You didn’t exactly intend to run away and join the circus, but that’s where you’ve found yourself, none the less.
The carnival showed itself to you in the moment where you most wanted to run from the life you had, or in the moment where you felt so lost that you weren’t sure you had anything at all. You wouldn’t know it then, but it reaches out to souls like yours: those that are afraid, or confused, or in need of change. Or maybe it just sensed your craving for wonder and discovery and decided to answer your desires, whether you liked it or not.
On the other side of a door that once led somewhere else, beyond an unknown crest of trees, or down a darkened alleyway, you see it - the carnival that belongs to every world, and no world. The night sky of an alien world stretches overhead, and the beckoning lights and sounds of the fair feel as familiar as they do foreign. Whether you venture forward or not, you’ll soon find that you’ve lost track of the way to get back to where you came from. For a lack of other options, or out of genuine curiosity, you push forward.
And this is where you screw up.
You earned yourself a debt. There are a lot of ways to do it. Maybe you played a game of chance without paying, and then lost. Maybe you watched part of a show through the curtains of the big top without a ticket. Or maybe you’re one of the rare few to seek out the Ringmaster by choice, to see what this strange new world has to offer. Either way, you end up with a job with which to pay the carnival back, and a contract.
For a year and a day, you’ll travel with the carnival, given work to match your skills. You’ll see the multiverse and help to bring wonder to its various inhabitants. You’ll meet new people, discover new passions, and change in ways both physical and emotional. And after that... the Ringmaster vows to return you to the precise place and moment you left. If, of course, that is what you still want.
Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, either way, it doesn’t really matter what you think of it at the moment. The Ringmaster has decided to give this opportunity, and you had better make the best of it.
As you’ll soon learn, sometimes what goes on backstage is more complicated than it seems, and a carnival that can travel through worlds can also earn itself some powerful enemies.
The game is likely to run for a couple years, and is intended to have a flexible and free form meta plot that encourages contributions from players, and will balance carnival slice of life with more involved and dramatic plot arcs.