Previously On Battle Fantasia
Previously On Battle Fantasia is a special event that ran on Battle Fantasia between 11/11/18 and 04/06/19.
The five years of Battle Fantasia MUSH roleplay have established a miraculous and tragic timeline...
...but it wasn't the first timeline.
The Wayback Machine
It is September 20, 2013.
The height of fall. Tokyo is golden and beautiful, afternoons still warm with the memory of summer; beginning to be crisp, in the early morning, with the promise of winter.
It is the second year of the Sister Schools program, which is still new enough to be exciting and also a little uncomfortable. Juuban Public School is about to host the joint sports festival, brushing up their fields. Infinity Institute and Ohtori Academy anticipate shoddiness, but are going to find sportsmanship instead.
But some students suddenly find themselves having to balance the challenge of finding the right partner for the three-legged race with a new life -- a double life -- a secret life.
That's because two weeks ago the demonic army of Dark Fall swept into the heart of the magic worlds, the Fairy Realms, and dislodged their masters. They possessed ancient artifacts and used them to explode fairy castles, and they sealed fairy queens away in teacups. They shattered souls, and remade worlds in their own dark image. And so the cries for help went out -- all of them, drawn by an unseen force, to the same blue ball in Space.
And so it is that today, on Earth, the consequences of centuries, millennia, of planning and battles have come to fruit, as Dark Fall and Ends of the World alike descend not as one, but at once. The greedy fingers of corporate masters tear the dreams out of children's chests in the hunt for the miracle-granting Embryo. A coterie of Belkan Knights root in the shadows for the Linker Cores of the innocent - leaving them half dead and bereft of magic. Orphans stir on Southern Cross Island, finding victims to feed on, as their master's mark blazes in the sky. Underground, the Order of the Glittering Crux seeks to release the seals that will allow them to summon their magitechnological wonders into the real world, and seize it for their own. Witches throng in the shadows, their attention called by the despair of those who see how bleak the world is, their Kiss drawing still more into that trap. Above, the Castle Where Eternity Dwells silently waits to see whose heart will next be savaged by the Duels it oversees. And in the North, Queen Beryl's empire rises again, to finally and absolutely conquer the Earth and therefore the crown jewel of the universe...
But the guardians of Earth are rising. Tokyo is where that battle will be fought; as Pretty Cures are found by the refugees of the Fairy Worlds, and HiME once more flock to the Land of Fuuka, now called Southern Cross Island, and the Silver Millennium's Sailor Senshi stir at last from their millennia-long slumber. The darkness is deep; but once, a great queen wished for a light to outshine any darkness.
She will not be disappointed.
She has you.
Welcome to 'PREVIOUSLY ON BATTLE FANTASIA', our game's next major plot. Starting immediately, we're taking a trip back in time to our world as it was in September 2013: a more innocent time, with more innocent characters. New transfer students are new once again. Virtually everyone is a freshly recruited magical girl, taking their first steps into the world of fighting evil by moonlight -- youma are scary and their masters mysterious and unknown. Balancing normal and magical life is not old hat but an often-overwhelming act of frantic rushing around and the occasional guilty lie.
And beautiful friendships are about to be born.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
Frankly, the game has been in a very dark place for a very long time, and everyone needs a break. PREVIOUSLY ON BATTLE FANTASIA will occasionally tackle some heavy truths, but overwhelmingly its tone is intended to be lighthearted and fun -- or at least not oppressively, inescapably awful. It is an opportunity for everyone to get a fresh take on their characters, exploring, in a backwards way, exactly how far they've come.
It is also, frankly, an opportunity for some fan service, and the staff is taking requests on 'alternate timeline' plot points you'd like to see worked into the story. Please email your ideas to email@example.com or join the brainstorming shared document here!
IS EVERYTHING THE SAME?
No, and we will get into the differences between the first timeline and the final timeline (our regular game) below.
Obviously, one major difference is that themes and characters that joined the game after September 2013 will have joined it earlier and younger: take a look at your 'school' entries, you'll see you've been sent back two grades! (If you are one of these characters, the staff wants to work out the details of your earlier arrival with you -- please contact Pink Moon Stick for a brainstorming session!)
Characters from later SEASONS of certain themes who weren't around at game start (here's looking at you, Chibi-Usa-chan) will not be present in September 2013, but can rejoin us as the timeline catches back up with them.
WAIT, TIMELINES PLURAL?
Yes. We are going to do several, one at a time, and in so doing tell a story, as a game, about the MANY ways things have changed from everyone's original destiny to their current one (not just the hairstyle of Homura Akemi). In each timeline we will be skipping around through the intervening year and a half between past and present to hit various highlight events from the old days that some of our players missed out on, and others would enjoy revisiting.
If you want to remind yourself and come up with a possible wishlist, http://battlefantasia.pinksugarheartattack.net/Timeline is hideously out of date, but it's the earlier stuff we're especially eager to do, so in that sense it's still a useful resource!
BUT I WANT TO KEEP DOING 2015 ROLEPLAY!
That's completely fine. All 'Previously On' logs are going to be labeled as such; you are welcome to roleplay in the 'current' timeline privately if you like, especially to give yourself a little denouement after certain major events, if you don't want to wait. We stopped at the end of the IC night of May 27, 2015, and will be picking back up on May 28, 2015 eventually; for various spooky plot reasons, please keep your roleplay within the next two days, May 28-29, 2015.
For log titles, please label which timeline you're roleplaying in with the prefix: TIMELINE #:. So, a scene set in the first timeline might have the title TIMELINE 1: Welcome To Tokyo!
Each timeline has a game-wide theme designed to help guide the overarching plot of Previously On Battle Fantasia across timelines. There is also a list of differences from the 'final' timeline (regular BF) to help people keep things straight and create prompts for interesting scene opportunities.
Please add to the bullet point list beneath the current timeline to document significant differences as they appear. We will be adding later timelines to this page gradually, along with their notable changes from the previous timeline required to get the roleplay a'rolling.
THEME: FRIENDSHIP. Everyone is meeting each other for the very first time. Friendships are born, and they are beautiful. Over the course of the first timeline, the innocence and passion of the magical girl community will be powerful enough to forge a grand alliance, in some respects the opposite of the final timeline. A good opportunity for bitter enemies to become dear friends. That doesn’t mean there is no tension among magical girls, but rivalries tend to be less painful and more hopeful.
- IC Starting Date: September 2013
- Starting Plots: Sister Schools Athletics Festival, Hosted By Juuban Public School; Fusion
- Madoka Kaname is a newly Contracted Puella Magi and Homura Akemi is a normal girl.
- Themes/characters that joined at game start are rolled back to... game start.
- Later themes/characters' integration deals will need to be explained here, please add them in brief after discussing your plan with the staff.
- Miraculous Ladybug is pretty much the same except that Hawk Moth began his plot in September 2013 instead of later on. Everyone received their Miraculouses as normal, only they're a little bit younger and cuter.
- Steven Universe arrived in Tokyo a little earlier and a little younger, with his powers almost completely unexplored and untested (eg, early season one), because Beach City decided to make their move in 2013 instead of 2015.
- Kasagami Araki arrived much earlier and younger in this timeline, as a middle schooler in 9th grade. She notably lacks her cynicism about the world and people in general, being overall more positive and utterly new to her powers as a Duelist.
- The New Transfer Student List, September 2013:
- Homura Akemi
- Kasagami Araki
- Utena Tenjou
- Mai Tokiha
- Mikoto Minagi
- Makoto Kino
- Lera Camry
- After an eventful transfer to Ohtori - a car was cut in half on the boat ride over - Mai is bowled over by a strange girl who moves to attack her, only to run away instead. Mai finds her fainted in a hedge, and realising how hungry she is, brings her home to make some ramen. This is apparently the best thing which has ever or will ever happen, and the girl, Mikoto, attaches to her immediately.
- 'Buki, amidst trying to get Ohtori students to join her Animal Care Club in the days before the festival, realises that a strange girl is trying to get at the birds in the greenhouse, and meets Mikoto and the cat she's trying to help get a snack. Luckily, she always comes prepared, and she has some canned food Mikoto can offer to her friend instead. Mikoto proceeds to... help... Inori try and get club members, and in the process volunteers herself to help out, instead.
- Mikoto and Endo meet as the two last entrants to a broom racing contest, and despite the strange match-up, they sweep the competition.
- After rampaging into the pool, Mikoto is taken to the sports festival's first aid tent, where she is restored by a caring civilian named Yumi Ohzora. She teaches her important facts about money and ownership.
- Homura Akemi flees the sports festival that occurs on her second day of school, feeling depressed. Madoka, Mami and Eri (a Puella Magi trio, and already fast friends) go to look for her. They find her in a labyrinth, about to be taken by a Witch, and rescue her just in time.
- Homura, Sayaka, and Hitomi are among the civilians given MIRACLE LIGHTS by the fairy mascots, in order to give the magical girls the power to defeat Fusion. Most of them don't remember this event clearly afterwards, though Homura does.
- Eri and Mikoto separately come upon a stray cat and start to care for her. When she gives birth, their paths collide. They recruit Madoka, Nori and Homura to help take care of the kittens, which initially are hidden in the Garden Club shed at Ohtori, and eventually are moved to the Kaname household when everyone has to get on a train to go to Hokkaido.
- Winter 2013 Plot: Hokkaido and the Star Shards
- It is Sunday, December 22nd, the day after final exams -- and the second day of the school trip to Hokkaido (which began immediately after exams ended). As everyone has known for over an IC month, the Sister Schools have decided to pack everyone up and spend their Winter Break all together in the frozen paradise of Hokkaido! For most of an IC week, everyone will be staying at the Kubota Ski Resort (with occasional organized trips into Sapporo proper), skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and enjoying the rightfully famous all-you-can-eat crab buffets! While school trips are not /technically/ mandatory, they might as well be -- parents won't let their kids get out of it. It's all been paid for out of the joint Sister Schools Initiative fund, so money is no object.
- In the last three IC months, monster-of-the-day attacks have become all too commonplace (it's mostly been youma and the occasional evil lieutenant). Magical girls have gained a little more experience and comfort with their new powers, but, a few months into their double life, are beginning to really feel the wear and tear of all those little white lies, evenings spent fighting instead of studying, and so forth.
- Characters have had numerous opportunities to meet one another and become friends off the battlefield, allies on the battlefield, or both. People are encouraged to gently hash out progress in their relationships OOCly to make sure they're on the same page, since some fast forwarding is required.
- The major scuttlebutt in the magical community has to do with seven golden "star shards" which have fallen to Earth and nestled themselves in the hearts of seven humans -- if united, they are rumored to be able to grant one single wish. Six of them have emerged (and been fiercely contested by magical girls, men in black, and monsters), though no one is sure who currently has how many. The seventh shard has yet to appear.
- After distracting a bear from Niramo when the two of them wander away from the lodge, Mikoto becomes worried about that bear not hibernating like all the students say bears are supposed to. Dismissive explanations lead her to investigate on her own, where she runs into Eas, instead. They briefly clash, and Eas immediately exploits the upper hand as she realises that Mikoto is holding back. Luckily, she's willing to talk, if only to make demands, and after Mikoto explains that she really just is out here to investigate the bears, Eas lets her go. Mysteriously, the bear problem is solved.
- In December 2013, Steven Universe awakens his magical powers on Hokkaido, in the midst of a dire wish to end Christmas; filled with its spirit by his friends and classmates, he manifests his shield for the first time. The resonance of his first Rose Shield tears the wish apart, returning the world to normal.
- The Moon Princess appears very early (compared to the original timeline), on Hokkaido, after the Maiden of Nightmares sends a lethal attack at Sailor Moon which is taken by Madoka Kaname instead. The Princess wields the Ginzuishou, and a miracle occurs on Christmas Eve.
- The Maiden is redeemed by the unlikely forgiveness of her assumed enemies.
- Spring 2014 Plot: White Day and Queen Beryl
- It is March 13, 2014, and tomorrow is White Day -- the distaff counterpart of Valentine's in Japan, the day that girls give chocolates to their friends and loved ones. It's a stressful time. Who can find enough hours in the day to sit their final exams, defeat the forces of evil, AND make (or even buy!!) chocolate for tomorrow -- and what will happen if this symbol of romance /isn't/ realized? Especially when the battles are reaching a feverish pitch. Most of the Jewel Seeds have been found, and possession over the last few will likely make or break the outcome. The Dueling Game is in full swing. Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite, the Four Heavenly Kings, have died in their pursuit of the Moon Princess and her Ginzuishou, as have innumerable youma. There have been countless clashes between Magical Girls, Orphans, and men in black, clashes which are starting to seem like they serve some greater, darker purpose. Last night Sailor Moon and her Court went to the Moon, then returned with the dual burdens of terrible knowledge and a cursed sword. Everyone else woke up this morning having just experienced the same dream about it (+bbread 12/110, 12/111). The very same dream. Winter is just now yielding to spring. The bite in the air has softened into promising warmth. Tiny leaves and other nascent greenery makes the treetops look like they're inhabited by ghosts. The plum trees have blossomed, but the sakura haven't quite yet.
- In the last three IC months, the fledgling bonds of the magical girls have strengthened immeasurably through both battle and time spent in their fledgling, normal lives. Profound relationships have formed. Large sleepovers and other magical girl gatherings have become normal (though, oof, so difficult to find time for). Their might is waxing, as they come into their true power -- the deeper, stranger, more wondrous power of the heart. But so is their danger, for the very same reason, as an open heart... is a vulnerable one.
- Mikoto rescues the civilian witch, Yumi, from an Orphan in a Nishitama forest.
- Sailor Moon and friends go to the Moon on the night of March 12, while everyone else suffers a disturbing silvery nightmare, so Madoka calls for a sleepover on White Day, March 14 so they can face the night with the support of one another.
- At the sleepover, Mami Tomoe coins the group name 'Covenant of Style', which catches on like wildfire.
- On the morning of March 15, Beryl issues her challenge to the world: threatening all life on it and daring the magical girls to stop her. They disrupt her evil ritual and she is slain at the hands of the Outer Senshi, but not before she murders her much-hated Princess Serenity first. Usagi is revived by the Ginzuishou, which responds to the feelings of her friends, and afterwards they all defeat Queen Metallia together.
- After the events of the North Pole, Mikoto reassures Homura by carrying her up a tree and showing her how nice high places are.
- Summer 2014 Plot: Orphans, and an orphan
- It is August 6, 2014. Cicadas whirr staccatos, forcing them through the oppressively heavy air. Nary a breeze stirs across Tokyo Bay; there is no respite from the concrete-gathered might of the sun as it absorbs and re-emits from every surface in the city. Sweat beads at temples, at necklines, at the bottom of the back. But it just makes the ice cream sweeter. The resumption of school is weeks away and the obligations of summer homework might as well be on another planet. It's a long, hot, lazy summer. What a great time to be alive.
- In the last five months: After defeating Queen Metallia and returning home, the magical girls resolved the Jewel Seed Incident (approximately per canon, with the apparent death of Precia and the redemption of Fate, and also per BF canon, with the full withdrawal of the TSAB from Earth and the stranding of Lindy). In terms of trouble on the /rise/, it mostly takes the form of increased Orphan attacks (HiME are busting out all over) and greater activity by Labyrinth -- Nakewameke out the ears, as they strive to fill their Fuko Gauge to the brim, harvesting the despair of Tokyo citizens. Also, everyone went up a grade, which means some middle schoolers are now in high school. Though school is not currently in session.
- Chibi-Usa and Sailor Pluto have arrived in Tokyo. (Black Moon won't be far behind, while the Death Busters were always here but have yet to start overt operations; similarly the Wolkenritter have been present but are just now starting to become truly desperate.) And so has Northa.
- Mai finds an Orphan during her summer job as a lifeguard, and when the night falls she and Mikoto take care of it. Then Mikoto drags her off to the party which was distracting all the civilians, even though they didn't have an invitation.
- An Orphan attacks Sensouji Temple, threatening to eat all the cold snacks, only to be brought down by a group of magical girls. It's believed to be a lion dance with very good effects in the aftermath, and the people involved in the battle are lauded as excellent actors.
- Mikoto continues trying to get through to Eas, finding her after a Nakewameke attack. They share donuts and surprisingly friendly conversation, and Eas gives Mikoto advance warning about her next attack.
- Kasagami hosts a fancy summer party on behalf of the School Council, featuring the impromptu D.J., Steven Universe.
- Mikoto and Kasagami spar and no one gets stabbed for real.
- Steven, Niramo, Ami and Mikoto band together to create THE ULTIMATE SANDCASTLE (plus one whale lord.)
- Mikoto drags Endo out from his job at the convenience store to go watch fireworks instead.
- Eas creates her ultimate Nakewameke, and sends out invitations to the magical girls of Tokyo to meet her at Tokyo Tower for a showdown. She nearly succeeds--but when she emerges from her command post to talk to the assembled magical girls, Klein activates his failsafe, and they're left to save themselves /and/ her; she stays on Earth, as a (relatively) ordinary girl.
- Marinette is caught by her parents one night talking to Chat Noir and thinks they're going out. After a date night at Marinette's residence, the fiction becomes a reality.
- Timeline One: Walpurgisnacht
- Walpurgisnacht comes to Tokyo. The magical girls rise to confront it en masse, but not without casualties. Among them are Eri Shimanouchi and Mami Tomoe, which leaves only Madoka Kaname to deal the final blow -- which, legend says, must be dealt by a Puella Magi. She sacrifices herself in order to save the city -- and her friends. And especially Homura Akemi, who hears her last words.
- Homura makes a Contract with Kyuubey: I want to redo my meeting with Kaname-san. But this time, instead of her saving me... I want to be the one to save her! She becomes a Puella Magi, and the magic of her wish sends her back in time... ending Timeline One.
Timeline One Logs
THEME: DREAMS. Homura's dream has come true -- and that makes it easier for everyone else to pursue theirs, because the life of a magical girl is a whole lot safer when they have an ally who can stop time to keep them from harm. It's mostly a good thing, but there's nothing like peril to inspire rapid bonding, so although the magical girl community is still (relatively) unified, it is slightly more loosely knit than it was in Timeline One. And with a little less magical stress in their lives, people are able to focus more on their individual goals rather than joint ones -- pursuing their different, unique, beautiful dreams.
- A few months have passed since the timeline began, along with a few major events:
- Homura Akemi is a newly Contracted Puella Magi who has joined the Mami/Madoka/Eri konbi, and is still learning how to master her unusually difficult powers. Unable to keep the secret, Madoka spilled her guts to Sayaka about being a magical girl within the first forty-eight hours.
- As with the original timeline, the Sports Festival was a big success, but it seems to have really inflamed competitive spirits and the rivalry between the Sister Schools is more pronounced than before.
- Fusion was defeated without the girls being sucked inside his soul and freed by their friends and Miracle Lights; it was just a conventional (though the first physically gigantic, and still relatively dramatic) battle.
- Believing the monster to have eaten her best friend, Puella Magi Madoka battled Dessert Witch Charlotte, alone and crippled by grief. But Sayaka Miki had just been lost in the Labyrinth, and contracted on the spot upon witnessing the battle. Madoka narrowly avoided losing her head as the two defeated their first Witch together.
- On Hokkaido, the Maiden of Dreams was redeemed without her killing Madoka Kaname or awakening Princess Serenity (because of a timely Homura rescue). That means the identity of the Moon Princess is still a mystery, and the hunt is on. Zoisite and Kunzite are still alive and Queen Beryl has yet to enact her North Pole ritual.
- Because the timeLOOP has begun, weird temporal effects are occurring, and one of them is that Sailor Pluto basically hit a weird patch of timenoise on her way over, and accidentally overshot her trip. She has arrived just now, in April 2014. (Chibi-Usa will still arrive post-Beryl.)
- There are other minor differences between the second and first timelines as well.
- In haste, Sayaka wished for the first thing that came to mind. Now with each mystically assured victory the Ohtori Middle School Softball team achieves on its way to an inevitable championship, Sayaka feels less and less fulfilled...
- Ye-jin Song arrives and is elected new captain of Ohtori Dance Club. Secretly, she's come to help hunt HiME...
- Madoka has the unusual combination of confidence, time, and commitment to self-improvement to actually go out for sports for once. She joins the Archery Club where she studies diligently alongside Rei.
- Natsuki and Mikoto's battle on the cruise liner was more serious this time around, and several floors were damaged, but the ship remained structurally intact. Mai's efforts have, once again, seen them going from enemies to friends.
- Mikoto was introduced to the Puella Magi by Homura, this time, who was eager to meet her old friend again. Mikoto was initially shy, but soon warmed up to her, alongside Madoka, Eri, and the others.
- Upon realising that Homura was trying to learn how to fight, Mikoto relented to Kasagami's attempts to get her to join Kendo club, so that she could figure out how to teach her.
- Rather than unintentionally insulting Rei, Usagi instead pleaded for her help in the wake of the bus incidents outside Hikawa Shrine, prompting Rei to commit to protecting Usagi early.
- IC Starting Date: April 2014
- Starting Plots: Student Council Ball; The Jewel Seed Incident
- It is April 17, 2014, and the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It's the second week of the new school year. A transformative time, as students acclimate to their new classes, their new classmates, their new clubs (or incessant club recruiters, for the holdouts) -- and now, tonight, their new student councils. Elections are over, and the Sister Schools are celebrating with a shared social that really can only possibly be called a ball, because Ohtori Academy is hosting. Besides having the best venue, they also have the most surprising outcome: Kasagami Araki is the new Ohtori High School Student Council President, having won her victory by a single vote (secretly, Akio Ohtori's, because the Academy is not a democracy...).
- But life isn't just sparkling apple cider and roses. The Jewel Seeds -- called 'Lost Logia' by the offworlders pursuing them, but to any magical girl recognizable as magical jewels that contain the cross-section of terrible power and the potential to grant wishes -- have almost all been found. The dark mage Fate Testarossa, and her allies in Labyrinth, have claimed roughly half; the radiant newcomer, Nanoha Takamachi, and her friends, have the rest. Can Fate's heart be reached before something terrible happens?
- At the 2014-2015 Sister Schools Student Council Inauguration Ball, Niramo and Takeo get in a fight with some boys who were harassing Suzuka Tsukimura and are disciplined by Kasagami in her role as the new Ohtori Student Council President. Rei and Usagi join the Dance Queen competition with predictable results. Utena encourages Anthy (a Dance Queen nominee) to attend and therefore does as well, wearing one of the dresses they were gifted by the dance committee in solidarity. Disaster strikes as Nanami (who arranged the nomination and the dresses) causes Anthy's dress to dissolve in the middle of the dance floor, but Utena comes to the rescue.
- Mai and Mikoto visit a horrible cat cafe, and realise that they could do it better. Mai takes business electives, and Mikoto gathers her cat army...
- Rei's birthday happens! Usagi, Ami, and the other Senshi conspire with her Grandpa to throw her a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY. Her protests quickly die when she realises they have brought a karaoke machine.
- At a Dance Club recruitment drive held at Ohtori shortly after the Inaugurational Ball, Niramo receives some much needed confidence from both Ye-Jin and Fumiko. It's enough that Niramo actually reconsiders her choice in clubs, dropping her enrollment in the Anime Club and taking up Dance at Juuban instead.
- Rei meets a strange dark girl named Yumi, attacked by her crows. She shelters her and brings her inside, and tries to convince her that curses are a bad way to approach the world for someone with such a caring nature.
- Rei shanghais a group of girls and boys into preparing for the Horseback Archery Festival. There is a horse. Not even the disguised Labyrinth Generals can hope to stand up to the might and majesty of a horse.
- Several magical students of Infinity, with a few plus-ones, go down into the Library to find treasures. Akko finds the Shiny Rod -- and Diana finds a dragon! Luckily, Akko gets a handle on her Artifact just in time to save the Sorcerer's Stone, alongside some crafty tactics from her friends and allies.
- Mikoto trains Homura with her strange and somewhat alarming methods.
- Lera takes Mikoto to the arcade! Mikoto turns out to be surprisingly good at DDR, and shares a little about her home life with someone else who doesn't come from Tokyo.
- Mai and Mikoto approach Kasagami with a proposal to run a trial cafe during a school festival. Afterwards, completely coincidentally, Kasagami announces her first annual Dream Faire.
- Fate and Eas challenge Shibuya for a Jewel Seed, contested by Endo, Mikoto, and Steven. The former two go all-out, and are defeated, leaving Steven to parley for their safety and see the Jewel Seed fall into the hands of their enemies.
- Kasagami holds a Falconry Club event which is crashed by an Orphan! Steven and Mikoto, luckily, are there to help -- defending the birds and cutting up the thing in the shape of a bird, respectively.
- Steven and Mikoto discuss Eas and Fate, and Mikoto comes to a realisation about how she ought to approach them, while giving Steven some advice she thinks is perfectly sensible.
- The Dream Faire happens! Kasagami discards Steven's dream as unworthy due to motivations she dislikes, though Niramo appreciates his food, along with the other stands. Anthy, as always, is bullied. Meanwhile, Fuu's video game design comes in third place, while Mai and Mikoto's cat cafe design comes in second... and Shinju-chan, the big fluffy white cat who draped over Kasagami, comes in first. She wins a lifetime supply of tuna.
- Mikoto naps on top of a mushroom. Sucy wants that mushroom. Hijinks ensue.
- Nanoha Takamachi leads the magical girls in confronting her rival Fate Testarossa; she proposes an all-out one on one duel for the Jewel Seeds, and Fate accepts. But Precia intervenes, ostensibly out of concern that Nanoha's friends will jump in and gang up on her enforcer, and forcibly duplicates Fate with magic, creating a wild battle. Despite her numbers advantage, Fate loses anyway; Precia seizes the Jewel Seeds before Nanoha can and leaves, but not before punishing Fate for her failure both physically and emotionally. Nanoha takes a broken Fate home.
- Lindy Harlaown makes contact with Nanoha, as does Arf, who can give them the coordinates to the Garden of Time. Nanoha and her friends climb aboard the Arthra to confront Precia in her fortress before she fully activates all the Jewel Seeds and causes an existential threat to the foundations of the multiverse. Fate stays behind, but encouragement from Arf and (unexpectedly) Eas, as well as bearing witness to the support of her friends now fighting Precia in her name, allows her to regain her will to fight. She and Eas catch up and rescue the group at a crucial moment, and then everyone proceeds to confront Precia.
- But reality is fragmenting quickly, and the group winds up having to pass through Precia's past in order to reach her in the present. A dialogue begins, but whether or not Precia's heart was moved will remain an eternal mystery, because at the moment of truth, she is murdered by Northa, Chief Executive of Labyrinth, who immediately orders Eas to join her in exterminating her allies. Eas tries to bargain with Northa for their lives, which Northa takes as disloyalty; she uses the Jewel Seeds to create doppelganger replacements for all the magical girls, INCLUDING Eas, to be her new, loyal, army. The magical girls must confront these dark reflections of themselves and defeat them before the Garden of Time collapses into less than nothingness; they manage to do so, together, and escape on the Arthra in the nick of time. In the battle, Eas is forced to destroy her Data Diamond to defeat her double, and she joins them without her powers on the ship.
- As the Arthra returns to Earth, it is abruptly and unexpectedly destroyed by an enormous blast of Dark Energy that came from the North Pole. The magical girls (and the crew) are able to escape, teleporting back to Tokyo just in time to watch the contrails of the surprise attack fade from the sky. It's terrifying power... but now they know where they need to go to put an end to the threat of Queen Beryl.
- Mikoto invites Eas back to her dorm after they return to Earth, and supports her in her plans to integrate into Tokyo, sharing her own experience getting used to the city. Eas helps Mikoto to realise that her dreams are valuable, and she shouldn't push them aside just because of what someone else might want for her.
- Mami Tomoe and Sayaka Miki acknowledge their growing attraction to one another and begin to date. Homura Akemi and Madoka Kaname are inseparable, but not officially together.
- Eri comes across Homura and Mikoto training, and lays into Mikoto about her methods. Mikoto realises that she's been horrible to her friend, and is suitably horrified by the realisation that perhaps what feels right to her isn't actually great.
- Summer 2014 Plot: North Pole
- The sakura faded and the trees grew leaves -- soft breezes became oppressive heat -- and spring yielded into summer. In late June, school hasn't quite let out for vacation, but that hasn't stopped the Sailor Senshi from taking a trip to the Moon, in part hoping for a way to release the kidnapped Mamoru Chiba, now known as Dark Endymion, from Queen Beryl's brainwashing. The Midchildans, meanwhile, have finished running analyses of the blast that destroyed their spaceship, and are able to organize an operation to storm the pinpointed spot in the Arctic by surprise.
- The magical girls get separated at the North Pole and begin fighting their way into the Dark Kingdom against the army that appears to defend it. The Inner Senshi die getting their Moon Princess into position to defeat Queen Beryl, but in the aftermath, Usagi is able to revive them. Everyone celebrates, then joins together to oppose the true dark power behind even Beryl's throne, the destructive entity Queen Metallia. The Maiden of Dreams, rescued on Hokkaido, reappears to help at this critical moment. Everyone's hearts join together, and the explosive power of their dreams defeat Queen Metallia. Overcome by their feelings and the transcendent moment, Sayaka and Mami share their first kiss.
- However, Madoka Kaname uses up all of her magic, and collapses even as Queen Metallia is destroyed for good. Her Soul Gem becomes a Grief Seed, and she becomes a massive Witch, Kriemhild Gretchen. Her friends are forced to face this horror, but Homura Akemi turns away. Armed with the horrible truth of the Puella Magi, she jumps back to the past again to try to prevent this future from ever happening... ending Timeline Two.
Timeline Two Logs
THEME: TRUST. As in its complexities, its limitations, and its breakdown. Up until now, being a magical girl has included automatic membership in a sort of collective sisterhood -- the world has been divided into 'the magical girls' and 'the bad guys'. But a simple question changes everything: 'What if the fairy mascots and other sources of power don't actually have the magical girls' best interests at heart?' It's an unbelievable idea, but simply rejecting it means that, for some reason, Homura Akemi is trying to drive a wedge between magical girls and their mascots. In other words: not all magical girls can be trusted. Once planted, this seed of uncertainty can only continue to flower, and has done so spectacularly.
- Numerous factors have further exacerbated the issue of trust between magical girls. Major examples include:
- Competitions for limited magical resources, such as Star Shards, Jewel Seeds, and Grief Seeds, have all been far more intense than in previous timelines, with ugly consequences for would-be friendships.
- Friendly fire is more of a narrative problem in this timeline than it has been (or will be) in others; even girls with the best of intentions might damage the trust of their allies by accidentally clipping them with one of their attacks, in a critical moment.
- Magical girls are generally less willing to explain themselves and their actions to one another, since it's harder to know who to trust.
- Secret identities are far more tightly protected than in Timelines One and Two. This means that sometimes people are friends as magical girls and, separately, friends as civilians, but that the crucial bond of trust that connects the two worlds is often missing. Sometimes, things are even more complicated, and magical girl rivals have no idea that their opposite number is their best friend at school.
- Although things are far from outright war, the magical girl community is under strain, and cracks are beginning to show. Rivalries are more heated and less friendly. 'Teams' can also sometimes be understood as 'schisms'. Conversely, true bonds of trust between individual girls are more precious and beautiful than ever. (And like all precious things -- they are vulnerable.)
- TIMELINE THREE IS SUBSTANTIALLY DARKER (OR, AT MINIMUM, MORE COMPLEX) THAN TIMELINES ONE AND TWO. It is not, however, an exercise in misery. The main 'tragedy' of the timeline, compared to the previous ones, is the environment of paranoia that has sprung up in the community. Even the most open-hearted magical girls have reasons to think more critically and carefully about their counterparts, and the ways of the world, than they normally would. (More reasons, in fact, than in the prime timeline, which did not have Homura Akemi sowing seeds of doubt from the start, nor such extreme competitions for the Star Shards and Jewel Seeds.)
- An entire year has passed since the beginning of this timeline; it is picking up several months after the last one ended, in fact (September; T2 ended in late June). All this is to say that quite a bit has happened, and happened differently, and happened in a way to put strain on trust between magical girls (while in turn forging some unbreakable bonds along the way):
- The Fall 2013 Sports Festival, and Fusion's assault on Tokyo, occur essentially as they did in Timeline Two.
- After spending enough time rebuilding her magical girl friendships that they'd have reason to trust her, Homura Akemi reveals the awful truth that Puella Magi are tricked by Kyuubey into accepting a fate where they will become Witches. It does not go over well, and creates a FIRESTORM of rumor and speculation that reaches all corners of the magical girl community. Everyone has heard about it. Nobody believes it (no exceptions!). Everyone has different opinions on why Homura would make such a claim, some more generous than others.
- For a variety of reasons which certainly include heightened anxiety, magical girls' unanswered wishes are at the forefront of their minds when the Star Shards' existence becomes revealed, and the fight over them becomes (almost) as vicious between magical girls as it is between magical girls and Dark Fall demons/men in black from Ends of the World.
- In the end, the star shards are never gathered in one place. Individual shards are painstakingly hidden by their current owners. The Maiden of Dreams remains a broken, nameless entity suffering endless torture within her seven golden prisons -- and nobody even knows that she exists.
- The Jewel Seeds are hotly contested for basically the same reason. The Device-users of Earth do not line up neatly behind Nanoha Takamachi in her efforts to oppose Fate Testarossa; Endo Naoki especially wants to seize them for himself, which damages his relationship with Ren Aizawa.
- Precia Testarossa does get her hands on all the Jewel Seeds eventually, after washing her hands of Fate. The magical girls are forced to unite to stop her from permanently sundering reality, and manage to do so, though not everyone participates in the operation. The Harlaowns are not involved; the Arthra is never allowed to come to Earth, due to rampant distrust between the TSAB and the Magic Association. Afterwards, Fate lives with the Takamachis.
- Events surrounding the North Pole go more similarly to the PRIME timeline than either timelines one or two. In late summer 2014, once Usagi Tsukino is revealed as the Moon Princess, Mamoru Chiba is kidnapped and brainwashed into Dark Endymion, and the Four Heavenly Kings are dead, Queen Beryl issues her collective challenge to the magical girl community and dares them to stop her from making her dark wish.
- Arriving in disorganized, separate groups, they fail. So, every magical girl in the world except for Sailor Moon and the Inner Senshi are banished to the Multidimensional Chaos World by the force of Beryl's wish. Adventures in bizarro spacetime ensue.
- Back on Earth, the Inner Senshi die getting Sailor Moon past the DD Girls. She is forced to confront Beryl and Dark Endymion alone, and is narrowly able to do so. Afterwards, her wish for her friends revives the dead and recalls the missing, and everyone gathers together to put a permanent end to Queen Metallia.
- The Maiden of Dreams is not present to help the girls gestalt their power, and so instead this battle is messy and dangerous. The magical girls triumph without anyone dying, but the aftertaste is a little bittersweet, tainted by injuries, plus the trauma of the uncontrolled dimension-hopping which resulted from Beryl's dark wish.
- The World Tree roars onto everyone's radar when it's attacked by weird, sword-wielding shadows seemingly trying to disrupt a mysterious sparkly magical girl ritual, and by the end of summer everyone knows it exists, that it's a vitally important conduit of Earth's magical power, and that there's a more-and-less subtle battle being waged between men in black, Dark Fall demons and operatives (especially agents of Labyrinth such as Eas and Soular), Orphans, and the Magic Association, for control of the nexuses of magic that harness the World Tree's strength.
- The Outer Senshi are present, active and renowned for their brutal determination to save the world by any means necessary without bothering to explain their methods -- in other words, they're the poster girls for how not all magical girls can be trusted.
- The Wolkenritter are also getting active, creating rumors about magical girls who attack other magical girls in dark alleys -- and fear.
- Drawn to investigate the source of the crazy rumor about Puella Magi and Witches, Kyouko Sakura and other Puella Magi close in on the Konbi's neighborhood. There aren't enough Grief Seeds to go around, and the question of hunting familiars becomes crucial. Tensions are rising.
- Summer vacation happened. There was no trip to Okinawa. The return of school is something of a relief for kids stuck in the sweaty concrete prison of Tokyo.
- Despite everything, magical girls also give each other reasons to trust one another as well. Every day is another act of kindness. Every friendship is its own miracle.
- There are other differences between the second and third timelines as well.
- You are encouraged to add other differences between the second and third timelines to this list!
- Please put your September 2013-September 2014 differences here, they're fun and interesting to imagine, especially as things have changed quite a bit between timelines two and three! Weird temporal effects continue to justify larger changes, such as when a character first came to Tokyo or first became a magical girl, as long as it happened after September 2013 (the beginning of Homura's time loops). Please run truly strange ideas by the staff first.
- Mikoto Minagi and Natsuki Kuga's battle on the ship was once again more serious, with a large hole blown through several floors to expose the fight to the sky, but the ship managed to retain its structural integrity.
- Mikoto spends a lot of her time searching for her brother, and so she has no time for clubs. Most of her associations are people she's met through Mai; on her own she is awkward and gruff, and does not generally reach out to make friends. Much of her involvement in early magical conflicts simply came down to the fact that Mai was there, rather than any urge of her own to get involved. What was seen as feline whimsy in the prime timeline now becomes much more suspicious: why does Mikoto so often go off on her own? Where was she when they needed help at the North Pole, or when Precia was threatening the world? And why does she keep herself shrouded in such mystery..?
- The strain of the magical community means that Mikoto has had less exposure to kind life lessons, and so she is a much fiercer fighter. Mai has made what she doesn't approve of clear, and so Mikoto generally tries to avoid killing or doing severe injury to human opponents and will defend civilians, but she has no compunctions against hitting her opponents so hard that they don't want to get up again. She has a wild and unrestrained fighting style which makes it very easy for mistakes to happen and for allies to get hit.
- Endo Naoki more than briefly considered using the Jewel Seeds to grant his own wish, leading to various squabbles with other Mages. He eventually came around to help stop Precia Testarossa, but harsh feelings may remain. With less sources of trusted support Endo tries to shoulder more of Tokyo's burdens, and listens more closely to the advice of his intelligent device, Fallen Stern.
- Ye-jin Song is hunting HiME. . .
- Shizuru Fujino is moving in secret towards the goals of Ends of the World. As the men in black continue to show up at various flashpoints of magical import, a woman in black with a strange red naginata often accompanies them. Her identity is unknown, but she has already shown a frightening ruthlessness that only adds to the cloud of suspicion in place.
- Rei Hino was much more immediately suspicious of Luna's story of destiny, though she did eventually accept a place in the team. She is fiercely protective of her magical identity, and few people know outside of the Inner Senshi. She has come down especially hard on Usagi, viewing her crybaby idealism as unsuited to the strenuous climate of magical Tokyo. She's hard on the rest of the Senshi, too - and everyone else she comes to care at all about. She is unwilling to trust the rogue elements of the community, and even after a year, is slow to open her heart to her friends. She still carries the fear that if she comes to trust and rely on others, she will be betrayed and tossed aside.
- Kasagami Araki joins at the end of summer vacation 2014 as the new Student Council Disciplinary Executive, despite being a transfer student and having only just entered the school. She is much more cynical this timeline, having worked for Ends of the World before coming to Ohtori. As DE, she has been put in charge of the civilian patrols for the 'vampires' on campus...and has enthusiastically been assisting in the hunt for HiME as well as the goals of Ends of the World.
- Ladybug is incredibly secretive, being very formal in her interactions with other magical girls in order to preserve her secret identity. Even her ostensible partner, Chat Noir, gets to hear little more than business from her. Where exactly she's based is hard to tell, as she shows up for monster attacks across Tokyo - though she seems fastest to respond to attacks near Infinity, and takes the longest to appear when attacks happen near Juuban. Unbeknown to everyone, this is because Marinette intentionally waits when there's an attack close to home - a devotion to secrecy that has even Tikki irritated.
- Sourisi isn't known to be trusting of other magical girls and boys in this timeline, and the only magical entity able to be considered a friend is Takk. Seeing an opportunity in Takk's curiosity and fascination with technology, she has been putting much more effort in learning electric engineering. This has given rise to the placement of hidden mics and low-grade cameras places throughout Tokyo as Niramo tries to figure out who exactly she can and can't trust outside of her magical identity. Unsurprisingly, Ladybug, Chat Noir and Serpentina have the biggest files as she tries to crack their identities.
- Eri Shimanouchi had a rocky start as a magical girl, feuding with another Puella Magi named Yaori which eventually resulted in the other girl's death. She claims it was an accident but was it really that simple? As a result, she's mildly distrusted by the Magical Girl Community of Tokyo. Since she runs with Mami Tomoe and Madoka Kaname now, it might be that she's been rehabilitated. Yet could it just be that some girls are simply bad apples through and through?
- Cassandra is the magical girl alias used by the HiME Kozue Kaoru in this timeline. She has a reputation for a delinquent who doesn't get along with many magical girls, infuriating many with her reckless fighting style and sharp tongue. She rarely appears in most supernatural battles, picking and choosing only ones she has a personal stake in.
- Homura arrives in her hospital bed in timeline three traumatized and frantic, and those states never abate for her. She immediately seeks out Madoka, Mami, and all the other contracted puella magi to tell them the terrible truth, and... her story is far too outlandish to be believed. Homura’s panicked presentation and deep social awkwardness don’t help; the girl in the braids and glasses is clearly genuinely upset, but she also keeps saying weird and offputting things, and referring to events that haven’t happened... (Please feel free to, if you wish, have your character already weirded out by Homura being overly familiar or making references to things that happened in T1 and T2. As an additional note, please reach out to me if you’re stuck on an angle for your character disbelieving Homura! Let’s have fun with it, I love brainstorming)
- Homura isn't using guns... yet.
- IC Starting Date: September 2014
- Starting Plot: SEARRS Invasion
- It is September 10, 2014, and Southern Cross Island is apparently infested by vampires. Or maybe it's a stalker. At any rate, girls who go out alone at night are being found unconscious and, from the disarray of their possessions, have been searched for valuables. Magical girls suspect that this is really someone trying to identify them within the ordinary student population of Ohtori Academy. The school has implemented an extremely strict campus curfew enforced by Disciplinary Executive patrols, however, which makes it slightly more difficult to mount the kind of MAGICAL patrols needed to investigate and guard against the real threat. Those who've taken the risk anyway have discovered that the true perpetrators are Orphans -- the native demonic enemy that HiME were born to fight. But Orphans have always seemed mindless in their monstrosity. Could something -- or someone -- be directing their actions?
- From a more normal perspective, summer is finally over, Fall Semester is in session, and for 9th-graders especially, it also brings High School Entrance Exams into focus as a looming existential threat to their ordinary lives. It is harder than ever to find enough time for it all.
- The Fall 2014 Sports Festival is coming up soon. Juuban had it last year, and now it's Ohtori's turn to host, and despite the campus safety issues the plan seems to be moving forward. That makes it roughly the one-year anniversary of most magical girls' careers; a time for reflection. How have things changed since they discovered the world of magic? How have THEY changed?
- And then the Searrs Invasion happened.
- Please tell us all about it here. And don't forget to tag all your logs during this period with the Ushering In The Golden Age category!
- Kozue helps Mikoto to realise she has feelings for Mai, and encourages her with practical advice on how to approach the question.
- Shizuru, in her guise as the Woman in Black, approaches Mikoto, after a long time establishing herself as a source of Mai-pertinent information. She... insinuates that it would be best for Mikoto to take an active approach to the troubles plaguing Ohtori, so that Mai can keep smiling.
- Mikoto confesses her feelings to Mai, and Mai agrees to go on a date with her. They have fun in a Nishitama park. That very night...
- Several mobile phones are sent text messages about the vampire plaguing Ohtori, directing the magical girls to an oil refinery in Keiyo Industrial District. The history teacher, Midori Sugiura, is being held hostage. Midori reveals that Father Greer and Alyssa Searrs are part of a shadowy plot centred around HiME. Ye-jin, acting as the White Queen, and Kasagami, acting as the Crimson Rook, reveal themselves and fight the assembled magical girls -- only for Alyssa and Miyu to appear when Midori summons Gakutenou to help Kozue (and everyone else). Miyu bisects Gakutenou, destroying it, and Alyssa makes a cryptic reference to the 'Valkyries' before disappearing the SEARRS agents in a flash of golden light. Midori is nowhere to be found in the aftermath.
- Mikoto, labouring under the belief that Midori has died as a result of her Child perishing, wanders numbly into the forests of Nishitama. There she finds a cat being chased by an Ogre, and engages it to save her -- despite the cat's protests(!) that she couldn't fight it with a sword. Yumi finds them both, and is decimated in a single hit. But the cat has an artifact around her neck, and Yumi takes possession of the Staff of Lost Ivy, becoming a magical girl in her own right. She defeats the Ogre, saving Mikoto in the process.
- After parting from Yumi, Mikoto finds the White Queen on the opposite bank of Tama River. She demands to know why Mikoto is wasting her time resisting, and suggests to her that if she'd just given up, Midori would be all right, and it was her fault things went as badly as they did. Mikoto tells her that she doesn't take orders from her, she has no intention of dying, and every intention to protect her friends -- and that the other magical girls of Tokyo are scared of her, and the White Queen ought to be, too. It is, naturally, dismissed out of hand, because Mikoto is just another bug in the White Queen's path.
- The Ohtori Sports Festival happens! Many people are distracted due to the events at the refinery. Kasagami performs admirably in all non-swimming events, Mikoto neglects to attend any, Kozue swims but dodges other events, Takeo attends a few events and drinks a lot of soda, Steven attends all sorts of events (winning none but having plenty of fun in the process), Fuu's best showing is in archery, Nori enjoys wind-surfing along the coastline, Mai only reluctantly takes part, and Homura participates as little as possible.
- Mikoto and Takeo find each other while Mikoto is avoiding events, and Takeo shares his soda with her. They try and fail to talk about things of impact as they sail over each other's heads. Mikoto is reminded that she has searched for her brother fruitlessly for a year now, and Takeo is yet another boy who isn't the right one; Takeo tries to talk about the memories which aren't his. They settle on talking about dietary decisions instead.
- Homura finds Mikoto in the garden greenhouse, where she is trying to draw out SEARRS operatives to attack her while she is vulnerably away from the herd. Mikoto tells Homura what she thinks happened to Midori, and talks to her about the pact HiME make. Homura makes another attempt to convince Mikoto that it isn't fair, and she can't trust the systems around her, and Mikoto stubbornly insists that it's perfectly fair. Mikoto tells Homura that she's important, and Mikoto wouldn't hurt her. Unlike Mikoto, Homura says she believes her.
- While watching Mai's back during the festival, Mikoto is found by Eri. She opens up to her about her feelings in the wake of Midori's apparent death, and the two of them stumble over each other's hot-button issues, but they mean well. They promise that so long as they're all together, they'll be okay.
- After the Sports Festival comes the dance. What should have been a folkdance around a bonfire became an elegant ballroom blitz under Ohtori's care, and students are all given the finest gowns and suits, thanks for the efforts of the united Fashion Clubs.
- The dance is interrupted by a golden light from the sky... which obliterates the Southern Cross Island Bridge. In the wake of the carnage, the magical girls assembled are plunged into Zero Time, and faced with two gargantuan Cybodies. The assembled HiME - including Mikoto, for the very first time - summon their Childs to face against it, but even they are small compared to the giant Cybodies. They are eventually defeated at great cost, the combatants driven to exhaustion. This disarray is capitalised on by the soldiers(!) who flood the Academy, detaining everyone in the ballroom and across the rest of the school.
- The school is occupied, with students held in classrooms and gymnasiums - and the various School Councils held hostage in the Chairman's Tower. (The School Councils tell students to cooperate with the army, though they also try to demand better conditions for the students.) The official story is that there are terrorists in the school, and the soldiers are here to help everyone. The official story is hard to believe, with soldiers terrifying students to keep them in line. Everyone has to figure out a way to survive, whether that's lying low and following orders -- or escaping. There's added tension in the way everyone is being given blood tests... apparently because the terrorists may have released a virus on the island.
- Mikoto, Homura, and Eri are kept hostage in a classroom. Mikoto makes a scene, and Homura uses her dwindling magic to stop time and get the three of them out. Once they manage to flee to a shed - the same shed which a cat once gave birth in, timelines ago - Mikoto tries to apologise to Homura, because Miroku attacked her and Takeo during the Cybody fight. Homura insists that doing their best isn't good enough, and she is recriminating herself as much as Mikoto, because her bombs damaged Cassandra, too. Eri tries to reassure them, and steps up to lead and direct their resistance efforts.
- Mikoto goes hunting for food and runs into Kasagami, in her guise as the Crimson Rook. Realising that their situation is desperate, she attacks, and a fierce sword duel is interspersed with the Crimson Rook's psychological warfare. She points out that Mikoto is a tool to someone, too... and that her brother is either dead, or has abandoned her. Mikoto is driven to rage and fear by her efforts, and the Crimson Rook pressures her to join them. Mikoto flees, instead.
- Eri finds Mikoto collapsed in their camp, Miroku buried in the ground beside her. She quickly ascertains that she's not dead -- she's just fainted from hunger. Eri has to try and cook the rabbit Mikoto caught to save her... but she tries to use Miroku to start a fire, not realising just how dire Mikoto's warnings against touching it were.
- Mai is held captive and taunted by Shizuru, in her guise as the Black Bishop. After she leaves, Mikoto crashes in and rescues her -- but it's a messy thing, the remnants of the oil trap the Black Bishop set for Mai igniting in the room. Thanks to Kagutsuchi, they make their escape.
- SEARRS makes an announcement that they are searching for terrorists, and there are known collaborators amongst the student body: namely Mai Tokiha, Mikoto Minagi, Yukino Kikukawa, and Kozue Kaoru. The White Queen appears to the magical girls to clarify: those girls are HiME, wielders of an ancient power and inheritors of an ancient contract. She says that SEARRS needs their cooperation to avert planetary disaster, and Alyssa uses the power of her Child, Artemis, to set blast the forests where the magical girls are hiding. Alyssa tells them that they have thirty-six hours to surrender the HiME, or else her next attack will obliterate Ohtori Academy.
- Disarray in the school leads to opportunities to escape for several of the students still captive, though their efforts are challenged by the White Queen. Meanwhile, the fire threatens to roar out of control, and the efforts of a handful of girls struggle to contain it until the appearance of a flood of Orphans -- which flee at the presence of the Black Bishop. She knocks out Homura, and injures Eri and Georgia, but she is injured heavily in turn; Mikoto is left standing over her, and the Black Bishop demands she decide between defeating her enemy or saving her wounded friends. Mikoto reluctantly elects to sound the retreat.
- Separated from her friends by an Orphan attack, Mikoto happens across Endo, a bitter rival. She concedes to his accusations of fault, admitting that Alyssa would not be attacking the Sister Schools if not for the HiME, but she insists she can't submit to them. He asks if she's going to run away, not realising what she just had to do, and tells her to take responsibility. She insists she'll defeat them, and bids Endo to defeat the enemies in his path, too.
- Flooded by despair in the wake of Endo's recriminations, Mikoto wanders into a Witch's Labyrinth. She fights for her life against endless Familiars until Homura appears in desperate search of a Grief Seed, pressuring the Witch to escalate to get rid of the Puella Magi in its presence.
- Mikoto finds another friend, but stress causes miscommunication between Mikoto and Yumi at first. Yumi sees to Mikoto's wounds, and Mikoto watches over Yumi as she rests.
- Mikoto is stabbed in the back by Kozue, figuratively and literally -- and she is rescued from the soldier's custody by Yumi, using alarming tactics to take care of the people she cares about.
- Madoka and Setsuna gather the scattered magical girls of the tunnel for some much-needed curry -- and tactical planning. They conclude that a frontal assault on the school is their best option.
- The magical girls set an assault on Ohtori Academy. One team provides an explosive distraction while helping the students evacuate, while the second advances on the Chairman's Tower in order to free the hostages kept there. In the elevators leading up, they are beset by the White Queen -- and by Kozue. The two are driven off, though not without cost.
- At the Chairman's Tower, the Student Council tries to take advantage of the confusion below, only to be soundly beaten by Miyu. The magical girls try to talk to Alyssa, but it soon becomes clear that they can find no common ground. The Crimson Rook assaults la Sirene des Lentilles, while Miyu makes short work of everyone else -- downing Georgia and Lancelot, and wreaking havoc on the others. Mikoto tries to attack Alyssa to stop her from summoning her Child, but Miyu is in the way. In the end, no one can stop Alyssa from blasting the school -- even though she will be caught in the explosion, too. The Crimson Rook makes her exit just before the end.
- ... but before Artemis's laser can hit the ground, Mai and Kagutsuchi fly up to meet it. They take the explosion in mid-air, and are obliterated, leaving only fluttering golden feathers. In the wake of her sacrifice, the Crimson Rook and the Black Bishop fly into space on the back of Shizuru's child, Kiyohime -- and destroy Artemis. Ye-jin appears to clean up, and deactivates Miyu and starts an unstable nuclear reaction within her -- before summoning her child, Yama Delta, to lay waste to the survivors. Mai makes her reappearance in the middle of the fight, in a stunning disc of aerial flame. In the end, Yama Delta is destroyed... and Alyssa manages to stand Miyu down from her detonation. The two of them flee, but not before telling the girls still standing that they will not forgive them.
- Joseph Greer attempts to decommission Alyssa. He fails.
- Mikoto finds Mai in the smouldering remains of a rose garden, and after a tearful reunion, Mai tells her that she loves her.
- Pharmaceutical giant Ginsu Group abruptly collapses into bankruptcy in tandem with the announcement of the unfortunate passing of founder Sang-min Song and his granddaughter Ye-jin.
- Endo Naoki assists with the evacuation of the sister schools student body. The destructive ability of Fallen Stern is demonstrated on a wide (and typically alarming) scale.
- Winter 2014 Plot: Christmas
- It is December 22, 2014, and Winter Vacation starts RIGHT NOW, because school just let out for the afternoon. And none too soon, because it is starting to snow...
- In the last three IC months, the physical damage to Ohtori Academy and Southern Cross Island has been mostly repaired -- moreso than in the prime timeline, in fact, as the devastation to the forest was less severe. The bridge has been rebuilt, the debris cleaned away, extensive therapeutic resources provided to the Sister School students, and things are more or less back to normal.
- But all this trauma takes time to heal, and it makes events like Christmas -- a celebration of romance, as well as friendship, in Japan -- all the more precious and important. It is widely popular this year, even moreso than usual, for students to make homemade gifts for each other, their parents, and so forth, and many people have both been working on their crafts for months and are panickingly aware of how they only have a couple days left to finish! Overall, it is a merry and tender time of year.
- In terms of happiness that can be BOUGHT, the fashion lines collectively known as AoAka have recently been unveiled. These brands are starting to become popular among trendsetters in the Sister Schools, partially due to a special program that offers free membership cards to students at the three institutions. Tsuru is, after all, an Infinity student herself. The catch is, these membership cards are exclusive -- you cannot be a member of both brands. Without membership, the clothing is prohibitively expensive. Students are forced to decide -- which style tells their story? The two styles quickly take the fashion world, and the Sister Schools, by storm, led by Tsuru's recruits Honoka Yukishiro and Setsuna Higashi, who debut as the iconic models of the two rival lines.
- On the supernatural front, the major event of the season has been the appearance and collection of mystical Keys to the City, which have been fought over by various entities over the last month or two. It is said that to unite them into a Master Key will allow the wielder to change the identity of the city forever. However, no one is quite sure where the keys are at this point -- there was a climactic battle for them where the chest they were stored in sank into Tokyo Bay, and nothing has happened since then. Maybe it's over in time for vacation to start...?
- Please add Winter 2014 events here!
- Timeline Three: Walpurgisnacht
- Walpurgisnacht comes to Tokyo. The magical girls rise to confront it en masse, but not without casualties. Homura Akemi and Madoka Kaname are the only survivors among the Puella Magi, and both on the verge of a fate worse than death. Madoka has one last use of one last Grief Seed left, and uses it to save Homura from becoming a Witch -- then asks her to go back in time to prevent Madoka from becoming a Puella Magi in the first place. As a final request, she begs Homura to kill her before she can become a Witch. Homura promises to fulfill the first wish and reluctantly grants the second one, before turning back the hourglass... ending Timeline Three.
Timeline Three Logs
So Many Timelines
In the first three timelines we explored friendship and dreams and trust.
But there are so many more timelines, in between the fourth and the last.
To explore them, we're writing cutscenes and small vignettes -- to capture unique moments on the nigh-endless spectrum of timelines; to tell stories of these alternate universes that you won't have the chance to tell back in the main one; to explore the ways in which your characters are the same across each timeline, from the most unified to the most fractious -- and the ways in which they are different.