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Fanfic / Darkest Dungeon, Blazing Bright

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Darkest Dungeon, Blazing Bright by Zone Adv 944 is a crossover between Trails in the Sky and Darkest Dungeon.

After a request to retrieve an artifact went extremely wrong, Estelle finds herself in the Hamlet with Joshua nowhere to be seen. In order to make sense of the world around her as well as looking for her lover, Estelle decides to join The Heir's band of adventurers to help them cleanse the corruption that plagues the land. Back in Zemuria, Kevin Graham is spearheading the investigation to make sense of the artifact and hopefully bring Estelle and Joshua home.


The fic can be found on, Archive of Our Own, SpaceBattles, and SufficientVelocity.

This fic provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The fic adds more to the pasts of certain adventurers, beyond what's already been shown in their backstory comics.
    • The enemy civilization Reynauld fought against during his Crusade heavily utilizes necromancy for military use, including resurrecting fallen enemy soldiers as combatants.
    • William the Houndmaster had a wife and several children, who were all murdered by his former colleagues.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection:
    • Reynauld the Crusader and Baldwin the Leper are implied to have fought together in the past.
    • Reynauld also fought against necromancers during his Crusade, which explains his hatred against them and the undead in general.
    • The Prophet is strongly to implied to be a pet project of sorts by the necromancer coven in the Ruins.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Prophet has the ability to summon cultists to his aid, not that it helps him.
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    • The Necromancer Lord is able to raise the Hamlet's dead en masse and is implied to be working on a larger project.
    • On top of her canon skills with the Bo staff, Estelle is fairly proficient at hand-to-hand combat (implied to be the Eight Leaves One Blade school's unarmed form).
  • Adult Fear: Cassius experiences this thanks to his children (both adopted and biological) disappearing during an extremely dangerous situation.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • Interlude 1 is focused on Cassius and Renne, along with several members of the Liberl cast, celebrating Estelle's birthday party in her absence.
    • Interlude 2 is centered around Wazy Hemisphere going to Crossbell to look for leads on the artifact that caused Estelle and Joshua's disappearance.
  • And This Is for...: Said verbatim by Joshua as he kills a phantom copy of Georg Weissmann.
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  • Artifact of Doom: What caused Estelle and Joshua's disappearance. The Gralsritter is running experiments on it to see how to activate it and bring back the two Bracers.
  • Bad Dreams: Estelle has one after fighting the zombies summoned by the Necromancer Lord. It's about her friend Tita getting killed by what is strongly implied to be her zombified grandfather.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The fic is this to both franchises it crosses over. Combat is far more visceral, and injuries are often described in graphic detail.
  • Breather Episode: Interlude 1 is about Estelle and Joshua's friends and family hosting a birthday party for them in their absence.
  • Call-Back:
    • Estelle reflects on the events of Trails in the Sky SC after the battle with The Prophet, noting that unlike that time, Joshua is trying to look for her as well.
    • Estelle references her mother's sacrifice several times and describes it as her motivation for being a Bracer.
    • Georg Weissmann and Loewe appear to Joshua in the Farmstead.
  • Call-Forward: One to canon where Agate mentions Tita wants to study overseas, referencing her appearance in Trails of Cold Steel 3.
  • Combat Medic: With her healing Arts and combat experience, this is essentially Estelle's role in most expeditions.
  • Comet of Doom: The meteor that crashes into the Farmstead is this, especially considers what happens afterwards...
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Crossbell games are referenced several times, and Lloyd Bannings himself (the protagonist of the Crossbell arc) is namedropped as well.
    • During the birthday chapter, Kloe references an event from Trails in the Sky FC where Joshua dressed up as a princess for a school play.
    • A few characters references the adventures they had in Phantasma (the events of the 3rd Trails in the Sky game).
    • While discussing a recent attack on an Imperial patrol, Rufus mentions he doesn't have to bring in Rean Schwarzer for a second trip to Crossbell, referencing Rean's run-in with Lloyd and Rixia during Cold Steel 2's Divertissement chapter.
    • Estelle and Joshua use their Combination Craft from Zerono Kiseki to take down Loewe and his clones.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The skeleton army, numbering in the hundreds and mounting a surprise attack on the Hamlet from the wiped out by a single Art cast by Estelle.
    • Without his undead lackies, the Necromancer Lord is dispatched with ease.
    • The husks are no match for Joshua, who slices through them with ease. The Brigand Cannon does not fare any better.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All the adventurers are this as seen in their origin comics. There's also a couple of additions.
    • Reynauld was involved in a rescue operation, only to discover the prisoners were already dead and resurrected by an enemy necromancer as cannon fodder.
    • The Houndmaster lost his entire family to the corrupt lawmen he worked alongside after he discovered their involvement in a series of kidnappings.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • Estelle stops by the cemetery to pay tribute to the fallen adventurers who came before her, promising to do her best as the sole representative of the Bracer Guild in the Hamlet.
    • Joshua delivers one to Mildred after her death and hopes she's finally free from the eternal torment of the Farmstead.
  • Eldritch Location: The meteor's impact turns the Farmstead into this, just like in canon. Time and space no longer function normally, the entire place is infested with some kind of otherworldly crystal, and dead enemies from Estelle and Joshua's past show up.
  • Enemy Civil War: Unlike in canon Darkest Dungeon where different types of enemies can be in the same party, the monsters do attack each other.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Necromancer Lord is shown to be planning something, and Estelle visits the cemetery a few chapters later. It turns out part of the Necromancer Lord's plan is to raise the Hamlet's dead to wreak havoc.
    • The Darkest Dungeon itself is namedropped at the end of one chapter, along with a reference to a great power slumbering within...
    • Joshua sees the long-dead Loewe while trapped in the Farmstead. At the end of chapter 17, Loewe makes his debut introduces himself to Estelle's party and battles them in the next chapter.
  • Fish out of Water: Both Estelle and Joshua have to deal with how dark and brutal the Darkest Dungeon world is as well as the complete absence of Orbal technology aside from their own gear.
  • Harmful Healing: The Occultist's infamous "0 heal + bleed combo" is described in graphic detail, forcing Estelle to use her own healing Arts to compensate.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Estelle gets hit with this twice after being severely injured. Once during her fight with the Prophet and the other time with a Swinetaur.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Collector is definitely this. Estelle instinctively knows it's something that shouldn't be roaming the land of the living, and the narration describes it as something that merely looks human but clearly isn't.
  • Kill It with Fire: Used by Estelle to permanently dispatch The Prophet and deal with the zombies summoned by the Necromancer Lord.
  • Kill It with Water: Estelle uses Maelstrom, the most powerful water Art in the first two Cold Steel games to wipe out a massive skeleton army attacking the Hamlet.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The arc where Estelle reunites with Joshua is named after the chapter in Trails in the Sky SC where they do just that.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • The Ancestor is named Ambrosius in this fic, after the common fan nickname for him.
    • Most of the adventurers have their default names from Darkest Dungeon's game files.
    • The Caretaker is named Alfred in this fic.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • No details are given about the creatures fought by Kevin and Ries in the ruins Estelle and Joshua disappeared in beyond some vague descriptions. Whatever they were, Kevin is in no hurry to fight them any time soon.
    • Tita's corpse in Estelle's nightmare is never described in any graphic detail beyond her blonde hair being stained with blood.
    • The only detail revealed about thing the Necromancer Lord is working on in is that it's made up of multiple corpses, and nothing else. It's also covered by a tarp to obscure its features. It's revealed later on it's an undead monstrosity made by combining multiple corpses taken from the Warrens.
  • Not Me This Time: Ouroboros, the Greater-Scope Villain of the KisekiSeries, isn't responsible for Estelle and Joshua's disappearance. In fact, they didn't even know about the artifact responsible which kicked off the events of the story.
  • Off with His Head!: Reynauld finishes off the Necromancer Lord by cutting off his head.
  • Oh, Crap!: Estelle has this reaction when she finds a piece of Liber Ark in the Farmstead.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • The normally upbeat and cheerful Estelle is driven to tears and resorts to alcohol because of the aftermath of a zombie attack in which several villagers died.
    • Zeit freaks out at the sight of Darkest Dungeon's stress symbol, implying he's had a really bad past run-in with whatever it represents.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: Chapter 16's narration mentions that not only did Estelle get three scars on her face, but she's also been having nightmares about the undead after her battle with the Necromancer Lord.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Estelle collapses to her knees and pukes her guts out after the Necromancer Lord is killed.
  • The Power of Love: Strongly be implied to be what's preventing Joshua from going insane or corrupted by the Farmstead.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Chapter 19 ends just as Estelle and Joshua strip naked before sex without going into much detail on the act itself. Chapter 20 picks up from the aftermath.
  • Shout-Out:
    None of them had flowers or any gifts laid in front either. Martyrs, unmourned and unremembered.
  • Stress Vomit: Estelle is subjected to this during an expedition to the Warrens.
  • We Need a Distraction: Attempted by the Necromancer Lord in an attempt to wipe out the Hamlet. It involves distracting the Hamlet's defenders with a attack from the Old Road, then marching an even bigger army straight out of the sea into the Hamlet. Fortunately for the entire Hamlet, Reynauld realizes the feint in time.
  • Wham Line:
    • The people investigating Estelle and Joshua's disappearance find a recurring symbol in the ruins the two Bracers went missing in. People familiar with Darkest Dungeon know exactly what it entails...
    He'd jotted down the symbol — a downward arch dotted with five equally-spaced inward-facing spikes — but nobody seemed to recognize it.
    • During a conversation between Rufus and Lechter, the former brings up a mysterious individual seen by multiple eye witnesses. It's the Collector appearing in Zemuria for the first time.
    "According to your report, every witness had reported seeing a tall figure with some sort of glowing headgear on the hills prior to the attack,” Rufus said. “What do you make of that?”
    • An enemy in the Farmstead introduces himself at the end of chapter 17. Said enemy has been dead for over two years.
    “I am Leonhardt, formerly Enforcer No. II of the Society of Ouroboros,”
  • Zerg Rush: The Necromancer Lord attempts to overwhelm the Hamlet with a massive skeleton army rising out of the sea. It would have worked if Reynauld didn't realize their plans sooner.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Necromancer Lord's dark magic causes all of the Hamlet's dead to rise out of the cemetery, but Estelle and the other adventurers manage to stop them before things can get worse. It's revealed later on that some of his magic leaked into Zemuria and caused at least two small-scale zombie attacks.