Saturday, October 24, 2009

In which geometry gives up

Well I'm on a train and had a couple of pretty fun games this week, so may even get two posts done today! Being the awful tease that I am, I'll probably save the Scion post and actually put it up tomorrow. I'll decide in a bit, but for now, Mage! After the break, Daniel will attempt to explain the rather confusing finale of the first Story in the campaign.

After a night of rest, we decided to first deal with the immediate problem - a Master Magus was raining havoc upon downtown Glasgow. We piled into Christine's souped-up supercar and headed toward the town centre. On our way there, however, we ran into a spot of trouble. It seemed that Archemorus had set up some sort of ward, and the car came thudding to a halt just before coming off of a bridge before Central Station.

((I'll be honest, I wasn't giving 100% of my attention to the game at this point - I think I was working on something for Scion. In any case, there was definitely a bridge and we definitely left it a bit later to get into central station. However, my glaswegian friend who is not the ST says there are no bridges anywhere near the station. I can only assume this was nefarious Correspondence magic at work.))

While attempting to ascertain the nature of our obstacle, another car came speeding towards Persephone and Kase. Taking the initiative, I dived before the careening vehicle to save them, succeeding but seeing an unconscious woman inside the car as well. The chassis crashed through the railings at the side of the bridge, and balanced precariously between the two axles. I would not allow this damsel in distress to fall into the raging waters of the Clyde below!

Calling Matthias and Darius to my aid, I leapt upon the back of the car and trusted in their combined weight to keep it on the bridge. Flipping onto the roof, I leant over to open the door and quickly pulled the lady from the driver's seat before somersaulting back onto the bridge. Leaving her on the back of Christine's car to recover, I then went to pull the car back onto the bridge with the help of the other men.

Then a pair of completely inconspicuous cars arrived. Naturally, two men in suits came out of them. Technocrats. Our hands flew to our weapons, but these men raised their hands for parlay. Being a man of honour, I allowed them this right. It turned out the woman I had just saved was their boss Kirsten, one of the Technocrats called Statisticians - readers and manipulators of probability. It was agreed that we would go together to fight the Master, and as thanks for saving her life, Kirsten would let we "Reality Deviants" go free afterwards without reporting our presence. A refreshing show of honour from the famously relentless Order of Reason.

And so we headed into the madness together. There was an invisible boundary, and crossing it took us into a bizarre mindscape indeed. At first we were in the forest outside Seattle where Archemorus' friends had been killed. On seeing the Master kneeling oblivious before us, I took the opportunity to shoot. Then the illusion broke.

We were in Glasgow's Central Station, the pavements covered in car husks and civilian corpses. In addition to the other cabal and the three Technocrats we had just met, two men in massive, robotic suits of armour stood fighting Archemorus with guns firing invisible lasers. The mad mage took care of the two Sleepers in short order, causing one to rip himself apart with the simple act of taking a step, and the other to cower and faint in fear. It was then that I noticed that there were many copies of the master, many images scattered around the station, with no indication of which was real. Persephone sent a spike of rock summoned from the ground flying towards one of him, but this had no visible effect upon the others. I then went to strike one, but instead my sword landed upon the hard armour of one of the Technocratic Marines, causing no injuries but harsh words. Realising that simply striking this image again would serve no purpose, I followed through on my strike in order to grab a hold of this marine, leapfrogging over him to stab another image - and promptly injured Serena, who had transformed herself into a great tiger and roared with rage at my attack.

At this point one of the marines shot at Archemorus, and I think that the blow struck his friend and caused his suit to overload with Paradox Energy - called the "Paradox Effect" by these so-called scientists - and kill him. It's rather unclear, the perversions in the geometry of this place were starting to confuse me by this point. As if to help with this, we were suddenly taken far into the air, where we stood upside down, the ground a great distance below us. Or above us. Or both. And also to all sides. Persephone attempted to strike Archemorus with a lightning bolt, but he dismissed it with a wave of his hand. At this point, I decided to give up with aiming.

With Kirsten's assistance, I cast reason to the wind and made a random decision using dice and my lucky coin. My rapier flashed forward when she told me my dice were most probable to lead to success, and I sent lightning crackling along the blade. The metal and energy flew around the place, bending and looping in a completely alien way, until they collided with the mage's chest. Brain-melting runes flashed before him, and he dispelled the lightning, but could not ward away my steel. As his chest was impaled...

We were on top of a skyscraper. Archemorus was quite lucid, and showed us a scene. A Nephandus mage whose image flickered stood before his younger self explaining that his schemes had been set back. Archemorus slew the mage, and the image stopped flickering. The man fell forward, leaving behind the other whose features he had been showing. At this Archemorus went crazy, as the figure cursed him. The master turned to us and explained that this had been the insight that had granted him mastery of magic.

Then I was on a ship. I recognised this ship, somehow. A hooded figure stood at the helm - my helm, I realised in a way. Looking overboard, I saw on the port side calm blue sea, and on the starboard raging black ocean. The figure beckoned me to the helm, and I took the wheel with relish. Then a figure I somehow knew to be the source of my magic appeared. A man wearing clothing similar to mine, his flesh and bones replaced by briny seawater filled with fish and weeds and wearing a tricorne hat. I stood with my hands upon the wheel, these two figures to my sides. They asked me about what I would do with my life, why I wanted power. I looked out at the sea, open on all sides even as its mood rapidly changed. And I replied that I saw no reason to restrain myself now to just one path. The spirits were pleased, and I felt myself well with energy. Then we were all in an alley in Glasgow, Archemorus bloody before us. He called down an angel, just as he had when we first met. But this time, the spirit merely shook its head in disapproval and left. Then Archemorus was shot to death. Kirsten bid us farewell and let us know that we had ten minutes. I determined to remember her name and we all went away back to the Chantry.

When we reached the Chantry, we met a strange woman. She had the form of a young girl, but showed signs of having lived for many years, possibly centuries. I was reminded of my first mentor's clinging to youth, but this degree of it could only be held by an Archmage. She said something about the master and the chantry, then went away. The Chantry's guardian returned then, a were-panther who told Matthias that he was now in charge before taking him away to the Spirit Realm.


Daniel levelled up! As did the rest of his Cabal. Two years of game-time will pass before the next session, during which Daniel will widen his repertoire of magical spheres. Time to get off the train now, so I'll probably type up the Scion game tomorrow on the return journey.

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