Wonder Land is the place that most people are familiar with from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. As such, Gingerbread Land adventurers may visit the beings and locations from these books. However, the locations in these books represent a very tiny portion of Wonder Land as a whole. Like the other lands of Fabulorigo, Wonder Land is unthinkably vast.
Wonder Land is where all of the hypotheticals live, the thought experiments, the mind tricks, the riddles, and, appropriately, the games. Just as Carroll’s first story involved playing cards and his second story involved a chess game, one can find every game ever conceived represented somewhere in Wonder Land. The mansion from Clue is there. And the pieces and “geography” of Sorry. The real estate of Monopoly. The taverns and sewers of D&D. Somewhere you’ll find them all. And PCs can visit all kinds of places in these game landscapes, including the ocean depths and outer space.
The Wonder Land landscape is dominated by the games, but the largest city (though not the capital city – Wonder Land has no capital) is where most of the mind tricks dwell. It’s called Hypotheopolis and it hosts a number of strange characters that one might encounter there:
-- City guards who patrol the city walls and the city streets wielding Occam's Razors, and the chief of the city guards, Occam himself.
-- A general who constantly attacks the city and always loses the battles because he cannot understand that his failure stems from his insistence upon using only armies of straw men.
-- A person whose job it is to beautify city parks by planting/cultivating seeds of doubt.
-- A person named "Argument" for the sake of whom many things are often assumed true without proof. In fact, Argument grows distressingly ill if certain things aren't blindly assumed. If a person named "Solips" is in proximity, Argument sneezes a lot and breaks out in hives. But what can be done if Argument and Solips ARE MADLY IN LOVE???!!!
-- A city mayor that is a daemon who's simply called "The Daemon". He wins every election because he’s known to be capable of doing impossible things, like knowing the precise location and momentum of every particle in the universe, or operating a door between two gas chambers in a manner that allows a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. He doesn't like answering direct questions so he consistently instructs folks to direct inquiries to his chief counsel, called "The Daemon's Advocate", who begins nearly every answer with, "Let's imagine that the answer to your question is [insert the least desirable answer here]..."
-- A Justice of the Peace named "Null" who insists that there is no relationship between the accused and the crime until such a relationship is proven. Of course, she insists that there's no relationship between any two things unless such a relationship is proven.
-- A celebrated citizen named Reasonable Prudence. Prudence is the single most reasonable and, well, prudent person in all of Fabulorigo. If anyone wants to know what the most reasonable and/or prudent thing to do is in a given situation, they need only ask, “What would Reasonable Prudence do?” Even in legal proceedings, if the question of a person’s guilt or innocence hinges upon whether or not that person acted in a reasonable and/or prudent manner, the answer always relies upon whether or not it’s something Reasonable Prudence would have done under the same circumstances. Now, what is reasonable and/or prudent isn’t necessarily what is morally right or factually supported; when a reasonable and/or prudent person doesn’t have all of the information needed or has a significant amount of faulty information or is in a state of understandable distress or panic, what is reasonable and/or prudent can even be downright horrific. Outside of her exceptional reasonableness and prudence, Reasonable Prudence is the very picture of ordinary and average and cannot be expected to be more or less wise, knowledgeable, self-possessed, impartial, or moral than anyone else.
-- Mame Axiom, Most Holy Mother and Vicar of Fact, who dwells in sacred Postulate City, an independent city within the city of Hypotheopolis. She resides in palatial quarters attached to the Basilica of the Valid Assumption. Her personal assistant and manager of her properties and affairs is Cardinal McGregor. The Cardinal is particularly opposed to invalid assumptions and the troubling circumstances into which they often lead, even suggesting that such transgressions reflect poorly upon him personally. Other than the Mame and Cardinal, all citizens of Postulate City are members of a single family that goes by the name “Given”. Various Givens run businesses and public services in Postulate City, but they also serve in the Basilica and Palace. The most honored job for a Given is to serve as security for the Mame and her properties in a corps of highly trained officers called the Premise Guard.
-- A cat named Schrodinger who seems to do nothing but mourn at his own grave.
There’s a place called Zeno’s Park dedicated to famous paradoxes (not just Zeno’s) and fields where people can play “Zeno games”.
There’s a trolley system that’s permitted to keep operating even though it seems to run over people every single day. Sometimes many people. Sometimes just one person.
Wonder Land has magic and combat and general chaos. People who are killed there, even chopped into little bits, show up alive and well later.
It isn’t that there are no rules in Wonder Land, of course. In fact, the source of Wonder Land’s chaos is three-fold: First, the rules in hypotheticals – including games – never make sense in practical life. For example, no murder investigation involves guessing what the evidence is, like in Clue. Many thought experiments assume impossible physical qualities, like “infinite tensile strength” or “friction is zero”. If these hypotheticals are made into actual places, every location that’s dominated by their rules will seem, in some way, absurd. Second, as absurd as the rules in these hypotheticals are, they cannot be altered – or, at least, the beings who populate these hypotheticals will not allow them to be altered, or even allow discussion about them being altered. And third, since it’s inevitable for the rules of one hypothetical – including games – to contradict the rules of another… well, allowing a contradiction into any logical system allows anything to be true. And anything being true looks a lot like madness.
Alice likes to explore Wonder Land and can often be found there. Because she’s a genius in logic, mathematics, art, and aesthetics, she doesn’t see madness in Wonder Land. She sees a complex and sublime and, frankly, delightful interplay between strict order and wild randomness, a dance between fire and ice. She “gets” Wonder Land and Wonder Land seems to “get” her. But she also “gets” the confusion and frustration on the parts of visitors to the place, so she’s an attentive and considerate guide for them if they happen to run into her.
While rodents live throughout Fabulorigo (gingerbread rodents in Gingerbread Land and toy rodents in Toy Land, of course), there is a considerable concentration of rodents living at the border between Wonder Land and Toy Land. This is because of an incident that took place 300 years ago, when a confederation of mouse tribes attacked Toy Land with the aim of conquering both Toy Land and Gingerbread Land. Toy Land eventually defeated the invaders, some say with the help of a Duchess Marie and Duke Elias who presently reside in the Obsidian Keep. The other rodents of Fabulorigo were so alarmed by the behavior of their siblings and cousins that many dedicated themselves to proving to all the lands that rodents can be good neighbors. And thus, their populations on the border increased. The Rodent Lands, as they’re called, are comprised mostly of mice and rats, but also squirrels, beavers, chipmunks, hamsters, and the like. Rabbits and hares can also be found in some numbers there. The White Rabbit that featured in Alice’s first adventure in Wonder Land was born on the outskirts of the Rodent Lands. Few these days remember what motivated the enclave to form in the first place, as the sad events happened so long ago. It is possible, though, that the descendants of the mice who invaded Toy Land do remember and have spent three centuries biding their time…
Wonder Land features a giant bay with a huge island in the center of it called Neverland. Upon this island many beings live, but most of what happens there is a boy named Pan battles a pirate captain named Hook. Pan inevitably kills Hook and all or most of his crew, then becomes Hook as an entirely new Pan appears. Each new Pan targets a young girl in “the real world” to be “Mother” of Pan's "Lost Boys". Other interesting things may take place in Neverland, but one would have to visit there to find out. A young woman named Wendy, who a century ago was Mother on Neverland until she thought better of it (as they all eventually do), is now an adult and a permanent resident there, working with Tiger Lily (a leader of the island’s indigenous people) and Tinker Bell (a wood nymph) and Betty (a water nymph) to bring an end to the eternal Pan-Hook-Mother cycle and all of the damage it does to the island inhabitants, so far with very little success. But Wendy’s a patient and persistent sort who will be sure to greet you warmly if you ever dare to venture to the island.
Certainly, a player can play a citizen of Wonder Land in the Gingerbread Land RPG game, or the entire party can play citizens in/from Wonder Land, but, in that case, the character building and overall play mechanics would better be based directly upon Fate Core rather than upon the Gingerbread Land rules that we’ve based upon Fate Core. And, actually, if the trouble is taken to do that, one might as well make the PCs recognized as Fate Core characters by other citizens of Wonder Land. Wonder Land NPCs might say, “Ugh… another Fate Core character! Oo, look at him, all superior with his High Concept and collection of fancy stunts… but can you guess who killed Mr. Body? Huh? Can you? What good’s your aspects now, eh?? Oh! Oh, look everyone! It looks like I hurt his feelings! He must have failed his Will roll! Hahahahaha…” But that’s Wonder Land for you.
Since all speculative fiction begins with an author pondering, “I wonder…” one shouldn’t be surprised to find portions of Wonder Land dedicated to some works of speculative fiction. Many times, a story character that is too modern for Story Land but has not been made into a toy for Toy Land will show up in Wonder Land because said character is a product of speculative fiction. Undeniably, this stretches to nearly breaking the rules that determine just what kinds of things one is permitted to find in Wonder Land, but what the heck! It’s all in the name of fun. And if one can’t bend rules in Wonder Land, then where can one?