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Literature / The Banned and the Banished

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The Banned and the Banished is a Heroic Fantasy Epic by James Clemens. It fits most of the classic fantasy tropes. A land under the control of an Evil Overlord, The Prophecy of a hero to free them from his cruel boot, a journey to be undertaken, a band of other heroes to support them, many initially antagonistic towards each other or with their own agendas.

The series runs for five books, each of which is presented as a separate scroll shown to students living a millennium after the events of the books. One of the characters in the story is the narrator, but their identity is not revealed until the finale.


As can be seen from the author's own description – "Born during the 'black age' of Alasea, a young girl will discover an ancient magick and awaken a slumbering evil. With a fist stained in blood magicks, she will fight to free her lands from the demonic overlords and release her people from five centuries of darkness." – it's fairly troperific stuff.

Provides Examples Of:

  • End of an Age: This is what we're trying to bring about.
  • Debut Queue: Surges at the start, but continues via the Magnetic Hero effect.
  • Hellfire: Balefire, used by evil spellcasters, freezes instead of burns.
  • Immortality: Quite a few characters have different forms of this and have hung around since the Big Bad originally took over 500 years ago.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Most of those "warped" by the Big Bad. The least disgusting is a Face Stealer, and one of the more disgusting births (and graphically unbirths) a swarm of spiders.
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  • Magic A Is Magic A: Unless the Big Bad gets hold of you and cranks it Up to Eleven. Doesn't limit the Hero so much, thanks to Power Creep.
  • Magnetic Hero: The Wit'ch. Despite the large size of the original group, new heroes or sidekicks are added fairly frequently.
  • Our Elves Are Different: And live in floating sky boats, with magic wind powers.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Living in symbiosis with Water Dragons and having an old slave-owning culture and Ancient Debt relationship with some Pirates.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Apostrophes are dropped at random into words associated with magic. The hero is considered a Wit'ch rather than a Witch for example.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Mostly of the Power Creep variety as everyone scales up as The Quest continues.
  • The Quest: Mildly subverted as it seems everyone is on different quests. But The Quest is still the main point of the tale.
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  • True Companions: More like The Fellowship of the Ring than most groups. Plenty of distrust runs through the party and the label of Token Evil Teammate can be liberally applied, depending on the point in the story or character viewpoint.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Played with. The civilization which has the scrolls believes them to be lies, in a From a Certain Point of View kind of way. The narrator himself states he's previously written several unreliable version of the story, but this is the true account.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Two members of the band belong to a race of these. But they're broken.