science fantasy ⛧ heavy metal

Shattered Harmonies
a Starbreaker novel

When the black-tie metal band Crowley’s Thoth imploded, nobody hoped for a reunion. The apparent resurrection of Christabel Crowley under a new name did not change this. Nevertheless, a reunion is necessary, for Isaac Magnin has been murdered and all three members of the band have motives that make them prime suspects.

Isaac Magnin’s death was part of the plan, but allowing the demon he imprisoned under Antarctica to run amok while the people best suited to oppose it stand trial for murder wasn’t. If they cannot clear their names by sharing their secrets, Magnin’s death will only be the beginning.

The truth sets no one free. The lies Morgan Cooper, Naomi Bradleigh, and Christabel Crowley told themselves and each other are the lies that define them. The fate they made for themselves is upon them. Can they rebuild their shattered harmonies?

The following is a work of fiction. All places, events, and people depicted in this work are fictional or used in a fictitious context. Any resemblances to real places, events, and people are coincidental. This work may not be appropriate for all readers, and the author does not condone everything they depict in this work.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note

I’m writing this novel longhand with a fountain pen using a series of hardcover notebooks. Headings like “Volume I”, “Volume II”, and so on denote the physical notebooks in which I’m doing my initial work. I’ll be sharing high-resolution images of my work and then transcribing them for more convenient reading. My wife and I can read my handwriting, but others might find it more difficult.

You can bookmark this page to follow my progress.

For anybody interested, I’m currently using a Pilot Metropolitan pen with black Namiki ink cartridges and writing in a Leuchtturm1917 A5 hardcover notebook.

Volume I

The first volume contains only pre-writing so far; I just got started.

Pages 0-1

Page 0: Shattered Harmonies Playlist

Tarja Turunen
  • “No Bitter End”
  • “Until My Last Breath”
Coheed and Cambria
  • “Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant”
  • “The Hard Sell”
  • “Dark Side of Me”
Dream Theater
  • “Learning To Live”
  • “As I Am”
  • “Misunderstood”
The Sisters of Mercy
  • “When You Don’t See Me”
  • “Small Dark Lines”
  • “Mission Profile”
  • “I Want It All”
  • “Scandal”
  • “The Show Must Go On”
Within Temptation
  • “Where Is The Edge”
  • “Stand My Ground”
  • “London”
  • “I Dream In Infrared”
  • “Best I Can”
  • “I Don’t Believe In Love”
  • “Another Lonely Night (Without You)”
  • “Eyes of a Stranger”
Lisa Dalbello
  • “Gonna Get Close To You”
“Atlas Stone”
  • “Voice”
  • “Temptation”
  • “Desire”
  • “Mr. Roboto”
Gene Loves Jezebel
  • “Desire (Come and Get It)”
  • “Break the Chain”
  • “Sweet Sweet Rain”
  • “Killed By Death”
Letters From The Fire
  • “Worth The Pain”
Ozzy Osbourne
  • “I Just Want You”
  • “Shot in the Dark”
Eternal Champion
  • “I Am the Hammer”
  • “The Armor of Ire”
  • “The Cold Sword”
  • “A Face in the Glare”
  • “The Sword Woman”
Judas Priest
  • “Killing Machine”
  • “The Sentinel”
  • “The Rage”
  • “Before the Dawn”
  • “Diamonds and Rust”
Blue Öyster Cult
  • “I Am the One You Warned Me Of”
  • “Astronomy”
  • “Black Blade”
  • “The Alchemist”
The Sword
  • “Night City”
  • “Empty Temples”
  • “Used Future”
  • “Not Enough”
  • “Get the Devil Out of Me”
  • “Fire With Fire”
  • “We Had Everything”
Iron Maiden
  • “The Evil That Men Do”
  • “Judas Be My Guide”
  • “Look For The Truth”
  • “The Edge of Darkness”
  • “When The Crowds Are Gone”
  • “Edge of Thorns”
  • “Tonight He Grins Again”
  • “Alone You Breathe”
The Protomen
  • “The Hounds”
  • “Light Up The Night”
  • “This City Made Us”
Liquid Tension Experiment
  • “Acid Rain”
Alice Cooper
  • “Poison”
  • “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
  • “Billion Dollar Babies”

Page 1: Synopsis

Shattered Harmonies is the sequel to Without Bloodshed that I attempted in 2020 as When You Don’t See Me.

In this novel Morgan Cooper and Naomi Bradleigh get the truth about Christabel Crowley. They also reveal their own truth to each other, unraveling the secrets and lies that doomed the heavy metal band Crowley’s Thoth from the start. Morgan and Naomi didn’t know that Christabel had been working for Isaac Magnin (Imaginos) the while time, or that Christabel was a role played by an actress named Annelise Copeland that Magnin had recruited and trained for the purpose with help from Elisabeth Bathory (Ashtoreth), Tamara Gellion (Thagirion), Samuel Terrell (Sathariel), and Abram Mellech (Adramelech).

Shattered Harmonies is also the name of the classical/metal crossover album that kindled Morgan’s interest in Christabel as a musician first and a woman second. He was one of her sidemen in Shattered Harmonies II, which led to them recruiting Naomi and starting Crowley’s Thoth.

Morgan and Christabel don’t know that Naomi was on a long-term mission from Desdinova of the Phoenix Society’s XC — the Executive Council — to watch over Morgan, befriend him if possible, and — should Morgan prove himselve a danger to innocent civilians — wield the Starbreaker to assassinate him. Nor do they know that Naomi possesses the Starbreaker, though Christabel is aware of Naomi’s prior service as an Adversary which ended after the Clarion Affair (see Silent Clarion for details).

Naomi and Christabel don’t know what sacrifices and compromises Morgan has made to be accepted as a human being and open doors for Crowley’s Thoth. They don’t know about the Faustian bargain he made with Isaac Magnin to make rock stardom a viable dream for him and the ladies. Christabel has an inkling, but she and Nims don’t realize that he initially signed up as a Peacemaker (arms control) and that serving as an Adversary and an assassin of the Iscariotine Order is the price he pays. Moral wounds and soul scars don’t show, but Morgan Cooper sold his soul for rock ’n roll…

continues on Page 2

Pages 2-3

Page 2: Synopsis

continued from Page 1

The small dark lines on Morgan’s heart create a motive that make him a suspect in the murder of Isaac Magnin. However, Naomi and Christabel also have small dark lines on their hearts. Christabel’s mission for Imaginos required her to be abusive toward Morgan and disrespectful to Naomi, a musician Christabel admired for her skill, grace, and professionalism. In addition, Christabel is under orders to assassinate Isaac Magnin herself if Morgan does not seek vengeance. Naomi carries guilt for not telling Morgan about her mission even though doing so would compromise her. In addition, she knows that she is the daughter of Imaginos. This knowledge and her awareness of his as-yet-unpunished crimes burden her with the fear that be [should be “she is”] her father’s daughter in every respect.

The police know this. The Phoenix Society knows this. What they don’t know is that Isaac Magnin’s death releases the demonic power he kept imprisoned beneath Mt. Erebus in Antacrtica — the ensof that pretends to be the “Lord of Hosts”: Sabaoth. This is part of Magnin’s plan, but the havoc Sabaoth will wreak if not stopped because Morgan and Naomi are in prison as suspects is not.

Only by revealing their secrets to each other and examining their shared past can the former menbers of Crowley’s Thoth clear their names in time to defy Sabaoth before they regain their truth strength.

It was for this mission that Imaginos built Morgan and of the [should be “and the other”] 666 model 100 einherjar, but Morgan turned out to be the only one capable of doing the job because of how he was shaped by his own choices and the influence of his friends and lovers. He is not chosen by prophecy or any fate but the one he made for himself.

He can’t just turn his back and say, “Not my fucking problem, Jack,” like a sensible person. Nor can his friends.

Page 3: Cast

Morgan Cooper
  • einherjar
  • Adversary
  • Iscariotine
Morgan Stormrider
  • Crowley’s Thoth (guitar, bass, vocals)
  • Morgan Cooper’s stage name
Naomi Bradleigh
  • asura
  • former Adversary
  • Inquisitor
  • Iscariotine
  • Crowley’s Thoth (keyboards, vocals)
  • bearer of the Starbreaker
Annelise Copeland
  • actress
  • agent of Imaginos
  • Iscariotine
Christabel Crowley
  • founder of Crowley’s Thoth (violin)
  • role played by Annelise Copeland
Edmund Cohen
  • sharpshooter
  • Phoenix Society XC member
Saul Rosenbaum
  • Phoenix Society
  • commands Adversaries
Iris Deschat
  • Phoenix Society
  • commands Peacemakers
Karen Del Rio
  • Phoenix Society
  • commands Inquisitors
Claire Ashecroft
  • daemon whisperer
  • grey-hat hacker
  • penetration tester
Sydney Reeves
  • daemon
  • owner of a brownstone on W. 96th street in Manhattan
  • daemon
  • one of the Sephiroth
  • looks like Samuel L. Jackson
  • sometimes cusses like him, too
Munakata Tetsuo
Nakajima Chihiro
  • armorer
  • swordsmith
  • gunsmith
  • owner of Nakajima Armaments
Isaac Magnin
  • Phoenix Society XC chair
  • CEO of the AsgarTech Corporation
  • true identity of Isaac Magnin
  • ensof
  • sorcerer
  • identifies with several trickster gods and rebels like Loki and Prometheus
  • white-haired bishounen, therefore villain
  • asura
  • doctor
  • sorcerer
  • Phoenix Society XC member
  • CEO, Ohrmazd Medical Group

continues on Page 4

Pages 4-5

Page 4: Cast

continued from Page 3

Elisabeth Báthory
  • Phoenix Society XC member
  • runs the Garden of Earthly Delights
  • regards those old murder charges as slander
  • ensof
  • sorceress
  • true identity of Elisabeth Báthory
Samuel Terell
  • Phoenix Society XC member
  • journalist
  • documentary filmmaker
  • spy
  • ninja
  • shinobi
  • ensof
  • sorcerer
  • true identity of Samuel Terell
Tamara Gellion
  • Phoenix Society XC member
  • cellist
  • socialite
  • horticulturalist
  • owner of Hanging Garden
  • ensof
  • sorceress
  • true identity of Tamara Gellion
Abram Mellech
  • Phoenix Society XC member
  • televangelist
  • CEO of Agape Ministries
  • ensof
  • sorcerer
  • true identity of Abram Mellech
Victoria Valentine
  • vocalist for VIVA
  • a big fluffy kitty who adopted Morgan
  • actually a young rakshasa
  • purring interferes with ensof psionics
Sarah Kohl
  • Inquisitor
  • former Adversary
  • in a wheelchair after injuries from Boston
  • originally “Sarah Kohlrynn” in Without Bloodshed
  • has a beef with Morgan Cooper
  • ensof
  • collective intelligence
  • pretends to be the God of Abraham
  • “Sabaoth” is not its true name, but based on an ephitet it claims for itself: “Lord of Armies”
  • intelligence inhabiting the Starbreaker
  • likes bedtime stories involving black swords
  • communicates over XMPP with TLS crypto
  • determined to kill all ensof
  • will make do with authoritarian humans
  • alias for a hacker that exposes wrongdoing
  • originally a persecuting angel in the Book of Jubilees, playing a rôle typically attributed to Satan in the Old Testament
  • possibly an einherjar, but not model 100
  • assassinated Isaac Magnin
  • possibly Polaris (type 0 einherjar) from Starbreaker 2009 draft

Page 5: Cast Relationships — Morgan

  • lovers
  • wishes to be more open with her
  • wants her to feel safe being open with him
  • ex-girlfriend
  • regrets how things worked out between them
  • doesn’t understand why
  • enemy
  • regrets the deal he made to become a rock star
  • wants out
  • suspects crimes [on his part] but needs evidence before making a move
  • friend
  • valued ally
  • might love like an annoying little sister
  • doesn’t aways get her jokes, but won’t admit it
  • commanding officer
  • respect
  • commanding officer for arms control missions
  • respect
  • admiration (sparring)
  • beneath contempt
  • regards her as a martinet with no field experience
  • comrade in arms
  • honorary godfather to their kids
  • has his [should be their if Sydney is nonbinary] back no matter what
  • mentored by (protegé?)
  • glad he’s sobered up
  • wishes he’d be less misogynistic
  • has his back
  • confidante
  • pays rent to live in her house
  • lets her write manga about him with all names changed for discretion’s sake
  • enemy
  • regrets their enmity
  • blames himself for buying Isaac’s bullshit
  • buys gear from her
  • tests her experimental tech in the field
  • wishes she had better security
  • grateful for surgery after Boston
  • trusts him as much as Bilbo Baggins should have trusted Gandalf
  • depends on him for mission support
V. Valentine
  • arrested her for attempted murder
  • staff
  • trusts the cat to have his back
  • doesn’t trust her
  • thinks she raped Edmund
  • thinks he’s a charlatan and a scumbag
  • gives interviews and quotes on tour
  • wary because of her involvement in Boston
  • blames himself for her injuries

Word Counts

How many words am I getting per page? Let’s use M-= in Emacs Org Mode to find out.

Page Words
0 283
1 353
2 322
3 198
4 269
5 272
total 1,697

Based on some quick calculations in a Python REPL I figure that a 250 page Leuchtturm 1917 A5 hardcover notebook should have a capacity of 25,000 to 87,500 words depending on how much text I can cram into each page.