Arcadia Sterling
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Joined 04-19-19, id: 1127046, Profile Updated: 08-03-19
Author has written 1 story for Fantasy.

The Ghosts of Rosenhall (volume one of an unnamed series)

The year is 1892. Magic is steeped in the earth. The great empire of Corentia looks forward to a new century. To an incoming new era of innovation and change, and a fathomless renaissance that will change the shape of the world.

But trouble brews in its capital. Little by little, the City of Canticora is becoming unpicked at the seams and the whole of Corentia with it. The king has no interest in coming home, much less rule as is expected of him. There is a scent of rot in the air. Ambitious plans are slowly, inexorably coming to fruition. And a rampant case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder is going around.

Something is stirring.

Far removed from the center of the world is Annie, a twelve-year old girl living with her mother in Canticora’s squalid slums. Aimless and futureless, the only goal Annie can achieve is survival. Anything greater is beyond her ability to obtain.

On the heels of a tragedy comes an extraordinary chance. Annie finds herself pushed, pulled, and dragged into a strange new world that she only ever dreamed of. There she finds lifelong friends to guide her through it and a chance for a bright future that she never imagined possible.

But there is something malevolent lurking in the under-croft of Rosenhall Academy. Annie will need her friends and all the sparks of magic in her fingertips to survive it.

And everything that comes after.


The extended author's note:

I’ve been writing fanfiction for the better part of 15 years. While this isn’t my first foray into the realm of original fiction, it is the first story that’s gone beyond my hard-drive.

The Ghosts of Rosenhall is very much a first draft. The title isn't even final. It’s been in development for the better part of two years. I’ve built up the world and the lore to a point where I have to start writing the story or I’ll just keep going in circles. Feedback is encouraged, but not required.

The setting takes inspiration from steampunk, gaslamp fantasy, and an inkling of dieselpunk. The time period is more of a mix between late Victorian (1880 to 1900) and early Edwardian (1900 to 1910). Because A: it’s an alternate reality/alternate Earth and the history I worked up for it only sort of resembles Real World. And B: this lets me get away with obvious anachronisms like vacuum tube radios and electric stove-tops. Meta-textually, everything in the story is already historically accurate. (can’t be historically inaccurate if you made up the history!)

It's an Urban Fantasy in a broad sense of the term, but this story leans into a genre subset I like to call the Urban Decay Fantasy. Yes, it takes place in a city. Yes, there is magic. Yes, there are extraordinary creatures. But there aren't many of them. The classic "fantasy" aspect is mostly faded from the world. A lot of the extraordinary creatures are extinct or dying out and magic is Unfashionable, but commonplace to the point of ordinary and no one really thinks much of it anymore.

I like my characters developed and my plots on a low boil. By this I mean, the plot revolves mostly around the character development. I play the long game on my plots. I do not write romance or sex scenes. Action scenes and horror are still my weaker areas, but I’m working on them. I’m rating the story at T (for teen), but there are blatant implications of prostitution, mentions of unpleasant/mature topics, and allusions to rape (though this is largely limited to only one or two characters). While there are no overt scenes of violence and everything else takes place “off screen”, I really don’t recommend the story for anyone under 14. If the aforementioned topics are triggering for you or if you’re just personally squicked out by them, do read with caution and stay safe. I’ll post any warnings at the top of the chapters where it matters.

Additionally, since Corentia is based in part on the British Empire at their height and mixed with whacky Murican patriotism, colonialism and racism have (sadly) shaped a big chunk of the country's recent history. Given that my main PoV protagonist is genetically part of a marginalized ethnic group, racism is definitely going to come up.

You can also find me on Fanfiction dot net under the same name and on AO3 as sterling_arcadia (nothing's posted there yet tho).

The Ghosts of Rosenhall
(title subject to change.) In the shadow a great city, the only goal Annie can achieve is survival. Until tragedy leads to chance and she is thrust into a new world and a new life and even a proper education for the first time. But something isn't quite right with Rosenhall Academy.
Fiction: Fantasy - Rated: T - English - Chapters: 1 - Words: 10,182 - Published: 8/3/2019