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First of all, would like to congratulate you on the work you have done with the game so far! I have quite enjoyed it and am looking forwards to see how it would develop!

Thinking about the idea of villains, one of the thoughts that came to me is that in many modern stories and traditional mythologies the heroes and the villains came from the same stuff, so to speak, and many of the villains we like actually started out as decent heroes in one form or another.

Perhaps having a system where one or some of your heroes could be recast as the villains of your own story and mythos could help not only help secure a more cohesive overarching story plot, but also help create a personal relationship between both the player characters and the villains and also between the players and the villains themselves.

Conditions for generating such villains could be things like character death, or failing certain hero-character related chapter goals. Perhaps this is not the road you wish to take, as this may be too close to the concept of procedurally generated villains that encourage players to do weird things in their playthroughs to generate them, but maybe a mixture of bespoke villains and turned heores could work out as a mix?

Whichever direction you choose to go in, looking forwards to see where it takes you!

Yeah, the hero-turned-villain is a great story and I think we'll defintitely get around to it some point. A lot of our monster groups are definitively non-human, but not all of them, and even the monstrous ones are often open to human influence and manipulation... Fun stuff!
Unlocking such a villain with a game event is not too bad. I think the villain story would still be a crafted  one, with the hero plugged in, for the reasons listed above. But yeah having "achievements" or similar mechanisms that unlock additional stories feels good. Though, incentivizing players to kill their heroes for meta reasons does not..