i've tried to make it as linear as i can, while getting the broad strokes down and not getting bogged down in character details. let me know what you think--especially if there's something i should add or change. cheers.
ps: i'll totally add in the lusii as soon as i figure out a good place for them.
by ANDREW HUSSIE
summary by ENDURINGSTONE
there is a method by which universes propagate. it presents itself as a computer game, at a point when a civilization is sufficiently advanced to play computer games. through the installation and initiation of the "game," a group of players are transported into their "session," which takes the form of a miniature solar system. each player will have their own planet (a "land") which has its own mythology, geography, and monsters to defeat. in addition to these, there are the two opposing forces of the game, known as prospit, a golden planet populated by white-carapaced humanoids, and derse, a dark purple planet home to the black-shelled counterparts of the prospitians. in the middle of the session resides skaia, around which prospit orbits. past that is the ring of lands, the veil (a belt of meteors containing many secrets) and derse, at the very edge of this miniature solar system. derse skirts the outer ring, in which the dark gods of lore reside.
the players are thrown by the game into the feud between the prospitians (who worship the embodiment of new universes) and the dersites (who revile it). each of the two forces is led by a pair of monarchs, a king and a queen. the kings lead armies on the battlefield, a planetoid at the center of skaia, and the queens rule their planets from thrones on the surface. each player has a dreamself which resides on the moon of either prospit or derse, and, after awakening there, remains awake while the player is asleep, and vice versa. these dreamselves also serve as a sort of extra life--if the true self is dying and receives a kiss from a fellow player, the injured player will be revived as their dreamself. (this is because all of the players are technically princes and/or princesses of their respective kingdoms, and as such, their kisses are special.)
players may also ascend to the god tier and fully realize their powers by dying on a quest bed. this ascension grants conditional immortality.
there is a downside to creating a new universe, however. during the course of the game, the black king will initiate the reckoning, and use the power of his scepter to cause hundreds of thousands of meteors from the veil to fling themselves towards skaia. with this, the dersite monarch seeks to destroy skaia and thus prevent the completion of the game. ideally the players will defeat the black king and queen before this point, but not always.
as a protective measure, though, skaia (which seems semi-sentient in some respects) opens up spatial defense portals which the meteors fly through, into the home universe of the players. due to the strange nature of the relationship of time between the home universe and the session, these meteors cause the destruction of the players' home planet--which even they had escaped by entering their session. additionally, the meteors can transport things farther back, or farther ahead, in the timeline of the home universe. when ectobiology, the science of creating paradox clones, gets involved, things get even more complicated.
in order to enter one's session of the game, a player has to create an item unique to them through the game's strange and not-at-all intuitive system of faux-alchemy. using several strange machines, punch cards, and cruxite totems, all deployed by the "server" player, the "client" player will create their item and use it to enter their session. one of these machines, the cruxtruder, releases an entity known as a kernelsprite which must be "prototyped"--combined with something else--to take on a new form. these changes will be reflected in the inhabitants of the session--both the monsters and the carapaced populace. thus, enemies within the game will be influenced by the choices made prior to the entrace of the player. the kernel sprite can be prototyped up to two times, but must always be prototyped at least once, pre-entry. the battlefield changes its form with each prototyping and in order for victory to be obtained, it must be in its final form.
the item creation sequence is as follows:
1. the player captchalogues (obtains) the item in his/her sylladex (inventory). the item is stored in a card (inventory slot), which has a code on the back.
2. the player types this code, always 8 characters into the punch designix and inserts a card into the slot of that machine. the card gets punched with a pattern of holes. (these two steps are skipped for the player's entry item, which is deployed by the server player via a pre-punched card.)
3. the player obtains a cruxite dowel, a luminous, malleable material, from the cruxtruder, the opening of which releases the kernel sprite and begins the countdown to the meteor impact.
4. the player sets the cruxite dowel in the totem lathe and inserts the punched card into that machine. the lathe then carves the cruxite into a certain pattern.
5. the player puts the newly-carved totem on the alchemiter's pedestal. a laser reads the contours of the totem and the item is then created following the
directions encoded into that item, using a gaming construct known as grist, which comes in many forms.
+ items can be combined in a variety of interesting ways, resulting in fantastic and outlandish creations.
+the alchemiter can be upgraded using something called a jumper block and card shunts. the block is an add-on to the alchemiter itself, and the shunts sit on
top of it. depending on the card inserted into the shunt, the alchemiter will change form. if the player group has the ability to obtain the codes for the
totem lathe, the jumper block (yes, twice), the holopad, and the punch designix, the alchemiter can effectively be made into a one-stop item-creation station, thusly:
-player captchalogues item.
-player enters code into alchemiter-designix, punches card.
-player inserts card into alchemiter-lathe, which is connected to the alchemiter-holopad.
-holopad renders image of the totem which would be created.
-alchemiter laser reads totem image as it would an actual totem.
this sequence of upgrades can save players a very great deal of running around, but it can be difficult to obtain the captchalogue codes for the game machines.
in a universe seperate from our own (hereafter referred to as the blue universe or the trollverse), a group of twelve children played a game. their objective was to create a universe through the breeding of a genesis frog and the defeat of the black monarchs within the game construct. these twelve had twelve ancestors up to whom they looked, although they never met their predecessors. these twelves players were unsuccessful in their attempt. they made a pact with a creature called echidna, a denizen (another game construct), in which they would reset their reality--both the game session and their home universe--in order to ensure conditions more favorable to the completion of the game. they
did so through means of something called a scratch. this scratch, and the inability of the players to achieve victory, was the calling-card of a time
travelling demon known as lord english. the new universe would become one in which he would make a home, for a time.
in the new universe, the analogs of the former players became the ancestors for the future players, who in turn had previously been the ancestors. no one had
memories of the previous incarnation of their universe except for one man known as the signless, or the sufferer.
the sufferer was a mutant, an outcast in troll society, which was governed by the color of one's blood. the sufferer's blood was bright red, like that of a human. and for some reason, the sufferer could remember his previous self and the way their planet, now called alternia, had once been a place of peace and prosperity where now it was warlike and grim.
the signless led a revolt against the highblood rulers of alternia, but was defeated and killed. his message, however, survived with a small coven of followers which subtly influenced alternian society through the years until the "birth" of the new set of troll players. these twelve trolls, due to the conditions of the pact with echidna, were much more suited to completing the game.
and, in time, they did, although their adventure was not without its complications. several of the trolls began crippled or maimed in some fashion due to a series of events orchestrated by alternia's first guardian, an entity of legendary power and endless guile known as doc scratch. four of the twelve trolls engaged in a role-playing game known as flarp, and during one unlucky session, one troll, tavros, found himself wholly at the mercy of another, vriska.
the ancestors of tavros and vriska were known as the summoner and mindfang, respectively, and they had once been lovers. tavros knew nothing of this, but vriska had previously uncovered her ancestor's journal and therefore believed she and tavros were fated to have some sort of relationship other than a casual one. however, in the end, vriska forced tavros to jump off a cliff using her psychic powers, and he was paralyzed from the waist down. in retaliation for this, tavros' teammate aradia, using her own psionic abilities, summoned the ghosts of vriska's previous victims to haunt her, presumably until the end of her days. however, due to a suggestion from doc scratch, vriska took control of yet another troll, sollux, and forced him to consume a substance which caused his massively powerful psychic abilities to go haywire. vriska then forced sollux to travel to aradia's home and destroy it, seemingly killing her. the incident was made all the more tragic by the of the relationship between sollux and aradia, although exactly what that was remains unclear.
aradia, despite having her entire home destroyed and her guardian/custodian (a creature which trolls call a lusus naturae) killed, remained active on alternia as a ghost. terezi, vriska's former teammate, now saw fit as a believer in justice to punish her former partner. she contacted doc scratch and alerted him to vriska's possession of a certain object which had heretofore allowed her to gain the upper hand on the nigh-omniscient first guardian. scratch was not pleased. he caused that object, a magical cue ball, to explode in vriska's face, destroying her left arm and eye, the latter of which seemed to her a grievous loss because of the powers bestowed upon her by her vision eightfold.
vriska once again retaliated. this time taking control of tavros, she used her previous victim's ability to commune with terezi's lusus, an unhatched dragon. the dragon communicated with terezi in her dreams, causing her to sleepwalk on both alternia and prospit, a game construct. terezi's real self and dreamself opened their eyes at the same time, one seeing the beauty of skaia (yet another game construct) and the other seeing the searing alternian sun. terezi was blinded, permanently, by her exposure to her home star. the group of former friends did not stay very much in touch afterwards.
this sequence of events, however, would prove to be crucial to setting up, and winning, the trolls' session of the game. however, just before the troll players could enter their creation and rule over it as gods, a creature appeared in a flash of green light, seemingly from nowhere, and began to attack them. he killed their dreamselves and destroyed all of the planets in their session before turning his attention to the genesis frog they had bred. the demon would destroy the frog.
the trolls escaped to the veil to hide from the apparently indestructible demon. later they discovered that the demon had come from the universe they themselves had only just created, and as they investigated the demon's appearance in their completed session, they believed they found the source of their undoing.
in the veil, several strange things happened, and most of the trolls ended up dead for an enormous variety of reasons. at the end of everything, the five remaining trolls, following a plan set forth between themselves and the kids, flew off into the furthest ring in order to meet at a point of their choosing.
exiled through various means and sent into the trolls' home universe, several former derse agents banded together to form a gang known as the midnight crew. spades slick (formerly an archagent of derse known as jack noir), along with his cohorts, rebuilt alternia as a land of casinos, bars, and gratuitous violence.
one of the midnight crew's adventures concerned a rival gang known as the felt, minions of lord english. after the felt knocked over one of slick's favorite casinos, the crew decided to take the fight to them by storming their mansion and doing as much damage as possible. after plenty of bloodshed and the destruction of several hundred clocks, as well as a few encounters with snOwman (formerly the black queen), slick was transported to an unfavorable timeline in which all his cohorts were dead, in addition to the entirety of the felt except for snOwman (whose death would trigger the end of the universe) and lord english himself, who had yet to make an appearance.
in english's safe, slick discovered a dodecascreen, a terminal by which he could transtemporally influence and command the players in the troll session. later, slick would find his way to doc scratch's apartment on one of alternia's two moons (specifically the green one). after attempting to burn the place down, killing yet another two temporally displaced members of the felt, and hate snogging snOwman, slick was beaten nearly to death by scratch and then charged with the task of executing snOwman. he would later do so, thereby ending the universe.
but before we get into that...
EARTH: APRIL 13, 2009
the universe which the trolls created was the one in which we now reside, the red universe, or the kidverse, and in time four human children would play the game as well. these four children had spent much of their lives getting transuniversally bothered and bullied by the troll players, although they didn't realize the significance of this--due partially to ignorance of the true workings of paradox space, and partially to the trolls' nonlinear campaign of aggravation.
during the course of the game, a game construct called jack noir would seize power from the black monarchs, claiming first the black queen's ring, which imbued him with the properties of the kids' prototypings. he thus became known as the sovereign slayer and went on a vicious rampage throughout the session, wiping out both the dersite and prospitian armies, killing all of the children's remaining guardians, destroying prospit's moon, and generally making a mess of things.
as the children entered their session, great misfortune struck in the form of a certain prototyping. one of the children, jade, had been raised for most of her life by earth's first guardian, a dog-like creature she called becquerel. in order to protect jade, bec prototyped himself and destroyed the enormous meteor headed towards jade's pacific island home. once jade entered, her prototyping (the last in the chain) caused jack noir to gain the powers and abilities of earth's first guardian, making him nigh-invincible. jack, it was proven, was the demon which had invaded the trolls' session and caused such chaos. he did so by means of a time capsule, hiding himself away in stasis for hundreds of years.
these four humans, while quite powerful, were not able to achieve their goal. they, like the first troll players, initiated a scratch while simultaneously escaping their game session, so that they were not reset along with the rest of the universe. two of the children, derse dreamers both, piloted derse's moon through the furthest ring carrying something called the tumor, which was in fact a very powerful bomb discovered at the center of the kids' battlefield, designed to detonate when both universes ended (which events, of course, would transpire at the same time due to something called circumstantial simultaneity).
this bomb, which the kids had been led to believe would eliminate the green sun, the source of the first guardian's (and therefore the slayer's) powers, was in fact the method of its creation. it was this beacon which the trolls were following when they left their session.
after the unintentional creation of the green sun, the remains of doc scratch's apartment floated mangled through the sea of fire. doc scratch's body, maimed by a previous encounter with a mysterious assailant, was torn apart from the inside as lord english made his first appearance, literally bursting his way out of his employee's destroyed frame. english then used his time-travel abilities to leap backwards in the timeline of the trollverse, presumably to get a fresh change of clothes.
earth, now a desert wasteland, became home to several exiled dersites and prospitians who would eventually congregate at the ruins on what was formerly jade's island. one of these carried the white queen's ring, stolen by a dersite agent in the game session, and then reclaimed by dream-jade, who in the course of the game was killed. the ring passed to one of the other children, john, whose dreamself now resided on the battlefield. john lost the ring upon waking up and it then came to the wayward vagabond, who would carry it for an interminably long time, eventually arriving on earth.
things heated up when the slayer emerged from his time capsule, which had been transported out of the session via the meteor carrying jade's ruins. he proceeded to kill all but one of the exiles, the peregrine mendicant, and he then used a teleport device contained within one of the tetrascreen terminal stations to exit the universe, whereupon he would perpetrate the events previously seen in the trolls' session.the peregrine mendicant, the only one of the exiles left alive, would shortly thereafter don the queen's ring, taking on the same powers as the slayer, and follow him through the teleport into the trolls' session. the results of their meeting have not yet been decided.
EARTH, POST-SCRATCH: NOVEMBER 11, 2011
the new earth is a very different place from the one we knew. in the new version of our universe, the roles of predecessor and player had once again switched, so that the guardians and ancestors of the previous generation of players were now children, and vice versa. there is at least one new nonhuman character and the new kids have yet to begin playing.
the signless, the sufferer
the [psi]oniic, the helmsman
the neophyte, redglare
the marquise, spinneret mindfang
the expatri8, darkleer
the highblood, the grand subjugglator
the orphaner, dualscar
the condesce, the empress
karkat vantas, knight of blood
aradia megido, maid of time
tavros nitram, page of breath
sollux captor, mage of doom
nepeta leijon, rogue of heart
kanaya maryam, sylph of space
terezi pyrope, seer of mind
vriska serket, thief of light
equius zahhak, heir of void
gamzee makara, bard of rage
eridan ampora, prince of hope
feferi peixes, witch of life