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Seven Psalms is an Alternate History/Low Fantasy Dark Fic created by Alice Asturias. The story has a very long timeline, with it's initial point of divergence being prehistoric, however the most significant point comes with the establishment of an Evil Empire of Vampires over Bronze Age China, creating a butterfly effect that reaches into the modern age, with the main story beginning in 2013, in the Republic of Alaska, where a young Japanese girl named Hotaru Satou meets with a mysterious older girl while visiting a Catholic Church for recommended sensitivity training. Hotaru becomes intrigued by her new acquaintance and goes on to follow her, before encountering a horrible creature in the wild forests of Alaska, only to be saved by an aloof, yet a roguish man who calls himself Valentin. From there on, Hotaru is roped into helping to foil a plot that goes back to the dawn of humanity, which has come to the Americas.

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This unfinished and unpublished work contains examples of:

  • The Alliance:
    • The Holy League: France, Castille-Aragon, Austria, Naples, Poland, Portugal and later Sweden (After the Swedish Purge)
    • The Great Heathen Alliance: Consisting of the last Pagan countries in Europe: Knut the Fair's Great Heathen Empire of Norway, the Romani Kingdom of Mirga, and the Kingdom of Lithuania. Russia, despite being a Muslim nation, was in alliance against Christendom due to Realpolitik.
    • The Twin Kingdoms: An alliance between Korea and Japan on the basis of the shared Nestorian Christianity.
  • Alien Space Bats: There is very much a supernatural bend in the history of this world, in spite of it more or less being our world.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • Roughly around the 1700s, The Kingdoms of Lombardy and Naples pass an Act of Unions, that unites the historical rival kingdoms in the north and south into a "United Kingdom of Italy and Sicily"
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    • Egypt is in massive decline following the Great War and massive partitioning of the Fatimid Empire, however, it is saved by way of an aspiring ex-general who declares a democratic nationalist movement and pushes for westernization of the former Islamic state into a Western Style Democracy.
    • The sun never sets on the French Empire.
    • Quebec, a colonial successor who seeks to spread from sea to sea across America, and Australia, a former French penal colony.
    • The Yukon Creoles and the Yukon Wars show similarities to the Boers of our South Africa.
    • The Hong Restoration
    • In the 19th century, a German-Italian philosopher from Tirol named Ludovico Lang ends up writing and developing a philosophy and economic system based on working-class control of production and equal distribution of wealth. This philosophy becomes extremely influential across Europe and Asia in the early 20th century, to the fear and chagrin of traditional monarchist and capitalist imperial powers. This ideology becomes known as Langism, and its descendants become collectively called Communism, and less extreme derivatives were called Socialism.
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    • One of Lang's disciples, a Frenchman named Dimitri Chevrolet, had a harsh falling out with Lang after Lang denounced all forms of nationalism. Chevrolet, a strong French nationalist and supporter of racialism, decided to take the socialist principles of Langism, and implement his own ideas of imperialism, nationalism, and racism. The result was what he termed "National Socialism". Chevrolet's philosophy would have as much a strong reception as Lang's, coming to its ultimate zenith when the National Socialist Party of England, under Prime Minister Andre Jackson, rose to power in England, annexing Scotland and Denmark, before invading Norway and starting the Great War.
    • The Great War and the Red War are basically stand-ins for World War 1 and 2 in this universe.
  • A Love to Dismember: Yu wears a necklace with the teeth of her greatest enemy, the Baiyue chieftain Bak Kue/Fujiu, as a reminder of her victory over him.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Yu is said to have had 15 husbands as empress that she keeps as contracts of fealty to the Heilong.
  • Alternate History: A very ancient one, with the recorded history of the world going back to roughly 1900 BC
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • Volodymyr. He is willing to do anything to get ahead and has a nasty case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
    • Andre Jackson, the far-right leader of the National Socialist Party of England. He was characterized by his all-consuming desires for power, brought about by a young adulthood that he felt had not given him what he deserved, and by a society that had crushed his ambitions of being a writer. Andre would use his power to "cleanse society" by way of mass killings of those he deemed immoral or detrimental to English society.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Axe of Heilong for Yu.
  • Anachronic Order
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of those who's souls are sealed within the Axe of Heilong, said to be a hellish Fate Worse than Death.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The Order of the Black Dragon
  • Arranged Marriage: Yu is sold off by her tribe, the Yin, as a tribute to the Gao Emperor.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Once Volodymyr has no more use for Yu when she has cleared out the Turkmens from his lands, he resolves to get rid of her. This does not end well for him.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Inverted with the Baiyue, who are viewed as savage and barbaric by the Chinese, among whom long hair is the custom. They in fact, point out the Baiyue's shaved heads as a barbaric trait.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Baiyue are portrayed like this from Yu's point of view.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Lys falls squarely into this.
  • Black Magician Girl: Garci, the party's designated witch.
  • Black Widow: Yu arose to power by killing her original husband, the Gao Emperor, and his other wives. She is quick to dispose of husbands who are useless to her.
  • Brother–Sister Incest:
    • The Shang began the tradition of brother-sister marriage under Tang the Magnificent, who married his sisters to keep the bloodline pure. This practice persisted among the Chinese until it was ended by a second Tang, Tang the Gentle, of the early Zhou dynasty.
    • The Jassic khans would keep their first sibling as a spouse as a show of their authority over the lives of their clansmen. Django the Great did this as well to show his power, as well as his integration into Jassic customs over Romani tradition.
  • Burn the Witch!:
    • Witches (that is, humans with the ability to use magic) had long been persecuted for a mixture of religious reasons, as well as their implicit origin as mixes of humans and vampires.
    • Less literally, the Ming had a habit of routinely carrying out hunts for heretics and people whose beliefs fell out of their ideas of acceptable Chinese thought. The result was the near death of all magic users and mystics in China, the complete extermination of Christians, Jews, and many non-Chinese pagans and a drastic reduction of Buddhists and Muslims.
    • The Korean Reformation, in which the fundamentalist Reformists began to wage holy war on the established Korean Orthodox Church.
    • The Japanese Troubles was characterized by severe religious violence between the rebel Japanese Catholic Union, and the Japanese state, which was supported by Nestorian death squads who patrolled both areas under Japanese occupation, as well as completely peaceful areas, looking to drive out Catholics wherever they found them. Likewise, in the south, Catholic militias were well known to persecute Nestorians.
  • The Caligula: Tang the Magnificent
  • Chastity Couple: Akimitsu and Kyoko; the two are deeply in love, however they refrain from sexual intimacy due to Kyoko's vows. Later Kyoko withdraws from sancitifed life to commit herself to Akimitsu's cause, and the two later have a child together named Maryam.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Subverted. You don't fuck with France.
  • Civil War: Japan underwent severe sectarian violence in the 1960s between the Nestorian and Catholic Christians.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Yu has Bak Kue killed by skinning him alive and then burning him publicly. She mad herself a cloak out of his distinctive tattooed skin.
    • Sui after convincing the Yin to dispose of Yu. However, the Yin quickly betray him, by having his arms and legs pulled off of his body by machines, and then beating him to death with iron clubs until he was, as they described, "little more than a pile of ground meat and bone shards, not even recognizable as a corpse."
    • Dyrantis, who is trampled to death by his prized war horses by order of Yu.
    • Trung, who is shot by a full armies worth of arrows before cutting open her own throat as a suicide statement.
    • Anyone caught by the Ming, who had a habit of boiling their prisoners alive.
    • Django kills Adolf of Bremen for annoying him and demanding he back his claim to overthrow the king of Bavaria. He does this by gouging his eyes out, puncturing his skull, and pouring molten gold into his eye sockets and into his brain cavity. He says that for the last moments of his life, he can see nothing but the riches he desired.
    • After seeing him rape her mother, Emilie kills her father by shooting him point blank with a musket in the chest, leaving him to drown in his own blood in the forest. Given the nature of muskets at this time, while fitting, his death is still extremely gruesome.
    • Muça pushes Ferodente into a wood chipper during their battle.
  • Decadent Court:
    • The Shang. They were arguably worse than the Heilong as emperors. It comes to it's ultimate zenith of depravity under Tang the Magnificent, who began to marry his sisters as a way of keeping "pure Shang blood" in realm, and his successor, Zhao the Accursed, who caused a famine because he horded all the grain and meat of his lands to hold daily parties and orgies for the Shang nobility. Combine all of this with their preservation of Heilong human sacrifice.
    • Aiko, the first true emperor of the Myojo dynasty, is a complete bastard and a direct inversion of his noble brother, Akimitsu. (Akimitsu was officially the first Emperor, as he was said to have been ordained as the divine ruler of Japan by Jesus Christ himself in a vision; however he died in the battle of Heian, and thus his brother took over). He rules in a reign of terror until he is killed by his niece, Maryam.
  • Egopolis: During the Mirga Clan's rule over Moravia, Django renamed Bratislava to Djangasakhar, roughly translating to "Django's City".
  • Evil Prince:
    • Heilong Sui
    • Aiko
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Alaska was a major receiver of immigration from Asia, particularly Japan and China. Hotaru grows up in a Japanese ghetto in New Arkangel called Shin Nihon, while a center of Chinese settlement exists to the south in New Kharkov.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The 200-year reign of terror that was Heilong Yu's leadership over China.
  • Goth: Quite a few
    • Heilong Yu
    • Django Mirga
    • Helga von Bremen
    • Emilie Boucher
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • Witches, who are purported to be the result of intermixing between vampires and humans
    • Later revealed as the origins of the Vampires, who are the result of an attempt by the Vampire Purebloods to preserve their species and legacy after the collapse of their civilization, by using magic to alter the genetics of the closely related human species.
  • Human Sacrifice: The hallmark of the Heilongs, and later the Shang.
    • Tang the Gentle is said to have committed autosacrifice, sliting his own wrists and allowing himself to bleed over a shrine to Shenlong, the Dragon God of Water, when a massive drought threatened to destroy all of China. It is said that when all the blood in his body had seeped into the shrine, and he died, the rain finally fell for the first time in almost a year.
  • Girl Meets Girl
  • Idiot Crows
  • Inspirational Martyr:
    • Bak Kue, who became a symbol of resistance against invaders for the Vietnamese after the legend of his brutal death became widespread. Known to them as Phục Cứu, he was invoked not only in resistance to Chinese occupation but as a patron in battles against the Japanese and the French. While in Chinese he has the derogatory name 𠬝灸 (Fujiu, comprised of characters meaning "to submit" and "to burn with wood" (in reference to his surrender and death by immolation)) in Vietnam his name was traditionally spelled with the characters 服九 (Qiver + Nine, said to reference his skill as an archer and his leadership over a 9 confederation army that united most of the Baiyue).
    • Trung, a Baiyue woman who fought against the Shang after her sisters were kidnapped by Tang the Magnificent as concubines. Trung lead the last of the Baiyue against the Chinese, and ultimately died in the Seige of Erjiang, where, according to legend, seeing there was no way to defeat the Chinese army, Trung ran into the army and was shot down by a rain of arrows before killing herself in front of the enemy, symbolizing the presence of the Yue to die than live under subjugation. The 6th Century Vietnamese Trung Dynasty claimed to be descendants of Trung's youngest sister, who fled to Vietnam following the defeat of her sister's rebellion, and the 20th-century communist revolutionary who fought against the French Empire, Le Bich, fought under the nom de guerre of Trung.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople):
    • It's Constantiople, not Istanbul
    • It's New Archangel, not Sitka
    • It's New Kharkov, not Vancouver
    • It's Ft. Ross' not Seattle
    • It's Jaune-Couteau, not Yellowknife
    • It's Hanseong, not Seoul
    • It's Scopi, not Skopje
    • It's Helvetia, not Switzerland
    • It's Pannonia, not Hungary
    • It's Majaristan, not Afghanistan
  • Kangaroo Court: If the Ming even give you a trial when accused of heresy or witchcraft, expect it to be this.
  • Knight Templar:
    • Queen Christina of Sweden. Her claim to fame was the abolition of the Church of Sweden and the restoration of Roman Catholic authority over Sweden, in what had come to be termed "The Final Crusade" or "The Swedish Purge".
    • Fang Jun, the founder and leader of the Army of Ming, and later the first Ming Emperor. A fanatical Manichaean, Jun is wholely blinded by his devotion to the Light and God, and cannot be reasoned with.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Order of the Black Dragon. Humans who worship the vampires and seek to restore their rule over humanity.
  • Les Yay: Hotaru's entire initial motivation is pursuing Émilie, who she believes is in danger from the vampires, and who she also finds attractive and alluring.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Ming. Their name means bright or shining, however, they were absolutely brutal in war, with little regard for the people they claim to be protecting, and as an imperial dynasty, they were quick to institute moral purges and persecute those they saw as dangers to society. They were single-handedly responsible for the complete purge of Christians from China and 300 years of kangaroo courts and brutal executions of those accused of vampirism or witchcraft during their hunts.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Django the Great
  • Mêlée à Trois: The Franco-Spanish War, with France and its allies, against Castille and its allies, and Japanese Catholic rebels in control of Kyushu who want to drive out the Portuguese, who are allied with France.
  • Name's the Same: Cheondoism, which is a syncretic religion mixing Christianity and Buddhism from 11th century Korea.
  • Nuns Are Mikos: The true Miko tradition more or less died out in Japan following its conversion to Nestorian Christianity in the 11th Century. However, the tradition partially survived as the acolytes, young children and teenagers who volunteer with their church and serve minor roles.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Vampires are more like a subspecies of human ( with a partially supernatural origin) than as demonic creatures. They are not harmed by the sun (though it is more difficult for them to see in the light), and they are not affected by things like silver or holy objects.
  • Parental Incest: Sui uses his position as Gao's favored son to pressure Yu, his step-mother, into an ongoing sexual relationship with him. Sui believes that Yu is more fitting as his lover than his father's wife, as she is roughly his age, and Gao has little interest in her outside of her use as a political token to maintain the alliance with the Yin. Yu does not enjoy this, but for the most part feels unable to do anything about it lest Sui have her punished on false charges. Later Sui breaks off the relationship when Yu comes into Gao's favor due to her quick rising ranks, as Sui falls out of his favor.
  • Planet of Hats: The Chinese Dynasties can all be distinguished by certain traits that the Imperials all seem to share:
    • The Xia are characterized as ineffective mystics who seem more interested in cultivating spiritualism than focusing on secular matters.
    • The Heilong are vampire rulers and have a sort of dark and evil, demonic aspect to them.
    • The Shang are decadent and depraved rulers who sadistically torment their subjects while hiding away in their bronze palaces full of excess and orgies.
    • The Zhou are a dynasty of stern, disciplined, cultured badasses who go about fixing the centuries of damage left by their predicessors.
    • The Qin are a short and brutal rule that is initially organized and powerful, but quickly falls into disorder as the emperor becomes more and more insane over time, as does his borderline demonic son.
    • The Tsang are a Barbarian Tribe run by Turks and Hun remnants who are more interesed in being barbarians and indulging in food and women than actually running the empire.
    • The Han are a golden age of just and righteous emperors who set China on the right path.
    • The Neo-Heilongs are Always Chaotic Evil vampires who are fanatically awaiting the return of their empress.
    • The Liao, another Barbarian Tribe comprised of evicted Khitans trying to etch out their own land.
    • The Zhao are a group of Tangut mountain tribes who were pushed out by the Khitans and seeking refugee. The once they take over all of China, they later become the Qiang Dynasty, a dynasty of foreigners who barely understand their subjects, and seek to push their new religion of Christianity onto their subjects whether they like it or not.
    • The Song, a pacifistic empire of Dirty Cowards.
    • The Ming, a brutal, fanatical empire run by Holier Than Thou emperors who love to purge heretics and heathens.
    • The Shun, a restored stable empire, though ineffective and being beset at all sides by Europeans at the height of colonization.
    • the Hong, the zealously modernizing empire that modernized the empire through the Hong Restoration, bringing them up to a level to compete with Europe, at the cost of traditional ways of life.
    • The Xin, ultranationalists who wanted to forcibly bring China back to traditional ways and close it off to the outside world forever.
    • The Shan, the struggling constitutional monarchist dynasty fighting to hold onto its power in the face of an increasingly powerful democratic parlilmentary system.

  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hotaru and Valentin
  • Religion of Evil: The Heilong Cult and it's organized form, The Black Dragon. Human sacrifice and dark gods galore.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Yu removes Volodymyr's feet as a response to his attempted betrayal. However, as she liked him, she allowed him to live.
  • Rule of Two: While training under her teacher, Kong, he and Yu develop a sort of master and apprentice relationship as Yu rises the ranks to become only second in command to him in the priesthood. This tradition would continue, as a Grand Priest and their apprentice, long after the Heilong's demise as emperors, persisting in the hierarchy of the Order of the Black Dragon.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Adele, later revealed to be Lys of Athens
  • Start My Own: Django's reaction to the Khaganate when Nikhala, the Jassic Khagan, refuses to allow him to ascend to Khan status with the Mirga as a proper tribe in the Khanate
  • The Empire:
    • The Black Empire in the Middle Ages
    • The Heilong Dynasty in Bronze Age China
    • The New World Empire
  • The Theocracy:
    • Russia, which had assumed the Caliphate in the middle ages and holds it to the modern day.
    • All the Heilong States
    • The Empire of Japan both under the Pagan Yamato Dynasty and the Nestorian Myōjō Dynasty.
  • Vampire Monarch:
    • Yu as well as the other Heilongs (Gao, Heilong Sui)
    • Dyrantis the Greek, and his Black Empire
    • Volodymyr, as Hetman of the Khanate of Vladimir.
    • Lys attempts to become this with her New World Empire.
  • Waif Prophet: Kyoko (born as Gyeong [鏡]), a Korean Nestorian Nun who is kidnapped by pirates and taken into slavery in Heian. That is until she recieves visions from Jesus Christ and escapes Heian, encountering the travelling warrior Akimitsu, eventually becoming something of the prophetess and apostle to Japan.
  • War Is Hell: Every war just seems to get progressively more and more horrible without any sign of stopping.
  • Warrior Poet:
    • The Proto-Samurai Akimitsu and his brother Aiko.
    • Al-Sadiq of the Fatimids
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Fang Jun's entire reasoning for creating the Army of Ming was the threat of the Heilong Remnants invading the Song Empire. He was ultimately right and was successful in expelling and destroying them, but his own moral zealotry and devotion to fundamentalist Manichaeism would cause great misery to those under his rule and the rule of his descendants.
    • Ajal Muhammad ibn Abdurahman al-Sadiq's desires to unify his empire religiously lead to the deaths of thousands of Sunni Muslims and Orthodox Christians, but did succeed in promoting unity under a Shia state.

Characters

Main Party
Hotaru Satou
"Everyone dreams of being a hero some time in their life"

The child of Japanese immigrants living in the Republic of Alaska, Hotaru is a zealous young woman with a strong sense of justice. Beneath her ethnic and religious chauvinism, she genuinely wants nothing more than a better world, and wants to help make it a reality however possible.

Miroslav "Mira" Jakhjavich Petrov

Emilie Boucher
"Maybe we'll meet again someday"A Mysterious Woman who Hotaru develops an attraction too. She's quite the skilled fighter and is far more than one would initially think when seeing her.

Vampires
Heilong Yu

Lys d'Athenes
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