Behind the Scenes: Spotlight on the Joyful Reaper

The Behind The Scenes series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Today we’re doing something a little different: we’re expanding on the fictional world of Habitica by spotlighting one of the characters who commonly crops up. Enjoy!

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The friendliest skeleton in all of Habitica also happens to be our much-beloved Master of Healers! The Joyful Reaper has been a cornerstone of our land for a long, long time…

Backstory

The Joyful Reaper is one of the oldest Habiticans, though her tireless energy and gentle enthusiasm have never waned over the decades. Her exact age eludes scholars, as does the question of how precisely she came to be. Is she a talented healer who took on the guise of a skeleton to study anatomy? A magical spirit, animating some bones to appear more human? Perhaps she, like her many skeleton pets, simply hatched one day from a large and mysterious egg. Whenever a new theory is presented, the Joyful Reaper cheerily agrees that it sounds very plausible, so we are no closer to learning the truth.

Regardless, her origins are less important than all of her accomplishments. It’s known that she was a member of the very first class of the illustrious Academy of Ensorcellment, where she became quite popular for her helpful spirit and proclivity to bake interesting new desserts. Not every friendship was successful; for example, she briefly dated Recidivate, who would later become a dreaded necromancer. It quickly became apparent that the match wasn’t going to work out. The Joyful Reaper liked sunshine, and Recidivate liked gloom; the Joyful Reaper was majoring in Agriculture, and Recidivate was writing an independent thesis on Raising Undead Habit Hordes for Domineering and Profit…. “In retrospect,” the Joyful Reaper has mused, “there were several signs.” Still, aside from the occasional bumps, her time at the university was overwhelmingly positive, and she graduated as valedictorian. Many theoretical magician jobs were offered to her, but she turned them all down in favor of building a small cottage in one of the most barren and inhospitable areas of Habitica: the Fallow Fields.

Few would choose such a difficult place to work, but the Joyful Reaper saw the potential in the empty land. She spent many sleepless days and nights tirelessly working her healing magic on the dusty flats, dreaming of an area that could be devoted entirely to growth and the celebration of all the life and loveliness that hard work could achieve. After decades of tireless effort, the once-forgotten western lands of Habitica were transformed into some of its most fertile grounds, and soon they were called the Flourishing Fields. Many Habiticans moved there, drawn by the promise of productivity brimming in every orchard and wellspring.

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The Joyful Reaper was not content to limit her healing to the land, however. She stretched life magic to its limits, developing creative crops, such as candy that grows on trees, carrots that can be wielded in battle, and more. She even developed many fascinating new hatching potions! (She’s known to be particularly fond of the skeleton varieties, even lovingly crafting papier-mache bodies for the freshly-hatched spirits of creatures like caterpillars and octopuses so that they won’t feel left out.) Her unparalleled devotion to life magic and the healing arts eventually led to her being named the Master of Healers.

That being said, it is possible to work too hard. In fact, the intense productivity of the Flourishing Fields made it susceptible to an attack from the dreaded Burnout. Like the rest of her fellow citizens, the Joyful Reaper was transformed into an Exhaust Spirit during that frightening time. Luckily, all Habiticans pooled their efforts to defeat Burnout by focusing on their self-care tasks, serving as a reminder that even the most hardworking of us all needs to take some time to rest.

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Personal Life

The Joyful Reaper can usually be found working on one of her many projects in the Flourishing Fields, or taking a break to sample the delicious desserts that she grows in her garden. She’s devoted to her small cottage, and while some may find the decor spooky, she considers it to be quite charming!

In her spare time, she loves to prepare elaborate feasts, even hosting the yearly Fall Festival. She also works with Lemoness and King Manta to create fun transformation spells that Habiticans can use on themselves and friends, such as the Supernatural Skins and Spooky Sparkles.

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In fact, she and King Manta often collaborate on spell-crafting, as they’ve known each other from back before Dilatory sank. She also remembers the April Fool from when he was just a youth, though she kindly keeps his secret identity to herself. Clearly, she sympathizes with the desire to keep one’s past mysterious. She helps heal Lady Glaciate’s pets and mounts whenever they fall ill, and though her sweet demeanor is sometimes at odd with the brusque manner of the Master of Warriors, the two women have developed a meaningful rapport over the years.

Believe it or not, these accomplishments are only the beginning. The Joyful Reaper also runs Habitica’s most illustrious healing hospital, personally oversees each season’s new crops, and has opened three separate universities for healers, farmers, and party planners (respectively). “She’s an inspiration, that’s for sure!” attests one of her many students. “Somehow work always seems more fun with the Joyful Reaper around. Plus, she found a way to grow candy that is also a vegetable. What more could you ask for?”

We hope that you enjoyed this month’s spotlight! Read more about the other Masterclassers of Habitica here, and stay tuned for more in the future.

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Behind the Scenes: Spotlight on King Manta

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Today we’re doing something a little different — we’re expanding on the fictional world of Habitica by spotlighting one of the characters who commonly crops up. Enjoy!

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Becoming one of Habitica’s Masterclassers is often described as a “transformative experience,” but for the Master of Mages, the transformation became much more literal. King Manta is currently renowned as the benevolent merman who rules the undersea city of Dilatory, but his life started out quite differently.

Backstory

Born Prince Adamant I of Dilatory, he quickly became known for being a jolly, highly creative mage of prodigious talent, who was constantly weaving together spells in new and interesting ways. One of his most unconventional moves was spending time studying the natural magic of the Mantis Shrimps that surrounded their island city. King Adamant even helped craft new spells with them, including one that transformed him temporarily into a merman. Because of his prowess, he was offered the post of Master of Mages, and he heartily accepted.

Unfortunately, King Adamant was so stubbornly focused on his magical work that he let many of his other To-dos lie neglected. The citizens of Dilatory followed their leader’s example, and soon the streets were laden with Dark Red To-dos. Their bright color attracted an ancient, hungry predator from the deep: the fearsome Dread Drag’on of Dilatory. Its first vicious flurry of attacks struck the cliffs beneath Dilatory, and the entire city crumbled into the sea.

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Hah, that monster doesn’t seem so tough… until you realize that it’s five miles away.

Though all seemed lost, the Mantis Shrimps moved to save the citizens. They combined King Adamant’s transformation spell with their natural magic to enchant the waters around Dilatory so that all the people were metamorphosed into merfolk. Seeing what had befallen his city, King Adamant rallied all of his skill and power into battling the Dread Drag’on. As it chased them into a deep crevasse, King Adamant hurled spells at the monster each time it lunged for the citizens, but the Drag’on’s innate healing abilities left them at an impasse. Realizing that massive reinforcements would be critical to defeat the creature, King Adamant also wove a powerful sorcery that greatly slowed time within the crevasse, allowing years to speed past unnoticed. He triggered the spell to break only when help was available.

And finally, help did arrive. Hundreds of thousands of brave Habiticans rallied together to defeat the vicious Dread Drag’on in battle, freeing the citizens of Dilatory at last. Despite this, most of the citizens of Dilatory decided to remain together in their undersea city, and King Adamant changed his name to King Manta to renounce the stubbornness that had endangered his people and instead honor the Mantis Shrimps who had helped to protect them. He now rules their undersea city wisely, and the Dilatorians welcome the Habiticans into their city every Summer Splash gala. Thanks to King Manta’s spells, Habiticans and Dilatorians can transform back and forth simply by swimming into or stepping out of the enchanted waters.

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Meet some of the many denizens of Dilatory!

Personal Life

Most of the time, King Manta can be found in the throne room of the castle of Dilatory, overseeing issues brought to him by his people. Despite that, his work as the Master of Mages requires him to constantly monitor the underlying magic of Habitica to ensure that it is always growing and thriving, so he has been known to travel all across the land.

During his travels, he often visits the other Masterclassers. He’s close friends with the Joyful Reaper, who is old enough that she remembers him from the ancient times when Dilatory was above the waves. He has also bonded with Lady Glaciate over their shared love of interesting creatures, and was impressed when she managed to single-handedly saddle and ride the Kraken of Inkomplete, leading to a particularly unforgettable round of the Dilatory Derby.  His relationship with the April Fool is akin to that of an amused grandfather, and he often assures everyone that the lad means no harm. The astute have tartly noted, however, that his domain in Dilatory is the one area of Habitica that is mysteriously unaffected by any of the Rogue’s magic pranks, almost as if not a single spell is able to take hold.

King Manta is known to dote upon his adopted daughter Advantageous (known as Adva for short). He frets about her too, however, particularly after the frightening incident when she was mysteriously possessed. She has shown a burgeoning skill at magic herself, and he hopes that someday she will be named the Master of Mages after him.

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Adva is much nicer without that cursed necklace!

When he’s not consulting with his Mantis Shrimps or inventing exciting new spells that test the limits of magic, King Manta can be found curling up in Dilatory’s enchanted underwater library with a good book. “Luckily, I had waterproofed the entire collection,” he’ll explain to anyone who asks. “Actually, they’re also enchanted against fire, mold, pests, thieves, stabbing, and even inappropriate citations. Frankly, you could wield them in battle! But please don’t.”

We hope that you enjoyed this month’s spotlight! Read more about the other Masterclassers of Habitica here, and stay tuned for more in the future.

Behind the Scenes: Spotlight on the April Fool

The “Behind The Scenes” series is a chance for us to give you a glimpse into the inner workings of HabitRPG, Inc., the company that makes Habitica. Today we’re doing something a little different — we’re expanding on the fictional world of Habitica by spotlighting one of the characters who commonly crops up. Enjoy!

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None of Habitica’s four Masterclassers is as famous — or as frustrating — as the lovable scoundrel who calls himself the April Fool. It’s true that the Master of Rogues may seem elusive and lazy, but there are hidden depths beneath his cheeky exterior.

Backstory

Very little is known about the April Fool’s past, and it might be tempting to assume that the flippant young man simply sprang out of the mist surrounding his floating city. Certainly when he first sailed across the borders of Habitica on some enchanted clouds, he was subject to considerable suspicion. What use was this layabout in the land of productivity?

Interestingly, it was the oldest and hardest-working of the Masterclassers, the Joyful Reaper, who first advocated in the Fool’s favor. When the Fool’s illusory skills inverted all of the domain’s major landmarks, the Joyful Reaper declared that she hadn’t laughed so much for a century, and encouraged Habiticans to embrace the opportunity for fun. (And if she noted any resemblance between the Fool and young Assiduous Fuss, the long-lost heir to the Flourishing Fields‘ most upright and uptight family… Well. For a skeleton, the Joyful Reaper can be surprisingly close-lipped.)

Eventually, Lemoness and Redphoenix struck a compromise with the Fool: he could continue his entertaining pranks if he contained the majority of his mirth to a single day. Since then, he has distracted and delighted us every year during the Spring Fling gala.

When asked about his greatest success, the April Fool tends to proclaim that his most recent prank has surpassed all his others. Indeed, he has only ever been ashamed of one: the shenanigans that lead up to the attack of the Be-Wilder. Other than that “minor mistake,” he insists that he has been “a paragon of perfect taste.” Whether or not you agree, most Habiticans can point at a favorite prank.

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The Time Travelers frequently revisit their own favorite April Fool’s Day.

Personal Life

When he isn’t causing havoc, the April Fool lives in the city of Mistiflying. He likes to drift over Habitica’s various domains, although some have noted that he avoids the Flourishing Fields — dare we say it — assiduously.

More often than not, Mistiflying hovers over the Stoïkalm Steppes, since the April Fool is engaged in a highly enthusiastic (and occasionally combative) courtship with Lady Glaciate of the Mammoth Riders. Though the brusque Master of Warriors may seem like an improbable match for the Fool, he spends a considerable amount of time concocting wildly over-the-top plans to win her love — and she spends a considerable amount of time rescuing him when those plans go dramatically awry. Both claim to be in it solely for the amicable bickering, but their compatriots are not convinced.

Within the city of Mistiflying, the April Fool is constantly renovating his house, since his boredom drives him to constant creative heights. One week’s flashy cottage may be next week’s towering castle. The only constancy is the April Fool’s ridiculous use of rainbow palettes. Although he favors bright hues for his artwork, his apparel, and even his hair, the April Fool’s favorite color is secretly a mundane shade of dark brown: the color of Lady Glaciate’s eyes.

Some of the April Fool’s favorite hobbies include card-playing, karaoke, and keeping his citizens entertained. The messenger-mages of Mistiflying admit that their ruler is capricious, but insist that variety is the spice of life. “Just yesterday, he got all the Mistiflies to switch our latest mail deliveries with freshly-baked pizzas,” one messenger said. “I mean, our routes are terribly delayed now, but the pizza was delicious, and there’s something to be said about that.”
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We hope that you enjoyed this month’s spotlight! Read more about the other Masterclassers of Habitica here, and stay tuned for more in the future.