My own crack at High Fantasy. Basically, circa 2005 I wanna say, my mother became very ill and nearly died from a rare illness. No snarky doctor with a cane or a vicodin addiction was handy, so her recovery took place in real time instead of TV time. I quit my job and moved back home to take care of her (her family is scattered around the country, and my father died when I was sixteen, she has no other children, I was all she had). I spent the better part of two years pulling 20-48 hour days caring for her. And let's face it, you can only play so much X-Box before your mind starts turning to Jell-O.
It was around this time that I read the first, and maybe even the second (memory is a little jumbled) books of the Inheritance Cycle, and I put Eragon down and said, "shit, I can do better than that". So I tried. I based the story off of my WoW character and my best in game friend. The character is female (I'm not, hey I hit the random button and took what it gave me) as was the other character (and player). We started about the same time, joined the same guild, leveled together, dungeon crawled together, Pv Ped together, and had about the same play schedule. Since this was an RP server (Again, I hit a random button), people would joke that these characters are sisters. And that's how it started...
The first novel is complete and publishing is, well, going as smoothly as an unknown author can get it to go. I've heard some good things, and I keep shining it up. The second novel is half done, put on hold because I returned to school to change careers (I was a computer tech, but living in a small area and not desiring to leave it, the recession has made finding work in the field a chore), until this summer when I anticipate completing it.
I do confess without apology, comic books being my favorite medium, that their influence can be felt in the characters.
Some of these tropes are about where I plan to take the series (four books) as a whole, and as such are spoilers and subject to change. When/if it's ever published, well, I'll cross that bridge then :)
This series of books provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Aeldra Delvorne
- A Mech by Any Other Name: The Dread Knight is a small scale one. It's not a Humongous Mecha, standing only 8 feet tall, but it's definitely mech like.
- Applied Phlebotinum: The basis for much of the technology. Borders on Made of Phlebotinum in some cases.
- Arranged Marriage: Being of noble birth, both sisters had planned marriages in the works. Ryssia's went through, Aeldra's was canceled.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Combined with You Kill It, You Bought It, a mortal can replace a god if they can kill them.
- Big Bad: Larkin Hendel. A body surfing immortal Chess Master running an Evil Plan.
- Body Horror: The Dreadknight's armored exoskeleton is fused to its operators body.
- Cursed with Awesome: Larkin Hendel. Once upon a time he was a powerful archmage who challenged the human god of death in a bid to replace him (which is possible with the gods of this world). He lost and the god of death punished him to live until he learned to properly respect the gods. He intended for Hendel to live this life in an increasingly aging and enfeebling body until he learned humility. Instead he learned to Body Surf and has spent about 2000 years planning his rematch.
- Dark Action Girl: Ryssia Delvorne
- Driven to Suicide: Aeldra's fiancee when the Arranged Marriage is canceled.
- Expy: I admit to several. The characters are a salmagundi of comic book characters with fantasy elements, random brain bits and my own invention. The story is my own, as much as any story can be.
- Ryssia Delvorne has elements of Batman, Wolverine, Sarah Walker, and The Dread Pirate Roberts. She's had a tragic past that forced her to take extreme measures to survive and prosper.
- Aeldra Delvorne is more altruistic. She has elements of Superman and Captain America in that regard. She will kill as necessary but she has a moral code. She doesn't kill innocents, the unarmed, etc. Frequently tosses What the Hell, Hero? to her older sister.
- Kilgorath His race is a shout out...okay mabe even a blatant rip-off of the Kilrathi. His inspiration is primarily The Beast from X-Men with the traditions of unarmed warrior monks influencing his fighting style. He isn't as learned as Dr. McCoy, but he is something of a Warrior Poet, borrowed from Krunch Bloodrage. He keeps the sisters minds to task and mentors them.
- Rynn Kendar. Sorceror, inventer. Kind of Reed Richards meets Harry Potter.
- Gambit Roulette: Larkin Hendel has spent 2000 years planning his. Some of the highlights, in chronological order: engineering the extermination of the orcs (they got better, because he wanted them to) imprisoning the most powerful entity (a big fuck-off dragon) in the world until he had a plan in place to manipulate him and steal his power, engineering a bio-plague which triggered a racial defense to put the rest of the dragons into hibernation so they could not oppose him, creating Draconium a nigh indestructible metal with which he arms his Elite Mooks and constructs the Dread Knight, an armored colossus of unbelievable power. Then he manipulates the bloodline of a forgotten royal line which has claim to an Infinity +1 Sword that was designed to kill gods! His endgame begins by starting a civil war to weaken the two most powerful nations on the continent. And that's all before the book starts (prequels are possible). In the books his plan has come to fruition by luring out the only remaining powerful army in the land by promising to help then with a coup. The heroes wind up killing them, but if they hadn't he would have. It survives unforeseen contact with his enemies.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Larkin Hendel is Rynn Kendar's father. Father and son are aware of the relationship, but the revelation has an negative effect on the latter's Love Interest.
- Mad Scientist: Larkin Hendel is the villainous version. His son Rynn Kendar is a more benevolent example. Both of them fuse magic and science for a healthy does of A Wizard Did It Applied Phlebotinum.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ryssia killes her husband, a very bad man who spent his free time torturing and raping her. However murdering him lets Larkin Hendel take power. His first act is to sell Ryssia into an overseas harem. Then he implicates the whole Delvorne family in the murder and orders their death. Aeldra's father is killed while she and her mother escape to exile.
- This further leads to the series of events which gets Aeldra and Ryssia's mother killed.
- And the enslavement of their hometown.
- Not Quite Dead: Ryssia. Her family was told she was caught red-handed killing her husband and killed on the spot, but she was actually sold into a harem.
- Ylvan Taloncrest. Ryssia herself said she thought she killed him, but he was barely alive when she was caught in the midst of torturing him. Larkin Hendel instead rebuilds him into a Body Horror Mighty Glacier Dread Knight.
- Lets face it, since this is written by a comic book fan, this happens a lot. Ryssia lampshades it in book two.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Subterranean? Check. Strong? Check. Masters artificers of metal and stone? Check. Boisterous? Check. Alcoholic? Check. Bearded? Check.
- Our Elves Are Different: The Wood Elf variety. Mostly anecdotal, since the party only encounters a few in the flesh.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Kilgorath. The Tygrin culture is largely based on an (admittedly) westernized cinematic romanticized version of Samurai culture.
- The orcs tend to be this as well, though without the lofty Tygrin concepts of honor. They're more like 300's spartans.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Aeldra and Ryssia. To be fair they've been apart for ten years, Aeldra has been living as a soldier, Ryssia as an assassin. Also, Aeldra wasn't aware of the circumstances which led her sister to kill her husband, so she initially blames Ryssia for the death of their parents and her finacee.
- Sociopathic Hero: Ryssia. Having snuck onto a buccaneer ship and killed her way onto the crew (through blind luck, though she receives proper training later on) Ryssia's morality is shaded at best. She served as a pirate for almost ten years before she was reunited with her sister.
- Spy Catsuit: Ryssia wears an armored version.