[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8679666/1/Fairy-Dance-of-Death Fairy Dance of Death]] by [[http://www.fanfiction.net/u/46508/Catsy Catsy]] is an AU reboot of the SwordArtOnline universe.

The story starts from the premise that Kayaba Akihiko was obsessed with magic and Norse Mythology rather than swords and pure melee. As a result, he created the Death Game of Alfheim Online rather than the floating castle of Aincrad—a world in which player-killing is not a crime, and the nine player races are in competition with each other to reach the top of the World Tree.

Act 1 follows several characters: [[MasterSwordsman Kirito]], [[BruiserWithASoftCenter Klein]], [[CombatMedic Asuna]], and [[KnowledgeBroker Argo]], with a handful of side characters occasionally getting a viewpoint segment. Act 2 elevates (canonically) minor characters Sasha and Tetsuo to viewpoints and has reduced focus on Klein and Asuna early on. Act 3 is currently in progress.

Catsy has put up a [[FantasyWorldMap world map]] specific to the series [[http://ayashi.net/sao/fdd-index.html here]]. The page also has detailed information such as player demographics and a reference for the magic language used in the fic.

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!!Tropes found in this fanfiction:
* AbsurdlyHighStakesGame: As in canon, you die in the game, you die in real life. Slightly more forgiving in that Kayaba saw fit to include a one-minute window in which rare items and high-level magic can resurrect fallen characters. Problem is, thanks to the Salamanders' PlayerKilling spree, a month passes before even a handful of Undines (the only faction with a racial advantage in learning healing spells) are able to grind enough experience to learn even the basic restore-at-one-hit-point spell. Kayaba actually anticipated this, and compensated for the higher death rate by trapping 20,000 players to canon SAO's 10,000.
* AccidentalMurder: Somewhat commonplace. Sasha inadvertently killed one of her attackers by knocking them from a long height and Kirito has done this a few times as he doesn't intentionally fight to kill, but deaths occur anyway due to critical hits.
* ActionGirl: Asuna and Yuuki form an action girl duo. Alicia qualifies as well. Argo has some shades, but tends more towards TheChessmaster.
* AdaptedOut: Despite the appearances of pretty much everyone else from the ALO arc, Leafa is absent. WordOfGod says she's not in the game, as in canon it was SAO that caused her to play ALO in the first place.
* AdultFear: There are children in the game. Because of the FantasticRacism, some players only see them as their race, which in this game is not a good thing. More so when you consider some of the less ''savory'' players have specially targeted them.
* AllThereInTheManual: Literally--each chapter begins with an {{Epigraph}}, most of which are excerpts from the [[EncyclopediaExposita fictional Alfheim Online game manual]]. In many cases these quotes convey information about game mechanics that isn't repeated (or explained in as much detail) in the chapter that follows.
* AMillionIsAStatistic: Averted by Diabel, who feels the weight of the fact that a fourth of his faction members, the Undines, are dead by the half-year mark.
* AndThisIsFor: [[spoiler:Mortimer]] to [[spoiler:Kibaou]] before brutally executing the latter.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: The Boss Drop for Kirito during the Jotunn battle was the ''Coat of the Jotunn Lord.''
* AllOrNothing: Kayaba implies that only the first race to climb Yggdrasil and two of their allies will be permitted to log out. FantasticRacism ensues.
* AnyoneCanDie: Once again, as in Canon.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: ''[Argo] filled the room with another colorful and lengthy diatribe about Kirito's ancestry, hobbies, sense of self-preservation, wits or lack thereof, likely perversions of choice and preferred computer operating system.''
* AssassinsAreAlwaysBetrayed:[[InvertedTrope Inverted.]] The hitmen that Sigurd hired to get Sasha's notes kept them instead and failed to kill her.
* {{Badass}}: Kirito.
* BadBoss: Kibaou, who kills members of his own race simply because he doesn't like being told he's wrong, highly incompetent as a leader, and caused the majority of the problems in the first act after conquering the Imps and having them commit PK raids.
* BarrierChangeBoss: The 25th Floor Boss. Not only is it immune to damage unless hit with the proper element, it shifts its pattern at certain points.
* BeingGoodSucks: Kirito is a lot more proactive in FDOD than he was in canon, mostly because the rampant Player Killing of the Salamander invasion is harder for him to ignore than the slow attrition of SAO's initial days. He is thus instrumental in stopping the invasion and helping forge the anti-PK treaty, but because [[spoiler:the Spriggans are too anarchic to follow a leader, their race is locked out of it]], rendering him just as outcast as he was in canon. [[spoiler:And even though players are starting to believe that Kayaba will permit repeated logout attempts, ''no-one'' wants the Spriggans to be part of the first logout wave.]] Poor Kirito.
* BigDamnHeroes: Kirito does this a lot.[[spoiler: Saving Silica for example in Act 2.]] Klein gets a few goes himself as well to a party of trapped Cait Sith and a Valley Boss.
* BigNo: Asuna does this when some players push her BerserkButton by [[spoiler:threatening to kill Yuuki]].
* BloodlessCarnage: Due to the game engine, it's merely a red line and blood isn't shown.
* BreakableWeapons: When a weapon doesn't have enough durablity as Asuna learned or on a rare chance during an upgrade, as Kirito witnessed it happening [[CompanionCube to his Anneal Blade.]]
* CallingYourAttacks: Defied and parodied by Asuna after she mused that the flashy {{Special Attack}}s in the game made her feel like a manga character who'd been given super powers. ''She wondered if it would get any more powerful if she yelled "Linear!" while she was using the skill, and decided against it since she hadn't seen anyone else doing anything so silly.''
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Diabel mentions this as he feels personally responsible for the deaths of his faction and the fact that a full ''1/4'' Undines are dead by the start of the third act.
* ChallengingTheChief / KlingonPromotion: If you defeat the leader of your race in a duel, you become the leader.
* TheChessmaster: Argo, who wields her contacts and acquired knowledge as an [[KnowledgeBroker information broker]] like weapons.
* DarkerAndEdgier: In SAO, PK'ing didn't start until about a year into the game. In this fic, [[UpToEleven it starts the day after the game begins]], with the [[BloodKnight Salamanders]] invading the Imps.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: [[spoiler: Skarrip was replaced at some point by Loki, the King of the Jotnar.]]
* DivingSave: Kirito managed to save two other Clearers this way, but he couldn't get the third...
* DontYouDarePityMe: Asuna towards Diabel. She doesn't take kindly towards his attempts at coddling her.
* DramaticIrony: Assuming that this is the same girl from the light novels, [[spoiler: Asuna is completely unaware of Yuuki's real-world illness and the fact that her death is a ForegoneConclusion.]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: Kinda. Since the plot is that players are trapped in ALO instead of SAO, characters from both arcs appear in the story. A twelve-year-old Yuuki Konno (from Volume 7 of the light novels) enters ALO as an Imp.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Rosalia, a villain in the canon series who leads a PK guild and originally sets Silica up to be killed, comes off as somewhat much nicer and considers simply robbing the girl in order to drive her to stay in the church. She even shows hesitance towards the thought of killing her.
** Mind you, she still leads a party of thieves who'll kill you if you don't stand down. [[spoiler:But even she was aghast at how her partners willingly started killing off the Church children.]]
* EvilGloating: [[spoiler:Kibaou]] combines this with TheReasonYouSuckSpeech in the climax of Act 1 - and [[spoiler:pays for it instead of just listening to Klein when he said to GetItOverWith]].
* FantasticRacism: A result of many players believing that the Death Game is AllOrNothing. As only the first race to climb Yggdrasil and two of their allies may be permitted to log out, non-allied races are considered by many to be nothing more than obstacles to be eliminated.
** In part 2, it's easier to find multiple races in a party, but [[spoiler:Spriggans]] are universally hated by most with the exception of a few. Undines and Sylphs outright ban them while the RCC usually don't bother checking to see if the character is blacklisted before denying them service.
*** The majority of the players post-Treaty of Arun now agree that Kayaba will probably permit the Death Game to continue after the first triad of races logs out, and that it would be best for the Salamanders (the best fighters), the Sylphs (the most numerous) and the Undines (the healers) to remain logged in throughout all three theoretical "waves". However, the corollary - that the smallest and least potent factions should be permitted to be permitted to log out first - drives most players to rage. [[http://ayashi.net/foo/sao/fdd-races.html Check the racial percentages.]]
* FictionalGenevaConventions
* ForWantOfANail: Akihiko Kayaba decided he liked Norse Mythology and created ALO instead.
** InSpiteOfANail: Despite Beta Testers actually being well-liked, Kirito is as isolated as before because [[spoiler:Spriggans are too disorganized to be trusted to abide by a treaty.]]
* FunctionalMagic
* HarmfulToMinors: A certain 12-year-old girl named [[EarlyBirdCameo Yuuki]] who was in Everdark during the Salamander invasion. It's implied that [[spoiler:she entered the game with someone close to her and watched them get cut down]]. Considering the number of children in the game, she's probably not the only one. Most stay in a church in Arun, but some like Silica are players as well.
* HostageForMacGuffin & PutDownYourGunAndStepAway: Kirito is ordered to do this in Chapter 16.
** [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in that Kirito flat-out refuses to surrender his sword because [[GenreSavvy the moment he sheathed it, the bandits would do whatever they wanted]] and since they were violating a treaty, [[LeaveNoSurvivors they would kill all witnesses anyway.]]
* HollywoodTorches and HollywoodDarkness: Averted by the death game's creator, and the averted tropes discussed ''by name'' in the internal monologue of the dangerously GenreSavvy Kirito as he regretfully observes--in a dark cave--that these convenient gameplay conventions don't exist in ALO.
** Played straight and lampshaded when Asuna wonders if there's an NPC who keeps the braizer's fueled in the Undine faction leader's castle
* IfICantHaveYou: [[spoiler: Corvatz makes it clear to Tetsuo that Sasha isn't to help the other factions clear the 25th Floor. If the Salamanders can't have her, no one can.]]
** [[spoiler: Sigurd decided flat-out to have her killed because of this, only failing because she left to go clear the floor by the time his hit-men arrived. And he was ordered by Skarrip, who was really Loki.]]
* InterspeciesRomance: [[spoiler:Klein (Salamander) and Alicia (Cait Sith) have something going on after his RescueRomance during Act 1.]] The trope is played with though, because no matter what species they are in the game, they are all humans in real life.
* {{Irony}}: [[spoiler: [[FinalBoss Heathcliff]]]] nearly gets KilledOffForReal in the battle with the 25th Floor Boss. It does not escape him either.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Asuna in this fanfic tends to come off this way. She lashes out at people who try and help her including Kirito (physically) and Diabel (verbally) out of pride. [[spoiler: She comes out slightly better in Act 2 towards Kirito.]]
* KnowledgeBroker: Argo combines this with TheChessmaster. She has contacts everywhere and knows just about everything.
* LanguageOfMagic: Canon ALO had this, although the words of the spells were Old Norse. This fic takes it to an extreme with an original ConLang called ''[[http://ayashi.net/sao/majutsugo.html Majutsugo]]'' used to construct the incantations shown in the story in a consistent way.
** Some characters, such as Sasha, can mix the language words to form new spells.
* LeeroyJenkins: The Salamanders interfering with the 25th Boss fight makes it go off the rails.
* LossOfIdentity: Explored, as all the players react differently to being trapped in the death game. [[ActionGirl Asuna]] reflects on how much she's changed since [[HeroicBSOD launch day]]. [[BadAss Kirito]], [[KnowledgeBroker Argo]] and other beta testers have a [[AllThereintheManual head start]], but try to use that knowledge to help others. Even minor characters get some thoughtful examinations: Argo mentions how Skarrip, [[spoiler:the Sylph leader and an ALO art designer]], tends to always talk in his [[BecomingtheMask extremely formal persona]] since the Death Game began [[spoiler:and then he later gets replaced by Loki]]. And the FantasticRacism is fairly widespread despite insistence of many players that it's all just a ''game.''
* MacGuffinGirl: [[spoiler: Sasha has become this by the 25th Floor. Because of her mastery of the system and the puzzle bosses weakness relating to magic, both the Puca, Cait Sith, and the Salamanders are trying to secure her.]]
* MasterSwordsman: Kirito is already making his mark.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:Asuna, the night after killing Xaxa, went through this on the subject that she intentionally killed him.]]
* [[FiveRaces Nine Races]]: With matching ElementalPowers
** Gnome: DishingOutDirt
** Salamander: PlayingWithFire & KillItWithFire
** Undine: MakingASplash & TheMedic
** Sylph: BlowYouAway
** Imp: CastingAShadow
** Puca: ThePowerOfRock & MusicalAssassin
** Spriggan: MasterOfIllusion
** Cait Sith: TheBeastMaster
** Leprechaun: UltimateBlacksmith
* OhCrap: Yoshihara when Prophet's name comes up. She knows the guy.
* OutsideTheBoxTactic: A group of children held hostage [[spoiler:by the [=PKer=] group Laughing Coffin]] manage to escape by triggering Harassment Penalties on each other and sending themselves to the [=NPC=] jail.
* {{Protectorate}}: Yuuki, an Imp, is this for Asuna, an Undine.
* [[ReadTheFreakingManual Read The Friendly Manual]]: Argo says these exact words to Asuna after getting fed up with the latter's noobishness... with a DramaticEllipsis to signify a mid-sentence [[{{Bowdlerise}} self-censoring]].
* RedBaron: Argo TheRat.
* ShownTheirWork:
** Various, but particularly the original names of some cities which weren't specified in canon:
*** Parasel (Undine): From [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracelsus Paracelsus]], a Renaissance scholar who more or less invented the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undine_(alchemy) undines]] (and sylphs, and others) out of whole cloth in one of his alchemical tracts.
*** Penwether (Spriggan): From the Penwith district in Cornwall, England from which the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spriggan spriggan]] myth originates.
*** Domnann (Leprechaun): a theorized nominative form for Danann (Danu, as in the goddess); the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuatha_D%C3%A9_Danann Tuatha Dé Danann]] were fairy creatures in Irish folklore related to leprechauns.
*** Nissengrof (Gnome): from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomte nisse]], a name for gnomes in Norse folklore, and Old Norse grof, for hole. The city of Nissengrof is [[BeneathTheEarth subterranean]] and built around a massive open-pit mine.
** Equally notable is the entire ''creation'' of a magical language (''[[http://ayashi.net/sao/majutsugo.html majutsugo]]'') with a complete set of rules for grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
* [[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar Treaty of Arun]]: At the end of act one, eight of the nine races--[[spoiler:barring [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Spriggans]]]]--have set up rules at a PeaceConference so that an incident like before doesn't happen again:
** Reducing someone's health to zero is only to be done in self-defense or defense of another.
** [[SinkTheLifeBoats If a player's health enters the red zone,]] [[AvertedTrope they are allowed to retreat uncontested.]]
** DamageOverTime is not to be used if a player's health is in the Red Zone.
** ShootTheMedicFirst is [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. If anyone is near a Remain Light and trying to resurrect a player, they are not to be attacked.
** LeaveNoSurvivors is [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. If they surrender, then you are to take them alive no matter what.
*** That being said, they can't actually ''enforce'' it. As Kirito pointed out most shop-keepers don't bother checking the list to see who's blacklisted or not, so just about any non-Spriggan can do as they want. The best their leaders can do is exile or banish them, which isn't that much of an issue if they're self-sufficient, and you can't send them to prison since killing in a PvP game isn't against the law.
* ThwartedCoupDeGrace: [[spoiler:Kibaou]] is about to deliver a killing blow to [[spoiler:Klein]] when his monologue is cut short (literally) by a BigDamnHeroes moment.
* TookALevelInBadass: Asuna and Yuuki eventually go from total newbie and crying child to clearers. Granted, this happened to Asuna in canon. [[spoiler: The Yuuki from canon was already badass when she first appeared.]]
* {{Trigger}}: Yuuki undergoes a PTSD attack upon entering Everdark due to the Salamander invasion [[spoiler:where one of the Salamanders attempted to assault her]]. It's mentioned that several other Imps have undergone the same.
* VigilanteMan: Kirito has taken this role at the end of act two. Since the treaty of Arun isn't properly enforceable, he's decided the best way to stop PK'ers is to end them himself. Asuna decided to go with him.
* WhamEpisode: The end of Act 2, where it's revealed that [[spoiler: the Sylph leader Skarrip was replaced at some point by the Norse god [[MagnificentBastard Loki]], an NPC with ''nine'' health bars (whereas even the 25th gateway boss only has four) intelligent enough to come up with plans and arguments on his own.]]
* WolverineClaws: Argo's favorite weapon.
* WouldHurtAChild: Prophet's group tormented and killed some of Sasha's kids without a second thought.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Especially if you're the Undines, being the [[MakingASplash Water Magic]] race with a blue-dominated color scheme. Most of the other races have certain colors or color schemes associated with them, and hair and clothing to match.
* ZergRush: What the Salamander invasion of Everdark was called by one of the Undines after hearing a description of it.