Welcome to a world of fairytales. Sometimes delightful, with adventurous tales of love everlasting and heroics. Other times dark and tragic, with stories of love lost and twisted fates. In this world lays Märchenland - and the castle and lord that many seek but not all find.......
Welcome to a world of fairy tales. Sometimes sweet and delightful, with adventurous tales of love everlasting and bravery supreme. Other times dark and tragic, with sad stories of love lost and twisted fates. At the center of these hundreds of kingdoms lies the land of Märchen - and the castle and lord that many seek but not all find.
Do you come to the Lord Märchen’s castle to work your way up from peasant to prince? Or are you a young queen on the run, seeking asylum and hoping to meet your one true love? Be wary - time moves differently in Märchen. And not everyone in the castle is there for pure reasons.
Please note that though this rpg is not considered "adult", potential applicants may wish to consider the following things:
* I encourage romance between characters.
* I don't mind if the pairings are male x female, male x male, female x female, or with multiple partners.
* Tragedy, twisted relationships, and even violence are also encouraged.
Because it's not in the "adult" category, anything sexual, excessively violent, or involving heavily sensitive issues won't take place in this game but are certainly encouraged for private threads in the adult forum. If you're not comfortable with the fact that other characters may be involved in "adult" rated situations behind the scenes, please be reminded that you are not required to participate in such things.
I’ll try to make these as simple as I can, but there’s no getting around there being a lot to read. Do me the favor of reading what I provide. Most information provided is to assist you in making more interesting bios and to have more interesting games.
The Three Essential Rules:
1. _Lord Märchen is supreme in his kingdom. He is the only character allowed a certain amount of “god-moding”. (Mostly he will send misbehaving characters to the Dungeons/Labyrinth or grossly inactive characters to the Sepulchre.) He can be harmed, or even killed, but only if you take the time and effort to properly role-play the situation. It won’t be done in a day - or with only one character.
* Do not powergame/god-mod/or however one refers to forcing other characters to do things without their player’s permission. Your sword doesn’t chop Lady Princess’s head off unless Lady Princess’s player agrees that it should. You don’t poison Sir Knight’s drink so he melts into a puddle of green goo unless Sir Knight’s player is cool with that. Lady Princess is free to step aside and avoid the chop and Sir Knight is free to decide he is poisoned, but doesn’t melt into a puddle of green goo. In short, please set up situations where the player of the other character can make choices about what happens.
* On the flip-side of this, remember that your character is not a ninja. If a player is behaving unfairly, please feel free to avoid the attack (and inform me that the player is being unfair). But please keep in mind some degree of realism. If a knight with ten years of training is attacking your character, who is a mere stable boy, even a quick stable boy will probably suffer a few hits here and there if they don’t do anything more clever than dodging and jumping around. Play fair.
2. _For the most part, I operate under a “three-strikes, you’re out” system. If someone's being a jerk OOC, I'm not going to turn a blind eye and let my players be bullied. Some players will not get all three strikes and some will get a few more, depending on how nice I’m feeling and how obnoxious they’re being. Don’t make me baby-sit you guys. You’re old enough to know how to behave.
* Trolls will be ejected from the game immediately. Save the trolls for underneath the bridges. Please don’t feed the trolls, just report them.
* I neither require nor encourage every character to get along with each other. Tension creates plots. However, players should at least be civil to each other.
3. _Be courteous. If you know you’re not going to be around for a few days or you’re not sure if you’re enjoying the game, don’t get involved with another player and leave them hanging without notice. Try to get your character “somewhere else” until you have time for them again or even can recruit a friend/player you know you enjoy gaming with and bring them into the setting so you’ll be more active. I expect players to give other players a “reasonable” amount of time to respond to a post, but to know when to cut their losses and have their character go somewhere else if the other player is taking forever to reply.
* “Reasonable” will be different for everyone, but if it’s less than six hours, you’re being very flighty and that is also extremely discourteous. I suggest a minimum of 12 hours, but am not enforcing anything unless a player makes a habit of engaging other characters and running off without giving them time to respond - unless that is part of their personality, of course.
I would like to state outright, publicly, and in a place that everyone can read it that I try to be a laid back GM and I'm open to discussion about anything. I'm happy to work with anyone who wants to play in my world. I'm told I'm intimidating, but I'm not as draconian as I sound. Just shoot me a PM or say something in the OOC thread and I'll get back to you.
Märchenland and the lay of the land
No one quite knows where Märchenland actually is, though best guesses place it in the center of the continent, as people from those kingdoms find themselves more frequently stumbling into the magical kingdom. However, the people who make it to Märchenland also report what is undeniably a sea and beach (Sailors and shipwrecked passengers often find themselves washed ashore.), which of course there isn't in the center of the continent. In truth, Märchenland is like any other fae kingdom - somewhere in the twilight between reality and fantasy.
To the north of the castle is the Sweet Sea (which actually does taste sweet when you get to deeper water). This jade colored sea has white sand beaches, but oddly enough, the rocky shores have black stones. Mermaids and other sea-folk are seen regularly, though they rarely approach the inhabitants of the castle. At high tide, the sea rushes in and surrounds the castle, cutting it off from the land.
To the south of the castle lie the salt marshes, and even further south are fields with sweet grass for grazing and fields for farming. The livestock intended for eating (especially the sheep) are grazed on the salt marshes and the rest of the livestock (especially the dairy cows) are grazed further south on the sweet grass. Herders are to keep a watchful eye so that wolves and other creatures don't kill their charges.
To the east are mountains similar to the Alps in the real world. They have dense, dark forests scattered on them and are filled with dwarves, trolls and the like. They are very dangerous for the unprepared. Even the dwarves are unfriendly if they encounter non-dwarves without the proper respect.
To the west are forests with tall, thick trees. The non-tribute-owing gnomes and pixies may either be helpful or play tricks on travelers, depending on their mood. There are also wolves and bears in this forest, along with other usual forest life.
The only human-type structures in all of Märchenland are the barns on the salt marshes and the castle on the edge of the sea. All roads, dirt or stone, lead to the castle.
Märchenland and the passage of time
Time passes strangely in Märchenland. If one spends a year or less in the magical kingdom, they can return to their own countries with little or no time passing, but those who stay longer risk returning when more time has passed. There are more than a few who have spent two or three years in Märchenland only to return to their countries years later - or older - than actually passed. One adventurer spent five years in Märchenland, and when he left he arrived in his country 100 years later and was 100 years older on top of that.
For the purposes of players, consider real-life time as well as time actually spent playing. To your character, it may feel as if only a few days have passed because your character has interacted with little time passing, but in real life, if your character's first post is on March the 1st, then on March the 1st the next year, they will have spent a year in Märchenland. Lord Märchen will announce changes of season in Märchenland in his character journal which will roughly correspond with the seasons as they are felt in real life Mont St-Michel. I may even incorporate local weather at the island into the game. Characters may find themselves starting a conversation in spring and ending it by Christmas - and be perfectly aware by the change of season outside and the decorations around the castle that the time has passed.
The castle and town itself is based heavily on the very real Mont St. Michel (perhaps around 90% accurate - plenty of elbow room for imagination while keeping us all on the same page). If you look at photos of Mont St. Michel, you are looking at what Märchen Castle and Märchen Town "really" look like in the game. However, the inside of the castle on top of the island of Mont St. Michel is virtually empty and smaller than the one in the game. Imagine the castle interiors to be like the nicer European castles, such as Linderhof Palace and Neuschwanstein Castle.
If there's anything you'd like to know about the castle, just go ahead and ask. I'm open to ideas or I'll make something up for you. I've uploaded some of the better photos I've found of Mont St. Michel here. Check out the sub-folders as well.
Everyone speaks the same language within Märchenland, even if they don’t know the language of someone from a country with a completely different language. There may be an identifiable accent, but people seem to just assume the other person speaks their language. Bilingual people trying to speak in another language to have private conversations will manage to do so... provided the other person doesn't also speak the other language, of course.
Right now, I'd rather let you all decide where your characters are from. When you submit your bio, in the "Extra" section, please describe the country your character is from and I'll add them here. Please use the following format:
- Country Name
- What real life cultures it's influenced by.
- What the country terrain is like.
- What the country's climate is like.
- How the people dress and style their hair; etc.
- What are they famous for - ie: exports or something cultural like a festival.
- The current ruler(s).
Based on Alpine countries like Switzerland and Germany.
Dorcia is a very mountainous country with thick forests. It has a few outlets to the sea, but they are in very cold regions of the country, so only strong sailors thrive there. It stays cool year-round, though in the cold months it can get extremely cold.
Both the peasants and the nobility dress in bold, bright colors. Embroidery on the clothing of both sexes is not only common, but something to take pride in. Natives take to wearing many layers and hats and footwear is generally fur-lined. Women typically braid and coil their hair, though leaving it long and loose is also common. Men typically wear facial hair, letting both hair and beards grow out during the cold months and trimming close during the warmer months.
Famous for embroidery, windmills, timepieces, and individual soldiers (though at the army level, they are not so good).
The current monarch is Queen Johanna.
Telmere Based on the area of Scotland and Ireland. It is a very green and fertile land, with rolling hills and a few low mountains and crags. Often in the very early morning, the entire lowland area will be covered in a heavy fog-mist, helping to keep the land from drying out. Except in the very warmest month, people of Telmere dress in heavy fabrics. The common people keep to dark and earthy colors, mostly greens and browns, while the nobility tend to brighten their clothing with bolder accents like red sashes or blue belts. Braids are the current trend among women, with the commoners wearing a practical single plait and the nobility sporting intricate weaves and styles of intermingled multiple smaller braids. Men wear their hair long and loose or in a braid as well, and the older men grow out their beards as a symbol of their wisdom. Famous for their warriors -- bravery and strength are valued in both men and women; economically, Telmerens thrive in ranching and farming. Currently ruled by King Breannan and his devoted wife, Queen Brìghde.
Lachicotte Influenced by northern France and Ireland. The culture is that which grows up in mountainous, isolated regions. Lachicotte is defined by the three mountain ranges that run through the country. The ranges all intersect at a small town called Grand Vallée. Most people live in the valleys created by the looming mountains. Lachicotte’s climate varies greatly, like most mountainous areas. It is prone to storms and blizzards. Overall, the weather is very chaotic. Most farmers in the area find it impossible to raise crops, so they farm sheep or goats. The only crops that thrive in the area are fruit trees and berry brambles. The dress of your everyday Lachicottan is quite simple. Loose wool trousers with a warm tunic in the winter. In the summer, they citizens wear long wools tunics that have been treated with oil to protect them from the near-constant rain. The men wear their hair short and straight, with only a small lariat around their heads for adornment. The women weave their hair into complex braids; the instructions for each are passed down as family heirlooms. Lachicotte has a spring Orchard Festival that brings people from all over the world to buy fresh fruit from Lachicottan farmers. The festival is widely regarded as the most important event of the year in Lachicotte. The ruler of the humans in Lachicotte is an old doddering king called Keardieu. He has long been a corrupt and inefficient ruler, but the citizens accept their lot and have not risen against the man. The fey in Lachicotte are ruled locally by a council of elders selected from the local fey. They are a just and wise group, for the most part.
I’ll work with anyone with a genuine interest in the game, but I will only approve bios that suit the game. I will, however, work with anyone until their character’s profile is approved.
Overall rules for bio creation are as follows:
1. _No characters under the age of 16 in this game. Period. That means no “secretly younger” characters, no age-regression magic (“he looks twelve but is really 500 years old!”), no pregnancies (unless your character leaves the game to live happily ever after somewhere else shortly after discovering she is pregnant). [In the case of pregnancies especially, if you’re not ready to let go of your character, I do not mind if you make a ‘spin-off’ game thread and have your character(s) continue their story there.]
2. _Your character must have a name and portrait appropriate for the setting. While I’m not outright forbidding Asian or Native American or any other non-European based name/character, it should be reflected in their bio appropriately. “She traveled from a far away land...”, that sort of thing. I would much prefer a European-based fairy tale character. And, on the subject of portraits, I’d much prefer artwork to a photo or realistic rendering. Just a personal preference and not a rule. I have a lot of portraits uploaded here, if you can't find one you'd rather use.
3. _Your character is from another kingdom in this world. No people from ‘the real world’ or ‘another dimension’ or ‘space’ or anything.
4. _Your character must follow the guidelines set forth by your character type. Pixies can’t be 6 feet tall unless they’re using a size potion. A dairy maid can’t be a fairy in disguise. A guest may have magic powers, but they are not more powerful than Lord Märchen himself. (There are exceptions to most of these examples, but all exceptions must be discussed with me privately. I’m willing to hear you out.)
5. _You can have as many characters as you want, but I expect you to give them all proper attention. Don’t leave other players hanging because you’re having more fun with other characters. Get the character you’re not enjoying out of play and Orphan it for another player to adopt. Characters who have been unplayed for weeks may find themselves placed in the Sepulchre (which just means they have to roleplay their way out again).
6. _I am not looking for "general" fantasy characters. I am looking for characters who have a distinct "fairy tale" feel to them - either potential (like the human servants and knights) or because they're based on fairy tale characters or common themes in fairy tales. Myths are all right as long as the final character has a "fairy tale" flavor to them. Don't be discouraged if I tell you that your character has too much of a straight 'fantasy' feel to them. We'll try to work together.
Guests, Servants, and Tribute-Owers
You have basically two main paths of character creation - either work for Lord Märchen or be one of his guests. I’ll tell you what you need to know to create a good bio for each type of character. Please keep in mind that your character is meant to earn more things in-game rather than come into things with a truck-load of stuff. Lord Märchen will ‘gift’ extra coins in reward for bios I like, good role-playing, being active, your character being lucky/clever; etc.
> Servants (human)
Servants come from one of the several hundreds of villages in the hundreds of different kingdoms of the world. Märchen has no villages of its own, so there are no ‘local’ humans.
Please remember that while they may be promoted in-game, before they arrive in the game, they aren’t much of anything special (except perhaps intelligent, clever, witty, attractive; etc). They are human (though many people do carry a bit of latent fae blood). They don’t know magic (possibly ‘yet’). They’re not the secret heir of any kingdom (though they may one day earn their own). They may know how to fight, but they’re no roving knight (again, possibly ‘yet’). They may have encountered magic in their home village, but not much before they arrive here. They’re here only because the animals of Märchen Castle cannot abide to be handled by the invisible servants or the full-blooded fae, so Lord Märchen needs human servants to tend to them.
A servant may tend to any type of animal you can think a castle might have and/or products made from animals. Here are some examples of animals they may tend: cows, sheep, goats, geese, hunting dogs, horses; etc. They may make milk, cheese, sheer sheep, lead hunts for the guests; etc. (For the most part, the invisible servants will handle any task that doesn’t directly pertain to handling animals themselves. So your character only needs to bring milk buckets to the dairy - they don’t have to make the cheese unless they want to.)
A servant’s job - They are only required two things: tend to their animals and to leave a room in the castle itself if a guest asks them to. Guests may request a servant do something for them, but servants are not required to do any task they don’t care to do. Servants are allowed in the castle to enjoy it provided they are done with their work for the day.
Servants arrive at the castle and find that whatever they had on them before, the only things they will have with them when they arrive in Märchen is a canvas sack with three sets of clothes (plus underwear and night clothes) and a coin bag with five silver in it. (Small personal possessions such as a locket or a painting of a loved one generally survive the trip. Most other things do not. When in doubt, ask.) They live in the Servant’s Quarters (gentlemen to the second floor and ladies to the third floor).
> Tribute-Owers (little fae)
Tribute-owers are gnomes or pixies who owe Lord Märchen tribute for living in his kingdom. They are only required one year of service before they can return to their homes and essentially ignore that he exists if they want to. Generally a tribute-ower will fulfill their duties in their youth - somewhere between 16 and 100 years of age. (Their development is essentially human in that they are a child from ages 0 - 16, enjoy an extended youth until about the age of 130, and age similarly to a human of 30 after that. Most gnomes and pixies live to be about 200.)
Pixies are (generally pretty) miniature fairies about the length of a man’s hand. (Think Tinkerbell.) They look like tiny humans with wings, though they may have features such as pointed ears or sharp teeth or bee antennae. They are generally very colorful and don’t necessarily have human-colored skin. Their wings may mimic any wings found in nature - butterfly, moth, bird, bat, etc. Their magic is essentially confined to producing pixie dust (which people find useful to give themselves the temporary power to fly or to use in spells) and flying. For the sake of giving everyone an even playing field, your pixie can only earn other powers in-game by tasks I set you - either from Lord Märchen or other methods. A pixie’s job for Lord Märchen is to spin spider silk into spider silk cloth, make sure the forest and gardens are healthy, or to assist in any adventures he sets for others.
Gnomes are (generally odd looking) miniature men or women about a foot tall. (Think lawn gnomes.) They look like tiny humans, generally human or earthy in color (browns, greens, grays; etc) though they may wear more colorful clothes if it suits them. And, yes, they love pointed caps as a race, though yours can think they look stupid if you don’t want your character to wear them. Gnomes are essentially ‘house elves’ (not like Harry Potter’s, exactly), so their magic is more towards the upkeep of places humans live or serving humans. As with pixies and human servants, gnomes may learn more powerful magic by completing in-game challenges I set you. Their tasks are to make sure that the castle and grounds are well-kept in a structural sense (walls not going to collapse; etc), make sure that the furniture is well-kept (chairs not going to give out; etc), and to assist in any adventures he sets for others. Gnomes, as a rule, are not comfortable with humans watching them work. If they find out they were watched without permission, they usually get very angry.
Like the human servants, if a guest asks a pixie or gnome to leave a room in the castle, unless they’re in it because of their job, they must leave. Otherwise, they’re free to enjoy the castle and its environment in their free time. They absolutely do not have to do anything a guest or servant asks them to do unless it amuses them to.
Tribute-Owers are generally from Märchen, so if their home is in traveling distance, they can return to get fresh clothes. But in general they only have three sets of clothes. No pixie or gnome uses human currency except for while they are serving tribute. So they won’t have any money to spend but the five silver they are given for entering Lord Märchen’s service (and what they earn while serving him). They generally take great amusement out of spending their earnings during their tribute period or giving it away to humans who like the silly coins. Some, however, amuse themselves by putting it in a pot, burying it, and setting out rainbows to watch the humans scurry all over looking for it.
Though pixies and gnomes live in Märchen naturally, that doesn’t mean that Lord Märchen is fine with them breeding too close to his castle. Like humans, the little fae find it simpler to cross the border into a nearby country and spend their child-rearing years there until their family is old enough to live in Märchen. Then they return to Märchen to retire, secure in the knowledge that though humans find it difficult to find their way back to Märchen, the fae never do.
Tribute-Owers will live either in their own family home in the forest, or in one of the tiny Garden Bungalows in the Thatch Garden.
> Guests (humans, fae-folk, and other)
Guests are ‘special’ bios for characters that are able to do or be special things like nobility, or magicians, or have magical artifacts.
To play one of these, choose a prompt from this "Character Prompts" thread. Please note that prompts are generally open to anyone, so you may end up meeting several “Cinderella-based” characters. Provided you guys are inventive with your stories, this shouldn’t be a problem. (And even if the characters end up similar in bios, they probably won’t be played the same.) Please don’t start getting pissy about it unless they are unquestionably “inspired” by your bio with key, unique details.
Guests arrive to Märchen with three sets of clothes (plus sleepwear and underwear) and five silver coins. If their prompt had any special equipment mentioned, they can keep that too. (Otherwise, leave the sixteen swords at home.) Guests stay in one of the two Guest Wings (the Quartz Wing for the males and the Garnet Wing for the females).
> Bonus Options
If none of the prompts appeals to you, please send me a PM before you write your bio and tell me what you'd like to play instead. As long as it has distinct fairy tale overtones, I'll tell you to go ahead. I've been getting a lot of interesting fantasy bios, but have had to work with prospective players until it had more of a 'fairy tale' quality I am looking for and I very much dislike telling people with creative characters that their characters aren't right for the game.
To make sure people going with this option understand this, if you're going to pitch me a character, please title it "Pitching". Thanks.