The woman’s mouth opened in a wide yawn as though drawing a great breath, an ovate blackness similar to the one at the end of his weapon—the weapon that had failed him. “I found you, and now I will take you.”
As she said this, the waves frothed and surged, drawing him under as he beat against them. A razor sliced into his chest, driven by his desperate need for oxygen. His fingers crested the surface of that sea, yet the cool air that caressed his fingertips might as well have been a star painted upon the sky, unreachable and mocking in its splendor.Excerpt from Part One of Spectrum: The Dark Clad
For centuries, the ancient society known as the Lanceniet knew peace, their unfathomable mastery of technology allowing them graces only imaginable to those who would come after. To meet the demands of this technology, the Lanceniet irradiated vast stretches of land in an effort to farm endums—rare, gem-like sources of energy produced by a dark, radioactive substance called char. The Lanceniet used these endums to fuel their great machines, ultimately allowing them to travel incredible distances and produce materials and foods in substantial, unfettered quantities. Yet the eventual cost of endums became far too high for even the advanced Lanceniet to predict, and the world swiftly fell into radioactive ruin, leaving behind only a skeleton of the prosperity once shared by all.
Many years after the collapse of the Lanceniet, this once-peaceful world devolves into war, spurned by a lack of resources and a factionist belief system. Lawlessness reigns. The poor are the majority, too engaged in struggling to feed their families to challenge the rise of those few who seek to exploit them. The Whole, the Dark Clad, the Pale Deity–names that instill fear and despair into the hearts of those who might hear them uttered. Eternal war between these factions threatens to ravage what little habitable land remains, the risk of oblivion only intensified by the rise of understrength, an innate ability that allows men and women alike to perform miraculous feats.
Rumored to have been spawned by the machinations of the Lanceniet, understrength inspires terror and unrest in a population already fraught with misery. And where some would seek to use their abilities for the greater good, many others consider the power within them a sign that they are the chosen few who will lead the world into a new era of affluence–and the most direct road shall be paved in blood.
In this resulting broken society where self-proclaimed leaders spring up as readily as blades of grass, its people seek any refuge they can find from the poverty, hunger, and despair. Oglebay, a mysterious artificer blessed with an incredible mastery of understrength, has begun to gather followers from all parts of the world, promising unification and a renewed prosperity for all. In an effort to secure this hold on the world, Oglebay appears willing to take any measure. When the leader of Cliffshade Orphanage, the last bastion of the Dark Clad and a home for children whose parents found their deaths on the battlefield, decides to resist Oglebay, the artificer exacts swift retribution.
Now, twelve years after this sordid affair, Laithic Hughes, one of the handful of people to escape with his life, finds himself on the trail of a man rumored to live in the Kreventia Desert—a man he hopes will help him get to Oglebay. Laithic is a loner without a home, a wanderer with only one guiding sense of purpose, a stoic survivor recently mended from his injuries, a pseudo-soldier prepared to do whatever necessary to secure his prize.
Spectrum: The Dark Clad is the story of Laithic and his journey to settlers a score borne into him by the loss of his family, the destruction of his home, and a sinister secret lurking in the shadows of his own mind.