Rayojini lives an idyllic life amongst the soulscapers of Taparak until she reaches the age at which she will be initiated into their ranks. Her initiation rite, though it follows the traditional pattern of thousands of others, is different in one vital respect. The guardian-pursuers that are invoked to watch over Rayojini’s progress are real.
In far off Sacramante, the artisans who are patronised by the upper echelons of Bochanegran society, live in isolated atelier courts. The public may watch performances at chosen times, but only the patron families have constant access to the astounding creations of the eloim artists. The eloim themselves are more than content to remain a race apart, for so they are, and if the majority were to know their true nature, their lives would be forfeit. After eons of contented cohabitation, a phenomenon known as the Fear is beginning to infect the eloim, who have previously considered themselves free from the petty psychological problems of humanity. They have been virtually immortal – thanks to the protection of the patrons, who exchange their life’s blood for culture – but now the artisans are beginning to die in despair.
Gimel and Beth Metatronim, an actress and a painter, set out to find a Tappish soulscaper, who will be proficient enough to enter the racial soulscape of the eloim, track down the cause of the Fear and eradicate it. The soulscaper of their choice, Rayojini, is puzzled that her guardian pursuers should be so much more real than those of other soulscapers. Then, as she delves deeper into the cause of the terrible ‘non-death’, a mysterious affliction akin to the Fear, their attentions become unavoidable.
A new release of Storm Constantine's seminal 1992 novel of vampires and fallen angels, with cover artwork and interior illustrations by Ruby.
First published by Headline, 1992
Immanion Press, paperback, 2009, 9781904853619
Also available on Kindle