This is the section where we'll map out the ongoing story arc, place existing stories within the overall framework, and discuss how to best present this vast, wonderful world to our readers.

Promotional Materials

"Back Cover" Blurb Text

Season 1: Preludes and Portents

These stories lay out the setting of Metamor City and the starting conditions of the major characters.

Welcome to the City — Introduces Kate and the MCPD.

Huntress — Introduces Morgan and sets up where she is, emotionally and psychologically, at the beginning of the story arc.

House Call — Introduces David.

The Sentinel— Introduces Janus, the Lightbringers, and Ms Fallon. Shows the tension between forces of order and chaos among the "good" people of Metamor.

The Muse — Introduces Callie Linder.

Troubled Minds — Introduces Abbey Preston in her role as ghost hunter.

Make Believe — Bryan's story shows us Artax's worldview and introduces us to his new apprentice.

Making the Cut — Shows us the Psi Collective as it exists in the years immediately leading up to the main story arc. Establishes the rivalry between the Vampire Syndicate and the Psi Collective. Shows how the Sommers cell came to be outside the rank-and-file of the Collective, which becomes crucial to their survival in the long run. This story also puts Miriam Bakhtavar in position to be a big threat to Malcolm ard'Valos once she's free, and sets up Seralina Greyhaven as her devoted acolyte (and one with her own score to settle against Malcolm).

Season 2: A Gathering Storm

This season reveals more about the structure and factions of Metamor society. A repeated theme running through the season is the presence of a conspiracy that is seeking its own agenda in the highest echelons of power.

The Hardest Part — A character vignette that introduces us to Kyia and Thomas X for the first time, and demonstrates why they so rarely make their power felt.

Whispers in the Wood — Abbey and Janus pursue a haunted violin that is leaving a trail of bodies across the Empire.

Dreams of Change — Nobilis's story shows us the strife within the magical community between wizards and sorcerers, and introduces several characters who are important pawns of the Vampire Syndicate. (Matheson seems to have powerful friends and connections within some sort of Old Boys' Network. It seems likely that he was a young initiate within the Brotherhood — far below the levels where the actual conspiracy is going on, but close enough to wield influence.)

The Cuckoo — Introduces John the Incubus, shows us the world of the Metamor City nobility, and reveals a bit about Universalist doctrine.

Broken Angel — Audio drama in which Ms. Fallon is interrogated for her suspected role in the murder of a young celestial — who turns out to be anything but innocent. Continues blurring the moral lines within the MK2K universe.

Mirrors — Guest story by Dawn Phynix. A flashback story that shows how Morgan came to be who she is, and the ways in which she is still struggling to find her identity.

Things Unseen — A series of magical deaths is investigated by Kate and David, leading them into a tangled web involving a group of wealthy noble scions who braved the forbidden zone of the Rift and stumbled upon a power they can't control. Malcolm ard'Valos wants to capture them. The shadowy Minister of Intelligence wants to find them. And Artax is quietly meddling, covering up the true cause of the deaths for his own reasons. This story reveals the Rift and the Rift Spirits, shows more of the structure of Metamor society, and builds an alliance between Kate and the Rift Spirits that will be crucial later on. Another key event happens in this story, though it may not seem as important at the time: Kate kills a vampire thrall in order to protect the life of one of the scions, and does so while operating outside her jurisdiction and beyond the scope of her authority. Janus and the Lightbringers deputize her to give her the necessary legal cover, but the resulting Internal Affairs investigation grabs some people's attention. Kate is placed on administrative leave until the matter is sorted out.

Season 3

Planifolia — Bryan's second Metamor story, in which Brian Sommers and Michael Perelli team up to hunt a mundy-extremist group called the Lions of Eli, which has been targeting the city's paranormal residents. More conspiracy work here; we should drop hints that the Lions of Eli were engineered by someone with ties to the same conspiracy that was behind the ISC murders.

Lies in the Dark — A guest story by J. Daniel Sawyer, this locked-room murder mystery takes place aboard the Imperial Space Command's L-4 asteroid mining station. The murder gives the Brotherhood of the Sepulcher a chance to move their own people into command of the station. Shows us that some sort of conspiracy is in play within the ISC.

Young Callie — This story by Beq Vyper features Callie as a child, showing how a brush with a nasty cult (a branch of the Brotherhood) set her on the path to being a runner. Gives more hints of the conspiracy at work.

The Lost and the Least — The centerpiece novel of Season 3. Still on leave more than a month after the events of Things Unseen, Kate is feeling disconnected and questioning her fitness for police duty. The director of Special Investigations, an elite unit in MCPD, wants to recruit her for his command, which would get her off administrative leave without being cleared by District 9's psychologist, Jared Tamlin.

The Brotherhood's ongoing program of kidnapping and "testing" catches Morgan's attention — she's getting too many John Does showing up in parts of the city where they don't belong. The Syndicate is a natural suspect — until one of Malcolm's own people goes missing. Eventually the Brotherhood targets two Pawns that we care about: Will Kerenson and Jared Tamlin.

Will's disappearance draws Callie Linder into an investigation, while Jared's abduction puts the police investigation into high gear. Will is found and rescued; Jared is released with an assurance that he has earned powerful new friends through his ordeal. They will be there, at his service, whenever he wishes it; all he need do is name the target. (If he attempts to notify the authorities, though, he will be silenced by their people within the power structure — and then they will kill anyone he has ever been close to.) Jared is horrified by this, but decides to try to work the inside connection until he can find out who's pulling the strings — and how high they reach.

Season 4

Red, White and Blue: This season focuses around two crises — the assassination of Thomas X, and a gang war in the Metamor underworld. The principal players are the Vampire Syndicate and its affiliated gangs (who wear red as their colors); Miriam Bakhtavar and Seralina Greyhaven and their rival gang organization, the White; and the Metamor City Police Department, who wear blue.

The Avatar of Metamor, Thomas X, is brutally slain in the midst of a major speech. (Originally this was slated for 1 January 2000, but it will need to be pushed forward to fit in the other events of the timeline.) The MCPD and Lothanasi scramble to find out who was responsible, often butting heads in the process since it isn't clear who has jurisdiction over the matter. The Brotherhood has a patsy in place, but the story starts to fall apart under closer scrutiny. Kate and David's investigation is hushed from higher up, which eventually leads them to a high-ranking senator who is in on the conspiracy — and who is killed before he can reveal more than the name of the group.

Meanwhile, Malcolm's business operations are being increasingly frustrated by a new faction of criminals, led by someone called the White Widow. Very few know her real name, Seralina Greyhaven; even fewer know that she is acting on behalf of her mistress, Miriam Bakhtavar, who is remaining hidden from everyone except Leena and Artax. It has taken years for the White Widow to build the connections she needed, but now she is set to dismantle the Syndicate and bring Malcolm down.

To assist her in this, she tries to recruit Jared Tamlin, playing on his personal desire for revenge against the vamps. He isn't convinced until he sees how the escalation of the gang war imperils the innocents of the city, at which point he comes in on the Widow's side in the hope of forcing a quick end.

Jared makes use of his self-professed "servants" in the Brotherhood to take on Malcolm's organization, as Nasoj's spirit tempts and seduces him to accept the personal power it offers. Jared resists this call at first — until Miriam kills Malcolm and proceeds to take over as the local prince of the Syndicate, instead of dismantling the entire power structure as she had led Jared to believe she would. Stung by this betrayal, Jared agrees to undergo a dangerous Brotherhood ritual that, if successful, will make him personally powerful enough that no vampire would stand a chance against him. The ritual is Nasoj's bid to possess the Vessel and regain a body of his own.

But things don't turn out quite how Nasoj had hoped — for Jared is a metapsi, a person who has the psionic power to change and control souls. Jared prevents Nasoj from taking over by diffusing the Dark Wizard's consciousness across everyone he can touch via telepathy in the Psi Collective — which is almost all of them. This gives Jared access to Nasoj's tremendous power while also essentially giving him control of the Collective.

Unfortunately, everyone who carries a piece of Nasoj's spirit is influenced by his megalomania and his need to dominate and control others. The Collective has become a super-mind charged with supernatural power, and with the Vessel leading them they set out to take their rightful place in the world — though what they have in mind, no one knows…

Season 5

The Vessel and his Psi Collective, now infected by Nasoj, quickly sets in motion an agenda that none of the heroes understand at first, abandoning the activities and goals that had previously occupied their attentions. The arrival of Klepnos, Hallie and Sophie in Metamor City brings dire warnings of the future, and a set of strange Nasoj-related activities that seem totally unconnected. The surviving fragments of the Psi Collective who have held on to their own minds — the Sommers cell, Miriam Bakhtavar, and a handful of others1— provide additional perspectives on the Collective's actions, which allow the heroes to finally deduce what the Vessel is up to. A terrifying conclusion emerges: The Collective is seeking the Spark of Life, the last of the fabled spheres of divine energy that once surrounded the Garden of Paradise.

Nasoj had intended to use the Spark, together with a massive sacrifice of innocent lives, to open up a pathway to the Nine Hells, where would steal the soul-energy that has been building up over the last thousand years and become the most powerful god the world has ever seen. The Collective intends to follow through with Nasoj's plan and ascend to godhood as a unified supermind, transforming themselves into a divinely-fueled master race that will never again have anything to fear from the mundanes.

A desperate race to find the Spark before the Collective ends in failure, as the Vessel kills the Spark's guardian and claims its power for himself. As the Key, Kate can directly counter and absorb the power the Vessel wields, but she realizes that Nasoj is the real evil here, not Jared or the psis. Killing any member of the Collective, even Jared, won't solve the problem. She needs a way to lure Nasoj out into a position of vulnerability so that he can be destroyed. The only way she can do that is to convince Nasoj that she'll make a better Vessel than Jared, so that he can be tempted into leaving the Collective's hive mind. Which means that she needs the psychic ability to resist drowning in a gestalt, as well as enough personal power and apparent megalomania to seem like she could be making a bid for godhood herself.

Kate races across the world to the Rift, deliberately exposing herself to its energies in order to gain psi abilities. While she's there, she loads up on life-aspected mana and takes a bunch of the Rift Spirits with her, intending them to be a nasty surprise for Nasoj. Then it's back to Metamor, where the Vessel is setting up his mass sacrifice ritual. Kate must get past cultists, possessed psis, and her own friends (most of whom think she's gone crazy) to face Jared one-on-one, hoping that she can trick Nasoj into leaving the Collective's hive-mind. Meanwhile, the Immortals and the other heroes race to stop the terrifying means of the intended sacrifice: a barrage of mining asteroids, which Nasoj's cultists in the Imperial Space Command are about to rain on every major city of the Earth…

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