Friday, September 9, 2016

Zee, the Marquesssa of Gaming

Ada McQueen had little time for life, preferring to lose herself in her beloved video games. Then she died.  The aneurism struck her in the midst of an epic, record-breaking gaming marathon.  As her body slowly cooled before the glow of her CRT, to the chiptune music blaring from her speakers, a yawning void opened behind her and Azrael, angel of Death herself stepped forth.

“Be thou not afraid” spoke the Angel with a voice that shook the earth itself “I am come to escort you to your final resting place.”

Zee suddenly sat bolt upright “Wait,” she said with furrowed brow “Don’t I get to challenge you to a game for my soul?”

And the angel did roll her eyes in a most exasperated manner and gestured dismissively with her bony hands and did say “Choose thy game, Mortal.”

Zee grinned and said: “Tekken Fighter Instinct Ultra: Hyper-Tournament Omega Edition – Limited.”
Only one copy existed.  With flashing fingers, Zee promptly defeated Azrael, who dashed her controller to the ground, drew herself to its full, majestic height and with the voice of a roaring ocean, did say unto Zee “Only by the whims of fortune was thy victory earned.  Also, Mortal, thy father did lie with a whore to bear thee into this world.”

Zee nodded patiently and said “So, double or nothing?”

Thus did Zee claim the Estate of Games and became Azrael’s second power.

Her rise has not been without controversy.  Zee believes in rules, but only in the rules she chooses to accept, and she prefers to have fun than to perform her obligations.

She has set aside the old “boring” games of yesteryear, like Chess, Checkers, Parcheesi and Monopoly and, in fact, her rise to Power has come with an equal rise in status for video games (allowing them to “rise to art”), and a new phase of boardgame/RPG development divorced from its past, while the old form of games become “solved problems” to sufficiently complex computers, gnawing at what it means to be a game.  This has earned her the ire of the old guard of her Estate, including the Black Bishop, a bane of her own estate who conspires to remove Ada from power and return the Estate back to Azrael.

Meanwhile, Zee was the first true gamer girl.  With her rise to the very essence of what it means to game, every other girl who wanted to “be a gamer” had a saintess they could bend knee to, and many did.  A cult grows up around her while the Inquisitors of the Old School, or the “Grognards” as some call them, serve the Black Bishop and make quiet war against one another.

They are not the only, for Zee’s reign has been tumultuous, marked by wars of consoles and even wars of fandom. For Zee is not only the Goddess of Gaming, she’s also a fan of gaming.  When she accepted her Estate, when Azrael introduced her to the other Imperators, Kirin bestowed a fragment of the shattered estates of Fashion, something new and unseen before: the Estate of Cosplay, and Zee enthusiastically embraced.  It forms a core element of her power now, giving her the ability to change into any video game character (though, for some reason, she only changes into a female-version of male video game characters).

Zee's flowers are the Star of Bethlehem (the Key to Something Changed Forever) and the Wild Rose (the Key to Something Different).  She follows the Song of the Wild.  Her Anchors are the Cult of the Gamer Girl, and the Gaming Underworld is her Sanctum (and the source of her opposition, the Black Bishop).

Estate of Cosplay

-Cosplay is the most beautiful form of fandom (3)
-Cosplay is totally impractical (1)
-Cosplay tries to bring fiction into the real world (2)

-Cosplay is just a fad; it cannot last (1)


<=========================Spoilers Here=========================>

















Zee and Azrael have a tense relationship. Azrael accepts that Zee exists, but she only exists because of a deal struck between the two. Thus, Azrael ignores her, pretending that nothing has changed. For her part, Zee loves her Imperator as only a Noble can, albeit in her own, irrascible way. She has seen her mistress’ pain ever since she was enNobled, and wanted to help. She discovered that Azrael’s shadow was missing and brought it up with her mistress, who angrily shouted her down. Winds of fury howled around the literally dumbstruck Zee as Azrael issued an imperial miracle that she was to never speak “of this humiliation” to any being, in this world or any other, in past or future. And then she commanded Zee not to meddle further.

Zee has been a single gamer girl for too long now, and she’d like to find love. Naturally, she doesn’t lack for admirers, but she wants someone who’s on her level and also understands her. And, if she’s honest, the Powers of the Tacoma are absolutely fantastic. She plays at what they really do. She’s carefully cultivated an excited crush on one of them.

Finally, Zee seeks to end the struggle she faces with her own Estate. Each action against her by the Black Bishop only hardens her will. She seeks the All-Former, for his mastery of Franchise Tie-Ins and between his power, her own power of Cosplay, she hopes to reshape the Estate of Games to purge them from her Estate once and for all. This dangerous path is, of course, encouraged by Yvonka Velvetine from behind the scenes.

Traits

Aspect 1 (Touched Up) (3)
Domain (Games) 2 (Viscount) (6)
Domain (Cosplay) 1 (Saint) (1)
Persona (Games) 2 (6)
Treasure 0
Miracle Points: 5
Common Gifts: Immortal (6)
  • Form of Cosplay (Shapeshifting 2): Zee can change into a unique version of any video game character. While in such a form, she’s still recognizable herself. Moreover, she has thus far only changed into a transgendered version of male video game characters, but if that represents a limitation of her power of personal preference, she hasn’t said. It does grant her Superior Quality (Cosplay Hawtness) +1 in any of her forms, in addition to any powers her forms grant her.

Passions and Skills

Skill: Cool +2 (1 free)
Skill: Shine +3 (Free)
Passion: I want to escape the humdrum of life +2
Skill: Video Games +5

Bonds and Afflictions (3)

Bond: Nobody is better at video games than me +4
Bond: I serve my imperator in my own way +1
Bond: I never cheat +2
Bond: I will beat the Gaming Underworld +1
Affliction: My estate is at war with itself! +1
Affliction: My world is a game +1
Affliction: I am a true gamer girl +1

Affliction: I can only die if beaten in a game +3

Anchors

The Gaming Underworld

Rules accumulate in the Nemesis System like dust, thus the deeper one treads into its heart, the weirder and more arbitrary those rules get, into you end up in the gaming underworld, the Sanctum of the Estate of Gaming, an entire substrata to the Nemesis system full of monsters, power-ups, warp zones, chutes, ladders, play money, jail spaces and abstract gaming concepts like “tapping.”

The Gaming Underworld does not belong to Zee, but it is profoundly connected to her. As her Estate wars with her, those parts loyal to her, the hip, modern, video-game parts, line up behind her, while the old and traditional line up behind the sinister black bishop. On her side of the Gaming Underworld, Zee keeps two of her most precious treasures, the Konami Codex and the Golden Disk.

The Konami Codex is the book of all cheat codes. It contains within it Zee’s Words of Power which she can use to unleash her most powerful miracles. It also grants access to the Skill: Cheat Code Wizardry, which allows one to bypass all kinds of troubles (provided a cheat code could help you bypass that problem). Zee herself refuses to use that skill because she does not cheat, but she would not put it past others to use the Codex for dark purposes, especially the Black Bishop.

The Golden Disk is Zee’s original copy of Tekken Fighter Instinct Ultra: Hyper-Tournament Omega Edition – Limited. This sacred disk was Zee’s key to the Estate and to her Immortality. She keeps it primarily as a momento, but her divinity is also inscribed into its surface, and it’s conceivable that its destruction might somehow harm her (it would certainly wound her estate), and one could learn of Zee’s deeper mystical secrets by analyzing how she mastered the intricacies of that most sacred game.

Finally, the Black Bishop represents the “Old Gods of Gaming,” those who celebrate the truly ancient games, like chess, go, checkers, parcheesi, poker and monopoly. At first, he watched the White Bishop attempt to serve as her adviser, to introduce her to the beauty of the traditions of the old ways. She called him a “fuddy-duddy” and in a flurry of creativity, violated all of his rules by creating Knightmare Chess, Battle Chess and Chess 2.0. The Black Bishop grew disgusted with her disdain for the great old games that underpinned the games she enjoyed, and that were as much a part of her estate as any other game. Inspired by the ferocious resistance that Damien Bogsworth’s reign has engendered, he began his own protest, then his own subversion. He hasn’t moved to full rebellion, because he prefers to come at problems from a diagonal, rather than straight on. Nonetheless, he has drawn quite some support from the Old Games, and has built up a profound movement among those who oppose the Cult of the Gamer Girl.

The Cult of the Gamer Girl

Before Zee enNoblement, the embodiment of the “true gamer” was male. Afterwords, the fundamental nature of Gaming changed. Now, the truest of true gamers was female. Every girl who was ever grilled over her gaming knowledge or frowned upon for wanting to play a princess in a D&D game could now turn to a patron saintess of gaming and invoke the name of Zee. Of course, not many mortals are Noble-Watchers, but every gamer intuitively sensed the change, the shift of gaming from something abstract and ruled by a distant capricious god who might curse their dice to something more feminine, something more bubbly and something more fun. The gamer girls began to gain courage, some might even say arrogance, and a line was drawn.

The Grognards of Gaming reacted poorly to this. They despised the change and preferred the capricious Old Gods of gaming. None of this “narrativist nonsense” or those dreaded, pretentious “walking simulators”. To these, the most faithful of the Old School, the Black Bishop appeared. He empowered them to be his grand Inquisitors, to return gaming to its glorious roots.


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