Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Zetetics

zetetic [zəˈtɛtɪk]
adj
proceeding by inquiry; investigating
[from New Latin, from Greek zētētikos, from zēteō to seek]
"Despite our failures to date, I still cannot believe that the River of Dream is completely unexplainable in scientific terms. It is a part of the universe, falls under the same laws as everything else in the universe, and I will unravel its secrets and its power..."
From the journals of Hanna, rogue Keeper

The Zetetics

Aspects: We Will Create A New World, Our Next Experiment Will Work!, They Fear What They Don't Understand

The Zetetics are one of two groups of Keepers within The Institute, the other being Clarice Chalk's Keepers. They mostly keep to themselves, inhabiting a section known as the Workshop. They have no interest in and actively avoid the medical wings were Chalk's Keepers are active, and through SlaveBeta Z'vatis has kept the Z'bri presence a secret. Their latest project is a massive device that is intended to redirect the flow of the River of Dream through Hanna, allowing her to merge Synthesis and Technosmithing into something she is calling Syncresis.

Hanna

Source: DeviantArt
Aspects:
Rogue Keeper, Obsessed With The River of Dream, Collective Memories of the Past, Well Known In Talon Nexus, No One Understands My Genius

Hanna is around 30 summers old, with brown hair and eyes. Woven throughout her hair are glass beads and disks, and she has a tattoo of a magnifying glass on her right hand. She is never without her trademark magnifying goggles (not unlike those that modelers or electricians once used), and also will have several pocket magnifying glasses on her at any time.

Skills:

  • Great(+4) Crafts
  • Good(+3) Lore and Investigation
  • Fair(+2) Technosmithing, Resources, Will
  • Average(+1) Contacts, Dreaming, Shooting, Survival
Stunts:
Ignite, Jury Rig


SlaveBeta

Aspects:
Deranged Machine Monk, Z'vatis Is My True Master, Metal > Meat

SlaveBeta is a Machine Monk who is under the control of a Melanis Z'bri named Z'vatis. Very little of his body is still flesh and blood - he owes his tortured existence to both Dr. Chalk's experiuments and Z'vatis' implants

Source: Flickr
Skills:
  • Fantastic(+6) Fight
  • Superb(+5) Physique
  • Great(+4) Shooting
  • Good(+3) Crafts
  • Fair(+2) Provoke
  • Average(+1) Will
Stunts:
Modular: Because SlaveBeta is more machine than human, he can quickly reconfigure himself for nearly any task. Once per session, he can swap the ranks of any two skills when making an Overcome roll or Create Advantage roll. The ranks remained swapped for the remainder of the session, but only for the purposes of Overcome or Create Advantage.

The Workshop (Location)

Source: TravelPod
Aspects: Atmosphere of Spiritual Despair, "Do You Hear Voices?", Poisoned Dreams

The Workshop is an area within the labyrinth of rooms and corridors inside The Institute. It contains a machine shop, a work area where the machine is being constructed. The Workshop manifests its own dedicated entrance to the physical orb through a series of tunnels in the Discarded Lands and, because of this, is also accessible from the River of Dream even when the Institute is not materialized. Even so, the interface between the Workshop and the outside world changes and corrupts the flow of the River. Z'vatis knows this, which is why he had SlaveBeta bring Hanna to the workshop.



Background

Hanna was a rising star and highly regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in Olympus. Over time, she began to take an interest in the River of Dream and Synthesis. Her studies turned toward less conventional areas such as the paranormal, ESP, psychedelics, etc. Hanna began sneaking into Tribal lands to secretly observe Synthesis use, as well as associate with Synthesis-using Fallen. The Elders in Olympus became concerned because of her trespasses into Tribal lands and warned her she needed to change the direction of her inquiries. Hanna continued her research anyway, often in secret. Her first real experiment in trying to harness the River of Dream through technology ended in tragedy. A second Keeper was reduced to a mindless husk and Hanna was badly injured. After a several week stay in the infirmary, Hanna was imprisoned to be tried for endangering the security of Olympus.

While awaiting her trial, she met another prisoner named SlaveBeta. SlaveBeta was a Machine Monk. Worse, SlaveBeta was under the influence of Z'vatis, A Melanis Z'bri working out of The Institute. Z'vatis became convinced Hanna's research held the key to opening the Fold, and through SlaveBeta arranged for the two of them to escape. Once free of Olympus, SlaveBeta led her to The Workshop where they began reconstructing her research and performing experiments.

Over time, a few other exiled Keepers joined the group, which Hanna named the Zetetics. Her obsession has continued to grow, fed by both Z'vatis' direct influence as well as the overall effect of being within The Institute. The other Keepers in the Zetetics are likewise becoming somewhat unhinged. Hanna's experiments have become more dangerous and grisly, and it's only a matter of time before her activities get noticed.

The Zetetics are growing from a very slow trickle of disaffected Keepers and even a few Fallen. Hanna was known around Talon Nexus and even Hom prior to her imprisonment, and occasionally people still seek her out for help. Some come to the group because they have nowhere else to go, others because they have heard about the experiments, and others because they have had visions or dreams leading them there. This latter group are often fodder for Hanna's experiments. The remainder guard The Workshop, gather needed supplies, or assist with the experiments. The machine shop is capable of producing reasonably complex parts, so the Zetetics tend to be rather well equipped - even for Olympian Keepers. If the Zetetics continues to attract new members, at some point they will be a bigger threat than the Machine Monks. Fortunately there are multiple groups who would try to stop her, provided it's not too late - specifically the Fatimas, other Keepers, the Guides and key Fallen such as Veruka the Wraith.