Any great story is crafted by its world: Harry Potter has Hogwarts, The Lord of the Rings has The Shire, Star Wars has the Death Star and so on. Around these areas, readers expect to see a whole “universe” grow. I will not attempt to describe these universes as anyone familar with any of these properties will understand that each text creates its own unique feel which fits the genre.
So, with Enchanted Assemblages, my own riff on Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, I have likewise taken this aesthetic challenge to heart. Though I do not know all of the insides and out, I do have the central location fixed– Tangagile University (TU).
TU is a prestigious Humanities oriented university. More than offering superb courses in English, Philosophy, History and other fine departments, though, TU has invested itself heavily in technologies which allow students and administrators to virtually re-create, in stunning detail, the worlds of the past through their Virtual-Reality Massively Multi Player Online experience “Vingaard”.
In Vingaard, players can experience lovingly rendered scenes from medieval literature (secular and religious), thrust themselves in historical events, or just play as the normal life of a peasant, craftsman, or other everyday folk from the middle ages, experiencing and learning historically correct renditions as they do so. Vingaard is truly an experience like no other.
Enter, the class of 094, a group of students taking ENG499, one of the most demanding classes which exist. Taught by a professor who is notorious in his advance classes and also known as one of the more strict Admins in Vingaard, the students face their biggest adversary yet– earn a high-mark in completing the campaign he has devised for the students, along with the manifold obstacles in their way, or fail and delay graduation.
What begins as a simple premise, however, quickly turns convoluted when while playing the game, the students encounter not only unexpected things about themselves but begin to question whether the Vingaard itself has a mind of its own.
Told through the eyes of the whole class, forsaking traditional individualist narrative, Enchanted Assemblages, is a story without a center. Narratives cross, diverge, and refract one another but they do not collide into the same ending; they build and reinforce the narrative and creative universe, but they are not a totality in themselves deciding instead to remain open-ended and fiercely loyal to their collective independence.
Introducing the reader to a wide cast of young men, women, and gender non-conforming folx, each story hopes to introduce readers to a unique and topical take on Malory’s magnum opus. From hesitant first-year students to confident seniors, discover why these university students are having the time of their lives. The answer may just shock you.
Click bait satire aside, though, there is simply too much characterization to go into right now. In the future, I will likely post some introductions to each character along with basic biographic information about each character’s story. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will give enough to hopefully get your artistic taste buds salivating.
Placing itself firmly within the budding genre of Lit. RPGs (literary role-playing games), literature which revolves around video games and the player’s fully-immersive experience of them, the world of this project is something which I hope resonates with students and gamers, lovers of literature alike. It is a niche market, to be sure, but something which I feel many nerds and geeks will love if they give it a chance.
TU is merely one building block of this universe. Join me soon as I speak on the other building blocks, characters, and more. Thanks for reading.