Noa takes notes on a Horrorshow:
- Concept: A television series of the Monster of the Week type, centering on an obscure covert organisation that tries both to protect humanity as a whole from otherworldly horrors and to maintain The Masquerade. In this case, however, the organisation itself consists exclusively of Uncanny Valley Humanoid Abominations who, while sympathetic and for all obvious intents and purposes on "humanity's side", implicitly do not have goals that are necessarily always harmonious with those of the audience.
- Conceptual Inspirations: The Global Frequency, Doctor Who, Sapphire And Steel * , the SCP Foundation, Hellboy, Necessary Monsters
- General tropes and themes:
- Eldritch is not evil.
- Humans are capable of comprehending more than some people think, but also can be more dangerous or incomprehensible than the horribleterrible gibbering meemies.
- Expies and Ersatzes from other works in similar genres are likely to appear, often in ways that examine them from a different angle than would be possible in their home canon while keeping their natures and personalities as true to their original as possible. (Similar to Paint The Hero Black and Villain Whitewashing Service, but with minimal Character Derailment in the process. Tricky.)
- I've noticed that Metafiction, Recursive Canon, etc, and the idea of things that not only can't exist, but don't exist, influencing reality seems to be a recurring element in some of the antagonists with clearer origins.
- Various types of Intended Nightmare Fuel
- Templates: 13-ish episode seasons, each with a self-contained story arc, divided into mini-arcs that range from stand-alone episodes to three or four episodes long that feature a recurring antagonist or "midenagonist" (playing various roles both for and against the organisation over the course of "their" story). The cast is ensemble, with generally only two or three agents featuring in each story, not grouped in the same team the next time any one of them appears. Stories, or parts of stories, told from the perspective of someone outside of the organisation who was involved before them are relatively common.
edited 4th Apr '11 2:58:15 PM by Noaqiyeum
- The Organisation lacks a name yet, much as the series itself does. (Mandragora? Benebolge?) Entirely non-governmental, with no use or care for legal regulations. Some agents are apparently able to simply walk into situations without being noticed, while other information is acquired in less discreet ways. Agents displaying what to the viewer is rather uncanny behaviour or appearance may or may not be commented on by human characters. Most agents wear clothing that appears plausibly humanoid, but reveal no skin; full-face masks that are never removed on-camera are even more common.
- Adison - The 'face' of the organisation, insofar as it actually has any. Polite, professional, and easy-going. Portrayed as a somewhat short businesswoman with a pleasant contralto, always wearing a plastic mask that only exposes 'her' (apparently normal) eyes. The agent most fluent in human languages, and thus generally deals with outsiders. Has the 'rank' to give instructions to nearly every other agent, but also receives orders from authorities who are largely unseen. She consumes thick drinks and soups exclusively, while still wearing her mask; two long, thin proboscises unreel from the nostril-holes to pump them from the glass or bowl.
- Damasculus? - Voice sounds electronically distorted. The only consistent aspect of 'his' appearance is the elaborate masquerade mask that resembles the Green Man; he is often re-cast as a new actor (male or female), frequently one who had recently been portraying a character who impeded his investigation in some way. Enthusiastically curious and secretive, with a sense of humour that relies heavily on sarcasm and hyperbole.
- Jadhresun - Speaks with a monotonous baritone, but usually silent. 2 to 2.4 metres tall, and wears a long brown scarf over the lower half of his mask, an aviator's hat and goggles, a tightly-buttoned trenchcoat with extremely and tentacular long sleeves, and a skirt that extends over his feet. Usually appears only when an investigation calls for reinforcements; possesses considerable strength, and has abilities to hunt or destroy things that border on Reality Warping. Extremely aloof, but seems to take pleasure in action.
- Llwnyll - Wears no mask. Appears to be a teenaged girl riding on her boyfriend's back, but she always has her hands over his eyes, he never tries to look around, and they generally speak in unison and manipulate things with her bare feet. It speaks quietly with careful enunciation, and only uses "thing" and "do" for nouns and verbs, modified by large numbers of adverbs or adjectives.
- "Herr Abendwald" - The head of the hierarchy, as far as anyone knows. Seldom identified on-screen, but occasionally appears briefly without being named - a well-dressed businessman with extremely long limbs, carrying a suitcase, and wearing a simple yellow happy-face mask that does not completely cover its very white face.
edited 4th Apr '11 12:30:25 PM by Noaqiyeum
- "Team Elder" also has no official name yet, but functions collectively as a very prominent group of Anti Villains whose initial appearance is something of a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, in context. Their individual motives are rather diverse, but they are aware of the organisation and take the (entirely reasonable) view that they are not to be trusted, and intend that humans should be in charge of humanity's protection.
- Richard Elder - The extremely canny and resourceful forty-some-year-old responsible for creating the group to begin with, directing their movements, and leading from the front. He's also a perfectly ordinary human who has successfully baited organisation agents into investigating events that were completely mundane and infiltrating them with human imposters. Multiple times.
- "The Deicide" - Lacks a name yet. A devout Muslim* , if a somewhat self-doubting one. His primary concern is that he believes in an all-powerful god in a universe which, he has discovered, is full of quite a lot of otherworldly beings claiming or claimed to be gods of some kind or another, and he'd really like to figure out which is the important one. So with that in mind, he's going to find all such entities and try to test their claims. All of them. Against each other, if necessary.
- Keith Lindhjem - A Talkative Loon with a passion for disassembling things. (Sound vaguely familiar?) Hero-worships the Deicide, which both amuses the latter and makes him uncomfortable. Usually has a welding mask and cutting torch somewhere around. Something of a hipster, and known for starting his situation reports with "Once upon a time..." and turning them into long, rambling fairy tales.
- Shelaileigh "Sheila" Farris - Nobody really knows anything about her before she joined, not because she never talks about it but because she talks too much. Given how successful she is at killing things and her preferred apparel while doing so, though, the common guess is that she used to be a slasher villain. Not fond of cleaning up after herself, and has a friendly-frustrationship with Keith that's not quite to the level of Belligerent Sexual Tension.
edited 4th Apr '11 5:19:43 PM by Noaqiyeum
- Monsters of the Week
- Crevice - It either lives within and traverses cracks in rock and concrete, or it manifests as them and supplants them as it spreads; it's not particularly clear. It protrudes innocuous-looking appendages - entangling weeds and vines, impossibly deep puddles, flowers that turn and track moving objects - in order to interact with the rest of the world and to feed.
- Wallflower - A manifestation on complex image patterns - fractals, M. C. Escher-like tesselations, floral wallpaper, paisley cloth, etc. You're not likely to notice when it's there, or when it's gone; but, if you just stare at it blankly and slowly let your eyes' gaze drift across each other... eventually you'll see its silhouette emerge, and move. It'll probably jump right out at you.
edited 6th Apr '11 7:08:55 PM by Noaqiyeum
- Monsters of the Week (again)
- Crystal Saberhagen - When Crystal was 19, she was lucky enough to cross paths with an otherworldly monstrosity and not only survive, but survive with a boon - she can learn languages very, very fast. Any message is understood immediately. All grammar and vocabulary therein is instantly and permanently retained. Her fluency in speaking is identical to the fluency of what she has read. It's true of all modern languages, classical Latin, Arabic, Chinese, Proto-Indo-European, Babylonian cuneiform, Minoan Linear A, COBOL, Java, HTML, C#, machine code, DNA transcripts... and the canted whispers of unspeakable things beyond the record of the known world. Possibly she's gone insane. She should be, considering all that she's tried not to read from the books of forgotten libraries, or to hear in the murmurs of silent rooms and thunderstorms. But if so, it only appears as a monomaniac desire to earn a boon from every other horror she can find, by whatever means necessary.
- Alford Keyes - A popular but reclusive horror author, in the vein of Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft. All of his stories overlap somewhat, as part of a shared cosmos in which they all occur, and he writes with the conceit that the stories of this world are sent to him in dreams, by one of its more nebulous residents for its own vaguely threatening reasons. Keyes knows more about his Muse than he's published, of course - as with most authors, most of his work never reaches the page. The Muse is among the more powerful of its world's eldritch abominations, much more so than most of those in the actual stories, but is slowly being crushed out by even stronger neighbors. By inspiring Keyes with its stories, the Muse hopes to build a link by which it can escape its homeworld and manifest in Keyes'. Naturally, none of it is true; Keyes made it all up. But that will hardly stop the plan from working.
- Monsters of the Week
- "Gorgon"? - I sort of have this idea where an old, concrete building is about to be torn down, and an inspector goes inside to make sure it's completely empty and never comes out... Someone who goes in after finds a barely-recognisable statue inside, staring at the ceiling, and the demolition is put on hold... The gorgon itself is more of a sea anemone/slug thing than usual, capable of oozing up walls and into corners out of sight, and, most importantly, all scenes in which it appears are filmed in first-person. Beyond an occasional tendril twitching on the periphery, mostly we would just see characters staring at the camera in brief surprise and bewilderment before slowly crystallising from the eyes out.