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Fanfic / les contes de la nuit

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les contes de la nuitnote , also referred to as nightverse, is an Elisabeth fanfic series, written by shadowsnumberless and hosted on Archive of Our Own. It consists of mostly canon- and history-compliant fics that explores the possibility of Rudolf becoming a Todesengelnote  after the Mayerling incident. At least one fic involving original characters in addition to canon ones have been planned, as well as potential crossovers with other fandoms.

The series can be read here.

Spoiler note: This page is continually updated (as a brainstorming space) by the author as she thinks of tropes that are applicable to the fic, which includes stuff that have not been updated yet. Tropes can also be deleted and added per plot and characterization changes.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Compared to the majority of Elisabeth adaptations and fanfics, this Death, being based heavily on Mark Seibert's portrayal, comes off as a glacial Smug Smiler Manipulative Bastard.
  • Adult Fear:
    • le roi des aulnes: Taken straight from The Erlking - having your child die in your arms.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Death calls Rudolf "mein Schatz" note .
  • all lowercase letters: The fic and chapter titles are this, barring names.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Sisi as a seagull, Rudolf as a (black) lark.
    • Death as a cat. Between his silent, stalking movements note , his Dark Is Evil costume, and his intense eyes, he certainly comes off as this.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Enforced between human Rudolf and Death. Doesn't stop them from having fun, though, since in Chant an invisible Death kisses Rudolf on the neck in public.
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  • As the Good Book Says...: Matthew 28:20 makes an appearance twice, quoted as "And behold, I am with you always, unto the end of the world."
  • Bi the Way: Rudolf develops a relationship with erstwhile human and later Todesengel Alyssa. Death also grows to care for Rudolf in addition to his attraction to/obsession with Sisi.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Death and the Todesengel sport these, coupled with Reflectionless Useless Eyes since they technically are, well, dead and Death. Rudolf remarks that Death's is "an all-consuming abyss".
  • Blatant Lies: According to Sisi, "Empress Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie of the illustrious House of Habsburg and the most glorious state of Austria does not beg." Apparently she forgot Totenklage. "Come, sweetest Death... Accursed Death! Deliver me!"
  • Cats Are Mean: The kitten in Chant was attacking a black lark, fatally wounding the bird.
  • Dark Is Evil: The villainous Death tends to dress in all black. Averted with the Todesengel, particularly Rudolf.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Rudolf: In case it had escaped your notice, (gestures towards himself) I have joined the Todesengel.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Death seems to think Rudolf is this, and considers him weak because of it.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: As a Todesengel, Rudolf becomes even more of one than he was in life.
  • Empty Eyes: Sisi's frightened observation of Rudolf's eyes. Though in his case in particular, it might overlap with Mind-Control Eyes as well. See More Than Mind Control below.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Mark Seibert (Death) and Thomas Hohler (Rudolf) have a height difference of 11 cm. Plus, Rudolf spends a good chunk of Pavane seated on the ground while Death is on a throne/chair.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Rudolf arches an eyebrow at Sisi in Pavane in this manner.
  • Finger-Tenting: Yes, described as Death steepling his fingers together in Pavane.
  • Footnote Fever: Or, "more author's notes than you'd care to read". The author is prone to these, which sometimes can get as long as half the chapter.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Chant has a young Rudolf killing a cat that was torturing a black lark. The lark ends up dead anyway, as its would-be protector winds up too busy with the cat to pay any mind to it. Besides what was pointed out in the text as Rudolf projecting his situation onto the bird, this event parallels his own fate: He tried to fight off Death (both his "friend" and the cat), but ended up committing an act that he dubiously regrets (killing a kitten, and committing suicide).
  • Freedom from Choice: "But he couldn’t stop. Even if he had wanted to. His will had been forfeit long ago."
  • Freudian Trio: Pavane provides one: Rudolf as the id, Sisi the ego, and Death the superego.
  • Gratuitous French: All of the chapter titles.
  • Gratuitous German: The German-speaking characters pepper their narration with German terms - "Todesengel", "Kapuzinergruft", et cetera.
  • Has a Type:
    • Rudolf seems to like smirky green-eyed blonds - Death and Alyssa's face-casts are, respectively, Mark Seibert and Natalie Dormer.
    • Death likes humans that intrigue and surprise him.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You:
    "Instead, she glowered at him, as she was wont to do. Death only steepled his fingers together and smiled in response. Ornery as ever, but that enhanced her appeal even more. It delighted him to no end to see those brown eyes blaze."
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Averted. The Todesengel that appeared to Sisi at Schönbrunn was initially referred to as "it" before she realized it's actually Rudolf.
  • Light Is Not Good: The light-haired Death is an ass. To put it mildly. At minimum, he's a Soft-Spoken Sadist.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Death, full stop. He's shown visibly enjoying the conflict that he creates by pitting son against mother and vice versa, even flat out calling it "an entertainment" to Rudolf's face. note 
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Franz Joseph's dream about Rudolf's death was right before the Mayerling incident.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the Angels have names with bright, positive meanings.
    • Rudolf: famed wolf.
    • Minh: bright.
    • Alyssa: The spelling might have come from the alyssum flower. It's composed of the negative prefix "a-" and "lyssa" (madness) - said flower was believed to be able to cure madness. Lyssa is also quite fond of doing things other people would consider mad. Or it could mean noble one as an alternate spelling of the name Alicia.
    • Aiko: child of love.
    • Luna: moon. note 
    • Petr: the rock, after St. Peter, keeper of the Keys of Heaven and guardian at the Pearly Gates.
    • Natalia: natal day (Christmas).
    • Milan: gracious, dear.
    • Claire. She identifies as a witch, dabbles in divination, and has the Sight (the ability to see and interact with Angels). Her name comes from the title of the piece itself, and the word clairvoyant.
    • Claire's wife is named Phoebe, a Titan in Classical Mythology associated with the moon. Their cats' names are similarly lunar-themed: Luna, Artemis (Greek moon goddess), and Diana (Roman equivalent to Artemis) in a blatant Shout-Out to Sailor Moon. note 
  • More Than Mind Control: And is it ever. Sisi was actually on the money in Pavane when she accuses Rudolf of becoming Death's creature and Death of twisting Rudolf's thoughts with poison. Rudolf himself veers wildly between accepting and denying it.
  • Not So Different: Rudolf and Sisi in their pursuit of Death, as pointed out in Pavane.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Death and his Todesengel.
  • Parental Abandonment: As in canon, Rudolf accuses Sisi of this in Pavane.
  • Powerful People Are Subs: Sisi is scandalized in Pavane because post-mortem Rudolf is this.
  • The Power of Blood: Given that the trope Our Vampires Are Different is present, this is as well.
    • Type A shows up in Chant, in an allusion to Persephone, symbolizing Rudolf's choice to kill himself and bind himself to Death for all of eternity.
    You are bound up in him. You cannot escape.
    How do you escape from your freedom?
    Red runs between your fingers. Blood? The stain of pomegranates?
    • Types B and O shows up in Roi, with the symbolic image of child-Rudolf dead from both hypothermia/sickness and a Boom, Headshot! that destroyed the back of his head (which was what happened).
  • Second-Person Narration: Chant seemed to be written like this, but the author/narrator crops up in the first three chapters, either referring to herself in the first person, or talking directly to Rudolf.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smug Smiler: Death is prone to this.
  • Virtual Soundtrack: The fics are titled according to the piece of music that inspired them.
    • pavane pour un prince héritiernote : "Pavane pour une infante défunte" by Maurice Ravel.
    • pour Elis(abeth)note : "Für Elise" by Ludwig van Beethoven.
    • clair de lunenote : By Claude Debussy.
    • le roi des aulnesnote : "Der Erlkönig" by Franz Schubert.
    • miroir dans le miroirnote : "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Pärt.
    • le chant de la terrenote : "Das Lied von der Erde" by Gustav Mahler.
    • tu es la seule vie parmi les morts note : From "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: "pathetic little princeling". Granted, little princeling is a bit redundant...

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