Last Update: 7/26/2021
July 26, 2021: added about 3k words, mostly exposition/dialogue, to chapter 5
June 26, 2021: added ~4k words (mostly code) to ch. 5, including name selection
April 26, 2021: added part 1 of chapter 5.
March 26, 2021: Added the hospital flashback with Ace (~5k words)
February 26, 2021: Changed some code, reworked some stats.
January 26, 2021: Added 10k more words to chapter 4, polished a few earlier scenes.
December 26, 2020: Just a patch.
November 26, 2020: Added the first scene of Chapter 4. Fixed some bugs.
October 26, 2020: Added a psionic option for exploring the ship.
September 26, 2020: Added more (10k words) to chapter 3.
August 26, 2020: Posted prologue and the first 2.5 Chapters.
Hello, I’m Palette_Jack and I’ve been working on a Sci-Fi game called Valhalla. It’s heavily inspired by a show called Farscape, including a befriend-able ship.
You are a mercenary trying to make a living on the edges of the Solar Imperium- but you find yourself sucked up into a wormhole, and everything changes.
You play as male, female, or non-binary, and as one of four species. There will be four romanceable crew members, whose genders will be decided by the player.
Right now it’s just the prologue, chapter 1-4, and some of chapter 5. Word Count: 79k with code, 56k without.
Here is the DEMO.
I’d appreciate any kind of feedback, but especially pacing, continuity, and anything that would make the dialogue sound more natural.
Most humans fall under the dominion of the Solar Imperium, which is the dominant political force in local space. It has been in power for several centuries now, always led by the royal Imperator. Besides Earth (now known as Terra), the Imperium controls dozens of colonies, the largest being Petra, Esper, Stol, and Yue.
Official human colonies- that is, those either founded by the emperor or those who have seceded their independence to it- are policed by the Solar Legion. The Legion is both the military arm and “peacekeeping” force of the imperium, and is generally one of the leading causes of problems in the sector. Being on the edge of the imperium proper, the local legionaries are also responsible for controlling- and expanding- its borders.
The rest of humanity falls under the catch-all label of Freeholders. They live on Laika, Hatshepsut, Samara, and other planets around the core-side edge of imperial space. As a human, the player character is one of these freeholders.
The etherian species is from the planet Azata, a world of oceans and lush jungle islands in the Yve-Zahazsi system. A tall, semi-aquatic species, although the gills along their ribs close during puberty. Etherian skin ranges in color from through blues, greens, greys, and purples, with tiny prismatic/neon flecks in prominent areas (forehead, brow, nose bridge, cheeks, sometimes chin) that catch the light and show different colors at different angles. Traditionally, males have straight hair, females braid their hair, both keep it very long, and it comes in natural grandients. They are naturally gifted with psionics also have neon pink blood.
Politically, etherians are divided between the Azal (the main faction) and the Orajzh (the outcasts). The Azal are the oldest nation in local space, having held power for the over a thousand years, and are the only nation on par with the human imperium. They have long-standing traditions about art, beauty, and family, but are also strict regarding social roles. They are a matriarchal, theocratic people, with the priestesses and female heads of houses being in charge of the government. Lately, however, the government has gotten tighter, cracking down on anyone inconvenient, labelling them “heretics” and exiling them. This change coincided with the declaration of what the leaders call a “holy war.” They’ve been fighting their plant-people neighbours, the Ydiv, ever since.
The Orajzh, meanwhile, are descended from every etherian who’s ever been exiled from the Azal. And there have been many, many new exiles lately to join them. They don’t have a unified government like the Azal do, instead existing in city-states across numerous planets. As an etherian, the player character is technically an Orajzh.
Guaran are bulky and very tall, standing anywhere from 6-8ft tall. They have semi-crystalline organic plates that function as natural armor, although without proper care, the plates remain small and unobtrusive. The major plates grow from the skin along their upper back/shoulders, arms and elbows, and their head, brow, and sometimes jaw. Plating shape is widely variable, especially between classes of guaran. Their skin colors are usually dark, earth tones, with bits of coloration matching their plates, while the plates are similar in color and pattern to jewels and semiprecious gems.
The guaran are a manufactured species that won its freedom two centuries ago, and have been working hard to establish themselves ever since. They were originally designed for war by the Solar Legion, who took a highly-adaptable and highly-intelligent animal species and genetically modified them into 10 ft-tall super-soldiers. Ever since the break, though, the guaran have taken over and modified the old way of tank-breeding to make smaller, healthier members. They also have a tenuous political relationship with the other major players in local space, aside from their allies, the oklidde.
Guaran exists as several subtypes, which an individual chooses when they enter adulthood, and which they join through the use of special routines and stimulants over the course of several years. These subtypes, which they refer to as classes, are a reclamation of the different specializations once forced on them by the legion, but have since become a cultural touchstone. The most famous are the emissaries, bulwarks, bishops, and eidolons, although at least a dozen exist in total. Guaran place no importance on gender, and see an individual’s class as the more essential identity.
Tomei are small, usually 4-5 feet tall, with the males typically being shorter than the females. They have spiky hair and fur, with the longest fur being their manes, the fur on the forearms, and at the end of their tails. They come in all sorts of patterns and colors that are hereditary, so various families can look wildly different. They also have small claws on both their hands and feet, as well as auditory spurs instead of ears.
The tomei have always kept their home planet a secret, and so far, no one has ever been able to find it. All known tomei in local space live either among their own species on multicultural planets, or on their own personal spaceships. Tomei live and travel in clans, which are extended families going back four or five generations, and which are led by the families’ elders. Making things is a big part of their culture. Like weaving, which they use to decorate their clanships with tapestries depicting their family histories.
Tomei are, unfortunately, treated as vagabonds by most other people, since they have no official government or holdings. However, they have a strong sense of community, and even have their own method of high-speed communication between their ships.
Romance Options and Crew Members:
Note: The romances are not gender-locked, and each RO is available as female, male, or non-binary.
𝗔𝗰𝗲 (Romance Option):
Allison (f), Alisander (m), or Alloren (nb) Romero
They are human, and about average height, with tawny skin and hazel eyes. They have big, curly dirty-blond(e) hair. Allison’s hair is the longest, Alisander’s is the shortest, and Alloren’s is somewhere in between. Alisander is scruffy, but doesn’t have a full beard. All three versions of Ace wear a bit of eyeliner, which they think makes them look dashing.
Ace likes to dress practically, and almost always has on an old leather flight jacket with colorful pins. Unlike most humans in this part of space, Ace was actually born on Earth. Their family is from Cuba, but they spent their childhood in eastern Australia and have the accent. They are sarcastic and sentimental, and will not hesitate to jump into the crossfire to protect their crew.
Ace is a mercenary captain with a crew of five, including you. You have known them for a little over a year, since you two met on the job, although you’ve only been an official part of their crew for the past eight months. As they are the only character you have history with, you have a few choices for how your relationship starts out. Your choice of history will NOT lock you in or out of a romance with them.
𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲 (Romance Option):
Szi’haana (f), Szi’hael (m), Szi’zhaar (nb) na Izhora
Blue is tall even for an Etherian. They have powder-blue skin flecked with prismatic shards, and the male and female versions have long hair, while non-binary Blue actually shaves their head. For those with hair, the color is a gradient of blue at the scalp, then white for most of it, and white-gold at the end. M!Blue’s hair is perfectly straight down to his mid-back, while f!blue has hers done up in fancy braids down to mid-shoulder.
They usually wear a dark, tight-fitting and semi-armored coat with steel and white-gold embellishments. While they seem severe at first, they’re actually really nice once you get to know them. They also have a strong “royalty” vibe, although it is completely manufactured. They’re always either obsessively ordered or irresponsibly laid-back, there is no in between.
Blue had to leave etherian space due to heresy, as they refused to fight in their species “holy war.” As such, they’ve spent the last two years or so running from their problems.
𝗛𝘆𝗱𝗲 (Romance Option):
Willow (f), Warren (m), Wynn (nb) Hyde
Lieutenant Hyde is a tall, buff human with broad shoulders. They have russet-colored skin, although much of it is covered in tattoos and splotchy birthmarks. They have dark hair with buzzed sides. Willow’s is pulled back into a long tail with multiple ties in it, Wynn’s is of medium length which they often put in a bun, and Warren is slowly going from a full buzz cut to a fauxhawk.
Although they no longer wear a full uniform, they still dress in military style. They like short sleeves and tank tops that show off their tattoos, heavy-duty boots, and pants with too many pockets.
Hyde is a Solar Legionnaire from the Esper colony. They are gruff and difficult to talk to, but gentle when talking to people who need it.
*spoiler: (Hyde is not fully human- they’re actually half-guaran, which everyone says is supposed to be impossible.)
𝗥𝗮𝘇𝗮 (Romance Option):
Raza (m), (f), and (nb)
Raza is a tomei, with red-brown fur and spiky red hair in a mane atop their head and along their forearms. They are short and scrawny, with a long tail, and the fur on their arms seems to be growing back in after being burnt.
They seem to have multiple versions of the exact same clothes, although very few of them actually fit. Usually, they wear an orange crop-top vest, a grey shirt that’s too short, pants with ripped knees, and oversized boots. They also always have a utility belt and circular, green-lensed tech goggles.
While Raza is wild and scatterbrained, they are also brilliant. However, they don’t use their genius to its full potential, preferring to use it for shenanigans. Although they originally left their clan ship to find new ways to help their family, they’ve gotten repeatedly sidetracked by breaking the law just because it needed breaking. They also get easily attached to people, which they’ve been trying not to do lately, but will soon have a whole new crew to bond with.
Like all oklidde, Orin is small, only about a metre tall. He is getting on in years, and his hide is darkening with age- although it’s still multi-coloured under the right light. As okliddes are a reptilian species, sometimes people refer to him as a tiny dinosaur, although technically he looks more like a kobold.
He likes to wear clothes with lots of buttons, zippers, and accessories, and has lots of pockets full of things that he’s picked up. He rarely wears a full shirt, preferring an unzipped burgundy jacket that’s just his size, and he hates shoes.
He is passionate, but grumpy, and likes to insult people in creative ways. He cares deeply about his friends, and he’s supportive of them, albeit in a grumpy-old-man sort of way. He’s also a bit of a magpie, especially for shiny thing and regardless of value.
Orin is an excellent pilot, having flown professionally for several decades. He is also a former rebel, and something of a hero, but the rebellion on his home planet didn’t go so well.
Valhalla is a supposedly-mythological creature called an Ark. They are a living, organic ship which the capacity to create wormholes for FTL travel. They’re about 200 metres long, with multiple decks. Their hull is sleek and organic-looking, crisscrossed with indented canals, bioluminescent in places, with fin-like frills along some of the lower edges.
Val is protective and curious, but easily frightened. They like jokes, although they need more practice. While Val is sweet and caring, their also terrible at boundaries, and doesn’t want to see their new friends leave.
Val used to be a guinea pig for legion scientists who were trying to unlock the full potential of FTL, as no other species so far has been able to create a usable wormhole the way arks do.
I also have a tumblr!