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Fanfic / Oneiroi Series

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The Oneiroi Series by Water-Smurf was started as a Crack Pairing idea on The Order of the Stick forums, and since then, it has turned into a multi-story epic that requires a chart to make sense of.

The premise of the series begins when Vaarsuvius, instead of escaping from Xykon with O-Chul, gets captured and starts to fall in love with Redcloak while he tries to interrogate him/her. After that, it got worse, and everything bad that could possibly happen to Redcloak, Vaarsuvius, and everyone else involved, happens.

(And apparently, another story the author wrote, a Mijung / the-goblin-who-first-fell-into-the-Snarl-and-thus-brought-the-Dark-One's-attention-to-it (otherwise known as Yutrin) story has been confirmed to be canon. This means that any of the separate stories on this old diagram could be canon.)

Interestingly enough, the series has a lot of Mood Whiplash if you read the separate endings. The Tiasal Ending is very light and fluffy while the Deirdre Ending makes the readers want to kill themselves. The Downer Ending provides an interesting character study of a broken mind (and the Cuties she's tearing apart) while the happy ending makes you feel good.

Has a WMG page.

The Oneiroi Series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Sort of. Vaarsuvius's past and parents are expanded on, and it's revealed that she's a woman. But otherwise, not really.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Aphrodite's very existence, despite it having been previously established that her and her entire pantheon were Deader Than Deaded by the Snarl long before the present world even existed.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Notably averted. Before they slept together, Redcloak had no idea which sex Vaarsuvius was and never made an attempt to find out. Even afterwards, all of his sexual advances were, at heart, affectionate and rarely purely lustful. And in the Deidre Ending after many long years of not seeing Vaarsuvius (and presumably not getting any), he had a chance to sleep with a beautiful woman who Word of God says that he was eying though he hated himself for it and never considered her a sexual being beyond acknowledging that she was a bombshell and he was a little more attracted to her than he should be, due to the fact she was his daughter. He vehemently rejected her advances though that didn't stop her.
    • Along those lines, Terentius specifically does not want to sleep with an attractive woman who's showing obvious interest though the fact that she's his sister probably has something to do with it. And the only reason Xykon is putting the moves on Deirdre is so he can manipulate her more effectively. Come to think of it, Redcloak, Vaarsuvius, Master, the elf with the molten eyes, Tsukiko, and Deirdre are the only ones who have ever been remotely perverted or interested in sex. The former two only do it with each other, Master was only interested in kids, the nameless elf only raped someone for a sick sense of vengeance, Tsukiko is a necrophiliac, and Deirdre has more than a few screws loose, so it's not completely lust that drives her. Hell, there are only a few guys on that list anyway. So yeah. Averted.
  • All There in the Manual: There's a lot of extra info about the series on the forums. The author puts a lot of subtext in there and has a lot of background info that's not actually obvious in the stories, so she just posts it all outside of them.
  • Daddy's Girl: Tiasal has a special attachment to her father, though it hasn't gotten to the point where her mother's left out. Deirdre is a very dark version of the trope.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: As things go on, especially in the continuity dubbed the 'Tiasal Ending', V loses the edge and loosens up.
  • Deliver Us from Evil: Tiasal's birth was the last thing Redcloak needed to decide to Heel–Face Turn. Vaarsuvius's murder helped, though. It's implied that he was already getting a little shaky on his resolve when Vaarsuvius was pregnant.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Redcloak reaches it after his crazy daughter rapes him. Right-Eye isn't too far behind.
  • Deus Angst Machina: One has to wonder if the author has some serious problems against women, men, families, and everything else possible.
  • Ethereal White Dress: Two creepy children who fit: one is the ghost of Snow, one of the servant children who (it seems) was murdered soon after giving birth to a stillborn. The other is a Mysterious Waif who we have no idea about, she just wants Elf to remember being Vaarsuvius for some reason.
  • Ethical Slut: Aula and Tiberius. Word of God says that they had an open relationship and slept with people other than each other, leading to one really nasty grudge following their child.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Tiasal when she overhears Right-Eye admitting to using her as a tool against his brother.
  • Fantastic Racism: Redcloak starts out hating humans and elves (his self-proclaimed "species-ism"), but gets better as the story goes on. His mother, however...
  • Fantastic Romance: Three guesses, first two don't count.
  • Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: When she was younger, Tiasal thought that she would grow up to marry her father, one of her uncles, one of her cousins, or one of her brothers. This becomes a lot creepier when you think about who she could grow up to be.
  • Femme Fatalons: Deirdre has some nasty claws because of her goblin blood.
  • Foreshadowing: Greek mythology really helps out with picking up hints and foreshadowing in Dumped on the Rooster (a story that seems to be canon but may or may not be). Like the mention of gold apples, which could either be related to Eris and the Apple of Chaos or the Hesperides and Hera. Or the river Lethe, which was the river of oblivion that dead people drank or bathed in when they died to forget their entire lives. And was I the only one that was a little curious about the middle-aged woman standing at a crossroads, holding a snake?
    • And now, a love for puzzles and lyric reading helps out too. The lyrics of the lullaby the... who knows, the mist sings, taken away from the story attached to it about the Highland clearances, sounds like it's about people being shipped off to be slaves, which matches the implication that, somewhere along the line, V and many other elves were forced into slavery. Taken with the story, it's about people being violently displaced, which also matches the description of V's World War-esque flashback. Then there's the mention of dreams, which the Oneiroi were the gods of, so the mist person might be part of the Oneiroi, and the crazy women chasing them might be part of it too.]]
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Redcloak was in charge of healing Vaarsuvius (to the point where she could survive interrogation) when they started the whole thing.
  • Hallucinations: Tiasal in the Tiasal Ending have these, but they're well controlled with medication. Deirdre in the Deirdre Ending has tons and is completely and utterly insane.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: It's implied that Aula and Tiberius worked like this, but they seem to be loving people, so it's possible that they were actively involved in their child's life but still held onto unorthodox philosophies.
  • Happily Married: V and Redcloak in the Tiasal Ending.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Deirdre and Xykon's relationship has a disturbing hint of this, as does Deirdre and Terentius's relationship.
  • Harmful to Minors: Tiasal gets exposed to pretty much everything a kid her age shouldn't be. So to the servant children. Vaarsuvius is exposed to her parents constantly and knowingly having sex in front of her (and inviting her to join).
  • Hearing Voices: Tiasal hears a few, and for the most part, they go away with meds. Deirdre hears lots of voices and they never go away.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While it wasn't shown on-screen, Redcloak had one when Tiasal was born and Xykon murdered Vaarsuvius. Too bad it ended up with him dead too.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Crim (brainwashed(?) Redcloak) has a crush on Elf (V) but thinks that his brother has a thing for her and is convinced that he can't compete, so he's not going to make a move.
  • Incest Subtext:
    • Tiasal has a little thing for family members and people who remind her of them.
    • Deirdre has a full-out Electra Complex and, apparently, wants to sleep with anyone who she considered to be a father figure as a child, actual father included. And brothers. And cousins. And anyone else, really.
  • Insane Equals Violent: The only completely bonkers character so far has been extraordinarily violent and unusually high-functioning for such a serious schizophrenia case.
  • I Want Grandkids: Redcloak comments that his mother was "always going on about grandchildren".
  • Karma Houdini: Xykon has ruined Redcloak's, Vaarsuvius's, and everyone in their families' lives, encouraged Deirdre's insanity, actively kept her father from finding out about it so he'd never give her the medication she needed, goaded her into going through with raping Redcloak, ruthlessly manipulates her against her living family, and is currently encouraging her to sleep with her brothers and cousins, putting Right-Eye in the position where, with Xykon's prodding, Dierdre will rape him, and is using his power over her to, what looks like, initiate a sexual relationship so he can more effectively manipulate her. To say nothing about what he does in canon. And so far, he hasn't gotten an iota of comeuppance.
  • Kissing Cousins: Deirdre has a thing for family members, and it's implied that Tiasal had a crush on Abram.
  • Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Redcloak and Vaarsuvius were very conflicted in the beginning.
  • Like Father, Like Son: More like 'Like Parents Like Child'. Both of Deirdre's parents fit the tragic hero archetype. She just had a little too much tragic and not enough hero.
  • Lima Syndrome: Redcloak developed feelings for V really quickly while s/he was captured.
  • Lonely Together: That's how V's and Redcloak's relationship starts.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Deirdre is the embodiment of this trope.
  • Love Epiphany: Redcloak has one in a dream, and Vaarsuvius has one a long, long time afterwards. It takes them a while to admit to it.
  • Love Goddess: Aphrodite in Pawns of the Gods. She's the bitch who practically molested Mijung, made her unborn child destined to be a bombshell who no one (except family) would be able to stop themselves from having sex with, and then spitefully cursed her to forget her husband.
  • Love Redeems: Well, it redeemed Redcloak.
  • Manly Tears: Most of the main men get a few in there. Terentius when he thought his sister died. Redcloak when Tiasal was born in an AU oneshot. And then again after he got raped and murdered by that self-same daughter...
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. Water-Smurf likes making the characters cry, apparently, and doesn't shy away from it.
  • Missing Mom: Justified. She died because she had difficulty with childbirth and then tried to join in a fight against Tsukiko and Xykon. It didn't turn out well.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: After he takes several weeks-long trips to Gobbotopia in the Tiasal Ending, Vaarsuvius starts worrying that Redcloak's losing interest and, since they hadn't had sex in while, she suspects he's getting up to something while he's gone. ("I am told that young men do not tend to stay so chaste unless they have another to satisfy them.") In a variation of the trope, the suspicion isn't that strong and she's easily reassured once they actually talk it over.
  • No Name Given: Does anyone know what Master's name is?
  • No Periods, Period: Averted with a scene where Vaarsuvius has her first period.
  • Not Brainwashed: Well, sort of not. Xykon manipulates Deirdre like hell and uses every psychological trick in the book, but Xykon hasn't made her into anything she wasn't already. He just directed her fury and insanity towards people she was already angry at and used that to make her dependent on him.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Deirdre points to this rationale as the reason for raping Redcloak. She manipulates the situation so the victim can't help but get physical pleasure from the rape, maximizing the trauma sustained. She probably also planned it so that his own body betrayed him to the point where he can't help but blame himself. But on it's own, the trope is averted.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Redcloak and Vaarsuvius are both extremely intelligent people, and Aarindarius, who's stated to have some romantic and sexual feelings for Vaarsuvius, is also on that level. It doesn't look there are any genius/non-genius pairings, unless you don't consider Deirdre a genius, which seeing as she's batshit, is difficult to tell. But before the schizophrenia kicked in, Tiasal was very intelligent for her age and would probably count.
  • Papa Wolf: Redcloak does not take kindly to someone threatening Tiasal.
  • Parental Incest: Aula and Tiberius demonstrates a weirdly endearing version of the trope, which squicks readers deeply. Deirdre's rape of Redcloak is less endearing, however.
  • Precocious Crush: It's implied that Tiasal had a crush on O-Chul. It's understandable.
  • Primal Scene: Tiasal has walked in on Redcloak and Vaarsuvius an unknown amount of times and has seen Aula and Tiberius get intimate once, but unlike most uses of this trope, it doesn't look like it's disturbed her at all. She's pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, actually. When Vaarsuvius sees Aula and Tiberius a few (thousand) times, however, it heavily shapes her sexuality and few of gender, self, and intimacy as an adult. But to be honest, they offered to let her join a few times.
  • Racist Grandma: Redcloak's mother does not like non-goblins. She's willing to give Vaarsuvius a chance, though.
  • Rape as Drama:
    • Vaarsuvius, who was a victim of rape years before, at first seems like the rape was a little pointless save for to add a dimension of character development. Then she actually demonstrates that it served a purpose when she uses her experience to pull out sympathy and tact she usually has none of to talk to her daughter about it and when she explains that she no longer sees it as a source of shame, but a source of pride, since she was able to survive and thrive in life afterwards. It's an interesting deviation from what most (attempted) tactful rape stories do, ie showcase how broken and horribly the victim was affected decades afterwards.
    • Possibly redone in a more traditional way if one thinks that Dumped on the Rooster takes place after or during the Deirdre Ending, when Redcloak acts deeply traumatized and has an obviously severe case of PTSD.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Vaarsuvius pulls a weird version of this when she and Redcloak have a fight during a short oneshot set in the Tiasal Ending.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Not only did he Face–Heel Turn, but apparently, he earned the possibility of his brother's forgiveness when Redcloak chose to try to kill Xykon for Vaarsuvius's and Tiasal's sake instead of continuing down the spiral he was.
  • Resentful Guardian: Not resentful, per se, but there was a note of negative feelings in the people around Tiasal, from the Order to her brothers and Inkyrius, her brothers more than anyone, but it's not because she took away their lives. (A lot of them were settling with kids anyway.) It was mostly because of the circumstances of her birth, the loss of Vaarsuvius, and the fact that Redcloak is her father. After Right-Eye's perceived betrayal, Tiasal starts focusing way more on that spark of unrest to the point that it seems like they all hated her unequivocally. Deirdre blows it way out of proportion and honestly believes they all hated her.
  • Secret Relationship: Do we really need to get into which one we're talking about? Deirdre's relationship with Terentius has a secret quality to it, but since they haven't actually done anything, it may or may not count.
  • Sex Equals Love: Redcloak and Vaarsuvius got really close once they finally slept together.
  • Sex–Face Turn: After Redcloak slept with Vaarsuvius and she gave birth to his child, he was much more receptive to changing his alignment. This makes one of the rare situations where the man is the one doing the turning and the woman's converting.
  • Sex Slave: The servant children. Deirdre and her captured brothers and cousins have a weird vibe of this.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Everyone's reaction when they meet Deirdre after they meet her years after they thought she was killed.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Vaarsuvius and Redcloak's relationship had a rocky start...
  • Stockholm Syndrome: That's an explanation of how Vaarsuvius and Redcloak became so close, but it's debatable whether or not they're genuinely attracted to each other at first or if it's just that.
  • Technical Virgin: Deirdre was technically never deflowered before she raped Redcloak, but she had what's implied to be extensive sexual experience from Master.
  • Tell Me About My Father: More like Tell Me About My Parents.
  • That Man Is Dead: While she's never actually said it, Deirdre considers herself to be a completely separate person from Tiasal, and vice-versa. She considers Tiasal to be long gone.
    • Considering that the descriptions seem to imply that the ghost of Tiasal is hanging around, at least from the point of view of Deirdre, it could be more literal than one might think.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: No one's sure what's real and what isn't when Deirdre's doing the narrating...
  • Wife Husbandry: Xykon's relationship with Deirdre has a note of this.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Tiasal is very mature for her age, seeing at Word of God says she's roughly at the equivalent of eight years old when she's fifteen. So are the servant kids under the Master, from what we've seen of them.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Snarl does this to Deirdre, though she already was crazy, just slightly less so. Word of God says that it's doing this to Xykon too.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Deirdre, debatably. That is to say, the "Destroyer Of Worlds" part isn't debatable, but the "Woobie" part is? Because she's definitely Destroying Worlds.