Childhood friends who escaped the choice of conscription or euthanization by the Grevan military. Through a series of unfortunate events, many of them have gained the capacity to tame and shapeshift into mythical creatures.
At the cost of much bloodshed, the Operator’s Guild maintains independence from the Grevan military machine.
Rumors have it that their leader, a pretty woman usually seen in a dress, is possessed by a demonic entity that permits her to morph into monsters and spit in the face of death itself. The Grevans refuse to acknowledge her humanity, referring to her as Ten Thousand Guns. They hide their children at dawn, worrying that she’ll rapture them to the unlivable southern continent Aphantasia, where nothing grows, and the weather is unbearably cold.
Blood still stains marble floors in the Atrium of Forms, a place where the skills of young would be operators are magnified, and are faced with the choice of conscription or euthanization.
Thomas, her childhood friend, and could have been lover, lies crumpled on the hard floor. The crown operator Iskadiel, has just ordered the Grevan soldiers to shoot him. He refused to be conscripted. Citizens with the ability to operate are too dangerous not to be processed.
Filled with rage, Iscara realizes she can feel the ancient atrium, as if the walls and statues of creatures extend the feeling of her skin. The mural on the southern wall glows as she subconsciously pries it open, permitting a black fog to enter.
It takes my left arm, claiming it can give me the strength of Ten Thousand Guns in exchange for occupancy. I let it, I don’t know why. When the soldiers fill me with lead, the bullet holes don’t heal, but I get up. Nerves wrecked, feeling stuck, I don’t think I can feel my hands.
A frenzied morale enters the Grevan gunmen, as if they’re fighting for the safety of their loved ones. As if I hold the keys to kill everything they love.
The crown operator emits a haze to keep the black fog at bay.
Her expression is painted with an empathetic worry, like a mother realizing her children are terminally infested with maggots.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
If it’s solid, someone is behind it with a rifle.
The Atrium of Forms
The equator of Regalia is covered in ancient ruins, reflecting a capacity for creative thought that the northern kingdoms can only dream of. In the winter woods closest to the Brink, a ring around Regalia that separates the northern continent from the impassible Aphantasia, the atrium is used to bring out reality bending skills in young Grevans.
When conscripted, these Grevans are trained to be operators, but often die in the process due to neurological overload.
If you can taste the colors of the autumn leaves, it’s time to take a break.
A gorgeous Victorian castle, situated on the largest of a cluster of islands just south of the Atrium of Forms. Arguably, it must have been there before the Guild arrived. If they know who inhabited it, they aren’t telling.
The magnificent torches ignite its catwalks. They can be seen from the tallest structures of the atrium, or the nearby mountains. Prior to the Guild’s rebellion, no one knew the islands existed. A mysterious force must be powering the brilliant flames.