Warning! Mild spoilers for chapters 1-5
A lab assistant who found himself transported to another dimension. With little hope of finding his way back, he must now acclimate himself to a world very different from the one he grew up in.
The final creation of the 12, and keeper of the keys which can awaken them, Mircigen leads a small army of operatives in an effort to preserve a crumbling world. She hopes one day to re-awaken her creators and restore the underworld.
Mircigen's adopted Wolven son, and captain of the Cicaeda. He is the crew's moral compass, and a pacifist. He struggles to find ways to keep his crewmates safe in a world where lethal response is often a necessity.
The ships Navigator, and Locke's husband. Aiden has a spatial awareness of everything that happens around him. While he can literally see inside people, he is not so good at reading their emotions.
The ships pilot, and Aiden's husband. Locke has an instinctual awareness of his surroundings. He can't see through walls, but he'll dodge anything you throw at him, eyes open or not. He does not warm to people easily.
The ships engineer, an ancient cyborg whose fragmented humanity causes him problems, and he often misinterprets peoples point of view.
A mysterious being with an uncanny knack for showing up at just the right time. Leader of the Voutama Pirates, he has recently stepped down and sent his fleet out to find his replacement. He was the first being in the underworld to encounter Al.
A high-ranking yet rebellious general in the Voutama Pirates. Impatient and unhappy with his leader's mysterious and seemingly frivolous absences. He plans to overthrow Uleminces and lead the fleet to action.
Uleminces second-in-command. He has a talent for stealth and reconnaissance, bolstered by his custom armor. His trust in Uleminces is absolute, and he is dedicated to putting the appointed replacement in command.
Vladic's Navigator. Vladic saved his life years ago, and Carver has stood by him ever since. But as the fleet tears apart he finds that loyalty tested.
- The 12
Ancient beings from another galaxy. They came to this world millenia ago and carved an empire into its depths. They vanished thousands of years ago, when the underworld was ravaged by an unknown enemy. Now they slumber in madness, and only Mircigen can awaken them.
- Rath & Phexe
Twin guardians built by the 12 to fight off a powerful enemy. They appeared to be evenly matched against their foe, but somehow they prevailed. And disappeared.
Places & Things
- The Underworld
An immense network of caves, tunnels and carved structures spanning nearly the entire globe. Built by the 12, and divided into individual territories, it now lies in disrepair as it's creators slumber.
- The 12 cities
City of water. It's upper and lower cities are connected by a central spire, atop which the royal families vie for control. The lower city is industrial and commerce driven, the upper is the social and political capitol for much of the underworld. It's shipyard is famous throughout the Underworld.
City of life. It's central caverns are arranged in a concentric shell formation. Vegetation of every kind can be found in Sivianus, as can most forms of life. Many of it's caverns have restricted access due to dangerous life forms, not all of which have legs.
City of Gravity. A giant disk, floating on vast repulsor beds. Prometos is a powerful industrial complex, and a gathering port for warships.
City of Illusion. Once a vast metropolis of ever changing topography, Mardrillusium was lost to a disaster 50 years ago. It's borders are sealed, but radiation still burns in its outer corridors, and any ship or probe that attempts to approach is lost.
City of Suppression. The Black Wielder did not believe that humans were ready for the powers of the 12. And so while his cities were strong, they were simple, and he granted his people only the ability to cancel out the powers of his brethren.
- The Cicaeda
An exploration vessel built for Mircigen. It is divided into 3 hull sections, one of which is hers alone. What she does inside is the subject of much speculation. The known areas include a hanger bay, science lab, medbay, crew accomodations, galley, engine room, and weapons bay. It has 6 mining and recon drones and a pair of manipulator arms. The ship was built in Voutama, and is a favorite of its creator.
Generated by Black Crystals, these fields cancel out the technology of the 12 completely. Devices taken inside these fields are often immediately deactivated, and in some cases rendered permanently inoperative. Simple robots are unaffected. Higher level robotics risk permanent deactivation upon entry. Non-melee and explosive weapons of almost any kind are also deactivated inside a blackfield.
Without the 12 the underworld systems remain in low-power mode, and automatically assign a rationing system to regulate the flow of its diminished energy. Each being is allowed a certain amount of power per day. This can be stored for later use, and has become the primary currency in the underworld. There are 12 varieties of ration, some of which are more valuable than others, and some of which are dangerous to use.