A fiction series produced as a podcast since September 2007. A spinoff from the shared story universe Metamor Keep, Metamor City takes the high fantasy setting of the original and projects the timeline forward 1300 years. The result is part Urban Fantasy, part Cyber Punk, part City Noir, and part Shining City. Yes, all in one place.Metamor City is the capital of the Empire of Metamor, a mostly-benevolent superpower ruled by the Genius Loci of the valley where the city is built. The constraints of geography and the power of magitek resulted in a Mega City where "moving up in the world" is a literal reality: the wealthy inhabit the highest levels of the massive skyscraper towers, while the ground level is a haven for criminals, feral monsters and those too poor to escape further up. Laying over the entire city is The Curse, an ancient enchantment that will randomly transform the body of anyone who stays around more than a few days, unless appropriate protective magic is used.The series falls somewhere in the middle of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Grey and Gray Morality is a common theme, and while there are plenty of Reasonable Authority Figures, they're unable to solve many of the city's systemic problems.The series so far consists of one novel and about a dozen shorter stories ranging in length from flash fiction to novellas. The stories do not focus on a single ongoing plot, but characters from one story often pop up later in others as their interests coincide or run into conflict with each other. The head author states that there is an over-arching metaplot that will reveal itself as the series continues.There is a Character Page, but it needs lots of fleshing out.
Attractive Bent-Gender: Danni in Making the Cut is the most prominent on-screen example, though thanks to the original intention of the Curse, all androgynes tend to make for this (and have the increased libido to match).
A Wizard Did It: Artax keeps a sign in his shop that reads: "Because I'm a wizard, that's how" and often simply points to it when people wonder how he knows so much.
Beauty Equals Goodness: Inverted by the Leanan Sidhe in Whispers in the Wood. Melodia is impossibly beautiful, and so glorious to look upon that she makes Abbey fall to her knees and weep ... and she is an amoral monster who feels no compunctions about killing and torturing mortals for the sake of "art".
Bigger on the Inside: Kyia's Citadel, which houses more than a million people. Given that the outside is a mile high, the mind boggles at how impossibly huge the inside is...
Born Lucky: Callie Linder, whose supernatural heritage warps the laws of probability in her favor.
Broken Bird: Fiona in Making the Cut, though even she isn't aware of how she got "broken". (She finds out near the end of the story.)
Canon Discontinuity: Due to some discrepancies between the writing staff of Metamor Keep and Metamor City, the latter is not canon to the former. Most of it has been resolved and series creator Chris Lester never really intended for Metamor City to be canon, though a new series based on the future of Metamor Keep is now in the works and can be found here.
Chivalrous Pervert: Artax has traces of (and certainly a reputation for) this; he seems overly fond of turning men into pretty women either as a joke or a lesson, but he never actually tries anything with them, and is reliable when push comes to shove.
The City Narrows: The Street, which takes up virtually all the space at ground level.
Coincidence Magnet: Callie Linder — the result of her unconscious, probability-altering powers bleeding over to affect the people around her.
In Make Believe Artax (temporarily) transfigures giant pink bunny ears, to match the newly pink uniform, onto an MCPD officer who tried to force Artax away from a police operation.
Artax has also threatened to turn people into Lutins a time or two, but it's never been seen to happen in a story.
Curse: It was intended as a Baleful Polymorph by the Evil Wizard, in three different forms. Metamor's defenders were able to modify it but could not remove it once it took hold of a person. It has become a Genetic Curse that affects people over a long range, and is centered on the Citadel of Metamor City.
Dark Is Not Evil: Jenna in Troubled Minds. Despite her obviously demonic heritage and her supernatural hunger for sexual energy, she tries to be as good and moral of a person as she can be. Ms. Fallon as well.
Driven to Suicide: Subverted with the newly-vampirised Miriam, who plans it both as the only way to escape their situation and because they know that they'll be used against the Psi Collective otherwise. However, this is subverted when their new superior promptly forbids them from carrying it out. But then it's subverted again at the end of the story when they try it again, this time triple subverting it by being put in stasis until Braddock eventually dies and she can't be given orders.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Most of the protagonists in the series. Daniel has to take this to almost ludicrous extremes in Making the Cut.
Evil Plan: 'Making the Cut' is the most famous, conducted by The vampire prince Malcolm ard'Valos. Malcolm has his underling turn an Elder of the Psi Collective into a mole for his crime syndicate. He uses her for months to feed disinformation to the Collective. At this point it becomes a Xanatos Gambit. Malcolm sends her to capture the telepaths who were responsible for leading a successful attack on his organization earlier in the story. No matter what happens, Malcolm wins: either Miriam succeeds and he gets two more powerful telepaths under his control, or she fails and the Collective loses one of its most powerful Elders.
Whispers in the Wood: The Leanan Sidhe (a powerful faery) tries to get Abbey Preston to trade her name for information. Another character made a similar bargain with the faery, and it didn't end well for them.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Fiona in Making the Cut, who has no idea where her extreme fear of being helpless comes from. It turns out that's because someone erased her memory to cover up their involvement in her mother's death.
Layered Metropolis: The City is "built like a wedding cake" with four skyways above the streets.
Light Is Not Good: In Broken Angel we learn about the devas — beautiful celestial beings that are basically soulless killing machines. While they were bred for Demon Slaying, there are plenty of folks with demonic blood in Metamor who are not actually evil ... and the devas don't worry much about the distinction.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: The Psi Collective, with their huge focus on breeding, have a version of this as an official policy: Child-bearing women are the most important members and are to be protected and treasured. Since one man can impregnate many women, men are expendable — powerful male psis are highly desirable in order to spread their genes, but men who have some form of genetic defect or just aren't exceptionally powerful are seen as having lesser worth and are usually ostracized and shoved aside. The trope isn't played completely straight, as women who either can't or won't bear children for the Collective tend to be similarly ignored or ostracized.
My Eyes Are Up Here: In "Welcome to the City" Kate reminds Michael of this with a couple illusions of her eyes.
No Bisexuals: The Psi Collective enforces aversions for female members of breeding cells to foster good relationships.
Patrol: The dragon known as Guerra takes a perverse delight in hunting the aeromancers who patrol the border between Metamor Valley and the Dragon Mountains. Fortunately, he seems to be satisfied with disabling their aerofighters and then lowering them to earth, rather than killing them outright.
The Case of the Golden Egg: A dragon is living in Metamor City in human form, posing as a member of the nobility. She is vain (of course), arrogant (of course), uses mortals as her pawns (of course), and is driven into a homicidal rage when someone dares to steal what belongs to her.
Our Orcs Are Different: The lutins are a short, hardy, green-skinned race with a deep animistic spiritual tradition. They're also superstitious and greedy and tend to end up at the bottom rungs of Metamor society.
Our Souls Are Different: It is often said within the series that the "mortal soul" is what makes humans (and other mortal creatures) capable of exercising free will.
The vampires run The Syndicate, are bound to each other in unbreakable ties of dominance and submission, and form psychic links with the people they feed on (which can lead to insanity in those who feed too recklessly).
They do cast reflections but hate mirrors, due to a nasty feedback loop caused by looking into their own Hypnotic Eyes.
Vampires were created by one of the Fallen Gods, Lilith, from the Elves, to be the ultimate predator to challenge Humans and Elves.
Physical God: Lots of them, thanks to a Screw Destiny maneuver by The Chosen One. The gods of the old pantheon (aka the Fallen Gods) were left in physical bodies with only a fraction of their former power. They gain power from the energy of mortal souls (in a Gods Need Prayer Badly way), and there are some who are stronger than others even after their fall.
Pieces of God: This is the Universalists' explanation for why there are so many uber-powerful-but-not-actually-omnipotent beings running around the cosmos. (Mortals are Pieces of God, too, in this view — just smaller ones.)
Polyamory: The Psi Collective is built around "breeding cells", which usually have one man and three to five women, all of whom have romantic relationships with each other. The Sommers Cell in Making the Cut shows both the advantages and disadvantages of this arrangement.
Prophecy Twist: In Make Believe Artax looks into the future of Jon Tunstall, an angry and powerful young mage, and sees the young man trying to rally a group of young wizards with criminal histories, sees Tunstall standing in a room full of terrified people with power flowing from his hands as the walls crumble down around them, and lastly he sees Tunstall standing over his, Artax's, very still and prone body. Later in the story Artax gets independent confirmation of Tunstall attempting to rally the other students and realizes that his vision is already coming to pass. Turns out that Tunstall was attempting to rally the students to join him in helping Artax to face the current threat; the power that Artax saw coming from Tunstall's hands was holding the walls and ceiling up long enough for the people in the collapsing room to get out; and when Artax can't redirect all of the energy that the Big Bad hurls against him and collapses, it's Tunstall who takes care of the rest, and then sees to Artax after the confrontation.
Psychic Powers: Many types of psychic characters have appeared, including teeps (telepathy), teeks (telekinesis), espers (clairvoyance/precognition), pyros (pyrokinesis), sparkies (fulgurkinesis), and egoists (biopsychokinesis). Most psis have no more than two of these abilities.
Really 700 Years Old: Ms Fallon, the succubus who runs the Serenity Arms Apartment Complex. Many other immortals fall into this category, as well.
Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: People can earn degrees in "manology" to understand the theoretical underpinnings of magic, regardless of whether they have any magical aptitude themselves.
Thanatos Gambit: Miriam pulls one of these on Malcolm and Braddock at the end of Making the Cut: not only does she deny them the mole that they went to such trouble to obtain, but she arranges things so that her thralls will get their freedom and take a large chunk of money with them when they go.
Touch Telepathy: When telepaths make skin contact with another person they start to involuntarily form a gestalt. When they have sex it goes so deep that the gestalt becomes permanent unless both are telepaths who can piece themselves together afterwards.
Un Equal Rites: Wizards (highly skilled, book-smart magic users) and sorcerers (highly talented and powerful, intuitive magic users) tend to look down on each other. Wizards outnumber sorcerers by at least twenty to one, so the overall magical community tends to be biased against sorcery.