Rules control everything. They can be bent, broken, or circumvented, but they still exist.
Through Control naturally follows Definition. When Rules are followed, this is called Order. When Rules are ignored, this is called Chaos. Rules define what Is, and what Isn't.
For two beings in particular, their Rules are being broken.
The Watcher is a being charged with keeping Time and Space in collusion with each other throughout the multiple threads of existance; a certain timeline in particular however is impeading his execution of his duties, a timeline playing host to a Game involving extra-dimensional tokens.
Discord, the Draconequus of Chaos and Disharmony, is finding his own set of challenges running this "Chess Game of the Gods"; while he encourages unconventional thinking and exploitation of loopholes, there are certain uninvited "Chess Masters" going out of their way to ruin the fun for everybody.
Forming a shaky alliance, the two draft an "Arbiter" to keep things from getting too out of hand'.
If he succeeds, everybody gets what they want.
If he fails... well... we won't be around long enough to care, I'm sure.
Oh, I'm Alif by the way. Perhaps I should have mentioned I'm the Arbiter. Pleasure to meet you."
Its canon status is Unsorted.
The Watcher is a being charged with making sure reality keeps on working; time flowing from past-present-future, physics keeping things together, objects in transit corresponding with their Time and Place, things of that nature. Unfortunately, Discord's Game involves beings of an 'exotic-dimensional' lean, which (with so many in the same place at once) makes his job damn near impossible to do.
Being the enterprising cursed mortal that he is however, he finds a loophole wherein he cedes control of his local body to a Piece of his own so it can do his job for him.
In order to get Discord to go along with this plan they agree on a compromise, where Watcher's Piece will also work for Discord in helping the Chess Game keep running.
Thus enters Jeremy Theodore Nimitiz, former video-game programmer turned Arbiter for Discord's Chess Game of the Gods.
Assuming the identity of Alif, and the body of a Sphinx, he'll work for Watcher hunting down Anachronistic Artifacts, exterminating Aberrations, and fixing Temporal Quirks caused by both; for Discord hunting down Rule-breakers, Uninvited Players, and Illegal Pieces.
Already having received what he desired (a functional body and a new, vastly exotic world to explore) Alif holds no self-serving stake in the Game, allowing him to focus solely on his Duty.
To make certain that the Game reaches it's ultimate conclusion.
In order to succeed, Alif will align himself with(or betray) Pieces, Patrons, and Organizations as needed. However, all is not as straightforward as it seems, and Alif will find that, much like it's namesake, the Chess Game of the Gods has layers of subtly that will entrap him in their machinations.
Is he but a Pawn himself...
Or will he become more?
In Order of Appearance
- Alif - The Protagonist. A former video-game programmer, he has accepted a deal to be the representative of both The Watcher's and Discord's agendas as The Arbiter. Already shown an aptitude for insight and maturity, but has admitted to a lack of martial prowess; begs the question if he has the skill needed for the job. (First Appearance - Prologue: Closet Space)
- The Watcher - The Patron. Alif's Player who's nebulous duty is concerned with mantaining spacetime. Has claimed Omnipresence, but not much else. According to himself and Discord, is naught but a mortal Sphinx, cursed with Immortality for the duration of his Geas. (First Appearance - Prologue: Closet Space)
"All Things in Moderation" is grouped into story arcs, intermissions, and meta-story arcs. While the first two are pretty self-explanatory, meta-story arcs might be better classified as alternate plot threads and themes. The reader will quickly find that objects obliquely mentioned will later have massive impact, or events will have repercussions spread out across entire arcs before reaching a conclusion either anticipated (or even manipulated) or not by the characters.
Story Arcs will be listed chronologically, along with Intermissions. Tags for Meta-Story Arcs will be tacked to specific chapters, with the overall description for each listed alphabetically at the bottom.
"Setting Up the Board"Edit
The Introduction Arc, shows Jeremy's recruitment, and his adjustment to a new body and abilities.
- Prologue: Closet Space - Video-game Programmer Jeremy Nimitz is working at home late one night when there comes a knocking on his door. His closet door. Opening it with some trepidation, he finds an infinite hole beyond, occupied by a shadow-being, wanting to offer him an opportunity. Jeremy freaks out first, and then dithers until the creature rather unexpectedly disappears. The knocking returns on the following night, and Jeremy ignores it for two straight months before deciding that he might as well hear it out. Chapter ends with him stepping through the threshold. (Meta-Arcs: 'Cultivate', 'Duty', 'Mirror Darkly' )
- I: The Sphinx, The Draconequus, and The Closet - Stepping through his closet doorway, Jeremy finds himself in an infinite space with a chessboard for a floor. His house guest is revealed to be a Sphinx with the title 'Watcher', who wishes to offer him a job, specifically his job of maintaining spacetime on Equis, wherein Equestria is located. With tea and smokes, Watcher explains the Game that Discord started (which overwhelms Jeremy), his Duty and the Geas surrounding it (somewhat), and Jeremy's role in all of it. When Jeremy confesses reluctance, Watcher tries to assure him of his qualifications by referring to his University Transcript from M.I.T. While frankly interested, Jeremy is still going to turn him down until Watcher tells him (desperately) that a new body is also part of the package deal. With this caveat, Jeremy agrees to be Watcher's Piece... until Discord interrupts, refusing to let Jeremy join. After diplomacy fails, and it seems the two beings are about to come to blows, Jeremy interrupts by offering a compromise - to work as Discord's agent as well. Agreeing on the condition that he be tested first, Discord and Watcher lead Jeremy to another Sphinx, who is apparently also Watcher, and the body he'll be inhabiting. Merging with the second Watcher, Jeremy notices for a split second that they're being observed by a third figure before he's yanked into a blindingly bright oblivion. The Chapter ends with Jeremy regaining cognizance in the middle of a desert. (Meta-Arcs: 'Check', 'Cultivate', 'Duty', 'Inequivilant')
Meta - ArcsEdit
- Check - Discord agreed to let Alif into the game, perhaps a little too easily. Is he being played, and can he give as good as he gets?
- The autograph.
- Cultivate - Watcher admitted that while he had other options, Alif was the one he visited first with his offer. What could possibly make him think that a video-game programmer would be best suited for the life of a special agent-esq talent, or better yet, an eldrich exterminator?
- The boxes in the closet.
- Jeremy thinks Watcher knows something about him, something he's not sharing.
- Hinted to be disfigured and on medication.
- Duty - Alif's job is to act as Watcher's agent. What exactly is the Watch Warden of Time, and for what reason beyond the obvious is it important?
- The Watcher introduces himself as a being involved with managing time and space, the consequences of being unable to do so apparently 'apocalyptic'.
- Watcher is under a Geas that makes him Omnipresent, and is apparently imprisoning 'Her'.
- Inequivilant - Who is the being in the suit and fedora? Why does he follow Alif around? What stake does he have in the Chess Game?
- There is a third being watching them, unobserved by Discord and Watcher. Jeremy can't remember much about him besides his attire.
- Mirror Darkly - Alif thought he left his entire life as a human behind. Something unfortunately followed after him.
- The boxes in the closet.