So I figure I might as well share my two cents. Obviously, the Duplovia arc had a bit to go. I really like the ideas I had for it, the core themes and direction, but in the end, I didn't really feel like I had the QMing chops to tell the story I wanted. This is all while my own interest in the game was waining, so my interest in sitting down and crunching numbers for a few months wasn't really that high either. I received an offer for someone to co-quest, but at that point, I simply wasn't feeling it. Which is a shame because, once again, I really liked the core idea. It evolved a lot from what it had started from, and would likely evolve more, but the story as it is is pretty strong. The Duplovia arc started from a question of what would heroes do if they were hired to work for people who were, effectively, the bad guys. I wanted to see the Hero's motivations challenged, and I wanted them to see the impact that Heroica was having on the larger world. Duplovia and Delfrin were going to change and shape in reaction to the heroes, and hopefully in ways that would shake them
Most of the quests had only the most basic outlines, but the first one was 99% ready to launch. I'll try to abbreviate it as much as I can without losing the essentials.
Deception in Delfrin:
Chaos in the Crossfire:
The Heroes are called on by Duplovia to defend them from a full-scale assault from Delfrin. My goal was something along the lines of Quest 17 with Delfrin's forces moving through the city, and the Heroes will run through to different key locations after the forces break through the doors. The path with eventually lead inward to the castle. The Market Guild will make an appearance again, helping defend the Marketplace. During the quest, the Prince of Delfrin will appear as a recurring boss, and when the Heroes finally kill him there will be a significant moment where the Delfrin forces mourn his passing. At the end, a Norgh force lead by Uglrukh and the Archer tunnel up around the castle and storm inside. Not expecting the Delfrin force to get so far, Somoril has planned his escape, slipping out with the Archer. Begrudgingly the Heroes will have to let him slip away while they defeat the last of the Delfrin force at the castle gates.
Warfare in the West:
The quest opens with a scene of Somoril's force (the Archer, Dovanna, Uglrukh, the Mage, Princess and Morcrass) wandering north of Duplovia following the previous quest. They run into a combined force of a couple small kingdoms, led by McColt, ideally. There is a major conflict and McColt has to retreat. Eyric and Quellir recruit the heroes, having assembled a small army to stop Somoril once and for all. He has stepped forward to seizing the area and is moving on Garran. Notably, the Princess of Delfrin is next-in-line with the Prince dead. The first part of the quest is the heroes helping stop the assault on Garran. During this, Quellir may be killed in a fight with his old protoge Dovanna. After they save Garran they move towards Delfrin, which Somoril is in the process of taking, using the Princess' influence. The bridge is up, forcing the heroes to go on an expedition on their own to lower it. After that, they move in on the palace. Once there, they arrive just in time to see Morcrass murder the King. Somoril and his group reveal themselves. Somoril tries to recruit the heroes, showing his hand. He believes that with their history, Delfrin and Duplovia will always, always return to war, as all the kingdoms do. His goal is to completely take over, ruling the entire High Kingdoms with an iron fist and establishing true peace. Eyric comments that there's no way he can possibly maintain that sort of control, where Somoril insists that the Heroes have given him just the idea. He will set up his own version of Heroica with his own veterans; Archer - the Ranger, Uglrukh - the Knight, Dovanna - the Barbarian, Mage - the Mage, Princess - the Cleric, and Morcrass - the Rogue. Somoril's pseudo-Heroica will act as a military police, insisting that's all that Heroica's become. Our heroes decide to prove him wrong. The Final Battle is them against Somoril and his Veterans.
I really love the image of major villains through the arc standing together as a Dark Heroica. We really hadn't gotten that sort of villain in Heroica yet, and I think it would provide a really thought-provoking idea. Heroica is affecting the world, and in this case, giving them some very dark ideas. The heroes would be forced to consider what Heroica would look like in the wrong hands, and if their hands are really so clean. After all, in numerous instances, they will have been directly involved with Somoril's plan. The Duplovia arc would be a discussion on the nature of Heroica, and some of the ethics of being a hero.