Society/ Organizations
Mystical
World Wide
3.75
4 Votes

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Comments: 6
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.75
Condition: Normal
ID: 5403

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November 5, 2010, 10:29 pm

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The Friends

By:

You felt a slight tingle as the man looked you in the eyes, and he is currently approaching confidently with a look of recognition on his face. He smiles and you know you know him, you just don’t know how.

"He was a friend of a friend…"
That is all he said at first, yet you knew him… From somewhere, someplace, sometime… Long forgotten.

This is how an encounter with one of The Friends starts. You meet a man (or woman) claiming to be the friend of a friend sent to aid you, they know of your deeds. Both recent and ancient. They know your secrets, or they hint at them. Who are these Friends, and what do they hope to accomplish?

The Friends

Who are The Friends? That is a very good question. They appear to be a thing of legend, though they say that everyone has a Friend, very few can remember enough details about them to provide a solid explanation for the "Friend of a friend" phenomenon. It starts with a chance encounter with a familiar stranger, they say you will know them, but not know how. A feature or sensation will remind you of a long forgotten friend. Those eyes... That smile... The way she talks... The way his shoulders move... Some aspect of them is innately recognizable in the back of your mind.

...but who... are they?

It is rare for one to realize they have had a meeting with one of The Friend until long after that Friend is gone. The Friends, as they are known in whispered tales of secret worlds and hidden things, are, or were, normal people. They used to be like me or you, maybe you really did know one of them in the past, but that's irrelevant now. Once you're taken in, you're a puppet on a string. However, from the false hands of each of these puppets extends strings of their own. A web of strings, if you will, that reaches across space and time, into the little places of your mind and perhaps even the thrones of the Gods. The full truth is unknown. There is, somewhere out there, at the center of the web, a powerful master of manipulation, a spinner of fate, using his puppets and their puppets to drive the worlds and each of its inhabitants to an unknown destination.

...but what do they do? ...

They will help you, lend a hand or piece of information. Push you towards a goal, I would say. Whose goal it may be is purely point of view. It could be one you hoped to accomplish, or something that now seems like a worthy idea. Rest assured, it will be mutually beneficial.

That is all I can say for certain. And who am I, you would ask? Well, I'm just a friend.

Additional Information and Ideas:

This Organization could be used as a one-time deus ex machina effect to provide information or get the players out of a jam, but is meant to serve the purpose of providing a reason behind the mysterious stranger phenomenon and similar plot devices. This simple idea could be the underlying plot line for an entire campaign, if you wished to take it to such extremes. The puppet master hierarchy is likely to expand pretty high into your world's power structure and could certainly contain a vast about of deception, misdirection and suitable twists. The main spinner may be a lowly hermit who knows not what he does in his dreams, or a divine being of infinite power who plays with the lives of mortals as a toy. I really don't know where to go with this idea, and have done my best to flesh it out into a useable submission. I hope you have enjoyed reading it, can use it, and/or have other ideas to contribute to it.



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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Murometz
January 23, 2009, 10:59
0xp
i like the premise!
Voted Strolen
November 6, 2010, 8:35
1xp

That is a great idea and excuse for PC pushing. Could be as simple as being manipulated by some local kook that uses a little mind control and limited info about the group to the full world manipulators. Either way those PCs that may be more distrustful of others now have some fodder to work with.

Moonlake
November 7, 2010, 18:38
0xp

An interesting idea with solid write-up. But, I still need to ponder more before voting.

Voted Dossta
November 10, 2010, 12:37
0xp

I've read this over now several times, and the idea keeps growing on me with each repetition.  As a general rule, I need to have a reason for something before I try using it in a story, and this really does help explain the mysterious helpful stranger.  I like it rather a lot, actually.  Excellent work, Pieh!

Voted MysticMoon
August 26, 2013, 20:36
0xp

I kept waiting for the twist where The Friends turn out to be psychopaths who gain the party's trust only to turn around and utterly betray them.

Maybe I've become a bit jaded... Could be I just need a Friend to restore my faith in humanity :p

I think I need to mull this one over. My mind wants it to have a deeper meaning. A secret society which controls the fate of the world through divination and minor acts of kindness, perhaps, although I'm still not giving up on my psychopath theory.

Voted Dozus
February 19, 2014, 10:31
0xp
This is a good take on the "power behind the scenes" sort of organization.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Corpse Herders

       By: Murometz

The Jiangsi was the name of an undead being in Chinese folklore and mythology. Usually translated as zombie or vampire for Western palates, the Jiangsi was really neither. They appeared as simply risen, fresh corpses. They moved (peculiarly!) by hopping rather than walking, and sought out the living to suck the Qilife force from their victims.

Perhaps significantly more interesting than the Jiangsi itself, was the lore surrounding them. "Zombie wranglers", or "Corpse Herders", usually Daoist priests, were men tasked with delivering these undead beings back to their respective home towns. Tradition in China placed great importance and emphasis on the return of the dead to their homes and families, and thus the corpse herders came to be. By using magick words and talismans they would animate the dead, and by placing specially inscribed parchments of paper over the Jiangsi heads and faces, the corpse herders would be able to control the hopping corpses. Then like pied pipers, they would lead processions of subdued undead, across many miles, rhythmically chanting and ringing tiny bells.

Special inns were built across China to house these undead caravans, as the zombies could only travel by evening and night, the sun anathema to them. Rows of doors opening to barely a closet-space, lined the walls of these special establishments. Behind these doors, the corpses would be stored upright while the corpse herders rested in rooms.

The Jiangsi under the control of a corpse herder were quite harmless, merely hopping after him, silently and without complaint, for weeks and months. If however, the magicked parchment would somehow be removed from their faces, the creatures would immediately seek living humans to kill. Their thirst for Qi was unquenchable.

The job of a corpse herder was an interesting one to say the least.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | December 2, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp


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