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Map of the Nether

Nethercreature is the official name for monsters from the Nether. They like to hide in dark places—under the bed, in the closet, and up in the attic. They are real and they are dangerous.

The Nether is where Nethercreatures live. It’s best to think of it as a bulls-eye with five rings. In the very center is the Inner Circle where the Named live—they are the deadliest of the Nethercreatures. Nethercreatures begin their lives in the outer ring as Class 1s. As they mature, they migrate to the Inner Circle, becoming more deadly and vicious with each ring they pass.

The Gift is the ability to portal Nethercreatures and it is fueled by imagination. It is essential that those with the Gift learn to control it—the stronger the Gift, the larger and more powerful the portal that can be created, and the more dangerous the Nethercreature that can come through.

The Nightmare Academy is a training facility run by Headmaster Brazenhope. When students graduate from the Academy, they often go to work for the Nightmare Division.

The Nightmare Division is an incredibly secret organization, charged with controlling the Nethercreature population. It is currently run by Director Reginald Drake, who incidentally does not possess the Gift.

Nethermancers are Nightmare Division agents that have the ability to open portals into and out of the Nether. The Gift of Nethermancy is fueled by fear. Well-trained Nethermancers can channel their fear and portal to a specific place in the Nether.

Banishers are Nightmare Division agents that fight Nethercreatures and banish them back to the Nether through the portals that Nethermancers create. They are quick on their toes and think outside the box.

Facilitators are those who have either lost the Gift or have been Reduced. They accompany Nethermancers and Banishers on their missions and act as liaisons between the Nightmare Division and the agents in the field.

Reduced is when the Nightmare Division reduces the amount of creative thought a Gifted person is capable of, thereby reducing their ability to portal or banish. Although this is not a practice Headmaster Brazenhope believes in, Director Drake thinks it is an effective way to prevent the portalling of Nethercreatures to Earth.

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Charlie Benjamin felt like the loneliest kid in the world until he came to the Nightmare Academy. Now, he is surrounded by friends that understand what it’s like to have the Gift. Even though Charlie’s Gift is stronger than the Nightmare Division has seen in years, he must learn to control it before it’s too late.

Likes: Marshmallow chicks.
“I mean, who doesn’t? Seriously.”

Hates: Being alone.
“There’s too many interesting people out there. Why not meet ’em?”

Theodore Dagget is a boisterous and overly confident know-it-all, but he’s a true friend to Charlie and has chosen him as his new best pal.

Likes: Banishers.
“After all, my dad was a Banisher…”

Hates: Being called “Theo.”
Never call me Theo. Never.”

Violet Sweet is a quick thinker and has no problem arguing with Theodore when she disagrees with him—which is most of the time.

Likes: Fantasy art.
“Which doesn’t make me a geek.”

Hates: Boys who think they’re better than girls just because they’re boys.
“I’m looking at you, Theo…”

Brooke Brighton’s beauty leaves Charlie so dizzy that he can’t think. Unfortunately, she considers him an annoying “Noob”—a first-year student. Brooke is training to be a Facilitator because she no longer has the Gift.

Likes: Playing Game Boy and wearing expensive clothes.
“Not necessarily in that order.”

Hates: Noobs.
“Yes, I know I was once a Noob myself—so what?”

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Headmaster Brazenhope commands the respect of those around her. She is a Double-Threat, which means her Gift is so powerful that she is both a Nethermancer and a Banisher.

Likes: Opera, chamomile tea, and bo-staff fighting.
“There is nothing more soothing after destroying a Nethercreature than listening to Wagner while enjoying a good cup of tea.”

Hates: Closed-minded individuals.
“But Director Drake already knows how I feel about him.”

Rex Henderson makes decisions based on instinct and he doesn’t like rules. In fact, he prefers being called a Wrangler instead of a Banisher. Rex can be a loose cannon, but he always stands up for what is right.

Likes: Hamburgers with Tabasco sauce.
“Because ketchup is for sissies.”

Hates: Goldfish.
’Cause their bug-eyes are just plain creepy. Tell me I’m wrong.”

Tabitha Greenstreet is one of the best Nethermancers at the Nightmare Division. She’s quick at conjuring up portals for Rex to banish Nethercreatures into. She’s also quick at turning down his relentless attempts to sweet-talk her.

Likes: Shopping at outlet stores.
“Why pay retail?”

Hates: Goldfish.
“Because their bug-eyes are creepy—but don’t tell Rex I agreed with him.”

Edward Pinch is the Facilitator on Rex and Tabitha’s team. He takes his job very seriously and strictly follows the rules laid out by the Nightmare Division. This usually puts him at odds with Rex.

Likes: A well-tailored suit.
“Handmade, obviously.”

Hates: A poorly tailored suit.
“A bad suit is like a bad habit—easy to acquire, hard to get rid of.”

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Barakkas the Rager is one of the Named. His temper is legendary and you never know what will set it off. He is desperately trying to cross over to Earth, and he thinks Charlie is just the kid to open a portal for him to come through.

Verminion the Deciever is the only Named to have crossed over to Earth, although he promptly vanished from sight after arriving twenty years ago. Since then he has been assembling an army of Nethercreatures, drawing them to him as they portal through.

Mimics are Nethercreatures that can turn themselves into exact replicas of any creature—including humans. You’ll always know when they are close by because they reek of cinnamon.

Snarks look like cute and furry animals. However, their bodies change when they feed on fear, and within seconds a snark can turn into a horrific Nethercreature.

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Illustrations © Brandon Dorman


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