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Literature / The Crystalline Archipelago Sordid Nexus

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Should the activities described in the books not seem tiring enough...
Nikki Flynn and Edwin Dantes welcome you to the darker parts of Anthologies of Ullord!
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An isolationist nation living on a secluded archipelago. War-mongering invaders who have taken control and oppressed its peoples. The nations' kings have for two decades maintained an agreement that satisfies both of their interests, keeping a military presence from the power-hungry Sama on the hijir's homeland, while the Hijir nobility act to keep their invaders content enough not to influence their lives more than needed.

But not all of the Hijir people are so happy with their king's pact. Vigilante groups of Hijir have cropped up, running a small rebellion against their Sama oppressors, while in the background, subtle political power-plays take shape to fight back as well…


  • Aristocrats Are Evil Played with. There are many examples of this being played straight and subverted throughout the story. Every noble featured does something at least questionably evil.
    • A lot of what Saymette and Nayli do under their father's orders including spying and attempts at manipulating the hijir royal family.
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    • A lot of what Thaeodas does including back ally surgery so he can fight off the sama should he need to.
    • Things that are resorted to during the war.
  • Band of Brothers
  • Blue and Orange Morality This is turned up to 11 or so with some characters.
  • Body Guard Crush This is apparent in many of the relationships among the hijir. The pair spend an extensive amount of time together and thus bonds deepen and an attraction remains on at least one side.
  • Body Horror As part of their rituals when a child is born, hijir children's backs are sliced open and gemstones are implanted there. This is to influence the child's personality and life path. It is a religious ceremony and rite that the hijir have used for generations.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience The gemstones of the archipelago.
    • Red- grants melee combat capabilities and aggression
    • Orange- magic use and bookish tendencies
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    • Green- ranged combat skills and logical problem solving
    • Yellow- protection abilities and serenity and other calm personality traits
    • Blue- stealth capabilities such as deceit and perceptiveness and hyper vigilance
    • Purple-political discourse and mediation abilities
    • Brown- crafting and creation inspiration
    • Grey- maintenance and perfection
    • Clear- interpersonal energetic personality traits
    • Black- interpersonally attractive and charismatic
    • White- reserved personality
    • Metal- appreciation of tradition, hard work and dedication
  • Courtly Love This is the expectation with the saol garda regardless of gender, sexual orientation and so on and so forth. Except nobody gets mad if their relationship deepens.
  • Decoy Protagonist With the revolving door of characters covered who is actually doing what and how is not exactly on the nose obvious. Thanks, Riki! And thanks, Pramod!
  • Fantastic Racism Both sides see the other in a negative light. The sama think of themselves as superior, refined and more attractive than the other races and they prefer seeing sama marry other sama. They believe other races to need refinement to appreciate the gods and to worship the gods as they do. The hijir think the sama are horrific, warmongering monsters with no empathy for others. And many want their traditions and birthrights back without the interference of a foreign government.
  • Functional Magic The gemstones and ores implanted in the backs of the hijir children upon their birth. They are believed to influence personality and the abilities the child will develop throughout their lives.
  • Living a Double Life
  • My Country, Right or Wrong Both sides embody this and many believe it wholeheartedly.
  • Occupiers out of Our Country The hijir rebels' end goal.
  • Prevent the War Why the king of the hijir capitulated to the sama in the backstory.
  • Rebel Leader A few options for who the “leader” of the rebel hijir making guerrilla strikes against sama soldiers are present.
  • Rescue Romance
  • Royally Screwed Up Basically, any royal family member or noble for that matter.
  • Shiptease The saol garda and their undying, unquestioning love for their charge, during combat rescues, some and characters practically Flirting Under Fire allow for plenty of opportunities.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly The first combat scene.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle
  • Thicker Than Water
  • War is Glorious This is how the sama see war and conflict in general.
  • War is Hell Shown throughout including
    • Underhanded tactics are used by both sides during the war. This includes Productive Use of Alone Time
    • Eneco develops PTSD after one of his attacks takes too long to kill enemies and he is scarred by their dying screams as they burn to death.

Characters

     Major and Supporting Hijir 

Riki of the house of the occultist spies

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Father of the year finalist

  • Abusive Family Hazing He arguably shows shades of abuse when it comes to the training he expects to inflict upon his children. It is tradition in his family.
  • Adults Are Useless Subverted. He is one of the most active characters in the series.
  • Blood Magic He does use it in contracts.
  • Blue Blood: Many of the characters are from the nobility of both sides.
  • Curtains Match the Window: He has teal hair and teal eyes.
  • Casting a Shadow He uses chthonic magic.
  • Good Parent He tries to be this. He loves and supports his children, showers them with affection and gifts and is incredibly understanding.
  • Siren's Gambit He uses this and voices his intent to teach Eneco.
  • Implied Death Threat He tends to leave these to the imagination of whomever he is making a business deal at that moment.
  • The Casanova This is not an artifact from his pre-marriage days. He has adult children and under age children and is still open to bedding women. He even has a few out of wedlock children.
  • The Hedonist

Ryshkin of the house of occultist spies

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The ball of anxiety and self-deprecation

Eneco of the house of occultist spies

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  • Big Brother Bully He mostly taunts Ryshkin, but he derives some amusement out of flustering his younger brother (closest to him in age).
  • Big Brother Instinct He is insanely protective of his siblings, including Ryshkin. And he does love and dote upon his younger siblings including Ryshkin.
  • Break the Haughty His general attitude changes after he begins humanizing the sama. His pride and flamboyance are toned down or outright absent.
  • Defrosting Ice Prince He warms up over time...
  • Hidden Depths He does have a gruff exterior and can be off-putting at first. But, he gets better.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold While he is often brash and insensitive to others, he does have a noticeable soft spot for his siblings. And when his guard is down he has shades of self-awareness, is reflective about the world around him and his impact on it and the people in his life.
  • Playing with Fire
  • Scarf of Asskicking He wears one and he wears it to cover his face.
  • Strong Family Resemblance He and his brothers do look a lot alike. Different hair styles is the shortcut in telling them apart. He seems not to mind that they share a strong resemblance to their father or that they could arguably physically pass for one another.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside He acts like a jerk, but, you find out later that a lot of clashing emotions including sadness, hopelessness, ennuei and overprotectiveness of Ryshkin are what he really feels and what drive his behavior.
  • Taking the Bullet He does this for Ceri, but receives only minor injuries.
  • The Gadfly Tormenting Ryshkin is his hobby.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension With Ceri.

Eryx of the house of occultist spies

  • Adjusting Your Glasses This is a tick of his he often does while thinking. He pushes them into place via the bridge.
  • Aloof Older Brother He is this to Eneco and Ryshkin. He is not intentionally cold, but mostly keeps to himself.
  • An Ice Person He is a cryomancer.
  • Badass Bookworm A lot of his free time is spent studying.
  • Stoic Spectacles He does wear glasses and he is often the cool, calm and collected type.
  • Strong Family Resemblance He and Ryshkin look the most alike. But, he wears glasses. He never remarks on anything about their similar appearances and seems unaware of Ryshkin's strong dislike of it.

Arius of the house of noble warriors

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house of noble warriors' Mighty Glacier

  • Dogged Nice Guy When he isn't taunting his cousin he is gentle, kind and he completely lacks prejudice.
  • Mighty Glacier
  • Oblivious to Love
  • Secret Keeper By chance, he sees Ryshkin and his brothers outside their rebellious actions. He confronts Ryshkin and he agrees to keep the secret that Ryshkin and his brothers are actually nobles because Arete not knowing is all the better for his amusement.
  • Strong Family Resemblance He and Arete are practically twins, but they are cousins. The same hair color and skin tone, but with other differences aside from gender.
  • The Gadfly
  • Vitriolic Best Cuz He and Arete poke fun at one another and they are happy to annoy the other for no real reason.

Arete of the house of noble warriors

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys She shows shades of this with her friendship (and later crush) with/on Ryshkin.
  • Female Gaze When she and Ryshkin are alone, she gets a good look at him without his armor and padding on...
  • Hair-Trigger Temper She has a very short temper and is prone to angry outbursts on occasion.
  • In Love with Love She starts off like this.
  • Loving a Shadow She is smitten with the boy from her past. She idealizes him and what he would have grown up to be. But, he has no real substance in her mind. And She doesn't seem to realize this.
  • Spoiled Sweet She is a noble and she can be selfish, bratty and short-sighed at times, but, she is also ultimately a sweet and naive person.
  • Strong Family Resemblance Again, she and her male cousin could pass for siblings if not twins.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality She does have both ends of this. In spades.
  • The Gentleman or the Scoundrel
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"? Her reaction after meeting the stranger in the tunnel. She is confused and has no grasp on the things she is feeling despite her hopeless romantic tendencies.

Odele of the house of the saints

Iforid saol garda of the house of the saints

Riian

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Ceri

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One of the best peasant girls

Aysu

Vaaru of the house of the star readers

Theodas of the house of the saints

Tamir saol garda of the house of the saints

Myodanaas of the house of the saints

     The Sama 

Saymette Mikalas’haus

Nayli Mikalas’haus

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nayli_portrait.png

Dreihanith Mikalas’haus

Kyros

     Minor Characters 

Aylin of the house of occultist spies

Nieena

Chanda of the house of noble warriors

Magnaas of the house of the saints

Daffyd of the house of the saints

Illia of the house of the saints

Ulla of the house of the saints

Alita of the house of the saints

Eerynn of the house of the saints

Rana of the house of the occultist spies

Eir of the house of occultist spies, formerly house of magical records

Arden of the house of noble warriors

Tais of the house of noble warriors

Paeie of the house of the star readers

Valdis of the house of the star readers

Gwynn of the order of noble knight servants

Aerinus of the house of the saints

Arvis of the house of noble warriors

Neci of the house of noble warriors

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