[[CreationMyth It all began with nothing.]] Nothing but a cloud of energy, which one day split into the four primordial deities—Light, Darkness, Time and Life. Overcome by greed, Darkness stole the world that Light and Life had created, banishing them to a corner of the universe. To reclaim it, They fashioned the [[LegendaryWeapon Spear of Heaven]] [[HaveYouSeenMyGod at the cost of Their power]], and defeated the Darkness, granting humanity another chance at life.

But humanity, inherently dark, has unknowingly sustained the Darkness since. The Undying Shadow has risen and fallen through three cycles, villains raising it, heroes crushing it. Each cycle taught both sides, but while the Darkness learnt, [[AndManGrewProud humanity chose to forget]].

Ten years ago, [[AristocratsAreEvil King]] [[EvilOverlord Caleix]] began to change. New laws were written, and guards began to fill the streets, driving [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons the dragons]] into hiding, taking prisoner anyone who dared display the faintest hint of defiance. Victoria Island degenerated into a [[CrapsackWorld dystopia]], and darkness has spread its tendrils, invisible as [[CrapsaccharineWorld rot in the heart of a thriving tree]].

Enter ten-year-old FarmBoy Zethis, who has so far lived a sheltered life with his father on the outskirts of Henesys. The tyranny is the least of his problems: the main issue at hand right now is getting permission from his father to [[TheHerosJourney go off on his own adventure]], just like all their neighbours' children have. One revelation and a tearful day of goodbyes later, Zethis packs his bags and seems all set to become TheHero...

Except he is [[SubvertedTrope not the hero]], we come to realise, as we are introduced to [[EnsembleCast an ever-growing roster of characters]] from all corners of Victoria (and beyond), each with his or her own bone to pick with the tyrant king. Among them are a pair of teenage slaves working at Ellinia Station—one of them a murderess with anger-triggered PowerIncontinence—[[HalfIdenticalTwins a pair]] [[CreepyTwins of twins]] that has haunted the Dungeon for years, a [[FamedInStory legendary Archmage]] in search of an apprentice, and a young Huntress on the run from the castle, in whom the seeds of change are sown when [[PsychicDreamsForEveryone a voice in a dream]] urges her to travel the world, gather up a [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits team of battlers]] and bring the tyrant's reign to an end.

Set in the world of MapleStory's first episode, this EpicFantasy story is a study of various kinds of love in the face of pursuit, persecution and—eventually—rising civil war, as much as it is the tale of ten people's quest to make a mark in the Maple world. The full story can be read [[http://fanfiction.net/s/4380743 here]]. Warning: quality at the start of the story is what you'd expect of a fourteen-year-old venturing into fan fiction for the first time.

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!!Tropes demonstrated by Of the Dragon, of the Stars include (spoilers up to Chapter 10 not marked):

* ADayInTheLimelight: Hyrien gets his time in the spotlight in Chapters 10-12. Practically every minor cast herd has its time somewhere in Chapter 12.
* ASharedSuffering: Akera and Turino first begin to trust one another because they find solidarity in each other. Ketara and Horned Tail establish a bond for a similar reason.
* AllIsWellThatEndsWell: Clynine and Lanoré entrust their lives to an apparently top-security secret boat service, which then goes on to jeopardize their lives by almost leading them to death by fire, then by drowning, then by hypothermia. At the end of it, is any lawsuit filed? No. They find themselves an inn, fall asleep, and forget it ever happened.
* AnIcePerson: Lanoré, who got herself [[ShockAndAwe a double deal]].
* AndManGrewProud: This is what happens to humanity decades after every ascension of the Spirit of the Dark, when all evidence of Its rampage has faded.
* AncientArtifact: The Spear of Heaven, which does more than just grant superpowers.
* AncientTomb: Turino and Telida entered one in Chapter 9.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Light, Time and Life are personified as a woman with phoenix wings, a genderless person in court jester’s wear and a [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking rainbow dragon]].
* ArcWords: Almost every chapter starting from 7 has its own Arc Words.
** Chapter 7: "Answer the question."
** "Remember, and you’ll never have to recall."
** Chapter 8: "It all ends with the dance, my dear."
** Doubles as a Dream Melody: “I will dream and weave and sing/And then you might know everything”
** Chapter 10: "No justice, no mercy."
** Chapter 11: "Everything is turning. Everything is changing."
* ArmorPiercingSlap: Telida, Telida, Telida.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking
->“Sweat, bile and bad breath.”
* AsceticAesthetic: Deina’s tower in Chapter 10, though it’s a bit more organic than usual rooms of the style.
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance: Lanoré was born with blonde hair and blue eyes as if Time knew she would become an Ice/Lightning Archmage. Which, of course, [[PowersThatBe It did]]. Subverted totally in Akera, who looks like IceQueen but [[{Irony} uses]] [[PlayingWithFire fire]].
* BackStory: So very important in this fic.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Akera and Turino have this going for half the story.
* BettyAndVeronica: Turino and Shirion form one. Akera even [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] it.
* BigBad: King Caleix.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Turino and Telida come from one. Their mother is their father’s SexSlave. Both children were conceived by accident, and while their mother quickly warmed to them, their father was furious, and made sure never to spare them an ounce of care. When their mother finally stood up for her rights, her husband murdered her by smashing her skull with his sword, before being killed in the same manner by the [[PowersThatBe Clock Spirit]] for violating the terms of their marriage vow. Their children grow up in the jungle unguided, learning to hate each other.
* BiggerOnTheInside: The Nightfall HQ.
* BittersweetEnding
* Bizarrchitecture: Deina's Tower. Everything is upside-down, so you have to climb to the ceiling to get to the door. Some chandeliers lie on the ceiling, while others point upwards as if gravity were still acting on them.
* BlackMagic: Necromancers, though it's more of [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience black-and-red magic]].
* BloodKnight: The lost warrior Thaemis, a Hero who fought in an arena for a living and for fame.
* BonusMaterial: Author notes frequently featured character popularity polls and rankings. Recently the author made [[https://sites.google.com/site/revolvingumbrella/otdots a section of a website dedicated to extra information on the story and cast]].
* BoobsOfSteel: The most well-endowed female of the cast, Telida, is also the only one who engages in any form of melee combat.
* BrokenBird: Akera, in contrast to Telida who takes a more StoicWoobie approach. [[spoiler: Also, Thaemis.]]
* CallToAgriculture: The creatures of the Canyon at the end of Chapter 8.
* CannotSpitItOut: The reason certain story arcs last more than half the story.
* CastHerd: The cast of this story can be split into numerous distinct herds: Orion's Belt, Nightfall, Ethiel, Leafre, guards, necromancers[[spoiler:, Reborn]].
* CharacterMagneticTeam: The entire first half of the fanfic charts the movements and exploits of one such team.
* ChekhovsGun: Various, over the span of the entire story. Father’s Stone, the vampire crystals from Tatamo, the canned drink and the needles from Ludibrium, the lollipops from the Ludibrium ball, the Teleport Rock.
* ChekhovsGunman: Ralinn and Raydan play this role during the Dead Mines quest. Also, both Hyrien and Esharo appeared briefly in Chapter 1, only to reappear and become major players later in the story. [[spoiler: Thaemis is a Chekhov's Gunman whose eventual appearance was built up towards over the course of the entire story.]]
* ChekhovsLecture: Many key events in the final chapter are textually foreshadowed in earlier chapters.
-> "It happened once—and by all means it may happen again. Once the Spirit has taken full control, we can hope and plead no longer. Our world will be destroyed, and us with it."
-> "It all ends with the dance, my dear. It all ends with the dance."
-> "The Spear accords the wielder power immeasurable, power so vast that almost no one in the world, save a talented few, has strength enough to contain its rage. Finding one with the ability to do so is as likely as flipping a coin and having it land on its edge."
* ChekhovsSkill: Cirid's experience with fireworks.
* ChildProdigy: Akera and Clynine are demonstrated to be this.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: This seems to be the way with Akera, a lot of the time. In Chapter 10, she commands everyone to jump off the edge of Orbis—which happens to be half a mile off the ground—on a wild whim. She ends up not just saving everyone’s lives but also fulfilling mission objectives.
* DancesAndBalls: Chapter 8.
* DarkActionGirl: Telida fits all criteria to a T—except the one about being on the villain’s side.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Let’s see. Akera murdered her parents and burned down her home when she was seven and was forced to flee the law until she was captured and made a slave. Telida watched her father murder her mother—right after explaining she was a SexSlave and that the twins were accidents. Then Turino had his own sister injure him out of her disillusionment with males. Ralinn was taken from her family and enslaved at the castle when she was seven. Shirion was captured twice during his childhood and enslaved at the Ellinia Station, performing back-breaking labour in the worst conditions. Yunira’s entire family was killed in an anti-job-handler raid, including her younger sister; she was the sole survivor. Practically the entire cast had a horrible childhood. That’s what you get when living in a CrapsackWorld ruled by an EvilOverlord.
* DarkIsEvil
* DeadpanSnarker: [[TallDarkAndSnarky Turino, the Dark Lord]], Akera and Lanoré all get in on the action.
* DebutQueue: The entirety of Part I.
* DeusExMachina: In a literal example, various deities drop in on occasion to fish characters out of trouble, most notably the Clock Spirit in Chapter 10. [[spoiler:This never stops happening, right up to the epilogue.]]
* DismantledMacGuffin: The plot of Part II.
* DivideByZero: The item keeping the mirror world in existence just got removed. Now what?
* DivingSave: Akera does this to Lanoré up in Orbis, the problem being that Lanoré isn’t in a lucid state, strictly speaking. She takes the second response, i.e. “Why’d you push me over?”
* DoomedHometown: Kerning is this for Dark Lord and the Ethiels.
* DramaticIrony: The guild makes plans to ride with a secret boat service, right after a scene of that same boat being fired down with a cannon. At another point, the guild is shown heading for Leafre, excited about witnessing its beauty—before the next scene reveals that Leafre has been ravaged by woodcutters.
* DreamMelody: The Dragon's song.
-> "I might dream and weave and sing
-> and then you might know everything
-> where cradles rise from shattered bones
-> to raise you up into the spring"
* PsychicDreamsForEveryone: Ralinn receives messages from a deity in her dreams, and even sees Clynine and Lanoré once. She doesn’t have any powers; she was simply [[TheChosenOne chosen]].
* DreamTeam: Three Star-chosen warriors whom Dances with Balrog sees to be on the same level as the legendary Thaemis, a pair of savage twins who brought themselves up in the Dungeon and will not hesitate to murder for survival, the legendary defender of El Nath and her prodigious assistant, and the infamous girl who murdered her parents with fire when she was seven? Only necessary because of their gargantuan task that lies ahead of them.
* DyeHard: Akera ''lives'' and ''breathes'' the white.
* DysfunctionJunction: It gives them a reason to fight.
* EnsembleCast
* FamedInStory: Thaemis, Lanoré and Akera. So far, Thaemis' ''only'' mentions have been through word of mouth or in recounts by characters. Lanoré is almost always referred to by her heroine title, "The Silver Fang of El Nath", wherever she goes. Akera's name also precedes her wherever she goes. In a non-human example, we have the Spear of Heaven, about which numerous books have been written before.
* Fangirl: Yunira is a very stereotypical in-universe portrayal.
* FireForgedFriends: Orion’s Belt, as evident starting in Chapter 11.
* [[FiveRaces Four Races]]: They appear to be related to the four deities. Stout: Dragon and other creatures from Leafre (the Dragon's race); Fairy: Fairy (quite self-explanatory, the Orbis variety look like angels, these are associated with the Goddess); High Men: Elf (they’re pretty much Tolkienian elves, and associated with Time); Mundane: Human (associated with Darkness).
* FreudianExcuse: Akera's history seems to be an explanation for every wrong she commits.
* FreudianTrio: There are two: Akera (Id), Clynine (Superego), Lanoré (Ego); and Shirion (Superego), Ketara (Id), Zethis (Ego).
* GayMoment: Raydan and Ketara hugging each other for fear when the mirror tower begins to collapse.
* GenderEqualEnsemble
* GenkiGirl: Yunira runs around entertaining guests, doing favours and being cute.
* GlorySeeker: For the main part of the story, Akera feels that she lives in the shadow of Lanoré and feels a strong need to be adored.
* GodsHandsAreTied: The Goddess and Dragon cannot physically intervene because they spent all their energy freeing the world from the Spirit of the Dark. They now communicate with people through dreams and visions.
* GoOutWithASmile: Akera’s false mother, when she hears Akera’s admission of love. Then Horned Tail, who swear that they continue to live on even after they die. Then Deina and Veriun as they are falling through the sky towards their definite death.
* GoodColoursEvilColours: There seems to be a red-blue opposition at play. The necromancers use red lightning while Lanore uses blue.
* GoodWithNumbers: Akera is terrifyingly good with numbers. An odd trait considering the genre of the fanfic.
* HairContrastDuo: Akera and Turino form an extreme one, with Akera sporting white hair and Turino, black.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Esharo gains the distinction of having betrayed both protagonists and antagonists, twice each, by the end of the story.
* HitchhikerHeroes: Sent on a quest by a voice in her dreams to save the world from the Big Bad, Ralinn is told that she will meet her guild members wherever she chooses to go because the Clock Spirit dreams it so. This takes her across Victoria Island, into chance encounters with the other main characters, whom she recruits. And what do we know, but all recruits possess their own unique and useful skills.
* HolyHandGrenade: Clynine deals the crippling blow to Deina with a big helping of holy light magic.
* HopeSproutsEternal: The new trees of Leafre at the end of Chapter 8.
* HopelessSuitor: Turino, who knows Akera has already [[TriangRelations set her heart on someone else]].
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: Ketara + Horned Tail = ?
* HyperAwareness: Xelion notes—while pursuing a foe—that there are three rather than two fresh tracks in the snow. Lanoré notices a vein of silver on the ceiling of the tunnel.
* IAmAMonster: Akera and Ketara both go through bouts of this, the former because she keeps hurting others against her will, and the latter because he can remember nothing of his childhood but a woman whom he believes is his creator.
* IDieFree: Horned Tail always knew that their only freedom would come in death; Deina likewise was committed to serving her duty till the place she guarded was destroyed. [[spoiler:Akera only felt she'd earned her redemption when she had given her life to save the world.]]
* IHaveManyNames: Each deity is known by different titles in different places and by different species.
* IKnowYouKnowIKnow: The entire Dead Mines plot hinged upon this. Lanoré knew that Xelion would know that she was trying to double bluff, so she set up a bluff which was actually not a bluff which she expected him to think was a bluff—which he did.
* IceQueen: Akera, ironically. Also Lanore, to a lesser extent.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every chapter is named after the Chinese Zodiac animal in whose year it takes place, except for prologue and epilogue, both of which have titles concerning fire.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: Played straight with Turino and Telida.
-> "Ketara. Don't you ''dare'' hurt my sister."
* InHarmsWay: Lanoré's occupation was to seek out and confront the enemies of El Nath, with the ultimate aim of growing strong enough to defeat King Caleix himself.
* IncrediblyLamePun: "Watch them watch watches. Haha." Spoken by the stoniest deity in the story, no less.
* InnocentFlowerGirl: Clynine, who lives in a garden-girt house in a country full of gardens and has close associations with flowers, rather than actually engaging in the florist trade.
* InsufferableGenius: Akera absolutely cannot give it a rest.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Akera. Her isolation is an indirect result of her intelligence, seeing that intelligence directly corresponds to magical skill in the Maple world, and her extreme intelligence combined with her volatile emotions means she has little control over it.
* ItsGoingDown: Deina’s tower. [[{{Bizarrchitecture}} Or is it going up?]] Argh...
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Turino, who obviously cares a lot, if from behind a thick curtain of moodiness and snark.
* JunglePrincess: Telida practically qualifies. Unruly RapunzelHair—check. Raised in a jungle—check. Encounters a "hunky European explorer" who civilizes her—sort of.
* JustFriends: Ketara and Telida, or at least they claim so.
* KansasCityShuffle: Played straight with Lanoré triumphing over Xelion, except that Xelion ''did'' work out the plan, only the time delay before he worked it out was something they were banking on, since his eventual uncovering of the plan was ''[[IKnowYouKnowIKnow part of the plan]]''.
* KillItWithFire: Akera rules this trope. Enemy guards? Fire. Wyverns? Fire. Parents? Fire. ...Oops.
* KissDiss: Ralinn to Shirion in Chapter 11.
* KnightErrant: Lanoré is a female example. She wanders the lands in search of foes in battle, hoping ultimately to defeat the EvilOverlord.
* La Résistance: Orion’s Belt and Nightfall. [[spoiler: These two are united later, along with Reborn (another minor Résistance) to form The Alliance of this series.]]
* LegendFadesToMyth: The history of the world features instances of this: every time the Spirit of the Dark rose, the people suffered, and for the years that followed, they were wary of the Darkness. But as the nation recovered and returned to normal life, memories of the last ascension faded, [[AndManGrewProud and their caution waned]].
* LightIsGood: As with the idea of DarkIsEvil, the Goddess is the deity that helps Orion's Belt on their quest, alongside Life, which by definition has humanity's interests at heart. This trope is ultimately subverted in Chapter 10 when we discover Light is only interested in retaining order and not in perpetuating Good.
* LightIsNotGood: Actually, Light is very, very selfish.
* LightMasculineAndDarkMasculine: Shirion and Turino. Akera even [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] the vast difference between the two.
* LivingForeverIsAwesome: Deina embodies both sides of the argument. When you are an immortal guard who faces no intruders for millennia on end, you can work out every tactic you might ever need to use. Even if no one comes.
* LivingLegend: Lanoré, the Job Masters, then eventually half of Orion's Belt. Lanoré is offered superior treatment the instant she steps into an underground inn. The Job Masters are practically worshipped. And as we discover in Chapter 11, Ralinn and the rest of Orion's Belt have had [[FanFic ballads written about them]].
* Loads And Loads Of Characters: There is approximately one new named character every 2,500 words.
* LotusEaterMachine: The Clocktower guardians’ have a Lotus Eater clock, which Akera actually manages to overpower and defeat while inside it.
* LoveTriangle: Turino, Akera, Shirion and Ralinn.
* MartyrdomCulture: Pelinor lives by this. Apparently, all he wants is to die [[StealthPun a hero]].
* MenDontCry: Hyrien, when Pelinor dies. He is simply ''unable'' to cry, after years numbing himself to the king's acts of cruelty.
* MindRape: First done to Telida in the catacomb of the Dead Mines, and to Clynine by Lyssa in the Goddess' Tower.
* MindScrew: The entire scene involving Telida and the catacombs.
* MirrorWorld: The team visits one in Chapter 10.
* MoreDakka: Chapter 8’s outer climax. There’s never enough dakka!
* MrFanservice: Fan interaction suggests that Turino is this to a greater extent than any of the other guys, though Ketara, Shirion and Hyrien could count as well.
* MsFanservice: Telida.
* MultipleHeadCase: Horned Tail. Each head has a different personality, a different intelligence level and a different appetite.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Raydan feeds a bird lollipops while his guild mates stare on disbelievingly at his genius.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Akera nearly does this in Chapter 10.
* NoEscapeButDown: How many times has the story invoked this trope? First Clynine and Lanoré flee from the [[TheSkyIsAnOcean flying ship]] like this, then Akera and Shirion escape from the guards in Ellinia by doing the same thing, and then the temporary party in Chapter 6, and the entire guild in chapter 10.
* NobodyPoops: Toilets are mentioned, though.
* ObliviousToLove: Akera, to Turino’s.
* Outgambitted: Lanoré outgambits Xelion.
* PairTheSpares: Once Orion’s Belt joins up with Nightfall, all the main characters are paired.
* PersonalityPowers: Both Fire Mages are hot-tempered, Lanoré the Ice Lightning Archmage is cool, Clynine is pure.
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: Clynine does this to Lanore [[spoiler: twice, first]] in Chapter 10 [[spoiler: then in chapter 12]].
* PowerIncontinence: Akera suffers from anger-triggered Power Incontinence.
* PowersThatBe: The deities' council is always lurking in the background, making use of heroes and villains both to further their own agendas.
* PrescienceIsPredictable: The Clock Spirit, which knows all of Time at once. As a rule, It never ever speaks of what It knows, and never interferes with the passage of events in the universe. The Goddess can, however, pass through Its dreams and share what She sees in the form of prophecies.
* RaisedByNatives: Zethis and Ketara, raised by a farmer from Henesys and the fairies of Ellinia respectively.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: The twins sport this look, and Ketara at least seems to think they are both very attractive.
* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Fire Mages are fireproof, which Turino exploits in Chapter 8.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Akera, out of anger and a weak control of her powers. She is most definitely insane and she has no excuses.
* SerialEscalation: Meta example, in which chapter lengths continually increase. The final chapter is 75,000 words long.
* SexSlave: Telida and Turino's mother was this to their father.
* SlapSlapKiss: This sums up Ketara and Telida's entire relationship. [[spoiler: In fact Telida literally slaps Ketara then kisses him in Chapter 11.]]
* SleepCute: Ralinn finds Zethis and Clynine asleep on a bench outside and this is the opinion she expresses.
* SpiritWorld: Clynine visits one every time she tries to resurrect someone, but it is devoid of life forms and contains just a symbolic cliff and a symbolic ocean with symbolic coasts.
* SuperWeight: Every level is represented. See the main page.
* TalkingThroughTechnique: Lanore and Clynine [[spoiler: speak through magic after Clynine goes deaf]].
* TheAce: Lanore came across as this throughout most of the work, until Chapter 10 when she was shown to have her own insecurities. Akera views her as [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter her rival]].
* TheAtoner: Akera. She starts a guilty murderess, seeking her redemption with increasing thirst as the story progresses.
* TheBechdelTest: Akera and Lanore plot an entire prison break together—conversation enough? Lanore and Clynine enjoy a considerable amount of interaction too.
* HaveYouSeenMyGod: The entire idea behind this version of the Maple world's cosmology. All the deities were crippled by their first battle and no long wield influence over the world as they did before.
* TheHero: Shirion, literally. Puns aside, [[SubvertedTrop none of the characters]] is really all-round-good and central enough to definitively be The Hero. There are, however, many [[AntiHero Antiheroes]].
* TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The deities' council constitutes one, overseeing all of humanity and pushing hidden agendas through their subtle influence.
* TheRedBaron: The Silver Fang of El Nath (Lanore) and the White-Haired Murderess (Akera).
* TheStoic: Hyrien, who is unable to cry even at his idol and closest friend's death.
* TitleDrop: The title is dropped ''in a title''. Namely, the combined title of the final chapter and prologue, "Year of the Dragon, Fire of the Stars".
* TwiceShy: Zethis and Clynine, with a little prodding from Raydan.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: Pelinor brags to everyone about his plan—and goes on to die during the execution of said plan. Akera and Lanoré say nothing about their plan in Chapter 9 and it goes on to be an utter success.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Akera and Turino enjoy so much of this.
* WhereItAllBegan: Orion's Belt travells the world to find the four parts of the Spear, but their final battle will take place in Henesys, where the story began.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Akera. Her great power ''is'' the cause of her descent to madness.
* XanatosGambit: Chapter 9. Lanoré first has an apparent Xanatos Gambit, which the reader knows Xelion has already outgambitted with his own Xanatos Gambit. Xelion thinks that this gambit guarantees his win no matter what the woman chooses to do. And Lanoré seems to be playing straight into his hands…until he springs the all-encompassing trap, and he ends up realizing that he is the one playing, unknowingly, [[{{Outgambitted}} into her larger Xanatos Gambit]].
* YouALLShareMyStory: The story begins by introducing six different groups of people, all hating the Big Bad King Caleix—no surprises that they all meet eventually, at different points in the story.