The Sitka Saga
The Sitka Saga is the upcoming trilogy at the heart of this whole project, and has been in development for over a decade.
The Sitka Saga deals with many of the classic themes in stories: love and revenge, adventure and personal growth, intrigue and revolution; but also some you may not have found as often in fiction, such as the psychology of evil, the rise of autocrats, and the personal magic within you.
It has some of the fantasy elements you are used to: swords and jewelry, horses and mountains; yet with a more earthy, northern take. Instead of knights you'll find pagan priestesses; instead of open fields you'll find intricate boreal forests and lakes; instead of dragons you'll find wolves and sled dogs.
There are two main characters (the Saga is written in first person with a dual POV), Sitka and Tanya:
It has been twelve years since the Fever ravaged Rúnsala's Northern Territories and left Sitka’s small mountain village reeling in its wake. Hope for a better future is available, but only across the border at the prestigious Sarona Academy, which no Northerner has been allowed to attend for over 100 years. After years of pleading, Sitka becomes the first Northerner in a century accepted to study the healing arts, but in order to stay, she must prove herself to the circle of elite Nobles who control the Southern Province.
On an ambitious mission to bring justice to the North while concealing peculiar budding talents, Sitka’s dreams of impressing the Nobles are thrust aside when she becomes a suspect in a mysterious accident. Suddenly, she finds herself the subject of a scrutiny that could jeopardize not only her hidden powers, but the future of her people.
wanted nothing more than to be accepted to a prestigious university and leave her lackluster life behind.
Fueled by an obsession with the disappearances in her hometown, Tanya sets out to find a connection among Iron County’s history of disappearances, in the hopes that her research will secure her a better future. Her research leads her to a secret hidden in the deep of Minnesota’s wilderness, a secret no one else will believe. And when Tanya encounters the charismatic Sitka Frost, she finds herself caught between two worlds and in the thick web of ties that binds them together.
“I am the North” is a double point-of-view fantasy novel following main characters Sitka Frost and Tanya Kedrov, taking place mostly in the fantasy world of Rúnsala but partly in our world in various time periods.
Sitka (20) is from the mountainous Northern Territories of Rúnsala, a mountainous region that has been oppressed by the Southern Province. The Southern Province is wealthy and well-connected but heavily influenced by their fundamentalist religion, which in recent years has been trending toward a full authoritarian theocracy. This accelerates when a man claiming to be a prophet arrives from a nearby island.
When Sitka is accepted to study to be a Healer at the prestigious Sarona Academy in the Southern Province, she is the first Northerner allowed to do so in a century. She is haunted by the memory of a fever that swept through the Northern Territories when she was a child, killing many people in her village. Sitka hopes that by studying healing she will help prevent her community from falling to similar threats in the future.
Tanya is a student living in Wild Rose, Minnesota, a small town on Lake Superior. While working at a local bar one evening, a man with a strange accent appears, setting into motion an odd series of events: a heist that will change her life forever.
The world has a limited magic system, with magic proliferating in the Northern Territories. Magic, however, is against the Southern Province’s religion, and practitioners are punished by forced labor or death. Numerous uprisings have started as an attempt for the Northern Territories to gain independence, but all of them have failed.
Due to the highly individualized nature of the magic (those with it only have one very limited and highly specialized skill), magic is not a substitute for weaponry or a means of warfare. Unifying all the people with magic would take an amazing amount of organization among the loosely-connected Territories, a feat nobody has been able to accomplish so far.
One of the greatest threats to magic practitioners are Rune Witches, a very rare type of practitioner that has the ability to siphon magic from others. They are often paid large sums of money to do so, and can carve out a nice living from this work, though this comes with the reality of being some of the most-hated individuals in all of Rúnsala.
Rúnsala is a pre-Industrial Revolution world, though some Industrial Revolution technology begins to make some small appearances, much to the puzzlement of its inhabitants. Where is it coming from?
The name for the known fantasy world, including the main land mass and nieghboring islands. Rúnsala is surrounded by a pristine freshwater sea, implying there is more to the world than meets the eye.
There are rumors in Rúnsala about portals to outside worlds. In their mythology, our Earth is referred to as “the otherworld.”
A series of loosely-affiliated territories located north of the border with the Southern Province. A harsh and mountainous region, navigated by dogsleds in the long winters. Buildings here are largely made of logs. Sitka is from Elm Territory, which is situated between the border to the south and the Aurora Mountain Range to the north. The territories south of the Aurora Range have been annexed by the Province, and are subject to exorbitant taxes.
Culturally, the Northern Territories are egalitarian and open to magic. Towns are democratically run, and spirituality is nature-based but not centrally organized. People are hardworking, as you have to be to survive in such a harsh landscape with few resources. Clothes are simple and warm, with lots of wools.
The wealthy and well-organized Province, which is subdivided into counties. (They see themselves as synonymous with Rúnsala, though obviously the Territories would say otherwise.) The Province is covered with thick boreal forest and lots of lakes, but no mountains. The Province is run by an oligarchy of noble families, and is heavily influenced by religion. Life is more prosperous here, and it shows: streets are paved, buildings are larger and sometimes constructed with stone, and clothing is made of fine and rich fabrics.
Grath is the capital city, located on the very southern shore and home to the Temple and most of the noble families, chief of which is the Wildwood family. Sarona County (home to the Academy) is in the northern part of the Province.
Culturally, people from the Southern Province value tradition and obedience to authority. Money is power, and those families with power do everything they can to keep that power within the families.
A series of islands off the coast that also came under the control of the Province. The closest of which was home to a monastery.
Wild Rose, North Shore of Minnesota
A small town located on the rocky shores of Lake Superior near the Boundary Waters Wilderness, not far from the Canadian border. The closest larger city is Duluth.
A close-knit and quiet town, Wild Rose is located within Iron County, a county that has been home to numerous strange disappearances throughout the years. Tanya lives here and works at a creepy old bar/supper club known as The Happy Beaver, where older folks tell her tales of the past.
The Icicle Trail is a dead-end road that leads into the wilderness, and is dotted by abandoned mine sites from the region’s past.
- Elan: A professor of Northern Folklore at the Academy and a friend of Sitka’s. Reserved and intelligent, he has the power to sense magic in others, and realizes that something nefarious is brewing in the Southern Province.
- Basil, High Priest of the Temple: A prominent member of the nobility and the one overseeing the Temple’s continuous rise to power. Arrives at the Academy to oversee operations when he hears that a Northerner has been accepted to study.
- Thatcher: The son of the Royal family who has been called to the Academy to teach a new course: weaponry and fighting, which is now required for all students. Secretive and stoic, there are fears that he wishes to turn the school into a military academy to fight the Northern Territories.
- River: The rebellious son of one of the noble families of Runsala. He seems to be suspicious of leadership despite growing up in Rúnsala's inner circles.
- Raven: One of the older students at the Academy who takes on a leadership role for the younger students. Perceptive and fearless, she takes an interest in Sitka and tries to recruit her to join her group of friends.
- Mika: Son of noble family who owns the Academy. At first shy and awkward, he becomes suspicious of Sitka and tries to uncover what she is up to.
- Willow: A daughter of one of the noble families, she is supportive of the new militaristic endeavors at the school. Forced to room with Sitka, she finds herself clashing with her roommates and joins Mika in growing suspicion of her.
- Professor Thistle: The senior-most professor of healing arts at Sarona Academy. She takes an interest in Sitka and helps her hone her healing skills.
- Kai: A fun and outgoing student in Sitka's classes who has an aptitude for crafting effective medications.
- Maya: Kai's twin and an early friend to Sitka when other students are being hostile to Northerners. She seems to have a peculiar talent for growing and knowledge of plants.
- Hans: An old friend of Elan’s. After a falling out, he and Elan parted ways and he went to join a monastery on an island in the Southern Sea. The monastery burned down killing all of its residents, and nobody has heard from Hans since. That is, until Elan thinks he sees him just before the term starts
- Skye: The Priestess of Elm Territory and Sitka’s aunt. Skye is extremely critical of the Southern Province and is fearful of Sitka traveling there to attend school.
- Leif (special character): The only character who is based on a real, living being. Leif is Sitka's retired sled dog who lives in the house with her family. He's an Alaskan husky who loves nothing more than curling up by the fire and following Sitka around the house.
Wild Rose, Minnesota Characters:
- Callum: Tanya's arch-nemesis who shows back up in their hometown with an interest in Tanya's research just as things start to get strange.
- Ila: A longtime family friend of Tanya's who frequents the bar Tanya works at. She seems to know more about the history of Tanya's town than she lets on.
- Ingrid: Tanya's friend and roommate in Minnesota. Ingrid was the last one to see Tanya before exploring the abandoned mine.
And this all is just the start of the first Book. In the full Saga, you'll find time travel, characters entering and leaving from our own "real" world, betrayal, corrupting power, manipulation, fascism, crime syndicates, cross-dimensional black markets, revolution, war, magic, and much more...
More story info and previews can be found in the "story-and-characters" channel of our discord (as well as the interactive discord entry portal 🙂).