Sami's Quest

From tgchan

Sami's Quest by Smik
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Sami returns to her village ten years after a disaster that's left it abandoned and in ruin. Questors can communicate directly with her or amongst themselves by tagging suggestions (Private), useful as Sami reacts poorly to certain subjects which erodes her trust. Questors can also directly impact probability using "Influence Points" (IP) which are awarded by the mysterious TEN Administrators who are apparently cats.

A successor to Nem's Quest, set in the Smikverse, running from Dec 15, 2014 to June 7, 2017.


Previously on Sami's Quest

  • 203 IP
  • Programs available: Physical Scan Pro, Detect Network, Port Access, Glamour Personal, Spoof Pro Gold 2.4
  • Trust is 75 - Sami now trusts the group and is confident with their suggestions. The Trust also represents the chances of Sami going against her better judgement and doing risky things.
  • Sami's Inventory: Short hunter’s bow and a quiver of 6 arrows, materials for a snare trap, Pied Piper's Flute/Pipe, The Siren's Axe, Sheet music for "On Mount Golgotha” (magical), Faerie paper, Faerie pen, Quill, Hunter’s survival knife, Small kettle for tea, Dried rations (2 days), Small stash of Gaelish Dreamtime “tobacco” (marijuana) with smoking pipe, an empty hip flaskwhiskey, 54 pennies, 23 crowns, Black Tea, Herbal Tea, a used pistol, a used cutlass.

Sami is the sole survivor of a disaster that claimed all the other children in her home town, leading it to become abandoned and cursed. The Pied Piper had tried to drown all the children, but Sami is an unseelie half blood with vicious water-faerie heritage and the drowning attempt instead caused her to transform and devour the Piper alive. Ten years later, Sami has returned -- being unable to find peace and felt a need to revisit. She still has some of the Piper's belongings, including the enchanted flute. After meeting the players -- who are bound to a Death Token on Sami's person -- she is initially hostile but over time they've gotten her to trust them. Sami has discovered that cursed spirits infest the town as well as various vermin and the town's old golems are now under cursed control. She also meets the only other living inhabitant, "Father Nick" who takes care of the old church. Sami shares some supplies with him. After a number of minor adventures including slaying vermin and defeating a golem, Sami was able to bring both the cursed ghosts of Mayor and the Piper to their senses and obtained the Siren's Axe, a tool that is supposed to control the powerful siege golem The Rook.

Her supplies exhausted she discovers the home of Billy Phooka, a lonely neutral faerie who offers her food and supplies in exchange for company and stories. When Sami returns to town, it appears that the curse has gotten to Nick and he attacks her. Sami is able to disarm and lure Nick out of town, upon which he regains his senses and is revealed to be a former highway man who had just hid out in town, only for it to slowly eat away at his senses and cause him to adopt a persona of Father Nick. He leaves town for good after being freed.

Sami then travelled to Welser (with supplies from Billy Phooka) to buy supplies with Nick's stash to continue her investigation into breaking the curse. There she was met by Amy the Seamtress, who is the daughter of the town's 'dragon', Skyia. She is notable being tall, for having yellow reptilian eyes, small ears and golden skin. Amy demanded Sami hand over her guitar as it was considered a threat, and then suggested Sami take a bath as her long period of travelling had her smelling rather offensive. Sami was suspicious of the offer, so Amy joined her in the bath house so she would be 'equally vulnerable' and then also revealed she was a lesbian. Sami is open to the idea of bisexuality and friendship and there is a clear attraction between the two. Then Amy invited Sami back to her parent's place for something to eat that might suit an unseelie half-blood's tastes better.

Sami met Amy's parents, Skyia and George, who suggest that Sami needs to embrace her fae side and to allow herself to transform under calmer circumstances. Sami is terrified she will harm Amy, but her hosts are unconcerned and when Sami ventures into the river her transformation isn't monstrous at all. It turns out that the emotional state has a very large impact on her transformation and that water-spirits are by nature shape-shifters. Amy kisses Sami and they make love, then return for dinner.

They decide to talk to the scientists in Welser, some of whom came from Sami's home town Ronnalin when it was abandoned, to see if they might be able to shed any light on the situation. It turns out they're working on spirit detection and if Sami can run some experiments in the town using the known cursed spirits there they might come up with a device to do so reliably. They suggest Sami approach the mayor for additional funding.

Amy buys Sami some new clothes and dresses her like a man. When they arrange a meeting, the Siren's Axe seems to charge Sami's emotions and she is threatening to the mayor's assistant and openly affectionate to Amy -- something none of her other lovers have ever dared to do. Since this could cause serious troubles, for the meeting with the Mayor Sami leaves the Siren's Axe in the care of George and Skyia.

Amy has joined the Quest and acts as a secondary party member.

The Mayor agreed to fund a research party but was infected by CURSE when they shook on it, then Sami & Ami headed out with a group of scientists to test out their spirit-detecting equipment. Sami & Amy planted on device in the church, were locked in the basement by the CURSE, attacked by the ROOK who was shut down by their Hacking Program Hailey (codenamed Kitty) and then they fled with the CURSE woken. Sami was scanned by their scanner program Oculus (codenamed Oscil) and determined to still be infected by CURSE. Sami had Hailey hide Amy under a spoof and they were separated. Her senses corrupted by the illusions of the CURSE and attacked by a swarm of curse-controlled vermin, Sami used the pied piper's flute to charm them into the river.

The CURSE tricked Sami into thinking she had also charmed Amy into the river, but it turned out to be an illusion and Sami was washed away, finally surfacing in a SWAMP some distance down the river. There she discovered that the spirit essence of the drowned children still there in the form of whisps and received a final message from her childhood friend Rosemary (helped by the Redeemers). Some time has passed when Amy arrives, searching for Sami (likely with the help of Hailey).

Special Quest Mechanics

PLOT ARMOUR represents the degree of protection Sami has in the story. Any injury that would end her ability to continue the adventure is instead absorbed by Plot Armour, as is any serious mistake or potential loss of a key item. Plot Armour will NOT stop situations that only hamper Sami such as bumps or bruises, so any injuries that just slow Sami down instead of killing or crippling her aren't deflected by Plot Armour at all. Plot Armour also applies to more important NPC's. It's important to note that as Plot Armour doesn't represent one's ability to survive damage, it also isn't 'healed' through traditional means either.


INFLUENCE POINTS represent how much the players are allowed to influence outcomes in the story. Influence impacts straight probability, but special Programs can allow players to do other things like get more detailed information about items or people, detect the presence of other supernatural creatures, and so forth. Influence is also used to purchase items from The Shop.


NETWORKS AND CATS AND OTHER WEIRD STUFF In a nutshell, the mystical elements of the world are abstracted into something like the Internet, and just like our own Internet it's dominated by cats. Magic spells are programs, and magic travels across networks.


The Shop

The SHOP is available unless marked by curse and has the following programs available:

Overflow is 50 IP: A brute-force hacking system. Takes a little time to use, depending on security complexity. Overflow's strength can be amplified via Charmnet.

Charmnet is 30 IP and requires Sami use an instrument matching the network. Once logged into a Network, Sami can use a song called “Analog” and use the Network as part of a botnet to boost any Overflow attempts. Charmnet CAN be used with the flute/pipe on mortal creatures and things like locks – this allows Sami to set them to ‘wait’ until she calls them with “Birth”.

BOOST is a “spell program” that allows the players to DOUBLE the maximum IP each individual can use, allowing just 2 players to grant a full 100% probability boost spending 10IP each. Boost costs 20 IP.

CRIT is a boosting program that allows the players to turn regular success into critical successes. CRIT costs 25 IP to download. CRIT costs 10 IP to use (at least two players must buy in unless BOOST is purchased).



PROGRAMS

From Sami's perspective, these are spells the player spirits cast, but they look like programs from the group's view point. Some programs cost IP to use.

Standard Programs

INFLUENCE Influence alters the chances of probability and is the most flexible of the programs to use. Anything that could possibly happen can happen through Influence; by spending IP the chances of an event increases or decreases by 5%/pt. While primarily used in combat, Influence can be used to alter anything from character reactions to the chance of floorboards giving away under foot. Influence is always available and thus has no icon on the GUI (quest image).

SPIRIT VISION

A passive program that allows the players to see unmasked spiritual influence. Notable that the angle of the vision and even the 'zoom' CAN be adjusted if requested.

Purchased Programs

These programs were purchased from the Administrators. They offer additional functionality.

SCAN Physical Scan Pro GOLD is the current available version and the highest available scan. Scan detects spiritual elements, network access, and when not blocked from the network due to security reasons (like a curse) it can access the Administrator's Wiki and gain additional insight on people and items. The Gold version will also see through Glamours -- illusions that prevent the true nature of the target from being revealed.

DETECT NETWORK

Detect Network allows the detection of active 'networks' -- leylines from Sami's perspective -- that can be possibly accessed. It's an area effect and will ping automatically when networks are detected.

PORT ACCESS

Port Access allows the group to connect to networks, regardless of the protocol. Normally the group operates on a "TEN" protocol, but Port Access allows access to Faerie, Redeemer and Pantheon networks.

GLAMOUR PERSONAL

A deception program used in hacking a network. Once it obtains an ID, that ID can be impersonated to access information without resorting to brute forcing a hack. Note this only works on networks.

BOTCH

For 10 IP, BOTCH turns failures into Critical Failures. Note that it does not cause a failure itself. The failure will be disastrous within probability.

SPOOF Pro Gold 2.4

Allows Sami to hide from the Curse but prevents her from accessing networks or interacting with spirits. Against Golems and any magical traps Sami will be completely undetectable.


Special Programs

These programs are illegal and were made available when Sami was cursed.

PHANTASM

Makes Sami feel experiences across her five senses. Each sense must be paid for separately. When contested, the party that spends the most influence will win. Experiences range from obviously illusional for 1 pt to so real that her body will react as if the situation was actually happening for 5 pts. Note that sensations like water in the lungs (touch) will cause an involuntary response of her lungs closing as her body will think she's actually drowning.


NOTES FOUND

These are pieces of information of note. This is not a comprehensive list.

REDEEMER NOTES

GENERAL ASSESSMENT

"Redeemer: Grace the Seamstress

This curse has two primary driving forces -- guilt and grief -- which in turn creates a secondary driving force of rage. Most of the surviving guilty parties had strong enough regret to insulate them from spreading the curse, but one of the council members was without feeling and I had to put him down before it caught up to him and created a new infection site. Feelings have a much greater impact than fact in this instance.

Of the drowned children, there was only one soul with unfinished business -- apparently she was worried about her best friend, the only survivor by the name of Sami Jones. By the time I had arrived, Sami had already left town with her family, much like most of the other bereaved. Rosemary was patient and lucid.

She seemed to have a calming influence on the nearby soul of The Piper, but once I promised I would deliver her message to Sami and she passed on, it seemed to enrage the Piper. There seems to be two layers to whatever is holding him here, and the only one he will admit to is a personal injustice of a debt owed. Offering payment didn't seem to change anything, and I suspect it's a matter of WHO and not WHAT. The mayor on the other hand is beyond consolation, and until he can forgive himself he will remain entwined by the curse.

It's my general assessment that we have two options to dispel the curse - either get a Cleaner in to brute-force it or we need to find Sami Jones. A lot of this curse seems to hinge on the fact she survived."

EFFECT ON MORTALS

"Redeemer: Grace the Seamstress

This curse will definitely have a corrupting influence on the natural living, and the more guilt, grief or anger they have the faster it will take hold. Thankfully there's a feeling of unease and the curse itself seems to have drawn quite a lot of vermin to the town so only the desparate or criminal would hold up here.

If we find anyone living here it's going to be a priority to get them OUT before dealing with them. They'll probably be in ill health, so the stronger we can make them first, the better they can resist the influence and the easier they'll be to deal with."

NOTE RE: SAMI JONES

"Redeemer: Grace the Seamstress

I've left this note in case I can't find Sami. The problem is Rollen people avoid strangers, especially Fae and doubly so for anyone with the smell of Rotland on them and Sami doesn't seem to leave any sort of trail. I've been told that she has blue eyes, and this is extremely uncommon for Rollen but they have very strong communities and may hide her if you start asking around without a believable cover-story. I would suggest that you say something along the lines of 'I found something Rosemary would have wanted her to have' and then let them find you. They'll likely relay the message back to Sami and my guess is she'll be curious enough to follow up. Tread lightly; Sami has a formidable fae form that can render the immortal. Do NOT reveal you have a message; the Rollen will not react well to communications from the dead.

Should you locate her personally, tell her that Rosemary says: 'Dear Sami - Please don't feel bad about what happened. It wasn't your fault, and you're not a monster. You'll always be my best friend. Nobody blames you, not me, not any of us. I hope that some day you can go back to being the Sami I knew. Love, Rosemary'

You can reveal the source. Rollen generally aren't hostile to the truth, just very cautious around unpredictable beings from outside the mundane.


WIKI ENTRY: (Redeemer Organization) The Rotland Redeemers

The Redeemers are a group of former mortals who through misdeed or misadventure have managed to return to the world of the living. In general, there are two kinds of Redeemers -- those who undid a Curse they were responsible for, and those who were victims of a Curse and refused to succumb to it. In all cases, their original bodies are destroyed in the process, which is why they always appear human upon returning to the world. Redeemers may resemble Pantheon, but can easily be told apart by the particular smell of wet earth that follows them around and their unusual eyes.

Redeemers actively work to remove the very Curses that created them. The abilities of a Redeemer vary greatly as it tends to be based on the variables that created the curse and their own personal attributes.

Redeemers are known for voracious appetites and vices. It is suspected that death heightens their appreciation for the pleasures of the flesh. There doesn't appear to be any side-effects from mortals interacting with them as the standard 'undead tropes' don't seem to apply. In terms of physical resisilance, they tend to be extremely resistant to incapacitation -- drugs have only a very minor effect and they are immune to illness, and they heal quite quickly. In terms of mortality, their bodies appear to be relatively 'human' in terms of resilance to damage -- they can be killed, but they can return quite quickly. Notably they still suffer mortal pain so while Redeemers aren't quite afraid of death as their mortal kin are, they fear the PAIN of death as much as any mortal.


WIKI ENTRY: Grace the Seamstress

Grace the Seamstress is a currently active Redeemer who came into profession when she was a child. She 32 (appears mid-twenties) and stands at just over six feet, four inches tall, with earthen coloured skin, black eyes, and extremely long, jet black hair which is actually a form of Curse in a thread-like physical configuration. She is notably fond of pipe tobacco, port, and women. She has a calm, quiet demeanor and tends to favour efficient speech, although in the right circumstances she can be fond of more eloquent speech. Her title of "the seamstress" refers to her spider-like abilities. While kind and compassionate, when pressed to violence she is both vicious and restrained, only killing when nessecary although she may leave her victims in agony (although usually not crippled). Grace is friendly to Cats, hostile to the Pantheon and tolerant to everyone else which makes her a much smarter individual compared to the median.


WIKI ENTRY: SKYIA THE DRAGON OF WELSER

Skyia is a Serpentine faerie from the Unseelie Court. Like most Unseelie Dragons, she guards Welser from outside threats but also makes it clear to the town that she is not their benevolent protector but rather that she allows them to live within her territory.


Unlike most dragons, Skyia did not extract tribute -- this may have been due the events at Ronnalin -- instead she menaced the mayor and council. She is known to have killed the captain of the guard (and the mayor's personal head of security), the deputy mayor, and ransacked then burned down the Merchant's Guild. The first merchant caravan attempting to flee the city was destroyed -- most of the guards slain while the rest simply vanished.


Skyia made it clear to the purse-holders that neither fight nor flight would be an option. Still, she gained a reputation amongst the common folk to be not entirely evil -- that while she was a terror she would occasionally bestow a boon on those brave enough to approach her. It was no easy nor safe task, but some brave, desperate individuals were able to brave her lair and return to tell the tale, often richer for it.


Eventually, word got out that the town would pay handsomely for the one who was able to deal with Skyia once and for all, and one of those was the minstrel knight Sir George the Wanderer. Sir George was armed with faerie steel and a charming instrument. When he entered Skyia's lair she ambushed him from the shadows, knocking his saber to the ground and coiling around him -- but when Sir George saw his foe he was struck by her beauty and spoke eloquently of it, washing away Skyia's outrage. He charmed her with his CONCERTINA and his song, and when she was vulnerable instead of going for his weapon he kissed her and they made love.


They spoke for some time and Sir George learned about the council corruption -- that the corrupt city guard would blackmail or press false charges on strangers or new merchants. She also told him that the Mayor had met the Piper, who offered to rid them of their vermin problem. When he was successful, not only was he paid but the Mayor asked if he might charm the vermin to the wealthier town of Ronnalin, to which the Piper complied and his fee was paid twice.


Sir George had heard of the tale of Ronnalin and was outraged. While Sir George learned of the treachery of his people, from him Skyia learned of their nobility and together they ousted most of the old council, leaving only the terrified old mayor as a figurehead and a warning to any others who might take Welser down a dark path.


As a member of the Unseelie Court, Skyia is free to have whatever pets she would like without particular social consequence, but politically she is Unseelie in name only. Having a daughter with the noble Sir George has changed her significantly and while still dangerous (especially if her loved ones are threatened) she is not capable of the same cold blooded acts she used to. She is currently mortal and has bound her lifeline to her husband; the death of one will cause the death of both.

ITEM: The Siren's Axe

Sami fully recognizes that she is in the possession of a guitar, and even understands the slang of "Axe" applying to the instrument as well as a tool & weapon. The guitar is nothing like she's ever seen however, since acoustic guitars are the norm for her. Supposedly the guitar can control the Rook, but as Sami can't play guitar she can't use any songs with it yet. No, Sami cannot be taught guitar by the group -- she must find a teacher or some *other* way of learning to use the instrument.

Intro Guide

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This is Sami. She's the protagonist and can hear everyone's suggestions, image and video links unless marked with "Private". She reacts poorly to metagaming and certain information. She sort of trusts the Questors because they've not lead her into any serious danger that she blames them for yet. She's a capable fighter with a staff (her walking stick has a metal tip) as well as being a hunter, which means she's a decent shot wit her short-bow that is rarely ever visible because it's irritating to draw. She's quick and agile and has unusual resistances to things like alcohol and drugs, which frustrates her because she'd really like to be able to forget a lot of things. She also transformed into a monster and ate the pied piper as a child - and is guilt-ridden for enjoying the experience, so she avoids running water whenever she can.


  • The Administrators include Yorick, Audrey, Norton and Puni. They give awards in the form of "Influence Points" (IP) when the Questors do something they like. Sami can never hear what the Administrators say.
  • The Questors (players) can alter the probability by spending IP - each point spend alters the chance of a given result by 5%, but each individual Questor can't spend more than 5 IP each. To force a result (such as Sami dodging an attack, noticing something, an enemy noticing Sami, or even convincing someone of something) requires 4 Questors to each spend their maximum.
  • Programs can also be bought for IP. Programs allow the Questors to interact with the environment independently of Sami and she is not aware of when they're used.
  • The icons visible in the illustrations indicate the programs the Questors have bought, including Detect Network, Physical Scan, Port Access and Glamour.
  • Detect Network is used to discover active networks around town. There are various still-running networks left by the faeries and others who have been to the town, only accessible by the Questors. While technological to the Questors, they're magic to people like Sami.
  • Port Access allows the networks to be used regardless of their type (Faerie, Pantheon, etc).
  • Glamour allows the Questors to impersonate user ID's they discover on the networks, required for networks with security. Instead of passwords, networks simply recognize individuals by a sort of ethereal signature which Glamour impersonates.
  • Physical Scan is used to "detect magic" and has been upgraded to also reference the TEN wiki to find out additional information collected on the subject. By Cats.
  • Father Nick is a thin, worn priest of Faustia who maintains the church.
  • Vermin infest the town: non-aggressive but destructive rollie-pollies, aggressive but easily killed grites, and the disease-carrying, blood-sucking, ambushing leapers. Rollie-pollies are nasty tasting and wreck buildings, grites eat them and are only barely edible, and leapers are like horrid giant cross between a deer tick and a flea.
  • Konvi are domestic animals, looking like a cross between an aphid and an armadillo. They suck sap, mulch grasses and produce a high-protein sweet milk in exchange for being protected from their predators. It should be noted that konvi are pretty tasty but are rarely eaten by Rollen due to their more valuable milk production. Wild konvi do not produce nearly as much milk.


ITQ

Appearances by the cast Inside the Quest.

ITQ: [1] [2] [3] (Starring Susanna)


Definitions of Note

The following information is available on Quest terms:


Corruption

Corruption occurs when CURSE begins to impact the mind of other creatures. The effect of the curse is similar to someone suffering from schizophrenia (breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation). The CURSE will cause alien thoughts to drift into someone's mind. The ability of the CURSE to corrupt someone is largely dependent on their health, mental state, and like-experiences.


Faith, Faustia

Faustian faith is centered around community and friendship. It is somewhat similar to Christian faith, minus the threat of Hell, substituted with the threat of dark creatures who thrive in a world without friendship and love. Thus the faith is that the stronger a community is, the more resilient it becomes to the evils of the world. This is parallel to the core culture of the people of Rollien, who have tight-knit communities (although are secretive and suspicious of outsiders, once accepted a person is a friend to the community as a whole).


Glamour

A "Glamour" is an old term for faerie illusionary magic. Glamours can be used to hide the ordinary or conceal supernatural elements. In terms of the quest, a Glamour can be used to fool a basic scan.

Gallery

Fanart

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Nem, Sami and Amy
By RML
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