Behind the richest men, the most sought after celebrities, there is Darque.
He can fulfill your deepest desires… unlock hidden passions… but what is the cost?
Photographer Brixton Sound is about to find out.
In order to spare his mother the ravages of cancer, he turns to Darque, the miracle-worker, for a shot at a cure. But the Master has an agenda all his own…
Embark upon a dark passage through the shadows, where nothing is as it seems, and a vision of our near–future turns out to be far more disturbing than anything we could have ever dreamed…
At the Art Tech Center’s gallery in downtown Los Angeles, Alexandré Darque, the supernatural favor broker, used his power of compulsion to force Donna, the exhibit’s host, to introduce him to Brixton Sound. For reasons of his own, Darque offered Brixton a job as his studio assistant that would get him the money he needed to take of care of his cancer–stricken mother, Beth.
A few hours later, Brixton rushed to Saint Mary’s hospital after being told that Beth was there. While speaking with the doctor, Brixton learned that the cancer camp in South America that he sent his mother to was a fraud, and that while she was there the “doctors” stole some of her organs. Appalled, Brixton tried to apologize to his mother, who seemingly out of her mind warned him that he could not serve two masters.
The next day, Brixton laid his sorrows over his mother’s impending death and his inability to attend the art tech center due to his lack of money on Donna, who, still under Darque’s influence, pushed him into calling Alexandré to ask him how he cured his sister Sandria’s cancer.
A week later, Brixton arrived at Darque’s Malibu Hills mansion, where he overhead Donna pleading with Darque not to hire Brixton in vain. After Donna left in tears, Alexandré took Brixton to his library, where he showed him a fold gate given to him by one of the Immortals. Standing in the threshold of the gate, Darque told Brixton that to cure his mother he had to collect three items found on the other side by jibing through the gate. Though hesitant at first, Brixton agreed to locate the objects to save his mother, so armed with a quarter Darque gave him, he leapt into the gate while Darque guided his journey from the other side.
Finding himself in Deadside, Brixton used the quarter to escape from the animated corpses guarding the entrance. Following Darque’s guidance, Brixton made his way to a Citadel where Alexandré said he would find a poison he could turn into a panacea. After finding the poison, Brixton came across Michael Leroi, Shadowman, who after rescuing him from the poison’s guard threatened to kill him if he ever saw him again.
The following night, Darque and Brixton traveled to the Palazzo De Medici in Italy, the home of the Eternal Warriors, through a fold map they procured from Sandria, Darque’s sister. While Brixton searched for a gilded crown in the Secarius Gallery, Darque had a brief confrontation with Gilad and Ivar that ended with him and Brixton vanishing into a fold gate before things escalated.
Dumped into Galyanna, the Lost Land, Brixton witnessed as Joshua Fireseed, Turok, battled a pterodactyl. At Darque’s urging, Brixton seized the chance to steal a pouch from Turok’s belt that contained potent ground herb essential to their mission. Realizing the theft, Turok held Brixton at knifepoint, when then Darque unveiled one of his tattoos and used it to dispatch the pterodactyls and bring about an end to the conflict. Grabbing hold of Brixton, Darque took his leave of Turok through the fold gate.
Six days later at Saint Mary’s, Brixton sat beside his mother’s bed certain that Darque’s cure would work, but ultimately the panacea failed and his mother died. Angered, Brixton lashed out at Darque, who before leaving through the fold gate forgave Brixton’s insults and reminded him of his job offer.
Days later, Darque discovered that although the crown was 1,900 years old it bore the Angel Computers logo beneath its gilt, which made him realize that it came from the future. While Sandria questioned Darque on whether Brixton caught on that Alex had met his mother years earlier and promised her that her son would become successful, Darque prepared to use the objects Brixton acquired in his quest to gain a glimpse of the future, certain that the purity of Beth’s soul would protect him. Donning the crown, Darque witnessed the end of the world, the collision of two disparate realities, and the role he would play in the start of a new one.
The Music of The Hours
After Darque left the home of Joe Logic, a musician client strung out on drugs who squandered the wish Darque granted him, a trio of thugs working for Simon Weathering ambushed him. A client blacklisted from his company after they discovered his obsession with kiddie porn, Simon intended to shoot Darque, but instead he put the gun in his mouth and shot himself. Reaching down, Darque wet his fingers with Simon’s blood and licked it with his tongue, thus collecting his soul as his reward.
In Sandria’s Bel Air mansion, Brixton, uncertain of Darque’s role in his mother’s death, met with Alexandré to talk about his job offer determined to dig his eyes out if he did not believe his story of why his mother died. Though hesitant to believe Darque’s claim that his mother died as a result of a bacteria she picked up in Guatemala, Brixton nevertheless felt compelled to trust Darque, a fact Alexandré exploited for his gain. While giving Brixton a tour of Sandria’s parlor of decadence, Darque came upon one of Simon’s thugs, a woman called Roses, who he stayed behind to observe while Sandria continued Brixton’s tour.
As Sandria told Brixton that he was the first person to return to her brother’s side after requesting a wish from him, as well as the first one Darque had invited back, a turn she found unique and disturbing, she urged him to accept her brother’s offer. Explaining that the price Darque charged for granting a wish was an individual’s soul, which he borrowed to use when the end of the world arrived, Sandria said that Brixton was the first person with a selfless wish, which made an impression on her brother.
Days later, Darque hooked Joe Logic to his “soul–sucking” machine after he promised to stop taking drugs to grant him his wish of becoming a successful performer. However, weeks later during a concert, Logic went back on his word. In attendance at that concert with Brixton, Sandria, and Roses, Darque confronted Roses.
Taking Darque to an abandoned factory, Roses explained that Simon was a part of her performance therapy group and that after he told her that two men told him that Darque needed to die before he brought a great evil in the year 2000, she decided to help him confront Darque as part of his therapy. However, once Darque stood where she needed him to, Roses revealed that she had brought him to the only vortex in the Los Angeles so that the Epoch Twins could pass through to the material plan with ease and suck his powers in the process.
Standing over Darque, the Epoch Twins said that their father, Degamund, the guardian to the bridge of Evernear, sent them to stop him from changing the outcome of Armageddon. Though empowered by the souls in his possession, Darque was no match for the twins, who determined to return the souls to Malagant swiftly defeated him. As the vortex drained his necrotantric energies, Darque succumbed to the Epoch Twins. As the Epoch Twins informed him of Darque’s defeat, Degamund plotted the next step of his plan; ending the world.
In the small war–torn village of Skopje, Darque snapped pictures of Cygnus, a man some said was a direct descendant of both Hitler and the Devil responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the region. Repulsed, Brixton asked Darque what he wanted with Cygnus, to which Alexandré replied that he possessed something he needed that merited glorifying his religious and politician position to get. As Darque told Brixton that his being there could be construed as support of Cygnus’s views and threatened to tell Sandria, Brixton revealed that the only reason he worked for him was that Sandria begged him to, a discovery that intrigued Darque.
Elsewhere, Degamund chastised the Epoch Twins for failing to destroy Darque’s body to ensure his demise. Warning his children of Darque’s intent to drain Cygnus’ twisted soul, Degamund sent them to kill him and harvest the soul themselves.
In Skopje, Darque and Brixton met with Cygnus, who invited them to his religious service that night. After Cygnus left, Brixton confronted Darque’s obsession. Displeased with Brixton’s persistent doubts over his mother’s death, Darque told him that his mother chose to die and then walked away, leaving Brixton in doubt.
That night, Brixton ventured into the tunnels of the city to find Cygnus’s service and expose him to the world so that Darque would not have time to take his soul. From a vantage point, Brixton witnessed as Cygnus prepared to sacrifice a man in the name of his God, when then he saw Darque standing beside them. Refusing to let an innocent die, Brixton revealed himself to stop the ritual, but Darque stopped him. Enraged, Brixton punched Darque while accusing him of killing his mother. While Darque retaliated, the Epoch Twins arrived.
Convinced that the twins were Angels he had summoned from Heaven, Cygnus failed to realize that they were there to kill him, until it was too late. Though weakened by the twins’ presence, Darque summoned the power of the souls in his keep and used it to keep them at bay while he forcibly sucked Cygnus’ soul into him. As they vanished, the Epoch Twins warned Alex of the consequences of taking a soul that not given to him, but he ignored their words. Horrified by Darque’s tattoos, Brixton stared at Alex with dread.
Sometime later, Darque visited Kobol, who warned him that Cygnus’ infected soul was like a computer virus that would eat away at his mind, which is what Sandria was trying to protect him from going through. Kobol told Darque that day by day he might sense his intuition and reasoning erode, and that if the process ran its course before the rebirth of the world, he would loose his mind and his soul.
The Road To Shadow
Sometime after returning from Europe, Darque approached Max, a young racecar, with an offer of freedom to pursue his passion free of his father’s dominating reach, but before he could seal the deal Sandria jibbed him into her sacred plane, where she confessed that she had witnessed his grim future in the Garden of Visions. Enraged, Darque lashed out at Sandria, who failed to make him see that what he needed were high quality souls, not a high quantity. Sickened by Darque’s stubbornness, Sandria sent him back to the physical plane. Meanwhile in Deadside, Lydon, the violent of the Epoch Twins, forced Roses to tell him where Darque was.
Days later, Sandria convinced Brixton to send Max away to stop Darque from draining his soul. Enraged by her interference, Darque called forth the power of Cygnus’ soul to punish Sandria. Powerless to stop him, Sandria urged Brixton to stand before the fold gate and call for help. Rushing to the library, Brixton openly called for help to the other side and inadvertently released the dark things held captive in Deadside, which drew the attention of Shadowman, the guardian of the grey zone. Reeling Cygnus’ corruptive taint, Darque watched as Sandria used her shape shifting powers to escape into Deadside. Rushing to the library, he blamed himself for weakening the barriers between worlds and decided to seal up the gateway before everything he had worked for would go to waste. Outside the state, in the light of the sunset, Darque gave Brixton yet one more cryptic clue in regards to his mother’s passing before he returned to deal with the fold gate.
With his gate crumbling before him, Darque contemplated the possibility that it might collapse entirely before he could return from inspecting the other gates, which if that happened he would be trapped and the end really would be at hand. Demons roaming the Earth would not simply be another chapter in the bible, they would be truth. Alex planned to make sure that never happened. Nevertheless, time was not on his side. Traveling in a tech suit was easy but very slow. The suit was necessary; with all the junk flooding the portals, the suit ensured his physical safety. Deadside was a place where one needed all the protection they could get.
Finding Roses strung up with her eyes ripped from her sockets, Darque learned she was the key to unraveling creation. Following a lead to the Palazzo De Medici, which the Forever Family had abandoned, Darque confronted the Epoch Twins, who told him of the prophecy of the two children who would unravel the worlds and create a new universe after destroying the old one. Certain that Darque and Sandria were the destroyers foretold in the prophecy, Lydon revealed their intention to be the first in line to rule the universe when it began anew. Laughing in their face as he vanquished them with a blast from his armor, Darque rejected the twin’s claims, certain that he and Sandria would rule the new universe after either the Epoch Twins or two others destroyed the old one. Meanwhile in Deadside, Sandria fell victim to its denizens’ clutches.
The End Is Beginning
In Deadside, the newly–vanished Epoch Twins took custody of an injured Sandria, while, fed up with them, Roses used the prophecy spell to fulfill her destiny as the key of the Darque, who sensed her actions like a doorbell in his head. Before she finished, however, Lydon knocked her out cold with a punch to the face.
Meanwhile, at Kobol’s urging Brixton stood watch over the LA vortex to stop the Epoch Twins from crossing back into the physical realm. While he waited, he studied a book Kobol gave him that contained a rumor that claimed Roses was the key to the second coming. Just then, the vortex opened up and a deluge of Deadsiders came out of it and knocked Brixton over. Turning to face the vortex, Brixton saw his mother standing in its threshold. After Beth revealed that she made a deal with Darque to ensure that Brixton would be a part of making the world a better place, she told him that Darque needed his help at the Palazzo and then vanished.
In Italy, Darque found Aram strung up on a wall holding a fold gate open by sheer force of will. Though Aram warned him of the danger, Darque crossed the gate to find a way to seal the broken doorways for good. Emerging through the vortex in LA, Darque came across Brixton, who at his behest used a dagger to cut him to finally free him from Cygnus’ taint. Just then, the Epoch Twins arrived with Sandria and Roses. As a battle ensued, Darque transferred his power into Brixton, who furiously dispatched the Epoch Twins with it. Finally free of Cygnus’ taint, Darque tackled Roses and Sandria free of the vortex. As Roses laid in Alex’s arms, she told him her wish that he succeed in preventing the end.
With a fever of intent, Alexandré set free the souls he had held in his body for hundreds of years to do the thin he was born for; save the world. In his arms, Roses gave up her soul without hesitation and sealed the vortex for good. With their last breaths in unison, they died in each other’s arms. In the flare of light, Roses diapered, her destine completed, while Darque’s was fulfilled. Naked of every tattoo he bore, the marks of every soul he ever consumed Alexandré Darque could not stop breathing. Nor could he quiet the sound in his ears, his heartbeat, or ignore the warmth of blood cursing through his veins following his rebirth. Because through it took nearly 300 years to close this doorway, there were many new doors to open. The old tattoos were gone, in their place were new marks, arcane symbols, glyphs of new abilities to hone and wield.