Literature: Of Fear and Faith
"To have faith is to have wings."Of Fear and Faith
is a Web Serial Novel
hosted on FurAffinity
and written by Silver Wolf
that focuses on the themes of, well, fear and faith
, using characters borrowed from various users on FA
The plot starts off with August
being approached by mysterious talking animals (Vatra and Noble) that offer the two a chance to accompany them on a journey. They won't say where they're going or how they'll get there, only that the two men will find their destinies on the path, an offer which neither of them can refuse despite all logic and reason warning them against it.
Other characters join the group along the way (usually at Vatra's
insistence) including North
, a religious man who is one of very few to still believe in God, Elin
, a bubbly Cat Girl
with deep-seated emotional scars, Aiden
, a self-centered Ladykiller in Love
, a shy submissive girl who's in love with Aiden, Tel
, a brave young idealist, and Kavik
, a cool and confident Blood Knight
The story focuses primarily on the eight main characters and their Character Development
as they fight against the Nichts
, demonic creatures that have reduced most of the world to a wasteland, the Voices
, powerful demons that can manipulate the minds and senses of people, and the Disciples, the military organization that keeps what's left of the world in order, through whatever means necessary
The story can be read on the author's blog here
Needs Wiki Magic
- Abusive Parents: Lilac's mother is verbally and emotionally abusive, to an almost hilariously disturbing degree. She's an utter narcissist who insults Lilac with almost every sentence that leaves her mouth without even noticing.
- August and Scarlet's (step)parents were both abusive. Their father hit Scarlet (and it's implied August as well), and their mother sexually abused August.
- The Alcoholic: August used to be one and struggles to keep that vice in his past.* So he's picked up a different habit to use as an emotional crutch instead.
- Always Someone Better: Phenix feels that North is this to him. North doesn't see it that way, but Phenix feels some resentment over it. This comes to a head after North convinces the Disciples in the Fortress of the Damned to follow him after a single Rousing Speech, after Phenix had tried for three straight chapters to accomplish the same feat with fairly dismal results, at the end of Falling In the Black.
- Ambiguously Bi: Aiden flirts with literally every woman he meets, although he mentions he's used his charms on men as well and seemingly flirts with Tel on a couple of occasions.
- Bi the Way: August and Lilac, on the other hand, are much less ambiguous.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Elin is easily distracted by noises, insects and pickles and her narration will sometimes drift off topic to notice minute details and trivial things that are unrelated to the scene as a whole.
- Badass Boast: North gets one of these when fighting against Fear.
"Donít try to intimidate me, monster! I am North Avalon, beloved son and steadfast soldier of the Most High God! And I will not back down!"
- Beware the Nice Ones: Phenix is a very well-mannered individual and a bit of a push over, but donít threaten his friends. He wonít kill you, but he will make you wish he did.
- Big Damn Heroes: North, August and Elin swoop in and save the day during the fight with Sorrow at the end of Veil of Sorrow, saving Phenix from one of the Voices.
- Blood Knight:
- The Call Knows Where You Live: After Kavik refused Noble and Augustís attempts to recruit him, he was found by another feral Fionbri named Garu who decided to convince Kavik to join August, and refused to take no for an answer.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Played with. Lilac and Aiden admit they're attracted to and flirt with one another, but both refuse to admit (even to themselves) that they're in love with each other.
- The Casanova: Aiden, who seems to be able to successfully flirt with any and every woman he meets.
- The Cavalry: Luthian arrives just in time to save August from being killed by Fear.
- Cigarette of Anxiety: While August tends to smoke in general, his first reaction to stress is almost always to light a cigarette.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Double Subverted with Aiden. He comes off as this, but itís mostly an act. Except with Lilac.
- The Chooser of The One: Vatra, who picked out her recruits personally with her instincts, as opposed to Noble who was given specific directions on who to find.
- Dark and Troubled Past: As of Falling In the Black, it's clear that every one of the main characters have histories along these lines, and it's hard to tell who has it the worst.
- Death Seeker: Implied to be the case with Phenix.
- Despair Event Horizon: The Disciples inside the eponymous fortress in Fortress of the Damned have crossed this except for Grazia (albeit just barely). Later, Sorrow tries to push most of the Stray Dogs past this.
- Hope Is Scary: Embodied by the aforementioned Disciples, especially Giovanna who initially refuses any help that the Stray Dogs offer.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Phenix and August before Vatra and Noble come along. The rest of the crew seem to be this as well, but those two are the most explicit.
- Determinator: All of the Stray Dogs have shades of this. A standout example of this would be when North's legs cave from under him so he decides to crawl back to the battle with Fear, refusing to let August go it alone.
- Doomed Hometown: Elinís home town was destroyed by Nichts three months before the story began. Bringing this up seems to be the only thing capable of dampening her spirits.
- Tel's home was also destroyed by the Nichts and we see his recollection of this event in a flashback, including the last time he ever saw his father.
- The Dreaded:
- Even though August had never seen it before, Fear's presence sent shivers down his spine. Fittingly enough.
- The group (especially Elin) is terrified by the prospect of running into Ferro, the leader of the Disciples of Strength. As it turns out, they have good reason to be.
- Even the Guys Want Him: According to Aiden, it's not just the ladies who fall for his charms (something which he occasionally exploits).
- Extreme Doormat: Phenix has absolutely zero backbone when dealing with women.
- First-Person Smartass: Pretty much every character has shades of this.
- Flashback: Invoked and weaponized by Sorrow. A good deal of the Fortress of the Damned arc* is dedicated to the main characters' unpleasant flashbacks.
- The Gadfly: Kavik says and does things specifically to push people's buttons, but he sincerely cares about his friends and knows where to draw the line.
- Genki Girl: Elin has no shortage of energy and enthusiasm, sometimes to other characters' misfortune.
- Handsome Lech: Aiden is more this than a Chivalrous Pervert, not really giving any thought to the feelings of the women he's pursuing (the main reason he's upset about his girlfriend cheating is only because she cheated on him first). This however, does not apply around Lilac.
- Hates Being Touched: August, except by Scarlet and North.
- The Heartless: The Voices are powerful Nichts created from humankindís negative emotions that instill that emotion in people by their mere presence.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation:
- Lilac's narration is riddled with self-deprecating comments, especially when talking to or about Aiden.
- August and Phenix often have bad things to say about themselves as well, but not nearly to the extent that Lilac does.
- Honor Before Reason: This is a trait ingrained in the minds of all Disciples, to be loyal to their order above anything else, even their own needs and desires. Giovanna embodies this trait, electing to stay in the hellhole of a fortress she and her soldiers were sentenced to because it was their duty to do as they were told. The very first thing she does after finally escaping is to turn herself in to be arrested for abandoning her post.
- Hope Crusher: Sorrow is the literal manifestation of this and, naturally, is very good at it.
- Human Sacrifice: Elin is almost sacrificed by a cult trying to summon Nichts to do their bidding.
- I'm Having Soul Pains: August says it feels like Fear is choking his soul when it's around.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: August, after trying to talk to people.
- Incest Subtext:
- Augustís narration where Scarlet is concerned comes off like this at first but it becomes clear that he is indeed attracted to her, although he's not happy about that at all.
- With Scarlet it's much more ambiguous, as she does seem to flirt with him but she may just be teasing him to make him uncomfortable (according to August she even flirted with him when they were kids, so make of that what you will).
- Innocent Prodigy: Tel, who, while not a child, is very sweet and innocent but also incredibly perceptive and good at understanding how people think and how to talk to them.
- Jumped at the Call:
- Elin eagerly jumps at the chance to join Phenix's party when asked. After all, it's way better than being stuck alone in the woods forever.
- North and Tel both seem to require little if any convincing by Vatra in order to join her mysterious quest (although both of their conversations with her are offscreen).
- Ladykiller in Love: Aiden flirts and lays with pretty much every woman who crosses his path, and then he meets Lilac. He doesn't understand why he's suddenly head over heels for her or how to handle it.
- The Leader: North is a type II, being calm, rational and helping keep the team centered and focused.
- Love at First Sight: Deconstructed.
- Aiden and Lilac fall in love with each other upon meeting but both refuse to believe it because Aiden doesn't want to get attached to anyone and Lilac doesn't want to get hurt.
- August falls in love with a woman after seeing her picture in a locket and then thinks he's lost his mind.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The entire group and the Disciples following them have this reaction to Sorrow confronting them at the edge of the veil partway through Veil of Sorrow.
- Martial Pacifist:
- Phenix, who doesn't like to fight and refuses to kill but is a badass fighter and can use magic to set people on fire without killing them.
- North is an odd mix of this and a Blood Knight. He prefers not to resort to violence if he can avoid it, but he really enjoys fighting people he deems evil.
- Mind Rape: A fairly minor example as far as this trope goes, but Fearís presence drives August into a panic almost immediately, messing with all six of his senses.
- Sorrow employs a much straighter example of this trope via weaponized flashbacks.
- Must Have Nicotine: August, who is almost always seen holding, lighting or smoking a cigarette.
- My Greatest Failure: Implied. August asks North if the latter has any regrets and North says that he has just one, but doesn't elaborate any further than that. We get to see firsthand what this regret is in Falling In the Black, and it is somewhat unpleasant.
- Named Weapons: The Testaments are all Cool Swords personifying a positive emotion or trait, and are named after the thing they embody.
- Nay-Theist: Phenix reveals that he is rather adamant about his disbelief in God when he and North get into a heated discussion about it. Apparently they've had this argument several times before.
- Near Death Experience: Aiden and Lilac share one in Fear the Reaper when the tunnels they're both in collapse on them. Echoing Scars begins with the former trying to come to terms with the resulting trauma.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Kavik, Elin, Tel and Aiden are all this to varying degrees, but Scarlet outdoes them all, especially around her little brother.
- No Social Skills: Augustís attempts at fraternizing with the other members of the group upon first meeting them are painfully awkward and he doesn't talk at all to anyone outside the group.
- The Obi-Wan: Noble and Vatra found and recruited most of the crew's members and continue to help out as guides to the group.
- Oh Crap: The Fortress of the Damned arc has several of these moments, over and over. See Mass "Oh, Crap!" and This Is Gonna Suck for specific examples.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: North is a firm believer in this, which causes friction between him and Phenix.
- Petting Zoo People: Almost all of the characters are this.
- The Pollyanna: Even immediately after almost being sacrificed by a Nichts-worshipping cult, Elin is still all smiles and giggles.
- Pretty Boy: Kavik is described as this, a fact for which he was mercilessly bullied when he was a teenager. Unfortunately for said bullies, this just pushed him to become a badass Blood Knight and kick all their asses.
- Rape as Backstory: August's stepmother sexually abused him, but this is somewhat glossed over during August's deluge of flashbacks in Falling In the Black. Although it certainly helps to explain his self-loathing nature.
- Refusal of the Call: Aiden, for about five minutes before meeting Lilac. Kavik and Scarlet also both refuse the call, but with Kavik the call knew where to find him.
- Religion of Evil: The cult underneath Caldera was definitely this, sacrificing people to summon Nichts under their control. Itís unknown what they were planning on doing with them once they were summoned, but it most certainly wasnít anything that would contribute to society.
- Rousing Speech: North delivers one to the Disciples at the end of Falling In the Black. It works out well for him and the Disciples, as they finally agree to cross to the other side of the veil alongside North and co. It doesn't go as well for Phenix, who feels like a complete failure after three straight chapters of trying and failing to convince the Disciples to follow him, then North comes in and gets them all on his side in a second.
- The Snark Knight: August considers average people to be weak in either will or mind, but he has very few kind words to say about himself and admits that he only barely managed to rise above those same "weak" people.
- Stepford Smiler: Elin has shades of this, although it's debatable how much of her bubbly persona is just an act. Either way, as of Echoing Scars it's obvious that she has much deeper emotional scars than she lets on.
- The Strategist: August falls into this role in the battle that takes place during Fear the Reaper, coming up with the plan that the group (along with the Disciples) use that pushes back the Nichts hordes. That is, before Fear shows up.
- Aiden proves to be a pretty good one as well during the fight at the Fortress of the Damned.
- Survivor Guilt: August has this after the second battle with Fear, feeling responsible for the high death toll of said battle since he believes it was his plan that got so many people killed. Later, in Echoing Scars, he wonders why he survived the fight in place of those other people and North helps him to try and make some sense of it.
- Switching P.O.V.: The story is in first person and all eight of the main characters (and Scarlet) get to narrate at one point or another (occasionally all in the same chapter).
- Talking Animal: Noble and Vatra are this, unlike the rest of the characters who are Petting Zoo People.
- Team Dad: North is the leader of the team, the oldest member, the first one most of the others come to for comforting advice about their emotional problems and he calmly mediates arguments within the group. He is definitely this, and even has some shades of being the Team Mom.
- Team Mom: Lilac does her best to take care of her teammates, even at her own expense.
- The Tease: Scarlet seems to be like this in general, but it's most pronounced with August, as she enjoys flirting with him and wearing revealing outfits around him to make him uncomfortable (although she may have other reasons for doing this).
- This Is Gonna Suck: Kavik basically has this to say about the huge horde of Nichts approaching the fortress near the end of Fortress of the Damned. Aiden has a similar moment in the next chapter after the red rain starts to fall. Aiden in particular seems more annoyed by how cliched it is than by the dangerous implications of it.
- Undying Loyalty: Giovanna inspires this in her soldiers, especially Grazia. When the first crop of soldiers escape from the Veil thanks to Tel and Noble, they decide to stay put just outside the edge and wait for Giovanna.
- Warrior Monk: North, who prays before and after killing people in battle.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Phenix calls out North a couple times for jumping to extremes, but North is adamant about his positions (although he does listen and try to see Phenixís side of things).
- What Kind of Lame Weapon is Love, Anyway?: Phenix's Testament Love is made fun of by some of the others, and even he doesnít understand the logistics of having a weapon that supposedly embodies love.