Happenstance is flexible storytelling testbed that expands the traditional literary and theatrical notions of place and situation to accommodate interactive, on-the-fly story construction. Important aspects of story content and context are made visible, tangible, and manipulable by systematically couching them within the metaphors of ecology, geology, and weather. Information-rich environments become conceptual landscapes that grow, change, and evolve over time and through use. Current information follows a natural cycle modeled on the Earth's water cycle. Older information, history, and complex conceptual constructs�built up by the flow of data over time�are manifested in the rock and soil cycles. Directed inquiries, explorations of theory, and activities associated with the audience's personal interests are captured and reflected by plant growth. In a process which mimics realistic physical modeling, metaphor is implemented as metaphysical systems operating on metadata. As a result, information itself is imbued with sets of systemic, semi-autonomous behaviors which allow it to move and act intelligently within the story world or other navigable information spaces. Interestingly, the operation of this trope-forming micro-world also resembles the internal psychology of characters.