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Literature / The Forsaken Children

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The Forsaken Children is an online, episodic series written by Conner Hancock. The series is about the interactions between two worlds: the mundane world (home to humans) and the magus world (home to various creatures of mythology and folklore). Overall, the series is about deconstructing and reinventing several tropes from the fantasy genre. The main story is about the adventures of the titular group, consisting of various creatures from both worlds, fighting against the forces of evil. The current members include:

  1. Leon Kenders: A human college student attending Blackdale Academy who becomes a knight.
  2. Pete: a gnome changeling who founded the Forsaken Children
  3. Mary: Pete's undine changeling girlfriend
  4. Ash: a salamander changeling and the groups strategist
  5. Ray: a volatile thundhare changeling
The stories and supplementary writings can be found here.

tropes include

  • All Trolls Are Different: Male trolls resemble those from Norse mythology, while females are considerably more attractive, resembling curvaceous women with troll features.
  • Artifact of Doom: the Necronomicon
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Good God, where do we even begin.
    • First off, while elves and dwarves are pretty normal, trolls, goblins, and ogres are bizarre; with the males looking like something from a fairytale, and the females looking pretty attractive by human standards.
    • Some of the elementals have this too, examples including treefolk (with males reminiscent of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, and females looking pretty humanlike except for multiple root like legs and tree stump like arms) and banshees (with females that look like what you would expect and males that look like Nosferatu).
      • The undines are probably the weirdest, with females looking like curvaceous women with webbed hands and tentacles for hair, while there are dozens of weird males that resemble humanoid sea life (like crabs, urchins, and anemones).
      • Subverted with the the sylphs, as they are described as being androgynous in appearance.
    • Even creatures in the east aren't immune to this, one example being the konakijiji, with males looking like ugly, egg shaped old men, and females looking like attractive women dressed in toddler clothes (no seriously).
  • Blob Monster: Slimes, obviously.
  • Changeling Tale: Changelings (including some of the main characters), are formed from children that were taken from the mundane world by the elementals (taking on the characteristics of the elemental that took them). There is also an eastern variant known as zashiki warashi that are formed from children taken by yokai.
  • Crapsack World: The world is filled with monsters and creatures that live off our pain and fear living amongst us; not to mention that children can be snatched away by the elementals at any given moment. Bottom line, in the grand scheme of things, humans are pretty low on the totem pole in this setting, and a good majority don't realize it.
  • Cute Monster Girl: These pop up quite often in the series.
  • Deal with the Devil: Whenever a person makes a deal with a demon, they are usually given whatever they want in exchange for a small piece of their existence (usually their middle name, or a bad memory). Eventually, when the deal is over, the demon will rip my out the person's soul, send it to its own personal hell, and inhabit the remaining shell, altering reality to compensate for the loss.
  • The Fair Folk: The elementals fit this to a t, being incredibly powerful, having very little understanding of human nature, snatching children from the mundane world to create changelings, and often exacting revenge for trivial things. Ironically, a group of creatures known as "fae", are actually pretty similar to humans in their lifestyle.
  • Familiar: Deconstructed, as most familiars are actually monsters formed from animals transformed by magic. They are also fond of torturing, killing, and eating people.
    • Played straight with the house spirits. They live in people's houses, do their chores and accept food as payment.
    • Also played straight with golems, being made solely for the purpose of servitude.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The magus world is separated into four parts: the West is based on a mix of American and Western European cultures, the East is a mix of Chinese and Japanese culture, the north is a mix of Greek and Nordic culture, and the South is a mix of several Southern cultures (Mexico, Brazil, Southern Africa, India, etc.).
  • Fat Bastard: Earnest Blackdale, he's prideful, self centered, and completely uncaring towards anyone else, and that's before we find out that he's been reading the Necronomicon.
  • Formerly Sapient Species: The humanimals are descended from humans that were brought to the magus world and went feral, only to be domesticated by the fae. They're pretty harmless, only half as tall as normal humans, but humans and any creature that stems from humans usually find them unnerving.
  • Genius Loci: Any place that is frequented by people enough can become one after being exposed to enough emotional energy and latent magic.
  • Human Subspecies: There are several subspecies in the series, including changelings (human children transformed by elementals), zashiki warashi (human children transformed by yokai), humanimals (animal like humans descended from humans captured by elementals in ancient times)' vampires, lycanthropes, and the undead (humans transformed by dark, beast, and death magic respectively), witches (an all female race that steal men from the mundane world to reproduce mantis style), and to a lesser extent, heroes (humans whose genes have awakened, and have increased stamina, strength, and magical capabilities).
  • Human Pet: Humanimals were humans who brought into the magus world centuries ago by elementals as an early attempt to create changeling's from adults. However, that failed, and the humans devolved into animalistic creatures. Eventually, they were domesticated by the fae and made into pets.
  • Obliviously Evil: While not evil per se, but elementals do believe that their doing the children they take a service, spiriting them away from abusive parents and awful lives. However, considering that a large majority of elementals have no understanding of human behavior, they usually end up taking children from good families just as often as they take them from bad families.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They come in a variety of forms based on the seven heavenly virtues, and are as morally ambiguous as humans are. Also, like demons, they are actually living souls rather than flesh and blood beings.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They come in a variety of different forms based on the seven deadly sins, as morally ambiguous as humans, and are essentially living souls rather than flesh and blood beings. They are also able to remove the souls from people in order to possess their bodies as a sort of meat puppet.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons are descended from dinosaurs that were taken from the mundane world and transformed by the elementals.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Males resemble orks from World of Warcraft, while females resemble buff amazons.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: There a wide variety of lycanthropes, including: werewolves, rakshasha (weretigers), barghests, boggarts (were frogs), stokers (were bats), orwells, freuds, kafkas, samebito, and cronenbergs.
  • Post-Modern Magik: This pops up a lot.
  • Tarot Motifs: Strigoi vampires have their entire society themed after the major arcana (I.e. Recently sired vampires are called fools, scientists are referred to as magicians, etc.).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Leon's friendship with the changelings seems to be like this.
  • Youkai: Yokai serve as the eastern counterpart to the elementals.