Web Original / Cardboard Chronicles
The Cardboard Chronicles
is a collaborative chat-based narrative that spawned out of a number of running gags on the Spinnerette
comment board in October of 2012. The first official post was made here
, though updates to the comment section deleted it. It has since spread to DeviantArt
, where it has its own group page
. The main contributors to the narrative are wolf.spider, Curious Spinny Fan, and Asura, while others include The Temporal Detective: Professor Templeton, wrong wolf, and Mongoose Van Dunkelschreiber, all of whom have Author Avatars
based on their Online Personas
. A number of them are also Tropers on this very site
The Cardboard Chronicles
takes place in a alternate version of 18th Century Europe that had never technologically progressed beyond the Middle Ages
, and tells the story of a young woman named Curious, who seeks to find a way to revive her friend Boxxy
with the help of her new friends and allies, while learning to control the power of Chaos Energy
. Ruling over most of Europe is the Red Kingdom, a mostly-benevolent monarchy ruled by King Wolfen and his son Prince Croco. However, a number of forces seek to exploit Curious' power for their own purposes for good or ill. The story can be divided into several rough arcs: the Training arc, the Kenshin arc, the Hell arc, and the Temporal arc; with supplementary stories including Dark Years
, Dark Gaiden
, The Tale of King Lupine
, The Scipio Case
, CBC HAU
, and Naissance
As of December 2014, the narrative is on indefinite hiatus, though a spinoff-turned-sequel called Rough Draft
started in 2017.
Cardboard Chronicles contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Kitty, Curious, Zodi, and Kate are the main examples.
- A God Am I: Asura's main goal is to become a god, though Kenshin and Wolfor have their moments.
- Battle Aura: Using Chaos Energy causes a red or purple aura to appear, while Order Energy creating a blue or white one.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Kenshin, Asura, the Chaos Kings, and Draelia.
- Body Surf: Asura and Deva are capable of doing this.
- Cain and Abel: Templeton is a detective working for the Temporal Bureau of Investigation, his nemesis/brother Connor is a temporal criminal.
- Casting a Shadow: The Shade Manipulators have this as their main ability, manipulating tendrils of darkness and being able to teleport using shadows.
- Cloning Blues: There never seems to be a shortage of wrong wolf clones.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: Templeton has the set, complete with a Badass Longcoat
- Continuity Reboot: The TBI sets a massive Cosmic Retcon off to repair the damage done to Causality. Rough Draft is set after this takes place, with a few characters from the original timeline surviving.
- Convenientlyan Orphan: Many characters seem to be this in the series.
- Courtroom Episode: The Temporal Arc has Templeton being put on trial by the TBI for meddling with causality.
- Dark Action Girl: Zodiora before her Heel–Face Turn, Curious during her time as Kenshin's slave, and Scylla.
- Darker and Edgier: Many of the spin-offs are this to the main story, which tries to maintain the PG-13 rule of the Spinny comment board.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Kenshin proves to be this, as the antagonist of the next arc is the Chaos Kings.
- Dragged Off to Hell: The aptly-named Hell arc involves most of the main cast being transported to the afterlife.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The whole thing starts off with a fight between Dr. Eggman and Dr. Wiley.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Crawling Chaos, Charybdis, and the other Demon Kin were transformed into nightmarish "Demon Kin" by Draelia, then sealed away for millennia.
- Enemy Mine: Team ups between enemies happen occasionally.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Kitty, Curious, and Zodi.
- Godzilla Threshold: There have been occasions where calling a truce with Asura to face a common enemy has been considered.
- Government Agency of Fiction: The Temporal Bureau of Investigation, which Templeton works in association with.
- Heel–Face Turn:
- Zodiora started off as a psychotic sadist, but has since become a well-adjusted girl with an addiction to ice-cream.
- After being expelled from the Soul Jewel into a flesh-and-blood body, Asura regains with his long-lost humanity and becomes The Atoner.
- Heroic Resolve: Usually how Curious manages to tap into her seemingly limitless supply of Chaos Energy.
- High School A.U.: CBC HAU is this to the main story.
- Faux Action Girl: Poor Sif just can't seem to catch a break.
- Master Swordsman: Most of the characters who wield swords wield them extremely well.
- The Multiverse: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of parallel and alternate universes, and the TBI's duty is to preserve causality within each of them.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Chaos Kings, though only a handful of its members have been revealed and their ultimate objective is unknown.
- One-Winged Angel: If Curious loses control of her Chaos Energy she risks transforming into a rampaging monster. The Demon Kin are also able to shift from a human form to a more monstrous one.
- Opposed Mentors: Wolf.spider and Mentor have both spent time training Curious, but while Mentor taught Curious how to use Order Energy, wolf.spider taught her Chaos Energy. While wolf.spider doesn't engage much, Mentor seems to be ill at ease around him outside of fight scenarios.
- Order Versus Chaos: Deva's clash with his "brother" Asura seems to have this dynamic at first. Also the general dichotomy between Order Energy and Chaos Energy.
- Power Creep, Power Seep: Although the writers try to avert this, the exact capabilities of the characters vary Depending on the Writer.
- The Power of Friendship: Sometimes played straight, sometimes averted.
- The Philosopher: Some chapters will have elements of very basic philosophy. Often Eastern philosophy in nature.
- Place Beyond Time: Those cut by the Scythe of Kronos are transported to an inescapable void where time is meaningless or erased from existence.
- Really 700 Years Old: The Chaos Lineage possesses an extraordinarily long lifespan.
- Retcon: There have been several as the story progressed.
- Scotireland: Caledonia and Hibernia were all-but wiped out by Asura during the time of the Roman Empire. In the rebooted timeline in Rough Draft that didn't happen, and they amalgamated with Scandinavia into a powerful empire.
- Stable Time Loop: Sif travels to North's home world and helps him find the Soul Jewel. This eventually leads to the long chain of events that stranded him in her world in the first place.
- Temporal Paradox: Templeton's job - and that of TBI agents in general - is to prevent these.
- Time Crash: Connor causes one in Egypt when he overclocks his Timepiece.
- Time Is Dangerous: There are concerns that certain actions can break causality and destroy the universe, rather constantly.
- Ultimate Universe: The timeline of Rough Draft has similarities to that of the original Cardboard Chronicles, but there are numerous differences as well — Wolfen going from being a middle-aged man to a perpetually youthful female werewolf, for instance.
- The Worf Effect: Various characters have been hit by this to show how strong a new character is. Lampshaded by the Fat Chaos King when fighting Asura.