The story that started it all for me; Regnum Dei. The first of the three stories that will henceforth be known as the ‘Aelia Trilogy’, Regnum Dei was the first story I ever fully wrote out back in school whenever I first got into it. Before I really get into the overview I just want to take a moment to thank the friend that got me into writing in the first place, I’ll leave him unnamed for the sake of privacy but he really was a big influencer for the kinds of things I’m doing now. In fact, back whenever I first started I even copied his writing structure which, for those interested, was set up in an RPG dialogue-style way. He showed me his stories and OCs, I liked them and whole idea behind them and to this day story writing and character design are two of the only things I still have a passion for. I haven’t properly talked to him in a while but however he’s doing I wish him the best.
Now that the vague call-out’s done, Regnum Dei! In line with the RPG-style dialogue that I previously mentioned, Regnum Dei was initially written with the idea of eventually making it into a full blown RPG. When you consider that a viable summary of the story is ‘four heroes adventure the world defeating monsters and in the end killing a demon god’, that fact becomes apparent. It was an extremely simple and pretty short story with each section acting like a ‘level’. You can imagine how quickly an RPG plot can be written if you take every running through a field killing fodder monsters section and make only a few lines out of them. It goes without saying that the updated version you’ll be seeing on this website will be a lot more substantial since it’s actually being written as a story.
The title ‘Regnum Dei’ is a latin term that means ‘Kingdom of God’. Really the use of Latin is kinda inconsequential other than sounding cool, though the title itself does have meaning. It refers both to the balance of kingdoms in the setting and the fact that the demon god intends to attain sovereignty over the mortal realm.
This event has been referred to in other blog posts so it may sound familiar, the plot to Regnum Dei begins shortly after the demon god Arius tears a path between the underworld and the mortal realm. Even though Arius is the most powerful of all demons, he is not exempt from the universal law that prevents his kind from fully manifesting their power in other realms. He plots a way to perfectly project himself into the mortal realm, all the while the souls of once-mortal evildoers pour out of the tear and flood the plane of the living in the forms of monsters. Aelia is unfortunately the world at the forefront of this attack and it is one that has only recently been gifted with the blessing of magic. Woefully unprepared, there are only a handful of magic users the world over that are capable of saving their kingdoms from this threat from beyond.
The four heroes of the story are what makes Regnum Dei a not entirely generic RPG fiasco. Even back when I initially wrote it I realized that just making four lawful heroes wasn’t really gonna cut it when it comes to originality. The first of these heroes and the first that you’ll be seeing in the story is the dark knight Raviel, one of the rare magic users on Aelia who is deeply loyal to his kingdom even though it is the smallest in the lands. The second is Aruval, the son of a powerful emperor who, in contrast to Raviel, hails from one of the most powerful and feared kingdoms in the world. The third is Shinato, an assassin who was tasked with killing Aruval amidst the chaos of Aelia’s crisis so as to bring down his kingdom. The last is Xerxes, a demon who decided to wander through Arius’ tear out of little more than curiosity.
The idea behind these four main characters is I wanted them all to be unconventional by RPG standards, falling into archetypes that may more often be seen on the villain’s side rather than the hero’s. Other than Raviel being loosely based on Cecil, the protagonist of Final Fantasy IV, a reader shouldn’t have any reason to believe the other characters have any business saving the world. Aruval is the son of an emperor who is practically a tyrant. Shinato is a killer who has been trained to cast off her morals and follows an order to assassinate another human while the world is being terrorized by monsters. Xerxes is just an Actual Demon. What brings these characters together and what leads them towards being the ones who battle against Arius for the fate of the world are things I’ll leave for the actual story itself.
With Regnum Dei I aim to capture a world that isn’t quite post-apocalyptic but is very much on the brink. A world living in utter terror, kingdoms on the edge of falling and being slaughtered by dark-willed creatures. The end of the world in motion, all balanced around the moment when Arius is able to step upon mortal soil and invoke the decisive moment when either Aelia wins or the entire universe loses.