Chapter 1: A Lock Within a Key


Posted to the Patreon on February 14, 2017, this text and image introduced what was to be the principal characters of the first phase of the Ninth Archive. Additional characters and art were going to be unlocked based on how many subscribers we achieved.

In the style of a book cover, the words 'Chapter One: A Lock Within a Key' written across a purple background. A fly buzzes between the words, a key dangles in the corner, and a ghostly, insectoid shape lurks behind everything.

Thus begins Chapter 1 of the Ninth Archive. Your eyes may take a moment to adjust to the dimness. The Key is prepared, it now lies on you to discover its Lock.

The world of the Ninth Archive is similar to the one you inhabit, but not entirely the same.

Shanghai, Teng Long Autonomous Region, 2037 (腾龙自治区上海2037年)

Swan, a sixteen-year-old student of violin hoping to attend conservatory in America. Those who hear her playing often discover rose petals in their pockets later, or remember things that didn’t happen to them.

Her twin sister, Kali is pursued by a shadowy hacker Cabal, with many of her online aliases having been surreptitiously erased by the authorities. Her collection of hard-to-find information is both coveted and feared.

Winters Research Station, Antarctica, 2020

Rin, aged eleven, is the only child accompanying a research team investigating unexplained phenomena related to subglacial trenches. He passes the dark hours making lists, poring over gaming rulebooks, and listening to the radio when it’s not tuned to any channel. His A.I. companion, Go, is always close at hand.

Three fates now entwined with your own.