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.
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 (of 19-35 individual installments), but there will be five lesser arcs as well – the lesser arcs will be significantly shorter (only 5 installments) and come after the major arcs to help ease plot tension and explore the world. 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. Physical copies of Paternum will each contain one major arc as well as the following minor arc.
Each major arc will be further divided into three acts (of 4-16 individual installments) – 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 many should be considered only semi-canon, although do connect to some aspect of the previous act which I want to delve more into. They are intended to be humorous or revealing asides and glimpses into the lives of the characters outside of the plot, not cornerstones of the story.
Paternum is and will remain free, but if you’d like, you can support me through Patreon or through Paypal. 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 previews of the story and included art, as well.