|Family & Friends|
|First episode||Episode 1|
|Last episode||Episode 10|
Katherine "Katie" Smaluk is a "Paladin" - a competitor on the ABC fantasy competition series The Quest.
The Quest Begins Edit
Journey to Everealm Edit
Katie Smaluk was one of the lucky twelve people to receive a scroll inviting her to Everealm. Soon, she entered the underground tunnels between the worlds and met the other eleven Paladins by the riverboat. On the way to Everealm, they were visited by The Fates, who told them about how Everealm was being overtaken by Verlox the Darkness, and they all needed to defeat him and save Everealm.
In the Marwood Forest, they were met by Crio, their guide, and the Queen of Saenctum's royal butler, who led them through the perilous forest and away from dangerous ogres. Like everyone else, she gave up all her Earth possessions upon entering Everealm, although she was allowed to keep her eyeglasses. They also found the pieces of the Sunspear, a mystical weapon the One True Hero would use against the forces of evil after the Quest. Each Paladin took one piece for him/herself. At the castle, they received a somewhat cold reception by the local people, and an even colder one from the Grand Vizier. While the Vizier cleared up some things with Crio, the Paladins waited in a courtyard, and Katie befriended each of the other Paladins while they were in there. Soon, they were shown to their private quarters, and Katie roomed with Lina Carollo.
Scorpion Challenge Edit
The next morning, Katie and the others were awoken by the gruff Sir Ansgar, who was the Head of the Royal Army, and he told them to meet him outside after getting dressed in training uniforms. Katie and Lina were as eager as the rest to get started, even though Ansgar continued to be gruff with them when he explained his orders from the Queen to train them as soldiers. He then led them outside the castle for their first training class, where they would work as teams.
Ansgar explained that they had to shoot scorpions (big, mechanical crossbows) over a wall to hit an army of 180 dummy soldiers, where one member of each team stood in a watch tower to direct the scorpion's aim, while the other two members had to get arrows and shoot the scorpion. Katie was put in the Blue Team, and elected to be the team's eyes in the tower, which didn't entirely endear her to her doubtful teammates, Patrick Higgins and Christian Sochor.
After the challenge began, Katie did her job, but she did not do it very well. Her team got only four accurate hits, while her weak eyes gave them many misses. At one point, she voiced her lack of confidence in getting the aim right, to which Ansgar replied that she needed to be very precise in her directions. After the challenge, and Ansgar's men counted each team's hits, Ansgar sarcastically said that if the dummy army had been real, nobody and nothing would still be standing on the Paladins' side. Then he read off each team's score, with Katie's Blue Team faring the worst at four targets. Ansgar again used sarcasm as he said that he could've hit more targets throwing arrows over the wall with one hand. After White Team's Bonnie Gordon was awarded the Mark of Leadership, they all returned to the castle, with Blue Team informed that they had to face the Fates.
First Visit to the Fates Edit
Lina comforted Katie later in the day by promising to support her no matter what the outcome was. When they went and enjoyed the sight of the Fates' Hall, Katie thought this would be a moment she would either love, or love and hate at the same time. She, Patrick, and Christian were tasked with "fending for themselves" due to their lack of good teamwork, by shooting arrows into each other's dummies on a revolving platform. By the time it was over, Christian had won with the least amount of arrows in his dummy, and he would continue the Quest.
While everybody except her and Patrick went away temporarily to discuss who should stay and who shouldn't, Katie was not looking forward to their decision. Her fears were confirmed when the others returned, and she lost the vote to Patrick by 2-8. Knowing she was to be the first Paladin banished from Everealm, she at least took comfort in the fact that Lina remained loyal to her and voted for her instead of Patrick. As she turned in her piece of the Sunspear and went into banishment, Katie commented that she wasn't certain if she could've been the One True Hero, and may have been on a quest just to see if she could do it.
Tournament For the Queen Edit
Katie, being banished, played no further part in the Quest until the One True Hero conquered the Quest. However, when the Paladins returned to the Fates for the second time, they noticed that Katie's motionless, expressionless face was in one of numerous black windows high above in grayscale, as if she was imprisoned, and Jim Curry, one of the Paladins facing the Fates that night, thought that could be him soon. The same fate would befall all the other banished Paladins.
One True Hero Edit
After Lina won the title of the One True Hero, and she had assembled the Sunspear, its power brought back the banished Paladins, finishing with Katie, who would now serve as the Hero's army against Verlox's forces, along with Sir Ansgar. They all stealthily made their way back to the castle, which was now occupied by Verlox himself, and Lina found a secret passageway that would take her to Verlox himself, while Katie and the others stormed the gates and dueled the Dark Lord's soldiers with swords. In spite of having no training in sword fighting from Ansgar, Katie proved herself an able fighter, and slew numerous evil warriors that day. In the end, Lina succeeded in rescuing the imprisoned Crio and Queen Ralia and destroying Verlox with the Sunspear, and Sir Ansgar apprehended the treacherous Grand Vizier who had sided with Verlox.
Afterwards, there were celebrations at the restored castle with the people of Saenctum, and the Paladins then left Everealm while crowds cheered them on. Upon leaving, Katie voiced her pleasure that she had an opportunity to go to sleep one night, and wake up in a fantasy castle.
Katie very much looked forward to going to Everealm, and loved spending time in a castle, even if it was just for a night and a day. She wanted to prove herself as a good hero, too. Unfortunately, her incompetence as the eyes for her team in the scorpion challenge discouraged most of her competition, and she did not get the opportunity, becoming the first loser of the Quest. Her level of confidence was imperfect, as well, which may have also cost her the title of the One True Hero.
Medieval Times endeared her interest in fantasy, and she is also a fan of numerous kinds of pop culture, like the Chicago Bears, comic book creator Brian K. Vaughan, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Katie is a twin, and developed her own language with her sister as a young child enjoying their secret code. While she shares a bond with her sister, she is also fiercely competitive and a self-proclaimed hustler when it comes to pool and cards.
(Section below taken from ABC.com - Katherine "Katie" Smaluk's profile)
What is your earliest memory of the fantasy genre? What made you become a fan?
- My earliest memory of the Fantasy genre would probably be going to Medieval Times as a kid. There were knights and horses and jousting! JOUSTING! Who doesn't love a joust? Granted the Damsel in Distress was appealing to the little girl in me, but the honor and royal tradition was what really made me a fan.
What’s the craziest thing you've done in the name of fandom?
- I think being a crazy fan, isn't something you do on the outside, it's how you feel on the inside. I don't have to prove that I love comic books, or fantasy, or RPGs -- I just do. That was the beauty of this subculture; it was there for me, I didn't have to try to be anything to be a part of it. I am it. I'm an addict to the Fantasy genre like I am to PBS or the Chicago Bears. You find something you love and it becomes you.
What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to the fantasy genre?
- Anything by Brian K. Vaughan ever. Oh and Buffy should go without saying. She slayed vampires. I mean, come on. Badass!
How do you define "hero"?
- It's a submarine sandwich; you can pick one up off of Western Ave if you're in Chicago. Okay, all jokes aside though, a hero is someone who saves and protects the lives of others, through selfless acts of courage and bravery. I immediately think of the men and women who serve or have served in the United States Military, Police Officers, and Fire Fighters. I am free because they are brave. Makes me proud.
Who is your real-life hero and why?
- My real life hero is my twin sister Kalli Smaluk hands down, no question. My sis has been by my side literally my whole life. I wouldn't be who I am today without her. My sister is so strong and brilliant and doesn't get enough credit, and wouldn't ask for it either. Plus, she has the most wicked sense of humor I have ever come across. Love ya Kal!
Describe yourself in three words.
- Curious. Clever. Corny.
- Katie is the first person to be banished, and thus the first loser, of Season 1 of The Quest.
- Katie is an expert hustler with pool and cards.
- Katie and Adria Kyne share the same interest in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Katie is the only Paladin to wear eyeglasses in the medieval Everealm.