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Literature / The Dark Triad

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As much as it sounds like a bad fantasy title, the name of troper AFGNCAAP's ongoing serial story actually refers to this Dark Triad, the three problematic personality deficiencies narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. These and more have become fixtures of the Langley line of archdukes, a family that has been decaying in sanity for centuries in the center of what is shaping up to be some kind of mirror-Australia. But in 2041, Lux Langley II kills the wrong guy. Soft-spoken artist Aubrey London probably never imagined that he would be the string that, once cut, would unravel the country's most infamous bloodline. On the other hand, his surviving lover Ginger imagined a whole lot, particularly for Lux II's more innocent son.


The disaster unfolds against the backdrop of a future where technology is taking its most eldritch shapes, and where one can go for love where no one has gone before.

This is a normally private writer's exercise in openness. The first draft of each chapter hits the thread first, and then the editing process is open to watch. You might not find polish there yet, but you will find polishing—and might even get to help.

Here it is.


Tropes Found In This...Thing...So Far:

  • Afraid of Needles: Most Langleys are afraid of needles, probably because of their high risk of being poisoned. Lux Langley III suggests that it has happened so often over the centuries that they've built up immunities to the most popular toxins.
  • Anything That Moves: Played with in Kenichi's case; the fact that he sleeps with anyone who shows interest indicates a lack of confidence rather than the typical Casanova personality.
    • Played straight with Aubrey.
  • Book Dumb: Not assertive enough to tell anyone about his learning disability, Kenichi Zimmer has locked himself into this for years.
  • Body Horror: The curse Ginger put of Lux II for killing her lover— his body is constantly melting, leaving it up to him to re-sculpt it constantly. He can't.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kenichi is completely lacking in confidence and has the demeanor furthest imaginable from "badass"—yet handily dispatches an assassin with an old sword.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Lux III, who has spent the first fourteen years of his life surrounded by his father's staff, all embittered against the Langleys and with no hope for the youngest one. It's still hard not to defrost while around Kenichi 24 hours a day.
  • Face of a Thug: Though not exactly looking criminal, Aubrey London appears pretty damn intimidating. As useful as that is in the story's Wretched Hives, though, he isn't so comfortable with that reaction to him. If you want him to be yours forever, call him pretty. But expect him to deny it. Excessively.
  • Fisher King: When Duke Vox Langley was given control of the city of Lorre, he completely stopped its maintenance in favor of maintenance of his own deadly physical augmentations. It got ugly outside.
  • Genius Cripple: Demetrius London, who, despite being unable to walk or even leave his room, wraps all of the city of Iosethep around his little finger to keep Lux III safe.
  • Gilded Cage: Lux III's family is so hated that leaving the Langley skyscraper overtly is suicidal for him.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Demetrius London pulls the entire city of Iosethep into one of these by spreading the misinformation that the Langley skyscraper is locked down because Lux II's curse has spread to his mind, and he is loose in the building as a berserk monstrosity. The police tape off the premises as a safety hazard and stand guard to keep anyone from getting too close, but little do they know that what they're really doing is protecting the not-so-monstrous Lux III inside from the civilians who hate him.
  • Love Chart: The author keeps one just to see the visual mess. It's getting worse.
  • Namesto Run Away From Really Fast: Langley, literally. When Lux II mysteriously vanishes, the entirety of his staff vacates the house within a couple of hours, abandoning Lux III tied up in his bedroom. Only Kenichi, an inexperienced guard that Lux II only kept around for the lulz, comes back to make sure he doesn't die.
  • Papa Wolf: Never threaten the safety of one of Aubrey London's loved ones. The last time that happened, the debacle ended in him killing a zombie with a pair of scissors. No, wait—that was the time before the last time. The last time, the perpetrator narrowly escaped death by spoon. Seriously, don't do it.
    • Kenichi is approaching this status as well. He becomes quite competent at kicking ass when Lux III is threatened. Unless spiders are involved.
  • Posthumous Character: Aubrey is shredded by Lux II's ninjas in the first chapter, but remains very much alive in many characters' minds—one in particular.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Kenichi and Lux III both are terrified of spiders. Unfortunately, they are the only two people remaining in the Langley skyscraper when a particularly large one crawls across the ground floor. Hilarity Ensues as they treat it like a large-scale enemy.


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