Quest Set: An Unreliable Narrative

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, and I’ve been thinking about Welcome to Night vale, and I’ve been thinking about how to combine Chuubo and Night Vale together. More specifically, I’ve been trying to think about Chuubo Quest Sets and just how tricky they are to make.

If you don’t follow Welcome to Night Vale, it’s one of the most popular podcasts ever, about(and I’ll use the cliche description everyone uses from the first episode) “A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep”:

As a fun exercise that no one will ever get any use out of, I thought I’d mess around a bit with making a Cecil Quest Set, which I am going to tentatively call the Unreliable Narrative Quest Set.

Alright, so let’s break down a Cecil Arc. In my mind, the Cecil Arcs of Welcome to Night Vale typically traverse a certain path:

  • Reporting: Cecil dispassionately observes and reports even momentous events, as if they are completely external to him.
  • Editorializing: Some crisis or issue strikes Cecil/Night Vale causing him express fear or concern OR state opinions that clash with official opinions
  • Becoming the Story: Cecil is, personally, drawn into events, whether it be physically, emotionally, or merely by association.
  • Human Interest: Cecil has some sort of personal revelation, emotional catharsis, or transformative event
  • A Return to Normalcy: Cecil settles back in, the revelations of the past ignored or integrated.

Now, for various reasons, I’m pegging Cecil as being on a Storyteller Arc, generally. The most obvious is the nominal relationship, but the authorship abilities of the Storyteller Arc, and the slow burn character development of its Quest set both fit the character, in my mind. As, Ms Moran said, he’s almost a background character-type, not a lot of actual growth along his path for most of the story, except, perhaps, in short bursts.

Basically, the Storyteller Arc is as follows…

  • Doing your thing, being cool
  • Continuing to do your thing even as things start getting messy
  • Facing things outside of your expertise
  • Go for the gold, the biggest prize
  • Fall back to earth, rebuffed by your earlier overreach

It’s not exactly a map, but it’s not too far off. The overall shape of the Arc feels similar.

I think I should go to bed now… But I’ll come back to this, i think. Maybe.

Well, maybe not.

Alright, so. I should talk about what this Quest Set is “About” before I start making it, I think.

Since it’s the Cecil Quest Set, it’s going to be, primarily, about Strange Happenings and Emotional Reactions. It’ll be about mildly dealing with the strange and terrible, being filled with apprehension or worry or passion, about facing off against the dark monsters around you, and about finding a new boyfriend, or finding out about your own weird past or finding that maybe, just maybe, you were wrong about someone… who was still a total jerk.

Who else, other than Cecil might be on “An Unreliable Narrative” Arc? Fox Mulder is probably on either the Bindings or Otherworldly version of this Arc. Of the other characters of Night Vale, only Old Woman Josie seems to be on the the Cecil Arc1… probably a Shepherd or Mystic version of it. I’m not sure who else off the top of my head.

Anyways, quest by quest for the Cecil version of the set.

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