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Drylander is an unpublished, barely-written science-fiction novel by Strix Obscuro. It tells the story of a future in which rising sea levels cause humans to come into conflict with the Mera, an alien race hidden beneath the ocean.

This novel provides examples of:

  • Abusive Precursors: The Old Men of the Sea openly favor the Ningyo over their more humanoid descendants, to the point where Mareda doesn't trust the Old Men to punish the Ningyo, even when she catches them breaking the Mera's international law.
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  • Afraid of Needles: Subverted with Abigail, who has a creepy obsession with syringes and gets turned on by watching people shoot up.
  • All Myths Are True: A central tenet of the story, at least in regards to myths about the sea.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Comes up from time to time.
  • Artistic License – History: The story requires one to believe that the Mera's existence was completely forgotten about after the rise of monotheist religions.
  • Bad Dreams: Aleksandra is persistently haunted by nightmares of a bright red, all-destroying light...
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The Atlanteans claim that the "Water-Walker" was actually a rebellious human slave of Atlantis whose miracles were the result of technology given to him by Atlantean sympathizers.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Heavily employed to explain the ancient myths of sea gods and monsters - turns out they were all various forms of Mera, employing sophisticated alien technology to impress gullible humans.
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  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Maxwell Regis, the "King of the Sea", who's made his living by building residential developments on the edge of territory claimed by the Mera, so that he can charge the residents shitloads for "protection".
  • Creator Provincialism: Much of the novel takes place in the waters off of Massachusetts, where the author is from.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Aleksandra Hector saw her whole hometown blown to hell.
  • Divorced Installment: Drylander began as a Mass Effect fanfic.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Old Men of the Sea. Also, The Crown...
  • Fantastic Drug: The Ningyo have built their empire on extremely sophisticated pharmaceuticals.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Fomori tribes hate humans because the humans kicked them out of Ireland. Aleksandra Hector's not fond of the Mera, because she thinks they were responsible for killing her family.
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  • Hufflepuff House: The Aegirbarn, a Mera nation based in the waters off of Scandinavia. They are allies of the Fomori and are mentioned as being Siva's ancestors, but otherwise play no role in the story.
  • Nightmare Sequence: While on drugs, Aleksandra has a nightmare that Abigail injects herself into Aleks' bloodstream and then violently rips her apart from the inside like a parasitoid wasp.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Only a few branches of the Mera have fishtails.
  • Poisonous Friend: Mareda is fiercely protective of her niece Siva. She's also a terrible influence on the girl, due to her being rather bigoted. Naturally, she doesn't take it well when Siva befriends Aleks.
  • Precursors: The Mera are descended from aliens who arrived on Earth millions of years ago. The Old Men of the Sea are the closest descendants to that species.
  • Race Name Basis: Mareda almost always calls Aleks "human" or "drylander", even after she should have learned her name.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Abigail keeps goading Aleks to take drugs with her. When Aleks finally gives in, it goes very, very badly.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Mareda Cloike. Her hatred of humans is pretty unreasonable, but it's grounded in the sincere belief that humans are responsible for her people's marginalized status within Mera society.
  • Ultraterrestrials: Most of the modern Mera groups evolved on Earth and would not survive on the Mera homeworld, even if it were still possible to return there.
  • Unreliable Expositor: The Mera have an extremely biased view of the history of their relations with humans. This is especially prevalent among the Fomori, who still believe that their occupation of Ireland was actually beneficial to the locals.
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