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Literature / The Heralds of False Light

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The Heralds of False Light is the fifth volume of The Spectral Chronicles.

Shortly after Frederick and Felicia get married, Michael has an encounter with a mysterious woman who invites him to the organization she is a member of. He refuses, but afterwards he can't get her message out of his mind. He accepts her offer, and finds out she is with none other than The Illuminati. The organization has recently stepped out from the shadows to unite the world in their "Realm of Light." Their first goal is to either bring the Stone Cutters into their fold, or destroy them as they seek their insidious goals...



  • Animals Hate Him: Specifically dogs, who can detect the Illuminati's falsehood and are violent toward them. The feeling is mutual.
  • Antagonist Title: The Illuminati.
  • Atlantis: The Champions of the Light and Red Knights come here to reawaken Demetrios's latent paladin abilities. They also find the Mask of Vineta and a spell Lily would have been taught had Atlantis not sunk.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Illuminati's fanaticism does this to them. They get so focused on fighting their enemy that they don't notice anything going on around them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Lampshaded by Dorothy, who considers the Mask of Vineta to be this, even though it's Difficult, but Awesome for Anne-Marie:
    "How can she perform such incredible magic? And in a mask she can’t even see out of?"
  • Badass Boast: Amare and Dorothy have a back-to-back one before their fight:
    Amare: You forget, I have the power of the storm on my side, āhiyanote 
    Dorothy: (laughing callously) I fear nothing, least of all you.
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  • Blindfolded Vision: The mask used by the ancient Atlantean sorceress Vineta has no holes for the eyes, concealing the wearer's vision but greatly increasing their magic power. It chooses Anne-Marie as its new wearer. Later on, Ruby wears a blindfold into battle so as not to be blinded by the Illuminati's false light.
  • Book Ends: The novel begins and ends with a wedding. The first one is between Frederick and Felicia. The second one is between Michael and Kayla.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Illuminati have resurrected one of Demetrios and Lily's old enemies from the past, Ercole, who was one of the members of the Esoteric Order of the Dark Sunrise in the story Prelude to a Legend.
  • Cats Are Magic: Viacylia. Justified since she's Clara's familiar.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Referenced by Max, who has this reaction when he and the other heroes first encounter the lacertans while exploring Lemuria.
    "Great, first the Illuminati and now reptilians. What other conspiracy theory are we going up against?"
  • Crapsaccharine World: The Illuminati's hidden fortress-city of Vgear ol Olpirt is incredibly beautiful, but nearby is their dreaded slave pit.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Clara. After Amare saves her, she uses her warlock powers to fight against her former comrades.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Judith tells Michael that this was how the Illuminati and the white dragons started their alliance.
  • Dragon Rider: The Illuminati's white dragons, including the one Lucas rides, Luciftianvpaah, and Ercole's, White Fang.
  • Evil Old Folks: One of the Illuminati's recruiters, the mage Judith. She disguises herself as a younger and more beautiful woman to appeal to potential converts better. She acknowledges that it may not be the most dignified method, but it is effective.
  • Forced to Watch: Ercole and some fellow Illuminati try to demoralize Ashur by brainwashing Leah in front of him. The opposite happens; it triggers an incredible surge of his magic power.
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked. After Lucas is (seemingly) defeated, Max asks aloud who the conspiracy theorists are going to blame for everything now that the Illuminati are no more.
  • Good Hurts Evil: In addition to Amare's love for her, Demetrios and company's Exorcism spells cure the Illuminati's brainwashing in Clara.
  • Heroic Resolve: When Clara in her demon form attempts to block the Champions of the Light and the Red Knights from entering the city, Amare tells her that he knows she is still good and he's still in love with her.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Amare says "All right, fine. I'm going to risk afterlife and limb to see Clara again."
  • Homosexual Reproduction: Lynessa becomes pregnant with her and Anne-Marie's second child this way.
  • Immortality Inducer: Jason has a necklace and Ercole has a ring, granting them long life. When Ercole's ring gets broken, he ages incredibly fast.
  • Instant Knots: Ashur uses the belt of his robe to lasso one of the Illuminati guards' legs and trip him.
  • Knight Templar: The Illuminati at their worst.
  • La Résistance: During the Stone Cutters' final battle with the Illuminati, Leah and Jason lead their fellow slaves in the fighting.
  • Language of Magic: The Illuminati's main language is Enochian.
  • Light Is Not Good: Zigzagged. The Illuminati's light is described as false and thus not good. Light from other sources is good.
  • Living Statue: The large sphinx statue in the center of Vgear ol Olpirt was originally created to serve as the city's final defense. Lucas also activates some to help him fight in his and Demetrios's final duel.
  • Lizard Folk: The lacertans, who rule the continent of Lemuria.
  • Meaningful Name: Lucas's name, "light."
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Illuminati supplement their armies and defenses with sphinxes.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Ashur and Darulai look like they're going to successfully escape with Leah, but she gets captured again by Dorothy.
  • Noble Wolf: The wolf spirit Zerron joins the Stone Cutters in fighting the Illuminati. Ashur creates one when he casts his ultimate spell.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Ashur's disguise for infiltrating the Illuminati's city consists of just a white robe and a pair of glasses. He at least lampshades the latter one:
  • Power Gives You Wings: When casting his ultimate spell, Ashur gains the wings of a bald eagle.
  • The Power of Love: Lily and Ashur figure that it's the source of their ultimate spells, and also what helps Amare get through to Clara.
  • Promotion to Parent: Anne-Marie and Lynessa adopt an orphaned high elven baby named Tharelaer.
  • Questioning Title?: Two of them. Chapter 14 is called "Fading of the False Light?" and Chapter 20 is called "Resurgence?" (referring to the return of the lost continent of Lemuria).
  • Rebellious Spirit: Leah is the most willful and defiant of the Illuminati's slaves, and stands up for the others.
  • Religion of Evil: Averted. This version of the Illuminati is more motivated by ideology than religion.
  • Reptilian Conspiracy: the Lemurian Lacertans.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kayla fights the hardest to get Michael out of the cult.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The Illuminati fully believe this.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: Viacylia wakes Zephorius up to tell him something, and upon (sort of) waking up, he says aloud "Why can't I stop saying 'Rome'?"
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: To keep the gorilla Jason in place, the slave drivers constantly call him "Dorpha," which means "Almost" in the Enochian language.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Lucas and Dorothy have this, although Lucas is an Affably Evil Knight Templar and Dorothy is a furious Dark Action Girl.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: The Illuminati's slaves hope they don't find any gemstones or precious metals in the quarry, because when they do, they get "rewarded" with brainwashing.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: Or rather, the Knight Templar's version of good, as Lucas says to Demetrios:
    "For a blasphemous heretic, you are a courageous and dedicated warrior. If you weren’t so blinded by your insolence, we could have changed the world for the better, and we could have been great friends. What a waste of talent."