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Once and Future (WormxFate)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Aldsan, Aug 26, 2023.

  1. Threadmarks: 0.0 - New Beginnings

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    (NOTE: While I will count votes in this thread for normal choice voting, voting for experience allocation will by necessity require Plan-based votes, and thus need to be consolidated to a single place. The home for any Plan voting will be on Spacebattles).

    I woke to a dark room.

    It felt as though I had been dreaming. A distant, grassy field. A blue sky in the distance, yet so close I felt as though I could touch it. Already, the details escaped me. A part of me wished to return to sleep again and recapture that scene.

    That was impossible though. However much I wished, that scene would not return. To begin with, a dream is something that only happens once and not continuously. Simply closing my eyes would not bring its return.

    All was silent except for a soft, rhythmic beeping. I slowly pushed myself to sit up, staring for a moment, first at the heart monitor and then down at the IV that was in my arm. I was in the hospital? Running a hand through my hair, I looked around. How had I gotten here? I couldn’t… I couldn’t remember. I had been returning home from school. I had heard screaming – and now I was here.

    I slowly pushed myself onto my feet, only to have them almost immediately give way underneath me. I clutched to the side of the bed, barely holding myself upright. A shuddering breath ripped through me. So weak.

    Clenching a fist, I grabbed the IV stand and used it to support myself as I forced myself back to my feat. I wouldn’t allow my own body to defeat me. I limped towards the bathroom, stumbling a few times, but finally making it to where I could stare into the mirror.

    An unfamiliar face stared back. I reached out and ran fingers against the mirror and traced unfamiliar lines. Gaunt cheeks and emaciated flesh. It hardly resembled the me from before. Even putting that aside however, there was something off, something strange that I couldn’t put my finger on.

    It didn’t matter. I would figure it out eventually.

    The door burst open and a nurse in blue scrubs rushed into the room. Her gaze fell first upon my bed, an expression of shock crossing her face before she finally looked around and spotted me. “You’re awake?” She asked, a note of wonder in her voice.

    “I am.” I stared back at my reflection in the mirror for a brief moment before returning my eyes to the nurse. “I feel as though I’ve been asleep for some time.”

    “It’s been almost an entire year,” the nurse said softly, as though afraid the news would somehow break me. I simply nodded and stepped out of the bathroom to meet her.

    A new day had dawned. A new beginning. I would do my best to meet it head on.

    Of course, the question remained. Who are you:
    [ ] [CHARACTER] The daughter of a dock worker.
    - Low starting funds and low renown, but high freedom.
    [ ] [CHARACTER] The daughter of a hero.
    - Moderate starting funds, high starting renown, comes with expectation of heroic behavior.
    [ ] [CHARACTER] A rich heiress.
    - Extra funds per rest period, comes with expectation of good social behavior in your non-cape persona.
    [ ] [CHARACTER] (Write-In)

    What drives you?
    [ ] [POWER] To protect the innocent. (Brute)
    - Increased armor class, max hit points, and healing rate.
    [ ] [POWER] To destroy your foes. (Striker)
    - Increased melee damage.
    [ ] [POWER] To quest far and wide. (Master - Projection/Mover)
    - Always have access to a mount.
    [ ] [POWER] To lead others to battle. (Trump)
    - Empower allies.
    [ ] [POWER] To hold court and rule. (Thinker)
    - Bonuses to social rolls.
  2. Index: Character Sheet

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
  3. Index: Rules: Basic Rules

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hello, and welcome to Once and Future. This will be using a variant of the Pendragon tabletop ruleset.

    Your main goal is to accumulate Renown as a Parahuman. Note, that Renown is separate from Reputation. Reputation is simply a measure of how the world sees you, whether as a Hero or Villain, and can fluctuate based on your actions. Renown is the fame that you gather for doing great deeds, and doubles as your experience, gaining new perks as you become more famous.

    Dice rolls are resolved much like blackjack. You want to score as close to your target threshold as you can without going over it. This means that if you have a score of 10 in Academics and need to take a test, then a dice roll of 1-9 is considered a success, 10 is a critical success, 11-19 is a failure, and 20 is a fumble. By increasing your score, you can increase your chances of success.

    Time spent is divided into two phases. An activity phase, where you attempt to influence the world in some fashion, and a rest phase, where you take the experience of your actions and attempt to learn from them. Note, that as skills increase, it becomes increasingly difficult to increase them further.
    Xedornox likes this.
  4. Index: Rules: Trait and Characteristics

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Your abilities in this quest are governed by a number of traits and characteristics. Five Characteristics quantify every character’s physical qualities.

    Size: Measures a character’s relative height and weight compared to others. Governs health and how hard you are to knock down.
    Dexterity: Measures a character’s agility and nimbleness. DEX keeps a character upright or mounted when there is a possibility of knockdown in combat.
    Strength: Measures a character’s physical power and their ability to exert force or pressure on an object.
    Constitution: Measures health and vitality.
    Appeal: Measures the character’s natural charm, presence, and physical attractiveness.

    The Derived Characteristics are: Knockdown (SIZ), Major Wound (CON), Weapon Damage (STR + SIZ/6), Brawling Damage (STR + SIZ/6), Healing Rate (CON/5), Movement Rate ([STR + SIZ/2] + 5), Total Hit Points (SIZ + CON), and Unconscious (Total HP/4).

    Traits represent a character’s personality. They define a character’s feelings and govern behavior. The combined total for a trait pair is always equal to twenty. An increase to Energetic, for example, will cause an equal decrease to Lazy and vice versa.
    Chaste/Lustful: This Trait pair measures a range of attitudes concerning carnal pleasure and romantic fidelity. It is important to note that failure at a Chaste roll or success at a Lustful roll does not denote an action but a feeling.
    Energetic/Lazy: This Trait pair measures a range of feelings and behaviors related to activity and inactivity.
    Forgiving/Vengeful: Some parahumans consider Revenge the accepted pathway to justice. Forgiving/Vengeful measures the range of these powerful emotions.
    Generous/Selfish: This Trait pair measures willingness to share or not share with others.
    Honest/Deceitful: This Trait pair measures a person’s subjective view of the truth and how much they are willing to bend it towards their own needs.
    Just/Arbitrary: This Trait pair measures a character’s subjective view of fairness.
    Merciful/Cruel: This Trait pair measures a character’s innate sense (or lack) of regard for their fellows.
    Modest/Proud: This Trait pair measures how much a person thinks of themselves in comparison with everyone else.
    Prudent/Reckless: This Trait pair measures how much a person thinks before acting.
    Spiritual/Worldly: This Trait pair measures a character’s attitude toward and faith in the unseen world. Worldly should not be conflated with Indulgent. A Worldly character need not seek excessive pleasures, instead taking a more moderate approach to life.
    Temperate/Indulgent: This Trait pair measures a character’s appetite for good food, drink, and other vices.
    Trusting/Suspicious: This Trait pair measures the level of faith a person places in the motivations and intentions of others.
    Valorous/Cowardly: This Trait pair measures how brave and audacious a character may be during times of extreme duress.

    Passions are strongly held values and beliefs. These can range from Loyalty to one’s companions, to a Love for one’s family. In a situation where it is appropriate, (for example, the Love for your family can be invoked if they are directly threatened), the character may invoke a passion to attempt to gain a bonus to their rolls. You can have a maximum of 40 points spread across various passions in each passion category.
    Reputation: A category unto itself, you desire to protect your reputation when it is on the line.
    Fidelity: Whether allegiance to friends, allies, or organizations, this passion represents personal loyalty.
    Fervor: Whether Love or Hate, this passion is an expression of intense feeling.
    Adoration: This represents extreme devotion to a person or religion. This goes beyond simple love or fealty into something more akin to awe.
    Civility: A respect for the laws of the land, the belief that certain rules should be upheld. This could speak to a respect for Heroism, or simply the enforcement of the Unwritten Rules.

    Skills are a way of measuring actions that the character can attempt to do in the quest.
    Social Skills
    The general sense of things around you. Used to spot something hidden or notice something out of the ordinary.
    Intrigue is the Skill of learning secrets, whether by gossip or eavesdropping. It is the Skill of learning a secret by knowing whom, when, what, and how to ask. It is the Skill of sifting truth from lies.
    Etiquette: Courtesy is knowledge of the culture, laws, and customs. This includes things involved in cape culture.
    First Aid: First Aid is immediate medical assistance.
    Leadership: Your ability to lead a team. This includes general team direction, as well as resolving interpersonal team conflict.
    Orate: Orate is the verbal Skill that can influence another person or group, stir emotions, or change minds. It may be argumentative, persuasive, coaxing, or cajoling, depending upon the need.
    Recognize: The Recognize Skill represents the ability to single out other capes. It is a relatively small group of people. You can use the Recognize Skill to remember a cape’s identity to recall the details of their reputations.
    Hunting: The Hunting skill can serve for tracking enemies or setting up traps.
    Stealth: A skill that measures your ability to remain unseen, or simply unnoticed.
    Flirting: Flirting is a Skill that uses a combination of words, tones, expressions, movements, gestures, and attitudes to communicate charm. Its main use is to gain someone’s interest, though it may also be a source of flattery.
    Fashion: A skill governing your ability to put together an outfit. Costumes are important to capes, an important first step in gathering Renown.
    Academics: Your general ability with schoolwork and other studies.
    Finance: Ability to handle finances and business.
    Politics: Knowledge of current politics and laws. Can be applied to knowledge of things such as NEPEA-5, as well as local gang territories.
    Science: Science is the knowledge of higher tier science, whether physics, biology, or chemistry.
    Technology: Technology governs skill with computers and other machinery.
    Religion: This Skill quantifies how much a character knows about the beliefs, rites, sacred calendar, and practices of a particular religion. The Religion Skill does not represent faith.
    Parahuman Studies: A measure of the current knowledge of Parahuman Science. Includes things such as power classifications, cluster triggers, and how certain trigger events can shape powers.

    Combat Skills
    Strategy is the knowledge and ability to lead others in and, if alone, survive a large-scale conflict, as well as knowledge of combat in general. It will help you pick out targets weaker than you, and avoid combatants that are stronger than you.
    Brawling: Punching, grappling, and knifing someone in the ribs.
    Melee: Swords, spears, bats, and other melee combat weapons.
    Firearms: Guns, bows, crossbows, and other ranged weapons.
    Parahuman Power: A measure of control and inventiveness with your Parahuman power.
    Drive: Used to control a vehicle, particularly in combat. You gain a bonus to rolls if you are mounted, attacking an unmounted combatant, but any rolls you make are limited to the maximum allowed by your Drive skill.
    Charge: Used when mounted to deliver a vicious charging melee attack.
    Xedornox likes this.
  5. Index: Rules: Checkmarks

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Sometimes, during the course of the quest you will receive a “Check” to a Trait, Passion, or Skill. This represents the potential to learn more and grow. These can come about either through direct action (you go out clothes shopping and gain a check to Fashion) or through Fumbling a roll (you critically fail, but gain a check as you learn from your failure).

    These checks won’t do anything until you hit your next Rest period, at which point you have the opportunity to grow. If you roll higher than your current threshold, you learn from the experience. If you roll below your threshold, it is too similar to experiences you have already had.

    For example, if you gain a check to Just and your current score in Just is 16, then you would need to roll a 17 or higher to increase Just in this manner.

    Note, that these are essentially free points. You gain these potential Skill and Trait increases independently of the points that you are able to spend each rest period. So try to look for opportunities to gain checkmarks in useful Skills and Traits.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2023
  6. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    It looks like the votes are leaning massively in one direction. I'm keeping the voting open for an additional 48 hours from the time of this posting, if anyone else wants to chime in or edit their votes, but I think it's fair to get a few thoughts out on the options.

    The Daughter of a Dockworker -- As many of you have astutely observed, this is Taylor. I will say that this is not a Taylor who is fresh out of the locker or anything like that. You will be entering with a somewhat different situation than canon if she is chosen. She is also, in some ways, the hardest option to start with with very little starting stats or funds. Still, she's a familiar face and I have a few things to potentially play with here.

    The Daughter of a Hero -- The highest bonuses in starting combat stats. There's some interesting tie ins here too; the daughter of a hero compared to Arthur, the adopted son of a knight.

    The Rich Heiress -- The only straight up OC on the list (though, you would be able to recognize her family). The strongest in terms of starting social stats, and of course, money is useful all on its own. Buying yourself proper armor / weapons / a mount / etc, all costs money, not to mention if you want to run a team of your own and need to furbish other people.

    Another note, as far as making money goes -- As a vigilante, you do, of course have the option of taking money off of gang members you take down. Do note however, that this is considered either theft (if it's the gang member's personal funds) or tampering with evidence (if it's related to a gang's illegal activities). Vigilantes are rarely prosecuted or arrested for this sort of thing, of course, but you could take a hit to your reputation for doing so.
    Cubbyhb1 likes this.
  7. Scapel

    Scapel Getting sticky.

    Jul 7, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [X] [CHARACTER] The daughter of a dock worker.
    [X] [POWER] To hold court and rule. (Thinker)
    Aight, this looks interesting.
  8. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Huh. The votes swung hard today. As a reminder, voting closes tomorrow.

    Right now, Dockworker's Daughter leads by a single vote over Rich Heiress, so it's anyone's game really.
  9. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Voting is closed.

    Winners are:
    [X] [POWER] To protect the innocent. (Brute)
    [X] [CHARACTER] A rich heiress.
    Cubbyhb1 likes this.
  10. Threadmarks: 0.1 - A New Beginning

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    Things did not end there, of course.

    Morning arrived, and I sat watching the dawn break. The horizon shone in gleaming gold. Had there been something similar in my dream? I traced my fingers against the window’s glass, simply watching the sun rise higher.


    A shaky voice came from behind me. Ellie. Elaine. Yes, that was my name. So why did it feel so foreign to me? I turned and smiled at my brother in the doorway.

    “Good morning, Dean.”

    He rushed to wrap his arms around me, tears streaming down his cheeks. I shifted uncomfortably a moment, silently enduring the discomfort of the moment, before wrapping my arms around him in turn. It was strange to see how much difference a single year could make. He had grown so much. I hardly recognized the boy he had been before my accident.

    “Where is Mom and Dad?” I asked.

    Dean pulled back, a faint frown crossing his face. “Mom is downstairs still, handling the paperwork for your discharge. Dad… was out of town on business when we got the news.”

    My lips thinned. “Of course.” More important that she get me home where my injury could no longer be an embarrassment than she actually see me once again.

    “Don’t worry about it too much, Ellie. I’m here for you. It’s good to have you back.”

    That was true. My brother had always been my most stalwart ally. I still remembered the toy lions he had once carved for me. Except… that could not be right. Dean had never done anything like that. He did not know the slightest thing of whittling, and I had never been so short of toys as to require one so roughly made. Yet, I recalled those lions with more fondness than all the toys I knew awaited me back at home.

    “...I am still adjusting somewhat, to be honest. I do not remember all of what happened.”

    Dean sat down on the edge of the bed, running a hand through his hair. “How much do you remember?”

    “We were out shopping, I believe? Together with Victoria and her sister.” A playdate of sorts. Let the two siblings keep each other company while Dean could go off and spend time with his girlfriend. It didn’t particularly work. Amy refused to leave her sister’s side, and had never shown much interest in speaking with me.

    Dean’s face scrunched up in concern, as though something I had said was niggling at him. Still, he nodded after a moment. “There was a new gang that was trying to muscle into Brockton Bay. Called themselves Chorus. I don’t know what they were thinking – if they thought it would give them a reputation, or if they just didn’t care about casualties, but they attacked the mall.”

    It came back to me.

    The sharp retort of gunfire broke the chatter of the crowd. The screaming started moments later. Then, silence. Nothing had changed, people were still screaming, still panicking, still pushing and shoving as they attempted to flee, heedless of who they might hurt in the attempt. There simply was no noise. Only one man was allowed sound in this place.

    A blonde man wearing an opera mask hopped up onto a fountain, turning to look out over the crowd. “People of Brockton Bay. Do not panic. As long as you cooperate, you will be able to go home safe and sound, if short of a few shiny things. Please take out your wallets, watches, and jewelry. My associates will be around to collect them shortly. Don’t try to fight. Don’t try to be a hero. That’s how people get hurt.”

    I looked to Vicky. She was a hero right? Glory Girl? She would save us. Except, she was looking at Dean, who shook his head ever so slightly. She tried to say something in response, but no words came. Eventually, her shoulders sunk and she gritted her teeth, resigning herself to what was happening.

    Don’t be a hero. That’s how people get hurt. So she was just going to watch instead?

    What use was a hero that didn’t do anything when you needed them most?

    My ears popped and sound returned to the world in a rush. Complete silence turned into a din, only to be silenced once more as a gun was fired into the air. Three men in masks went from person to person, telling them to give any money or valuables they had on them. And people complied.

    Better to give up their things than risk their lives. It was with a bitter expression that Victoria handed over the earrings that Dean had bought her. So too, did Dean hand over his wallet.

    Then there was Amy.

    “Fuck off. I’m not giving you anything.”

    There was hardly even a second to stare in shock before the robber backhanded her across the face, sending her reeling to the floor. Vicky didn’t wait. She surged forward, wrapping her hand around the man’s wrist, a sickening crack following moments later. The man’s scream followed, only for silence to envelop the two of them once again, cutting the sound short. And though we couldn’t hear anything, I saw Vicky fall to the ground, clutching at her bleeding ears.

    The man slowly picked himself up, holding his broken wrist, and kicked Vicky in the ribs. Even though she was Glory Girl, even though she was supposed to be invulnerable to everything, I saw his foot make an impact. Vicky curled up into a ball, still clutching at her ears. Then, the man pulled his gun and pointed it at her.

    No. I couldn’t allow this. I had to do something. Anything. I lept at the man, grabbing at his wrist, trying anything to get it to point away from Vicky. The man scowled. I wasn’t strong like she was. He didn’t have any problems fighting me. But he was pissed off and already hurt. He pushed me back and then the world became noise. Screaming, honking, random chatter. The roar of jet engines and train whistles. Dog barking, children laughing. All of it. All at once. Louder than I could handle. My screams joined the chorus.

    It distracted him though. However briefly. I saw Vicky push herself to her feet, a murderous expression on her face. A final sound reached me. The sound of gunfire.

    Then there was darkness.

    “Oh.” I took a deep, shuddering breath. “After I was… injured, what happened?”

    “Victoria knocked them out. She’ll be really happy to know you’re okay. She could have been seriously hurt if you hadn’t been there, and she’s always blamed herself for what happened.”

    “She should not. The blame lies with the perpetrators.”

    Dean gave a weak smile and reached out to put his hand over mine. “Are you mad at me, Ellie?”

    “No?” I tilted my head, squinting up at him. “Why would I be?”

    “I don’t know. It’s just that you’ve been so stiff and formal since I got here. And… I didn’t really do much to help when you got hurt.”

    “What could you have done?” I shook my head. “No, I am not angry at you. I suppose I am simply overwhelmed with everything.”

    “That’s understandable. You ready to get out of here then?”

    “I am.” I took his hand and stood up. My steps were still shaky, but already they were firmer than they had been when I had first woken. “Let’s go home.”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    I stared at my face in the mirror. It had been a few days, the flesh had begun to fill in and I was looking like my old self once again. Yet something still felt off. Why did I feel as though my eyes ought to be green? I frowned, and tied my hair back into a ponytail, getting a feel for how it framed my face. That was… better.

    Sighing, I turned away from my examination and moved back to my desk to look over my school books once more. I was a year behind in my studies. If I had any chance of making it into Arcadia High School with Dean, then I would have to study.

    Of course, my family didn’t lack for money. Even if I didn’t pass Arcadia’s entrance exam, they could afford to send me to a good school elsewhere. I could prioritize other things. A part of me ached to learn how to defend myself instead. To make sure that if something like the mall ever happened again, that I would be ready for it. Still, to lean so entirely upon my family’s influence left a bad taste in my mouth.

    I had a month to bring myself up to speed. It was up to me to decide how best to spend that time.

    It is May of 2010.

    Due to the ideal you have chosen, your Just trait has been set to 16 and certain events that would have happened in canon have been averted. So it is, we have several votes to make. First is school:

    [ ] [School] Take the test for Arcadia.
    -There will be a check made for if you are successful or not at this.
    [ ] [School] Rely on your family connections
    [ ] [School] (Write-In)

    Second is how to spend your free time:

    [ ] [Free Time] Reconnect with your friends
    [ ] [Free Time] Spend time with Dean
    [ ] [Free Time] Your mother wants to reintroduce you to high society. Go to a gala.
    [ ] [Free Time] (Write-In)

    Next, we come to our first vote on how to spend experience.

    • You may distribute up to 9 points among your personality traits. No trait may be increased above 15 in this manner. As a reminder, traits work in opposites. An increase in Forgiving leads to a decrease in Vengeful and vice versa.

    • You may distribute up to 8 points among your skills (including Combat Skills). No skill may be increased above 15 in this manner.

    This will be structured as Plan voting. Structure it as the following:
    [ ] Plan Name
    -[ ] [Traits] (Write-in)
    -[ ] [Skills] (Write-in)
    Martenzo, Meat, 48Tarantulas and 13 others like this.
  11. TheHumbleThreadLurker

    TheHumbleThreadLurker Making the rounds.

    Mar 24, 2023
    Likes Received:
    Hmm. This looks interesting.

    [X] Plan: Starter Pack
    - [X] [School] Take the test for Arcadia.
    - [X] [Free Time] Reconnect with your friends.
    - [X] [Traits] Lustful +2, Selfish +1, Modest +3, Worldly +2, Indulgent +1
    - [X] [Skills] First Aid +2, Leadership +2, Flirting +1, Technology +1, Parahuman Studies +1, Strategy +1.
  12. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Not as much movement on this vote. Vote will close in 48 hours.
    Admiral Spire likes this.
  13. Threadmarks: 0.2 - A New Beginning

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    In a 30-60-90 triangle, the length of the hypotenuse is 6. What is the length of the shortest side?

    I scowled down at the Geometry work as I scribbled in the solution. I had never done poorly in math, but I still wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it, and having to catch up on an entire year’s worth of material was seriously starting to tax my patience. It wasn’t just Math either. History, English Literature, and Science just for the core classes. That wasn’t even getting into the physical rehabilitation she needed to spend time doing each day or the Foreign Language requirement.

    Sighing, I scrubbed a hand through my hair and stretched. It didn’t matter. I would handle it.

    A knock on the door interrupted my thoughts. “Ellie? May I come in?”

    “Yes. You may enter,” I said, lifting my head at the sound of Dean’s voice. He pushed the door open a moment later and stuck his head inside, an odd expression on his face.

    “Hey there. Still have your nose to the grindstone, I see. I don’t think I’ve seen you take a break all week.”

    “I have a great deal to get done.”

    “I suppose that’s true,” he replied neutrally. “Still, it’s dinner time. Mom asked me to fetch you.”

    “Very well. I will be down shortly.”

    He lingered by the door, as though he wanted to say something else. Nothing came however, and he finally withdrew. Frowning, I stood up, taking a moment to stare out the window.

    I wasn’t stupid. I knew I wasn’t acting the way Dean remembered. Something had changed in me during my slumber. I had been home two weeks and still everything in my life felt foreign to me, as if they had belonged to some other person. I could hardly stand the gaudy pink that nearly everything in my room had been painted in once upon a time. I longed to do away with the frilly decorations. I had no interest in the toys.

    Whoever Elaine Stansfield had once been, I knew I was no longer that person.

    Still, if I chose to, I could put on the mask. I could pretend to be her once again. I could brighten my smile and talk about fashion and boys and other banal things that girls my age spoke of. I could ask for the latest handbag or shoes and go spend all my time with peers of my age. I could play the part of another person, if I wanted to.


    I squeezed my hands tight, my nails biting into my palms. No. I could not live like that. I could not bear it. My family would simply have to accept me for who I was now, and not who I had once been.

    Buoyed by my new resolve, I strode from my room, back straight and head held high.

    Our house leaned closer to an estate or mansion than it did the typical suburban home. This meant a few things. The facilities, obviously, were beyond what my parents could possibly take care of themselves, even if they were inclined to. Instead, we had a number of live-in staff. It meant that we had a stable of horses and the space to actually ride them in the backyard. It meant that we never wanted for facilities to entertain ourselves.

    More inconveniently, it also meant that it was a walk to get anywhere. Three hallways and a stairwell later, I finally neared our dining room, only to stop as I heard voices from inside.

    “--Concerned about her. She isn’t acting like she used to.”

    “Well, of course she isn’t, Dean. She’s still adjusting from being in a coma for a year.”

    “I know, but maybe we should consider having her see a psychologist? Just someone to help her with everything.”

    “Have you actually seen anything to be concerned about?”

    “Well, no–”

    “Then let’s not worry too much. She still isn’t even fully recovered. Give her time.”

    “...Alright, you’re probably right. We should try to get her out of the house though. She’s been cooped up here ever since she got back. I was thinking I could take her next time Vicky and I were hanging out together.”

    I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before rounding the corner. “That will not be necessary.”

    Dean’s face went scarlet as I entered the room. “Ellie! How long were you there?”

    Across from him sat my parents. Dean and my father looked alike for the most part, as though sculpted by the same artist. The same eyes, the same chin, the same curve to their jaw. The only real exception was the gray sprinkled into my father’s hair and the creases that had begun to form around his eyes. Our mother was the stand out of the family. My features resembled hers a bit more closely, with the sharper jaw and narrower nose, but her dark brown hair wasn’t shared by the rest of us, nor was the olive color of her skin.

    “Long enough,” I replied. “And while I appreciate the offer to take me out, you should not. I am still recovering. You would spend the entire day tending to me when you should be enjoying it with Victoria.”

    “I do agree with Dean,” my mother chimed in. “Elaine does need to get out more. Not necessarily with that Dallon girl, especially after what happened last time, but the Anders are hosting a party soon. You always got along well with Theo before, right Honey?”

    I hadn’t. My former self had mostly ignored the poor boy. It was no fault of his own, really, but the somewhat pudgy, quiet boy had never caught my interest enough to spend time with him beyond what I had to. He perhaps enjoyed a second chance. Still, while I did feel somewhat guilty over my previous behavior, it was not enough to sway my decision.

    “I think I would be even worse off. I am able to walk reliably now, but standing around and dancing all night is still beyond me. I will go and meet with some of my friends however. I have not had the chance to see them since I woke, and I am sure we can enjoy visiting the Boardwalk together.”

    “Well!” My father cut in, “I’m glad that’s settled. Honestly, both of you worry too much. Elaine’s just been buckling down getting ready for school, it’s hardly something to be concerned over. Let’s just have dinner and be glad she’s back, okay?”

    I met my brother’s eyes, tried my best to assuage the worry I saw there with my smile alone. Nothing changed. We both remained as we were.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    Traditionally, Brockton Bay had been a trading post and port. A shipping destination that mostly served a competition for Boston. Boston, of course, was the larger city and larger port, but taxes in Massachusetts ran significantly higher than they did in New Hampshire, leading to some diversion of goods northwards. Unfortunately, with the rise of Parahumans in the 90’s, most businesses preferred the security of a larger port and shipping began to dry up in Brockton.

    Then the Union riots happened, ships were sunk in the bay, and what was left practically disappeared entirely.

    In its wake, the city had struggled. A boon had come in the form of the Protectorate Headquarters, a floating fortress that had been created for the local Protectorate. Suddenly, the city became a tourist destination. The city fielded one of the largest Protectorate teams in the north east seaboard, second only to New York itself, really.

    Now, the Boardwalk was one of the most affluent places in the city, with stores running along its length from north to south. All within view of the PHQ, its forcefield shimmering like a rainbow under the noon sun. It was with this monument looming over me, that I arrived at the docks, driven by our family’s chauffeur, dropped off to meet with my friends.

    “Ellie! It’s so good to see you again!”

    “Hello Megan, Chelsea. It has been too long.” I smiled slightly as my two friends rushed to envelop me in a group hug.

    “God,” Chelsea said, “I heard from my Mom when you got hurt and I just couldn’t believe it, you know? We’ve got so much time to make up for!”

    “Yeah! I’ve missed you so much, Ellie!”

    My smile turned brittle. Yes, I suppose that you missed me so much that you failed to send even a single message after you had heard I woke up.

    No. That was uncharitable of me. I had known Megan and Chelsea since I was young. Our families ran in the same circles. Their lack of contact was not out of malice nor even a lack of caring necessarily. They simply were the type to not think about it to begin with.

    “Well, let us not linger. I only have a few hours that I am allowed out and you two need to catch me up on everything that I have missed.”

    “Where to start though? Oh, there’s some new thief who’s been making the news! Apparently they dress up as a clown for some reason. The news is calling them Circus.”

    “A clown? I thought villains were supposed to be intimidating?” I asked.

    “Maybe they think clowns are scary?” Megan shrugged. “Um, what else? Oh, Stacey started dating Avery. And Jen got real into pro wrestling for some reason, not really sure what’s up with that.”

    Chelsea shook her head. “She hides it, but she’s always been a bit of a tomboy, I’m not really surprised. No, what is surprising is that Gallant and Glory Girl were seen walking around holding hands again. Wasn’t she supposed to be dating your brother, Ellie?”

    I frowned. “To my knowledge, they are still together.”

    “Ahh, I wonder if it’s a love affair. Maybe I can swoop in and snatch Dean up if she breaks his heart. Er, that’s not a problem right? I know we’re friends, but your brother is kind of a hunk.”

    “I do not govern his love life. Do as you wish.” Though, you would hope he had better taste in women than to go after Chelsea.

    “Good! Good. Glad to hear that.”

    Chelsea smiled brightly, clearly oblivious to how Megan was glaring at her. I simply sighed in response. It was going to be a long day, wasn’t it?

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “You’re going to do great. I’m sure.”

    “Honestly, you are acting more nervous than I am, Dean. I will be fine.”

    “Alright. Go break a leg, Ellie.”

    I gave my brother a long-suffering look and stepped into the classroom. Inside, a dark haired man stood near the blackboard, apparently waiting on me.

    “Ah, Miss Stansfield. I’m Mr. Olsen. I will be your proctor for the test. Are you all prepared? Once we start, there will be no going back.”

    “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Olsen. Not to worry. I am prepared.” I gave a slight smile and sat down at the desk.

    “Glad to hear it. Hopefully I’ll have you in class once this is all over.” Mr. Olsen winked and set the test paper and a booklet on my desk. “Alright, I’m going to start the timer. Best of luck, Miss Stansfield.”

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    A day later, I was still riding on the giddy high that my test results had left me with. I had passed. I would be attending Arcadia come August.

    My work had paid off.

    Of course, I would have to keep at it. It wasn’t enough simply to get in, I would need to keep my grades up during the year as well. Still, I had committed to a cause and I had succeeded. I had done what I set out to do.

    “Earth to Ellie. You there?”

    “Yes, I am still here.” I refrained from rolling my eyes, though a part of me was tempted to do so. “Where is Chelsea though? Was she not supposed to meet us here?”

    Megan frowned. “I’m not really sure. Let me send her a text.”

    I hummed in response, scanning the crowd. We had met up at the mall this time, and it certainly was not lacking for people. Perhaps Chelsea had simply gotten lost.

    Ah, nevermind. There was a familiar head of brown hair over there. Talking to some boy from the look of things. Honestly, Chelsea–

    The boy grabbed Chelsea’s wrist as she tried to pull away.

    My jaw tightened.

    It is May of 2010.

    We arrive at our first combat. Looking a little scant on those stats, lets see how your luck holds up. Choose your stance.

    [ ] [Combat] Cowardly.
    -Flee combat. Do not engage at all. Gain a check to Cowardly.
    [ ] [Combat] Prudent.
    -Engage for a minimum 1 round before withdrawing without loss to honor. The first round must be spent fighting Defensively. (You gain a bonus to your Threshold, but no damage can be dealt to the enemy even on a successful attack).
    [ ] [Combat] Valorous
    -Engage for a minimum of 2 combat rounds before withdrawing.
    [ ] [Combat] Reckless
    -Engage for a minimum of 3 combat rounds before withdrawing. The first round must be spent fighting Recklessly. (Enemy gains a bonus to their Threshold, but you deal bonus damage if you are successful in the bout).

    Next, assuming combat goes well and you aren’t incapacitated, you have some choices to make. Your family is nominally Christian, in that they at least attend church regularly. Do you attend with them?

    [ ] [Church] Attend and pay close attention to the sermon.
    [ ] [Church] Attend for show and to socialize.
    [ ] [Church] Do not attend, it’s a waste of time.

    Finally, you have another free time option:

    [ ] [Free Time] Rehab. Make sure you’re back in shape.
    [ ] [Free Time] Megan and Chelsea want to take you to meet some boys.
    [ ] [Free Time] End of School Year party. Megan and Chelsea can help introduce you to people you’ll be going to school with.
    [ ] [Free Time] (Write-In)
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2023
  14. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Closing voting in 24 hours.
  15. SSIntrinity

    SSIntrinity Occasional Poster of Intelligent Comments

    May 20, 2021
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Combat] Valorous
    -Engage for a minimum of 2 combat rounds before withdrawing
    [X] [Church] Attend for show and to socialize.
    [X] [Free Time] Rehab. Make sure you’re back in shape.
  16. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Combat] Reckless
    -Engage for a minimum of 3 combat rounds before withdrawing. The first round must be spent fighting Recklessly. (Enemy gains a bonus to their Threshold, but you deal bonus damage if you are successful in the bout).

    [ ] [Church] ?

    [X] [Free Time] Rehab. Make sure you’re back in shape.

    We pick a fight, (nearly) eat shit, then decide to get good.
  17. Yukon Heavy

    Yukon Heavy Know what you're doing yet?

    Aug 25, 2023
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Combat] Prudent.
    -Engage for a minimum 1 round before withdrawing without loss to honor. The first round must be spent fighting Defensively. (You gain a bonus to your Threshold, but no damage can be dealt to the enemy even on a successful attack).
    [X] [Church] Attend for show and to socialize.
    [X] [Free Time] Rehab. Make sure you’re back in shape.

    We don't know how her brute power works and she's not even fully recovered yet, so let's not risk a trip to the hospital again so soon. Or worse, being outed as a parahuman.
  18. Threadmarks: 0.3 - A New Beginning

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    “Come on, baby. I can show you a good time. Just come with me.”

    “Um – I have some friends I was supposed to meet. I really can’t stay.”

    “Hey, hey, that’s fine. Your friends can come too!”

    “No, I really need to go–”

    “I don’t know if you know this, but I’m a pretty important guy. You should listen to me.”

    “Please, let go of me–”

    Glaring at the man – No. The boy. He couldn’t be more than a year or two older than the three of us – I strode up, folding my arms over my chest. I wasn’t especially tall, I didn’t cut much of an intimidating figure, but he still flinched back. “Unhand her this instant.”

    “The hell?” The boy said. “What’s it to you, white girl?”

    “You will release her voluntarily, or you will be made to.”

    The boy scoffed and let go of Chelsea before swaggering forward to loom over me. “I think you need to learn to talk with more respect, white girl. You see this?” he asked, pointing to a checkered red and green handkerchief that he had wrapped around his bicep. “This means you don’t fuck with me. You understand?”

    I squinted up at the boy. “Am I supposed to be impressed by your choice in fashion? It is rather ugly and out of place, truth be told.”

    The boy gaped at me. Chelsea gaped at me. A couple of the surrounding people gaped at me. What had I said that was so out of place?

    “Ellie, those are gang colors!” Megan hissed from behind me. “He’s in a gang!”

    “Ah.” The previous conversation clicked into place. Well, that was embarrassing. I should probably at least briefly look into the gangs in the city to avoid the same mistake in the future. Still. “What of it?”

    “You dissing the ABB?”

    “I think any organization you may be a part of will not trouble itself over the fact that a craven wretch such as yourself quarreled with a teenage girl.”

    The boy’s eyes went wide and I barely managed to flinch back as the backhand caught me across my cheek. Oddly, it stung less than I thought it would. I wonder if he pulled his punch – afraid of hurting a girl, perhaps. Regardless, I would not pull mine.

    Shaking off the blow, I stepped forward and drove my fist into the boy’s diaphragm. He folded over, letting out a harsh wheeze, before falling to the ground. I stepped away, disinterested in continuing things further.

    “Come Chelsea. We had best depart before we attract further trouble.”

    She nodded, wide-eyed and jogged forward to enter into my wake. “Are you okay, Ellie? I can’t believe you actually did that!”

    “I am fine. More to the point, are you well? Did he hurt you at all?”

    “Um – No, I’m fine. Since when can you fight? God, your Mom is going to freak when she finds out about this.”

    “That – is true, I suppose. I will find some way of explaining the situation to her. You need not worry.” I hummed thoughtfully as we returned to the table that Megan and I had found in the food court.

    Megan laughed. “I never knew you could be so scary, Ellie. I thought he was going to piss himself for a second there when you first walked up.”

    “Megan!” Chelsea slapped Megan's arm before grinning at me. “It’s true though. ‘So what?’” she said, mimicking my voice.

    I cleared my throat, trying to ignore the heat that was rushing to my cheeks. “I suppose I was rather impressive there, in retrospect. At the time, I was simply angry at how he was treating you, Chelsea.”

    “Aw.” She leaned forward to wrap me into a hug. “Well, I’m glad to have you back, Ellie. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Now, come on, we still need to walk around and shop!”

    Smiling, I followed in their wake. We had done this hundreds of times before. I knew that. Yet, somehow, these tranquil, worryless days felt novel to me.

    (In the end, my mother restricted me from leaving the house for a week when she found out that I had been hurt. It felt somewhat of an overreaction. After all, the bruise had been gone by the next day).

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “Ellie! Are you ready yet?” My brother’s voice called from down the hall.

    “I need a few more minutes! I will be there shortly!” I called back. It was somewhat uncouth for me to do so, but he was family. I turned my attention back to the mirror, carefully finishing tying my hair into a bun, a braid running around it like a crown. It wasn’t a terribly complicated hairstyle to put together, but unusual for me who usually wore my hair long.

    The clothes that I had chosen were also unusual for me. I had not chosen any of the trendy clothes that filled my closet. Instead, I had put on a simple blue skirt and white blouse, with a cardigan thrown over it to act as a jacket. It was simple. Modest even. Perhaps that was for the best, given where we were going.

    Stepping out of the room, I smiled at Dean. “There. I am ready. Shall we go?”

    My brother stood blinking at me, taken aback for a moment, before dumbly nodding. “Are you sure you’re feeling up to this?”

    “Of course. Church is hardly a strenuous activity. You may escort me if it makes you feel better, however.”

    “Oh, can I now?” He laughed before bowing and sticking out his elbow. “Then, by all means, my Lady.”

    Soon after, we were chivvied out the door towards the car, the entire family bundling inside. Another unusual thing about today. It was rare that the whole family was together like this. My mother, of course, always had Dean and I attend, but usually it was our chauffeur who drove us. My father had rarely attended. Or at least, that had been the case prior to my hospitalization.

    The church itself was the same as I remembered it though. A large, oddly-shaped structure that adhered to modern architectural sensibilities. The inside more closely resembled an amphitheater than a chapel, with rows of chairs arranged in an arc, all leading downwards to where a large stage sat at the bottom.

    The service began with worship. A rock band came out onto the stage and began playing while projectors splashed the lyrics onto two big screens for the audience to sing along with.

    My stomach twisted. I knew the arguments. That all of this… pomp would allow the message to reach a wider audience. Yet somehow, the showiness of it all stood out to me in a way it had not before. All this wealth poured in, not to help other people, but to entertain the parishioners.

    I allowed my gaze to drift up to the cross that hung above the stage. Was I the only one who saw a problem with all of this? Did no one else feel this unease? My family and the rest of the audience around me all happily smiled, and sang, and cheered at the end of each song.

    How many in this very city suffered while my family and others within this church sat here crowing about how holy they were? Nothing was done. The hungry were given nothing to eat, the thirsty were given nothing to drink. The sick were only looked after if they had the money to pay. Villains and lawlessness roamed the streets with impunity.

    “Hello everyone! Go ahead and give a hand to our worship team!” The Pastor had come out on stage, a thin, bald man who smiled widely for the audience. “We’re going to be studying in Matthew today, so go ahead and flip your Bibles open and we’ll get started.”

    How could this possibly be what we were meant to be?

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”

    My lips tightening, I bowed my head and prayed that the Lord might hear me.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    I hit the water with a splash, skimming across the surface of the pool for several yards before losing my momentum and turning to swimming to maintain speed. It was barely a pause when I hit the wall, only to spin, place my feet against it and launch myself back the opposite direction.

    It was strange. I had loved swimming growing up. My dad had cheerfully joked that I was part fish, for how I would dive under the water and only come back up once I needed the air. Yet, seeing the pool, I had been afraid for a moment. As though all knowledge of how to do this had deserted me.

    One part of me, sure I could swim effortlessly. Another, confident that I could walk across the water but never swim it.

    A month into my recovery, and I still had not sorted out these feelings. I was growing frustrated with myself. Why was it proving so difficult? Why did I feel like a stranger inside my own body?

    I let out a sigh as I finished my laps and pulled myself free of the water to sit on the pool’s edge, running my hands through my wet hair as I pulled it free of its ponytail to squeeze out the water.

    “Great job, Miss Stansfield. You’ve made a shockingly good recovery so far. I’d say you’re probably safe to let out into the wild now.”

    “Oh?” I asked, looking up the personal trainer my parents had hired to help me through my rehabilitation. “Am I a wild animal now? What sort, do you think?”

    “A lion, perhaps. You have that sort of regal bearing.”

    I smiled, a part of me pleased with the comparison. I had a fondness for lions. I had taken care of one once, when it was a child, though we had been separated after only a month together.

    My smile faltered. That was impossible. It had never happened. I had never owned a lion. So why did I remember it so clearly?

    “Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone recover to full capacity as quickly as you have. At least, not without powers involved. Though, I hear that you did the same with your schoolwork, so perhaps it’s simply down to your hard work at the end of the day.”

    “Perhaps so. Was there anything else planned for today?”

    “No. The day is yours. You should take the time to enjoy yourself.”

    “Hmm.” Time to enjoy myself? What did that even look like? I frowned, trapped in thought even while my trainer departed, while I showered off the chlorine of the pool, while I changed back into my clothes. I frowned as I paced the halls, restlessly moving from room to room, passing the game room, the kitchen, the gym.

    I had no homework to complete. My physical rehabilitation was finished for the day. Megan and Chelsea were busy today, so I had no social obligations. I had no duties to complete. Anything I did would be something I wished to do for myself. And – I had no answer as to what I wished to do or where I should go.

    None at all.

    In the end, I wandered into our sun room and simply settled onto the floor with my feet tucked under myself, my eyes closed as I pondered the future.

    It is June of 2010.

    We have arrived at our first rest period.

    First things first: Checkmark rewards:

    Next is training and practice. You may select any one of the following improvements:

    Please structure this vote as a Plan, i.e.
    [ ] Plan Name Here
    -[ ] [Training] Skills 1, Skills 2, Skills 3, etc.

    The next stage is to tally Renown and to receive Renown rewards. As you have not established a Cape Identity, you are not yet eligible for Renown.

    Next, you receive your monthly allowance. Given your status as a Wealthy Heiress, you earn $100.

    I have created an associated shop in a new tab on the Character Sheet. If there’s anything in particular you want to see added to the shop, please feel free to mention it and I will assign it a price. If at any time you wish to buy something from the shop, please do a write in as below, and I will add it to the next vote.

    [ ] [Shop] (Write-In)

    Now for our actions going forward into the next month:

    Your return to church life has given you something to ponder regarding the state of the Church.
    [ ] [Church] Accept it as it is.
    >Modern trappings do not make it inherently bad.
    [ ] [Church] Distance yourself.
    >You still consider yourself Christian, but perhaps another church or private worship would be better.
    [ ] [Church] Paganism.
    >Perhaps you could investigate other avenues to Spirituality instead of Christianity.
    [ ] [Church] Agnosticism.
    >You are not in a position to judge for the moment, but perhaps it's better to distance yourself from religion entirely for the time being and focus on the material world.

    You are witness to an altercation where three gang members armed with bats are beating a man. Do you:
    [ ] [Altercation] Get to safety.
    [ ] [Altercation] Make a distraction. Hopefully that’s enough for the man to escape.
    [ ] [Altercation] Interfere. You must stop these men.
    -[ ] [Interfere] Immediately. This cannot wait.
    -[ ] [Interfere] Grab some sort of disguise first.

    Your parents want to get you out doing more actual activities. Choose:
    [ ] [Activity] Sports. Baseball might be a good time. At the very least, you could hit things.
    [ ] [Activity] Music. Spend time learning to play an instrument.
    [ ] [Activity] Driving. You’re old enough to get your driver’s permit. Surely a few classes wouldn’t hurt.
    [ ] [Activity] Modeling. It could earn you some money on the side if you do well.
    [ ] [Activity] Beg your way into staying inside and browsing the Internet.

    And finally a free time action. I’m going to leave this one entirely up to write-ins. If I particularly like a specific write-in, I reserve the right to also include it in addition to the write-in that wins the vote.
    [ ] [Free Time] (Write-In)

    Next up is an interlude.
  19. Index: Rules: Combat

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Okay, so probably best to make a quick informational regarding combat.

    Let's start with skills. I've simplified things compared to the actual Pendragon system.

    Used for unarmed combat / grappling / some close ranged weapons such as daggers (or a telescopic baton).

    Note that Unarmed Combat will always deal minimum damage. (i.e. if your Melee Damage is 4d6, you will deal a flat 4 damage on every attack). Most other small weapons will deal 1d6 less damage (i.e. 3d6 instead of 4d6).

    Swords / Spears / Axes / Maces. Each of these have special properties as noted in the Shop, but in short:
    >Swords grant a Parry protection value when used in two-hands and cannot be broken.
    >Spears grant a Reach advantage against shorter weapons and negates the advantage a Mounted combatant would have against you if you're on foot.
    >Axes bypasses armor granted by Shields.
    >Maces deal extra damage to Armor.

    Formerly Firearms, I decided to rename it as it also applies to Bows, Crossbows, and Thrown weapons.
    >Bows deal 1d6 less damage at range. Crossbows and other Firearms deal fixed damage that don't scale to your stats.

    Can only be done while mounted. It is the only way to both Move and Attack in the same round, and is typically how a knight will open combat in Pendragon. Instead of dealing your own damage, you deal your Mount's damage. (A typical Charger that you start the game with does 6d6 damage). It's very possible to knock an enemy knight out of the fight turn 1 with Charge if you roll well on damage.

    Horsemanship in Pendragon. This is to control your mount, particularly in combat. While mounted, your combat skills are limited to your Drive. (i.e. if you have a 10 in Melee, but only a 6 in Drive, then your Melee is limited to 6).

    Used primarily between combat rounds in battle. You can identify opponents and choose opponents in a pitched fight instead of getting randomly assigned. This is how you choose to go after Victor instead of randomly getting Hookwolf.

    Any time you take damage over your knockdown threshold (before Armor Reduction) you must make a Dexterity check to remain on your feet or mounted. If knocked down, it takes two rounds to get to your feet, and you take a penalty to your fighting skill while knocked down.

    Major Wound
    If you take more than your Major Wound threshold in a single attack (after Armor Reduction) you take a Major Wound and are knocked out of combat. You permanently lose one point in a random Characteristic (Dex, Str, etc) and are Debilitated until you are healed above half your hit point.

    If you take a lot of small hits that bleed you over time, you will be knocked unconscious when you hit your unconscious threshold.

    Mortal Wound
    If you hit 0 Hit Points, you will be knocked out of combat. You permanently lose three points across random Characteristics (Dex, Str, etc) and will die unless healed above 0 hit points.

    Healing Rate
    Your healing rate determines how effectively First Aid can treat you. Each successful First Aid treatment heals you for your Healing Rate. Each wound can only be treated once, whether the First Aid check succeeds or fails. (i.e., you take three wounds for 7, 8, and 3 damage and retreat for healing. Two of the First Aid checks succeed, but one fails. Your Healing Rate of 5 means you heal for a total of 10 damage, meaning you're still missing 8 HP that can't be healed during the battle and must wait for time to heal).

    Armor acts as damage reduction. If you are hit, the damage of the hit is reduced by the amount of armor that you have. This does mean that attacks can be reduced to 0 damage if you have enough armor to absorb the blow.

    In short, your Major Wound threshold is currently 14. That means that if you take more than 14 damage in a hit, you will be knocked out of the fight and lose a stat. This isn't hard to accomplish when you aren't wearing armor.

  20. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Oh, one other quick note. The combat works on opposed checks.

    You succeed ; Your opponent fails > You hit
    You fail ; Your opponent succeeds > You are hit
    You succeed ; Your opponent succeeds > Whoever rolled higher hits
    You fail ; Your opponent fails > You both miss

    Have a high threshold is very useful for making sure that you roll higher even if you succeed and making sure that you succeed more often. More success also means that you get hit less.
  21. Threadmarks: 0.x - Interlude; Dean

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    She is sitting there naturally.

    In a space filled with tranquility, white sunlight shining upon her dignified posture. There was a purity to the air, as though something unearthly had descended to this space. A deep blue ran through her, a vast ocean of calm serenity, streaked with the occasional other color that reflected whatever she happened to be thinking about in that moment.

    After a year, his sister had woken up, and Dean wasn’t sure she was the same person any more.

    His sister had been an excitable, chatty thing, always flitting from one thing to another. She had never lacked for something to say. She had also been a bit of a brat, if he was honest with himself.

    Now, she was this mature young woman who he sometimes caught looking at him as though he were a stranger. A young woman who saw her room, kept exactly the same way it had been a year ago, and was confused by it. A young woman who spent all her time working – either on her rehabilitation or her studies.

    Dean let out a breath. She was still his sister. He shouldn’t be surprised that there would be some changes after an experience as traumatic as what she went through.

    Raising a hand, he knocked lightly on the doorframe. Ellie’s eyes opened, a small smile crossing her lips. So unlike the wide, bright smiles she had worn before. “Hello Dean. Did you need something?”

    “No, I just saw you sitting here and thought I’d check on you. You okay?”

    “Yes. I am doing well. I am surprised you are still here however. Were you not scheduled for your internship today?”

    Dean’s smile faltered ever so slightly. He hadn’t told Ellie what his ‘internship’ really was yet. Before, she had been too young and a bit too much of a gossip for him to do so. Now… “I still have a bit of time, though I do need to get going soon.”

    “Sit for a moment then. I would ask your counsel.”

    Furrowing his brow, Dean sat down next to his sister, though he crossed his legs instead of folding them under himself like she had. “What’s the matter?”

    “The other day, at the mall, Chelsea was accosted by some boy who claimed to be a gang member. The incident was resolved without her coming to harm, thankfully, but it still concerns me that they would walk about displaying their allegiances so brazenly. Is the law failing to keep the peace in our city?”

    Dean winced. That was a hard question to answer. “To a degree, I suppose so. Really, the city’s had a slew of gang problems, going back to at least the 90’s. The Marche, the Teeth, the Empire, and now the latest, the ABB. Seems like as soon as one gets kicked out, a new one moves in.”

    “What is preventing their removal?”

    “Well, the obvious answer is Capes. There’s a lot of villains in the city, and they have a tendency to be especially dangerous. That’s just the obvious answer though, I think. The real answer is that too many people privately support them. Too many people who think the Empire has the right idea even if they aren’t members themselves. Others just want the respect and power that it gives them over other people. And even putting that aside, there’s a lot of people who are just desperate, and will do whatever it takes if it means getting a steady paycheck.”

    Ellie went silent for a long moment before asking, “Is the city so filled with desperate people who have no other options to them but banditry?”

    “I’m really not the best person to ask about the economics behind it all, but yeah. There’s a lot of businesses that have shut down and we have a growing homeless population.”

    “I see.”

    Dean frowned, watching a thread of purple melancholy run its way through his sister. He smiled brightly and clapped a hand on her shoulder. “Hey, it’s not all doom and gloom. We have Heroes too. Maybe once they put the gangs away, the city will get better.”

    “That is true. The gangs may be a symptom of the underlying disease, but their presence prevents an actual cure. Like a cancer, they will need to be cut out if things are to improve.”

    That was… now the melancholy had changed to the steel of resolve. What was she thinking of doing?

    “Thank you for the advice, Dean. I appreciate it.”

    “No problem, Ellie. Keep yourself safe, okay?”

    “Of course. Would I do aught to make you worry?”

    Dean wasn’t sure that he wanted to know the answer to that.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    While the Bay was dominated by the view of the Protectorate Headquarters, a shining beacon for all its citizens to see, the headquarters for the Parahuman Response Team was a much smaller office building located downtown. It didn’t look like much from the outside. It wasn’t until you got inside that you started noticing the steel bars that could descend to cut off a hallway, or how the windows weren’t actually glass but some sort of special plastic instead.

    In most other cities, the Wards would be located with the Protectorate, with the older heroes taking on the role of mentors. As with many things however, Brockton Bay was the exception.

    Dean swiped his badge to clock in before heading up to the Wards’ living area. The place wasn’t much, honestly. A couch, a TV, a small game system that Dennis had brought in himself. A microwave and refrigerator in the attached kitchenette. They each had bedrooms here to use in case of emergencies, but they weren’t actually supposed to stay overnight most of the time.

    Speaking of Dennis –

    “Hey Dean,” the redheaded boy called from the couch, controller in hand. “How’s it going?”

    “Oh, nothing new. Any idea what tonight’s meeting is about?”

    “Nope. Rory might though.”

    “Cool.” Dean glanced at the TV, checking on what Dennis was playing. Some sort of shooter, it looked like. “If we have time afterwards, maybe I can join you for a round.”

    “Heh. Well, if there’s one thing I’ve got plenty of, it’s time.”

    Dean grinned at the joke, ignoring the sickly yellow fear and worry that shot through Dennis when he said that. When he’d told his team about his sister waking up, Dennis had been the one person who had really understood. The others were all happy for him, of course, but Dennis knew what it was like having family that you weren’t sure you would ever get back.

    “Is Chris here yet?”

    “Already in his workshop when I got here. I’m not entirely sure he actually goes home sometimes.”

    Dean snorted. “His mom would be all over him if that were the case. I’ll go say hi and get into my armor though.”

    Chris was the newest member of the team, having joined back in January. He was still finding his footing, trying to figure out what he could do with his Tinker power, and his workshop reflected that. Several half-finished projects were scattered around the place, abandoned in favor of whatever new idea had struck him.

    The door was left open, but Dean still knocked on the doorframe. “Hey Chris. How’s it going?”

    “Huh? Oh! Hey Dean. Good to see you.” Chris grinned and looked up from whatever he was working on now, a pair of welding goggles strapped over his eyes. It really added to the tinker look, in Dean’s opinion. “I finished tuning your armor up already, so you should be good to go.”

    “Great,” Dean replied, giving an easy smile. The armor in question sat in the corner of the room, appearing much like a large set of medieval plate if not for the blue LED lights that lit up the joints. A button near the back of the neck caused it to slide open, revealing the powered skeleton within. Originally, this had been Armsmaster’s project, a way to protect Dean and make him look like a Tinker instead of a Master. Since Chris had joined however, it had been passed to him. Dean started stepping inside, glancing over his shoulder at Chris. “Any progress with your stuff?”

    A flicker of teal. Pride mixed with hope, perhaps? Sometimes the colors blended together in ways that weren’t easy to read. People were rarely ever just one thing. “It’s a bit touch and go, but I think I might finally have the gravitonic emitters working for the hoverboard. I’ll be your eye in the sky before long.”

    “Hey, that’s great to hear. Could always use more air support.” Dean curled a fist, metal fingers curling in response. The armor sealed up behind him, hiding Dean away so that Gallant could step onto the stage. “Alright, thanks again for the work. See you upstairs?”

    “Yeah, I’ll be up in a minute.”

    Dean was the first up to the conference room that they used for official meetings. It was a rather plain room, the sort of plain wooden table and low pile carpet that you’d expect to see in any normal office setting. It had honestly been a surprise his first time here. When he had joined a team of superheroes, a part of him had expected the sort of things you saw in comic books and movies. Holographic projectors, steel sliding doors, secret passages, that sort of thing.

    Instead, it was incredibly average. Cheap, even. He’d seen offices at his father’s company that were better kitted out than this.

    One by one the others arrived.

    Carlos, wearing a rust-red costume, a silver shield on his chest. Aegis.

    Dennis in his white bodysuit, animated clocks ticking away on his shoulders and chest. Clockblocker.

    Missy in her green and white skirt. She didn’t so much walk into the room as burst in, the space warping to pull her from across the hallway. She took a seat next to Dean and smiled up at him, pink dusting through her. Vista.

    Chris, in his red and gold armor, a callback to Hero. Kid Win.

    Rory, his helmet in the shape of a golden lion’s head. Triumph.

    Finally, Armsmaster strode through the door in his signature silver and blue armor, reaching the head of the table exactly when the meeting was supposed to start.

    “Hello. Thank you all for attending.” Armsmaster took his helmet off and sat down at the head of the table, smiling at each of them. “I know some of you have patrols after this, and the rest are eager to get home, so I’ll try and keep things brief.”

    “First is the situation update. There have been a few skirmishes between the ABB and the Empire over the last couple weeks. Nothing too serious, and we’re hoping it stays that way, but be on the lookout. More importantly, we’ve seen an uptick in independent cape activity.”

    He flicked the projector on, an off-color image appearing on the far wall. A woman wearing a bright red-gold ensemble, a jester’s hat atop her head. “We’ve had a couple pop up this month. First is this one. We’re tentatively going with the name Circus. She’s been doing a lot of breaking and entering, burglary. A villain, though not a violent one so far.”

    “Next is this one.” A new image, this one of a teenager. His costume wasn’t much, a black hoodie with a red scarf wrapped around his mouth. “We think he’s a new trigger, a vigilante. He’s been operating mostly in ABB territory though. Battery has had the chance to talk with him, so we hope he’ll take the offer to join before something happens to him.”

    There was no need to say what. Everyone knew the statistics for vigilantes.

    The projector flicked again. “Moving on, Shadowstalker. She’s been operating as a vigilante for awhile now, and while there’s been some concerns, there hasn’t been anything concrete. That’s changed. If you see her, call it in.”

    Dean cleared his throat. “What did she do, exactly?”

    “We are pretty sure it was an accident. A member of the Empire bled out before an ambulance could get to him. She’s still not considered a villain, but she needs to be brought in.”

    General nods went around, but Dean could see flickers of sympathy through the other Wards. The Wards existed to teach responsible use of powers, but powers were inherently dangerous. Everyone knew accidents could happen. Still, that was why they worked with a team and within the bounds of the law, not as independent vigilantes.

    “Finally, there’s been an uptick in missing persons cases. Mostly the homeless, which isn’t that unusual, but keep your ears to the ground and let us know if you hear anything. You’ve been doing good work out there, so keep it up.”

    With that, Armsmaster stuck his helmet back on and left. It was a bit abrupt, but Dean had discovered that Armsmaster was something of an abrupt person. You more or less got used to it after a while.

    “Well, that wasn’t too bad,” Dennis said,raising his arms to stretch above his head. “No lectures about proper call-in procedures this time. You still up for that game?”

    “You’ve got the time, don’t you?” Dean joked. “How long until my patrol starts?”

    “I suppose not. Next time then.”

    Missy bounced up from her chair, pink suffusing her aura again. “Well, we might as well get going then, right? Just the two of us, Dean.”

    “Don’t forget me on Console!” Kid Win called.

    Missy’s mood immediately dampened. “Oh yeah. And you too, I suppose.”

    Dean laughed awkwardly. He’d told Missy before that he was dating Vicky, but it hadn’t really discouraged her. If anything, she had gotten more obvious with her affections. For someone who could tie knots in space, she was an incredibly straightforward girl.

    “Well, and one more too. Vicky mentioned she’d like to come along tonight, so I told her to meet up with us.”

    The last of Missy’s good mood disappeared.

    A few notes.

    First, the vote on Chapter 0.3 is still ongoing and will remain so for another 48 hours. It’s running pretty close on a couple of them, so get your votes in now.

    Second, a bit of housekeeping on the character sheet.

    • Firearms have been renamed to Ranged. It more accurately reflects the possibility of using a Bow, Crossbow, or Thrown weapon as well.
    • The Reputation Passion has been renamed to Honor. This is actually what it originally was in the Pendragon tabletop, but I initially renamed it because ‘Reputation’ is more of a thing for capes than ‘Honor’ is. Passions are about your personal interests though, and it’s a bit weird doing a passion role for Reputation. So back to Honor it is.

    Finally, one person requested a purchase, so we get our first shop vote:
    [ ] [Purchase] A Burner Cellphone ($20)
    [ ] [Purchase] Don’t buy anything at this time.
  22. Extras: 0.x Vote

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Okay. Previous vote is closed, but because I'm generous, we're holding a quick follow up vote. This vote won't last long, so get it in quickly.

    [ ] [Purchase] Aketon and baton
    [ ] [Purchase] Aketon, baton, and burner phone
    [ ] [Purchase] Do Not Purchase Anything
  23. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Alright, vote is closed.
  24. Threadmarks: 1.1 - The Drawing of the Sword

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    “Okay, you’ll want to ease off the clutch while pressing down the gas at the same time–”

    The car jerked forward and then stalled out. I frowned. I had released the clutch a bit too quickly, perhaps.

    My driving instructor sighed next to me. “Well, that happens. It’s a good thing we’re not dealing with any hills yet.”

    Pressing the clutch down, I restarted the car. This time, I held the clutch a bit longer, allowing the engine to rev before smoothly accelerating forward. I turned the wheel, keeping the car in first gear for the moment as we rolled along the circular track.

    “Oh, good job. It usually takes new learners a few tries before they pick it up. Have you driven at all before?”

    “I have not,” I replied. “However, while it is impossible to avoid error entirely, one should not repeat their mistakes.”

    “Well, sure, in theory. It’s the execution that usually messes people up, Miss Stansfield.”

    I made a small noise of acknowledgement, shifting the car up into second gear. “That is fair. Once I am more experienced with cars, I would be interested in obtaining my Motorcycle license. Would you be able to assist with that as well?”

    “I’d have to run it by your parents, but I don’t see the issue myself.”

    “Thank you,” I said, shifting the car into neutral and letting us coast to a stop. I would not turn sixteen until December, so I had some time before I could actually obtain a license, but I would need to log hours spent driving towards my learner’s permit in the meantime. “Are we scheduled for the same time next week?”

    “We are through the rest of summer. Well, except for your vacation in July, your mom told me you wouldn’t be here that week.”

    My lips thinned. A vacation? How kind of Mother to inform me of our plans, much less ask.

    “I am afraid I could not speak to any specific plans we might have yet.”

    “Hey, no worries. So were your parents picking you up today, or…?”

    “My brother. He is on a date at the moment, but will be meeting me once they finish up. I thought I might walk around the area while I waited.”

    Look, a date is basically a rendezvous. He says he’s going to play, but it’s a chance for a man to appeal to a woman he likes.

    The memory rose as if from a dream. A nostalgic smile crossed my lips. Where had I heard that?

    My instructor frowned. “Well… I mean, this neighborhood is probably safe for you, but be careful. Nowhere in the city is completely safe these days. You’re always welcome to just hang out at the course until your brother gets here.”

    “That will not be necessary. I have been taking self-defense courses recently as well – I am confident I can at least run away should I need to.”

    My instructor frowned, but it wasn’t untrue. After the incident with the hooligan at the mall, I had spoken to Father about the issue. The city was dangerous, there was no getting away from that fact. Twice, I had been in danger in a space that should have been safe. I needed to know how to defend myself.

    It had taken more convincing than I expected, but he had agreed in the end. Moreover, I had excelled in the class thus far. It was simple. Use my full body to generate power behind my strikes. Use their center of gravity against them. Lock their joints. It felt familiar – just unpracticed.

    Leaving the driving course, I stopped briefly in the building’s lobby to collect my things – a blue and gold leather jacket (Arcadia’s colors, though the jacket lacked any sort of accompanying logo) and a baseball cap. I tucked my hair into the hat, letting it stream out the back in a ponytail, quickly sent a text message off to Dean, and stepped out into the bright sunlight of the summer afternoon, a pair of tinted glasses hiding my eyes.

    The neighborhood itself, while not quite as affluent as the Boardwalk, was still fairly upscale and well kept, close enough to downtown that it hadn’t suffered from the rot and decay that afflicted much of the northern half of the city. Most of the buildings were red brick and white wood, the sort of homes and shops that wouldn’t have looked out of place constructed in the 50’s. Small coffee shops, cafes, and bookstores dotted the street.

    I settled on a bench and pulled out my phone, flicking through to the post I had made on the local boards of Parahumans Online. There were threats in my city, and the best way to educate myself was to ask for the wisdom of others. In short, the outlook was not particularly positive.

    The city was infested with gangs.

    The first, and most notable perhaps was the Empire Eighty-Eight. A collection of white supremacists and open neo-Nazis. It was filled with the sort of filth who preyed on the weak and acted as if it were a virtue. They crowed about protecting good, hard-working American citizens, but that included only those who agreed with them. If you were too Black, too Asian, too Jewish, too Foreign, too Disabled, too Liberal, or just plain too different from them, then you were a target to be eliminated.

    Their greatest rival was, and I felt my mouth twisting in distaste just reading the name, the Azn Bad Boyz. I suppose it was too much to hope that criminals would have any sense of class. Regardless, the Azn Bad Boyz were a more recent gang, having consolidated out of a number of smaller gangs a mere two years ago. Unlike the Empire, which worshiped an ideology, the Azn Bad Boyz were held together almost entirely by force of will of the man who had created the gang.


    A parahuman who had made a splash when he entered the local cape scene by reportedly engaging with the entire local Protectorate at once and emerging victorious. Since then, there had been little success in dislodging him.

    Then there were the smaller gangs. Drug pushers, street gangs, and mercenaries for hire. The East Side Kings, the Archer’s Bridge Merchants, the Cobras. Most of them were two-bit players at best. An odd stand out was a group of mercenaries that operated downtown – apparently they had access to tinkertech equipment and offered protection services for hire. No one quite knew who their backer was, though they must have one given the expense of their equipment.

    Letting out a soft sigh, I closed my phone again and looked up at the sky. A blue, cloudless expanse hung above me, stretching on as far as I could see. So far, yet there was a feeling as if I could reach up and touch it. And perhaps, if I reached up, someone else’s hand would as well.

    Knowing it was impossible, yet reaching all the same.

    For a moment, the city fell away. I stood in a grassy field, the same blue sky stretching endlessly above, a forest in the distance. I stared out. Waiting. Waiting for something.

    I began to lift my hand, only to retract it. My chest felt strangely tight and I could not say why. Lowering my head into my hands, I let a shuddering breath tear through me. What was wrong with me? Why did I feel this way?

    Why did I feel this yearning within me?

    A sound eventually tore me from my thoughts. A small, plaintive meow. Glancing down, I looked at the gray tabby that had joined me on the bench.


    The cat stepped forward to bump its head against my arm and I smiled, tracing my thumb gently behind its ear.

    “Well, hello there. Aren’t you a handsome fellow?” The cat purred, tilting its head up to allow me to scratch under its chin. Oddly enough, considering how sociable he was, the cat did not wear a collar. “What are you doing here?”

    The cat provided no answer, of course. Instead, he spun a circle, brushing his side up against me, his tail tickling at my nose. A soft giggle escaped me and I leaned in to grab him, pulling him up onto my lap. He stepped back and forth, kneading his paws, before finally settling down, my fingers tracing along his back.

    What a friendly child. I considered briefly whether I should name him. It was possible that he already had one. Possible even, that he already had an owner. He was skinny, perhaps a bit underfed, but hardly starving.

    “No, better that I not get overly attached.” I would not take this child away from whatever home he had here.

    Regretfully, I pulled the cat from my lap and walked away. It was with some amusement that I noted the cat trotting after me, dogging at my heels. A stubborn little thing. Well, if he was that insistent…

    The stench of blood and a grunt of pain brought me to a stop. I turned, looking down a narrow alley to where three men surrounded another. One swung a bat, and the beset man fell to the ground, his knee shattered.

    “I told you what would happen if you didn’t pay up, didn’t I? You were lucky we were even letting you operate down here – not like we need businesses owned by heebs in this area.”

    “I’m not –”

    “What, got something to say, Jew?”

    Another of the thugs lashed out with his foot, catching the man in the ribs.

    “I was trying to pay,” the man wheezed. “Sales have been down this month.”

    “Always the same story with your type.” The thug lifted his foot and stomped down on the man’s hand.

    My jaw clenched. This was wrong. These men, abominations.

    I stepped into the alley, heart pounding my chest. This could not continue.


    “The fuck do you want, girl?”

    “Step away from that man. Now.”

    One of the thugs rolled his eyes. “Run along, girl, before you get hurt.”

    “Disperse, or I will make you do so.”

    “God save me from children who want to play at being heroes. Jake? Grab her and hold her down or something. It’s fine if you rough her up a little, but try not to hurt her too bad.”

    The man who had been singled out shrugged and stepped forward. He looked… surprisingly normal. Brown hair, wide shoulders. He looked about college-aged, but with the sort of build that suggested he could have played football. He gave me an apologetic smile. “Sorry about this. Really, you still could just run away, save yourself the trouble.”

    “I refuse.”

    “Right. Then, I suppose we’re doing this.”

    The man, Jake, lunged at me, but I was prepared for it. He wasn’t using his fists, just trying to grab me, but that was dangerous enough in and of itself. I wasn’t particularly large or strong. If I was pinned, I would have difficulty escaping.

    Instead, I ducked under his lunge, my hand darting into my jacket pocket. When I had started my self-defense lessons, I hadn’t relied solely upon learning how to punch and kick. Instead, I wrapped my hand around the handle of my telescopic baton, flicking it out to whack Jake’s ribs as he passed.

    He let out a wheeze, stumbling a few steps before spinning around to glare at me. Jeers came in from the sidelines, his friends taunting him.

    “Come on, Jake! You gonna take that from a girl?”

    “Show her what a real man is made of!”

    “God, shut up both of you.” Jake put a fist into his palm, cracking his knuckles. “Look, girl. You keep this up and I will have to hurt you. I’d suggest you stop now.”

    “I would offer you the same courtesy. Leave now, and I will let you go in peace.”

    “Well, I warned you.”

    Jake charged, and once again I weaved beneath his blow to deliver one of my own. It seemed he had learned from last time however. Even as I evaded him, he brought his arms down to guard himself, protecting himself from a second blow to the ribs. Not entirely unintelligent then. I would have to vary things up somewhat.

    This time, I attacked first, aiming high with my baton. He flinched and stepped back, not trained to ignore that primal response that occurs when you see something moving towards your face at high speeds. He tried to raise his arms to block at the last second, but was too late and my baton cracked him across the skull.

    He fell to a heap on the ground.

    I looked to the two remaining, who stared back at me wide-eyed.

    “Did this bitch just kill Jake?”

    “I dunno. Maybe just knocked him unconscious–”

    “No, head injuries like that are really dangerous. God, we’ll need to take him to a hospital. Fuck it. Let’s fuck her up and get out of here.”

    Both men advanced on me, bats slung over their shoulders. My lips tightened. It was one thing fighting one on one against a man with no weapon, but the odds with multiple opponents were significantly worse.

    The man on my right swung and I spun into it, raising a hand to slap the bat from below as I passed under it, throwing its trajectory off. I twisted, my baton swinging around to shatter the man’s knee. He brought his bat up in both hands, as if to defend himself from my follow up attack, but I simply kicked through the wood and slammed my foot into his face.

    Unfortunately, this left me open to his ally. Pain seared across my back as a bat caught me across my shoulders. I went stumbling for a few steps before I managed to steady myself and turn, wildly swinging a counter attack that came nowhere close to my opponent.

    Damn it. I was lucky I was wearing my jacket. That had hurt even through the extra padding.

    “Shit! Ray! Who the hell are you, girl?”

    “You are asking that rather late, are you not?”

    “Ugh.” The final thug spit off to the side and widened his legs, holding the bat in both hands. Was he… Was he going to try and hit me as if I were a baseball? That stance was all wrong for actual combat. A part of me felt distinctly offended. I walked forward to the edge of his range and let him swing, simply leaning back a bit so that the bat would bypass me. Unfortunately, he was quicker to recover than I anticipated, and I had to abandon my follow up attack to gain distance again.

    Still, the man was clearly nervous. The narrow passage of the alleyway did not allow for me to actively circle around him, but I paced back and forth, watching his eyes follow me. When I finally struck, it was faster than he could follow.

    My baton found his elbow and he cried out, his hand reflexively loosening on the bat. He tried to attack me one-handed, but I didn’t allow it, already circling behind him to sweep his feet out from under him. One final blow to the head and he was out.

    In the aftermath, I stood there, panting, staring at what I’d done.

    I had beaten three men, three armed men, into the ground. I’d never fought before in my life. I’d had a grand total of two weeks of self-defense classes. This shouldn’t have been possible. What had I even been thinking?

    Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I turned away from them and kneeled to attend to the man they had been attacking. He was broken, bruised, and bloodied – but still conscious. He turned his eyes up to me as I approached.

    “Damn. You wiped the floor with them.”

    I gave a small smile at the comment. “It was my pleasure to do so. Are you okay?”

    He shook his head, but fished a phone out of his pocket after a moment. “If you could call the ambulance, I’d appreciate it. Cops too, I suppose.”

    Nodding, I took the phone, dialing the number in.

    “Hello, 911, where’s your emergency?”

    “There are four men badly injured in an alleyway near Miller and Rockland. They require immediate medical assistance.”

    “What was your name, Miss?”

    I glanced down at the bodies of the men I had just finished injuring quite severely. This… probably would not be a good thing to admit to. “My name is not important. Was there any additional information you needed?”

    “Are you injured at all, Miss?”

    “No. I am fine.”

    “Alright. I’ve sent the message out to Dispatch, so they should be on their way. Just hang tight, okay?”

    “Thank you.”

    Well, I suppose that was my cue to leave if I wished to remain anonymous. I turned back to the injured man, handing him his phone. “Will you be able to manage if I leave?”

    “Yeah, I think so. They got a few good hits in, but I can wait for the paramedics. Does my heroine have a name?”

    “None that I would like associated with this, I think. I suppose if the police ask, you can call me X or some such.”

    “A woman of mystery, huh?” The man laughed, but it quickly turned into a wheeze. “Well, Miss X, best of luck out there.”

    “Thank you.” I smiled softly and placed a hand on his shoulder before turning to leave, a strange sense of pride welling up within me.

    A Hero, hm? A person who would save everyone that they could see. An impossible dream, but I smiled nonetheless. I might not be a cape, but why should that stop me from being a hero?

    Of course, if I was going to do that and retain my anonymity, I would need a disposable phone. I could not rely on victims always giving me theirs to call in with. Something to consider, perhaps.

    You don’t know how tempted I was to make a ‘Stop right there, criminal scum,’ joke. Also, you guys got incredibly lucky with your combat rolls. Especially taking one of the teamed pair out on round 1 with the exact damage you needed to deal a major wound. Nuts. Anyways,

    It is June of 2010.

    The Mysterious Heroine, X, has had her first fight. How will she proceed?
    [ ] [Heroism] Design a name and costume.
    >You can’t just be X forever.
    [ ] [Heroism] You took that bat hit strangely well. Maybe you should check yourself for powers?
    >There’s no way this can go poorly. At least you’re smart enough not to jump off a building to see if you can fly.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look into types of Parahumans.
    >If you’re going out doing hero things, you’re bound to run into them at some point. Knowing the difference between a brute and a breaker will probably be good.
    [ ] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.

    Your mother is dragging you to a Gala. What do you fill time with while there? (This is in addition to any events that may occur while at the gala).
    [ ] [Gala] Gossip
    [ ] [Gala] Flirt
    [ ] [Gala] Indulge in good food.

    While at the gala, you’re seated with a group to socialize with. Who are you with?
    [ ] [Socialize] The Anders
    >Theo is a bit quiet, but not too bad for company.
    [ ] [Socialize] The Alcotts
    >Your brother might be friends with Rory Christner, but you wound up shoved to a table with his cousin instead.
    [ ] [Socialize] The Dallons
    >Mostly just Vicky and Amy here at your brother’s invitation.
    [ ] [Socialize] The Mystery
    >You’re seated with someone you don’t know. She looks about your age, at least.

    A strange cat has followed you home. What do you name him? (The quest master reserves the right to Veto).
    [ ] [Cat] (Write-In)

    Not immediately relevant, as you don’t have the equipment yet, but something to keep in mind for the future. What will your main fighting style be? Note: Fighting style will shift depending on situation and equipment (i.e., even if you are two-handed, you will take a shield out if there’s bullets flying), this is just your ‘default.’
    [ ] [Equipment] Two-Handed
    >Deal an additional 2d6 damage, but can’t gain the benefits of a shield.
    [ ] [Equipment] One-Handed
    >Deal less damage, but gain the benefits of a shield.

    It’s summer and you’ve got some free time to spend between parties and heroics. How do you spend it?
    [ ] [Free Time] (Write-In)
  25. Index: Rules: Feasts

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hello everyone, I’m here today to discuss another part of the Pendragon ruleset: Feasts!

    Now, in actual tabletop Pendragon, Feasts act as a sort of competition between players to accrue Geniality (aka, how much everyone at the party likes you). There’s a lot of opportunities to accrue checks in various traits and skills in the process and the player with the highest Geniality at the end of the night gains a bonus Glory reward.

    Obviously, that doesn’t work here, we’re playing as a single character. So, instead, I’ll be pulling various feast cards for the events of the feast and giving out a reward depending on what your Geniality is at the end. This will be mostly automated on the quest master side of things, so the main choice you’ll have is what to fill your time with between events.

    Gossiping, Flirting, Indulging, or Gaming.

    Gossiping uses Intrigue to find out the latest news about the city. A successful roll will give you a check to Intrigue and some news about the city that may or may not be useful. If you choose Gossiping, you may write-in if you are looking to find out specific information – though, there is no guarantee that the people you talk to you will know or want to share that specific information with you.

    Flirting uses the Flirting skill to engage in conversation with a character, with a successful roll giving a check to Flirting. This isn’t necessarily initiated by Elaine, it could simply be entertaining someone else who is interested in her instead. If choosing this option, you may write-in if you’re interested in flirting with a specific character.

    Indulging rolls Temperate, gaining a check on a success, or gaining a check to Indulgent on a failure. In some parties, alcohol may become available, at which point the possibility of becoming drunk also arises.

    Gaming rolls your Strategy, gaining a check on a success. This will not be available at every party.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2023
    meloa789 and NooneImportant like this.
  26. NooneImportant

    NooneImportant Know what you're doing yet? Because I don't!

    Oct 30, 2022
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.
    To defend the innocent, and help the weak, that is the way. I think, not sure. Anyway, healing good. People appreciate a healer. Unless you have healing superpowers.

    Your mother is dragging you to a Gala. What do you fill time with while there? (This is in addition to any events that may occur while at the gala).
    [X] [Gala] Indulge in good food.
    Hunger. Is. The Enemy. -Artoria “Saber” Pendragon

    While at the gala, you’re seated with a group to socialize with. Who are you with?
    [X] [Socialize] The Alcotts
    >Your brother might be friends with Rory Christner, but you wound up shoved to a table with his cousin instead.

    I’ll be honest: I rolled a d4 and got two, but I don’t really care so I’m abstaining.

    A strange cat has followed you home. What do you name him? (The quest master reserves the right to Veto).
    [X] [Cat] (Tiger)
    If vetoed, may I please vote [X] [Cat] (Leo) instead?

    Not immediately relevant, as you don’t have the equipment yet, but something to keep in mind for the future. What will your main fighting style be? Note: Fighting style will shift depending on situation and equipment (i.e., even if you are two-handed, you will take a shield out if there’s bullets flying), this is just your ‘default.’
    [X] [Equipment] One-Handed
    >Deal less damage, but gain the benefits of a shield.
    Two Handed blitzing is for ‘Big Boys’ that would crush shields anyways, we need the manoeuvrability of something lighter for swifter types. Also, shields reduce the chance of getting wrecked. That’s important.

    It’s summer and you’ve got some free time to spend between parties and heroics. How do you spend it?
    [X] [Free Time] (Read, at the library.)
    Meatheads and energetic types almost never bother someone in a library; it’s like libraries don’t exist! /s
    Also, wise man once said: “Toughened Body; Sharpened Mind.” -me. I said that. Just now.

    Wow, I feel chatty.
  27. Sat

    Sat Not too sore, are you?

    Jun 18, 2020
    Likes Received:
    [X] [Socialize] The Dallons
    It's been a long time since we've seen them, we don't blame Vicky for not being able to save us and we don't blame Amy for being able to heal us but if we start avoiding them they might start thinking differently.

    [X] [Equipment] Two-Handed

    Shields are all well and good until you realize about half of parahuman powers that exist make it near useless in Brockton Bay, a shield wont stop lungs physical attacks and his fire will burn us through metal, Oni Lee teleports grenades to fast to block, Kaiser doesn't need to be explained, Fenja and Menja won't be stopped with a shield, and a shield wont stop Squealer from running us over. Best case scenario we use it to fight Victor, Othala when on her own, maybe Rune, Alabaster, Hookwolf, and Skidmark. It's really just better to go for the higher damage and learn to dodge then spending time learning to fight with a shield.
  28. Aldsan

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Closing voting in 24 hours, get your votes in.
  29. Threadmarks: 1.2 - The Drawing of the Sword

    Aldsan (Mysterious Heroine)

    Nov 29, 2019
    Likes Received:

    Hazel eyes met mine. Slowly, I reached out, stroking my thumb along the cat’s forehead, listening to it purr in contentment.

    After I had vacated the alley, I had swiftly left to meet with Dean elsewhere, only to be surprised when I realized that the cat had followed me the entire way. Clearly, he was a stubborn sort. Regardless, if he wished to be with me so dearly, then I would not deny him. I took him with me.

    Needless to say, my parents had not been enthused to discover that I brought a stray home with me. He was friendly enough however, and won them over fairly quickly.


    The cat perked his head up, acknowledging the name I had provided him with. A small smile crossed my lips.

    “Hello Kay.”

    I poked a finger to Kay’s nose and he turned his head, rubbing a cheek against my finger, before abruptly jumping down from my desk and padding out of the room, apparently finished with me for the moment. A disappointed sound escaped me, but I allowed him his escape unmolested.

    Well, as long as he enjoyed his new environment, I hardly had cause to object.

    Wandering over to my bed, I allowed myself to collapse into the mass of stuffed animals that I had piled upon its surface. I winced as one dug into my back, shifting to get more comfortable before finally settling in.



    I could get used to this. I had many doubts about my previous self’s taste from a year past (why was everything in the room pink?), but I could agree with her in this. Surrounded on all sides by fluffy creatures – Truly, there was no greater sense of comfort than this.

    Alas, it could not last forever.

    Eventually, my phone’s alarm sounded. Unfortunately, I had somewhere to be this evening. I had managed to forestall any social events after I had first woken up by claiming health issues, but now that I had been given a clean bill of health, my mother would have her due. It was time that I attended the latest of her galas.

    Rousing myself, I sighed and moved to the closet to begin changing into my dress for the evening, only to glance in the mirror and see the dark, misshapen bruise that marred my shoulders. My first choice of dress had an open back. That would not be an option. I would have to find another.

    I hovered briefly over a black dress before rejecting it. I knew from experience that black had a tendency to make me look washed out and pale. A white dress went quicker – beautiful, but too much for the size of the event. There would be a certain amount of extravagance, of course, but it was still a relatively minor event all told. There was such a thing as overdoing it. Pink – No. A yellow dress – well, that wasn’t so bad, but it perhaps had the opposite problem of the white. Too close to being a sundress, too casual for the gala.

    Eventually, I found another blue dress, this one running all the way up to the neck. It was sleeveless and clung a bit too tight on the hips – I would need something new in the future – but it would do for the evening.

    As I had once before, my fingers began tying my hair up. It was a style I had never once worn before I had been rendered comatose. I could not recall having seen it within any fashion magazine, nor had any of my friends ever used it. Yet, my hands steadily wove the braid as if it were the most natural thing in the world. As if I had done this every day of my life.

    I stopped and closed my eyes, hiding the stranger that stared at me from within the mirror. I allowed my mind to calm, the world falling away until only I was left.

    Who was I?

    I remembered growing up wealthy and wanting for naught.

    I remembered growing up poor, an orphan adopted by my family.

    I remembered going shopping at the Boardwalk almost daily.

    I remembered when going to market was an event to mark the season, with festivals and games being held in celebration.

    I remembered Christmas Eve service, traditional hymns jazzed up by our youth band.

    I remembered the lonely tolling of bells and my hand wrapping around the hilt of a sword. Snow dusted the ground and my breath frosted in the air. Outside, the clamor of men rushing to and fro filled the town, but here, in this old churchyard, there was a strange calmness, as if the entire world held its breath.

    “You should think this through before you grab that.”

    A vision was shown. A miserable fate. A miserable death. The failure of a kingdom.

    “--No. Many people were smiling. I do not believe it will be a mistake.”

    The sword was pulled forth.

    A sharp gasp escaped me, my throat clenching in sudden dread. Wetness stained my cheeks.

    “A miracle has a price. In exchange, you will lose the thing most important to you.”

    What had that been? I lifted trembling fingers, tracing the outline of my face upon the mirror’s glass. What were these memories of a life I had not lived? What had I gained from taking that sword? What had I lost?

    Why did my heart feel as if it were tearing in two?

    “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” I whispered, the prayer and psalm forming upon my lips. “Whom shall I fear?”

    A guilty part of myself reminded me that I had not returned to church since that singular service a few weeks ago. Yet, now I called upon God when I needed solace. Rank hypocrisy. Still, I called out all the same.

    “Lord, please guide me in this hour. Please – tell me what is happening to me.”

    Silence answered me.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “Dean! Your hair is a mess!”

    “What? No, it’s normal.”

    “Tsk–” Our mother combed at Dean’s hair with her fingers, trying to straighten it out to how she liked it. “We’re already running late too.”

    “I hear it’s fashionable these days,” our father joked.

    “Don’t you start–”

    “It’s fine, Mom. Really.” Dean cut in.

    I cleared my throat, watching how they both jumped as though they had been unaware of my presence up until that point. “Who is hosting tonight’s event? I do not believe you told me earlier.”

    “The Christeners – It’s just a minor fundraising thing, getting ready for the election in November, you know.” My mother frowned at me and reached out to tug at my dress. “This dress won’t do at all, Ellie. It’s so plain – What were you thinking?”

    My lips tightened, but my father rescued me before I could reply.

    “Oh, stop hassling the kids, Helen. Like you said, we’re running late. It’s not like there’s any time to change.”

    “Fine. I suppose you’re right. Are you both ready to go?”

    “About that,” Dean said, “I was going to drive separately, go pick Vicky up. I invited her to come as my date tonight. Ellie, you’re welcome to come with – I know Vicky’s missed you.”

    “I–” The question was, did I want to see her? The last time I had – a memory flashed by, cacophonous noise ringing in my ears. No, I would have to see her eventually either way. I could manage a car ride at the very least. “Very well, Dean.”

    “Great!” My father chimed in. “We’ll meet you there then. Drive safe, alright?”

    “Of course,” Dean smiled sunnily and we waved our parents off before walking our way down to his BMW. I slid my fingers across the smooth paint, and for a moment, I was seized by a strange impulse to take the wheel myself, certain that I could see us there. I pushed it aside and strapped myself into the passenger seat.

    As we pulled out of the driveway, Dean glanced over at me. “Hey. Is everything alright?”

    I blinked and looked back at him. “Yes? Why would it not be?”

    “No reason. Just… I know we haven’t gotten to spend as much time together as I’d like since you’ve woken up. I’ve had my work, and you were busy studying to get caught up. You know I’m here for you if you need me though, right?”

    “I know,” I said, a feeling of warmth spreading in my chest. “Thank you, Dean.”

    We spent the next few streets in companionable silence, broken only by the music on the radio. I turned to the window, watching the city go by. After a time, I asked, “Is it just Victoria joining us? Or will her family be coming as well?”

    “She mentioned she might try to bring Amy along, get her out of the house.”

    “Amy never was the most social person.”

    “She wasn’t, but…” Dean grimaced and scratched at her cheek. “She became something of a shut-in after the incident at the mall. Wouldn’t leave her room except to go to school.”

    “Why?” I asked, furrowing my brow.

    Dean looked over at me, meeting my gaze. “Guilt, I would assume.”

    If she had not spoken up. If she had not made the robber lash out against her. If she had simply allowed the injustice in front of her to continue for the sake of safety. If and if and if – I may not have been rendered comatose.

    “Ridiculous.” The thought had occurred to me more than once since I had awoken. I rejected it as I had every other time. “She is not at fault.”

    Dean glanced away. “Emotions like that aren’t always logical, Ellie. Sometimes, even if someone knows intellectually that it’s wrong, they’ll still run away or hide or even lash out.”

    What could I say against that?

    I mulled over the problem, still not coming to any sort of solution by the time we pulled into the cul-de-sac where the Dallon household sat. It was a two-story home with a well-kept lawn, next to a series of near identical homes. Nice, certainly, if nowhere near so large as ours.

    Dean circled the car to open my door for me, and I stepped out, only to pause. I felt eyes upon me. I looked up and caught sight of brown hair through one of the windows. Amy. Once she realized I had spotted her, she quickly withdrew, the curtains falling to hide her from me.

    So. It was to be like that then.

    I strode up to the front door and knocked, Dean hurrying in my wake. Carol Dallon answered the door.

    Victoria’s mother was a severe looking woman, with a sharp jaw, a narrow nose, and her hair cut into a short bob. Her perpetual frown, at least every time that I had met her, did nothing to soften that impression. She spared me a glance before glaring at Dean. “Hello Ellie. Dean.”

    “Hey,” Dean said, giving a bright smile in response. It had to be intentional. There was no way he was actually oblivious to the way Mrs. Dallon was looking at him.

    “I’ll let Vicky know you’re here,” Mrs. Dallon said shortly. “You know the rules?”

    “No hanky-panky and I promise I’ll have her back by ten.”

    “Good. Ellie, glad to see you back on your feet.”

    “Thank you. I am glad to be back upon them.”

    Mrs. Dallon walked upstairs and Victoria came flying down naught a minute later. Literally flying; her feet did not touch the staircase. Unlike me, she had overdressed for the occasion. A beautiful white dress hugged her body, the shimmering fabric cascading down like waves. Her hair caught the light, her smile brightened the room.

    “Ellie!” She smiled widened and she rushed in to wrap her arms around me. I stiffened at the sudden contact, before slowly relaxing, returning the hug. “I’d heard from Dean, but it’s so good to see you again.”

    “Yes. I am glad you are doing well, Victoria.”

    Victoria? Since when do you call me by my full name like that?”

    “Is it an issue?” I asked, frowning.

    “No. Of course not. Just…” She looked at my brother. I couldn’t see what gesture he made in return, but her hug tightened ever so slightly before letting go. “Well, come on, let’s get going.”

    We walked back to the car and I moved into the rear seat, allowing Victoria the front to sit with Dean. As the car pulled out of the driveway, I shot one final look at the house and the face lurking in the upstairs window.

    • ❅──────✧❅✦❅✧──────❅•

    “Dean! Victoria! I’m glad you both could make it. And Ellie, of course. It’s been awhile since I saw you at one of these.”

    “It has been some time since I was able to,” I answered. “Thank you for having me, Rory.”

    “Not at all.” Rory Christner, the mayor’s son, was a tall, broad-shouldered young man. He grinned and reached out to pat Dean on the shoulder. “Come on in.”

    Thus, did the night begin. We went to Rory’s father first, and I was made to endure a conversation about the upcoming elections and who they thought would win. I managed to understand that he was confident in his own chances, but that there was a good chance the incumbent sheriff would be losing his position. At some point, I felt my attention start to drift before I managed to excuse myself.

    Unfortunately, a friend of my mother’s ambushed me after that. It was all the usual platitudes. How happy she was to see me, how big I had gotten. I’m not sure she even realized I had been injured until recently. She asked how I was doing in school and if I was dating any boys.

    I gave her a tight smile. “I am sorry. However, I really must use the restroom.”

    “Oh, alright. Do take care, dear.”

    “Thank you.”

    I managed to escape all of two steps before my mother came looking for me. “Ellie, there you are. I was just telling Rory here all about how well you were doing getting caught up for school. Tell him about how hard you’ve been studying.”

    I glanced at Rory, who mostly looked uncomfortable for me and as though he didn’t want to be there. “I don’t think there is much to tell. I did well enough for Arcadia’s placement test. Excuse me, I really need to sit down.”

    Extricating myself from unwanted conversation once again, I finally managed to flee and sit down at a table, rubbing at the bridge of my nose. It was strange. I had enjoyed these parties in the past. Now they just felt tedious. Well, if I was to be trapped here, I could at least enjoy the food. I began stacking my plate with cheese and salami.

    “Well, someone certainly has an appetite.”

    “It has been a long evening,” I said blandly, not pausing in my consumption as I glanced at the unfamiliar voice. A young girl, perhaps about my age, sat across from me. She had tied her long, strawberry-blonde hair back with a ribbon in a way that seemed as if it were meant to draw attention to her piercing blue eyes. “I do not believe we have met.”

    “We haven’t.” She smiled and I tilted my head. There was a faint accent to her words, trained almost to no longer be there. “I’m Erin Archelot.”

    “Elaine Stansfield.”

    Erin giggled. “I know. A lot of people have been talking about your miraculous awakening, you know?”

    “Is that why you are here then? To confirm the rumors?”

    “Of course not,” Erin said, shaking her head. “We’re both going to be attending Arcadia in the fall. I was hoping we could be friends.”

    “I do not see why not,” I said, reaching for a piece of salami, only to find I had eaten the entire tray. I frowned and began on the lemon bars instead. “We will be in the same year together then?”

    Erin clapped her hands together. “We will! And I’m glad to hear it. I was there last year too, but didn’t really manage to connect with many people. Everyone seems intimidated for some reason.”

    “I cannot imagine why. You seem likeable enough.”

    “Well, who knows? My Mom was a bit famous way back when, but that was years ago.”

    I raised an eyebrow curiously. “Oh? What for?”

    “I guess she was a famous singer back in the day?” Erin shrugged. “She’s more on the production side of things nowadays though. She’s here at the party, if you want to meet her.”

    “Perhaps another time,” I said, taking a slice of cake. “Were you planning to follow in her footsteps then? Become a singer yourself?”

    “I’m sure she would like me to, but no. It’s a bit too much spotlight for me. I prefer to stay a bit more behind the scenes.”

    “Understandable. I am sure being gawked at like that must be unpleasant.”

    “Hmm, well, something like that, I suppose.” She smiled pleasantly and took a cookie for herself.

    “What is it that you do want to do with yourself, in that case?”

    “I’m not entirely sure. Maybe I’ll become a wizard, like that guy over in Chicago.”


    “You know, Myrddin?” Erin stared at me a moment and must have realized that I did not know who she was speaking about. “Wow, you must really not watch the news or anything. He’s pretty famous. Not Triumvirate tier or anything, but still.”

    “I have never been particularly interested in parahuman culture,” I demurred, though something about the name tickled at my mind. “I do not imagine that wizardry is the easiest of vocations to enter.”

    “No, I suppose it isn’t,” Erin said with a faint smile. “I suppose I’ll just have to keep thinking about it then.”

    I arched an eyebrow, but she simply stayed silent, nibbling on her cookie until the moment had passed.

    Then I was simply left with awkward silence, not sure how to advance the conversation once more. It was almost a relief when Dean came over to inform me that he and Vicky were leaving.

    “I suppose that is my call for the evening. It was a pleasure meeting you, Erin. Hopefully, I can do so again soon.”

    Erin smiled brightly at me. “Yeah, I hope so too. Maybe we can hang out sometime before school starts.”

    “I would like that,” I said simply and returned her smile before turning away.

    The night had been long. Soon, the morning would come, and with it my plans for a new day. During my fight in the alley, I had taken our three grown men. I had taken a hit across the back with a bat and kept fighting. However I looked at it, that was not normal. Something was odd with me – not just my mind, but my body as well.

    It was time I found out what it was.

    Moving sucks. The end.

    I’m not really happy with the latter half of this chapter, but I was tired of hanging onto it and wanted to push it out, so here we go. The vote of Dallons vs Mystery was pretty close, so I wound up giving a bit of both. The investigate your powers bit is pushed back to next time, but will be included in more detail.

    Not happy with how the Feast rules worked in converting to a quest format. I think I’ll probably scrap them and run something a bit simpler for future occasions.

    I have decided to rename Renown to Glory. This is what it originally was in Pendragon. I had changed it to better suit cape life, where fame is important, but I’m shifting that because of the next point – I have also decided to allow for the collection of Glory in your private life. You won’t earn as much as you would through combat, but this way you’re not limited to only combat as a collection source.

    It is June of 2010.

    Choose someone to spend time with:
    [ ] [Social] Dean Stansfield
    [ ] [Social] Victoria Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Amy Dallon
    [ ] [Social] Chelsea and Morgan
    [ ] [Social] Erin Archelot
    [ ] [Social] (Write-In)

    Choose an activity to participate in:
    [ ] [Activity] Sports
    >You could use the exercise.
    [ ] [Activity] Charity
    >You could do volunteer work.
    [ ] [Activity] Summer Classes
    >You may have gotten into Arcadia, but it wouldn’t hurt to get caught up more.
    [ ] [Activity] Modeling
    >It could earn you some money on the side if you do well.
    [ ] [Activity] Religion
    >Visit churches to try and find a new one.
    [ ] [Activity] (Write-In)

    Choose a way to advance yourself as a hero.
    [ ] [Heroism] Design a name and costume.
    >You can’t just be X forever.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look into types of Parahumans.
    >If you’re going out doing hero things, you’re bound to run into them at some point. Knowing the difference between a brute and a breaker will probably be good.
    [ ] [Heroism] Study your first aid.
    >You might need to treat injured people in the future.
    [ ] [Heroism] Look for trouble.
    >You’re not a hero if you aren’t actually going out and saving people, right?
    [ ] [Heroism] (Write-In)
  30. Knoxov

    Knoxov Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    Sep 26, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Amy Dallon
    First aid.