1. Diversity. Characters across all races and sexual/gender identities.
2. Adventure School. The Academy trains students to be leagues, with a Hero, a Guide, a Combat Spec, a Mage, and a Sage.
3. Schoolyard scuffles that lead to secret defense classes carried on under the noses of the authorities.
4. Intense fights with fire demons and other Things lurking about the dark places of Rivertown.
5. Sally-Anne’s fish shop. The opening setting for the gang’s first outing together (and first battle), the hub of Rivertown’s gossip and information, the infirmary for after the battles. Get a fizzy lemonade.
5. People pretending to be something they’re not, and pretending not to be something they are, through hard work and a determination not to take the path pushed on them by society.
6. Grey, the sarcastic, prickly sage bookwork (and my precious baby), who uses forgery talents not to do mischief, but to get a job as a librarian. “I’m not courageous, I’m just rude.”
8. Laney Jones, the woman who taught herself magic when no one else would, and invented entirely new concepts, all while being the best shot the Academy’s ever seen. “If you touch one hair on my family’s head, I will have you set on fire.”
8. George the Giant Slayer, though she’s so much more than that. A would-be academic continuously pulled into battles for a cause, a badass staff fighter, and a legend by the time she was 16.
9. Jack, a former do-gooder vigilante trying to shed his giant-killing past to learn to do good in the world, a trained fighter who mainly wants to heal.
10. Rupert, a young man who makes paperwork his bitch and uses it to save lives. Always looking out for his league and making sure they have extra supplies. An academic, a hero, an explorer, a leader.
11. Flashbacks interwoven with the narrative to utter perfection, tugging and pulling at pasts and secrets to deepen the characters.
12. Worldbuilding. Several worlds built. Rivertown, St. John’s Port, Gravestown, the desert, Jack’s childhood forest home.
13. Acknowledgement of grief, not limited to the heroes’ side, with obituary chapters telling what no one ever knew.
14. Relationships. Friendship, friendship with secrets, friendship strained by secrets, strained friendships not stopping two experienced fighters from communicating what needs to be done. The romance is limited to the side characters. The main characters don’t need romance to be fully rounded personalities, with pasts and emotions and motivations and feelings, limits and flaws and regrets, guilt and sorrow and hope.
15. All of the best elements in fantasy and storytelling put together to be one of the greatest legends I have ever read.
Here’s the bros holding their baby for the first time. I remembered the pregnant s/o mentioned this too and thought I should do it. I rly don’t want to develop a rep for half assing requests lol
Noctis. Awkwardly stares at the nurse holding the baby for a while. The nurse looks over with a kind smile and asks him if he wants to hold the little one. Noctis tries to come up with an excuse that doesn’t make him look like a bad dad, so he tells her the truth. He has no idea how to hold a child of any kind. The nurse can’t hide how amusing that sounds, so they lay the baby down and grab a pillow to teach him. When he finally nails it and holds the baby though? His eyes light up and his jaw drops. Because here he is. Holding his little baby in his arms. It can’t even open it’s eyes but just seeing for himself that this is his child is magical to him.
Prompto. Once his s/o has been settled in after giving birth, and his own panic during the experience has subsided, he’ll ask his s/o if he can hold the baby. They urge him to hold the little fuzzball and he looks so happy. The baby is so tiny and soft and innocent and he can’t get over it. Starts singing softly to see how the little thing will react, only to be met with it being a little restless. He’s disappointed to say the least, but his s/o is the one who tells him that babies don’t actually do much when they’re that small. Starts hogging the baby to sing anyway though. I mean it’ll smile back eventually, right?
Ignis. Is the first person the doctor hands the baby to after it’s born. The moment seems like a flash from a distance. He’s handed the baby, he smiles and then he lets his s/o hold it. For Ignis though, the second the baby was in his arms time stood still. He was filled with a rush of parental feelings. He may not show it but he’ll feel pretty emotional about the whole thing. The most anyone gets to see is his smile when he holds the little thing. On the inside though his heart feels full of love. He’s hit by this intense emotion to look after the baby and make it as happy as he possibly can.
Gladiolus. Let’s his s/o fall asleep before he goes over to pick up the baby. Part of him wanted to let them enjoy the baby more because they’re the one who just gave birth and the other part felt embarrassed. He isn’t the best at expressing his emotions in a meaningful way and he was worried about screwing up. With his s/o asleep, he scoops the little bundle up and just talks to it. Promising to be the best father ever and that he’s sorry if he ever messes up. And makes the baby promise it won’t be as energetic as Iris was, for the sake of it’s parents. It yawns in response and he laughs softly.