Unexpected Diversions is the title of a collection of short stories by Royce Day, following the adventures of Tez, an immortal elf, who finds himself enslaved to Maria, a Beast-Kin chimera who bought him for reasons a bit confusing even to her.
As their relationship unfolds, there are frequent flashbacks to Tez's previous life, which has been extensive due to his status as The Eldest, the oldest elf in existence.
This work provides examples of:
- Affably Evil : Tez's default. He's a nice enough fellow, but his breadth of experience means he's been the Evil Overlord as often as he's fought them.
- Bittersweet Ending : Maria gets what she wants most in world, a large family of free descendants with extended half-elven lifespans. But in the final story she's been dead for hundreds of years and Tez can only move on, immortal still, after the last of his children by Maria passes away.
- Blessed with Suck : Tez can't die. Tez has been trying to die for quite some time now.
- Brains and Bondage: He's also quite articulate for someone who spends a lot of time...
- Bound and Gagged : He spends most of the title story wearing leather handcuffs and tied down to various objects.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Tez... is very good at this.
- Made a Slave : Happens to Tez at the beginning of the first story. He's also inflicted it on others in the past.
- MayflyDecember Romance : Every single romance Tez has ever been in. Including his current one.
- Omnicidal Maniac: On at least three different occasions Tez has attempted to wipe out all life in the world in an attempt to finally end his existence.
- Our Elves Are Different: They're immortal, and resistant to disease and changes in the weather, but "only" live an average of three thousands years due to the law of averages catching up with them and ending in terminal injury.
- Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: Averted by both main characters. Tez looks to be in his mid-twenties, but acts like the 300 millennia old creature he is, while Maria appears twice as old as she is, but is as uncertain as any teenager.
- Screw You, Elves!: Mostly perpetuated by Tez himself, having lived long enough to be completely unimpressed by supposed claims of elven superiority.
- Slave Race: Maria is a Beast-Kin, a magical construct created by a wizard to do his bidding. Fortunately when he passses away she's able to finangle her own freedom.
- The Magic Goes Away : Magic in Tez and Maria's world is cyclical in nature. The only one who notices is Tez however, due to his longevity.
- The Unfettered: Tez's default. There's a good reason why you want as many fetters as possible on him.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Tez's default clothes during the course of the stories is just a pair of pants. If he's lucky.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Tez is known as The Eldest, the oldest known elf in existence. While other elves have lived for three thousand years or more on average, he's lived for over three-hundred thousand years. It's left him with less than a complete grip on his sanity at times.