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The Sisterhood Syndicate [OOC]



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Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:39 am
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Nyla says...



Of course you can, @rida! Welcome. I'll add you to the cast list for Moana and Rapunzel. :D
  





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Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:15 pm
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JoyDark says...



@Nyla, thanks for your response to my question. I think all of the points you’ve made are valid. Pocahontas is kind of a tricky case: keeping her opens the door for a lot of the not-great Poncahontas Disney things, and if you want to have someone re-write her, they’d have to pay special attention to the character and how accurately she’s presented. Leaving her out makes it look like you’re just ignoring the problems rather than addressing them (kind of how the live action movie Dumbo left out the crows rather than addressing their existence). It’s difficult, and frankly... I don’t know what to do.

I would love to play Belle if she’s available, and if not that Anna. But just keep in mind how dicey the backstories some of these princesses have—like Pohcahontas for example—and their implications on this roleplay.
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Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:15 pm
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Nyla says...



Happy you're here, @JoyDark! I'll pencil you down for Belle. :D

JoyDark wrote:But just keep in mind how dicey the backstories some of these princesses have—like Pohcahontas for example—and their implications on this roleplay.

Absolutely. I do want to stress—not just to you but to everyone who sees this thread, especially those considering joining or who are confused about the Pocahontas of it all—that my inclusion of Pocahontas here was not an easy decision or something I took lightly. I gave it a lot of thought. I actually know a lot about the character and the reaction her film received from the indigenous community because I had to research her for my evolution-of-princesses article, and all of that was buzzing in my head while working on this. In my opening post, I tried to address the obvious issue and make it clear that I had mixed emotions and wanted to include her only if someone could do right by the Native community, but in retrospect, perhaps I should've explained in more detail what I meant by that.

JoyDark wrote:Leaving her out makes it look like you’re just ignoring the problems rather than addressing them

That's true, and it is part of the reason why I don't want to remove her—but there's also a larger issue, which is that indigenous people are far too often forgotten, overlooked, or erased from narratives. Pocahontas has been a Disney princess since the 1990s, and she is still, to this day, included in princess merchandise, theme park shows, and even Ralph Breaks the Internet. She exists, and for better or worse, she's important: one of the only princesses of color (and the second-ever to exist, following Jasmine—who is also problematic, let's not forget). Plus, she was voiced by Irene Bedard, a Native woman, making her the first princess whose speaking voice was provided by a woman of color.

I don't like the idea of creating a storybook that's all about the Disney princesses and meant to include every single one—even Anna and Elsa, who were never inducted into the official lineup (for petty branding reasons)—but leave out the only Native American character and one of the only princesses of color. Yes, there are valid reasons to omit her, but I would hate to reject the opportunity to represent a group that has continually been erased from history, media, and even their own stories. I think the better option is to first see if anyone is up to the challenge of playing Pocahontas with compassion and an eye to accuracy and empathy. If they're not, okay, we'll figure out where to go from there. But if they are, we have a wonderful chance to do what Disney didn't: give Pocahontas the respect and nuance she deserves.
  





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Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:57 am
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Nyla says...



Couple of quick remarks~

First of all, I’ve just realized I left out one princess: Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon. Totally unintentional on my part—the only reason I didn’t include her is because she’s so new that I haven’t seen her film yet, and therefore she hasn’t permeated my consciousness. I’m not sure how many of us actually have seen that movie, but if any of y'all are fans and would be interested in playing her, I’ve added her to the list. (It's fine if she doesn't make the final cut, though. I realize, due to her newness, that most YWSers may not feel bonded to her yet.)

Also, I wanted to post a general message to anyone who’s on the fence about joining. If April’s not a great month for you—because of school and/or NaPo and/or some unrelated reason—that’s okay! You can still join and then just wait until May to become an active participant. And if anyone wants to join but doubts they’d be able to write an entry before summer, we can probably work something out—I think it would be fine if a couple of the princesses weren’t introduced until a little later in the story. Just something to keep in mind ;)
  





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Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:14 am
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Spearmint says...



Hiya! I've been looking at this for a bit because it sounds super interesting, but I felt like I wouldn't know enough about the characters mentioned because it's (unfortunately) been a while since I've watched their movies, and I didn't trust myself not to just be lazy and play a character with half her backstory forgotten. XD But anyways, I have watched Raya and the Last Dragon pretty recently, so I'd like to play Raya if that's okay with you! ^-^
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Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:57 am
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Nyla says...



Definitely, @Spearmint! I'm so glad you're here and that Raya will get to be included in this.

Now I also have a good reason to go watch her film... :D
  





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Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:33 am
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Horisun says...



This looks super interesting! Is the Ariel role still open?
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Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:20 am
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Horisun says...



Yep! I wanna get involved in some Roleplays/Storybooks, and this seems like lots of fun!
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Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:32 am
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Nyla says...



@Horisun, fantastic! I’m excited to see what you do with her. Welcome aboard! :D
  





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Wed Apr 14, 2021 5:13 pm
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SirenCymbaline says...



Heyyy how we goin
  





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Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:47 pm
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Nyla says...



Pretty good! I've written out some additional info that will hopefully elucidate my vision for this and answer most lingering questions participants or fence-sitters may have. I'll put that below, but absolutely no pressure to read the entire thing right now—it's a lot of information to parse, so all of you are welcome to take your time perusing it.

Before I get to that, let me tag everyone who is a confirmed participant so far:



Additional Rules/Guidelines/Other Stuff

Spoiler! :
*Each princess represents an aspect of heroism that should factor into her story in some way. (The full list is on the SB page—except for Raya, but hers will be added shortly.) It doesn’t have to be a part of their personal story arc (though it can be!), but it should play a role in the crimefighting/hero side of their story. Think of their aspect as being almost like a superpower that helps them save the world (or really, a part of themselves that makes them innately heroic). Speaking of which…

*Some of the princesses have actual powers, some don’t, but each has a reason they’re part of the squad. So Elsa, Rapunzel, Moana, and Ariel each have powers: ice for Elsa, healing for Rapunzel, that ocean thing for Moana, and mermaid stuff for Ariel. The rest are all regular humans (unless Raya has powers of some kind? I'm going to watch her film before this begins, I just haven't had the chance yet), but the regulars also possess their own desirable set of skills: Mulan’s a warrior, Merida’s a champion archer, Jasmine’s got a tiger, et cetera. If you’re not sure what skill(s) your princess brings to the table (besides her aspect of heroism), get creative!

(Sidebar: @rida, I don’t care how you do it, but Rapunzel should have her hair back for this. I mean, c'mon, she’s Rapunzel! The hair is the most iconic part of her character, she must have it. I know there’s a Rapunzel spinoff show on Disney Channel that found a way to give her the hair back, and even though TV shows aren’t canon in this, you’re welcome to use whatever explanation they did, or make up one of your own. Whatever the case, I want her hair to return, and I want its powers to come along with it.)

*The idea is that all the princesses, working together, will be the necessary counterbalance of good to the villains’ evil. But one of their greatest strengths—the fact that they’ve all triumphed over one or more of the villains in the past—is also one of their greatest weaknesses, as they know the villains and vice versa, and the villains can use that familiarity to exploit the princesses’ insecurities, fears and trauma. How your character reacts to her former antagonist coming back into her life is up to you, but I don’t imagine she’d feel great about it.

*I’ve talked a bit about how this is MLP:FiM-inspired, and part of that is the shameless rip-off of MLP’s elements of harmony, but the other similarity comes in the form of the emphasis on friendship (and, y’know, a group of female characters saving the world). Pretty much none of the princesses have many friends in their films, and particularly not a lot (or any) human female friends, so the idea is that, over the course of this story, they’ll develop tight—almost sisterly—bonds with each other and, by the end of it, realize the value of friendship. (It’s called the Sisterhood Syndicate for a reason!)

*The Charlie’s Angels comparison comes from the fact that this group of lovely crime-solvers work together under the guidance of a shadowy male figure. WD wants to craft a group of trained agents who will not only neutralize this particular threat, but can also be called upon at a moment’s notice in the future, whenever any kingdoms are in trouble. I’m open to input, but my vision for the story is that the princesses travel from kingdom to kingdom, and, through a series of battles, stop the roving band of villains as they attempt to wreak havoc across the world. WD tells them where to travel and gives them the bare minimum of weapons, intel and supplies, but it’s mostly the princesses on their own, dependent on just each other to save the day—with occasional check-ins from their enigmatic boss.

*While WD is the shadowy but good-hearted mastermind behind the Sisterhood Syndicate, the villains’ own dastardly group was put together by Iger, who is kinda like the evil counterpart to WD. Iger’s motivations, like WD’s, are shrouded in secrecy, but he seeks to destroy the world while WD seeks to save it. I imagine that after defeating all his villain underlings, the story will probably build to a final showdown between the princesses and Iger himself (again though, I’m open to input).

...and yes, if anyone was wondering, WD is a reference to Walt Disney and Iger's the last name of the (lousy!) former CEO of the Disney Company.

*You can choose how much time has elapsed between your princess’s film and the beginning of this story. If, for example, you want your princess’s film to have taken place one year prior to this SB, that’s fine! It could also be one month later, six months later, et cetera—whatever feels right to you (but it should be less than 10 years total). This also gives you some freedom because you can choose certain things to have happened “off camera,” so to speak, in between the events of her film and the start of this SB. For example, you could have her break up with her love interest—or kill him off—before the SB picks up, in the intervening months/years since her film. (But you must still mention or explain any such changes/developments in the text. So, for example, if your princess had a prince and now she doesn’t because he died a while back, put in at least a reference to that somewhere, preferably early on. You can also get this information across through the use of flashbacks.) And you can get away with tweaking her personality a bit more—e.g., making her more mature than she was in her film—if time has passed, or if she’s gone through something significant in the time since we last saw her.

*Your first post should establish a few things: 1. How she feels about the fact that all these kingdoms—including hers—are currently under attack (and what, if anything, she knows about who’s responsible for the destruction), 2. How she’s recruited into the syndicate, and 3. How much time has passed since her film (and what, if anything, has happened in the time since). Whatever else you choose to include in your first post is up to you. And if you’re wondering how to get this information across, I’ll write the first post and that should give you an idea.

*You don’t need to write a character profile, but you can! Especially if you’re planning on picking up with her quite a few years after the events of her film, it might be nice to let us know what’s going on with her now, what she’s experienced in the time since we last saw her, and any other relevant details you’re adding to her backstory. If you don’t want to write a character profile, you can also just post that info in this thread. Failing that, it should be sufficient to just establish the key details in your opening SB post.

Note: these are my current plans, but I'm open to feedback and willing to make changes if desired. Obviously this is a collaborative process so I'm totally down to switch things up!


Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I have a couple of questions I wanted to throw at y’all.

First of all: thoughts on what we should do if the remaining princesses aren’t chosen? Do you think it would be better to include them as NPCs—members of the syndicate who are mostly left to the background but pop up occasionally during battles and things like that—or should we leave the slots open in the hopes that somebody down the line might want to join, even after the SB’s begun? Personally I’m leaning toward the former, but I can see the argument for the latter.

Second of all: scheming. I'm fine with using this thread as the place to discuss and plan, but if any of you guys would prefer we do it somewhere else, I'm amendable to that. Suggestions are welcome.

And lastly: ratings! I’d love to know how dark/mature you guys want this SB to get, and if any of you are planning your character’s arc to involve heavy subject matter (and by “heavy,” I mean “heavier than your typical Disney movie”). I have an arc in mind for Jasmine that’s not super kid-friendly—she’s a sexualized character and I would therefore like to address her relationship with her sexuality, and also unpack the abuse she experienced at the hands of Jafar, at least some of which I think was sexual. But that’s obviously kinda dark and mature, and I don’t know if we should stay faithful to the movies by going with more of a G-rated tone/style? Again, I think you could make a good argument either way, though I’d personally love the freedom to take the princesses somewhere a little more adult and go for, say, PG-13 or 16+. Thoughts?
  





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Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:11 pm
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Plume says...



I feel like the remaining princesses could be NPCs unless someone wanted to play for one, and then they could just kinda slowly weave their way into the SB, I guess. So kind of a combo of both options? Unless that's what the second option meant, because if so, I think we should do that. And this thread works fine for planning stuff! As for ratings, I'm fine with them taking any direction. I'm ok with a G-rated disney feel, but I also think it would be cool to explore a sort of more adult and mature side of them as well. Anyways. Those are just my two cents.
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Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:00 am
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JoyDark says...



Everything that Plume said I’m down for. NPCs sounds okay, yeah. And ratings... well, I’m always down for an angst-filled superhero safari, especially since most of the princesses are actually teens and would likely be going through at least some angst in this time of their lives. So if you wanna push the rating up, let’s do it.
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Thu Apr 15, 2021 12:48 am
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Horisun says...



I’m not a hundred percent sold on the NPC thing, but I’m up for what everyone else thinks.
As for the rating, whatever direction it takes is completely fine for me! I think it will be fun to explore the darker implications of some of the princesses.
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