Prologue: A Noob's Guide to the Multiverse
Before the story of Johann Stutt, one of the Multiverse's greatest heroes, can be told, it would be best to give some details about what the hell the term "Multiverse" means, as well as why no one thought it odd that a dozen high-school students disappeared never to be seen again. To do this, we need to take a look at the current state of the world in the year 2030, the history behind it, and the creation of the most expansive game that could ever be designed by man, plant, beast or alien lifeform. Let's start with the basics, shall we?
Around the year 2016, a man with nigh-unlimited resources by the name of Alvin Ghul headed up a project to create a fully sentient super-computer. The project and the resulting machine were officially designated Digitally Awakened Divinity, although most of the developers called the machine Dave for short. After the successful construction of this insanely powerful machine, over the next 4 years Ghul bought out every single game company in the world and nullifying all copyrights under said companies. His new conglomerate corporation, GameCo, quickly began to develop the last game the world would ever need to make; it had no official name, was downloaded on every electronic device in the world in at least a background capacity, and was accompanied by a machine that allowed the player to enter and experience the game-world firsthand. Eventually, every last person on the planet played the game at least eight hours a day.
With such a popular game, Ghul and the four best players reconstructed global society to form a utopia; there was no money, no need to stop playing the game for anything, and status was directly based on a player's skill. To accommodate this, education was changed to teach basic math, English and a few other assorted communication requirements during the first 4 years of life. For the rest of it, children would be trained to play on the Global Server and make a living of it.
Because of the demands of playing on a Server, students were allowed to live on campus; therefore, when Johann and his friends were transported to the Multiverse, the parents thought they were sick and at school, and the school thought they were sick and at home. Quickly the Game consumed the parents' attentions and the teachers were concerned training the next generation of champions, leaving the missing children a distant concern that rarely if ever surfaced.
As you may have guessed, the game discussed here is actually the Multiverse itself, a world filled with glaring contradictions in magic function and beliefs as well as at least a hundred kinds of elf. It is a conglomerate of ideas, mechanics and storyline built from every game ever made, in the making, and to be made later through the ability for players to build their own stuff. In addition, even though the game runs the game using each of the twenty-million different systems available, it all runs smoothly and efficiently through the guiding of Dave the Supercomputer. Dave has control of every aspect of the world, but seems content to serve as a sort of middle-man between the gamer's desires and the game's responses. It cares for the pieces of code like children, preserving dead creatures, broken weapons and scrapped characters in a place he calls the Valued Hall of All, although many players refer to it as Valhalla; in this place there is a copy of everything that has ever existed in pristine condition, and a thief sent there would have a field day after his heart got over the shock. Still, Dave does have a sense of humor and often messes with the Player Characters (PCs) in ways they might find less than humorous.
Now you know the history of both worlds and enough about their current state to continue. If you are faint of heart, leave now…or keep going, it's not like the narrator is really supposed to give a shit about your safety.