Fan Fic / Of The Dragon Of The Stars
It all began with nothing.
Then there were four primordial deities—Light, Darkness, Time and Life—and at once Darkness stole the world
that Light and Life had created, banishing them to a corner of the universe. To reclaim it, They fashioned the Spear of Heaven at the cost of Their power
. But humanity has unknowingly sustained the Darkness since, and Darkness has risen and fallen in three cycles, villains raising it, heroes crushing it. Each cycle taught both sides, but while the Darkness learnt, humanity chose to forget
Ten years ago, King Caleix
began to change. New laws were written, and guards began to fill the streets, driving the dragons
into hiding, taking prisoner anyone who dared show defiance. Victoria Island has become a totalitarian dystopia
, and Darkness has spread its tendrils like an invisibly-thriving rot
Enter ten-year-old Farm Boy
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 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 The Hero
Except he is not the hero
, we come to realise, as we are introduced to 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 Power Incontinence
—a pair of twins
that has haunted the Dungeon for years, a 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 a voice in a dream
urges her to travel the world, gather up a team of battlers
and bring the tyrant's reign to an end.
Set in the world of MapleStory
's first episode, this Epic Fantasy
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.
Tropes demonstrated by Of the Dragon, of the Stars include (spoilers up to Chapter 10 not marked):
- The Ace: 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 her rival.
- A Shared Suffering: 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.
- The Atoner: Akera. She starts a guilty murderess, seeking her redemption with increasing thirst as the story progresses.
- All Is Well That Ends Well: Clynine and Lanore; 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.
- An Ice Person: Lanore;, who got herself a double deal.
- And Man Grew Proud: This is what happens to humanity decades after every ascension of the Spirit of the Dark, when all evidence of Its rampage has faded.
- Ancient Artifact: The Spear of Heaven, which does more than just grant superpowers.
- Ancient Tomb: Turino and Telida entered one in Chapter 9.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Light, Time and Life are personified as a woman with phoenix wings, a genderless person in court jester’s wear and a rainbow dragon.
- Arc Words: 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."
- 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.
- Black Magic: Necromancers, though it's more of black-and-red magic.
- Blood Knight: The lost warrior Thaemis, a Hero who fought in an arena for a living and for fame.
- Boobs of Steel: The most well-endowed female of the cast, Telida, is also the only one who engages in any form of melee combat.
- Broken Bird: Akera, in contrast to Telida who takes a more Stoic Woobie approach. Also, Thaemis.
- Call to Agriculture: The creatures of the Canyon at the end of Chapter 8.
- Cannot Spit It Out: The reason certain story arcs last more than half the story.
- Cast Herd: The cast of this story can be split into numerous distinct herds: Orion's Belt, Nightfall, Ethiel, Leafre, guards, necromancers, Reborn.
- Character-Magnetic Team: The entire first half of the fanfic charts the movements and exploits of one such team.
- Chekhov's Gun: 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.
- Chekhov's Gunman: 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. Thaemis is a Chekhov's Gunman whose eventual appearance was built up towards over the course of the entire story.
- Chekhov's Lecture: 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."
- Child Prodigy: Akera and Clynine are demonstrated to be this.
- Crazy Enough to Work: 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.
- Dark Action Girl: Telida fits all criteria to a T—except the one about being on the villain’s side.
- Dark and Troubled Past: 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 Sex Slave 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 Crapsack World ruled by an Evil Overlord.
- Deus ex Machina: In a literal example, various deities drop in on occasion to fish characters out of trouble, most notably the Clock Spirit in Chapter 10. This never stops happening, right up to the epilogue.
- Divide by Zero: The item keeping the mirror world in existence just got removed. Now what?
- Diving Save: Akera does this to Lanore; up in Orbis, the problem being that Lanore; isn’t in a lucid state, strictly speaking. She takes the second response, i.e. “Why’d you push me over?”
- Doomed Hometown: Kerning is this for Dark Lord and the Ethiels.
- Dramatic Irony: 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.
- Dream Melody: 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"
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Ralinn receives messages from a deity in her dreams, and even sees Clynine and Lanore; once. She doesn’t have any powers; she was simply chosen.
- Dream Team: 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.
- Dysfunction Junction: It gives them a reason to fight.
- Famed In-Story: Thaemis, Lanore; and Akera. So far, Thaemis' only mentions have been through word of mouth or in recounts by characters. Lanore; 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.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Orion’s Belt, as evident starting in Chapter 11.
- Five 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).
- Freudian Excuse: Akera's history seems to be an explanation for every wrong she commits.
- Freudian Trio: There are two: Akera (Id), Clynine (Superego), Lanore; (Ego); and Shirion (Superego), Ketara (Id), Zethis (Ego).
- Mirror World: The team visits one in Chapter 10.
- More Dakka: Chapter 8’s outer climax. There’s never enough dakka!
- Mr. Fanservice: 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.
- Multiple Head Case: Horned Tail. Each head has a different personality, a different intelligence level and a different appetite.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Raydan feeds a bird lollipops while his guild mates stare on disbelievingly at his genius.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Akera nearly does this in Chapter 10.
- No Escape but Down: How many times has the story invoked this trope? First Clynine and Lanore; flee from the 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.
- Nobody Poops: Toilets are mentioned, though.
- Oblivious to Love: Akera, to Turino’s.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The deities' council constitutes one, overseeing all of humanity and pushing hidden agendas through their subtle influence.
- Pair the Spares: Once Orion’s Belt joins up with Nightfall, all the main characters are paired.
- Personality Powers: Both Fire Mages are hot-tempered, Lanore; the Ice Lightning Archmage is cool, Clynine is pure.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Clynine does this to Lanore twice, first in Chapter 10 then in chapter 12.
- Power Incontinence: Akera suffers from anger-triggered Power Incontinence.
- Powers That Be: The deities' council is always lurking in the background, making use of heroes and villains both to further their own agendas.
- Prescience Is Predictable: 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.
- Raised by Natives: Zethis and Ketara, raised by a farmer from Henesys and the fairies of Ellinia respectively.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: The twins sport this look, and Ketara at least seems to think they are both very attractive.
- The Red Baron: The Silver Fang of El Nath (Lanore) and the White-Haired Murderess (Akera).
- Required Secondary Powers: Fire Mages are fireproof, which Turino exploits in Chapter 8.
- Self-Made Orphan: Akera, out of anger and a weak control of her powers. She is most definitely insane and she has no excuses.
- Serial Escalation: Meta example, in which chapter lengths continually increase. The final chapter is 75,000 words long.
- Sex Slave: Telida and Turino's mother was this to their father.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: This sums up Ketara and Telida's entire relationship. In fact Telida literally slaps Ketara then kisses him in Chapter 11.
- Sleep Cute: Ralinn finds Zethis and Clynine asleep on a bench outside and this is the opinion she expresses.
- Spirit World: 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.
- The Stoic: Hyrien, who is unable to cry even at his idol and closest friend's death.
- Super Weight: Every level is represented:
- Type -1: The children of Nightfall.
- Type 0: King Caleix, though he has an army at his disposal to make up for it.
- Type 1: The king's guards, Esharo, the animals of Leafre, dragons.
- Type 2: Low-level archers and thieves.
- Type 3: High-level archers and thieves, most warriors and mages, demigods.
- Type 4: Akera, Lanore, Grendel.
- Type 5: Anyone wielding the Spear of Heaven, the three Clocktower Guardians.
- Type 6: Deities other than the Clock Spirit.
- Type 7: The Clock Spirit.
- Talking Through Technique: Lanore and Clynine speak through magic after Clynine goes deaf.
- Title Drop: 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".
- Twice Shy: Zethis and Clynine, with a little prodding from Raydan.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Pelinor brags to everyone about his plan—and goes on to die during the execution of said plan. Akera and Lanore; say nothing about their plan in Chapter 9 and it goes on to be an utter success.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Akera and Turino enjoy so much of this.
- Where It All Began: 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.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Akera. Her great power is the cause of her descent to madness.
- Xanatos Gambit: Chapter 9. Lanore; 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 Lanore; 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, into her larger Xanatos Gambit.
- You ALL Share My Story: 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.