lucetimods: (Akai)
Luceti Mods ([personal profile] lucetimods) wrote2015-03-23 11:01 pm
Entry tags:

/the cracking of knuckles heard 'round the world

ARRIGHT FOLKS it's well past time that we get this show on the road.I hope you've all had enough fun over the last seven years that this won't hurt for you as much as it does for me, sob. But let's go out with a bang, shall we?

Romaeus has made the announcement: characters will be venturing into the center of the planet to duke it out with one big spirit monster in the hopes of winning their freedom. Here's the OOC explanation that comes hand in hand with his little infodump.

First of all, a while back one of the interns made a post offering some additional information and ways to prepare for the inevitable escape. Hopefully everyone has taken advantage of that information, and if not… well, maybe you'll just get lucky. Either way, a couple of things were recommended:

  • Characters were advised to work on correcting or defending against their weaknesses, physical, mental, and emotional
  • Ami was asked to create programs in the Battle Dome that could help characters focus on those weaknesses and make them available for free use
  • Rin was asked to get people to help him collect supplies for the journey into the core, as well as resources from around the world in case equipment repairs needed to be done


For 2 and 3, please let me know in the mod thread below whether or not this happened! As for 1…it ties into what Romaeus said, about facing down the core spirit and earning the right to leave the world.


THE SET UP

Characters will be led into the tunnels in groups, where Romaeus and his team have created a path deep into the center of the world. Best bundle up, because unlike most planets, it gets colder the further down you go- no molten core to heat things up after a certain depth is reached. Those extra layers will come in handy later, though, trust me.

After a day or so of traveling, the tunnel opens up into a cleared-out zone with a handful of caves, all of them guarded and sealed by the organization's security forces. Miniature barriers have been set up at the entrances, making them protected areas, though characters themselves should be able to pass through without issue. There are tents and various makeshift shelters as well, as most of the caves are filled with equipment and research teams hard at work. There's a couple of additional tunnel offshoots, but they are marked with warning signs, and a cold, foreboding feeling permeates from within. Entering the tunnels unprepared will cause considerable unease and discomfort and is generally not recommended.

Lucetians will be responsible for supplying and maintaining their own shelters in the open area, although characters with applicable abilities are free to make caves of their own, and there are a few unclaimed tents if characters neglected to bring them along. The general area is buzzing with nervous excitement- they're right on the edge, and everyone is very excited to be going home.

There's fear as well, though, because facing one's greatest fears and weaknesses is a daunting hurdle to overcome. That's why one of the caves is devoted to counselling and advice, for those who feel unprepared or not quite up to the task. A handful of therapists, massage experts, and personal trainers are available to help anyone who comes to visit. Characters are of course encouraged to work these issues out for themselves, but if working with a peer hasn't helped so far, maybe a professional would ease their nerves.

And of course, the core of the planet is not exactly… safe. The core has a defense mechanism that activates at night, once there are enough people in the tunnels- an unnamed threat, but resembling Shift Hunters (except creepily translucent and less… rotted).


This is what they look like.


These beasts will attack indiscriminately. Unlike Shift Hunters, however, their goal is to get as many bites in as possible and make a run for it- back into the tunnels and to the Core Spirit they came from. Why? Because each and every bite saps something from the victim. A memory, a personality trait, a sense… it's an instantaneous Death Penalty. Killing them returns the stolen traits back to its victims, no harm, no foul. But if the creature makes it back to its master, they're gone for good.

The creatures are pretty easy to kill, and they don't seem like much of a threat when running solo, but much like zombies, you don't want to let yourself get swarmed. An entire pack could take someone out in seconds and suck them dry in under three minutes, leaving an empty husk- it's hard to fend off a monster when a single bite can make your body forget how to move your arms. Residents will be strongly recommended to travel in pairs or groups while underground, for their own safety.

Here's a map of the area to give you an idea of what to expect:



Landmarks:
  • Tunnel: route from (and to) Luceti, obviously
  • Water Source: where characters can bathe/use the facilities. Minimal privacy, but it's better than nothing.
  • Shelter: Mostly occupied, but characters needing a quick, safe place to sleep or recover from injuries can use beds from NPCs who are working during the day. This is also where the above-mentioned counsellors and trainers are hanging out.
  • Research: where Shift equipment powering the barriers and exit portals are. Characters will be mostly kept out of this area unless they have a good reason to be there in case some idiot wants to sabotage things, but characters wanting to learn about Shift equipment will be invited under guard (and/or unarmed, just in case) to learn how to use and maintain them.
  • Exit portal: where characters will be leaving!
  • Supplies: food, clothes, blankets, equipment. Anything Lucetians can contribute are welcome. This is where Rin's collected requests should go.
  • Militia: where the guards hang out, basically. They'll be on edge but not antagonistic, and will happily provide advice on how to deal with the spirit dogs described above. They're very glad for the back-up, that's for sure.
  • Tents: Available shelter for those who don't have anywhere else to sleep.
  • Blue Dots: guard locations, though there are others patrolling the cave. They're more chill during the day. No one likes the night watch.
  • Core Spirit Entrances: Please see below…!



THE ENDGAME

When characters feel ready, they can attempt the true gauntlet: they must walk down the marked tunnels… and walk straight into the Core Spirit itself.

Who here has seen Princess Mononoke? WELL.

What they will feel, at first, is similar to the sensation experienced by those who "died" because of the Cultist sacrifice bomb dropped in Zompania, as described in the IC description and the mod post from back then: "the sensation of being watched and examined / the sensation of floating in the middle of black abyss alone/dissolving away into a bottomless, hot ocean/suffocating or drowning"

That feeling is somewhat temporary, though for some it may linger. Otherwise what they will experience next is similar to the Dream Shifters: they will be trapped in a dream-like state, only instead of a perfect world or their dearest wish, they will face their darkest fear or biggest weakness. Some examples of what characters might face:

  • characters afraid of tornadoes may find themselves in the middle of one and survive it without losing their head
  • characters afraid of losing their loved ones may suddenly be left by themselves in the darkness, overwhelmed by loneliness and grief
  • characters afraid of monsters will have to slay one
  • a character whose flaw is a lack of compassion will be forced into a situation where they will be asked to save someone.
  • a character whose flaw is an inability to listen could meet someone with a speech impediment with whom they must share a conversation without interrupting
  • characters might face themselves, Persona 4-style, announcing their flaws openly


How the fear is "defeated" will vary by character and situation, so if you have any uncertainty or questions about what qualifies, feel free to ask. Also, if you're not sure about what your character's weaknesses might be, think back on moments that were particularly stressful in canon and bounce off that. Alternatively, think back to the weaknesses section on your character's application to get some ideas!

Here's where the ending will come in. The purpose of this test is so your character can demonstrate to the Core Spirit that they have, during their time in Luceti, grown in some way. It craves the knowledge of what's changed, how their time in the world was used, or if it was wasted and they haven't changed at all. If they can prove themselves to be both brave and capable of growth, they will be permitted to leave the core without being devoured, and their forced connection to the world will be severed.

Thus, there are two ways your character can conclude their time in Luceti:

The "Good" End: they overcome their weakness and the spirit grants its approval, therefore severing their connection with the world and allowing them to leave.
The "Bad" End: they are unable to overcome their weakness and the spirit consumes them entirely. Even failure, after all, is a learning experience, and the spirit loves to learn.

If you decide on #1, your character can leave the spirit and walk back out into the tunnels, free to say their farewells to their friends and loved ones, many of whom they will likely never see again, and then walk through one of the organization's Shift portals, which will send them back to their world.

If you decide on #2, because you're a bad person and you should feel bad but you also like tragic endings, your character will not come out of the Core Spirit- they will, in fact, become a part of it. Forever. Whether this will be, for the long term, either heaven (a peaceful relief), hell (a punishment for failure) or simply a cessation of existence is kind of up to the character's outlook on life, the mood of the spirit, and one other thing which will be outlined below.


THE "ONE OTHER THING"

Now, some of you may be wondering something rather important: what if my character doesn't want to return to their world? Alternatively, what if they can't go home?

This was requested by a number of people ICly during the intern post, and it's a very good question, isn't it? Children born in Luceti who have no homeworld, those who have died back home, or even folks who have no desire to leave at all because they've found a place for themselves here- there are a number of reasons why someone might not want to leave. Technically, people who aren't leaving don't have to undergo the trial at all, but it's… kind of recommended. Strongly recommended, actually. If you want to hang out in somebody's house, you should at least meet the landlord. However, once that meeting is concluded and the character walks out alive, they are then free to go right back up the tunnels whenever they please and carry on living as before. That won't prevent history from repeating itself, however, so there is an alternative, one that the organization folks will actively encourage. In fact, some of them will be trying it out themselves.

The idea is that once the vast majority have visited the Core Spirit - and as many people as possible have returned, hopefully - the negative energies that have been festering in the spirit for hundreds of years will have been balanced out somewhat. A little bit goes a long way, and success is a great encouragement. Good vibes, happy feels, all that sappy stuff. Love is gonna save the goddamn universe. The downside is that sending people home doesn't mean that the Core Spirit can't just pull in a bunch more people and force them to live here forever instead. Out with the old, in with the new, right? Yeah, we don't want that.

Thus, characters who desire to stay on the planet, after undergoing their trial, need to band together and enter the Core Spirit for a second time, in order to negotiate the terms of their lives here. Communication with this spirit is much easier than that of the spirits on the surface- it has all the knowledge of every living creature it's ever consumed, after all, so speech is pretty easy. And it would just love to chat.

I won't tell you what exactly to say to it, or how it will end, but I will tell you this: history is the key. Now go save yourselves.


QUESTIONS
What if my character walks through the Go-Home portal without meeting the Core Spirit?
Technically nothing is stopping characters from going through the portals without overcoming the trial, but it won't work. It could be tomorrow and it could be five years from now, but eventually they will be pulled back to Luceti. It all depends on how you want to go out. But if your character has some unfinished business back home and wants to come back at some point, then hey, this is a totally valid option, though there's no guarantee when they'll come back.

Do characters have to undergo the spirit's trial by themselves, or can they bring someone with them?
Just like the above question, nothing would prevent going into the core with a partner, or even a group. However, additional people has the potential to make the trial that much harder- characters will have to face their own trial as well as that of the additional character(s). The extra trials won't be as difficult depending on what the trial is, mind, because it's not their weakness, but characters can't actually do the trial for someone else, they can only support their companion. For example: a character whose weakness is an inability to fight walks into the core with a fighter character whose weakness is a lack of compassion. The fighter passes his test by saving an innocent person from danger at great risk to himself, encouraged by the non-fighter. Then a monster attacks the non-fighter, who can't bring himself to fight back, so the fighter slays the monster and wins the trial. In this case, the fighter would be free to go, and the non-fighter would be devoured.

Characters who compliment each other well are most likely to survive together in the trial than, say, people who are similar, so be careful who you partner up with if you choose to go that route. Because of the potential support, however, it's recommended that characters hook up with a friend, family member, or significant other (heck, even a supportive rival) so you don't have to face your trial solo, just in case it ends up being especially intense. (Obviously this makes it easier to thread the trials out, and it would help create more positive feelings for the Core Spirit- win by the power of love and friendship…!! Or. Something.)

The partner may not be immediately obvious - going in with a loved one could make it worse or impossible to complete the trial depending on what it is - so choose wisely. Going in with someone who can smack some sense into you could be better than a close friend who'd coddle you, for example. This doesn't apply to everyone, though, so use your own judgment!

Can my character stay in the core after the trial is done? Like, say, if their friend just got devoured right in front of them?
You can, but it would totally suck in there, and someone should probably go back out and share the bad news with everyone else. Also, an extended stay in the core spirit would encourage it to keep testing you, since you obviously like it so much. Over and over. With a nice difficulty curve. Fun times!

What if my character is dead in their world? Will going back return them to life?
Alas, that is not possible. The Core Spirit controls life and death on this planet, but it can't control it on other worlds. If you choose to go home, and you're dead, you go back to being dead. Sorry! But that does bring to mind another question-

Can my character go to someone else's world?
The most frequently-asked question, I think! This one's tricky. Technically characters who pass through the portal go immediately back to where they came from, and it's a one-way trip. Romaeus has a way around this, however. Ever heard of the red string of fate? Well, his power is sort of like that. It's how he found the core in the first place. (Long story.) This is also similar to the AU event we ran previously, where characters were able to venture to someone else's world, thanks to Bil's research. This time is meant to be more permanent. Basically, he can connect one character to another, so when those characters pass through the portal together, they'll be sent to the same world. The first to go through should belong to the world they're trying to reach. Characters who are dead can go to other worlds and stay alive- until they die in that world, anyway. But that's out of our hands |D

Romaeus will pass along a warning with this, however- there's no way to know how it will affect that person's world. It could change the course of history or create an alternate version of it to account for the unknown invader. It could wreck everything. The risk is yours to take, so be sure that the other person is totally worth it.


Any further questions can be directed to the mod thread below. There'll also be another thread for characters who want to stay on the planet, so we can get a feel for how many there'll be.

The journey begins March 27th!

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