The Curse and its effects on people
Nasoj is an evil mage who has found a secret way to extend his life indefinitely. He hates Metamor and Whales above all other lands because he knows that the Prophecy of his downfall can only be fulfilled by these two lands together. It was Nasoj who Whales overthrew for their freedom so long ago, though they do not know he was the power behind the oppressive throne. It is Nasoj's intent to rule over the whole world because he seeks to live forever. Only through such control does he foresee it happening.
Nasoj over the centuries has made many allies. Some are mages, whose life he lengthens in exchange for service. Others are peoples such as the Lutins, who claim to be degenerate descendants of the mythical Elves of a previous age. Others include renegade men, giants and other creatures of darkness.
During the Battle of the Three Gates, Nasoj and his wizards cast three spells down each of the gates. One spell transformed its victims into incredibly buxom women or over proportioned men. Another spell made its victims full animals. The third infantilized its victims. The Keep wizards were only able to partially reverse the effects of the spell.
The spells, due to their chaotic composition, had a permanent effect on the Keep as well. Any new arrivals not caught by the initial spell will begin to change if they stay at the Keep for a period of about two weeks. The spell will not hold if the person leaves before two weeks ends, but will if they are almost always in or near the Keep. Once changes have started, they are impossible to stop or reverse.
Transgender victims (Gender Dimorphism) can change between a relatively normal person of their gender to a bombshell. While most don't find this of any use, some women take pride in extreme proportions. There are female to male transformations as well as male to female.
Age regression victims (Pedomorphism) can shift between the ages of infancy and around 14- 15. Since AR people find it easy to trick adults and are naturally adept at slipping into small places, they are usually found in diplomatic duty down south.
Animalized victims (Animorphism) can shift between a fully animal example of their species and a sort of halfway morph. They are persecuted and hunted outside of Metamor and the closest surrounding lands.
Further Information about the curses Curse of Metamor - Here you can find more in depth information concerning the curses and how those of Metamor have come to manage them.
Any animal form is acceptable. At the present there is a Grasshopper and a spider morph at the keep. Extinct species (like dire wolves) and mythical ones (like griffons) are also allowed. The only exception to that rule is dragon morphs, which do exist but are very rare. Be creative! If in doubt feel free to ask the universe controller.
It is possible to be caught by more than one spell during the Battle, and subsequently have a mixture of the three spells. The results of such are unpredictable. People caught like that are rare. New arrivals almost never have a mixture of transformation. Anyone wanting to have a character who mixes 2 or 3 of the changes must get permission from the universe controller and have a reasonable idea to explain why it occurs.
Since this is a magical universe, it is possible to affect transformations other than the normal ones. But such magic can only be used in addition to the Keep transformation, and is unable to restore the original form or general species of the person. Extremely powerful transformations are forbidden.
The Curse's Effects on Children
The change is governed by a confusing mix of hormonal and psychological changes brought on by puberty. Therefore the change begins sometime at 14, and takes the normal two weeks to conclude. AR transformees show no visible effect of their transformation, but merely stop growing at a certain age. They are able to shift back and forth between toddler and 14 as usual. TG'ers and TF'ers continue to grow until they reach the end of puberty, even in their transformed bodies.
The children of transformed parents tend to express as their parents did. While this is by no means assured, the children of animal parents tend to express as the same species as their parents. If the parents are of two different species or transformee group, then the child may express as either one.
The Curse's Effect on Non-Humans
The curse was only cast against the human inhabitants of the Keep, so only creatures that has human blood can be effected by the curse. This means that half-blood lutins, were-creatures, and other human 'cousins' are vulnerable to the curse. Topo is an example of this happening. The weremouse tarried too long at Metamor Keep and picked up the characteristics of a falcon as a result.
It should be noted that the curse will only effect the human part of a hybrid species. Elves are though to be immune to the effects, as legend has it that they are descendants of the fey folk, though this has not been tested as elves are hardly seen outside their forests in these times.
Taur form and the curse
The very variable nature of the curse means some Keepers can change into a taur form. Others cannot. The final decision is up to the individual writers. If the author wants their characters to be able to change into a taur then the characters can. If not, then the characters can't change to that form.
If a person can change, mastering the new form and the methods to achieve it is not easy. It takes a long time to fully master the form. Walking and moving is easily mastered, but other, harder things take practice. It will take a lot of practice before Matt has fully adapted and can use the Sondeck as a rat-taur.
Taur form notes:
The biggest advantage and disadvantage is size. Like Misha said being that big is great in combat but a real problem in the tight hallways of the Keep.
Only animal morphs can become taurs not Gender or Age morphs. Foxtaur, skunktaur, rat-taur are cool but no humantaurs. Mind you it might make a really good (& strange) TF story.
As to why some can and some cannot change into a taur, who knows? The curse is a strange thing. Misha first changed into a foxtaur as a result of someone tampering with the curse itself.
Metamor Keep and "Variable Geometry"
Metamor Keep is a large fortress-city that occupies a valley that forms the only pass through the mountains that separates the southern Midlands from the Giantdowns. It alone stands between the relative peace of the south, and Nasoj's hordes massing in the north.
The Keep is highly magical. As such, the geometry and layout of it is more or less a random thing. The Keep changes shape regularly, and accurate maps are impossible. However, thinking of where you want to go generally gets you there. Some claim that concentration can actually shape the Keep, but experiments are thus far inconclusive. Magic can shape the Keep and make it stick for awhile, but regular boosting spells must be applied. It rare cases, new rooms have appeared out of nowhere, usually for a specific purpose that becomes clear soon after formation.
General World Notes
Metamor Keep is set in a world that is in the late (or high) middle ages, but the renaissance has begun. Any direct references to the real world are not allowed. Instead an MK version should be used. For instance the character of Charles Matthias is a "brown rat" and not a "Norwegian rat". For a better example see Religion.
The people at Metamor Keep facing a great evil and a hostile world have banded together and learned to live together peacefully. Live and let live.
Most of the people to the south consider the people at Metamor to be freaks and demons. It is only the threat from Nasoj that makes them tolerate the people at MK at all. Any keeper traveling outside of MK territory will mostly be greeted with hatred and death.
Metamor Keep has long been known as a place of the arts and literature And is one of the lights of the just beginning renaissance. It is a place where all races, creeds and religions are tolerated.
A few unbreakable rules
- No time travel.
- No dimensional travel.
- No other universe cross-over stories.
- Once the curse takes effect there is no way to stop or reverse it.
- No one can beat the character Copernicus in pool (don't ask why!)
(Note there are some exceptions in the existing stories. These are allowed. NO OTHERS ARE.)
Within the Metamor Keep universe there are two major faiths: the Lightbringers and the Ecclesia. The Lightbringer faith is a polytheistic religion with the gods of good and evil locked in an eternal struggle. The Ecclesia, or the Followers of the Way, is analogous to the Roman Catholic church during the middle-ages.
Other faiths do exist, but are rarely seen or practiced at the Keep.
Unlike many places in the world, the different faiths at Metamor Keep get along fairly well. Though they may not be open and friendly towards each other, they tolerate each other's presence.
Technology level: The Metamor Keep universe is set in about the Medeival period, between the years of 900 and 1300 AD, depending on location, but with some places (like Metamor Keep) already well into the Renaissance. Industrial mechanics are in their infancy, at best, even at Metamor.
Gunpowder does not exist is this but but a magical equivalent does. Called Dragon dust it is just starting to be used. There are NO firearms in the MK world yet.
Anything obviously modern is also not allowed. No televisions, computers or cars. But the idea of what is allowed is broad. Magic is a great equalizer and can also be used to achieve the same effects as modern inventions. Pascal's Harpsichord is fine since machines of greater complexity did exist long before our own middle ages. Just because something was invented in our world in the 20th century doesn't meant it can't be invented in MK at the medieval level.
Economy and Coinage
Within the valley, one of the nobles operated an iron mine, and another holds a large forest. Lorland provides produce, and another area raises livestock. Stone is everywhere, as are some magical ingredients. Everything else must be traded for, and imported. This is what the caravans carry, and why trade is essential.
Metamor exports a modest surplus of quality weaponry, and many art and luxury items. The treasury is low because of the large expenses associated with the recent war, and making money is important. Wars are fought with treasuries, too.
Being relatively isolated, Metamor Keep has its own currency. The various denominations are listed below.
Copper Penny - 100 are equal to 1 gold coin. Equivalent to a penny in size and shape. It will buy a roll of bread.1
Bronze Crescent - 10 are equal to 1 gold coin. One will buy a mug of ale at the Deaf Mule.2
Silver Moon - 2 are equal to 1 gold coin. One will buy a meal at a fine restaurant.3
Gold Sun - The base unit of currency. One coin will pay for a room in an inn for 2 days.4
Garrett - 5 gold coins are equal to 1 Garrett. This is the largest denomination issued by Metamor. Rarely used.5
Other coins are in existence but are rarely seen at Metamor, mostly brought to the Keep by the trading caravans.
For more info on wages and the like go to this : http://mkworld.wikidot.com/metamor-economy
Comparison of Coins
|Denomination||Weight||Composition||Approx. Buying Power|
|Copper Penny||0.10 oz||92% Cu, 8% Zn||$0.30|
|Silver||0.10 oz||90% Ag, 10% Cu||$1.50|
|Bronze Crescent||1 oz||88% Cu, 12% Sn||$3.00|
|Silver Moon||1 oz||90% Ag, 10% Cu||$30|
|Gold Sun||0.5 oz||20% Au, 45% Ag, 35% Cu||$60|
|Garrett||1 oz||50% Au, 35% Ag, 15% Cu||$300|
The term "approximate buying power" indicates the amount of money required to purchase equivalent goods and services in the United States, circa 2007.
Character and Setting Guidelines
The universe controller has the right to refuse a character or ask for its change if it is felt that character is unbalanced or wrong.
What is unbalanced?
A tough question. A character can be powerful, but not all powerful. Examples: Magus is considered to be the most powerful wizard at the Keep, but possesses almost no combat ability. Misha is a superb fighter, few people could best him in combat with an axe. Yet he has almost no magic skills. Alaine is a fighter/mage. He is a decent (but not the best) fighter, and a decent (but not the best) mage. Alaine can both fight and do magic, but not to great levels. Jack of All Trades - Master of None. If you are unsure feel free to ask the universe coordinator.
Confused? Worried that your character won't be allowed? Don't be. These rules were written to stop any overwhelming characters from ruining MK for the rest. (i.e. No characters with god-like powers.) Write up your characters introduction story and show it to the controller. Be creative! That's the idea of a story universe; to inspire and entertain both writer and reader.
If your story involves minor interaction with another authors characters, it is polite but not necessary to request permission from them. If your story involves major interaction, but no lasting effect on the character, it is customary to request permission. If your story involves lasting effect on the character, it is necessary to request permission.
(Mike is the writer. John is another person's character.)
Minor Character Interaction:
"How ya doing, John?" "Just fine."
"Mike beat John yet again in pool."
Major Character Interaction:
"Can we discuss the death of my wife, John?" "Okay."
"John and Mike battle against the pumpkins mightily, and escaped unscathed."
"I didn't know you were actually a woman, John." "Just don't tell anyone."
"Mike lifted up the severed head of his best buddy, John, and couldn't stop a sob from escaping."
Setting Interaction is a more uncommon problem, but even worse as far as continuity is concerned. It deals with making large, disruptive changes to the setting. While conflict is a part of every plot, other writers are writing in this small Keep as well. If your story has meteor strikes, large scale battle, etc, other stories written at the same time would expect to know about this. Having their characters run around blissfully while your epic rages around them makes no sense.
This is isn't to say don't plan on large scale battles. But permission should be gotten some time in advance, so other writers know of your plans. And if you do give three months advance notice, it won't be granted unless the story is both well-written and long. A huge epic battle encompassing the entire Keep will be immediately stricken if it's three pages long and filled with typos.
Some characters for any of a number of reasons have no one person controlling them. These are called NPC (Non Player Character). All requests to use one of these must be directed to the universe control or the forum. They CAN be used. You just need to ask permission of the forum of Universe Controller first instead of their creator.