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Welcome to Pripyat, the heart of the zone of exclusion surrounding the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Though long since abandoned by humans, the city’s dog population thrives. However, the population is getting out of control, and in the tradition that has grown here over the decades a tournament is being held to cull the numbers. Can you survive?Chernobyl Curs, abbreviated as CC, is an Original Character Tournament on the art website Deviantart. It is set in the city of Pripyat, the town most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, where all humans have deserted. The OCT is restricted to dog characters and whatever non-combatant animal companions they happen to have.Chernobyl Curs ended on January 18th, 2013. It was won by Corvusraven with her character, Untoten.
All There in the Manual: A lot of the background information, such as why the dogs are fighting, the round introductions, even character back stories, and explanations for how their abilities work (if any) is rarely flat-out stated in most of the entries. Some choose to incorporate the backstory of the tournament and round introductions into their round, while others don't. Some characters with extensive backstories never have it brought up in-story. It can make the tournament hard to follow if you're not already involved, but this is true for most OC Ts.
Amplified Animal Aptitude: These dogs have higher cognitive ability than real dogs, but by how much depends on each writer/artist.
Anyone Can Die: It's an OCT full of wild, presumably desperate dogs in a tournament that has no rules. Anybody can be killed at any time - though it only becomes canonical if the killer moves on.
Black and Gray Morality: Several portrayals of the tournament are like this. However, one could argue that there is also a lot of Blue and Orange Morality considering all of the characters are dogs and therefore have different moral codes than humans. See below.
Blue and Orange Morality: The characters are all dogs and therefore have different moral and ethical standards than humans would have. However, this often comes down to interpretation of the artist as some characters have much more human mentalities than other. Justified for some in that a few dogs were human pets and not ferals.
Call Back: Quite common the further into the tournament you go, where at some point it's expected that you make call backs.
Flanderization: Because of the difficulty of portraying the little details someone else's character correctly, especially when you don't know the full extent of their motivation and backstory, cameos can occasionally result in this.
Killed Off for Real: Until the round announcements are made you don't know which entry is canon and who may end up dead. Once the announcements are up, expect to see this trope showing up.
Occurs also before a round is canon. In Round 4 of Caesar's entry, it first appears that Spoon may still have a chance of being alive after he wondered off. Balloon later confirms that he's dead after she finds his corpse.
Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Pripyat becomes one for round three thanks to an ice storm that covered the entire city in an inch of ice overnight.
Take That: Characters belonging to people who drop out of the tournament without submitting have a habit of showing up in the background of Speakeasy's entries in the Blind Pig. As corpses for Bloodybeard to chop up and distribute to the staff to eat.
Viewers Are Goldfish: Many people begin their round with the lead-in scene, that has already been provided by the host before the round even began. Justified, however, as there are plenty of spectators who only follow one or two competitors and never read the lead-ins.
We Are Struggling Together: It seems all four semifinalists agree that something has to be done about the tournament and/or the city. They all disagree on what exactly that 'something' is.
Wretched Hive: The city of Pripyat, as you have probably guessed by now.
Aesop Amnesia: No matter how many times she gets used and lied to, no matter how much she angsts about it, Speakeasy is too dense to realize she shouldn't believe everything other people say. This being especially the case if the person in question just blatantly lied to her not two minutes ago.
Ascended Extra: Iza has very limited involvement in most of the rounds with Marcus, but takes a dominant focus for a good portion of Round 3.
Bloodybeard was originally supposed to be a reoccurring background character.
Balloon was originally one of the auditioners but because of extenuating circumstances her creator had to drop out. Later, her creator becomes one of the tournament judges and Balloon can be seen in cameos as one of Beyra's helpers.
All of the aids may be considered this after the group picture.
Awful Truth: Speakeasy trusts Bosso implicitly. When she learns he was lying to her about the nature of the tournament, it does not go over well.
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: More like attention deficit... ooh sexy! Dart volunteers to join the tournament in place of another dog, and on the way there promptly gets distracted following a handsome german shepherd.
Spoon is also frequently distracted by shiny objects. Or any object created by humans for that matter. He spent a good fifteen minutes during the first round wearing a human shoe for no other reason than his own amusement.
A Wizard Did It: It has become something of a running joke for Captain to explain any minor detail of inconsistency. How do all the dogs in the various auditions keep knocking over trash cans that should have been blown over by the wind decades ago? Captain has OCD and obsessively picks them up!
Back for the Finale: Buckshot shows up in the finale round for Speakeasy. He's not doing too well.
Various characters from past rounds, both alive and dead, show up in the finale round for both competitors.
Badass Adorable: Standing at 7 inches, Untoten is arguably a type of ugly cute. And despite her size, she has indeed made it to the Final round, securing her as an indisputable badass.
Badass Normal: While some of the dogs have 'abilities' a good many go without.
Berserk Button: There are a couple dogs who seem to have these. For instance, do not under any circumstances get within three feet of Hiru and say anything remotely romantic to her; don't mention Beyra, Marx's father, or the last Tournament to said Marx's face - unless you're prepared to run really fast.
Beware the Nice Ones: Jet's polite and cheerful personality was revealed to be a facade. He is a cold psychopath who wants to take over Pripyat.
Beyra: "You may do grown up things- but you still act like an immature pup. Mature adults don't screw around between rounds and skip important meetings. They know how to take care of themselves. And they know when not to show their teeth. I let you get away with a lot of crap, you know?"
But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Speakeasy finds out the hard way that there are consequences for sleeping around with everything that moves. Even if none of the critically undernourished whores you live with ever seem to suffer said consequences.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Both subverted and played straight with Speakeasy. She goes from casually stating that death happens all the time in Pripyat and she doesn't keep track of it to getting offended when Untoten accuses her of not caring about the carnage.
But Not Too Foreign: A lot of the dogs come from different countries (France, England, and America to name a few) but somehow ended up in Pripyat, Ukraine.
Carry a Big Stick: Marcus comes close enough to this trope with his constant trusty stick companion.
Catch Phrase: Captain is very 'bi-winning' and he will remind you of this once per page.
Conall with Myne and Vendel with Daloris, although it's unclear if Myne and Daloris are real spirits or not.
Concepts Are Cheap: How Beyra and Speakeasy feel about the other semi-finalists preaching a lack of fairness and a need for change in Pripyat.
Speakeasy: Jet didn’t really say none ‘bout how he was gonna make the city a better place. I ain’t sure even he really knew.
Conditioned to Accept Horror: Growing up surrounded constantly by death and sex, Speakeasy has become desensitized to the horrors of Pripyat, so far as to cheerfully singing songs about rape and murder.
Jet: His family tried to kill him for being a runt. He escaped and joined a circus, where his mentor would later be killed. He joins the tournament in hopes to 'make the city better', using lies and tricks to advance. The death of his opponent and friend Caesar begins to affect him. He eventually begins to crack before acquiring fatal injuries in R5.
Speakeasy: She's taken in by Bosso at the age of 4 months to work as a prostitute through a nonverbal miscommunication. As a result, she almost kills her first client in a panic and later chews off her own deewclaws from stress. She grows up in the brothel/cannibal butchershop surrounded by sex and death, witnessing all of Pripyat's horrors. She starves herself to prevent another pregnancy, as she fears that she'll be killed if she becomes pregnant. Bosso, who acts as a father figure, boss, and an occasional sex partner for Speakeasy, tricks her into entering the tournament. When she finds out, her personality nose dives.
Tyson: After witnessing the death of his human family, Tyson acquires short term memory loss. Though he has witnessed death in the tournament, specifically that of his mentor/friend Vendel, he continually forgets all of the bad things that happen to him.
The Dragon: Bloodybeard seems to be this for Bosso.
Enemy Mine: Ronnie says at one point that members of the Fratelli have ended up dead because of the Blind Pig. Yet Bernardo still allies his gang with Bosso's in their rebellion against the tournament.
Eureka Moment: Beyra puts together that Hiru should have won the first round against Speakeasy when the fight with Untoten causes Speakeasy to vomit up bile. Beyra recognizes the smell as the same from the meat.
Evil Twin: Savior is sort of unintentionally this to Vendel.
Expository Hair Style Change: While not exactly a hairstyle change, in several flashbacks Speakeasy is shown with silvery grey fur and a tawny muzzle. After her pregnancy scare she begins starving herself. Because of this her fur turns a brownish/greenish grey with a faded tan muzzle and her coat looks grungey.
Expy: It's not uncommon to find expy characters serving minor roles in the tournament.
Junktion of Rashan Island and Revival OC Ts appears as a follower of Vendel in their entry.
Bosso is an expy of another of their creator's characters.
Fetch Quest: Round 4 of Untoten vs Erx became something like this. To win the round and advance to the semifinals, they had to be the first one to return to Beyra with a spoon.
Finish Him!: Beyra is sometimes played like this, showing disappointment or annoyance when someone does not kill their opponent and sometimes going as far to encouraging murder. Of course, this depends on the person writing.
Bosso gives this speech in both of the entries for the final round.
Bosso:' "What are you waiting for Speakeasy? Kill her now."
Bosso:' "You should not abandon unfinished work.
Foreign Cuss Word: Holly and RJ like to use those. Gizmo as well. Ronnie sure knows her Italian.
Food serves as the currency upon which the Blind Pig's buisness is run.
Freak Out: Speakeasy has one at the end of Round Four upon learning that Bosso was lying to and using her.
From Nobody to Nightmare: At the start of the tournament Jet is just one more immigrant to Pripyat that no one knows or respects. By the end of the semi-final he is well into The Plan to take over Pripyat.
Fun Size: Untoten, one of the smallest (if not smallest) dogs in the tournament. And also a semifinalist.
Give Him a Normal Life: Nasaya's mother died fighting in the tournament in hopes that if she won her daughter would have a better life. Nasaya ends up fighting in the same tournament, wanting revenge.
Gory Discretion Shot: We do not actually see Beyra being ripped open and her unborn fetuses spilled into the snow, but the implication is pretty clear. Comes off as a bit odd considering that not only have gutted, gut spilling dogs been casually show on screen before, so have gutted pregnant dogs.
Gut Punch: A lot of people guessed that the reason Speakeasy doesn't eat is because of the black bile that corrodes her stomach. They were wrong. She's actually starving herself on purpose to not get pregnant, a trend that started when she forced herself to miscarry a litter.
Gutted Like a Fish: Victims of the Blind Pig. Especially those who ended up as no-shows after deadline.
Guys Are Slobs: One or two random male extras in Ronnie's entries fit this.
Harmless Freezing: There are several occasions of Deltora using his ice powers to freeze someone in a solid block of ice, and yet they come out of it surprisingly well each time.
Hellish Pupils: Averted by Vipen, who has snake eyes but is fairly nice.
He Who Fights Monsters: Jet, arguably. He spends a good portion of his round four entry trying to justify that murder is sometimes okay, because he killed his entire family after they abused him as a puppy. However he never really presents a convincing argument why it is okay. He just sounds like he's trying to convince himself he didn't do anything wrong.
Hypocrite: In Speakeasy's round, Untoten says that the dogs need a way to control their population, and one of the ways to do this would be to limit breeding (thus why she is in favor of keeping the tournament). Speakeasy points out, however, that Untoten herself is pregnant and therefore adding to the problem. Furthermore, she is pregnant with a tournament loser who shouldn't have bred in the first place and is therein breaking the very rules she is fighting for,
Untoten then points out the hypocrisy behind Speakeasy's involvement. Bosso wants to prove that the tournament is horrible, unfair, travesty that forces dogs to kill one another and rips families apart. He proves his point by killing more dogs.
Intergenerational Friendship: Several dogs fall under this trope. While 2-3 years may not seem like much in human time, dogs age faster and have shorter life spans. However, it often comes down to whether or not the characters are portrayed to reflect their age.
Bloodybeard is at least twice Speakeasy's age and the difference shows.
Marcus and Iza, 3 and 6 respectively
Dante and Adele, although Adele isn't portrayed as still being a puppy, and Dante is described as "young at at heart".
Invisibility: Untoten can make parts of her body turn invisible.
Ironic Name: The name of the dog who enjoys killing and eating other dogs, lies about the food he 'sells', runs a brothel, and deceives another dog into taking his place in the tournament? Angel.
Iron Lady: Beyra, who refuses to let her own suspicions slip around her already terrified aids.
It Gets Easier: Antonio says something along these lines to Ronnie after she kills Ajn. Ends up being one of the main themes of Ronnie's story arc, calling back to the "rule of five" mentioned in her audition.
Bernardo: Ye shouldn't cuss like an adult until ye've at least killed 5 dogs. Ye know why?
Ronnie: Because the first is a mistake, the second is a failure, the third is terrifying and the fourth is reluctant. The fifth one is acceptance.
Madness Mantra: "I am Erx. I am alive. I burn on. I never fade. I will survive. I am Erx."
Major Injury Underreaction: Tyson has an unbelievably casual reaction to his eye being gouged out. He states casually that it hurts “like a mother,” but does nothing else to imply that the wound bothers him at all.
Make an Example of Them: All of the tournament proctors were ruthelessly slaughtered by the members of the Blind Pig. Why? To intimidate anyone who might support the tournament into reconsidering their opinion.
Merciful Minion: Speakeasy actually tries to give Beyra an indirect warning about Bosso's plans for her. Beyra has more or less already figured out the gist of what's going on, however, and ignores the warning.
Moral Myopia: The Blind Pig argues that it isn't right for the tournament to facilitate the unbridled slaughter of more that sixty dogs. They make their point by indulging in the unbridled slaughter of every dog who supports it.
Amusingly lampshaded in some miscellaneous art of Speakeasy, who is intersex and the exact genitalia she may have is ambiguous.
Nonverbal Miscommunication: In a flashback of Speakeasy as a puppy she appears to agree to "work" for the Blind Pig in exchange for food. It turns out that because her mother was a mute she had never acquired language and thus had no idea what Bosso was saying. She only recognized the word "food" and reacted in a positive manner. Later on when she's introduced to a 'client', she has a freak-out moment and nearly kills the guy.
Odd Friendship: Any of the non-canine companions, bonus points if they happen to be a herbivore as well.
Official Couple: Untoten and Jason, who have been together since before the tournament started (the former of which is pregnant with the latter's pups)
Later revealed that Bloodybeard's real name is Pigeon, and Bosso's real name is Angel.
OOC Is Serious Business: Each round, Speakeasy sings some sort of (usually horrible) song, mainly in the form of a narrative. Except in Round 4, after finding out that Bosso had been lying to her about the consequences of the tournament.
Speakeasy: "This is my city, a winter shithole. But I ain't never remember it bein' this dark in broad day light. And I ain't never remember a time I couldn't sing."
Parental Incest: Depending on how you want to view the relationship between Speakeasy and Bosso, considering he's raised her since she was 4 months.
Refuge in Audacity: Speakeasy's rounds can fall into this. So far, we've dealt with rape, death, murder, prostitution, cannibalism, ripping open pregnant dogs as population control, adoptive parent incest, intersexuality, hypersexuality, disemboweling, forced miscarriage, self starvation, and self mutilation. While a lot of these themes are touched upon in other entries, Speakeasy's provides examples for all of them throughout the rounds.
Lucy's rounds and S Es can fall into this as well.
Reset Button: Tyson forgets all traumatic experiences that happened to him the previous day. Averted because the events still actually happen, he just has no memory of them.
Sir Swears-a-Lot: The young puppy Adele uses the word "fuck" to express every emotion from excitement to rage, and says it at least once or twice in every page of the audition comic. This is something of a Creator Thumbprint for her owner, as the character they used in the Tapestry Of Horror and Rashan Island OCTs was exactly the same way.
Sleepyhead: Caesar, maybe a tournament of death isn't the best place to be constantly dozing off...
Snow Means Death: In Round 5, Jet has his stomach torn open by broken wood and shards of glass. He pulls himself up and he's seen still struggling to continue at the end as it starts to snow. Although he isn't shown dead, given the severity of his wounds and the bleakness of the scene, it can be inferred that he won't last the night.
Social Services Does Not Exist: The reason Speakeasy is so messed up is that she was raised from the time she was four months old in a brothel/cannibal butcher shop.
The Unintelligible: Marcus is a cross between this and The Speechless; he is mostly silent but when he does occasionally say something, it's difficult to understand.
The Un-Reveal: Bloodybeard spends two days chasing Speakeasy around the city in order to warn her about the true nature of the tournament, and just as he has found her and is about to reveal the truth, Bosso steps with a veiled threat and Bloodybeard is forced to clam up for his own safety. Dick move, Bosso.
Triumphant Reprise: Speakeasy's final song is a propaganda piece that recounts the horrors of the tournament and issues a warning to Pripyat immigrants to flee the city or face death. At the end of the round, she changes the lyrics of the song. While still not bright and cheerful, the new song is much more positive and hopeful; possibly the closest thing to a positive song she's been shown to sing.
Unwitting Pawn: Speakeasy to Bosso, as well as a lot of the recruits for his revolution. Hazel's pack and Ajn-Raka's orphanage, as well as a few miscellaneous former competitors for Jet.
True Companions: Some of the dogs still have pretty close ties with their packs during the tournament, even when contact is explicitly forbidden by Beyra with possible disqualification as punishment.
Two dogs from Untoten's pack bring her food despite the risk, rain, and cold in Round 3.
Speakeasy has regular interactions with the Blind Pig, and Bloodybeard has been keeping an eye on her.
Utopia Justifies the Means: Jet lies, blackmails, and plays dirty tricks all for the purpose of winning the tournament to make the city better.
Vicious Cycle: The tournament as a whole, leading may to question if it is even worth continuing.
Villain with Good Publicity: Jet; one of the reasons he is always smiling and goes out of his way to help others is because it is easier to manipulate dogs who trust him. Bosso tries to subvert this at the end of the semi-final by revealing his plans to the others.
Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": Type A. Bosso's crew claim that their actions are simply their way of dealing with the population problem, as well as justice for the atrocities brought on by the tournament.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: In canon, the reason why Beyra pairs Untoten with Walter. (Of course, all of the matches are randomly drawn from a hat)
Xanatos Speed Chess: Jet is playing a very dangerous game with the various gangs in Pripyat. At one point he even directly compares his machinations to a game of chess.
You Are What You Hate: The supporters of the Blind Pig intend to massacre the dogs not native to the city, despite several of them not being native to the city.