wrote, and he wrote.

The air turned cold behind him, and in the next instant the necromancer named Maron appeared, carrying in his left hand the severed still-bleeding heads of three people by their hairs.

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Chapter 5 – Fuck The Eldritch God In The Ass

He gave his breastplate a defiant thump with his fist. The army of horsemen that had been boastfully riding into battle, had mostly fallen on the ground, many men trapped under their rides, others hurrying to flee as far as their boots could carry them. The thump was a gesture of respect and a challenge.

“Best way to go, dying in glory fighting a worthy enemy”, Boros cackled.

His traveling companion looked at him stunned. Nembra shook her head in disbelief, her lips silently emoting the word “men”. The sight of the colossal unnamed thing wasn’t nearly as confounding as watching a man prepare to fight it with a mere hammer and his black armor. He stared fiercely back at them.

“Fuck you guys standing around? We die here! Fuck the eldritch god in the ass!”

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Chapter 4 – Clear Shades of Black and White

It was night, hundreds of military horsemen were travelling with lights everywhere, an oil lamp strapped on every soldier on a horse. It was not a subtle war effort. They were coming and they wanted the magi to know they were coming. At the back of a supply cart being pulled by horses, a conversation was taking place.

“What you suggest is madness! Throwing this world off balance is too easy, that’s why we need laws and enforces and a hierarchical system that ensures the rules are followed! One mage gone mad can turn everything upside down! There is no grey area to this! One brilliant mind, who reads too much, can upend the social order overnight. That’s clear shades of black and white!”

“And if the prevailing order stinks, like a toilet?”

“I’d rather have a stable dictatorship, than an anarchic democracy.”

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