martes, 28 de marzo de 2017


A story set in a world very similar yet very different from ours (for instance, with Nazis on the dark side of the Moon and within the hollow Earth, aside from all-steampunk transportation; it's later revealed to be a Confederate States uchronia in which Europe retained its world supremacy, hence the country-esque, Ruritanian, steampunk aesthetic!) with my OCs, the Chronicles/New World of Darkness, and the inspiration being the EPIC Japanese nineteenth-century fantasy that inspired a four-parter in Season 20 of Detective Conan, the first season of the magical girl warrior anime Corrector Yui (fillers aside: only the episodes in which new correctors are introduced, and the finale), the first Digimon season titled Digimon Adventure, and a boys' love anime sharing the hypotext's title of Hakkenden.

Spiritus Mundi: Of Those Lucky Bastards tells the story of:
  1. a perky and wealthy, yet at heart awkward Southern French Heiress or Lightbearer who collects funny hats and loves to dress up and draw attention, yet with a dark secret insecurity concerning her loneliness and previous guardians' (Moon Nazis'!) sinister schemes (Two-Leaf Clover on left forearm: the Shino character -- Douceline "Douce" Enjolras),
  2. a Byronic high-ranking Staunen officer of the Centre for Circumferential Navigation (and member of the Nine Vertex Devils Club thanks to his pedal-propelled skychaser, which is just like Sportacus's sky chaser!), who happens to be her guardian, the leader of them all, and the team dad/oniisama, aside from a sarcastic lovable eccentric (like his own guardian, a retired French colonel of the same catalyst and foundation); later on, this young man is killed by the Nazis and resurrected/emasculated as an emotionless yet equally snarky Osirian of the Refinement of Cobalt (Six-Leaf Clover on corner of left eye: the Kenpachi character -- Étienne Enjolras [also known by various aliases such as Staffan Storm or Csele István])
  3. a Lützen-based Scholastic Wesley --also a Staunen-- studying at Leipzig University, yet commuting home to Lützen, who prefers using his wits to fighting, endowed with an extraordinary skill of probability (One-Leaf Clover on left shoulder: the Shinobu character -- Clément "Clem" Enjolras)
  4. a hot-blooded 80s-style rockstar, formerly the keytarist and leader of Prüssiän Blüe with a troubled past -involving massacre of the acting troupe to which Douce and Claudine were also born- and difficulties in relationships (and a keytar that is actually a guntar disguised with the Invoke Conclusion, with the inscription THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS left untouched) who happens to be a Tropicana Siren affiliated to the Current of Dark Passions, with an acquired poison immunity that will soon come in handy (Five-Leaf Clover on nape of neck: the Dousetsu character -- Laurent Pascal "Aliöth" Enjolras)
  5. a badass, charming and dashing dark-skinned/freckled blond tennis-playing heiress/ojou who blossoms as a Champion of Swords, and gets involved in an Othello-esque intrigue with her Moon Nazi lieutenant coach/guardian Rainer due to a misplaced wrist sweatband found by Étienne (Three-Leaf Clover on brow: the Daikaku character -- Louise "Wiske"/"Rapière" Enjolras)
  6. the scarred and one-eyed owner of a macaron foodtruck --Meowcarons-- that is actually bigger on the inside (mansion-sized, like a TARDIS), a realistic titian blond with a soft spot for stray cats and a friendly demeanour, aside from a missing right eye and a dark secret involving flashbacks about drunkenly falling from heights on shattered glasses, which makes him bleed all over, even from his missing eye --he's a stray Messenger Happenstance wraith or Slip-Up (in his life, he was the beholden, adoptive brother, and muggle best friend of the Navigator leader, and practically began a bromance with Étienne that has officially developed into love)--... (Eight-Leaf Clover on left gluteus; the Kobungo character -- André (mortal name)/Secretkeeper (temporary, former wraith name) Enjolras)
  7. a reserved Gothenburg-Valencian amateur otokoyaku/bifauxnen thespian (plays Cassio, Mercutio, Laertes) and type 2 diabetic, with recurrent dreams of drowning in outer space, who appears to be the sole mortal in the group and who serves, along with the Wesley, as a Lemony narrator... (She later becomes a Vaporia Siren with various electric powers, able to fly and change gender at will, a dutyborn of the Current of Conflict -even though, with her condition, her powers are limited)... (Seven-Leaf Clover on right forearm: the Sósuke character -- Arya Aleksandra Enjolras)
  8. ... and a graceful and stubborn, gorgeous cajón drummer/backup singer, vying with her partner for the role of lead singer, which she has wrested from him after their breakup, of Prüssiän Blüe and in a presently-broken relationship with said keytarist; an M2F trans person raised by an actor troupe, with a heart of gold but a split personality that will come in handy, who will find their way into their group as well; actually an Oceanid Lahmasu (half human, half Oceanid) in the School of Fog, a bastard rejected/persecuted by her paternal family and coldly, convolutedly seeking revenge on them, aside from on some particular members of the enemy NWoD factions featured in-universe (Four-Leaf Clover on left pectoral: the Keno character -- Claude/Claudine Enjolras)
  9. well as a ninth person, not surnamed Enjolras, but still connected to the clan and who has been following their steps all the time; are they good or evil? (the Daisuke character -- Réna/Rhiannon ???)

They fight Loyalist of Thule Nazis and Stormbringers, the Cheiron Group, Ahabs, Letheans, and Flensers; in a world where these young people, all of them left-handed orphans and half-siblings with a birthmark of a differently-leaf clover on different parts of their skin, all have to stick together, accept the surname Enjolras --their mother's (Renée Enjolras --also known as Csele Réna, Renate von Wieduwillst, etc.--, an eccentric heiress without any special powers, but with an affinity to attract and bed supernaturals of both sexes!) surname-- and confront those who would like to cut them up and especially those Stormites --their rightful legacy being wrested from them by a Princess of Storms now resurrected as a half-human Lieutenant leading a sinister group of well-intentioned extremists (may of which, like creepy Shining-esque twins Kanna and Kagura, Isuzu, Ayame, Fumi, Ritsu... not to mention the leaders themselves, Yayoi and Uzuki, have names taken from months in archaic Japanese) who do not care about any collateral damage if it means taking down the Darkness --worth citing that some of the Enjolras siblings, due to their circumstances, are considered creatures of the Darkness by the Stormbringers! 
In between Debut Queue, Putting the Band Back Together, Dwindling Party, heist sagas like the Ocean's trilogy, and a first arc finale with Étienne kidnapped by stunning Thulean Baroness Ilse, rescued at the cost of his own life --the puzzle he was made to solve had been made by Ilse as a catch 22 scenario that would bring the solver to die from a volley of laser shots as soon as the puzzle was cracked--, and subsequently resurrected as an Osirian (following the instructions written in his journal as "MANNER TO PROCEED IN CASE OF ÉTIENNE ENJOLRAS BEING CLINICALLY DEAD;" to announce his status to the CCN as missing in action and take his form to some demiurge acquaintances of his), which can be read as a retelling of The Snow Queen with the team leader in the role of Kai and a team of seven Gerdas (including a brutal subversion of the Women as Reward and Paid Harem tropes in which gay leader Étienne snarkily tells bisexual Vamp Baroness Lilia during their brief stroll through her Den of Iniquity: "I don't want women. Not as reward, not to make love with. I would rather gladly appreciate a brand new pair of ice-skates. Number 40, so they fit.")... with a new twist or left turn at every corner, this saga is sure exciting... and even more when what we took for granted is turned on its head, revealing this to be not a clear-cut conflict of good versus evil!

Wiske reeled backwards as the spherical ray of firelight gradually left her personal space.
The fireball struck Rainer right in the heart, opening a tennis-ball-sized hole in the middle of his chest, then evaporating after it had severed spine, flesh, skin, shirt.
Once he had pinned her to the ground, flushed with brandy and trying to stab her, no matter how much she writhed, while torturing her about giving the wristband to that bloody Frog... and now he lay on his back, pale and cold as ice, with an empty hole where his heart should have been.
She stood back, entranced, looking at the racket in her left hand --now a sword with a racket-sized and racket-shaped blade. Wondering whatever had happened right then and right there.
And if he really deserved it. The one who as a stripling --no longer a boy, not yet a young man-- had fled the Thulean outpost where he was born and raised, weary of his parents' expectations, the terrible physical and emotional pain from his tutors, the lack of friends, and the fate of a lamb led to the slaughter... the fact that the other cadets in his batch of freshly-baked lieutenants, all of them more physically developed, had always called him a "ladybug" in that mocking tone... and his back and limbs were rife with scars from slights that other young officers had committed... It was no wonder that Rainer, after literally fleeing for his life, had clung so strongly to Wiske. Because she had felt sorry, because she had seen the tennis prodigy and the self-made socialite, as well as the runaway outsider, where others saw the Nazi lieutenant; because they were both lonely young people, friendless and surrounded by liars; a stripling and a little girl who might as well have been siblings.
And yet, should her guardian have seriously tortured her, trying to drown his sorrows in brandy, accepting a French liquor in spite of his self-proclaimed hatred for Frogs and Slaves... ironic given the fact that his own society had always rejected his imperfect personality, and even considered discarding him altogether for being faulty?
And now he lay there, shot through the heart.
By the same force that had transformed her.
Just because she had misplaced her wristband for about an hour and another man had found it.
She looked down towards her own chest and saw the breastplate. Her tennis shoes turned to black or dark chocolate-coloured Wellingtons, her ponytail lowered into an eighteenth-century queue... and her usually freckled arms, lilywhite unless the sun made them red as crawfish, having become completely golden-brown, the colour of a perfect latte. Surely her face had changed phototype as well... but that breastplate? That glittering, dazzling breastplate, with those golden and scarlet trimmings?
"This cannot be true, Louise. You look just like your dream self."
Her dream of that battlefield, of looking like that warrior in her dream, the breastplated maiden that shot a Schutzstaffel-uniformed Rainer through the heart with a gun she usually carried flung across her back. She'd had dreams of storming fortresses and defending them from besiegers, of victory revels, and even of being left for dead upon the battlefield at a twilight clouded by carrion crows, or of limbs being severed and eyes gouged out; either at the surgeon's or on the war front.
She swallowed her welling tears, whispering to herself not to cry over and over again.
"Try drying up your tears," Étienne said, reaching out her wristband, his smile sincere and warm, now seeming far closer to her. "It wasn't the Thulean lieutenant, at the end of the day; she was the one..." he then muttered to himself.
Wiske took up the band at first hesitantly. The fireball then suddenly returned and lodged on her third eye, right between her eyebrows. A light shining brightly; she did not feel it sear her skin but rather as a kiss and a caress. The wristband, back where it should be on her right wrist, was now a compact-shaped silvery shield with a golden outline. Yet she took up her racket-sword to see her face reflected on the blade, and was surprised not to behold her transformed self's latte skin, but at the sign between her eyes: a floral pattern with three leaves or petals, instead of the six forming an ice crystal on the corner of Étienne's left eye.
"The three-leaf clover..." said both Étienne and Wiske at unison.

SPOILER ALERT: Rainer, after being laid in state, is also resurrected --endowed with a waterproof clockwork heart-- and returns to life as a supernal Siren Promethean with the Humour of Relationships!

The original Satomi Hakkenden, the Chronicles of the Eight Warriors of House Satomi/the Satomi Clan, an 106-volume epic and its days' counterpart of A Song of Ice and Fire when it comes to length and complexity, begins with the Warring-States-era story of Tamazusa Anzai --the rightful lady of the shire (or is she?)-- and Satomi Fusehime, Lady Fusé Satomi --the usurper's only daughter (or is she?)--. A curse (to only mother bastards) placed by the former on the latter's household after the coup causes Fusehime to take a bullet to the heart from her spurned suitor/intended fiancé Daisuke Kanamari, leading a detachment of her clan's own men; her heroic sacrifice and the purification rituals she had undergone before to free herself from the curse cause eight beads of her rosary to scatter and become eight children, each of them associated with a different virtue of confucianism and with a peony birthmark on a different body part. The bulk of the epic centers on the Debut Queue of these diverse characters meeting one another and learning about their shared destiny, and their subsequent struggle against a resurrected Tamazusa, who has wrested their rightful place --or is it?-- from the Satomis in a bloody counter-coup, since Kanamari abdicated as penance for accidentally shooting his bride down... and the climax is the confrontation of the leading ensemble against the villainess in the fortress tower that is the epicentre of all this legendary Anzai-Satomi war...

The original Hakkenden is a novel expansion of a motif which appears to have developed in parallel in the East and West. While Takizawa's main influence was the Chinese Suikoden, or Outlaws of the Marsh... Occidental versions exist as well, such as Mme. d'Aulnoy's Belle-Belle and the Baron von Münchhausen's adventures (the Baron has a super-strong servant who can uproot and shoulder pines as if they were carrots, a super-fast one who has to wear weights on his ankles to walk, a sniper who never misses the mark, a sharp-eared one who can hear the grass grow, and one with gale-force lungs; Belle-Belle has servants with the same powers, plus an omnivore who requires a cartload of bread washed down with a whole lake... just for breakfast). In the present day, classic heist series like the A-Team and the Ocean's Trilogy, to which this AU is partly a tribute, have drunk at the same source.

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