[dropcap size=big]B[/dropcap]rilliant Shadows is a fantasy visual novel featuring two very opposite schools of magic. Necromancy is known for its practition of the dark arts, usually in the form of raising the dead and casting curses on others. The purity of the paladins are typically shown as being defenders of justice and the use of holy magic to help others. At least these are the generalizations of both forms of sorcery and, as with everything else, not everything follows these rules.
In Brilliant Shadows, both necromancers and paladins live in a sort of symbiotic relationship whereby a ritual is cast with a even number of each being bonded together in a yin-yang relationship. In fact, you see one in the demo during this ritual. Half of the circle is pitch black and the other is the purity of a bright light. And each pairing shares a tattoo on the back of their hands. One necromancer and one paladin. The pairing is complete.
The demo shows us a brief glimpse in this bonding ritual. It also introduces us to the main characters in Brilliant Shadows, Prudence Celeste and Veronica Ashmar. They are best friends and both just graduated from the academy together, ready to perform the above-mentioned ritual. They just know that they’ll be bonded together, Prude the paladin and Ash the necromancer.
The most interesting thing about Ash is that she is most definitely not your stereotypical necromancer. In fact, none of the characters that appear in the demo seem to fit their usual description. Ash is more bubbly and upbeat than you would expect from a practitioner of the dark arts. And Prude is hardly anything that her name would suspect. And the other major character introduced so far in Brilliant Shadows is Hektor Warlock, a necromancer who has yet to bond with a paladin. Yes, that really is his name.
The ritual is presided over by a necromancer and paladin pair of instructors and they make sure that everyone who receives a paired tattoo are matched up. Things don’t go quite as smooth as they have for so many years previously. There are an odd number of graduates but all of them receive marks on their hands. Unfortunately, Prude and Ash are not paired up. In fact, our paladin protagonist is paired with Hektor. While Hektor is ecstatic that he’s finally bonded with a paladin, his realization that this has potentially driven a wedge in the others’ relationship is one that he wants to help with. And he heads over to the instructors to see if Ash has a pairing at the very least.
Unfortunately, nobody has her mark. Which is not only strange but unprecedented in the history of the school. What this means in Brilliant Shadows remains to be seen as the demo cuts off here. I had originally backed this one because I’m a huge fan of paladins but after playing the demo I found myself wanting to see more between this trio of young mages and where their adventures will take them.