(this is the weirdest and most self-indulgent idea for an au i have ever had. i’m almost ashamed of myself. almost.)
after they beat the titans, erwin&co. set out to explore the world. (as an aside, everyone is alive in this au.) they travel up north where they find an old abandoned city from before the walls. it’s a ruin, but it is immense. almost as big as sina. a city the size of a small country.
the buildings too are like nothing they’ve ever seen. tall, taller even than the walls. hundreds of years of neglect have ground the concrete to dust and left nothing but the steel skeletons underneath, but even so they are impressive.
the underground is even more so. if the city above is a graveyard, the one underneath is a museum. hange nearly loses their mind when they see all the stuff left behind by the people who used to live there. the technology is almost alien to them — decades, if not centuries, more advanced than the most advanced piece of technology inside the walls — but hange manages to figure out how some of the machinery works and after a thorough exploration of the underground city, erwin decides that they all set up camp there. winter is coming fast and they’re not going to find a better shelter than a highly-technologized underground city.
(they even have running water. hot water. levi is ecstatic.)
their shelter for the winter becomes their permanent home when one day in the dead of winter, one of their patrols outside (or rather topside) is attacked by frost giants.
yes. actual frost giants.
and then it’s full-on ragnarok. humans made gods via technology versus actual mythical monsters.
so basically this entire setup exists because i had a sudden and extremely violent thirst for erwin with long hair, plaits, a majestic beard and a metal arm, wielding a motherfucking broadsword and fighting frost giants against the backdrop of a ruined futuristic city.
i never said any of this was supposed to make sense.
weirdest and most self-indulgent idea ever, remember?