is a Comic Book
published by CrossGen
Comics and written by Barbara Kesel. It focuses on the First, a race of powerful deities
who reside on the planet Elysia. Years ago, the First warred with one another until their leader Altwaal
put an end to the fighting by separating Elysia into two Houses, House Dexter (the First who put the needs of others before their own
) and House Sinister (the First who put their own ambitions before the concerns of others
), before disappearing for parts unknown on a self-imposed exile. Now, the discovery that certain individuals (Sigil-Bearers) on many other worlds are being bestowed the power to potentially kill their kind
is sending panic through the First's ranks.Persha
, a Secundae (offspring of two original First) of House Sinister which is ruled by her mother Ingra
, embarks on a quest to find Altwaal
in the hope that he can return to Elysia and reunite the First against the Sigil-Bearers. Seahn
, a Secundae of House Dexter, plots to replace Pyrem as leader of House Dexter
, a First of House Sinister, heads off to investigate the mystery of the Sigil-Bearers and uncovers a startling revelation about his fellow deities. And Ingra seizes the opportunity to claim all of Elysia as hers
The series ran for 37 issues and was collected in six volumes, three of which were never published:
- Two Houses Divided (collects issues #1-7)
- Magnificent Tension (collects issues #8-13)
- Sinister Motives (collects issues #14-19)
- Futile Endeavors (unpublished)
- Liquid Alliances (unpublished)
- Ragnarok (unpublished)
Issue #6 of CrossGen Chronicles
serves as a prequel
to the main story, detailing Pyrem's rise to leadership of House Dexter as well as the births of Persha and Seahn.
The First contains examples of the following tropes:
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Ingra could very easily pass as Persha's older sister despite actually being her mother.
- Abusive Mom: In a flashback in issue #22, Seahn's biological mother Tulity takes her young son hostage during a confrontation with her pursuer Trenin and uses the boy as a shield against Trenin.
- Achilles in His Tent: In CrossGen Chronicles #6, Pyrem sits on the sidelines while the rest of House Dexter are fighting in battle, until Altwaal appears and convinces him to take up the mantle of leading Dexter.
- Action Girl: Yala of House Dexter, who is described as "the Warrior Woman."
- All Webbed Up: Ingra, after being taken captive by Ervulsh at the start of issue #19 and continuing into issues #22 and #23.
- Ambadassador: Pyrem, who is called "the Diplomat," is quite capable of kicking ass if need be.
- Ambition Is Evil: Seahn is very ambitious and power-hungry, and it is said that he, a Secundae of House Dexter, acts more like a member of House Sinister (this may have something to do with his birth father being Braag, a member of Sinister). He eventually becomes a major threat in the series.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Seahn kills his biological father Braag after learning of his true origins.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Altwaal's Seven Weapons, one of which (Altwaal's Gauntlet) Pyrem wields against Seahn until it gets taken by Enson and given to Persha.
- Archer Archetype: Trenin commonly wields a bow and arrow.
- An Axe to Grind: In the final issue of the series, Persha kills Seahn with an ax.
- Badass Beard: Trenin sports one.
- Badass In Charge: Pyrem is the leader of House Dexter, and can kick lots of ass despite what Ingra and Seahn believe about his personality and style of leadership.
- Badass in Distress: Pyrem at the end of issue #15, courtesy of Ingra. He's rescued by Trenin and Yala not long after, though.
- Beware the Nice Ones / Good Is Not Soft: For all of Ingra and Seahn's claims that Pyrem is too soft to be a good leader, Pyrem shows he isn't afraid to kick major ass if he needs to. An excellent example of this is shown in issue #22, where he wipes out an entire brood of spider-beings on his way to rescue Ingra from Ervulsh.
- Persha is a pretty decent girl, but she will NOT hesitate to show off her power if you mess with her, showing she certainly takes after her dad in this area.
- Big Damn Heroes: Pyrem in issue #23, when he arrives in time to save Ingra from being eaten by Ervulsh.
- Big "NO!": In issue #23, Seahn lets one out after Trenin causes him to remember that he (Trenin) killed his birth mother Tulity right in front of him when he was just a child.
- Pyrem lets out one in issue #33 after Gannish reveals to him what he learned on his travels with Yala: that the First, including Altwaal, did not create themselves and were actually created to be playthings by Solusandra.
- Blood Knight: Yala states she can't resist a battle after arriving to help Pyrem against Seahn, plus it's shown in issue #21 that she finds diplomacy boring and, in issue #33, she expresses a desire for battle.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The series ends with Altwaal returning to Elysia and rallying all of the First to do battle with the Negation, though not before killing Persha right in front of her parents.
- Break the Haughty: In issue #26, Ingra claims to have been humbled by being dethroned issues earlier by Seahn and Braag. Turns out she's plotting to regain power and take back her throne.
- Cross Over: With Crux, Sojourn and Mystic.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In issue #22, Pyrem armors up and travels to Ervulsh's world by himself, and is confronted by Ervulsh's spider brood. He takes them all down in a single blow.
- Dare to Be Badass: In CrossGen Chronicles #6, Altwaal appears to convince a self-doubting Pyrem to take up the mantle of leading House Dexter.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Or, at the very least, Dark Is Not Selfish. Persha is a member of House Sinister and is the daughter of that House's leader Ingra, but displays none of the selfish behaviors the First of that House live by; in fact, she seeks to unite all the First against the Sigil-Bearers.
- Gannish also qualifies; his primary concern is uncovering the truth rather than realizing any selfish ambitions.
- Dating Catwoman: Seahn and Ihroe, Dexter's guardian, as revealed in issue #32.
- A Day in the Limelight: Individual members of the First each get an issue centered around them.
- Deceptive Legacy: After breaking up with Pyrem in the past due to their opposing views, Ingra (who was pregnant with Persha at the time) pretended that Braag was the child's father.
- For a time, Seahn is believed to be Trenin's son when, in actuality, Braag is his actual daddy. He REALLY doesn't take it well when he finally learns the truth.
- Depower: This happens to First who cross the Eidolon Rift to travel between Houses.
- The Determinator: Pyrem is described as such by Raamia in issue #26, in which a flashback shows Pyrem sent by Altwaal to guard a vault and not being able to be moved or deterred by anything.
- Trenin is labeled as representing determination in issue #35.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? / Kill The Gods: It's the fear of this happening to the First that sets the plot into motion.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Seahn can manipulate the earth. It appears he got this from his birth mother Tulity.
- The Empath: Pyrem can sense other people's emotions.
- Empathic Environment: In issue #33, House Dexter goes from sunny to stormy when Pyrem, its leader, is faced with a terrible revelation about the First.
- Even Selfish People Have Loved Ones: It is shown that Ingra still loves Pyrem despite their long-ago separation and their very different ideas of leadership, and that she loves her daughter Persha. Ingra gets back together with Pyrem at the end of issue #23 after he saves her from Ervulsh, having realized she still loves Pyrem. Doesn't stop her from plotting to regain her lost power, though.
- Evil Matriarch: Ingra is Persha's mother and seeks to dominate all of Elysia, though she's not so much evil as she is selfish, like all First of House Sinister. Still, that doesn't stop her from casting an illusion on Persha to make her think she succeeded in making sure Ingra didn't get her power back, as shown in issue #30.
- Foil: Gannish is this to Seahn. The former is a member of House Sinister and yet doesn't pursue any selfish goals; the latter is a member of House Dexter yet wants to unseat Pyrem as leader and take his place.
- Persha is a Foil to Seahn, as well. Persha, a Secundae of House Sinister, seeks to reunite the First and doesn't follow Sinister's It's All About Me creed; Seahn, a Secundae of House Dexter, seeks to advance himself, which goes against Dexter's more altruistic leanings.
- Friend to All Children: Trenin's lover Nevole runs a home for lost children and is shown to be very nurturing as well as defensive of her charges.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Seahn evolves from an obscure Secundae of House Dexter to leader of House Sinister after he and Braag dispose Ingra, thus becoming a major threat that Persha feels everyone else must take action against.
- God Couple: Ingra and Pyrem were one in the past until they parted ways due to their clashing ideologies. Ingra then hooked up with Braag for a while. Pyrem and Ingra get back together at the end of issue #23.
- Altwaal and Raamia.
- Trenin and Nevole.
- Seahn and Ihroe.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Orium in his backstory, courtesy of Altwaal, though it later turns out he isn't as crazy as everyone else believes.
- Seahn, after learning of his true parentage as the son of Braag and Tulity. It doesn't last long, though.
- Green Eyes: Seahn has a particularly striking pair of these (at least, when he's a kid). They really fit his personality.
- Guardian Entity: Ihroe of House Dexter serves as the guardian of Dexter's council.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Both Persha and Pyrem have blond hair, and they are both shown to be all-around nice people. Justified in that they're father and daughter.
- Have You Seen My God?: Altwaal disappeared after dividing the First into two Houses and is believed to be dead. Persha makes it her mission to find him. It later turns out Altwaal is alive and hiding out on Quin as Ayden.
- The Hero Dies: The final issue of the series shows Persha being killed by a returned Altwaal after she dispatches Seahn. Word of God is that, if the series had continued, it would have turned out that both Persha and Seahn were still alive.
- Heroic BSOD: Pyrem suffers one after Gannish reveals the First's true origins to him in issue #35.
- Hot-Blooded: Ingra, who is referred to as "the Seething Beauty" and is shown to be easily roused to anger. She even warns her subordinates in issue #8 during her Rousing Speech to remember the anger that fuels her.
- Hot God: Many of the First are very handsome and beautiful.
- Hot Guys Are Bastards: Seahn is very handsome and charming, but seeks to remove Pyrem from power and has absolutely no qualms about taking control of other people's minds, killing one of his own friends, killing his own birth father Braag or putting his lover Ihroe in a coma and teleporting her back to House Dexter with a message written on her.
- A House Divided: What happened as a result of the war among the First. Altwaal divided the First into two houses: House Dexter (for those who put the needs of many before their own needs) and House Sinister (those who put their own desires ahead of the needs of others). When he returns at the end of the series, Altwaal reverses this.
- The Hunter: Trenin is shown to be a very skilled hunter.
- I Did What I Had to Do: In issue #22, Trenin makes this statement when Tulity questions him why he held Seahn back from aging. He says he's not proud of what he did, but then states he's less proud of Tulity's actions.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Ervulsh to Ingra after he takes her captive on his world.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Persha's eyes, when they're not glowing red.
- In the Hood: Gannish wears a dark cloak to hide his scars.
- It's All About Me: House Sinister lives by this trope. Ingra even states during her Rousing Speech to her fellow members in issue #8 that everyone in Sinister is taught to place one's self before all.
- Jerkass Gods: Apparently both sides of the First fit this trope at certain points. Pyrem even states in issue #26 that the First, at one time, used to meddle in the affairs of other for kicks.
- Seahn's most likely the biggest example, especially when he puts his lover Ihroe in a comatose state and teleports her back to House Dexter with a message written on her arm after they sleep together.
- Solusandra, revealed to be the creator of all the First, immediately wreaks havoc upon returning to Elysia in issue #35.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: As revealed in issue #23, Seahn had this done to him as a child by Nevole after he witnessed Trenin kill his biological mother Tulity. This gets reversed by Trenin when Seahn is an adult.
- Light Is Not Good: Seahn is a Secundae of House Dexter, yet doesn't hesitate to wipe the minds of others or kill one of his own friends, and seeks to replace Pyrem as leader of House Dexter. One character even remarks that he acts more like a member of House Sinister.
- Love Redeems: In issue #26, Ingra says she's realized that her love for Pyrem is more important than any throne. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop her from plotting to retake her throne and manipulating her own daughter's mind to make her think she succeeded in preventing her from regaining her power.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: It turns out Braag is Seahn's biological father.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Persha says this to Pyrem when they finally meet in issue #10.
- Mad Oracle: In the past, Orium was driven mad with visions by Altwaal as punishment for attempting to overthrow him. Starting with issue #25, Orium shows he isn't as insane as he's led others to believe.
- Making a Splash: Tulity can also control water, as shown in issue #22.
- Orium has this ability, too.
- Mama Bear: Nevole is very protective of the children in her care, and will not hesitate to kick ass to protect them, as Tulity can attest to.
- The Man Behind the Man: Wyture and Enson are both this for Persha and Seahn, respectively. They switch charges after Seahn seizes control of House Sinister and Persha travels to House Dexter.
- Manipulative Bitch: Ingra enlists Braag and Seahn to help her conquer Elysia. She then says to Braag, in a whisper, that he's her favorite. Once alone with Seahn, however, Ingra says to him in a whisper that he's her favorite. Unfortunately for her, she gets Out-Gambitted by them both and ends up being held captive by Ervulsh.
- Mentor Archetype: Enson and Wyture serve this role to Seahn and Persha, respectively. After Seahn takes over House Sinister and Persha goes to House Dexter, they switch proteges.
- Missing Mom: Tulity abandoned Seahn soon after he was born. She returns a few years later to try and claim Seahn again, but Trenin will have none of that.
- Morality Pet: Pyrem is this for Ingra, who's shown to be nicer in his presence. That, unfortunately, doesn't stop her from messing with her daughter Persha's mind in issue #30 as well as taking back a portion of the power she gave to many others on different worlds.
- Mystical White Hair: Ingra, Wyture and Altwaal all have white hair.
- Neck Lift: How Pyrem kills Ervulsh in issue #23.
- Neglectful Precursor: Solusandra is revealed to be this to the First at the end of the series.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the past, Altwaal's resurrection of his lover Raamia had very negative consequences.
- Only Sane Woman: In issue #26, Persha tries to get the rest of Dexter to deal with Seahn, but no one seems to really be listening (one First is seen lounging in the air). She even asks "Will none of you listen to me?"
- Out-Gambitted: Ingra, who had been playing Seahn and Braag for a good portion of time as part of her plan to take over Elysia, ends up getting one-upped by the two, winds up dethroned and then gets taken captive by Ervulsh.
- Parental Abandonment: Tulity abandoned her son Seahn shortly after he was "born," leaving the boy to be watched over and later adopted by Trenin. She later tries to claim Seahn when he's still a young child, only to be executed by Trenin.
- Parent Trap Plot: Persha convinces Pyrem to go rescue Ingra from Ervulsh, believing that reuniting her parents is the key to uniting all the First against the Sigil-Bearers.
- Physical God: The First and the Secundae are all god-like beings. There's also Solusandra, who created all the First.
- Power Trio: On the House Dexter side, we have Pyrem (Ego), Trenin (Superego) and Yala (Id).
- Pregnant Badass: In CrossGen Chronicles #6, Ingra is shown participating in a battle while heavily pregnant. That is, until she goes into labor right in the middle of said battle.
- Rapunzel Hair: Both Ingra and Wyture have very long hair.
- Really Gets Around: It's implied that Ingra had many lovers in the past, Pyrem and Braag among them, though her one love is Pyrem.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Pyrem is a generally calm, well-mannered and genial leader of House Dexter. Up until he suffers a major Heroic BSOD and decides to give up his post as Dexter's leader in issue #35.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Braag sports these at times, as do Ingra and Persha.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yala and Gannish. Yala is the Red and Gannish is the Blue.
- Also applies to Pyrem and Ingra as well, with Pyrem being the Blue and Ingra the Red. They even wear those exact colors as part of their attire.
- Relative Button: In issue #8, Ingra does NOT take kindly to Braag mentioning Persha when Braag mockingly mentions he once thought Persha was his daughter (she's actually Pyrem's daughter).
- Persha has clearly inherited this from her mother, as shown when Pyrem makes a remark about Ingra and she tells him he will not speak ill about Ingra.
- Rousing Speech: Ingra gives one to House Sinister in issue #8 with the goal of uniting them to take action against the Sigil-Bearers.
I had you all summoned here because I want to offer you a choice. The recent troubling revelation of these mortals who possess power akin to ours cannot
be allowed to threaten us. I've done what I can to keep them under my observation, but the time has come to take a fresh step. A united front among all
First could withstand any threat. I must reunite Elysia. It will take a strong leader to unite us. Pyrem of Dexter is too hampered by his emotions to rule a rejoined Elysia. I have been content to allow our separation to continue...but no more. You have all sided with me in the past. Show me that same devotion now. All those who willingly provide that which I need will gain favor in my eyes. Consider this carefully...we are all taught to place one's self before all
—to serve me now is to save yourself. Those who cross me or withhold help from me would be wise to remember the...volume
of my anger...the strength of my dungeon walls...and the ferocity of my disappointment. I am the strongest of our House. This is not a boast, but pure fact. You have all felt the sting of my power. Keep in mind the anger
that fuels me. You all owe me. I'm collecting but a small fraction of that debt. If you fail me now...I will
remember. The choice is yours. Back me...or make an enemy of me. Your eyes betray the deadly fire of your hatred. Good
. I'm basking in its warmth. Send me your power. Hate me all you like, but you'll each manifest what's needed...because you really have no choice.
- Altwaal gives one to the First in the final issue. Right after slaying Persha right in front of her parents, no less.
- Screaming Birth: Ingra in CrossGen Chronicles #6.
- Shield Bash: In issue #23, Pyrem pulls this on Ervulsh using Altwaal's Shield.
- Sickly Green Glow: Seahn's eyes glow like this at times. He himself glows like this in issue #29.
- Stripperific: Many of the female First, specifically Ingra and Raamia, wear extremely revealing attire.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Persha is often drawn to resemble her mother Ingra.
- Seahn also resembles Braag, his birth father.
- Take Over the World: Ingra's goal for Elysia.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Braag and Seahn are both tall, muscular and handsome men with dark hair. Justified, since it turns out they're actually father and son.
- Top God: Altwaal is called "the first of the First." It's later revealed that Solusandra created all the First, including Altwaal.
- Touched by Vorlons: Issue #30 reveals that Ingra pulled this on several people on many different worlds.
- True Love's Kiss: Issue #23 ends with this happening between Pyrem and Ingra. After killing Ervulsh, Pyrem and Ingra kiss, and Ingra's attire changes from a black dress that Ervlush forced her to wear to a pink one as this happens.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Altwaal's resurrection of his lover Raamia led to the war among the First.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Seahn, as shown in flashbacks in issue #22.
- The Usurper: Ingra removed Orium from power and took his place as leader of House Sinister. Seahn and Braag later oust Ingra from House Sinister and seize control. Seahn then kills Braag in a crazed rage and takes full leadership over Sinister.
- The Vamp: Ingra uses her feminine wiles to convince Braag, her former lover, to help her take over Elysia and to also encourage Seahn's ambitions of ruling House Dexter. Ingra is also seen trying to seduce Gannish in a flashback; Gannish, however, resists her charms.
- Villainous Cheekbones: Braag has these.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In issue #26, the rest of House Dexter isn't thrilled to see that their leader Pyrem has brought his ex Ingra into their midst.