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Fanfic / Ripples

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Ripples is a W.I.T.C.H. fanfic by Eduard Kassel.

Sometime after the end of the canon series, Prince Phobos escapes imprisonment and goes after a magical tome which he believes will help restore him to power. During the resulting battle with the Guardians, Will is exposed to the book's power and finds herself in Meridian's past, powerless, transformed, and de-aged. Convinced that it's a trick on Phobos' part, she adopts an alias and carefully plays the role of a strange outsider, even as she's dragged into the politics of the realm. And meanwhile, far more powerful forces are keeping a close eye on her developing situation.


Is now complete, with a sequel called Stirred currently underway that covers events as the timeline catches up with the canon series' timeframe.

Tropes in these stories include:

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  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Allora is thirty years older than her daughter Weira, yet when they're first introduced, they could pass as sisters who are under their thirties.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Turns out, Miranda's real name is Mimira. Miranda is just what Cedric called her because he couldn't be bothered to remember her real name, and being young and impressionable, she convinced herself that him calling her that meant that it was a better name.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Each of the future main villains has their background more or less fleshed out.
    • The events around Phobos' rise to power are shown in detail.
  • Alternative Calendar: The epilogue starts using the acronym ADWN (After Darkest Winter Night) to mark time stamps in its time skips.
  • Animal Assassin: When Tegus mentions during a meeting how dangerous it is for her to be out alone where she can be ambushed, Will reveals she has several 'rather colorful' little frogs travelling with her out of sight in case anyone gets any ideas.
  • Animal Motifs: Will takes on some frog-like attributes when transformed, which become dominant after making her deal with A'lek'hol'an. She also starts taking frogs as familiars and using Great Frogs the size of cars as mounts and sentries.
  • Artifact of Doom: Turns out, opening portals is not the Seal of Phobos' main power, but a side effect — it was originally created to overpower the Heart of Meridian's power and kill its bearer if said bearer ever went mad or was otherwise unfit to wield it. Allora uses it to kill Weira.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In addition to the age reversal, Will's body takes on frog-like characteristics after being sent back in time. Later, she undergoes another change after making her deal with A'lek'hol'an, becoming more clearly a humanoid frog.
  • Beam-O-War: Phobos and Allora at the climax of the Darkest Winter Night. She loses.
  • Becoming the Mask: At one point during the final chapter, Will/Van reflects on how she's slowly slid more and more into her false persona and lost touch with her original one.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Phobos and Van develop this as they grow older.
  • Berserk Button: Don't touch the Heart. Even if Will can't use its powers anymore, she'll break you for it.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Caleb, thanks to the toxic influence of the Mage.
  • Bling of War: During Allora's time as Queen, the Royal Guards wear ceremonial (but otherwise worthless) gold armor. Weira is disgusted at the waste of money that could otherwise be put to use aiding the kingdom.
  • Bounty Hunter: During her time as Alric's apprentice, Will encounters a younger Frost who's attempting to make a name for himself by hunting down Cedric.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Mimira shows shades of this towards Van after she joins the Legion.
  • Childhood Friend: Panleus and Tegus to Will, and then Will to Phobos.
  • Church Militant: Battle Sisters, members of the Sisterhood trained in combat magic.
  • Civil War: Breaks out when Phobos takes the throne, between those loyal to him and the so-called Council of Restoration, those nobles who view him as a usurper and want to remove him from power. However, the latter is torn apart by political intrigue and worn down by Phobos' forces, collapsing and giving way to the canon Rebellion.
  • Corrupt Church: The clergy of the Sisterhood Covens are seemingly all either politically corrupt, fanatics, or both. Word of God states that there are Sisters who are genuinely pious and good, citing the Abbess who opposed Allora's coup plans and was killed for it, but states like how is too often in real life, these clergy tend to be overshadowed and pushed out of power by the corrupt and fanatical.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Everything happening to Will appears to be part of one.
  • The Coup: The Darkest Winter Night, wherein Allora kills Weira and tries to kill Phobos, so that she can make herself regent for Elyon, who would become a Puppet Queen.
  • Cult: The Unseen, who worship A'lek'hol'an, and Van as his avatar.
  • De-Power: When Will arrives in the past, she is stripped of all her magic, and even the Heart of Kandrakar is reduced to a worthless rock. Though she does later develop water magic of her own.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Will/Van first makes contact with A'lek'hol'an during a near death experience, and he offers to save her and give her increased power in return for becoming his avatar.
    • Phobos releases Tracker and offers him a job as a hunter of the rebels. The undead hunter accepts the deal without submitting to Phobos.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Cedric presents Phobos with the severed heads of several leading members of the Council of Restoration as a gift when first pledging loyalty to him.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Panleus insists that people don't refer to him as "Pan". So, Will insists on doing so.
  • The Dreaded: Cedric and Tracker both have certain reputations.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Zigzagged for Van — though the rebels and many citizens hate her, she's considered a hero in the city of Prio, as well as among the Guard and the Lurdens.
  • Eldritch Abomination: A'lek'hol'an, the last of The Old Gods, who will transcends the physical plane (where he manifests as a sentient swamp), is impossibly old, and who transforms Will on a whim when he makes her his avatar.
  • Elite Army: The Changeling Legions were originally created to serve this, before being turned against by the royalty. Phobos reinstates them to this purpose after making a deal with Cedric.
  • Fan Art:
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Changelings are viewed as abominations by the rest of Meridian, driven to the edges of society and forced to on the scraps they can hunt and scrape together.
    • Lurdens are also looked down on. Their species' name is at least once used to name-call someone else in an insultive manner.
    • Will faces this, especially after her second transformation.
    • Doctors are viewed as heretics by many like Allora and more closed minded church members since they heal others without using magic.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Due to their origins, the Changelings worship the Roman gods, albeit with some changes due to thousands of years of cultural drift.
  • Field Promotion: During the Darkest Winter Night, Phobos promotes Raythor from Lieutenant to Captain on the spot for proving his loyalty.
  • Fisher King: Without Elyon (as she bears the Heart of Meridian) the land begins to die. With areas where the Heart of Meridian resided the longest being the worst effected, explaining why Phobos throne room is covered in thorns; they used to be roses, and the magic that could be used to revive them is being directed to support dying crops.
  • Fountain of Youth: When Will is sent back in time, her age also gets rewound into the single digits.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Van and Cedric do this to Phobos and Mimira.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Seems to be heading this way as of the epilogue.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Book of Fate, which records everything and which can be altered to change reality. Being exposed to its power is what changes Will and sends her back in time.
  • Heir Club for Men: Inverted like in the series. Weira does not agree with this and plans to let Elyon and Phobos contend for the throne equally. Allora however does not like the idea of a man sitting on the throne.
  • Henchmen Race: Changelings were originally created as the Elite Army of the royal family.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Amongst the rebels and rebel sympathizers, zigzagged with Phobos, who's trying to do the right thing but keeps slipping into more desperate actions, and played straight with Van. The Mage, aka Nerissa, exaggerating and lying about her backstory and morals as well as slut-shaming her to Caleb doesn't help.
  • High Priest: The Sisterhood is led by a group called the High Coventors. Though the faction that later pledges its loyalties to Phobos appoints its leader, Hestine, the title of Grand Abbess.
  • The High Queen: While many Queens of Meridian pose as this, Weira comes very close.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Allora's eyes are practically the same as with Weira, except that they're much colder.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Will is told in the last scene of the chase of Caleb that leads to the Guardians' first adventure in Meridian, she asks Phobos to open a bottle of wine.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Since Will is convinced that nothing around her is real, she has less of a taboo about being naked. When she re-hits puberty, she at least starts limiting the exposure to underwear.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite Will's presence lightening Phobos' reign somewhat, complete with more loyalty to him among the factions of the kingdom, things are still on course for canon.
  • Knight Templar: Allora and her followers in the Sisterhood, who are convinced that any harsh action is justified if it's said to be in the good of the realm.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of the beings overseeing Will's journey deliberately removes her memory of fighting Phobos over the Book of Fate, thus keeping her from realizing what's happened to her.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: When Will is acquainted with Phobos after the below mentioned Naked First Impression and she casually mentions it, he demands her to remain silent about it in the future.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: When Will meets Phobos in her new life, he doesn't have true friends or companions stimulating enough. Belonging to the Escannor lineage makes it hard to find people to connect with, as his mother has discovered herself. The bold way "Van Rivers" acts around him in their first meeting triggers Phobos' interest to the point that he asks Weira to let him try a friendship with her.
  • Loss of Identity: Will starts facing this over time, as there's a lot more physical evidence for the existence of "Van Rivers" than there is for "Will Vandom". This is especially true once she's forced to accept that everything around her is real, making her doubt her past life to a certain degree.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Will spends most of the story convinced that Phobos has trapped her in one as part of a complicated scheme to gain the Heart of Kandrakar from her. It takes Allora crushing the Heart and nearly killing her to convince her it's real.
  • Making a Splash: After her original transformation, Will gains some water magic, which is refined and enhanced by her second transformation.
  • Marital Rape License: Cedric tries to justify his troops raping captured noblewomen by making the women second or third wives.
  • Matriarchy: Meridian, on every social level. Phobos sets about changing things once he's in power.
  • Morality Chain: Van becomes this to Phobos, and Mimira.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After her near-death at Allora's hands forces her to realize that she's not been living in an illusion, Will/Van has this in reaction to how apathetically she's been living and treating people.
  • Naked First Impression: When Phobos first meets Will/Van, she's skinny dipping in one of the Castle's garden ponds.
  • Naked on Arrival: Will arrives in the past naked.
  • Named After Someone Famous: Phobos, and the Seal of Phobos for that matter, were named after Escannor's greatest general (though it was their nickname, not their actual name, due to their ability to inspire fear).
  • Nothing Personal: Allora says this to her son-in-law Zanden right before killing him.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: It's implied that Nerissa has been somehow misleading Kandrakar to ensure that they see Phobos as a monster and usurper, with no idea about Allora's attempted coup.
  • Offing the Offspring: Allora kills Weira in an attempt to retake the throne.
  • Only Friend: Will/Van to Phobos, which is something Weira notes.
  • Outlaw: In the point of the past Will is placed in, Cedric and his Changeling raiders are known as this. This ends when he pledges them into Phobos' service.
  • Parental Substitute: Alric, to Will/Van. She in turn becomes one to Mimira.
  • The Plague: An outbreak of "the flux" gives Alric an excuse to bring Will from the country to the capital's Doctor's Guild, and out of reach of the Sisterhood, who want to make use of her powers.
  • Playing Both Sides: After the outbreak of the civil war and later Rebellion, Tegus — having become a mercenary — is advised to do this by Van, so that both sides can make use of his services without the possibility that they might betray him and drive him fully to the other side.
  • Playing with Syringes: Van, although she's very careful to only perform experiments on test-subjects who have freely given their full and educated consent, or criminals who've crossed the Moral Event Horizon (Phobos even complains that she's too selective). Also, she's cured many diseases through her experiments.
  • The Power of Blood: Tracker is released from the Prison of Lament by Phobos opening his vein and proving the tree prison himself to be a member of the Escannor lineage.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The story is half over before Will meets young Phobos and the real plot starts. And the whole story itself is just one long prologue for Stirred, which covers the actual events of the canon series.
  • The Quisling: Sister Hestine, who leads a faction of the Sisterhood in pledging loyalty to Phobos, does so only to advance her position within the organization.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: During the civil war, Cedric's Changeling Legions engage in claiming enemy estates as their habitations. They rape women who can bear children in order to make new Changeling bloodlines as revenge towards the noble lines with history of tormenting Changelings.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Even before becoming Queen, Weira shows that she's this.
    • The Abbess who Allora kills to get the Seal is a truly pious woman, as opposed to most of the other clergy shown.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: The Guard commander responsible for destroying Sonder Hill is reassigned as warden of the Underwater Mines. And on top of that, Van considers having an "accident" arranged for him at some point later on.
  • Room 101: Level Zero of the Grand Royal Hospit, where Van and her doctor underlings carry out medical experiments, takes on this reputation among the Rebellion. Mostly since the majority of their test subjects are prisoners, with only a few volunteers thrown in.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Weira is a much more hand's on and approachable ruler than her distant mother. However, Phobos feels she goes too far, and lacks the air of superiority that a ruler should have.
    • Funnily enough, Phobos works about as much as she did if not more, since he has to run the kingdom in times of disaster and oversee war efforts. Even after taking the throne, he and Van occasionally go out and catch monsters that are terrorizing people, like the Sandpit.
  • Scars Are Forever: Van gets a small, but permanent scar on her face courtesy of Julian during the Battle of Surging Ford.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Tracker has spent thousands of years locked away in the Prison of Lament, a very eldritch tree. A few years after taking the throne, Phobos frees him.
  • Secret Identity: Convinced that everything around her is fake, and therefore not trusting anyone, Will adopts the fake name of "Van" when taken in by Alric. She is also later given the legal surname of "Rivers", after where she was found.
  • Shipper on Deck: Weira is clearly hoping for Phobos and Van to have a Relationship Upgrade, even mentally referring to the latter as her "future daughter-in-law" at one point.
  • Skinny Dipping: Will engages in this several times during her time as Alric's apprentice. Due to her belief that it's all part of an illusion, she doesn't mind doing it even when Panleus and Tegus are present. Later, she does this in one of the Castle's garden ponds, leading to her Naked First Impression with young Prince Phobos.
  • Time Skip: Used liberally throughout the story, especially during the epilogue.
  • Token Good Teammate: Van becomes this to Phobos' court.
  • Trapped in the Past: Will is sent decades into Meridian's past.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: During her second childhood as Van, due to her belief that she's trapped in an illusion, Will is almost completely apathetic to everyone around, only showing interest in the "detail work" of them (namely when they're wounded and suffering).
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
    • Apparently Tracker was created by Escannor herself, but she couldn't bind his dark soul to serve her lineage, leading Queen Halia to seal him away.
    • Justified with the Changeling Legions, who turned against the royal family when Queen Halia attempted to exterminate them without provocation as part of her campaign to decimate the horrendous magical creations of Queen Escannor. Afterwards the survivors and their descendants have lived as rejects of Meridian's society.
  • The Voice:
    • A'lek'hol'an never physically manifests to Van, instead only speaking to her mentally.
    • There's also the two beings overseeing everything happening to Will, and discussing how it affects their Cosmic Chess Game.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe, Will notes that Cedric is even more disturbing now that she's gotten to know him on a personal basis, as she's seen his more "human" side to contrast his other Blood Knight tendencies.
  • The Unfavorite: Phobos, at least in Allora's eyes.
  • The Usurper: How the Rebellion refers to Phobos though the title really belongs to Allora.
  • Was Once a Man: The original Changelings were criminals and other social outcasts taken from Earth (the early Roman empire, specifically) and transformed.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Will sees events heading towards the canon backstory, she plans desperately to stop Phobos from seizing power. What she fails to consider, however, is that someone else (namely Allora) was indirectly responsible for Phobos' rise.
    • Likewise, Caleb sees himself the heroic Rebel Leader he was in cannon. In this world, he's actually a pawn of Narissa garnering unneeded unrest and racism.
  • Your Head A-Splode: How Phobos kills Allora.

  • Adapted Out: Appears to be the case with Blunk. In Ripples, it was mentioned that the Passlings chose to live in the mountains when the Blight arrived, and Phobos decided to leave them to their own business so long as they don't cause trouble, so there's probably no reason for Blunk to be in the more populated areas.
  • The Alcatraz: The Dungeons of Escannor beneath the royal palace of Meridian, a sprawling labyrinth of tunnels, pits, cells, and torture chambers.
  • Animal Eye Spy: Van has "Eye Frogs", which she uses to spy on things on both sides of the Veil.
  • As Long as There Is One Man: When Caleb is captured, he tells Van that the Rebellion is more than one man and won't end with him. Van knows this, but says she also knows how much of a difference one man can make.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Gregor is utterly devoted to Van, due to all the affection she's shown him (such as giving him a name). It's later shown this also applies to the other Gargoyles as well.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: According to Yan Lin, this region is the most common place on Earth to find portals to other worlds.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Caleb expresses this when considering the possibility of being caught by either Cedric or Van.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: When guiding the new Guardians through their first time with their powers, Yan Lin mentions that these guys are real, although actually visitors from some other world. Also, apparently all rather nice people.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Caleb insists on training the Guardians in hand-to-hand combat to supplement their powers.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Tegus is apparently convinced he's a great ladies' man. No one's impressed.
  • Catch and Return: Gregor does this with a large chunk of ground that Cornelia tosses at him.
  • Co-Dragons: By this point in time, Cedric and Van have solidified their positions as this to Phobos, being known as his Hands.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Irma suggests grabbing a gun when they go after Cedric, only to be told his scales would No-Sell it.
  • Culture Clash: Caleb can't grasp the fact that Earth teenagers aren't automatically trained to fight.
  • Decadent Court: A rare example where this is a step up from the alternative, as this version of Phobos cares more about keeping peace than having a iron grip on his power. He'd rather have some sketchy allies won over without violence than purge everyone untrustworthy.
  • The Dreaded: For different reasons, Cedric and Van have this reputation.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Phobos is the only one to note the resemblance between Will and the younger, pre-transformation Van. Though as he notes, there are no portraits of Van from that time period, and he's the only person left in the Court who both knew Van back then and bothered to pay enough attention to her to really take in her appearance.
  • A Father to His Men: Panleus takes full and total responsible for the wellbeing of his soldiers. After sheer luck leaves him out of the capitol during the Guardians' break-in to rescue Caleb, rather than being relieved he can't be blamed for his underlings' failures, he blames himself for not being there to help them.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Being captured by either of the Hands is viewed as this.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Unlike the original timeline, the new Guardians almost immediately decide to go to Meridian in order to rescue Caleb after they see him captured by Cedric.
    • Because of the above, they end up running into and fighting an undercover Vathek before he has a chance to slip Caleb the key to his chains, which means they never have to frame Raythor as the rebel spy, so he's never thrown into the Abyss.
    • The Blight has more noticeable effects than "always overcast" and famine, in that a dark gel-like ooze manifests on inanimate objects, making buildings slimy unless regularly cleaned.
    • Phobos has a full Standard Royal Court instead of just Cedric, since as a comparatively more heroic regent he has far more allies willing to help.
    • Gregor, the chief Gargoyle, doesn't lose his hand to a closing portal due to the Guardians fleeing the castle by flight before heading to the portal.
  • God-Emperor: Deconstructed. Since it's commonly accepted that the royal family comes from godly heritage, Caleb believes that Phobos is divine in nature the same way a God of Evil is divine, and he's probably not the only one.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Vathek acknowledges this fully. His only reason for spying for the rebels is because his friend Julian asked him to.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: As Yan Lin notes, Will has self-esteem issues.
  • Hook Hand: Dezzhed has a number of interchangeable tools to fit over his missing hand, his favorite being a metal hook.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Dezzhed, the being Phobos employs as an interrogator. First of all, no one knows what exactly he is. Secondly, he's thin and pale to the point of his head looking skull-like, along with having large, lidless red eyes, and tusks jutting out of his mouth. And finally, there's his personality, of an utter sadist who relishes in how he gathers information from people.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When the Guardians are complaining about the training Caleb and Yan Lin are putting them through (physical from the former, magic from the latter), Taranee notes that at least Will doesn't have to do the latter since she has no unique Guardian powers. Will is clearly upset at that, given how she wilts upon hearing it.
  • Insistent Terminology: Dezzhed does not like being called an interrogator. He prefers "information acquirement specialist".
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Taranee threatens to burn off a captive Vathek's face if he doesn't talk. He calls her bluff, and she backs off. Cornelia, on the other hand, has no problem breaking rocks over his head.
  • Male Gaze: Phobos enjoys watching after Van when she leaves the throne room, and is implied to have enjoyed it for quite some time.
  • The Mole: Vathek, as per canon. Though he laments how much he hates himself for the things he's had to do to maintain his cover and to help the rebels, as he feels Both Sides Have a Point.
  • Mythology Gag: Due to Will's low self-esteem, Cornelia is taking de facto leadership of the Guardians, a reference to a similar setup early on in the comics that didn't transfer into the cartoon.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The chief Gargoyle, not called anything else in canon, has been christened Gregor by Van.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: The Guardians have the strongest magic around, and absolutely no clue how to be adventurers. Several characters comment on just how incompetent their rescue party is — yet they still make it out against unbeatable odds (with a little secret help from Vathek and Narissa).
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Mimira/Miranda for Cedric, which blinds her to his negative traits.
  • Smug Smiler: Caleb describes Phobos as such, to the point that he says he'd probably want to punch him in the teeth even if they were just strangers meeting for the first time.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Dezzhed the Interrogator, whom Vathek outright calls a sadist, and who is described as always speaking softly.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: It's confirmed here that Van can communicate with frogs.
  • Stations of the Canon: Word of God is that the story's going to try and avoid this, due to the various changes made by the AU not meshing well with being forced into every canonical detail.
  • Too Much Information:
    • Will's reaction to the mental image of Yan Lin being in the Guardian outfit.
    • Irma says this verbatim when Yan Lin mentions Tegus flirting with her.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Hestine is approaching this stage of her tenure as The Quisling, with Phobos and Van planning to eliminate her along with the rest of the corruption within the puppet Sisterhood and replace her with a different loyalist who's actually devout.

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