Mixing Mavens

Creators in the audience know, ideas are complicated. Thoughts unbidden often come to life in a collision of unexpected flavors. For instance, I love the pulps. That’s our base. Give me a hard-talking gumshoe or a thick browed Cimmerian any day. Then, stir in a healthy portion of my mom’s Catholic upbringing and the way it fetishizes Mary as a conduit between the eternal and the mortal.

There’s something pulpy there, something to do with reclaiming secrets lost to the grave. Add a dash of the Bene Gesserit to taste, bring it to a boil, and our Bouillabaisse is ready to serve.


The dead of Achades can never enjoy the luxury of everlasting peace. They will never fall upward toward eternity, never meet their gods in their heavens. Instead, they lie in cold earth, trapped in a nest of dreams and nightmares, screaming into the void. All of them calling out in silence, desperate to let their loved ones know they endure.

When no one answers, the dead scream louder and louder, but in the end, they all eventually fall silent. That’s when the real horror of their predicament twists into focus. There is no lasting peace

“They will never fall upward toward eternity…”

in the grave, only the screams of the newly interred trapped in their earthen madness.

This makes the dead rather chatty. For whatever reason, after ten, twenty, even fifty years of screaming into the void, those who’ve transitioned will tell you almost anything. In fact, getting them to shut up once the job’s done is often the trickiest part.


Death may be a terrible enterprise for the dead, but it is good business for the living. Bearers provide a much-needed service, giving closure to those left behind while keeping any skills or secrets they gain in the bargain. Take from a spirit often enough, and there is little left to haunt the grave.

For the most powerful of their order, there is no end to the things one can learn. I’m not just talking about the ghostly secrets of the Named Powers’ or finding hidden troves of ancient treasure. No, powerful Bearers can also draw from the nonhuman dead to temporarily develop needed skills like enhanced senses or razor claws for a short time.

Unfortunately, this process isn’t without cost…


Nothing ends, not even death.

Leave a Comment