The Cirque Nocturne is located just outside of New Orleans, LA. The first parcel of land was purchased shortly after the area was settled, and over the course of the next two centuries, adjacent land was acquired. The original land is home to the historic plantation house, once known as the Maison des Rêves, The House of Dreams. The names of the original owners have been lost to time, if they were ever really known in the first place. Old records show that the plantation thrived in the area while it was operational. Some historical records claim that all the people working there were there by choice; any slaves purchased were freed, and all employees were paid by the owners of the plantation. Given the times, this was unheard of – but that's what the records say.
As the years went by and the times of prosperous plantations drew to a close, Maison des Rêves continued to do well. The crops changed, but the rest stayed the same. The owners were rather mysterious, communicating through a single tenured member of staff, but no one seemed to mind too much. They were paid, they were treated well; no one cared what the owners were really doing.
By the early 1900s, however, the plantation had undergone some major changes. The large fields were plowed under, grasses were sewn and trees were planted, and employees were either let go or offered positions in other places. By the time the real changes started happening, the only employee left was the chosen employee who had always been the one to communicate with the owners anyway. It took time for the plantation to become what it is now, a large circus created with layers upon layers of strong magic. In the beginning, there were a few curious attractions, a few interesting shows... but the real draw were the strange new employees that the carnival seemed to attract. They were an odd bunch, to be sure, and time only proved them to be stranger than they originally seemed.
Over the course of the century, the Cirque Nocturne grew and changed – of course, so did New Orleans. All in all, it doesn't seem quite as strange now as it once did, but it's still an intriguing attraction. And of course, the employees are easily the most intriguing part of all.
Aesthetic The whole of Cirque Nocturne is formed by a series of circles. Perhaps it is a tribute to the origin of the word "circus", deriving from the Greek word kirkos meaning circle, or ring. There are many such nods to the phenomenon of the circus in a historical sense, though it is hardly a traditional circus. Rather than a single tent with rings enclosed within, this circus contains clusters of pavilions and stalls, some large and others quite small. There are extensive gardens separated by paths and walls. Everything is set within circular paths, contained within a circular wall. Looping and continuous. - borrowed in part from The Night Circus
Notable attractions can be found here, and will be updated as necessary or requested by players.
When supernatural creatures find themselves at Cirque Nocturne, they often feel that they have been 'called' there, or otherwise drawn to the circus. Usually the ticket sellers can spot them, and they are allowed entrance without the purchase of a ticket and given directions to see The Management instead. If they do purchase a ticket and enter by normal means, The Management will nearly always dispatch the Ringmaster to fetch them.
Speaking of The Management, they are a mysterious lot. There is a large white tent that belongs to them, at least in theory, but they have never been seen. Supernaturals who go to visit them find the tent fully staged and comfortable, usually even with a pot of hot tea on the stove, but completely empty. On a prominent table is a contract, fully filled out with the potential employee's information and awaiting a signature. If the contract is signed, it disappears and the new employee finds themselves holding a set of keys. These will give the new employee access to both the sprawling plantation house and the suite of rooms that has just appeared inside, complete with a name-plate for the new employee. Of course, no one handed them these keys, and it is impossible to place just when they appeared in hand... perhaps they were there all the time.
Contracts are drawn up by The Management, as far as anyone knows, and are entirely private. They contain information known only by The Management and the employee themselves, including information about the employee's life previous to this point. It is heavily implied by this information that there are no secrets from The Management, although of course this is not necessarily true. The contracts themselves are fairly standard, laying out an agreement for food, board, and a tidy salary in exchange for an assigned performing role in the circus. When these are signed, they disappear back to whence they came. And for the moment, signatures don’t seem to be very important. Whatever has happened to the Cirque Nocturne, employees are no longer able to leave at will.
For the first time in the history of the Cirque, there is no Ringmaster. The position is empty, and all contact with Management has been cut off — well, not all communication. Employees find things they need, such as contracts and keys, and sometimes vague messages, left for them in their quarters. Whether or not these missives are actually from Management is anyone’s guess, for the moment.
The Coven is a small group of witches employed by the Cirque Nocturne. They are responsible for a good deal of the magic that keeps the circus operational, including the enchanted perimeter walls and whatever magical trick alerts them to supernatural creatures entering the grounds. Their magic is subtle, but permeating; the entire circus is awash with the feel and the smell of it, a mixture of dark and light. Mortals rarely notice, aside from just enjoying the dreamy atmosphere surrounding them, but supernatural creatures nearly always know that they're in the midst of something inherently magical and saturated with energy and power.
The wall surrounds the whole of Cirque Nocturne, tall and made of sturdy stone and painted black and white. There are only two ways into the circus – through the plantation house, which is accessible only to employees, and through the gate at the Ticket Booth. The wall has never been breached; it is heavily enchanted. While it is possible for someone to climb it, they will find that they can see nothing. From the top, the fence seems to surround... nothing at all. Many teenage visitors looking to gain a free trip to the circus have found themselves completely baffled and very disappointed.
Suggested jobs can be found here! Feel free to dropbox with questions or suggestions.
**A note about Ticket Sellers: they should be sensitive to supernaturals in some way! Read above for details.