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Monster Gakuen: A World of Monsters

The year is 2032, twenty minutes into the future. The place, Nagato, a burgeoning combination of modernity and relaxation. Far enough away from anywhere that excitement requires travel, but close enough to Tokyo that it’s only a quick train ride away.

The pride of Nagato is the Iwanata Academy, a wealthy high school that draws large crowds of students to its streets. As such its apartments and homes are filled to the brim with high schoolers, whether with their families or living alone, and the average age of the Nagato citizen is young and vibrant. Truly any ordinary high school student would be proud to call this place home.

Yet of course, just like any town, Nagato has its secrets – and its secrets are bigger than most.

For thousands of years, the monsters have lived among humankind, taking on their forms to pass unseen, either to better overcome their prey or simply to avoid danger. For thousands of years those who practice the secret arts of magic have kept a close watch on these creatures. Though most humans have ceased to believe in the nonhumans walking among them, it has been the duty of the Order of the Black Robe to keep watch over them – and, in modern times, keep the secret that keeps the peace.

Nagato is home to the headquarters of the Japan Branch of this Order, an organization known in modern times as the Black Robe Bureau of the United Nations government. Those who wish to join the Bureau in Japan must be accepted into Iwanata Academy and train there, taking normal classes during the day and extracurricular missions at night. Many monsters from all over Japan and even the world also go to this school, under the watchful supervision of the Bureau and often training to become agents themselves. Most monsters not native to Japan who live here are here on assignment from the Bureau or related to Bureau members stationed in Japan.

Monsters universally have the ability to take on a humanoid form – but most are not perfect at this ability until they reach adulthood. It takes much training and care to fully imitate a human, and thus most young monsters take a long time to master this ability, often creating imperfect or unusual human forms. An enchantment that blankets Nagato, maintained by the Bureau, assists these young monsters in maintaining a stable, humanoid form. During the day, this powerful spell prevents them from transforming into their monstrous selves – but at night, they can use the full extent of their power, though unless given express permission by the Bureau, a monster may not take their true monstrous form outside of protecting their own life from clear and present danger. They may never take this form in the presence of a human who is not an agent of the Bureau.

As the spell on Nagato is not perfect, monsters unable to take perfect human forms even under the influence of the spell are given charms which disguise all monstrous traits (as per Alter Self). In times of stress or danger, the charms allow a monster’s monstrous traits to show through, reacting to a monster’s heart rate (if it has one) and other physiological and emotional signs of stress… which can lead to embarrassing moments when the charm mistakes simple anxiety for true danger! Luckily, the Bureau members who run the Academy are there specifically to intervene with a quick memory charm or two in these awkward situations. A monster can also willfully override the spell to use their abilities or allow others to see their true forms, though doing so in anything less than truly dire straits is against the Bureau’s strictures. These charms also serve as identifying markers for monsters . The charms, though powerful, have only limited strength – they only work during the day and must shut down at night to recharge their energy.

Bureau members are sworn to protect humans and the secret of monsters’ existence from those who would break these rules. Evil monsters who would shun this harmonious society and seek to attack humankind, humans who wish to use the powers of monsters for themselves, all those who prey on the weak and helpless – the Bureau exists to bring down these heinous individuals.

As trainees of the Bureau you are dedicated to this cause. Protect the secrecy. Protect the people. Protect the world.

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