The Exiles Ever AfterEdit
The Exiles Ever After is a web serial novel set in a fairy tale world of sky giants, flower countries and otherworldly marketplaces.
Ezra Kettle, a baker down on his luck, is banished to the land far below his cloud-bound homeland for a crime he did not exactly commit. (It involved a beanstalk and a human kid with sticky fingers.) He'd rather avoid all the dangers of the human world and unlock the secrets of his family's recipes on his own. Instead, he finds himself entangled with the fates of a human handmaiden/jester/bodyguard with a lying problem, the scientifically oriented princess she serves, and an overzealous (but pretty cute) would-be Prince Charming who rides a bear.
That's to say nothing of the malevolent fairies, big bad wolves, uplifted moth, dimension-crossing fairy markets, dangerous plants, enchanted custard, and some very unfortunate curses.</p>
Ironically, none of them call themselves "The Exiles."
- Ezra Kettle is a giant, just like all other Sky Folk. And just like any other Sky citizen, he objects to being called a giant. (He's really on the short side, if we're being honest.) The last in a line of legendary pastry chefs recently fallen from grace, he'd spent years working off debts as the indentured servant to a cruel, powerful man before an incident involving a human and an impossibly tall beanstalk led to him being wrongly exiled. He's stubborn, set in his ways and afraid of anything new or unfamiliar; too bad he's about to get a lot of that sort of thing in his life.
- Marjorie Snow is a human who calls herself a jester, a handmaiden and a bodyguard. She's also claimed to have a sick grandmother in order to wheedle a supply of eggs and milk out of a local wandering prince, so it's hard to tell when she's telling the truth. As sociable and chatty as she is secretive, she is fiercely loyal to her princess and views the rest of the world with a cynical eye. She was squatting in the Sky-scaled cottage Ezra was assigned to and has no desire to leave just because a tenant has arrived.
- Philomene Marl Thumbelina is the Flowerling princess of a kingdom afflicted by a terrible curse. She was recently betrayed by an old friend and forced to flee and hide for her safety with the help of Marjorie. Despite her distressing fate, she remains mostly upbeat and eternally curious about the world. She's made a dollhouse into a makeshift laboratory and plans to save Thumbelina using any magic she can find and figure out, no matter how improbable. She will speak at length about a topic that fascinates her, whether or not anyone else can keep up with her.
- Prince Basil of Sethwhile comes from the northern mountain kingdoms, but has been raised in isolation by his married fairy godmothers in the heart of the Blue Forest for mysterious reasons. Fascinated by tales of the dashing, heroic Prince Charmings of the world, he's determined to earn the title himself through acts of great flair, style, heroism and dashing-ness. Basil can be a little socially oblivious and doesn't always think before he acts, but he's a good-hearted soul who finds that encouraging others can be just as rewarding as daring rescues. He always wears winter coats, a heavy fur-lined cape with a hood, a scarf and gloves regardless of the weather, sometimes shivering if he stands still too long. He also rides a Northern Tamed Bear.
- Aurora is Basil's polar bear. She likes fish and Basil's lullabyes. She has been trained and tamed since birth. Do not ride a polar bear out there in the real world.
The Three Major KinEdit
"Kin" is the term used for what we would call the dominant humanoid races in the world of Exiles Ever After. In other words, they look almost entirely human save for differences of size. Communities where different kin mix are becoming more common, gradually, but separation is still the norm.
- Humans are humans. They think of themselves as normal-sized and normal-shaped, and their religions sometimes teach that the world was made for them specifically. They dominate the land to a degree that makes the denizens of the Sky a bit nervous and the Flower Folk defensive. That said, most human nations and governments have made pacts with the nations of other kin in order to keep the peace. The mostly human Ever After Empire of Libra, which has gradually been overtaking the Great Northeastern Continent, accepts all kin as citizens provided they follow the rules and fit in.
- Sky Folk are giants, with adults averaging 12-16 feet tall. They always have gold eyes, but otherwise are just as diverse in appearance as humanity. Almost all Sky Folk live on the big, solid cloud-masses floating in the sky known as Sky Islands. Individual Islands have their own governments and cultural differences, but all are under the distant authority of Vox, the Celestial Capital hovering over the ocean. The land below is commonly referred to as The Center of the Universe, said to be the heart of chaos and a dangerous place. One commonality among Sky cultures is an exaltation of the arts, music and the act of creation. Artists, architects, musicians, fashion designers and master chefs are among the most respected members of society, provided they remain in good social standing. The process of exiling citizens who are seen as troublesome, law-breaking or potentially dangerous has resulted in widespread paranoia and mistrust in Sky societies. "Exiles" sent to live on the land are viewed with contempt by many, and often have trouble fitting into a human-dominated society in more ways than one.
- The Flower Folk, or Flowerlings, average 1-4 inches tall. The vast majority live in "city-colonies" located in hollowed trees, subterranean tunnels or other protected areas. They have a connection to the Vine, a mysterious plant that grows throughout city-colonies, and the resdiual Green Magic they give off helps plant life flourish. Flowerling kingdoms are usually sovereign nations even within the Empire, thanks to old pacts and treaties. Many scientific and magical advancements have come from Flowerling cities, as their tiny size requires them to develop means to protect themselves from threats. While many Flower Folk cities isolate themselves from humans for safety, a Flowerling metropolis known as Thumbelina Kingdom has thrived for generations as an experimental city housing humans and Flowerlings side-by-side. Loners sometimes wander the land as rangers or hired assassins, riding on songbirds or rabbits.