There is no GATE; we did not fight there is a quest set in the universe of Gate, many years before the opening of the Gate that connected the Empire to Tokyo. It is currently being run on the Spacebattles forum.
Kytheus Rhavenfell is a boy born to a bloodline of heroes, to inherit the untamed and remote West of the expansive Empire. From an early age, he is exposed to the grim determination and weariness of the people around him, for Rhavenfell, the Bloody Shield of the Frontier, is a harsh land filled with enemies on all sides. The citizens of the West are well used to grief and hardship, so are his parents, even the Siegebreaker. Despite their strength and determination, they all fray at the seams underneath the constant pressure. Exposed to his first battle at five years old, he begins his training for a life of hardship and sacrifice to allow the Empire to endure even in the near wilderness.
However, the Empire, despite the many years it has endured against the many terrors of the world, will soon face its most difficult trials. Threats and plots from both outside its borders and within its lands will soon come to a head; a storm is brewing on the horizon. Kytheus will soon have to find the strength to thrive in its midst, and to change fate with his own hands, supported by friends and family.
Note: Spoilers are unmarked.
This Quest provides examples of:
- Arranged Marriage: Betrothals and arranged marriage are perfectly common and expected amongst the nobles of the Empire. Kytheus is expected to eventually be married to a Lady of another province to secure supplies and an alliance for Rhavenfell.
- The choice of Kytheus' eventual main wife was left to the players of the quest in a poll that listed each of the advantages that would come with them. The Quest GM also wrote a number of interludes from the perspectives of each possible spouse in order to showcase their personalities. The resulting arguments and deliberations were....heated to say the least.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Kell and Adrianna were betrothed from birth after their respective parents (and Kytheus' grandparents) secured an alliance of friendship after defeating a hive of monsters. They had a rough start but grew to love each other after Kell proved himself to her.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Kytheus Rhavenfell's entire family tree, maternal and paternal, is this. This is especially true for his grandfathers, Kryton and Aslan, two of the most exceptional, and some might even argue the greatest warriors ever known to the Empire, while also being the respective Lords of their provinces.
- Big Damn Heroes: All over the place. It's basically in Rhavenfell's blood now. Especially in the battle against the Tyrant.
- Crush Blush: When Helen Sailstar first catches sight of Kytheus in the interlude *Fascination*, she finds herself captivated by his "fascinating" green eyes as her cheeks flush with heat. Her father has to startle her out of staring at the rest of him.
- Cry into Chest: In the interlude *Let it All Out*, Adrianna is able to get over her personal disdain for demihumans after and allows Delilah to weep into her chest over the loss of her family. Their relationship grows considerably after this event.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The interlude *Banish The Darkness/Find The Light* showcases the absolute massacre of every beast of the swamp that ambushes the camp at Swampbreak by the 22nd legion when they are empowered by the power of Julianne and Hestia, through Lena's prayer. They rightfully earn the moniker of "the Champions of the Flame," empowered of the Hearth and Civilization.
- Kytheus proceeds to cleave the heads of a hydra in one swing, before killing the dark-robed figure riding it with another blow. Kytheus destroyed the boss monster and enemy leader/hero in two swings.
- Dead Person Conversation: In the final interlude of the *Sons of the Storm* storyline, Rennea finds herself in a vision and has one final conversation face to face with the dead spirit of Kryton, and finally finds the strength to move on from his death and live on for herself— just as Kryton wished.
- Death World: Man murdering monsters can be found in most corners of the setting. Most notably are the Hardy Beasts powerful enough to massacre entire provinces, such as the Tyrant.
- Defeat Means Friendship: In the interlude *Meet the Neighbors*, Kytheus befriends Cardin Brutus, an heir to one of the neighboring provinces, by beating him thoroughly in a spar.
- Demihuman: There are many different humanoid races present in the setting, including standard fantasy races such as elves and dwarves that were already present in Gate, but quite a few demihuman races were added to add flavor to the quest.
- The Wolfos are a race of Beast Folk with the appearance of humanoid, upright wolves, and feature prominently in Rhavenfell's armies.
- Harpies are also found in the setting, and end up allying with Rhavenfell.
- The Drex are a Draconic Humanoid species that were conquered and subjugated by Rhavenfell after Kyte and his friends are caught in one of their ambushes.
- Uruks or Orks are commonly seen as slaves in the Empire.
- The Empire: The Empire of the setting highly resembles a fantasy Roman Empire, with the presence of many things based on Roman culture (such as some names, buildings, martial styles, the treatment of slaves, racism, and other aspects). Presented as a necessary evil and a light in the darkness despite its many faults, because it brought order to the otherwise bloody and uncivilized world.We all recognise Rome as one of the greatest cultures and Empires that has ever existed. In spite of the slavery, in spite of the oppression, in spite of the naked racism, Rome was a shining beacon in the dark world.The Empire is far more than Rome could ever hope to have been.
- Double Knockout: In "Harder! Better! Faster! Stronger!" Kytheus and Lyon have a practice duel in which they achieve this after breaking both their weapons.
- Expy: Multiple characters are based on many different characters across multiple franchises, in both appearance and personality.
- Famed In-Story: Stories of the deeds and accomplishments of the Rhavenfell family and their allies are slowly spreading outside the West. Within Rhavenfell proper, there isn't a single person who hasn't felt awe towards the ruling family (including Kytheus himself) for their accomplishments.
- Fantastic Racism: Most humans of the Empire are heavily prejudiced against the many demihuman species scattered around the setting. Likewise, many demihumans bear grudges against humans (and other races) for a number of reasons.
- Even in Rhavenfell, where racism is much less present due to the many contributions of various races on the frontier over the years, most people still have certain prejudices against demihumans. However, the Rhavenfells' efforts towards integration have been slowly chipping away at the racial tension.
- Festival Episode: The Festival mini-turn, accompanied by the *The Tyrant's Fall Festival* features Kytheus and his friends enjoying the colorful celebrations following the defeat of the Hardy Beast, the Tyrant. Helen and Victoria, two of the possible marriage candidates for Kytheus, also attend the celebrations to grow more used to Rhavenfell's atmosphere and closer to Kytheus.
- Fire of Comfort: Inspired by Greek mythology, Hestia appears in this quest as the "Great Spirit of the Hearth." As demonstrated by her followers, her powers mostly come in the form of a comforting and cleansing flame, useful for strengthening armies, healing the wounded, and curing victims of plague and sickness.
- In this setting, Hestia was actually created by the 'actual' "Goddess of the Hearth," Julianne. According to Word of God, Julianne is the only goddess known to be kind most of the time instead of acting kind when feeling like it. She is also known to be the reason why "monsters fear the light," and was one of civilization's first protectors.
- Flying Postman: For the marching cohorts of the armies of Rhavenfell (and possibly the rest of the Empire), messages are carried via ravens. Couriers for actual mail in the Empire proper can be handled by anyone, but the use of Harpies, who can fly, is slowly growing more popular in Rhavenfell due to their alliance with the humans.
- Giant Flyer: The titular King of the Sky from the interlude *The Myth, The Legend, The King of The Sky* is an enormous Thunderbird capable of blotting out the entire sky. Kytheus compares its size to that of the earth dragon his grandfather had slain before his birth, and whose bones have the main city of the province built into them.
- Heroic Lineage: The Rhavenfell family, even considering the fact that it has only existed for around five decades, is definitely this.
- First, we have the Grandfather of the protagonist, and the first to carry the name Rhavenfell. He slayed Thokar the Ravenous, an Earth Dragon that killed 90 MILLION, about 4/5 of the current total population of the empire. Then he built a city atop its corpse.
- Second, there is the father of the protagonist. Currently one of the greatest warriors in all the empire, and responsible for the death blow against Jhin, the last of the Tyrants◊, one of Hardy's most powerful beasts. The Tyrant lived to kill Lords and Kings, enslaving the very spirits of the wind and storm.
- Heroic Vow: Serving as his first proper character establishing moment, Kytheus cuts his palm with a knife while swearing to protect Rhavenfell at all costs, as part of a traditional ceremony. As a result of a natural 100 out of a d100, it's....very impressive for someone just six years old, to say the least.“I, Kytheus Rhavenfell, Swear upon Kythuna, all the gods, my blood, my father’s blood, and all our ancestor’s blood to safeguard Rhavenfell and its people against all that would wish it harm! I swear to hold the line! Even if my bones break! Even if I have to burn to ashes! Even if my soul shatters! I swear to you, I swear to all of you! Rhavenfell will endure!”
- Humanity Is Superior: The Empire has managed to dominate most of the continent under human leadership and with a mostly human populace. Consider the fact that the setting is completely filled to the brim with monsters, opposing and hostile demihuman tribes, and civilization-ending Hardy beasts, yet the Empire has managed to endure the horrors of the world for nine hundred and forty-nine years by the start of the roleplay.
- Ominous Fog: During a supposedly safe patrol into the Thousand Needles, Kytheus and his friends grow uncomfortable when an ominous mist surrounds them, leading him to request more scouts to move ahead at the bemusement of the leading centurion. As it turns out, Kytheus was right to be suspicious as their legion cohort is ambushed by hundreds of Drex soldiers.
- The Plague: The plague of Swampbreak is described as a disease that causes pus-filled boils to rise all over the bodies of the afflicted, while causing their flesh to rot. It is only the intervention of Julianne and Hestia, through a simple yet heartfelt shrine, that manages to cure the plague in a grand pulse of energy. Before the divine miracle, their faithful were barely able to make any progress at all.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Kell Rhavenfell's default tactics when dealing with the Rabbit tribes is to raid their villages for slaves while murdering all those who resist before eventually putting them to the torch, as seen in the interlude *The March of the Burning Sky*. Kell even "makes an example" out of the surviving warriors by crucifying them in the remains of their homes. Yikes...
- Scout-Out: The Boy Scouts, Rhavenfell edition is created when Kytheus stumbles upon the group of boys Lyon had taken to training together, while connecting it to Valerian's idea for a training camp for the noble sons of Rhavenfell.
- Screaming Birth: The interlude *Protector's Pride* focuses on the birth of Kyte's younger twin siblings, Adrastus and Aella. In the many hours it takes, Adrianna is noted to only stop screaming and cursing at the very end of her labor.Kytheus: What’s going on?! Why is mom screaming? Is she hurt?
Kell: It hurts, when a woman gives birth. Rennea and the midwives are taking care of her. The only thing we can do is wai—
Adrianna: KELL, YOU SON OF A SYPHILIS INFESTED WHORE! I’M GOING TO SODOMIZE YOU WITH SKYPIERCER FOR THIS!
Kell: All we can do is wait. *nods at his own words*
- Settling the Frontier: Rhavenfell constantly calls for and attracts migrants to settle and reclaim more and more land after clearing away outside threats.
- Shrine to the Fallen: In the interlude *Til' Our Dying Breaths*, Kell leads Kytheus to a memorial of the 'Sons of the Storm', which was the group led by Kryton Westwind, the first ruler of Rhavenfell and Kytheus' fallen grandfather. Statues of each fallen member are presented in the memorial, including one of Kryton himself. A number of old armor, standards, and banners are also kept within the room.
- Switching P.O.V.: Multiple story posts and interludes often make use of the points of view of supporting characters. That isn't to say that Kytheus doesn't get a lot of screentime, though.
- Teen Genius: Many characters qualify as one, especially Kytheus with his absurd learning speed and incredible martial and musical skill.
- Thunderbird: In the interlude "The Myth, the Legend, the King of the Sky", the titular King is an enormous thunderbird made out of storm channels, blotting out the entire sky. Kytheus compares its size to that of the earth dragon his grandfather had slain before his birth and whose bones have the main city of the Rhavenfell built into them.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Lyon and Valerian originally despised each other, due to Lyon finding Valerian as stuck up and dishonest and Valerian thinking of Lyon as a barbaric idiot, though he held his tongue due to his respect for Kytheus. After the interlude *Vale and Ly's Excellent Adventure*, they've evolved into this trope, with Lyon insulting Valerian as usual and Valerian no longer holding back his true thoughts.
- Wild Magic: Magic in this universe comes from a dimension of sheer chaos, referred to as the Maelstrom. Those who use magic either naturally "dive" into the Maelstrom and simply "grab" the energy they need, or use a rigid spell structure to more safely tap into their magic. Considered a safer version of the Warp from Warhammer 40,000.