Literature / Deepgate Codex

A series of steampunk-fantasy novels by Alan Campbell, previously a member of the team who created the Grand Theft Auto games.

Taking place in a particularly Crapsack World, the series begins in the peculiar city of Deepgate, a town built on a series of chains that span a vast abyss. Over three thousand years ago, the goddess who reigns over Heaven sealed it against humankind, damning all souls to Hell. Seven of her sons rebelled against her, and after a long war, they were cast out of Heaven as well. The oldest of those gods, Ulcis, is said to reside in the abyss below Deepgate; its church worships him, and the dead of Deepgate are sent down to him to give him an army for his second rebellion. After all, if your choice is to be the minion of a fallen god or to go to Hell, the former probably sounds like a much better idea.

Of course, not everyone is particularly supportive of this idea. The Heshette, desert tribes who live outside of Deepgate, still worship the goddess and consider the people of the city to be the worst of heretics; the tribes and the city have been warring off and on for the past several centuries. Deepgate has been able to stay independent because of the power of the Spine—emotionless assassins specializing in poison—and Ulcis' archons, battle angels who have lived in the city since its creation.

At the outset of the series, though, the archons have been dwindling in number, and Deepgate has come to rely on airship technology for their wars instead. Only two angels remain: One is sixteen-year-old Dill, who has lived a cloistered life in Deepgate's church, forbidden even from learning how to fly. He's pretty frustrated with the times having shunted him aside, and would love his own chance for adventure. His wish is granted when the church higher-ups assign Rachel, a scapegoat Spine, to teach him about combat—just when strange happenings have started to occur across the city.

Oh, and have we mentioned yet that the only other angel is an Ax-Crazy serial murderer who's been the scourge of Deepgate for the past three thousand years?

The Deepgate Codex series has four installments upon its conclusion this year: the three main books Scar Night, Iron Angel, and God of Clocks, as well as the novella Lye Street, which explores a bit of Carnival's past and introduces the Greene family. Interviews with the author can be found here and here.

The Deepgate Codex utilizes these tropes:


Alternative Title(s): Scar Night

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