Heroes with all their might - and doubts - a Mephisto review
Scion: Tales of Heroes
The daughters and sons of the gods walk our world, perform heroic deeds and stand against the titans - this is the core theme of the role-playing game Scion. Appropriately titled Tales of Heroes, 15 short stories in this anthology provide insights into the game world and its characters - in this case, still at the more moderate hero level that the game has to offer.
For example, a son of Loki seeks an ally to foil a plan involving dangerous flowers from the Aztec underworld. Then again, the rivalry between two young scions on social media escalates from a catfight to a full-fledged confrontation. In another story, two scions must rise above themselves to stop a tangible titanic threat. Many of the stories occur in our world, but some turn to mythological realms - sometimes the Asian underworld, sometimes the world of the Orisha and Loa, sometimes even Hades. The heroes all have unique abilities and often heroic ambitions, but they are also often plagued by doubts, human weaknesses, or problems, making them more tangible. The spectrum of stories is broad, ranging from the relatively 'simple hero must face and defeat monsters' to somewhat ironic reflections at a convention to the doubts and sacrifices of the heroes that emphasize the inner plot. When an annoyed pregnant woman turns out to be a scion of Set, that inner stress even breaks its way out at times...
My favorite story was The Bacchae, in which a female scion of Dionysus wanders the nightlife of London with her entourage of maenads. The party atmosphere is soon overshadowed by much darker things...
For Scion, Tales of Heroes provides a range of well-written stories that give insight into the game world and can also be used for ideas for characters or scenes in the game. Of course, without knowing the role-playing game, the world presented here may lack some context, but even then, Tales of Heroes can entertain, so this anthology is clearly recommended, in my view.