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RoxyWasHere.com is the writing blog for NH Hafner, where she posts stories taking place in a multiverse of worlds centered around one woman: the titular Roxanne.

Most of the Stories aren't about her, however. They're about the worlds she's visited (thus, the title) and how her interactions with those worlds have molded them. The majority of stories take place in The Astraverse, a superhero world that Roxy interacts with frequently. But other worlds include the universe of the Adventures of Saren Rho, a far, far future science fiction world, and a fantasy world starring a very Roxy-like young dwarf.

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And also there's a fan fiction featuring the Avengers fighting Darth Vader.


Roxy Was Here features the following works:

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I Need A Hero

Roxy's origin story, showing how she first got her powers and how her world went from apocalyptic to utopian.

    I Need A Hero Tropes 

  • After the End: The first chapter excluded, the story takes place ten years after a global catastrophe that was caused by everybody on Earth being given superpowers and all Hell immediately breaking loose.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Thoroughly Averted, as Roxy explicitly spells out her various neuro-nontypicalities in chapter 3: ADHD, depression, and Asperger's. Her power mostly suppresses them nowadays, but they reappear when she gets sufficiently drunk.
  • Ambiguously Brown: It's noted that even to Roxy's keen eye Karen could be any of a dozen different non-white races.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Roxy self identifies as a true Nietzschean nihilist.
  • Anything That Moves: Roxy notes that she's going to try not to sleep with the first person who asks, and anybody who asks after that.
  • Apocalypse How: Everybody on Earth getting superpowers results in Planetary societal collapse and atleast 90% of humanity dying.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Roxy's friends Jayanti and Jayadev go by the anglicized nicknames Jane and Jake, chosen by Roxy in preschool when she was incapable of saying their real names.
  • Area 51: It's mentioned that Yggdrassil took over Groom Lake after the US government fell, and now use it as their headquarters. It never had anything to do with aliens, at least according to Bright.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Roxy was well versed in superhero lore before getting superpowers of her own.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Roxy gets distracted investigating her professor's robotics project and zones out for the entire first lesson as she studies it.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Roxy speaks German as naturally as she does English, and often lapses into it mid-conversation.
  • Blind Seer: Theresa Landis was blinded when she was 7. Now she can see everything.
  • Call-Forward: Chapter 5 features the invention of the H.E.A.R.T., the miniature fusion reactor that Aradia shows to Rey in Neon.
  • Cheerful Child: Roxy, before her mother died.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Roxy's brother met his wife in 1st grade. Later on Roxy eventually hooks up with her old friend Jake, who was the only friend Roxy had from high school that she never slept with.
  • Civvie Spandex / Not Wearing Tights: Because they're still living on a post apocalyptic Earth, nobody has really bothered to start wearing costumes, though most do begrudgingly admit that what they have are superpowers.
  • Cool Car: Even 10 years into the apocalypse, Romana still maintains and drives a Ferrari 458 Italia.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: After the Time Skip, Roxy has stopped wearing shoes, because they tended to not last very long under the use of her powers.
  • Disability-Negating Superpower: Roxy's superintelligence mostly cancels out her autism, ADHD, and depression.
  • Doesnt Know Her Own Strength: Roxy breaks a lot of stuff when getting accustomed to her Super Strength.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: At the very start of the story, Roxy wakes up from a dream where she was fighting Therion, which she shrugs off as just being "one of those weird dreams."
  • Fun with Acronyms: Roxy names her miniature fusion reactor High Energy Adaptable Reactor Technology (H.E.A.R.T.)
  • Futureshadowing: Chapter 6 includes the first explicit mention of Jeremy Ryan, and states that construction has already started on the 2500m tower he talked about in "No Rest For The Wicked".
  • Genius Bruiser: Roxy is resourceful and very precise with how to apply her strength and agility in a fight.
  • Harmless Freezing: Sierra is able to unfreeze 16 people who were frozen ten years with only a little effort, and they all survive.
  • Healing Potion: Yggdrasil supplies its agents with a drug that accelerates healing. It usually reduces healing times from weeks to days, but when used on Roxy her already existing Healing Factor compounds it to act in seconds.
  • Heaven and Hell: The story borrows themes heavily from popular biblical fiction, particularly The Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost. The primary conflict is caused by the Demons breaking free of Hell and wreaking havoc on Earth, with God granting humans superpowers to fight them and appointing an official prophet (Theresa) to spread Her Word.
    • Paradise is a perpetually sunny Flat World 12 times the surface area of Earth, at the center of which is a massive mountain with a golden city, Utopia ("The Good Place"), built upon it. At the center of Utopia sits God's palace.
    • In a massive cavern beneath it sits Tartarus, a pit 10,000 kilometers deep, at teh bottom of which sits the city Pandæmonium, ("All Demons' Place").
  • Human Popsicle: How Roxy first meets Karen. Karen and 15 other soldiers in the depository were frozen by a Cryo on the first day of the apocalypse, and were defrosted when Roxy and her crew finally discovered them.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Once she gets her powers, Roxy's body starts absorbing what's in her stomach faster than she can drink to fill it.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Zig-Zagged with Mark One. Roxy's been working on creating artificial intelligence for 10 years, but once she figured it out she says she only needed to create the intelligence with a body to get it to be truly sapient.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Roxy.
  • Just Before the End: The first chapter starts less than 2 hours before a catastrophe that leaves 7 billion people dead and the survivors with superpowers.
  • L33t L1ng0: Roxy's text conversation with her friend Jane is written in extreme teen shorthand.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Roxy is very quick on her feet, enough that actual super-speedster Mercury was surprised by her ability to defend against his attacks.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: At the start of the story (Just Before the End) the world Roxy lives in is identical to our earth except for the addition of a metropolitan city between Chicago and Milwaulkee. After that, however, everything changes.
  • Living Lie Detector: Roxy's supersenses are finely tuned enough to be able to discern when people are lying or telling the truth.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The story starts with one of these that gave everybody on earth superpowers, which resulted in 7 billion people dying in the resulting chaos.
  • The Mafia: Roxy's brother David married into the Mob family that rules Danesville.
  • Mafia Princess: Romana Scomparsa was the heir of the Danesville Mob while David was dating her. It's not said how much she knew about her parent's business growing up, but she eventually inherited the title of Capofamiglia.
  • Meaningful Name: Roxy chooses Mark as the name for the first fully intelligent android in the world, short for "Mark One".
  • The Men in Black: Yggdrasil is essentially a version of this that failed to uphold The Masquerade and is trying to put the world back together
  • Mind Hive: "Xena Noble" is actually three people sharing one body: the real Xena, psychology professor Andrew McMann, and his TA Trisha.
  • Nay-Theist: Roxy doesn't care whether or not God exists, but she hates him either way.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The organization Roxy works for, Yggdrasil, is one of these now that most world governments have failed.
  • Not Quite Flight: Roxy tries to fly after getting her powers. She can't, at least not yet like she can later on, but with her superstrength she can jump very high.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Roxy is not only the world's leading roboticist, but also the world's leading nuclear physicist, creating both the first intelligent androids and fully functional fusion reactors.
  • Omniglot: Roxy can speak 200 languages, including dead and fictional ones.
  • The Omniscient: Theresa Landis can see everything, not just in the present, but in the past and future as well.
  • Origins Episode: Tells the story of how Roxy first got and used her powers, long long before she became an angel.
  • Our Manticores Are Spinier: Roxy discovers one that'd been trapped in the Fort Knox Depository for the last ten years. It's big, red, it eats people and it's scorpion-like tail has a venom that disrupts healing and shapshifting. It also appears to have near human intelligence.
  • The Present Day: The first chapter takes place the day it was first published, September 3rd 2018.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As Roxy eventually learns, Red Eyes are a sign of being a Demon.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Roxy has Unbreakable Bones so that she doesn't powderize them every time she exerts herself.
  • Robot Buddy: Mark is the first completely successful attempt at creating an AI that Roxy has had, and she created him with a body to experience the world through.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Literally the first thing we learn about Roxy is that she sleeps with an Iron Man poster taped to the ceiling above her bunk bed. She later references the first film when creating her repulsor gauntlets and miniaturized fusion reactor.
    • Roxy is woken up by her roommate blasting Jay-Z at 8:30 in the morning.
    • Roxy tries to tune her new supersenses the same way Superman first learned to in Man of Steel. It doesn't work as well for her as it did for him.
    • The songs Roxy listens to on her phone are "Turn It Off" by Paramore and then "Come Alive" by Foo Fighters.
    • The name of the book itself comes from the refrain of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero"
    • Roxy's mother's last words are "Komm, süßer Tod".
    • Roxy's class ring was fit with a tri-cut peridot.
    • Roxy's supervisor at Yggdrasil is Micheal Bright.
    • At one point Roxy jokes that they should start using Baby Groot Funko Pops as currency.
  • Shooting Superman: Though she's not bulletproof, her bones are enough protection that Roxy's reaction to having a gun pointed at her is annoyance.
  • The Sleepless: By the time Roxy returns to Danesville, she hasn't slept in years
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Zig-Zagged. Roxy is knocked out by her powers activating, but she wakes up only a few minutes later to find the world had very quickly decided to end in the meantime.
  • Super Hero Origin: Roxy gets her powers concurrently with a Nuclear Detonation that destroys the City of Madison, Wisconsin, and later discovers everybody else on earth got powers at the same time. Roxy later has it explained to her, by The Grim Reaper, that the event was caused by all 100,000 Demons held in Hell escaping, with God gifting humanity powers to fight them.
  • Superpower Lottery: Roxy hit big time: Super Strength, Super Intelligence, Super Senses, Super Toughness, Unbreakable Bones, and an accelerated Healing Factor.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The two songs Roxy's phone plays on shuffle while she starts learning about her powers are incredibly relevant to her situation. "Turn It Off", specifically the parts of it she's able to focus on, foreshadows her future with talk of Demons, light, and becoming a hero. "Come Alive" then echos her actions as she confidently strides forwards to meet the future with her new powers.
  • Teen Genius: It's not explicitly stated, but (using her birthdate as given in In the Face of Evil) Roxy's 18th birthday wasn't for another 3 months and she was already taking advanced college engineering classes.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Roxy's reaction to accidentally killing someone who was trying to kill her. She immediately takes a No Killing Vow.
  • Time Skip: The second chapter takes place almost 10 years after the first one, long after the worst of the apocalypse has happened.
  • The Topic of Cancer: Roxy uses the fact her mother died of lung cancer as one of the reasons she hates God.

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Astraverse

A superhero universe named for Astra, it's most powerful hero. The world with which Roxy most often and directly interacts with.

    Astraverse Tropes 

  • Alternate Self: In New Light, Rey has it explained that with a single exception (Astra) everybody on her Earth has or had a duplicate in New Jerusalem.
  • The Ageless: Roxy, as an angel, is immune to all effects of time.
  • Always Identical Twins: In the Astraverse, Alice Prince used to have an identical twin sister who died of cancer in her teens, named Roxy. It's noted that the Angel Roxanne is also identical to both Alice and her dead twin whose name she shares.
  • Angelic Transformation: Part of Roxy's backstory is that she was born a human on another Earth and then elevated to an Angel by her Goddess.
  • Angels, Devils and Squid: There are Angels, there are Demons, and there are Void-Beasts. The Angels and Demons both come from the realm of New Jerusalem, but the Void Beasts come from the space between universes.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Alice Prince had a twin sister who died of cancer in her childhood, whose death spurned Alice to superheroics.
  • Badass Gay:
    • Roxanne has a wife back in her home universe.
    • Karen Reis, a former US Army General and current superpowered mercenary, used to be married to Alice Prince, Aradia's aunt.
    • Neon slips a waitress her phone number on the way home from her first fight as a member of Astra's League.
  • Beast of the Apocalypse: Therion, as the Beast of Revelations, is a living apocalyptic event, threatening death and destruction on a massive scale in every universe he appears in. One of Roxy's cosmic duties is slaying him and returning him to New Jerusalem to be imprisoned again before he inevitably breaks free and must be fought again.
  • Body Horror: The Harlequin's skin is unbreakable, but under the immense heat of a thermobaric explosion it is chemically vulnerable. When she blows up her mansion, her mask fuses to her face and her dress fuses to her skin. It's incredibly painful, and causes her already fragile mental state to shatter.
  • Bling of War: Being made of Celestial Adamantium means that most New Jerusalemite technology glitters like gold, including weapons and armor.
  • Bigger Bad: The Demon King, an unkillable multiversal force of evil.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Doctor Lazarus has done so much Mad Science on himself that his body has stopped resembling anything human on the inside.
  • Celestial Paragons and Archangels: Roxy is an Archangel.
  • Complete Immortality: Therion cannot be killed. He can only be temporarily contained.
  • Damage Control: Aradia uses her company to finance repair operations to fix things that break in superhero fights.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: Therion is the Demon King, and the most powerful evil entity in the multiverse.
  • Dimensional Cutter: Dawnherald, which is described as working identically to the Subtle Knife, snagging on subatomic wormholes and ripping them open.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: Therion, the Demon King, is a dragon in his true form.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: As a result of having both shapeshifting and fire-controlling abilities, the Salamanders are capable of shapeshifting into pure fire.
  • Expy: As expected with a superhero world, many supers in the Astraverse are very similar to older fictional supers.
  • Famous Ancestor: It's mentioned that Aradia and her grandfather are descended from Merlin and Morgan le Fay.
  • Fantasy Metals: Two special metals mentioned are Celestial Adamantium and Uru-mithril. Adamantium is a gold-colored unbreakable metal, and Uru-mithril is implied to have magic capacitance.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Therion is very good at pretending to be a normal human when you don't know his true nature.
  • Fiction 500: Aradia is one of the richest people in the world, and uses her company FursTech to fund repairs for damages from superhero fights.
  • Fiery Salamander: Xena Noble's villain identity (The Salamander) was based on the image of Salamanders being creatures of fire.
  • Fountain of Youth: Doctor Lazarus was working on a treatment to reverse aging, which Karen stole to administer to Alice.
  • From a Single Cell: After activating her powers for the first time, Ashley Scomparsa regenerated her whole body from a single severed hand.
  • Future Spandex: The majority of New Jerusalemite fashion is bodytight fabric as a base for body armor and/or loose draped fabric.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Aradia
  • Green Thumb: The supervillainess Babalon can control plants, and uses them to create vine tentacles to carry her around everywhere like Doctor Octopus
  • Guardian of the Multiverse: Roxy's full title, given to her by her God, proclaims her as such: "Angel of the World Tree, Defender of The Multiverse and Guardian of the Tree of Life".
  • Healing Factor: Karen Reis's healing factor works on a scale of seconds.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Eighth Wonder it's mentioned that Aradia's father sacrificed himself to stop some threat that decades later even she still isn't quite sure the nature of.
  • Hero Killer: Babalon claims that she killed five of the twelve dead Astra's League members.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Jeremy Ryan looks like a normal human when you first meet him. But sealed within his human form is The Seven-Headed Dragon, which is released whenever he is killed. And when the Dragon is killed, it is sealed within Jeremy again. Rinse and repeat, forever.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the short stories are named for songs.
  • Laughing Mad: The Harlequin, in her less lucid moments.
  • Light 'em Up:
    • Astra's powers are based around manipulating pure energy, and it's most often displayed as pure light.
    • Neon is powered by electrical plasma, which as her name suggests is mostly collected from Neon signs. After she joins Astra's League, Aradia gives her a backpack fusion reactor, which gives her much more, purer, and more energetic plasma, her max speed and range increases exponentially.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Lazarus has dedicated his life to trying to invent immortality for himself, though when he finally invented something that successfully de-aged someone, he was killed. Though, Karen assumes he'll be back, somehow.
  • Magic Dance: Aradia's style of spellcasting is explicitly described as dance-like, as opposed to her grandfather's Supernatural Martial Arts style.
  • Magical Girl: One of Aradia's biggest business rivals is a Japanese Magitech company that employs Magical Girls to conduct corporate espionage.
  • Magitech: Aradia made her fortune selling Magitech after inventing it in her teens.
  • Merlin and Nimue: Robert Prince, whose codename is actually Merlin, took his granddaughter Aradia as an apprentice when she was a child, but as an Aversion to the usual betrayal they are the only two living members of their family who still speak to one another on a regular friendly basis.
  • Military Superhero: Before becoming a mercenary, Karen Reis was a US Army Soldier.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Roxy is rail-thin and still one of the strongest beings in the Multiverse
  • Mysterious Past: Neon's mom Trip implies she's hiding from Roxy after Neon tells her she joined Astra's League. With The Reveal that Rey is a New Jerusalemite native, that means that Trip is, too.
  • Names To Run Away From Very Fast: Therion, The Beast From The Pit, The Seven Headed Dragon, The King of Demons.
  • The Napoleon: Roxy is 4'9" and and unstoppable by almost anything.
  • The Needless: Roxy needs no food, water, air, or sleep, but often chooses to partake of them anyway to remind herself of the simple pleasures of life.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Danesville is a fictional city in Wisconsin, in between Milwaukee and Chicago, turning the west coast of Lake Michigan into a single big metropolitan area.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The battle between Astra's League and the Demon King takes place entirely between when Eighth Wonder ends and Neon begins.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Out of the nine people on the moon in Space Oddity, two of them were named Robert.
  • Ontological Mystery: In In The Face Of Evil, Roxy wakes up on a beach with memories missing and half of her armor burned away.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Roxy is the Archangel, "The mightiest and most dedicated of angels" according to the God she serves. She is very firmly good, and thus very firmly opposed to the Evils of Demons and Void-Beasts. She looks like a perfectly normal, if short, human, though she does talk of being able to feel her invisible angelic wings as if there were physical.
  • Our Demons Are Different: There are Demons, and there are Pseudodemons. Demons are very powerful forces of evil native to Roxy's home universe, such as the Deceiver and the Demon King. Pseudodemons are just more mundane beings pretending to be Demons to appear more threatening.
  • Our Gods Are Different: Roxy, as an angel, is a servant of The Goddess, a version of the Judeo-Christian God. She's not Omnipotent, since she was capable of being stripped of her power by outsiders, and even refers to herself as just "an old, weak demiurge." She appears to Roxy as just a woman with a blinding light obscuring her face at all times.
  • Overly Long Name: Aradia's full name is Aradia Johanna Christa Scomparsa-Prince-Furst. Her friends just call her Rad.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jeremy Ryan's eyes turn crimson after he is revealed to be the Demon King Therion.
  • Ride the Lightning: Elle Ectric's primary mode of transportation.
  • Scaled Up: Therion can transform from his human form into the enormous Seven-Headed Dragon.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Demon King cannot be killed, he can only be briefly contained. There's a massive facility in New Jerusalem's Groom Lake, Nevada (Aka Area 51) that serves as his prison in that world.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Dawnherald is sharpened to a molecular edge, and then reinforced by magic to be even sharper, to the point it can cut open subatomic wormholes.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Feel The Fire, Aradia references Spiderverse and the concept of Totems, and the first thing Xena thinks to try shapeshifting Adamantium into was a set of three, long claws.
    • In Eighth Wonder Roxy mentions the Infinite Crisis as a worst case scenario.
    • In In the Face of Evil, the Goddess herself tells Roxy how Dawnherald works by referencing The Subtle Knife.
    • When Rey accidentally travels between worlds by trying to go faster than she ever had before, both Roxy and Aradia independently refer to the act as Speed-Forcing it.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Aradia forces Rey to run from New York to Danesville after giving her The Heart.
  • Solar Punk: New Jerusalem, from the small slice of it we see, is a well-entrenched utopia of this style.
  • Stab the Sky: The first thing Roxy does with Dawnherald is hoist it into the air and hold it there.
  • Star Scraper: The 4 FursTech towers, which are all 2.5 kilometers tall. New Jerusalem has at least one as well.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Elana Etric, whose superhero name is Elle Ectric.
  • Stock Superpowers:
  • Summon to Hand: Dawnherald and Aegis, which Roxy automatically likens to Mjolnir.
  • Super Team:
    • Astra's League, an organization of some of the most powerful heroes in the world. They have 54 members, but 12 of them are (officially) dead.
    • There is also Yggdrasil, which is a extraversal organization of "Demigods and Angels" like Roxanne who have taken it upon themselves to protect the multiverse.
    • Neon, Roadie, Elle Ectric, and Scratch were their own street-level crime fighting team before being inducted into Astra's League.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Xena's shapeshifting and fire control are very versatile when combined together, and even more so when she incorporates Adamantium to turn herself into a living 3D printer.
  • Sword and Gun: Karen Reis's main weapons are a pair of Berettas and a pair of short swords, which she uses interchangeably.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: There is a massive facility miles deep in New Jerusalem that is dedicated to holding Therion in Adamantium chains to minimize the time he spends free.
  • Talking Animal: In addition to the superhumans, New Jerusalem is also inhabited by naturally intelligent animals who have been boosted to human-level or higher intelligence. It's not said if all of them are capable of speaking human languages, but the one we meet, a crow, is.
  • Teen Genius: Aradia dropped out of highschool to travel and study to become the most skilled magic user in the world. Around the same time, she invented the field of Magitech.
  • Teleport Spam: Karen Reis's main superpower. She can teleport with just a thought, whether it's across a room or across the world.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: In this corner of the Omniverse known as the "Metanarrative".
  • Unobtanium: Celestial Adamantium, which can only be found naturally in one place: Roxanne's bones. It's identical to Gold in most aspects except for the fact it's mortally unbreakable.
  • Whole Costume Reference: In In The Face of Evil, it's noted that New Jerusalemite fashion is consciously modeled after Asgardian and Kryptonian fashion
  • Whole Plot Reference: Black Hole Sun is basically a recreation of the first scene of Avengers: Infinity War, with The Khan as Thanos and Luna as both Thor and the Hulk.
  • Wolverine Claws:
    • One of Roxy's weapons is a set of Adamantium bracers with enormous meter-long claws that retract to become meter-long elbow spikes.
    • The first thing that Xena shapeshifts Adamantium into is Wolverine Claws, which Aradia notes as being very original.

The Adventures of Saren Rho

Set in 9556, shows the titular Bounty Hunter's adventures in the Andromeda Galaxy, and as a side plot shows the Grand Admiral of Earth's navy fighting against a terrorist insurrection.

    The Adventures of Saren Rho Tropes 

  • Amazonian Beauty: Saren's parents were supremacists and genetically engineered their daughter to be the ideal Aryan woman: Very tall, very strong, and blonde and blue-eyed.
  • Artistic License – Military: Braid at one point gives Saren, a civilian with no ties to the Navy, command of his advanced Navy ship. Though, as he points out, seeing as he can't make contact with Navy Command because he's an entire galaxy away, as the highest-ranked human in Andromeda he's allowed to do whatever he wants and nobody can stop him.
  • Bounty Hunter: Saren is a member of the Milky Way's Bounty Hunters Guild, and one of the most prolific, enough so that The Galactic Navy approaches her to take part in a clandestine operation.
  • Command Roster: The Command Staff of the Spectre:
  • Cool Starship:
    • The Spectre, the flagship of the Milky Way government's spy division and as a result one of the most technologically advanced ships humanity has ever built.
    • The Stymphalian, Grand Admiral Verhoeven's personal ship, capable of making precise interstellar jumps between planetary orbits, when most ships have to leave and enter systems at sublight before jumping.
  • Covert Group: Braid is the Fleet Commander of Earth's Naval Intelligence Special Ops group.
  • Cyborg Helmsman: Saren noticies both of the Spectre's Astrogators are cyborgs when Braid briefly gives her command of the ship.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Kartney Device activation results in an explosion on the Planet Miranda equivalent to a civilization-ending asteroid strike.
  • Eternal English: Because of humanity becoming immortal in 2500 AD, language development has completely halted because everybody who spoke the language then is still alive and speaking it now, 7000 years later.
  • Expy:
  • Fan of the Past: Braid laments to Saren how the art of science fiction died the same time humanity started actually experiencing the stuff science fiction often talked about. All of his favourite authors are ones we have today, so supposedly it dies out around the modern in-real-life era.
  • The Federation: The United Earth Federation. Apparently, the UEF was horrifically despotic, which resulted in a major rebellion that ended with the UEF being completely dissolved and reformed into the Central Galactic Government that still rules the Galaxy 6000 years later.
  • First Contact: Humanity first met aliens 6000 years ago, when the Keepers showed up out of nowhere and started bombing human worlds for seemingly no reason. The war was short and brutal and humans won, resulting in the Keepers being given a space on a human colony to live peacefully while humans proceed to colonise the entire rest of the galaxy.
  • First Contact Math: The crew of the Spectre prepare to do this when they meet aliens in Andromeda, but it's Subverted when the aliens already know english.
  • Future Spandex: The standard uniform of the CGG Navy is a skintight bodysuit.
  • Genre Savvy: Braid, as a result of consuming so much ancient science fiction.
  • Galactic Superpower: The Central Galactic Government, which governs every system in the Milky Way.
  • Immortality: Humanity cracked the code to Indefinite Longevity in 2500 AD, which is 7000 years before the start of the story. Everybody in the story except Saren is thus Really 700 Years Old.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Keepers, which look like large, semi-upright black centipedes.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Super Soldier: Saren and Braid are both noted to be genetically engineered peak-humans.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The Kartney Device is an ancient (6000 years old by the time the story starts) teleporter technology that simply takes 2 different locations in space and swaps them. In theory, at least, in practice it sends one location to the destination whole, and then takes what used to be at the destination and converts it to pure energy and drops it at the origin, causing an enormous explosion. It's inventors have refined it to get rid of the annoying explosion, but the CSF have instead decided to weaponize it.
  • The Runaway: Saren ran away from her home on Earth in her early teens because her parents were race supremacists, and struck out to the galactic fringe to become a Bounty Hunter.

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Delving Deeper

A fantasy tale telling the story of Roshanak, a young Dwarven Queen trying to reclaim her kingdom after a Lich and his Orc army sacks its capital.

    Delving Deeper Tropes 

  • Affectionate Nickname: When it's just the two of them, Griffa calls Roshanak by the much shorter "Rocks".
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The High Priest Cinnabar refers to Griffa as "meydl", referencing both their goddess actually being the jewish Roxy and Tolkien originally coding his own dwarves as semitic.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Downplayed. There is no crown, there is no ceremony, there is no crowd of subjects. Griffa, after realizing that Princess Roshanak is the last of the Dwarven Royalty alive, lays down her sword and swears an ancient oath of fealty to her new, young Queen Roshanak, in front of the other 6 survivors of the Mountainhome.
  • Baleful Polymorph: For being bold enough to tell him "I'm not afraid of you", instead of killing Princess Ferris the Lich turns her into a cat. That cat is then one of 9 living beings who survive the siege.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: King Frac survives his mortal wounds from the Lich's attack long enough to die at his own bidding when the Mountainhome's Self-Destruct Mechanism activates.
  • Bodyguard Babes: The Princesses of the Dwarven Kingdom are all accompanied by their Maidsquires, who act as both their maids and squires (as the name suggests). The Princes are never shown as having an equivalent before they die.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: Roshanak is appointed queen by Griffa, after she points out that everybody else with claim to the throne is either dead or a cat.
  • The Chosen One: Princess Roshanak is identified as "the Truest Heir" of the Mountain King's bloodline, and the Lich needs her to complete the spell to free him. The only person who knows this is the Lich, however.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Out of all the dwarves killed by the Lich, Adamanda gets the worst end, being slowly crushed to death by his telekinesis.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The first chapter seems to be setting up that Robur will be the hero of the story, until he's killed by the Lich and it's revealed that Roshanak is The Chosen One.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Mountainhome is completely destroyed by the end of the first chapter, leaving the eight Dwarven survivors homeless.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: The first chapter ends with all but eight dwarves dying in an attack on their ancient homeland by a Lich.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: One of the eight survivors of the attack at the start is the youngest Princess of the dwarven kingdom, Roshanak. The rest were her and her sister's bodyguards.
  • The Good King: King Frac, at least from the little of him we see.
  • Hero of Another Story: Cinnabar, a former high priest of Roshanak who left the clergy to become an adventurer.
  • The High King: The Mountain King is referred to as the "King of All Kings" by the Lich, though it's possible he's just talking him up.
  • King Incognito: Griffa tells all of the humans she meets that all the royalty are dead, passing Roshanak off as one of her own maidsquires.
  • Necromancer: The Lich, of course, but according to him also the Mountain King, an ancient Dwarven king who lived 10,000 years ago.
  • Meaningful Name: Both In-Universe and out-of-universe: In universe Princess Roshanak was named for the dwarven goddess of Gold and the Sun. Out-of-universe Roshanak is an ancient arabic name that means "bright" or "shining", as well as the root of the modern name Roxanne.
  • Missing Mom: The Queen is already dead by the time the story starts.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dwarves are all basically in their classical format: Industrious, boisterous, and martial. Their ancestral homeland/Capital is called just The Mountainhome. In a minor alteration, however, it's mentioned that one of their most important gods was a goddess of the Sun
  • Our Liches Are Different: The army of orcs sieging the Mountainhome is led by a Lich who kills almost all of the Royal Family and their bodyguards single-handedly with a wide assortment of magic attacks and weapons. His body is easily dismantled by non-magic means, though.
  • Pointless Doomsday Device: In proper Dwarven fashion, the Mountainhome is fitted with an apparatus that's only designed to destroy the city. In a Subversion, however, it's designed to destroy the city so that it can't fall into the hands of someone trying to resurrect the ancient evil trapped beneath it.
  • The Power of Blood: The Lich needs the blood of an heir of the Mountain King to break the spell sealing the Mountain King away.
  • Rock Theme Naming: All of the named Dwarves except Robur, Roshanak, and Tekla are named for metals, minerals, or mining terms.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: All of the dwarven royals fight on the front lines during the siege on the Mountainhome. Unfortunately, all but one of them die doing so.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The Mountainhome has one: a series of gunpowder charges designed to collapse the ceiling of the cavern on top of the city. Once literally every other Dwarf in the city has been killed, King Frac orders it triggered by Karat to kill the Lich.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Karat mentions that in the stories the Mountain King's parents were killed by a wizard. He then mentions that possibility that the "wizard" was himself.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Supporting Protagonist: The story is about Queen Roshanak's journey to reclaim her throne, but it's primarily told from the perspective of Griffa as her Regent.
  • Team Dad: Karat is the only male that survived the siege of the Mountainhome, and the only one with any amount of survival training, so he takes the responsibility of keeping the younger girls and Griffa alive while they're on the run from the Lich's army.
  • Team Mom: Griffa is the oldest, most responsible person she knows suddenly, and as such takes the responsibility of guiding the younger dwarves.
  • Together in Death: At the start of the story, King Frac hopes to die so he can be together with his late wife again. He gets his wish.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In the midst of the fight to flee the Mountainhome, Roshanak fights with the ferocity of a much larger dwarf and even lets out a Precision F-Strike, but once the adrenaline wears off she's starts acting more her age: inconsolable with grief and incomprehension of just how much she's lost, because she's never had to deal with the death of a loved one before, let alone all her loved ones.
  • Underground City: The Mountainhome, the ancient homeland of the Dwarves, built by the Goddess Roshanak herself
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Roshanak's entire family is killed by the Lich before the end of the first chapter.

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