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The Dreamside Road, by Peter Petrack, is a fantasy/adventure Web Serial Novel about the hunt for a treasure trove of powerful artifacts, stolen from the government agency that brought about global chaos.

The Dreamside Road follows a small ensemble of characters, all in pursuit of the eponymous treasure trove.

  • Enoa Cloud’s late aunt helped hide the Dreamside Road. Enoa begins her own search for the treasure after the Liberty Corps, a conquering militia, attempts to seize her family home in an effort to find the hidden trove. Enoa also begins studying Shaping, a type of government-studied magic her aunt mastered.
  • Orson Gregory is an adventurer for hire and a veteran of the conflicts that turned the world to chaos. He’s a wisecracking cynic, but joins in Enoa’s journey, with hopes of keeping the Dreamside Road from falling into the wrong hands.
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  • Kol Maros represents the Liberty Corps perspective. He believes the militarized organization is the rightful heir of the old government and is, consequently, the owner of the Dreamside Road. He seeks the treasure trove, and pursues Enoa and Orson, to gain success in the Liberty Corps.

The Dreamside Road is a genre buster set in an alternate reality, with a fantasy kitchen sink of bizarre elements, a sufficiently explained magic system, rampant advanced devices, as well as referenced U.F.O. technology. It is heavily implied that the governmental attempts to control these anomalies helped bring about global destabilization. The idea of surviving in a rapidly changing world is featured prominently.

The Dreamside Road launched in February 2021 and updates every Monday and Friday.

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The Dreamside Road provides examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Orson Gregory is an odd example of the plugger class of ace. He’s extremely dangerous in the air, but most of his apparent skill comes from creativity and his years of practice, instead of the usual technical mastery. When chased by the Liberty Corps fighters, he makes up for his limited dogfighting experience with his years of casual flight experience and personal ingenuity.
  • Action Girl: Enoa wants to become one by learning Shaping like her aunt, Sucora. Even without formal training, she keeps up with experienced adventurer, Orson Gregory, and wins her first real fight against Captain Maros.
  • Adult Fear: Enoa faces the very real potential that her home and all her worldly possessions were destroyed in a fire caused by the Liberty Corps.
    • Similarly, Enoa just recently lost her aunt, Sucora, to cancer. The fire means losing Aunt Sucora’s belongings, as well.
  • Adventure Towns:
    • The first story arcs feature these. As Enoa joins Orson’s quest to find the Dreamside Road, they’re chased by the Liberty Corps through multiple post-apocalyptic settlements.
    • Orson spent the last several years, before the story begins, traveling the world, frequently hunting the eponymous treasure trove. By his own admission, he has a knack for getting involved in other people’s problems and has battled everything from folk monsters to robots in his travels.
  • After Action Patch Up: After defeating Tucker and Maros respectively, Orson and Enoa meet again at the end of the first arc, while their wounds are treated.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Liberty Corps has shades of this. They have yet to commit any large-scale atrocities, in-story, but many of their agents have no qualms about killing civilians as they pursue the Aesir and its crew.
  • Almost Dead Guy: The plot is jumpstarted by a dying old man climbing from a train derailment.
  • Alternate History: This universe shares many elements with the real world, despite the presence of magic, superpowers, space age gadgetry, and actual UFO technology.
  • Amphibious Automobile: The Aesir enters the story driving from a crowded roadway into a river and can occasionally be found on the water, such as during Orson’s first escape from the Liberty Corps.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The staff Enoa inherits from her aunt, Sucora, is one of these. It’s a younger example than most, as Sucora’s staff was the product of the new-age government experiments she worked on.
  • Apocalypse How: A Class 1 Variety – Governments the world over shut down during a global terrorist attack, five years before the story begins. Most never returned.
  • Arc Villain: Master Nine aka Daniel Tucker serves this role for the early Wintertide Festival arcs. He enables the Liberty Corps plan and poses the biggest local threat. But after his defeat, the Liberty Corps reveals itself as a much more widespread problem.
  • Artificial Limb: Kol Maros has a robotic right hand. He occasionally comments on the greater strength in his prosthetic.
  • Attack of the Town Festival: The first arcs appear to be this, set during Nimauk's world famous Wintertide Festival, a weeklong costume party that still draws thousands of guests. However, the monster attack is really a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax. The Liberty Corps and Councilman Tucker are using this ploy to make their move to locate the Dreamside Road.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Councilman Tucker isn’t just colluding with the Liberty Corps and helping their plan. He’s also a former deep cover IHSA operative and powerful Shaper, easily the deadliest antagonist in the early story.
  • Archaeological Arms Race: Most of the main cast fights to find the Dreamside Road – a trove of artifacts stolen and hidden from a secret government agency.
  • Badass Boast: When Master Nine uses his Gigadeath technique – a fifteen-foot suit of metal armor – Orson is not impressed.
    • Orson: “…I get into situations like this at least six times a year. There’s always a folk monster invasion or some conspiracy cult after a whatsit or some bizarre sorcerer on a rampage. This situation is tiring, but it’s nothing new. I show up. I figure it out. I stop it. And I’ve done this every other month or so for five years... Tucker, your blob monster move is terrifying to the tourists, but to me, you’re just my January-February Bi-monthly Wacko. And I know exactly how I’m about to end this fight.”
  • Badass Bystander: Orson is initially frustrated by the presence of the Wintertide Festival guests trying to join in the brawl against the Liberty Corps. However, they ultimately prove essential in his efforts to get close enough to Master Nine to battle the Shaper one-on-one.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike a large portion of the main cast, Orson neither has nor wants special powers of any kind. He fights enemies beyond the skill of ordinary human beings through creativity and the use of his unique arsenal of weapons and “souvenirs”.
  • Badass Long Coat: Orson wears one – an oddly practical example, as it is lined with armor, resistant to both bullets and bladed weapons. Form and function!
  • Base on Wheels:
    • The Solar Saver crawler is this, offering living space for many, as the massive energy-harvesting vehicle travels between scattered communities, post societal collapse.
    • The Aesir itself is another example, as it’s both the transportation and home of the protagonists.
  • Battle Trophy: Some of Orson’s weaponized souvenirs were won in battle.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Enoa and Orson arrive to free the imprisoned townspeople and tourists, just as Tucker and the Liberty Corps are beginning their plan.
  • Big Entrance:
    • Orson arrives in Nimauk by driving the Aesir upriver. Despite its capabilities, the Aesir still looks like a retro camper, and this odd display attracts the attention of festival guests and locals alike.
    • Enoa and Orson interrupt Tucker's Scooby-Doo Hoax when they land the Aesir outside the gym where the Liberty Corps is keeping the detained festival guests.
  • Big "NO!": Enoa delivers one before stopping the Liberty Corps from firing on more civilians in the Derelict Graveyard.
  • Blade on a Stick: Over half of Maros’ Liberty Corps shock forces are made up of spearmen. Ammunition is hard to come by after destabilization.
  • Boarding Party: Maros tried to send the boarding party to capture the Aesir, but this fails when Orson uses the energy shield to repel the attackers.
  • Bookcase Passage: A camouflaged door in the Cloud family mausoleum hides the corridor leading to Aunt Sucora’s hidden room.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The Liberty Corps is seeking the Dreamside Road and believes Sucora Cloud had the treasure. The call isn’t the only thing that has Enoa’s home address.
  • Call to Adventure: Enoa is pulled into the adventure when the Liberty Corps incorrectly believes the Dreamside Road artifact trove is hidden under her family business, and they try to steal it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Sucora’s staff is introduced chapters before it’s revealed that the object aided her Shaping.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Enoa’s been meditating all her life, at her aunt’s insistence. This practice seemingly gave her a strong foundation for Shaper magic.
  • Celebrating the Heroes: Enoa and Orson are honored at the Wintertide Festival’s closing ceremonies, before they fly off into the sunset.
  • Childhood Friend: Kol Maros and Duncan have known each other their entire lives and were a team long before they joined the growing militarized Liberty Corps.
  • Civilization Destroyer: Thunderworks was this. Though they’ve been gone for years, the influence of their global attacks is felt in all aspects of the plot.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Explaining and controlling the “magic” of the world was one of the main motivations of the IHSA and the Dreamthought Project, former owners of the Dreamside Road trove.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Orson sees nothing wrong with unconventional tactics and finds humor in clever verbal put-downs.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Enoa’s share of the story offers this trope, as she moves from her sheltered post-apocalyptic sanctuary and explores the wider world in search of the Dreamside Road.
  • Cool Key: The Aesir’s key ring has robotic legs and basic AI. It can be used to remotely start and even drive the odd camper – fantastic for Orson’s frequent tight getaways.
  • Cool Ship: The Aesir looks like a retro camper, but is actually a heavily armored custom amphibious machine, that flies and has energy weapons and shields.
  • Cool Sword: Orson’s sword of fire is his signature weapon and can cut through everything from guns to Tucker’s Cobalt isotope-powered metal.
  • Crapsack World: While not the worst example of this trope, societal instability has left many people destitute and without prospects for work. The damage and lawlessness become much clearer when Enoa leaves Nimauk and begins her adventures.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Orson delivers one of these at the derelict graveyard. He E.M.P.s the Liberty Corps ships, fights their ground troops with little opposition, and even leaves booby-traps that destroy the next wave of Corps forces that arrive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Orson constantly fluctuates between this and hamminess. He employs both to aid in his mid-battle psychological warfare and is at his snarkiest when in danger.
  • Defiant Captive: Sheriff Webster actively resists her captors and tries to spread the word about Tucker’s plot with the Liberty Corps.
    • Many of the Nimauk townsfolk and Wintertide Festival captives qualify, but special mention has to go to Georgie Lawson, a retired public servant who escapes and rallies supportive law enforcement.
  • Deflector Shield: The Aesir has solar-cell powered shields that serve to protect against both physical and energy projectiles, and can even be used to repel an attempted boarding party.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Enoa and Orson hide in one after their escape from Fort Mayhill. It doesn’t last long as the Liberty Corps bombards the graveyard to find them, despite causing civilian casualties.
  • Don't Think, Feel: In one of Sucora’s instructional films, she tells Enoa that she preferred learning Shaping when it ‘felt like magic’, without thinking of any possible scientific explanations for the power.
  • Doomed Hometown: Subverted. Nimauk is not destroyed or permanently harmed by Tucker or the Liberty Corps.
    • However, it is later suggested that Tucker, despite his collusion, was actually part of the reason Nimauk stayed as safe and well provisioned as it has since societal destabilization.
  • The Drifter: Orson travels constantly across the chaotic, destabilized world, helping adventure towns, fighting monsters of the week, and is drawn into various adventures as he goes.
  • EMP: Orson’s IF Maker weapon issues an E.M.P. blast that disables a Liberty Corps drop ship and its assorted drones.
  • The Empire: The Liberty Corps wants to be this. All of their long-term plans revolve around becoming a real government and world power, using looted IHSA technology and the Dreamside Road trove.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: After the Thunderworks attacks, most world governments fell apart, except at the regional level. Though various groups are working to rebuild, the instability allowed for the rise of the Liberty Corps and other opportunistic movements.
  • Ensemble Cast: The story starts with Enoa Cloud's coming-of-age/learning-magic viewpoint, but the points-of-view increase as the quest for the Dreamside Road grows to include jaded adventurer Orson Gregory, as well as the Maros brothers and their childhood friend Duncan.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Orson’s arrival in Nimauk functions as this. He drives his camper into and up a river, and he later saves Enoa from her first encounter with the Sight-Stealers, all while cracking wise.
  • Every Town America: Nimauk is an average rural American town for most of the year, and only becomes widely relevant during the ten day Wintertide Festival.
  • The Everyman: Orson claims to have been this before his first run-in with the IHSA, over a decade before the story begins.
  • Exposition: Aunt Sucora’s films frequently offer useful information, explaining the Dreamside Road treasure, where Enoa should go next on her journey, as well as guidance on Shaping magic.
  • Extranormal Institute: The Dreamthought Project tried to teach its members to wield the various paranormal forces that they’d documented. This led to a small order of government-sponsored magic wielders.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Daniel Tucker can control a government-made cobalt isotope to lethal effect, creating blades, armor, and behemoths from the metal. He was part of a larger attempt to teach this power to children, but none of the other test subjects survived.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Almost the entire Wintertide Festival arc takes place over a single night, from the train derailment in the early evening, to the final battle with Tucker, the next morning.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The main story involves sufficiently analyzed magic, a sword of fire, a flying camper, and rampant advanced technology.
  • Fantasy Metals: Cobalt Nine, a metal that can be used to make assorted energized objects, can produce alloys with other metals, and is the instrument of a government experiment in ESP.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Enoa and Orson are this by the end of the Wintertide Festival arc, having survived their efforts to save Nimauk from the Liberty Corps and Tucker.
  • Flaming Sword: Orson’s main weapon is one of these, made of blue fire.
  • Flying Car: The Aesir is a flying camper. Though it operates on roads and water, this is Orson’s preferred way to travel.
  • Functional Magic: Shaping was heavily studied in-universe, so much so that the IHSA designed a level system to track student Shapers’ progress.
    • Sucora Cloud left a series of films for her niece, Enoa, for the young woman to study Shaping, if she chooses.
  • Gas Mask Long Coat: Orson is rarely found without his armored coat and often covers his face with an oxygen-filtering bandana.
  • Genre-Busting: The Dreamside Road features multiple types of “magic”, an archaeological arms race, and burgeoning sci-fi technology, all in a Class 1 Apocalypse, heavily influenced by a former government conspiracy.
  • The Government: The League of Earth’s Nations was the legal force behind the International Hierarchia Statute Association. Though their attempts to conquer and explain the anomalies in the universe backfired, their survivors are still attempting to rebuild the old world.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The International Hierarchia Statute Association (IHSA) was once this. It fell to them to explain and control all ‘high strangeness’ anomalies occurring in member nations, including various forms of magic, mutations, U.F.O.s, and rapidly developing weaponizable technologies. Many of the items they confiscated were stolen away by the Dreamthought Project and became the Dreamside Road artifact trove, central to the story.
  • Government Conspiracy: The League of Earth’s Nations and their investigating body, the IHSA, successfully kept the existence of the paranormal, supernatural, and extraterrestrial secret for decades, but the facade collapsed in the last decade.
  • Great Offscreen War: The conflict with Thunderworks totally reshaped the world’s governments and earned Orson Gregory, a.k.a. Wayfarer One, a reputation for heroism and badassery.
  • Greasy Spoon: After their departure from Nimauk, Orson takes Enoa to visit the Moonlight Most Diner, a favorite stop of his in that corner of the world. Both are disappointed when they learn that this greasy spoon is under new management, after the disappearance of the former owners.
  • Heads-Up Display: Orson’s goggles feature one of these, which he uses to great effect in analyzing his surroundings and (frequently) his enemies.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Orson Gregory is well known for his sword of fire. By his own admission, he is mediocre, at best, with ranged weapons.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Liberty Corps rifle forces subvert this to a degree. They aren’t sharpshooters, by any means, but they would have successfully shot Orson Gregory half a dozen times, in the first arc alone, if it weren’t for his armored coat.
  • Indy Ploy: Orson often plans, but expects to use one of these as Plan B. His wide arsenal of weapons, and his decade of survival have made him a speedy and successful improviser.
    • Orson’s Indy Ploy at the Wintertide Festival buys enough time for the local authorities to overwhelm the Liberty Corps and outmaneuvers Tucker's assortment of practiced Shaper techniques.
  • Insert Grenade Here: After Orson uses his IF Maker on the Liberty Corps drop ship, he destroys it with well-placed grenades.
  • Instant Armor: Tucker makes armor out of Cobalt Nine. He forms and changes his armor constantly during his duel with Orson, culminating in his Gigadeath technique, a fifteen foot armored monstrosity.
  • Jet Pack: Orson’s repulsor boot allows him limited flight. Powering the boot is an ongoing concern, notably in the battle against Master Nine.
  • Kill the Lights: Tucker and the Liberty Corps shut off Nimauk’s electricity and later turn off the lights in the rec center, just before their Scooby-Doo Hoax begins.
  • Large Ham: Orson weaponizes this behavior to trick his way through sticky situations and to infuriate his enemies. He’s at his hammiest when in danger, especially during his duel with Master Nine.
  • List-of-Experiences Speech: Orson’s list-of-experiences speech doubles as a Badass Boast. He describes his frequent battles with supernatural and other powerful foes, making it very clear to Daniel Tucker that his extra-ore-dinary abilities, while impressive, are not enough to overwhelm the man who battled the leader of Thunderworks.
  • Living Legend: Orson Gregory – and his alias Wayfarer One – is world-famous for his role in defeating Thunderworks. Even strangers he encounters at the Wintertide Festival recognize him or his signature weaponry.
  • In-Universe Soundtrack: Orson Gregory has “The Wayfarer March”, an in-universe piece of music, composed for a failed film adaptation of one of his earlier adventures. It is performed for the first time as the Aesir is leaving Nimauk.
  • It Was a Gift: Enoa receives all the items and materials she needs to learn Shaping as a bequest from her late aunt, Sucora. This includes Sucora’s magic staff, a series of training films, and the mysterious wrist device that tracks Enoa’s progress.
  • Magic Staff: Enoa’s staff, inherited from her aunt, enables functional magic use. Part of Enoa’s journey is learning how to use it.
  • Magic Compass: Orson has one of these, a device with many points, each directing him to another form of energy, once monitored by the IHSA. Orson followed one of the compass points, day and night, to arrive in Nimauk in time for the Wintertide Festival, and the start of the story.
  • Magic Versus Science: The IHSA worked to explain all “magic” they encountered, or at least to neutralize any anomalies through the use of advanced weaponry.
  • Master Archer: The Wuyar archers are skilled enough, with fewer than thirty members, to disrupt the Solar Saver Collective, an operation with hundreds of crewmembers and security personnel.
  • Master Swordsman: Orson Gregory is well known for besting the leader of city-destroying Thunderworks “blade-to-blade”.
    • Orson displays his swordsmanship at the end of the Wintertide Festival arc when he battles Master Nine and his extra-ore-dinary abilities. Orson has a whole arsenal, but his swordsmanship keeps Tucker on the ropes the entire fight.
  • The Masquerade: The IHSA spent decades covering up any instances of “high strangeness”, whether it be paranormal abilities, classified weaponry, or UFO visitation. During their decline, however, this cover was blown and all of the above are now common knowledge.
  • Mentor Archetype: This is an odd example. Sucora Cloud functions as Enoa’s mentor from beyond the grave, using films and training materials Sucora left behind for that purpose. Played straight, in that Sucora taught her niece the meditation that gave Enoa the building blocks to learn Shaping.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Enoa’s mentor, her aunt Sucora, subverts this trope. She is already dead at the beginning of the story. Enoa learns Shaping by studying the instructional films Aunt Sucora left behind.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Subverted. Coffee is almost impossible to find since global destabilization. Consequently, Enoa has kicked her caffeine habit.
    • Played straight with Orson and his frequent all-nighters. Thankfully he acquired a huge coffee stash through one of his protection jobs.
  • Multi-Directional Barrage: Tucker issues several multi-directional attacks of his Cobalt Nine hailing mortar attack, in his attempt to kill Orson Gregory.
  • The Nicknamer: Orson seldom refers to his enemies by their real name. Captain Maros for instance, he calls “Man Bun”.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: Orson’s mask has this capability. It comes in handy all the times he sneaks around at night.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Enoa and Orson get a heroes’ sendoff from the Wintertide Festival. They fly away in the Aesir on their way to search for the Dreamside Road.
  • Off the Grid: It is suggested that Archie Grant lived this way before jumpstarting the plot by dying in the train derailment. There are seemingly no public records available about him and only two decades-old newspaper articles that bear his name.
  • Old-School Dogfight: Enoa and Orson get into one immediately after flying the Aesir away from their disastrous detour to Mayhill. Two salvaged Sun Talon fighters pursue them for several minutes before they devise a way to outfly and outfight the enemy craft.
  • Only Sane Man: Duncan maintains this position when dealing with the rest of the Newtown Liberty Corps Division, especially as Kol Maros’ plans become increasingly outrageous.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Orson and Enoa manage a close escape from the Liberty Corps team that’s assembled an angry mob at Fort Mayhill, but flying away in the Aesir initiates their dogfight with the Liberty Corps’ salvaged Sun Talon fighters.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Orson barely sheathes his sword before collapsing, after finally defeating Master Nine.
  • Power of the Sun:
    • The Aesir runs on high-yield solar cells. That includes its ability to fly, as well as its energy shield and weapons.
    • The Sun Talons and other Liberty Corps craft are at least partially solar powered.
    • The Solar Saver Collective and their massive crawlers are partially solar powered and deliver solar charged batteries to their customers.
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: The Wuyar Archers wear concealing black leather body armor.
  • The Quest: Most of the story revolves around the ongoing journey to find the Dreamside Road, a collection of anomalous artifacts and items reclaimed from the IHSA.
  • Ray Gun:
    • Orson carries a personal blaster, powered by the solar cell that fuels all of his electric weaponry.
    • The Aesir has a larger roof-mounted model.
    • Some Liberty Corps troops also wield energy projectiles.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: Enoa joins Orson’s longtime journey to find the Dreamside Road after he saves her from the Liberty Corps and their "Scooby-Doo" Hoax.
  • Rescue Introduction: Enoa and Orson meet when he saves her from two Liberty Corps Shapers disguised as Sight-Stealers.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The Aesir flies into the sunset at the end of the Wintertide Festival. Enoa and Orson are publicly honored and his theme music is performed for the first time as they leave.
  • Road Trip Plot: Once the story leaves Nimauk, the focus shifts to finding the Island Hidden at the International Dateline and all of the many stops on the way there.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The Liberty Corps have some members studying Shaping, but the Sight-Stealers are entirely fictional. They adopt the Sight-Stealer story to scare the festival tourists and help their ally Tucker’s plan.
  • Secret Passage: A hidden passage leads from the Cloud family mausoleum and into Sucora Cloud’s secret room, holding her stash of films.
  • Secret Government Warehouse: The massive transports that move the Solar Saver crawlers were taken from these.
    • Kol Maros used a records annex, hidden in a government warehouse, to begin his Dreamside Road search.
  • Secret Room: Sucora Cloud hid her film records of the Dreamthought Project experiments in a hidden room, buried beneath her business and accessible through a secret passageway from her family’s mausoleum in the local cemetary.
  • Signature Team Transport: The Aesir serves as this. It’s a flying camper, distinct enough that just seeing it informs everyone that Wayfarer One has arrived.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: Much of the crowd formerly imprisoned in the rec center re-form and become spectators for Orson’s battle with Master Nine.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Orson’s HUD allows a limited version of this, showing him projectile trajectories, chemical compositions, and even helping him predict Master Nine’s Cobalt attacks.
  • Sticky Bomb: Orson uses magnetic variants of this trope to destroy the Liberty Corps drop ship during his curb stomp battle against the militia in the derelict graveyard.
  • Strange Secret Entrance: The passageway to Sucora Cloud’s hidden room is located behind a wall of her family’s graveyard mausoleum.
  • Sword and Gun: Orson sometimes uses this combo, but greatly prefers the sword.
  • Super Wrist-Gadget: Enoa tracks her Shaper training using a strange bracelet-like device, left behind by her aunt.
  • Supernatural Aid: Enoa inherits her staff and training equipment from her late aunt, Sucora. Before she died, Sucora intentionally prepared the powerful bequest for her niece’s use.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The IHSA once hoped to quantify, explain and weaponize all of the ‘anomalies’ they’d cataloged. This backfired, when their stolen technology allowed Thunderworks to throw the world into chaos.
  • The Remnant: The Liberty Corps is partially the militarized remnant of the IHSA. Some of its officers are survivors from the earlier organization and most of their technology and gear was scavenged from the ruins of the International Hierarchia or the US government’s other assets. Only their armor is new.
  • Title Drop: The Dreamside Road is named in-story with some frequency. This is to be expected, as finding the Dreamside Road is the main motivation of almost all major characters.
  • Transmutation: Enoa’s earliest Shaper training involves manipulating the condensation of moisture in the air around her.
  • Treasure Room: Sucora Cloud hid her film library under her antique shop. While this is treasure only to her niece and heir, Enoa, this room also contains Sucora’s key to the Dreamside Road artifact trove.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: Orson’s left glove houses the controls for all of his electrical defenses, tasers and flashbangs, as well as for his repulsor boot.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: One of Orson’s boots has a repulsor that allows him limited flight and helps him jump great distances.
  • Walk the Earth: At the start of the story, Orson Gregory has been traveling consistently for five years.
  • Walking Armory: Orson actively collects weapons. He regularly carries his sword of fire, a blaster, assorted non-lethal defenses, and can use his repulsor boot in combat. This list doesn’t include the weapons he leaves stored on the Aesir.
  • We Don't Need Roads: The Aesir flies from place to place, though this uses a far greater amount of the stored solar power than driving.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The secret room under Enoa’s shop does not hold the Dreamside Road. The Liberty Corps is looking in the wrong place and launched their plan in Nimauk for almost no reason.
    • Partially subverted – the room does contain a key to the Dreamside Road artifact trove, wherever it is actually hidden, as well as training films made to teach Enoa to become a Shaper.
  • A Year and a Day: Enoa has leased space to store her property for a year and a day, since the Liberty Corps has burned her home and business. She has that long to either find the Dreamside Road, decide to give up, or die in the attempt.
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