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General Backstory and NPC Backstory for Nostrum - Survivl Horror Title

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The following is the backstory and first npc backstory for designersrow's first horror title, Nostrum. We are looking for creative criticism and feedback. Backstory: In 2006, the Richards family from Cedar Rapids, IA is devastated when they find their youngest son, Jacob diagnosed with Leukemia. The father, a chemical engineer working for a large farm coop, having a friend that works at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, decides to move the family to Minnesota in order to allow his family to stay together while their son receives treatment. After a few months of preliminary tests, Dr. Carver is surprised to see that Jacob’s body seems to be fighting the disease on its own. More tests are run and the entire staff at the clinic is dumbfounded as Jacob seems to have completely recovered from his condition within six months. Dr. Carver, excited by the possibility of finding an actual cure for the disease and possibly cancer, asks the Richards family to stay in MN and allow him to run more tests on the whole family. Thinking it the responsible thing to do, the Richards family decides to help Dr. Carver. Many tests were run but eventually it was found that only Jacob’s immune system had the ability to fight cancerous cells. Dr. Carver became obsessed with his work and by June of 2009, the Mayo Clinic and the doctor developed what they believed to be a viable cure for cancer. A batch of this serum was made to be used for further testing, but unfortunately the promise of reward was too tempting for one of his laboratory assistants and the young man broke into the laboratory and stole one of the first samples to be used in testing later that week. Realizing how dangerous the situation has become, the clinic increased the level of security of the laboratory to that of armed guards with fully automatic weapons. Trials soon began on cancerous lab rats using the serum that was created from the boy’s T-cells. The tests were a success, in 100% of the trials; cancer cells were destroyed or became benign within a 24 hour period, even faster than the boy himself had managed to cure his own disease. Adverse affects also appeared, however. Rats given the serum developed blood red eyes, sores, and became violent, attacking other rats; those rats in turn would develop the condition as well. These faster, stronger, and adrenaline filled rats needed to be quarantined and separated. During the separation process, one of the scientists was bitten. The serum seemed to spread even faster in humans and the scientist was completely infected in less 5 minutes. The infected scientist attacked and bit 3 other scientists before he was gunned down by security. Two of the other scientists needed to be killed as well and the last was caged before he turned so they could monitor and study him. The infected, showed no signs of having the ability to communicate, and was quick to anger, trying often to attack those studying him. The infected, refused to eat or drink, however, and eventually died within a few days from dehydration. Seeing this and knowing that the thief who stole the first batch was never caught, Dr. Carver began searching news articles, looking for stories that might determine whether the thief had given the serum to someone or sold it to someone who had. He was relieved to find that nothing like that had yet to happen but decided to release a statement to the press in late August of 2009 to let the public know what the clinic had found what they thought to be a cure, but more importantly, to warn the one who stole the original serum or his potential buyers of what they truly possessed: “To the person or persons who stole our original serum, you may believe that you hold the cure for cancer in your hand, but be warned, it is also a curse unlike any that has been seen.” Despite the warning, the man that stole the serum seems to have been busy trying to find a buyer. In November, he sells a vial to an oil executive in Harrison, TX who wishes to cure his wife of her terminal breast cancer. The thief makes the sale and disappears goes underground again. Later that evening, in the penthouse of the upscale Nelson Building high rise, the oil tycoon administers the serum to his wife. His wife quickly develops the symptoms of the infected and attacks their maid, biting her on the arm, before the husband can knock her out. The husband, in a panic carries his wife to the elevator and leaves the maid there, giving her instructions to clean up any evidence that they were using the stolen drug. The story begins here. The Story: Sitting in his/her apartment at night, the player is startled by what is on the news, a major accident has happened down near the hospital and a small riot seems to be forming. The police have just arrived on the scene. Just then there is a power spike and lights go out for a moment before the building’s generator comes on, though the lights are much dimmer now. A scream is heard and neighbors move out into the hallway to investigate the disturbance. This is where the game begins, the infection has already begun spreading in the building due to the maid, and now the player(s) must work together to escape the building before they are trapped. But will they only escape into the streets of Harrison that are now infected as well? Eduardo Ortiz The cold November drizzle danced off Ed’s face as he exited his car near the base of the 9th Street Bridge. It was the 19th day of the 11th month of the most horrible year of his life. He still didn’t understand how things could have changed so much for the worse in a single year. As far as he was concerned, he had built the perfect life for him and his wife. He graduated from the University of Texas not only as a football star but also Magna Cum Laude, was hired right out of school as a junior executive at PetroGlobe Oil & Gas in Harrison, TX, and within seven years time, he worked his way into a prestigious and promising Vice President role. During this time, he was also happy to watch his wife Jessica’s career blossom in a marketing role at a local news station. Having established themselves in their careers, they had finally decided that this was the year they would start a family. His mother-in-law had been pushing for grandchildren for a while but Jessica had been set on making sure the two of them were financially independent, completely free of any student debt, and settled into a nice family home. Everything was perfect. Then January 6th it happened; He remembers the day like it was yesterday as his wife came out of the shower, distant and scared, yet very calm and told him that she felt a lump in her left breast. At that time Ed felt himself go numb. How could this be happening? Why was it happening now? It had to be a mistake. He tried to comfort her, tried to tell her that everything would be ok and that she would be ok, but his mouth just hung open. He tried to run to her, tried to hold her in his arms and show that he could be strong for her, but his feet refused to budge. She either didn’t notice or was too distracted with her own thoughts, so she continued on getting ready for her day talking about how she would call the doctor and make an appointment for later in the week. Having finished her hair and makeup in the bathroom, she came out to find Ed still standing in the same spot, staring off into space. She told him that she was going to skip breakfast and run to work for an early meeting, but told him not to worry about what she found because as her doctor always told her, early detection was the key. She kissed him on the cheek and hurried out of the room. After he heard her call pull away, Ed sat on the edge of the bed and buried his face into his hands. How could he say have said nothing? How could he have done nothing? He sat alone in their room and wept. Things only got worse from there. While he was still numb from the news his wife had given him, he remained hopeful as the awaited results from the doctor. She wasn’t a doctor after all, maybe she had misdiagnosed herself, or maybe it was something else completely. Alas, his hopes were shattered. It was cancer, and the cells were malignant. In fact, the doctor was concerned at how fast it had grown. Jessica had just had a mammogram last year and it had found nothing. More tests were run and soon it became clear that Jessica would need surgery and then begin chemotherapy right out of recovery. Nothing seemed to go right. There were postponements for the surgery due to various schedule conflicts. There were complications during the surgery. Then, considering how long it was taking her to recover from the surgery, the doctors were concerned about how Jessica’s body would handle the oncoming chemical treatments. Add to the fact that the doctors also feared that the cancer may have started to spread to other areas of the body. Ed was on the edge of despair. He decided he had to do something. He began spending all his time trying to find answers. He had one of the best doctors in the country caring for his wife and yet things kept getting worse. If no one else would be able to save his wife then he would, or he would die trying. He had nothing to lose after all; if his wife died then he would have no will to live either. He began spending all his time at work reading up on cancer, scouring medical journals, and calling medical experts around the world. He no longer cared if he neglected his other duties, and asked his assistant to do the same and help him. He used company resources to place ads nationwide, to travel to different clinics, and even fly specialists in to see his wife. By late July he had almost given up on his search, but was amazed and overjoyed to find that his wife seemed to be getting better. The cancer had spread but her body seemed to finally start accepting the chemotherapy and the cancer had appeared to go into remission. It was in early August that Ed received a most peculiar call. A man, claiming to be an ex-employee of Dr. Carver at the Mayo Clinic, responded to one of his ads. Ed had spoken with Dr. Carver during his search for a cure. The man was a leading oncologist in the United States and Ed was interested to learn that Carver was currently working on what he called an “aggressive” new treatment for cancer but he didn’t expect it to be ready for another six months or more, let alone the time it would take to pass FDA approval. This “ex-employee”, who refused to name himself, claimed to have remembered Ed’s visit to the Mayo Clinic and thus decided to call when he saw an add calling for help to cure Jessica’s cancer. The man claimed that Dr. Carver had finished the first samples of his new treatment drug, but he was upset that Dr. Carver refused to release what they were calling a “cure” for cancer to the world. The man said he had decided to take the samples and get them to those who were suffering from the terrible disease. The man was nervous and far too anxious to unload the product, yet he sounded sincere and seemed very passionate about what he had decided to do. Not wanting to involve himself with something so seemingly underhanded now that his wife was in remission, Ed respectfully declined and told the man that they already found a treatment that worked. The man didn’t push the issue, but reminded Ed that what he had was a “cure” not a treatment and that if Ed changed his mind then he should place another round of ads in newspapers in the Southeast U.S.. Ed thanked the man for thinking of him and wished him good luck. Ed assumed the man was a bit off his rocker and made a note to contact Dr. Carver later on to inquire about the man. Later that same month, Ed was floored to see a television ad issued by the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Carver personally. The ad stated that a thief had stolen a new drug and that the local authorities had been unable to detain him as of yet. Dr. Carver warned that the man, now a federal outlaw, may try to contact people with cancer and claim to have a “cure” for their illness. Carver stressed that what the man had was not a cure and in fact would do great harm to whoever used it. Ed knew he should probably have called Dr. Carver and the authorities then, but now he knew the man he had spoken with was telling the partial truth. Dr. Carver seemed like a good man but what if he really was trying to withhold an actual “cure” for cancer. He decided to do nothing now that his wife’s health was improving and decided to keep that card in his back pocket should he need to follow up on it later. The first three weeks of September were wonderful. Jessica was growing stronger by the day, and she even started to resume some of her normal physical activities like swimming and jogging. Their doctor warned her not to put too much stress on her body, but Jessica was persistent that she felt 1000% better and wanted to start getting her figure back. Ed was just so happy to see his wife full of energy that he decided to let her do what she wanted. All their new found joy and hope was crushed however, when blood tests at the end of the month showed that the cancer had flared and was spreading like wildfire. Even more shocking was the news that if the cancer spread at its current rate, Jessica would not live to see New Years. Ed panicked; his heart had sunk before when he first learned of his wife’s illness, now it was in a downward freefall. He wanted to call Dr. Carver and ask about this drug that was stolen, but realized that if he informed Carver about his contact with the former employee that he may then be put under surveillance by the Feds, and then he would never get a hold of this so called “cure”. Desperate, Ed placed a new ad in newspapers around the Southeast, hoping for a response. Over a month had passed and Ed was forced to suffer while he watched his wife deteriorate. It was a very real possibility that the man had already been captured, and Ed had already given up on hope that he would be contacted by him. Jessica’s body was rejecting the chemotherapy again and Ed was busy looking for other alternatives, but he kept running into the same dead ends. Then about a week ago he received a call from the man again. The man apologized for taking so long to respond, but stated that the Feds were hard on his trail and he’d been busy trying to give them the slip. Ed asked how much it would cost him to get a dose of drug he had stolen. Ed didn’t like the response; three million dollars! Ed lashed out at the man and called him a fraud. How could he claim that he wanted to help people and then charge such an outrageous fee? The man took Ed’s response in stride and restated that what he had was a “cure” for cancer and that one treatment would cure his wife and she’d never see the disease again. He merely wanted the money so he could safely flee the country and find facilities so he could produce more of the vaccine. Ed wanted to argue more, he knew he couldn’t pull that kind of money together in time before his wife died. He looked up at the ceiling to where his wife laid, bedridden, on the floor above. Realizing what he had to do, Ed agreed to the price and set a time and place to meet the man in a week’s time there in town. So here he was, a desperate man, consumed by despair, and now surely to be charged as a felon, about to make a deal for a drug he knew nothing about, with a man he’d never met. If it cured his wife, it would all be worth it. He took a deep breath and walked under the bridge into the shadows. Ed heard something and began to turn around but then felt a small, hard metallic object pressed against his back. “Did you come alone?” The man asked in a shaky, threatening voice. “Yes,” Ed replied, “you really don’t have a need for that thing with me.” The man came around to face Ed in a wide slow circle, his eyes darting around nervously. He was young and thin with worn clothes, and he definitely fit the mold of a lab assistant Ed thought. If he was legit the great, but if he tried anything, Ed knew he could overpower him. “I apologize, but you have to understand how important this vaccine is. I have to protect it and myself. If they catch me, we could lose it forever.” “How can I be sure that what you have will actually cure my wife?” Ed asked skeptically. “I saw a TV spot from Carver himself, stating that what you have is bogus.” “It’s not!” The man snapped. “Carver’s a fool; I ran the lab tests myself. What I have here IS a cure for cancer.” “Why would he lie then?” “Carver sold out, as soon as we completed initial tests I saw him have a meeting with some big wigs from a drug company. They’d either destroy our work or steal it and sell it to the super rich, leaving real people to die!” Ed almost laughed. “You’ve been watching too many movies kid. Either that or you’ve been using the drug yourself.” “I don’t need to take this!” The young man turned and started walking away. “Wait!” Ed pleaded. He couldn’t let this opportunity slip away; he’d already sacrificed his career and life for it. “My wife, it’s gotten worse, the doctors don’t even give her until the end of the year.” He started to cry. The man turned around and slowly walked back to him, true and sincere compassion in his eyes. He held up the vial for Ed to see. “This IS a cure for cancer. I promise you. You can give your wife her life back. You two can be whole again.” “No we can’t.” Ed said sadly. “I didn’t have the money so I had to take it from the company I work for. It wasn’t easy but I made it work. Whether this cure of yours works or not, my life as a free man is over.” “Oh,” then man was surprised to hear this news. “I’m sorry I have to ask for so much, but I promise you that your money won’t go to waste. I will find away to mass produce it and provide it to those that need it. Loving couples and families like yours.” Ed walked to get the money from his car and then talked to the man for a short while longer, getting information on how to administer the drug and what to expect. Ed was amazed and hopeful to hear that his wife should have a complete recovery within a week at the very most, but much more likely within a day. The two men parted ways and Ed began the drive out to their suburban home. A rainbow appeared in the sky in the direction he headed. Upon arriving home he found his wife sleeping peacefully in their bed. Their house cleaner Guadalupe was there as well, working quietly in the kitchen downstairs. Guadalupe was a wonderful woman who has been working for them regularly for a couple years and has recently dropped some of her other clients to help Ed and Jessica during this trying year. He went down to the kitchen and asked her to fetch some supplies he’d need for the administration of the vaccine. He woke Jessica as calmly as he could and smiled when she opened her eyes. She was growing weaker by the day and the past two days she’d been too tired to even speak. She smiled warmly at her husband. He explained what he had with him and what he wanted to do. She looked at the hypodermic needle skeptically at first but she knew just as well as he did that there was no way she’d recover at her current rate. Seeing the tears pour down his face, she held her arm out to him. He did as the man instructed and injected the needle into her arm. He looked at the clock; it was 4:23pm. Upon injecting the vaccine and removing the needle, Ed jumped up in alarm as his wife flinched. Her eye’s opened wide and she took in a big gulp of air as if she’d been suffocating this whole time and was now free to breath. He couldn’t get over the speed it seemed to be working. Color was coming back to her face and her breathing leveled out. He and Guadalupe just stared on in disbelief as his wife seemed to be going through a complete recovery. It was a miracle! His tears of sadness and grief turned to those of joy and excitement as he watched. Then something happened. In one violent movement, Jessica sprang up to a sitting position and started coughing. The man had told him that she might jerk around a bit but this wasn’t described to him. He was scared to touch her though, as he didn’t want to disturb the process whatever it was. However, as she started coughing up blood, he urged Guadalupe to watch her as he ran to the washroom for a handful of towels. What he saw when he returned was enough to make him stop in his tracks. Jessica was on her feet and attacking Guadalupe, who was doing all she could just to keep his wife off her. He ran over to pull Jessica off but not before she managed to bite the older woman on the arm. Her eyes bloodshot red, blood still dripping from her mouth, Jessica lunged at her husband next. He was amazed at the strength she had and to fight to keep her from biting him as well. Reaching over, Ed found their alarm clock and swung it at his wife’s skull, knocking her unconscious. Still in an adrenaline filled rush, he stood up and stared down at his wife, lying unconscious, face down on the bed. What had he done? Ed was angry, he wanted to find that man and rip him to shreds. He yelled and screamed and threw things around the room. When he heard the muffled whimper of a terrified Guadalupe, he realized he was just scaring her more and stopped his tantrum. He had to take care of things here first before he could worry about any thoughts of revenge. He collected his wife in his arms and lead Guadalupe down to the car. He told her that he would take his wife to the hospital and offered to take her there as well to have them look at the bite. She declined but did ask for a ride to her apartment in the city as she was still a bit too jumpy to drive herself. He apologized to her profusely along the way and watched in remorse as she got out of the car and walked into her apartment high rise. She was so dazed she was unable to say a word the whole trip. He regretted that he had asked her to help him. After watching her walk safely inside, Ed sped off to the hospital, located deeper in the city. It was just after 5pm when he arrived at the hospital. He came to a screeching halt near the emergency doors and turned the car off. His adrenaline rush had gone and he suddenly felt very tired. Trying to refresh himself, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He opened his eyes to find a pair of pure red eyes staring back at him in the rear view mirror. He tried to turn but it was too late. Jessica attacked him and bit him on his shoulder, just below the neckline. He managed to tear himself free and fall out of the car onto the concrete. As if possessed, she scrambled into the front seat and jumped out of the car at him. Orderlies, seeing the commotion ran over to find Ed wrestling with Jessica who was on top of him. They pulled her off but she managed to wiggle free and run off into the darkening night. Seeing Ed there with blood on him, the decided not to chase her and instead brought a wheelchair to bring him inside. Ed tried to stop them, tried to reach back for his wife, but his pleas went unanswered as they took him inside for treatment. Ed was in a daze, the small room was spinning around him and he had trouble focusing on the people that gathered around him. One of the doctors finally gave him some smelling salts, which jerked him out of his trance. “Glad to have you back among the living!” The doctor smiled. Ed just stared at her, panic in his eyes. He had a blink a few times to clear his vision up as her features started to distort and his field of vision seemed to be covered with a tint of red. “What’s your name sir?” She asked calmly and in a friendly manner. “Eduardo Ortiz.” He answered, starring off into space again. “Well you have a pretty nasty bite there Mr. Ortiz. My name is Doctor Tortorice. Do you know the woman that attacked you?” Ed snapped back into reality for a moment and became panicked. “I killed her!” He screamed. “She’s my wife and I love her, but I killed her!” “I’m pretty sure she’s still alive Mr. Ortiz, I saw her run off. The police have been informed and are looking for her now. Are you or her on any medication?” It was time to fess up. Ed knew that he made a mistake in doing what he did, but maybe there was a way to undo it before it caused too much damage. “You have to call Dr. Carver from the Mayo Clinic,” he said with desperation in his voice. “I gave my wife a drug that he made and it caused her to act that way. Please call him and find out if there’s an antidote!” “Dr. Carver eh? I’ve heard of him. Does that mean your wife has cancer? I’ll call him as soon as I suture this cut for you.” “NO!” Ed pleaded. “Please do it now there’s no time.” He grimaced in pain. It felt like his body was on fire. The red tint came back. “Ok,” Dr. Tortorice said a bit bewildered. “Nurse Johnson will finish here then while I go make the call. Is that OK?” Ed nodded his head and watched as the doctor left the room. What had he done? How could things have gone so wrong? He looked up to see the nurse washing her hands in the sink nearby. His vision when completely red and in his mind the nurses body morphed into some horribly disfigured and frightening form. His memories and conscious thoughts left him. As she turned, he attacked.

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Nice story, but am I right that we`ll be playing Ed character, because You discribed him as well? It gonna be survival horror?

Yeah, I can sea Ed the possesed and Ed normal, the World, crambled panic... But write some more about gameplay if You can, because I like the story, but the story itself isn`t going to be a good game ;)

Well, I myself written some horror story for the game, too, but I written it quite differently. I mean for now I have only many collected pieces, that goes into one big story...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
What`s up noone likes survival horrors here, or what, even the author ? :/

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I enjoy survival horror storylines.
I didnt get to read the entire story due to the fact I am here at work this evening. The story sounds interesting, but when i came up to the part t-cells, well it reminded me of RE.

I would like to help out with any suggestions or ideas by posting here from time to time. I have another post that is in the same line in the GAME DESIGN forum under : A day in Purgatory, A Zombie Survival Game :

The post is quite large under anonymus, but at the end of the post it reads bulldog29. Thats when I had AOL. Right now I am under Anon.

If you read that post you might be able to get some ideas.
There is so much information that I havent added to the post but it will give you a rough idea. The survival horror board game that i have designed is still in the works after 9 years. i am currently working on the many joining character storylines that ties together.

See you in the near future of gaming.

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