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''"I would like to wish you all the best of luck.
Enjoy the show."''
Ringmaster Elly, Round One Prompt.

Tapestry of Horror is an Original Character Tournament that took place on the art website Deviantart. The theme and setting is basically a Circus of Fear with animals. The basic guidelines for entry were that all characters had to be non-human, although there was never clear definition of what was too human, considering the vast number of anthromorphs strutting around. The characters are fighting for a chance to become apprentice to the Ringmaster, Elly, and in the process risk life and limb (but mostly life).


Although most Original Character Tournaments operate on either a 16, 32, or 64 competitor bracket system, Tapestry of Horror managed to fit in 36 competitors by adding a Danger Zone. The Danger Zone competitors fought an extra Lightning Round before Round 2 started.

The Tapestry of Horror ended on November 3rd, 2011. It was won by Larkpaw and her character, Hoatzin.

This OCT provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Cadmium. Hinted at with Quincy.
    • "My father... was a bastard." Burn in Hell, you son of a bitch...
      • This has been proven for Quincy with the conclusion of his Round Two entry. Father/son bonding with pointy objects!
    • Maybe not so much for Cad. It has recently been implied that his father genuinely cared about him and was just too absorbed in his hypnotism research to see what he was doing to the kid until it was too late.
      • True, but he was pretty harsh to Beta. Cad's second personality actually referred to himself as Henry's son, a notion the man callously dismissed.
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  • Ascended Extra: Somewhat literally when referring to the current Judge TwelvePM who was the former assistant but upranked after the other judge was dropped. Also applies to Carlotta who went from being a random spectator to Assistant after TwelvePM was upranked. The character Carlotta may count as well.
  • Alien Blood: Both Ach'M and Nippy have blue blood.
    • Though he's not an alien, Kane's poison blood is purple.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Marciannah, Chordata, Ach'M, Nippy, and Mortie (with Van).
  • All There in the Manual: Becomes something of an issue for people who follow individual competitors but not the OCT group.
    • In round two many people didn't understand the eye-color changing sub-plot because they had not read the host's prompt and the competitor never explained the purpose behind it in their entry.
  • And Call Him "George"!: Sylvia.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of both Keigori and Aiden upon losing.
  • Anime Hair: Uniquex
  • Anyone Can Die: Tapestry of Horror has a fairly high death rate for competitors (at least so far) Death seems to becoming more common in tournaments but even still, rule of thumb here is if you lose your character is probably going to end up dead. Often in a horrible way. And may have their soul stolen.
    • As of round one's end, canonically Ancient, Silver, Byn, Presto, Ryan, Mali, Donny, Danyl, Kane, and Draya have all died. Silvia was killed as well, but since she's a demon ghost anyway she just goes to Hell for a while before popping up again.
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    • The lightening round brought us the death of Keigori.
    • At the end of round two there was much mourning for Bane, Syas, and Ach'M.
  • Anything That Moves: Del. What's even better? Del has no gender.
  • Another Dimension
  • Artificial Limbs: Draya, Ach'M
  • Art Shift: Considering that each entry is done by a different artist/writer, what would you expect?
  • Bad Boss: Elly. 'Nough Said.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Dr. Ernest Jacobin.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Chordata has one against a horrific, twisted illusion of Bane in her round four entry when Marci brainwashes her into attacking Yomi.
  • Beam Spam: Mortie, when she's performing her act.
  • Because Destiny Says So: A lot of the matches really sound like they've been rigged but the host continually assures everyone that it's just luck of the draw. The term 'the Universe demands it' has become somewhat common to rationalize why these keep happening. However, one theory is that the competitors seem to put a lot of forethought or preparation into future matches. A lot of them will cameo other characters, interweave idea, or have their characters interacting with one another. Because of this, it opens up the possibilities for future rounds.
    • Hoatzin VS Uniquex, Marci VS Chordata, Quincy VS Yomi, Quincy VS Ach'M
      • Word of God says the earlier matches were literally drawn out of a hat, while later matches were drawn from a coffee pot due to the hat being left behind when the host moved.
  • Beneath the Mask: Kane, literally. Actually it turned out to be the theme for the Round 1 match with Kane vs Keigori.
  • Berserk Button: Very much Yomi
    • "However, those who use the memory of my mother, I'LL SEND THOSE TO HELL!!
    • Willis gets one of these when Void kills Danyl in Void' Round 1, Part 2
  • Betty and Veronica: Marciannah and Chordata (with Quincy).
  • Big Eater: Byn and B Up to Eleven.
  • Blatant Lies: "Employee safety is very important at the Tapestry of Horror."
  • Blinding Bangs: Uniquex and Donny. Also Willis until he went insane and chopped most of his hair off after round one.
  • Body Horror: We get a nice example of this with Yomi's Round 1, page 20
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Lorksuot and Teno are actually aware that they are drawn characters, even though no one else gets what they're talking about.
  • Breakout Character: Nim arguably
  • Break the Cutie: Willis, very much so. After the death of his best friend and his partial blinding in his left eye, he goes from a cheerful prankster to a temperamental cynic who is slowly losing both his mental and emotional stability
  • The Cameo: In many Round/Audition entries. Not unusual of tournaments as this.
  • Camp Gay: Bane. Very much
  • Catchphrase: Elly would like to wish you all the best of luck.
  • Circus of Fear
  • Classical Mythology: Heavily referenced by both Quincy (who has a soul-contract with Cerberus) and Void (who is possessed by the spirit of a warrior from Ancient Sparta). The have begun to insert nods to each other's canons as a sort of running joke.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: More or less the theme of Round 2 where the opponents take a pill that changes their eye color and they must find the competitor who's color matches.
  • Combat Pragmatist
  • Creator Cameo: Sort of. Pft, the jackalope, is one the character of the tournament's host. Despite not being involved in Tapestry of Horror at all, it keeps making appearances and cameos.
  • Cursed With Awesome
  • Cryptic Background Reference: Elly.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: So many...
  • Dark Secret: Quite a few characters have this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hoatzin in the epilogue of Aiden's round four.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Nicolai apparently has these moments with the dead competitor, Danyl, in Void's Round Two entry.
  • Deal with the Devil: Quincy, or close enough. Marci could also fit this rather well.
  • Does Not Like Men: Yomi hates all men because of her abuse from her father and teasing as a child in an all-boys school (which she was forced to attend in disguise.)
  • Drunken Song: Quincy has a nice little mashup on his Round 2 Page 6
  • Dysfunction Junction: Dear Lord, where to begin? Between Bug being basically abused and ostracized by his entire race, Quincy making a deal with a Hellhound out of desperation to escape some as yet unidentified problem, Cadmium being mind raped by his father until he developed D.I.D. and killed the old man, Gatling being driven to insanity by a virus and slaughtering his own love interest, Keigori's curse that will trap her soul in her lifeless corpse if she is killed, and... Okay, you get the point.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Ach'M has broken English but can speak his native language, Letenarian, just fine.
  • Empathic Environment: It always seems to be storming, cold, humid, or cloudy in and around the tent.
    • It even has it's own dead forest and cemetery.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You:
  • Cute Kitten: Nic and Sylvi-waaait.
  • Extreme Omnivore: B and Byn.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Cloud, Donny, and Uniquex
  • False Reassurance: Elly is quite fond of this.
  • Fertile Feet: Aiden
  • Five Stages of Grief: Willis is kind of stalled out somewhere between denial and anger. He occasionally lapses into depression, but in general it's that hysterical fixation on "HE'S NOT DEAD!"
  • Forgot I Could Fly: Ancient occasionally has to remind Silver of his powers.
    Ancient: Not to mention you can teleport.
    Silver: Oh yeah!
    Ancient: Use that aura sensing ability of yours. Maybe this place is populated.
  • Genre Savvy: Uniquex. So much so as to call out tropes.
    • "A story will never focus on us and us alone unless we have a vivid leader."
    • Mr. Sparkle was Put on a Bus.
  • Giant Flyer: King Hiss, although he's more just a randomly cameoed character (though not as much as Pft).
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Mortie, Presto, and others...
  • Hammerspace: It is quite literally Uniquex's power.
  • Here We Go Again!: Ancient, Silver, Donny, and arguably Nic, all who previously fought in Rashan and somehow end up in yet another tournament. Although they might be disregarding Rashan as canon.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Willis and Danyl, anyone? Alright, they are kids, but come on.
  • I Am Not Weasel: Aiden insists he is a European Polecat, not a weasel. However, the European Polecat is a part of the genus Mustela, ie: weasels. So Aiden is actually a weasel. Whether this is a translation error or poor research is unknown, but let's leave it at that.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Keigori
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Kane, Nim and possibly Void.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Tequila the lightening shooting radioactive chicken, and Nicolai the kitten who got a maser beam fishbone tail after eating an irradiated fish.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Recurring problem for Yomi.
  • Intellectual Animal: Naturally, as it would be rather difficult to have a non-intelligent animal competing, although some of the competitors make you wonder...
  • Insane = Violent: Gatling.
  • It's Personal: Willis towards Void for murdering his best friend, Danyl. Marci towards Chordata for putting her in a wheelchair. Chordata towards Yomi for hurting her love interest, Quincy.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dear god, how many fire users are there!?
  • Kill Us Both: Void uses this tactic to finally take down Revenant, with help from Quincy.
  • Kick the Dog: Chordata to anything and everything smaller than her.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Despite the OCT only allowing competitors to be animals, there is no rule saying that humans cannot appear as cameos in the crowd or character backstories. As such, the artists more comfortable with drawing humans have been known to feature them in their entries, implying that the Tapestry of Horror universe is populated by humans, anthros, intelligent quadrupeds, and garden variety animals.
    • Because screw logic, that's why.
  • Living Shadow: Pretty common, right up there with Kill It with Fire.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: could have been worse considering that there were 49 auditioners originally.
  • Love Triangle: Quincy, Chordata, and Marciannah. The dawning of round two as also brought us Quincy, Chordata, Ach'M.
  • Marionette Master: Fae'Alah, the zombie lynx and her brigade of demonic puppets.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Well would you look at that... The Fool."
  • Mind Rape: Oh look it's a cute white rabbi- OH GOD WHAT'S HAPPENING
  • Mirror Self: Both Aiden and Hoatzin must confront one of these during Hoatzin's round four.
  • Nature Hero: Aiden
  • Nature Spirit: Nim and Avi
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Mochi, Nim, Silver, and Nic.
    • There is also Cad's kangaroo rat ally, Lou, who has grown to be much more prevalent as a character than originally intended.
  • No OSHA Compliance: "Be advised that the storage tents are a dangerous place for new performers, and we are not responsible for any accidents that result from employee stupidity."
    • The eye color changing pills from Round 2, which were not tested and may have been improperly mixed.
  • No Social Skills: Could be any number of the competitors.
  • No Kill Like Overkill
  • Non Sequitur: A common theme for spectator entries among the competitors.
  • One-Letter Name: B
  • Only One Name: Most of the characters.
  • Orifice Invasion: How Revenant takes control of Void's body.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Bug, Relic, and Lorksuot.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The contract that binds your soul to Elly also pins your soul with creepy red chains to the circus. Some of these ghosts have been stuffed into zombies, but as for the ones whose bodies were too badly damaged to reanimate... why Elly is keeping them around has yet to be established. One thing's for sure, they aren't happy about it.
  • Our Liches Are Different: As result of Quincy having to kill Void in order to also kill Revenant, Crooked convinces Elly to restore Void to life and he becomes one of these.
  • Overly Long Tongue: Byn. Dear lord, Byn.
  • Parental Substitute: Nippy is implied to be this for Ach'M.
  • Patchwork Kids: Due to the Mortie x Lorksuot... incident... there's Mork, Lort, and Sorro. And that's only for those two. We make kids for others daily.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Yomi.
  • Power Glows: Mortie and Aiden.
  • Psychic Powers: A few
  • Read the Fine Print: Wait, what about souls?
  • Really 700 Years Old: A few characters seem to have this, although it is played for laughs with Hoatzin.
  • Rummage Fail: Uniquex might pull something awesome like a light saber or a live jaguar out of hammerspace, but more often than not he comes up with something mundane and useless... like a pencil.
  • Running Gag: Oh so many....
    • "Who the heck is Void?"
    • Chordata's disregard for small creatures
    • Why is there a jackalope.
    • Mortie x Lorksuot although this is now considered canon.
    • Smitty smelling like 'peanuts' despite being made of Circus Peanuts which would hypothetically cause him to smell like banana.
    • Newton and his addiction to popcorn
    • How old is Elly? Old enough.
    • Round Two has brought us ToH Cheerleaders
    • Muscle Smitty
    • Much to the chagrin of the host, Pin-Ups of the characters in sexy poses have caught on as a gag.
    • Faith, no fear, and 'the Universe demands it' are things you will commonly hear spoken by competitors.
    • Originally a horror story, Marci's "little yellow pills" are sometimes used as a joke.
  • Rhymes Ona Dime: Ach'M, quite often.
  • Sanity Slippage: Kane and Gatling and arguably others.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The first time Beta was able to take over Cad's body outside of a hypnotic trance, he killed Cad's adoptive father Henry.
    • Which was more or less justified when you consider what Henry put both of them through, but Cad was still horrified when he "woke up."
  • Series Mascot: Er, apparently some people think that this might be Pft. You know. The jackalope that has nothing to do with the tournament at all but keeps appearing.
  • Shapeshifter: Cloud, Ryan and Nim
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: At round three, the owners of Mortie and Lorksuot announced that the canonized love-child Morksuot was being Put on a Bus because he distracted from the serious storyline.
    • Although it was probably more to do with the fact that they were tired of people complaining that he was utterly random and served no function in the plot.
  • Skunk Stripe: Danyl and Yomi.
  • Slasher Smile: Gatling.
  • Split Personality: Kane, Void, Cadmium, and Donny.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Donny has completely lost control to his Shadow, and his true self is only able to manifest for a few seconds at a time before being brutally suppressed again.
    • Everything for Chordata
  • Soul Jar: Crooked wears a gem that contains Void's soul on a ribbon around his neck.
  • Stage Magician: Willis and Danyl. They specialize in card tricks, sleight of hand, and do a little tarot reading on the side, but Willis does have "real" magic in the form of his elemental card deck.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Ach'M to Chordata.
  • Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male: Chordata to Quincy.
    Quincy: How did you know it was me? I thought you couldn't see?
    Chordata: Oh, I memorized your scent. No biggie!
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: There are quite a few actually.
    • One of the noteworthy ones is Amu'geplas, who's voice sounds according to Chordata like he needs to "hock up a big nasty loogie."
    • Nicolai speaks with a Russian accent.
    • Void has extremely broken English and a pronounced stutter.
    • After losing to Lorksuot and getting his jaw broken in Round Two, Cad now speaks with a pronounced slur thanks to the metal screws in his mouth.
    • Lorksuot, due to the effects of the pills from Round 2, speaks gibberish every few words at the end of his Round 2 and throughout Round 3. He also spoke spontaneous Spanish in Chordata's entry.
  • Sudden Death: Happens in Round 2, Void vs Mortie, where the judges disputed about coming up with a conclusion. Both were asked to make an epilogue within a short time limit to help decide a winner.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Chordata has a brief conversation with the dead competitor, Ach'M, in a dream before round four.
  • Tarot Motifs: Willis and Danyl.
  • There Can Be Only One
  • There Are No Therapists: Some of the issues these characters had coming INTO the tournament were bad enough. Now that they are forced to fight for their lives, watch their friends dying around them, and confront the fact that there is no escape not even in death who can blame the competitors if a few of them think Elly should hire a shrink?
    • Given the quality of her medical doctor's treatments, that might make things worse instead of better.
  • The Chess Master: Elly
    • The OCT host herself possibly qualifies for this as well.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Chordata spends the entire tournament tormenting and abusing Marci. In round four, Marci decides a little revenge is in order.
  • The Eeyore: Cad.
  • The Hypnotoad: Marci.
  • The Speechless: B.
  • The Voice: Revenant with Void, Darkness with Marciannah, and Cerberus with Quincy.
  • Use Your Head: Am I the only one who thought Yomi getting smacked with Chordata's horns looked really painful?
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: An interesting dilemma that comes up for a number of the competitors. For example, when the DINGO, Quincy, refers to Byn as "just an animal."
    • Of particular significance for the robot characters. The competitors have gotten into some interesting philosophical debates about whether killing them actually constitutes committing murder since they have no souls.
      • A problem further complicated by the fact that Mortie was GIVEN A SOUL at the end of Round Two. Mind screw anyone?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ach'M and his terror of anything that flies. Also, Quincy's fear of technology.
  • Wolf Man: Carlotta, who is actually a woman.
  • Would Hit a Girl
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Not entirely surprisingly, the contestants have a habit of leaving a swath of destruction wherever they go. In particular, the big top seems to be on fire more or less constantly.
    • Which sets up the theme for Round 3, where the tent has been destroyed again and Elly makes the competitors fight in the woods while the tent is being repaired.
  • Youkai: Yomi, she is half Nekomata, half Inugami.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Quincy and Chordata

Character Summaries: Competitors (under construction)

  • Ach'm Raten is an amphibious cyborg with rubbery bones.
  • Aiden and Nim are a polecat who can make plants grow and his forest spirit ally (who is more of a nuisance to him than a help.)
  • Ancient and Silver are the massive, poison fanged Hyenike and his psychic Mileniox servant.
  • B is a dog who eats crap. Like submarines.
  • Bane is a fallen wolf-angel who controls fire.
  • Bug or "Aiki" is a fuzzy dragon with the ability to manipulate water.
  • Byn Sift is the definition of originality.
  • Cadmium Turpis is an anthromorphic snow leopard/bear/rat crossbreed with multiple personality disorder.
  • Chordata Monera is an anthromorphic alien goat with the power to summon "essences."
  • Cloud is a wolf who shapeshifts into a large cat creature and controls the wind.
  • Del is a demon who manipulates shadows and hits on anything that moves.
  • Donnovan is a foul-mouthed dog who controls shadows.
  • Draya is a cyborg animal who can dissolve into solid objects and has poison spikes.
  • Fae'Alah is an anthromorphic zombie lynx with a brigade of zombie puppets.
  • Gatling is an insane genetic experiment who can phase in and out of shadows.
  • Hoatzin is a ninja squirrel with a rainbow afro and a rainbow sword that turns into a flaming crowbar. Yes, really.
  • Kane Kihaku is a murderous, insane ferret with poison for blood and control over mist.
  • Keigori is a human cursed into the form of a blind Hyrin.
  • Kimber is an anthromorphic, pyrokinetic rabbit.
  • Lorksuot and Teno are "pattern of doom" (a robot-dragon of sorts) and the art critic (turtle, kangaroo creature thing).
  • Mali is a fictional species of dinosaur with huge armor plates, huge claws, huge spikes, and huge everything else.
  • Marciannah Rahchesàn is an alien, anthropomorphic kitsune with mind control powers.
    • Amu'geplas (A.K.A. Darkness or Mr. Goop) is demon made of oil that haunts Marciannah.
  • Mortie is an alien robot that shoots lasers.
  • Newton is a color changing Mimic Dragon.
  • Presto is a nightmare spirit who takes the form of a white rabbit.
  • Quincy Foxcroft is an anthromorphic dingo who sold his soul to Cerberus in exchange for a number of unholy powers.
  • Relic is a fire-breathing dragon.
  • Ryan is a shapeshifting ink demon.
  • Saruwatari Yomi and Mochi are a inugami/nekomata crossbreed who can manipulate her shadow and shoot fireballs and her Spiritus slave.
  • Sjean is a ragged panther hawk with flaming claws.
  • Syas is a tiger with a skull for a head.
  • Sylvia is a ghost kitten with really big, really sharp claws.
  • Tequila is a giant, radioactive, lightening shooting chicken.
  • Uniquex is an anteater with the powers of hammerspace and anime physics.
  • Void and Revenant are the skittish red dog-lynx-whatever with an elastic tail and the evil spirit possessing him.
  • Willis and Danyl are orphaned anthromorphic fennec and cat children with a vast repertoire of card tricks.

Character Sumarries: Tournament Works

  • Elly the Ringmaster, an anthropomorphic opossum and master of dark magic who oversees the Tapestry of Horror. Her powers? Whatever the competitors come up with.
  • Smitty the Ticket Taker, a black cat like animal made of circus peanuts and broken dreams.
  • Crooked a dragon thing who works at the concession stand and also provides meals to the competitors.
  • Carlotta a werewolf/wolfgirl and general circus worker.
  • Dr. Ernest Jacobin the Emperor Tamarin Monkey on-site doctor with questionable methods.
  • Megan is an anthromorphic bat child who acts as Crooked's assistant. She's rather homicidal and chances are any food she serves will kill you.
  • Nurse Chair a Klyv (rabbit kangaroo gorilla) nurse who's gender changes depending on the patient.
  • Yerdua a sentient plant who acts as the janitor.

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