Day 2: A Recap of Things That Have Been, Things That Are, and Things That Will Be
Posted on February 16, 2019 by John Peck
Hey All, this is John, Jack’s West Coast arm here to celebrate Day 2 of the Countdown to The Darkest Lord (e-book publication date 2/26) with a little recap of where we are and how we got here. By this I don’t mean that I will be spoiling The Darkest Lord, instead what I’d like to do today is discuss the Mysterium Chronicles more broadly. What is the Mysterium? How did Avery get there? Why is the tuition so bloody high?
The first question on my list is the one I most often get when describing Avery’s story. What exactly is a “Mysterium”? As Avery acknowledges early in The Dark Lord, that is actually a pretty complicated question.
“The truth is you would either have have to be a scholar of obscure magical history or an etherspace physicist to even attempt an answer.”
Of course, in typical Avery fashion, he then goes on to describe with great confidence that Mysterium is the center point (or reality) in a great wheel of realities. In this framework the closer you are to the center (Mysterium) the more real you are and the farther you get from the center the less real you become. Some of you who are avid readers of the fantasy genre will recognize echoes of Zelazny’s Amber (and its shadows) in this multi-world construction of Avery’s reality. The comparison is a fair one up to a point, or would be had we stopped with The Dark Lord.
But, we didn’t.
If the Dark Lord revolves around Avery (quite content as one of the chosen Masters of the Multiverse) trying to save his thesis, a motivation we can all empathize with even if you never had to write a dissertation, The Darker Lord exposes Avery (and by extension you) to the consequences of what reality would look like if there really was a hierarchical center to reality. (Just imagine what it would be like if the Andromeda Galaxy got to set the universe’s spring fashion trends just because it sat closer to the center of the universe.)* On a side note, The Darker Lord also reveals what a mystical truancy officer would look like: basically a cross between Voldemort and the Terminator, if both liked to listen to Joy Division or Bauhaus.
In The Darker Lord, Avery is driven from the places he knows and loves (Mysterium, Earth and Trelari) and cast adrift in the wider multiverse. The truths he finds there (truths about himself, the Mysterium, and his friends) and his need to right the wrongs and honor the rights really drives the action in The Darkest Lord. What is the ultimate evil in the universe? Is it Avery himself? Vivian? The jerks who torched Avery’s favorite t-shirt in The Dark Lord? The Darkest Lord answers all these questions and more.
More you ask?
In addition to revealing all the burning questions you have about the nature of Mysterium, The Darkest Lord also answers some additional questions that likely didn’t occur to you, including:
- Why is Mysterium the center of the multiverse?
- Who is The Provost?
- In a one-on-one contest of wits and magic between Vivian and Avery who wins?
- What is Eldrin’s favorite wargame?
- Is Moregoth a true goth or just some poseur wannabe?
- Do semiliches make good babysitters?
- If Ariella had to chose just one major, what would it be? How many decades would it take her to declare?
- Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?**
- Does Avery live?
We hope you join us on this last leg of Avery’s journey to discover who he is, why he’s here, and whether he truly is the Dark Lord.
[* Please, no nasty letters. The author fully understands that there is no center to the universe and is well aware of the balloon analogy of the Big Bang.]
[** This question is not answered in any shape way or form by any of the Mysterium Chronicles. Jack, for his part, believes the riddles of the bomp and the ram are two of the truly unanswerable questions of life.]