THE BIG TOP↴
The Big Top is where all of the biggest performances go down. There are three joined tents, with the biggest and tallest one in the center, with a smaller, cozier arrangement set up on each side. The center ring is used for performances that gather a lot of attention and need a lot of space. Animal shows, acrobats, daredevil stunts, and whatever is going to bring in the crowds is placed here.
Sideshow one and two are set up the same inside, though the colours and specifics may vary. It's a smaller, more intimate environment that lends itself to singers, dancers, magic shows, and most things that are going to focus on one or two people. This is also where they host burlesque shows, when they have the people for it. One doesn't tend to put something like that on center stage.
'The Backyard' is the typical nickname for where all the workers and performers live in between shows. It's a partially wooded area with long rows of trailers set up, each somehow unique both outside and inside. They look like they've been grabbed from all over the place, as if the Ringmaster has been forming a collection of RVs over time.
The insides have just as much variety, though they do share a few things in common: two bunks, a bathroom with a shower, a kitchenette, a couch and a dining table. Any other utilities tend to vary depending on the individual and what they've brought in. There are no channels to access with TVs, but they can be used to watch movies if your character is inclined to get one. Pets are allowed, and workers are allowed to use the ground around the trailers to plant gardens if they see fit.
There is a thick barrier of trees between the Backyard and the Grove, which can be navigator via a short pathway that leads deeper into the woods. Here is where the Supervisors live, as well as any roomates they decided to bring along with them. The clearing is usually filled with gardens and any other nonsense the Supervisors feel like bringing in, while the trailers have often wound up being stacked or laid out in a more blatantly communal fashion than the ones in the Backyard.
The trailers may look particularly old on the outside, but on the inside they are much larger than physics would normally allow. No matter each trailer's outward size, the inside is a roomy and luxury styled trailer, with all of the things in a regular trailer and then some. They are just as diverse as the common ones in the Backyard, so the layout inside can be highly variable. There are also a few extra trailers that the Supervisors have set up for whatever extra space they need for their jobs or personal studies.
The ferris wheel is hard to miss, as it stands high above any other structure in the carnival, and can be seen from almost anywhere you stand. Its lights are active both day and night. It all seems pretty normal until you ride it, but then at the very top of its rotations, its riders will find themselves able to supernaturally interact with the stars, as if they suddenly within arm's reach. For those capable of sensing such things, the top of the ferris wheel seems more closely connected to the spirit world than most other places in the carnival, and the magic of the stars is one of its more mundane tricks.
While this wooden rollercoaster may look like a bit of a death trap from a distance, it's actually quite safe. Well, as safe as rollercoasters ever are. It seems normal while it is being ridden, but after finishing the riders will find themselves temporarily capable of defying gravity by floating or simply jumping very high, usually with a forward momentum similar to the rollercoaster itself - though the people running it are asked to warn that this effect may end somewhat abruptly.
Surrounding the cookhouse lot, there are a variety of tents and game trailers that offer a variety of tests of skill and luck. People have to pass through them to get to the food, and so it's not uncommon for them to get waylaid by agents on their way through. The prizes for games can be just about anything, as the carnival picks up their stock from the various universes it passes through. Some of it is just ordinary things like stuffed animals or chalkware figurines, but the bigger prizes will often be more esoteric, and frequently enchanted. Or cursed, but the Ringmaster avoids leaving those in the mix, except for as extra spice.
The cookhouse is where you go to eat, both as employees and as guests - though there is a separate room for workers if they are inclined to use it. The cookhouse serves dishes from across the multiverse, and its standards of quality are actually very high. Depending on the species of the people working in the carnival, it may have some interesting dietary challenges to attend to as well.
There is plenty of indoor seating, and then some outdoor seating as well which sits in view of the Center Stage. Guests can choose to pay extra for a special "dinner and a show" deal most evenings.
Center Stage is where musical acts and dramatic plays tend to be performed, for the viewing pleasure of various wanderers and those dining in the cookhouse. It's usually considered one of the carnival's "free" shows, and will sometimes do short previews of a variety of acts, enticing viewers to attend the full event in the Big Top when they are done eating.
The front gate is where you pay for entry, not that all arrivals do. Neglecting to pay the entrance fee is one of the most common ways to get indebted to the carnival, as some visitors are too bewildered to consider the rules when entering. The payment asked for is fairly nonspecific: "anything of worth." That can be currency, jewelry, items of sentimental value, cellphones - pretty much anything that you personally consider to have 'worth.' You can also barter these things at the entrance for tickets that can be used to gain access to rides, games, shows, and even food.
This is a wide area filled with many individual tents and attractions - it's pretty much one half of everything that's not specifically mentioned on the carnival map. A lot of this will be filled in depending on who the current employees are, but there are also things like smaller rides and booths with more one on one services.
The swing ride is an example of this. Though it looks and acts like a regular swing in all other ways, while one rides it they are enchanted to compulsively experience a vivid flashback of a pleasant childhood experience, usually to do with playing or enjoying one's youth. If your character has no pleasant childhood memories they may not experience anything, or they may have a nightmare instead. If your character was never specifically a child, they will experience a memory for whatever their species's equivalent is - usually some kind of formative first experience.
The other half of the carnival's attractions, but on the right side instead of the left. An example of a key attraction here is the mirror maze, a large enclosed area filled with mirrors and a hard to follow pathway that changes every few minutes. While you are navigating it, however, your reflections tend to gain a life of their own - and their purpose seems to be to distract and meddle with you in any way possible. It's sort of like having a series of evil dopplegangers try to mess with your head, in the hopes that it will distract you from making it through the maze. However, these dopplegangers are not actually you and only have a limited knowledge of who you really are, so their tactics may or may not be effective. For people they see frequently, they may give up on bothering you all together, or even be personable if you are friendly to them often enough.
This is where all the magical creatures and animals the carnival hosts live, and visitors can be toured through the area for a fee. Otherwise, the residents are mostly just used for performances. The menagerie has some larger buildings at its start for the purposes of storing supplies and keeping some of the more stationary creatures, but from there it leads into a series of mildly rickity looking wooden pathways. There are no physical boundaries between enclosures, but there is magic that prevents the animals from crossing into each other's territory. Some areas are contain bodies of water like this for aquatic species to be kept in. To enter areas safely, you must cross through designated wooden gates, but that's for workers only. As long as you stay on the path, there are enchantments that will protect you from the beasts inside - if you leave it, well, that's your problem.
A BRAND NEW LAKE!!!↴
Recently, the Ringmaster decided to add a whole new lake and mountainous area to the carnival grounds, only a short trail's distance from the backyard. Unlike most of the forest, this area won't just lead you in circles when explored, meaning that it can actually be modified and developed as the workers see fit. Presently, the water is always clean and just the right temperature for swimming, though it gets a bit cooler the deeper you swim. At the far side of the lake, there is a warm, stone pathway leading up the side of the mountain, that will eventually take you to some bangin' hot springs. Brought to you mostly because the Ringmaster doesn't know how to say sorry with actual words.
INTO THE WOODS↴
The entirety of the carnival is surrounded by a dense, magical forest that is impossible to traverse. The trees from the forest leak into the carnival area, leaving things anything from lightly to thickly wooded depended on the location. These trees are the most common method of people arriving, and also the biggest thing keeping them from running away again. Something about them isn't normal, either - there are species here with odd effects, and traits characters will likely not have seen anywhere else.