The Story Thus Far - Season 1

The following article is a recap of the fictional history of "The GoTverse" from 2020-2021 (Season 1). For recaps of the game events IRL, see the following articles:  
  • Game of Tomes 2020 Recap
  • Game of Tomes: Tourney of Tales of April 2021
  • Game of Tomes: Tourney of Tales of July 2021
  • Prelude

    In a world very like our own, there existed a little known magical art called Literomancy. According to legend, literomancers had the power to rewrite reality with the use of the written word. The things they wrote came into being.   Over time, the art fell into disrepute. Perhaps something happened to reduce its power, or perhaps the art declined as literomancers were actively targeted by kings, queens, and other political leaders throughout history. Literomancers were particularly persecuted during the War of the Roses, and the art all but disappeared after the Renaissance.   Yet there remained in the world a number of literomantic Houses who still practiced their art in secret. Their mysteries, and the tattered remnants of their libraries, were passed down through these families for generations. Once nobility of great power and influence, these families had mostly lost all of their temporal power, and were effectively common folk whose titles had no significance, except in literomantic circles. Annually, these families would meet to compete in a literomantic event to test their skills against each other, an event called the Game of Tomes.  

    The First Word War

    In 2020, as the world reeled under the effects of Covid-19, the literomancers still made arrangements to meet for their annual competition. But this year, things were different. The first indication of this was that certain "wild talent" literomancers had begun to appear, with no connection to any of the known literomantic Houses.   A small, internet based news outlet, the ASC News Network, was the only network covering this oddball event, much in the same way that VICE covers countercultural events. Mostly their reporters were literomancers involved in the competition.   But they found that instead of simply being eliminated in the Game when the House they were writing for had compiled the lowest word count in a five-day period, many of the literomancers actually died -- and kept writing.   These new Tome Zombies seemed to have fallen under the influence of someone calling himself the Night Monarch -- the subject of an ancient legend that even most literomancers believed was merely a myth. The return of this ancient evil brought with it word of the return of an even more ancient artifact -- The Iron Tome, which was said to have the power to bring into being anything written in its pages, regardless of the laws of physics or even logic. And the literomancers found that their powers suddenly had more broad-reaching effects than they had in hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years.   Now the literomantic Houses, who had been merely playing a game, found themselves in a genuine war, as each began writing to defeat the ever-growing Undead Horde, and each other, for control of the Iron Tome.   The literomancers primarily banded together under the leaders of some of the most powerful literomantic Houses, who had maintained their literomantic traditions and something of their libraries successfully throughout history, despite, in many cases, poverty and struggle. These Houses and leaders were:  
  • DaniAdventures, The Queen Bee of House Apis - a female writer and graphic artist from the United States Eastern seaboard
  • Cryssalia , The Big Birb of House Avis - an enby student from Malaysia
  • Siobhan the Writer , The Bat Monarch of House Chiroptera , a Canadian transwoman service industry worker and entry-level reporter for the ASC
  • Sable Aradia , The Chief Rabbit of House Lapin, a demigender Canadian journalist for the ASC and recently-published writer
  • Darth Nikolas, The Great Badger of House Meles, a male general labourer and part-time accountant from Montana, United States
  • Coffee Quills, The Cosmic Kraken of House Mollusca, a mysterious genderfluid werekraken who may be thousands of years old, currently living in Japan
  • Game of Tomes 2020 Recap
    Military Conflict | Jan 7, 2022
      Several minor literomantic Houses, and other literomancers, who lacked the resources of the so-called "Great Houses'," also participated in that particular Game of Tomes event, so they were present for the outbreak of what would later be called the First Word War .   As the Houses fell one by one, with the The Nite Qing Erin Righ -- who was, in fact, the estranged husband of Sable Aradia, and half-brother to the Royal Consort of House Meles, Realm of Music -- eliminating all opposition to his possession of the Iron Tome, House Leader after House Leader were not just defeated, but taken by the Undead Horde. The only survivor of the leadership of the defeated Great Houses was Sable Aradia, with House Lapin the last to fall before the final conflict. She fled to House Mollusca with the remainder of her House, and bent the knee to Coffee Quills in return for aid and succor.   A last stand was made by the surviving literomancers, now known as Tome Knights, against the undead literomancers, now known as Tome Zombies, and their army of more "common" undead at the Battle of Zafforza Trench . Most of the battle, despite the name, took place on Japan's coastline. The recently re-christened Tome Knights were finally victorious.  

    Aftermath

    Upon achieving victory, the Cosmic Kraken claimed the Iron Tome, and used its pages to resurrect all the Tome Zombies, and all other undead that any of the surviving Tome Knights personally knew or could find.   The victory was a pyrrhic one. While the Great Houses all survived the War (some, barely,) only four Lesser Houses managed to make it through the apocalypse; some with only a single member left alive.   The world was forever changed by the return of literomancy and the accompanying zombie apocalypse. Most nations of the world collapsed. The G8 and other significant industrialized nations remained in some form, but they were now divided as they declared their fealty to the literomantic Houses, frightened by their significant magical powers, and hoping for some modicum of protection should the zombies return. The literomantic Houses now have far more temporal power than they ever have, and effectively, each leader of one of the Great Houses suddenly found themself a ruler of an empire.   Further, writing in the Iron Tome had unforeseen consequences. The geography of the world significantly changed, although all but the Tome Knights seem to think it has always been as it is now. Further, literomancy suddenly had even more power and effectiveness, and the abilities of the literomancers became truly frightening in what they were able to accomplish. As a silver lining side effect, Covid-19 completely disappeared; indeed, had never existed.   Wisely, Coffee Quills made the decision to never use the Tome again, nor to allow anyone else to do so, and they sealed it in a vault at the bottom of The Zafforza Trench in the depths of the ocean, protected by guards at all times.   At the end of the First Word War, DM Stretch made a mysterious broadcast to an unknown party from somewhere near The Warren, referring to the launch of an operation called "New Dawn." To whom was he reporting, and what did he mean?  

    Peacetime: 2021 Tourney Season

    With the Undead Horde defeated, Erin Righ was restored to his living self. His wife, Sable Aradia, asked him to return to House Lapin's traditional stronghold, The Warren. But Erin no longer trusted himself, and instead wandered aimlessly until taken in by House Chiroptera, where he became the Bat Queen's General.   The Tome Knights decided to restore a traditional custom, called the Tourney of Tales, in which they would get together to practice their skills -- just in case the Undead Horde should make a return. In the Middle Ages, these Tourneys were held in April and July, and so the first Tourney of Tales in more than 400 years was scheduled to take place in Japan in April 2021, hosted by House Mollusca, as the House that currently held the Iron Tome.   The ASC News Network, in the process of a hostile takeover from the GOT News Network, continued to report to the world on the event, but now found a much larger following, and more personal influence. Having made a name for herself as one of the last TV shows to stay on the air during the War, AuthorGoddess, a wild talent literomancer and mercenary, became the most popular talk show host in the world, with her insider's reports on the activities (and personal lives) of the Tome Knights, especially the House nobles.   A significant social event, which set the stage for politics in the Realm for the next year, was the Grand Feast hosted by the Mother of Bunnies Sable Aradia at the Warren. Almost every major figure among the Tome Knights made an appearance, and several alliances were made or rebuilt.   House Meles won the April 2021 Tourney of Tales, in large part due to the prolific efforts of two of their members, Amelia Nite and Lord Galakrond.  
    Game of Tomes: Tourney of Tales of April 2021
    Tradition / Ritual | Aug 17, 2022

    The Tourney of Tales is a fun, less high-pressure version of Game of Tomes for Camp NaNoWriMo on Twitch, and any writer can play!

      The July 2021 Tourney was less peaceful. The Queen Bee suffered significant undead necrosis during the 2020 War, and was required to withdraw herself and her House from the Tourney, temporarily losing their status as a Great House. ShyRedFox, leader of House Kitsune, stepped up to take her place. Little did the unsuspecting Tome Knights know that this was the first maneuver in an effort to build up the power of an elicit organization known as the Self Care Mafia.   The Penguin Prinx Cryssalia was also significantly less involved in the Tourney than might be expected, and was forced to withdraw from public participation soon after, thus losing their status as a Great House.   There was also a public scandal in that one of the Tome Knights of House Meles was caught cheating. The Wordlords of Meles removed the offender from the House, and forfeited the words they had earned. As a result, House Lapin was declared the July Tourney victor.  
    Game of Tomes: Tourney of Tales of July 2021
    Tradition / Ritual | Jul 25, 2022

    Videos from the First Word War

    First Word War, Week 1

     

    First Word War, Week 2

     

    First Word War, Week 3

     

    First Word War, Week 4

     

    First Word War, Final Confrontation

     

    First Word War, Victory!

     

    First Word War, Aftermath

    Videos from Season 1 in Peacetime

    April 2021 Tourney - Grand Feast

    Start from the Beginning?

    The Story Thus Far - Season 1
    Generic article | Aug 17, 2022
     

    Next Article

    The Story Thus Far - Season 2 | Second Word War
    Generic article | Aug 17, 2022


    Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades

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