Lost Gods is a dark fantasy novel written and illustrated by Brom.
Fresh out of jail and eager to start a new life, Chet Moran and his pregnant wife, Trish, leave town to begin again. But an ancient evil is looming, and what seems like a safe haven may not be all it appears...
Snared and murdered by a vile, arcane horror, Chet quickly learns that pain and death are not unique to the living. Now the lives and very souls of his wife and unborn child are at stake. To save them, he must journey into the bowels of purgatory in search of a sacred key promised to restore the natural order of life and death. Alone, confused, and damned, Chet steels himself against the unfathomable terrors awaiting him as he descends into death's stygian blackness.
Thrust into a realm of madness and chaos, where ancient gods and demons battle over the dead, and where cabals of souls conspire to overthrow their masters, Chet plays a dangerous game, risking eternal damnation to save his family.
Tropes appearing in this novel:
- Aborted Arc: Coach's plan reunite with his mother is cut short when Mortem crushes his skull.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Weapons made from god-metal, like Senoy's knife or the weapons of fallen angels, can cut through most substances with relative ease. Especially gods.
- Accidental Murder: Committed by Chet near the start of the novel, when he accidentally hits Coach with his car when he and Trish are escaping from her father's house. Chet ends up damned for it, with infernal marks appearing on his palms indicating his soul belongs to Lucifer. It's implied that he is damned for this act due to his past association with Christianity, since his aunt forced him to attend church with her.
- Action Survivor: Chet and Trish
- And I Must Scream:
- When someone is 'killed' in purgatory their 'ba' is released. It is unknown where exactly they go or what happens to them, but sometimes churning clouds of these lost souls can be heard screaming.
- One of the damned souls Carlos captures begs him not to send her back to Hell, saying that it was like being endlessly smothered, buried alive and burning all at once.
- Baleful Polymorph: Soul shifting, by which a god can change a human soul into an animal form. The majority of animals encountered in purgatory are soul shifts; it's said that actual animal souls very rarely show up in purgatory.
- Beast Man: Some of the Old Gods have these forms. Veles is an anthropomorphic stag, Sekhmet a.k.a the Red Lady is a winged sphinx (in contrast to the mythological Sekhmet who was a lioness), and Yevabog is a spider with the head and hands of a human woman.
- Bittersweet Ending: Although Chet and Amy are dead, Lamia has finally been slain. Ana survived the battle at Lethe and has joined the sisters of the Red Lady. The Greencoats have been (mostly) driven off. Joshua is reunited with his mother in Heaven. Sekhmet, Yevabog and Veles survive the battle against Lord Beelbeth's host (with Sekhmet herself going toe-to-toe with Beelbeth and winning), with Veles vowing to unite the remaining Old Gods. And Chet is leading Lamia's dead children to the Elysium Fields.
- Blood Magic: God-blood can be consumed by souls to increase their speed and strength, though if they consume too much it could destroy them. It's also the only way to heal a god who has been wounded, which also can't be done through normal means.
- Canon Illustrations: The novel includes illustrations by Brom depicting Davy and Billy, Lamia, Yevabog, The Red Lady, Veles, Hel, Lord Kashaol, and Lord Beelbeth.
- Deader Than Dead: The bulk of the story takes place in purgatory, so naturally most of the characters are already dead. If they die in purgatory by having their skull split open, their 'ba' leaves their soul body and they essentially die again, and no one knows what happens afterward.
- Deal with the Devil: Colonel Turner Ashby, leader of the Defenders of Free Souls (called 'Greencoats' by everyone else), wants to take down the Old Gods of purgatory for the good of all souls, but he needs special weapons in order to do this, weapons that only Hell can provide. In exchange, the fallen angel he's working with, Lord Kashaol, wants the souls of the Old Gods he defeats as well as any damned souls they happened to find who have escaped from Hell. However this arrangement goes sour when Kashaol is deposed after losing a battle with the Red Lady, and an arch-demon with a much bigger army, Lord Beelbeth, takes his place.
- Death of the Old Gods: The old gods were hunted down and slain by angels. They're losing power and dying off a second time due to people no longer remembering them.
- Deceptive Disciple: Carlos doesn't really care about the Colonel's ambition to bring freedom to all souls in purgatory by killing the Old Gods, and plans on getting rid of him after their revolution is fulfilled so he can take command himself.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: There are many lords in Hell but they are far from united. Lucifer is the undisputed ruler, but all his subordinates, both demons and fallen angels, constantly battle each other for his favor. Other infernal realms such as Jahannam and Naraka are mentioned in passing.
- Driven to Suicide: Gavin Moran, after being forced to burn his children alive.
- Evil Old Folks: Lamia, Chet's grandmother, turns out to be the child-eating monster of Greek myth.
- The Extremist Was Right: Chet's aunt, who he always considered a religious fanatic, had warned him never to go back to Moran Island or associate with Lamia again. Turns out she did so with good reason.
- Gladiator Games: The Old Gods hold these periodically for their amusement, creating superhuman champions using ka energy (and sometimes god-blood, even though they have all technically agreed not to do this).
- Godzilla Threshold: Conversed; the One Gods generally don't care what happens in purgatory, but one thing that would cause them to descend and start cleaning house would be if Hell started overstepping its bounds and started entering the river realms in force.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: The gods gain their strength through belief.
- Humanoid Abomination: Davy and Billy.
- Kick the Dog: When Carlos 'kills' Johnny.
- Karmic Death: When Lamia tries to escape, Chet tracks her down by following her dead children who constantly follow her.
- Kill the God: Gods can be killed, but not by conventional weapons.
- Made of Iron: In the afterlife, both souls and gods can be wounded, dismembered or even decapitated and still remain "alive", unless their skull is broken and their 'ba' released.
- Manipulative Bastard: Lamia and Senoy.
- Monstrous Humanoid: Mortem, Hel's champion.
- Mook Lieutenant: Seet, a Trow slavedriver working for Veles.
- Names To Run Away From Very Fast: Lord Beelbeth, the Burning Man.
- Our Angels Are Different: Senoy, who is described as having skin so black it almost appears blue, brilliant blue eyes, and spectral wings.
- Our Goblins Are Different: The Trow, who are described as one of the original underworld races that existed before the One Gods came to prominence.
- The Nothing After Death: Immersing oneself in the River Lethe is said to be like this, and many souls who are weary of purgatory travel there to embrace oblivion. Those who are not fully committed will drink from the river to "forget" their current existence; it's portrayed like descending temporarily into a drunken, apathetic stupor.
- Number Two: Carlos and Gavin Moran are jointly this for the Colonel.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: When Chet lashes out against Seet and beats him senseless. Also when Chet kicks the abusive Green Coat toll taker into the River Styx.
- Pet the Dog: According to Yevabog, back when they were in the world of the living Veles always gave back more than he took from his followers, and that made him a great god.
- Physical God: All of the old gods mentioned in the book interact with their followers in a physical form and can even be killed.
- Really 700 Years Old: A large majority of purgatory's inhabitants. In addition to removing any physical injuries they had in life, death seems to return adult souls to somewhere in their twenties, but children and babies remain at the age at which they died.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Davy and Billy, whose eyes are described as being like fireflies.
- The Old Gods: All of the gods that show up in purgatory were slain on Earth by the forces of the One Gods, which include Buddha, Jesus, Mohammad and Kali (i.e., the ones most religious people in the modern world actually worship). When Chet tells Yevabog about Lamia, Yevabog admits that she's impressed that one of her kind still walks the Earth in defiance of Gabriel and his 'wolves'.
- Was Once a Man: All of the god's champions as well as soul shifts.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Colonel Turner Ashby, usually just called "The Colonel", plans on killing all the Old Gods in the river realms, so all souls can be free from what he sees as their tyranny. Unfortunately, he decides to make a literal Deal with the Devil in order to obtain the weapons he needs to do this.
- Worthy Opponent: Mortem seems to consider Ado, Chet and Coach to be this, as he approaches them before the final arena bout to try and convince them to surrender to him:"I hate to kill brave men. But tomorrow I will win at any cost. So, I've come to offer you a deal. Should you be in my path...submit. Bare your ring for me to take and I'll spare you. Should you resist...I'll crush you. I'll send your ba to Mother Eye."