Epigraph #1 (the beginning of “The Becried Cycle”)

“Who can police us: we, who kill with a touch?
Do you really think you can redeem us, mad Warden?

Consider what I propose: you will be overrun by your charges.
Drowned by their desires, you will beg for death.

And when you ask me for help, I will say to you only:
Your failure becomes you—the future isn’t what it used to be.”

—The Regnant Lord, to The Precept