Two factions are verging on war. The Orrisken, the remnants of the order who brought about much of the development of modern human society, and a discontent underground militia led by one Murighar, who wants to see his people rise to the height of glory, a position he believes is being kept from him by the Orrisken and all they stand for. Pushing the stakes even higher is an enigmatic ally of Murighar, one who appeared shortly before the first attack on human civilization, and rumored to be even more dangerous than Murighar himself. Supposedly once human himself, his origins remain uncertain, and his motives even more so. Desperate for their own secret weapon, the Orrisken recruit Lex, a brash young woman with an Orrisken artifact and some knowledge of how to use it. What they didn't count on was that Lex didn't want to be an Orrisken, that she wasn't readily going to take orders, and that she was spiteful about having been pulled into the imminent war, and away from her home against her will. But she is told that if she can track down and eliminate Murighar's mysterious informant, the Orrisken will help her return to her normal life. It just so happens the the informant has his own plans for Lex.
(Note: This is very much a work in progress, so don't be surprised to find major plot elements, characters, and names being changed over time. To elaborate: This story evolved into this from a story about a girl who could shapeshift, and her dealings between the cultures of humans, dragons, and lizardpeople. Go figure.)
Alexis "Lex" Claiborne
- Badass Bookworm - One of the more intellectual members of the cast, a lot of his knowledge revolves around the use of herbs and poisons. Not someone you want to piss off.
- The Chessmaster - Has elements of this, though problems arise when his goal changes halfway through completing his Batman Gambit.
- Crazy Survivalist
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent - For the most part, Feran Pravi is only in it for himself, and he's going to play this for all it's worth.
- Dragon with an Agenda - He appears to be this at first. Rumour has it that he is, in fact, The Starscream, but in reality, he is merely ensuring his own survival by acting as Murighar's right-hand-man, even while he hates Murighar vehemently.
- Enigmatic Minion - He starts off as this.
- Genius Cripple - He is missing right hand, and that entire side of his body is disfigured, but he sure knows his stuff.
- The Informant - For a while, at least, though more noble than most examples.
- The Grotesque - Feran Pravi's right side is scarred and disfigured, and his whole physique borders on Uncanny Valley, yet there's more to him than just a creepy appearance. He is a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold as well.
- Meaningful Name - His name is a corruption of the Latin words feralis meaning "of the dead" and pravus meaning "crooked" or "deformed".
- The So-Called Coward - Feran Pravi is usually determined to do whatever it takes to save his own skin, yet when he finds something to fight for, he's quite the force to be reckoned with.
- Squishy Wizard - He is physically weak and out of shape, but he's by far the best strategist of the lot, with an extensive knowledge of herbs and poisons to boot.
- Stoic Woobie - He has lost pretty much everything, been disfigured and blackmailed by Murighar, yet he's the least emotional of the cast. Has elements of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds with his amorality.
- Thousand-Yard Stare - One of the things that makes him unnerving.
- Younger Than They Look - The experiments performed on him, in addition to the stress he went through during the years with Murighar has left Pravi looking (and acting) quite a bit older than his true age.
- Cynical Mentor - Justified. She takes on Lex against her better judgment, despite Lex's lack of knowledge or concern about Arella's mission.
- The Fettered
- Fiery Redhead - Subverted. While Arella is strong and willful, she is also remarkably self-possessed.
- The Flapper - A fantastic version of this.
- Iron Lady
- Royalties Heir - She is descended from the line of people who helped build modern society, the original Orrisken.
- Badass Teacher - Ivar teaches Lex fighting techniques, of course!
- The Charmer - He's quite a looker, and he knows it. He likely wouldn't be half as good an agent if he wasn't.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Nice Guy
- Sexy Mentor - Ivar teaches Lex about fighting, and a lot about how the Orrisken operate. Lex is smitten. Ivar has a fiancee, and winds up rejecting Lex.
- Adopt the Dog - Feran Pravi refuses to tell Murighar how to find Lex, since Lex is presently his only friend. Even when Murighar poisons Pravi with Pravi's own concoction, he won't tell.
- Animal Motifs
- Arella is compared to a deer for her grace and nobility.
- Feran Pravi is described as being vulture-like, both in appearance, and for his unnerving affect and opportunism.
- Ivar is similar to a leopard, ferocious and competent in a fight, independent, tough, but more often than not, is rather laid-back.
- A Taste of the Lash - After Feran Pravi realises that Lex is more useful to him free than she is as Murighar's captive, Murighar attacks him with his whip. Lex, knowing she could more easily get back what Pravi took from her in a fight than she could against Murighar catches the whip and cuts it in two to allow both herself and Pravi to escape the immediate danger. They both wind up with scars.
- Author Appeal - Naturally.
- Beauty Equals Goodness - Averted. The protagonists, Lex and Feran Pravi are arguably the most homely of the main cast, with Pravi going for full-out Grotesque, while Murighar, the antagonist, is rather like a superhero in appearance. Arella is average to decent-looking, and she is the most moral of the group (though this isn't saying much). Attractive Misty is a bitch, if not evil, and handsome Ivar is extremely nice.
- Attack! Attack! Attack! - Lex, in the climax of the story.
- Batman Gambit - Chiefly used by Arella and Feran Pravi. In Arella's case, it's her method of keeping Lex under her thumb, in the best case luring her over to the cause with the promise of glory, and in the worst case scenario, just keeping Lex around long enough to distract and possibly weaken the enemy's force. It doesn't go as planned. In Pravi's case, it's to set both the Orrisken and Murighar's followers at each other in a direct confrontation, so he can use the time to escape their detection. It soon gets a lot more complicated than he foresaw.
- Becoming the Mask - Feran Pravi's original intent was to use Lex to escape from Murighar, at first by imprisoning her, and, when the situation changed, to team up with her because it was convenient for him. After witnessing her loyalty, however, his views of her as a pawn begin to turn into thoughts of camaraderie.
- Bittersweet Ending - The protagonists succeed in putting an end to Murighar's war, but Lex is unable to return home, and Feran Pravi is relegated to outcast status for the rest of his life.
- Body Horror - Happens to both Lex and Feran Pravi.
- Cold-Blooded Torture - While not quite intended as torture, the process of being experimented on by Murighar is very painful, as Feran Pravi finds out. And Murighar is all too eager to perform such experiments on people.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deadpan Snarker - Pretty much everyone gets moments of this. Most notably, Lex and Misty when they get at each other's throats.
- Decoy Protagonist - Of sorts. Lex is the main POV character for the first half of the story, but Feran Pravi (who doesn't show himself as such until a ways into the plotline) is the most integral character to the plot. Lex is still significant, but she's more an unwilling hostage of the main conflict than a true part of it.
- Despite The Plan - The whole war, once subtle and very much guerrilla-styled becomes chaos as both sides try to beat the other at their own game. Unsurprising, as they both recruited Wild Cards in the hope of getting the upper hand.
- Enemy Mine - The reason why Lex and Feran Pravi teamed up was because by that point, both of them despised Murighar more than they disliked each other.
- Fire-Forged Friends - What Lex and Pravi wind up as.
- Five-Man Band
- Gone Horribly Right - Feran Pravi's plan was to turn the Orrisken and Muighar's militia on each other so as to draw attention away from himself, and weaken both enough so they won't come after him. It works very well. By then, however, he's befriended the main pawn in the game.
- Good Is Not Nice - Particularly with Lex and Feran Pravi, but all the protagonists all have a darker, more selfish side to them, with some being more apparent than others.
- Hopeless Suitor - Lex is desperately in lust with Ivar. Pity he has a fiancee, and is just not that into Lex.
- Hot Guys Are Bastards - Subverted with Ivar.
- I Did What I Had to Do - Feran Pravi's reasoning for his rather ruthless method of survival.
- Indy Ploy - Left to her own devices, Lex uses this a lot.
- In with the In Crowd - Played with. The Orrisken want Lex to join them because of her connection to Vira, but she is told that she has to turn down her rebellious nature. Misty specifically taunts Lex for her connection with Feran Pravi, which causes Lex to get angry with everyone and leave the group. Despite this, however, the Orrisken are never actually vilified. They merely have completely different goals from Lex, and Lex has her own selfish goals in mind.
- I Work Alone - The motto of Feran Pravi through a good portion of the story.
- Jerkass Has a Point - Misty calling Lex out on her anger management issues, and Pravi on his selfish behaviour.
- Kick the Morality Pet - Lex does so. Twice. Both times, to Feran Pravi. And once, quite literally.
- La Résistance - Inverted. The Orrisken are the established leaders, and it's Murighar who wants to rebel against them.
- Luke, I Am Your Father - Vira to Lex.
- Not So Different - Lex and Misty, both young, insecure and snarky, and both wanting to find a niche in the world where they can be special. Lampshaded by Pravi, much to Lex's chagrin.
- Our Fairies Are Different - The fey are basically an offshoot of the human race. More feral and carnivorous, they tend to live in small tribes, out of the way of the more modernised societies. They're often distrusted by regular humans for their mysterious ways and fierce appearance.
- The Power of Friendship - What ultimately brings out the compassionate side in Feran Pravi.
- The Power Of Trust - The driving factor of Lex and Pravi's relationship, and ultimately, their Character Development.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni - Lex is red, Feran Pravi is blue.
- Remember That You Trust Me - Lex invokes this after Feran Pravi betrays the Orrisken, and consequently has a Heroic BSOD.
- Must Make Amends - Both Lex and Feran Pravi. For Lex, when she desperately tries to reforge the friendship she had with Pravi after turning on him in rage. For Pravi, when he tries to save the Orrisken from being massacred after he set up the situation where they would be massacred.
- Seen It All - Feran Pravi, Type 1.
- Send Me Back - Lex's reaction to being essentially kidnapped by the Orrisken.
- Sleep Cute - Lex and Pravi, after Lex has a nightmare about Murighar, and Pravi awkwardly tries to comfort her.
- Utopia Justifies the Means - Murighar wants a world where his people can be the master race. He thinks he has better ideas than the people currently in power, and he wants their technology for himself. He also happens to be willing to capture and perform experiments on their people to advance his own technology, and hopefully, his army in the process.
- What the Hell, Hero? - Both Lex and Feran Pravi get these. Lex when she throws a hissy fit, punches out Misty, and essentially tells Pravi to go fuck himself because she doesn't associate with freaks. Pravi when he tries to sell out Lex and the Orrisken to Murghar's militia so he can slip out from the radar of both while they attempt to destroy each other.