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Fan Fic / Eigengrau

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"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add — but when there is nothing left to take away"
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars

Part of The Weedverse, Eigengrau depicts the beginning of Dim Dark's adventure outside his home in the Dark Spire, from which the infamous House of Dark has lived for centuries.

After rebelling against the systematic emotional and sexual abuse inflicted on all members of his family, Dim cannot return to the Dark Spire, and tries to lose himself in the Grittish Isles, making a living as a wizard for hire and believing himself beyond saving. He may be right, but there are those who won't give up on him yet.

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Now has a sequel, Eigengrau Zwei: Die Welt Ist Grau Geworden.


Eigengrau contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Dark Desire, who manipulated Dim and Darling into committing incest to control them and was responsible for Dim turning into an Umbrum for Grogar. For that matter, the entire House of Dark systematically abuses everyone inside it, but she's the one we've seen most of.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Grogar attempts to make one to Dim, threatening to take him by force if he will not obey willingly. Dim emphatically refuses.
  • Astral Projection: Princess Celestia and Princess Cadance talk to Dim this way, though he doesn't want to hear from them.
  • Baby Factory: Darling Desire has been taught from an extremely young age to be little more than a toy for Dim and to carry his foals. This is standard procedure for many House Dark mares.
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  • Background Magic Field: With the aid of hallucinogens, Dim uses magic from deeper into the earth than most mages do, as the magic infused into chalk and salt is less corrupted than the rest. Very few ponies are able to touch magic that far down, and tracking where the magic is being drawn from allows Celestia to locate Dim.
  • Badass Boast: Celestia continues to deliver:
    Princess Celestia: I am the cosmic light and my power is near-infinite. You will exhaust yourself should you keep running from me. Should you flee into the stars, know that I will find you. I am an uncountable, unconquerable number of suns that span entire galaxies.
  • Beam-O-War: Two unicorns can end up in one if the right circumstances are met, and at that point, it becomes nothing more than a battle of wills and magical power. Dim is lacking in the latter department, but makes up by fighting dirty. The magical nexus is a light source, a valid target for his spell. Suddenly plunging the fight into darkness is often sufficiently disconcerting to break his opponent's concentration and end the clash.
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  • Bigger on the Inside: The Dark Spire is bigger inside than the whole of Canterlot. Or at least, any suggestion it might not be is punished ruthlessly.note 
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The House of Dark qualify, producing more bad wizards than any other, using sexual and emotional abuse to control their young, quenching dissenters ruthlessly and having achieved purity of blood by only "intermingling" with each other. They have become less big of late though, due to losses to arrests and their physical weaknesses.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Dim is the result of it, although he doesn't know it until late in the prologue as his mother brings it up to try and manipulate him into staying. This also means that his relationship with Darling is even more incestuous, as she's his half-sister rather than just his cousin.
  • Casting a Shadow: Dim Dark's special spell is to make light sources radiate darkness instead. This is actually a corruption of his destiny caused by Dark Desire twisting him with dark magic.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: A frequent fate of those fighting Dim, including burning to death (sometimes with special effects), crushed beneath rocks, or facing a banshee howl.
  • Darker and Edgier: Easily the darkest of the Weedverse stories, with the direct depiction of an extremely abusive home life, and the most anti-heroic protagonist.
  • Dark Is Evil: The House of Dark employs the aesthetic implied by the trope, and has a not undeserved reputation for producing bad wizards.
  • Death by Childbirth: A frequent result of the House' haemophilia. Darling's mother died in childbirth.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: While Dim is recovering in Shepherd's Shore, a group of Grittish soldiers attack the town in retribution for missing taxes. Dim, due to being drugged up and in a very low point emotionally, snaps and misinterprets this as a ruse by bandits, something he has a duty to fight.
  • Dream Walker: Luna, as always, in this case she's trying to convince Dim to return home to Equestria. Also, he gets dreams of the Nameless One, much like Shēdo did, although significantly less pleasant, as in his case he drowns in her inky tears.
  • Emotion Eater: Grogar gains power from strife. When Darling makes an offer to Dim to join them, the retort that why should Grogar want them to stop fighting if he gains power from it seems to legitimately confuse her. The princesses find the retort amusing.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Dark Spire towers over the surrounding buildings, and is large enough that most members of the House never leave.
  • Fantastic Slur: Windian ponies are called "pointy-heads" by Grittish ponies because of their distinctive ears. One of them makes a joke of it, calling Dim (who has some Windian ancestry) a "pointy-headed pointy-head", due to his additional point.
  • Forbidden Zone: Anything outside major cities is this to Grittish authorities.
  • Functional Addict: Dim spends most of his time high on a variety of different drugs, but uses different mixes while on the job, invoking Higher Understanding Through Drugs rather than just recreational and medical effects. Unfortunately, when he gets unexpectedly thrust into a stressful situation, things go bad, quickly. Later, on Tortoise-Tuga, he "banishes" his addictions to avoid any fatal weakness while there.
  • Geas: Standard procedure is to inflict these upon anyone living in the Dark Spire, servant or noble alike. Dark Desire placed a special one on Dim, to keep him from attacking the family, but there's more to it than that, and none of the heroes know all the details.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Played With. The Darks believe that they should be powerful, so sell their souls for power, while Dim's willingness to work for what he wants prevents him being corrupted in the same way.
  • Hearing Voices: Princess Cadance leaves a bit of herself in Dim's head for a while. Shortly after she does, Dim goes on a drug-fueled rampage (see Dramatically Missing The Point, above). He's not entirely sure where the weeping is coming from.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: LSD interacts with the thaumaturgy glands, granting a deeper access and perception of magic, including vision into the astral plane, something that Dim exploits to be better at his job.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: After Darling comes looking for him, Dim decides to hunt down and kill the surviving Darks.
  • I Have a Family: Doesn't matter, it won't save you from Dim. After all, he killed his own family.
  • I Know Your True Name: The Sea Witch that Dim consults doesn't reveal her name because names have magic and power.
  • I'll Be in My Bunk: Dark Desire requests some "alone time" after a discussion with her son about how he's going to give her grandfoals. Dim Dark has an entirely reasonable response.
  • Improvised Weapon: Dim knows quite a lot of utility spells and other simple spells, and enjoys finding lethal uses for them. As the spells are so simple and low-power, they're often much more efficient than proper combat spells. This Boring, but Practical tendency was looked down by most of the House.
  • I Want Grandkids: Dark Desire is very keen on having grandfoals. Creepily so.
  • Just Following Orders: A variant is used by Dark Desire to justify Dire's treason note , after all, he was only a wizard for hire.
  • Kissing Cousins: The current expectation among the members of his House is for Dim to continue his relationship with his cousin, Darling Dark. Who's actually his half-sister.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Dim's special spell. The ability to make things dark isn't immediately obviously dangerous, but the psychological impact of suddenly being dropped into darkness shouldn't be underestimated, and if stuck on, say, a shield spell, it suddenly puts a massive incentive on dropping your defenses.
  • Lethal Joke Item: Stutter-Startle is viewed as little more than a foalhood prank by most serious casters, but its minimal energy requirements mean that when thrown by an adult wizard it can be made to penetrate most defenses. Once in place, it's a little disconcerting, but harmless...unless you're a wizard who needs to focus and speak clearly to fight properly.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: A symptom of Dim's ennui.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Dim has an older half-sibling, a demonspawn who was taken by her father within seconds of birth. She's the protagonist of Blank.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Dim suggests giving a potential employer a demonstration of his fighting skills, the bar empties very rapidly.
  • Mook Horror Show: The soldiers attacking Shepherd's Shore are subjected to the wrath of Dim Dark, and he makes an example of them. Particular standouts include melting their armour on them, dropping molten glass and turning them against each other.
  • The Namesake: "Eigengrau" is the colour perceived in the absence of light, and Dim's colouring (a dark grey), matches. Also, it's how he sees himself, a creature of darkness with no light.
  • Necromancer: Constable Knobby Russet hires Dim to deal with a zebra necromancer who's raising livestock.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Dim considers overkill a completely acceptable practice on the Grittish Isles.
  • Non-Human Undead: The zebra necromancer is raising chickens and cows as undead. Because of how his particular form of necromancy works, this means he also engages in another trope.
  • One-Man Army: Dim can quite casually go through a small army of pegasi. note 
  • Our Liches Are Different: Dark Desire becomes one because of Dim's attack on her. She was always planning to, he just accelerated the plan.
  • Place of Power: The various henges around the Grittish isles.
  • Playing with Syringes: It is common practice in the House of Dark to use potions to manipulate mother's milk and affect their foals. Dim's transformation was taken further than most, and he was turned into an Umbrum, the same kind of creature as Sombra.
  • Power Born of Madness: What Dim believes to be the most dangerous kind of magic, if done voluntarily.
  • Prehensile Hair: The Sea Witch can manipulate things with her dreadlocks.
  • Royal Inbreeding: The House of Dark firmly believes in the trope. It has an additional benefit of encouraging its members to stay, as their participation in the trope would potentially make them pariahs outside of the Spire.
  • Screaming Woman: The "pink voice" (Princess Cadance) in Dim's head spends most of his fight through Shepherd's Shore screaming and weeping. In this case, it's because the only thing she can do is communicate with Dim, and he's not listening to her, so screaming is literally the best thing she can do. It doesn't help]].
  • Self-Made Orphan: Dim Dark attacks his mother at the end of the prologue. Whether she survived or not is unknown, but Dim chooses to believe she's dead. When he encounters Darling again, she reveals that Dark Desire survived, but Dim did force her to become a full lich earlier than anticipated.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: During the fight in Shepherd's Shore, Dim forces one of the pegasi to turn on his fellows to buy himself some time to rest.
  • Shared Unusual Trait: All members of the Dark family have heterochromia and haemophilia, a deliberate result of the House's breeding program.
  • Shipper on Deck: Dark Desire is rather keen on maintaining Dim's relationship with his cousin Darling. Not because she's particularly keen on his happiness, but it will serve the family's breeding programs.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Dim takes a very, well, dim view of Tortoise-Tuga's slave trade.
  • Spoiled Brat: Most Darks, but Dim is a subversion, as while he's used to getting everything at will, he still believes that everyone should earn their place, and is willing to work for his.
  • Squishy Wizard: Many members of the House qualify, including Dim, as their haemophilia makes them extremely vulnerable to injury.
  • The Soulless: Although it's not clear whether he's rightnote , Dim believes that he doesn't have a soul because his astral form is black, rather than glowing like most creatures' (This is the result of his mother's experiments transforming him into an Umbrum).
  • Uneven Hybrid: Blackbird Coffyn is part hippogriff.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Dim Dark would quite like the world to forget about him and he has no compunction about breaking minds or brutally killing anyone in his way, but he still has a heroic streak he doesn't even realise he has.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Darling Dark, after Dim says he intends to kill them, and then again once he actually deals a fatal blow.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Like several other characters, Dim's talent is not for magic, reducing his raw power, but his training and skill makes up for it.
  • Weakened by the Light: Dim finds the sunlight blinding, and it burns, as a result of his upbringing in darkness. Because he also believes in other tropes, he conflates this with Good Hurts Evil and initially refuses to return to Equestria at Celestia's request because he believes her light will destroy him.
  • Wizard Duel: Due to many of Grogar's minions being some form of magician, Dim becomes embroiled in several.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Celestia delivers this sentiment as part of a Badass Boast to Dim, while trying to convince him to return home so they can help him.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After attacking (and probably killing) his mother, Dim is forced to leave the Dark Spire and Equestria for fear of being arrested. Later, he's offered a chance to return to Equestria by Princess Celestia, but the Dark Spire itself has been destroyed and most of the Darks killed by the Princesses.

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