The second half of a player character of Sburb's Heroic Title is the Aspect. The Aspect defines the abstract and thematic realm that the hero will both act within, on and through in their quest. In this respect, Heroes represent powerful avatars and agents of the vector of influence their Aspect respresents on reality, enacting, shaping and imparting a greater will as they themselves grow as individuals.
Unlike heroic Classes, which can be divided neatly into Active and Passive pairs comparable across the board, the Aspects that a hero may represent follow a less orderly set of dichotomies. The Aspects fall into neat pairs as before, but the nature of their opposition is more complex and individual, as befits their status as elemental building blocks of reality.
Birth and DeathEdit
The Aspects of Life and Doom concern themselves with the simple matter of existence as a coherent entity. Life represents all acts of birth, creation and growth, the power of living things to come together, integrate and prosper. All life needs to consume to survive, absorbing countless entities to constitute a new whole greater than the sum of its parts. In a sense then, Life is as destructive as it is constructive - a thousand tiny endings amount to one great new beginning. Doom is of course the power of endings, and rest eternal or otherwise. No entity persists forever, and everything that has power and potential expends energy, somehow in some way and sometimes never to be regained. Once the mortal boundary is crossed, a scattering stillness is guaranteed for the parts of the once lively whole. In this way, Doom represents the strictures of existence that the bounteous energy of Life must respect, lest it live no longer.
Heroes of Life are often gifted of a great vim and vigour, lively and bubbly as befits their nature as the chosen of birth and fresh beginnings iself. By contrast, the Heroes of Doom are often frank, dour and stern, ever the first to remind others of the extent of their powers and their duties.
Fluidity and FixtureEdit
The Aspects of Breath and Blood concern themselves with the elemental movement of all particles of existence. Breath is the embodiment of variability, change and motion in its purest form - absolute, wild and heedless freedom, swirling in the eddys and currents of the world. Air and wind alone will blow eternal, but quite what and how they will flow is often a matter of what they blow through. Enter Blood, the power of structure and stability. Everything that is substantial and weighty in this world falls under Blood's roof, the pillars of silent, still reliability (thought whether they remain silent should they be toppled is another matter entirely) that keeps the world at order, and away from chaos. Even the very blood within one's veins, for all it's nature as a flowing liquid, does no good when it is outside its proper place in the circuit of supply and demand that holds our lives together.
Heroes of Breath are open of mind and heart, highly approachable and changeable characters who will lend ear and oar to any concern, though likely not forever. The Heroes of Blood pride themselves on their stolid and unwavering dedication to those who need them and deserve their effort, as well as to their personal, resolute causes and callings.
Prominence and PrivacyEdit
The Aspects of Light and Void concern themselves with the power and nature of influence itself - a mighty and meaningful concern indeed. Light is the power of all illumination - prominence, notability, brilliance and sometimes sheer *size* itself. Anything and everything that catches the eye, every sound heard booming from afar, every outspoken view at the apex of public attention, and every last twinkling star in the night sky, casting its light over unfathomable distances for no reason other than it being in its nature - all are vectors of the stark might of Light's shining dominion; and any event that affects enough people, causes enough of an uproar, is sought and spoken of by enough minds - or perhaps only by a few, very important souls indeed - is within the interest and influence of any self-respecting Hero of Light. Importantly, however, entities once grand in their majesty have been known throughout history to fall from grace and prominent figures the talk of the town slide with years into obscurity - and conversely, everyone has seen some small and largely ignored factor to slip out of the shadowed cracks of architecture of an issue and at the last minute and forever change it's face. For every bright star in the sky, no matter how bold, is invisible in the light of day, when for twelve hours a lone, very average sun dominates the centrefold of activity. How many other lights, shining strongly and more beautifully out there, are concealed in the dark spaces between those that are so visible to us only superficially, for naught but circumstantial proximity? Enter the Void - the subtle, quieta and ever-present power of the shadow that every Light is doomed to cast. For any great scepter thrust shining into the sky above, a thousand tiny torches must be lost in the haze of its glow below, under all radars and beyond all sight. What happenings can happen in the twisting alleyways beneath the shining skyline of a bustling city? What wonderful treasures lie deep under the uproar of the bold and beautiful of today, just waiting to be unearthed and revealed? And how many significant, world-changing event began with a decision made in private? You'll never know until you're prepared to turn you back and leave the light behind you, says the canny Hero of Void.
Heroes of Light are all bold and audacious by nature, truly outspoken individuals who shy from shyness and let any who have eyes to see behold their focus and drives. A Hero of Void is a much more self-kept person, the kind who makes friends rarely and quietly, and who happily busies his or herself with their own, rather private and eclectic interests, never to concern themselves or others with things that they simply need not be.
Thought and ResolutionEdit
The Aspects of Mind and Heart concern themselves with choice, will, desires and decisions, the granular elements of personal volition. Mind is the powerful notion of discrete variability - that there are many ways to achieve any one goal, each an interesting path with their respective flavours, merits and secondary outcomes. The idea that one can have a red car, or a blue car - a large, expensive coffee or a smaller, more affordable brew - a new computer, or an upgrade to your existing one - and in some cases, a life spared or lost - are all facets of the cold, curious spirit of the Mind. Behind every such decision rests principles, conditions of focus, direction, consideration and design, and here this most personal of realms Heart reigns supreme. At the end of the day, whether a car is red or blue is irrelevent if it has two wheels - this is clearly a bicycle! - and no matter how you have your coffee, you'll want it with beans, caffeine and water, thank you. Decisions are made precisely because a desired, emotionally invested outcome is to be reached, just as heartfelt convictions themselves oft arise from the mindful observations of a thousand choices past.
Heroes of Mind are possessed of a unique grasp and love for games - the ultimate expression of casual, voluntary choicemaking, whether we choose to play them or, ironically, fate chooses us to them - and are driven by a fascination for the power of variance and the exploration of options and choices. A Hero of Heart overflows with love and pride, whether reservedly self-kept or shamelessly shared, for whatever it is they grow attached to, and see artistry and true beauty in its every aspect.
Acceptance and DenialEdit
The Aspects of Hope and Rage concern themselves with a small, but only foolishly forgetten element of every decision the living and departed ever made - not the what of ones actions, nor the when or the how, but the specific and often tremendous nature of the motivational *why*. Hope's why is positive, caring and eager, the domain of joyous celebration and the allowance and ease of good times. People are moved by Hope when they act out of love, whether for the pleasure of the act itself or for who or what they perform the act for - and just as well when, as occasion would have it, they fight to defend those things they love from forces poised, for whatever reason, to bring them harm and hindrance. This way lies the power of Rage - the burning capacity for negativity, disdain and cruel disregard at the bottom of every soul, reserved for that which one defines as utterly unacceptable and an affront to goodness and decency. Rage is the fear of letting terrible things - things that don't care for what you care for and without regard for you and your joys - earn advantages that they don't deserve, and the adjacent righteous fury, whether searingly hot or shriving in frigidity - required to bring persecution to wherever they would seek to darken ones door.
Heroes of Hope dream often, and dream BIG, possessed of a giddy adventurousness for every avenue of fulfilment the world has to offer without ever letting any one idea or notion object to the scope of their aspirations and ideals. A Hero of Rage, generally regarded as cool and accepting by friends and loved ones before the realisation of their Aspect, reveals when tested by the rigours of their journey as being of a great and terrible passion for the quashing of indecent foes and the righting of wrongs, smiting those deemed unworthy with a frequently shocking degree of cruelty.
Conditionality and CausalityEdit
Last but probably the furthest from least, the Aspects of Space and Time concern themselves with the very shaped fabric and shaping laws of all existence. Space is the present moment and everything it contains within it, the single pulsing instant in which we all live and die, jumping from mote to mote in the shifting beam of the ages. All creation, change, providence and happenstance, all arrangement and position, all physical matter, energy and distance in their most literal senses fall under the infinitely broad bracket of the Aspect of Space. Connecting each such instance of existence, linking together every last manifold frames of motion and resolving the myriad interrelations of position, force and consequence that underpin and define this universe and very likely the next is the ever-ticking clock of Time. All events are framed by natural law, and indeed creation of any nature more substantial than pure chaos could not coalesce and persist without such am array of all-reaching, immaculately codifying principles to push each instance of reality from point to point unto eternity. Both of these Aspects cover far broader bases than the other, comparitively and interequally focussed, ten, which renders them weaker in specific realms compared to the others - but this is more than made for by the all-encompassing scope of the most fundamental pair of Aspects's influence.
Heroes of Space are among the most variable in their characteristics, as befits the infinite purvey of those sworn to the power of the present moment, but all in their own way are marked by a nature excepting of and adaptive towards others, whether through chipper optimism, quiet thought or watchful love, and contrastingly disregarding and dismissive of mere ctions and events, whether through spunky rebelliousness, patient consideration or passionate morality. A Hero of Time, too, will often differ in many ways from his or her fellows, but for a keen sense - deeper than any feeling or conscious understanding - of the true meaning and power of fate, and what each twist and eventful turn of their and their loved one's lives spells out for the world.
The Circle of AspectsEdit
It is almost certain that there are patterns within the twelve Aspects beyond the pairings lised above. Specifically, it is almost certain that a ring of some kind is formed, where aspects that cover similar ground are placed as neighbours across from those more distinct. If such a circle exists, it is almost certain that it will be organised in accordance to the following axis of shared characteristics:
Freeing vs. Keeping
Where the Aspects of Mind (Choice and Optional Variance), Breath (Looseness and Literal Fluidity), Life (Power of Greater Wholes/Respectful Energy), Hope (Acceptance and Allowance of Pursuit) and Space (Power of the Present and Creation) represent Freedoom and the Aspects of Heart (Resolution and Emotional Spirit), Blood (Literal Bindings and Structure), Doom (Expenditure of Energy and Consequence of Crossing Boundaries), Rage (Denial, Persecution and Denouncement) and Time (Absolute Laws of Reality and Causality) represent Capture; Light (Importance and Prominence) and Void (Privacy and Seclusion) being neutral in this regard.
Concentrating vs Diffusing
Where the Aspects of Hope (Aspiration, Dreams, Ideas and Driving Force), Blood (Stabiliity, Establishment and Construction), Heart (Pure Definition, Internalisaton and Personality), Life (Literal Alliance and Integration, the Arisal of Individuality among Components) and Light (Revelation, Stark Presence and Illumination) represent Concetration and the Aspects of Rage (Snuffing, Driving Out and Scattering Pariahal Forces), Breath (Expansion, Exploration and Mixing of Changeable Elements), Mind (Peeling Emotional Layers away to examine Minutae), Doom (Decay and Scattering of Compenents, Derivation and Unleashment of Energy) and Void (Indistinguishability, Obscuration and Nebulousness) represent Diffusion; Space (All of Material Existence) and Time (All of Eternity) being neutral in this regard.
Thus, the likely possibiliy of the Aspects forming a circle would likely proceed as follows:
Or in loose pictoral form:
The black circles indicating where a pair of Aspects could go in either order.