Volume III of The Spectral Chronicles
. 19 years have passed since the defeat of the Grand Duke Mephistopheles
. Peace has at long last returned to planet Earth. But the Empire of Pandemonium
shall have none of it. A shadowy cult led by two of William/Mephistopheles's sons, Ramirez and Octavius, resurrect the deadliest enemy the Stone Cutters have ever known: the Dark Stone Cutters
. The battle for the safety of the world becomes much harder, as not only must Demetrios and his friends and allies, both old and new, defeat the Dark Stone Cutters. There is one amongst them he and Lily must rescue from their unholy clutches, someone from their past...
This book provides examples of:
- The Alliance: The Stone Cutters and their allies.
- Atlantis: One of the central settings.
- Automaton Horses: Sort of. While the Champions of the Light do go on a very long journey, they stop to rest now and then.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The Dark Stone Cutters' attack on Kingsport goes successfully.
- Blasphemous Boast: A couple of villainous versions. During the attack on Kingsport, the Dark Stone Cutters shout "Even your precious God will fear us!", and during the final battle in Atlantis, Demon Fang tells Zasedis "God shall die!"
- Blood Magic: The curse Anturoc uses on Luke. That is, Anturoc cuts out the part of Luke's spectral body that's analogous to his heart, and plunges a ceremonial dagger into the gemstone to control him and turn him evil.
- Bondage Is Bad: Referenced. Anne-Marie states that she doesn't like it when succubi, such as Naamah, dress up in dominatrix gear since it reflects badly on people who genuinely like it.
- Canon Immigrant: Two villains from a story called Prelude to a Legend, named Arctus and Inderfar Hrishikesh, appear in the service of the Dark Stone Cutters to torment Demetrios and Lily.
- Cult: Ramirez and Octavius's cult, the Hands of Armageddon.
- Cute Monster Girl: The female naga and succubi.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Or, to put it another way, “did you just punch out the seven-headed 10-horned dragon from the Book of Revelation?”
- The Dreaded: The Dark Stone Cutters are this to the Stone Cutters. Lynessa still has bad memories of her husband's fate.
- Earth All Along: Demetrios and Lily's discovery of what the Dark Stone Cutters did to Atlantis almost sends them into a Heroic BSOD.
- Elite Mooks: The Dark Stone Cutters are an entire army of Elite Mooks, especially their four elite knights. This prompts Zasedis and Sastiana to give Demetrios and company new weapons and armor.
- Enemy Civil War: Subverted in that the dark elves are not truly enemies. The Dark Stone Cutters' discord has sent them into a civil war.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Dark Stone Cutters’ evil turned Atlantis into a frozen wasteland that they named Acheron.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The familiars' battle forms (even though only Zephorius's is a true dinosaur, Allosaurus; Darulai's is a Megaloceros and Xeoiphe's is a Deinosuchus). In addition, when Atlantis is revived, the continent becomes populated with dinosaurs, while Plesiosaurus and Mosasaurus ride the seas again.
- Harmless Freezing: Well, Anne-Marie freezes the cursed Luke in place to prevent him from causing harm. While casting it, she says "I’m sorry, Luke; you’ll thank me later."
- Horse of a Different Color: In addition to the Cool Horses, winged or otherwise, dragons, white elephants, and gryphons, some of the Champions of the Light have unusual mount choices.
- Princess Lily: The guardian tiger statue at the vampire's temple, which she named Asekael, meaning "protector" in Angelic.
- Anna: A raven the size of a water buffalo named Taeria.
- Michael: A Spanish fighting bull named Víctor.
- Ruby: A Sika deer named Arata.
- Aristotle: A bongo antelope named Themba.
- Arcturus: A black rhinoceros named Samson.
- Rosemary: A grey wolf named Bardou.
- Dante: A lion named Hercules.
- Seros: A jaguar named Firar.
- Uridera: A serpent gargoyle named Ixolikar.
- The Horde: The Dark Stone Cutters and their allies.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Demetrios and Max try this a couple of times on the brainwashed Luke. Sadly, it does not work.
- Irony: Back in Dawn Of A New Century, Amare hoped the future wouldn’t be dark and edgy like the science fiction movies became starting in 2000. No thanks to the Dark Stone Cutters, he did not get his wish.
- Kick the Dog: The Dark Stone Cutters do plenty of it in Kingsport. Sastiana prevents a later one by evacuating the farm and zoo animals along with the civilians. As she puts it, the Dark Stone Cutters would attack them to demoralize the Stone Cutters.
- Lovecraft Country: Kingsport, Massachusetts is featured. Only it gets attacked by the Dark Stone Cutters instead of Eldritch Abominations. Innsmouth also gets mentioned.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Zasedis and Anturoc are this to each other, as the former is the latter's older brother.
- Overlord Jr.: Ramirez and Octavius are the sons of William, a.k.a. Mephistopheles.
- Rearing Horse: Frederick actually uses this as a combat technique.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Subverted. Zephorius and Xeoiphe are very heroic in addition to friendly and willing familiars. The dinosaurs reappearing on Atlantis is a sign that the continent is healed.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Dark Stone Cutters, in probably the biggest can there is: Atlantis/Acheron.
- Society Marches On: Invoked. While exploring the jungles of India, Frederick notes that in the past, such as the 18th Century he originally hailed from, tropical rainforests were regarded with fear instead of wonder.
- Swamps Are Evil: Subverted. When Atlantis is revived, a swamp resembling the Florida Everglades marks the location the demon Xelriel fell. As Lily puts it, from death came life.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The seven angelic weapons.
- Violently Protective Wife: It's during Demetrios and Lily's fight with Inderfar that Lily's phoenix spell first comes forth.
- Wedding Day: The chapter towards the end "White Roses" starts with this. Anne-Marie and Lynessa get married.