The Hereafter
Lore Guide - Printable Version

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Lore Guide - Storyteller Dark - 07-11-2020

i awoke. but... who am i? i remember this place, but these... these thoughts are new. language is new... who am i?

The Hereafter is a multi-species animal roleplay taking place in foreign lands. Thematically, it is strongly fantasy-oriented; however, a strong attempt has been made to ground this fantasy in a solid base of logic and so, to a lesser degree, Hereafter features a small measure of science fiction. There are also powerful horror themes, though these are as yet undiscovered in-character. Plot-wise, individual stories and development are encouraged, but there is a rich overarching narrative to provide a great deal of mystery and excitement to guide the roleplay along through exploration and events.

The Hereafter takes place in a crater approximately two hundred fifty miles across. This crater is populated by primarily animals familiar to Earth: feral dogs, cats, cattle and other domestic species; wild ungulates, rodents, and other prey; and a handful of predators. Every now and then, an animal will awaken one day with extremely-heightened intelligence. It will gain the rudimentary understandings of language and the capacity to rapidly learn more; it will retain the memories of its previous life, but it will not know why it has gained intelligence bar a sense of being 'Chosen.' The player character is one of these animals: upon character acceptance, the character is uplifted into intelligence and begins its journey in this world. Humans have not yet been seen or found in Hereafter.

An important aspect of Hereafter is the Alignment system. Chosen often (but not always) awaken with urges toward Light or Dark-linked behavior and regions, and their decisions throughout their uplifted lives can strengthen or change their Alignment bond. The further they delve, the stronger they become, with powerful attunment to their Alignment granting powers that seem very much like sorcery.

...what lies outside this place? i never explored, i never thought to... and why is that? are there others like me?

While situated in a warm climate, the elevation steeply increases to the north of the rivers, leaving its mountainous ridges snow-capped while the center of the crater is temperate. Minor volcanic activity beneath the lower-elevation crater's south leaves it hotter than the rest of the caldera. There appear to be two moons in the sky, sometimes present at the same time, sometimes not; one is pale silver, with a slightly blue hue. The other is the green of aged copper.

Because the Chosen are only now beginning to gain sentience, the Caldera is largely unexplored and unnamed. As Chosen explore their environment, the names they choose will likely stick.

Center (click to expand)
The caldera is trisected by two broad rivers, running from springs in the south up to the northern bay; the land rises steeply from there. Nestled in the heart of the caldera, between the rivers, is a vast area of temperate grassland. This is usually warm and pleasant in temperature, though it offers little in the way of cover against storms or predators. An abandoned city, with crumbling skyscrapers and collapsing bridges, touches the rim of the southern river along the south end of the prairie. From this city, a railroad--broken and rusted--winds north, half hidden in the grass, and comes to rest in an abandoned village. An old mine stands empty here, along with a rotten boat dock.

West (click to expand)
The western side of the caldera is a cooler, darker land, and one that often draws the Dark-aligned to it. It begins, in the south, with a marsh: not a healthy swamp, but a dead place, tainted and corrupted through some unknown means. Nothing grows here, and both the water and the air verge on toxic. North of the marsh is a thick deciduous forest, deeply-shaded with old growth trees and stretching on for many miles. Tucked in to the west is a mysterious dark forest, again as yet unexplored, with dangerous tangles of thorny vines and a strange, very dark hue to all of the plant life within. This place seems savage and untamed, and tends to attract Dark-aligned Chosen. Farther north rises a conifer forest, full of towering, dark pines. The weather here is colder, often snowing; a broad lake at this biome's center features a large and hilly island. Farthest north are snowy plains, inhospitable and bitterly cold; nestled in these, usually hidden beneath the drifts, is an old human outpost of some kind. This region is bordered by mountains in the north, and ice fields on the plateau beyond.

East (click to expand)
The lands south and east of the river seem warmer and brighter, and tend to draw the Light Chosen to them. Back south across the bay is a vast stretch of life-filled swamp, where the branching southern river's delta spreads and nourishes thick swathes of greenery. Across the river southwards is a light mixed temperate forest, open and bright, with many white birch tree groves. Farthest to the east is a strange region of pure white, elevated in tiers upon marble but covered, then, by dirt and pale, almost glowing foliage. This white forest appears ethereal and pure, and attracts to it those of the Light alignment. A strange shrine with a winged figure stands with its back to the ocean cliffs below. South of the rivers, a wandering Chosen will find savanna, similar to the grasslands but hotter, with wiry trees dotting the landscape. Farther south still can be found a rolling, sandy desert, with cacti and twists of dry grass; and nestled in the east of the desert is an abandoned scientific building complex of some kind. At the southern lip of the caldera are rocky canyons, forming a winding maze of breathtaking ravines and outcrops.

what is it that woke me? why is it that i can think now, but not before?

The Chosen are animals who awoke, one day, to find themselves sentient. A creature can be Chosen at any age; there have been very young, middle-aged and quite elderly Chosen. A Chosen will remember its previous life, and all the details of it, but may feel drawn to leave that life behind in order to seek out others with its intelligence--or to search for the reason behind its newfound mind. Characters are Chosen (or created, for Tier 3 creatures) at character creation. They cannot have past, sentient histories, though they may remember (if not Tier 3) their prior, feral life.

Depending upon its actions in life, a Chosen may find itself drawn to Light places and behavior, or Dark--or it may start off neutral, with only an inkling of one or the other.

A Chosen will often (but not always) not seem to age past its prime, or if it were already elderly, may not further age. The reason for this is as yet unknown.

Chosen can reproduce within their species, or may produce hybrids that are already naturally possible. In order to create cross-species hybrids, [UNDISCOVERED].

In terms of color, marking and patterns, Chosen begin with entirely natural appearances. Unnatural markings and colors are not allowed on newly Chosen creatures, but colors and patterns can mysteriously change as the character progresses. This may occur through plot and story, or via purchasable alterations to the character. (See more on this in Light and Dark, though part of the mechanics have yet to be discovered--this will occur through roleplay.)

Chosen come in three 'tiers,' with the more unusual creatures requiring a Token (purchasable with gained Experience) in the shop. This is in order to keep them less common, as the setting's lore demands. If you are uncertain which tier your preferred species belongs to, please contact a Storyteller for clarification.

Tier One - All land-based and semi-aquatic vertebrates (except for humans).
Tier Two (Tier 2 Token) - Aquatic vertebrates, invertebrates; [UNDISCOVERED]
Tier Three (Tier 3 Token) - Fantasy creatures, primarily based on Earth's fantasy life, but original species are accepted. Size and other limits may apply; please have your character design approved by a Storyteller before purchasing a token. These creatures, rather than being Chosen from a normal life, come into being in the far east or west as juveniles, fully-aligned with Light or Dark and adhering to the alignment's aesthetic, though they can choose to change this down the road.

why do I feel a tug... an urge... almost a command? what is this?

The caldera seems rife with an unexplained power that touches even the creatures living there. In the west, those Chosen who lived their lives focused on instinct, pleasure, and survival tend to dwell, drawn by the Dark that concentrates there. These Chosen may be selfish, malicious, and cruel, or might simply be ruthless in necessity. Others may be lackadaisical, going between life's pleasures with concern for little else. These Chosen tend to be tough, self-reliant, and strong. The western forests tend to be dark, overgrown and cold, full of savage creatures like the Thornbeast: a dog-like monster some six feet tall and seemingly twisted over with plant life, their fangs and spines resembling thorns. These mysterious creatures come and go, sometimes hunting and more often ignoring the Chosen, and appear in any region with a Dark Alignment over 75. Crows, ravens and owls frequent these locations. Those Chosen who act on their Dark impulses will find their attunement to it growing stronger... [UNDISCOVERED]

Dark Aesthetic: Dark colors, blacks, earth tones; ragged, scarred; bat- or black-feathered wings; horns or antlers; red or dark eyes. Dark-aligned creatures cannot be white, and white creatures aligning with Dark will darken to at least an ashen gray. Through metamorphic changes and influential actions, Dark-aligned creatures may (by player discretion) move from a natural form to a Dark-adherent aesthetic.

In the east, those who lived lives of wisdom, love, and self-sacrifice find their home. These lands are bright and airy, with pale foliage and grass. In the farthest east, near the shrine, the water and plants seem even to glow with silver-white light. The Chosen who come here may be selfless, loving and peaceful, or they may be soft and naive, even weak; this land poses little challenge to those who dwell within. In terms of wildlife, silver fish swim the waters here, and white doves and gulls roam the sea-cliffs at its edge. Pale deer graze in its forests and every now and then, there is a sighting of what might be a [UNDISCOVERED]. These creatures can often be found in any place that has [UNDISCOVERED]. Those who take action aligned with the Light may find their attunement to it growing stronger... [UNDISCOVERED]

Light Aesthetic: White, silver, and gold; pure and beautiful; white-feathered wings, ethereal glow; blue, silver or gold eyes. Light-aligned creatures cannot be black or very dark, and creatures aligning with Light will lighten to at least an ashen gray. Through metamorphic changes and influential actions, Light-aligned creatures may (by player discretion) move from a natural form to a Light-adherent aesthetic.

By performing certain tasks and taking part in specific events, characters may gain what is called Favor with their chosen alignment. Favor is gathered, but never spent; however, a certain threshhold of Favor is required for purchasing many of the in-game abilities bought with Experience. If a creature wishes to change its alignment, [UNDISCOVERED]

Regional Alignment - As Favor-gaining abilities are claimed, they add Light or Dark Favor to the region in which they were used. Light and Dark cancel each other out, so for example 50 Light Favor plus 30 Dark Favor leaves a region at 20 Light Favor. The effects of Favor will be unlocked and revealed as each threshhold is reached, and elaborated further on in Game Mechanics.

The essential mechanics of Light and Dark will be uncovered through in-character exploration, and updated here periodically.


if i explore, if i learn, if i find the answers to my questions... what will happen then?

Characters in Hereafter gain experience through their interactions with the world around them, noted by a number followed with the abbreviation "exp" below their name in posts.They may gain additional experience through specific quests, interactions, exploration, achievements and events. Experience can be used in the Shop to purchase various items, and can be traded out-of-character to buy, for example, artwork from another player.

Some purchasable items have a Favor requirement, limiting them to heavily-attuned Light or Dark users. Others are entirely neutral, or require only minimal Favor. A Storyteller must be contacted to purchase these, so that the Favor level can be checked. These items include:

• Passive Effects - Passives are bonuses to your character that apply to them forever after purchase. For example, a character may purchase the skill to create a Totem, and carrying a Totem permanently, passively doubles Favor gains while carried.

• Active Abilities - Skills and Powers are both Active Abilities. Skills are neutral, non-magical abilities such as combat techniques or lost knowledge (ex. the ability to read). Powers are strange abilities that are aligned with Light or Dark, and can only be used by characters aligned with their type. Some powers, and even some passives, require a certain level of Light or Dark Favor to use. In order to use an Active Ability in a thread, the post describing its use should include this code at the end: [roll=1d20] This will output, in your post, both a number between 1-20 and an indication of whether it's a Critical Success, Success, Failure, etc. The post can then be edited to reflect the outcome of the roll. Deleting posts to reroll numbers is against the rules.


• Tokens - Several types of Tokens exist. The first are Metamorphic Tokens. These allow characters to make a change to their appearance, though only one major change (ex. wings, antlers, coat color, or size change, etc.), or a few minor (claw length, eye color, etc.), can occur at one time. Characters are limited to one Metamorphic change per two weeks. Clear your design with a Storyteller before purchasing a Token. These changes will require both Alignment, and a visit to the character's [UNDISCOVERED]. There are also Tier Tokens to create less common characters. Tier One characters are free, but Tier Two and Three are of increasing rarity and, thus, cost to play. Again, please clear designs with a Storyteller before token purchase.

• Miscellaneous - One miscellaneous item is the Den. A character with enough survival Experience may create for itself one den in a region of its choosing. This den is considered impenetrable during regular casual or social roleplay, and can be used to engage in otherwise-disallowed Private threads, if desired, and to hide supplies, food, personal items and treasures. However, a Den does not protect a character from serious pursuit or plot-related spies, and cannot be used to evade any roleplay consequences. If there is uncertainty about a certain situation, contact a Storyteller for clarification. Multiple purchases are required for multiple Dens, but a destroyed Den can be rebuilt elsewhere without an additional purchase.

Please note that experience gains are in their early stages, and may be tweaked as the Storytellers gain a better idea of the rate of gain.