The interior of Santa’s workshop is cavernous, and fully automated.
“Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace taught Santa computer programming in the 1840s,” explains Chordette. “He had a rudimentary AI worked out by the time he died, in 1888. The elves finished automating by the time World War I broke out. Since then, things have… stagnated.”
“Why?” asks Rod, bobbing along beside her.
“Because that’s when the infighting started.” She reaches an airlock, punches in a code, and waits for it to cycle. “We’re going into an arc welding area, so the atmosphere is nitrogen. Take a deep breath and hold it until we reach the other side.”
You step through, and are assailed by the sound of five hundred welding arms, fabricating in perfect harmony. It looks like they’re welding APC chassis. You scamper along a catwalk above a chorus of arcs and reach another airlock on the other side. Chordette punches in the code and waves you through. You gasp for air on the other side.
“Is that all those things do?” Dude Love asks. “Make war machines. That’s harsh, man. Real harsh.”
“They also make guns,” says Chordette, sadly. “And toys on Wednesdays, but mostly guns. In fact, if any of you finds the hopper for the sniper rifle output, let me know. My mom says she can kill Gazprom and Jingles at range. Then all I have to do is strongarm Glomar to get a veneer of credibility.”
“Is… that what Christmas means to you?” Jack Frost asks.
“Christmas means victory through strength. But maybe one of you can make this right.”
You round a corner, and all of a sudden, there it is: Santa’s sleigh, bullet-riddled and covered with dust. Next to it is a computer terminal.
“Are you ready?” Chordette asks.
“Maybe?” says Forky. “What does it mean to be ready?”
In the distance, you hear explosions and gunfire.
“This will have to be good enough,” says Chordette, and she presses a button.
Santa’s face appears. He appears weary.
“Welcome, my son. I’m so glad that you were able to make it. I’m sorry you never knew me personally, but…”
“Who is he talking about?” whispers Jack Frost.
“EH?” says Scrooge.
“The California raisin,” says Kevin. “Blue? Was that his name?”
“Oh snowflakes,” says Jack Frost. “I forgot about him. So many people have died.”
“Wait,” says Scrooge. “Santa had coitus with a raisin?”
“…always had a thing for raisins, and…”
“Wouldn’t that make Blue over 100 years old?” asks Kevin.
“How long do raisins normally live?” asks Forky.
“…test of your worthiness to sit upon my throne of skulls. You must brave my puzzle chambers and defeat my security robots, and only then will you be worthy.”
The recording ends.
“But we killed the person that was meant for,” says Rod. “Santa’s bloodline is extinct.”
“You’ll just have to do it yourselves,” says Chordette, gesturing to a series of chambers containing pressure plates, lasers, sentry turrets, and much too much tinsel. You look at each other, shrug, and go for it.
The challenges are harrowing! They are uncharitable! They are, in the end, kind of tedious. Scrooge remembers he can’t die, and ends up walking across a series of tripwires while whistling “God Save the Queen.”
He is, in fact, the first one out the back. Santa’s skull throne awaits. Suddenly, Scrooge hears a noise behind him.
“For justice!” cries royalty, and the old man goes down.
“Bah!” says Scrooge, bleeding on the floor. “I never wanted to be Santa anyway. I just want to get away from people.” He snarls at the prince(ss). “Do you know how hard it is to live forever? Constantly achieving enlightenment, then losing it again?”
Doctor Manhattan appears from thin air. “My calculations suggest that, in a normal human lifespan, there is a measurable chance of experiencing trauma from which the sufferer never fully recovers. As the lifespan approaches infinity, the odds of experiencing such trauma approach 100%.” Beat. “Any chance you’d like to join me on Mars?”
“Bah! Fine, but you stay on your half.”
Manhattan picks him up, and together they vanish.
Evaneezer Scrooge, cursed to live forever, has, for all intents and purposes, died. He was a Santa Aspirant (Vanilla Town), even though he never wanted to be Santa.
The prince(ss) is left alone – but not quite. The heir to the throne of Antiportugal is, in fact, jointly held by Rod the puppet and the puppet ensemble who join him for musical numbers. Antiportugal has a unique style of government.
“This is going great,” says Rod to the others. “We’ve almost got this. I believe in you.”
“Behind you!” cries one of the background puppets. Rod spins, and the last thing his goofy puppet eyes behold is the fearsome shape of Krampus.
Rod (+Ensemble) have died. They were, collectively, the CHRISTMAS PRINCE(SS) (VIGILANTE). There’s definitely going to be a war of succession in Antiportugal over this.
Krampus sneaks back into a test chamber, and times it so they emerge at the same time as the final survivors. The four of you stare, slackjawed, at the amount of plush filling that’s strewn across the floor.
“I’m here!” says Chordette, gasping as she runs up. “Got lost in a utility tunnel. Did everyone make it through oHMYGOD.”
Kevin McCallister, Forky, Jack Frost and Dude Love look at each other. One of them is Krampus.
“It’s okay,” says Chordette, taking deep breaths. “Christmas will be safe, because I believe Christmas will be safe.” She sits down on the floor and folds her arms around her knees. “You need to decide who’s going to become the next Santa. I hope you choose correctly.”
The throne of skulls stands before you, smelling piney. All around you, sentry turrets stand guard. Santa’s face pops up on a viewscreen.
“It’s time to take your place, my son” he says, and then frowns. “Or you’re never getting out of here alive. The world needs Christmas. Christmas needs a Santa.”
Today is Election Day, and the voting rules are different! Please read carefully.
You said you wanted to be Santa (or someone else did, anyway); now you have to prove it. The factory AI has attached some conditions to ensure maximum participation.
You must ALL run for the office of Santa. Announce your candidacy in a 300-word top-level post, beginning with “I would like to be the new Santa Claus because…” Anyone who refuses to run for the office or fails to submit a 300-word candidacy essay by twilight will be modkilled then. You must write the essay before you vote, or your vote will not be counted.
If either of these events causes the town:scum balance to drop to 1:1, the serial killer wins. The serial killer will also win if twilight comes and the votes are tied, and, of course, if they win a majority the old-fashioned way.
You are allowed to vote for yourself.
- April LKD / Kevin McCallister
Demyx / Lucy Van Pelt– Vanilla Town DW / Venom– VANILLA WOLF
E-Dog / Evaneezer Scrooge– Vanilla Town Emm / Florence, the Little Match Girl– YULE SLEUTH (COP) Flubba Gunto / Red, of the California Raisins– S.I.C. (WOLF)
- Goat / Forky
- Grumproro / Jack Frost
Hohopossum / Tiny Tim Possum– Vanilla Town
- Indy / Dude Love
The Landstander/ Vanilla Town Lindsay / Mario Santa– Vanilla Town Mars Five / Xmars Five, Cyborg– VANILLA WOLF Mayelbridwen / Comet, the Wonder Reindeer– Vanilla Town Mr. I’m My Own Grandfather / Robot Santa– Vanilla Town MSD / Rod the Puppet (+Ensemble)– CHRISTMAS PRINCE(SS) (VIGILANTE) Raven and Rose / Gerald Loggins– Vanilla Town
Sic Humor / Tobias, a Make-A-Wish Santa– Vanilla Town
Side Character / Catbug– Vanilla Town Spookyfriend / “Dave,” Morally Ambiguous Man Wearing This Sweater– Vanilla Town
Subsaharan / Dr. Manhattan– Vanilla Town Sukaluski / Ambiguous In-Flight Meal– VANILLA WOLF Tobias Morpheus / Joe Camel– VANILLA WOLF
Wasp / Carol– Vanilla Town
- 3 Pure of Heart (TOWN)
163 Santa Aspirants (Vanilla Town) 1 Yule Sleuth (Investigator) 1 Christmas Prince/Princess – Constitutional Monarchist (vigilante)
- 1 Krampus (serial killer)
- 0 Impure of Heart (WOLVES)
4 Elf Cronies (Vanilla Wolves) 1 Santa’s Illegitimate Child (recruited by the wolves, now evil)
- Win conditions:
- The wolves win when they are equal to the number of town-aligned players left (if the SK(s) are dead), or outnumber the non-wolf players (even if the SKs are still alive).
- Town wins when all the wolves and the serial killers are defeated.
- The serial killer(s) win when it comes down to just them and one other person.
- A three-way standoff between the last town, last wolf and SK will result in a special ending.
- Night actions:
- There isn’t a hard order that night actions occur in. This is to allow as many of them to go through as possible. Roleblocks (if applicable) will always take precedent over the actions of the targeted player, however.
- Yule Sleuth: All town forces come back NICE, all scum come back NAUGHTY. If the Yule Sleuth scans Santa’s illegitimate child the same night they’re recruited, the Yule Sleuth gets an error message about moral ambiguity.
- Depending on the alignment they choose, the Christmas Prince(ss) cannot roleblock or jail the same person two nights consecutively (or jail themselves).
- You have the option to vote “No Kill” (or words to that effect). If that option prevails, no one dies at the end of the day.
- A majority vote for one player (or No Kill) will end the day early.
- A tied vote at twilight will result in no one dying.
- There are no secret powers or win conditions in this game. Any changes I have to make to the mechanics will be announced publicly.
- No editing posts.
- No quoting or screencapping from your QTs.
- If you have any other questions about rules, please ask in QT, and I will answer publicly here.
Day 7 will end Friday, December 13 at 2 p.m. EST.