The Drumbeat Belly is a supernatural action thriller, with each narrative accommodated within a particular year. There are two main branches:

• 1978 to 1991 (a principal narrative that charts the protagonist’s development)

• 1996 (a linked miniseries that prologues every narrative, demonstrating the protagonist’s developmental destination)

These centre upon a human/demon hybrid named Joseph Aites who is subject to extensive military training. If he fails to attain the necessary competency he will likely fail his forthcoming missions.


SHRIKE (1996 / AGED 17-18): At the age of 17 the demonic ‘super-soldier’, Shrike, attends a briefing for his first military undertaking. This mission is scheduled for the 25th August - one day after Shrike’s eighteenth birthday. This is in line with The Ancestral Sabre. He is
grey-skinned with wild black hair and two small antlers, akin to those sported by a muntjac deer, upon his forehead.

Shrike is a demonic ‘living weapon’; militarily competent, but ‘Green’. This forthcoming mission will be a ‘proving ground’ for him. An experimental endeavour in a life of experimentation. His speciality is aerial insertion via HALO or HAHO, which is augmented by him being trained in instructing paramilitary forces. Like his handpicked Myrmidon,
Shrike is competent in several weapon systems.

JOSEPH AITES (1991 / AGED 12-13):

A lonely child, Joseph Aites’ soul bears the shadow of guilt deriving from his participation within the euthanasia of nine demonic siblings. On 24th August, 1991, Joseph celebrates his thirteenth birthday. As Joseph enters his teen years, his childhood is left behind - not simply from the standpoint of biological development, but also because he begins his extensive military training. This is justified by The Ancestral Sabre. Joseph is, like his adult form (qua ‘Shrike’), a grey-skinned half demon. He is raised lovingly, just like his forebears: Malcorvus, Malvetius and Johannes. His contemporaries also enjoyed a decent childhood, prior to
their murder in which Joseph participates.

Like his demonic siblings, Joseph was born with a set of preternatural powers. His principal ability is the power to sedate any living being, using thought alone. This talent is used to prevent his siblings fighting back during their euthanasia in 1988. The guilt taints Joseph mind and this makes him vulnerable to The Triumvirate’s machinations.

As an extension to demonic influence, Joseph is also vulnerable to Johannes’ influence. This occurs within The Dreamscape when Johannes exercises his ‘Dream-walking’ ability.


THE TRIUMVIRATE (1991): These vassals to The Leviathan enact and exercise their interpretations of her will. Principally, they operate within The Dreamscape as an invasive force. Their appearance shifts in accordance with the situation presented. They adopt several animalistic and demonic forms.

JOHANNES AITES: Trained in magic, firearms and close combat, Johannes Aites is a formidable opponent. He operates within the physical realm and Joseph’s Dreamscape. This latter aspect becomes more potent after Joseph begins his military training since he attempts to channel Johannes, with the aim of improving his own abilities with great rapidity. 

In 1947 Johannes is cajoled, by The Triumvirate, into killing twenty seven members of staff within The Bird Institute. This massacre leads to a deluge of corrupted souls that are duly consumed by The Leviathan. This demon then withdraws into an indefinite digestive torpor.

It is worth noting that Shrike is charged with locating and eliminating Johannes in North Veslostoy, upon deployment although, as his location is not ascertained it is considered a secondary mission.

Download PDF