I know it’s not actually Thursday but since I just found these and I’m laughing at my own dumb jokes, I thought I’d share them here. Maybe you’ll laugh, too, or at least find them interesting.
I originally wrote these quick descriptions because wanted to give everyone on the team an early feel of what each faction represented — who they were, what they wanted, how they operated — to set the tone and help with storytelling and world-building throughout production. I also try to keep my design docs interesting so people will actually read them. I have no idea if that approach ever worked but it was fun so nyah.
If you’re not familiar, the Obelisk War was an event on Neopets where six factions fought for control of a mysterious power. Players chose a faction and fought with the rest of their comrades against NPC challengers in the Battledome (a turn-based combat arena). The winner got some nifty perks and then it reset to create a permanent, rotating battleground feature.
A mysterious obelisk suddenly appears on the outskirts of Tyrannia, sending a beacon of light high up into the sky that can be seen for miles. Like, even on the other side of Neopia; that’s how powerful it is. Science be damned, this is magic! Anyway, no one knows how the obelisk got there, or why. All they know is that it’s mysterious. Maybe I already said that.
Meanwhile, several secret societies across the globe are discussing this recent development. You’ve never heard of them because they’re secret, but they do exist. You will come to know them soon.
It’s not long before all factions have made their way to the obelisk. It’s a volatile environment. Each group wants control and will stop at nothing to get it. And then…
WAR breaks out! No one is sure who started it and that really doesn’t matter anymore anyway. It’s evident that only one faction can be the victor. Who will it be, and what secrets does the obelisk hold for those who unlock it?
The Thieves’ Guild
Primary Goal: Money
Motivation: Everyone else wants it, so we’ll just take it. *nod* (And it will probably make us some coin, too!)
The guild has long been a staple in Neopia, stealing everything from the keyring in your pocket to ancient artefacts with planet-destroying potential. When a mysterious light appears in the sky, and rumour swells that a great power can be found at the center, the thieves know everyone else on the planet will be after it. That won’t do. That won’t do at all. They’ll be taking it, thank you very much.
The Magical Mystic Society (aka The Wizards of Waverly Place)
Primary Goal: Magic
Motivation: A magic this powerful must be contained! We’re just the folks to do it and hide it from prying eyes, and maybe study it… just a bit.
Don’t call them wizards. They don’t like that. What they do like is the study of magic – how it works, why it exists, and how it can be used to their advantage. This obelisk, if it is what they think it is, could be the key to unlocking the most powerful magics they’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something. Thus, it must be contained and hidden away from the rest of Neopia, for good.
[Ed note: These guys were later renamed The Order of the Red Erisim. Oohhhhh, fancy.]
Brutes (aka The Savage)
Primary Goal: Strength
Motivation: A power like that would surely make us the strongest in the land! We’ll take it by force, and use it for… weapons… and other stuff! RAWR!
They may not be too smart, but the only thing bigger than a Brute’s physical size is his sheer force of will, and rumour is they’re also interested in the obelisk. Strength, above all else, is what they seek. Untold power awaits, they say. I say that if you don’t side with them, I hope you have good insurance.
The Seekers (aka Reading Rainbow)
Primary Goal: Knowledge
Motivation: Creators of such power must have knowledge far beyond ours. We will find it, and then we’ll go from there….
The Seekers – scholars, scientists, and other Neopians with large heads – have joined together under the banner of study. They seek the obelisk for the promise of knowledge, but who can say what that means for Neopia in the end. Would they keep it to themselves, or share it with the world? Only they know, and knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
The Sway (aka The Regiment, aka The Dominon, aka The Bluminati)
Primary Goal: Control
Motivation: Save the Obelisk, save the world. *BURN AFTER READING*
The smart, the cunning, and even the devious are all invited to this enigmatic society by way of secrets, whispers, and the occasional singing cryptogram. No one knows if the Sway actually exist. If they do, they’d surely be interested in a mysterious obelisk. Perhaps its secrets would help further their control of Neopia. I mean… forget what I said. Of course you have free will….
The Awakened (aka The Reanimated, aka The Incorporeal)
Primary Goal: Chaos
Motivation: Who needs the calm and collected? The world deserves chaos, and that’s what it shall have.
When you’re undead, you don’t have many friends. Those who awaken instinctively flock to their new home – a massive series of underground catacombs that span Neopia – and join their new family. This is the only place that welcomes them openly and encourages their newfound need for pure, unadulterated chaos. The kind of chaos where trousers are worn atop the head with frivolity. Where no one uses apostrophes. Where kadoaties and warfs live together. This, dear chum, is mass hysteria. It would seem, however, that the Awakened are now flocking to the obelisk instead. Did anyone else just get a chill?
Here’s the table of contents from that design doc.