The Kingdom of Naroni
"Wedding this, pregnancy that, someone's dead and everywhere you look there's a kid with the duke's face.
is an ongoing Machinomic
illustrated with The Sims 2
. The series debuted as a possible Royal Kingdom Challenge
, but the author abandoned the idea of a free-play blog very quickly, instead opting to use the game to stage the illustrations for a pre-scripted story.
The serial takes place in the titular kingdom, which is located somewhere in continental Europe
(though the occasional hint and outright Word of God
indicate that it is somewhere in the France/Spain area) from the year 1155 A.D. onward. Its genre is somewhat ambiguous, possibly a Fantasy
or possibly Historical Fiction
(although if one were to classify it as such, it would be an admittedly historically-inaccurate one
). The story stars an Ensemble Cast
and features several story arcs, both completed and ongoing.
The story can be found here
- Absolute Cleavage - Holladrin.
- Arranged Marriage - All over the place.
- Severin and Alina kick off the plot by subverting this trope (Alina was supposed to marry Severin's older brother) and running away together.
- The Arranged Marriage of Alina's niece Lileina and Medea's younger brother Cambrin introduces many of the relatives left back in Dovia, and is the setting for Dalston and Geneva sleeping together.
- Severin's refusal to do this to his children is often a bone of contention between him and other nobles.
- King Roderick, on the other hand, is only too eager to do this to his children.
- And many more ...
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence - Deian and his posse—but like Severin said at one point, Deian's never really gone...
- Attractive Bent-Gender - Ashe didn't turn out too badly.
- For a community challenge, the author did a gender-swapped version of a post involving Severin, Alina, and Laralita. A male reader commented on Girl-Severin's appearance.
- Bi the Way - Searle Kemorin and likely Aydelle as well. Also possibly Ailede and Geneva.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead - Holladrin (blonde), Celina (brunette), Alina (redhead).
- Also Rona (blonde), Hilla Diarn (brunette), Riona Kemorin (redhead).
- Severin's three older sons: Jadin (redhead), Searle (blond), and Lonriad (dark-haired).
- Bonding Over Missing Parents - Celina and Aldhein do this in one post, noting that both of their mothers died giving birth to them.
- Bonus Material - Quite a few extras links for a machinomic...
- Break His Heart to Save Him - Sparron ultimately does this with Searle.
- Bungled Suicide - Sparron.
- Catch Phrase - Roderick's "I am a king, damn it!"
- Cerebus Syndrome - Many of the early posts are comedic in nature, but these now seem to be in decline in favor of more dramatic or at least two-sided posts.
- Character Alignment - As an extra, the author once whipped up a Dorkly-esque alignment chart featuring nine of the characters in the various slots. The chart can be viewed here◊.
- Character Development - The story begins with an almost experimental feel, as if the author is playing around with different ideas and trying to figure out just who they are. As it progresses, the characters grow stronger and more distinct.
- Chekhov's Gun - Remember that pond where everyone used to have sex?
- Childhood Friend Romance - Severin and Alina.
- The Dovia Diaries prequels also show Octavius entertaining a little of this for Holladrin.
- Christianity Is Catholic - Sort of justified considering the time period.
- Crazy Enough to Work - Lorn plans to chase off Deian by appealing to his sadistic nature via prescripted conversation. It actually works.
- Deadpan Snarker - Florian, and a few other characters on occasion.
- Death by Childbirth - A few instances, most notably Electra and Honora.
- Death Is Dramatic - Demonstrated by the fact that the deaths of major characters like Dalston and Alina got more emphasis and buildup than the deaths of characters like Honora or King Farilon of Dovia.
- Death Notification - Happens on occasion, particularly near the beginning of the serial.
- Death of the Hypotenuse - Medea and Norwan.
- Decoy Protagonist - At the start, it looks like it's going to be a story about Roderick. Enter Severin.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight - In perhaps the biggest Tear Jerker of a post to date, a dying Alina tells Severin that "I always wanted to die in your arms". He complies with that wish.
- Dirty Old Monk - Fathers Quartus, Quintus, Sextus and Septimus.
- Brother Remiel shows the absolute worst of this trope during an early appearance, but it's not long after that when pervy behavior is the least of anyone's Remiel-related concerns...
- Double In-Law Marriage - Falidor, whose sister Nora is the second wife of Severin, falls in love with and eventually marries Raia, Severin's eldest daughter from his marriage to Alina. Thus, Falidor is both brother-in-law and son-in-law to Severin.
- And as if those two families aren't already connected enough, Falidor's brother Rifden marries Severin's half-sister Aerina.
- Driven to Suicide - Riona Andronei is driven to suicide out of pining for twin brother. Also, Sparron attempts suicide at one point, but is unsuccessful.
- Dying Moment of Awesome - While the actual event occurs between posts, most readers seem to agree that Geneva's taking her daughter Eilyssa's place as Deian's Human Sacrifice was pretty awesome of her.
- Eats Babies - Deian, apparently.
- According to Brother Remiel's bio page, he once ate a kitten.
- Ensemble Cast - The various storylines also allow for Rotating Protagonists.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex - ...seriously.
- Everyone Is Related - This is particularly true of the painfully inbred nobility.
- Formerly Fat - Garrett, apparently.
- For the Evulz - Deian.
- Four Temperament Ensemble - The original noblemen: Severin is sanguine, King Roderick is choleric, Octavius is melancholic, Dalston is phlegmatic.
- The original noblewomen too: Alina is melancholic, Geneva is sanguine, Medea is choleric, Celina is phlegmatic.
- This could also apply to Severin and Alina's daughters (Raia = sanguine, Viridis = phlegmatic, Riona = choleric, Vera = melancholic).
- Also, Isidro and his three cousins (Augustin = choleric, Bernardo = sanguine, Casimiro = phlegmatic, Isidro = melancholic).
- Freudian Excuse - A few instances:
- Much of Severin's behaviour in the beginning seems to be rooted in trying to be the exact opposite of his father. They eventually patch things up.
- Aldhein also shows this tendency. His father was an abusive drunk who ended up dragging him all around Dovia and relied on him for everything.
- Isidro's self-esteem has been virtually wiped out by his father—this after finding his mother's hanging corpse and then accidentally getting his brother killed half a year later.
- Searle. Minara.
- Gayngst - There is an entire ongoing arc about this. The angst gets to the point where Sparron decides that he can't deal with the conflicted feelings brought on by his relationship with Searle and attempts to kill himself.
- Gender Bender - A rare female-to-male example occurs when Aspen is not entirely specific in her wording when wishing for Rona's happiness. All things considered, however, this could possibly work out.
- Geographic Flexibility - The size and population of Naroni are both quite ambiguous. Also, new castles just seem to appear out of nowhere whenever someone is knighted
- Granted, a lot of time passes between individual posts (usually at least a month), so maybe that excuses it.
- Get It Over With - Searle Minara doesn't seem content to wait for death. Lucky for him, he does get better.
- Girlfriend in Canada - Inverted with a male suitor Aspen made up to dissuade Rona from trying to set her up with random boys. Hilla calls the bluff, noting inconsistencies in both the man's name and his occupation.
- God Before Dogma - This seems to be Severin's philosophy.
- Good Bad Girl - Aydelle, Riala, and arguably Geneva.
- Headdesk - Octavius does this a couple times.
- Heir Club for Men - Comes up every now and again. Unfortunately for Crown Princess Jeda, the royal family has a particularly strong subscription to this mentality.
- Heroic Bastard - Severin.
- Hot Dad - Due to the combined forces of Older Than They Look, Everybody Has Lots of Sex, and the fact that the story is set in a time before birth control was a societal staple, pretty much any fertile, reasonably attractive, heterosexual/bisexual male character eventually becomes this.
- Human Sacrifice - Deian uses Geneva as this.
- Hypocrisy Nod - A couple instances.
Falidor: We're all hypocrites, I guess. Perhaps you should just outlaw hypocrisy.
Severin: Ah, but if we are all hypocrites, would it not be hypocritical to outlaw hypocrisy?
- I Am Not My Father - Severin ...or is he?
- I'm a Humanitarian - Deian and Co.
: You might want to take that baby out of my sight, though; I'll admit that I'm feeling a tad peckish
- In the Hood - Geneva does this at one point. It seems to work.
- It Is Not Your Time - Searle Minara. Also, in one arc, Octavius and Severin, arguably. Dalston is not so lucky.
- I Want Grandkids - Oh God. Eliana de Cervantes.
- Kissing Cousins - Any two nobles are pretty much guaranteed to be related somehow, so there is plenty of this.
- Lampshade Hanging - Done on occasion, usually by means of Florian.
- Last Kiss - Severin and Alina.
- Law of Inverse Fertility - Played with somewhat in regards to Severin and Alina, who have no problem reproducing when they're careless, but they start being more cautious after Severin decides that they have enough children (seven!!). Alina, who suffers from a form of postpartum depression, silently resents this until she can't take it anymore and tells Severin that she wants another baby. They then have difficulty conceiving and Alina suffers a few miscarriages before dying of an ectopic pregnancy. Also, Medea, in spite of not wanting to have children with Octavius, gets pregnant almost immediately after letting him back into her bed.
- There's also Ietrin, who wants an heir and refuses to believe it could possibly be due to a problem with him instead of his wife, in spite of the fact that he took forever to knock up his mistress and has never had any speculated bastards before that.
- Like Father, Like Son - Severin to Lonriad.
- Lipstick Lesbian - Princess Camaline.
- Loads and Loads of Characters - To the point where One Steve Limit is meaningless.
- Locked Away in a Monastery - This seems to be the ultimate fear of most of the ruling class.
- Happened to Severin briefly, before he decided to give society the finger and run off with his brother's betrothed.
- Long Hair Is Feminine - Averted, as many of the major male characters have long-ish hair despite being portrayed as masculine.
- Love Dodecahedron - Cord courts Asalaye, who has a Foe Yay-filled Will They or Won't They? relationship with Lonriad. Lonriad is in turn being pursued by Rona, who is seemingly oblivious to Aspen's affection for her.
- Further complicated when Cord proposes to Asalaye's older sister Nanalie after their father tells him he won't consent to Asalaye's marriage until Nanalie has had at least an offer... and she accepts. He then seeks comfort by means of sleeping with Riala. They're caught by her angry brother.
- This is now resolved: Cord is forced to marry Riala, leaving Nanalie (contentedly) unattached. Asalaye is then officially courted by Lonriad until her father catches them in the act, after which another Shotgun Wedding ensues. Rona's brother Lorn then hosts a tournament for her hand, which is won by Ashe—a.k.a. Aspen post-unintentional (yet convenient) Gender Bender. The two undergo a trial courtship period with Rona ultimately agreeing to marry him. Meanwhile, Nanalie catches the eye of and eventually marries a young widower knight, Garrett.
- Madwoman in the Attic - Medea.
- Make It Look Like an Accident - Octavius threatens to do this to his son-in-law Ietrin on account of how poorly he treats Jeda.
- May-December Romance - Aldhein and Alsina, and later Falidor and Raia.
- Mommy Issues - Searle Minara toward Laralita.
- Morning Sickness - And lots of it.
- Multigenerational Household - A few instances of this, seeing as Generation Two has begun to reproduce but Generation One hasn't died off yet.
- Naked First Impression - When Thetis first meets Florian, she is in his kitchen (having been invited in by Electra) and Florian walks in from the bedroom... naked.
- The hilarity increases when he ends up covering his face.
- Naked on Arrival - Tavrin... but then again, he is almost always naked. Also Deian and Co. (who are also always naked).
- Nay-Theist - Severin at times.
- Never Accepted in His Hometown - Severin.
- No Periods, Period - Averted, seeing as a significant part of the story revolves around reproduction and its accompanying aspects.
- Obnoxious In-Laws - The Royal Family to... pretty much all of their in-laws.
- Laralita especially takes the cake here. Seriously.
- Odd Couple - Hints of this with sisters Nanalie and Asalaye.
- Older Than They Look - Most likely due to the limitations of the illustration platform, the surviving original characters don't look like they've aged much in the past twenty years. Also, Severin's father is looking mighty fine for a seventy-year-old great-grandfather.
- One Steve Limit - Absolutely turned on its head. Seriously, there are like a million Searles.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage - Dalston and Celina, although they do have their problems.
- Cambrin and Lileina seem to be shaping into this, but they don't get a lot of airtime between their wedding and Lileina's Death by Childbirth, so it's hard to tell.
- Lorn and Leara thus far.
- Prince Charmless - In the Dovia Diaries prequels, Roderick to Geneva.
- Also in the prequels, Rudolphus to Alina, though he isn't a prince.
- Ietrin to Jeda and to Raia when he was pursuing her.
- Second Love: Celina and Ovrean
- Severin and Nora is this for both of them.
- Also Viridis to Searle Andronei
- And Tarien to Arydath
- Shipper on Deck - Lonriad ships Ashe and Rona.
- Devidra ships Zareth and Mona, but mainly because it would benefit her.
- Shrug of God - "She's dying of random death date."
- Single-Target Sexuality - Lorn for Leara, as well as Aspen/Ashe for Rona.
- Sinister Minister - Brother Remiel.
- Sleeping Single - Ietrin and Jeda.
- STD Immunity - Considering the amount of carefree sex going on in this story, it's kind of a miracle that penises aren't falling off right, left and center.
- Straight Gay - Sparron (who is also something of an Armored Closet Gay). Also Casimiro.
- Sugar and Ice Personality - Rona throughout her teenage years.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver - Played with somewhat during the crusade arc, when both Isidro and Casimiro develop feelings for Riona, who is masquerading as a boy named Searle. Casimiro, however, is revealed to be gay and loses interest upon realizing that "Searle" is really a girl; meanwhile, Isidro has consciously known about Riona's true identity from the start.
- Sweet Polly Oliver - Wild child Riona Kemorin disguises herself as a boy in order to go on a crusade.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome - Severin, as well as his father and one (so far!) of his sons.
- Tangled Family Tree - Just look at it.
- The Beard - Sparron and Camaline act as this for each other, though their relationship starts off as an Arranged Marriage.
- The Family That Slays Together - Deian and Co. Domingo's family may have shades of this as well.
- The Heretic - Severin on many occasions.
- There Is Only One Bed - This happens with Riona Kemorin and Isidro, although it turns out that the situation was engineered by Isidro in order to get Riona to reveal her true sex.
- Tsundere - Arydath to Halford at times. Later, Arydath to Tarien—big time.
- Riona to Isidro, before they hooked up.
- Twincest - Fraternal twins Searle and Riona Andronei engage in a romantic relationship during their teen years. They are caught by their parents and forced to marry other people. They conceive a child on Riona's wedding night, who is then raised as her stepfather's daughter.
- Vitriolic Best Buds - Lorn and Searle Minara (Type 2).
- Jadin and Isidro seem to be shaping up to be this as well.
- Ashe and Lonriad also show shades of this.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield? - The most specific location Naroni is ever given is somewhere between France and Spain. Dovia is known to be east of Naroni, but that's it. A third fictional country, Carvallon, is occasionally mentioned and implied to be on the coast.
- Will They or Won't They? - Isidro de Cervantes and Riona Kemorin (They do).