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Literature / A Net of Dawn and Bones

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A Net of Dawn and Bones is the first published work of original fiction by C. Chancy (known to the fan fiction community as Vathara).

Welcome to Intrepid, North Carolina. Where autumn brings leaf season, tourists, and bloody sacrifice. Twenty years have passed since the Dark Day brought creatures of horror onto the evening news. Now vampires run nightclubs, alchemists deal potions on the street corners, and werewolf gangs lay claim to shady alleys.

The honest cops of Intrepid enforce human laws on supernatural evil, and pray. Because the turn of the leaves brings Halloween, tourists... and the return of a serial killer who’s plagued Intrepid for over two decades. Yet the night holds darker secrets than even the best detectives have unearthed. Somewhere in Intrepid, a demonic sorcerer plans to bring Hell on earth. And the Demongate is almost complete.


In the midst of a stakeout gone wrong, two mysterious wanderers drop into Detective Church’s life. Aidan, who moves like flames and holds secrets in his shadows... and Myrrh, a holy warrior born of ancient Alexandria. Enchantress. Heretic. Hell-raider. Welcome to Intrepid. Evil’s in for a hell of a night....

The Amazon pages can be found here.

The sequel, Seeds of Blood, was released on September 9, 2017.


A Net of Dawn and Bones and ''Seeds of Blood' provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Sword Aariel pats Aidan’s head after revealing that he is the latter’s father.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: A Demongate in the town of Intrepid, North Carolina.
  • All There in the Manual: Many background details about the nature of magic and other tidbits can be found on the author's blog.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Church deals with werewolves and vampires while on the police force and her best friend is a gorgon. She doesn't believe O'Malley when he says that hell and demons do exist. They just prefer it that people don't know they're there as it makes it easier to operate out in the world.
    • Pointed out by Aidan in regards to Raphael.
    “You turn into a werewolf, there’s a vampire club downtown, and you don’t think demons are real?”
  • Archangel Michael: Mentioned as providing divine protection for police from evil. The malursine cannot even touch Church while she has her police badge on her
  • Astrology: Wizadry involves the use of this.
  • Aura Vision: Anyone who has come back from the dead has this, enabling them to see souls through the trappings of bodies. This is referred to as an extension of spiritual senses: in Hell there is nothing else to see with except the spirit.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The local vampire coven operates out of one. The local werewolf pack also frequents it.
  • Bar Brawl: Some vampires start this instead of giving up information. It would have gone better for them if they hadn't been fighting an 1800 year old demon slayer and a half-demon trained by one of the most feared demons in Hell. A Curbstomp Battle ensues.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The Malursine demon, an enormous demonic bear that spews corrosive gas and is immune to bullets. It is flammable though, much to Aidan’s delight.
  • Big Good: O’Malley believes there is one. Going by Myrrh’s effectiveness, he’s probably right. Of course, for most lost souls and mortals, Myrrh is this.
  • Black Magic: Steven does a lot of this. Including and not limited to: Summoning demons, opening hellgates, compelling beings, human sacrifice, etc. All black magic seems to be unlawful at that and aims to hurt someone else.
  • Blood Magic: Being related by blood certainly makes it easier for certain types of magic to be used on someone. Also used to summon and contain demons, and it's implied it must be fresh blood. It's most likely a type of Black Magic in this 'verse. Vampire also make use of it.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Aidan is not convinced that he will not be on the receiving end of one of these if he goes into a church. Despite his fears, it doesn't happen.
  • Broken Masquerade / The Unmasqued World: Played with/invoked. A partial breaking of the masquerade was specifically set up by Steven while Myrrh and Aidan are in hell. Neither of them are happy about it. As it is, humans think they know what’s out there, but there’s plenty more…
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Averted. While Father O’Malley is a Catholic, Myrrh and the hell-raider sect existed before the Catholic Church, and are Gnostics.
  • City of Adventure: What do you expect from a town called Intrepid?
  • Clothing Damage: Defied with Myrrh’s shadow-shift. Any damage that is caused to it instantly repairs itself.
  • Cold Iron: Works to short out magic from both demonic and fay sources, for different reasons. It works against fay magic because it is the work of humans, while it targets infernal magic due to being forged in the heart of stars. Myrrh muses that it is probably the reason that the two got confused.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Demons in Hell apparently indulge in this. Myrrh notes that Aidan knows all of the punishments and tortures a soul can endure while still existing, because he has experienced them.
  • Colony Drop: Divine wrath is closely associated with this; Myrrh argues that Gomorroh was destroyed because of a meteor while being on a plain filled with natural gas. Stimson mentions a bodhisattva in Mughal India “prayed for iron from beyond the stars” which was passed down through genetic memory.
    • At the climax of Seeds of Blood Myrrh brings down a satellite imbued with celestial magic on the Demongate with the aid of Sister Usagi and Church’s NASA wrench.
  • Cool Shades: Discussed by Myrrh and Aidan. Specifically that they ought to have them.
  • Cool Sword: The sword of light Myrrh is capable of calling upon. It is so powerful that it kills the computers the Big Bad tries to use to find her.
  • Church Militant: The hell-raiser sect are an early branch of Christianity that predate the Catholic Church, and steal the souls of the innocent from Hell.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Christophe Savonarola was slowly tortured to death by his younger brother, first by peeling back the skin and muscles before starting on the less vital organs, to be used to power the foundations of the Demongate. The footage of it horrified the detectives of the Intrepid Police Department, started riots in the streets and sent the newly resurrected Aidan into a Heroic BSoD.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Mentioned off hand that all the churches, in a rare agreement, hunted down all the master vampires possessing knowledge of the demonic pacts enabling this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Myrrh and Aidan. Probably because they're used to dealing with much more dangerous things then most people.
  • Deal with the Devil: Jeremiah Savonarola was impotent, thus he made a deal with Yaldabaoth in order to have an heir. He got two children, and the younger one killed him.
  • Demonic Possession: Several members of Personnel Standards are possessed and sent to apprehend Myrrh and Aidan.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The hawthorne and silver bullets Church uses, capable of harming vampires and werewolves. They require a permit to use.
  • Destructive Savior: Why Myrrh and Usagi veto summoning a deva to potentially deal with an asura in Seeds of Blood. It would probably work, but the collateral damage would probably wipe out Intrepid.
  • Devoured by the Horde: The fate of the barbweasel tangle when an infuriated Aidan uses enchanting for the first time to set a horde of vermin on them.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Phoebe Savonorola figured out that Yaldabaoth and Aariel had tricked her husband, so she decided to scam them right back by naming her son Christophe. Aariel respects her for it.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Steven got a bit of a shock when the circle made specifically to bind the “Son of Yaldabaoth” doesn’t bind Aidan like he anticipated.
  • Dirty Cop: Church’s partner Tom Franklin. It turns out that being a dirty cop voids the protection Archangel Michael sets on all police and makes them vulnerable to demons.
  • Disappears into Light: What happens to a hell-raider’s body when they are killed, leaving behind only the skull and whatever they were carrying that was not meant to go with them. Considering their bodies are literally constructed from dawnlight, it makes sense.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Aidan point blank accuses Raphael of being a junkie, always looking for the next high and not being able to stop.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: By the time it comes to facing Steven, Myrrh has already used up the majority of her power attacking the Demongates foundations when not fully recovered from previous overextension, while Aidan’s fire magic is still not recovered from being attacked by Sympathetic Magic. On the other side, Steven is suffering from magical backlash caused by Myrrh.
  • The Dreaded: The hell-raiders. Father O’Malley states that if any of them still walked the Earth then the Dark Day would never have happened. Lower level demons seem to exist in fear of them. Non-agressive supernatural creatures fear them for an entirely different reason: hell-raiders only tend to appear when something is badly wrong.
  • Elemental Powers: Magery is based on this. Aidan is a fire mage.
  • End of the World: Played with. Myrrh states flat-out that the Demongate opening is not The End but given the probable fall-out, it’s definitely a runner-up.
  • Evil Brit: Steven’s demonic butler adopts the persona of one. He turns out to be a rakshasa.
  • Exact Words: Enchantment runs on this. Sorcerer's use this to keep their summoned spirits in line.
  • The Fair Folk: One of the four main sources of power is fay magic. Mentioned in some of the side material on the author’s blog, before being referred to more closely in Seeds of Blood. Creatures that are fay are Other, and often have Master of Illusion powers. Redcaps, elves and rakshasas are examples of creatures that fall under the general umbrella of fay, as do Half-Human Hybrids and normal mortals driven insane by contact with them. Aidan admits that some of the fay on earth are okay as long as you don’t cross them. The Fay Lords on the other hand
    • Myrrh notes that the only real difference between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are that they appear at different times of year and the former leave slightly prettier corpses.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Sorcerers are using tech to automate chants, there's a least four different power sources (diabolical, terrestrial, fey, and celestial) and at least three different religions all have working magic based from them.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Myrrh and Aidan mention that they should get them in A Net of Dawn and Bones. Cue Seeds of Blood, where they along with Church and Sister Usagi end up wearing them for the drinking contest with Ahi.
  • Flipping the Bird: Myrrh does this to the Lord of Midges as she escapes from Hell.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Myrrh and Aidan are resurrected at the end of the first chapter of ''A Net of Dawn and Bones]].
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place. A few examples are below.
    • Myrhh notes in A Net Of Dawn and Bone that meteor strikes are indicative of divine wrath. Usagi in Seeds of Blood also notes that sages can call down starfire to smite the forces of evil. It turns out to be the only available option to destroy the activated Demongate.
    • When brainstorming on how to fight an asura, Aidan mentions that while they are in a giant stone form the cracks needed to move are vulnerable. Steven later severs Lord Ahi’s spine by a sneak attack by targeting that same weakness.
    • Myrrh observes in A Net of Dawn and Bones that Aidan’s essence is both fire and shadows. Church complains that shadows seem to cling to him when he doesn’t want to be seen. Towards the climax of Seeds of Blood, knowing that Aariel would be able to cancel out his fire, Aidan succeeds in temporarily binding both Aariel and Yaldabaoth with shadows.
  • Functional Magic: There are four main types of magic available to humans, and four main sources of power which have their own strengths and weaknesses.
    • Sorcery is theurgy based off gaining power from spirits through the use of persuading, coercing or creating other beings to do one's will. It requires a lot of preparation in order to use and is the easiest to turn to dark purposes, though benevolent wielders do exist.
    • Magecraft is Inherent Gift that cannot be taught to people who aren’t born with it, and is relatively rare and the fastest kind of magic. It is magic tied to elements and the cycles of the world and is often indicative that there has been ancestral contact with powerful beings. Examples are Aidan’s fire magic inherited from his demonic father, and Steven's water magic from his mother's Finwife ancestry. Having one type of magecraft may prevent the emergence of another type, as Steven laments that his water magecraft makes it all but impossible to access the fire magecraft from his father's side.
    • Wizardry can be learned or inborn. It deals with astrology, patterns and numbers as well as the use of symbols to cause effects. It is apparently complicated to decipher, and is also related to seers and diviners.
    • Enchanting is related to name magic and invoking truths about the universe in order to achieve the desired end. It is difficult to master, but also swiftly invoked with practice. Myrrh uses biblical verses in various combinations.
  • Glamour Failure: Myrrh and Aidan, who’ve died, can see what vampires really are. Not pretty.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: We can’t say, we never see Coral’s face.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Played with. Normal ammunition does nothing more than irritate most demons and vampires. Depleted Phlebotinum Shells on the other hand are highly effective.
    • Averted in Seeds of Blood in regards to rakshasas. One unfortunate rakshasa accidentally attacked a group of armed NRA members and found itself quickly taken care of.
  • He Knows Too Much: Sword Aariel kills a barbweasel demon after it overhears his conversation with Steven when he is accused of conspiring with Myrrh.
  • Heal It with Fire: Myrrh collects some of Aidan’s fire to cure a woman of lycanthropy in Seeds of Blood after she was freshly bitten, along with holy water and blood. The process isn't pretty.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Healing magic is mentioned by one of the doctors at Sacred Heart as being difficult at the best of times, and needs a lot of preparation time for even minor healers to accomplish anything. Myrrh being able to heal a brain injury perfectly in an instant is considered utterly terrifying by the doctor as a result.
  • Hellgate: The Demongates, vast sorcerous constructions built from Human Sacrifice and evil acts that allow demons to invade Earth from Hell with impunity. They are relatively rare because the knowledge and patience required to create a gate isn’t something most sorcerers can manage, but the last few times that one has been completed, it has caused catastrophe to occur. The Big Bad is trying to create a new one in Intrepid, and has had twenty-odd years to build the foundations. Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, it opens on Halloween during Seeds of Blood, before being destroyed by celestially powered Colony Drop.
  • The Heretic: The hell-raiders sect is not exactly popular with other branches of Christianity due to severe disagreements about religious doctrine.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Hunters were blamed for a series of deaths, starting with Christophe Savonarola, and are generally considered in a low light.
  • Hidden Supplies: Myrrh had a bunch of supplies placed in a safety deposit box in Intrepid, then warded it to the brim. She is infuriated when she finds out that the vampires tried to get in.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Celestial magic, which is associated with the divine, heavens, stars and radiation (including light). It is conducted by silver and blocked by lead.
  • Human Sacrifice: Part of what builds a Demongate. Also the cause of Aidan's original death.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Myrrh believes that out of all beings born in the world, only two were without sin: the Virgin Mary and Jesus. That is all. The rest just have to do the best they can.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Wailing Plains in Hell
  • I Know Your True Name: You can do a lot of nasty things with a person’s true name.
    • For a start, it allows for demons or souls to be summoned and bound. Interestingly, one cannot merely discover a human's name in order to pull nasty tricks on them, that specific person has to "give" - as in speak - it to someone, who "gives" it to someone else, before being received by a sorceror. As Church has an Embarrassing First Name, she is on a Last-Name Basis with everyone, which makes her very difficult to curse, possess, or otherwise screw with.
    • Knowledge of names and the ability to use them was a key aspect of the enchantment used by the ancient Egyptians and Myrrh.
    Sword Aariel “The magic of Egypt that was knew the names as the essence of the world, in a way few have ever known it. To know the truth of a name, was to be able to command gods”
    • In Seeds of Blood Usagi notes that knowing Steven’s name, when he doesn’t know hers, will give her an edge in deflecting his magic.
  • The Immune: Myrrh bluntly states that the werewolf curse cannot affect her, in flesh or spirit form. Sword Aariel mentions that darkness cannot normally take a hold on the souls of saints.
    • Aidan gets the same immunity after being resurrected, as the construct body isn't directly linked to his soul.
  • Instant Web Hit: The epilogue reveals that the video of Myrrh dusting vampires in Nightsong has gone viral. Seeds of Blood reveals that Coral was responsible for it. Despite vampire attempts to get it removed, Coral keeps putting it up with different accounts and others have already copied it.
    • A darker variant is when Stimson uploads the video of Steven killing Christophe, knowing that it will go viral. It ends up sending Aidan into a Heroic BSoD and ends up sparking riots to use the resulting negative emotions to feed the Demongate.
  • Insult to Rocks: Father Ricci observes that he has all the magical sensitivity of a rock, and that it might be an insult to the rock.
  • Invisible to Normals: Reality is made up of different layers, and beings existing on some of the layers may not be visible to normal people. If you do see them, it is generally their Berserk Button.
  • Jesus Taboo: Averted. The demons like to refer to him as He Who Shattered The Gates (of Hell). Myrrh refers to him constantly.
  • Kill 'Em All: Apparently a bad habit of Muslim Hunters: if there is a town with a vampire hiding in it, they would think nothing of burning the whole town. Myrrh states she dislikes working with them for this reason.
  • Laser Blade: Myrrh can summon a blade made from pure sunlight and celestial magic capable of tearing through demons with little trouble.
  • Last of Her Kind: By the time of the novel, the hell-raiders seem to have vanished from the Earth with the exception of Myrhh, who was trapped in hell at the time. It is pointed out that there were never many hell-raiders in the first place.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Myrrh provides details about magic and the supernatural to Aidan and Church through the first book, then to the Intrepid Police Department in Seeds of Blood.
  • Locked into Strangeness: After Aidan gained fire magery, his hair turned red and his eyes are now amber.
  • Loophole Abuse: All over the place. Exact Words tend to be important for magic. While in Hell Aidan was tasked to specifically look for loopholes in people’s contracts, something he deeply regrets.
    • In A Net of Dawn and Bones Aidan states that nobody leaves Hell alive. Myrrh notes that they are technically dead so that loophole is quite open for abuse.
    • In Seeds of Blood, Myrrh challenges the asura Lord Ahi to a drinking contest at a meadery with herself, Aidan, Church and Sister Usagi to see who can consume the most. Aidan burns all the alcohol in the mead, consuming the power, and when he is called on it points out that he is technically obeying the rules.
  • Lost Technology: Well, Lost Magic. The art of trapping Hell lightning to use as a power source was wiped out by Hunters on Earth. Unfortunately, they had no way of destroying the information in the libraries of Hell.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Sword Aariel reveals that he is Aidan’s father, not Yaldabaoth.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The magic systems are well thought out and are very consistent. This is a hold-over from the author fixing Plot Holes in her fan-fiction.
  • Magic Librarian: Some of the librarians at Intrepid’s university have a certain degree of knowledge of the occult and during the opening of the Demongate use runes to protect the university from assault.
  • Magic Music: One of the ways enchantment may be used. Myrrh triggers a Colony Drop by singing “Oh Night Divine”.
  • Magical Gesture: The Abhayamudra, the Buddhist handsign to ward off evil influences, actually does work to repel demons. It also works on anyone with demonic heritage.
  • Magical Incantation: Enchantment requires this. Myrrh uses these for all of her magic, preferring biblical verses or Psalms when she needs to pull out the big guns.
  • Magically Binding Contract: All contracts according to demons. There is a reason none of them want a copy of the American Constitution down in Hell.
  • Medicate the Medium: A common problem; psychiatry has had more trouble adapting to the Dark Day then law enforcement, which is a Bad Thing when there actually are evil spirits and fairies screwing with people For the Evulz. Therapists who don't give their patients strong drugs when they complain about supernatural pranks is assisting in "hate speech" against "persecuted supernaturals." When forced to choose between losing their jobs and pumping the victims of supernatural crimes full of dangerous chemicals, simple selection pressure has ensured that All Therapists Are Muggles. Thus everyone fears and hates therapists because...
    Church: You have any idea what psychiatric meds do to someone who’s not crazy?”
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Not between different styles of magic, but between the Elemental Powers of magecraft from different sources. Steven’s possession of water magery from his mother’s Finfolk blood seems to prevent him from accessing any potential fire magery from his demonic father’s side.
  • Mundane Utility: Myrrh uses her celestially powered enchanting, what is essentially low level reality warping, to cause a Dark Lives Matter mob protesting a police funeral to run into the reporters covering the funeral because she was furious they would be so disrespectful.
  • Must Be Invited: Demons cannot enter a household without invitation. According to Aariel, if you smash the house to pieces then the threshold doesn’t matter anymore. An unwelcome threshold when invited, while allowing them to enter, will cause temporary instability in a demon’s physical form.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: He Who Shattered the Gates, or Jesus Christ.
  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Myrrh takes Steven’s last blast of magic at the end of A Net of Dawn and Bones knowing that she will be able to resurrect herself in a few hours.
  • No Ontological Inertia: A justified example. When Myrrh destroys the Demongate with a Colony Drop, the demons are all drawn back into Hell because the Gate was the only thing allowing them to be on Earth.
  • Noodle Incident: Too many to count. Myrrh and Aidan make references to things that happened in Hell and Myrrh makes references to things that happened over the course of her very long life.
  • Not That Kind of Mage: Sorcerers - Latin root; "sors" meaning "lots" AKA "one who casts lots", as in "one who seals fates" - are the only type of magic user known widely in The Unmasqued World and have a terrible reputation, to the point that accusing somebody of being one can be taken as slander. Being called a sorcerer by Church disturbs Aidan, a fire mage, and Myrrh eventually explains the differences between the different types of magic users to Church.
  • Oh, Crap!: The malursine has one when it realises that it is dawn, and a hell-raider’s skull has just been released. It immediately leaves a couple of downed cops in a panic.
  • The Older Immortal: Countess Nuria Cruz, the leader of Intrepid’s vampire coven, is less than 300 years old. Myrrh has been around for about 18 centuries, and Coral is at least 2000 years old.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are low-level demons possessing the bodies of the people they killed. They've got the usual Super Strength, Super Speed, Mind Manipulation and the need to drink blood. Getting stabbed with wood merely forces them out of the body they're possessing and the only ways to really kill them for good is the Kill It with Fire and direct sunlight methods.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: There's a few different varieties mentioned but the ones that appear in the work are the result of demonic interference. Getting bitten by a werewolf will turn a person into one and changing shape is voluntary. Silver is a weakness as usual. It's mentioned that good werewolves do exist and spend their talents hunting down murderers and the like. Werewolves caused by the curse of a saint are also mentioned, but don't doom their victims to Hell. They don't have the usual demonic weakness to Cold Iron, because the iron in human blood cancels out the impact.
    • There is an offhand reference to a cannibalistic were-leopard cult in Africa.
  • Paper Talisman: In Seeds of Blood Usagi uses a set of ofuda that bind a rakshasa’s soul to its current form so it wouldn’t have its soul ripped away remotely. Myrrh later uses a stack of waterproof ones covered in hieroglyphs to create the equivalent of a minefield to prevent any demons from killing an unconscious Aidan.
  • Personality Powers: A plot point, Elemental Powers impact on the wielder: fire for instance is associated with passion.
  • Phlebotinum Battery: Elemental mages' like being around their element because of this. Aidan, a fire mage, likens burning things to having a cup of coffee.
    • Steven has alchemical batteries running on trapped Hell lightning that he uses to boost his powers beyond what even a half-demon should be able to manage.
  • Police Are Useless: Played with in regards to the Intrepid Police Department. The police are willing to listen to Myrrh and Aidan side of the story and then do something about it. Especially as it helps fit in the gaps on a 25-year-old unsolved murder case. On the other hand, they admit that they are firmly outgunned by supernatural forces and that they struggle to deal with magic. By Seeds of Blood they are aiming to avert this by learning everything they can from Myrrh. While they don't do so well in the first rakshasa attack, while armed with lenses capable of seeing through the illusions they do far better.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Using recordings of chants to open a Demongate works just as well as doing real-life chants.
    • The Big Bad uses computers to detect magic use.
  • Power Nullifier: Striking a werewolf on the head with a specially blessed iron nail or knife will knock them out of wolf form and prevent them from using their powers until the wound stops bleeding, which is more effective because it also nullifies their Healing Factor.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: A result of over-using magic. Myrrh ends up blacking out after using most of her power to escape Hell then performing a major healing.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: It's possible to make spells more powerful by using other people's souls to power them. Steven wanted to use Aidan for this, but that ritual went wrong. The Demongate itself is powered by Human Sacrifice, negative emotions and suffering.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: The Great Fire of London and the 1692 Jamaican Earthquake were both the result of Demongates opening while being opposed. The 1257 Mount Rinjani explosion was the last Demongate to open unopposed, and while it was later sealed it still released enough curses to cause the catastrophes that occurred in the next few centuries, including the Black Death.
  • Reality Ensues: By the beginning of Seeds of Blood Church is placed on administrative leave due to having opened fire on the werewolf pack in the previous book. Even though she was attacked, the Intrepid Police Department still needs to investigate a shooting by an officer that caused several deaths.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Intrepid Police Department’s Captain Sheridan is more than happy to listen to her officers opinions and calmly offers counterpoints while accepting logical arguments.
  • Religion Is Magic: Myrrh's magic is essentially this. We also hear that magic is now being taught in seminaries/nunneries and that Shinto and voodoo work. Myrrh specifically mentions learning from the priestesses of Isis.
    • Seeds of Blood introduces Buddhist Sister Usagi who uses Buddhist scripture and specialises in dealing with rakshasas.
  • Rerouted from Heaven: Souls killed by werewolves or other demonic creatures and those used as human sacrifices are forced to Hell despite many being innocent. These are the souls that the hell-raiders steal from Hell.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Myrrh can resurrect herself when the light of dawn touches the skull she leaves behind when she dies, as can other hell-raiders. The problem comes if somebody seals it away where the dawn cannot reach it, then she is trapped in Hell until is it unsealed. It is implied to have been a power used by all the hell-raiders to escape Hell with their stolen souls.
  • Ritual Magic: Sorcery makes use of this to summon the most powerful spirits.
  • Seen It All: Aidan initially pretends to be this, but Myrrh wryly points out that his reactions show just how young he actually is.
  • Ship Sinking: Myrrh ends any chance of herself and Aidan getting together in Seeds of Blood, the latter is still traumatised from Hell and trying to readjust to life on Earth while she cannot be with anybody due to her religious beliefs.
  • Shout-Out:
    Water should always conquer fire.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Silver easily conducts celestial energy, making it ideal to use on creatures of infernal origin.
  • Simplified Spellcasting: Myrrh’s immense knowledge and experience of how the world work lets her essentially create shortcuts to allow her magic to work much more swiftly than a normal enchanter.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Defied by the Church. Apparently, they have sheltered children of demons before.
    Father O’Malley: “The sins of the father do not descend upon the son. You are responsible for your own salvation; by your deeds, and your heart.”
  • Soul Eating: Sword Aariel mentions interest in doing this to any of Steven’s minions that die, and this seems to be one of the ways a soul can be prevented from being summoned from Hell.
  • The Soulsaver: The M.O. for Hell-raiders, they save innocent souls from the depths of Hell.
  • Speak of the Devil: Myrrh is very careful to separate the letters of Sword Aariel’s name when discussing him with Aidan in the hospital for this reason, trying not to invoke it as a Name.
  • Summon Magic: Sorcery is this. It seems to take a lot of preparation and willpower to keep the spirits that are summoned bound to the summoner's will.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: A common ability among magic users, though the degree to which they can use it varies. Because the methods individuals use to expand their senses to the frequencies of reality often specialise in one type of magic over others they may not be as capable of picking up other kinds of magic. Someone used to sensing demonic auras might miss fay energy that is right in front of them, and someone who works with elements might miss a saint. Myrrh could figure out the age of a vampire simply by examining the spellwork and amount of blood magic worked into the spells, but admitted that Aidan was probably more able to sense the underling status of the Demongate than she was.
  • Sympathetic Magic: Effigy magic, considered to be under the general umbrella of enchantment. Steven almost manages to kill Aidan by burning his true names with magical fire, which worked because Aidan’s core is fire and shadow.
  • Take That!: Myrrh notes that the foundations of the Demongate in Hell mean that someone on Earth is doing terrible things. Aidan immediately asks if they are looking at the underside of Washington D.C.
  • Taking the Bullet: Myrrh takes the brunt of Steven’s blast when he goes through his Villainous Breakdown, freezing her body and eventually causing her death. Of course, she has Resurrective Immortality so it doesn’t keep her down for long.
  • That One Case: The Intrepid Police Department’s is the Christophe Savonarola case. Both Captain Sheridan and her predecessor suspected that there was more to it than they had managed to discover.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Anybody who's had anything to do with demons seems to like this. Probably because demons are really hard to kill in the first place.
    • Quoted word for word by Coral, who notes that it is the best way to kill a hell-raider. Myrrh’s last death involved being lured into combat with a sorcerer summoning a demon, then derailing a train filled with chlorine gas specifically enchanted to find lungs and kill people on top of her.
    • In Seeds of Blood Myrrh’s ideal solution to killing a werewolf that is well-fed and under the full moon without access to a bane: either hit them enough to overwhelm the curse… or blow them up with C4.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. If an enemy will not reform or get out of her way, Myrrh will kill them with few regrets. There is a big line between this and flat out murder in a magical sense.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Aidan doesn't awaken his demonic heritage until he's been tortured in hell for a significant length of time. Halo didn't get his visions until he was chased by a hellhound.
  • Trial by Friendly Fire: Myrrh is forced to use a Holy Hand Grenade Colony Drop to sear the Demongate closed, knowing that it might seriously injure or kill an already weakened Aidan.
  • True Sight: A few varieties.
    • Some, like Church, are born with the Second Sight which helps to see through some illusions and greater ease in detecting minor details.
    • Those who have died and come back to life see the world differently, being able to perceive souls through human flesh and magic. Additionally, they can see through vampiric glamours and hear their true voices.
    • Specialized lenses can be made to assist seeing through illusions with having access to either of the above, but tend to be specialized to see through different phases.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Not a problem for Myrrh, who has done it before and still has contacts and reliable documentation. Aidan on the other hand has slightly more trouble. Mainly because he was a murder victim. And his original body still exists.
  • Vampires Own Nightclubs: Nuria Cruz's coven owns the Nightsong.
  • Vampiric Draining: Demons eat life energy. There is a reason one of the signs of a sleeping vampire is dying crops. It is also why blood from blood banks is essentially useless for them, despite them spreading the myth that they can live off. Aidan admits that even he can do it, though he can get the energy from fire instead.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Major background to the plot. Church thinks Myrrh is doing this at the start.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The vampires slammed any attempt to present them as negative in the media, and ended up having any Hunters who went after them jailed for hate crimes. They perceive humanity as being less than them and see them as little more than cattle.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Referred to In-Universe as banes, most supernatural beings and all four magic sources have them. The trick is figuring out what the creature is so that the appropriate bane can be used. They also vary in how much damage they do, with general banes such as Cold Iron hurting on contact but not being lethal unless they strike a vital part, to each type of fay having a specific fatal weakness. Attacking with a bane is a Berserk Button to supernatural beings, so using a non-lethal bane without a followup is a very bad idea.
    • Infernal magic is blocked by Cold Iron, due to iron being born from stars and associated with the heavens. Meteoric iron has an even greater effect and is considered by Myrrh to be the best weapon to use against demons.
    • Fay magic is weak to human manufactured iron specifically, Myrrh muses that they can wield meteoric iron.
    • Celestial magic, associated with stars, light and the heavens is blocked by lead. According to the author’s blog it is related to how lead blocks radiation and being associated with the infernal depths of the earth.
  • White Magic: Healing magic is mentioned as are wards for keeping evil out of places. All of Myrrh's abilities are probably this as well with Good Is Not Nice being in full effect.
  • World of Snark: It’s written by Vathara, did you expect anything else?
  • Zombie Advocate: Apparently the ACLU was responsible for several important cases regarding Vampires. Seeds of Blood introduces Dark Lives Matter.

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