This work is a sequel, the events following that of the web serial Worm. It is not meant to be read in isolation, and would-be readers should check out the prior work first. Heavy spoilers for Worm follow from this point on.
Those wanting to read this story without any spoilers or information on the overarching plot can click Here. If you missed the ‘Glow-worm’ teaser, click here to read it. The teaser is something of a prologue that features nine chapters of Parahumans Online, email, and chatroom content with hints and clues about the story to come.
The unwritten rules that govern the fights and outright wars between ‘capes’ have been amended: everyone gets their second chance. It’s an uneasy thing to come to terms with when notorious supervillains and even monsters are playing at being hero. The world ended two years ago, and as humanity straddles the old world and the new, there aren’t records, witnesses, or facilities to answer the villains’ past actions in the present. One of many compromises, uneasy truces and deceptions that are starting to splinter as humanity rebuilds.
None feel the injustice of this new status quo or the lack of established footing more than the past residents of the parahuman asylums. The facilities hosted parahumans and their victims, but the facilities are ruined or gone; one of many fragile ex-patients is left to find a place in a fractured world. She’s perhaps the person least suited to have anything to do with this tenuous peace or to stand alongside these false heroes. She’s put in a position to make the decision: will she compromise to help forge what they call, with dark sentiment, a second golden age? Or will she stand tall as a gilded dark age dawns?
If you missed the ‘Glow-worm’ teaser, click here to read it. The teaser features nine chapters of Parahumans Online, email, and chatroom content with hints and clues about the story to come.
Ward is the fourth work and first official sequel written by ‘Wildbow’, who goes by John McCrae in real life (or J.C. McCrae in professional correspondence, to not be confused with the Canadian poet) – see the FAQ for more on the author. As a serial, Ward will update with a twice-a-week (Tuesday & Saturday) schedule, with additional chapters appearing on Thursdays as donation milestones are met. The aim is for a 2.5 chapter a week schedule. See the Support page for more information on goal amounts and bonus chapter schedules.
As a serial, the story is broken down into arcs and chapters. Each arc consists of a collection of chapters and encapsulates a roughly book-sized chunk of the greater story. Occurring mostly between these ‘arcs’ are interludes, which are chapters that serve as side stories and alternate takes or formats, switching from the protagonist’s viewpoint to side characters and background characters, who may or may not have been introduced.
Ward is not recommended for sensitive or young readers. Violence, nightmarish fates and tragedy are liable to happen. Swearing happens. Sex and intimate moments may come up; the go-to rule here is a ‘fade to black’ or skipping ahead before the point where any underwear comes off, but the work may touch on anything up to that point.
Wildbow’s Past Works: