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Codex by Resheet Schultz


Ninety years have passed since the Eight Laws of Magic were first written down. Every month brings a slew of advances, from spells to turn a robe hard as steel, to rituals for summoning fiery demons, to enchantments that banish death itself. A tide of knowledge surges across the land, pouring forth from a thousand laboratories, fuelled by the Arcane Institute’s hunger for bigger, better spells, each gobbling down more mana and spewing out more heat than the last. But knowledge for the sake of knowledge is not enough. The Empire wields its discoveries as a weapon against nonhumans in pursuit of its singular obsession: purification, no matter the cost.

Those outside the Institute wonder whether the price is too high to pay. Innocent pedestrians are trampled in the streets by half-trained clay golems. Houses are smashed to splinters by hulking iron elementals searching for evidence of nonhuman fugitives. Families are gunned down in the night without jury or trial to keep the Institute’s magical secrets from leaking out into the hands of those they deem undeserving. The deserts creep unstoppably across the land, turning thriving communities into sandblasted ghost towns as the world bakes in the excess energy of a million spells. And above it all, the one question on everybody’s mind: When will they come for me?

For the Institute’s arm is long, and its grip is steel. There is nowhere the wizards of the Empire cannot reach to find those suspected of dissent. There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, even if the Institute wasn’t watching. Death lurks at the edge of civilization in the form of orcs, trolls, and goblins who were driven out of the Empire and now seek revenge. And yet, for all the Institute’s overwhelming power, seeds have already been sown that may threaten the very ideas the Institute was founded on. Perhaps none have more potential than four slaves created from a dozen different genetic scraps welded together through magic. Each could be something great—or something terrible.

Note: Codex contains some graphic violence and harsh language.

A serialized novel, updating weekly

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Listed: Sep 25, 2018

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