Moribund is a terminal world that deals with gods and faith, deserts and history, and themes of love, home, and family. I’ll introduce a few of its main stories below, since they are the most concise window into the world I can offer.
Deadeye Brun is the finest sharpshot in the known universe, and the notorious Captain of the Condign Cartel. She carved a bloody warpath through the high Asthaom desert with her on-again-off-again girlfriend, Darrow, in search of priceless condign dye.
But there came a quiet hour of the night where she confessed to Darrow that a smuggler’s life was beginning to wear on her. She was thinking about disbanding the cartel– and that maybe it was time for the two of them to break up for good. Brun woke up the morning after with her ex’s crossbow in her mouth.
Bound to the cartel’s service through blackmail and the unshakeable fear that her life is beyond salvaging, Brun is reduced to a base drive to survive. She believes she is completely alone in her grief, until a handsome idiot shows up during one of her condign runs and ruins everything.
When Prisoner was a young man, he stole away from the city Basedt and into the long ash tundra. He became the only Basedti refugee to escape a terrestrial maelstrom that has isolated the city from the rest of the world for over a hundred years.
He found a good life at the island Mercasor. But for the next 20 years, Prisoner's every step is shadowed by a secret grief that is his and his alone. Unable to reconcile with the memory of those he left behind, he becomes the only man to leave the terrestrial maelstrom-- and to return.
Roan crawled out of the ocean black one day, and the Akiat diaspora buckled in relief for the return of their late saint Lex.
Unfortunately, Roan has no recollection of who she is, how she arrived at the shores of Asthaom, or if indeed she even is Lex. But her true identity becomes the least of her troubles when she realizes the gravity of her circumstances: the high Asthaom desert has no life to offer the Akiat people. With nowhere left to go, Roan must carry the hopes of thousands to the summit of Scaiuq, and petition the exiled god Sentin for relief– or die fighting for it.
Tucked away in the desert Forlorn is the backwater town of Sam Hill. It's described variously as “A god-forsaken den of iniquity,” “a cruel, debase mockery of society contrived by exiles, thieves, and murderers,” and “the throat of the Devil himself.”
It is these stories that draw the unforgiving eye of inquisitor Redmond Faraday. But what she finds there is a tiny, fiercely loving community of ex-cons, refugees, and reformed criminals. God-fearing folk like herself, many of which who attribute their miraculous change of heart to the good word of the local Reverend.
Redmond decides to attend one of the Reverend's services, and witness the "miracle" herself. What the town doesn't tell her is that the Reverend has horns and a tail.
You can view the Hell's Gate sketchbook here.
The Moribund world itself is a near-earth with deep roots in the culture and natural history of the Sonoran desert. Much is the same; familiar flora and fauna populate the world, and they abide by similar rules as us. But much is different; a world-history evolves under circumstances divorced from ours, defined by the presence of metaphysics and man-made gods. Most of the focus is on the island of Mercasor, and on high Asthaom and its surrounding areas.