Dark Age: Mage

The 2nd Coming!

There was a huge battle at a fortress in the middle of nowhere. The group discovered it while following the magical tether to the old gypsy hag. There seemed to be two sides in the struggle. The group that wore dragon themed uniforms and another group that was led by a stone dragon and had a number of blue dragons on their side as well. Most of the group decided it would be best to get themselves captured again and accomplished this without delay. When the blue dragons attacked however chaos erupted throughout the besiegers camp and they were able to escape. They tried to make it over the walls to escape the attacking dragons, but there were too many obstacles in their way. Taking all of this in stride Jamal flew over the battle protected by a gleaming sphere of force. Once inside the castle he then made himself invisible and convinced the dragon that he was a spirit that had interest in saving the rest of his henchmen from the turmoil outside the walls. He made some vague totally retractable agreement with the stone dragon who let out a great wail and had his dragon servants find the rest of the group and bring them before him. They then discussed that their aim was getting home and were led to believe that entering a portal in the dragons mouth would get them there.

The party then entered the portal which quickly became a very narrow tunnel. After much crawling they then emerged onto a mountain cliff and found that they were now no longer animal men. Instead they were not dragons. They were each a different color and Brodir still had his giant foot which made flying difficult. Conrad and Jamal were curious if they could breathe fire and after some experimenting found that they could in fact breathe fire if they tried hard enough.

Shortly they met up with other dragons and the dragon queen, Shahira. They seemed to be expecting them and were under the impression they were there to help them battle some evil dragons. The group saw no harm in battling these evil dragons and went into battle with the other dragons. Brodir flew straight at the enemy and managed somehow to attract the attention of a great number of evil dragons and was torn to pieces. Conrad fought for awhile and when he saw Brodir die went to investigate. As always Jamal shown the broightest and led the good dragons to victory. Then when Shahira asked him what he wished in return for his great aid he selflessly asked if they could return Brodir to life. They agreed and somehow infused him with quintessece which allowed him to pull himself back together.

After this the party encountered a grey mist and soon found themselves in another dimension. Here they were human again. This dimension seemed almost lifeless except for some dying plants and floating cows. Eventually they discovered some recently killed blue men and armed themselves with their weapons. This proved fortuitous for shortly they ran into a group of living blue men chained together like slaves. Their keepers soon attacked the group and they found themselves fighting giant skeletons, an over sized armored warrior and an alien mentalist. Once again Jamal was the most effective amongst the group cleaving the skeletons in twain and setting the enemies on fire. Conrad tried to encourage the blue men to fight and had some moderate success at this. And Bogden swung his heavy mace rather effectively as well. Still suffering from a huge foot, broken hand and bad luck Brodir had difficulty being very combative, but did manage to keep the warrior from moving for some time. Once the armored warrior and skeletons were destroyed Conrad convinced the mentalist to surrender and she reluctantly did so.

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Squeek! Squeek!

After a long and trying journey through a particularly seedy section of the umbra, Brodir, Bogden and Conrad started a conflict between the terribly annoying yellow men or the fortress and the blue dragon men who had invaded them. Naturally they chose the wrong side and after many vain attempts at escape and subversion they were imprisoned.

The three of them were then taken to the home of the dragon men. Here they could see the dragon men as not dragon people but men wearing armor with dragon emblems. Likewise they themselves no longer looked human, but like anthropomorphic creatures. Brodir had the head of a stag, Bogden the head of a horse and Conrad the head of a bat. Here to they met up with Jamal who had decided to enlighten the foolish blue people on the art of siege weaponry. Fittingly, he appeared to have the head of the king of the beasts, the noble lion.

Soon however they were then judged and found guilty of creating rebellion amongst the yellow men and sentenced to death. They struggled and used all their magical might to try and escape this gruesome fate. Predictably this came to nothing and they were shackled to a mob of smelly fish men and led out into a field to be gruesomely slain.

Once again however Jamal came to the rescue and with a flawless display of True Magic and peerless use of strategy, blinded all of the enemy, freed his comrades from their shackles and led them to freedom.

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The Sleestak of the Spirit Realm

After a brief bit of time the adventurers (less Jamal) managed to find one another and started moving towards the arched towers of a grand city off in the distance. The towers were encircled by a tall stone wall that showed no signs of brick or mortar. An archway opened into a tunnel where the only decorations were found, that of a dragon inspired language or motif decorating the archway.

The wall encircled many smaller houses or buildings whose upper floors spanned into the sky. In the city, blue scaled lizardmen were seen speaking with one another though they did not respond to any queries the adventurers made towards them. The party explored the city noting that the low lying mist still covered the ground but for all accounts, the ground was made of the same singular stone that the walls and buildings were made of.

Traveling into the center of the city, the party believed or rather felt that the area should have housed fountains and decorations that were not present. It was in this location where the party saw a flash of yellow energy move from one building to another and then down an alleyway. Shortly after the energy faded from view a scream of pain was heard followed by sounds of combat. Following the sounds, the adventurers witnessed two of the blue scaled dragonmen clawing at a yellow humanoid figure who was trying to defend himself.

Brodir called out to the yellow figure who responded and was racked with a clawed fist from one of his blue assailants.

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Sweet, sweet Cray-Juice

Thinking that Jamal Al Farouk needed saving, the party followed The Great Imhotep eastward to a mountain where they discovered a Unibomber shack. The shack was apparently the home of an awful monster, the Gruulevond, and he had sealed it up tight to keep anyone from stealing his prized possession and guest of honor, the Magus Jamal.

After an indeterminable stretch of many hours the group eventually made its way inside only to be stymied by an illusionary wall. Meanwhile Jamal was being tortured by a fugue state in which he had horrible terrifying nightmares that he was forced to go on long pointless journeys with a gaggle of illequipped European hedge wizards and being punished for being the only intelligent one amongst them.

Eventually Bogdan discovered the illusionary wall. With the help of Konrad they were able to beg and plead for a spirit to help them recover Jamal. Desperate to find him the necromancer, the merchant and the viking all entered the minds of eye of a spirit creature that happened to be hanging out there.

Inside the creature’s eye the group finally located Jamal on an endless yellow plane. He had a hard time discerning the difference between his nightmares and their actual presence, but eventually decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. Many silly things were than attempted to try and make an escape from the pocket dimension they found themselves in. Then Jamal decided he had wasted enough time there and and led the rest of them quickly away from the yellow plane and into the blue sky where they discovered a cloud kingdom.
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The party is, as yet, unsure as to how Jamal managed to become ensnared in the pocket dimension or how such a powerful spirit entity became aware of Jamal’s presence. From the accounts from Imhotep, Jamal’s flying into Rus was not in line with the time alloted for the group to get to Muscovy. At this time it can only be surmised that Jamal must have had some urgent reason to once again take his attentions from his studies and travel into unknown lands.

The pocket dimension that the group has found themselves in seems to be highly resistant to the travel magic that Brodir Olafson typically uses. At this point Brodir has exhausted his magical reserves and needs time to replenish them.

Brodir has reflected often at how such a group of disparate mages have managed to stay together for so long. The self-absorbed and conceited nature of the Order of Hermes is but one difficulty Brodir has yet managed to wrap his head around. They are seemingly mages of extreme power and can potentially waste to large swathes of land, but out of the two Hermites that Brodier has known they have required saving by others. After Jamal’s rescue and exit from this pocket dimension, Brodir hopes that Jamal will finally step down from his self imagined pedestal and look behind him to see that the shadow he casts is just as long as those cast by his companions.
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Despite the delays and setbacks caused by his confinement the great Magus Jamal is certain he will emerge victorious and unswayed from his path to total supremacy. The mere fact that such great lengths were gone to in order to capture and attempt to hold him are just further evidence of his greatness. Few would be able to imagine, even less withstand, even a fraction of the intense hardships and pain he has undergone in his efforts to save his companions from the perils they continually place themselves. It is merely a testament to his great strength that he remains alive and an even further testament to his magnanimous nature in the way he lets them share in some small measure in the glory of his actions. Perhaps when their journeying is done they will have even earned the privilege of learning True Magic at his feet or at least serving as his retainers in his future endeavors.

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Trans-Rus Gypsy Love

After the three Polish guards were returned to the party, the magi left and continued onward to their destination of Muscovy. They were forced to travel overland between unnavigable sections of the river which slowed their progress. On one evening they ran across a robbed woman standing by the edge of the road. The woman called out to Konrad by name which stopped the procession until the magi could determine what this encounter would entail.

She asked for our trust and she would give us our futures. For this she needed blood and again she mentioned the need to trust her. The blood of all three mages, Brodir Olafson, Bogdan and Konrad were collected into a bowl. She claimed that she saw a silvery light, coming from a silvery moon. The silvery moon shined upon a silver sword which lied before a silver tower. She mentioned that these events must be met in order and that if you can not stand those 3 tasks then you have already becomed doomed.

The moon was waxing and would become full in 3 days. She gave Konrad a wicker basket to ‘guide us’ after Bogdan gave the witch silver and Konrad gave the gypsy hur hur hur in payment for her fortune-telling. Inside the basket was the familiar, Imhotep the Magnificent, servant to the mage Jamal Al Farouk who is greater than all dirt mages. To Brodir, she made a ball of mud mixed with the blood that remained in the bowl. She commented that this was a symbol of friendship and instructed brodir to keep it safe.

Imhotep explained that Jamal was flying east when a whirlwind, of what must have been unimaginable power, pulled Jamal out of the sky. Imhotep had fallen out of the vortex before Jamal was brought down and so was seperated from his master and best friend.

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Norgo, the Vodyanoy

The intrepid adventurers left Ladoga and traversed up river. Using magic to hasten their travel they had managed to stay ahead of the merchants and traders that would eventually use the same waterways. A failed magic roll while rowing across a large lake summoned some inclement weather though the party managed to get to land safely, if a bit wet and bruised.

The party set out watches in the night with one of the pc’s awake with each shift. In the morning, the group had found that three of the guards had disappeared. Brodir Olafson managed to locate footprints coming out of the water and then return by use of his Fara magic.

Bogdan and Konrad spoke to the members of the village close to the lake and they spoke with superstition of a spirit, a Vodyanoy, that occasionally stole members in the night. The party disagreed about what to do next, Bogdan advocated rescuing the men if to only confront the water spirit. Konrad wished to continue on to Moscovy, both leaving it to Brodir to break the tie. Brodir felt that one day to retrieve the lost men (or at least investigate their current state) would not slow them down too much.

Brodir organized the rest of the guards to be hidden in the trees with ready to light torches. The goal was for Konrad to draw the Vodyanoy onto land. Bogdan would use his water magic so that it would be repelled from the Vodyanoy and keep him from his element, the men would then try and insert themselves between the Vodyanoy and the water using flame to keep the spirit at bay. Brodir would bring the heavy hurt should muscle be needed.

Konrad managed to make contact with the Vodyanoy who was apparently wise to the preparations that the group had made. He refused to come up on shore and the group had nothing to persuade him to do so. Brodir then foolishly stepped into the Pen-Umbra to see if he could locate the spirit from the spirit world. As Brodir disappeared, Konrad began berating the spirit for its cowardice in an attempt to taunt it on shore.

The ploy worked all to well with the Vodyanoy leaping out of the water to grapple with Konrad. Konrad delved deep into his soul and managed to draw upon the energies of some foolish ancestor who dared fortune by obtaining a dodge pool above 4 and achieved a staggering 5 successes on a dodge roll. Konrad then continued the taunting of the Vodyanoy by retreating expiditiously through the forest with his best castrato scream.

Bogdan used his water magic to create a bubble around the Vodyanoy which seemed to slow the spirits escape, but only for a few rounds. The men charged in with torches but the Vodyanoy dove into the waters and stepped into the Pen-Umbra.

Brodir had been anticipating the Vodyanoy but the spirit had managed to still get the drop on him. The spirit attempted to grapple Brodir when he moved in to attack and with the use of Fara magic he managed to disentangle himself from the spirit’s grasp.

Bogdan then decided to pursue the water spirit by jumping into his bubble along with Konrad who had managed to reclaim his typical baritone voice. In the spirit world, Brodir attempted to taunt the spirit challenging the spirit to release the men stolen from the party for having lost the conflict.

The Vodyanoy admitted to the kidnapping, claiming that his slaves tended to bore him after a year or so when he went looking for new slaves. He seemed to be miffed that his permission wasn’t sought when the party traversed his lake and the failed magic roll may have had something to do with that. He required payment and Brodir’s name before he would release the 3 men he stole from the group. There was some dispute as to the wording of the deal and so Brodir heightened the tension by offering to give the spirit back his pride stating that it wasn’t worth taking in the first place. The Vodyanoy required three foreign items from afar in exchange for the three slaves that he took and gave his name as being Norgo after the payment had been made.

Brodir handed over his Fara Foci, an ancient roman coin, and a pair of vampire teeth that he kept as a momento after having killed his first vampire. Norgo said that the men would be released in the morning, “for that is the time for such things.”

More importantly, back in Stretchin, Jamal was finally able to spend some time alone and continue his studies of real magic in peace. Much was learned or rediscovered during this time and great knowledge was added to the already impressive arsenal of Jamal. He was also able to get some important shopping done and spend some time with his new mentor, Magnus. This wonderful period will be called the Spring of Jamal.

Familiar Mechanics Hammered Out

Some discussion and debate over the feeding of familiars were decided upon this night. Bogdan’s crow could be fed human eyeballs in place of quintessence. Jamal’s cat would require the a page per week of a book in place of quintessence. Konrad’s fetch required _______________ (I don’t remember)

Experience Points

None awarded.

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On to Rus

After the defense of Magnus’s cray, the group continued to consult with Magnus about the situation in the city, the nature of the vampires who assaulted the cray, Lord Masliev, and the qualities of magical items.

Bogdan voiced concern over the vampires that traveled to Szczecin from Fezhun. He instructed his familiar, a raven, Garvan, to fly to the werewolf cray and tell them of the vampire nest through a hole in the roof in hopes to pit the werewolves and the vampires against each other while giving the werewolves the advantage by giving them a known location and knowledge of the vampire’s weakened strength. Brodir Olafson collected some of the vampires’ ashes in case they ever felt the need to track down the exact location of the lair.

Magnus was brought into the circle of trust with regards to the tapestry as the group were trying to assess Lord Masliev’s motives for wanting the tapestry and whether or not he truly was a friend to the gifted. Magnus claimed that Lord Masliev enjoyed surrounding himself with numerous ‘hedge wizards’ and made a point of keeping his identity and nature from Lord Masliev. Magnus also shared the groups’ assumption as to what Lord Masliev would do if the tapestry fell into his hands while he was also Peter’s ward.

This led to the discussion of how one could destroy magical items, especially one of the tapestry’s nature. Without inspecting it Magnus could only surmise that the tapestry would probably have to be destroyed with the expenditure of magical essence. This brought up more discussion as to what to do with the tapestry once retrieved and which patron would the party eventually side with. Lord Stanislav wanted the tapestry destroyed or ‘taken away’, whereas Lord Masliev would probably use it for his own gains. Jamal Al Farouk voiced a third opinion of using it for personal gain which seemed drastically out of character for him at the time…

Magnus was also able to aid the party in discovering what the powers of the group’s magical items were.

Overall the party was able to spend roughly 6 weeks of downtime in Szczecin. Most spent it improving skills and abilities and working on their magical studies. Jamal opted to stay behind to increase his ability of life magic.

Magical Items

The knife (Jamal’s Dagger) was able to impede travel across a line in which it drew. This barrier did not stop missiles or other people from being pushed through but for those present, they could not raise up the motivation to cross the line to even try it. The knife’s second power was it’s ability to act as a compass in detecting supernatural creatures (or at least other mages). Both powers required the expenditure of quintessence to use.

The curtain was actually an embodied obscurement spell. It’s ability was to make inanimate object invisible. This did not work for hiding living beings and also required the expenditure of quintessence to use.

Brodir’s buckler was made with the magic of the Messianic Voices. When activated it seems to disintegrate missile attacks and provide the wielder a sort of x-ray/night vision allowing one to see in darkness as well as around corners and sense enemies.

Traversing the Baltic

Between Bogdan’s water magic and Brodir’s travel magic the two were able to calm the waters and ease Gunter‘s ship through the Baltic’s icy seas. Gunter’s crew were divided between those who seemed to lean towards the old traditions and those who leaned towards the christian doctrine. Konrad worked to distract the crew when the two were working their magic but on such a small and tightly cramped vessel it was difficult to obfuscate.

The trio landed in Ladoga, a small port town that was located on the mouth of a river. Konrad managed to make a few trades and garner a profit, lightening the load of goods they were bringing from Szczecin to Muscovy. Brodir managed to assuage the fears of the guards they brought with them with some rambunctious behavior and a few flasks of mead.

Experience Points

None awarded

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Defending Magnus's Cray Pt. 2

The session started out in mid-combat with Brodir Olafson having materialized from the penumbra in an alley way across the street from the boot shop. Jamal, Bogdan, and Konrad were still inside the building after having dealt with a number of mutated humanoids.

A very large, hulking creature cloaked in darkness came out of the alley way where three cowled vampires were chanting around a circle that was glowing with a purple light. The Vozhd moved to towards Brodir who used Fara to speed around him in an attempt to interrupt whatever magic the vampire mages were performing. A fourth vampire armed with a sword dropped from the roof and landed in front of Brodir.

As Brodir engaged the vampire swordsman, Jamal and Bogdan assaulted the Vozhd from within the building. Jamal seared it with light cast through his sword and Bogdan used his death magic to draw the creatures life energies away. Both managed to cause the creature quite a lot of damage when Jamal heard a noise from inside the building they were in. Investigating he came upon 2 vampires armed with swords and trying to sneak up behind them. Creating fire, Jamal caused one to flee in terror and to break through the shop’s poor wall while the other vampire rogue had managed to maintain some composure. Meanwhile Konrad was mixing herbs and spices to prepare a topical cream and marinade for later that evening.

The vampire swordsman fell to Brodir’s axe just as the 2nd Vozhd had completely manifested itself. Bogdan had managed to slay the first Vozhd which had fallen in front of the door way, partially obstructing passage through it.

Brodir parried the first blow from the Vozhd but became entangled in the creatures tentacles that sprouted from its torso. Konrad, first out of the building, attempted to help Brodir by trying to pull the tentacles off of him only to receive the first EPIC BITCHSLAP recorded in modern history. Konrad was knocked through the air and into a building, stunning him for a couple of rounds and lots of dots of damage.

Bogdan finally exited the building having managed to escape the doorway and distracted the Vozhd enough to allow Brodir to escape its tentacles with use of his Fara magic. The vampire magi had fled the scene the round before and so Brodir used his Fara magic to catch up to them. Jamal exited the building after the second vampire rogue fled and began using his magic and sword against the 2nd Vozhd. Jamal became entangled, received lots of damage while Bodgan scorched the creature with his death magic.

While Bogdan and Jamal were messing with the 2nd Vozhd, Brodir managed to chase down one of the vampire magi and cut him down with 2 blows from him magically imbued ax. He attempted to chase down the other two but they had managed to escape while he was in combat. Brodir returned to the shop with the body of the defeated vampire for the last lame round of combat with the Vozhd in which everyone either missed or managed 1 point of damage.

While Konrad and Bogdan attempt to save Jamal’s life, Brodir hacked up the bodies of the 2 Vozhd to hide them from the eyes of the city dwellers. After a less than successful use of magic, the body parts were covered by the snows from the roofs against the side of the boot shop.

Eventually morning arrived, Magnus came upstairs wielding a flaming staff and a shield (?). He managed to heal Jamal of some wounds, make a snide comment of hedge wizards, and enlightened the group with more details of the vampires.

Magnus claims that the vampires are Tzimisce. They tend to use the cover of nobility and prestige to hide their presence. They also have the ability to manipulate flesh and create monstrous creatures by combining the flesh of different creatures. They can command animals and mentions that it was good that it was winter or the party might have faced a hoard of rats or wolves.

Bogdan summons the spirit of a couple of the mutated humanoids. The first was a woman by the name of Anya, daughter of Orin from the village of Fezhun. Her master is named Kazarin who apparently punishes her with pain. Her spirit left before any more information could be gleamed.

The second was another woman, Sorin. She also named her master Kazarin and claimed that he resided below the castle.

Experience Points

Bogdan, Brodir, Jamal, and Konrad all received 4 XP

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Szczecin, Poland
Wintering in Szczecin
Entering into Szczecin

The party succeeded in traveling North following the Oder River. They had news that Lord Kasimir had fallen in some battle or raid from one of his own messengers who had also been wounded. The messenger later died of his wounds and Konrad raised his spirit before it could move on to find out the news of Kasimir and that he was going to report his Lordship’s death to his son, Peter in Szczecin. The party decided to take this news to Kasimir’s heir since he would be the next target of the Eastern Mage, Wu Chen.

Brodir facilitated the travel by using his magic to temporarily enchant their wagon so that it could move through the snows easier. During this journey, Jamal opted to take advantage of Konor’s ward while Konor was communing with the surrounding spirits.

Upon entering into Szczecin, the party was concerned with how to go about delivering the message to Peter. They were not dressed to meet with nobility and did not feel that serving as Kasimir’s own messenger was wise since they didn’t know much about him. They opted to split up and see what kind of information they could get on their own.

Brodir used this time to meet and speak with other vikings in the city’s port district. Mixing with the sailors and hirelings from the north, he made contact with a family of Swedish merchants who had wintered in Szczecin and were awaiting the thawing of the Baltic to travel south. Rumors told of conflict between Sweden and Lithuania which would probably have an impact on the northern trade. He was told of a merchant named Gunter, who primarily dealt with trade between Poland and Lithuania and learned that Gunter liked to travel overland before the thaw so that he might be the first to bring= back goods from Lithuania once the waterways had cleared.

Lord Masliev

Finally acquiescing to the needs of the group, Jamal and Brodir managed to bribe their way into the city’s keep to meet the chamberlain. Using his extraordinary ability of complementing his own person, Jamal managed to convince the chamberlain to hire him as the lord’s librarian for the extravagant price of room and board. Brodir was hired on as well as an apprentice librarian and unofficial cat-wrangler.

In the library Brodir and Jamal met another mage by the name of Bogdan. Bogdan had been given access to the Lord’s library in return for some services Bodgan provided for Masliev. Using Bogdan’s association with Lord Masliev, the three requested an audience with him to find out how to reach Kasimir’s son, Peter.

In the conversation, the story of Kasimir’s tapestry was shared as well as Kasimir’s reported death. Lord Masliev pressed the party to pursue the tapestry to Moscow and return the tapestry to him. He also decided that Peter would be safest under his protection since the party hinted that the eastern mage, Wu Chen would probably be targeting him after Kasimir’s death.

After meeting with Konrad the group decided to take Lord Masliev up on his offer requiring mounts, a wagon and a handful of soldiers to protect them as they travelled north towards Muscovy. For themselves, the party pursued the regency of Kasimir’s traditional lands until Peter’s legitimacy at age 17. In addition, Kasimir’s Keep was also named as the party’s center of operation to legitimize them in the eyes of the Polish nobles.

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