Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weird Days in Aldwood



Aldwood is the most isolated of the City’s districts—and not simply because of its location. Wooded, quiet Aldwood has been entirely overtaken by a fictional world.

Aldwood was a normal, suburban district until Midsummer’s Eve some thirty-four years ago. Perhaps not coincidentally, this was the night of the final Broad Boulevard performance of the musical adaptation of the popular children’s fantasy, The Magical Monarch of Mu. Aldwood residents reported hearing strange music that night, and laughter. By the next morning, the forest had grown thicker and wilder, and many trees had become animate—and opinionated. Stands of man-sized mushrooms had cropped up, and fanciful creatures were encountered with regularity.

Many of Aldwood’s residents chose to flee. Law enforcement was dispatched to investigate. They were naturally disinclined to negotiating the cession of the district with an animate, pumpkin-headed scarecrow, but attempts to reclaim Aldwood by force were repulsed by a cast-iron giant, smartly-uniformed elfin pikemen, and china doll marital artists.

The next two years saw intermittent skirmishes between the City and the invaders. Reconnaissance confirmed that many were identifiable characters from The Magical Monarch of Mu. Attempts to locate the author F. Marsh Loam for questioning proved ineffective, even with thaumaturgical aid. Ultimately, pragmatism prevailed, and a peace treaty was signed making Aldwood a reservation within the boundaries of the City.

Visiting Aldwood is allowed, though only through the checkpoints guarded by the diminutive and quaintly armored soldiers of the Monarch. Care should be taken to stay on designated roadways: The new Aldwood is somehow larger than the old, and it’s easy to become lost. Politely refusing offers of food or drink from the natives is generally advisable. Most everything in Aldwood is highly magical; “naturally” occurring soda fountains, gumdrop fruit, or moonshine distilled from genuine moonlight are novel treats, but they may also carry hidden risks.

Taking items or creatures beyond the boundaries of Aldwood is illegal, but collectors and thaumaturgic researchers are often willing to pay adventurers a handsome sum for specimens. Beyond run-ins with the authorities, expeditions carry a degree of risk. While most denizens of Aldwood are benign, some are not, and many are surprisingly resistant to harm.

Some scientists worry that the annexation of the earthly plane hasn’t ended with Aldwood, and that the bubble of fictional reality continues to grow.

15 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

A nice place to visit but not stay I would take it, very good work.

Risus Monkey said...

And the City grows to accommodate even more of my genre interests. A fictional fairy tale reservation within the bounds of the city sounds very, very cool. Could gave great fun playing with the fiction on which it us based!

seaofstarsrpg said...

Brilliant as usual. I see some sort of good-natured smuggling group (the "Sugarfoot Guild") taking exotic treats from the Aldwood to the City and odd items back to the Aldwood ("We need a ton of green-glazed bricks to pay for next weeks delivery").

This trade is something the Infernal Syndicate would like to control, but their touch tends to destroy any perishable item from Aldwood and their proxies have been consistently outfoxed by the smugglers.

Trey said...

Thanks guys!

@Risus - Yeah, my generally idea with the City is to have it fit a basic mode ("modern" pulp era sor tof fantasy) but to be a sandbox that would support exploration of a lot of different aspects of that.

@@Seaofstarsrpg - As usually, you're thinking is right along the same line's as mine. :)

ze bulette said...

I would very much like to try some of that moonshine. I think.

Trey said...

You'd dig it the most!

Bard said...

This post was just plain fun! And ditto on ze bulette's comment.

Trey said...

Thanks, Bard. Moonshine for you, too!

Porky said...

This makes me think of Toon Town, but a richer kind, more expansive and with deeper roots. It has a lot of elements to work with, and the best thing of course is the tensions between the realities, that they're both comprehensible and playable in themselves, and the interactions will flow from that. The City never disappoints.

Trey said...

Thanks, Porky. I sort of tried to straddle a line so it could serve as anything from a more comedic Toon Town to a sort of dark interpretation of Wonderland.

NetherWerks said...

Mythago Wood as reinterpreted by Warren Ellis during his Planetary days...in other words absolutely incredible! Oh the places you could go ... once you get past those munchkin-like guards ... and the troubles that are sure to follow. What a great place to stage a heist, or some seriously demented adventures that take fairy tales and cartoons to whole new levels...

Beedo said...

Yeah, this is seriously cool - it's instantly become one of my favorite places in the city.

Trey said...

@Netherwerks - High praise, indeed. Thanks! Some interesting combinations could be wrund from it: Resevoir Dogs in the land of Oz? ;)

@Beedo - Thanks, Beedo. Glad you liked it.

Needles said...

Very rich material something very cool about the material. It reminds me of the OZ books inter spiced with a noir feel. These fairy tails might be good or bad. I really dig the setting within a setting but why is it growing?

Trey said...

Thanks, Needles. That was pretty much the intended feel. Why is it growing? Well...that's the question isn't it? :)