[[Bit of a long read, so bear with me! If you don't wish to post in this thread about your possible interest, feel free to PM me and comments, questions, or suggestions!]]
The City of Gateshead. A sprawling mass of ancient buildings preserved by the untiring progress of industry. Homes dating back as far as the early 1500s have been reformatted time and time again, transforming into patchwork timelines of the city's evolution as a technological powerhouse. Nothing is ever wasted here. Even the tiniest bit of junk or trash is repurposed or reformatted into raw materials for the massive construction projects at the city's ever-expanding outer limits. Work is plentiful and omnipresent, and those who choose to become slothful and decadent are branded as criminals. The city toils ceaselessly, its citizens living and dying to the eternal heartbeat of grinding cogs, rumbling boilers, and soot-belching smokestacks.
It is a rather cold place, despite the heat from its coal-fueled heart. In winter the snow is thick and nearly constant, and even in the summer it is considered wise to bundle up. Most outerwear consist of wools or furs, with thinner materials reserved for casual wear at home, or less innocent garments for private encounters. [[Though many of city's sensibilities are consistent with an English settlement, clothing is inspired immensely by Russian fashions.]]
No one knows precisely when Gateshead was founded. As far as its people are concerned, it has always been and always will be. There is nothing beyond the city but wastelands of ash and horrors, and those who leave never last long. Not that there is a reason to leave. The city has the most innovative and efficient devices that anyone could ask for. Transportation is handled by steamboats, zeppelins, and Gear-Rollers, lightweight quadrupedal machines operated by cranks. They are largely luxuries, as most people remain within their districts out of convenience. Some families can claim to have lived in the same house for over ten generations.
It's not surprising: after only a few generations each house is generally customized to the family living in it. As most citizens practice some form of engineering, every edifice becomes a machine in and of itself. From automatic tea-makers and vacuum cleaners, to self-trimming plants and massage chairs, the possibilities are limitless. With proper permits, some have even constructed mobile homes capable of moving between districts by their own power. Creativity is encouraged at every level of society.
Gateshead is controlled by the Technocracy, a massive leadership composed of the greatest minds of each successive generation of engineers. Each district of the city is headed by a representative that hails from that particular section of the city, ensuring familiarity with the area, its citizens, and whatever problems it may face. These tend to be quite minor, such as personal disputes or neutralization of criminal elements. Gateshead, like the clocks that power it, is largely autonomous. Each individual district is built to be entirely self-sufficient, though trading and travel between them is rather common due to differences in food, styles, culture, and other less than legal commodities.
Most citizens are decidedly Christian, but the Church of Absence has also gathered a rather wide, if peculiar following. Taking root in the catacombs that support the city, the Church preaches two basic tenants. The first is that all things that will
exist, albeit in an incomplete state. A block of marble is simply a statue waiting for the proper hands, while a bundle of scrap is a technological breakthrough waiting to be constructed by a proper mind. A simple and obvious concept once explained. It teaches its followers to work hard and keep their eyes firmly open to the possibilities inherent in each of their crafts.
The second is the total absence of a god. A complete and total void. The leaders of Absence insist that it is up to humanity to fill that void, and attain true fulfillment and enlightenment for itself, by itself. Humans, they claim, are every bit as capable of the sort of creation that God has been attributed to in other religions; we just have yet to unlock this ability. Whereas initial existence was born out of chaos without a craftsman to shape it, continued existence can now be altered and constructed by the hands of mortals. The Church asserts that we as a species have an obligation to apply ourselves in this manner, to take control of the spontaneity of evolution.
Though not without its conflicts, Gateshead is a veritable paradise compared to the lands beyond. While the sun is in sight. For when night falls over the city, there is naught but silence. The street lights flick on of their own accord, and the flicking of oil lamps can be seen from behind closed curtains. But none dare leave their houses. Many do not quite understand why this is, but children are told of monstrous beasts that lurk atop the rooftops, waiting to prey on the foolhardy that have not safeguarded themselves behind closed doors. They are but stories of course, meant to scare the young into making their curfews. Yet the fact remains quite clear:
No one traveling the streets at that dark hour has ever survived till morning.
Well, I figure I may as well start off by saying, thanks for reading through all that! I've had this idea rolling about in my head for awhile now, so I figured I'd at least post it here and see if anyone would be interested in it. I'm still not sure if it's going to be a group game or not, but I figured I'd post it here just in case. This roleplay is, if you hadn't already guessed, part of a "clockpunk"ish world. The focus, however, is not going to necessarily be on the technology. For the time being I have a rough idea of where I'd like the story to go, but will likely be putting more thought into it rather soon.
The story will follow a couple (group?) of orphans. The ages are debatable, but I will allow anywhere from 12-17 years of age. Obviously any older than that and they wouldn't be staying at an orphanage to begin with. It will start in an alleyway towards the end of a typical day, where a group of orphans have gathered under the leadership of "Dee", the self-appointed top-dog of the gang. His intent is to show them that the legends and stories are patently false, and that living in ignorance is no life at all. They stay until the sun finally sets.
Suffice it to say that ignorance quickly seems like it would have been the smartest option.
As for what this roleplay may entail... The purpose of it is not the sex, but I am completely open to more intimate encounters occurring between the orphans. Obviously only characters 16-17 will be able to commit to any sort of 'carnal relations', so be sure to keep that in mind if that's what you're looking for. Violence edging towards graphic, but nothing sexual in nature. Otherwise fairly vanilla, though some non-con may come into play.
I should note that the "entities" that will be playing the antagonists for majority of the story are not sexual creatures, so one need not worry about rape in that sense. They are, however, terribly sadistic things. Some kill outright, others like to play around. Severe wounding is a possibility, from broken bones to severed limbs. However, this will only occur to player characters if I am told what each individual person is comfortable with. If someone drops from the roleplay for a long enough period of time without giving an explanation or at least a note, their characters may be killed or "go missing." I understand that we all have real duties to perform outside of our leisure hours on these forums, but I'd consider it a courtesy if I were to at least get a one-sentence private message about any extended absences.
Important NPCs would be written by me, though any other "flavor" characters that don't have drastic impact on the main plot can be created by the players. Other orphans, passerby, stores; anything that gives the city a life of its own. I will, of course, be doing my own part to help with this. Players may even play a set of twins if they'd like, but I reserve the right to have less than...fortunate things occur to one of them. This wouldn't happen anywhere near the beginning of the roleplay, if at all. I just wish to give that warning.
This would be a freeform game, though participants could certainly write up a list of "skills" if they'd like, if only so everyone could see one another's specialties. I'd prefer it if all players have a good grasp on the English language. I don't expect ultra-flowery diction all the time, nor do I necessarily want it. Description is good, but needless description is tiring. If a few people are having a conversation, you don't necessarily need to spout out fourteen paragraphs about how they happen to be feeling at the moment. A few paragraphs is fine. A minimum of one decently sized paragraph would be necessary, though certain situations would call for more.
And I do believe that's all the information I can scrap off the top of my head! If anyone has any questions, suggestions, or comments (or would like to pledge their interest), feel free to post here.