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Web Original / Ascension Academy

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The front of Ascension Academy
"Together we stand, united as one."
Ascension Academy School Motto

A joining of Machinima and Live-Action Role-Play (LARP), Ascension Academy is an Improv Roleplay series set in a Fantasy World created by Stealth RG. Three times a week, almost every week of the year, thirty to forty individual Roleplayers come together and act out their characters' lives in a Military / Magical Academy known as Ascension Academy. This story is told using VR Chat and is broadcast live on Twitch to thousands of viewers.

The Cadets of Ascension Academy are enrolled in an Officer's Course where they are trained to utilize diplomacy, weaponry, Magic, and strategy to serve the Cross-Allied Forces and save the world! Despite the fact that the rest of the world has forgotten, an ancient entity known as The Darkness has been sealed beneath the school within a Demiplane for 300 years. And it's prison is failing.


Show includes examples of:

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    A to K 
  • Amnesia: Rook suffers temporary amnesia after his Core takes damage. Esmae also suffers temporary amnesia after straining her powers in the First Year.
  • Another Dimension: Several.
    • Demiplanes, planes of existence created and maintained by a magic user. One serves as a prison for The Darkness.
    • The Fey Wilds, where all things Fey originate. The Headmaster's Grove is in a contained pocket of the Fey Wilds.
    • The Shadowfell, a Dark World parallel to both the Fey Wilds and Material Plane (Prime World), full of undead and other horrors.
    • Elemental Planes of Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. Where all Elementals come from.
    • Hell, all seven circles of it. Two of the Cadets, Ryder and Misty, are from Hell.
  • Anyone Can Die: Nobody has plot armor here, regardless of their jokes. Cadets Cari Cuddlefish, Irinarya Sungrove, Virdos Morilanta, and Melanie all perished while attending Ascension Academy.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the Second Year, Jixie loses her right arm to Mummy Rot.
    • Liang temporarily loses his right hand when he reaches inside a portal trying to catch a Boggle.
    • Arbor's legs are shattered and removed during the Ymra Arc in the Second Year.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Keystone Shards lost in the First Year are latter found being used to autonomously raise undead in Camp Cari. When touched these crystals expelled a great deal of Darkness afflicted mana into Joseph Joko and Professor Albrecht, tainting them.
  • Battle Couple: Ascension features many battle couples, but most only form in the Second Year.
    • Chipz and Vevina begin dating early into the Second Year and being in the same squad they fight side-by-side in almost every mission after this point.
    • Rex and Misty begin dating a few months into the Second Year and are also both in the same squad, so they fight side-by-side often.
    • Near the end of the Second Year, Flora and Stark began dating and once more they are both in the same squad, so they fight side-by-side on missions.
  • Beach Episode: Several, two in the First Year and two in the Second Year.
  • Big Bad: The Darkness. A primordial force of chaos and evil that isn't afraid to get personal with mortals. Like if an insane Old God took a vested personal interest in you specifically. It somewhat frequently torments the Cadets by appearing to them, taunting and teasing them, and then forcing them into a nightmare of their worst fears, doubts, and insecurities.
  • Black Magic: Subverted in Speca who uses Necromancy to heal, and Victor who uses Blood Magic to do the same (called Flesh Weaving). More typical examples of Black Magic are seen with Ymra and his Gulthias Tree.
  • Brainwashed: The Church of Ymra brainwashed several Cadets near the middle of the Second Year, leaving them as ticking time-bombs that activated them like sleeper agents. It was revealed later that the entire Church of Ymra was similarly brainwashed, with the false god having no true followers.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Afflicted Cadets turned by Ymra became raving lunatics, seeing people that were not there and violently assaulting another Cadet, Arbor, with a pipe- shattering her legs.
  • Cast from Stamina: Using Magic drains the caster's mana and leaves them physically exhausted, sometimes to the point they pass out such as when Arbor was Healing Joseph.
  • Cataclysm Backstory: The Dark War was a brutal global battle, and the cost to end it was very high. In the end 80% of the world's population was dead and the survivors were left to rebuild.
  • Character Tics: Almost everyone in the cast has a tick.
    • Vevina hisses when angry and often speaks her native tongue of Bugkin when very emotional.
    • Chipz sighs frequently. Often enough that other characters comment on it regularly.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Many many Chekhov's Guns are presented, some with swift payoff, some with very long term payoff.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Many.
    • The Fruity Knife, Esmae is seen sneaking a dagger back to the Crystal Thorn Café. She claims to have been using it to chop fruit, but Chipz is wary due to her past behavior and takes it when she leaves, hiding it in a grandfather clock. She later slashes her own hand open and tries to claim that he did it while 'ripping the knife away from her' to make him look crazy. He used the original knife that he has hidden as evidence against this to several Cadets.
    • The Door was revealed in the first few episodes of the First Year when Chipz, Rook, and Esmae entered a door in the back of the school. This door leads to the Demiplane where The Darkness is imprisoned. In the First Year Finale, the Cadets break into this prison to discover what the professors have been hiding from them.
  • Common Tongue: The standard Human language, spoken by much of the world for convenience sake. Other languages exist but Common is spoken alongside them such as in the Elven city of Hoslad where the Elves greeted the Cadets in Elven, then switched to Common when it became clear most of them did not understand them.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When Vevina finally confessed to Chipz she detailed the various reasons she loved him, calling back to many critical moments from the First year.
  • Cool Old Guy: Professor Barnes and Professor Willow both fill this role, being very down to earth and fun.
  • Costume Porn: In the most literal sense. Many of the Cadets wear inanely intricate and detailed costumes to Spirit Week (The Halloween stand-in holiday). Some even bring multiple.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Happens frequently with Vevina Ciseris because of how different Bugkin and their culture is to the rest of the world. Such as when she reveals that Bugkin eat their dead as a sign of respect and to avoid waste, and to refuse to eat someone was an insult meaning they weren't even useful as food.
  • Creepy Cave: The Cadets have encountered dozens of these, the most notable being the cave that makes up the entrance to the Demiplane where The Darkness is imprisoned. Black stone and glowing red veins of corruption stretch across every surface within.
  • Dark Is Evil: And Light Is Good. Dark Affinity is tied to more evil magics like Blood Magic, Necromancy, and Charming, while Light Affinity is tied to Purification and Healing magic.
  • Despair Gambit: Seemingly the main tactic of The Darkness, given it targets it's victims greatest fears and doubts to torment them until they give in.
  • Dispel Magic: Chromatic Glass diffuses magic cast by someone bound to it, nullifying their powers.
  • The Dragon: The Darkness has several of these, called Darkness Generals. They were sealed within the Darkness' prison alongside their Lord.
  • Dramatic Irony: Constantly. Almost every episode.
  • Dream Land: Esmae is able to enter people's dreams if given permission.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Several people left the Academy in the First Year, such as Xana being forced to take care of his 100 children and Professor Connor being fired for flooding the library. The people playing these characters simply didn't have the time to commit to the series any further.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Some of the lore presented in the first half of the First Year was very out-there and does not line up with what we learned later in the series, such as Vevina referring to herself as a Werespider or the quoted '40% mortality rate' of the Academy- which was absurdly high.
  • Evil Tainted the Place: The region around the Gulthias Tree was masked by an illusion to make it look normal, but was actually dead and drained of life for miles around.
  • Evil Minions: The Dark Order, The Church of Ymra.
  • Exact Words: When dealing with Fey and Spirits, the exact wording is very specific. Be wary.
  • Expressive Ears: Shizu, Narali, Lila, Zackery, and Lnik all express their emotions with their 'ears'.
  • Fair Folk: The Fey in Ascension are tricky and devilish, and not often cute. Boggles might just steal your things, but Miscreants will wait in a bush for you to pass and shiv you in the ankles.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Appliance: Brown Mold to keep refrigerators cold without electricity, Keystones to power many-legged land vehicles, and glowing crystals as lamps!
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Saigon takes cues from many Eastern Cultures, primarily Japan, while Eios is a naval Germany, and Abagua is Egyptian.
  • Fantasy World Map: Simply called The World. An expansive map of the setting exists, drawn in-universe by one of the Cadets named Lnik by compiling hundreds of other in-universe maps into his singular masterpiece.
  • Farm Boy: Chipz grew up on a farm with his parents, and helped tend to the chickens when he was a boy.
  • Fictionary: The Bugkin language is used frequently by Vevina, and she even teaches a few of her fellow Cadets some of it.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Chipz is one, and Victor slowly becomes another over the course of the series.
  • Functional Magic:
    • Device Magic, Esperian Keystone Technology which channels mana autonomously.
    • Elemental Powers: Magic is divided into Light, Dark, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water Affinity.
    • Magic A Is Magic A: The magic in Ascension leans on the Hard end of the spectrum with rules and systems for casting, such as the verbal casting system written by Headmaster Akiyama.
  • Garden of Evil: The lands around the Gulthias Tree, corrupted and swarming with Blight.
  • Gender Bender: Means to temporarily change gender with Glamour Potions and spells are used several times to comedic effect.
  • Generational Magic Decline: The most powerful magic users of the previous century fought and died in the Dark War, leaving only a fraction of their like left in the world to pass their knowledge on.
  • Genius Bruiser: Chipz and Victor are both incredibly intelligent and have a good sense for strategy and tactics. Due to their vampirism, they are also fairly strong, fast, and can regenerate even when they do take a hard hit. Many of the Professors also fit this trope.
  • Gentle Giant: Liang and Gavin are both very tall (Liang more so being an actual giant) but very kind individuals.
  • Good Parents: Many of the characters come from normal, loving families. Some of them are even still alive.
  • Gossip Evolution: Frequently occurred during the First Year. Chipz wanted to test how information spread in the school and started several fake rumors about someone peeing in the pond. This backfired when the rumor evolved until he was the one allegedly peeing in the pond.
  • Harmful Healing: Speca uses Necromancy to heal, requiring biological matter to supplement the injury. In times of crisis she has taken this matter from herself or another willing donor to treat critical injuries.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Allusions to various encounters between Chipz and Vevina are made after they hook up, but nothing is ever actually seen because that would break Twitch's TOS.
    • One episode ends with Chipz carrying a rope into their room and the next begins with him telling someone Vevina is "A little tied up at the moment."
  • Hero of Another Story: Almost every main character's point of view is streamed and recorded to be viewed, making everyone literally the hero of their own story.
  • Holier Than Thou: The Inquisition play this up heavily, looking down on any non-humans.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: All of the characters are slowly learning their powers and how to use them effectively. Which makes sense since that is the whole point of a magic school.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Cadets and Professors alike are forced to do so with Professor Bliss, a blissfully unaware Professor who provides ample fanservice.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Frequently, with Chipz, Lila, Hannah, and sometimes Vevina indulging in coffee.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Chipz main weapon is the katana, which he teaches Hannah how to use. Later when he receives his Scar it is also a Katana.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: The Kiss is referred to as euphoric and "better than sex" by Victor.
  • Knife Nut: Aida is often seen examining her summoned daggers or preparing them for an anticipated fight.
    L to P 
  • Light is Good: And Dark Is Evil
  • Mad Scientist: Both Beezling and Ivanka fill this role in the series, performing biological, surgical, and genetic experiments on Bugkin and Vampires respectively.
  • Magical Accessory: Lila's Earring that prevents her from turning on a full moon, Stark's sentient magic ring, and more.
  • Magic Knight: Gavin being a holy Paladin with Light Magic.
  • Magic Staff: Professor Barnes left on a quest to recover his magic staff in the Second Year.
  • Magic Wand: The Academy makes use of literal magic wands, used as 'Focuses' to cast pre-set spells easier.
  • Magitek: Esperia uses Keystones to draw mana from the environment to power their technology, and Eios is said to have a magitek Rail Gun.
  • Medieval Universal Literacy: Literacy is high in this setting though this trope is subverted by Cadet Zackery, who is illiterate.
  • Military Mage: All of the Cadets are training to be Specialized Units for the Cross-Allied Forces' Military, and the majority of them can use some form of magic.
  • Mind Manipulation: Various forms.
    • When entering someone's mind using Esmae's abilities, the Cadets have to be very careful to avoid changing who the person is on accident.
    • Charms can force an individual to act against their will, such as In the Ymra Tree battle when Vevina is charmed and enlarged in her Spider Form and attacks her fellow Cadets.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Chipz and Victor are both specialists with the Katana and Rapier respectively, but have been trained to fight with various other weapon combinations such as sword and dagger, dual daggers, and sword and shield.
  • Mundane Utility: Augusta uses her ice powers to make snow cones, the Headmaster summons Spriggans to sweep the main hall, and Albrecht uses his Illusion Clones to fetch objects for him.
  • Mysterious Veil: Albrecht wraps his head for the duration of the trip to Abagua.
  • The Nicknamer: Professor Willow gives many of the other characters nicknames.
    • He calls Victor "Blondie".
    • Chipz is "Salt and Vinegar".
    • Hoshi is "Little One".
  • Not Himself: Not Herself, Speca undergoes several personality changes back and forth in the First Year. It is later revealed that her stuttering "Buddy" personality was a lie she used to befriend Chipz.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Chipz plays dumb for most of the First Year because he doesn't want to be seen as special in any regard. It is revealed that he is actually pretty intelligent when he pulls Vevina aside and recites the Schools of Magic in alphabetical order after having pretended to not know. Eventually he drops the act in the Second Year.
  • Oh My God: Zenith Above! Gaia have mercy!
  • Older Than They Look: Shizu is a Kitsune who's growth was stunted by hundreds of years spent in the Void, and appeared much younger than she actually was before her eventual growth spurt. Vevina is also a few hundred years old, but looks closer to her mid twenties in her humanoid form.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Orcs aren't presented as a single race of warring brutes, but several sub-races under the "Greenskin" umbrella, with one group even having joined the Cross-Allied Forces.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The differences between actual vampires and the generic fantasy vampire are played up in universe, with the typical tropes like "Hates garlic" and "Burns in the sun" and "Stake in the heart to kill" being believed myths by the people of this world- despite all of them being false.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Professor Barnes showcased a memory of a spell he once cast, in the form of an illusion, to the Cadets of the Academy. The illusionary blast that followed was so massive the mushroom cloud reached into the skies and the false flames licked at the stonework of the Academy itself despite the distance from the epicenter. Being an illusion it did no harm, but the original surely would have leveled the entire region.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A running issue in combat for the Cadets that they eventually solve. Not before it gets Cari Cuddlefish killed however.
  • Portal Cut: Liang has his right hand severed temporarily by a Boggle Portal.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: When pushed to the brink, spell casters will pass out from mana exertion. This happens to Arbor while healing Joseph, and in an unrelated incident to Joseph when he uses an Artefact.
  • Prophecy Pileup: Two prophecies were introduced relating to The Darkness in the First Year, followed by a third in the Second Year. None of them have fully come to pass that we know so far.
    Q to Z 
  • Right Hand vs Left Hand: For most of the First Year the Cadets were not only in-fighting amongst themselves, but also with the Professors due to various betrayals of trust that occurred. That distrust for the Professors ended up being the one thing that united most of the Cadets in the buildup to the Finale.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Stark and Chipz were both in love with Vevina, and they both knew it. It never devolved into a rivalry though, it was very friendly.
  • Running Gag: Punt Lnik. Chipz is an honorary girl. Ryder getting hit in the balls.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Vevina, Chipz, Victor, Lila, and Zackery are all very good trackers due to their enhanced sense of smell and eye sight.
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: When The Darkness was sealed in the Demiplane, his four Generals were all present and were imprisoned alongside their Lord.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Darkness is sealed within a Demiplane maintained by Headmaster Akiyama, behind layers of intense security to prevent it from breaking out and to prevent anyone from breaking in.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The Dark Order, followers of The Darkness.
  • Self-Deprecation: Many characters, especially Chipz.
  • Sharing a Body: Speca and Lira.
  • Shirtless Scene: Many during the beach episodes.
  • Shock and Awe: Professor Barnes' display.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Subverted. Technically they are always in school, but there are long stretches occasionally where there are no classes. The Headmaster usually has a gag excuse for this such as copyright disputes or several of the students sleeping not waking up for a week straight.
  • Shout-Out: The setup for The Darkness is a reference to the Dark One from The Wheel of Time. Orcs are called Greenskins like in Warhammer.
  • So Proud of You: Seen as a joke when Professor Von does it to Chipz, but later played more straight when Professor Albrecht talks to him several months later.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Several characters can summon weapons, such as Rex's Shield and Axe, Augusta's massive sword, and in the First Year Victor's Blood Rapier.
  • Storming the Castle: When the Cadets storm the Blackguard Fortress in Aldoria.
  • Strange Secret Entrance: The entryway into the Door to the Darkness' Demiplane is hidden throughout the series, first under the bridge connecting the Medical Building to the Museum and later under the stained glass window of the main hall.
  • Super Senses: Chipz, Victor, Vevina, Lila, Zackery, and Shizu.
  • Super Strength: All vampires and werewolves to an extent. Ryder has the full package.
  • Terrain Sculpting: The Headmaster uses Earth Magic to mold the landscape around the Academy to make it's foundations stable and prevent rockslides from the nearby mountains.
  • Thin Dimensional Barrier: The space between the Shadowfell and Material Planes grow thin along the Ley Lines during Spirit Week. There is also a forest in the north west called the Whispering Woods that is very close to the Fey Wilds.
  • This Was His True Form: Your 'true form' is revealed in the Dream Scape when Esmae takes you into someone's mind.
  • Tracking Spell: The Barrier around the school can be tuned to alert the Professors when a Cadet leaves, and tracks them for a few miles.
  • Trading Card Game: Stealth created a full card game of Ascension Academy in Tabletop Simulator.
  • Transmutation: One of the schools of magic, most of the spells the Cadets have learned have been transmutation. The reason for this is that most spells that can combat the symptoms of The Darkness are transmutation- such as Purify.
  • Tsundere: Victor is a prime example of a Tsundere and there have been several jokes made both by him and at his expense about this.
    • Victor: "Where is everyone, not that I care."
    • Chipz: "Baka."
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Chipz refuses to drink blood of any kind.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Humans tried to weaponize The Darkness itself, before it lashed out and began the Dark War.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Humans live shorter lives than many of the other races, but grow much faster. They have a presence on every continent we know of thus far.
  • Wizarding School: Ascension Academy is this. There are also several others scattered across the world.
  • World Building
  • Yandere: Esmae.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: The Fey Wilds.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Also the Fey Wilds.

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