"Aska means ashes. The ashes that you, son of Hades, rule over. You've always wanted a quest; and now you have one. Join the Norseling. Join her and overthrow Hel. Join her and overthrow your father's kingdom. Join her before the ashes blow away in the wind."Aska
is a Fan Fic
based on the Percy Jackson and the Olympians
series written by grace.grenade
. It also takes inspiration from the fantasy novel Runemarks
, and is currently posted on fanfiction.net.
The fic is notable for its high-concept plot, which involves introducing the Norse gods into the Percy Jackson universe, necessitating a complex backstory that is being revealed slowly over the course of the story. Described by the author as an ‘experiment to see if Nico/OC can be done a little differently’, it tackles a niche looked down upon by the majority of the fan community, following the struggles of Nico di Angelo and OC Ayra Sorensen as they are caught in a war between two pantheons of Gods.
Aska provides examples of:
- Accidental Pun: Quite a few instances with 'Hel'.
- Acid Trip Dimension: Bifröst, or the rainbow bridge, is definitely a Mind Screw.
- Action Girl: Ayra, who proves that she is willing to fight wherever, whenever. Unfortunately, she isn’t always successful.
- Alien Sky: The night sky in Asgard is blank, without a moon or any stars.
- All Myths Are True: To a point. Many of the myths, both Olympian and Norse, have been corrupted over time, and aren’t 100% accurate.
- Amnesiacs Are Innocent: Invoked Trope by Ayra.
- Amoral Attorney: The elves.
- An Axe to Grind: Ayra's weapon of choice.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Ayra to a T. Soren's death profoundly affects her and her life choices.
- Apologises a Lot: Ayra, with good reason.
- Arch-Enemies: The Olympians and the Norse, who have been feuding for centuries.
- Arc Words: "Tell father. The Olympians are watching. Hades will fall."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Jormungand could break free from his magical bonds, cause the end of the world, and make you crave herring.
- Badass Army: Pretty much any army mentioned, since they consist of gods.
- Big, Badass Wolf/ Canis Major: Fenrir epitomises this trope.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: The Norse are all varying shades of this trope. An argument could be made for the Olympians, too, but they're less of a family and more of an empire.
- Bilingual Dialogue: Between Madeline and the Norse.
- Bonding Over Missing Parents: Nico and Ayra bond over losing a sibling.
- Bring Them Around: Ayra to Nico.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Ayra and Nico in chapter ten.
(as an army is charging at them):
Nico: How'd it go?
Ayra: Well. I think Percy and I really clicked.
Nico: Good for you.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Odin as captain, Loki as sergeant.
- Character Title: Subverted. Quite a few readers may have been lead to believe that 'Aska' was the name of the OC. Rather, it means 'Ashes' in Old Norse, and is the codename for the Norse strategy at the beginning of the fic. 'Ayra' is pretty close to 'Aska', however.
- The Chosen Ones: Nico and Ayra.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Idun, who is also permanently clueless.
- Consummate Liar: Loki.
- Command Roster/ The Squad:
- Colonel Badass: Loki.
- Cool Sword: Epilasis. It’s so cool, they have to go back into the camp and get it, despite the fact it means fighting through hundreds of demigods.
- Crossover Cosmology: The entire basis of the fic.
- The Dark Times/ Great Offscreen War: The Olympian/Norse war.
- Deadpan Snarker: Loki. Ayra also, to some extent.
- Dead Person Conversation: Nico and Ayra with Eric, the Norse with Eric and Madeline.
- Death by Origin Story: The deaths of Ayra's brother and mother are her and her father's entire motivation for sending her to the camp.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Ayra's mother.
- Defensive "What?":
- Doomed Hometown: Asgard.
- Don't Call Me Sir: Fenrir starts by calling Nico 'your Highness'. Ironically, Nico manages to get it to 'sir', although he gripes that now the wolf sounds like Jeeves.
- Dramatic Stutter: Used often.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Nico in the beginning of the fic. It turns out his dream was sent by Fenrir, who in turn was sent it by Eric.
- Dwarves (And Elves) Speaking English/Ancient Greek: Necessary for Nico to know what is going on most of the time. It's mentioned that they learn other languages to be able to talk to more customers.
- Easily Forgiven: Ayra by Nico. It seems OOC, and she calls him out on it:
Ayra: I thought you were supposed to hold grudges. How come you're so forgiving?
Nico: I wasn't really angry in the first place, just confused.
Ayra: Confused seems to be word of the day for you.
Nico: It always is.
- Eldritch Abomination: Jormungand.
- Elves Versus Dwarves: Averted. The elves actually employ lots of dwarves to retrieve criminals. It's also mentioned that the elf world used to be very similar to the current dwarf world.
- Establishing Character Moment: Motor-Oil's conversation with his ex's answering machine. Also, Eric's first scene pretty much showed us who he was.
- Exact Words: Motor-Oil's case against the dwarf relies on the definition of 'to scratch'.
- Expy: Madeline, an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette child of Thor, is probably the author's version of Maddie in Runemarks.
- Faking Amnesia: Ayra does this at the beginning.
- Fatal Flaw: All the ones mentioned in Percy Jackson, plus Ayra's temper.
- Fate Worse Than Death: 'The conditions of our surrender claimed we would receive eternal punishment for infractions, and to some it would seem that we did not receive it. But we did. We did.'
- Fiery Redhead/ Red-Headed Hero: Ayra, sort of. Her hair is described as a 'chestnut more red than brown', but she's definitely fiery.
- Fire and Brimstone Hel: Averted. Hel is abandoned, desolate and boring.
- The Fog of Ages: Freyr can't remember most of the eighteenth century. Although that's probably because of something else...
- Food Porn: Inverted with the description of the pickled herring;
The concoction is the colour of old curry; yellow and disturbingly lumpy. A salty and rather unpleasant smell wafts from it.
- Foreign Cuss Word: Both the Norse and Ayra use 'fæn ta deg' on more than one occasion. Literally, it means 'may the devil take you' in both Norwegian and Old Norse, but it should really be interpreted as 'fuck you'.
- Foreign Queasine: The pickled herring.
- Freak Out: Ayra has an... interesting one...
- Friend in the Black Market: The dwarves sell products of fine quality. Just try to ignore the prices.
- Friendless Background: Before the events of the story, Ayra has never even met someone less than one hundred years older than her, let alone a friend.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: They sue a dwarf who claims a shield 'cannot be scratched', since definition five in the dictionary clearly states 'scratch' means to make s high piercing sound, and a sword dragged across the metal can do that.
- Fun with Foreign Languages: Ayra tricks the Olympians into thinking she's cursing them by speaking Old Norse. Realising that it doesn't matter what she says, she comes up with some real gems:
Percy: Please! Don't do this!
Ayra: Crabcake! Trousers! I like shellfish, I do I do I do!
Percy: Whatever spell you're casting, just–
- The author then name drops another trope, mentioning that it has 'lost its alliterative appeal when it was in a different language. Never mind.'
- General Ripper: Odin. Enemy X is the Olympians.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Although the Norse are probably portrayed in a more favourable light than the Olympians, they still don’t have a great case. Ayra likens them to the lesser of two evils , but she’s bound to be biased. Because, however, the story isn't focused mainly on the Olympian side of the battle, the Norse come off as A Lighter Shade of Grey.
- Happy Flashback: We see how Loki met Lise.
- Hypocrite: Fenrir won't trust Ayra because she's a child of Loki. Guess who Fenrir's dad is?
- Heroic BSOD: Ayra after seeing the ruins of Asgard.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter is titled with an Old Norse word plus its definition.
- Infant Immortality: Averted often, most strikingly with Ayra's brother.
- Inner Monologue: Nico has one in chapter four.
- Insane Troll Logic: The elves wanted to be lawyers, but there was no legal system. So they started to prosecute criminals themselves, leaving those accused no choice but to go to their firm for representation. Even more insane when you find out that sometimes the elf defending is the same one prosecuting, and ends up having arguments with himself.
- Insubstantial Ingredients: Used to make Gleipnir.
- Insufferable Genius: Eric is a Narcissist, but he has the looks, intelligence and powers to back it up.
- Intellectual Animal: Fenrir is probably more intelligent than Ayra and Nico combined.
- Jerkass Gods: The Olympians take this to a whole new level.
- Kangaroo Court: The elvish legal system.
- Language of Magic: The Old Norse runes.
- Last of His Kind: Ayra is the only Norseling alive, although others do have a habit of showing up.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Inverted. The Norse are almost entirely infertile, and they very rarely have children.
- Libation for the Dead: That pickled herring was the worst thing Eric ever tasted.
- Little Did I Know:
Motor-Oil: Little did they know the horror that awaited them!
- Living Crashpad: Ayra slams into Nico in chapter four after an explosion.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Majorly Awesome: Freyr.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Loki reveals that Jormungand has woken up.
- Metaphorgotten: "His name sounds like fifteen scratched records playing at different speeds saying the words 'Motor-Oil' with a vague Canadian accent."
- Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Fenrir has a lot to do before he can finally die.
- Mood-Swinger: Ayra, and how:
Nico to Ayra: You're unbelievable, you know that? Absolutely, bat-shit insane. Either you're extremely hormonal or you suffer from multiple personality disorder... (but) You might as well enjoy being able to change your mood fifteen times per minute and making me frustrated.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Ayra's brief mindset about the problem of Nico.
- Named Weapons: The author christens Nico's weapon 'Epilasis', or 'oblivion'.
- Narcissist: Eric. Played for Laughs; there is a large, ominous buildup before his first appearance– and then he spends his brief return to the mortal coil gushing over his cheekbones.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: The Olympian's attempt to kill any offspring of the Norse. They are successful until Ayra and her twin brother are born. Thinking that there is only one child, they kill him and stop looking. Big mistake.
- Noble Top Enforcer: Percy, although he doesn't really know it yet.
- Nominal Hero: For the third part of a Power Trio, Fenrir is surprisingly... well, evil. He's a Jerkass Nietzsche Wannabe who's only in it for himself. He even kills a farmer for being annoying.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Fenrir.
- Noodle Incident: Loki has many. Apparently once he was a pirate.
- Norse Mythology
- Obsessed with Food: Poor Jormugand, who is eternally hungry but can never eat.
- Only Friend: Nico is Ayra's.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played straight with appearances (even the females have beards!) although subverted somewhat otherwise; they are greedy craftsmen, but they're all salesmen in a huge bazaar.
- Our Elves Are Better: Averted. The entire elf race are now 'solicitors, attorneys and the occasional insurance salesman'. The elf character Motor-Oil is a bumbling wreck after losing his girlfriend. Also, his name is Motor-Oil.
- Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Nico carries Ayra like this while she's in shock in chapter 11.
- Planet of Hats: Alfheim is a world of lawyers, and Svartálfaheim is full of shopkeepers.
- Plot Triggering Death: Ayra's mother and brother.
- Power Trio: Nico, Ayra and Fenrir.
- Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: Averted. As they do in the Percy Jackson series, all Olympian prophecies rhyme. However, Norse prophecies don't.
- Really 700 Years Old
- Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: Justified, in that the Norse have to be extremely covert. They use Ayra because she's one of them, Nico because he puts two and two together and is majorly involved in a prophecy.
- Revenge by Proxy: The Olympians deal with the Norse breaking the rules by killing their loved ones.
- Running Gag: Thank them for your cheekbones.
- Especially since you're so bloody handsome.
- And stay away from the pickled herring.
- Sea Monster: Jormungand.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Greeks hear that if Loki breaks free, he’ll cause Ragnarok. To prevent this they wage war on the Norse. The Norse then free Loki to help them. Fortunately, the technicality of him being freed by someone else means Ragnarok doesn’t come. Unfortunately, it means the prophecy has yet to be fulfilled….
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The Customer Complaints and Feedback Form:
As our members are in an undeviating state of acedia the ripostes to your responses are only being delivered with greater and greater degringolade, and therefore any implemented submitted vicissitudes will be picayune.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Heimdall implies that Ayra is tied romantically to Nico, Nico answers like this for her, while laughing at the ridiculous idea. You can't help but feel bad for her, since (YMMV) by this point you can tell she has a little crush on him.
- Shipper on Deck: Freyja.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation/ Summon to Hand: Ayra's runeaxe. Averted with Nico's sword; in fact, they spend nearly an entire chapter fighting to retrieve it.
- Sssssnaketalk: Loki briefly does this when he is possessed by Jormungand.
- The Stoic/ Nerves of Steel: Odin.
- Straw Nihilist: Fenrir, who likes philosophising to anyone who will listen, and anyone who won't. Hel finds this extremely annoying.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Ayra and her father have similar features and hair, although a different eye colour.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Ayra is very cold to those she doesn't trust and during tense situations, but (as shown with Nico) she can become much warmer.
- Taking You with Me: During her Freak Out Ayra decides this after realising she can't beat Nico without dying herself. Fortunately for her it doesn't come to this.
- Talking Your Way Out: Averted when Loki unsuccessfully attempts to save Lise and Soren's lives.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Freyja in the second chapter, for obvious reasons.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: One of Nico's conditions for himself.
- Unfortunate Name: Motor-Oil. His real name is ÷*|≤•. And no, that wasn't a formatting error.
- Villains Never Lie: Dwarves always tell the truth about what they're selling; the bad stuff happens when you have to cough up the payment.
- Vitriolic Best Buds/ Fire-Forged Friends: Nico and Ayra have been through quite a bit, but now seem to place a lot of trust in each other.
- Working with the Ex: Njord and Skadi.
- World of Snark: Mostly everyone manages to switch to Sarcasm Mode at least twice, with the exception of poor Percy.