What is a 'Cycle', or 'Cycles'?
Out-of-Character, Cycles are a plot device KimplE devised to allow for quasi-time-travel and retconning of certain events. Essentially, the worlds of the Metaverse exist in a loop of sorts. A spiral going on and on. Alternate spirals can be created from the primary Cycle, leading to parallel universes with similar but altered chains of events. Picture it for simplicity sake as a film reel on a VHS. When the Cycle becomes unstable, a higher power, presumed to be Kimple's Father, 'Rewinds' the Cycle and records over the old tape. New events, with a new history, overwrite the old Timeline.
Being an incredibly powerful plot device and difficult to implement into an already complex merger between various roleplaying groups the "cycle" mechanic - used during "The Crossover" - received much criticism and was not adopted or accepted by all.
Due to the Cold War scenario that played out between Chipz and Joey over Lanfear's heart, the Cycle grew increasingly unstable. Because Lanfear and Oathmeal both are in some fashion keys to the Cycles, intense emotional distress and physical harm seem to have the potential to push Cycles past the breaking point, forcing a Reset. Lanfear being torn between her feelings for both mafiosos, and the intense stress of her choices potentially causing a gang war throughout the Metaverse that would drag hundreds of people into the fighting, was breaking her heart, so Kimple stepped in, as the Sisters' Guardian, to attempt to dissuade Chipz from pursuing her. In the end however, it was all rendered pointless. When Chipz was forced to take the Trial after entering the Archive, his Metadata began leaking, his book stopped writing. He died, but did not, and corrupted himself and the Cycles in the process to some level. To solve this, he took the trial once more after preparing and gathering power, but despite succeeding and becoming a Guardian for a short time, he still died. Before he passed, he told Kimple to make Joey a Guardian in his stead, though his imminent, final death broke Lanfear's heart. The Cycle began to crumble, and a reset was engaged.
Observers and Guardians are connected, though to what extent it isn't known. They may in fact be the same, though the comparably more active role Guardians take seems to imply otherwise. KimplE is the most prominent and active Guardian, who regularly regulates the Cycles, and watches over the Keys, the two mute Neko Sisters Lanfear and Oathmeal. Previously, the Sisters' parents tried to become Guardians, but either failed or vanished, thrusting this responsibility onto the Sisters' and leaving them in KimplE's care. A Guardian's role then seems to be primarily protecting the Cycle to prevent a Reset, which often takes the form of watching over the Sisters.
KimplE has been around for a long time, and seems to have taken many forms, being changed by her role. She has experienced the loss of everything so many times, she has come to know so many people, only to see them erased, recycled, and replaced over and over. Because of this repeated torment, she is dedicated to ensuring the stability of any Cycle she finds herself in, willing to go to extremes in some cases to prevent trouble. She has walked the Archives of the Observers, Guardians, and Archangels, studying the past Cycles and trying to prevent damage, to the point of doing a little recycling of her own when continuity shifts from the desired path- bringing back an older Cycle's VII when he perished in his own Guardian Trial in the most recent Cycle.
- The only beings safe from the Cycle Reset's effects are Guardians, Observers, and the Neko Sisters. Some more powerful beings have experienced brief and vague Deja Vu immediately following a Cycle, but most forget these incidents almost immediately.
- Cycles are not fragile by any stretch, but despite Joey's ill feelings towards the concept of a war- regardless of how prepared he was anyway- and KimplE's own efforts, Chipz is blinded by his heart and believes wholly in following it. Regardless of what it cost.
- As mentioned, concurrent Cycles are frequent in the Metaverse. They are thought to often run alongside each other in millions, if not billions. They all show the different possibilities and outcomes of a single timeline, no matter how small those outcomes are. It's often the principle that no one Cycle can be the same.
- Cycles are not repeats of a single timeline. While they can be extremely similar, they may also be vastly different. They may reset sooner, or later, depending on the ever-changing, 'evolving' nature of the people inside the Cycle.
- To push an analogy - Cycles are like genomes or genes. They evolve rapidly through resets, then mutate and change consistent with the actions taken by its inhabitants.