Oct. 7th, 2017

  • 3:38 PM
Summary
"The villainy you teach me, I will execute."
 
Cities of the Dead follows the life of Shinra Kinneas, a high-ranking member of the revolutionary-minded crime syndicate Kingdom Come. The story takes place in an unnamed, highly futuristic and continent-spanning city (called The City, always capitalized) where corrupt mega-corporations vie against massively organized crime syndicates and street gangs for control of the populace. The government of the City is both inept and ineffectual, staffed mostly by rich autocrats and would-be military dictators, while the police force in charge of protecting its citizens—the Valkyr—can do little but rely on mercenary companies and brutal shows of military force to keep any resemblance of peace.

To make matters worse, roughly 5% of the human population are born with the unnatural ability to transform themselves into inhuman monstrosities. These individuals, commonly referred to as Larüa, are nearly impossible to differentiate from their human counterparts; though possessing higher levels of strength, agility, speed, stamina, and durability overall, the only reliable method of distinguishing Larüa is through the presence of the Avatar Sign: an intricate, tattoo-like birthmark which appears on the body of a Larüa any time before their thirteenth birthday. This, however, is not what makes Larüa dangerous; upon manifesting their specific Sign, those so marked soon find themselves playing host to a parasitic psionic entity unique to their Sign. These otherworldly entities—though styling themselves after long-forgotten gods and demons—act in complete symbiosis with their vessels, granting them supernatural abilities and untold power…so long as they are kept well fed.

The story begins with Shinra returning from the far outskirts of the City after completing a four-year long mission for Baotomi, the leader of Kingdom Come. It then follows Shinra throughout the course of Baotomi’s rebellion, with the narrative chronicling both his place within it, and everything that happens because he is part of it. At certain points in the narrative, however, the point of view will shift to tell the stories of other characters connected to, and ultimately affected by, what Shinra and Kingdom Come hope to achieve.

These characters are:
  • Deidre Petrakis: an information runner who, after aiding Shinra escape back to Kingdom Come, stumbles upon a secret conspiracy which may spell destruction for the tenuous balance of their entire world.
  • Ptolemy Corvino: a lieutenant-detective of the Valkyr who, through the course of chasing down a serial killer, crosses paths with Kingdom Come and vows to put an end to the cataclysmic future their “revolution” threatens to bring.

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