Imagine immortal warriors who spend eternity alone, watching mortal friends age and die, century after century, thousands of years on end, battling untold wars. Recalling lovers brings such pain, it’s better to forget. Why would anyone want to go on?
Immortal Warriors – and Gamers
Humans created genetically-designed creatures to make life easier. Humans themselves disdained such enhancements, and within a few generations, the title Human Pure identified those who had never commingled blood or accepted genetic changes. Genslaves did the work; humans reaped the benefits. Depending on the job required, each genslave could be telepathic, empathic, shape-shifting, half animal, or a pleasure giver, and some were illusion casters. However, genslaves were also the finest scientists, healers, artists, and teachers.
Nothing normal described the warriors. All had various enhanced skills. Too powerful to kill, they regenerated no matter how catastrophic the wound. Immortal warriors do not take orders.. They take control.
It took many centuries before a traitor within their ranks helped trap the invincible army. Imprisoned on a world dubbed Sempervia, far out on the galaxy’s rim, these immortal warriors had no way home. With little more than a handful of farming tools and a few crates of seeds, the exiles faced a battle unlike any that had come before. In a twist of irony, the ragged and starving immortals died, only to rise again and face one more bleak day of survival.
Thousands of years later, those same half-million now live as one with the world they’ve transformed into a paradise. There are no children. All are barren. Calling themselves Reborn, they take pains to hide their world from outsiders, and are peace-loving, docile, and content.
Except for one hundred renegades and their leader, Pietas. They refuse to forgive their expulsion from their birthright — their loss of freedom to roam the galaxy. One hundred and one live for revenge. Rejecting the pacifist name Reborn, the exiles called themselves Sempervians. The name means ever living.
Immortal Warriors on Sempervia
Pietas held his people together by preaching a doctrine that only death made life meaningful. Peril is a real-time role-playing game lived out in forty-year increments. As the Gamemaster, Pietas oversees details of his followers’ lives. Players strive during each lifetime to achieve goals against friends who are adversaries or allies, depending on the toss of the dice. They crave wining at all costs. Peril pits empires and worlds against powers far beyond any mortal’s ability to know, understand, or even glimpse.
To fail means a solid year of Penance at the hands of the Gamemaster, Pietas. Repeated, daily deaths. Dying and coming back at their peak age. The Gamemaster plays no favorites, grants no mercy, even to the one he loves — the one follower who has challenged Pietas throughout the centuries but cannot bring himself to love Pietas back the way he himself is loved, yet defers to the Gamemaster’s power. Cyken Tomarus, known in this lifetime as Luc Saint-Cyr.
No one leaves Peril. If the others don’t hunt you down, or the android referees can’t find you, the galaxy is full of bounty hunters eager for a scalp, and no price is too high to pay for a traitor. No mercy awaits immortal warriors dragged back for Pietas’s wrath.
Assisting in the game are the Chosen, generations of mortals who know the secrets of the Sempervians and vow to make their transitions from life to life possible, a rare few ending up as lovers of their immortal masters. Two such Chosen were Wulf, once belonging to Luc Saint-Cyr, and Alitus, once belonging to Empress Rheyn Destoiya. These Chosens’ unforgivable sin was to fall in love with each other, thereby pitting the two strongest players — former allies — against one another.
Pietas declared the two Chosen untouchable, safe within his keeping, and he watches from afar. The story plays out among the worlds of the Tarthian Empire. He reveals that a few decades earlier, he created a group of “Changelings.” Death or an infusion of immortal blood awakens dormant cells to begin their transformation into an immortal. The Chosen Alitus is one. Others wait, reared by mortals as mortals, without knowledge of their rightful heritage.
Who is next?
Who are the next Changelings? Will they be immortal warriors? Or perhaps they will bring Peril to a riotous end. Subscribe to the Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and find out as each new book reveals more of the truth.