Roleplay / The Hope Saga
There's no room for heroes in the Void.
— Kasby Bellwood, pilot
Starting in 2008, Sunshine Duk
ran an online roleplay for a group of his friends. The initial group of six players spiralled uncontrollably over the course of eight months to include two dozen drop-in drop-out players, divided into numerous groups, all part of the same sprawling saga. The game was played out over AIM, and of course Duk saved all the chatlogs.
Obviously, when the game finished, everyone wanted to know everything that had happened—any one person had been privy to at most a quarter of the full storyline. So Duk decided to take the logs and tidy them up, editing them together into a coherent novel-style narrative. Two years later, he's finally almost done.
The ongoing story can be found at http://thehopesaga.blogspot.comThis page has a character sheet.
This series provides examples of:
- Action Survivor: Pretty much everyone in the Void is one, by necessity.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Roost.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Seth Quinn is surrounded by ladies.
- Always Chaotic Evil: How demons get viewed. The reality... is that there are very very occasional very slight exceptions.
- Anti-Hero: All of the Talons. They're really just in it for themselves, and wind up being helpful mostly by accident.
- Anyone Can Die: And if you like them, probably will. Especially as you get closer to the Finale.
- Apocalyptic Log: Daniel Bellwood's journal.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Mercuria Barret, Inner Council Security Secretary, old woman, complete badass.
- Badass Bookworm: Again, most folk in the Void, courtesy of being adventure scientists who fight demons.
- Badass Normal: By the end, Kasby is the only one who doesn't have any special powers. He still kicks ass and takes names.
- Badass Longcoat: Seth is very fond of his.
- Bad Dreams: Comes as part of Zebra's oneiromantic powers.
- Battle Couple: Taken to extremes by Kasby and Jaz, who don't stop making out to kill a demon.
- Big Bad: The Devourer.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Devoured Jaz has a crystal blade instead of a right hand.
- Blessed with Suck: Magic.
- Came Back Wrong: Jaz. Oh dear.
- Cool Airship: It took the cast ten sessions to build it. You bet your ass the Quinn is one.
- Combat Tentacles: The Devourer Larvae use these.
- Convection Schmonvection: Being fireproof comes packaged with Giraffe's pyromancy.
- Cunning Linguist: Owl, though only for written languages.
- Deadpan Snarker: Giraffe and Reno, for their respective groups.
- Diary: Everyone in the Void keeps them, in case of their own death. Owl learns about Kasby's father by finding his old diary.
- The Dragon: Magid for the Devourer.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Devourer borders on this.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: A fact of life in the Void. Any animals are escaped angry demons. The ground itself will stab you if you dig wrong.
- Feathered Fiend / Creepy Crows: Torrential Black, Chun's demon, is a giant four-winged crow.
- Full-Contact Magic: Giraffe is the purest example.
- Grand Finale: And how. Five guest GMs.
- Heroic Sacrifice: By the dozens.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: _____ Hope.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: The entirety of Bloodred Hope.
- Living Shadow: Three separate instances! Umbra, Kiara's demon; the creature in the bottom of the mineshaft; and of course the ever-mysterious Shadows.
- Magitek: Most machinery is powered by demon-charged crystals. Guns that shoot magic are fairly common.
- MacGuffin: The box, whatever it is. It's clearly important!
- The Medic: Chun, for the Talons. Complete with gratuitous amputation.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Spider let the Devourer out in the first place.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Coordinator Ammon, much to Kasby's frustration.
- Our Demons Are Different: Anything (or anyone) with magic qualifies as one. They tend to be strange, not remotely humanoid creatures that are angry and full of power.
- Playing with Fire: Giraffe is a pyromancer. You do the math.
- Photographic Memory: Owl has natural eidetic memory, hence her original job as a rememorist.
- Red Baron: Cyclops. His real name is never revealed.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Played with. The entire crew of the Quinn has red eyes, due to their powers.
- Saving the World: It takes them a while to realize that's what they're doing, though.
- Scenery Gorn: Sorry, did you like that city?
- Scavenger World: It's not that no one knows how to make stuff anymore—quite the opposite, they're all scientists. They just don't have the facilities or factories to make things.
- Schedule Slip: Oops.
- Schizo Tech: Guns that shoot magic. Airships. Swords. Very occasional computers. Power plants.
- Serious Business: Goat takes sandwich-making very seriously. Don't get between him and a loaf of bread.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The demons, as well as specifically the Devourer.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Kasby starts out at the idealistic end. Doesn't stay there. (Goat does, though!)
- Steam Punk: Elements of the aesthetic tend to show up, but most everything is powered by magic rather than steam.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Dr. Emerson tries to pull this on Skunk and Owl. It doesn't end well.
- Synchronization: Between the Talons and their demons.
- Tear Jerker: Jaz's death.
- Touched by Vorlons: The crew gain their powers from direct exposure to the Devourers.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Goat and sandwiches, obviously, but Skunk's love of dried mushrooms also gets mentioned on numerous occasions.
- Trauma Conga Line: Kasby, for the entire story. As the story opens, he's the sole survivor of the memepocalypse that wiped out his city. Things go downhill from there.
- True Companions: The Talons. Despite Kasby's best efforts, the crew of the Quinn never remotely becomes this, though.
- Wham Episode: The end of the Rising Hope arc.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Spider to Seth, after the Talons casually murder Sector One's perimeter guards.
- World of Badass: Kind of a requirement to survive in the Void.