Thanks to Mr Marsu for the awesome header image

Hello and welcome back to our collaborative storytelling experiment. If this is your first time here, fear not. Everything you need to know in order to participate is right here in this post. Come on in and join the fun!

Today we’re starting out by going over the results of the past two posts regarding the setting and the protagonist of the story, respectively. You can find those here and here. If you’ll recall, in the initial post of this experiment, you guys selected a Steampunk setting with a plot focused around a mystery. After narrowing our focus a bit, we gave our setting a supernatural spin and a gothic horror vibe on top of the steampunk theme we settled on.

Now let’s see how our setting has shaped up since then based on ideas I’ve selected from you guys and mixed and matched. Two weeks ago I asked for more details about our setting and left submissions open for an extra week while we began developing our protagonist. As established earlier, our setting takes place on an alternate Earth with made up countries to give us more freedom to tell our own story. This world is home to supernatural things like werewolves, ghosts, and the like. Monsters and spirits walk amongst man and animals on this world.

The story is set in the city of Mbira, the great imperial capital of Skarskiva, a vast empire and one of the major nations of this world. Skarskiva is one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world and is made up of many different regions that used to be independent states before united under the rule of the first Empress hundreds of years ago under threat of being wiped out by monsters. Since that time, many neighboring states have been conquered and annexed by the Empire. As for Mbira itself, it is one of the great industrial centers of the world in a time when incredible new inventions and technologies never before possible are being developed, many right in Mbira.

There are a few other nations that are important players in the setting as well. To the southwest lies Mirliton, a small republic that values freedom and has long fought off Skarskiva’s attempts at conquest. To the east is a larger nation called Temnobor, ruled by an oligarchy of the nobility. It is still relatively agricultural and suffers from monster problems. To the north lies Soriena, another large empire, and Skarskiva’s historical rival. They are in a current time of peace with each other after the last major war between them. Soriena is technologically advanced but is starting to lag behind Skarskiva. Situated to the northwest of Skarsiva and the the west of Soriena is an as of yet unnamed democratic state known as a rich nation and a hub of trade where political power is mostly held by merchants. And finally, on the other end of the globe is a large nation that is a rising superpower undergoing rapid industrialization that has eyes of one day rivaling and surpassing the likes of Skarskiva and Soriena, but for now they remain behind them.

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That’s it for the setting for now. Let’s shift gears and see what you’ve come up with for our protagonist so far. Everyone who submitted opted for a female protagonist, so that’s what we’re going with. Averaging out age submissions, our heroine is in her early 20s. She’s a young aspiring inventor trying to make a name for herself. She has chin-length dark hair with some blonde highlights and amber eyes. She has a light tan skin complexion but it can be hard to tell because she’s usual covered in soot from working in her workshop. Two separate people said she carries a pocket watch, so that’s a thing. It never tells the right time, though, so she’s always late or early, never on time. Her personality is still being developed, but for now her core traits are optimism, intelligence, and cleverness, but she has a fear of failure.

And there, now we’re all caught up. Now that we have a better understanding of the setting and we have a basic description of our heroine, we can go about inserting her into the world a bit more. Or something. I’ve got some random odds and ends to cover too. Let’s get to it.


1. Now that we know a bit about our protagonist, what is her name?

2. Given what we’ve established about the setting, come up with a bit of backstory for this character. Go as simple or in depth as you like.

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3. How is she involved in our mysterious mystery that I’ve told you nothing about? :P

4. Every hero needs a sidekick! Make a simple pitch for a sidekick character.

5. What should we name the two as of yet unnamed major nations?

6. Do you have any other ideas about anything we’ve discussed so far, be it about the protagonist, the setting, the nations, or anything else really?

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That’s it for now. I almost have enough to begin writing so look forward to that. In the meantime, I look forward to your contributions!