The Story of Ascended

When I said “in my next post” I didn’t take Weekend Writing Warriors into account.  But as promised, here is a bit of the backstory on my latest project for NaNoWriMo.

Ascended takes place in a city called Sunforge, located at the foot of a mountain range and on the northwest coast of the kingdom of Cecile.  Cecile tends to be an aggressive and war-loving kingdom, and Sunforge was historically the city where the nation’s arms were produced.  This makes Sunforge a prosperous and powerful city.  One of the protagonists is Lucas Mark, who is titled both Duke of the mountain region and Lord of Sunforge.

The other protagonist is his soon to be wife, Lady Sallei Corvus.  Her home of Shipwreck Island is part of the same kingdom, but was never as powerful as Sunforge and its arms manufacturing sector.  I switch to past tense here, because Shipwreck Island is all but destroyed by the start of Ascended.

What happened?  The short answer is plague.  A previously undiscovered disease struck the little island and killed most of the population before anyone could make sense of the symptoms, much less work on a cure.  Most of the survivors fled the island and arrived at the great city of Sunforge.

Fortunately, Lucas extended a warm welcome to all of the refugees, being from his fiancee’s home.  Unfortunately, the plague was not exterminated.  Soon enough, Sunforge citizens began to show symptoms of the same disease.

Some readers asked in the last post why the plague doctors received such harsh treatment.  The truth is, it has been widely believed (and with good reason) that Shipwreck Islanders carried the plague with them when they fled to Sunforge.  The fate of Sunforge is bleak at the moment: most citizens are infected if not already dead, and the doctors have all but given up on finding a way to slow the disease’s progress.  Naturally, there are worse off citizens who realize that the end is near and decide to take revenge on what Shipwreck Islanders are left.

That’s about all I can say about this story’s background.  Later I’ll go into detail about the land’s magic systems, its dominant religion (which does play a major part in the story), or the plague and plague doctors.  There’s a lot to tell.

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