- Tired of sitting idly by?
Wingspan, the gamer handle of Heron, has been playing the sensational new MMORPG known as 'Beyond The Free Realm'. It's immersive, it's free, and it's only been released for play-testing in his town. To unwind from the daily stress of a Starving Wannabe Student, he joins up with fellow players:
- Hellblazer, their party leader and a Blood Knight, through and through.
- Whiteflower, the designated healer and, like her name suggests, a Fragile Flower.
- Gunmetal, the party tank with an ambiguous connection to Whiteflower.
- Knifebaby, the rogue who tries to fit the Femme Fatale role by leaning into Straw Feminism.
- Newts, the spellcaster and oftentimes Only Sane Man.
Together, they go on quests and have a great time doing it! Until they suddenly find that they can't log out of the game, and their VR headsets have suddenly extended to include all the senses. They're trapped, and only fulfilling the Quest Master's unusual fetch quest can save them.
Tropes found in Virtually Reality:
- Courtroom Episode: At one point, the Quest Master puts them all on trial, with Wingspan acting as prosecutor.
- Fetch Quest: The Daily Quest appears to be a simple one, until you look at the items required more closely. An eye? A spine?
- G.I.R.L.: Heron's avatar, Wingspan, is a girl. Alexander is not. This applies to Knifebaby as well. It's inverted with Newts, the male spellcaster, who is actually a woman named Penelope Newton, and played with in that Hellblazer is a femme-presenting trans man.
- Shattering the Illusion: Whiteflower believes that she's seeing flowers. What she's actually seeing are the hearts torn out of non-playable characters, and she's shaken when the illusion breaks after they murder a baby.
- Sixth Ranger: Silversun, who joins the party after losing their own in the PvP zone.
- Straw Feminist: Knifebaby hates men, and touts it as part of their ideals while also sexualizing women.
- Trans Tribulations: Hellblazer experiences constant misgendering and sexualization.
- Unholy Matrimony: One quest requires the players to facilitate the marriage of two monsters.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Inverted and played straight. In playing a game designed to torture them, the players also must be cruel to NPCs, and other players, to survive.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: None of the party wants to hurt children. They wind up not having a choice.