A college student named Quinn with a chronically ill father and a 15-years-missing mother discovers an experimental supersuit in a collection of their mother’s old belongings, and it awakens powers they never knew they had. Finding new friends and a home in the superhero community, Quinn grows as a person as they slowly learn about what really happened to their mother, and a conspiracy with a grip on the heart of the superheroic community.
At it’s heart, Paternum is an extended coming-of-age story for the main character as they become a superhero, in a world with more reasonable stakes and less powerful heroes than many superheroic worlds. Themes include what art means to different people, and what it means to be a patron, whether as a sponsor, a parent, or a supporter.
I consider Paternum‘s primary influences to be the various versions of Spider-Man, J. C. McCrae’s own superhero story Worm, and Drew Hayes’ story SuperPowereds. I hope that fans of such stories can find something to enjoy in mine as well.
The main plot of Paternum is and will remain free, but if you’d like, you can support me through Patreon or through Paypal – additionally, as each arc is completed it will become available for purchase as an ebook or physical volume. If you donate on Patreon, you’ll get both an invite to a discussion Discord and access to up-to-date download links for the story in epub, mobi, and pdf formats, to take Paternum with you on the go! Higher levels of support on Patreon will get access to the lesser arcs, previews of the story, and included art, as well.
I track the tag #paternumbook on twitter, tumblr, and instagram. If you post about the story, please use that tag so I can see it! Alternatively, I keep #maternumbook blacklisted, so if you have commentary that you specifically don’t want me to see – or if you decide write or draw porn of the characters – please use that tag so I can’t. I encourage all forms of fan content, but… there are some forms that I don’t want to see myself.
Like Worm, Paternum will be divided into arcs. These arcs can be thought of as individual movies or novels – they are individual parts of the overall story. There are planned to be five major arcs (each intended to be between 40k and 80k words), but there will be five lesser arcs as well – the lesser arcs will be significantly shorter (only around 10k words), come after the major arcs to help ease plot tension and explore the world, and will be exclusive to paying patrons or customers. While the major arcs are arranged mostly chronologically to tell single stories, the lesser arcs are not – they instead focus on a single theme or aspect of the world and are not connected chronologically to the main plot. They will, however, thematically connect to the previous arc, expanding on themes or bringing closure.
Each major arc will be further divided into three acts – one for setup, one for plot, and one for resolution. Like the arcs, each act will be followed by a brief tension-draining intermission – these intermissions are not necessarily plot-relevant and can be considered only semi-canon, although they do connect to some aspect of the previous act which I want to delve more into. They are intended to be revealing asides and glimpses into the lives of the characters outside of what’s strictly necessary for the plot, not cornerstones of the story.