History Main / DarkFantasy

20th Jul '16 7:56:30 PM Demongodofchaos2
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* ''LightNovel/ReZero'', while seemingly starting off as a HighFantasy, is slowly unraveled to be one of these by Arc 3.
5th Jul '16 1:59:16 AM Koveras
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* {{Wretched Hive}}s of cities and TheDungAges in the countryside is what you should expect of society. The lower classes are MedievalMorons, while the upper class are AristocratsAreEvil. The slave trade is the main source of income, both in terms of taxes and population. Expect the cute, fuzzy, WeakWilled ones to be targeted, such as PettingZooPeople or {{Hobbits}}. {{Conscription}} into the army may be present, overlapping with an ArmyOfThievesAndWhores. Often, HobbesWasRight.

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* {{Wretched Hive}}s of cities and TheDungAges in the countryside is what you should expect of society. The lower classes are MedievalMorons, while the upper class are AristocratsAreEvil.[[AristocratsAreEvil Evil Aristocrats]]. The slave trade is the main source of income, both in terms of taxes and population. Expect the cute, fuzzy, WeakWilled ones to be targeted, such as PettingZooPeople or {{Hobbits}}. {{Conscription}} into the army may be present, overlapping with an ArmyOfThievesAndWhores. Often, HobbesWasRight.



* The gods [[JerkassGods are all assholes]] who pass the time [[PassThePopcorn eating prayer chips and drinking soul-booze while placing bets and trolling the helpless morals]], and {{The Legions Of|Hell}} {{Eldritch Abomination}}s are mere days away from infesting into the Mortal Realm, if they aren't there already. A GodOfEvil is probably [[VillainsActHeroesReact the only active one]], unless the point of the story is that he doesn't need to, because people will jump at any opportunity to do harm anyway. DemonicPossession is quite common. May even have DevilButNoGod, or an outright [[GodIsEvil evil supreme god]] running the show. If there are no "gods" per se, the CelestialBureaucracy[=/=]CouncilOfAngels have more red tape than a ribbon factory. Alternatively, the [[AngelsDevilsAndSquid eldritch abominations might be destroying both sides]]. In the most absolute worst, the universe is a CosmicHorrorStory.

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* The gods [[JerkassGods are all assholes]] who pass the time [[PassThePopcorn eating prayer chips and drinking soul-booze while placing bets and trolling the helpless morals]], and {{The Legions Of|Hell}} {{Eldritch Abomination}}s are mere days away from infesting breaking into the Mortal Realm, if they aren't there already. A GodOfEvil is probably [[VillainsActHeroesReact the only active one]], unless the point of the story is that he doesn't need to, because people will jump at any opportunity to do harm anyway. DemonicPossession is quite common. May even have DevilButNoGod, or an outright [[GodIsEvil evil supreme god]] running the show. If there are no "gods" per se, the CelestialBureaucracy[=/=]CouncilOfAngels have more red tape than a ribbon factory. Alternatively, the [[AngelsDevilsAndSquid eldritch abominations might be destroying both sides]]. In the most absolute worst, the universe is a CosmicHorrorStory.
3rd Jul '16 6:30:27 PM WanderingBrowser
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** The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting takes place in a desert fantasy world where the Forces of Primordial (or whatever bad, bad guys the writers feel like throwing in an edition) won the war and the heroes ([[IDidWhatIHadToDo if you can call them that]]) fight out of necessity, not idealism.
** The ''TabletopGame/{{Midnight}}'' setting takes place in a rather generic fantasy world where the Forces of Evil won the final war and the protagonists are [[LaResistance guerillas]] or simple folk trying to delay the inevitable. Imagine ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' if Sauron had won.

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** The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting takes place in a desert fantasy world where a psychotic EvilSorcerer named Rajaat taught the Forces art of Primordial (or whatever bad, bad guys Defiling[[note]]the setting's take on arcane magic -- everyone else uses psionics -- which is basically BlackMagic fueled by [[WalkingWasteland sucking the writers feel like throwing in an edition) won life out of the war land around you]][[/note]] to a bunch of humans and lead them on a [[FantasticRacism genocidal world-war that annihilated a number of sentient species]], devastated the cultures of those races not driven extinct, and burned the world to a dying desert. When those humans realised that their boss wasn't human and, in fact, planned on wiping out humanity once it had killed off the other races, they turned on him. Then the most powerful of them all turned into a monstrous dragon-monster and ever since the others have ruled as undying sorcerer-kings whilst slowly trying to advance themselves in the same way. Slavery is the norm, cannibalism a fact of life, family members will kill each other over a mouthful of water, and any heroes ([[IDidWhatIHadToDo if you can call them that]]) fight out of necessity, not idealism.
** The ''TabletopGame/{{Midnight}}'' setting takes place in a rather generic fantasy world where the Forces of Evil won the final war and the protagonists are [[LaResistance guerillas]] or simple folk trying to delay the inevitable. Imagine ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' if Sauron had won. Add in the fact that the gods created the world as a prison ''for'' the BigBad and screwed up the bindings that were supposed to keep only the BigBad trapped, so now they can't get in and sort things out, and it gets worse.
13th Jun '16 10:33:01 PM wehrmacht
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* Several of [[Creator/GuillermoDelToro Guillermo Del Toro's]] movies, such as Film/PansLabyrinth, Film/Cronos and Film/TheDevilsBackbone.

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* Several of [[Creator/GuillermoDelToro Guillermo Del Toro's]] movies, such as Film/PansLabyrinth, Film/Cronos {{Film/Cronos}} and Film/TheDevilsBackbone.
13th Jun '16 10:32:37 PM wehrmacht
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* Several of {{Creator/GuillermoDelToro Guillermo Del Toro's}} movies, such as Film/PansLabyrinth, Film/Cronos and Film/TheDevilsBackbone.

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* Several of {{Creator/GuillermoDelToro [[Creator/GuillermoDelToro Guillermo Del Toro's}} Toro's]] movies, such as Film/PansLabyrinth, Film/Cronos and Film/TheDevilsBackbone.
13th Jun '16 10:31:52 PM wehrmacht
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* Several of {{Creator/GuillermoDelToro Guillermo Del Toro's}} movies, such as Film/PansLabyrinth, Film/Cronos and Film/TheDevilsBackbone.
12th Jun '16 5:57:14 PM TheBigBopper
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* ''Anime/Berserk2016'', the 2016 anime adaptation of the above.
10th Jun '16 9:43:20 AM TheFantasyChronicler
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* ''{{VideoGame/Diablo}}'' has elements of it. Moreso in ''Diablo II'', where TheLegionsOfHell have TheHorde of {{Undead}}, mutant wildlife, lesser demons, and DealWithTheDevil types Vs. a [[BlackAndGreyMorality morally dubious]] {{Necromancer}}, a VainSorceress, or a {{Paladin}} who belongs to a CorruptChurch. [[ItsUpToYou And it's all up to that one person]], plus any minions [=s/he=] may [=hire/summon=]. Heaven won't help out because of a strict non-interference policy, except for one Angel who sells goodies and resurrects dead party members to pay rent -- [[spoiler:and who, in the third game, finally gets fed up and decides to become a mortal in order to help humanity directly]].


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* ''{{VideoGame/Diablo}}'' has elements of it. Moreso in ''Diablo II'', where TheLegionsOfHell have TheHorde of {{Undead}}, mutant wildlife, lesser demons, and DealWithTheDevil types Vs. a [[BlackAndGreyMorality morally dubious]] {{Necromancer}}, a VainSorceress, or a {{Paladin}} who belongs to a CorruptChurch. [[ItsUpToYou And it's all up to that one person]], plus any minions [=s/he=] may [=hire/summon=]. Heaven won't help out because of a strict non-interference policy, except for one Angel who sells goodies and resurrects dead party members to pay rent -- [[spoiler:and who, in the third game, finally gets fed up and decides to become a mortal in order to help humanity directly]].
10th Jun '16 9:41:21 AM TheFantasyChronicler
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* ''TabletopGame/{{Kult}}'': Humanity used to be immortal super-entities, but a jealous deity known as the Demiurge took away our powers and sealed them off, and imposed "mundane reality" on us. People who we think to be crazy are actually seeing through this veil.
* Although the game itself has very little in terms of setting, the rules and artwork in the ''TabletopGame/LamentationsOfTheFlamePrincess'' core books present a world filled with sex, black magic and the most gruesome violence imaginable.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Kult}}'': Humanity used to be immortal super-entities, but a jealous deity known as the Demiurge took away our powers and sealed them off, and imposed "mundane reality" on us. People who we think to be crazy are actually seeing through this veil.



* Although the game itself has very little in terms of setting, the rules and artwork in the ''TabletopGame/LamentationsOfTheFlamePrincess'' core books present a world filled with sex, black magic and the most gruesome violence imaginable.
10th Jun '16 9:38:18 AM TheFantasyChronicler
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* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': Part TheEpic, part {{Tragedy}}, part SurvivalHorror. A KnightInSourArmor AntiHero searches for revenge and/or redemption in a CrapsackWorld and fights sickeningly frightening demons along the way. Constant instances of human cruelty lend to the tone of the work. HumansAreBastards, AllMenAreRapists, and AristocratsAreEvil are in full effect. The church is either a CorruptChurch or PathOfInspiration (details of its founding are unclear) but regardless, watch out for the KnightTemplar [[ChurchPolice Inquisition]]. TheMagicComesBack is portrayed as almost certainly a bad thing, as the only deity shown to be active in the world is a GodOfEvil. (More benevolent godlike beings are mentioned, but haven't shown up to help out.) The MessianicArchetype is a mass murderer and a rapist. And so on. [[spoiler:The kicker? According to a now partially decanonized chapter that was removed for spoiling too much, said GodOfEvil and its demons are merely the answer to humanity's desire for something to be responsible for their suffering (as opposed to it being random and meaningless). The Idea of Evil only exists because, in a truly warped way, people ''need'' it to exist.]]



* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'': Part TheEpic, part {{Tragedy}}, part SurvivalHorror. A KnightInSourArmor AntiHero searches for revenge and/or redemption in a CrapsackWorld and fights sickeningly frightening demons along the way. Constant instances of human cruelty lend to the tone of the work. HumansAreBastards, AllMenAreRapists, and AristocratsAreEvil are in full effect. The church is either a CorruptChurch or PathOfInspiration (details of its founding are unclear) but regardless, watch out for the KnightTemplar [[ChurchPolice Inquisition]]. TheMagicComesBack is portrayed as almost certainly a bad thing, as the only deity shown to be active in the world is a GodOfEvil. (More benevolent godlike beings are mentioned, but haven't shown up to help out.) The MessianicArchetype is a mass murderer and a rapist. And so on. [[spoiler:The kicker? According to a now partially decanonized chapter that was removed for spoiling too much, said GodOfEvil and its demons are merely the answer to humanity's desire for something to be responsible for their suffering (as opposed to it being random and meaningless). The Idea of Evil only exists because, in a truly warped way, people ''need'' it to exist.]]



* ''Tales of the Dragon Guard'': [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragons naturally radiate]] TheCorruption, which only [[VirginPower virgin]] [[AManIsNotAVirgin women]] are immune to. Entire villages are mutated into slavering, insane monsters, and if the dragon knights fail, a FantasticNuke is detonated, which turns the countryside into a wasteland. Some peasants are convinced that nailing a virgin vaccinates them against the corruption, so [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil you can guess what happens]]. [[VideoGame/{{Stalker}} The dragon knights are followed closely by prospectors looking for dragon gastroliths and scales, who often won't wait for the dragon to be killed before prospecting]].



* Some albums from ''ComicBook/{{Thorgal}}'' series are set in definitely bleak and corrupted fantasy settings (especially ''Three Ancients of the Realm of Aran''/''Bottomless Lake'').



* ''Tales of the Dragon Guard'': [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragons naturally radiate]] TheCorruption, which only [[VirginPower virgin]] [[AManIsNotAVirgin women]] are immune to. Entire villages are mutated into slavering, insane monsters, and if the dragon knights fail, a FantasticNuke is detonated, which turns the countryside into a wasteland. Some peasants are convinced that nailing a virgin vaccinates them against the corruption, so [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil you can guess what happens]]. [[VideoGame/{{Stalker}} The dragon knights are followed closely by prospectors looking for dragon gastroliths and scales, who often won't wait for the dragon to be killed before prospecting]].
* Some albums from ''ComicBook/{{Thorgal}}'' series are set in definitely bleak and corrupted fantasy settings (especially ''Three Ancients of the Realm of Aran''/''Bottomless Lake'').



* ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness''



* ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness''




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* In ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' it's one half of the setting. The other half is classical {{Dystopia}}.
* The ''Literature/BlackCompany'' cycle. The military kind of dark.
* ''Literature/ClandestineDaze'' by Creator/TimMarquitz follows the adventures of a cannibal shapeshifter who hates what he does and who he is but needs to continue on in order to keep peace between humans and Aels in the modern world.



* ''Literature/LadyofGems'' series has a lot of dark fantasy elements,the first book deals with BodyHorror and not to mention the fear-feeding creatures that keeps people in at night.
* ''Literature/ReturnOfTheReaper'' would be a clear example, with the "hero" being the same demon who enslaved all the sentient races in the world and who is acting more for revenge than for the well being of those sentient races.

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* ''Literature/LadyofGems'' series has a lot ''[[BlackguardsTalesOfAssassinsMercenariesAndRogues Blackguards: Tales of dark fantasy elements,the first book deals with BodyHorror Assassins, Mercenaries, and not Rogues]]'' published by Creator/RagnarokPublications gained a surprisingly large Kickstarter following by promising to mention the fear-feeding creatures that keeps people in at night.
* ''Literature/ReturnOfTheReaper'' would
be a clear example, with the "hero" being the same demon who enslaved all the sentient races in the world and who is acting more for revenge than for the well being of those sentient races.nothing but this.



* ''Franchise/TheWitcher'' cycle, particularly in the later books of the Saga, [[CerebusSyndrome when it began accumulating grimdark]]. The game and earlier stories are quite gritty, but lighter than late Saga.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Creator/GeorgeRRMartin goes the full mile in trying to show his readers [[TheDungAges how dark]] the [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy Dark Ages]] truly were. AnyoneCanDie, morality is a subjective thing and WarIsHell. Even [[TheMagicComesBack the Magic Coming Back]] seems to just make everything [[FromBadToWorse more dangerous]].
* The ''Literature/BlackCompany'' cycle. The military kind of dark.
%%* All novels written by Feliks W. Kres, especially the ''Szerer cycle.''

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* ''Franchise/TheWitcher'' cycle, particularly in ''Literature/DemonRoad'', by Derek Landy of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', is pretty dark, as it features demons, a DealWithTheDevil and the later books of the Saga, [[CerebusSyndrome when it began accumulating grimdark]]. The game and earlier stories are quite gritty, but lighter than late Saga.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Creator/GeorgeRRMartin goes the full mile
main character's parents attempting to use her blood in order to fulfill a blood pact.
* ''Literature/{{Dirge}}'' by Creator/TimMarquitz is a novel about an assassin
trying to show deal with the ZombieApocalypse which has pushed her LowFantasy world to the brink of extinction.
* ''Literature/DraconianSymphony'', is about an abuse victim that gets roped into doing Hell's dirty work after getting a demon's help in revenge against
his readers [[TheDungAges how dark]] the [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy Dark Ages]] truly were. AnyoneCanDie, morality is a subjective thing and WarIsHell. Even [[TheMagicComesBack the Magic Coming Back]] seems to just make everything [[FromBadToWorse more dangerous]].
* The ''Literature/BlackCompany'' cycle. The military kind of dark.
%%* All novels written by Feliks W. Kres, especially the ''Szerer cycle.''
abuser.



* ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' starts of as a fantasy and starts showing hints of becoming a DarkFantasy in the 2nd book, by the 7th and the spin-offs is it really a dark fantasy with BodyHorror, terror, [[SlasherSmile Slasher Smiles]] and more. Of the characters only the two main characters seem like genualy good, most of the others have GreyAndGrayMorality. Most of the characters treat murder as "necisary", at times, people sell them out, lie, and have slaves. One elf that never was a slave thinks it's okay to kill the race that mainly keeps elves as slaves. There's canibalism, strong implications of rape (one even bragged about seemingly doing it), FantasticRacism, magic is seen as evil, implied incest, and it goes FromBadToWorse. It's a good series because it's well written, interesting story, and the characters are great, but it's still feels wrong that it still has a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids 9+ rating in Norway]], which might be because of the lack of [[ThinkOfTheChildren swearing and implications of nudes]], even though it's [[DoubleStandard allowed on Norwegian children's TV]].



* ''Literature/TheFirstLaw'' trilogy. With plenty of gore, torture and violence, it's generally categorized as dark fantasy, though it adds a lot of comedy to lighten the tone.

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* All novels written by Feliks W. Kres, especially the ''Szerer cycle.''
* Joe Abercrombie's
''Literature/TheFirstLaw'' trilogy. With plenty of gore, torture series definitely qualifies as well. [[{{TheKingdom}} A feudal society]] in which the upper classes [[{{AristocratsAreEvil}} scheme and intrigue while caring nothing about the common man]] and [[{{SecretPolice}} the Inquisition]] is a very powerful, feared and merciless force...bordered by a vast and totalitarian [[{{TheEmpire}} slave-keeping empire]] to the South and a barbarian kingdom of savage killers from GrimUpNorth on the other side. Said Southern empire being controlled behind the scenes by a cabal of crazed cannibal mages...and non-cannibal mages being little better [[spoiler: (if not worse...)]]. Oh, the little matter of any form of magic being, at its source, a demonic power in this setting. Lots of violence, it's generally categorized as dark fantasy, though it adds a lot grittiness, grime and death. It's saying something that one of comedy to lighten the tone. (comparatively) ''more sympathetic'' characters is a cynical, crippled TortureTechnician for the aforementioned Inquisition.



* ''Literature/LadyofGems'' series has a lot of dark fantasy elements,the first book deals with BodyHorror and not to mention the fear-feeding creatures that keeps people in at night.
* The ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' takes typical WarIsHell conventions and applies them to fictional wars in a fantasy setting. Some of the atrocities the characters bear witness to (or go through themselves) are genuinely shocking.
** ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy'', a prequel to the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', while LighterAndSofter in structure, manages to be even darker in tone and story.



* In ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' it's one half of the setting. The other half is classical {{Dystopia}}.

to:

* In ''Literature/TheActsOfCaine'' ''Literature/{{Mortis}}: The Blood 'n Flowers Series's'' first book, ''Demon Meat for Dinner'', progressively gets darker with each passing chapter, ultimately leading to the [[spoiler: the graphic torture and butchering of the antagonist.]]
* ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' starts of as a fantasy and starts showing hints of becoming a DarkFantasy in the 2nd book, by the 7th and the spin-offs is it really a dark fantasy with BodyHorror, terror, [[SlasherSmile Slasher Smiles]] and more. Of the characters only the two main characters seem like genualy good, most of the others have GreyAndGrayMorality. Most of the characters treat murder as "necisary", at times, people sell them out, lie, and have slaves. One elf that never was a slave thinks
it's one half okay to kill the race that mainly keeps elves as slaves. There's canibalism, strong implications of rape (one even bragged about seemingly doing it), FantasticRacism, magic is seen as evil, implied incest, and it goes FromBadToWorse. It's a good series because it's well written, interesting story, and the characters are great, but it's still feels wrong that it still has a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids 9+ rating in Norway]], which might be because of the setting. lack of [[ThinkOfTheChildren swearing and implications of nudes]], even though it's [[DoubleStandard allowed on Norwegian children's TV]].
* ''Literature/RedRoom'' by Creator/CTPhipps follows the adventures of MenInBlack Derek Hawthorne and Shannon O'Reilly as they work for AncientConspiracy the House in keeping humanity in the dark about the supernatural. There are no heroes and the only thing a person can aspire to be is less evil than the next guy.
* ''Literature/ReturnOfTheReaper'' would be a clear example, with the "hero" being the same demon who enslaved all the sentient races in the world and who is acting more for revenge than for the well being of those sentient races.
* Craig Schaefer's ''Literature/RevancheCycle'' follows the struggle for to control a parallel-Renaissance papacy. BlackAndGrayMorality is in full effect; decadent nobles, witches, poison, and back-stabbing galore.
The other half is classical {{Dystopia}}.one truly good character in the saga, an aspiring knight who seems to have wandered in from a much happier fantasy world, [[spoiler:is an AxCrazy psycho who's just been drugged and brainwashed into acting that way]]. It's that kind of story.



* The ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' takes typical WarIsHell conventions and applies them to fictional wars in a fantasy setting. Some of the atrocities the characters bear witness to (or go through themselves) are genuinely shocking.
* ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy'', a prequel to the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', while LighterAndSofter in structure, manages to be even darker in tone and story.

to:

* ''Literature/TheSilerianTrilogy'': A people as occupied with killing each other as winning liberty, versus a brutal empire which rules them, fairly ruthless "heroes" leading them, and evil wizards who extort others for the simple use of ''water''. The ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' takes typical WarIsHell conventions and applies them to fictional wars in a fantasy setting. Some chosen one [[spoiler: dies at the end of the atrocities first book]], and once the characters bear witness to (or go through themselves) are genuinely shocking.
* ''Literature/TheKharkanasTrilogy'', a prequel to
empire leaves, the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', while LighterAndSofter newly free country falls into civil war.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': Creator/GeorgeRRMartin goes the full mile
in structure, manages trying to be even darker in tone show his readers [[TheDungAges how dark]] the [[MedievalEuropeanFantasy Dark Ages]] truly were. AnyoneCanDie, morality is a subjective thing and story.WarIsHell. Even [[TheMagicComesBack the Magic Coming Back]] seems to just make everything [[FromBadToWorse more dangerous]].



* ''Literature/TalesOfTheBlackRaven'' by Seth Skorkowsky is a work following the adventures of the titular Master Thief in a dark and dreary Renassiance-meets-Hyboria setting.
* ''[[Literature/RobJHayesTheTiesThatBind The Ties That Bind Trilogy]]'' by Rob J. Hayes is another example. It is a bleak setting of cynical mercenaries with a ruthless Inquisitor out to save the lands from a demonic invasion.
* ''Literature/WeAreAllCompletelyFine'' is about a support group for traumatized heroes who are all suffering from their various ordeals with the supernatural, [[spoiler: some of which, like the Dwellers, are real and still after them]]
* ''Franchise/TheWitcher'' cycle, particularly in the later books of the Saga, [[CerebusSyndrome when it began accumulating grimdark]]. The game and earlier stories are quite gritty, but lighter than late Saga.
* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheWitches'' is a strange mishmash of DarkFantasy, UrbanFantasy, DefangedHorrors, and ConspiracyThriller.
* Literature/TheYoungElites by Marie Lu features a {{crapsack world}}, {{fantastic racism}}, {{black and grey morality}}, while Adelina Amouteru, the protagonist, becomes darker [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain as the books progress.]]



* Joe Abercrombie's ''Literature/TheFirstLaw'' series definitely qualifies as well. [[{{TheKingdom}} A feudal society]] in which the upper classes [[{{AristocratsAreEvil}} scheme and intrigue while caring nothing about the common man]] and [[{{SecretPolice}} the Inquisition]] is a very powerful, feared and merciless force...bordered by a vast and totalitarian [[{{TheEmpire}} slave-keeping empire]] to the South and a barbarian kingdom of savage killers from GrimUpNorth on the other side. Said Southern empire being controlled behind the scenes by a cabal of crazed cannibal mages...and non-cannibal mages being little better [[spoiler: (if not worse...)]]. Oh, the little matter of any form of magic being, at its source, a demonic power in this setting. Lots of violence, grittiness, grime and death. It's saying something that one of the (comparatively) ''more sympathetic'' characters is a cynical, crippled TortureTechnician for the aforementioned Inquisition.
* ''[[BlackguardsTalesOfAssassinsMercenariesAndRogues Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues]]'' published by Creator/RagnarokPublications gained a surprisingly large Kickstarter following by promising to be nothing but this.
* ''Literature/{{Dirge}}'' by Creator/TimMarquitz is a novel about an assassin trying to deal with the ZombieApocalypse which has pushed her LowFantasy world to the brink of extinction.
* ''[[Literature/RobJHayesTheTiesThatBind The Ties That Bind Trilogy]]'' by Rob J. Hayes is another example. It is a bleak setting of cynical mercenaries with a ruthless Inquisitor out to save the lands from a demonic invasion.
* ''Literature/TalesOfTheBlackRaven'' by Seth Skorkowsky is a work following the adventures of the titular Master Thief in a dark and dreary Renassiance-meets-Hyboria setting.
* ''Literature/ClandestineDaze'' by Creator/TimMarquitz follows the adventures of a cannibal shapeshifter who hates what he does and who he is but needs to continue on in order to keep peace between humans and Aels in the modern world.
* ''Literature/RedRoom'' by Creator/CTPhipps follows the adventures of MenInBlack Derek Hawthorne and Shannon O'Reilly as they work for AncientConspiracy the House in keeping humanity in the dark about the supernatural. There are no heroes and the only thing a person can aspire to be is less evil than the next guy.
* Craig Schaefer's ''Literature/RevancheCycle'' follows the struggle for to control a parallel-Renaissance papacy. BlackAndGrayMorality is in full effect; decadent nobles, witches, poison, and back-stabbing galore. The one truly good character in the saga, an aspiring knight who seems to have wandered in from a much happier fantasy world, [[spoiler:is an AxCrazy psycho who's just been drugged and brainwashed into acting that way]]. It's that kind of story.
* ''Literature/{{Mortis}}: The Blood 'n Flowers Series's'' first book, ''Demon Meat for Dinner'', progressively gets darker with each passing chapter, ultimately leading to the [[spoiler: the graphic torture and butchering of the antagonist.]]
* ''Literature/DemonRoad'', by Derek Landy of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', is pretty dark, as it features demons, a DealWithTheDevil and the main character's parents attempting to use her blood in order to fulfill a blood pact.
* ''Literature/DraconianSymphony'', is about an abuse victim that gets roped into doing Hell's dirty work after getting a demon's help in revenge against his abuser.
* ''Literature/WeAreAllCompletelyFine'' is about a support group for traumatized heroes who are all suffering from their various ordeals with the supernatural, [[spoiler: some of which, like the Dwellers, are real and still after them]]
* Literature/TheYoungElites by Marie Lu features a {{crapsack world}}, {{fantastic racism}}, {{black and grey morality}}, while Adelina Amouteru, the protagonist, becomes darker [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain as the books progress.]]
* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheWitches'' is a strange mishmash of DarkFantasy, UrbanFantasy, DefangedHorrors, and ConspiracyThriller.
* ''Literature/TheSilerianTrilogy'': A people as occupied with killing each other as winning liberty, versus a brutal empire which rules them, fairly ruthless "heroes" leading them, and evil wizards who extort others for the simple use of ''water''. The chosen one [[spoiler: dies at the end of the first book]], and once the empire leaves, the newly free country falls into civil war.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. As of 8th edition, the only thing on the list ''Warhammer'' lacks is evil cults monopolizing all organized religion. Sigmar and Ulric have reasonable priesthoods.
* Its more popular spinoff ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' can be summed up as ''Warhammer'' [[RecycledINSPACE In Space.]] And it does have everything on the list, even the evil cults monopolizing all regigion (provided you remember the Imperial Cult is the lesser of two evils).

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. As of 8th edition, ''TabletopGame/{{Atmosfear}}'' (AKA Nightmare), which has the only thing on players at the list ''Warhammer'' lacks is evil cults monopolizing all organized religion. Sigmar mercy of an angry, petty demon-god called the Gatekeeper. The players roleplay his minions, either his Herald, a monster beholden to him, or a "soul ranger" attempting to steal a key from a herald.
* ''TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead'': A group of insomniacs are slowly losing their minds,
and Ulric have reasonable priesthoods.
* Its more popular spinoff ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' can be summed up
gain access to a city built out of insanity, and populated by corporeal nightmares, which they fight off with PowerBornOfMadness. And, as ''Warhammer'' [[RecycledINSPACE In Space.]] And it does have everything on the list, even the evil cults monopolizing all regigion (provided you remember the Imperial Cult is the lesser of two evils).title suggests, if they ''do'' ever get to sleep, they are in deep shit (If they live long enough to wake up again, they lose their superpowers untill sleep deprivation drives them crazy enough to use them again).



** The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting takes place in a desert fantasy world where the Forces of Primordial (or whatever bad, bad guys the writers feel like throwing in an edition) won the war and the heroes ([[IDidWhatIHadToDo if you can call them that]]) fight out of necessity, not idealism.
** The ''TabletopGame/{{Midnight}}'' setting takes place in a rather generic fantasy world where the Forces of Evil won the final war and the protagonists are [[LaResistance guerillas]] or simple folk trying to delay the inevitable. Imagine ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' if Sauron had won.



** The ''TabletopGame/{{Midnight}}'' setting takes place in a rather generic fantasy world where the Forces of Evil won the final war and the protagonists are [[LaResistance guerillas]] or simple folk trying to delay the inevitable. Imagine ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' if Sauron had won.
** The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting takes place in a desert fantasy world where the Forces of Primordial (or whatever bad, bad guys the writers feel like throwing in an edition) won the war and the heroes ([[IDidWhatIHadToDo if you can call them that]]) fight out of necessity, not idealism.

to:

** * ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': Creation has pretty much been on a declining spiral since it was created, with one or two temporary exceptions. The ''TabletopGame/{{Midnight}}'' Gods are corrupt, lazy, and/or addicted to games which are worse than crack, heroin, nicotine, and [[BaconAddiction bacon]] combined. The world is threatened by no less than three sets of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, any of which would be happy to corrupt, unravel, or utterly destroy existence. The greatest weapons with the capability to fend off these enemies are humans stuffed with way more power than humanity was built to handle, suffering from a curse that causes them periodic psychotic breaks. The average mortal can expect either a long life of drudgery and toil or a short life of terror and pain. Oh, and those weapons? Two of the three sets of Abominations have their own versions working for them. Pretty much the only thing keeping the setting takes place in from being a rather generic fantasy world where Cosmic Horror Story is that the Forces of Evil won PC Exalted are fully able, if they act with wisdom, to actually confront and, potentially, solve the final war and the protagonists are [[LaResistance guerillas]] or simple folk trying to delay the inevitable. Imagine ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' if Sauron had won.
** The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting takes place in a desert fantasy world where the Forces of Primordial (or whatever bad, bad guys the writers feel like throwing in an edition) won the war and the heroes ([[IDidWhatIHadToDo if you can call them that]]) fight out of necessity, not idealism.
problems that face Creation.



* ''TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead'': A group of insomniacs are slowly losing their minds, and gain access to a city built out of insanity, and populated by corporeal nightmares, which they fight off with PowerBornOfMadness. And, as the title suggests, if they ''do'' ever get to sleep, they are in deep shit (If they live long enough to wake up again, they lose their superpowers untill sleep deprivation drives them crazy enough to use them again).
* ''TabletopGame/{{Kult}}'': Humanity used to be immortal super-entities, but a jealous deity known as the Demiurge took away our powers and sealed them off, and imposed "mundane reality" on us. People who we think to be crazy are actually seeing through this veil.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness'' games are practically the trope codifiers for [[UrbanFantasy urban]], DarkFantasy.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Atmosfear}}'' (AKA Nightmare), which has the players at the mercy of an angry, petty demon-god called the Gatekeeper. The players roleplay his minions, either his Herald, a monster beholden to him, or a "soul ranger" attempting to steal a key from a herald.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. As of 8th edition, the only thing on the list ''Warhammer'' lacks is evil cults monopolizing all organized religion. Sigmar and Ulric have reasonable priesthoods.
* Its more popular spinoff ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' can be summed up as ''Warhammer'' [[RecycledINSPACE In Space.]] And it does have everything on the list, even the evil cults monopolizing all regigion (provided you remember the Imperial Cult is the lesser of two evils).
* ''TabletopGame/{{Kult}}'': Humanity used to be immortal super-entities, but a jealous deity known as the Demiurge took away our powers and sealed them off, and imposed "mundane reality" on us. People who we think to be crazy are actually seeing through this veil.
* ''TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness'' games are practically the trope codifiers for [[UrbanFantasy urban]], DarkFantasy.



* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': Creation has pretty much been on a declining spiral since it was created, with one or two temporary exceptions. The Gods are corrupt, lazy, and/or addicted to games which are worse than crack, heroin, nicotine, and [[BaconAddiction bacon]] combined. The world is threatened by no less than three sets of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, any of which would be happy to corrupt, unravel, or utterly destroy existence. The greatest weapons with the capability to fend off these enemies are humans stuffed with way more power than humanity was built to handle, suffering from a curse that causes them periodic psychotic breaks. The average mortal can expect either a long life of drudgery and toil or a short life of terror and pain. Oh, and those weapons? Two of the three sets of Abominations have their own versions working for them. Pretty much the only thing keeping the setting from being a Cosmic Horror Story is that the PC Exalted are fully able, if they act with wisdom, to actually confront and, potentially, solve the problems that face Creation.



* The ''Under the Burning Suns'' expansion for ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth''.



* ''Demon's Crest'', the final game in the ''[[VideoGame/GargoylesQuest Gargoyle's Quest]]'' series, is one of the bleakest games on the Super Nintendo, taking place in a realm of demons and with a main character who wants to gain ultimate power to rule the world.



* ''Demon's Crest'', the final game in the ''[[VideoGame/GargoylesQuest Gargoyle's Quest]]'' series, is one of the bleakest games on the Super Nintendo, taking place in a realm of demons and with a main character who wants to gain ultimate power to rule the world.



* Most of the games of Yasumi Matsuno (''VideoGame/OgreBattle'', ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'', ''VideoGame/CrimsonShroud'') fall under this category. War-torn lands, oppressive governments, {{Corrupt Church}}es, and vengeful gods abound.



%%* ''VideoGame/SoulSacrifice'' is based around Sorcerers in such a world, and filled to the brim with BodyHorror and WasOnceAMan.



* ''VideoGame/SoulSacrifice'' is based around Sorcerers in such a world, and filled to the brim with BodyHorror and WasOnceAMan.



* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' is an example of one. Slavery, war, and general atrocities is the order of the day. More often than not, humans succumb to the worst part of themselves. [[JerkassGods Not to say that the gods are any better]]. Ragnarok is just around the corner, and things are falling apart. Your job is to recruit the soul of worthy mortals to fight in that final battle, and there is no shortage of death and despair to make it very easy and guilt-free for you.



* The ''Under the Burning Suns'' expansion for ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth''.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' is an example of one. Slavery, war, and general atrocities is the order of the day. More often than not, humans succumb to the worst part of themselves. [[JerkassGods Not to say that the gods are any better]]. Ragnarok is just around the corner, and things are falling apart. Your job is to recruit the soul of worthy mortals to fight in that final battle, and there is no shortage of death and despair to make it very easy and guilt-free for you.

to:

* The ''Under the Burning Suns'' expansion for ''VideoGame/BattleForWesnoth''.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' is an example of one. Slavery, war, and general atrocities is the order
Most of the day. More often than not, humans succumb to the worst part games of themselves. [[JerkassGods Not to say that the Yasumi Matsuno (''VideoGame/OgreBattle'', ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'', ''VideoGame/CrimsonShroud'') fall under this category. War-torn lands, oppressive governments, {{Corrupt Church}}es, and vengeful gods are any better]]. Ragnarok is just around the corner, and things are falling apart. Your job is to recruit the soul of worthy mortals to fight in that final battle, and there is no shortage of death and despair to make it very easy and guilt-free for you.abound.



* ''Webcomic/ArkTheImprobable'': The main characters are an Elf and a FrankensteinsMonster belonging to a {{Bounty Hunter}}s guild, fight hideously mutated creatures, developed from TheVirus working it's disgusting magic on mundane animals, plants, humans, and fantastic creatures, including Werewolves and Zombies.
* ''Webcomic/BasketsOfGuts'': Despite the fact that magic is quite common and basically doesn't require any evil activities to use it, most of the wizards empower their spells with [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent homunculi]]-based batteries. Said homunculi are supposedly artificial powerful wizards, doomed [[PoweredByAForsakenChild to serve as energy sources]] for their [[AndIMustScream entire life]]. And then there are [[MadScientist paraanatomists]] who promote [[PlayingWithSyringes "medicine"]] over healing magic. And TheMafia, lots of it. So it's not [[CrapsackWorld the world that is dark]], but rather the creatures who populate it. It even makes the whole [[FeudalFuture goverment]] [[StateSec tyranny]] thing [[HobbesWasRight somewhat justified]].



* ''Webcomic/DraconiaChronicles'', although it's more of the "Society is in the toilet, none of the races can get along or see their so-called "allies" are about to stab them in the back, and there's constant, unceasing warfare, atrocity, and bloodshed" sort of dark.



* ''Webcomic/ArkTheImprobable'': The main characters are an Elf and a FrankensteinsMonster belonging to a {{Bounty Hunter}}s guild, fight hideously mutated creatures, developed from TheVirus working it's disgusting magic on mundane animals, plants, humans, and fantastic creatures, including Werewolves and Zombies.



* ''Webcomic/DraconiaChronicles'', although it's more of the "Society is in the toilet, none of the races can get along or see their so-called "allies" are about to stab them in the back, and there's constant, unceasing warfare, atrocity, and bloodshed" sort of dark.
* ''Webcomic/BasketsOfGuts'': Despite the fact that magic is quite common and basically doesn't require any evil activities to use it, most of the wizards empower their spells with [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent homunculi]]-based batteries. Said homunculi are supposedly artificial powerful wizards, doomed [[PoweredByAForsakenChild to serve as energy sources]] for their [[AndIMustScream entire life]]. And then there are [[MadScientist paraanatomists]] who promote [[PlayingWithSyringes "medicine"]] over healing magic. And TheMafia, lots of it. So it's not [[CrapsackWorld the world that is dark]], but rather the creatures who populate it. It even makes the whole [[FeudalFuture goverment]] [[StateSec tyranny]] thing [[HobbesWasRight somewhat justified]].



* ''Literature/AboveGround''



%%* ''Literature/AboveGround''
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