Campaign Notes Disclaimer: This campaign has no ruleset, no called-for checks, no feats and no experience points. It is a freeform RPG, as it can be experienced on the web, in IRC chats, and several forums. No knowledge about D&D, GURPS or the likes is necessary. All actions will be judged and responded to by me in a somewhat realistic way - good ideas will be rewarded, bad ideas will cause reprimanding. In the background, I run a d20 Modern:Past engine where it facilitates DMing.
00. The Old World
The vast place was bustling with activity. Finally, after many delays, the World's Fair was opened, and the public poured into Paris, eager to see the exhibitions of the participating countries. Foreshadowing a gloom future, the 500ft tall German pavillion was met by the defiant gaze of the statues on top of the Russian pavillion, ideals clashing both in mind and matter. The World's Fair, a place for peace, understanding and communication between nations, all united under the banner of art and artifice, had become a tense environment.
Nevertheless, the people came. There was always hope for peace, even with a Germany rising to power and new pride - and ambitious goals - clearly visible. Paris, city of love, became the city of invention for these days. Spain, plagued by it's civil war, sent Pablo Picasso's Guernica as a messenger of the atrocities of war, and inventors from around the world presented their exploits. Yet, even under these omens of bloodshed, people dived into the fair, for a few hours to cover up their fears with the excitement of novelties. There was everything, for everyone. Even though each nation had it's own pavillion, it's own territory, it felt like one could wander the world with a couple footsteps, and no borders stopped the curious visitors.
On of the attractions was a spectacular promise of the physicist Nikola Tesla - the world had seen his coils and works with high-current energy systems, but at the Fair, he announced something a great crowd wanted to see: Displacement of inanimate objects, a combined effort of energy transportation, atomic grid templates and controlled degrading of elements. What sounded like ancient Greek to most was so much easier explained in a word from fiction - teleportation. Naturally, this caused a huge gathering in the Croation pavillion, to the point where security forces had to keep people from pressing in. The venue was packed. The crowd watched in awe, as three massive coils started to hum and build up energy, with sparks and arcs of pure energy dancing over the spheroids' surfaces. The scientist stepped forward, and with a cheepish grin started his speech.
"Ladies and gentlemen, dear visitors from around the world ... today, I will revolutionize traffic as we know it. Some of you may have heard of the fastest train - the Zephyr - , with a speed of almost 80 miles per hour. Impressive, isn't it? What would you say if I can make objects travel almost at the speed of light?" Murmuring started in the crowd. Some yelled for proof. Others left the pavillion, offended by the thought of such charlatanry. Regardless, the questions caused reactions. Pleased, Tesla continued. "I will transport this tea pot from this table ...", he gestured towards it,"... to this one over there", followed by the other hand pointing at bespoke table, " ... with the pull of a lever. Dear audience, be amazed!" And with a hearty pull, the lever was brought down. The circuit closed, agitated a row of relais, and power surged into the coils. The humming became almost akin to an angry bee swarm, and then, with a sudden crack, darkness and the smell of singed clothing and hair followed.
With carefully placed paws, the stray cat crossed the vast space, sliding from shadowy cover to shadowy cover. The garbage that littered the place was perfect for the feline predator. His prey was in his sights - a gnarly dove, picking away at some stale bread, right next to the shredded stroller. He snuck around a pile of empty paint cans, still undetected by his soon-to-be meal. Muscle tension rose, as the cat propped himself up for the lunge, his tail twitching and his eyes glued on the bird's back. suddenly, he sniffled. Something was terribly wrong here, and he knew it, just from how his gut was clenching together.
A lightning that ripped the sky apart crashed right into the stroller the cat had just passed. The bird flew keeled over, as his heart gave out. The cat froze, in terror. The air sizzled, and a split second later, multiple smaller arcs of energy hit whatever metal outlets they could find, leaving several persons - materialized - on the ground, wherever they struck. The cat ran off, leaving but a puddle behind him. Smaller discharges of static energy died away as time progressed. Time was never phased, never ceased to go - even during events like these.
Smoke is in the air. The skies are dark and the clouds look heavy. The tower sings its sad song of decomposing, metal creaking in the wind. Gray, ashen doves flutter throug hthe rotting iron carcass of a once-proud sign of industrial revolution. The place in front of it, around you, is deserted concrete. Concrete that has cracks in it, with garbage everywhere. In the distance, you see the houses of Paris, in desolate shape. No movement, other than the birds and the swaying tower - and these other people around yourself. Your clothes are signed by lightning here and there, some of your hair crumbles under your touch, but you seem to be alive. Breathing hurts. Where is up? How do legs work again? So many questions - it's time to find answers.
Official RP Time-In is: 03/16/2010 12:00am EST. All approved characters may act, based upon the scene set by 01. Rifted. I will scan the thread and reply as need-be, add further descriptions and the likes. Players are encouraged to interact with each other and describe details more intricately than in the applications. With that being said: Game on!
Damian started collecting his thoughts as he remembered how to move his body parts. After a quick check up on all the vital bits and pieces he was glad that everything was working properly. Well he didn't know if one other part was working properly but thats a matter for another time. First he needed to figure out where he was exactly. His surroundings looked familiar but he knew something was off, actually wrong it seems as he looked around at what he saw closely. "Crap."
*With a gasp of sudden pained breath Seth's eyes fluttered open. He was lying face down on the ground, his long black hair obscuring his eyes. He winced as he tried to move his arm, a sharp pain in his bones made him wonder if he'd broken everything. He closed his eyes and took a few quiet deep breaths. With the silence of a hunter he moved his arm and brushed the hair from his eyes. When he reopened them, he gasped louder then he would have let himself in a normal situation.
The city was in ruins, the sky was dark and the wind was chill. With a sudden aura of panic he sat straight up and his eyes darted back and forth. There were others here, all lying in different positions on the concrete. With several unusual popping sounds from his bones Seth stood up as quietly as he could and surveyed his surroundings better. The area was familiar, but what had happened was not. The last thing he remembered was agreeing to go tot he World Fair on behalf of the organization. He was supposed to bring back as much info as he could on Tesla's 'new invention' in the hope that they could recreate a version of it for themselves.
His skin went white, he remember now. The last thing that happened was Tesla's machine starting up, then this. Did he... teleport them? If so, to where? But that's not how teleportation was supposed to work. Seth shuddered to think that for an instance, maybe it had not teleported them in distance, but in time. Seth shook off the uneasiness and elegantly back flipped onto the rusted out skeleton of what looked to be a telephone booth (Note: the first commercial telephone booth was made in 1924, so it's mildly logical that they would be here and there a decade later). High ground was always the most important thing in a situation, and the booth may not be the best, but it was better then nothing. With his eyes darting to every little movement he waited, people were not to be trusted, but the could be used, and right now, anyone was better then no one.*
Alexandre (OOC: I don't know the shortcut for an accent outside of word :-/) lay there on top of the pile of metal and junk, dazed for a second. Then the smells came to him. The air smelled of grime, smog, dirt and filth. And a slightly burning smell that was quickly growing stronger... He lifted his head and saw his shoes steaming a bit. He groggily surveyed the rest of his clothing, and finding them slightly singed but not burning, he left it at that.
Alexandre lurched to his feet, swaying as he stumbled to regain his balance on the mound of trash and stumbling as he regained control of his body. Where had he been? What had happened? His mind slowly started to recall images, namely a blinding light. He looked up and saw the Eiffel Tower, such as it was, and his arms hung limply at his sides.
This wasn't Paris. Slowly the memories came back to him, slipping one by one into his stream of consciousness until he remembered with perfect clarity what had happened. Anger welled up within him as he glanced around at what should have been a bustling fairground with vendors and splendor. He looked instead upon a barren dump, a few rats scuttling in and out of the heaping mounds of trash.
(French)"Damn it." he said quietly through clenched teeth. (F) "DAMN IT!" he roared at the sky.
A loud burst of an explosion erupted, and suddenly he found himself flat on his back, blown off his feet by a blast that seemed to have come from his chest. He looked down and saw his medallion, a copy of his family crest, fading from red-hot to bronze through the new holes in his vest. The necklace was the only thing that he had kept from his parents, a gift from his father when he was nine. The image of the red-hot crest burned itself into his mind, imprinting itself onto his subconscious.
He looked up from the medallion and saw a few other forms that looked like people, and started stumbling over to them.
(OOC: Had to finish post on iPhone, the computer crashed. Should be back up tomorrow.)
Damian heard the sound of someone moving behind him, or what he hoped was a human being to say the least. Finally standing up he turned around and saw someone crouched on what he guessed was the remains of a telephone booth. "Who are you?!" He noticed the gentleman was wearing familiar clothes, so he had to have been at the fair as well. Hopefully he'll know a little more than Damian but he wasn't holding his breath for a miracle.
Watched by crows, the new arrivals could scan the surroundings. There were no signs of any World's Fair around them. Everything seemed like their Paris had been replaced with a desolate version. In the distance, high above them, birds circled around the creaking tower. The formerly beautiful gardens were barren, the aquaeducts had shallow dank water in them. The booth contained no telephone - as a matter of fact, it was but a small booth that must've served as some sort of tourist guide meeting point - at least a decade ago.
While it's true that the booths were built 1924 and the major cities adopted 'em (to the point where more people used public phones than private phones, because it was retardedly expensive), this timeline has no public telephone system. Nothing you could've known. A simple pointer when it comes to timeline confusion: Anything invented and used up to 1910 is fair game. Anything after 1920 is either unlikely or "warped". Anything between, ask me via PM.
Also, no biggie. I just correct on the fly, if you don't mind. <3
*Seth cocked his head to the left and stared down at a man he recognized, it was another fair-goer. If memory served, he was exactly seven feet back and to the right of where Seth stood when Tesla damned them all*
"Seth... my name is Seth. You were at the fair when Tesla's machine went off."
*At the sound of a small explosion he whirled around to see a man stumbling towards him and his new found companion. He didn't seem very threatening by the trouble he was having simply walking, so Seth turned back to the first man*
"It appears we aren't the only ones who are still alive. It looks like we're still in the fairgrounds... but everything is wrong. the sky, the buildings, even the air."
*Seth stared up at the sky for a minute and shook his head*
"Whatever happened... I don't think I want my information anymore..."
A horrid metallic creak drew her ear and her eyes to the twisted Tower. No, no, no, it can't be, they wouldn't have... Not the World's Fair! How could they? There were good Germans here! She closed her eyes, desperately tried to wish it away, but the smell of ash and the creaking of metal would not cease.
She tried to remember what had happened.
I was at the Croatian exhibit. A man called Tesla was there, demonstrating something he called the "electro-coils." A dark skinned man put a teapot on the table. I was pushing forward through the crowd, I wanted a better look. And then Mr. Tesla pulled the lever. The coils crackled loudly. And?
And then the Fuhrer bombed us, she thought. But as she looked around, that didn't seem to make sense. The devastation of the houses, yes, but the Fair had been packed with bodies. Where was everyone? Two of her uncles had fought in the Great War. She remembered them talking about the blood, the pieces of bodies after a bomb came down. She appeared to be in one piece. So did the five others she saw as she looked around. If not that...what was that word Mr. Tesla had used? Tele-tele-something...
Thank you, Mother, she thought, patting the crystal in her pocket.
She noticed then that some of the men were talking, and the dark skinned man, Mr. Tesla's assistant, was lying on the ground some distance away. Perhaps she had better wake him up and see if he knew anything about what was going on.
Putting one unsteady foot in front of the other, Petrine approached him.
It was quiet, too quiet, even though just moments before it seemed like Ignotus' life was rushing right out of him. A sound so deafening that it was as if he heard reality... warp into something awful. He knew he must open his eye's soon, and face whatever hell this cruel existence had thrown at him this time.
It was then, he realized that his eyes were already open..., but why was he blind? Reaching up to the goggles on his head he brings them down over his eyes, focusing the world in a dark haze, but he could see! Raising the goggles he was overcome with a nauseating feeling, and was instantly blind again. He shoves the goggles back down.
"Wow, what the hell is going on...?"
He checks himself for wounds, only to find the usual scratches and bruises. Satisfied he stands up and looks around.
"Well this is... Odd, just what the hell did Tesla do? Oh thats right, he screwed me out of money, I almost had that purse."
He recalls the event leading up to... whatever this is, he was just about to cut a loaded purse, and he was overwhelmed by blinding light and the sound of a quick rushing wave. There were screams, and the sounds of people running in fear, and it was then that he blacked out.
He shakily moves forward in this desolate land, and see's if anyone else is around.
He nodded at what Seth had said in agreement. "I'll probably be needing a vacation after this...vacation. Where the hell do you think we are?"
Damian saw the young woman moving towards the assistant. "Miss are you ok?" He rushed after her right away. Family upbringing insisted he see to that the women are safe before himself. His body ached though from moving so quickly.
As movement creeps back into the survivors, the world goes on, barely taking notice. A stray dog emerges from behind some wild-growing bush further down the former glorious place, sniffling the polluted air. Ribs clearly showing, the animal comes closer, wary and torn between fear of the unknown and its pressing hunger. The sudden airblast caused by Alexandré cause the dog to jolt, clamp its tail between its hind legs and run for it.
Other than that ... there is only the gloom picture of a bleak Paris. For now.
As Ignotus starts to wander, he hears foot steps running, going towards a severely shaken woman. He looks around and is wondering who these people are. While guarding himself, he starts to wander toward those he can see.
"I..I am not alone here it seems, what is going on...?"
Judging by the looks of this place, it's a where it's a when... this is the fairground, there's the tower.... but it's all... degraded. I don't think Tesla sent the teacup across the room, I think he sent us into another time period... one far, far from home... or... hell I dunno, 'the future' is the best I can come up with. I'm smart, but I never thought this possible...
*Seth watched as Damian rushed off to help the girl, out of the corner of his eye he caught movement and saw a man fiddling with his goggles. Everyone else was coming around now, and Seth as the first up, for once, he didn't like being first. More importantly, he recognized all of them from being in the same fair group as he was in. His attention was torn when a searing pain shot through his arm. It felt like his bones were tearing themselves apart. With a great struggle he willed the pain to stop and bit back a pained gasp. Maybe everyone was far to busy to notice, maybe it was just something that occurred during the explosion. it was gone now, and that's all that mattered*
Ignotus see's Seth and the others, and decides that its time to try and figure out what's going on, and to do that he must go to them. He slowly walks over, trying to not be threatening but still have a bold, yet distant demeanor.
"Do any of you know what happened? Or where we are?" "I feel as if I have been beaten worse than ever and then thrown down a flight of stairs"
It was at that moment that he knew something was odd, his eyes burned in the sunlight, and he could hear what he thought was the rushing of death, but what if it was the rushing of time and space?
"Call it luck that we were the only ones that we survived or were the only ones that were pulled through. I doubt we could call it good luck though. As long as everyone feels ok aside from whatever scrapes and bruises we have I guess the next thing to do would be to check on the rest of them." Damian quickly knelt down next to the assistant. "What do you need me to do to help?" He asked the young woman.
Siri lifts head, slowly. He doesn't seem to be heavily injured, but he feels his skin hot, far hotter than normal. Around him, nothing he sees makes sense. The colors are not correct, everyone is confused and it looks like something went very, very wrong. And Mr. Tesla is nowhere to be seen. Siri's head starts to ache.
"Damn..." Siri passes his right hand over his eyes, only to see a few burn marks, and continues the movement to put some order in his messy hair "Where the hell are we?"
*Seth stood up straight on the booth. Years of being a top dog made it easy for him to talk to people, whether it be solving a problem or barking orders. He hoped he wouldn't need to do the latter, but if the time arose and he took a stand, he had no problem making sure everyone did what was said to stay alive. After all, staying a live was the most important thing right now, and that just so happened to be is specialty.
With a sharp whistle he attempted to get everyone's attention*
"I do believe 'where are we?' is the question on everyone's mind. Well... I'm not exactly, sure either, but I do have an idea. Keep in mind that I'm most likely wrong, but it's better then nothing, right?"
*He turned over his thoughts for a minute, trying to make the connections to the things he didn't understand before speaking. If what he said turned out to be true, then he had to be the luckiest guesser on the planet. To bad he didn't believe in luck*
"Take a good look at our surroundings. This is the fairgrounds folks, but it has little to no signs that a World Fair was held here anytime soon. If you examine everything you'll notice that practically everything is degrading and has been for some time. I think Tesla made a time machine, not a teleporter, and I think we're far in the future. Now why we are the only ones here and alive, I have no idea. Does anyone see a news paper, or calendar? Anything that can tell us today's date or what year it is?"
"Your right it is the fairground, but...I don't think we're in a different time.Everything looks to be around our own time period. Maybe, just maybe, we're in a split timeline like you read in that H.G. Wells novel."
He felt stupid saying it outloud. He wasn't a scientist but it was a strange hunch he was getting, along with some weird tingling feeling around his body. He ignored it for now thinking it was just his body still getting over, well whatever happened to him. He wasn't sure if he (or the others for that matter) were thrown or dropped, to him it felt like a combination of both.
"At this point, I'm up for any answer. For all we know, we could be dead... in that case, welcome to whatever afterlife we ended up in. In any case, we're not doing much here. We need to find food, water, a way to see what day it is. When every wakes up I suggest we find a market of some kind to stock up. I would hate to starve at the end of the world."
Ingotus walks forward and looks around at the others, then up at Seth.
"You make a valid point Seth, it looks like we are in the exact same place we were, just years later." "Is it possible that his "teleporter" ripped the fabric of time, so to speak?"
Iggy was not an ignorant man, in fact he was very smart. He had always been above average in his lessons, and the teachings of the streets made him even more smart and cunning, some would say deadly, if they could speak.
"I'd also say that we need shelter, being out in the open is too dangerous, and given the fact that we only have ideas as to what happened, we don't know what we could encounter out here." "we'll need shelter thats easily defendable, with two ways to escape, one obvious, one not so obvious, just in case. I don't know about you, but my skin feels as if its crawling, something is seriously wrong here."
He looks down at his hands and watches the pigmentation swirl a bit, as if changing color and consistency. Hiding his emotions from the others, he wonders if just being transported is the only thing to happen to them, or if there are even more surprises right around the corner.
Indeed, for all they knew, they might be dead. What could this place be, if not hell, compared to the wonderland they just came from? This Paris was like a sorry, twisted version of what they knew - yet, the ruins and partly detoriated houses promised adventures. For now, they were still scrambling on the ground and in the open, amidst what seemed to be a junkyard in the making. Safe for the few examples of wildlife, there seemed to be a lack of other humans around them. Maybe there weren't any left. Maybe this was no good place to be. Maybe, just maybe, there was something in the air, befouling everything and dragging it down, decomposing things as they came intact with the air. Maybe it was coincedence.
The wind picked up, and blew some brown leaves over the place. A single, stained page of a French news paper, the "Journal des Finances" flew by, settling not far from Seth's observation point.
*Seth pondered Ignotus's idea of a time rip and nodded*
"It is possible, unfortunately I never got to learn how the machine worked. If I had some base understanding I could make heads or tales of it. Perhaps when Tesla's assistant is ready to talk he can tell us a little more about it."
*With a chill he noticed Ignotus staring intensely at his hand and rubbed his arm*
"Yeah actually... I've been feeling some really sharp pains in my bones ever since we got here. I've had bones damaged in every way possible, but this pain is... different. Another mystery for another time, let's focus on getting out of this dump first."
*Seth hopped off the booth in time for the wind to smack a sheet of paper against his leg. He picked it up and glanced at it for a minute before something made his eyes widen. For several minutes he stared wide eyed and stock still at the image before looking back up at the sky*
"I... I have good news and bad news... well... I guess it's all bad news."
*Seth hopped back onto the booth and held up the paper high. With soft sigh he cleared his throat and spoke loud enough for everyone to hear*
"Behold! A piece of what looks to be local news! The date is marked for... today... I think our time rip theory has a little more ground now Ignotus, but it certainly isn't a future time rip. And that's not even the fun part. By what I can decipher from the little half articles, there's apparently a war going on and the government nor the people are doing to well. I think our landing location is now phenomenally better then it could have been. Unfortunately given that the main article is about food stamps, we may have a bit harder time finding what we need."