If one were looking at a map of Fabulorigo, they would see a vast, roughly circular continent with a fairly large inactive volcano in the center. One would also notice four giant, roughly circular bays cut into the continent, located at the precise compass points of northwest, northeast, southeast, and southwest. Every bay has a large island in the center of it. Natural barriers, such as rivers, mountains, and thick forests, noticeably divide the continent into four, apparently equal pieces.
Gingerbread Land occupies the southeast quadrant. Toy Land occupies the northeast quadrant. Wonder Land occupies the northwest quadrant. Story Land occupies the southwest quadrant.
To the west of Fabulorigo, just far enough away to be out of view, is the continent of Nonestica. In general, Fabulorigo has little to do with this continent and its lands and people, but its proximity is noteworthy, nevertheless.
If traveling in Fabulorigo worked in the conventional way, getting from one side of a country to the other would take forever, as, indeed, the lands are extremely vast and getting more so at a constant rate. However, when a person is traveling anywhere in Fabulorigo, they seem to get where they’re going in a weirdly convenient time-frame, and the villages, towns, or cities they pass through serve strangely specific purposes in their journeys, for good or ill. And if a person tries to travel that very same route later, the trip will take an entirely different amount of time and they’ll pass through entirely different villages, towns, or cities, if, on this go, they pass through any populated places at all. It seems as though any trip from one place to another serves some grander purpose, beyond the understanding of the traveler, than simply the traveler getting from point A to point B. So, every denizen of Fabulorigo has learned not to guess how long a journey will take or what stops will be made along the way. They just trust that the stops they need will present themselves and the time the trip takes will be “just the right amount”. Such are a few of the bizarre properties of time and space in Fabulorigo.
Obsidian Keep rises from the center of the volcanic crater in the center of Fabulorigo. It towers above a snowy, high-altitude, craggy caldera.
Enormous snow-opals accent the structure’s gothic features.
Giants inhabit the rocky rim of the caldera. The giants are immense, but the rocks are even larger and, thus, provide the giants with adequate privacy. Giants enjoy farming, weaving, building, cooking, and fighting.
Gnomes inhabit the wintry base of the stronghold and the mines beneath. Gnomes enjoy studying and practicing alchemy, which, in Fabulorigo, looks like a hybrid of science and magic, though, to the gnome way of thinking, it’s all science – magic is just advanced, extra-dimensional science.
Fay-folk inhabit the upper reaches of the castle. The fay enjoy storytelling and studying and practicing magic. Like the gnomes, many fay regard magic simply as advanced, extra-dimensional science. Such arts come so easily to the fay, though, that most of the time they practice them without significant thought or reflection upon their metaphysical underpinnings.
Duchess Marie and Duke Elias, human-folk, live somewhere in the structure. Their lands include Toy Land and Gingerbread Land, but their authority seems “honorary” – they don’t appear in any way to actually rule Toy Land or Gingerbread Land, though if either land came under a dire enough threat they’d both offer their assistance to defend them.
Duchess Marie sometimes hosts Wendy from Neverland, Alice from Wonder Land, and Dorothy from lands in the continent of Nonestica.
Dorothy works as the Chief of the Otherworld Port Authority in Oz. Her team monitors inter-dimensional phenomena and travel to ensure that inter-dimensional incidents and catastrophes do not threaten the World or Otherworld. Dorothy likes to visit Fabulorigo on her days off, but she far too often must travel to the sprawling island on “official business”, chasing down inter-dimensional fugitives. Nonestica and its surrounding islands (including, of course, Fabulorigo) exist in a sort of “in-between space”, straddling the boundary between World and Otherworld. Beings from one side or the other are allowed to pass, but only under strict rules. The “realm” one first enters on the Otherworld side is “Dreamworld”. All entities who enter or exit the Otherworld must pass first through the Dreamworld-Oz (or Oz-Dreamworld) Corridor. Sometimes, an Otherworld denizen slips through the corridor and becomes a fugitive (or “fugam somnia” as they’re officially called) in Fabulorigo and Dorothy must pursue them there.
Dorothy is sometimes teased by the other three women for having a “toy name”.
A giantess called “Granny” unwittingly makes the gingerbread – zinger cake, she calls it – that is the basis of Gingerbread Land life and society.
The gnomes make all of the toys that inhabit Toy Land. The gnomes are led by dark-skinned, dark-eyed, dark-haired twin siblings, a female gnome and her brother. They are called Auntie and Uncle Gnome. Auntie Gnome is responsible for the arcane technology that brings the toys to life; otherwise, they’d just be ordinary toys. Uncle and Auntie Gnome are, for all intents and purposes, who Santa Claus and Holda (from older Germanic traditions) are based upon. Uncle and Auntie feel a bit as though the modern US Santa and Mrs. Claus are what one gets when Uncle and Auntie are run through the typical racist, sexist, size-ist, and hetero-normative filters. But it is what it is. Auntie and Uncle love all children and certainly don’t fault them for the misconceptions taught to them by adults.
Auntie Gnome is also responsible for the arcane technology that enchants the candy hearts of Gingerbread Land. It’s more-or-less the same technology that she used to give life to the toys in Toy Land, except the Toy Land technology is invisible and inaccessible to anyone other than her, while the Gingerbread Land technology is visible and accessible in the substance of the actual candy heart. If a Toy Land toy is sufficiently damaged as to be considered a “total loss”, Uncle Gnome can rebuild it and Auntie Gnome can restore its sentience and memories. This makes toys in Toy Land essentially immortal. A Gingerbread-person, however, ceases to be if their candy heart is destroyed, meaning that they are, essentially, mortal.
The fay-folk frequent Story Land and favor it above all others, but if there’s a particular reason for this, none but the fay-folk know what it is.
Fay-folk laid the bedrock-candy foundation of Gingerbread Land. This fact isn’t common knowledge outside of the fay-folk and the gnomes.
A fairy queen with turquoise-colored hair named Colleen resides at the very top of the Keep, but no royal pronouncements are issued from the citadel and no guards or soldiers ever sally forth from its gates.
The general notion on the continent is that the power of the Obsidian Keep is meant to protect Fabulorigo, not to rule it.
It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for a person to play a gnome or a fay-person or a giant in the game – especially not a giant – but surely someone somewhere can come up with a clever way to do it. Though it would probably require ordinary Fate Core character building and skills and gameplay rather than the Gingerbread-adapted version of Fate Core that we use here.
Given an average human height of 1.68 meters (roughly 5.5 feet), here are how the relative sizes of folk generally compare in Fabulorigo:
Human-sized – humans (native to Wonder Land and Story Land), fay-folk, toys that are 12-inch (0.30-meter) scale figures in “the real world”
Half of human size (0.84 meters or so) – gnomes, average toys (6-inch/0.15-meter scale), Gingerbread folk, certain non-gnome beings in Wonder Land and Story Land.
Twenty times human size (110 feet/33.5 meters or so) – giants
Toy vehicles, structures, accessories, etc. that are suitable for toy figures that are 12-inch (0.30-meter) scale in “the real world” are all large enough for human-sized folk to use in Fabulorigo. The toy train that runs through Wonder Land, Toy Land, Gingerbread Land, up to the border of Story Land, for example, is “human scale”. Toys that exceed the 12-inch scale in “the real world” are experienced by humans in Fabulorigo as excessively large. A “real world” 36-inch doll, for example, would look to humans in Toy Land to be as tall as a two-story building.
300,000 years ago – Colleen of the Fay raises the Obsidian Keep out of a dead volcano in the center of a lonely island. Within 1,000 years of doing this, the Keep is populated with other Fay and gnomes, and the caldera is populated with giants. Closer to shore, a land that’s a sort of combination of Story Land, Wonder Land, and Toy Land takes shape. Honestly, though, at this stage, it mostly resembles Wonder Land.
5,000 years ago – the lands of Toy Land, Wonder Land, and Story Land are just beginning to appear distinct from one another. The bedrock-candy layer of what will one day be Gingerbread Land begins to form. Various types of candy grow like weeds in the cracks of the rock-candy.
4,000 years ago – gingerbread starts to flow and build up over the bedrock-candy.
1,000 years ago – most of Gingerbread Land exists, but it’s inhabited by nothing except candy prairies and forests, rock candy mountains, and seltzer rivers and lakes.
500 years ago – the first thirteen Gingerbread folk show up in Gingerbread Land with no knowledge of how they got there.
300 years ago – Toy Land begins a period of expansion that continues to this day. Adarok, the capital city of Gingerbread Land, is founded. Duchess Marie and Duke Elias arrive in Fabulorigo, to the notice of an influential few. The Gingerbread man who will eventually be known as Blackstrap the Coal-hearted is born.
200 years ago – Alice takes up permanent residence in Wonder Land.
100 years ago – Dorothy takes up permanent residence in Oz. Wendy takes up permanent residence in Neverland.
20 years ago – Each PC is created by their parent and becomes part of a family that includes the parent, a long line of grandparents, and cousins and siblings.