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Literature / In Pain and Blood

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In Pain and Blood is the first of an Epic Fantasy LGBT Romance series by Aldrea Alien.
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The story revolves around the magic-wielder Dylan, who joins the King's Army as a leashed weapon only to have things go horribly wrong when an ambush leaves him unleashed and at the risk of being branded a deserter. In order to return to his old life before the crown discovers his unleashed status, Dylan must rely on the elven man, Tracker, to protect him even when the man’s very presence awakens Dylan’s long-repressed desire.


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In Pain and Blood contains examples of:

Also Katarina, being an archaeologist type character more than capable of fending for herself.
  • Barrier Warrior: A lot of the mages in the story are this, but Dylan is amongst the more competent.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Tracker and Dylan. Once in a pond. Another time in an actual bath.
  • Battle Couple: Tracker, being an assassin-type, and the mage, Dylan.
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    • Although Authril and Dylan could also count before a certain elven man appears.
  • Bi the Way: Authril has had past relationships with men and is attracted to a woman prostitue. Not much is made about it.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: Dylan, although not by choice.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: [[spoilers:Dylan and Tracker towards the end when the former accuses the other of being a False Friend]].
  • Braidsof Action: Tracker's hair is described as being in one long, thick braid.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The collars spellsters in the story are leashed with strips them of the ability to use their magic.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Definitely describes Tracker's inability to tell Dylan how he feels.
  • Casual Kink: Tracker with practically anything involving sex.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Dylan is described as having black hair and dark eyes. Katarina has brown hair and eyes.
    • Apart from whips. He draws the line at those.
  • Children Forced to Kill: The King's Hounds are trained to fight and kill any mage they deem dangerous. Or each other if ordered.
  • Closet Key: Tracker is this for Dylan.
  • Coming-Out Story: The core of Dylan's story.
    • More a "coming out to self".
  • Covered with Scars: Not only does Tracker have a Storyboard Body, but has a multitude of scars from his Hound training.
    • Authril, too, is shown to have her fair share of them.
  • Cute Bruiser: Authril.
  • Dance of Romance: Dylan and Tracker in the fishing village.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Tracker was torn from his mother at birth, trained to kill, poisoned, beaten, made to kill his past lovers and then whored out. All before he hits his twenties.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of the characters are guilty of this, but Tracker's likely the worst.
  • Death Glare: Quite a number of the cast is fond of these. Dylan and Authril being the more notable.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Tracker's pawprint tattoo is a symbol of the King's Hounds, who are the kingdom's foremost assassins and trackers of all things magical.
  • The Dog Bites Back: [[Tracker against his fellow King's Hounds]].
  • Double Entendre: Tracker and Marin are the guilty parties in a lot of these.
  • Dual Wielding: Tracker, with his sabre and dagger.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Whilst Dylan is mostly in a state of gaining this, Tracker's busy looping himself around.
  • Ethical Slut: Tracker might do Anything That Moves, he has some standards. It's just a very low bar.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Tracker's sabre is shown to be better than most of the local swords.
  • False Friend: Tracker is accused of this towards the end.
  • Fantasy Metals: Infitialis is a rare, semi-unstable purple metal capable of nullifying magic.
  • Fiery Redhead: Tracker has russet hair. Authril's is an orangy-red. Marin is described as being a dark red auburn. All of them have their separate outbursts throughout the novel.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Dylan only really starts to trust Tracker after his home is destroyed.
  • Flower in Her Hair: Dylan constructs himself a flower crown when he finds a field of lavender.
  • Forced Prize Fight: Tracker is forced into this as a teenager.
  • Friends with Benefits: Most of the spellster tower seems to run on a covert version of this.
  • Glass Cannon: Dylan's magic is battlemage strong, but he's physically very weak.
  • Hands-On Approach: Tracker with teaching Dylan how to properly hold a sword.
  • Healing Factor: Through his training, Dylan is capable of patching a variety of wounds.
  • Heal It with Booze: Whilst performing an After Action Patchup, Dylan pours whiskey on the wound.
    • Tracker then proceeds to drink the rest.
  • Hidden Depths: Tracker seems to be all about in-the-moment pleasure. We later learn this is due to a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Hot-Blooded: Tracker's a pretty laid back guy, but he's just as likely to skewer whoever pushes the wrong button.
    • Also don't remind Authril she's an elf. Or hit on her.
  • In It for Life: Being a spellster means Dylan cannot leave the tower without being leashed. Even then, his only chance is being a weapon in the army.
    • Only way out of the King's Hounds is through death.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Tracker. So many times.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Dylan and the group face a number of these throughout the story, from highwaymen to people actually out to kill them.
    • Tracker in his teens. Fighting your equally-reluctant lovers will do that.
  • It's All My Fault: Dylan in his belief that he's to blame for the death of his scouting party.
  • Jumped at the Call: When the spellster tower requested people to join the army, Dylan couldn't wait for the chance.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: The King's Hounds aren't allowed to form romantic attachments, so when they do amongst themselves, only the strongest can survive.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Tracker.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Tracker's braid reaches his waist.
  • Mage Killer: Pretty much what the King's Hounds are trained to do if their target cannot be coerced into the spellster tower.
  • Multi-Melee Master: The King's Hounds are taught proficiency in a variety of weapons and Tracker's no exception.
    • He's only marginal in archery, though.
  • My Greatest Failure: What Dylan considers his inability to warn the army encampment in time to halt their destruction.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: Dylan's first experience of Bathtub Bonding leads to him keeping his underwear on.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Inverted in that the dwarves are arboreal, nature-loving beings.
  • Parental Abandonment: A lot of the main cast suffer from this. Dylan through the tower's separation policy. Authril through poverty. Tracker through his birth.
  • Paying for the Action Scene: Tracker after he kicks a guy in the face.
    • But not before Authril, Marin and Katarina wreck the tavern.
  • Perma-Shave: None of the elven men can grow beards.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: Both Tracker and Authril. One is Covered with Scars, whilst the other is mainly on one shoulder.
  • Pillow Pistol: Tracker sleeps with a dagger at his side.
  • The Red Mage: Unlike most of the mages sent into the army, Dylan is equally capable of healing and fighting.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: The King's Hounds are forever. Leaving whilst alive is not an option.
  • Restraining Bolt: Dylan's collar permits him to use magic only at the behest of his handler.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Each member of the King's Hounds is named for their talent. Tracker is very good at finding people.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Whilst the elves in the kingdom aren't enslaved like in other lands, they're largely considered lesser than the humans and dwarves.
  • Second Love: Tracker with Dylan.
  • Skinny Dipping: Dylan and Tracker, whilst the former learns to swim.
    • And Katarina, to a lesser extent.
  • Slave Brand: The King's Hound tattoo is essentially this.
  • Stepford Smiler: Tracker.
  • Storyboard Body: Tracker is described as having multiple types of tattoos on both arms, a sword running down his spine and a pawprint behind his ear.
  • Technicolor Blade: Some of the weaker mages craft a dagger from a magical metal.
  • Slave Collar: Collars are the most logical method to apply the Restraining Bolt to mages in the army.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Tracker.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Dylan during his first ever attempt to swim.
    • To be fair, before then, the deepest water he'd ever seen was a bathtub.
  • Torture Always Works: Slightly subverted in that Tracker doesn't believe the guy he tortures. Until he gains extra information from a more reliable source.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Given Tracker and Authril's short stature and pointed ears, a lot of folk underestimate their abilities until they taste their own spine.
    • Dylan, too, being that the mage is often mistaken for a priest.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Considering his Dark and Troubled Past, Tracker is more than understanding when things go south for Dylan.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The group will do their best to talk their way through, but that often leads them right back to cracking skulls.
  • Wake-Up Fighting: Tracker.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Elven eyes are often described in words such as sea-green and honey-coloured.
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