First published back in July of 2001, Clive Barker’s ‘Six Destines’ short stories were penned to accompany the first series of the ‘Tortured Souls’ action figure set, which were sculpted and designed by Todd McFarlane.  This first series included six figures, each of which included their own individual short story which told the reader a little of the mythology behind the figure.  A second series of action figures was later released in October of 2002; however a short story did not accompany any of these later action figures.

The third story in the series is for ‘Lucidique’ and forms Book Three of the ‘Six Destinies’ titled ‘The Avenger’.

The ‘Tortured Souls’ stories were later combined into a limited edition hardback entitled ‘Tortured Souls: The Legend Of Primordium’ (2015) that was published Subterranean Press.

DLS Synopsis:
Following the night in which the Emperor of Primordium and his family were slaughtered by The Scythe-Meister – the night which would be dubbed the Great Insurrection, the wealthy gangster Duarf Cascarellian becomes suspicious of Lucidique’s involvement with the massacre.  Indeed, with one of Cascarellian’s spies reporting of a brief exchange between Lucidique and The Scythe-Meister following the slaughter at the Emperor’s Palace, Cascarellian decides that his best course of action is to capture Lucidique so as to be able to question her on The Scythe-Meister and the possible connection this merciless killer has with his personal assassin, Zarles Kreiger, who had not been seen since the Great Insurrection.

Sending out his three sons to capture the dead Senator’s daughter, Cascarellian’s own fears of Lucidique’s wrath are not shared by the three sons.  And after much taunting and abuse, Lucidique’s anger at Cascarellian has set her destructive future in stone.  Upon Cascarellian’s desperate questioning, Lucidique requests to be taken out to the desert, to be able to see the sky.  A request that Cascarellian fulfils.  And one that will set in motion Lucidique’s final revenge on the terrified gangster…

DLS Review:
Following on almost directly from the previous instalment, ‘Tortured Souls - Six Destinies - Book 2’ (2001), Barker extends the mythos of Agonistes’ handiwork in transforming Zarles Kreiger into The Scythe-Meister, with this follow-on instalment detailing Duarf Cascarellian’s pitiful demise.  Titled ‘The Avenger’ the short is unsurprisingly centred on revenge, with Lucidique finally pushed into seeking out the assistance of Agonsites in order to reap her vengeance upon the powerful head Don.

Interestingly, Barker continues with the ‘eight days to transform the flesh of the Supplicant’ theme, setting down subtle depths to the whole mythos that gets the reader pondering the intricacies of the transformation process.  Although still drenched in misery from start to finish, the short puts a little too much attention on Duarf Cascarellian’s exploits and perhaps not enough on Lucidique’s own part in the story.  Indeed, with Lucidique as the principal character to the tale (i.e. the one that has been made into the accompanying Tortured Souls figure) it’s somewhat surprising that Barker did not put more emphasis into the depth of her own motivations to become a Supplicant to Agonistes.

Nevertheless, the short is still another powerfully evocative addition to the ‘Six Destines’ books.

The short spans across the entire width of one side of the fold-out sheet that comes included with the ‘Tortured Souls’ action figure.

© DLS Reviews

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