February 28 - April 18, 2019
The City of Elgin ARG was the first ARG and started with ominous badges being handed out to people on the forums. The first ECPU was created once people started to notice. After much theorizing about the badges and a rumored curioshop, one actually appeared, with an NPC you could interact with. From here the actual plot began. A lot more happened and we can only recommend looking at the full timeline in the Codex to get a sense of how much. The game concluded with a worm god apocalypse roughly a week after people started theorizing.
One by one, curious forum-goers showed up at the curioshop and bought one of three curious items from the vendor, Ambrose. Their selections gave them entrance to one of three cults and set them each upon one of three paths: the goat, the void, or the machine. Plenty of curious things happened after this, including the appearance of a mysterious woman named Lillith, who dropped off a key with Ambrose. The cops started investigating. Roch, a local do-gooder, became suspicious and took it upon himself to save the day. He decided to arrest Ambrose.
As Roch caught up to him, Ambrose dropped off a key with one of us. Roch arrested him. Public outrage broke out over this, and Roch was consequently fired. Meanwhile, the new key-carrier sought to find what the key unlocked. Three locks were found. When all were unlocked, Lillith declared that it was time to summon an eldritch god, but said a sacrifice was needed. Roch came to save the world as we know it, but unknowingly ran right into his own demise. He was sacrificed, the worm god arose, and the apocalypse became a reality. Elgin, and in fact the very reality it existed in, was eliminated.
July 9 - August 19, 2019
Neo-Tokyo ARG was the second ARG run here, and started with Nick’s cryptic clues. The Neo-Tokyo category was created to be a ‘city’ in the forums, and Nick asked for ideas and art for the game. The city opened and the game officially began on July 9th. Soon, clues appeared and the plot began. People were able to join one of six different groups, and some groups got special pieces of information. There were NPCs you could interact with to get more clues. For more information we recommend looking at the full timeline or full story in the Repository. The game concluded in the middle of August 2019, this time without an apocalypse.
The game was preceded by a series of ominous messages, including “Hominibus lives” and a promise that things would be different soon. After the city opened, different groups began to appear, each with a unique requirement for joining. Curious citizens took up the offer and become members of syndicates (Ironedge, Dawn, Kitsune) or knights (Dragon, Tiger, Fox).
Following a string of cryptic messages, we discovered a key buried in a book on Wattpad. NPCs appeared and asked for it, including Lina (a syndicate member) and Chas (a member of the mysterious city police). Soon, two more keys are handed to groups that solved special riddles. Faced with a final choice of who to give them to, we handed all three to Lina. The three combined opened the Dark Net. We got one glimpse of it: an interesting network domain revealing some information about some kind of tournament.
Meanwhile, the headmaster of Neo-Tokyo’s Academy discovered a sealed entrance to the academy’s archives. The archives turned out to be empty; an artifact recently present there had been stolen. In another part of the city, a teenage NPC named Veronika appeared to ask us for love advice. After receiving help, she gave us a mysterious note she had found about Hominibus. Meanwhile, mysterious notes asking for help started to appear around the city. We tracked them back to a hidden NPC, Ma, who we learned from Veronika was obsessed with illegal research and alternate realities. Aside from all of this, a mysterious thread appeared and disappeared in the city, again saying Hominibus lived.
In chatting with Veronika more, we discovered that the reality Ma had been studying had been Elgin. Ma had seen it destroyed, and had since taken up a new research project. We solved a riddle to gain access to her secret lab, where we helped her create a homunculus—an illegal use of magic. Unfortunately, our discovery of the lab alerted the police, who confiscated all of Ma’s work. She vowed revenge.
The tournament hinted at earlier in the game began, and we were invited to watch the touched ones (people with magic) compete. The finals were interrupted by a cryptic message from a group called The Order, mentioning the Hominibus again. The headmaster revealed himself to be a part of The Order and asked citizens to help him topple the gods that oppressed us and bring Hominibus—humanity—to glory.
It came down to a poll that we split 50-50. This was taken as a decision to report The Order to the police, so headmaster and his associates were arrested. Hominibus did not rise, but the headmaster promised The Order would rise again…