Literature: Spectral Shadows
is an online web serial that first made its debut on its Live Journal page on June 5, 2004. Currently planned for 34 parts, but so far only serial 1 has been completed, with serial 2 being incomplete and on indefinite hold, and serial 11 being the current "active serial". The story is written by Furry Fandom
author Perri Rhoades, and most art for the serial is drawn by artist Tigers Kitten Creations. The story follows the adventures of Jonathan and Rael Ommandeer, two anthropomorphic deer who befriend Christine Rhoades James, and the sorts of adventures that they take on throughout all of space and time. The series is said to be an "Allegorical Sci-Fi and Fantasy Serial", often making some sort of commentary on some facet of life - be it politics, music, religion, society - and containing a whole bunch of in-jokes and references to various mediums and genres, from Anime
to Progressive Rock
. The story has a knack for getting into all sorts of crazy scenarios, from a virtual Role-Playing Game your mind goes into allowing you to learn powers and techniques at the cost of feeling all kinds of pain, even death,
to a planet, Cygnus
, that is After the End
where half-animal half human creatures
rule, with 50 individual towns with their own religions and ways of life based off of various forms of entertainment and media from the Elder Race (Read: Humans) and where females are the dominant gender
. Some could say the story is easily both a Scifi Kitchen Sink
and a Fantasy Kitchen Sink
Interestingly enough, Spectral Shadows has its own fictional story behind it, being an Old Time Radio Serial
that was from The Forties
and is continually being rediscovered and serialized on the internet for modern audiences, with elements that were too strong for 40's radio drama being added into the story (and believe us when we say there's a lot of that). It's also hinted that the one who originally introduced this story was actually a character from the story itself who traveled to the human world.
You can read Spectral Shadows either on its official Live Journal page
, or on Perri Rhoades' Fur Affinity page
. Now has its own wiki 
Spectral Shadows contains examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: Don't think being important will save you. by serial 11 we learn that Raelian is dead, though he is reincarnated as Sir Jon's son, Perry Rhoades. Christine James learns that she is to die in her own time period shortly after her arrival on Cygnus. In addition, seeing as serial 2 takes place in The Aslander School of Magic, a virtual roleplaying game, this should come as no surprise. since you will respawn the next day, provided you have at least one life. Which can only be obtained by killing another player.
- The Alliance: as an adult, pre-serial 11, Christine James was an ambassador for an interplanetary rebellion against the Astral Pirates' Empire.
- Author Avatar: Over in Serial 11 we see a white, long blue haired female rabbit named Twee Galaxy, or according to her driver's license, Perri Prinz, which mirrors the author's screen name on Second Life.
- Ax Crazy: Dorothy Rhoades, Perry Rhoades' first wife, falls victim to the incurable disease "Red Vision", which makes any creature essentially this trope.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Serial 2 is this, especially in comparison to serial 1. Sure, there was some violence in serial 1, but as the Serial Index on the Live Journal page tells us, serial 1 is only rated G, while 2 is rated PG for violence. Serial 11 also is a little more violent, especially since we get to see the effects of Red Rain, the genetic weapon that nearly killed all life on Cygnus, via a dream sequence. It isn't pretty.
- Charm Person: Over in Serial 2, one can learn the power of "Charm Magic" if their "Charm" stat is high enough. Christy is said to have a high charm stats, and Ariel seems to be able to do this to others. Clover Lappina is this also somewhat when she first appears in Serial 11.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: According to the Live Journal page's character index, Omega, the Final Boss of the Aslander game, likes not to kill players after capturing them, but either turn them into one of his slaves...or subject them to his obnoxiously avant-garde art rock music. Most opt to become his slaves.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Blair Montgomery in serial 11 may qualify. Miyan's constant warnings to Perry for him to not trust her may be signs of this as well, especially when she becomes CEO of Rhoades Instruments. In fact, part of Suburbia's religion is that this trope is a necessary evil in order to have a thriving economy.
- Crisis of Faith: According to the Plot Synopsis on the Live Journal page, this happens to Jon in Serial 5.
- Death is a Slap on the Wrist: Serial 2 has this a lot, as a player killed in The Aslander game will just respawn the next day, if they have any spare lives of course.
- Digital Avatar: Serial 2 is said to be taking place on some kind of virtual roleplaying game, so there are characters that aren't actually animal characters in real life, but rather just play one online; examples include Christine James, who plays a red fox, and Russel, a human who plays a blue and white rabbit who got into the game simply because he likes furry women. Second Life knock off Another Life over in serial 11 is also full of these.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: As noted above, the series can easily be this. There's vampires, world creators, evil spirits, evil legendary armor, swords that drain spiritual energy, swords generated based on one's own spiritual powers, world warping magical powers, and more.
- Film Noir: In Serial 11's Cygnus there's a town named Noir, which takes its religion and way of life after old film noir gangster shows. They emulate this even down to the cars that are used; despite every other town using solar power, Noire uses gas-powered cars because they didn't have gas powered cars back in those times.
- Intellectual Property Religion: Over in Serial 11 - The Planet of Genetic Misadventure we have Cygnus which is chock full of these — there's Noire, Oz, Funkenville, Rockville, and more.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Penning in the various serials involving Chikyu. Not only does he try to experiment on Rael, he also creates The Anthrodroids, android anthro animals.
- Matriarchy: In serial 11 the dominant gender on planet Cygnus are the females. This is specifically a Patriarchy Flip, since males are treated as being less than females, are not the dominant gender, and even politically females have more power, even if there is a male and female king and queen of a town.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Christine Rhoades (Christine James when she gets transformed into a rather child-like and playful, yet mature and mindful anthro fox at the beginning of serial 11) does this to Kacey Caddell, a cute, but yet over weight and terminally shy anthro squirrel. Christine pounces Kacey in a cat-like fashion. Kacey, being very much squirrel like, doesn't take to it well.
- Power Glows: This happens to Christine an awful lot in Serial 11 when she uses her healing powers extensively. Her fur turns to a golden color and angel wings seem to appear. According to Word of God, this also happened to Christine when she used her powers as Christy in the Alsander School of Magic.
- Scifi Kitchen Sink: much like the aforementioned Fantasy Kitchen Sink, there's a whole lot of scifi elements, from time travel, to mechas, an intergalactic internet that spans space and time, an evil galactic empire controlled by Space Pirates, mad scientists, and a planet populated by creatures that are half animal half human (with some that are more animal than human, and vice-verse).
- Shout Out: Much like Homages, there's plenty of them in all sorts of shapes and sorts.
- War is Hell: According to Christine Rhoades, her father Harrison James would wake up in the night from nightmares due to all the horrors he witnessed in Chikyu's Second Great War.
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