Literature / Argentum In Aqua
aka: Saranados

The Gentleman Anachronism's main 'verse

NOTE: This story is undergoing a major rewrite. As such, tropes and description below are subject to change/of dubious canonicity.

The stories involved take place in a world almost but not exactly unlike Earth's Victorian era. Magic abounds (well, not exactly, but there's more of it than there is here), and vampires and werewolves make many appearances. There are also psychopaths, Dark Gods, and othersuch interesting things.

The books, in order, are (or rather, will be) Argentum in Aqua, Requiem for the Moon, and A Dragon of Blood (the last two titles subject to change). The first concerns events in the city of Sacaan, and introduces our protagonists. The second takes them to the New World, and sets the stage for what could either be called the last book in a trilogy or the first in a duology. A Dragon of Blood will focus more on Archer and Sabbat, and is destined to be quite a bit darker than the first two, for reasons which if you're reading this and not going 'what the hell is this about?', you probably know.

Two of the characters eventually end up in the world of Black Roses, thus tying the two worlds together.

Writings and drawings related to the 'verse can be found here and the actual novel itself is still in the process of being written - 100k in and counting.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The ones under Sacaan do seem to be quite roomy (though, given they're based on those in Victorian London, this is hopefully forgiveable).
  • Addiction Displacement: subverted. Sabbat starts smoking cigarettes (under doctors orders), but keeps his opium habit.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Sabbat, when he gets the letter telling him that his half-brother is dead
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Sabbat (though this comes to light very late)
  • Ax-Crazy: Sabbat.
  • Badass Native: Sabbat, sort of. He's half-white(ish), but fits the trope as far as looks go.
  • Ballroom Blitz: The end of the trilogy, at Mortimer and Amelia's wedding
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Not quite. Though Sabbat's torture at the hands of the Navy when he's 19 precipitates his first kills where he really goes to town (on a pair of unarmed tied-up prisoners), he wasn't a nice piece of work before then.
  • Bi the Way: Archer.
  • Black Magic: See Blood Magic below.
  • Blood Brothers: Sabbat and his 'cousin', Dante, when they were 10 and 14 respectively. Made all the stranger by the fact they're actually half-brothers.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Sabbat's Incurable Cough of Death. He gets better.
  • Blood Is the New Black: Sabbat and Avebury both invoke this at one point or another. Also invoked (more accidentally) by the magicians, as magic-users sweat blood in the presence of strong magic.
  • Blood Lust: Sabbat even before he ends up as a vampire
  • Blood Magic: Love spells, curses and mind control spells all require blood (both that of the magician and the victim)
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Inflicted on Sabbat when he was younger, and, strangely, something he has now taken to doing to his enemies. He's quite good at it.
  • City of Spies: Given the Order and Sinnlenst members and their hired men, this and City Noir pretty well describe Sacaan at the start of the first book.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Sabbat tends towards the 'Fell down stairs' or 'Walked into a door' variants of this, as he doesn't need to shave all that often.
  • {{Don't You Dare Pity Me}}: Mortimer's reaction to strangers assuming he needs help because of his missing arm. Also Sabbat's reaction to anyone trying to help him with anything.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Dark God the Sinnlenst manage to summon. Unluckily for them, they didn't realise exactly how much of one it would be.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Never use Raphael Sabbat's first name, unless you're completely tired of living.
  • Fantastic Racism: Speciesism is rife, given the history between werewolves, vampires and humans. Not that racism itself is dead - far from it.
  • First-Name Basis: Archer allows a few of his very close friends - including Sabbat - to call him by his first name. Averted with Sabbat, who won't let even Archer use his first name.
  • Friend to Psychos: Archer covers up for Sabbat a hell of a lot. He claims this is because it's easier for the Order not to get involved in criminal investigations. In practise, there's something a little deeper going on there.
  • Fur Against Fang: Half. There is tension between the vampires and werewolves, but it's no more than that between vampires or werewolves and humans (and may indeed be somewhat less.)
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Archer
  • Gentleman Snarker: Archer veers into this occasionally.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Sabbat. A lot. Because he is an idiot.
  • Karma Houdini: Avebury.
  • Knife Nut: Sabbat.
  • Lack of Empathy: Sabbat. (Given he's a psychopath, it's hardly surprising.)
  • Last-Name Basis: The normal way the characters refer to one another, given the society the stories are set in.
  • Masquerade Ball: At the end of the first book.
  • Nice Hat: Sabbat owns a somewhat battered top hat (which has a knife, spare bullets and a garotte concealed in it). He is inordinately fond of it.
  • Not So Safe Harbour: Han Sei, the town Sabbat grew up in.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: At the beginning of the first book, our two main heroes are twenty-some-odd and two hundred and something. The villain is eighteen.
  • Opium Den: Sabbat's habitual haunt, and not just because it's a useful place for information-gathering.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sabbat's father is non-existent, his mother often forgot she ever had any children (thanks to being somewhat mentally...screwy), and he was basically raised by the waitstaff and girls at the inn/brothel (when they had time/felt like it) until he was about six, before being adopted by his uncle.
  • Professional Killer: Sabbat.
  • Psycho for Hire: Sabbat (also many of the assassins both the Order and the Sinnlenst hire.)
  • Psycho Sidekick: Sabbat is this for Archer.
  • Punch a Wall: Archer, Sabbat and Mortimer all engage in this method of stress relief at one time or another.
  • Quick Nip: Sabbat carries a hipflask full of exceptionally bad gin as a matter of course.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Vampires live for a very long time, but, once they've finished puberty, age very slowly.
  • Satisfied Street Rat: Sabbat, oh so very much.
  • Slashed Throat: Sabbat's favourite method of disposing of his victims.
  • Slasher Smile: Sabbat, Sabbat, Sabbat.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Archer is rather good at keeping one of these (until circumstances really get too much for him)
  • The City Narrows: Sacaan's slums are dirty, deadly, and generally unpleasant in every respect. Which is probably why Sabbat lives there.
  • Victorian London: Sacaan is rather reminiscent of this, it must be said.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sabbat and Archer. Has a tendency to look like Type 1 in public, as Archer's too much of a gentleman to respond to insults in kind. In reality, far more Type 2.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Sabbat. Also Avebury (and the 'girl' in question is his lover).
  • Wicked Cultured: Avebury.
  • White Shirt of Death: Given the Victorian setting and the large amount of bloodshed, this is practically unavoidable.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Fest thinks in terms of Victorian adventure novels. This proves to be a mistake.

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Alternative Title(s): Saranados