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Fanfic / RDNA-verse

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Imagine, if you will, an Earth where the great crowns of Europe and Asia still retained their power, alongside young burgeoning republics. An age of prosperity and bright progress. Where some things are different, while others continue more or less as you'd expect them to. This world may thus look in many ways familiar, but where the course of events turn generally for the better.

Now, picture all of that gone within a few years.


The RDNA-verse is both an Alternate History timeline and Alternate Universe for Hetalia: Axis Powers. Originating from a Play-by-Post Game on (Found here if you're a member), as well as a few drabbles on the Hetalia Kink Meme, it's over time developed its own continuity. From 2015 onwards, however, what started off as a Fan Work has since undergone a considerable Retcon such that it can stand on its own, with a few slight tweaks.

Set in a world that's been locked in a Diesel Punk Cold War for about a century, the 'verse follows the "Free Nations" and those living there as they try to go about their daily lives even as they hold out against the ever-present Collectivist Internationale. Below the surface however, turmoil and uncertainty mount as the balance of power slowly falls apart. Meanwhile, away from the public eye the Nations themselves continue (and struggling) to cope with the persistent legacy of The Terror. Whatever happens from here on could determine whether the world could finally move on... all while rumors persist of something driving the Internationale's masters towards fulfilling their global "crusade" once and for all.


The "RDNA" itself is short for the Royal Dominion of New Austria, an alternate Mexico where the Austrian Habsburgs took over from Spain shortly after the Conquistadors landed. By the time much of the AU is set in, it is a major power mirroring in ways the "lost" Austro-Hungarian homeland of its inhabitants and rulers. On the other hand, her sanity hasn't exactly held up well, and with tensions rising, it seems to be only a matter of time...

The expanded and revamped timeline/AU can be found here. It can also be found on, while the first completed fic set in the 'verse, The Personal Records of a Doctor, can be found here.


The RDNA-verse provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alliance: The Assembly of the Free World, which is an alternate version of the UN run by the Free Nations. The League of Neutral Defiance is the Reactionary version, at least in theory.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • The "War of the Western Frontiers" in the setting's backstory is based on both the Mexican-American War and the Second Franco-Mexican War.
    • Eugene Pierce Long, the founder of the American Federation's Liberty Party is pretty much a more successful analogue to Huey Long.
    • The civil war in the African country of Senegal-Lazarie shows parallels to both the Rhodesian Bush War and Angolan Civil War, up to including the intervention of a New World country.
    • The circumstances surrounding Brazil's "Military Interregnum" are an amalgamation of various turbulent periods in the country's history, especially the military dictatorship period of the late 20th Century.
  • Alternate History: The timeline branches off sometime in the 16th Century, with history increasingly diverging from OTL over the subsequent generations.
  • America Saves the Day: Or at the very least, America really wants to be seen as the hero.
  • Banana Republic:
    • Banana Kingdom: Brazil is under a military junta that's under the protective grasp of Gran Patagonia.
    • The Republic of Venezuela is a downplayed example. Following the collapse of the local Reactionary regime, it's a nominally independent state under joint American and Gran Patagonian protection.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: While the Collectivists in general (or at least the Party) are portrayed as undeniably bad, the Free Nations themselves have skeletons in the closet. And that's not getting to the Reactionaries.
  • Church Militant: The Catholic Church becomes more militant after the Terror. Though even by the Vatican-in-Exile's standards, the Sovereign Knights of Malta (a nominally South Italian protectorate) lives up to its "Crusader state" pretensions.
  • Culture Chop Suey: The mass influx of refugees have left various marks on the Free Nations after the Terror:
    • Loyalist Canada has developed a noticeably Ukrainian and Francophone flavor, whereas the British Isles are home to the descendants of French, Russian and other European refugees. Tellingly, the ruling royals belong to the House of Windsor-Romanov.
    • While New Austria was already a mix of Austrian and Hungarian cultures pre-Terror along with a healthy presence of Poles, Czechs and Mezoamerikaners, the influx of refugees brought with it (among others) Swiss survivors.
    • The United African States was formed from various European colonies that managed to hold together after their homelands fell. It's over time incorporated native cultures and other European (mainly German) refugees.
  • Day of the Jackboot: While the Collectivists brought this about on a large scale since the Terror, England in the 1940s was close to reaching this trope.
  • Dirty Communists: The Collectivists are this crossed with The Fundamentalist. Their ideology, for all their pretenses of following a "pure, true" version of the setting's version of Marxism, bears little resemblance to even our world's Socialism. Instead, it's essentially an unholy cross between Stalinism, the Khmer Rouge and Ingsoc with an ironically zealous bent reminiscent of a theocracy. That being said, there is some degree of variance in "adherence" to the Will of the Workers, depending on which part of the Internationale one's in.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The rise and consolidation of Reactionary Levant is reminiscent of both Fascist Italy and the Ba'athist Party.
    • South Italy since the Terror morphs into a militant "fortress mentality" culture reminiscent of Starship Troopers.
    • The Central Plains Collective aka, the former Austro-Hungarian Crownlands experiences two major, albeit doomed uprisings, both of which are based on both the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
    • Collectivism in general, especially as practiced by the Internationale, bares more than a passing resemblance to 1984, with ColStandard itself being reminiscent of Newspeak. It's implied that it's intentional.
    • It's implied that Southern Africa's "Special Homelands" system, on top of being an analogy to apartheid, is derived from concentration camps. While its "Afrikaner-Mosleyite" brand of Reactionarism bears certain parallels with North Korea.
    • Reactionary Levant, by contrast bears more than a passing resemblance in its society and economic situation with both Italian Fascism and Ba'athism.
  • Downer Beginning: The Terror effectively serves as this for the AU.
  • Eagleland: The American Federation is a mix of both flavors in a peculiar "amalgamation of the Cold War" blend taken up to eleven. On the one hand, these Americans are portrayed as reminiscent of Fallout's USA (minus the sociopathic Enclave) and rather obnoxious being the self-proclaimed guardians of democracy. On the other hand though, they're also shown to be well-meaning and at best very sincere in upholding liberty.
  • The Empire: The Collectivist Internationale, which also serves as a warped version of The Federation.
  • Enemy Mine: While the Free Nations and Reactionaries are technically part of the same camp against the "Reds," a common enemy is pretty much what's really keeping the two blocs from getting at each other's throats.
  • Enforced Cold War / Status Quo Is God: These along with the threat of atomic holocaust are how the in-verse Cold War between the Free World and the "Reds" managed to keep going for about a century, more often than not with the Collectivists dictating the terms. By 2014 though, cracks are starting to show, while by the 2020s, it's on the verge of breaking down altogether. Which is not helped at all by whoever's behind the Internationale pushing for outright war.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The Revivalist groups, which formed among the various refugee groups long to free their "Lost Nations" from the Collectivists.
  • The Fundamentalist:
    • Collectivism, ironically enough. The Internationale's fervor in promulgating the "Will of the Workers" and emphasis on upholding dogma has since taken on a religious bent, even though seemingly having Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions.
    • The Sovereign Knights of Malta is a more conventional example of this trope, as it’s seen in-universe as especially zealous even by the Vatican-in-Exile’s standards.
  • In Spite of a Nail: There are still some general constants, whether it's the American Revolution, or Japan's modernization.
  • Injun Country: Downplayed. The American Federation has states where groups like the Cherokee, Navajo and Lakota have considerably more clout than OTL, reflecting how prosperous and fairly intertwined Native Americans have become over the generations.
  • Ironic Echo: Southern Africa's backstory reveals that the early Boers sought freedom from indentured servitude and oppression by the Dutch East India Company. Their Afrikaner descendants still celebrate that legacy, though the ruling Volksfront regime, ironically, has become even worse in its treatment of those "not of the Volk."
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): Some of the names, like Gran Patagonia (Argentina) and Kuba (Cuba).
  • Magical Realism: This is a world where science and tangible reality meet the more mysterious. It's also touched upon in-verse, though even those in-the-know on the "Nation-Personifications" don't really have an idea how they came to be or what they are exactly.
  • The Masquerade / Extra-Strength Masquerade: The existence of "Nation-Personifications" is mentioned as being kept secret by their respective governments, as well as amongst themselves. This is further reinforced by a tendency among academics and experts to dismiss them as mere superstition or hearsay. It's strongly implied however that the Collectivists somehow know about them and is in part why they seemed to be so successful in the wake of the Terror.
  • Mayincatec: New Austria's Mezoamerikaners are the descendants of Maya and Nahuatl-speaking natives who were given relatively fair treatment by the Habsburgs. They eventually came to have equal representation and sizable enclaves of their own within the RDNA. Interestingly, New Austria herself is mentioned as having a blade with some Aztec stylings.
  • Nations as People: Like Hetalia: Axis Powers.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: While not a direct parallel of Nazism, Reactionarism in its various strains is described as essentially Fascism with particularly strong authoritarian, militarist and supremacist policies. It's the dominant ideology of the isolationist League of Neutral Defiance, an Oswald Mosley-analogue laying the foundations sometime around the Terror.
  • Original Character: Quite a few. Including Francesca/New Austria, who in another timeline would be called Mexico.
  • Putting on the Reich: While the RDNA takes a lot of aesthetics from the Austrian Habsburg Empire, there are also influences reminiscent of the Axis Powers present in their uniforms and military.
  • The Republic: The American Federation and Gran Patagonia are this, referred to colloquially as "The Twin Republics."
  • Retcon: The RDNA-verse was substantially overhauled and expanded upon over time as its own distinct setting, though some elements remain consistent from its Play-by-Post Game origins, including the retention of Nations as People.
  • Retro Universe: The AU's atmosphere and aesthetics by the 21st Century could be described as that of a Diesel Punk Cold War reminiscent of the early/mid-20th Century with some Raygun Gothic elements: where clunky machines and even mechs coexist with people seemingly straight out of The '40s or The '50s. On the other hand, social norms (for the Free Nations anyway) tend to be rather progressive and modern, mirroring real world standards. It's also implied however that apart from military developments, this has largely been static for a good deal of time.
  • Richard Nixon, the Used Car Salesman: A number of historical figures show up in different circumstances and degrees of relevance.
    • The "Throne-in-Exile" of New Austria, for instance are directly descended from Franz Ferdinand.
    • Oswald Mosley's described as a "disgraced baron turned firebrand" responsible for Reactionarism's ascendance in both Southern Africa and Australia.
    • In the American Federation, Benjamin Franklin is remembered much more prominently, among others.
    • Antoine de Saint-Exupery is revealed to be the leading figure of the faction that wins the civil war in Senegal-Lazarie.
  • The Roaring '20s: The Terror started sometime in the early 1920s in-verse. The worst of it ended by 1927-28, though the chaos persisted into The '30s and beyond in a warped parallel of the Great Depression.
  • Scrapbook Story: The Personal Records of a Doctor, which is largely written as if it was taken from the titular journal pages of a New Austrian doctor tasked with treating his Nation in the 1930s.
  • Spexico: Present, although it's Gran Patagonia that undergoes this as a result of most Spanish refugees landing in Buenos Aires after the Terror.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • The Free Nations themselves don't always seem to get along with each other all that well. America and Gran Patagonia see their "royalist" allies as either wannabe democracies or has-beens. And while New Austria is on friendly terms with Loyalist Canada, Brazil and South Italy, the British still strongly resent them. And with good reason.
    • The Reactionary countries themselves also count, as they tend to follow very different strains of Reactionarism. Whether it's the "Bolivaristas" of Colombia or the "Anglo-Mosleyites" of Australia.
    • The Collectivist Internationale itself is not as united as it seems, being prone to infighting among "Col Mems" and periodic bouts of unrest. It's implied, however, that these are, at least in part, deliberately cultivated to mold the Internationale into a more unified whole.