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Literature / Void Domain

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Brakket Magical Academy in the Northwestern United States is on its last legs. Enrollment of new students is at an all time low. The academy instructors go out to recruit prospective children other magical academies have ignored.

Eva is one such recruit. After witnessing her perform magic no teenage mage should have learned, an instructor of the academy offers her a full ride scholarship. Eva does not turn down the opportunity to learn magic in a proper capacity and quickly ships out to Montana.


Barely a day there and things already seem off. Every student has the same scholarship, odd-smelling men wander the town, and a spider demon has decided Eva’s dorm room is the place to be.

Void Domain, by towercurator, is a Web Serial Novel that launched in July 2015 and concluded in November 2017.

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Mom: Genoa Rivas, mother of Juliana, was formerly a mage-knight.
  • The Alcatraz: The unnamed prison within Hell qualifies. A massive structure built out of magic-resistant material, guards that aren't afraid to kill, cells where prisoners are chained to the wall and never let loose. The prisoners aren't even fed, though as they're demons, feeding isn't strictly necessary.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Downplayed. Alchemical potions can create a huge variety of supernatural effects. However, they react with the user's innate magic and have no power of their own; to Muggles, potions are useless at best and toxic at worst.
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  • Alien Blood: Demon blood is black and serves as an exceptionally powerful reagent for Blood Magic. When the Enigmas start arriving through Summoning Rituals in place of demons, their purple blood is an early sign that something is seriously amiss.
  • All Myths Are True: Arachne is The Arachne. A Japanese spider demon, a Jorogumo, is mentioned. Ylva is the daughter of Hel from Norse Mythology. Elves exist. The Ars Goetia comes into play with Zagan, a King of Hell.
  • Appendage Assimilation: Magical healing can't restore lost limbs or organs. Fortunately, demon parts have No Biochemical Barriers and resize to fit a new owner — the only challenge is getting them off the demon.
  • Adult Fear: When Brakket's supernatural weirdness starts directly threatening the students, some parents immediately withdraw their children.
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  • Armor Is Useless: Averted in the combat oriented class. All the students wear protective gear in addition to whatever defense they can come up with using magic. Played straight in that same class. One student gets hit by a nun's holy fire and winds up severely injured.
  • Badass Bookworm: The badass can be variable, but many members of the cast are shown to be reading often. Zoe Baxter and Eva both come to mind.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Genoa Rivas. Her clothing choices are typically described as revealing.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Eva gets to pull one of these at the end of book two. Sister Cross is not pleased.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Infinite Courtyard. A regular sized school building has an enclosed courtyard that is somewhere in the ballpark of ten square miles. There are a few full buildings built within, including a zoo and a greenhouse that are used for classes.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: The Elysium Order takes a violently dim view of those who appear to sympathize with their enemies. One of their own novices is on the hook for cooperating with Eva during a team-based school competition.
  • Blank White Void: Zoe's teleportation magic creates a shortcut through an infinite, featureless, frigid, dead-white expanse of nothing. Everyone but her finds the experience incredibly unsettling, such that Eva prefers a teleport spell that messily catapults her through Hell.
  • Blood Knight:
  • Blood Magic: Eva's preferred method of fighting. Although it has neutral and positive applications — including healing magic that other disciplines can't replicate — it has a reputation as one of The Dark Arts, not least since most of its advanced uses require Bloodstone, which is produced through Human Sacrifice.
  • Boarding School: Brakket Magical Academy has been host to demons, necromancers, and nuns. None of whom have been particularly friendly to each other or the students.
  • Body Horror: Sawyer is fond of getting his hands elbow-deep inside people's bodies. Des by extension.
  • Bounty Hunter: Mage-knights in general. Genoa Rivas, Juliana's mother, is a retired mage-knight.
  • Cheerful Child: Des and Shalise both are introduced with this trope. Things happen, smiles fade.
  • Church Militant: The Elysium Order has extensive resources to take on demons, undead, and mortals who stray into forbidden magic.
  • Cursed With Awesome: As in the myth, Arachne was transformed into a demon by an angry goddess. She certainly has no complaints about being an undying One-Man Army.
  • Deal with the Devil: Averted. Demons are more of mercenaries than magic power/wish granting individuals, though some have abilities that allow them to grant similar types of deals.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: The 72 Pillars of Hell are the original demons, created by Void as the templates from whom all lesser demons are generated. When one of them shows up at Brakket, even Arachne is worried.
  • Demon of Human Origin:
    • Arachne claims that the classical Greek myth about her is true, although other parties suggest that her transformation into a demon was caused by mortal mages rather than Athena.
    • Eva's treatments from Devon are designed to cause a Slow Transformation into a demon. As yet, they grant her several demonic abilities, and the transformation is at a point that she doesn't die like a human but isn't pulled back into Void when killed like a demon, leaving her soul to find its own way back to her body.
  • Demonic Possession: Juliana decides not to contract with Agiel after finding out that this is what he does.
  • Dented Iron: Although Genoa bears the scars of a long and storied career as a Magic Knight, she remains incredibly capable. Being impaled through the chest puts her in a wheelchair for weeks, but she mentions having recovered from worse before.
  • Dying Smirk: Sawyer the Necromancer dies Defiant to the End, grinning at his killers, which leaves them deeply worried that he's pulled a Thanatos Gambit and/or isn't dead enough. Their fears are logical but unfounded.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Juliana may or may not have a thing for muscles. Some of her segments dedicate a decent number of lines to commenting on muscles, particularly the muscles on Zagan, Prax, and (with Prax's assistance) Shalise
  • Elemental Powers: Most people have an affinity for one of the four classical elements and can't cast with the opposed element. In addition, there is Order and Chaos magic.
  • Embarrassing First Name: "Eva" is fine; "Evaleen" very definitely is not.
  • Extranormal Prison: The prison in Hell. It is almost impossible to escape. For demons. Humans are something of an out of context problem.
  • Eye Scream: Eva certainly tries to scream. Later paid forward when Arachne tears out a demon's eyes to transplant into Eva, and taken Up to Eleven when an Augur has a lot of eyes excised.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Elysian Augurs are covered in them.
  • Familiar: Demons can enter binding contracts with mortals as "familiars", although the examples seen are closer to Powers via Possession with the demon as a passive source of magic.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Vampires in Book Five.
  • For Science!: Devon conducts his experiment to transform a human into a demon for the sheer ambition of the goal, without any thought for the ethics of using children as test subjects.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Sawyer is fond of this trope. He stitches together demon parts with human parts in a mass of Body Horror. His own daughter is a patchwork of flesh and organs that don't quite fit together properly, leading Eva to liken her to someone that had a fight with a blender.
  • Geometric Magic: Ritual circles govern a number of magical operations, from Summoning Rituals to the treatments that infuse Eva with demonic power.
  • Giant Flyer: Book two introduces a full-sized bull with wings. Yes, it can fly.
  • Heal It with Blood: Blood Magic, unlike regular Healing Hands, can heal the Viral Transformation of a zombie bite. However, it requires a fair amount of the spellcaster's blood to draw the ritual circle and leaves the patient with both an Impaled Palm and a messy exit wound from expelling the infection.
  • Hellhole Prison: Oddly enough, not the prison in Hell, which is content with merely imprisoning demons. Ylva's prison and torture-chambers within her domain may qualify.
  • Heroic RRoD: A hazard of blood magic, unless the caster has a lot of Human Resources lying around.
  • Hero of Another Story: Genoa. Wayne as well, though we actually saw a portion of his history in Book Five.
  • Hold the Line: The climax of book three on two separate fronts.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Arachne, in her giant spider-mode, serves as a school bus for the main characters in the latter half of book three.
  • Human Resources: Bloodstones are formed by magically crushing a living heart into a gem.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Devon mentions there being no safe way of instantly moving oneself. One method, Infernal Walk, is literally slingshoting oneself through a specific corner of Hell.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Irene laments that her school life isn't quite as boring as she would like.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Juliana, already special, goes out of her way looking for adventure and power.
  • "Inescapable" Prison Easily Escaped: Thanks to humans being an out of context problem within a prison designed for demons.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Sawyer kills Hugo after a You Have Failed Me moment. Des, being a Frankenstein's Monster, raises implications as well. Her body parts had to come from somewhere.
  • Insistent Terminology: Devon is a demonologist, not a diabolist — he studies them, preferably by domination rather than by contract; he doesn't ally with them.
  • It Amused Me: Zagan's only motivation, since he experiences boredom on the sort of cosmic scale that only a vastly powerful Time Abyss Reality Warper can begin to appreciate. When Juliana has the audacity to offer to take him as a Familiar, he warns her in no uncertain terms what he'll do to her if she ever stops amusing him.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Devon refers to demons using either their name or the pronoun 'it'.
  • Knight Templar: When it comes to anything they consider a possible enemy, the Elysium nuns tend to shoot holy lightning first and ask questions never. Taken Up to Eleven by Sister Cross, who thinks nothing of surprise-attacking a blind girl in her bedroom, then attacking a teacher who comes to her defense.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Juliana and Shalise at the start of book four.
  • Light Is Not Good: White robes adorn the rank and file of the Elysium Order, fighters of undeath and necromancers. Also a very shoot first kind of organization regardless of the opponent.
  • Little Miss Badass: Juliana. Trained by her mother, she has skills far exceeding those of her peers.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The cast page is already quite long and more get added with every book.
  • Magic Cauldron: Averted. Explicitly stated by Wayne to have been phased out of alchemy for the most part. Replaced by modern chemical laboratory equipment.
  • Magic Potion: Alchemical potions can produce a wide range of magical effects, and are a popular option for mages to have pre-prepared spells on hand. However, they work by reacting with the drinker's own magic, so they're ineffective or outright toxic for Muggles.
  • Mercy Kill: Eva kills a woman in the midst of torture late in book one. Averted in that Eva only killed her because she needed the resources her body could provide, rather than out of any pity for the woman.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Arachne. She's quite fond of smiling wide grins.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: Des in book four.
  • Necromancer: The main antagonists of the first book. They control undead including ghosts, skeletons, zombies, and man made flesh golems.
  • Odd Friendship: Eva and Arachne, a teenager and an ancient demon.
  • Old Magic: Rune magic is seen as archaic and is no longer taught in Wizarding School in favour of wands and alchemy. In practice, it's a Boring, but Practical way to make portable, semi-permanent enchantments, so Eva does a lively trade in selling runes to her classmates.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: When Arachne hides as a small spider on Eva's person, tapping her left shoulder is no while right shoulder is yes.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Thanks to potions, semi-serious wounds can be healed in record time. Extensive injuries can still result in a stay at a hospital for extended periods of time.
  • Open Secret: Thanks to the Lansing Incident, the existence of magic is somewhat known to the mundane public. Many are still skeptical even fifteen years after the fact.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Eternal beings from Hell, also known as the Void. On a surface glance, the Void is anything but. Domains provide anything a demon could ever want. It creates the opposite problem. There's nothing to work for. Nothing to live for. And yet, dying leads to something much worse. A demon's death sends them to a place that lives up to the name until they can claw their way back to their domain. This results in frequently summoned demons mostly being jaded, psychopathic and somewhat insane, the less summoned ones tend to be pleasanter but even stranger and starved for any sort of new experience.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Discussed, though none have been seen in the story proper. One necromancer may have been attempting to turn himself into one.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Zoe Baxter believes Eva keeps one of these. Finding out that Arachne is actually a free-willed demon who willingly helps Eva is even more disturbing to Zoe.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Sawyer. Sometimes it slips, but never to the point of a frown.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Griffin Weilks calls a bunch of poor, innocent nuns 'whores' more than once.
  • Portal Cut: Implied to have happened to Eva at some point before the story began.
  • Powers via Possession:
    • A familiar contract with a demon will allow it to ride side-saddle in a mage's mind and confer these.
    • Inverted when Shalise and Prax mess up their contract: Prax gets control of Shalise's body, while Shalise's captive consciousness gets control of Prax's powers.
  • Prison Riot: A number of demons get loose in the Hell prison and go on a rampage.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Arachne has eight of them.
  • Resurrective Immortality: All demons have this, although returning from the Void after death is time-consuming and unpleasant enough that they take pains to avoid it.
  • Roof Hopping: Arachne, and later Eva, are strong enough to do this. Others teleport from roof to roof instead of literal hops.
  • Security Cling: Young Zoe clings to the vampire Serena after being rescued from her Doomed Hometown in Book Five.
  • Self-Surgery: Eva, by way of her blood magic, performs a number of operations on herself. These range from simple healing to amputation.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Numerous references to H.P. Lovecraft as well as several of the side teacher names being influenced by other works.
    • Sawyer is hiding out in The 'Burbs at the start of book three.
    • At the end of book three, his main area of operations is the hotel from The Shining.
    • Sam and Dean take a trip out of Supernatural to do some monster hunting outside Brakket and get a Cruel and Unusual Death at Ylva's hands.
  • Slasher Smile: Sawyer always. Arachne dons one on occasion.
  • The Sleepless: Demons have no need of sleep and might be incapable of it. Thanks to her treatments, neither does Eva, which leaves her rather bored at night.
  • Slow Transformation: Eva's treatments have been underway for years and have the intended effect of gradually turning her into a demon. During the story, they begin to show small visible results.
  • Soul Jar: A necessary component of becoming a lich, and one of the very few ways to get on Death's bad side.
  • Spider Limbs: Arachne full stop.
  • Stern Teacher: Zoe Baxter and Wayne Lurcher, though the former is more laid back outside of the classroom.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Sawyer is fond of this trope. He takes a great deal of pride in his skill at strapping people down to the point where even little movements are near-impossible.
  • Street Urchin: Eva. Not an orphan and technically has a home. Prior to the story starting, she lives out in an abandoned hospital. After she gets a dorm room at school, she finds another abandoned building to hide some of her more questionable magical equipment.
  • Summon Magic: How Arachne and other demons get to the mortal plane.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Zagan sports these, an early clue that he's not quite human. His true form as a giant devil makes it much clearer.
  • Supervillain Lair: While she isn't technically a supervillain, Eva's prison acts as a secure base of operations in a similar manner.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Averted with most every demon. Wayne, however, mentions this trope almost word for word after Serena tells her life story.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Shalise attempts to get Zoe Baxter's help with this in book two. Averted in that one simply cannot go from never heard of magic to combat ready in a short amount of time.
  • Teen Genius: Juliana has been trained under her mother since she could hold a wand. She is vastly more proficient in thaumaturgy than any other student in her year.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: There are several methods of moving oneself instantly with magic. Devon insists none are safe. Regular vehicles serve to cart mages around when available.
  • Teleport Spam: Genoa's rapid-fire Blinking around a battlefield sets her apart as an extremely talented Magic Knight, since it requires phenomenal situational awareness to avoid Tele Fragging on debris.
  • Theme Naming: Meta example. All non-major staff at Brakket have names that are references to books, movies, television, games, etc. that the author enjoys.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted and played straight at the same time. No therapists have shown up thus far, but Zoe has offered to act as one or to find one for Eva. Presumably other characters as well.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Genoa has tossed a sword on occasion and Arachne has tossed around a dismembered arm that she was using as a sword. In both cases, they were able to manipulate their weapon in some manner to increase accuracy, either through ferrokinesis or thread.
  • Time Skip: Minor time skips happen every now and again, generally to pass by a month or two. The first bit of the next chapter will generally give a brief mention of any notable events that occurred.
  • Training from Hell: Juliana is subjected to one of these by her mother on screen. More have been implied to have happened before the start of the books.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: That's what Brakket is for. Not everyone can use magic, though some types may be trainable to mundanes depending on how the magic is used.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Eva gains an alternate method of sight after her eyes are plucked out.
  • Undead Child: Quite possibly Des and Hugo. Des looks like a Frankenstein's Monster. Hugo looks normal, but several characters comment on his unnaturalness.
  • Unequal Rites:
    • Rune magic is seen as archaic and outdated and is no longer taught in magical schools, even though it's a Boring, but Practical option for easy semi-permanent enchantments. Eva does a lively trade in selling useful runes that nobody else knows how to make.
    • Blood Magic and demon summoning are held in low regard as The Dark Arts, with one theorist saying that only the most depraved can become blood mages. While they're not intrinsically evil, an amoral practitioner can get a lot more mileage out of them than someone who respects life and sanctity of mind.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The PO Vs are kept tight, you never see, hear, or know anything that the current POV character does not see, hear, or know. This can lead to some incorrect conclusions due to the characters not having all the information.
  • Vampire Variety Pack: There are several vampire bloodlines, of which the story includes the mind-manipulating Blacksky and the pathologically arrogant August clans.
  • Verbal Tic: Zagan, yeah?
  • What Are You in For?: Asked of Prax in the Hell prison.
  • Whatevermancy: Elemental magic is often referred to as elementmancy even if the proper term is something similar to whateverurgy.
  • When Dimensions Collide: The new demon-fused Enigma breeds pull a small piece of Hell into the physical world when they're killed, presumably to advance Life's plan to drag Void into the world.
  • Wizarding School: Brakket Magical Academy is one of five within the United States alone. Others exist outside of the country.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Not because of having magic, but because of what they can do with magic. Death doesn't particularly care one way or the other, though Wizards Living Forever is a bit of a sore spot with him.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Sawyer's cursed knife can inflict an exceptionally nasty version that spreads like magical gangrene.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Book four starts this way with the Hell prison.
  • You Have Failed Me: Sawyer to Hugo and Des at the end of book three.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Ylva destroys a phylactery to claim the soul trapped within for and in service of Death.


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