This page touches on some light spoilers, especially in the "Characters" section, and takes a little dive into the world that lead to the events of Vile. If you want to go in fresh, which is how the story is written to be experienced, probably just start reading; there won't be any information on this page that won't be covered in the story, and you'll know most of it after the first ten pages or so anyway. This page is designed to be little more than a blurb for those who need a bit more convincing, or just can't handle the suspense! You have been warned!
The plane of Vile is one driven by belief and forged from conflict and compassion in a process called The Cycle. The four fundamental forces of the void; Creation, Destruction, Potential and Decay; each form a part of the tapestry of the planes with their respective elements; Light, Blood, Fire and Dust. It's a plane where the scales of the Mata form the earth, sky, stars and cores of the worlds. It's a world where collossal creatures roam the surface and below, persuing meaning. It's a space where your motivations, emotions and ideals literally shape the world around you. Through embodying one's beliefs and desires, the world can be altered to them in a process called shifting. Through shifting, one can change the fabric of the world, creating a new pattern in the tapestry, which manifests in countless and extraordinary ways. As a side effect to this, your beliefs are branded on your being in the form of a prominent colour. In humans it manifests as the colour of their hair, but it differs from species to species. While this can be cause for celebration and unity, having one's beliefs broadcast to the world at all times can be a natural cause of tension for any form of life.
Vile takes place in a country formerly known as Lo'Xian, or "Empire of the Pure". Seven years ago, The Resistance overthrew and dismantled the empire, founding Lo'Ren in its ashes. In the wake of this conflict, and the atrocities committed by Lo'Xian, the neighboring country of Bàmàk invaded the fledgeling civilization, resulting in the beginning of The War, where we currently find ourselves.Even with The War aside, the continent is not exactly peaceful. Due to one's beliefs being apparent in their appearance, everyone very much bears their soul to the world whether they want to or not, and many are openly shunned and oppressed because of this. Although Lo'Ren is excessively more liberal than Lo'Xian ever was, it is by no means open to all ideals, especially not those of the Bàmàk.
Each of the first four volumes of Vile will have two focus characters. Due to the huge cast and the need to avoid spoilers, I'll only introduce those eight characters, and to as limited an extent as possible.
Emily - A cherry-gilled dyrell who seems to view the world as a child would watch a fire as it slowly flickers. Her eyes constantly glow, and a frown is rarely seen on her face despite her grisly reality. Although she seems relatively disconnected from her world at times, she cares deeply for the people around her, and very few would talk badly of her. She has a huge soft spot for Noch, often defending him from stupid comments, and has grown to care for Bea more than she could have expected. She lives in a world of absolutes, and holds a very strong sense of right and wrong. Her skills with manipulating technology are unmatched, and she has little care for the politics of The War.
Violet - Daughter of Chole, a vivid, pink-haired human and a favorite of the people. She struggles to see the good in the world around her, but rare moments bring her a profound appreciation for it. Ever since joining The Defence, she's presented herself as Violet to Lo'Ren and has become highly regarded due to her ability to pull herself through the void, or 'blink', short distances. Very few are aware that she and her "deceased brother" Chrim are one and the same, as the secret is closely guarded by her mother. Her twin brother Arcel unfortunately did perish during the fall of Lo'Xian, and she misses him more than she can say, and she keeps a locket of his as the tie for her cloaks. She's volatile in everything she does, and tends to act based on her passion first, yet she still holds on to her love for her friends and respects her importance in the events in her country. She and Maxie are nigh inseparable.
Beatrix - A powerful, orange-haired body shifter, specializing in changing their own form to the point where anything about how they looked when they were born is unknown, possibly even to themself. They're rather feared throughout Lo'Ren, body shifting being frowned upon even in small amounts, but they take little notice of disparaging comments towards them, and are actually quite well loved amongst their ranks. They're well known for enjoying days off in a stupor, most of the time with company. Upon meeting Emily, Bea became infatuated with her and made great efforts to become close, only to find that they became far closer than intended. People often become confused as to their gender when they refuse to keep themself to one form or another, but Beatrix themself doesn't really care, shifting pronouns as readily as their body. While largely docile, Bea is fierce to defend those that they’re close to, especially Em, Kyla and Maxie, although they seem to hold some resentment for how much time Maxie spends with Violet.
Deivera - A white-haired, human Bàmàk soldier regarded as a disobidient grunt by her peers, despite her incredible talent with shifting sound. Her behavior is tolerated, keeping to Bàmàk custom regarding Shifting and beliefs, but she has often found herself on the outskirts of her hive, tending to seek other interests and hobbies than those within the hive. She has been known to go missing for days on end, secretly spending time with a nearby solitary fae. She's generally a wildcard in battle, as the sounds that she uses in her shifting are pulled from the void, and will change in effect from moment to moment. She detests The War, and seems to always be a moment away from fleeing Bàmàk and Lo'Ren.
Chole - A light-blue haired, revin human, former leader of the rebellion, and now known formally as Commander Chole Leif, although she objects to that title and to titles in general. She believes that titles are not something to strive for, and that they simply smother greatness and breed superiority complexes. She's been around long enough to see even the most innocent of people corrupted by power, and long enough to see many who could conduct great change simply ignore it, including Violet's father. After the fall of Lo’Xian, she became a figurehead for the people due to her efforts during The Resistance and notoriety in history, and her daughter Violet became her pride and joy in the wake of Arcel's death. She takes great care to ensure that no one ever finds out that Arcel's twin Chrim didn't die, and is in fact simply trans, as the consequences would be devastating for both of them. Her days tend to revolve around the needs of others, with very little time for her personal life, although given the amount of lives she's lived in her many years, she doesn't seem to mind.
Noch - A renown, yellow-haired Lyrin, infamous for his raw strength and feminine appearance. He's rarely shunned for the way he presents, and is actually remarkably well liked for someone who is publicly different. Many in Lo'Ren still disapprove of his standing of course, but many more admire his will and conviction, seeing him as a symbol of changed times. He loves Emily, as she fills the role of his late family rather adeptly, and he's been known to spend a decent amount of time with Maria and Kyla. His quilting is said to be legendary, and he never fails to have a magnificently styled mane thanks to Emily's touch.
Maxie - A dour yet mischievous, blue-gilled dyrell with strangely iridescent hair. She enjoys the tactile effect of technology over a purely shifting based approach, effortlessly combining the two with ruthless precision. She makes especially deft use of her mechanical hands and trusty rail cannon that she affectionately calls Vera. A born revolutionary, Maxie has become somewhat of a legend in the way that the Bàmàk have no idea who she is, nor the fact that she even exists despite her numerous feats in The War. Her somewhat peculiar methods of shifting allow her to leave little to no trace of herself, including passively wiping herself from records and memories, giving her a tendency to be "misplaced". She's taken a liking to Violet, and the two are often seen together more than anyone else in their troop. Her feelings for Carrie are no secret, as she's not exactly good at hiding them, but if Carrie knows then she doesn't show it. Her and Bea are old friends, going back to before the war even started, when they were little more than street rats.
Roan - a Cyan, human Hive-Queen of the Bàmàk, held in high regard due to his technical and interpersonal prowess. His hive is renown for its great strength and functionality, and his methods of leading amongst his hive have influenced relations across Bàmàk, and have helped to dismantle the strict classes of some hives. He has a vast array of critters that he cares for from time to time, most notably his pet snail Brue who cares for his garden, and he has a reputation for being loving to everyone he meets, with legendary patience.