A Shattered Masquerade in Second Life

Darkness Prevails - Shattered Masquerade; Inara Pey, October 2016, on Flickr Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masquerade – click any image for full size

Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masqueradee is a new role-play environment by Lokhe Angel Verlack (Jackson Verlack) and Miza Cupcake Verlack (Mizaki), based on the Worlds of Darkness (WOD) universe. It has just moved to a new full region, and is open for business, although some work is still continuing in developing RP locations. Regular readers of this blog may remember that Lokhe and Miza previously operated another WOD inspired role-play realm, World of Darkness: Château Village, which I wrote about back in October 2015. So, are the two connected?

“This is entirely separate from Château Village,” Miza told me as we toured the region together. “We actually started Shattered Masquerade in September, with a half-region build we called The Oasis, that was a starting point for our story. We’re now moving things on from there, expanding things to offer more opportunities for free-form role-play. There are no meters, and we’re letting the story unfold in a gentler way for now; the first chapter in the 1/2 region had a lot of action.”

Darkness Prevails - Shattered Masquerade; Inara Pey, October 2016, on Flickr Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masquerade

The Oasis set the scene to the unfolding story: in the 23rd Century, Earth has been ravaged by a war caused by the shattering of the masquerade: the barrier which kept humans from seeing all the supernatural beings living among them: vampires, werewolves, demons, fae folk, who had previously gone about their lives out-of-sight of mortals.

The war ultimately ravaged Earth, with humanity fleeing to a terraformed Mars, returning only to end the war by turning Earth into a prison for the other races, who were used as sport and for experimentation. But when the orbital station providing protection for the humans on Earth is destroyed, those on Earth find themselves trapped on Earth, cut-off from Mars and forced to face survival in a hostile environment and among potentially hostile races.

Darkness Prevails - Shattered Masquerade; Inara Pey, October 2016, on Flickr Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masquerade

From the arrival point, where one can learn more about RP here, pick their preferred race and tribe / group (and casual visitors / those interested in joining the RP) can pick-up an Out Of Character tag, which should be worn at all times within the region. From here, a teleport delivers folk to The Wastelands – ravaged Earth – at ground level. This is a harsh, rugged place where little vegetation remains, and the land is cast under a dust-laden sky. It is home to the human settlement, commanding the highest point in the land, and the neutral marketplace  where the various races come together to banter and trade – the one place where fighting of any description is not tolerated, for the good of all. Also to be found here, tucked away under the lee of rocks and cliffs, is a small clinic.

Further afield, and awaiting discovery are the portals leading to Arcadia, realm of the changlings – fae folk, darklings, etc., and the Caves, realm of the werefolk. Both offer very different environments to the ramshackle human habitation, suggesting the non-human races have tighter, more settled social bonds and structure. A further realm, the Underworld, is under construction, and will be coming on-line soon.

Darkness Prevails - Shattered Masquerade; Inara Pey, October 2016, on Flickr Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masquerade

“We’re open for players now,” Miza told me of the region’s status. Those wishing to join the role-play are encouraged to visit, explore and then complete the on-line application form. The rules are fairly straight-forward, in keeping with the wish to generate free-form role-play with multiple threads, and rentals are available for players wishing to make Shattered Masquerade their home.

The free-form element offers plenty of opportunities for player to develop their own stories and plot lines, whilst also allowing the admins to gradually add story arcs as well – such as the potential for a mission from Mars arriving to learn why the space station fell silent. “So that’s good for story evolution,” Miza confirmed, “but the emphasis is really to keep things loose, and let people have fun.”

Darkness Prevails - Shattered Masquerade; Inara Pey, October 2016, on Flickr Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masquerade

You can find out more about Darkness Prevails – Shattered Masquerade by visiting the official website, where there is plenty of information on back story, races, the rules of play, together with the aforementioned application form.

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