A Tale of Heroes (WIP) - 218k words. Updated 12/17/2023 with Chapter 6: Part One!

Well now I can’t wait for Lat to notice MCs eyes slowly crystalize.

Why Lat in particular you may ask? Simple, name someone else who’d spend more of their free time looking into MCs eyes.

Checkmate.

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'Ello. Just want to remind you that progress is being made!

For example, I just finished writing a date you can have with Ignis in Chapter 6 (second ‘clean break’, too), and… Here’s a small teaser of it:

#"You're wearing that apron like you're doing it a favor, god damn."
	*set wrong_q + 1
	*set Ignis - 5
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:pensive:

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On a separate note, I’ve also been working on a few of the achievements in the game. Some of them will already be obtainable by the time of Chapter 6, while others will have to wait until the final chapters. Either way, here are a few of them:

Hear the Angels
Talking, talking, talking.

Let’s Kiss Tonight
To a song of romance.

Empress’ New Clothes
Commit to the foreign.

Be Proud, Tiger Cub
Legends only care for the strong.

Oh, Espejito
El príncipito se ha tornado un prodigio.

Alors, c’est la guerre!
Bring on your thousands.

Up with the Stars
Sail as traitors, land as Kings.

True Soul Rebel
Making himself up as he goes along.

See if you can figure out what each one is for! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Empress’ New Clothes is for going nekkid with Ignis at the onsen.

Let’s Kiss is… can you kiss one of the ROs during the dance at the correspondent’s dinner?

Espejito involves Nova somehow.

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For the non Spanish speakers, a translation of Oh, Espejito:

Oh, Mirror

The little prince has turned into a prodigy

Nope, but you can kiss everyone in Chapter 4… except Mars for some reason, who only gets “mars_date” instead of “mars_kiss” like the others do. Seems to serve the same purpose as a variable though.

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Hmm, no song of romance there, though.

The achievement is a reference to P!ATD’s ‘Let’s Kill Tonight’, fwiw.

Now, which team member most looks like they’d listen to P!ATD, I wonder…

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@Jjcb Instead of taking over the XoR discord again I’ll post here. I’m already looking forward to chapter 6. I loved most of the characters and want to know more about them. Aki is a cutie, and if she ever gets used to being called cute I’ll riot. I haven’t and my gfs are constantly mean to me. Lat is great love her as my best friend, and I’m looking forward to having a triad with her and Aki. Poor Ignis why doesn’t the press understand she isn’t like her parents. Oh, are you wondering why she still uses their wealth and answers their calls? Don’t worry about that, here let her causally splash around disgusting amounts of money. I kid, probably would have romanced her if Aki didn’t exist. Honestly all the ladies are great but Ignis and Lat seem like extroverts, and that can be exhausting. Seeker is really interesting and I understand why people bug you for the ability to romance him. I would be down for a V with him Ignis and me. My current unachievable dream is a polycule of Seeker dating Ignis, Ignis dating my MC, my MC dating Aki and Lat, Aki and Lat dating each other. Forlorn is a lovable grump, every time he grumbles or death glares my MC because of Aki I go “Aww, what a softie.” Now as I understand it Forlorn would kill me for the entirety of that last sentence, but that is just part of the charm. Quick note on Stratton, if he wanted to see me in fur he could have just asked. I felt uneasy with Gloria, I don’t trust a politician that charismatic and competent. I have firmly decided I want to deck Gloria in the schnoz. Maybe I’ll go further as the story progresses. When Other You was first introduced my first response was “What a smarmy asshole. Yeah I can believe that’s me.” Wait a second, I just got an idea. Can I romance Other You? Self-love is important. Other than that I look forward to see who Other You really is. If I play the guess game it is either the Blitz Queen, or the Broken King. I have no proof just it would make sense as these two character are introduced and already have effects on the story, but besides weather effects(Broken King) don’t have much of a presence in the story. Sadly I wasn’t very interested in Nova or Mars. Their alright but I’m not excited to learn more about them. I was more interested in Dark Star after I read his hero profile.
Quick aside before low-level feedback, is Aki the one who is down for a Socialist Monarchy?

Now Low-level feedback. I will say again, I am not smart, but I am a slow reader, so I have a list of things that stood out and corrections to them. I could be wrong.

Prologue; when you are at the end of reminiscing about meeting the professor, the line.
Still, the day picked up right after, didn’t I?
Is it meant to be ‘Still, the day picked up right after, didn’t it?’

Chapter 1; after waking up at the mansion, the line.
“Comfortable?” asks Nova from the doorway. "I hope so. They were made to size. Not exactly the height of fashion though, to Ignis’ chagrin.
Doesn’t have a closing quotation

Chapter 1; right after the last line.
“Oh, hey,” you greet him. He’s right about the fashionable part, you realize as you look on the mirror. It’s all subdued colors.
The ‘you look on the mirror.’ should be ‘you look in the mirror.’ or ‘you look at the mirror.’ I don’t think using ‘on the mirror’ is correct but then again as I’ve said before I’m not smart so it might work in English

Hero Profiles; Seeker, Ignis, and Aki’s images are broken for me. Debated adding this as they might not have been made yet, but better safe than sorry

Ignis, “The Personality”; the line.
…as well as being the one that motivates her fellow members to assist to fundraisers and political dinners.
‘to assist to fundraisers’ should be ‘to assist at fundraisers’

Ignis, “The Personality”; the line.
Whiles Ignis may be talented at dealing with people, where her true and incredible potential lies is in her ability to manipulate energy…
‘Whiles’ should be ‘While’
And I don’t believe ‘where’ and ‘is’ are necessary, as I think it makes the sentence a bit more clunky. Instead of ‘While Ignis may be talented at dealing with people, where her true and incredible potential lies is in her ability to manipulate energy…’ it would be ‘While Ignis may be talented at dealing with people, her true and incredible potential lies in her ability to manipulate energy…’ Both work and is down to personal preference.

Ignis, “The Personality”; the line.
It came to light in late 2019 that she is the current heir to the Coltello family, owners of several weapon-making firms in the US industrial-military complex…
For ‘industrial-military complex’ I’ve never seen it in this order before, usually it is ‘military-industrial complex’

Chapter 1; When you enter the kitchen, the line.
Ignis and Seekers are on the couch, watching the news and sharing a pizza.
‘Seeker’ doesn’t need the ‘s’ at the end

Chapter 1; When the energy blast is fired at Lat, the line.
Not uselessly, actually, you realize as the energy stops it in tracks, and instead rushes backwards towards Seeker.
‘you realize as the energy stops it in tracks’ Should be ‘you realize as the energy stops in its tracks’

Chapter 1; When Ignis is talking about how it went with the RPC, the line.
Maxwell asked me to make sure that our new members wouldn’t cause problems, but Maya took him down.
For ‘but Maya took him down’ did you mean ‘but Maya talked him down’ because I am otherwise imagining Maxwell got tackled. Which is hilarious in its own right.

Chapter 2; When we first meet Mars, the line.
“Seeker has entered the building armed,” DarK Star quickly explains.
The k in Dark Star is capitalized

Chapter 2; The fight with your other self, the line.
'So, this is gonna be very simple!" yells Other $!{name} from above you, an energy bolt on each hand. “You want to get out, go back to playing superhero…” he continues, taking aim, “you have to take me down!” he finishes, as you scramble out of the way of ${his} attacks, and deeper into the forest.
In my case, my MC’s other is gender swapping

Chapter 4; saying you like action movies while romancing Aki, the line.
When we get back the States, you can have a sleep-over
‘When we get back the States’ should be ‘When we get back to the States’

Chapter 4; Asking Aki about plushies, the line.
‘though I, uh, didn’t really get into horror stuff since I joined the League.’
‘since’ should be ‘until’, as since makes it sound like she stopped being into horror after joining the league. So ‘though I, uh, didn’t really get into horror stuff until I joined the League.’

Chapter 4; entering the bar with Seeker, the line.
“Jeez, you boys are getting taller by the minute,” Seeker says, sitting up in the floor. “How old are you now, five? Six?”
‘sitting up in the floor.’ should be, ‘sitting up on the floor.’

Chapter 5; Talking to Aki about Forlorn, the line.
Aki continues, unae of the other member of the conversation.
Is ‘unae’ meant to be ‘unaware’?

Chapter 5; Choosing to call Seeker, the line.
‘Not order me!’ you continue, forcefully cutting him off.
‘him’ instead of ${him} for Other You

Chapter 5; Choosing the smarts option against the robots with Aki, the line.
“Got it!” Lat replies, before her face lights up and she rushes away.
‘Lat’ should be ‘Aki’. It seems Lat has replaced Aki, or Aki has committed identity theft.

Chapter 5; Seeker after giving orders to Aki, the line.
“What about me?” you ask, having gotten close enough to see the gunfight in earnest now. There’s a lot of blood, the sounds of bullets firing off rings in your ears, and you hope those two are wounded instead of-"
Unneeded closing quotation.

Chapter 5; Seeker defending your decision to the Major, the line.
Or are you saying ${he} to disrespect a superior?
‘to’ is unnecessary.

Chapter 5; talking with Lat after being reunited, the line.
“What do you mean, ‘Power-Response things’? Do you mean the machines?” Is that their name? How does Lat know it?"
Unneeded closing quotation

Chapter 5; The Gloria question hub, questions, such as “Where are we going from here?”
don’t have *disable_reuse. might be intentional, I don’t know

Chapter 5; As you are off to deliver Nova’s “EMP”, the line.
It is as if you are on fire in the inside
‘in the inside’ should be ‘on the inside’ I believe

Chapter 5; Towards the end when the cultist is ranting, the line.
And its black mane if hair
Should be ‘And its black mane of hair’

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'Ello. :slightly_smiling_face: I’m glad you had fun, and that the cast was to your liking! And hey, I’ll have you know, Ignis is using her money for all her purchases, she was actually barred from the family vault!

Something like that. Aki thinks something like market socialism is actually a pretty good system, but she also thinks that ‘a spiritual monarchy, one serving as the heart of and the leading example for the people’ is something that can exist in the same system, and in fact should.

Forlorn used to believe something akin to that, though his position has changed significantly throughout the years. He thinks a monarch should have and be willing to use greater amounts of power (whereas Aki holds that such powers should be the purview of the elected public- and if a monarch is to wield it it should be temporary and only when so decided by the people), though he doesn’t argue for absolutism or anything like that- the monarch should still be subservient to the government*.

Expect those positions to soften, harden, and morph considerably as time goes on, and both Forlorn and Aki face the realities that the universe chose to make them face.


*Here, he and Aki do disagree. She doesn’t think the monarch should answer to the government, the monarch is part of the government, and they all answer to the people. If the government and the people disagree- the monarch should always side with the people, regardless of what the government thinks, threatens, or does.

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How did she get that money in the first place?

“Laura Coltello has signed an NDA regarding the source of her fortune and thus she regrets to inform you that, despite a wish to share, she is legally prohibited from sharing any information regarding the matter.”

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@jjcb what is each cast member’s weirdest political belief? Or just politics in general.

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Hmmm, well, you have Aki and Forlorn up there regarding the systems they believe in.

Ignis is a social democrat, as I think I’ve said before. She doesn’t necessarily think capitalism has to be torn down, but she is pretty committed in her belief that unchecked capitalism is both extremely dangerous and impossibly unfair- it leads only to massive suffering, as her family is famously guilty for enacting. She thinks a strong welfare state must be established, and that the government should actively regulate practices to make sure that the system comes as close to ‘fair’ as an inherently exploitative one such as capitalism can. I think her strongest belief is that there shouldn’t be billionaries at all. Every cent you make beyond a set number (a few dozen million dollars, probably) should immediately be turned over to the government and its programs for the less fortunate.

Mars is different, but also similar. While they hold the belief that the state should offer welfare programs and everything else, their arrival at that belief is less due to some ‘understanding of capitalism’s exploitative nature’ and more a belief that people do fall through the cracks, and that it is impossible to pick yourself back up once you do- the system has deteriorated to such a level that ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ is essentially mockery. People always end up needing help, and it is the job of the state to always be ready to provide it.

Nova is… wowee. Phew. His positions are less clear-cut, I think, for reasons that I find… kind of hard to put into words. While I think that anyone can develop a political ideology to follow regardless of class or position or anything like that, I don’t think Nova ever really had time to do that. He’s got a bunch of nebulous beliefs in his mind, and generally I’d like to say they’re progressive, but the general backdrop of the country he was born in means he’s not exactly above going ‘ends justify the means’, in a way that can definitely lead to blood being spilled. Nova’s never going to turn into some far-righter or anything like that, but how deep he goes into, say, left-wing nationalism, and how deep his distrust and animosity towards the USA goes is something that still needs to be figured out by him as time goes by.

Seeker’s complicated. I’ve said before that his positions are dependent on ‘what Victoria thinks’, but that’s only partially true. Seeker has thoughts, it’s just that, being as ‘unshackled’ as he is from traditional society, he doesn’t care about presenting them. Making Victoria happy takes a lot of precedence over the fact that he thinks stuff like UBIs should be established worldwide, that nationality and citizenship are… kind of dumb concepts in the legal sense, and other things like that.

Victoria’s, uh. She’s… a narcissistic anarchist, I guess. She doesn’t think states are necessarily legitimate (she would certainly refuse to ever belong – or answer – to one), but that’s less of a belief in the general tenets of anarchism and more that she doesn’t think any state should have the right to dictate what she does. It’s less ‘states are inherently coercive’ and more ‘you cannot coerce me, and I have zero qualms with breaking you in half if you try’. If you looked at her in D&D alignment terms, she’s probably something of the middle-step between chaotic good and chaotic neutral.

EDIT: Goddamnit, I knew I was missing someone.

Latooni’s a democratic socialist herself (she’s not particularly educated in theory, to be clear), and she does believe a market socialist economy is ‘best’, but unlike Aki, she does think republicanism beats monarchism by far. Monarchies are pretty farcical in a way to her- at least in the sense of ‘deserving any power’.

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The League is a whirling maelstrom of chaos in desperate need of hugs and therapy, and I really don’t think there’s a better way of illustrating that than annotating their dialogue with some internal monologue (poor Lat, this is her life now).

So here’s the scene with pizza from Chapter 1, where everybody’s a big happy family (except Mars)…


Nova: “Ah, we’re here.”

Ignis: “Oh, hey, you’re awake. Had a good sleep?”

Seeker: “Must have.” [bites pizza] “It’s nearly 9 AM. Rookie was out for a clean 13 hours.” They’re an okay kid.

Ignis: “Leave them be. They needed the sleep after everything yesterday. Nova, be a dear and get them… cereal?” I could have used a brother like that. “Is cereal okay? Oh wait, actually, we have some pizza le-”

Seeker: “No, you had some pizza left.” [eats last slice]

Ignis: “You’re an ass.” Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK. What am I doing??? I’m okay. No, yeah, for sure. I’m alright. I just need to get through this week. Try not to think about it, is all.

Seeker: “Maybe, but at least I’m full.” I… need to leave. Forever. And I need to stay. Forever. Fucking hell. What do I do? I can’t ask you. I was the only one, you never had to think about this. Okay, back to the drawing board. You still got more options, can’t give up yet. Stop thinking that, she wouldn’t be ashamed.

Nova: Seeker, I know blackholes that are less dense. And Ignis, what the fuck is your problem? Get him in a room, lock the door, and hide the key between your boobs. “Don’t mind them. I’ll get you some cereal, just give me a second to find a box that isn’t puking rainbows.”

Aki: “Hey…” So mean. :c

You: “Alright. By the way, where’s Lat?”

Lat: “Right here.” [steps into room, rubbing eyes.] Hey. Hey. Look at me. I’m cute. The cutest, actually. You should ask me out. “I asked Nova to let me come in on my own. Want to get used to the place. Anyway, I’m starving. What can I have?”

Nova: “Cereal.”

Lat: “Oh, hey, I like this brand. Thanks.” Ohoho. It is on, Mr Prankster.

Nova: “You’re welcome.” Finally, people to actually have fun with. Season 4 of the League’s Opera was getting fucking droll.

Aki: Cool. They seem friendly.

[newscaster covering Stratton press conference]

Aki: “Oh, that’s not good.”

Stratton: […] “The League of Heroes, the supposed ‘defenders’ of America, were right there at the event. They were invited to serve as security, to stand as the first line of defense of the Revolutionary Party. But when they were attacked, what did the League do? Did they fight? Apprehend the criminal? No! Did they do nothing, then? No! They did less than that! They took the one that almost destroyed one of this country’s two parties, and instead of submitting them to justice, they welcomed them as one of their own!” And that good for nothing’s also sucking up taxpayer money because the socialist and the traitor STILL have carte blanche to do WHATEVER THEY WISH, CONGRESS. PASS MY FUCKING BI-

[etc.]


Aki: Okay. Okay. Father pushed Grandfather until he gave me this job, and I can’t let them down. I need to do good. I hope Mom’s proud. “Yeah, he, uh, he was really mean. Said I was an ‘unproven criminal’, and that the League was making a horrible mistake. He barely mentions me now, though. But it’s still not fun when he does. I’m no criminal.”

Lat: “Screw him then.” Ayo fuck the government. “But what’s that ‘Powered Control Act’?”

Ignis: “A pipedream.” [gives Aki a lollipop] Don’t tell Forlorn it was me.

Aki: I always wanted a big sister. :3 I wish she wasn’t so sad all the time. :c

Lat: Awesome! I always wanted a little sister. Can I get away with getting her high, though…


Seeker: “Don’t worry too much about it, kiddo. You know what Forlorn says, yeah? ‘The only difference between politicians and clowns is that the clowns know how to apply their own make-up’.”

Aki: [snickers] God, it’s so weird. I remember when he was- … And now the Champion insisted on him? I don’t get it. I really need to talk to grandfather.

Forlorn: Okay. Okay. We’ve got to stay here, and… we keep quiet, and we don’t talk. I can’t tell her about the war. Just… one foot in front of the other. Every day. Forever. Take a breath, keep calm. They’re not real. They’re dead. They can’t be calling me. “I don’t sound like that at all. What’s going on?”


Framed like this, Lat and our protagonist really feel like solid rocks anchored in the Aegean Cataclysm-level mess that is our heroes’ lives, which I think is an accurate perception of the story despite our conversations with imaginary friends (?) in our head, a potentially concerning degree of battlelust, and our mind being shattered into tiny pieces upon hearing a teammate speak her native language. And I am here with the popcorn.

This also taking the internal monologue solely at entertainment value, but there’s some juicy stuff in there. Aki’s entire family is wreathed in death flags, even more so than they already are. Or even worse (for her mental health), worse-than-death-flags, which are probably self-explanatory. Or Stratton randomly mentioned Seeker’s predecessor. He could be talking about WW2-era Seeker, but…

Good thing the representatives of the Heavens (?) have a sense of irony.

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There is, 100%, going to be a line in-game where someone who knew the BK is going to be like ‘wtaf is that epithet’. :grin:

The US government has no knowledge of Victoria, I can say that much.

When they learn of her existence, expect much arguing!

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My MC will appreciate Victoria from a distance but hate dealing with or trying to coordinate with her. Will we be able to lean into a “might makes right” philosophy in our statecraft? I know we’re meant to be good noodles, but my goal is to get as close to Injustice Superman as I can lol

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@Jjcb We know Crete has a big respect for its powered population and the concept of heroes, owing to its history, but what does villainy look like in the country? Any notable Cretan supervillains?

More broadly, who are some famous villains active in the world right now? Will we ever have a chance to encounter any? So far the powered underworld had been left in the dark, it would be cool to learn more.

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It has always been, though? If you to pull yourself by your bootstraps, presuming you have your boots on, you end up with you back flat on the floor.

Also, can’t help but notice (emphasis mine)

Just as a curiosity, would that quote be just as accurate if you put the emphasis in the word “me” instead?

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That is basically Other You’s philosophy, so yeah, you’ll most likely be able to implement it on some shape and form.

But if your state is run through ‘rule of the strong’ and ‘vae victis’, don’t expect your neighbors to be particularly glad to deal with you.

Less ‘heroes in general’ and more the Hero Monarchs specifically, to be fair.

Powered people exist in Crete, of course, but the way of the country means that powered heroes haven’t really had a chance to shine- the country’s ‘existential threats’ that would allow them to garner glory keep getting swallowed by freak storms before they land, for some reason.

Like regular criminals, more or less.

Even discounting the King (who would atomize terrorists in Crete (now you know why the Cult won’t go there)), the country does have its Queen’s Guard complement, which tends to be pretty ideologically tied to the preservation of the HM’s Realm. To be an open villain is thus pretty dangerous, because you end up having to be small enough to not attract the BK’s attention, yet strong enough to fight off the 600+ paramilitary chanting ‘In the King’s name!’ every day before going to sleep.

So most powered people keep to traditional ‘villainy’. Drug and human trafficking are both big things they do (Crete’s the closest European state to NA, which leads to traffickers and such to use it as a sort of ‘highway’). You’ll get big criminal outfits run by powered people once in a while, but the thing that they’re known for is the fact that they burned someone alive to send a message rather than the fact that they can spit acid.

Yeah, if you’re the Byzantine Emperor or the US President. :stuck_out_tongue:

It depends on your definition of villain, but there are many ‘hostile’ actors spread around the world right now. I can’t share their names at the moment, but know they’re definitely famous, just not in the way you’d think.

Regardless though, super villains don’t tend to have a very long life expectancy in AToH. The government and the public have essentially zero qualms with the League (for example) vaporizing some dude trying to do insane shit, so villains don’t have the chance to… spread their roots, so to say.

This is sort of where AToH diverts from traditional American comics, I guess. Forlorn isn’t going to throw the Joker into Arkham, he’s gonna crack his head open and make an omelette. If you’re a big enough hassle to get the League called on you, you’re a walking corpse.

This leads to most of the seedy powered underbelly to be less ‘Riddler’ or ‘Doctor vom Doom’ and more to be either regular criminals with an extra oomph, or state-sponsored in some way, which leads to you being dangerous to take out for fear of war and getting a pretty fucking sweet deal.

The Chinese Emperors used to coopt most uppity powereds in the Middle Kingdom, for example, to the point not being capable of convincing one of them to serve the Emperor was destabilizing.

And in the same general vein, the system also has its quirks with geopolitical situations. The US categorizes Cuba’s powered people as terrorists, for example. Same with Iran.

Essentially. I saw someone talk about Victoria a few days ago, and they sort of hit it in the head.

“She’s not an ideological anarchist or anything close to that, her thing is that she’s stronger than any state actor, which means she exists in a state of anarchy by default.”

She’s basically what the weird American ultra-nationalists wish the USA was, some sort of earthly God that can act with complete impunity and the rest of the world just has to ‘deal with it’ or else ‘get invaded and taught a lesson’.

(That was part of the idea behind her character, to be frank.)

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