Knowledge is power. That would be the motto of Lander University, had it not been snatched up and used to death by others long before the school was founded. For while Lander offers a full range of courses to nearly all students, it also offers a small number of specialty classes to a very select few. Lander is home to the Hero Certification Program, a curriculum designed to develop students with superhuman capabilities, commonly known as Supers, into official Heroes.
Fleeing from a vengeful king has sent the former NPCs across Solium's borders, into the kingdom of Alcatham. As wanted fugitives, they head to the small farming village of Briarwillow, hoping to blend in, lay low, and avoid trouble at all costs. Unfortunately, Briarwillow has problems all its own, and its troubles quickly become theirs. If they hope to survive long enough to escape, they'll have to tackle an all-but-forgotten mystery buried at the town's border as well as seek the wisdom of a mysterious group of mages.
The final year at Lander has finally arrived for the Melbrook students and their peers, and with it comes a whole new set of challenges. Still reeling from the events of their junior year, the remaining students will have to push past their pain - and so much more - if they hope to be one of the 10 to claim the title of Hero upon graduation.
What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters? In the town of Maplebark, four such NPCs settle in for a night of actively ignoring the adventurers drinking in the tavern when things go quickly and fatally awry.
Adventuring is a costly affair, and while the tolls are often paid in blood, gold can drain away just as quickly. The party's trek out of Solium and across the lands of Alcatham has left them with only a handful of gold between them. Fortunately, they have drawn near Camnarael, Alcatham's capital, where all manner of quests - and rewards - await. But all is not as expected in the capital.
Titan was one of the nation's most loved and respected Heroes, until an infidelity scandal tore his image and family apart. After decades spent out of the limelight, Owen Daniels has decided to take up the mantle of Titan once again to try and make amends for his years away. Unfortunately, the Titan Scandal is still common knowledge, and no Hero team wants such a polarizing figure.
Despite having their secret revealed, the residents of Melbrook Hall return to Lander University for another year in the Hero Certification Program. Good thing the focus of this year is teamwork, because with their origins known, they'll have to lean on each other more than ever. Now finally sophomores, their curriculum expands, allowing them to train in the majors that Heroes specialize in. The new classes will test their minds, bodies, and determination in ways never anticipated.
Junior year has come for the remaining students of Melbrook Hall, and it promises to be the most difficult one yet. With one of their own gone and another under serious investigation, none of the former Powereds know how many days remain for them in the Hero Certification Program. The time they do have will be filled with more trials and classes, honing their skills as they work toward the increasingly difficult goal of becoming Heroes.
After discovering just how filled with magic, intrigue, and adventure the parahuman world of being an undead American can be, Fredrick Frankford Fletcher did exactly what was expected - he became a certified parahuman accountant. Myths and legends, as it turns out, are not so great at taking appropriate deductions and keeping their receipts, and Fred is more than happy to return to a life others view as woefully dull, expanding his accounting business to cater to various monsters.
After surviving countless perils and dangers, including an examination by the Blood Council, Fred is preparing to take on his most important adventure to date: marrying Krystal. That is, if he can get everything handled in time. Visiting Boarback, hiring new staff, clearing out his schedule for a honeymoon; there's no shortage of tasks to check off before the big day arrives. But not everyone views the occasion in such a happy light. With new dangers looming, old debts raised, and grudges rekindled, it'll take everything Fred has to finally make it down the aisle.
The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
Spieldauer: 7 Std. und 2 Min.
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort. One fateful night - different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful - Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos of the parahuman world.
A dance club full of bodies. Cause of death - a mystery. The lone survivor - a man, raving like a lunatic, wearing only a deerstalker hat. Now, the man who calls himself Sherman Holmes is being studied like a lab rat by a top-secret government agency. How is it he can be barely clinging to reality one minute - yet be a seeming genius the next? Within his brain might just be the greatest scientific breakthrough of the millennium, if anyone can figure out how to access it. Enter the agent code named Watson.
When Fred formed his own parahuman clan out of necessity, he understood that it was going to come with new responsibilities. Much as he hoped those tasks would center around extra paperwork and perhaps the occasional mandatory class, enough time around the supernatural has taught him to be ready for anything. Or so he thought. As a freelance accountant for the Agency, Fred soon finds himself being tossed into new, unexpected, and perilous situations.
With a thriving parahuman accounting practice, a steady relationship, and a circle of trusted friends, Fred's undead life has become more enjoyable than his normal one ever was. Unfortunately it also seems that he's no longer the only vampire to appreciate the up-and-coming city of Winslow, Colorado. A new clan of vampires is moving in, and they aren't well known for tolerating outsiders in their territory.
Gifted with meta-human powers, Tori Rivas kept away from the limelight, preferring to work as a thief in the shadows. But when she's captured trying to rob a vault that belongs to a secret guild of villains, she's offered a hard choice: prove she has what it takes to join them or be eliminated. Apprenticed to one of the world's most powerful (and supposedly dead) villains, she is thrust into a strange world where the lines that divide superheroes and criminals are more complex than they seem.
Putting the Grand Quest behind them, the party rides onward in search of answers. Between one member's unexpected new condition and the mysteries of the Bridge, their only hope appears to be gaining entrance to Lumal, said to hold the greatest collection of knowledge in all the kingdoms. But when a curious path appears in a seemingly uninhabited forest, the party finds themselves in a place set apart from the kingdoms, and the world at large: a hidden hamlet, filled by unusual people, all of whom have long histories of their own.
Spieldauer: 9 Std.
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
When your fairy godmother threatens to enslave you with a curse - when a malevolent piper solves your rat problem but steals your children - when you seek revenge on the prince who turned you into a frog - who can you turn to in your hour of need? The band of scoundrels known far and wide as the Bastard Champions - the swashbuckling trio who travel a world of legend, seeking adventure and righting wrongs - as long as there's enough gold to be earned.
Most people would be overjoyed to win $50,000 and the chance to star in a nation-wide commercial, even if it was just for a fast food joint like Camelot Burger. Then again, Clint Tucker has never been like most people. Ushered to the tropical paradise of Kenowai, he and the other winners undertake an island tradition for the cameras, one meant to free a local imprisoned deity. One with very specific requirements that have yet to be met. One that might just be a bit more authentic than any of them expected.
My name is Drew Hayes, and for the past six years I've made my living as a writer. In that time, I've published 20 books, written hundreds of thousands of words, and made countless mistakes - most of which I like to think I've learned from. Underqualified Advice (and Other Amusing Diversions) is my attempt to compile those lessons and share them with others, as well as have some fun along the way. Half of the book is dedicated to detailing specifics about writing, maneuvering the industry, and keeping fiscally afloat in largely unstable waters.