Fan Fic / A Brighter Dark
A Brighter Dark
"Nohr was dying. Even in her castle, Corrin could see that. So, if the Hoshidans wouldn't share their sun, then she would take it; to save her people."
is a Fire Emblem Fates
story by a fanfiction writer going by the username DeathDealer Inc
that acts as a retelling of the Conquest
storyline of the original game, with several noticeable differences.
The main draw of the story is the removal of Anankos and Valla from the story completely. Everything tied to them undergoes a massive change as a result. Garon goes from Omnicidal Maniac
to Well-Intentioned Extremist
, Corrin goes from Extreme Doormat
to Blood Knight
, and the story goes from an Black and White Idiot Plot
to a dramatic, sometimes tear-jerking story.
Warning: Anyone Can Die
is in full effect.
The story can be found on AO3
Beginning on May 24th, the story is still ongoing and is typically updated at least once a month.
The story also had an April Fools Day chapter which served to accentuate many of the differences between the original and this one, which can be found here.
A Brighter Dark provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Obviously, as a Fire Emblem game a large number of the females in the story are capable of fighting. Special note should, however, be given to the main character Corrin, who while in the original story was merely a good swordswoman, is in this version much more eager for fighting and starts off much more skilled than in the original due to her frequent practicing against live aggressors trying to legitimately do her harm.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Corrin is written as being much more sexually attractive than originally. At first.
- Adaptational Heroism: Zigzagged by both Garon and Hans.
- Garon not being possessed makes him a Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely wants what's best for Nohr instead of a batshit insane Omnicidal Maniac, but the fact that he isn't possessed means he doesn't have an excuse when he does ruthless and sometimes downright cruel actions for what he claims is the greater good.
- Hans' narration fleshes out a Dark and Troubled Past that helps explains why he is the way he is, instead of him being the Obviously Evil thug he was in the game, and his time as an ally of convenience to Sakura and Mozu brings out some of his better qualities. However, his violence and propensity to Rape, Pillage, and Burn are put front and center.
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: With Anankos completely Adapted Out, there's not really an explanation for why Nohr's skies are constantly covered in clouds. This can be a bit glaring, considering that the lack of sun turning Nohr into a Crapsack World is the driving force behind the Nohrian side's motivations.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Corrin is a much harsher Blood Knight than in the game, having absolutely no qualms about killing anyone who gets in her way.
- Adapted Out: Most notably, the original game's Greater-Scope Villain Anankos is this, and all of the characters he affected have had their backstories and/or personalities changed to compensate.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When trying to convince her father to spare Felicia's home village, Corrin ends up begging him with every fiber of her soul. While it isn't enough on its own, it does convince Garon to allow her to think of a way to pull it off.
- Alternate Universe: Quite a few things are different from the original story. For starters: Anankos doesn't exist, nor does Valla, or Lilith's dragon powers, or My Castle. Being unpossessed, Garon is a reluctant leader who lives off of I Did What I Had to Do. Hoshido is much closer to its real life counterpart of Feudal Japan, being extremely isolationist, xenophobic, and cripplingly traditional. More attention is called to Nohr's internal problems forcing them into war. Corrin went from All-Loving Hero to Hard Drinking, sex loving Blood Knight with a Heart of Gold. The list goes on.
- All Deaths Final: In the absence of any magic capable of bringing the dead back to life, it seems that everyone who dies is going to stay dead.
- Amputation Stops Spread: Justified, as when Hans orders his arm amputated, it is already hanging on by a few tendons, and he knows that if he doesn't cleanly finish the job he could be killed by blood loss or infection.
- An Arm and a Leg: Happens surprisingly often.
- Kaze loses an arm in attempt to assassinate Garon during his own execution.
- Selena lops off the arm of a Hoshidan soldier during Corrin's escape from Hoshido.
- Hans has his arm nearly severed in a fight with some Nohrian soldiers, and has to have it amputated.
- Corrin loses her ear in the battle of Fort Dragonfall, alongside gaining a lot of scars. We later learn she lost her eye in the same battle from one of Takumi's arrows.
- Hinoka has An Arm and a Leg irreparably damaged in the same battle, and has to have them amputated.
- Anti-Hero: Pretty much anyone on both sides of the conflict can count. The majority of the cast has purely altruistic intentions, yet the majority of them also have a lot of unflattering characteristics that they have to deal with.
- Anyone Can Die: Would it be Fire Emblem otherwise? So far, not counting people who died in the original game up to this point, Rinkah, Kaze, Lilith, Kilma, Flora, Hana, Subaki, Hinoka, Selena, and Hans are all dead, and the story has only reached the original Chapter 9.
- Armor Is Useless: Averted. There are multiple instances where armor saves a character's life, either by allowing a blow to glance off of them or by mitigating the damage.
- Armor-Piercing Response: When Azura tries to claim that Mikoto truly sees her as family, Corrin shuts her down so hard she looks "like she'd just been slapped."
Azura: I would never say the inhabitants of Hoshido have accepted me as one of theirs, but they at least understand that Mikoto considers me to be one of theirs...
Corrin: Oh, well, that explains why you weren't at dinner, with the rest of your family.
- At Least I Admit It: Takumi's opinion of the Nohrians, compared favorably to the 12 Hoshidan shoguns who secede right when he needs their men the most.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted, and lampshaded by Azama after Azura sustains a blunt head injury causing her to vomit and stumble upon waking.
- Because I'm Good at It: Hans' justification for being a horrific rapist and murderer is because it's the only thing he's good at, and he just happens to have a lot of fun while doing it. Sometimes he feels like the only purpose of his existence is to kill people and be hated for it.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Silas' entire motivation for being so loyal to Corrin is because she was nice to him when they were kids. Most likely the only person who was.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When Sakura is captured by Nohrian bandits led by Hans, the first thing she tries to do when she ends up alone with him is shank him. After his Villainous Rescue, when he claims he can do whatever he wants to her because he is her only hope of surviving, she simply retorts that her good word is the only thing that will save him from the gallows once they reach Hoshido.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Corrin is this, being exceptionally gifted in combat and not afraid to let people know about it.
- Break the Cutie: Oh, Mozu...
- Brutal Honesty: Azura speaks bluntly and without mercy when telling Sakura the myriad ways she could have prevented the deaths of several Nohrian prisoners.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Camilla does this after Corrin returns, accusing Garon of essentially turning her into a suicide bomber. Garon reacts pretty calmly, stating that 1) that is pretty much exactly what he did. 2) It was indeed a pretty dickish thing to do. And 3) He's not particularly sorry, since he wasn't given a lot of other options.
- Character Death: See Anyone Can Die.
- Character Development: As the story goes on and she becomes more active in the war, Corrin quickly begins to lose most of the attitude and Hard-Drinking Party Girl attributes that marked her character at the beginning. While her snark is still going strong, there's much more bitterness and self-depreciation to it, and hints that the constant death and carnage is really starting to get to her. She's also gained several physical scars to go along with her psychological ones.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Sakura has this after Azura's (well-meaning) "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Combat by Champion: Xander and Ryoma engage in this when their armies meet. Though it turns out to be a distraction on the part of Xander, who knew that his army would lose against Ryoma's in a straight up battle, and wanted to use the duel as a cover up to get his people in a position where they could win. Ryoma's retainers catch on and interrupt it, however, so neither of them actually die.
- Combat Pragmatist: Anybody who wants to live long.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Averted. Corrin doesn't care at all about what her original bloodline is. She's Norhian, and patriotic about it.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: If you consider this a sequel/spiritual successor to the author's other Fire Emblem story. Whereas Robin was cold, proper, and analytical with a genius level intellect, Corrin is crass, rude, Really Gets Around, and a Hard-Drinking Party Girl Blood Knight.
- Crack Fic: The April Fool's Day chapter is a parody of Conquest's storyline.
- Crapsaccharine World: Hoshido has never had to deal with starvation, their population and standard of living are through the roof, and they have reasonable and loving leaders. Great place to live... as long as you're Hoshidan.
- Crapsack World: On the other side of the conflict we have Nohr, which has been suffering from mass starvation presumably since the beginning of recorded history. It's so bad that cannibalism is a frequent occurrence in the impoverished areas, and their population is only a fraction of that which Hoshido has. Given all this, it's a small wonder they're so determined to conquer Hoshido.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: People who die rarely ever die in a way that would be seen as pleasant. Being stabbed is portrayed as extremely painful leaving the victim shocked and horrified before they finally close their eyes, electrocution leaves body spasming and drooling even after their heart stopped, and being set on fire is...well, not fun.
- Crying Little Kid: Mozu is this when Sakura first finds her. Being the sole survivor of Rape, Pillage, and Burn will do that to you.
- Danger Deadpan: Justified. Any time talking is done during combat, it is usually meant as a distraction measure.
- Dare to Be Badass: Azura's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sakura could be taken this way, basically telling her that she has no choice but to do everything in her power to do the right thing.
- Darker and Edgier: A more graphic depiction of war, including mass murder, deceitful plots, Rape, Pillage, and Burn, Fantastic Racism. It certainly isn't trying to be endearing to kids.
- Dark Is Evil: Zig-zagged, along with Dark Is Not Evil. All of Nohr has a dark color scheme, and while there are some real bastards in it, there's also a lot of truly moral people there too. It seems best to just judge people on an individual basis, dark or no dark.
- Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Happened to Corrin the first time she was brought into Hoshido, due to that being the first time she'd seen the sun since she was 8 years old.
- Deconstruction Fic: The story has elements of this, altering a few characters (and entire countries') personalities to what they would logically be in that setting and then shows how events would realistically play out.
- Deadpan Snarker: Corrin. Though she'll feel guilty if the victim starts showing signs of hurt feelings.
- Dirty Foreigner: Hoshidans tend to have this opinion of anyone who isn't Hoshidan. Nohrians especially, but also non-humans and tribals.
- Disabled Means Helpless: Averted with Silas, who despite having his leg crushed, is still able to use his arms well enough to hold a sword. Though both he and everyone else acknowledges he should stay out of the thick of the fighting, he's still able to defend himself well enough.
- Also averted with a Nohrian Red Shirt whose squad gets into a fight with a deserting Hans. Despite having several broken ribs from a previous battle, he manages to grab a rock and throw it at Hans, distracting him long enough for another soldier to cut off his arm.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Corrin accuses Ryoma of this when they first meet and he spends the first few moments just looking at her. Though it's later conveyed through internal monologue that she was just trying to mess with him.
- Invoked by Kagero to help charm men.
- Ditch the Bodyguards: Early in the story, Corrin would sneak away from her retainers and go into the dungeons alone. Not because she didn't like them, far from it, but she figured the only way to get real practice was by fighting people that actually wanted to kill her and bodyguards would get in the way of that.
- Divided We Fall: Ryoma's reckless progressiveness causes 12 shoguns to secede from Hoshido.
- Doomed Hometown: Mozu gets a dose of this, much like in the original but with far more long-reaching effects.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. The (female) Nohrian bandit expressing disappointment at not being able to rape Subaki is portrayed as just as disgusting and cruel as her male 'comrades.'
- Subverted however, in that while the narrative portrays everyone in the pictures as base and horrible, nobody in the scene itself has any problem with rape in general.
- Dramatic Irony: With a story that covers many different perspectives, most of whom are unaware of the activities of the others, this comes up rather frequently.
- When Azura is caught by Nohrians after the Battle of Fort Dragonfall, she feeds them a story about being thrown out of the castle and onto the streets, suffering 'indignities' and having to sneak and persevere all the way to Nohr. While she is believed, we as the audience know this is a lie because we saw her in previous scenes talking to her other siblings, suggesting that she do this exact thing in the case that she's captured.
- When Selena is in Mokushu, berating the local sheriff for not keeping proper order, said sheriff has a prostitute in his office that he continuously gets distracted by due to her well-endowed figure. Perceptive viewers can identify this 'prostitute' as Kagero, master of disguise and infiltration. In case they didn't, she describes the event in the very next scene when debriefing with Saizo.
- Less dramatic, but Laslow and Soleil suffer from this. Players of the game know that Soleil is his daughter, and while it is subtly implied to still be the case, they have no idea of this. At the very least, Soleil can sense something is very wrong about the situation when she kisses him, though she cannot quite understand why.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Hinoka suddenly gets wasted offscreen with no particular fanfare. Quite an undignified fate for the one who becomes the queen of Hoshido in the canon tale.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Corrin goes through this a couple times.
- Duel of Seduction: A relatively low-stakes but no less interesting example occurs when Soleil and Laslow meet for the first time. It starts with him trying to invite her out to a night of tea, and then somehow spirals into an argument over who is superior in their skill of enrapturing the heart of their targets; him citing his longer lifespan and thus longer experience, and her citing her overall superior skill. It ends with her eventually deciding to prove her point by seducing him on the spot. After a rather...intimate speech, he quickly has to concede that she is clearly the expert of her field.
- Dying Declaration of Hate: Flora to Corrin, for all the crap Garon put her through as a political hostage for the Ice Tribe. Also doubles as a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Azama shows up just after the events of the game's Chapter 5, Laslow and Peri show up during the game's Chapter 6, and Selena, Beruka, and Gunter fully join the party far earlier than in canon, with Gunter avoiding his original Disney Death.
- Endless Daytime: Inverted. Nohr is perpetually dark with no sunlight ever reaching them. This is what causes their mass starvation and desperation to conquer Hoshido, which does have access to sunlight.
- Corrin considers Hoshido to have this for not only having the sun, but the moon. Which provides as much light at night as Nohr sees in the day.
- Enemy Mine: After 12 Hoshidan shoguns secede in the face of Ryoma's reckless progressiveness, 6 of them decide to ally with Nohr in order to protect themselves from potential Hoshidan retaliation.
- Establishing Series Moment: When Corrin kills Rinkah and Kaze in chapter 2. For many, this was the moment that proved the author meant serious business.
- Evil Laugh: Parodied in the April Fool's chapter.
Garon: BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! MINE IS AN EVIL LAUGH! BUA HA HA HA HAHA HEE HEE HA AH AHA AHAH HAHAHAHA! HA!
- The Extremist Was Right: After decades of constantly making one Sadistic Choice after another, Garon has become incredibly unapologetic and never does anything halfway. This puts him at odds with a lot of people but, most of the time, he does have a point. Sending Corrin on a Suicide Mission as an Unwitting Pawn did bring down the barrier and allow him to invade Hoshido. As Xander describes, his policy of being merciless in his war strategies gave Nohr more victories than any previous king in known history. Committing genocide on the first tribe that complained to him made sure no other tribe rebelled for a long time, thus meaning an unstopping flow of resources that could be distributed among the kingdom. While it didn't solve the problem forever, forcing the chief of the Ice Tribe to give his daughters up as political hostages kept the tribe from rebelling, which would have interrupted the flow of food causing thousands to starve and would have forced Garon to have to destroy the tribe entirely, thus making it a case of Don't Make Me Destroy You.
- Eye Scream: During the battle at Fort Dragonfall, Takumi shoots Corrin's eye out.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Being a retelling of the Conquest route you already know Mikoto's efforts to get her daughter back are going to fail.
- Family of Choice: Corrin considers her Nohrian siblings to be her real family, even after learning about her history. In her eyes, the Hoshidan siblings may once have had a sister that looked a lot like her, but that sister wasn't her anymore.
- Fantastic Nuke: In the April Fool's Day chapter, Mikoto decides to level Nohr with a friendship laser beam of death.
- Fantastic Racism: Hoshido. Not just against Nohrians, but pretty much anything not Hoshidan. A bit closer to their real-life counterpart.
- Featureless Protagonist: Corrin is given no physical description beyond extremely general ones. About all we know for sure is that she has a pale complexion typical of a Nohrian.
- Foreshadowing: In chapter two, Camilla makes a comment about how it was difficult to find trustworthy retainers, and was cryptic when questioned on it by Corrin. Fastforward 20 chapters later, and we have the events of the Ice Tribe arc.
- Forever War: The conflict between Nohr and Hoshido is this. Nobody alive in the story has ever experienced a time when they weren't trying to kill each other.
- The Gadfly: Corrin likes to get a rise out of people, and so will sometimes say what she things will offend someone the most whether or not she actually believes it to be true.
- Gallows Humor: Used frequently.
Hans: [forced to trust someone who really wants him dead to amputate his arm instead of his head] ...Don't miss.
- Graceful in Their Element: Corrin is an extremely above average swordswoman. Just don't ask her to politic, lie, sneak, strategize, etc...
- Grey and Gray Morality: The war is between the dying nation that is forced into war in a last-ditch effort to not succumb to mass starvation, and the nation that is clearly just trying to defend themselves yet suffers from internal power struggles and fantastic racism.
- Groin Attack: When a Nohrian bandit tries to rape Mozu, she grabs a knife and castrates him.
- Guilt Complex: Sakura picks one up when her quest to do good consistently goes wrong at almost every turn.
- Happily Adopted: Corrin loves her adopted Nohrian family dearly and doesn't really care when she learns the truth.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Corrin spends most of her time drinking, having sex, or fighting. At first.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: Takumi to a mook who brings him and Scarlet the letter informing them of the secession of 12 shoguns from Hoshido. While it doesn't end badly for the messenger, Takumi destroys the letter to prevent the shoguns' troops from abandoning them.
- Hazy Feel Turn: Due to the Grey and Gray Morality of the story, any defection between the two sides is this.
- Hans defects to Hoshido hoping for a comfortable life there.
- After 12 Hoshidan shoguns decide fighting Nohr is no longer in their interests and abandon Ryoma, 6 of them offer an alliance to Nohr.
- Sakura offers to defect to Nohr in exchange for Hans and Mozu's lives. After she surrenders, Hans is killed anyway, leaving the veracity of her defection questionable.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Sakura goes through this after coming across the aftermath of an attack on a village that was subjected to Rape, Pillage, and Burn. Corrin also gets a dose after the events of the Ice Tribe arc.
- Heroic Seductress: Corrin is not shy about her sexual prowess, though she only ever actually weaponizes it once when she had exhausted all other options. Kagero, being a well-trained espionage agent, is a more straight example (though as we have only seen her on missions involving purely stealth, this is mostly an Informed Attribute).
- We finally get to see her in action when she disguises herself as a prostitute in order to eavesdrop on Selena's conversation with the sheriff of Mokushu.
- Hidden Depths: When Sakura meets him in Hoshido, Hans is shown to be much more cunning than his barbaric and brutal persona might indicate. He's smart enough to have memorized the appearance and name of every nobleman, both Nohrian and Hoshidan, and is willing to put aside blood lust for a moment when he sees an opportunity to improve his standard of living — both things that you wouldn't have suspected based on how he was introduced.
- Honor Before Reason: Ryoma chooses to accept Xander's request to single combat, despite out-numbering and out-gunning the Nohrian army. His ninja retainers are able to mitigate the damage but if they hadn't, Nohr's conquest would have been a lot shorter.
- When the Hoshidans are getting their asses kicked at Fort Dragonfall by Corrin's forces, the sergeant in command demands they all fight until their certain death for the glory of Hoshido, a sentiment not shared by Azura or any of his subordinates.
- Hope Spot: Despite being surrounded and outmatched, Subaki and Hana continue to hold their own against Nohrian soldiers, fighting with all there power to protect Sakura and Mozu from a Fate Worse Than Death. They are more than successful, and it almost looks like they might just pull it off, when a mage zaps Hana with lighting, killing her instantly with one hit. Subaki shouts, and is axed in the back by Hans. Then Sakura and Mozu are knocked out and taken captive by the soldiers who were known practitioners of Rape, Pillage, and Burn and everything fades to black.
- Humans Are Flawed: The series as a whole takes this stance. The majority of the cast has pretty good intentions, but their personal flaws make finding peaceful resolutions impossible and is the primary cause of all the bloodshed that happens, despite both sides being made up of primarily decent individuals.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Garon's life philosophy in a nutshell is "I did it, it was a dick move, and what the hell would you have done in my shoes?"
- I Lied: Leo's offer to spare Hans in exchange for Sakura's cooperation. As soon as she is no longer physically blocking him, he mercilessly executes Hans with a ball of fire.
- I'll Kill You!: Corrin says this word for word to Hans after he kills Lilith right in front of her.
- Interface Screw: After her head injury, Azura has a hard time focusing and remaining conscious whenever there's loud noises or if she's being moved around too much. Whenever this happens, the text will become italicized or boldened or both at random points, sometimes even in the middle of words.
- In the Back:
- How Hans kills Lilith, and later Subaki.
- Hans himself gets stabbed in the back when he exposes it to some enemies in a blind rage.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Iago only ever refers to Corrin as "the Hoshidan". In contrast, Takumi outright refers to Corrin as "it" or "the Nohrian" during their ill-fated family dinner.
- Hans only ever refers to Sakura and Mozu as "woman" and "girl" respectively. He only stops when Sakura shouts at him and storms off, only replying to him when he finally gives in and starts saying her name.
- It's All My Fault: It seems a tragedy can't take place within 20 miles of Sakura without her assuming responsibility, based on the logic that because she could have done something, she had the responsibility to.
- Just Following Orders: When Xander and Camilla get their hands on the Nohrian raiders who have been raping, pillaging, and burning the Hoshidan countryside, they attempt to claim this as an excuse. It doesn't fly.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Corrin in the April Fool's Day chapter. Twice.
- Killed Offscreen: Hinoka is killed by Gunter during an attempt to escape from captivity.
- Kill It with Fire: When Hans goes out, he burns.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Outnumbered, outmatched, and outgunned by a squadron of Nohrian soldiers, Mozu follows Sakura's order to run like hell and leave her to her fate.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Hans kills Lilith and Subaki by stabbing them in the back. He gets stabbed in the back later on during an ill-fated charge at Leo.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Hans suggests this as a way for the party to invade the Hoshidan fort over the Bottomless Canyon. Corrin tells him to shut up... because she feels ashamed of having the same idea as him.
- Light Is Not Good: Much like Dark Is Not Evil, this is zig-zagged. Hoshido is usually bright and sunny, their architecture is more artistic, but you still have to judge their morality on an individual basis.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Garon mentions that of Corrin's siblings, only Elise didn't know of her true Hoshidan heritage.
- Lonely at the Top: Garon is the king of Nohr and has dedicated his life to conquering Hoshido and ushering in a golden age for his people. The personal result? He has to make sadistic choices on a frequent basis, send his children out and risk their lives in battle, a few of them downright hate him while he has minimal relationship with the others, he's never shown to have anyone he can talk to and is showing signs of possibly having clinical depression. But at least he has his war.
- Lower-Deck Episode: Chapter 28, appropriately titled "Tales of Elsewhere," circles entirely around non-main characters. While none of the characters featured are exactly minor in the usual sense, it does still stand out as the first chapter in which primary protagonist Corrin is not seen or even mentioned.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Averted. Nohr doesn't have the resources to feed everyone in it, so Garon cannot provide and be loved by the populace. The only way he's able to maintain order and make sure some people get fed is to use fear to keep the various tribes in line.
- Played straighter with his policy of forcing convicts into conscription or be executed. When we see Hans, one such conscript, he and his unit clearly have no love for their nation and are willing to betray each other at a moment's notice, even with the threat of hanging being held over their heads.
- Also played straight to the detriment of Ryoma, who tries to use force to keep the self-indulgent and prideful lords under his command in line. This comes back to hurt him when 12 of them band together and declare their independence, their total armies out-numbering his own, thus removing his power over them.
- Which actually contributes more to what Machiavelli actually meant. While a leader can choose between being loved or feared, he must absolutely avoid being hated.
- Magic A Is Magic A: Healing magic can accelerate the body's natural healing processes. That's all it can do. It can do nothing about amputations, crippling injuries, scars, or death.
- Mistaken for Prostitute: Corrin assumes Kagero is a prostitute in their first encounter (though knowing Corrin, she could have been joking).
- Morality Pet: Corrin's allies serve as this for her, especially her retainers. Most obvious when given the mission to exterminate the Ice Tribe. At first she's just fine with it; they're enemies of Nohr and are hindering their overall effort. After remembering that the village is home to her retainers, however, she makes every effort possible to save them.
- Absurdly enough, Sakura somehow manages to become one for Hans when she convinces him to show mercy to a wounded and unarmed enemy.
- Moral Pragmatist: Garon. He would be perfectly happy if Corrin managed to peacefully talk down the Ice Tribe rebellion, but makes it clear in no uncertain terms that the rebellion must end, by any means necessary.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Garon shows deep-seated regrets about the war in an idealized dream he has.
- Necessarily Evil: Garon sees his actions as this. It's up to the reader whether or not he's actually justified.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A Hoshidan soldier stops to help one of his comrades after she collapses due to exhaustion and dehydration. Said comrade turns out to be Princess Corrin of Nohr, public enemy #1 and the one who killed his son at the Bottomless Canyon, and the Nohrians sent to rescue her cut off his arm. Ryoma lampshades it, noting how only bad luck turned his kindness against him.
- Nominal Hero: Hans, of all people, rescues Sakura and Mozu from Nohrian bandits for the purely selfish motivation of retiring safely in Hoshido, who he believes will inevitably win the war.
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, Corrin once ran across the Northern Fortress butt-naked, in the dead of winter, covered head to toe in wine. She plans to explain what happened to Elise... in a couple dozen years or so.
- No One Gets Left Behind: When Hans rescues Sakura from Nohrian bandits, she refuses to abandon Mozu to her fate, much to her rescuer's annoyance.
- No Periods, Period: Subverted. No blood actually appears, but when Beruka comes to Selena saying she has a problem, Selena (in an annoyed and sleep-deprived state) assumes that she started 'bleeding' and gives advice on how to deal with it. Beruka's response indicates that she already knows all about the subject; "I am an adult, Selena."
- Obviously Evil: In the April Fool's Day chapter, Nohr is this in spades. Corrin's bed is made out of orphan's skins, Mooks spend their free time strangling kittens and screaming about murdering people, everything is colored black and covered in skulls and bones, King Garon is a psychotic nutcase who screams about murdering people in the name of Anankos, and everyone worships a demon dragon that blotted out the sun. Elise thinks on this for a little bit and realizes they probably aren't the heroes of this story.
- Off with His Head!: How Rinkah and Kaze go out.
- Oh, Crap!: Takumi and Scarlet's reaction to finding out that several Hoshidan provinces have seceded and are calling their troops back, especially since the message telling them this is dated before the battle at Fort Dragonfall, meaning that their troops died in a battle they had no obligation to participate in.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Corrin is on the receiving end of Flora's "The Reason You Suck" Speech she remains completely silent and makes no effort to defend herself. This is completely contrary to her confrontational nature.
- Papa Wolf: Hans goes ballistic when Mozu is hurt in a fight.
- Pet the Dog: During their escape to Hoshido, Hans returns to Mozu's village to obtain a treasured harvest orb, claiming he only did so to prevent Sakura from nagging him about it.
- Put on a Bus: Due to the original game having Lots And Lots Of Characters, there are a number of them that don't get to have screentime in the fic yet still have to be acknowledged as existing. As such, many of them get shoved to the side when they can't serve the main plot.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Lampshaded by Word of God. The Battle of the Clearing ends up being this for Nohr. They won the battle, but Saizo and Kagero lighting a fire behind them cut their advance army off from their main force and made any further conquest impossible.
- Later on, it turns out to have been this for Hoshido as well when the damage caused during the battle is used by several shoguns as an excuse to secede.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Hans is sent to Northern Hoshido by Iago to do just that. Becomes a lot more relevant when Sakura also goes to Northern Hoshido.
- Reality Ensues: The author is particularly fond of this brand of drama/comedy (mostly drama).
- Everyone in Silas' original squad thought he was pretty silly for wearing heavy plate armor all the time. Except for when they were ambushed by archers. That armor became pretty useful right then, and the rest of them probably spent their last moments wishing they had the same foresight.
- On the other hand, while armor is great, it won't protect you when you turn your back to a guy with a tome that shoots out fire. As Corrin found out the hard way.
- Subaki, Hana, you get an A for effort. But it doesn't really matter how skilled you are, you are not skilled enough to take on 20+ bandits and expect to get out of that okay.
- Tearing through the local bureaucracy and racial prejudices of the lords is a great way to curry favor with the audience as a Reasonable Authority Figure, but as Yukimura later points out, Ryoma's strategy wasn't exactly good for long term war. As proven when those lords that he dismissed or outright threatened proved that he needed them far more than they needed him.
- In the April Fool's Day chapter, Corrin dies of alcohol poisoning or an STD before the story can begin due to her... vicarious lifestyle.
- In the same chapter, when Xander murders Garon, Iago appears and points out that nobody will accept a man who just committed regicide as their king, and since the other "claimants" to the throne are all Heroic Bastards and Corrin, a succession crisis is almost certain.
- Hinoka taking a boy hostage then being killed by Gunter all happening off-screen shows that no matter how important you are, you too can end up dying with little fanfare.
- Hans finds out the hard way that while Unstoppable Rage can give you a power boost, it also causes you to make sloppy tactical decisions that can cost you the fight.
- Really Gets Around: By the first chapter, Corrin has reportedly slept with about half the guards in the Northern Fortress. Comes with being an all around Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Azura gives a well-meaning one to Sakura after her inability to act leads to the deaths of several prisoners who had previously rescued her.
They didn't die because you weren't strong enough. Sakura:
They died because you were
strong enough, and unwilling to act
with that strength. You wanted to save them, and you failed. Not because you weren't strong enough, but because you were too scared to act. When you got a first glimpse of [the
] inhumanity of the world you went to Yukimura and placed the burden on his shoulders, when the correct course of action would have been to resolve the problem yourself. There were many things you could
have done if you'd cared enough, but the fact of the matter is that you just weren't willing to make a decision on your own. You weren't willing to be unreasonable in your desire to save them. Sakura:
But... what could I have done then... Azura: Ryoma would have used his authority to force the magistrate to release them. Corrin would have charged in and freed them with her own two hands, consequences be damned. Mother would have used diplomacy and force them to acknowledge their hidden conscience, forcing them to want to let them go.
Any of these options were available to you, so you cannot act as if you were powerless to save them and that's
what makes you a failure. If you actually were powerless, it would not be your fault, there would have been nothing you could have done to change the outcome. But because you had the power to save them, that meant you had the obligation to save them;
the fact that you refused to meet that obligation is what makes you a failure.
- The Resenter: Corrin, full stop. She despises how much better off Hoshido is with every fiber of her being.
- It turns out Flora hates Corrin just as much.
- Retcon: The original version of Chapter 33 ended with Leo straightforwardly accepting Sakura's offer to defect to Nohr in exchange for Mozu and Hans' lives. The author realized it made no sense for him to casually allow a rapist, murderer, and enemy of the state who directly betrayed his adoptive sister and left her in the hands of the enemy to run free, and edited the chapter to have Leo kill Hans anyway, although Mozu is still spared.
- Revenge: Practically a running theme.
- To start off, Hoshido wants revenge against Nohr for killing their king.
- Quite a few tribes also want revenge on Nohr for Garon's numerous morally dubious actions.
- Corrin wants revenge on Hans for killing Lilith.
- Mozu also wants revenge on Hans for his part in killing Hana, Subaki, and her Doomed Hometown. As well as just Nohr in general.
- Saizo wants revenge on Corrin for killing Kaze.
- Flora wants revenge on Corrin, Garon, and Nohr for holding her and her sister as political hostages.
- The Hoshidan soldier wanted revenge on Nohr for his son's death (which probably reflects the opinions of quite a few soldiers, on both sides).
- Nohrians refugees trapped in Hoshido want revenge against the Hoshidans for discrimination against them. Which leads to bloodshed, which leads to Hoshidans wanting revenge against Nohrian refugees and going on a lynch mob riot.
- Hans attempts to murder a wounded soldier in revenge for cutting off his arm. Fortunately, Sakura talks him down.
- Beruka vows to hunt down Selena's murderer after she finds her dead body.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Plenty.
- When Hans backstabs Corrin and murders Lilith, Corrin goes ballistic and tries to kill him despite being seriously wounded. She later vows to take him out the next time she sees him, with Garon's approval.
- When Saizo learns that Corrin personally executed Kaze, he has to be physically restrained from strangling her on the spot and, after she escapes, swears to make her pay.
- One of the Hoshidan soldiers Corrin meets mentions his son was killed at the Bottomless Canyon, and he intends to make Nohr pay for his death with blood.
- When Mozu's entire village is wiped out by Nohrian bandits led by Hans, she admits she wants to gut every last one of the Nohrians in revenge.
- When Mozu is wounded in battle with some Nohrians, Hans goes berserk and rushes their leader. Unfortunately for him, he exposes his back to his enemies in his blind rage, with predictable results.
- Rotating Protagonist: Many characters assume the role of main character for different segments.
- Running Gag: Camilla seems to never be able to quite remember Jakob's name.
- Sacrificial Lion: Kaze and Rinkah serve as this, when they are killed by Corrin in the second chapter. Serves to establish that Anyone Can Die and that Corrin is more than willing to get her hands dirty.
- Sadistic Choice: Many across the story. Averted by Corrin's big decision between Hoshido and Nohr, as she feels very little attachment to Hoshido.
- Garon describes being the king of a barren, poverty-ridden nation as an endless line of these.
- Negotiations between Corrin and the Ice Tribe go south, and Felicia is forced to choose between her family and her friends. She chooses Corrin.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Ryoma's MO in a nutshell. He means better than most examples of this trope, but still tends to bully his subordinates into following him when they won't see his way. This bites him in the ass when 12 Hoshidan shoguns secede and 6 of them decide to ally with Nohr.
- Self-Made Orphan: Kilma falls by Felicia's hand. The child, for their part, spends their parent's dying moments begging for forgiveness.
- Sex for Solace: It's heavily implied that Corrin engaged in this after the Ice Tribe arc.
- Shout-Out: Two in one line in the April Fools chapter.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Corrin is the most notable example, though she's not the only one. Niles and Selena are prone to similar habits.
- Corrin's title ends up being usurped by Hans' gang of bandits in chapter 21, being entirely composed of lower-class criminals. All put together, they curse more in one chapter than all other chapters combined.
- Slashed Throat: How Selena meets her end.
- Stalker With a Crush: Soleil, a Nohrian messenger who repeatedly harasses and flirts with Laslow, driving him mad.
- The Strategist: Jakob discovers he has a natural talent for managing troop movements and logistics.
- Stripperiffic: Kagero is described as having an outfit like this, working in combination with her more than generous bust size deliberately to get a one-up on male opponents.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Corrin is abrasive, rude, and pretty hard to get along with. But she really does care about her friends.
- Suicide Mission: Unlike the original game, where it was a flat-out Uriah Gambit, this is Corrin's mission to assassinate Mikoto, with a healthy dose of Unwitting Pawn. Garon considers this mission's success to be worth Corrin's life, but he is genuinely pleased by her survival and reaffirmed loyalty to Nohr.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Sakura's feelings towards Hans after seeing some of his better qualities.
- Take That!: The April Fools Day chapter seemed to be going for the record of how many things it could mock in 3000 words or less.
- Right from the first sentence, it's making fun of people who read but never review, and to the story's many Trolls.
- Followed by fully exaggerating Nohr's Obviously Evil policies, filled with orphan-skin bed sheets and faceless mooks.
- Corrin's original Extreme Doormat tendencies suffer grievous amounts of parody.
- The author themselves comes under fire for their habit of shoving characters to the side when they can't think of anything for them to do in the plot.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Hans considers Mozu to be an irritating brat, while Mozu considers Hans to be a murderous brute. The two are forced to work together along with Sakura to escape the Nohrian army.
- Thicker Than Water: Defied by Corrin.
Corrin: Look little girl, I've seen enough blood to know that it all looks the same. It's all red, and you only ever see it when things have gone horribly wrong for the person holding it. It keeps the body pumping and makes a big mess when it gets spilled, and beyond that I don't see any reason to attach any sentimental value to it. True family is the people who have been there with you through thick and thin. They're the ones who make you feel warm when the world seems cold; the people you grow with, train with, eat with, you fight with and laugh with over the stupidest little things. That's family to me.
- Trauma Conga Line: Let's see, first you see your friend get shanked in the back with an ax, get kidnapped and taken to the main city of a people you've been raised from birth to see as enemies, go to the lower regions of said city and see your people getting oppressed and downtrodden, almost get killed for your troubles, and only then do you get to go home and have your surrogate father tell you flat-out that everything you've believed up till now is a lie. Yeah, Corrin didn't have it easy.
- Gets even worse on her mission to the Ice Tribe. Pass through a village of starving people who blame you, learn that two people you thought of as family were actually being forced under threat of genocide to serve you, get set on fire, and when you wake up decide to go for a walk in order to clear your head, only to meet one of said friends and hear them talk about how they always hated you and the way you live and will never forgive you. Good times.
- Mozu is arguably worse off. Very first scene she's introduced is the destruction of her home village at the hands of Hans and a group of Nohrian criminals conscripted into the army. Every single person she's ever known is killed, many of whom were likely tortured beforehand. Mozu herself had to hide in her own home as they broke in, and had a perfect view as they gangraped her mother before destroying her head with a club. If that wasn't enough, Mozu is later on captured by those same bandits, and almost raped but escapes before it can go all the way (hopefully). However, before she can escape, she's intercepted and almost killed again, only to be saved...by one of the people who destroyed her village. And now has to travel with him if she wants to survive. It's no wonder she's much more violent than her original counterpart.
- Ungrateful Bastard: What Ryoma calls the lords who secede from Hoshido. He fought and nearly died to protect them and their lands while they sat by and did nothing, only for them to call him a tyrant and turn on him for making decisions they did not like. They even recall their desperately needed soldiers home, and half of them outright ally with Nohr.
- Villainous Rescue: When Mozu and Sakura are captured by Nohrian raiders, tied up separately and awaiting a Fate Worse Than Death, who is it who saves them? Hans, of course.
- Virgin Power: In order to cast a hex that will spread disease among the Chevois rebels, Odin needs, among other things, the tears of a maiden. This leads to the amusing revelation that Felicia is not a virgin.
- War Is Hell: Should be expected, for a series set entirely during a war. The fact that both sides are portrayed as having perfectly valid reasons for going to war drives the point home.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Mikoto dies without much characterization or screen time, just like in canon. Corrin isn't affected at all since they had no time to connect.
- Weapon of Choice: Unlike the original game, where Ganglari was supposed to kill Mikoto by exploding in her face, this story has it simply stab her in the gut. Corrin chooses to keep it out of sentiment, as a gift from her father, and Yato, if it exists, never makes its way into her hands.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 19. The Ice Tribe rebellion ends in Corrin being forced to wipe them out to the man, and Flora dies cursing Corrin's name, sending her into a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Chapter 32. Gunter informs everyone that Hinoka, who was previously captured by the Nohrians, was executed after taking a hostage during an escape attempt gone wrong. Meanwhile, Selena has her throat cut by an assassin in Mokushu.
- Would Hit a Girl: Very few characters have hang-ups about killing women (many of the soldiers are female, after all) so long as they are armed and threatening. But the Nohrian Raiders take it further with their policy of Rape, Pillage, and Burn. So far there has only been a single survivor of their attacks.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In stark contrast to the original game, Garon outright declares that Hans is this trope and gives his blessing to Corrin to lop his head off in revenge for killing Lilith.
- You No Take Candle: Ryoma rather charitably describes his grasp of the Nohrian language as "unpracticed".
Ryoma: That... will have to be waiting for now. There is someone you need to introduce to. She can teach things better than I can.
Corrin: Uhm... okay... I don't really know how to mock that, I think you did all the work for me.
Ryoma: Spices are a cause of flavor made from leftover peppers, to give foods nail.