Events leading up to this location will be as normal. After Mainframe, the carnival will go into its usual travelling/transitional period for a few days, with no particular warnings or expectations. Normally this would be where I explain how the characters will entering the setting and what they will immediately see, but this is not a normal occasion.
Mostly because no one will have any idea how or why the carnival entered this universe - in fact, they may not remember entering anywhere at all.
Portland, USA is similar to the one of our modern earth in many ways, even if some of those are purely superficial. Importantly, it is the urban fantasy equivalent, meaning that standard city life is underlain with a complex civilization of 'supernaturals,' whose actions have the tendency to shake the world in unseen ways. It's a common formula in the multiverse, and some carnival workers may even come from a world much like it. The major difference here is this world in particular has managed to pull the carnival into its snare in an unprecedented way.
From the start of this visit an onward, the carnival will be rewritten into this world's rules - and in more than just a superficial sense. On day one, your characters will find themselves having awoken into completely new lives, with potentially no memory of anything that came before. How exactly this transition took place will start out unclear, and this will be a plot heavy narrative centered around investigation and the discovery of what has happened, and how those trapped here can leave.
Twenty five years ago, this world underwent a process sometimes know as "the Severing", in which a magical ritual of great power was used to severe the ties between earth and a number of otherworldly realms that had been cross-inhabiting it. The realms of faerie, heaven, and hell were disconnected entirely, stranding many of their members on earth with no way of returning home. The details of this ritual and its purpose are elusive, but its effects have spanned the globe.
Most supernatural stuff in this world is simply referred to as "magic", which is built upon an animistic reality in which all living creatures and all objects have some essence of "spirit" that can be interacted with. Casting and ritual magic is primarily centered upon esoteric means of interacting with these spirits in order to invoke various effects, while the magic of many supernatural creatures are considered to be innate traits of their species.
NOTE: This is a setting where magic is basically a "known secret", in that many people are factually aware of the supernatural, but it doesn't get talked about in public. Most people have probably seen something weird at some point in their life, but the supernatural is not officially recognized in society. Most of humanity does its best to try to pretend it doesn't exist, in order to avoid gaining the wrong kind of attention. So, you couldn't talk about doing magic on live TV, but there are a lot of places where you could get away with people seeing your supernatural traits if you keep to the 'underground.'
( A LOT MORE INFO TO FOLLOW )
|LOOKING FOR MODS↴|
HELLO! This is Quix, also known as your head mod! Since the game has been going for a while and there are a lot of great players here, I figured it was about time to see about recruiting help for certain aspects of the game - that is, I’m looking to possibly bring on an additional mod or two! (Also, someone’s comments reminded me that I should, because I’ve been thinking about it for a while.)
At the very least, it would be helpful to see what people in the game are willing to offer, particularly when it comes to things like plotting and NPCing. If you are interested, please fill out the form below and submit it to this post! The replies are screened so you don’t have to be insecure about your mod resume or what have you. All replies are appreciated, even if you’re only offering things like list help - it’s good to know the offer is there!
Name: Your name.
Characters: Characters you play, or have played, in game.
Past Modding Experience: Please explain any experience you have with past RP modding - it doesn’t have to be on Dreamwidth or Livejournal. Also, though it almost certainly won’t be a dealbreaker on my end, it’d be helpful to know if you’ve been involved in any major drama explosions when it comes to modding. It happens - it’s just helpful to know in advance in case it gets brought up in the future.
Modding Tasks of Interest: (State what your level of interest in each task is.)
► Plot Moderation: Helping to coordinate and write up plot events, especially ones related to the game’s central events or metaplots.
► Longterm NPCing: Potentially playing a character that is part of the central cast (like the Ringmaster), or one that shows up on a reoccuring basis.
► Shorterm NPCing: Playing major, event-based characters that may only show up at one location but are central while the carnival is there.
► Activity Check Maintenance: Approving monthly activity checks and verifying that players are claiming the right number of AC points.
► General List Moderation: Adding or removing things from any of the game lists.
► Application Judging: This is not often needed (there are a few people that help me already), but its good to know, just in case.
► Other (Explain):
Time Availability: How much time do you have to dedicated to mod stuff? Are you in a lot of other games that require your attention? Is your life just hectic in general? Any information that’s helpful to know about your schedule.
|GAME CUBE PLOTTING↴|
As mentioned in the Mainframe location write up, during the carnival’s stay there, some unfortunate carnival members are going to end up having to play A Game. Simplistically put, this means that those pulled into the Game will have to take the part of the NPCs in a computer game, with their goal being to stop “the User” (also known at the Player) from winning. How do they do this?
Mostly by making the Game hard enough that the User can’t beat it. If you’ve ever been so mad at a video game that you rage quit or run out of lives, that’s what the characters inside the Game will be trying to inflict upon the User. Unfortunately , most people will be without their powers, and the Users will be designed to be proportionally a lot more powerful than the carnival workers and programs that will be fighting against it – and the cost of failure is permanent nullification. That is, turning into a rainbow slug and losing all sense of self.
The Game NPCs will have to work together in order to defeat the Users. Fortunately, they also have the advantage of being able to REBOOT.
( Honestly, canon Reboot is otherwise irrelevant to this. )
Only a small amount of preparation will be necessary for this visit. Early Day 90, everyone will be given a circular badge by the Ringmaster, who will tell you that you'll need to wear it if you plan on travelling to the new touring location. Where you wear it isn't important as long as it's accessible.
Later on Day 90, the Nightrunners will be sent out to do a quick security check of the new location - so, they'll be discovering all of this sooner than anyone else, and it will be their jobs to report on it. There are a few security concerns, which will be outlined OOCly for them in the comments below. As well as whatever can be gleaned from this general info post.
Entrance to the new location will be done with the transition portal through the woods, out through a "forested" area filled with weirdly low polygon trees. Glamours will be in effect, though the appearances of the locals are variable enough that appearances will not have to significantly change in a lot of cases.
Mainframe is a city inside of a computer. No, not like the Matrix - as opposed to a virtual reality simulation that the denizens think is real life, it really is a civilization of programs that know what they are and live accordingly. In contrast, the local's perception of any world outside of the Net is very hazy, and "the User" (IE, the beings that actually use the computers they live in) is seen as either a god-like entity or malevolent demon, depending on who you ask. Either way, the User is most often something the inhabitants of the Net are forced to combat rather than cooperate with. Life within the Net is the only world they know, and the Ringmaster will advise that you leave it that way, or else they'll probably get all weird about it.
The Net is actually a real, physical plane of existence for those inside of it, so visitors from the carnival will be under the same threat of injury or death that they would be otherwise. The programs have very different biological features (or a lack thereof), of course, but the glamours will be able to conceal these differences as long as no one does anything really weird like bleeding all over the place. This also means that you'll be able to take objects back into the carnival as souvenir, and that they won't just poof into metaphysical data when you leave. Weird, though.
This isn't the exact Mainframe as in the show, to be clear. There is a different Guardian and different viruses at play, for those familiar. Aesthetically and culturally, however, it is very familiar - though about three times the population size. Ostensibly they are without those 90's animation budgets.
( MORE PLOT DETAILS BELOW )
|SIX MONTH ISH ANNIVERSARY↴|
Hurray! It's actually a bit short on six months, actually more like five and a half, but we'll be getting there soon enough. Given that we've just wrapped up the first major plot arc of the game, however, it seemed like an appropriate time to make a discussion/HMD post for the general running of Lost Carnival. From a mod perspective, I've actually been quite happy with how things have been running recently, but if there are troubles or concerned that I am an unaware of it is helpful to know about them.
Feel free to use this post to tell us what you like or what you don't like about the way things are run at the moment, and we'll see what we can do about them. It's helpful to know what's going right so that we can do more of that, but it's also good to know what's going wrong so that we can mitigate any frustrations the best that we can. If you prefer anon, you can let us now about problems over at the Mod Contact, as the comments here will be public and unscreened, in order to promote discussion. I'll be making an effort to reply to everything I can, also.
There aren't actually a ton of subjects to touch on, as far as I can recall. I'll be doing some opinion polls, too, but I unfortunately can't do those from my unpaid mod account.
We're not yet mega close to the place where a game cap would be necessary, but as we are currently hovering around the 50 character point, it seemed like a good time to start figuring out where to set the limit. My current thought is to cap the game at somewhere in the 75-100 range, because that seems to be about as big as a game like this can get without it becoming somewhat unwieldy. If you have any thoughts on this I'd love to hear about them, and I'll probably have a question related to it in the opinion polls based on any feedback I get.
So, since the entire vampires and hell adventure was exhausting IC and OOC, the current forecast is a few more chill performance tours (as you can see by the Alola event coming up) before we get into anything too major when it comes to metaplot. Gotta give people some time to start feeling secure again, of course. At the moment, the structure of Lost Carnival's mod plot is essentially broken up into arcs inspired by particular "Big Bads" who will cause trouble for the carnival in various ways, which Morningstar was the first of. Of course, the overall aims of Lost Carnival's journey is ultimately flexible, and I am both able and eager to take it in new directions based on what comes up and what is suggested to me.
If you've got any kinds of plot features you'd like to see more or, or opportunities you'd like to have on an IC level, go ahead an suggest them! Some things probably can't be managed due to OOC constraints, but I'm always interested in trying new things and taking other people's ideas into account.
In particular, I've been considering some potential future plot events that would result in the game format being changed for a few months at a time in order to allow for some experiences that the usual "performance tour" visits wouldn't account for. That is, a few months of break from the regular touring schedule before inevitably returning to it. This is also something I'd potentially like feedback on - obviously it is going to vary depending on context, but would taking breaks from the performance routine from time to time be something players would be interested in?
In terms of game info, I've been trying to keep the game timeline page up to date, and I've also added the multiverse theory page - a bit of extra reading that explains how the multiverse functions in Lost Carnival in terms of general jamjar stuff. Not mandatory information, but useful to characters who are curious about these things.
That's all I've got for now. I may add in some information up here if stuff comes up in discussion, but beyond that, I'd love to hear form you!
On Day 73, what remains of the Nightrunners will be asked to enter the new location first, to do a cursory security check. The Ringmaster isn't very concerned about this location for various reasons, but she will mention that there are a number of potentially powerful creatures that may or may not cause a fuss, so that they should check out the area to see if anything has been happening recently. In particular there are the guardian dieties that protect each island, and extra planar creatures called Ultra Beasts, but there shouldn't be any problem with either of them in the present timeline.
On Day 74 the new location will be open for visiting by the carnival workers. There will be a gateway through the trees that allows entry and exiting, and since the populus here is primarily normal humans, those with inhuman features will be disguised with a fae glamour that makes it so they will not stick out. Usually this means that the locals will see them as something fitting to their environment, while to other carnival workers they will appear the same as usual. For humans with fae traits, they will generally appear as they regular human forms, and for those that are more exotic their glamour image will usually end up as the closest approximate.
Alola is a series of four islands on a planet reminiscent to but still fairly distinct from Earth. The most notable feature of this planet is that it is the home of a highly variable species of elemental creatures called Pokemon that live and work closely with the human natives. Pokemon take many forms, from something as simple to pigeon-like birds to something as grandiose as powerful elemental gods. Though the humans are very similar to the humans of other worlds, the culture of Alola and the other geographical regions tends towards the ideals of cooperation and kindness. Pollution is insignificant and scientific phenomenon like global warming have completely failed to occur due to scientific advancements and the civilization's predisposition towards problem solving.
While technology is more advanced that modern Earth, with things like cloning technology, hovering vehicles, and subspace storage in common usage, life among the general populace has remained simple and often quite picturesque. That isn't to say that the humans and Pokemon of this world are unfamiliar with concepts such as poverty or war, but they are less common than average from a multiversal perspective. Importantly, the people of Alola tend towards being friendly and helpful no matter who you are, and have a tendency to give out gifts to strangers for no reason what-so-ever.
( MORE PLOT DETAILS BELOW )
As indicated in the Celebration setting post, vampires are about to become a thing again. As such, a want to go over some of the basics with you, so that you will be able to plot with and NPC them for yourself during the masquerade event.
The vampires that the carnival has been having trouble with are of a demonic variety - a new vampire is created by infecting the freshly dead or dying body of a victim with the blood of their vampiric killer. This is accomplished by drinking from them, and then orally feeding them your vampire blood. This will infect them with the vampire curse, fully killing the victim and then resurrecting them unto a kind of undeath, that is not quite living and not quite dead. Any creature with blood is capable of being given this infection - but it has to be something that actually serves as blood, and not just oil or fuel. Most robots or inorganic creatures will be excluded, with a few possible exceptions.
( AND THERE'S MORE! )
As Day 57 comes to a close, it would seem that no one has taken the Ringmaster's time of weakness against her - and boy, is she thrilled out it! Her explanation of those events will be covered by an IC post, but suffice to say, she was touched by each and every show of loyalty and care that she received from her workers during that time. It surpassed even her wildest expectations! As such, she will announce, she is going to take the carnival somewhere she personally considers very fun, as a reward for their service and to celebrate the end of the second full month of the carnival's new season.
There will be a couple day's journey between dimensional locations, during which the Ringmaster will take the opportunity to get into some further nonsense with the supervisors that will be handled in another post. After that, on Day 60, the carnival will sync itself to a new dimensional realm, one that she claims of the home of an endless party that has been going on for centuries. Whether or not that sounds awesome probably depends on your personality, but once you've been escorted from the carnival to the Celebration's grounds, you'll discover that it really does have something for everyone.
Workers will be free to enjoy all of what the Celebration has to offer, leading up to a grand masquerade ball at the end of the week. That said, they should put costume shopping on their list of things to do - thankfully, free clothes in many exciting styles are one of this location's key features.
The Celebration is apparently some kind of pocket dimension, passingly connected to many realms but not fully part of any of them. The entirety of its universe lies within the walls of some kind of grand resort - organized and run in a way similar to a cruise ship, to anyone familiar. Of course, in this case, there is no ocean and there are no tourist stops. It's just glamorous hall after glamorous hall, filled with fine liquor, fine food, and luxury, luxury, luxury. Rooms are pristine, messes are cleaned up before you can call for a maid, and all the Host asks for in return is your enjoyment.
Pretty sweet deal, right? Right.
Upon entering the Celebration's realm, the wait staff will be ready for you. Carnival members will be escorted to their rooms, in the pairs already determined by their trailer park arrangements. They'll be able to bring whatever belongings they wish along from their trailer, but after they've arrived there will be minimal travel between the carnival and the Celebration grounds, so you better pack smart. You're going to be in for a trip.
Not least because the gilded exterior of Celebration life hides some troubling realities which the Ringmaster may be too damn fae to notice.
( MORE PLOT DETAILS BELOW )
There isn't actually a lot of preparation leading up to Atlantis - at least not on the part of any of the workers. The Ringmaster, it would seem, has been preparing for it on her own, and the first anyone will be hearing about it is when they wake up with the carnival inexplicably underwater on the morning of Day 44. Also, they will have magically mutated into having fish parts, mermaid style.
Just what kind of fish parts they end up with is infinitely variable, and doesn't even have to stay restricted to fish, technically speaking. Any aquatic creature will suffice, whether that be dolphins, seals, crabs, shrimp, eels, squid, or anything else that would fit beneath the ocean. Even if you choose to base your mutations on a mammal that regularly requires air to survive, they won't need to go above water in this case. Everyone can breathe underwater equally, and so other physical changes will be mostly aesthetic and/or just affect the way they swim.
Character cannot ICly pick their mer forms - what they change into and how much they change is entirely an OOC decision. You can go for the full fish tail, or just webbed digits, gills, and a swimmer body. It doesn't really matter, as long as they function in the ocean.
Naturally, the suddenness of all this may be quite alarming, and it will seem that the decision to come here was very impulsive on the Ringmaster's part. Even if your character doesn't usually sleep, they will find themselves having drifted off during the transition period between there being water and no water. The Ringmaster will explain to those concerned that everything is safely waterproofed via enchantment, and all of the carnival equipment will work the same as it did before. It's just... underwater now. Huh.
Atlantis is an underwater city within that the Ringmaster has describe as a "primordial ocean realm" that has no surface and no land above the sea. It is apparently connected, in small amounts, to many other oceans across the multiverse, and ships and other ocean vessels have a tendency to sink into it, Bermuda Triangle style, allowing the merfolk there to gather sunken treasure from across all of existence. The city itself is shockingly grand and elaborate for something that was apparently constructed underwater.
The Ringmaster has indicated that merfolk are some distant cousin to the fae, and the magic within the place will feel familiar to what exists within the carnival. Along with the merfolk inhabiting it, there is a large variety of other sea creatures and monsters that live in the surrounding areas. It's not clear how far the ocean stretches, but it feels effectively infinite. The carnival has located smack-dab in the middle of a beautiful underwater park within the city, and has physically merged with the local realm as opposed to remaining separate as it usually does. Tall underwater plants have replaced the barrier of trees.
( MORE PLOT DETAILS BELOW )