"Will you be a Champion of Order, prepared to set the world to right? Will you be an Emissary of Reason, to give the madness meaning? Or are you a Agent of Chance, swept up into the Book of Stories by luck alone?"
The Book of Stories (TBoS) is an Original Character Tournament hosted by RobinRone along with a group of four judges. The story is about the Twins, ancient guardians of an object called The Book of Stories, which contains every story of every world ever written and is said to whisk anyone who reads its words inside its pages. Said guardians, Lady Ink and Mudd, maintained the Book for a long time with their respective powers of structure and purpose and as they developed more character and personality, the differences between them pushed them apart and eventually lead to the gradual downfall and eventually the Unwriting of the Book.Said downfall is now threatening the fate of every World and the two guardians have reunited to fix the problem. Though they can no longer enter the Book to find the root of the problem, they opt to recruit individuals to enter the Book on their behalfs, since only mortals can safely enter inside. In addition, the Unwriting has made the Book teleport to every World, pulling in its share of unwitting mortals with its magic pages.TBoS has a few things setting it apart from other OCTs, aside from allowing any media to be used, from comics to flash to prose or any mix in between. It puts very little emphasis on the characters fighting each other as the bigger focus is the mystery of the Book itself and the characters' influences on said book, allowing a great deal of flexibility for the contestants when it comes to writing their entries. Instead, each round is themed on a genre, where contestants aspire to write as little or as much of the genre as they want in their entry. The last round has no genre involved, fittingly enough.The tournament opened auditions on March 1, 2011 and Round 1 began on June 12, 2011 with 64 competitors, chosen out of the 113 auditioners by a group of five judges. Round 1 ended on July 12th and Round 2 began on August 2nd with 32 competitors. Then Round 2 ended on September 5th and Round 3 began on September 26th with 16 competitors. Round 3 ended on November 4th and Round 4 started on November 24th with 8 competitors (where coincidentally, single OCs were pitted against couple OCs).In addition, a mini-OCT called "The Lost Stories" was hosted on November 18th for the competitors who lost in previous rounds but wished to participate again. The deadline for them is offset by one week from the official rounds' deadline.
Fisher Kingdom - Due to its Genre Roulette nature, the Book can change the setting and archetypes inside on a whim. It's implied in some entries that the Book might start to affect some of the contestants as well in this manner.
Genius Loci - The Book being somewhat of a location that other people can enter, it falls under this due to having a mind of its own.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - Lady Ink, unable to handle the Book by herself, tries to write her way out of responsibility, which results in the Book Unwriting itself and every World in danger.
One Steve Limit - Averted. Among the 64 who made the final cut, we have Anna Smith, Annabelle Roads, and Annabelle Greyson. Among the original 113 auditioners, we have two Anna's and three Annabelle's.
The Call Has Bad Reception - The Book indiscriminately chooses anyone who so much as gazes into it, leaving them more ill-equipped about the overall situation than anyone who has been chosen by the Twins.
The Call Left A Message - Some auditions had the Book leaving its pages to those who would coincidentally come across it.
We Used to Be Friends - Lady Ink and Mudd had a falling out over their methods of taking care of the Book.
De-power - Being a musician, he can normally use his power of music to great, nearly godlike extents, but being inside the Book has neutered his abilities to just creating small objects, hovering and disrupting others' magical abilities.
Living Shadow - Somehow the Musician has complete control over his shadow, though its uses are rather situational.
He Who Fights Monsters - Played with, as James starts to exhibit some superhuman abilities due to having hunted nonhumans for so long. Inverted in that he's slowly sympathizing for the monsters he's hunting down, though he won't admit it.
Knight Templar - James believes that all nonhumans should be exterminated because they're beyond redemption.
All of the Other Reindeer - Alan was ostracized for his mixed bloodline early on. What makes it worse that they keep him around instead of letting him go for fear of him causing trouble if he wasn't under supervision.
Accidental Misnaming - Played with in Round 2 with Ygsthrall, whose name is a bit of a mouthful. Ricco repeatedly gets his name wrong - even in writing - Bobu nicknames him Iggy for convenience, and Qwerty calls him Yogi. Only Anna gets his name right, which isn't surprising, considering the possibility of Interspecies Romance.
Alternate Timeline - Unknowingly, Bobu enters into one of these into Round 2, where she briefly encounters Sian in SaffyLailo's Round 1 entry.
Exaggerated in Round 3 when Bobu and company go through several of these throughout Round 3 via the ARVs.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit - Bobu lampshades this in Round 2 when Sian and Ricco are replaced by Ygsthrall and Anna Claw early on.
Ash Face / Non-Fatal Explosions - Justified when one of the NPCs in Round 2 holds a pair of bombs at point-blank range by accident, as it was implied he was the strongest of the villain's mooks.
Bag of Holding / Hammerspace - Bobu and Ricco supposedly have this in the form of inventory tablets, which are inexplicably stored in their digital bodies, at least when they were in the video game Box Bug.
Bag of Spilling - In an non-video game example, this happens to both Bobu and Ricco when they leave the video game Box Bug and enter the Book, finding themselves stripped of their video game inventories in a crucial situation not too long afterwards.
Camp Straight - Despite enjoying a fair deal of feminine activities and wearing females' clothing, Ricco hits on girls and once stated that he's "totally straight".
Chekhov's Skill - Played with in Round 2, as the pivotal knowledge in question is retroactively introduced in a mid-battle flashback, though the flashback itself was justified by Bobu's earlier comment about how Ricco just "babbles inane details about [Box Bug]".
Chivalrous Pervert - Ricco's a bit less perverted than other examples, usually going for flowery, romantic language.
Bobu: "...because true heroes never want to live with regrets, mistakes they could have avoided if they had been more vigilant. That's what the Book of Stories wants out of us, I think. And I can bet it has a good reason for making us go through all this insanity and that it would be totally worth it that we gave our all to tell the best story we possibly can."
Distress Ball - Somewhat justified early in Round 2, when Ricco left the party early to seek some help as Bobu insisted she didn't care if he slowed them down, even if it did end up with him being captured.
Dream Spying - Played with in Round 2, where Bobu ends up watching scenes of other people when she's not pushing the plot forward, particularly Qwerty, and Anna and Ygsthrall in the climax.
Dream Within a Dream - Bobu ended up Dream Spying from Qwerty's perspective in the first dream, then woke up and ended up having a surprise encounter with a person from Box Bug. Then she woke up from that, as that turned out to be a dream as well.
Drunk on Milk - Subverted in Round 2, where it's heavily implied Ricco was tricked into drinking some alcoholic beverage when it was presented as milk.
Drunken Master - Subverted and lampshaded in Round 2, where Ricco's sudden increase in skill isn't due to alcohol, but rather due to the Big Bad of Round 2 pulling some strings.
Every Car Is a Pinto - Subverted and lampshaded in Round 1, where Bobu mentions the lack of this during the car chase sequence.
Evil Counterpart / Identical Stranger / Sue Donym - Inverted and played for drama when Qwerty encounters an archetype who resembled his unlikable master with a suspiciously similar-sounding name, but is otherwise the polar opposite in personality.
Expy - Played with when an archetype from Round 1 reappears in Round 2 as a younger version of herself. Also, a few archetypes bear resemblance to some of the author's original characters.
Flashback Nightmare - A variation occurs in Round 2: Bobu's first dream was of a scene prior to the start of Round 2, before it devolved into a nightmare where she was hounded by one of her enemies from Box Bug while the world around her faded away to oblivion, thus dooming her to fall in an everlasting void.
Hollywood Tone-Deaf - Played straight with Ricco, if Bobu's remarks are of any indication. Subverted where he manages a lullaby good enough to lull children to sleep, in which Bobu calls him out on his singing quality and competence.
Hot Pursuit - Justified during Round 1, as Bobu and Ricco snuck a zombie illegally inside a city that's prejudiced against zombies.
Hyperspace Arsenal - In Round 1, Bobu orders Ricco to use one of their 99 "Strength Deodorants".
Hypocritical Humor - After Bobu risks her life trying to prevent the van they're on from tipping over by using her weight as a counterbalance, the van uprights itself without warning. Bobu nearly falls off the van before Ricco grabs her and pulls her in, scolding her for doing a crazy stunt. Thing is, it was Ricco's crazy driving that caused the van to tilt absurdly in the first place.
Instant Armor - Exaggerated in Round 1, where a villain pulls this off with some highly advanced technology disguised as a walker, tennis balls and all.
Bobu: "Maybe I should have been more bothered by the fact that this enormous anthropomorphic fish was striking up a romance with a medieval woman with possibly a real sword, but at this point, I've seen Ricco flirt with weirder (and presumably female) things in Box Bug. I mean, who could forget the budding love story of him and a 50-foot, snow-breathing llama?"
Further lampshaded when Ricco brings up the llama incident as his excuse for helping Ygsthrall in his first appearance rather than running away, and when Bobu notices Ygsthrall and Anna Claw seem to have bonded behind the scenes.
It May Help You on Your Quest - Played with in Round 1, where Ricco borrowed some of Tom's needles and thread to help stitch Tom's arm together after it was torn off. Doubly subverted, where Ricco threw said needles at one of the antagonists in a pointless attempt at distraction, and later on, Bobu found one of the needles stuck on her person, which helped her and Sian get past a fairly major obstacle.
Subverted in Round 2. Ricco brings a backpack full of papers and pens, thinking it would somehow help them figure out how to get out of the Book, but it ultimately serves to worsen Bobu and Ricco's situation than either could have anticipated.
I Shall Return - Ricco asks Bobu to promise to come back for him, after throwing her to safety.
I Will Only Slow You Down - Near the start of Round 2, the duo are stranded in the middle of a desert wasteland. Ricco tells Bobu to go ahead, since she can find civilization much faster in her Platformer Mode, but she won't have any of it since they had just lost Sian somehow. He does it again when she rescues him from prison and he gets disabled in the process.
Just a Machine - Bobu views Ricco as this, since he's just a video game character.
Ladykiller in Love - It's rather obvious Ricco has a thing for Bobu. He only hits on other girls because that's what SpoonyBards are supposed to do, at least in Box Bug.
Rant Inducing Slight - Bobu loses her patience when she's refused alcohol in a western story. Also played for laughs when the one starting a Bar Brawl isn't the one Bobu was actively provoking, but rather the one whose hat was rudely taken during said provoking.
The Rest Shall Pass - Sian does this in the second doctor fight in Round 1, giving Bobu time to run away and get help. Subverted when the villain has accounted for that and rigged the only exit to keep Sian and Bobu trapped inside.
Sherlock Scan - In Round 2, Bobu pulls this off twice. The first time she did it, she was trying to speed up the Infodump using what she was told so far and any other details she gained from Dream Spying on Qwerty (and thus annoying the local Mr. Exposition with her seemingly omniscient knowledge). The second time was done to persuade one of the Mooks to appeal to the Big Bad's code of Thou Shalt Not Kill for a high-stakes boxing match.
Slippery Skid - Inverted in Round 1, where a villain does this to Bobu to prevent her from escaping.
Smash Cut - Justified in Round 1, where they're in a fairy tale and details are usually sparse and concise, necessitating this trope. Exaggerated, as even Bobu and Ricco are completely clueless like the reader as to what happened during the Smash Cut, forcing them to ask their fictional companion, who happens to be the protagonist of the fairy tale, to help fill them in the details. Defied when Bobu attempts to stall the upcoming Smash Cut with immediately pertinent questions before making progress with the narrative of the fairy tale.
Sneaky Departure - Ricco does this early in Round 2 in the middle of the night to find civilization ahead of the others.
Ricco's sudden departure is surprisingly explained in Round 3.
The Coats Are Off - Bobu tries to pull this off with a scarf in Round 2. It's played for laughs when the scarf gets blown back into her face, ruining any semblance of coolness she would have gotten from shedding her scarf.
The Snark Knight - Bobu. This is most apparent whenever she talks to Ricco, who's a bit lacking in smarts and thus is always a source of her frustration in general.
We Need a Distraction - Played straight in Round 1. Played even further when Bobu failed the first distraction and Ricco ended up as a second impromptu distraction, which gave Bobu enough time for her Transformation Sequence to kick in.
Wholesome Crossdresser - Ricco's a straight example, as he's wearing the clothes out of comfort and possibly for style.
Willfully Weak - In Round 2, Bobu pondered if Ricco was this during the climax, given that he exhibits raw power greater than what he normally has under duress. Then again, he was drunk out of his mind.
World-Healing Wave - Played with in Round 1, where a slow-acting version of this occured in the climax.
You Just Had to Say It - Bobu says a variant of this when she unexpectedly inspired Qwerty to tag along when she wanted to keep him out of harm's way.
Anti-Magic / Blessed with Suck - Inverted with Aldech, who can't use magic at all, and is still vulnerable to the likes of fire and lightning.
Our Vampires Are Different - Nadia is a Dhampir, which is basically a lesser version of a vampire: no weaknesses to sunlight and garlic, but lacking the super-strength or speed most associated with vampires. However, Dhampirs have greater potential to cast magic in comparison.
Death Seeker - zigzagged. Terri has a terminal illness kept under control by highly advanced medicine, so she lives her life to the fullest...by doing death-defying stunts. It's not so much as her seeking death as she is more keen on overcoming her fears of death by facing them head-on.
Cast from Hit Points - In Hyde's world, Spark is the power of one's soul and using Spark enables the user to give life to inanimate objects. But using the Spark too much or to perform strenous tasks could put said user into a coma.
Hammerspace - Anna and Reinald each have a personalized, realistic version of this called "whitezone". It's mainly used to avert Magic Pants, as it's where their clothes and other items go when they transform into animals. Apparently time also passes by within the whitezone as well and the amount they store is no more than what a handbag or a backpack can handle.
I Choose to Stay - Reinald, after finding out that Anna will be trapped in the Book forever.
Opponent(s): Antagonist, James Engelhart, Jackal and Hyde, Campren.
Berserk Button - Although Nair isn't really a fighter, seeing other people harmed because of her, or seeing Pura threatened sends her into a rage, although she lacks the strength to use it to any effect.
Break the Cutie - Kidnapped and almost sacrificed, trying to save worlds only to see them wholly destroyed, almost killed, attacked by a dragon and hunted down by a increasingly powerful villain. It couldn't get worse, could it? Sure can.
Designated Hero - Inverted, Nair likes to make it known that she and Pura are the heroes of the story, whether she believes anyone is watching her or not. '"We're the heroes." She told herself out loud. "We're going to face whatever we must. Even if one of us is asleep right now..."'
Dramatic Stutter - Something that Pura suffers heavily from, most often when talking to strangers, or when she is without Nair.
No Biological Sex - Water and Air based Elementals take female forms, but do not reproduce, as they are incarnations tied to the planet, not separate life forms. This results in a lack of cultural taboo in otherwise homosexual relationships, and also more emphasis on emotions and feelings over desires and procreation.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope - Regis once started as a hero, but gradually after living several lifetimes of failures where his story is repeated in some cycle, he pretty much went into full villain mode.
Well-Intentioned Extremist - Somewhat justified in Regis' case, where all he ever got for his heroism was pain and suffering and a continuous cycle at that.
Dark and Troubled Past - This is partly the result of growing up in a world that does not recognize Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and being forced through something that is essentially Mind Rape. Also, his parents died and he's left with the taint of dark magick that causes him a lot of problems. He has recurring FlashbackNightmares.
Ladykiller in Love- Vin is truly in love with Merai. So, despite his flirtatiousness, he would never seriously consider another woman. This has not stopped her from dumping him for his flirtatiousness with other women.
Military Academy - Adante and Vin entered together and graduated in the same year, even though Vin is a year older.
Nice Guy - for all his flaws, Vin's a pretty nice guy. But don't think you can treat him any way you want to.
Obfuscating Stupidity - Vin's not book-smart, and he and pretty much everyone else knows that. He doesn't care too much about learning the facts. But Vin is actually nowhere near as dumb as he sometimes acts.
Officer and a Gentleman - Played mostly straight, though Adante subverts this in some ways. He cusses, not heavily but on occasion. He will be Combat Pragmatist when the situation calls for it. Of course, if his opponent will fight fair, then he’d be all too willing to fight like a gentleman as he has a distaste for fighting dirty, but he knows when not allow honor to overshadow something more important.
Raised by Natives - As Vin is obviously of foreign ancestry in a country where some consider his particular ethnicity, Satevidan, to be bad, it is possible his parents left him because they believed that it would spare him from living as a foreigner. If so, it was ill thought-out plan, perhaps due to Culture Clash, as in Isbetean culture, being a Whitecrest (a person with no family history and therfore no family crest) is almost as bad as being a foreigner. Even as an adult, he still has people who look down on him for his ancestry.
The Stoic - Stoicism is Adante's ideal of what he wants to be. He would be happiest feeling no emotion at all. Overlaps with being the Stoic Woobie for those who know what's really going on in his head.
The Strategist - Adante specializes in military logistics and strategy.
White Hair, Black Heart - Adante. "White" hair, in his world, is a symbol of someone who has been Cursed by a lingering taint of dark magic, making them either an Evil Sorcerer or a Doom Magnet. Vin ignores this fact and treats him no differently than he would anyone else, which is one reason Adante considers him his best friend.)
Wouldn't Hit a Girl - As a Knight and a man, it is Vin's personal creed never to harm a lady. Not to say he wouldn’t subdue or defend himself against a woman, but he’d try to do it by other, non-harmful methods, in a rare aversion of his method fighting by relentless attacking.
Obfuscating Stupidity - Fred does this to avoid getting too much into trouble, as people in his society don't take kindly to intelligent zombies.
Our Zombies Are Different - Type M. In Fred's case, zombies start out as a mild version of Type V, mindless, harmless and easy to please. But upon intake of salt, they temporarily turn into Type R, minus the memories of their previous lives.
A Form You Are Comfortable With - Subverted as GrimGrin will always be missing a lower jaw or another body part regardless of his form, which tends to make people feel uncomfortable and maybe even afraid.
Emotion Eater - GrimGrin (as well as his kin) pretty much sustains himself on people's fears, but it's not as detrimental or noticeable to the victim as most examples.
Good Samaritan - Eulalia shows shades of this when she finds an injured enemy soldier who's only a teenager and removes his identification tags so she could get him medical attention without rousing suspicion.
Dark Is Not Evil - Despite the darkness-based powers, Jennifer's an overall good, if not heroic person.
Jumped at the Call - Jennifer was initially excited to be like the superheroes she always admired from comic books.
Mr. Fixit - Jack is excellent with vehicles and, to an extent, other machines.
Noodle Incident - According to Word of God, something happened on May 19th that the two of them agreed to forget and never speak of. All that is known is that a large amount of alcohol was involved, and Jennifer's husband eventually got back together with her after he found out.