The Sanguine Lotus
This concept is for a linear story set in a fantasy metropolis that draws inspiration from the "naughty dog" style. The story centers around the theme of motherhood transcending class, race, and creed. It portrays the disparities in a caste system, as two women with contrasting lives come together and discover common ground, realizing that their lives aren't as different as they thought. However, the story ends tragically.
Following the tragedy, a group of teenage urchins, along with the players, stumble upon an evil vampire conspiracy that has been lurking in the shadows. While they uncover the conspiracy, they are unsure of what to do, whom to trust, or how to stop it, leading to a cliffhanger ending. Knowing the truth is only half the battle, and the characters must navigate their way through this dangerous situation in the upcoming installments of the story.
The story revolves around Roseline, a privileged celebrity bard Elf noblewoman who falls in love with Cyelle, a gangster human, and elopes with him when she fears her father's wrath upon discovering she is pregnant with their half-elf child. However, things take a dangerous turn when an assassination attempt is made on Roseline during her final concert before leaving the city.
As they try to flee, a frantic chase ensues, and the couple is forced to make a daring escape down an abandoned city well. Roseline is struck by a strange plot dart, and the poison in it causes her baby to develop at an alarming rate.
Trapped at the bottom of the well, Roseline and Cyelle are fighting for their lives. But when Cyelle dies on impact while breaking Roseline's fall, it leaves her devastated with no time to mourn properly.
As if her loss wasn't enough, a "missing person" reward is placed on Roseline's rescue for her supposed "kidnapping." She quickly realizes that something isn't adding up with the timeline, as she's only been missing for a matter of minutes. It becomes clear that a sinister conspiracy is at play.
With no means of escape from the sewers, let alone the city, Roseline is at her wit's end. That is until she's found by a group of unlikely allies: the players who were attempting a money heist at her concert, unfoiled by the assassination attempt.
With nowhere else to turn, Roseline must put her trust in these strangers to help her escape the city.
A gang of scrappy urchin children and teens, calling themselves [gang name], are led by the dark elf anti-heroine Felynne. The gang is in disarray after a recent split over some disagreements, leaving Felynne struggling to maintain control.
As the newest member of the gang, the player(s) is thrown into the midst of this turmoil, adding to the stress of an already strained group dynamic. Felynne's absence during a heist resulted in the arrest of a crew member, and her evasiveness about what happened has caused further tension.
When Roseline is discovered by the gang, she finds herself at their mercy. Despite their lack of respect for authority, she manages to convince them that turning her in for the reward would result in their own arrest or worse. Instead, she offers them a deal: help her get to the docks to flee the city, and she'll reveal the location of the Sanguine Lotus, her prized diamond necklace with mystical properties rumored to bring good fortune and break curses.
But as they set out on this dangerous journey, the gang begins to question Roseline's motives and the true nature of their mission. With enemies lurking around every corner, they must rely on each other to survive and uncover the truth behind Roseline's desperate quest. Will they make it to the docks in time, or will they fall victim to the perils of the city?
Felynne is a dark elf who fled her destiny as a priestess of an evil sorcerer cult that had raised her for a special sacrifice ritual. However, her race makes it difficult for her to be accepted in the city's surface, forcing her to live as a sewer vagabond and fugitive. Although she possesses magical abilities, using them puts her at risk of being discovered by the cult that pursues her relentlessly. When Roseline offers to trade the location of the "Sanguine Lotus" for safe passage, Felynne sees an opportunity to solve all her problems from her dark past. Despite her crew's reluctance, Felynne forges a fragile alliance with Roseline, driven by her newfound motivation.
As they embark on their journey through the slums, sewers, and back roads, the group faces numerous obstacles that test their limits and force them to confront their deepest fears and desires. Along the way, alliances are formed and broken, and the lines between friend and foe become blurred. Secrets are uncovered, revealing the complex motives driving each character's actions. Roseline's past as a privileged noblewoman clashes with Felynne's history as a fugitive and former cult priestess. The other members of the gang also have their own hidden agendas and past traumas that come to light as the journey progresses.
- The Hitman is still chasing them.
During the heist, Felynne gets distracted by one of Roseline's songs during her concert and misses her mark in time. Coincidentally, she witnesses the assassin aiming for Cyelle and steps in to stop them. However, Roseline gets hit by a stray bullet during the chaos, and the heist falls apart. Little do they know, the assassin is actually trying to save Roseline with an antidote, but their lack of communication makes it difficult to understand the Hitman's intentions.
- The search for Roseline has turned into a frenzy as "rescue squads" scour the city to claim the cash reward. With everyone out for themselves, trust is in short supply. The reward money is so tempting that it's causing civil unrest, pitting townsfolk against each other and creating a dangerous atmosphere of suspicion and greed.
It turns out that Roseline's father had orchestrated the attack on Cyelle to silence the father of her child and make it seem like the child was a result of forced savagery by a stalker. The exorbitant reward money was rigged and meant to be paid to the assassin who would "rescue" Roseline from the staged attack, which was just slush money laundered for accounting purposes. However, the plan went awry and the city is in a frenzy.
- Roseline's poisoned condition worsens, and she goes into labor and bouts of insanity at inopportune moments. Something isn't right about the pregnancy.
The poisoned dart intended for Cyelle was not meant to kill him, but rather to turn him into a vampiric thrall for the high elf vampire society's master race. Their plan was not only to eliminate him, but also to enslave him in the afterlife. This shows the sheer hubris of the high-elf vampires.
- The squad finds itself in a complicated web of alliances and loyalties as they navigate through the dangerous underworld. They must rely on the help of unlikely allies such as rival gangs, mob bosses, con artists, seedy criminal enterprises, and humble but unstable poor folk to survive.
However, they soon discover that many of these criminal organizations are actually under the control of the vampire society, with secret motives and murky chains of command. Despite this, some opportunistic middlemen seek to gain an advantage and rise to the top, causing chaos and unpredictability. As the squad struggles to stay alive, they learn that Rosie had already given the valuable Sanguine Lotus to a mob boss to pay for her and Cyelle's escape from the city, revealing a hidden layer of her past and the extent of her desperation.
- Rosie confronts the death of her mother in a tomb (which could also be foreshadowed by a series of fever dreams/hallucinations), unraveling the beginning of the vampire conspiracy, and the greater importance of the Sanguine Lotus.
Rosie discovers that her father had been dealing with the vampires and that he was paying the assassin not for her safe return, but for the jewel. Her mother's death had kept her out of the loop regarding the "Family business," and her father's grief had driven him to seek the help of vampires with the intent of bringing his wife back from the dead. The Sanguine Lotus had played a key role in his plans, and its true significance becomes clearer to Rosie as she delves deeper into the conspiracy.
- A group of inquisitors, embodying the archetype of federal SWAT and lawmen, are on a mission to uncover something in the sewers. The crew crosses paths with them, leading to a miscommunication and false assumptions that result in some members being detained.
In reality, the inquisitors are the only ones fighting against the vampire society and their nefarious plans. But their accusation of Felynne being a spy for the evil cult, and their methods of interrogation, do not make them a likable faction.
- The rescue creates a strong bond between Rosie and Felynne. In saving Felynne from captivity, Rosie misses her ship by sunrise. Before slipping into a fugue state from the poison, she declares that she needs to be taken to the only friend she trusts: Ahbi. Ahbi is a gender-bending doppelganger alchemist who runs a high-class brothel and perfumery.
Ahbi's complex and eccentric personality makes it difficult for Felynne to convince Ahbi to help Rosie in her current state, despite Rosie having saved Ahbi's life and secret identity years ago in a heartwarming story. Eventually, Ahbi becomes reluctantly indebted to help the rabid and incoherent Rosie, but doing so comes at the cost of risking Ahbi's true identity as Rosie's birthing pain begins to wake the neighbors and the brothel clients in the early hours of the morning.
Rosie's labor ends in tragedy with the stillborn birth of her child, but she still gives the baby a name. As the poison takes her, Rosie dies with her child in her arms in the basement of the brothel/perfumery. Unexpectedly, the baby comes to life but is sickly and premature. Rosie returns as a vampire thrall, forcing them to face her in a heartbreaking boss fight that leaves Ahbi's building in flames and a burn scar on Ahbi's face, essentially ruining its ability to blend in. As the building falls, the morning light shines.
As Rosie's consciousness briefly returns in her dying moments, she implores Felynne to protect the child from her father and whispers the location of the Sanguine Lotus. Felynne and the players escape the burning building only to be confronted by the evil cult from Felynne's past. The cult, drawn to Felynne's magical abilities used throughout the story, senses a divine purpose in the infant and takes the child instead of Felynne as a sign of divine prophecy. Though finally free from her past, a confused and exhausted Felynne is consumed by guilt over her promise to Rosie. She vows to save the child from the cult in a powerful cliffhanger for a sequel.
HOW TO PLAY (in theory)
ideally the game would be thriller T for teen First person VR visual novel. Each playthrough should be able to complete in 1 or 2 sessions.
Replayability and story-driven players are the target. Twitch Roleplay streams and Speedrunning community is a secondary target.
a frame of reference might be elements of the Myst Series, Nancy Drew, escape rooms, FNAF, and choose your own adventure novels.
randomized and procedurally generated dungeons to explore and puzzles to solve. Each playthrough is unique in both design, and in decisions made.
the full story is for completionists. The goal being to play through several times (or from save points), unlocking new secrets from different characters.
the player acts as a spirit medium and empath, with a secondary specialized skill and personality traits which they choose. This explains the audience's ability to see or learn about memories of the past, and unlock NPCs secrets. It also adds other factors for the player, such as a sensitivity to the supernatural, making objectives for the player more spiritual than physical. The player is NOT a combatant, however, some crew members are, and their fighting ability would be used in puzzle-solving situations of which the player directs. The chances of the fighter surviving are based on how well the player knows each character's abilities for specific situations. This is learned by talking to NPCs, paying attention to their side chatter, and player knowledge from new game plus.
these custom feats allow the player to build relationships with different NPCs each playthrough. It may also be feats that are duplicated in other crew members, making some crew obsolete compared to others.
As the story progresses, crew members begin to abandon Fellyne, new people join the party, or crew members turn on each other. It's the player's job to be a peacemaker, and make the tough decisions on who to comfort into staying, and who to aggravate into leaving. There is no one right way to complete the story, but each decision changes the dungeon navigation based on party ability, and each decision opens new and interesting conversations allowing players to unlock hidden secrets from compelling characters to understand the entire scope of the lore and story. Each crew member also has a certain set of skills, and losing them at the wrong chapter may make the game more difficult.
gameplay outside of dialogue and crew management minigame consists of hide-and-go seek mechanics, scavenger hunt, puzzle solving, escape rooms, time challenges, maze navigation/exploring, and roleplaying. A blend of them all may be required to progress each new section of the dungeon.