The Carnival of Wonder

In the Sixth Age, the "Age of Ravens," magic and heroes have disappeared from the world.  Demi-humans and other humanoid species have all but retreated from view.  The great Empires and Kingdoms of the former age are shadows of their former power, and warlords and raiders wield as much influence as self-proclaimed kings in their crumbling palaces and keeps.  Disease cuts its way through hungry populations, and small moments of joy are cherished and rare amongst years of toil.  The dead are restless, and reluctant to stay in their graves. Survival is the all consuming goal of the hard men of the new age, and those that are weak are washed away by the cruelties of the world.  The Carnival of Wonder sails the dark seas, bringing escape from the harsh realities of the World of Kempin.
Carnival of Wonder

Professeur Devereux's Carnaval des Merveilles (or Professor Devereux's Carnival of Wonder) travels from port to port in three leaky ships, bringing jugglers, bards, jesters, trick horse riders, an illusionist, a medium, fortune tellers, a faith-healer, the great thespian Merielle Vandame, a Squee-impersonator who calls himself Son of Squee, a knife-throwing act, acrobats, a family of high-wire artists, a strong-woman, a freakshow attraction, and a beastmaster and his menagerie of strange beasts, among other wonders.

The Carnival's owner, the good Professor Devereux, comes from Swanluke on the Mainland, and speaks the old tongue of Swanluke, plus Empire Common with a thick accent.  He is a dandy of the first order, and enjoys the finer things.  He has dark good looks, slicked back hair, and a pencil mustache.  His clothing is formal and expensive, through well-used and threadbare.  And more often than not you will find a tall top hat perched upon his head.  Professor Devereux is generous and kind, but rarely talks about his past.  He tends to hold everyone at a professional distance, and rarely opens up to any of the members of the Carnival of Wonder.

Your characters are members of the Carnival.  For instance, Bert's character, the Targ woman named Torvina, is the Carnival's strong-woman.  A fighting ring is set up for her at every port, and she will fight all comers for a price.  If they win, they get a large reward.  But, nobody ever beats her.  She also engages is weight-lifting and other feats of strength to delight the crowd.  What role does your character play in the Carnival?

I'll be glad to work with each and every one of you come up with how your character fits into the Carnival of Wonder.  Bards are pretty simple to fit in, but don't feel the need to do the obvious.  Rogues could be jugglers and/or acrobats.  Fighters could help set up the Carnival, and serve as security.  Etc. etc.  Take some time thinking about the atmosphere of the Carnival, as it travels from port to port in a broken world, and how you fit in.  Take a little time to think of how you came to be in the Carnival, and why you stay with it.

Species are (sort of) limited to humans as a default.  BUT, I will entertain any proposal by a player to be some other species.  You must simply work with me to figure out how it is possible that you are some other species, and how it fits into the campaign.  I will consider approving a character that is something other than human if we can answer these questions.  For instance, Bert's character is a Targ.  So, I'm not unreasonable.  Just understand, being most other species comes with consequences (both positive and negative), and I will be open and honest with you about that up-front.

At least at the beginning of the campaign, the port-to-port travels of the Carnival of Wonder will allow us to visit a lot of interesting places, and run into all sort of interesting scenarios for your characters to deal with.  If you have any questions, drop me a note!

We'll likely be starting this campaign somewhere around the June Game, give or take a month.  Just wanted to get you thinking with plenty of time to mull it over.



    • Mark Stinson

      I am aware of Critical Role, but I despite much prodding by Ross and others, I have never watched/listened to an episode.  I'm not even sure why...but no matter how entertaining they are, I'm not sure I'd enjoy watching other people play D&D.

      We will be starting at first level.  I'll post tonight in this Discussion area of the Carnival of Hope group, about magic and spell-casters in the campaign.


      • Marcus Auerilius

        Also, Have you ever watched Critical Role season two? It starts off with a carnival adventure...had a moment of deja vu reading the description above.


        • Marcus Auerilius

          Will we be starting at level 1?

          • Chris Snevets

            Lizardman playing a human, playing a lizardman at the circus? J/K