Taking place in a particularly Crapsack World , the series begins in the peculiar city of Deepgate, a town built on a series of chains that span a vast abyss. Over three thousand years ago, the goddess who reigns over Heaven sealed it against humankind, damning all souls to Hell.
Seven of her sons rebelled against her, and after a long war, they were cast out of Heaven as well. The oldest of those gods, Ulcis, is said to reside in the abyss below Deepgate; its church worships him, and the dead of Deepgate are sent down to him to give him an army for his second rebellion. After all, if your choice is to be the minion of a fallen god or to go to Hell, the former probably sounds like a much better idea.
Of course, not everyone is particularly supportive of this idea. The Heshette, desert tribes who live outside of Deepgate, still worship the goddess and consider the people of the city to be the worst of heretics; the tribes and the city have been warring off and on for the past several centuries. Deepgate has been able to stay independent because of the power of the Spine—emotionless assassins specializing in poison—and Ulcis' archons, battle angels who have lived in the city since its creation. At the outset of the series, though, the archons have been dwindling in number, and Deepgate has come to rely on airship technology for their wars instead.
Only two angels remain: One is sixteen-year-old Dill , who has lived a cloistered life in Deepgate's church, forbidden even from learning how to fly. He's pretty frustrated with the times having shunted him aside, and would love his own chance for adventure. The main timeline of the series seems to be the canon one, but there are several other happy worlds that will probably last as Alternate Continuity fragments.
This editor has hopes for the one other world where Carnival has a happy and in this case, normal life. Animesque : It's near impossible for anyone familiar with anime or video game tropes not to imagine how easily these novels could be adapted to either format. Anticlimax Boss : Ulcis. Not that we care, though. Also Cospinol and Menoa and Anyone Can Die : Up to and including godly figures.
Malazan Empire: The Deepgate Codex by Alan Campbell - Malazan Empire
To the relief of the readers, though, all seven of the True Companions made it through the series alive. Appropriated Appellation : Ulcis called Carnival a "carnival freak" when she was younger. She took the name and ran with it, refusing to be called by her real name, Rebecca.
Archnemesis Dad : Ulcis to Carnival. It's why we love her. Author Appeal : Campbell really, really likes plucky characters who don't know when to quit.
It's a tiny bit obvious to his fanbase. Ax Crazy : Carnival and Mr. Badass Normal : Rachel. Bad End : We're allowed to see one.
Beautiful All Along : Dill and Rachel make a habit of noticing Carnival's inner and outer beauty at seemingly random times throughout Scar Night. Berserk Button : Carnival once hunted a man's descendants for five hundred years because he raped a girl; she was Driven to Suicide , and Carnival found her body and diary. This is a bit excessive even for her Blood Magic : Angelwine is made from the blood of 13 people.
Books in the Deepgate Codex series - Wheelers Books
Blood is commonly referred to as 'soul' in the book; bodies drained of blood do not get to join Ulcis's army. This is what drives the B plot in Scar Night. An injection of it is sufficient to bring Dill back to life. Though granted it does seem to work a bit differently for angels and humans. Humans it makes functionally immortal. Poor Carnival needs it, but has to get her fix by draining someone's blood once a month. Her body is covered in scars gouged into her body as repentance after each kill. Body Horror : Alice. Boisterous Bruiser : John Anchor.
Subscribe To The Wertzone
Also Hasp, to some degree. Break the Cutie : Everyone --but especially poor, poor Dill. Bullying a Dragon : Carnival just can't catch a break.
Granted, the people of Deepgate have a reason to hate her, but they go out of their way to blame every little thing on her and exaggerate the bad things she actually does. Half of the time, the vitriolic situation gives Character Development to them both and their relationship. The other half, this leads to Back-to-Back Badasses.
But whenever their priorities diverge, things get a little messy. The Chessmaster : Sabor and Mina.