Genre: Galactic Fantasy
Warnings: Mature Language, Violence, and Sexual Content
Status: Work-in-progress (in redevelopment)
All Our Sins is a project that first manifested when I was ten, apparently. (I recently uncovered a set of very yellowed handwritten papers from 1998 that contain a scribbled note referring to 1991 as the first concept date!) It’s undergone a number of iterations over the years as I grew as a person and became more well-read. Originally it featured human beings, ninjas, and genetic experimentation. The drafts back then read like anime! (Very bad anime.) It quickly evolved to exclude humans completely and has since taken on a life of its own.
It’s had several names: Steps to Vengeance, Spear of Destiny, Madora Myst, Saving Madora, Heart of the Empire. The current title, All Our Sins (AOS), comes from the VNV Nation song of the same name which (with a few minor lyrical changes) struck me as being a great embodiment of where the project was going.
Because I like to share, I publish AOS material here on my website. The complete archive of articles is available by accessing the AOS category. Fair warning! Other than this About page and the soundtrack, everything I’ve posted is currently only accessible to members with approved access. Everything is still in a beta state and I don’t feel ready to simply release the information “into the wild”! If you’re interested in learning more about AOS and participating in feedback and development, continue reading below but please also join the Iron Dragon’s Den on Discord and become an active participant. Once you’ve established yourself (eg, by taking initiative to chat regularly with others, sharing your own creative content, showing interest in Iron Dragon content, etc), you can request access. If approved, registration will be opened up for you.
The premise is this: the årdrakin, a bipedal species of monotremes descended from animals we would consider dragons, have a prophecy that recounts nine signs of the apocalypse. The prophecy says that once all the signs have occurred, the årdrakin race will end. Descriptions of the signs are cryptic and the prophecy is thousands of years old but because the Avatar, the literal embodiment of the Mother Goddess, is able to wield power that no science can explain, belief in the prophecy is strong. When the people finally realize the signs have started to occur, the fight is on to try to avoid their doom.
It’s not as simple as all that, of course. Individual årdrakin have agendas like most people do. There’s Zai’al, the Avatar with a secret past who aims to destroy the goddess the people know. There’s Vÿškåríel, the kinslayer who aims to rule the Empire. There’s Rakaal, the soldier who wants to restore honor to his people. And there’s Dezÿrí, the heir who wants to run from her heritage and destiny. Whether they realize it or not, any of them could be responsible, directly or indirectly, for the prophecy coming to pass.
The prophecy isn’t the only thing the årdrakin must worry about. Gannik, the leader of the skarastaja, has a bone to pick with them. Generations ago, the primitive skarastaja were uplifted by the årdrakin. The results were devastating and Gannik’s people have never recovered. Backed by an incredible power, he has vowed to avenge his people upon the sky demons. His quest may unwittingly bring about the very destruction the årdrakin prophecy has warned about for so many millennia.
Originally, AOS was going to be just one book that concerned itself with Zai’al, Vÿškåríel, Rakaal, Dezÿrí, and Gannik, and then potentially a sequel about the aftermath on the skarastaja homeworld. But because I suffer from a writing affliction called plot expansion, it’s now grown: a short (ish) prequel called The First Sin which explores what happens when the skarastaja are uplifted, then a second book, Sin Beyond Redemption, also technically a prequel, that explores what happens when Shazarel, the empress with delusions of grandeur, decides to revisit the skarastaja and ends up inciting civil war in the Empire. The third one, called Apocalypse, will be what the original book was supposed to be. And then there’s that potential sequel…
It’s a lot of work to redevelop one book into three (or four)! For so many years I struggled to keep notes about this universe organized, which undoubtedly contributed to why it’s taken me so long to get anywhere, among other reasons. I now use a program called Campfire to keep my story bible in order and keep things moving forward. A by-product of the plot expansion means I’m starting to accrue a lot of information akin to the extensive Appendices that Tolkien had for his works. That’s mind-blowing and exciting.