Old fantasy story written by Not So Badass Longcoat
and published in NoName
(seriously, it was called that) e-zine around the year 2000. The protagonist, a Sea Elf
adventurer, seeks the assassin of her mother and gets involved with all kinds of cliched hijinks
that usually happen to adventurers (a bad case of Attention Deficit Creator Disorder
on the author's part). While not terribly inventive, it helped lay the foundations for the adventures of Bjorn Westlander, Agent Retriever
, sharing the same world (with some name changes and retcons
). Also, it was surprisingly well received by the readers - mostly aged 14-16, like the author at the time.
More notable tropes involved:
- Character Title - duh. Actually, Sarriss has a family name, but the title also says where is she from.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture - the titular Black Harbor contains four "free cities" slightly based on the Italian city-states like Florence or Venice. There's also Kingdom of Haern, based partially on Germany (but the inhabitants have Dutch-sounding names), also mentioned are Cortiara (very xenophobic Russia), Shiv (Arabia, with a monotheist solar religion) and Sung (Japan). Also, gnomes play the role of Jews.
- It's Personal - Sarriss wants to kill Ylith. Ylith wants to kill Sarriss. What people do when they lose their family or beauty...
- Old Shame - it doesn't exist. If it does, see point 1: it doesn't. Yes, the author hates it THAT bad.
- Our Elves Are Different - there are five elven tribes: dark-skinned High Elves who live on a large tropical island south of the Black Harbor, Dark Elves who look identical to High Elves but are way nastier and were exiled east to the fantasy counterpart of Africa, noticeably paler Sea Elves who live near or together with humans and are known as skilled sailors and traders, Wood Elves who (Captain Obvious) live in forests and Snow Elves - living in stone fortresses in the mountains.
- Scars Are Forever - Ylith, the Dark Elf assassin, gets one from Sarriss in the beginning.
- Color-Coded Characters - Ylith has dark skin and black hair. Sarriss has pale skin and silver hair.