A web originalfantasy story universe, Metamor Keep is a massive shared story universe that has been active for many years, and still enjoys a good following of writers and readers. With well over six million words archived to date, and has a reasonably open policy to submitting your own content. One of the writers, named Raven Blackmane, who abandoned his alias and became known as Chris Lester, wrote a spinoff known as the urban fantasy podcast and story universe Metamor City, which has since been declared non-canon. A sequel series to the original Metamor Keep is in the works under the tentative title of Metamor Future.The setting chronologically begins with the fierce engagement, known as the Battle of the Three Gates, in which a wizard from the north attacks all three gates of the titular Keep, seeking to pass through the surrounding valley and into the southern Midlands, which he believes are waiting to be conquered. In order to quickly dispatch his enemies, he engineers a curse, which changes the defenders minds and bodies into one of three forms; animals, babies, or the other gender. This incapacitates the defenders, and allows the wizard and his army to enter the city. Unknown to Nasoj, however, was that a group of mages from the Keep had been sent to activate an ancient defense system. They succeed a few minutes after the curses fall, and the defenders, restored partially to their old bodies and fully to their own minds, attack the invading army with enough fervor to drive them out, keeping the Midlands safe for now.The story universe focuses on the inhabitants of the Keep after the Curse. Now bipedal animals, gender flipped, or unable to age past puberty, they are now thought of as monsters in the south, and still subjected to constant attacks from the north.It also has an IRC channel, and as per The Wiki Rule, there is a wiki.The Character Page needs some love.
Provides examples of:
Aerith and Bob:You have characters named Misha, Cedric, Phil, Thomas, George, Claire, Jon Charles, Kimberly, Jessica, Josephine, Georgette, Edmund, all sharing the same universe and in some cases house as characters named Zyphar, Zagrosek Any last name Albert/Alberta uses, Altera, Thallburg, Wessex, Malakai, Xhyz, Zalgorithim, Nasoj, Hawl, Pascal, and Yariv. A woman named Lhindesaeg changes his name to Lindsey upon her becoming a man.
All Just a Dream:In the story "Duke Of Metamor?" Misha Brightleaf kills Duke Thomas and proclaims himself the new Duke Of Metamor, but it's revealed that he's an honest and loyal Metamorian who merely got lost in a game of Dungeons And Dragons with a friend
Central to the canonicity of "Expansion of Power". Because it is written by one author using another's characters, it was originally intended to be noncanon. However, after some discussion, it was decided that the story could, with a few adjustments, fill the role of foreshadowing for future developments.
Not a pure example, as Laracin does talk to others at times. If anything, more of a zig-zag because Laracin may be able to talk to people, but they will eventually forget about him since he can live indefinitely due to being a tree. Almost all plans for the Metamor Future include him still living hundreds of years later but gaining the power to astral-project.
One potential future for Nasoj suggests him getting hit with all three curses...that are constantly changing him, forcing him to never maintain the same form for more than a few minutes.
Anachronism Stew: Where to start? Well it's a running gag amongst the authors that several characters wear glasses before they were invented, Pascal appears to have a gas stove in her workship, and do not get us started on Stealth.
Some of the anachronisms are justified in-universe as the result of magic pushing technology forward in some areas. Lampshaded by all the authors.
Portusia itself is based off of an amalgamation of Spain, Portugal, and most of South America.
Attractive Bent-Gender: Pretty much everyone affected by the gender bender curse - actually justified, since Nasoj intended for the curse to turn the men of one gate into sex slaves.
Author Avatar: Most of the writers have one to some extent: Copernicus, Charles Matthias, Raven Blackmane, Wanderer, Virmir, etc.
Badass: Many characters invoke this on a regular basis, but special mention goes to Charles Matthias who can level ships with his fists and kill lutins by sheer force of will in addition to Misha Brightleaf who in one installment travels all the way to Nasojara (Where the big bad lives) unarmed just to get his Axe Whisper back. Actually, basically any Half-Animal main character at any given time is this at one point or another
Beware the Nice Ones: Charles Matthias may be friendly, courteous, patient, honorable, and an absolute gentlemen. But if you say anything bad about his wife or threaten his home or family. The gloves are off and he will unleash the full force of the Sondeck. Which him basically becoming fueled by rage to gain a power that allows him to kill with his mind and enhance his speed and strength to herculean levels.
Misha Brightleaf, who is a good friend and a generally level-headed individual in daily life, has been known to go on insane one-man assaults when anyone presses his Berserk Buttons.
Berserk Button: Intructions for surviving Metamor's citizens are as follow Do not threaten Cedric's sister, do not insult Charles' family, do not call Virmir "Kendo" or point out that he resembles a child, Always call Loriod, Lord Loriod when speaking to him as painful as it is to do so, and do not be a Sondeckis around Rickterr.
A country in the south (Portusia) had a ruler named King Rafael III, with the last eighteen years of his tenure being called the "Reign of Terror". Subverted in that it was actually a group of advisers, and the real king had died of Polio.
Chaos Architecture: Metamor Keep itself. It's actually justified - the keep itself changes its architecture.
Cerebus Roller Coaster: Some stories are quite serious; others are just plain silly. Reading recommended stories in order can cause this, or reading them in chronological order; because if you do this, you see some people who write comprehensive story-arcs and then the next story that takes place after that is by a different author who is writing about a day in the life of the keep.
Crisis Crossover:Winter Assault, although the entire series could be considered one between the fursonas of various TSA writers Past and Present.
Intercontinuity Crossover: There was one with FoxCutter's A Fox In The Works and Metamor Keep, where two versions of FoxCutter met one another, one Lioness the other a Male Fox. And another is in the works as a crossover with Hawl's entries in Paradise of all things, and he has stated it to be incredibly dark. Odd as Paradise is mainly a Slice Of Life series where Real Life Writes The Plot and Metamor can be this at times, but is mostly a fantasy epic. Just as you might imagine it's deliciously non canon, though the Fox In The Works one appears to still be in continuity.
Dark Is Not Evil: Surprisingly, a couple Daedra, Nocturna for example is simply the goddess of dreams, omens, and death.
Depraved Bisexual: Altera Loriod is an evil example that is cringeworthy, Pascal Q. Porcupine is a good example that may require brain bleach or leave you with a smile on your face. Interestingly enough the former is FTM Genderbent while the latter is MTF genderbent, though given that Pascal and Loriod were created by separate authors it is most likely a coincidence.
Door Stopper: One of the reasons there's such a strong All There in the Manual is because Matthias's stories (Which comprise a lot of the content) are LOOOOONG. Heck, if you turned this into an anthology, it'd be bigger than most phone books.
Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: Averted! Father Hough is raped by Depraved Bisexual Lord Loriod, the result leaves him nearly insane, unable to trust men, and irreversibly turned into a child. though his mindset eventually got better
Eternal Sexual Freedom: Averted, Metamor is more accepting of homosexuality and women's rights only because of the curses. Most of the time the former is reserved for people who were wed before the curse hit them and the latter for men turned into women.
Exactly What It Says on the Tin: One would think that Duke Thomas would have the foresight to predict that a permanent transformation curse would one day fall on a kingdom called Metamor(phosis)
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Invoked, as the wiki describes regions as being similar to real-world counterparts to establish a sense of familiarity. (Irombi is Africa, the Giantdowns are Siberia, the Kkhart empire is Egypt, someone may potentially place a Mesoamerican-empire in Fan Shoar, etc.)
Gender Bender: Being related to the Transformation fandom (often the Furry Fandom, too.) there is some of this. Oddly enough, it's actually not as common in this universe as in other bits in the Transformation fandom...and even includes an implication of female to male.
Gender Is No Object: Justified and Subverted, as Metamor would basically be without a military they didn't allow their newly female knights to remain on staff. Something an early villain, a traitor who had fired his female staff and replaced them with men who used to be women and thus had no real training, neglected to realize leading to his comically easy defeat. Additionally a few women who were never men nor are they now take pretty high command in the military and staff for women, such as Jessica who is the leading expert on the three curses, Raven who is a High Priestess, and Claire who is a pikewoman who turned down being a scout for personal reasons.
Gender Blender Names: There are plenty to go around! Most TG Keepers Charles/Chantel, George/Georgette, Edward/Edwina, Matthew/Malisa, Joseph/Josephine, Lhindesaeg/Lindsey (Lindsey being the male name) and Cedric/Cedrina is suggested jokingly. Though somewhat averted as a few Keepers who are now men/women such as Walter, Altera, and Yariv refuse to rename themselves.
Hypocrite: Lord Loriod's brief rule of Loriodina had involved pretty much turning all the women of Loriodina into sex slaves, this is even more of a dick move when you remember that before Three Gates Lord Loriod's title was Lady Loriod.
Jesus Taboo:A few of the stories attempted to bring religion into the story, many were angered by this, one writer who later became known as JonBuck even left the setting over this The presence of Catholicism and Protestantism were retconned out. Though in some of the earlier stories, most by MatthiasRat, you can see where a sloppy editing job left the word "Catholic" in a few times
Catholics are now called Followers, Protestants are now called Rebuilders, Jews are now called Predecessors, and Pagans are now Lothanasi
God is now called Eli and Jesus Yashua, but most other aspects of the faith are the same.
Long Runner: This started in the late 90s. Yeah, not that old compared to other long-runners...but for a Web Original series, that's actually quite old, especially since it has had spinoffs like Metamor City and a What If? universe in the making.
Misplaced Vegetation: The wiki mentions potatoes; with no clear equivalent of the Americas...at least not yet. (Fan Shoar is implied to be the Americas) Laracin is also a tamarack tree, which is native to the Americas.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:Nasoj probably didn't want to curse Metamor after all, especially since Now that the Duke is a stallion or a Horse King, there's a Sondeckis Rodent who is essentially a Rat Of Might, and the rabbit prince from another kingdom is a Hare Of White. The prophecy of Mad Felix chronicling the eventual defeat of Nasoj has a feasible chance of happening. Later it's revealed that Baal's price for even creating the curse in the first place was that it would be eventually used to ensure that Nasoj would be defeated
Ninja: The southern mage tribes each fill parts of this role for the setting. The Sondeck are physical fighters who make use of a powerful internal force to strike blows far harder than they could physically manage. The only weapon they are shown using is the Sondeshike, a polearm. On the other hand, the Kankoran are far more weapons-oriented, basing some techniques around mastery of the sword specifically. The fact that the two clans hate each other causes almost any meeting to result in a Cool vs. Awesome battle.
Orcus on His Throne: Zig-zagged. Nasoj appears to be taking his sweet time destroying the keep; but one of the biggest story arcs was actually dedicated to an assault lead by Nasoj.
Note that, due to the rules of the setting, although Nasoj is massively powerful, he could not hope to wage a one-man war with the Keep without utterly failing. Also, since his power has waned in recent years, it's less an example of this trope, and more of an aversion of Suicidal Overconfidence.
Our Elves Are Better: It's assumed the elves in this universe are descendants of the Fair Folk. Actually, not that far off from other mythologies.
Our Werewolves Are Different: There are other lycanthropes, not just Werewolves. An entire dynasty in the Kkhart Empire was a line of werelions. There are also even werespiders in this universe, too, commonly found around Irombi.
Physical God: The Aedra and Daedra except they're not really gods.
Running Gag: Authors have plenty of running gags, such as latex, the Hyacinth in the Garden, or how Copernicus can never be beaten in pool. (The latter of which is actually a cardinal rule of the setting.)
See also playing random animal-instinct bits for laughs.
Sequel Series:The Audio Podcast Metamor City by Chris Lester, though almost no one who writes for Metamor Keep considers City canon. The creator of Metamor City has even come right out and stated that City isn't canon.
Species Surname: Jack DeMule, Pascal Q. Porcupine the latter is justified because Pascal is an alias, her real name is unknown. Hawl's middle name is Tygarus (Tiger-us).
Talking to Himself:Hawl and Seranima are both Author Avatars of the same person, Hawl being made to portray who the author was growing up and up until his/her hormone therapy and Sera meaning to portray who she is today. Misha and George have a similar relationship. Misha and George not only speak to each other often as both are members of the Long Scouts of which Misha is the captain of. Not only do Hawl and Seranima exchange dialogue, but the two have an upcoming story where they exchange origins over a few drinks.
There Are No Global Consequences:In the story right after Keeping The Lamp Lit, life quickly goes back to normal and Charles doesn't seem concerned at all that one of his best friends is freaking out on a hospital bed. Given that there are mulitple writers this doesn't seem so bad except this story and Keeping The Lamp Lit were both written by the same person. It seems even more jarring that no one seems to notice nor care that a vicious tyrant who was enslaving women and animal alike has been brought to justice or that the Duke's Vassals actually fought to keep Loriod protected until they realized he attacked another noble.
Transformation Conventions: Because several of the characters are Author Inserts of people who happen to be furries, this is actually the case with various characters:
Charles who is very intelligent and very stealthful became a rat, and it's noted that this an appropiate body for him by several characters in canon. Cedric who is a very traditional knight noted for being very brave and on task becomes a horse.
Thallburg who is ornery and bi-polar became an alligator.
Pascal who was very flirtacious and young minded became both younger and a woman,
Wessex who was always the runt growing up and had moved to Metamor to try and prove himself an adult before the curses became [[Irony eternally a child.]] Loriod is a corrupt power-hungry jerk who liked being in charge of other people, and she became a man.
It is suggested that Dame Seranima suffered from Gender Identity Disorder (though no one knows what that even is or if that's even a thing because again, Middle Ages) when she was a man, no surprises what she turns into.
Would Not Hit a Girl:It is noted that for this reason Cedric Bariclauph will not fight a woman and is harsh to people who do. Even when his life is threatened by one he mainly stays on the defensive. He also tends to count people under the Metamor Curse as women, even when they weren't that way before. Cedric also repeatedly denies Sir Yariv's request to duel her (Sir Yariv is a woman due to an unbreakable curse) for the same reason, but Cedric is no hypocrite as he makes it clear that if he were ever turned into a woman himself he would give up fighting.
Voluntary Shapeshifting: Everyone cursed, morphs can become full animals (and sometimes 'taurs), the age regressed can become as young as babies, and gender benders can control the size of their "endowments". Additionally Jessica can temporarily place any of the two curses a Keeper doesn't have upon them, this was used to great effect in the story "Healing Wounds In Arabarb"
You Dirty Rat:Completely inverted, the rats of Metamor Keep are some of the nicest, if not self-loathing at least near the beginning of the series, people you'll ever meet. Justified as they are mostly written by Matthias whose author insert is not only a rat himself, but noted by his fellow writers as a very kind and highly respected man.