Summary:Dark One Book 1
Summary pages have spoilers through the end of the book they summarize. However, they also have links to the rest of the Coppermind, which has full spoilers. To safely browse non-summary pages, consider using the Time Machine.
This page contains a chapter by chapter summary of Dark One Book 1. We hope this summary will make it easier to find specific areas of the book, as well as providing a quick plot refresher for anyone who doesn't want to take the time to reread the entire book.
Prologue: The Heart of the City
- Plot Summary
A battle rages in The Black City on Mirandus between the drull and the Vanguards of the Light. Rastik, a drull discusses the battle with their Lord, a masked figure in a dark cloak. The Lord comments on how good does not exist, before telling Rastik to clear their thoughts or the bond will be corrupted. Rastik insists it is their choice before the Lord kills them, splattering themselves with the blood. The Lord takes off their mask to show a human face with red eyes.
Chapter 1: The Unsafe Boy
- Plot Summary
Paul and Dr. Marcus discuss Paul's moving out of home, and how Paul doesn't dream and believes himself to be dangerous. Paul seeing the Doctor was part of his agreement with his mother for moving out. Paul sees a ghostly figure, Nikka, that claims to be his sister, but Paul claims to not have a sister and doesn't tell the Doctor. Paul heads home and talks with Nikka about his ideas for making a city organization video game The game mostly runs itself with input needed from the player to fix small problems that keep cropping up daily, hinting at his personal life problems.
Paul's mother calls him and mistakenly wishes him a happy birthday a week early. To move the conversation on, Paul asks about her new case as an attorney. It turns out her new case is about a serial killer. A meeting with Geoff Mitchell, a partner at the firm, leads to pressure to make a plea deal rather than defend Mr. Caligo, despite most evidence being circumstantial.
Following the meeting, Geoff head to his big office, before transitioning across to The Kingdoms of Light on Mirandus, an alternate world. Here Geoff is a Destined One, who meets with King Gosovic to confirm the next verse of the Narrative has started as he has discovered the next Dark One. King Gosovic wants to wait till the Narrative starts before moving to fight the Dark One, but Geoff, going by the name Illarion here, believes different and sets out with the next Destined One Kraisis, and a loyal knight to strike first.
On Earth, Paul has moments of panic while out and quickly calls an emergency session with Dr. Marcus. Here Paul comes out with the whole truth, how he sees the world differently and how he sees Nikka. Nikka tries to urge Paul to run, but the knight from Mirandus bursts through the door, killing Dr. Marcus with a sweep of his sword. Paul runs before the knight catches up and declares himself as Sir Ysla before trying to kill Paul. Paul embraces a power within him, and a big explosion occurs, killing the knight and moving Paul and Nikka to Mirandus.
Intermission 1: The First Story
Figures chop down some trees and make two masks; one stripped of bark to look pale and human, the other reminiscent of the Dark One's mask. A group sits around a bonfire, before the two with the masks get up and act out a story. The human-like masked figure holds a dagger, and appears to stab themselves, drawing blood while the masked person and surrounding people cheer.
Chapter 2: Into the Shadow of the World
- Plot Summary
Paul thrumming with power placates an Evermouth, a giant lizard beast, so that he can ride it to traverse the desolate landscape. He meets a mounted knight who first believes Paul to be a drull, before after a short confrontation reveals themselves to be Princess Feotora. Feotora starts to lead Paul out of the drull land before they are attacked by a large pack of Evermouths. Feotora immediately slays the Evermouth Paul was riding before leaping forward to fight the incoming pack. After slaying a few, Paul using some of his power sweeps his sword and bisects the rest of the pack in one strike.
On Earth, Lin goes to the corrections facility that her client, Mister Caligo is being held in. The guards warn her that Caligo is dangerous, and as they enter she demands the remove the face mask they've been making him wear after biting another mans tongue off. Caligo admits to the fifteen murders he is being accused of, plus more the police don't know about. He wishes for the state to give him the death penalty and hopes admitting to more crimes helps with this.
Around a campfire at night, Feotora tells Paul about the Narrative, and the battle between the Destined One and the Dark One. Feotora admits to wanting to be the Destined One as a child, and training to one day become them, before accepting that the Destined One has been found by Illarion, the White Wizard. A bond starts to develop between Paul and Feotora while Nikka looks on.
As Paul and Feotora get close to leaving the Warfields of Karkun, and closer to the Kingdoms of Light, they see a drull encampment. Feotora, as Commander of the Long Hunt, believes she must destroy them for the good of the kingdom. They charge in on Landras, Feotora slaying drull, before Paul comes face to face with a drull. He stabs the drull through the chest, unleashing his power, causing the drull to recognize him as the one, the Dark One. Feotora tries to kill Paul now recognizing him as the Dark One, but fails as the drull now seek to protect Paul, and thus she retreats gravely injured.
Intermission 2: The Garden of Stone
A series of statues showing the rise of the Dark One, the Destined One gearing up, fighting and then ultimately being victorious for the light.
Chapter 3: Those Without Souls
- Plot Summary
Feotora kneels before King Gosovic, declaring that the Dark One has risen. Illarion wants to immediately set out to face the Dark One, but Gosovic wants to wait and let the Narrative unfold. An argument occurs but Gosovic refuses to change his mind.
Paul travels through the Blackened Lands, with a group of drull following despite Paul's protests. One gives their name as Rastik and explains how the Dark One rules the drull and is enemy to the light. The Narrative is explained as the bedrock upon which the world is build. Rastik explains how the Narrative is inescapable, and how Paul is effectively a dread tyrant. The dark city where Paul's castle is located is explained to contain secrets about the Dark One, so Paul directs Rastik to guide him there.
The city once carried a dark purpose, the drull rose and build Ironkeepers, automatons filled with the Dark One's power that were more powerful than drull. The Dark Keep was built to protect sacred drull places and remember previous leaders. Despite the greatest efforts of previous Dark One Malmahan, the drull still lost against the light and the city fell into disrepair as the drull learned to acknowledge the truth that the Narrative did not care about them.
Paul is urged to drink from the well contained within the Dark Keep but Paul is hesitant to, being fearful of what is to come. After Rastik leaves Paul alone in the keep, Nikka urges Paul to drink from the well to gain knowledge and understanding of the truth. Being close to the well allows Nikka to show Paul things, and at his permission, she grabs his head and shows him.
Mr Caligo's trial is starting back on Earth, and after some formalities the defense led by Lin Yang-Tanasin gives the non-negotiable deal that her client will plead guilty to the fifteen murders, plus an additional thirteen murders for the sole request of the death penalty. The judge is not amused and takes Lin back to her chambers to discuss this deal. The judge refuses to apply the death penalty as a sentence despite Lin's arguments.
Feotora views Kraisis training and insists on a fight to vent her frustrations. Kraisis accepts. A fight ensues, with Feotora being hit a few times before getting a good strike against Kraisis which is immediately returned. Illarion interrupts before Kraisis can do too much more to Feotora, and Illarion shows Feotora to his chambers. Illarion starts to explain how he came from Earth through a door, and that all Destined and Dark Ones have come from Earth. Illarion claims Earth has stolen the Narrative from Mirandus, and that King Gosovic refuses to accept Illarion's explanations. Illarion claims now that Earth has stolen the Narrative, the people of the light need to force it to change, that he must be the last Destined One, and it needs a true leader to lead them.
Late at night, a dark figure sneaks into King Gosovic's chambers and draws a knife. The doors are closed quietly. The following day, Illarion announces the king's death, and crowns Feotora queen. Feotora organizes a plan of attack against Paul and the drull, and leads Kraisis and an army of troops to the dark city.
In the courtroom, the judge denies the defendant's request as the State of New York does not accept the death penalty as a punishment. Mr Caligo, disappointed in the decision and Lin's efforts on his behalf, uses his powers to seize control of everyone except Lin in the courtroom. Mr Caligo explains it is the hatred of him that allows him to do so, and he demands Lin take a gun off a security guard, threatening and killing several people until she does.
Outside the Dark Keep, Rastik leads a prayer for Paul as the Dark One rises. Inside, Nikka shows Paul themselves as children together, their father appearing and disappearing all the time. After Paul and Nikka's father's death, Paul and Nikka sneak into their father's office. Here they find a doorway to Mirandus and go through. Running around, they just miss a mounted soldier's calls about mines, and Nikka steps on one. With no time to act, Paul uses his abilities to kill and then bind Nikka's soul to the necklace she had been wearing. After learning he had killed Nikka, Paul drinks from the well; red light flashes in the sky, announcing to the world the well has been drunk.
Intermission 3: The Tragedie of the Boy Karkun
Act five, scene three of a play script to be performed at the globe. The scene is titled The Well of Darkness and revolves around Karkun, the first Dark One. It is described as a bloody scene. Attached is a note on behalf of the king requesting a new script before the performance in a fortnight, as the depiction of Karkun is considered hogwash.
Chapter 4: A New Narrative
- Plot Summary
Feotora, leading Kraisis and the soldiers of the light, arrives at the dark city. A drull sees the arrival, and a horn is blown to announce the arrival of the army. Rastik leads Paul to his armor before they discuss activating the Ironkeepers. A soul is required to activate them, and Rastik offers himself. Paul kills Rastik, and the Ironkeepers are activated.
Mr. Caligo, still controlling everyone in the courtroom on Earth except Lin, reveals himself as Malmahan the Uncalled. He reveals how only fragments of memory are left of people from Mirandus, explaining why people have trouble remembering him despite the horrid crimes he has committed. Malmahan reveals a device called the Peragator, a device to get him back to Mirandus. When a soul dies, it touches the Narrative, allowing Malmahan to do anything. A doorway to Mirandus will be opened with one last death, which he insists must be his own taken by the hands of Lin while she remembers her son Paul. Lin shoots Malmahan after he threatens to kill everyone she knows, and they both disappear.
Paul, as the Dark One, enters the battle, leading the Ironkeepers and instructing them to devastate the light. Feotora and Kraisis defeat many drull and destroy an Ironkeeper before Paul and Kraisis come face to face. Nikka and Rastik, who is now a ghostly figure like Nikka, believe Paul will fail as that is the way of the Narrative. But Paul defeats Kraisis, stealing his soul and returning it to the soil to give life to more drull. The dark now fight back and Paul faces off against Feotora. Paul tries to convince Feotora to retreat or join him, remembering the bond they shared when they first met. Feotora refuses and Paul defeats Feotora before she calls a retreat. Nikka and Rastik are proud and unsure, now that the Narrative is silent after what Paul has accomplished, defeating the light. Paul, standing in front of a mass of drull, declares himself the Dark One and pledges to love the unlovable. The drull will never go unloved again.
While wandering outside, Paul is pulled back to Earth, to the courtroom where Mr. Caligo was recently on trial. The police move in and take Paul into custody while demanding to know the location of Lin, believing Paul to be the suspect. The police lead Paul away while he insists he is not crazy.
A tree is chopped down and two masks are made. Around a campfire, a re-enactment of the Narrative takes place. The Dark One wins the battle, to the disbelief of the light.
Atop a nearby hill, Malmahan and Lin overlook the scene being played out. Malmahan claims that his cycle broke the Narrative, but he was not there to see the victory. Paul is now gone, and so the Dark One will appear to be dead to those on Mirandus. So with eyes glowing red, Malmahan says "Long Live the Dark One".
|Dark One (Earth/Mirandus)
Graphic Novels: Book 1
Audio Originals: Forgotten · Prophetic Histories
|Paul Tanasin · Nikka · Lin Yang-Tanasin · Gosovic · Feotora · Illarion · Kraisis · Malmahan · Rastik
|Mirandus · Kingdoms of Light · Blackened Lands · Pitch
|Magic and Lore
|Narrative · Destined One · Dark One · Well of Sorrows · Peragator
|Drull · Evermouth · Ironkeeper