Since Dark Age: Apocalypse, each new book for the game has contributed to an ongoing narrative. Things really started to heat up last year though, with the release of Fanaticism. Here we were first introduced to two key players whose will would shape all the important world events to come. On the side of the Forsaken there’s Lilith, whose intellect is only matched by her will to dominate. She burns to bring her society back to a semblance of it’s pre-collapse greatness. Anyone getting in the way is toast – even the Outcasts who are every bit as human as the Forsaken.
Hood the Executioner is the only other Shadow Caste Dragyri we know about.
On the other side is Amabilia. This Dragyri is one of the last living member of the Shadow Caste, the majority having been wiped out by the robotic race known as the C.O.R.E. She would see every human on Samaria dead – plus any Dragyri she sees as weak. While Lilith has the advantage of a massive army behind her, Amabilia has immeasurable psychic powers. These have allowed her to infiltrate and influence many of the other key players on Samaria. Most recently it was the Salt Nomads, who Lilith was trying to bring under the arm of the Forsaken government. Instead, Amabilia ended up setting them against the Slavers of Chains Barrow, with the ensuing conflict devastating both sides.
That’s where we left off at the end of Outcasts; dead people everywhere. Forsaken begins with dead people as well. Port City is under attack. Lilith’s technological marvels are being hacked, and the CORE are at the gates. Saint Joan and Marius aid in the defense of the city. Lilith is certain that Amabilia is the one pulling the strings. As they plan their next move, a rival Dragyri, Yovanka of the Air Caste arrives. She confirms Lilith’s suspicions, and explains how the humans can seek the aid of the Fire Caste without whom they will surely perish. They have 28 days until an Eclipse that holds spiritual significance to the Dragyri will provoke Amabilia into starting the final assault.
Now a Saint
With Yovanka having chosen Joan as the Forsaken’s most powerful warrior, the newly canonized psychic rides out of Port City through secret tunnels on her way to meet the Fire Caste. Joan, Isaac, and her Furies run into no end of troubles on the way. An ambush laid by Amabilia herself is barely thwarted by the timely arrival of the Grey Lady. Further on, the party discovers that miles of Samaria’s inhospitable wasteland have been terraformed into lush jungle – by the Kukulkani of course. After the group helps a Fire Caste party defeat these aliens, they are finally taken before Rath’zhi, the Arbiter of the caste. He in turn brings them before his own rulers: the three Alteghran that remain from eons past. Using some of their remaining technology, they get Lilith on the line, and she tries to help negotiate for the Fire Caste’s assistance. To everyone’s great surprise, the Dragyri agree. It turns out Yovanka called in a favor.
But will it be enough? Will they make it back in time? I can’t spoil everything for you obviously. If you’re even a passing fan of Dark Age you owe it to yourself to grab this book. In addition to this narrative there’s a history section with more detail about the planet pre-collapse. There’s also a brief prologue that introduces a bunch of delightfully weird human-brood hybrids that have been living along the coast outside of the control of the Brood or the Forsaken government. Future faction maybe? They’re trying to bring up Captain Flay’s crashed ship, so there are bound to be some revelations there in the next book. The Kukulkani take center stage in the epilogue and we get some important insight into this alien race. Then there are the hundreds of pages of background about all the other units in the Forsaken army. They even put all the info about the Bounty Hunters in here too, so you don’t have to buy Outcasts just to learn about those guys. There’s more than enough material in here to make it worth the $39.99 price.
~Hope you enjoyed the article. Has anyone out there picked up the book yet?