Carnivale

From Dark City
Staff: Raddish

Status: Not Accepting Applications

Open Spots: 0/6 (More may open later)

Type of Game: Promethean the Created 2e

Themes and Triggers: Exclusion, Personal Growth, Humanity, Evolution

Location: A Carnivale traveling along the western seaboard.

"Forgive me, for all the things I did but mostly for the ones that I did not."

Welcome to Carnivale!

If you'd like to create a Carnivale character, the application is at the bottom of this page.

Prologue

On the outskirts of town, the busses and trucks pull to a large abandoned lot. Over the next few days the trailers are unloaded, machines assembled, and tents erected. Soon the lights, sounds, and smells of Carnivale begin to call dwellers of the city in. It is here in this environment that people let go of the reservations about strangers, and indulge in the different at least for a time.

Madam Virginia Downs started Le Carnivale Magnifique some thirty years ago. In that time the Carnivale has grown from a small project to a large scale operation that has traveled the world over. Along the way she has picked up oddities of all shapes and sizes to add to her show. Red and gold tents house death defying shows while outside creaky engines turn thrilling rides. The Carnivale walks a delicate balance of lingering in town for as long as possible to earn their keep, but leaving soon enough to not over stay their welcome. That welcome does always seem to ware out sooner than later.

There may be more to that than first meets the eye. Among the various oddities Madam Downs has collected through the years are her most prized companions, The Created. No one knows why she is even aware of their existence, much less why she wants to help them, but it is within the walls of Le Carnivale Magnifique that the Created find a measure of safety and peace. A chance for them to continue their Pilgrimage and seek The New Dawn. While the majority of staff at the Carnivale rotates out, especially as Disquiet grows among them, there are a few other faces that have stuck around.

Themes

Humanism

Humanism is probably the most important single theme of Promethean. Promethean assumes that being human is a desirable condition and that the protagonists (i.e., the Created) have an intrinsic desire and drive to become human.

To unpack humanism in the context of Promethean, though, the game often presents people being people. Sometimes people are horrible. They have all kinds of reasons for that, but the bottom line is: People hurt each other. They kill, steal, rape, despoil, and they do it all, often, with this attitude of casual detachment and myopia that is just sickening. Deliberate, passionate, hatred is almost better than systemic unthinking cruelty, because at least if someone hates you they’re paying some kind of attention. Prometheans see all of that, and they know that it is humanity.

On the flip side, though, human beings are capable of simply amazing feats of kindness, bravery, selflessness, and empathy. Those moments can be small and simple or they can be huge and world-changing (Jonas Salk, when asked who owned the patent on his polio vaccine, responded, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”).

Takeaway lesson: Being human is a good thing, despite humanity’s flaws.

Transformation

The Pilgrimage, the quest for the New Dawn, is all about transmutation. The Promethean condition is lead, and the goal is nothing less than alchemy of the soul, the body, the entire nature — changing base lead into the gold of true humanity. The Promethean condition is mutable, and the Created have so many ways to lose it all. The Refinements are each philosophical methods of shaping that base metal, pushing it closer to the Great Work. Each milestone shapes the Promethean’s form just a little more, and each missed milestone is a lesson that the Promethean needs to learn in some other way.

Takeaway lesson: The Promethean condition is unstable, and Prometheans are in a constant state of flux.

Torment

Due in part to their unstable nature and in part to the fact that the Divine Fire burns too bright for the mortal world (more on that in a moment), Prometheans are never comfortable. They are unhappy in their own skin. They feel a pronounced sense of dysmorphia, as though they are never quite right…but they know they could be.

Imagine, if you will, living constantly with the feeling that you’re forgetting something really important. Or that your body isn’t really yours, and you can’t quite figure out how it works. Or that you are in constant pain — the level fluctuates, but it never really goes away.

A Promethean endures something analogous to this. Torment is an every-present thing. It rises, it suffocates, and it subsides, and the Promethean has then to assess how much progress on her Pilgrimage she’s lost because it. Controlling Torment is important.

Torment can rise in response to threat, hunger, failure, stress, and generally anything that makes a Promethean angry or afraid. It lowers in response to releasing it in some cathartic way, following the Pilgrimage (achieving milestones), and interacting with humanity in a non-stressful way.

Takeaway lesson: Prometheans are in a constant state of pain and discomfort that ebbs and flows based on what a Promethean experiences.

The Divine Fire

The Divine Fire is what animates and drives Prometheans. It allows them to do the magic that they do, to survive wounds that would kill other people many times over, and ultimately, to engineer their Great Work and become human. It also allows a demiurge to muster up the obsession and will necessary to make a Promethean.

The Divine Fire is too intense for the mortal world. It warps the world, changing it in unpredictable ways. Prometheans carry around that Divine Fire, and it scorches the Earth and burns so brightly that it fascinates and angers people. None of these effects are a Promethean’s fault; they’re nothing a Promethean can control, except in immediate, specific ways.

Takeaway lesson: The Divine Fire is dangerous to the mortal world and always warps or changes it in some way.

Isolation

Isolation At any given time, there might be one hundred Created walking the Earth. That means that most Prometheans are probably solitary folks. When a Promethean finds a throng, she sticks with it, even if the throng includes Prometheans that she’d normally not want to hang out with.

In a Promethean chronicle, the characters that the players portray are a significant percentage of the population of Prometheans in the world. The throng is crucial because without it, a Promethean might go decades without seeing another of its kind. Prometheans do not have a society or a culture. They have Azothic memory, a kind of collective unconscious that gives them information and context, but pushes them ever onward toward the New Dawn.

Takeaway lesson: The throng is the only place a Promethean can feel anything like accepted or at home.

House Rules

Custom Content

We will not be accepting Custom Content submissions for the Carnivale chronicle.

Application

Not accepting at this time.

Sphere Index

PCs

 LineageRefinementOccupationConcept
BastianFrankensteinAes (Bodyguard)Strong ManGuilty Warrior
CupidGalateaStannum (Vigilante)PerformerReal Life Dating Sim
JackOsiransCuprum (Watcher)Medic, First AidFormer Centimanus
MaisieGalateaAurum (Companion)Seamstress and Herr Jager's assistantLife In Plastic's Not Fantastic
OzTammuzFerrum (Soldier)StagehandDiamond in the Rough
TychoExtemporeAurum (Follower)Acrobat & Escape ArtistAbandoned Replacement

NPCs

 OccupationConcept
Antoine TwillMechanic at Le Carnivale MagnifiqueMindful Mechanic
Charlie NewtonJanitorFailure at the Finish Line
CypherNoneNewborn Created
Tomas JagerPerformer at Le Carnivale MagnifiqueMagister of Mysteries
Virginia DownsOwner of Le Carnivale MagnifiqueMysterious Caretaker

Plots

 StorytellerCastPlot Summary
Reno, NVRaddishTycho, Oz, Maisie, Cupid, Bastian, JackEscaping the Firestorm of Phoenix, the Throng makes their way towards a fresh and quieter start in Reno.

Recent Logs

Title Date Location Cast Summary
The Haunted Room of Illusions part 2 2024-03-09 Le Carnivale Magnifique Bastian, Jack, Maisie, Tycho The throng goes back to the Haunted House.
The Haunted Room of Illusions 2024-03-29 Le Carnivale Magnifique Jack, Maisie Maisie and Jack go to the Haunted House at the Mag and turns out it -is- actually haunted.
Trip Into Town 2024-02-23 Reno Mall Jack, Maisie, Tycho Just a trip to the mall. And Jack stole a golf cart.
The Face of Darkness 2024-02-28 A Junkyard Bastian Bastian faces off against a terrible creature.
What Could Go Wrong? 2024-02-28 Tycho Tycho has trauma.
The Call of Divine Fire Jack, Maisie, Tycho Three Prometheans and a baby (Promethean)
Make Em Sing 2024-02-23 Cupid Cupid meets Jaden and convinces the man to follow his singing dreams.
When Lightning Strikes 2024-02-16 Reno Jack, Maisie, Tycho Tycho, Maisie, and Jack are out on a casual stroll when they run into something unexpected.
Potato Tears 2024-02-11 Jack's Trailer Jack, Tycho Jack gives Tycho vodka and shows him the books she got on vampires. They agree Tomas needs to die.
Valentine's Day Gift 2024-02-14 Jack's Trailer Maisie Maisie leaves a gift for Jack.