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Literature / Geist Prelude

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"As with all such stories, it began with a nightmare."

Welcome to your innermost world....
The Impresario
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Geist is an ongoing Dark/Urban Fantasy series of novels by Fallon O’Neill, debuting in 2018. Stitching themes and tropes from German Expressionism onto an Eastern RPG plot, the series is a particularly brutal deconstruction of "portal fantasy." Its premise is simple yet odd enough: Victor Roland, a high-functioning autistic, gets dragged into his own dark, gothic world....Or does he? Regardless, it gets real weird, real fast.

Geist: Prelude begins with a series of grisly murders, in the industrial metropolis of Holy Gothica. While investigating the latest death, Ser Hector Thaddeus and Walter Leng are reassigned to hunt down an "outsider" spotted near a crime scene. Cut to Victor, who learns of portals in televisions, where daemons lurk in an abyss shrouded in fog, and emerge when blackouts wrack the city. After being Mistaken for Murderer, Victor slowly develops a dysfunctional friendship with his captors. Together, they face hordes of lepers, an Obstructive Bureaucracy, and the seedy underworld of Yoshiwara. However, when Victor discovers that his friends from "reality," Charles Garner and Beatrice Morrison, are lost in the city as well, he resolves to find them, lest they wind up as the Dollmaker's next victims. The story continues in Geist: Intermezzo, picking up moments after Victor and Thaddeus's excommunication. Beyond the city walls, Victor's search carries him into the Polluted Wasteland and ranks of the Powder Kegs. Meanwhile, a shadow from Thaddeus's past makes an unforgiving return, and things quickly go From Bad to Worse.

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An important aspect of Geist is its magic system. Taking the form of Silent Movie icons, geists are living facets of an individual's psyche born of self-actualization. Like the daemons themselves, geists are directly tied to the Inferno, and can only be summoned when it encroaches upon reality, or inside a person's Self-Inflicted Hell.

The series is shamelessly inspired by the likes of Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, and Warhammer 40,000. Despite its X Meets Y formula, Geist provides thoughtful criticism on Wish Fulfillment and Hollywood Autism in equal measure. So far, two novels have been published, with a third currently in the works. Not to be confused with the video game, Geist, or the New World of Darkness game, Geist: The Sin-Eaters.


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