- "What ails humanity is itself. You can cure that."—Arageth the Thousand-Faced
This is a dystopian fantasy currently under construction by anonzeta and takes place in the fictional world called Dagon. Part of a collaborative work.
Five years ago, the enigmatic Queen Irene von Eule of the kingdom of Ultor had mysteriously vanished into nowhere—along with her illegitimate son—after a revolution staged by her very military commander and aide Alchezar Svalrik. The government was then seized by the militaristic Inquisition, who aims to erase all former influence of the fallen dynasty, rounding up loyalists and political threats to their rule. Those who refused to relinquish their allegiance to the Queen were killed, while those who did were forcibly conscripted into military service as Hounds.
"Quislings," "fools," "cowards"—most of society dismisses the Hounds as being mere prisoners being punished to do grunt work for the new government, but what they actually do is more complicated and dangerous. As Hounds, they are being sent to the outskirts of Ultor to hunt down the vicious, man-eating monsters called the Accursed currently terrorizing the land. However, due to their lack of training, Hounds are often killed in action— which the Inquisition is fully aware of, and which is what they actually intended.
However, this all changes when Andrea, the Queen's adopted daughter and one of the Hounds, in the course of investigating the royal family's disappearance, finds her adoptive brother Mordred—now for some reason turned into one of the Accursed, but one less focused on eating humans and more about hunting down the mastermind behind the monsters plaguing Ultor: Arageth.
The story slowly unfolds to reveal the true nature of the Accursed and their creator, the murky circumstances surrounding the usurpation of the Ultorian throne, and the secret of the grim world they're locked in.
Tropes The Book of Ravens might contain if the author actually gets to write it:
- Action Girl: Andrea being the prime example.
- Anachronic Order: The story follows three timelines. The first was five years ago, during the revolution that dethroned Irene, the second being three years ago when Mordred strikes the deal with Arageth and finally the present day.
- Animal Motifs: Ravens.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Andrea gives Mordred one after he tells her she's nothing but a pawn to him to persuade her to leave him.
- Badass Adorable: Andrea, when she's not in Yandere mode. She's beautiful, cheerful and kind to her fellow Hounds, but do not insult Mordred or imply he's dead already if you prefer to keep your head intact. Kyris, on the other hand, is a cute 12-year old girl with telekinetic abilities.
- Badass Family: Mordred, Andrea, Kyris, and Alchezar.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Steinstrifes. There are hundreds of them even excluding the Child Soldiers they engineered. They are also downright bonkers. All of them.
- Broken Pedestal: Mordred's reason for accepting Arageth's deal is to punish those responsible for his mother's dethronement. He's shocked to the core to learn that his mother didn't actually give a shit about him.
- Child Soldier: Cana Steinstrife and all the other Designer Babies created by the Steinstrifes. They were raised purely to fight, discouraged from having emotional attachments to anything, and Conditioned to Accept Horror. They kill as soon as they reach ten years old. This training was what made Andrea The Ace that she is now.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Andrea. Mordred is not amused. For the most part, anyway.
- Conlang: Two rudimentary ones, Ultoric and Mithranese.
- Crapsack World
- Cry Cute: Andrea at the end of the first book when making up with Mordred.
- Deal with the Devil: The Accursed are created this way. Arageth chooses those who are so drowned in their desire for power that they are willing to abandon their humanity.
- Cuckold: Alchezar genuinely loved the Queen. The Queen repaid him by sleeping with Petrel.
- "Darkness von Gothick" Name: Mordred von Eule.
- Death by Origin Story: Queen Irene and the real "Andrea."
- Defector from Decadence: Eudoxia, tired of her clan's corrupt ways and their maltreatment of the Red Knights, renounces her Steinstrife lineage. She was then brutally murdered for her troubles.
- Designer Babies: Andrea/Cana and the Red Knights, having been created on the Queen's behest to battle Arageth.
- Eldritch Abomination: Arageth. And, to a greater extent, The Creator, who's still slumbering in his prison in the Underworld.
- Emotionless Girl: Cana, Andrea's former identity, during her stint with the Steinstrifes
- Force and Finesse: Mordred is Force, while Andrea is Finesse.
- Good All Along: Mordred, for a certain value of good. Alchezar too.
- Government Conspiracy: The Inquisition will stop at nothing to make sure all civilians are Locked Out of the Loop.
- Humanity Is Infectious: After spending time with her first-ever friend "Andrea", Cana begins to learn how to feel human emotions, including love. It can be said that "Andrea" saved her from the emotionless wreck that she was and made her the genuinely kind and cheerful, if rather obsessive, Andrea von Eule.
- Kill All Humans: The underlying goal in creating the Accursed. Arageth has to clear the world of humans before freeing the Creator from the other world.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Mordred is this to Andrea as the original "Andrea" was to Cana.
- Lovable Coward: Lionel Frost.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Prime Inquisitor Alchezar is Mordred's dad.
- Mad God: Arageth is trying to exterminate mankind to pave the way for summoning the Creator, who used to rule over Earth millions of years ago.
- Mad Scientist: Eudoxia Steinstrife. She was the one who thought up the whole Red Knight project.
- Meaningful Rename: Cana Steinstrife, after the gruesome murder of her first ever friend "Andrea" at the hands of the former's creators, decides to leave behind the identity "Cana" and adopt the latter's name to honor her.
- The Mole With Benefits: Reagon Petrel, Alchezar's friend and Irene's lover (thus fathering Kyris von Eule) relayed insider information from within the Inquisition to the Queen, allowing her to escape the castle at the day the Inquisition's revolt begins.
- Nom de Mom: Mordred and Kyris use "von Eule," their mother's family name instead of Svalrik and Petrel, their fathers' respective names.
- Not Blood Siblings: Mordred and Andrea.
- Official Couple: Mordred and Andrea at the end of the first book.
- Our Vampires Are Different: The Accursed can [mix in with normal humans in broad daylight and think rationally—and they also have Lovecraftian Superpowers and a lust for human flesh. The only telltale sign is their ability to regenerate (but you can't just go ripping people's limbs off to test your theories), so the Hounds could only fight when the Accursed actually demonstrates his powers.
- Rescue Romance: Irene and Alchezar, albeit actually one-sided.
- Spot of Tea: There's never too much tea for Mordred. On the other hand, he loathes coffee.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Mordred.
- Tsundere: Present day Mordred is a Type A. He genuinely loves Andrea, but conducts himself roughly around her so as to not encourage her obsession toward him.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Arageth's main power and MO.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Inquisition. Also, Irene, seeing as she was willing to sanction mass human experimentation to perfect the recipe for her genetically-engineered army.
- Yandere: Andrea.