A Graphic Novel by Brian Tarsis. It starts out as being purely about romance and sex between the protagonist Jennifer and her lover, a woman who call herself Valeria. Taking place in what appears to be a mundane setting, the story gradually shifts to fantasy as Jennifer gradually starts seeing The Masquerade. What is Valeria, really... a wonderful superbeing, a human dabbling in the occult, or some kind of Eldritch Abomination?
Has Examples of
- Bi the Way: Jennifer.
- Bondage Is Bad: The path Morlith is on.
- Casual Kink: The relationship between Jennifer and Valeria.
- Caught Up in the Rapture: In one particularly hilarious scene, Valeria is on a plane, worrying about Jennifer. Next to her sits a very boring old lady, but luckily it's time to get off the plane. Valeria eschews material existence and phases out of the plane, leaving her clothes behind in an empty chair. As her spirit form levitates away from the plane, the old lady screams "She was sitting right here, talking to me! It's the rapture! Why didn't you take me, Lord? WHY?"
- Ethical Slut: Valeria's lifestyle by the beginning of the story. Then she gets the very bad idea of trying monogamy. This is inherently a threat to her own life, being the kind of creature that she is, and opens her up to an attack that puts her lover in harm's way. Jennifer appreciates the monogamy, but that's without knowing the risks that comes with it. She imply that she would never have accepted that Valeria made this sacrifice for her, had she known what it meant.
- Eldritch Abomination: Morlith adopts this role to scare Jennifer.
- Gender Bender: The shapeshifters seamlessly transitions between male, female and hemaphrodite.
- Love Redeems: Or does it? And in either case, does Redemption Equals Death? These questions are debated throughout the final chapters, and eventually answered.
- The Masquerade: Valeria posing as a regular human, Morlith posing as a God. Other masquerading creatures implied to exist as well, but are not part of the story.
- Our Vampires Are Different: A kind of ancient creatures called the Malkuri, feeding on the pain of mortals. It is hinted that regular blood-drinking vampires also exist within the setting.
- Path of Inspiration: The faith started by Morlith, feeding his monstrous appetite.
- Redemption Equals Death: See Love Redeems above.
- Sexual Extortion: A side character tries this on Valeria, with little sucess.
- Unsexy Sadist: Played for laughs with some of Morlith's most bizarre henchmen.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Malkuri can take on any form they desire. But what are their true forms?